1) I have no real contact with anyone I knew in high school or in college. One by one, I either managed to alienate them or vice versa. I consider this one of my great failings.
2) When I was 18, my father and I had our final falling out over moneys that my folks had squirreled away before they got divorced for my college expenses. I resented him for using the funds to buy a house-full of new furniture and he resented me because I dared to question him over what was really "his money anyway." We haven't spoken since.
3) Just for clarity's sake, my father never served in "Country." He enlisted in the US Army in the late 60's and was trained to fly spotter planes (I believe), but he was never assigned overseas. That he served in 'Nam is a conceit that I've occasionally allowed myself when trying to understand why he was as unstable and cruel as he was. Really, though, he didn't even have that excuse. He was just an abusive asshole.
4) In my adolescence, I had a crush on one of my mom's friends that persists to this day. She was beautiful, intelligent, and cultured, and (most importantly) she was one of the first people who treated me like a real person and not as a child. I still get excited when she comes up in conversation.
5) I get incredibly angry at the state of education in this country and with the fact that many Asians are more attuned to our culture than we are. Thanks to a relaxation of core curriculum requirements in both high schools and universities, it is possible to graduate from some of the reputed finest learning institutions in our country without having the first clue about what went into creating our society and our culture.
6) If I ever do get married, I would like the ceremony to be in a coffee shop in Vienna (or maybe even Quebec) in the company of our respective parents. I don't think that I'll have any say in the matter, though. Near as I can tell, modern weddings have little to do with what the groom wants. The only purpose behind these events seems to be to give the bride a day to fulfill a fantasy of being a storybook princess, regardless of whether it is within her means or not.
7) Art should be an expression of the ineffable. I think that if a piece of "art" can only be understood by individuals who have the same rarified and esoteric training as the creator, it is no longer art. At that point, it's all so much mental masturbation that is produced solely so the artist can show his peers that he is clever-er than they are. I'm not contending that all art should be "pop" art or similarly geared to the unthinking masses. I do think, however, that a big yellow dot on a huge white-painted canvas should not be considered a museum-quality masterpiece since it's really just an exercise in color theory.
8) When I was eight, I had a series of dreams/nightmares that had me seriously considering becoming a priest. This idea fell apart when I discovered that I liked girls and then later came to realize that most of my core beliefs openly conflicted with those of the Catholic Church. To this day, though, I still have a fascination with the Jesuits and certain monastic orders, but this may have more to do with their illuminatus-like nature than any real desire to be part of their organization. The Belief-O-Matic said I should probably be a Mahayana Buddhist.
9) I secretly wish that I could be a Catholic because I feel like I've lost some part of my cultural heritage by not participating.
10) I'm incredibly shy and really uncomfortable in most social situations. Perhaps because of this, I went through most of my formative years with people making one of four assumptions about me: a) I'm stuck up; b) I'm scary; c) I'm gay; or d) two or more of the above. None were true, and I believe the experience has left horrific scars on my psyche.
11) Somewhere along the way, I developed the idea that if my friends wanted to see me, they would call or otherwise get in touch with me. Hand in hand with this is the idea that I would be being clingy, pushy, or otherwise annoying if I call or otherwise get in touch with them. I struggle with this every time I pick up the phone to call someone.
12) I think I know why Van Gogh cut off his own ear, and it's not because he was a loon. I believe he was attempting to show its recipient precisely how she had made him feel. It said something to the effect of, "In the face of what you have done to me, this is nothing. No pain, no humiliation, no suffering will ever make me feel as you have."
13) I've experienced a loss that profound, and I pray that it is not a common experience.
14) If humanity ever does manage to find its way into space, I'm almost certain that the result is far more likely to resemble the universe presented in Alien than the one presented in Star Trek. The United Federation of Planets with its enlightened attitudes and noble mission is a very pleasing vision, but it's hopelessly optimistic and ultimately utopic. Utopias invariably fall apart when they have to accommodate human nature.
15) I feel like I'm waking up after spending the past ten years in a coma.