About Me (Who Else?)

Okay…what is there to say about me that hasn’t already been said, generally with lots of four-letter words involved?

Well, let’s see.  My name, of course, is obvious…I hope.  If you can’t figure it out simply by looking up at the top of the page, you probably won’t be able to learn it by having me write it here, so I’m not going to do so.  Call me perverse if you will.  At least it’s a word with more than four letters!

DON’T, however, call me “perverted!”  I take great umbrage, offense and exception to THAT.  I’m not having NEARLY enough fun in my life to qualify as “perverted.”

I really am a doctor, though…a medical doctor, that is.  I graduated from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, and I have the diploma to prove it, no matter WHAT they might try to tell you.

I’m a father of the two most wonderful children in the world.

I just LOVE science, and I’m pretty damn fond of medicine.

Well, but that just doesn’t do the subject matter justice, by a long shot.  When I say that I love science, I’m not talking about infatuation, or entertainment, or anything petty or small.  To “Love” a thing is to know and love its nature…and when I think of science, I remember the words of Carl Sagan.  He described his desire to teach science by saying, “When you’re in love, you want to shout it to the world.”  That’s the way I love science.  I love physics (from Cosmology and astrophysics to quantum mechanics and string theory and everything in between), I love chemistry, I love biology…I even love statistics and calculus and all the other math that I haven’t learned nearly enough of for my taste!  I love the science of economics, and can’t wait for it to get better.  Also, needless to say (I hope) I love medical science.  The study of human biology, especially where it involves the human nervous system, is the study of the most complicated thing we know in the Universe.  How can you get tired of THAT? Not to mention the fact that, through medical science, one can have the opportunity to relieve the suffering of our fellow humans and make life more enjoyable, more rewarding, more productive…more worth living.  Wow!

You mustn’t think, however, that I am just some science geek.  No, no…I am a geek about a great many other things as well.

I love music of ALMOST every kind.  I’ve played piano since the fourth grade and cello since the fifth grade, and some of the happiest moments of my life were playing in chamber groups and orchestras.  Being a part of the performance of Rachmaninoff’s 2nd Piano Concerto is, I suspect, about as close to the experience of being in Heaven as one can have in this life.  I don’t just love classical music, though (or Romantic, I guess you’d call Rachmaninoff).  I love the Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Police, Radiohead…and sh*tloads of other more modern musical groups.  I even enjoy some hip-hop.  Also, I dearly love Broadway musicals, especially Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, West Side Story, Man of LaMancha, Fiddler on the Roof…The King and I…The Music Man…Oklahoma…Sweeney Todd…

Maybe I should just mention musicals I DON’T like:  The ones I haven’t seen, for the most part.

I love drawing, and in fact I’ve made a number of the illustrations that you’ll see on this site (though NOT the ones in the banner).  Mostly my drawings tend to be in the anime/manga style.  I first became enamored of these Japanese art/literature forms only a few years ago (though I grew up on Marvel Comics, interspersed with some occasional DC titles).  This was another instance of true love.  The Japanese take their anime and manga seriously.  This is not merely an art-form directed at children, though some of it is, of course.  There are manga and anime made for everyone from kindergartners all the way through to office working adults.  The story lines are (generally) much more sophisticated and intelligent than those of western “comic books”, and much of the artwork is truly worthy of the term “art”.  What’s more, these aren’t just superhero or action stories.  There are comedies, romances, slice-of-life stories, supernatural stories, mythological stories, horror stories, science-fiction stories, espionage stories…there are even “Adult Oriented”, or hentai stories (well…so I hear…I wouldn’t really KNOW…ahem).

Anyone who thinks that the classic Disney animated films are the most beautiful and wonderful ever made (and I am a HUGE fan, don’t get me wrong), needs to watch pretty much any–and preferably ALL–of the Studio Ghibli films by Hayao Miyazaki.  His family classic Tonari no Totoro (My Neighbor Totoro) is the only movie, animated or real, in which I truly wish I could go live.

Now, speaking of worlds in which I WOULDN’T want to live…I also am a huge fan of Shakespeare and Milton.  I think Paradise Lost is probably the greatest work ever created in the modern English language.  It’s ALL in iambic pentameter!  And yet none of it feels forced!  It’s astounding!  It’s Fabulous!! It’s BEAUTIFUL!!!

Okay, I’m calm.  Still, it is an amazing accomplishment.  Also, even though he was a devout, believing Christian, Milton made his Satan not merely believable but sympathetic.  Now THAT’s a writer.

I also love writing.  I’ve been writing almost for as long as I can remember.  I got my first typewriter from my grandmother, on my mother’s side, when I was still in elementary school, and I put it to use.  I’m pleased to say that I still have a lot of what I wrote with it.  It’s pretty good stuff, I think.  Of course, I WOULD think that.  I WROTE it!  Still, I’ve written a lot of things since then.  I’ve written screenplays, short stories, novels (at least two, neither of which is published)…I’ve written articles for national publications.  I’ve coauthored primary research articles and I’ve written review articles.  I’ve also, as you will see here, written science and medical articles for the layperson.

I’m a dessert topping AND a floor cleaner!!

Okay, that last sentence isn’t quite true (and I originally wrote “I’m a desert topping,” which I suppose means that I’m a cactus), but I had to get past the my-own-horn tooting for a bit.  My point really was that, of all the things I’ve loved, while it may not be the one I love ABSOLUTELY the most…writing is probably the thing I’ve loved longest.  Which makes this blog a really wonderful, exciting thing for me.  So, I love blogs, and I love the internet, along with science and medicine and manga and anime and American comics, and Shakespeare and Milton and Asimov and Tolkien and even Stephen King and Peter Straub and Anne Rice, and I love Mozart and Beethoven and Bach and Dvorak and Gershwin and Webber and Sondheim and Rogers and Hammerstein, and I love Lennon and McCartney, Harrison and Starr, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, Thom Yorke, Don Henley, Carl Sagan, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Eddie Izzard…

And, yes, of course, dear Reader…I love YOU!  Honest.  Would I lie to you?

22 thoughts on “About Me (Who Else?)

  1. Two things. #1 you should rent the movie Allegro Non Troppo. #2 you s sir are incorrect, my three children are the best in the world

    • I shall indeed need to look into the movie you recommend. It’s a movie…but it’s got a musical title! What could be bad? And as for the beauty of your children…well, I never said that no one could be TIED for number one, did I?

  2. All sounds like the same old you hope this finds you well and beleave me when I say your Mom and Dad are missed the world is poorer without them. Love to you and yours Lance (your cuz) Williams

  3. Pingback: This blog of darkness I acknowledge mine. – Robert Elessar

  4. Hi Robert Elessar,

    Since you can play both the piano and cello, it is indeed possible for you to record yourself playing both the piano and cello parts of Rachmaninov’s fine cello sonata in G minor.

    May you find this autumn very much to your liking and highly conducive to your writing, thinking, blogging, and playing the piano or cello!

  5. You may not yet be “a dessert topping AND a floor cleaner,” but there is hope in Wavy Gravy. Do you know of Wavy? He was Hugh Romney during his famous stage announcements and creative crowd management at Woodstock. But in his activist work thereafter, he realized (after a few broken bones) that the cops did not want to be seen arresting a clown, and his activist outings thereafter were in clown garb. And now that Ben and Jerry’s has discontinued its Wavy Gravy flavor, Wavy’s resume reads, “Activist clown and former frozen dessert.” And that IS the truth 🙂

  6. Hi, Robert. This is Gary Miranda, better known to you as mirandaga from WEIT. Just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your several “likes” for my posts there and that I downloaded and am enjoying your short stories–and I don’t even like short stories. As a poet, I’m totally incapable of manufacturing fiction and admire anyone who can do it well, as you obviously can. Keep up the good work.

  7. Hello Robert. Thanks for visiting my site. Yes, it is quite sparse and I haven’t posted anything lately. I go by GROG which is my get rid of god effort. Congratulations on the family. I have three children and even a great grandchild. It has been quite a journey. I agree with you about science. The marvels of the universe and we get to go this way but once. GROG.

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