Thursday, August 18, 2005

Because Everybody's Doing It

And because I'm such a wimpy follower of popular trends ...

1. What is your occupation?

Web developer, usability analyst, computer-based training developer, technical writer, marketing communications specialist, software systems architect, technical communications manager, high school English teacher, creative writer, music critic. Seriously, I've done all those things, currently still doing four or five of them. Will work for food.

2. What color is your underwear?

Mostly blue. Some sporting Scottish tartan patterns, lads and lassies. Boxers, not briefs.

3. What are you listening to right now?

Nothing, but most recently "Begonias" by Caitlin Cary and Thad Cockrell.

4. What was the last thing you ate?

A bowl of Bran Flakes.

5. Do you wish on stars?

Rock stars.

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Can I just say how much I hate these stupid questions? If you were a Brady, would you be Jan, Peter, or Marcia? If you were Bono, what color would your sunglasses be tinted? If you were Donald Trump, which survey writer would you fire first?

Teal. If that's a Crayola color.

7. How is the weather right now?

Can I just say how much I hate these stupid questions?

Partly cloudy, increasingly overcast, possibility of rain, with gradual darkening toward night. Details at 11:00. More intensely personal revelations forthcoming.

8. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

Someone named Kirsten Beverly, who will be my daughter Emily's RA at Kent State University.

9. Do you like the person who sent this to you?

I stole it from John McCollum's blog. Absolutely, unless he's making up impromptu blues tunes like "Hot Buttered Mama" at wedding receptions. No, I take that back. That was pretty good, too.

10. Favorite drink?

Starbucks Mocha Frappucino. Sorry, John.

11. Favorite sport to watch?

Oooh, almost any of them. They are the great time wasters. Baseball, football, basketball, hockey, dog grooming, championship billiards, competitive chess. Almost anything except synchronized swimming, figure skating, or the gymnastics event where they twirl the ribbons.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair?

No. It's been really long (the Gimli years), curly, short, straight, and frizzed. But it's only been two colors -- brown and grey, both natural.

13. Do you wear contacts or glasses?


14. Pets?

None currently. Formerly cats, birds, tropical fish, usually not at the same time, for obvious reasons.

15. Favorite month?


16. Favorite food(s)?

Yanni's gyros, crab cakes from any fresh seafood place on the Chesapeake Bay, El Vacquero's fajitas, Kate's chimichangas

17. What was the last movie you watched?

The Ice Storm, on TV a few nights ago. Great flick.

18. Favorite day of the year?

Christmas or the first day of a family vacation.

19. What do you do to vent anger?

Aside from screaming, cursing, lashing out at people I love, or turning it inward in fits of self-loathing? It's getting better, but I still do those things at times. Admit it. You do too. Otherwise, pogo around to punk rock. Walk as fast as I can (sometimes approaching the warp speed of 4 MPH) on the treadmill. Shoot virtual Nazis in Call of Duty. Write about it/process through setting down my conflicted emotions in print. Talk to family and friends. Pray. Not nearly enough of the latter.

20. What was your favorite toy as a child?

My football and baseball card collections. I had thousands of 'em, neatly categorized by team and position. Now I do it with music. This probably has some deep psychological meaning.

21. Fall or Spring?


22. Hugs or kisses?

Lennon or McCartney? Laurel or Hardy? Blithering or moronic? Who writes these things, the editors of 17 Magazine?


23. Cherry or Blueberry?

Blueberry. Feel like you know me better?

24. Do you want your friends to email you back?

Of course.

25. Who is most likely to respond?

To what?

26. Who is least likely to respond?

Blithering or moronic?

27. Living arrangements?

Absolutely. Wife, Kate. Two teenaged daughters, Emily, 19, and Rachel, 16. Minivan. Sporty economy car. Neatly mown suburban Westerville, Ohio lawn, equal parts Kentucky bluegrass, rye, and fescue. Fertilizer? Ortho Weed 'n Feed. 401K? Nicely diversified between aggressive international funds and more conservative money market funds. Heart? Badly soiled and scuffed, in need of cleansing amd repair.

28. When was the last time you cried?

At lunch yesterday, in Mozart's Cafe, when trying to explain our church to someone I barely know named Greg Grant. I cry (or at least get weepy) easily, probably two or three times every day -- not necessarily wailing and sobbing (in fact, usually not), but damp/dewy eyed and choked up all the time. I'm not sure what that means (other than it tends to freak people out if I do it in public), but I don't think I'm depressed.

29. What is on the floor of your closet?

Laundry basket. Shoes. A bunch of luggage.

30. Who is the friend you have had the longest?

Carey Evans and David Hartmann, both from high school. And some of us went to high school during the Nixon administration.

31. What did you do last night?

Helped Kate set up for Rachel's 16th birthday party. Walked as fast as I could for an hour or so on the treadmill while watching a meaningless baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Arizona Diamondbacks (see #11 and #19 above). Washed a bunch of dishes after the birthday party. Talked on the phone to a couple church friends. Hung out with Emily and her friends for a bit. Finished Harry Potter #6. Went to bed. Talked with Kate for a long time about intensely personal matters not addressed by this survey. Stayed awake 'til 3:00 or so. Finally fell asleep.

32. Favorite smell?

Baking pies/cakes/cookies.

33. What inspires you?

People who are willing to admit that they can be wrong, and who are willing to change for the better. Jesus, who was never wrong, but who inspires me to love people other than myself. Music of all kinds, from classical symphonies to punk rock. Words when they are written beautifully. My wife and kids.

34. What are you afraid of?

Loneliness. My wife's death. Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney. My bad attitudes, and my mouth. Addictions, and the allure of sin. Giving up the good fight. Becoming my father.

35. Plain, cheese or spicy hamburgers?

You follow that up with this? Hell, cheese. Like this question.

36. Favorite car?

Don't care.

37. Favorite dog breed?

Oscar Meyer. Otherwise, don't care.

38. Number of keys on your key ring?

Now here's a self-revealing answer: 4

39. How many years at your current job?

9 months

40. Favorite day of the week?

Friday. Specifically, 5:00 p.m.

41. How many states have you lived in?

Two: Ohio and Illinois. But England rates as a non-state, and I lived there for a year.

42. How many cities have you lived in?

Ely, England, Columbus, OH, Gahanna, OH, Park Forest, IL, Rock Island, IL, Athens, OH, Columbus, OH, Ashland, OH, Columbus, OH, Westerville, OH, Mount Vernon, OH, Westerville, OH

43. Do you think many of these questions are exceedingly lame?


44. What questions would you prefer that the editors of 17 Magazine had asked?

a) Favorite authors?

Answer -- Graham Greene, Annie Dillard, Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, Shelby Foote, Thomas Pynchon, David Foster Wallace, Anne Lamott, Charles Dickens, Fyodor Dostoevski, Milan Kundera, Shusaku Endo, John Updike, Donald Barthelme, Henri Nouwen, Larry Crabbe

b) Favorite musicans/bands?

Answer -- Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Al Green, Richard Thompson, The Beatles, U2, Bruce Cockburn, Bill Mallonee/Vigilantes of Love, Over the Rhine, Sufjan Stevens, Steve Earle, Buddy and Julie Miller, The New Pornographers (hey, I didn't name them), Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, The Clash, Bruce Springsteen, Patty Griffin, Gillian Welch, Johnny Cash, Merle Haggard, Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki, Nick Drake, Joni Mitchell, The Shins, Beulah, The Weakerthans, Kate Rusby, Mark Heard, Sam Phillips, T-Bone Burnett

c) Favorite movies?

Answer: The Apostle, Tender Mercies, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Love and Death, Lost in Translation, The Lord of the Rings, The Deerhunter, Schindler's List, The Godfather I and II, Pulp Fiction, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, Chariots of Fire, The Maltese Falcon, Citizen Kane, Plan 9 from Outer Space, The Princess Bride, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind


maureen said...

i LOVED the apostle...

you liked ice storm? i think i remember it being semi- bleak?

i think it's superb that you filled out a questionare that you hate the questions to...


Saucy Monk said...

if i was a crayon...i'd be 'morose yellow'.

sg said...

"Two: Ohio and Illinois.

42. How many cities have you lived in?"

OtR & Sufjan albums by the same names!! :)

KarlandBethany said...

Ok I'll bite:
43. Do you think many of these questions are exceedingly lame

K: some but not all are lame

44. What questions would you prefer that the editors of 17 Magazine had asked?

a) Favorite authors
K: God, and...mmmm? maybe i should read more

b) Favorite musicans
K: in the order that i remember them -- styx, channel surfers, rich mullins, bela fleck and the flecktones, yes, rush, pink floyd, The funky side of james brown, burlap to cashmer, led zepplin, bobby mcferrin, vox one, extream...

c) Favorite movies
K: spaceballs, the princess bride, and anything that transports me beyond belief. The ones that when the credits roll I say to myself "Oh yeah, I'm in a theater"

d) How much time do you waist at work blogging?

e) How often do you clean your bathroom?

f) Do you like the job you have?
f.5) if not what job do you wish you had?

KarlandBethany said...


You lived in Ashland?? I grew up there. As a child I would go to sleep on weekend nights listening to the music from the frat parties down the street.

Small world...

Andy Whitman said...

Random feedback mode ...

I liked The Ice Storm. Yes, it was bleak. Unremittingly bleak. My kind of movie. :-)

Anybody named Saucy Monk is okay with me.

Steven, thanks for your comments. And I enjoyed the Pushstart Wagon song on the June/July Paste sampler.

I hate spammed blog comments. What will they think of next?

Karl, I waste too much time at work blogging. But only when I don't have real work to do. Like today. I clean my bathroom once per week. I like the job I have, particularly when there is work to do. Not so much when there isn't. Then I get bored. That said, I'd love to quit this job, and any other job, and write full time, preferably the Great American Novel, which generations of English majors would then read in classrooms worldwide, and speak my name in hushed tones.

Bethany, I lived in Ashland in 1980 - 1981, when I was attending Ashland Theological Seminary. The seminary didn't have fraternities, so it didn't have frat parties. I just had my own little private parties. Don't even get me started on that. But it was not a great time, which is no reflection on the city of Ashland, Ohio. But I had a head full of Greek and Hebrew, and an empty soul.

Karen said...

the apostle! i loved that movie!
ice storm was very bleak. but i liked it.

why did you live in england? (trying not to be jealous)

i love that you added questions. this meme was (i think) originally an email sent to a girl on my friends list. i stole it from her and john stole it from me. that's why there were the weird email questions.

you should come up with a better meme and i will steal it from you. you know, when you have nothing better to do.

it was great to see you guys at homegroup last night.