1. I woke up with a scar through my left eyebrow after I dreamed I was a wolf that received a glancing blow from a blade.
2. When I was in the 9th grade, I wrote to Late Night Fright Theater, and Spook Man Dan read my letter on the air.
3. I put handcuffs on my ankles and hung upside-down on the chin-up bar in my doorway once for purposes of escape artistry and fell on my head when the handcuffs snapped.
4. When I was 14 I pulled a knife on a man in New Mexico who was trying to put my younger brother in the trunk of his car.
5. A lot of people think I'm serious when I'm joking, and joking when I'm serious.
6. I am a master of mimicry.
7. One time I walked into a wall thinking it was double-doors.
8. I dragged a canoe for about a mile down the Eel River with a woman sitting inside as one of our first romantic dates.
9. I have more than once stopped my car in the street and punched a dude in the face.
10. I believe in all kinds of people, human and otherwise, and that we are all part of the same family.
11. I resent plutocracy.
12. I hated to go to sleep until I was about ten because I would usually have a nightmare and wake up with a headache. Looking back, I think this was related to low blood-sugar. Then my dreams became more vivid and I learned to fly.
13. When I'm waiting for something, I can make it happen by slowly counting backwards from my age and saying, "Now!" until it does. Then I go, "See?"
14. The first song I ever wrote got played on the radio less than ten months later. With me doing the vocals. Notice that I didn't say singing.
15. I imitated William Faulkner's writing style from "The Bear" for a Humboldt State University upper division English class because I was pissed off at some damn thing or other about the assignment, and yet was totally surprised to see after reading it to the class the only spontaneous standing ovation I've ever seen for anyone in college.
16. I fell a great distance from a rope swing as a kid and when I landed on the road I thought I was dead because of the sheer shock of the impact, and witnessing the long moment of my siblings on the hill above looking down and saying later they were sure that I was dead. But I got up. I was fine. Then they told me to make sure to never tell Mom.
17. My favorite TV shows are "M*A*S*H," "Cheers," "The Simpsons," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Gunsmoke," and "The Twilight Zone."
18. One time as a kid I saw a white dot of light suddenly appear in my room and expand into three robed, bearded figures appearing before me with the one in the center closest, and with both hands held forth palm up. Then the glowing vision retracted and disappeared. I think it was three Anunnaki traveling through an x-point diffusion zone.
19. I wrote an anonymous column for 8 years in The Independent called Ask Dr. Awkward, sort of Dear Abby meets Andy Kaufman.
20. I saw a UFO about five years ago late one night. I was standing in the yard looking directly at two stars. Two regular stationary stars, just like normal. Except, then they moved. Together in a fixed position. I got the feeling it wasn't two separate navigable bodies, but rather one huge craft of some kind overhead that suddenly silently drifted upward and disappeared completely.
21. I hate bars, usually. In theory, anyway. I really never go. Bar beer's too pricey, and then you have to drive home. That said, the last time I was in a bar was pretty good because--well, I probably shouldn't get in that, actually.
22. Stemming ambiguously from the above, I wrote a 333-word sentence which is for all involved both a punishment and a story, a post I call THIS IS MY SENTENCE.
23. I'm the only person I know who compiles random facts about himself, and do feel something similar to guilt. But this guilt is balanced out by my sense of martyrdom at having to bear the cross of marketing.
24. The secret to getting on my good side is simple: Buy my books, read them throughout your life with ever-increasing understanding and joy, say wonderful things about them to everyone all day, supply me with excellent women, plus plenty of Guinness and lobster, and just don't bother me, or annoy me, or piss me off, ever, and yeah, all right, okay, sure, you're on my good side. So easy!
25. I don't care for that car air-freshener smell.
26. I would rather if the word "palindrome" was itself a palindrome. Palinilap, perhaps.
27. When I was twelve walking on a fence in a light rain I suddenly slipped, did a complete flip, landed on my feet, and kept walking. Felt really weird.
28. I entered a sanctioned Highland Games competition a few years back, having never touched any of the equipment in my life. I didn't do the worst, and I didn't do the best, but I found out halfway through I was old enough to be the dad of every other dude competing.
29. A picture of a famous painting by Raphael had Guns n' Roses' USE YOUR ILLUSION CDs literally leaning against it for weeks before I finally noticed, holy sbit, the picture of the figure on the CD cover comes directly from the very same painting by Raphael.
30. Listening to Gorecki for the first time I noticed how the huge, ominous, moody sound dovetailed perfectly with the reading material for an HSU grad seminar on Herman Melville. When I mentioned this to a classmate while he perused liner notes which I had not read, we were amazed to find reference to MOBY DICK specifically.
31. I've worked for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation on a salmon restoration project, and as the only ranch hand for 2,500-acres of primarily elk refuge. I toolbelt-up, and can take down a thirty-foot tree as thick as your leg with a Cold Steel kukuri machete faster than it takes to read these random facts.
32. A Garberville Rotary member asked me to write a $5,000 grant for Tooby Park playground equipment years ago. Ka-ching, $ucce$$ on my first and only one. And I hope I never have to write a grant again.
33. There is a strange scar at the base of my skull, about a half-inch wide, unaccountable, which screams alien chip. So you know.
34. One of my dad's uncles--who looked like Col. Sanders--had the family tree traced back and found we're related to Daniel Boone. He's my great-great-great-great-great grandfather. My mom's side was more of the Irish side. She was pretty sure we're distantly related to Edgar Cayce.
35. In high school I read Jules Verne's MYSTERIOUS ISLAND three times.
36. Driving southbound into town a little over a year ago I saw suddenly dart across perpendicular to the highway from the west side an eight to ten foot-long mountain lion weighing at least 250 pounds. Two months prior, visiting Portland Zoo, I saw African lions, male and female, and the lion I saw in front of my car was fully as big as a lioness. I distinctly recall saying aloud (to myself in my car), "We're gonna hit!" And in fact, we did. I had my window open, and heard what must have been the tip of its long tail tick somewhere on the front driver-side part of my car. In the last several weeks I also happened to mention this incident to a friend who had himself seen a large mountain lion in the same spot crossing the highway and bounding up the hill.
37. My favorite musical composition is Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. That's crack, right there.
38. But on the other hand my favorite musical composition would have to be the White Album. No wait, The Rolling Stones.
39. I can never have anything to do with forms or paperwork. I have sixty bucks waiting for me at Humboldt State University Book Store--six of my books still there, locked in limbo--because there are forms for me to fill out. Ever since the divorce, I don't know why, but I can't fill out forms. Of any kind. Ever. Ever.
40. I wrote the first story in the Humbaba County cycle, DRIFTING ROOM, in an empty journal my dad gave me after my mom passed away. It's not that I'm one of those people who can't say "died." I say "passed away" because I think that's the truer way to describe what happens. We don't end. We pass away into another way of being. Mom hadn't written a word in the journal. It's small, with brown leather binding, lined pages, and a clasp. I can see it in a stack of journals on top of my computer now. It was one of the few things of hers that I took. I wrote standing up in my shop. When that story passed away, another took its place. Looking out this window now, the way Mom so often did musing in the kitchen with a cigarette, I feel her spirit in my work.
1. When someone likes something that I've done, I usually feel special until I see what else that person likes just as much or more. Then I feel so cheap.
42. Almost every time I step outside the house now, someone I don't know recognizes me. I started writing stories reflecting my dreams. And you know how in your dreams people just automatically know who you are. So now at any given moment, maybe standing next to a redwood, someone I've never seen will appear and together we will briefly speak as civil entities. Dreamily surreal. Never used to happen before.
43. I also stack cord wood like stories. I'm the only 49 year-old I know who sometimes splits wood to make money. And I'd go on about that, but I can already hear my 50 year-old self doing it.
44. A lot of people don't get along with me for very long. I think I accidentally scare the shit out of them. So then they push. And then it's not so accidental on my part anymore.
45. I never ask for a woman's phone number. I always only ask if I can give her mine, usually with the suggestion to perhaps have a coffee sometime. Sometimes they say that sounds great. Then I never hear from them again.
46. When I used to maintain a journal and write about my daily life I learned over time that mostly what I wrote about was too boring for me to want to read later on. Page after page filled basically with bitching. However, once in a while, I'd stray from that, and just sorta cut loose with something else. Turns out, the departures from personal problems are much more interesting. Many of those instances suffice as poems. I can't stand most poems. Most of what gets called poetry is absolutely awful and comes from pretentious posers that I want nothing to do with ever.
47. I don't like most of what I see published. It's like this: Jimmy Joe Bob makes the best damn burger anybody ever tasted. And he's never made a dollar off of a burger. Meanwhile, it says on the sign outside the burger joint down the street that they've sold billions of burgers. Even though their burgers aren't anywhere near as good as Jimmy Joe Bob's burgers, they make money off of their crap while he makes the best burgers. It's that way with everything, hint hint.
48. Probably the hardest thing about writing is regularly reaching the correct mental state. This means learning to ignore the outside influences, all of them. Even composing this list of random facts is something I should be ignoring. For you see, the desire to express is a relentless engine and requires maintenance or else it gets discombobulated and goes wunk wunk wunk.
49. I went into a store to talk to a woman again and see if she'd like to see a movie, play gin rummy or go zip-lining with me, but she wasn't there. Two other young women were, though, so I asked them instead. They said yes. Except, one wanted to ask her fiance first. I turned my sights on the other one, and she said only if we also brought the chick I first went in for anyway. Bingo!
50. I have a collection of stories I call TRUE FIGHTIN' TALES AND SCREWY ROMANCES. Naturally nobody wants to hear about those things, but sometimes I figure what the hey and moon the world with a memory.
51. I don't drink hard alcohol, particularly Tequila, because when I was 23 I won the bet.
52. One time in a hotel in Portland called University Place I had to respond to a buncha goddam grabass going on in the hall. My baby daughter was in danger of being awakened. She had a cold, and I was tasting that bad taste and feeling like I was starting to come down with it, too. So I jumped up in my boxer shorts, opened the door, stepped into the hall and told at least ten dudes to shut the fuck up because my kid was trying to sleep, I was trying to sleep, and we sure as hell didn't pay to hear their goddam shit in the hall. It was some Colorado college football team playing Portland. I was 38 or 39. They knew I was right. I ruined their evening. I think their loss the next day had to be in part due to the loss of morale I had to give them. But the coolest part was that I got so pissed off, it literally killed my cold. I felt great afterwards, and totally healed.
53. In a swanky hotel in Boston a couple years back I told my kid that her mom--we had been waiting for her for about an hour--was just outside the hotel. Walking two fingers I said, "She's in the lobby"--fingers walking, doot-doo-doo--"and now she's in the elevator...she's going up the elevator...elevator stops, she's walking out"--doot doo doo--"she's heading down the hall...she's got her key and she's outside the door..." Sure enough, at that exact moment, we heard the door unlock and in she stepped.
54. For a person who strongly believes in writing by hand, I could stand to do it more legibly. Gonna pull up an old soap box here...You know, a digit hittin' a button on a keyboard ain't the same thing as a hand writin' out each word letter by letter. You don't get as much out of it. It's like workin' out with a machine instead of free weights, only more so. So much gets lost when we lose closeness with language, it affects everything. It makes it so we can't even finish a...finish a...goddamit. What the hell was I doin' here?
55. I got the idea for THE OVERMEN a few days ago on the night of my birthday after I saw my mom in a dream. I didn't see only her, but rather two of her. One, her middle-aged self, still walking, and the other her child self, dressed like she was in a picture for the paper as a red-haired girl in Alabama on St. Patrick's Day. Her older self introduced me to her younger self, and her younger self and I hugged. In my dream I felt my mother hug me. It felt like it was really her. Then the next morning, the story came to me. So to me, THE OVERMEN feels like a gift from the other side. "Mom's present," it says on the card.
56. Last year one night somebody said there was a bear outside, so I went out barefoot with a flashlight and sure enough saw a black bear's hairy butt hanging up in a straight tree it shimmied. Cars parked all over and people inside for the night, mostly. It went around getting into garbage at night on a weekly circuit till somebody shot it. And that's still a bummer.
57. Writing books has hurt my life much more than helped it. Regular readers around the world snap up my work voraciously. Because of my experience as an author whose work is sold throughout the county and beyond, I've taught Creative Writing, hosted radio shows where I read my work and the work of others, been interviewed for my writing on radio, online, and in local periodicals. Because of writing books, I was even asked to sing for a band--and then got us a couple of songs on the radio. I've been recognized for having been on television, and I didn't even know I had been on television. (The station had my picture plus a blurb when they talked about local artists.) I get recognized by people I don't know every time I step outside, and I couldn't care less. I write the stories I want the way I want and I don't ask anybody's permission for anything. But my wife left me after I put three books in print. We met in college. I raised the kid. I worked on a ranch and wrote movie reviews when I was the primary caregiver. That was the best job ever. Got my kid reading by age three, and I have it on video. "Do you know how often I get to write?"my wife said toward the end. "Do you know how often I get to profess?" I replied. A couple hours after my first radio interview in Humboldt County, she left me. We'd been together for twenty years. I've been marooned now for three. What seems to some like sheer indulgence on my part, this wanton sharing of my mind, has been nothing but an attempt to grab purchase on the cliff side as I fall.
58. Something else I don't like about having shared my work with the world is learning more about people than I wanted to know. It's amazing what family and friends will refuse to acknowledge, incredible the resentment for what seems like empirically a good thing. But in the bigger picture I can still appreciate the joke: That dissonance with others which contributes to the writing also prohibits recognition.
59. Anytime I see anyone in any job ever, I always see a phony, merely pretending. This is because you're not really real unless you're rich and famous, and I don't know anybody who's rich and famous.
60. Those tiny people that goddam Dr. Pretorius unveils are too cutesy and more complex than the monster in Bride of Frankenstein. It's jarring, and a random fact about me that I've always known this.
61. I don't like that Qui Gon Jinn just flat out dies. It doesn't make any sense. Obi-Wan disappears when he dies, leaving empty clothing and running around as a naked ghost telling Luke what to do right away. When Yoda croaks, he disappears. But when Obi's teacher dies, he plain old dies and doesn't disappear leaving empty clothes at all. Yep, no way around it, they sure fucked up.
62. I never used to eat cream cheese on a bagel. Until my mid-twenties it seemed a repulsive prospect. Then one day, I gave it a go, and by golly, I've never gone back!
63. I have a few checks waiting for me from Amazon from ebook sales which for some weird reason I can't access. I never have time to square that away. I mentioned what I could to a guy at the credit union. I dunno, just sits there. Long time now. I'm sure some business-minded person adept at online strategy and good at making profitable connections could make a fortune from my work in forty-five minutes. But that's not me.
64. When people think well of me, I like that just fine. When they don't, then I dismiss them. What matters to me is what I think of other people. I'm never part of a group of people speaking ill of someone else. Many times, even countless times, I've been the one that collections of people bolstered each other to dislike. But the last time I was part of that I was in junior high school, and that was only a few instances. Can't count that. From my perspective, it's like being a dinosaur in a world of scared little rodents hiding in holes while I stride about. I don't ever seek or desire a consensus, and I have nothing but disdain for those who do. I'm never worried about gossipers. Anybody willing to take part in that, willing to believe whatever was said, isn't someone I can respect. So by definition, anybody giving me the cold shoulder only reveals cowardice, ignorance, and the shameful absence of style.
65. Ah, the gossipers. The gossipers have their tiny little audience, and I've got my great big audience. They say their tiny things in their meager ways, and I say my big things in my amazing ways. Their bullshit accounts dissipate, and my factual accounts remain. They start shit, and I finish it. They lose, I win. Thanks, gossipers, ya stupid fuckin' twats. I always feel better because of you.
66. The reason why it's difficult for a truly great man to put on his boots as he advances in his greatness may be explained with the analogy of a football trying to put on boots. The football would have to be significantly deflated in order to bend in the slightest. Therefore, in the case of a truly great man, much exhalation is absolutely required. Ah, but then the exertion of pushing the foot into the boot demands respiration. Hence the struggle and the markedly audible strains of a truly great man putting on his boots.
67. I miss real news. There used to be actual journalism. I think that after Watergate, journalism became too much of a threat for the crooks, and the news has steadily suffered ever since. Certainly for at least the past fifteen years, we don't see reporting of news, we see the shaping of perception.
68. We used to have a sort of democracy. It was largely phony, true, but at least it wasn't totally phony. It's a crappy situation. I don't like it.
69. I miss real food. Industry has ruined food. It's all either weird hormones pumped into test tube animals, or genetically modified cancer-causing vegetables, or fake sugar that causes brain cancer in lab rats, or cancer-causing water in plastic bottles. Used to be we could just turn a handle and get clean water. For free.
70. I miss real clouds. We used to have actual rain instead of this chemtrail poison dumped all over.
71. We used to have due process of law. Even the Nazis got a trial. Nothing remotely like that anymore. For years now what they call justice is simply murdering anybody with drone airstrikes. And they also call it brave.
72. We used to have a pretty decent educational system. And jobs. And actual stories with real writing on TV and in the movies. When you turned on the TV, it wasn't 90% commercials for unnecessary deadly drugs being pushed on the public. The worst thing out there was the jingle for Alka-Seltzer. Too many things are too off track.
73. I've never eaten soup out of a bread bowl. That's just gross.
74. Thirty years ago, when I was 19, I went out on a couple of dates wearing a shiny, skinny '80s neck tie. With other clothes on, too. (But don't you believe it.)
75. I don't miss shiny, skinny '80s neck ties one bit. It's almost worth all the rest of the goddam crap of life just to not have those anymore.
76. One thing I greatly appreciate is that most of the time no one wants anything from me. Not in person, not online, not anywhere. Quite infrequently someone has something brief to say. In person, or online. Mostly though, nothing. I rarely get calls, and when I do get a call, it's usually a wrong number. There are a couple of people I speak with regularly. Generally though my existence is pretty isolated. I love having plenty of time to think and not be bothered. It's like getting to live in a deep dark cave except with adequate light and no bat crap. You don't want to breathe that in.
77. I have zero credit card debt. None whatsoever.
78. It is a random fact about me that I know most people don't understand what it means to be skeptical. The average person thinks that always refuting evidence of UFOs and ancient alien architecture means being skeptical. In fact, a skeptic is "one who habitually questions matters generally accepted." Because the doctrine of the mainstream denies evidence of UFOs and ancient alien architecture, in reality, the skeptic is the one who questions that doctrine. Gullible people giggle at anything not part of mainstream mind control.
79. Incredible depression feels like incredible clarity. I feel this way sometimes. Any happiness ever had was only a temporary sensation obscuring the awful truth. Everything is pointless. There is no meaning. People don't love. People don't live. Everybody's a slave scrambling around and nothing ever happens.
80. Today (7-1-16) I found out from my dad and my sister talking in the dining room that one time traveling through New Mexico in a mall when I was around 7 or 8 years old I didn't like the way some stranger, a grown man, was treating my older sister, and I pulled a knife on him and he backed off. I barely have any memory of that, although I do remember the time I did pretty much the same thing for my little brother in Santa Fe. So weird. It's like sometimes in my life I've just turned off and gone on some sorta auto-pilot.
81. My imagination is just strong enough to keep me from seeing ever having a real life.
82. I have to look at my life like the stock market crashed. I have to start completely over from Ground Zero. With basically nothing. People kill themselves for less all the time. You'd think I'd learn my lesson and stay down. But I never do. A chunk of meat, which no matter how hard it is slugged always returns to upright position. One requires a sense of humor.
83. Sometimes in my dreams I try to howl but nothing comes out. I can't remember if I wrote that before. I miss the touch of a woman. I can't concentrate anymore. I see things in the long distant past, and I see things in the far distant future, but I can't see my own life now. Trying to wrap my mind around my life story makes me dizzy. I have tried so hard. I'm so thankful to have this much here. I have to keep going.
84. Among the things I've learned in my half-century, life isn't about seeing who can be the best martyr. I mean Jesus, I could have been the world's greatest martyr of all time, if I hadn't sacrificed my rightful win to the next best down the line.
85. Sometimes, digging a ditch or chopping wood, I'll think of Nietzsche, how I could teach a course on him, how I have this authoritative movie bio of him in mind, and how strange it is that my potential contribution to the world around me is always such a fleeting shadow. I can dream the dreams, and write them down--in fact, I can't stop--but that's only because I don't know how to make any connections with people.
86. When I see pageviews from Russia, it's usually dozens at a time. I don't know who it is in Russia checking out my stories and articles. Maybe a school, maybe a prison, maybe a mental institution. But it's almost always 20 or 50 or 100 or more at a time. For a long time, too. And I love it! I feel like Russians understand my work. I feel there are many Russians who actually like me. This makes me love Russia so much. I get the feeling that Russia is a place of tough, smart people with great taste. Therefore I must honor my Russian friends. I've always loved Dostoyevsky, but now I'm reading Pushkin, too. My favorite wrestler is Alexander Karelin. one of my favorite filmmakers is Eisenstein, I can never get enough of Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky, and Russian women are the most beautiful in the world. This beer I raise for Russia. Much obliged, friends!
87. I notice women are not as wonderful as my libido is strong. Kind of a bummer, but there it is. At the end of the day, all the passion in the world for no good reason at all.
88. When faced with the choice of quietly accepting a rotten situation in hopes of maybe nibbling a fallen crumb, or accurately expressing some forbidden truth and thereby earning eternal cosmic honor for having the brains and the balls to do the right thing, yeah, random fact number 87 right there. Suitable for framing.
89. I like to squish kitty bellies and slap kitties, as well. I like a kitty who's a sport, one who takes a good squeezing. I talk to kitties, frequently calling them names and biting my own lower lip because they make me have to.
90. For me it's easy to see people across space and time in parallel worlds, unwitting interactions and intentional. I can see how capturing sounds from the distant past drifting through the universe can allow those sounds to then be plotted and displayed for viewers to move through and witness the past exactly as it happened. I can see how ancient alien technology deep underground could leak into the biosphere in unpredictable ways resulting in giant bugs and reanimated corpses, and I can imagine dozens and dozens of characters in dozens and dozens of short stories and novellas doing all sorts of remarkable things, but I can't imagine ever getting to be part of anything, of having a normal life with a stable job and a home with someone who loves me. I can't imagine a world where most people have excellent taste and honor shit right.
91. I'm never interested in purchasing gadgets. There could be a totally new kind of computer game that everyone else thinks is completely amazing and I won't care at all. It'll look like the same old thing to me and I'll never want anything to do with it.
92. One time writing in my shop I heard a deafening sound outside overhead. My shop had no windows and I was in there writing a story and taking a break with a bong rip. It was the loudest damn chopper I ever heard, and if it had anything to do with me it was a total waste of time and money, but I wouldn't be surprised because there was no way any of the neighbors figured correctly that the reason I spent a lot of time in my mysterious shop was because of writing stories. If the chopper was there because they were trying to see with heat signature what I was doing in my shop, then they probably saw I was flipping them off with two hands wholeheartedly. If they'd given me the money they wasted trying to terrorize me, I might have decided to buy things all the time instead of write. They sure blew that one.
93. Sometimes, as in the case of number 87 here, I write things that seem true at the time, but which change later. Turns out, I have indeed found a woman every bit as perverted as I am, and totally devoted to me. She's a very nice lady who just happens to give me every single thing I want. Isn't that delightful?
94. I can do fifty pushups in under a minute.
95. I carry a big knife every day. And I use it.
96. I don't like to be seen crossing the street. It happens all the time, but I don't like it. I prefer for any cars to pass by rather than wait for me to traipse across.
97. I address most people most of the time as "sir" or "ma'am" because respect is big with me. It's not every utterance. But it's pretty frequent.
98. I'm really looking forward to sharing my 99th random fact.
99. Now that I'm here, meh, ain't that huge a deal.