25 things (used to be 16)

Being that this started out at 16 – and rose to 25 – I’ll just re-copy the first 16 and add the 9 extra to the end.


1. I always wanted to be an artist. Always. ALWAYS. I idolized my Uncle Ray – a commercial artist – and his sister, my maternal grandmother – a moneyed and trained painter who gave it up to be the wife of a Teamster in rural Indiana. I originally went to college to be in graphic design – art – but left the program because I couldn’t afford the materials. One tube of paint costing $50 – and it’s used up in one assignment? By then I was eating watered down raman noodles and weighed 135 pounds. I was half expecting Sally Struthers to film a “save the children” commercial as I lay there zonked out with hunger as flies crawled on my face. So I pissed off my professors and changed my major to Journalism with an emphasis on Public Relations my Junior year – convinced myself it was the right decision – and went to school for 5 1/2 years instead of the normal 4.


2. I never wanted to be a journalist. But for some reason those are the only jobs I ever got that didn’t cause me to want to kill myself. So, I did it on and off for a few years – then steadily for a total for 20 years until all the media companies got bought by huge corporations and journalism was murdered; replaced by – of all things – a bastard hybrid of public relations and entertainment news. When I was working in broadcasting covering the dot-com implosion, I swear to god I was told to write the story like it was sports. I quit journalism for good in 2006 because I started to want to kill myself instead of going to work.


3. The most alone I ever felt in my life was while I was in my 20s and in a relationship; it was about 2 or 3 in the morning and I was in bed next to my then-partner who was asleep. I had just found out I was being cheated on and that the relationship was over and that there was no love lying there next to me. It was like being next to an emotional black hole that was sucking out my very will to live.


4. I spent 20 years or so as a paid writer and editor with varied levels of success, but Law school – of all places – taught me the discipline I always lacked in my craft.


5. I am an optimist despite my cranky and sarcastic outer shell. This tends to piss people off, much to my enjoyment.


6. I want to save the world. Seriously. And since/if I can’t do it by myself, I want to play a part in the process of saving the world. (See No. 5)


7. I do not trust avidly religious people. For some reason, I am convinced that they think that this is all a trial run and it’s OK to royally fuck up the planet or other people’s lives because it’s what happens AFTER they die that matters. This is totally screwed up. All things equal, I’d pick an atheist over an Jesus freak any day. At least the Atheist believes that her actions today may be the only legacy or important thing she will ever do if she dies tomorrow.


8. I am seriously still bummed that on January 20, Hillary Clinton was not be sworn in as President of the U.S. As a gay guy, I am convinced that Barack Obama doesn’t really care about gay people at all – but I know Hillary does. It’s purely selfish – but I’m no altruist, so I find selfishness to be a virtue in this instance.


9. I love living in the Silicon Valley. LOVE LOVE LOVE. The weather is perfect – the people are fantastic and the ethnic food is fabulous. If you would have asked me in college to name the one place I would definitely not live, I would have said San Francisco. I thought it was too cliche for a gay guy to move from the Midwest to SF – still do. For those of you not in the know, Silicon Valley is on the extreme southern tip of the San Francisco bay. I only moved here for job opportunities during the gold rush of the 1997 tech economy. Now I plan on staying here until I die. That said,


10. I still HATE the city of San Francisco. The city smells of homeless people urine and its politics are dominated by a Hydra-headed conservative-liberal mindset. The gay community there, aside from a few good folks, is overrun by snooty a-holes who whould not survive 10 minutes outside of the confines of their self-imposed gay ghetto. I worked in that city for 4 years – commuting 1.2 to 2 hours from Sunnyvale every day. I hate every little thing about that city. If you want to see a truly beautiful city in North America, visit Montreal. But live in the South Bay.


11. The things I miss about life in Indiana: Sunsets after a summer thunderstorm when the entire sky turns deep purple and is striped with neon pinks and sherbet oranges. I also miss lightening storms and the smell of ozone during them. I miss humid windy summer storms with huge warm raindrops. I miss 24-hour department stores where you can buy a car battery, underwear, nerf guns, fresh produce, vegetable oil and a frying pan all in one stop at 3:30 a.m. (but enough about my sex life)


12. I’m a writer from Indiana. Kurt Vonnegut – also from the Hoosier state – once talked about types of voices that different writers had depending on what part of the country they come from. (I’ve always been impressed by such things as influences of the lyrical north, the moody south, the delicate phrasing of new Englanders). Vonnegut said Indiana speakers and writers had all the grace of a chainsaw. I’m proof he is right.


13. My Myers-Briggs personality type is INTJ – Introverted, Intuitive, Thinking and Judging. Basically it says I am a judgmental bastard who does not give a rats ass what you think of me. The nickname for the type is “The Mastermind” – so I guess that if I was in a comic book, I’d be a villain instead of a hero.


14. I am a cat person. I do not like dogs as a rule – they are too needy. Children are worse than dogs; at least you can have your dog spayed or put down without the fear of going to jail. We do own one dog – Joey – who I adore, though. So, I’m probably redeemable if you are a dog lover.


15. I am a 40-year-old man who gave up a successful career to go to law school. Some days I think it is the best decision I could have ever made. Other days, it terrifies me.


16. I’ve been in love a handful of times in my life. Only in two of my relationships have I ever felt that I was lovable or deserving of love. I married the only one who convinced me I really was loved. In fact, I married him twice.


17. Apparently, I bleed blue; I am a direct descendant of the royal House of Plantagenet – including quite a few kings of England: (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Plantagenet) on my father’s side. It goes like this:

– my father → James Speakman

– his father → Rolla Speakman

– his father → William Speakman

– his father → Ebenezer Speakman II

– his father → Joshua Speakman II

– his father → Ebenezer Speakman I

– his father → Joshua Speakman I

– his mother→ Ann Harris

– her father → Hugh Harry(s)

– his father → Harry Owen

– his father → Thomas Owen

– his mother → Elizabeth Pugh

– her mother → Gaynor Thomas

– her mother → Jane Puleston

– her father→ John Puleston

– his mother→ Eleanor Whitney

– her mother → Constance Touchett

– her mother → Eleanor de Holland (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eleanor_de_Holland)

– her mother → Constance Tuchet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Constance_of_York)

– her father → Edmund of Langley (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_of_Langley,_1st_Duke_of_York)

– his father → King Edward III of England (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_III_of_England)


18. My favorite white trash drink is Diet Cherry Coke.


19. My favorite white trash food is Chicken in a Biskit or Raspberry Zingers, depending on my mood.


20. My parents had six children – three boys and three girls. We are in the same order and age spread as the Brady Bunch and that would make me”‘Bobby,” since I am the 5th (or second youngest).


21. I have zero patience for dull-witted people who think they are clever.


22. I have no problem setting and achieving long-term goals – even if that means suffering in the short term. This has been a problem when this suffering affects my spouse or other family members.


23. I drive a 2007 Electric Blue Honda Element, which I love.


24. I’m a big sci-fi geek. I am addicted to the new Battlestar Galactica on SCIFI, Supernatural on CW and Torchwood on BBC America. My biggest complaint about law school is the huge reading load keeps my nose out of science fiction novels on the weekends.


25. You’ll have to pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hands.