Everything Worth Knowing
I write, paint, and make things that are both beautiful and useful.
Affinities felt with –
Gypsies, Australian aborigines, Maori
Best reward –
I love it when a writer or artist I think is good, says a positive word about something I’ve done. It’s like being admitted to a club that you can’t buy your way into.
Best traits –
I am a world-class appreciator, an n-th dimensional fan. If it’s good, I can tell you why. Exhaustively. I can bring out brilliance in others.
I can actually say one of my grandsons is attending my alma mater… Santa Monica College.
Childhood ambition –
What did I want to be when I grew up? A remittance man. As soon as I heard there was such a thing, I said that’s the job for me. Unfortunately I didn’t realize at the time, to succeed in the remittance man field, you need a wealthy family.
Cognitive dissonance –
I’ve known too many political experts who thought they could run the world, but who couldn’t even govern themselves or promote peace in their own households.
Collaborative style –
If I’m against something, I resist as long as possible, and object to as articulately as possible. But in the end, once it becomes inevitable, I’m pretty good about falling in with the program.
Like somebody in one of Faulkner’s novels said, “I admire strong character even if it is bad.” Monomaniacs have my intellectual respect for their devotion and focus, if not for their ideas. I don’t want to live with the consequences of their programs, but I admire extreme people.
With very few exceptions, the only people worth listening to are science fiction writers and standup comics.
Dark-side talent –
I am a demon proofreader and editor.
Décor preferences –
I hate to see a lamp or some other object placed in front of a painting. Not necessarily mine — anybody’s painting. It doesn’t even have to be a real painting. Seeing an obstruction in front of it rattles my cage.
I’m gonna lose some friends with this one, but I loathe white décor like Mommie Dearest hated wire hangers. It’s blah, it’s clinical, it’s accusatory and uptight. The householder’s determination that every little spot of dirt must show, is a poor preparation for other areas of life, in which the inability to see every little flaw is an essential survival trait.
Deep dark deadly hate –
Being dropped in on.
Favorite part of U.S. Constitution –
Is there any doubt?
The minute somebody tells me “you’re not allowed to hear what that person says,” I gotta hear it. Just hard-wired that way.
One of the best things in life was playing a Lenny Bruce album for a real tough dude, who actually rolled around on the floor laughing.
At a family gathering, I made a dreaded dragon lady my project, and kept her laughing for hours. It wasn’t just a fluke, either. When a boyfriend’s mother (who had started out hating me) was dying of cancer, she used to call and I’d get her laughing and she’d start coughing and I’d feel bad… but she kept calling.
Hartman’s Inverse Rule of Professions –
The more the appearance of your legs matters in your chosen field, the less vital that job is to the human race in general.
Human relations –
I’d rather deal with an honest, committed person who believes differently from me, than with a half-assed person who allegedly believes the same as me. I think the word I’m groping for here is integrity. In the sense of oneness, that the saying and the doing are one, the appearance and the reality are one. I’m a sucker for it.
I don’t consistently bring the funny, but I can help you carry it in.
Ideal reader –
Marc Madow, the irreplaceable
Inspiration source –
A dead guy.
Instruments played –
I’m deeply suspicious of anyone who puts on a special voice when talking to a child.
Minority groups, member of –
Many. I am a quiet person in a noisy world. I was not one of the two and a half billion people who watched Princess Diana’s funeral procession on TV. Also, some poll found that 92% of people would rather get rich than find the love of their life. So I’m in that 8% minority.
The closer it is to pure rhythm, the more I have a problem with it. I’m way more of a melody person, than a rhythm person.
A mild form of agoraphobia that sets in after 20 minutes in a shopping mall.
Nora Roberts, best-selling author, what I have in common with –
Answering a question from an online fan, about whether she’d ever dropped anything valuable or important in a toilet, Roberts told an interviewer from the New Yorker: “I’m a big believer in not just keeping the seat down, but keeping the lid down for just that reason.”
Yes! Especially when there’s a shelving unit above. Dropping your hairbrush into the crapper is a powerful incentive to never let that happen again.
So I’m a monomaniac. If you don’t like it stay away.
There are eight things I like to do. Most of them are free, and most can be done alone.
I’d rather turn people on to good things, than try to convince them to deplore bad things. Unless the bad things really, really deserve it. Then, watch out.
“You can have it all – you just can’t have it all at once.”
People I can live without –
Any young person who thinks she/he is hot shit because his/her daddy is a lawyer, doctor, politician, etc.
Someone who makes an unsolicited offer to do something for you, fails to do it, and expects gratitude for the thing they didn’t do, that you never asked them to do in the first place.
Unattached. Though there’s a guy from the past I wouldn’t mind hearing from. You know who you are. Or if you’re not sure, get in touch anyway. What could go wrong?
Political leaning –
Pat Hartmanism. Though small-l libertarianism is the closest official political philosophy I’ve found.
Reasons to live –
Find out who killed Jon-Benet. And read Sara Dylan’s memoirs.
I didn’t become a forensic accountant. These are great days for forensic accountants.
The numerous collectibles I sold for too little, before there was eBay, or just because getting something was better than getting nothing.
Some days, I wish I’d stayed in San Antonio and gone to St. Philip’s College to become a mechanic, and started a roving auto repair business. The most serious non-facetious regret is that I didn’t go to law school and become a defense attorney.
LaffroAmerican. And I believe I invented the term. (If somebody else did, speak up. We vindicated a theory, by making one of those simultaneous spontaneous discoveries.)
Men tend to like me better at first, then less, as time goes on. Women are the opposite. But sometimes, it’s the other way around.
Sometimes you just have to –
do it for the story.
I am uniquely equipped to handle it.
Worst reincarnation scenario –
To be reborn some place where the population is like 100,000 per square block.
Worst addiction –
Worst sin –
according to me, is waste. Wasting food, water, fuel, most of all wasting time.
Because I took in the ideas as a child and young teenager, reading every science fiction book in the library, certain movies and TV shows have never appealed to me.
The kumbaya people who like to get together and marvel over the similarities between Christianity and Islam, between Judaism and Christianity, between Islam and Judaism… It is, literally, old news.