In case you missed the first two entries in this series, here’s a quick recap: I’m rolling out 100 things about me that are either interesting, odd or otherwise notable. Some of these things are public knowledge, but a number of them will likely take you by surprise. And I’m either disclosing enough to not ruin my future political aspirations with closet skeletons or disclosing too much and demolishing those hopes. Either way, here’s the next 25 in our rundown…
- People I’ve been told I look like: Ron Livingston (Office Space), Gil Bellows (Ally McBeal), David Cook (American Idol) and in a particularly weird moment, Jimmy Kimmel. I will refrain from comment.
- When I was 7 or 8, my best friend (who was about 5 years older than me) and I tried to start a landscaping business in Philadelphia. We were dead serious. We went to our nearby gardening supply store, talked to the owner about equipment rental and purchase pricing, printed up fliers with full service menus from my pal’s computer and distributed them door-to-door throughout the neighborhood. Within one day, my mother fielded about six phone calls for services, and she told every inquirer that we were already booked, then she put the kibosh on our entrepreneurship.
- My first real job was selling newspaper subscriptions door-to-door in Simi Valley, Calif. A van would come and pick up kids from all over the greater L.A. area and then drop us off at particular neighborhoods in Simi. We were paid only on commission, so if I didn’t sell any subscriptions, I went home penniless. Sometimes, I’d just ditch my route and go read magazines at a nearby grocery store.
- I always sleep with a comforter, even in the summer.
For about a year or so in the mid-1990s, I went by the alias August Rahne. I used it as my name at poetry readings as well as to create a separate identity in the ‘zine I published at the time. About the same time, I started a band named Rahne.
- One of my biggest heroes is Henry Rollins. When I finally met him at, of all places, San Diego Comic-Con International in 2007, I’m pretty sure I sounded like an idiot as I told him how much of an influence his entrepreneurial spirit, work ethic and writing had on shaping my life. A month later when we featured Rollins on the cover of my magazine, I assigned the interview to someone else, afraid of sounding like an idiot again.
- In my late teens, when I’d go to parties, I’d usually just curl up in a corner and write poetry.
- I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000. Sorry.
- I did not go to the polls in 2004. Sorry again.
- I have never personally owned a TV, DVD player, stereo, microwave or iPod, but at one time in my life I had three Macintosh computers.
- In high school, I almost signed a contract to act in movies for an independent producer. I’m pretty sure had I gone through with it, I would have ended up in some sort of pornographic film. Just a hunch.
- I currently play drums in a Las Vegas rock band called As Yet Unbroken. I play a five-piece Ludwig set.
- In addition to drums, I also play guitar, bass and a bit of keyboards, all of which (in addition to singing) I have done with moderate success in bands since high school. The only formal training I’ve ever had is two guitar lessons when I was 9 and one semester of intro piano in college.
- I learned to play drums by showing up to band practice a few hours before the rest of the band in which I played guitar and goofing around on the drummer’s kit. Eventually, that band — Morgana Athena — let me play drums on one song at one of our last shows.
- I’ve only been taken to a hospital for my own needs once: I had a panic attack in 1996 resulting from a combination of stresses including someone wanting to kill me. I mean that literally. I thought I was having a heart attack. The doctors just said it was really bad anxiety and that my potassium was low. They told me to avoid stress for a while. Ha!
I have not owned a video game system since the Sega Master System came out in the mid-1980s.
- When my family moved back to California in 1985, we had a little mini-celebration in the hotel room we were staying in. My parents had a bottle of champagne that I kept sneaking sips of. I must have snuck about half the bottle, because I got stupidly drunk and violently ill, and spent the rest of the night in the bathroom, thereby getting out of the way at the tender age of 9 both my first bout of drunkenness and alcohol-induced vomiting.
- I’m 5’9-1/2″. That half-inch is important.
- Perhaps as a preemptive defensive measure, in kindergarten I was kind-of a bully. I have distinct memories of blockading kids from the coat closet and throwing wood blocks at them.
- When I was in fifth grade, I had this evil math teacher named Mr. Praglin. One day I had to pee pretty badly, and when I asked him if I could be excused, he told me to “tie a string around it.” Seriously.
- Perhaps out of retribution — though obviously this didn’t directly affect him — during recess, I’d sneak back into Mr. Praglin’s class and steal money out of all the kids’ bags and lunch boxes. I kept that up for a week or so until they realized it was a recurring problem and started to lock the classroom. OK, fine, I was no angel.
- I revisited my bully days my sophomore or junior year of high school, when my pal Brian and I would torment the poor kid that worked at the Carl’s Jr. in our neighborhood where we hung out. The kid was actually afraid to go outside to take out the trash if we were hanging outside. It really makes no sense, we never hurt him or anything. So it must have been a big step for that kid during our senior year when he asked me to design the decor for some event in the school cafeteria. And I did it.
- I was abnormally mature for my age when I was a child, and my parents essentially did away with babysitters by the time I was 9. They’d leave me in charge of my four-years-younger brother as well, all the better for me to torment him.
- I barely graduated high school. My senior year GPA was a 1.8. My cumulative for all of HS was 2.6.
- I graduated from college cum laude with a dual bachelor’s degree and a 3.86 GPA.