Ten albums that influenced me when I was a teenager

Ten albums that had a profound effect on me as a teenager. One album only, per artist.

KISS – Alive II
Queen – News of the World
Prince and the Revolution – Purple Rain
DEVO – Freedom of Choice
Kansas – Point of No Return
The Fixx – Reach the Beach
The Police – Synchronicity
Yaz – Upstairs at Eric’s
Pink Floyd – The Wall
David Bowie – Let’s Dance


[Proust Questionnaire] Version 2017

From Vanity Fair:

“The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.”


Here are my answers to the Proust Questionnaire:


What is your idea of perfect happiness? Living in a cozy cabin at the edge of a lake, far away from most of humanity. Think about the book or movie ‘Secret Window’ and you’ll get the picture.

What is your most marked characteristic? My eclectic, yet sometimes unpredictable, nature

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Continuing to survive despite an array of effed-up events, starting at about age 10. My psychiatrist expressed surprise that I wasn’t a raging alcoholic or drug addict after all the events I’ve lived through (which most people DO NOT know about).

What is your greatest fear? Knowing I’m going to die before it happens. I’d rather go to sleep and not wake up. I don’t want to be on an airplane, for instance, and KNOW it’s gonna crash and I’m gonna die. I’d rather NOT know when I’m getting ready to bite the big one.

What historical figure do you most identify with? Mary Shelley.

Which living person do you most admire? Stephen King.

Who are your heroes in real life? Creative people – writers, artists, musicians, etc. People who continue to pursue their artistic passions past the point of childhood when society and authoritarians urge you to abandon your ‘dreams.’

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Indecisiveness.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Cruelty.

What is your favorite journey? The one where serendipity shows up regularly.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Detachment. I want to be hands-on in life and to feel what it’s like to live in an all-encompassing way.

Which word or phrases do you most overuse? F*ck. The more people dislike the word, the more I use it.

What is your greatest regret? Getting married too early, at age 20.

What is your current state of mind? Curmudgeonly.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That some members would accept me as I am and not how they want me to be to suit their egos and wishes.

What is your most treasured possession? My mind.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being prevented from living a life where one can follow his or her passions and earn a livable wage by doing so.

Where would you like to live? The highlands of Scotland.

What is your favorite occupation? Writing, especially when I can spend time working on my OWN books and creative projects.

What is the quality you most like in a man? Sensitivity.

What is the quality you most like in a woman? Lack of two-faced cattiness. Things that seem to afflict 90% of the females I’ve ever known.

What are your favorite names? Peter & Alexandra.

What is your motto? Smile and nod at your naysayers, then do whatever the hell you planned to do anyway.