This is a game you see trending at Facebook now and then in waves about once a year and often with select questions to be answered, "25 Things About Me." For kicks, here's my 25:
1. My favorite concert in memory has to be the
Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1989, Mother’s
Milk tour. They were still a
funk-punk band, nothing like the laidback group they became after Blood Sugar Sex Magik. To this day, I’ve never seen more raw energy
and outrageous execution. While I’m sure
substances had something to do with it, this was the most amazing live
performance I’ve ever been witness to.
Plus it was great locking up with my buddies and pogoing all around
Painters Mill Theatre to “Me and My Friends.”
2. I have many great memories in my
life, but being there in 1977 at the movies when Star Wars came out for the first time…nothing compares to that sense of wonderment I felt at age 7. I wish my son could know it like I know it
and I hope he finds something magical beyond comprehension that’ll knock his socks off for life.
3. I was on Romper Room and Professor
Kool’s Fun School when I was a kid.
These were locally-broadcasted kid’s shows during the seventies and
early eighties. If you’re a Baltimore
Gen X’er, you’ll well remember “Romper Bomper Stomper Boo…tell me, tell me,
tell me true…”
4. I was pissed I didn’t win “Most Outrageous”
in the high school yearbook. I even
lobbied for it!
5. My worst fear in life is never
achieving my dreams. If you know me, you
what that entails.
6. My favorite type of sub is an Italian
cold cut. The best I’ve ever had was at
some deli on 5th Avenue in Manhattan I could probably walk my way to
by memory. Locally in Baltimore, there
was a Greek sub shop called Luka’s that sadly folded and nobody around here
could touch them. I miss that joint. At least there's Santoni's, who knows what it's about.
7. The last time I went to Atlantic City? I hated it.
I don’t gamble, the beach is what it is and it’s nothing to write home
about. I got held hostage in a long
timeshare pitch because my wife wanted to get a free lunch. Live and learn. When I saw a guy hightailing it down the
boardwalk with three hefty stiffs in suits chasing after him, I felt like I’d
tripped into a gangster flick. My trip
to AC was capped by a stay in the grodiest hotel known to man. You could smell the sex and the cigarettes
and the air conditioning didn’t work.
Plus the water was brown.
Atlantic City, you can have it.
8. My favorite thing to do after a big
workout is write. I’m usually pumped up
mentally on top of physically after I lift.
9. People often add an “e” to my last
name or mash the words together to make “Vanhorn.” Annoying.
Some address me as “Ryan” instead of “Ray.” Double annoying.
10. Betsy Palmer called me after my
interview with her published and she told me I was the only one who’d quoted
her with 100% accuracy. I have a
standing lunch date with her I need to get booked asap. Jason Voorhees’ mom, can you stand it? Whoo!
11. People stare at me like they can’t
believe I’m saying it when I mention Prince is my favorite musician. Seriously, yes, I love Prince. I consider
Malcolm X a hero, while I’m busy shocking some of ya’ll.
12. PG Tips rules. I was the pinhead in the theater who called
out “It’s a tea, man!” during Rob Zombie’s Halloween
II when Malcolm McDowell asked his onscreen assistant for one and she was
clueless about it.
13. I just finished a graphic novel
script I’m about to pitch out there and I’m so
ready to write for comics. I even have
my own stable of original superhero characters I created at Cyber Age Adventures a lifetime
ago. Many of my short stories featuring these characters were collected into a
trade paperback anthology, Playing
Solitaire. If I could write for an
existing comic title, it would be Batgirl,
once Gail Simone’s had her fill of it. That, or Witchblade. I
kinda have it bad for gingers and auburns.
14. I think the best Chinese food
restaurant in the world was Fan’s in Westminster, Maryland. Unfortunately, it too died out like
Luka’s. Best service I’ve ever seen and
the food was like a treat for our family.
Since then, I’d probably say that Chinese restaurant affixed to the
Radisson in Manhattan was the most amazing Chinese place I’ve been to since.
15. My son thinks
I’m the bomb. That’s such a gift when
you’re a parent.
16. Football “fans” have ruined my
passion for the game. You don’t actually
play it, people. Get a life.
17. If I had a choice of being a pirate
or a ninja, I would have to go with being a pirate so I can shamelessly chase
after booty and blame the rum every time.
18. I’m grossly disappointed the
Monroeville Mall outside of Pittsburgh does NOT look the same as when they
filmed the original Dawn of the Dead in
it except for the exterior. Bastards. Okay,
so maybe I should get a life, but no
clock tower and the skating rink turned into a food court makes for a lame
trip. They shouldn’t have mucked with
it, just like CBS and Amblin shouldn’t have with Under the Dome. Feh.
19. I despise politics, but would have
no problem voting Kermit the Frog into office.
That’s who I voted for the last time.
Someday we’ll find it, people…
20. Every birthday of mine, my Pop makes my favorite dish ever, Cajun pork
chops. How ya’ll be, to quote the late
21. One of these days, I’m gonna go
fishing with my Pop, as we’ve been planning for more than a decade. Ahh, life, its stranglehold against the
finer things in life.
22. I live vicariously through a John
Carpenter/Alan Howarth synth score.
23. SSQ’s “Tonight (We’ll Make Love
Until We Die)” is not just a song to me, it’s an addiction.
24. I’ve interviewed more than 300
musicians but never Hank 3. I’d better rectify
25. If I could be anywhere right now, I
wish I was on a book signing tour. It’ll
Listenin' to: Deftones - B-Sides & Rarities
Ray Van Horn, Jr. is a veteran entertainment journalist whose writing and live photography has been featured in Blabbermouth.net, Dee Snider’s House of Hair Online, Fangoria.com, Horror News.net, About.com Heavy Metal, MetalManiacs, New Noise, Music Dish, AMP, Hails & Horns, Unrestrained,Noisecreep, Impose, Pit, The Big Takeover.com, Rough Edge.com, Pitriff and others. His blog The Metal Minute won a “Best Personal Blog” award in 2009 from Metal Hammer magazine and he wrote and produced his own hard rock e-zine, Retaliate.
He has contributed essays to UK author Neil Daniels’ Iron Maiden and ZZ Top biographies. Ray’s fiction has been published in various periodicals and anthologies, including his flash fiction piece “Off the Record” for Akashic Books’ “Mondays Are Murder” noir series. His recent short stories “Before the Ball” and “Widow” were featured in subsequent editions of Alex S. Johnson’s Axes of Evil anthologies. Ray wrote serialized original superhero fiction for Cyber Age Adventures and five of those stories appear in the anthology Playing Solitaire. He was the winner of Quantum Muse’s fiction contest in 1999.
Ray is a former NHL game analyst for The Hockey Nut and one-time host of the forum “Comic Books” at ReadWave. He has done beat reporting, photography and lifestyle articles for Metromix, an affiliate of The Baltimore Sun, Carroll Magazine, The Northern News and The Emmitsburg Dispatch.