8 Mile Stones

I’ve been tagged by both Pacheco of Bohemian Cinema and Matt of MereO with the Eight Random Biographical Anecdotes meme.

It’s interesting how memes evolve; this one arrived to me in two distinct permutations, similar in matter but different in form. Pacheco’s instructs:

  1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Meanwhile, Matt’s is more terse, and rearranged:

  1. Let others know who tagged you.
  2. Players post 8 random facts about themselves.
  3. Those who are tagged should post these rules with their 8 facts.
  4. Players should tag 8 other people and notify them they have been tagged.

For better or for worse I haven’t seen a single blog that hasn’t already been assimilated by this blog-Borg in its inexorable march across cyberspace. When Pacheco tagged me a week and a half ago I thought, well at least I could tag Matt, but while moving distracted me from the internet last week he preemptively struck. Now it would be too much work to find eight fresh victims, so I’ll just follow Jim’s lead and blatantly flout Rule 4.

But without further qualification, here are eight tedious items of self-mythologizing by Nobody in particular:

1. Until this year I had never seen Pulp Fiction. Sorry to say I was unimpressed, so I can only imagine the “revelation” it was at the time. Unfortunately Willis was the only good actor; Travolta and Jackson were the worst, incapable of making Tarantino’s script sound unrehearsed. Can any human do? Or is his trademark dialogue simply inhumane?

2. Other “modern classics” I haven’t seen are Jurassic Park and Titanic. My flatmates think this is evidence of film snobbery. Then I remind them I see every comic book adaptation regardless of quality and consider Casino Royale one of the best three movies of 2006.

3. BC (before Craig), the only Bond films I’d seen were Tomorrow Never Dies and Die Another Day. AD (after Daniel), Casino Royale inspired me to get the Deluxe Editions of every Connery (and the Lazenby) Bond film and watch them in sequence.

4. For most of my life I intended to draw comic books for a living, but at 15 I realized there was no job security as a freelance artist and didn’t want to live the rest of my life with monthly deadlines.

5. Around the same time, I first entertained the thought of majoring in English instead of Art when I realized I could do a better job teaching my literature class after having to explain to the teacher in class the double-possessive of “The Nun’s Priest’s Tale.”

6. At 10 years old my obsession with basketball began, and for the next few years most afternoons and evenings were spent practicing in the driveway. I played in Park & Rec leagues for five years, and on my high school varsity team in 11th and 12th grade.

7. I had piano lessons from the ages of 5 to 10, when I discovered basketball.

8. I was awakened one morning at the age of 11 by a 7.3 earthquake whose epicenter was 30 miles away. (Since it was not in an urban area there were no casualties, but its magnitude can be demonstrated by the fact that the Northridge quake two years later caused 72 deaths, 11,000 injuries, and $12 billion damage with only a 6.7 magnitude.)

Needless to say this shook me up, but I endured the aftershocks for the next few hours with equanimity, comforted as always by the knowledge that the big stuff was behind me.

But three hours after the first quake there was a 6.4 follow-up that felt even more violent since it was only 5 miles away. This contradiction of prior experience kind of traumatized me. Now, it seemed, all bets were off: I was no longer safe in my bed. If you know me, ask me sometime how it affected my sleeping habits for the following months.

5 thoughts on “8 Mile Stones

  1. Beady eyes Al says:

    Intriguing insights into the origins story of Mr Nobody there. Seriously, you have a right knack for singling out the Wordsworthian or Joycean moments of metamorphosis. My infancy and adolescence seem like an unpunctuated sequence of deleted scenes from the limited edition DVD of “Al Gore the Musical”, in which the erstwhile Vice-Prez struggles to get his fretless 5-string bass in tune, while, a few doors down, his priapic former gaffer torments a crowd of underprivileged youngsters with a two-note sax solo. Just like that in fact. Hey, I think I just done one of them epic similes. Have I?

  2. Nobody says:

    That was an epic simile and a half!

    An epic epic simile, if you will.

    At first I laughed at the wonderful oxymoron of “Al Gore the Musical” until I realised that, after recording a lecture and calling it a movie, how far off can a musical be for him?

    He’s already staked his claim as the new Bob Geldoff, something only Al Gore (you have to use both his names) would consider worthy of aspiration.

  3. Beady eyes Al says:

    Why thankyou. I’m going to try to get some Homeric epithets into my everyday communiques as well. I believe Al Gore’s career will take the following trajectory:

    2008: Al Gore the Musical, starring John Travolta as Al Gore and Al Gore as one of his aides
    2009: Guest judge on American Idol
    2010: Sex tape of he and his wife “accidentally” released. DVD sales of Al Gore the musical briefly cease their terminal decline, even though said sex tape only featured Al Gore sitting coyly in his y-fronts and socks on the end of the bed followed by complete darkness and mild bumping noises for two minutes.
    2011: Al Gore lives on the streets of LA eating fish heads and cackling melancholically (an achievement in itself).
    2012: Al Gore features on controversial website “Bumfights”, tearing off the head of a hobo from Ohio as if it were a fish head he had found in a dustbin.
    2013: Al Gore elected president of the United States of America.

    I am Tiresias. Mark my words.

  4. Nobody says:

    An intimidating set of predictions, falsified only by the fact that 2013 isn’t an election year. But he could take office in 2013 if elected in 2012.

    However, if Hillary wins in 2008 there’s no way she’d let him challenge her for reelection. Perhaps you think that Gore will run on a third-party ticket (the Bum Champions Party?), or worse yet, that a Republican will win next year?

  5. Nobody says:

    P.S. I think only Kevin Costner has the requisite lack of on-screen charisma to play the ex-Veep.

    Although Travolta has the singing chops as evidenced in his career-defining film Hairspray–coming soon to a cinema near us–he’s already played “Jack Stanton” in Primary Colors and may not want to conquer Gore as well, unless his goal is to provide the official portrayals of every member of the Clinton administration.

    But now that I think of it Travolta also has the female impersonation chops, as evidenced in his career-defining film Hairspray, to portray Hillary as well.

    Though easy enough to play three parts on film, Al Gore the Musical would be Travolta’s long-awaited acting tour-de-force as he plays Bill, Hill, and Al all ON STAGE. Unfortunately for the lifelong third-wheel Gore, even in his own musical he would be upstaged despite the same actor playing the three leads.

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