Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Attack Of The Eight Facts

I know virtually every blogger has done this eight-factoid meme thing, but I have been tagged with it for the first time by J.D..

So here goes.

1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. 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.

And now, THE FACTS:

1. I embarrassed a respected independent filmmaker.

Back in the late 90's, a friend of mine and I made a 16mm feature film (we cowrote, he directed).

Not too long after the film was completed, he had tickets to see the movie director Monte Hellman speak at a screening of a new print of Hellman's little-seen 1978 movie, China 9, Liberty 37.

My friend wanted to see the film, but he also was toting along a VHS copy of our finished movie, which he hoped to pass off to Mr. Hellman. He called me up -- one of the people who was supposed to go with him couldn't make it, so he had an extra ticket.

I jumped at the chance to go. I had seen some of Hellman's other movies -- Two-Lane Blacktop, Cockfighter and The Shooting, and had really enjoyed them.

After the film (which was kind of disappointing, despite having one of my fave character actors Warren Oates), Hellman took questions from the audience.

At that point Hellman hadn't directed a movie in about 10 years. The last movie he directed was Silent Night, Deadly Night 3: Better Watch Out!. I asked him what was the story behind him directing that movie. He sort of laughed the question off. But then I pressed him, "No, really. Why did you direct that movie?" All of the sudden I felt like I was part of a tense, awkward moment. I could feel people looking at me, and I could feel the embarrassment of Mr. Hellman. He then said that he been sick with a fever, and finally gave in to someone who had been pestering him to direct the movie.

I honestly wasn't trying to embarrass the man, I just wanted an answer to my question. I actually have never seen "Silent Night, Deadly Night 3" -- it might be a very good movie, for all I know.

After the screening and Q&A we were able to go up and talk to Mr. Hellman, and my friend gave him the videotape. My friend never heard back from the man, and I think deep down he still bears a certain amount of ill will towards me as a result of my embarrassing question.

2. I have recurring bouts of hypochondria preceded by amorphous life anxieties.

I have struggled with anxiety throughout my life. I think it's gotten a lot better, but I still get into bouts of it. Often the anxiety manifests itself in worries about myself having some sort of physical ailment. Why just a few days ago, a recurring twitch of my nose made me certain I had some sort of neurological problem (maybe Tourette's syndrome).

I realize hypochondria is probably a pretty offensive thing to people actually suffering through real ailments, but it's still something I am working through from time to time.

3. I was stabbed by the singer of a Chicago underground no-wave band.
You may or may have not heard of them, but US Maple is a really fantastic Chicago underground band.

Their singer Al Johnson often puts on a deliberately weird stage persona -- for example, he'll start their show shirtless and covered in dirt.

Well, one time my wife and I were in the front of a crowd seeing US Maple at the Empty Bottle, and Al Johnson was waving around a large kitchen knife. Without warning he brought down the point of the knife on my shoulder and started pushing down. I said, "Owwww!" and lowered my body to get away from the knife, but he kept the knife there, putting more pressure on my shoulder.

He eventually lifted the knife off me (it wasn't horribly sharp) and continued the show.

After the set I noticed there was a rip in my t-shirt and a small cut where the knife had been.

Wicked cool!

4. I take a bite out of a sandwich immediately after making it.
I have no idea why I do this. I don't come from a family with a large number of siblings -- just my one brother who is seven years older than me.

Still, *right* after I make a sandwich I'll take a bite out of it before putting it down on a plate.

5. I focus obsessively on events or people through which I feel I have been wronged.
You know who you are, assholes! I remember you, Anne, who made it difficult for me to move into that apartment on Leland because it wasn't convenient for you to move out of there. You said, "I guess we'll have to compromise," but how does that it make it a compromise when you get what you want and I don't get what I want?

And, you! Assholes at former online DVD retail outfit! You still have a hundred bucks of my money I sent to you before, without warning, you closed up shop! I rode my bike over to your empty offices after you wouldn't return my emails or phone calls. I joined an alumni Yahoo group of the Wharton School Of Business on the off chance I could get in contact with your founder! I even was able to track down a couple of your people at classes at the ImprovOlympic, but I didn't end up going down to the class to confront them. After all, what am I, an obsessed person who cannot endure the sting of being slighted?

6. I never forget events when I have hurt the feelings of those I care about.
Hi. There's probably a good chance you have forgotten the time when I said or did something hurtful (excepting my filmmaker buddy from #1, perhaps).

But I haven't forgotten. It still bothers me. I'm sorry and I know I have already apologized countless times, but it still doesn't help me forget.

7. Despite being a computer programmer, I absolutely hate the following kind of question -- "Hey, something is wrong with my computer. Could you take a look at it?"
No I can't, asshole!

8. I like big butts.

I tag Tim and Manx, but only if they have the hankering to do it.


Johnny Yen said...

RE: #8, and speaking of Spinal Tap:

How can I leave this behind?

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

This deepens my knowledge of the twelve tiered wedding cake of madness known as Splotchy. I thank you for doing this.

SamuraiFrog said...

See, now if Monte Hellman had kicked your ass, that would be an awesome story to tell people. I'd love to have something like that: "The director of Two-Lane Blacktop busted me in the chops once, it was insane!"

I almost wish that had happened to me. Soon... Soon...

Splotchy said...

jy, that song has one of my all time favorite lines -- "or so I have read."

dr mvm, I'm glad to deepen your knowledge, but when it gets down to it, my cake is mostly frosting.

sf, I thought my getting stabbed story covered the violence-done-unto-me requirement of the eight facts meme.

I guess I could have included a story about buying a lousy bottle of wine from the Francis Ford Coppola vineyards. A glass of that certainly kicked me in the taste buds.