Wednesday, July 8, 2015


 Me: Then
(in my sweet youth)

A haphazard laundry list of facts about myself - - in no particular order.

I've already mentioned many of these things in previous blog posts - - especially on my old blog Lone Star Concerto. This is merely a refresher course for those who have forgotten (or never knew).

I got the idea from other bloggers who have compiled similar lists.

1.  I was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey. My parents moved to Southern California when I was 5 and I lived there for nearly 30 years.

2. I've also lived in the Missouri Ozarks, Texas, and now Tennessee - - and briefly in Nevada and Arizona.

3. I'm 100% Hungarian. Not bragging, just saying. My mother descended from royal blood, my father descended from traditional Magyar gypsies.

4. I'm 6'1", blond hair, blue eyes, 185 lbs.

5. I have an inferiority complex and am prone to being self-conscious.

6. I'm also prone to severe anxiety attacks. 

7. I'm an introvert by nature but can admirably feign extroversion. I'm also a staunch pessimist.

8. I'm extremely self-critical and can't easily handle criticism from others. 

9. I never stay angry for very long. It's a waste of time.

10. I'm romantic and profoundly sentimental, deeply melancholic and moody. Blame the Magyar blood. 

11. I have an insatiable passion for music, literature, and the arts. Reading and music have always been my greatest pleasures.

12. I'm an indefatigable opera lover and  balletomane. I love old movies, with a special interest in silent films.

13. One of my biggest faults is that I'm too nice. I tend to be passive and non confrontational. Trust me, goodness and passivity will get you nowhere.

14. I was a music major in college - studied piano and composition. Cello was my second instrument. I was the worst cellist in California. Possibly in the USA.

15. I was four years old in the first grade. The first school I attended was Rutger's Prep in New Jersey.

16. When I was six, two doctors diagnosed me with leukemia and predicted I wouldn't live to be twelve. I've lived to see 50 - - and after that I stopped counting.

17. I have no siblings and never missed them.

18. Took Judo classes in my early teens and actually earned three belts. Was it an orange belt or green? I swear I don't remember the ranks, it was so long ago.

19.  I'm highly allergic to Penicillin and almost died from it when I was 18.

20.  I get severe migraine headaches.

21. Was editor of my high school newspaper. Started publishing news stories in the local city newspaper when I was sixteen.

22. I'm terrified of spiders, scorpions, and heights. And dentists.

23. When I was fifteen I seriously injured my left wrist playing football (football was mandatory and I hated it). Couldn't play the piano for over a year. To this day I can't bend my left wrist.

24. At age 16 I was a recipient of the Albert Rosen Award (a national competition) for one of my piano compositions. Rosen was an Austrian-born conductor and composer.

25.  At age 20 I performed a piano concerto at Cal State Fullerton. It was the Piano Concerto #4 in D minor by Anton Rubinstein.

26. I was only fired from one job in my entire life. Ironically it was a piano gig. The singer and I didn't get along. I told him he was off-key and needed singing lessons. He told me I was fired. Incidentally, he owned the place.

27. I've worked as a dishwasher, cook, proofreader, chauffeur, accompanist, rehearsal pianist, and security officer (among other things).

28.  I was an armed security guard at Hughes Aircraft.

29. When I had a midnight job as a security officer in Santa Ana, a murderer left the body of his victim in a trash compactor a few feet away from my office door. The murderer turned out to be the janitor, who had a sexual crush on me and was stalking me. Ironically, I was told that the young man he murdered strongly resembled me! It's a very long story and I still get the chills when I think of it.

30. I was a movie extra in Hollywood, appearing in such bombs as Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Malibu Beach. I've met many famous people during my years in Tinseltown.

31. A producer of adult films offered me work as a gay porn star. I declined..... but it was tempting.

32. I was kicked out of the famous Polo Lounge at the Beverly Hills Hotel twice - - once for being drunk, once for wearing a cowboy hat.

33. I had an automobile accident on Benedict Canyon Dr. within walking distance of the house where actress Sharon Tate was murdered. Ironically, it happened on the anniversary of her death.

34. I began my literary "career" writing stories for true confession magazines. I later wrote erotic fiction for a wide variety of adult magazines - under various pseudonyms, including Jon Kalendor and Jay Bantum.

35. I've published nearly 100 poems, and also many articles in legitimate magazines. I specialized in writing about the history of Hollywood and the film industry.

36. I'm extremely myopic and have worn contact lenses since I was 18.

37. I've had emergency retina surgery on both  my eyes.

38.  I've always been a night owl and an insomniac. I love the midnight hours.

39. I like all animals but I'm particularly partial to felines. I'm a hardcore cat person.

40.  I was hired to work at Disneyland and Knott's Berry Farm. After careful consideration I turned down both jobs. Disneyland was too strict (at that time) and the hours at Knott's were too erratic.

41. I played the piano on the radio when I was twelve. I accompanied a Japanese woman who sang Ave Maria.

42. A wealthy young woman, whose father was very well-known, asked me to marry her. I was 24, she was nearly 30. That same year, a distinguished man (who owned a boutique on Melrose Ave.) asked me to marry him. I turned down both proposals.
Hey, I was desirable back then. And I was versatile (*wink*).

43.  I once sailed a boat to Catalina Island with little nautical experience.

44. I lived on the beach at Baja.

45. I've made many mistakes during my life and have an enormous amount of deep regrets.  

46. I never take myself too seriously and I try to maintain humility. I loathe arrogance and self-righteousness.

47.  I loved big city life when I was young. Lately I've become hermitized and prefer a rural existence.

48. I love seafood, and Italian, Mexican, and Hungarian cuisine. I'll actually eat anything - except sushi, octopus, or lima beans.

49. I have an extraordinary memory and can vividly remember things that happened when I was only a few months old.

50. Although I'm a fiercely private person, I tend to reveal (too many) personal things in my blog. These 50 facts are an example.

This list is far too long and yet I've hardly scratched the surface. I could easily list 50 more.

 Me: Now
(in my old age)

.....did I frighten the cat??...... 





  1. Very interesting. We have a number of commonalities, but also a number of differences. By the way, I have eaten octopus and you are wise to skip it.


    1. Larry (I don't know how your comment got way up there, lingering above us - let's blame it on Blogger's usual oddities). You're very courageous to try octopus. I can't even stand to look at it.

  2. I commend you on coming up with 50. I doubt that I could come up with ten! Gay porn star eh? I once did a spot of modeling au naturale... but that would be number eleven! Interesting to find out so much (and so little) about you.

    1. Hey, if I ever modeled au naturale, it would be number one on my list.

  3. Kudos for gaining 50 things. I get up to about maybe half that . One of my sisters phoned yesterday and I said, "Gee, it's been ages since I heard your voice." She said, "Yeah, 14 years." I have no idea why that is but suspect it's part of my long-ongoing project to perfect myself. Must be some reason -- a retentive memory is a tough opponent but I'm making progress it seems.

    1. It would take several lifetimes for me to perfect myself (at least). Sometimes I think a retentive memory would be an asset.

  4. My life has been much more mundane than yours..I love cats too and also hate lima beans. I had to see one evening, in the dark, with them on my plate.

    1. I hated lima beans ever since I was a small child. Memories of them on my plate still upset me.

  5. Congrats on your 100th post, Jon!

    ‘Smiling at the similarities (well most of them) … surprised by very few (and that in itself surprises me!)
    … and #29 still gives me chills.

    1. Myra, I knew that we would have a lt of similarities - - but I doubted that anyone ever offered you a staring role in a gay movie........I could write a book about #29 It was MUCH more scary than you could ever imagine. He used to constantly hang around with me when I was ALONE on the late-night shift. Of course, I didn't know he was a murderer!!!!

    2. Every time I type my keyboard skips letters...sorry for any typos.

  6. Interesting facts, many more to come

    1. I hope that mt future adventures will be much more mundane than those in my past.

  7. You are a well rounded bloke, for sure. Interesting that you also played cello. Fascinating list you compiled. We have a few things in common that might surprise you.

    1. That last sentence has really piqued my curiosity.

  8. Crumbs! Too much info to get my head round all at once. Will have to set aside an afternoon and come back to it - but I 'purred' with approval when I saw your #39.

    I'm sure I've got a Rubinstein D minor Concerto on an audio tape somewhere which I recorded from the radio - but I've got literally hundreds of such tapes. Must try to dig it out sometime and imagine it's you playing (that is IF it's No. 4)

    I shall return.

  9. What on earth ever happened to that risible 'Sgt Pepper' film? I saw it on its release but it seems to have sunk straight away without a single bubble coming up. Maybe all involved were too ashamed of it to give it further life, though I am curious now to see if it really was all that bad. (Why did the Beatles agree to it being made, that is IF they did? And having the BeeGees perform it, that most unlikely of trios! If it had had some Beatles lookalikes it might at least have had a bit more credence.) Anyway, now that I know that you were also 'in' it, though of course I wouldn't know what to look for and where, it's heightened my curiosity.

    I'll be back again, later. (Small birdlike bites only, on this one.)

    1. The Sgt Pepper film seems to have vanished like the Isadora film. I never did understand why the BeeGees were chosen, but I think that is what contributed to the demise of the film. I met Peter Frampton and he was a nice guy.

      I responded to your recent reply on your Scientology post (we have to stop meeting like this.....).
      Concerning opera, I forgot to mention that I love Puccini's Suor Angelica - most especially the profoundly moving final scene. My favorite singers for this role are Barbara Frittoli and Renata Scotto.

    2. Yes, I saw your comment on my 'other' post. Let's close that one down.

      It was only last year when I heard 'Suor Angleica' for the first time - as well as 'Il Tabarro', being part of a variable-standard boxed set of all the Puccini operas. (Ditto - 'Golden Girl', btw). Must say that the more I listen to Puccini the more I like him, and it's my own loss that I'd believed all this nonsense about his music being 'too light' to be taken seriously until relatively recently.

      Anyway, another bite or two from the above:-
      #29 is just too scary for words. Narrow escape - phew!
      #31. Can't help wondering if you auditioned. (You don't have to answer that.)

      May return for more another time.

    3. I first heard Suor Angelica about two years ago. I've never heard Il Tabarro.

      As for #31 - - no, I never did audition (do I hear a unanimous sigh of relief?)

  10. 50 facts about yourself and you barely scratched the surface! You have enough material for a couple of years of blogging. What a full life you've lived

    I identify with you on many, but especially No. 12. Love and treasure the ballet, especially "Swan Lake" with that glorious score and Makarova dancing Odette. Also, I am slowly becoming addicted to "Flames Of Paris" performed by Ashley Bouder and Daniel Ulbricht. Unfortunately, YouTube only gives us a 2 minute peek. However, the Russian version with Vasiliev is good. But the Russian ballerina is not as good as the American ballerina, Ashley Bouder.

    I remember that you love silent films as I do, especially Novarro. Loved him in "The Student Prince" and his performance in "Ben Hur" puts Heston to shame. They really had faces then.

    1. Ironically, I never thought I had a particularly interesting life - - but, in retrospect, it was extraordinary. I love Swan Lake and Makarova has always been my very favorite dancer. She was flawless, breathtakingly superb. I wrote her a letter (when I was in my early 20's) and she sent me an autographed photo.
      I've never seen "Flames of Paris" but I'd really like to.

      The Novarro version of "Ben Hur" is far superior to the Heston remake. I love the version with the Carl Davis score.........and I have a crush on Novarro........

  11. interesting facts, dear. a very complex person you are.

    1. Complexities and complications are my specialty.

  12. You make me sould like cardbord

    1. John, you are FAR from being cardboard.

  13. Since I've known you since way back in AOL Journals I have read most of this about you but didn't mind refreshing my memory.

    1. After reading my blog all these years, I doubt if there are many things that could shock you.

  14. Hi, Jon. Since I know you are a cat person, and the trials and tribulations you have to go through regarding the litter, I thought you might get a kick out of this old Life in Hell comic. Hope the hyperlink works, but if not just copy and paste it into your address bar. You may need to enlarge it a few times. Easiest way to do that is holding the CTRL key and pressing the + key; you can revert to the default size by holding the CTRL key and pressing the 0 key (sorry if you already knew all that and are a computer superuser). Oh, and thanks for sharing the 50 things. I for one would be interested in another 50, or 500! ~~~ NB

    1. NB, that is so funny - - especially since cleaning the litter box is the job I dread the most (and I have to do it several times a day). Actually I have TWO litter boxes to clean.

      I initially thought that 50 facts would be too much. After I wrote them I realized that I could vey easily write 50 more. I'm not sure if anyone could tolerate 500, but you're very kind (*smile*).

  15. I am also a fellow migraineur. One of my pet peeves is somebody standing in front of me saying 'I have a migraine'. Ummmm ... no you don't, you are vertical and not vomiting .... so you do not have a migraine!

    I am glad you said that you have regrets ... not glad that you have them but glad that you said that you have them. I find people that say "I have no regrets" are selfish and arrogant. Everyone of us have at some point hurt another person and that is something we should all regret. I have plenty of regrets and wish for a lot of do-overs.

    So what are your thoughts on paprika? :)

    1. Hey, I love paprika (surprise, surprise).
      I've heard that many more women get migraines than men. And you're absolutely right - - a lot of people THINK they have migraines when they really don't. Anybody who has had a real one knows the difference.

      You're also right on target about regrets. It's extremely annoying when people proudly profess that they have no regrets. They're either lying or their arrogant idiots.

    2. I meant "they're", not "their" I an idiot???.......

  16. Jon,
    I just read Larry's reply to your posting. Even before I read his comment, I was going to say the same thing "We have much in common but some significant differences also." I love reading these facts about people. Each of us is a unique individual and have many unique facts about ourselves. The difference between us and many others is that we are willing to share those facts. Thanks for this list Jon. You have inspired me again, I will make my own list and post it soon.
    Have a great day and by the way, don't be afraid of dentists. About the only thing I'm afraid of besides being captured by ISIS and beheaded on TV is that the Republicans should get into power again (yes, I couldn't help myself - smile).

  17. Many thanks for your comments on my recent posts. I love reading facts about people, too, but you're right - - few people are willing to share things about themselves (two other bloggers have done this since my post, John Gray and Travel Penguin).

    Your fear of being captured and beheaded by the ISIS is frightening, yet morbidly funny.
    Perhaps some day I'll write another list. I have a lot to tell.

  18. Lots of fascinating tidbits about you, cowboy, but I still don't think you're a diehard pessimist. I think you're a closet optimist who hides behind a veneer of realism. You have too much of a sensitive soul to be a true pessimist.

  19. Susan, I think you've hit the target with a bulls eye. ....."a closet optimist who hides behind a veneer of realism." I couldn't have said it better.


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