|So...that 25 Things About Me Meme (reposted due to LJ brain fart)
||[Feb. 24th, 2009|11:56 am]
David Alexander McDonald (Steven E. McDonald)
01) I don't watch that much comedy, but some of my favorite movies are indeed comedies, usually those with a somewhat surreal bent to them. In television this translates to "Scrubs," although I do so like "The Addams Family." In movies, this is Local Hero, the little-known Siam Sunset and, most of all, Airplane! I am pretty much constitutionally incapable of switching the movie off if I happen on it, and the DVD (now the "Don't Call Me Shirley! Edition") is one of my most often played; before that I had the film on tape. I'll even watch Airplane! II, even though it repeats most of the gags from the original and isn't even a third as funny. It does, however, have an appearance by William Shatner that's well worth watching -- and is also more or less the official start of the consciously comedic Shatner -- who has, unlike Leslie Nielsen, managed to keep being funny,
02) When it comes to clothes, I generally like to wear either tan or black.
03) I don't like wearing shoes or boots and will wear sandals even in winter -- although I've lived in places where I was forced to wear boots in winter, alas.
04) I developed an interest in audiobooks as a result of doing a fair bit of driving. The book that sold me on it? Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon.
05) I developed cataracts at an unusually young age, and with remarkable speed and ferocity, losing my eyesight almost completely before I was able to go in for surgery to fix the problem. By that point I was dependent on screen readers and other tools for the visually handicapped, and the color scheme on my computer was something out of a nightmare. Audiobooks were a lifesaver as well. Much of my writing was done with large-point black Sharpies.
06) During the L.A. Riots of 1991 my then-roommate and I went after a bunch of rambunctious idiots on our street. Both of us were armed with swords, but pretty much what these guys saw wasn't a couple of geeks coming at them -- they saw a huge Viking Berserker and a short, chubby Japanese berserker screaming their way down the street, waving several feet of pointy steel. Yes, we were idiots, but, Jesus, we were magnificent idiots for that couple of minutes.
07) I saw the very first episode of "Doctor Who" when it first aired.
08) When I was 11 years old I explained, in great and precise detail, levels of radiation exposure and the effects of same to a local Fire Chief, much to the amusement of my father and the astonishment of his friend -- who of course had never seen me reading my way through books about nuclear physics.
09) In the town where I was born, Warsop, I began reading when I was four. Between the age of four and the age of seven, when we moved to Ardsley, in Yorkshire, I read through the entire children's section of the local library and was starting into the grown-up books.
10) I was nine when I wrote my first serious poem.
11) I was cast several times in safety movies for the National Coal Board of England. The one part that I remember most clearly involved getting made up for a section in which I played a dead kid at a birthday party. Apparently someone thought I made a good zombie. There really should have been brain cake.
12) 2001: A Space Odyssey is responsible for my love of classical music...well, at least the beginnings of it.
13) When we moved to Jamaica, there was only one TV station, running perhaps seven hours a day. One day the feature movie was Plan 9 From Outer Space. When our TV broke, we didn't bother to fix or replace it for eighteen months -- why bother? This is despite my father being adept at fixing televisions.
14) The phrase "Always be precise in your terminology" has stuck in my mind ever since it was uttered by a teacher named Nigel P. O. Green, who stood six feet four inches and had rather the air of Dracula. He taught biology and the penalty for inattention was twenty pushups. His class tended to veer between highly attentive and remarkably fit.
15) I didn't have a driver's license until I was in my twenties. This didn't stop me driving in Jamaica.
16) I once read at an arts festival in Ireland between Michael Hartnett and Seamus Heaney. After which we went off and got utterly blinded.
17) One of my favorite authors since I was very young is Alan Garner. I was surprised to discover that we not only have the same birthday, but he's bipolar too.
18) I adore Stephen Fry. We have many similarities, and a fair few differences -- he did eighteen months in prison; I've never gotten that far, despite everything. He's never led a car chase. He's well off, I'm broke. He's gay, I'm about as het as you can go. I suspect he's the person who finally made me accept and be comfortable with being bipolar. Now I need to unbugger parts of my life and catch up to him, although I'm still not buying an iPod or an iPhone or following 75,000 people on Twitter.
19) For one brief shining moment I was set to write an X-Men movie for Orion. This shining moment lasted over a weekend, until the Monday afternoon following, when Orion's suits put the thing in turnaround.
20) As a musician I was initially trained as an orchestral percussionist, but was encouraged later to explore and experiment. When I finally got my hands on a Synthi AKS synthesizer, I was off to the races. Music has been my second driving wheel for most of my life.
21) I discovered American comics when I was a kid through working on market stalls on Saturdays. Marvel was the main fascination but there were some DC interests -- often the odder things such as Metal Men. The one big DC love affair? The Legion Of Super-Heroes. That remained with me while I drifted away from Marvel.
22) I've never gotten over the fact that two of my literary heroes are also amongst my fans. Well, one no longer is, due to a bad case of death.
23) My novelette "Silken Dragon" was the result of one of those literal moments of "I can write better than this shit!" and hurling a very bad book across the room.
24) I broke my back playing rugby. It was a number of years before an MRI turned this up -- a hairline fracture that fortunately healed -- with the result that my chiropractor was seriously pissed off. For me it explained some of the odd back pains over the years. What unnerved me most of all was how close I came to spending my life in a wheelchair (or being killed, or left a vegetable; apparently all three happen with unnerving frequency in the game.) I also know exactly when it happened. Rugby is a dangerous game, trust me.
25) I can drive a trolley (or tram, or streetcar, your choice of terms.)