Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Eight Things About Me

No, I'm not trying to top Aliya Whiteley's novel Three Things About Me. In any case, in the Three Things game, one of the facts is supposed to be false.

No, in the present case, Charles Lambert tagged me to write "eight random facts/habits or embarrassing things" about myself. Don't blame him. Rather improbably, this one traces back about a year from him to the Fiction Bitch herself, Elizabeth Baines, and before Elizabeth supposedly to Roger Morris (though I don't find a post from him on this topic), and to I don't know where before that. Charles couldn't come up with eight folks to pass it on to (he managed four of us). I won't even try to do the tagging; I'll just issue a formal challenge to anyone passing through.

Here's eight things about me:

1. I can stick my shoulder blades out behind me to such a degree that they look like the stumps of wings.

2. There was a time when I thought Iron Butterfly was the best thing that had ever happened to music, and could use “groovy” in a sentence without any irony.

3. In college (when we looked better with our clothes off) my girlfriend and I earned extra cash as life-drawing models, often as a pair. One young woman used me for her senior thesis in sculpture. Somewhere out there are a half-dozen two-foot-high statues of me in the buff.

4. I have “hollow palms,” which, in palmistry is generally considered A Bad Thing (either a melancholy temperament, or an overdevelopment of the Mounts under the fingers, leading to Excess. Palmistry is so Victorian.) In any case, my palms are so hollow that when I squeeze my hands together I can create a squeaking sound and even produce a tune of sorts. This talent has not yet made me famous, but it fascinates people. People under the age of seven, that is.

5. Through various accidents and altercations, I’ve had my front teeth knocked out on three separate occasions.

6. We have an ongoing kefir culture in our cupboard, and I sometimes make tempeh. Between tempeh and kefir and cheese and wine, it occurs to me that a disproportionate amount of what we eat around here is fermented.

7. I find it easier and more relaxing to read nonfiction than fiction. Fiction requires an emotional commitment.

8. Not only do I read in the bath, I’ve been known to read in the shower. This takes a certain degree of skill, especially when you wash your hair, but I assure you it can be done.

Any other folks willing to reveal their outermost secrets?


Jamie Ford said...

Speaking of palmistry, (which I think is total bollocks) our playground monitor in gradeschool would read our palms. She told me I'd have 4 kids. Two boys and two girls--which I did.

Creepy, but I still think it's bollocks.

David Isaak said...

Hey, Jamie--

The only empirical check I have on the validity of palmistry is that I have a long life line and I'm still alive, so far.

But...a playground monitor who reads the palms of gradeshool students?

Now that is novel material. (And would fit into almost any genre, from Romance to Horror to lit-fic.) Have you used it yet?

Charles Lambert said...

I love them!

A friend of mine had a single line running across his palm like a hinge, incorporating both his lifeline and, I think, his head line. He was told by a palmist that in the Middle Ages this was the sign of a murderer. She refused to tell him any more.

By the way, browsing in London I saw Shock and Awe (two copies) in Waterstones, Gower St, Borders, Charing Cross (two copies) and Foyles. I kind of rearranged things slightly to make them more prominent. I know you'll do the same for me. It also occurred to me that, since Picador is owned by Macmillan, we're stablemates, which is nice.

David Isaak said...

Charles--You can count on me!

And thanks for the scouting expedition. (Not that I think it takes much prodding to get any of us into a bookstore...)

Jake Jesson said...

Read... in the shower?

I would have been doing this already if I thought it was possible. (It took a while to master reading while walking through large crowds...)

David Isaak said...


Practice makes perfect. But start with a book you aren't overly attached to...