'Plaint of the Playwright

'Plaint of the Playwright

[ Monday, September 22, 2003 ]


First best friend:
Charles Denny, back in Bolingbrook, Illinois, when I was ten or eleven. We actually hooked up again a few years ago, and sadly, have lost touch again.

First real memory of something:
There's a picture of me as a toddler, lying on my dad's leg as he took the picture. I seem to remember him taking it, but I don't know if it's a real memory or a false memory generated by the picture.

First date:
I don't know that prom should count, so I won't. I did once ask a girl named Jennifer Patterson out on a date--and that was my first "asking someone out" deal. I would have been 26 at the time. The other people I ended up with, I just knew, so there was no real "dating period."

Anyway, the date must not have gone that great, because the second one she defused by inviting a friend over (fairly clearly at the last minute). We played Boggle for less than an hour, then it was decided that I should leave. As I walked out, the door, she told me, "well, have a nice life." I heard her friend snicker behind the door.

Yeah. Ouch.

First real kiss:
There was one with a truth-or-dare game with a girl named Bridget Meredith, but I'm thinking that doesn't count. No, my real first kiss was with my first girlfriend, Nicole Sheller. She had mono, but I was feeling reckless.

First Break-up:
Well, that'd be Nicole, again. It's all in the story "Fat Scrumping," if I ever finish the goddamn thing.

First Job:
The first "on-the-books" job was working for my Dad's company, at ProScience Labs, doing odd jobs and helping them set up everything. The coolest part was wiring the security system, because I got to climb up into the ceiling like Judd Nelson in "The Breakfast Club," while people below shouted out where the wall was. I had to walk along the wall to keep from falling through and killing myself.

First screen name:
Mister Six. It's from a "Prisoner" episode called "The Girl Who Was Death." At the end of the episode, one of the kids calls Patrick McGoohan "Mister Six," and I liked how it sounded.

First self purchased album:
Again, I'm not sure, but it was one of two albums, both equally embarrassing. It was either the Joe Piscopo comedy album "New Jersey," or the "Back To The Future" soundtrack album. I remember that when I bought the album, it had a scratch, so when I exchanged it, I asked if the could play it for me. So in this record store, really loud, blasts Huey Lewis and The News' "Power Of Love." I caught another guy look at me, like "what is this SHIT?!?" I was mortified.

First funeral: I've actually been to more wakes than funerals. I don't even remember the name of the relative. I don't even think I knew him. I just rememeber that there were a couple of other kids there close to my age (I was about 12 or 13) and we spent most of it playing cards. War.

First pet:
Poody, a tough-ass brown tabby cat.

Poody was awesome.

Poody was an outdoor cat, too. We used to let him outside, and he was the kind of cat that would sometimes bring fresh kills home.

I'll never forget when Poody came home one night with a half-alive bunny rabbit in his mouth.

Everybody freaked. Poody dropped the bunny and looked at us like, "What? It's for all of us!" My mom jumped on a chair, an we all backed away from it.

It screamed. That's how I learned rabbits can scream. It was a high-ptched squeak.

I was bawling, my my was freaking out, and my poor dad was left to be the one to deal with it. He picked it up and threw it in the trash. My mom kept me from looking, but I wanted to see if it was still alive. I'll never know if it was, I guess. About a year later we lost Poody to leukemia.

First piercing/tattoo:
I never got any piercings or tattoos. The closet thing is when I was 12 and got stabbed in the thumb on my left hand by a caligraghy pen nib. The mark is still there, though faint.

First credit card:
Oh, a Capital One Master Card, I think. I only finished paying it off a couple of years ago.

First true love:
Hmm. Does this mean first crush? If so, then it was on Jennifer Wulf, in the second grade. Then again, I'm to remember everyone had a crush on her. When Charles and I met up again a few years ago, we went back to Bolingbrook to check out the whole neighborhood, and dicovered that the Wulfs still lived there! By coincidence, she and her younger sister were there, visiting, so we all got to catch up, and even hooked up with another friend, Mike Holtz.

And yeah, Jen was still pretty freakin' cute. And I think Charles and I both had crushes on her sister.

But, anyway, if this means first requited love, I'm gonna go out on a limb and say my second girlfriend Joanna Mack. Like many other spurned lovers, I lost her to California. Which is where she wanted to be. So she packed up all her stuff and moved to Berk-e-ly.

First enemy:
Franky Sperna. I actually couldn't remeber why he was such an enemy of Charles and I, but Jennifer filled us in during our reunion: simply put, he was kind of a spoiled jerk. All I remember was that we just didn't like him, and all jokes led to slamming him. We once had a go-cart race that he chaleenged us to. He had this really nice one that his father bought and built for him, and we had one we made ourselves, out of a wagon, a laundry basket, and a series of cradboard boxes.

Franky ended up calling it off when he saw that we had also loaded it with acorns (for throwing). We had suspected treachery. He had told us not to throw acorns during the race, and we thought it was odd that he'd mention that unless he was planning to do it himself. We decided it was best to have the acorns and not need them, then to need them and not have them.

First big trip:
My parents and I used to visit our relatives in Honolulu and Maui all the time. That kind of tapered off when they got divorced.

First play/musical/performance:
A college production of "You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown," when I was five. I was blown away. To this day, I've always wanted to play Snoopy.

First musician you remember hearing in your house:
God help me, it was ABBA.


Last big car ride:
The trip Buck and I just took to Chicago.

Last kiss:
My wife Betsy, this morning before going to work.

Last good cry:
I don't know that I've ever had a "good" one.

Last library book checked out:
Like everyone else, it's been years since I've even been to the library...I think it was "Misery."

Last movie seen:
"Confessions Of A Dangerous Mind," which I loved. Maybe it's not for everybody, but it blew me away.

Last beverage drank:
I'm currently drinking a Swiss Miss Vanilla Cappuchino.

Last food consumed:
Picante Chicken Ramen, last night.

Last crush:
On my wife, Betsy. Duh.

Last phone call:
Local: Buck Hakes, last night.

Long Distance: Seth Mangum, sometime last week, where we groused about matters of the day.

Last tv show watched:
Last one I watched all the way through was "Dead Like Me," which is a show I like, but I can't for the life of me figure out what they were thinking having a clip show last week before they've even finished their first season. That said, last night's episode, which was a simple little slice-of-life story about data entry just blew me away, and was their best episode so far.

It's like, the problem with the show was that they've got all these great characters, and they couldn't figure out what to do with them. Last night, they realized was that all they needed was to leave them alone and let them talk to each other, and it was the most fascinating episode, yet, as well as having the best dialogue of the series.

Cynthia Stevenson's line about how she and her husband work so hard to make all of this money so they can spend it all on fun to make up for working so hard is going to haunt me for the rest of the year.

Last time showered:
This morning. You're welcome.

Last shoes worn:
The same black velcro sneakers I wear every damn day.

Last cd played:
The second week house music mix for "Psychos In Love." I put together a different house music cd every week for that show, and that week was "The Lebowski Mix," which had several quotes from "The Big Lebowski" on it.

Last item bought:
I just bought a prop gun for fifty bucks on eBay, before I realized I didn't have the money to pay for it. I ended up selling a bunch of DVDs so I could pay for it on time.

Last annoyance:
People who come through the drive through at the bank and can't be bothered to fill out any of the slips, all while people behind them are waiting and waiting and waiting. They next time you're waiting at the drive-thru at the bank and it seems to be taking fovever, well, that's why.

Last soda drank:
RC Cola. Cheaper and better.

Last ice cream eaten:
An extra-thick vanilla malt from Griff's restaurant.

Last time scolded:
They all kinda blend together.

Last shirt worn:
The Japanese American National Museum shirt that my dad gave me as a gift. At some point, I really have to get a "Camp Mon" shirt.

posted by Rob on 11:25 AM | link



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