He’s Sensitive About the Pancakes
Published: March 25, 2010
7 A.M. WAKE-UP I’m envious of people who can sleep as long as they want. I have the circadian rhythm of a farmer. I jump around in my apartment to an African disco record from 1976, a compilation. It’s bad white guy dancing, and some stretching.
SMOOTH START A few years ago, I was in therapy and my therapist kept asking me to name some things I did well. I mentioned making smoothies. It was sad that I couldn’t think of something more significant. It’s açaí juice, almond milk, frozen bananas, blackberries, spirulina powder and cacao powder. I put it in my crummy blender and make one smoothie. I take my ugly, dark, purple smoothie and I sit at my laptop.
CAN YOU SPELL NERD I joined Facebook purely so I could play online Scrabble. You have eight tiles instead of seven, so you tend to have higher scores. I’m somewhere between 400 and 500. I just had a good word the other day: enjoyed. It’s seven letters — a 50-point bonus — and it was on a triple word score.
DOGGIE TAO Ideally, I have tea on my roof with Morgan. Morgan lives a few doors down from me. He has three little dogs. I don’t know what they are. They are the most amazing creatures on the planet. If there is a tennis ball, it’s the most awesome tennis ball they have ever encountered. If it’s a piece of Kleenex, it’s the most awesome Kleenex. Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.
SO GET A DOG I travel too much. And I’m content to deal with the good side of other people’s dogs and the good side of other people’s children. Then I don’t have to pick up poo. I like children when they are rested and happy. When 8 o’clock rolls around, and they are crying and need to be fed and they’re throwing knives at each other, I’m happy to be childless.
MILK AND SUGAR My favorite tea is organic Silver Needle white tea. I’m a tea purist. I never understood adding sugar or milk to tea. And back when I drank alcohol, I drank straight vodka or tequila. I never liked anything added to them. It might be a function of Asperger’s.
YOU HAVE ASPERGER’S? No. I just like to pretend I do. It makes me sound more interesting.
AFTERNOON FLAPJACKS The pancakes are whole-wheat flour and oat bran and almond milk and a little baking soda. I think I added some peaches — whatever I have lying around. In winter it’s only frozen fruit. People who are used to IHOP pancakes — big and fluffy — they would be disappointed. I had an ex-girlfriend; when we were breaking up — one of the few endings of a relationship that was a bit contentious — one of her parting shots was having her tell me she never liked my pancakes. I thought that was very cruel. Insult my sexual prowess, my intellect, but not my pancakes.
TURNING THE PAGE When I was growing up, I was the most pretentious person I have ever met. I only read obscure books and watched obscure movies and only listened to obscure music. I was into Kant and Wittgenstein in college. Then 10 or 15 years ago, I discovered the joys of trash pulp culture. Anything that’s fiction is inherently trashy for me. Mass market fiction. I was reading “The First Rule” by Robert Crais. It’s really fun, plot driven, sort of forgettable. I like thrillers. I still consider it a guilty pleasure.
CATHOLIC? No. I just feel guilty about everything. My ancestors were Calvinists. Guilt is in my DNA.
ROCKING THE HOUSE I make my records by myself. I have my studio here; it’s almost monastic and ascetic. I have missed playing music with other people. So I go to a dark rock ’n’ roll space on 38th and Eighth that my friend Tomato owns, and we play dangerously loud heavy metal for a few hours. I play guitar two-thirds of the time and I play bass one-third of the time.
PLAYLIST I was a pretentious teenager who didn’t listen to Mötley Crüe or Def Leppard. In my 30s I went back and discovered all the hair metal everyone else knew about. It’s well-crafted and well-recorded. It never takes itself too seriously. It’s always surprisingly campy. There is nothing sincere about it. I spent a lot of time taking myself too seriously. I can appreciate a culture that doesn’t take itself too seriously.