A. My first job was as a groundskeeper at the local ballpark in the town where I grew up. There was a lot of down time, and I got to drive tractor, so it was pretty good gig. I've also taught creative writing, dabbled in reviewing and journalism, and toiled as a screenwriter.
A. Bangor High School, Vassar College, and the Columbia University SOA
A. The Faces
A. The Apartment
A. The Wire
A. Trying really hard not to be too embarrassing.
A. Don't be too embarrassing.
A. I suspect that perfect happiness is not possible for me. I suppose if I was ever selected for eternal life - the moment I was informed - that would bring me the closest.Some more common occurrences that make me happy: watching movies with my wife, reading on the couch, nachos, pancakes, coffee, sunny days and warm nights at Fenway Park, listening to records, not being sick.
A. Some very unpleasant death - to drown, to suffocate, to be slowly eaten, you get the idea. Grim. Let's move on.
A. At this moment, I feel a little hungry. So: the Cafe Schwarzenberg. I'll have the kaiserschmarrn.
A. All the other people who have found themselves wishing to be at Cafe Schwarzenberg on Thursday afternoon in November.
A. This is like asking a parent to choose their favorite child. I just can't. My personal history is strewn with massive errors in judgment. They're all precious to me.
A. I'd love to be able to draw or play guitar or dance. All three at the same time: that's the talent for me.
A. I've been working on this questionnaire for at least two or three months. If I finish, that'll probably be it.
A. It's a tie: 1) Not diligent with questionnaires; 2) I get hurt feelings too often.
A. I try as hard as I can to understand why people do what they do. I don't believe I exactly deserve a medal for that or anything, though.
A. It be cool to be eagle for a little while, do some soaring. But not for an indefinite period. Maybe I can just be a shape changer? I could try out being a lion, too.
A. I have a massive head. I mean that literally. Not that I don't have a healthy ego, but my actual skull is extremely large. Hats can be a challenge.
A. Esther Summerson.
A. I'm not sure if we're talking fictional or real here, but I'll go for an obvious one: Abraham Lincoln. I'd say, "Mr. President, it's an honor." Then, I'd invite him over for cake, or pie, or whatever we had, whatever he wanted. The larder is open to the 16th president.
A. Starting right fielder, Boston Red Sox.
A. "Jolene" - Dolly Parton, "Don't Forget Me" - Harry Nilsson, "Glad and Sorry" - The Faces, "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" - Richard Thompson, "The Beast in Me" - Nick Lowe,
A. Kate Atkinson, Tom Bissell, Kelly Braffet, Emily Bronte, Charles Dickens, Joan Didion, Joshua Ferris, Jonathan Franzen, Lauren Grodstein, Lauren Groff, Joe Hill, Graham Joyce, Stephen King, Tabitha King, Rachel Kushner, John Lanchester, Anita Loos, Martin McDonagh, Ian McEwen, Larry McMurtry, John McNally, James Meek, Mark Jude Poirier, Charles Portis, Dennis Potter, Stacey Richter, Karen Russell, Zadie Smith, Peter Straub, David Foster Wallace, Sarah Waters, Colson Whitehead...
A. Bleak House, Great Expectations, Madame Bovary, Wuthering Heights, and… something wonderful I haven't read yet.
A. Great Expectations, particularly the first section about Pip's childhood.
A. If you want to write stories, you need to read stories - lots and lots of them.
A. Some variation on, "What's your problem with E.T.?"