Friday, December 14, 2007

"7 Random or Weird Facts" about Huck

Oyster at Your Right Hand Thief was tagged by Cait at Shrimp Po-Boy or a... with the demand to post "7 Random or Weird Facts" about himself, which he did. He then invited any of his readers to "self-tag" in response. So, I thought I would do so. Here's "7 Random or Weird Facts" about me:

(1) I swoon for Commander's Palace Bread Pudding Souffle With Whiskey Sauce. I think it's the best dessert in the entire universe.

(2) I was strip-searched by Swiss immigration authorities in Geneva after an overnight train ride from Barcelona during my undergraduate Junior Semester Abroad program travels. Given how I looked at the time, I can't say that I blame them. But, truth be told, I was very nicely treated during the whole process. Seriously.

(3) I gave up a full-ride academic merit scholarship for undergraduate studies at Tulane University to pay to go to Georgetown University. I almost gave my working-class father an aneurysm. (You must remember that I am the oldest child of six kids, with the youngest only 7 years my junior. My parents were looking at a steady stream of college tuitions for six kids spread out over 11 years. To his credit, my father now looks back on that decision and recognizes that it was the best thing I could have done.)

(4) I wrote a Sestina in honor of American writer Bernard Malamud. If you want to read the thing, I've posted it in the comments.

(5) When I was about 12-yrs-old, while playing a street version of cricket that we used to call "Cool Can" in my hood, I ran teeth first into a basketball goal post, suffering nothing more than a cracked front tooth. (Don't ask me how that was even possible without a busted lip and stitches, but I assure you it happened.)

(6) I think this is the greatest breakfast cereal of all time.

(7) Many, many years ago I studied ballet. Really and truly. Still thinking I had the ballet chops many years and many fried shrimp po-boys later, in a fit of Mardi Gras (2005) madness, after having disembarked from my float [I ride in the Thoth parade] on Magazine Street (around State Street), so that a flat tire on our float could be repaired, I gave a brief performance, which some of my graduate students captured on video and, to my horror, posted on YouTube. (Be duly advised: I neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of this clip. Also, you click and watch at your own risk).

NOTE: I updated this posting a bit to correct for some grammar mistakes and to take down a link to an online version of my Sestina honoring Bernard Malamud. I am now referring folks to a slightly modified and more recent version of my poem, which I have posted in the comments section.

10 comments:

celcus said...

Mmmmm...Peanut butter Captain Crunch rules!

Huck said...

Dubin's Dilemma
(With appreciation and gratitude for the life and work of Bernard Malamud)

Plunged deep in a poetic effort on this young
Day, not quite dark, but getting colder as my own winter
Inches forward, I struggle for the right words,
Like the biographer contemplating complex lives.
Today I face the same dilemma as yesterday,
Only this time without the warmth of a love

That was my sole inspiration to compose love
In return. He is an old, broken man today - not the young,
Vibrant chronicler of life that he was yesterday,
This biographer of mine. It is a tragic pity that winter
Freezes his pauperized soul and ices out the well-seasoned lives
Around him. Is it because he is at a loss for words

To bring his own self to life that the words
For his famous subjects often elude him like the love
He desparately seeks from nubile female lives
Of his mid-life sexual fantasies - all as young
As his daughter, whom he sees as a summer in winter?
It is the biographer's impulse to turn yesterday

Into tomorrow - as though the despair of a lost yesterday
Becomes the hope of a richer future through a few select words.
Nature concurs in this as the depression of winter
Melts into a fertile Spring, where seeds of love
Are planted deeply into the center of everything young
And vital. The aged biographer contemplates short lives,

Finding some solace in the fact that he still lives
And can lay claim to an accomplished yesterday,
Even though memories of his own days as a young
Man escape him quietly as do the necessary words
To tell his unhappy story of a stunted love
That never could recover from one long, harsh winter

After another. Am I, too, a lonely winter
Biographer stealing life from other lives?
A parasite that sucks out as much love
From the past as possible and leaves yesterday
Cold and barren? I know, nonetheless, that I need the words
Of the old life-writer, my muse, because I am young;

And my young, unfinished life begrudges me the words
To make my Spring prose of yesterday a Winter
Poem of remembered lives and forgotten love.

Huck said...

Man, Celsus! You beat me to the punch! I did have a link to an earlier online version of my poem, but there were some typos in it and I wanted the better version to be available. I didn't think someone would be so quick to view it before I had the chance to update the posting! Sorry for that!

Drive-By Blogger said...

I just read those 7 things that happened to u. Wow, we must be twins, well almost.

I need to do a comparison.

Cait said...

I've got to go with Cocoa Puffs.

That said, gorgeous arabesque, even if trashed beyond belief. ;)

President Friedman said...

Friedman facts:

1) If I could travel through history and witness anything, I'd want to see the buffalo herds that roamed the Great Plains before they were settled.

2) The first time we met, my wife and I didn't like eachother at all.

3) I live 30 miles from the town (Elmore City, OK) that inpired the movie Footloose, and the guy who Kevin Bacon's character was (very loosely) based on works for my town's electric co-op.

4) I'm the only adult male member of my maternal family who has never competed in a rodeo event.

5) Between 1994 and 1996 I had 14 different jobs, including: bakery chef, disc jockey, ditch digger, video arcade manager at the mall, and Wal-Mart mountain bike and lawn mower assembler.

6) I once got lost for two days while hiking in the West Elk wilderness between Gunnison and Crested Butte, CO.

7) I have an irrational fear of solar flares and an irrational hatred of the Queen song Fat Bottomed Girls (though I generally like the band Queen... I just can't stand that song and get angry when I have to sit through it).

President Friedman said...

ah, and regarding breakfast cereal: Fruit Loops

Captain Crunch is a great cereal, but is penalized in my personal rankings because its texture often shreds the roof of your mouth to bits, leaving you feeling as if you'd eaten sugar coated glass for breakfast.

Huck said...

P_F - WOW! Being lost for two hours in the wilderness, much less two days, would be a terrifying experience for me. And 14 jobs in a 2-year period is nuts. How did you survive with your sanity in tact? And in such completely different jobs, too!?! I love Queen. They're perhaps my favorite band of all time; but I can understand the gut reaction to the Queen tune. It has always kinda offended me, too.

Interesting how relationships that start out badly can turn around with time. I didn't write this as one of my seven, but when my wife and I first met, my wife honestly thought that I was mentally slow. That initial impression was very quickly dispelled, but it was funny how the situation of our first encounter led to such an impression.

And I agree with you on the mouth shredding aspect of Peanut Butter Crunch cereal, though I have to go with taste over a temporary injury! Besides, Fruit Loops, if eaten too fast before the milk softens it up, can have the same effect!

Thanks for commenting and sharing your list.

President Friedman said...

"Being lost for two hours in the wilderness, much less two days, would be a terrifying experience for me."

I was too cold to be terrified. Seriously, that was the closest I've ever come to death. It did have a funny ending: when I was finally able to get to a high spot, survey the land, get my bearings, and find my way out... the Search and Rescue van was waiting at the wilderness entrance with two S&R members sleeping inside. The paper said they "rescued" me. I've always been a little ticked about that, although I was incredibly grateful for the hot coffee and warm blanket.


"And 14 jobs in a 2-year period is nuts. How did you survive with your sanity in tact?"

Who said I survived with my sanity intact? No, really it wasn't that bad. None of those jobs paid very well or had much opportunity for advancement, and none of them were carreer oriented... so it was actually sort of fun: If my boss was an asshole, I'd tell him so, and then I'd quit. The hard part, for my sanity, was later on when I had a decent job and more bills to pay and had to stick it out in spite of the difficulties.


"...when my wife and I first met, my wife honestly thought that I was mentally slow. That initial impression was very quickly dispelled..."

My wife had the same impression of me, but she wasn't quite so quick to come to her senses... 10 years later and I'm still trying to convince her.

Huck said...

The paper said they "rescued" me. I've always been a little ticked about that, although I was incredibly grateful for the hot coffee and warm blanket.

Heh.

The hard part, for my sanity, was later on when I had a decent job and more bills to pay and had to stick it out in spite of the difficulties.

Great point. That's where the character-building experience of 14 jobs in 2 years comes in handy!

My wife had the same impression of me, but she wasn't quite so quick to come to her senses... 10 years later and I'm still trying to convince her.

LMAO! Good luck!