Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Reflections on past and present

San Nakji, whose interesting and varied blog I really can't recommend too highly --- he's got pictures of exotic animals, people!! --- did a "meme" back here. I did it too.

A few desultory questions (well, more like word-association stimuli) and responses follow.

1. Ten years ago -- I really am not good with years. I had to look back at my various writings to determine the answer. In late 1995 I was working at a now-defunct alternative newspaper in Oregon.

2. Five years ago -- Um... In late 2000 I was... uh... Not sure. I was in some other U.S. state doing something far beneath my lofty talents, that's for sure.

3. One year ago -- I was in Texas, where I am now, doing what I'm doing now.

4. Yesterday -- Got up groggily as is my wont, walked the dog, went to work, came home, surfed the web a little, watched some of All Quiet On the Western Front. I lead a pretty unremarkable life.

5. Today -- Same routine, really.

6. Tomorrow -- After work I'm going to a restaurant for my best friend's wife's birthday. There will be several people I don't know there, which I'm not crazy about.

7. Five snacks I enjoy -- Stonyfield Farm yogurt (oh man, the yogurt from Heaven!); this oriental rice and seaweed snack mix whose name escapes me and I rarely get because it's so expensive; Silk brand chocolate soy milk (the smoothest!); Bearitos cheese puffs (they make Cheetos taste like drain cleaner blended with the runoff from a Dow chemical plant); Endangered Species chocolate bars (truly delicious, and 10% of profits go to wildlife charities). And also, fresh fruit. I like fresh fruit. And what Texan doesn't appreciate a cold Dr Pepper now and then? Well, the ones who don't like cavities and caffeine, I guess.

8. Five bands (or singers??) I know the lyrics of most of their songs -- Tom Waits, Magnetic Fields, Bob Dylan, Led Zeppelin, Green Day. And, sadly, most of the bloated rock they play on "classic rock" stations --- I literally haven't listened to the radio in years, but a decade of listening to the same 150 songs has its effects. "I can't deny Bad Company 'til the day I die!" "Agaaaaainst the wind!" "Smokin'! Smokin'!" Oh, won't someone invent BrainBleach?

9. Five things I would do with $100,000,000 -- Buy houses for all my friends and family; travel the world by boat (yes! by boat! it's the only way to travel!); hire experts of all fields to tutor me in many things, especially languages; donate a million dollars to my alma mater and to the WWF (the World Wildlife Fund, not the wrestling thing); and finally, repeatedly patronize the highest-class escorts money can buy! Just kidding about that last one. Obviously, I'd do the respectable thing and get married to some trophy wife who pretended to love me for my money.

10. Five locations I’d like to run away to -- Goa, India; Ireland; Paris; Nepal; Japan; China.

11. Five Bad Habits -- I procrastinate, I'm lazy, I'm often rude to people I've only just met, I often look down on people who aren't in the habit of ratiocination, I have a bad temper, I drive away everyone around me by my selfish neediness, I'm sloppy in my appearance, I have atrocious table manners...

12. Five things I like doing -- Purchasing and preparing healthy food made by progressive companies; reading (a lot); listening to music and making mix CDs; hanging out with my friends in small groups at places I'm familar with; surfing the web.

13. Five T.V. shows I like -- I don't have TV reception in my house, so I don't watch much TV. I like "Scrubs" and I was just recently turned on to "Arrested Development." Years ago I watched "ER" with a passion but drifted out of the habit and last time I saw it, it had degenerated into laughable soap opera dreck. Same for "The Simpsons" and "NYPD Blue" --- I used to watch them, but ages ago and now when I catch them in reruns I'm less than enthralled. Oh, wait --- HBO's "Deadwood" is very good. That's probably my favorite current show.

14. Famous People I’d like to meet -- William Shakespeare, Jesus of Nazareth, Gandhi, Akbar, Bob Dylan. Not in that order, and preferably not all at once. My questions to them would be similar only in general theme --- how on earth did you do what you did? What went on through your mind when you were blazing that trail? And (indicating this modern world in all its shame and glory) did you ever think it would come to this?

15. Biggest joys at the moment -- Exercise, good books, my dog, my family, cheap escapist movies

16. Favorite toys -- I like my CD burner. That's a high-tech toy. I guess my CDs are toys as well, in the loose sense of the word. I don't own any video games or RPGs or model cars or collectibles or action figures or anything. Don't get me wrong, I'm a geek; I just don't have any toys. Oh, wait, I have plastic figurines of Tintin and Snowy that I bought in France gathering dust up on my shelf. I hardly think about their existence, though, so I wouldn't say they're my favorite anything. I prefer to reread the albums.

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