261. As a child, I used to fluctuate between sleeping with the door open or close. The argument I made to myself was “Would I rather see whatever was coming down the hallway to get me or would I rather hear them open door and pretend to be asleep?” I think I settled on the latter
As a child, my father used to let me watch whatever I wanted on television. I don’t think he had a concept for what was a “PG” movie and what was a “R” movie. Maybe he didn’t see anything wrong with a eight-year old watching movies with violence and/or nudity. Maybe he just didn’t care. Whatever the reason, I took full advantage.
I loved watching horror movies. After my parents went to bed, I would quietly turn on the little television in my room, turn the volume low and watch vampire and werewolf movies. When we got cable television in the den, I would sneak downstairs and watching Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street and Halloween in the dark by myself. I even got my father to take me to see A Nightmare in Elm Street 4: The Dream Master when I was 11 years old. Kids in the neighborhood thought I was weird.
22. The first real racism I experienced in life was when I girl who I was really close with freshman year of high school was told by her mother she wasn’t allowed to hang out with or speak to me anymore.
Jen was my best friend high school and the first girl I ever loved. Throughout freshman year of St. Mary’s High School, Jen and I were inseparable. We ate lunch together. We spent the days writing and exchanging page long notes that I used to keep in shoeboxes under my desk. On the weekend and over the summer, we would talk on the phone until the wee hours of the morning much to my mother’s chagrin. Even though we weren’t girlfriend/boyfriend, we regularly exchanged “I love you’s” in our notes and phone calls. Even though I was too shy to ever flat-out make a move, we were moving in that direction at a glacial pace.
Jen also happened to be white.
76. I used to sneak out of Art Class in St. Mary’s High School in Sophomore year to hop over the fence, go to The Wiz and buy new music.
One of my favorite high school classes was Mrs. Fraser’s Art Class at last period. It wasn’t because I had an affinity for art (although I did like drawing). It wasn’t because Mrs. Fraser was an inspiring teacher in the mold of Mr. Holland’s Opus and Dead Poets Society. It wasn’t because of my classmates (aside from those seated at my table, I found most of them annoying). No, what I loved about Art was it was a fence hop away from the new Nobody Beats The Wiz.
286. I learned how to dub movies when I was 12. I used to rent 3-4 movies a week from Blockbuster Video and make copies for my brother and his friends
161. The scar under my right eye is from a bike accident I got into when I was 13.
I don’t remember how I learned how to dub movies. If I remember correctly, I think one of my cousins dubbed tapes but didn’t necessarily tell me how to do it. I went home and, when my mother was out, took her VCR and the one in the den and figured out how to connect them. Once I dubbed a couple of movies, I showed my brother my handiwork (I frequently did bad things and went to my brother for some sort of validation). I had the know-how. He had the Blockbuster membership. It was on.
Almost every Saturday morning in the summer, I would get on my bicycle at 9:30 AM and ride to the local Blockbuster video with my brother’s membership card. For some reason, I wanted to get there when they opened at 10 AM. I’d rent two or three movies (either whatever was new or something my brother requested), ride back home, copy them and return them by the next day. I may have copied 60-75 movies for myself and others between the ages of 12-16.
One Saturday, I left in the middle of the afternoon for Blockbuster run. I rode my bike on the sidewalk which, in retrospect, was stupid but I’d been hit by two cars in my life so I was always a little skittish about riding my bike in the street. I don’t think I was riding my bicycle that fast but, out of nowhere, this guy stepped out from behind a building. I hit the brakes but squeezed the front brake first so my body learned forward and my face collided with his head. I flew over my handlebars and landed on my back. I got up a little stunned. The guy was holding his head but was more injured than angry. Looking down, I could see my glasses frame on the ground and then noted that I was able to see with my right eye. My right lens was stuck on my face. I gathered my bike, reassembled my glasses and kept riding.
132. The first time I shaved my head was an accident. It was the day before Senior year yearbook photos and I neglected to get a haircut so I woke my brother up at 5:30 AM to give me a haircut. He ended up cutting off all my hair except a patch in the back. I took my picture and had to shave my head to even it out. Unfortunately, bald heads were forbidden in my school and I had detention until it grew back to a reasonable length.
“Junior, wake up!”
“I need you to cut my hair”
“I just need a quick haircut for school.”
I completely forgot that our senior yearbook photos were today. I don’t know what made me remember at 5:30 AM but I did and I was about three weeks overdue for a haircut. Normally, i didn’t care much about my appearance in high school but for some reason, the thought of being immortalized with a nappy head terrified me. So, out of desperation, I woke up my brother at 5:30 AM to give me a haircut. Despite the fact that he barely opened his eyes, I was confident this wouldn’t be a problem. Just keep the clippers at one setting and do a once over. Unfortunately, it did not work out very well. He had the clippers set as low as you possibly could and the second he took his first swipe, it was game over.
13. My mother once flat out asked me if I’m gay. Then a couple of days later, I went into the city the same day as the Gay Pride Parade. When I saw my mother again, she said “So, what did you do in the city on Sunday?”
The summer after graduation from NYU, I would head back into the city and hang out with Kerwin, my old roommate, and some other NYU friends for this Sunday brunch in the Village. We did this for about a month. It was great deal. $12 for an entrée and unlimited mimosas or bloody Marys (apparently, the deal was too good because by summer’s end, the deal changed into $12 for an entrée and ONE mimosa or bloody Mary. We never went back). Apparently, my mother became suspicious of these constant jaunts into the Village.
One Saturday, I walked into the house and my mother called me into her room. She was laying on her bed watching television. I can honestly say I wasn’t paying attention to what she was saying in the beginning. I assumed this was another conversation about the state of my room or that I hadn’t picked up my laundry from the basement. I don’t remember what was the word that sent a chill down my spine like “Wait, what is she talking about?”
“…so you know that we’ll love you no matter what you do…”
I started to get warm with rage which was impressive because the air conditioner stayed on when my mother was in her room in the summer.
I finally chimed in, “What are you talking about?”
17. I got caught shoplifting twice – the last time stealing a pack of batteries for a girl.
Amongst people I grew up with in Long Island (especially Derreck), one thing I have never been able to live down was my brief but impressive foray into shoplifting. Most people still wonder how a kid who looked like this stole hundreds of dollars worth of cassette tapes, videos and clothes in one day. It all started with a little curiosity.
When I was growing up, I would blow most of my allowance on buying cassette tapes and comic books. Every Saturday morning before my father went to the supermarket, my allowance would be waiting for me in the den. I would wait until around Noon, get on my bicycle and ride to Mid Island Plaza in Hicksville (now known as Broadway Mall). I’d go to Record Town and see what new hip-hop/R&B album or singles were out. After buying one or two tapes1, I would ride down to the Steve’s comic shop2.
In the summer of 1993, I was coming back from buying some tapes and the alarm went off as I walked through the door. The guy at the register looked at my tapes and ripped off a little metal strip on the side of the tape. Next time, I went through the door, the alarm didn’t sound but the lightbulb went off in my head. It took me a couple of weeks to build up the nerve to test this out. In the mall, there were two Record Towns, a big one in the heart of the mall and a smaller one that was right by an exit. My plan was to grab a tape, rip off the metal and slowly walk through the door. If it went off, I was either going to pretend I just got to close to the alarm or I was going to make a run for it. I probably was in the store for 30 minutes before I finally took a big gulp, closed my eyes and walked through the door with no alarm. The second I two feet away from the store I ran to my bike and raced home. The next day, I journeyed to Mid City again, this time to do research. I walked into all the stores I liked and checked to see which stores employed the same half-assed security measure.
This one is from Cindy.
12. From junior year of high school to junior year of college, I was a semi-serious watcher of Days of Our Lives.
The summer between junior and senior year, my parents went away on vacation. I don’t remember how the conversation started or what led to this but I spent a week sleeping over my ex-girlfriend #1′s house (It’s not as scandalous as it sounds). So one day, Ex-1 either went out or was doing something in the kitchen and her mother was watching Days of Our Lives. I sat there quietly at first but there was just crazy shit going on so I started asking questions. Over the course of the week, she gave me the whole download on John Black, Marlena, The Dimeras, the Bo/Hope/Billie love triangle. I became obsessed and watched Days of our Lives for the entire summer. When my mom wasn’t looking, I’d read her Soap Opera Digest. It was sad.
Then senior year, I overheard Eva, my best friend, talking about Days of our Lives and I jumped right in. From that point on, it was our bond. We talked about it all the time in high school and then in college when my class schedule allowed me to be home between 1 and 2 PM to catch it.
As soap operas have a tendency to do, it got a little crazy. Actually, now that I’m thinking about it, the same things that drove me away from Days of our Lives then are the same things that intrigue me about Lost. So by senior year of NYU, I stopped following it altogether.
Years later, I was home sick from work and Days of our Lives and was like, “Wait, why are all the kids like 20 years old now?”
If you would like me to elaborate on one of my facts, leave a comment or e-mail me. I’ll only do it if I think there’s enough of a story to tell about it.
I thought it would be fun to get into as much detail as I can over the many facts I’ve posted about myself.
The second one is from Sheila who inspired the original 100 Facts About Sean
42. I have, however, been punched twice in the face and a number of times in the body, kicked in the face and hit with a shovel.
The two times I got punched were nothing really. Both times, it was someone younger than me. Both times, it was around an argument during sports. Both times, it didn’t hurt and I even smiled after the fact which only feeded the neighborhood talk that something was wrong with me.
The most memorable punch to the body was in 8th grade. I don’t remember the all the details because it was very long ago. Anyway, there was this kid Michael (tall, geeky, awkward) who was in my science class. We were all split up into groups working on something and my friend says, “Hey, look at Michael.” Michael was clearly playing with himself IN THE MIDDLE OF CLASS NEXT TO HIS STUDY PARTNER WHO WAS OBLIVIOUS (Over the pants but still). Now, to us, this was about the funniest thing we had ever seen so we started telling everyone in class to watch him. So everyone in class was watching him go (he was in the front and we were all sitting in pairs behind him) stifling our laughter until he turns around, face completely red and we all bust out laughing.