My buddy Casey over at What An Amateur tagged me. She’s a little imp that way, because she knows how unbelievably embarrassing these things are to me, I’m sure. (Probably not, but she does now.) She also considers me a “wordsmith” (which is funnier than she’ll ever know), and thus expects incredible, snappy, witty answers fit for hours of floor-rolling laughter and rollicking humor.
She’s so young. She’s not tasted real disappointment yet. She’s about to.
But I can’t let the little scamp down by opting out; that’d be rude. And because I’ve nothing (and I’m dead serious when I say that) to blog about right now, I’m going to indulge her and post this … thing. It’s basically a game of twenty questions.
Ready? Here we go.
* * * * *
1. What was I doing 10 years ago?
I was working for a major computer electronics company, trying to put distance between myself and a failed marriage from the year before, dating someone I had no business being with because she was convenient, and basically doing anything I wanted within the boundaries of my income. In short, being a single guy. While mildly amusing, it was sort of a PITA too, in a lot of ways.
2. What are 5 things on my to-do list today?
I never, and I mean NEVER, have to-do lists on weekends anymore. I get done what I get done. If something pressing needs to take place, then I’ll do that, but my “to-do” list is never more than a couple of items long. During the work week, my employer will determine my to-do list for me. So I allow myself the liberty of not having one on weekends.
A typical to-do list, however, might include things like “take a nap”, “get those stupid books back to the stupid library”, “get something GOOD to eat, because I’m tired of the paper-wrapped crap I’ve been choking down” or “I really should go to the bathroom pretty soon or things are going to get ugly at my computer”.
3. Snacks I enjoy:
Hm. Decisions, decisions. I could make a living on potato chips. The greasier and saltier, the better. At the same time, I could mash happily through a box of Ho-Hos or Ding-Dongs without help from anyone. I love good French fries, but my GOD they’re hard to find anymore. A fruit salad is fantastic in summer, but both I and the toilet pay the consequences later. In general, if it’s deep-fat fried and golden-brown and delicious, you’ve found a winner.
4. Places I’ve lived:
The San Francisco Bay area, on the edge of the San Joaquin or San Fernando valley (I cannot, to save my soul, remember which one), along a delta where a couple of major rivers start their seaward march. Dusty, hot, carpeted in yellow grasses, textured with rolling seismic hills, standing in the shadow of the mountain for which the Diablo range is named, and marked by two seasons each year: Hot, long and dry, or brief, cool and rainy.
Rossville, GA, with cadet blue skies, molasses-thick humidity, piling thunderheads and raindrops the size of nickels. Dense foliage, thick-trunked trees from time untold, open drainage ditches along blacktop roads not wide enough for two cars abreast, tiny, asbestos-clad houses leaning and sagging with weary age. Ancient people with ancient ways sitting on ancient rockers perched on ancient porches. Lakes bigger than any I’d ever seen, shallow and algae-choked, popping with fish snapping insects from the surface. Bugs the size of small farm animals buzzing, weaving, leering, shining in humidity-shrouded sunlight.
Northeastern IL, glacier-flattened landscapes, ponds labeled “lakes”, big bellies, small minds, land of taxation and corruption. Arctic winters and blasting, freeze-drying winds, biting pellets of icy precipitation, black ice and black hearts during endless months of bitter, flesh-rending cold. Pocked and scarred roads deliberately left in disrepair, “expressways” glutted with crawling traffic, toll roads paid for in the dim and distant past with no sign of removing the fees, domed sky of gray haze at the horizon and ice blue at the apex. Short growing seasons for plants, bugs and children. Sauna heat in the short summers, asphalt baked in hellacious temperatures.
5. Things I’d do if I were a billionaire:
Pff. Puh-LEEZE, biznatch! What wouldn’t I do?? How ’bout this: “anything I want.” Fair enough?
6. People I want to know more about:
My wife. Can’t get too much of a good thing where that’s concerned.
My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Can’t get too much of that either.
Hm. Casey? Sherri? Dwight? Me??
7. Name two things you have in common with Oprah:
We’re both loud-mouthed, opinionated bubbleheads and we’re both arrogant as all get-out.
8. You can tell a lot about a person by…
The company they keep. You’re smearing yourself just by being here, you know that, don’t you?
9. Are you a yeller when you get angry?
I don’t want to be. GOD knows, I don’t want to be. Then I had children. I have become everything I hated.
10. Have you ever danced in public?
Yeah, on occasion. Weddings and at a night club or two in my wild youth. It’s not a pretty sight.
11. What did you do to deserve your first detention?
I have no idea. It probably involved not turning in an assignment on time. In high school, I earned a few three-day vacations for fighting, but there was no detention then.
12. What did you do to deserve your first paddling?
This happened so far back in the dawn of time, it occurred before written language, so there’s nothing recorded to remind me.
13. Name three things you like about the town you live in.
My wife, my son and my daughter.
14. Name four things that you love to do.
- Write. Be at home with my family. Listen to the sound of my children laughing. Make sweet love to my wife.
I can hardly remember that last thing, but I know I liked it. A lot.
15. Name something unusual you carry with you wherever you go.
My Primatine Mist rescue inhaler.
16. What’s your favorite website?
This one right here. 😉
17. Where and when was your first kiss?
It occurred on a broad, railed deck of a house in the dead of night in a quiet suburb, backlit by the lights inside the house glowing soft and amber through the windows, on September 5, 1998.
18. What would an enemy have to say about you?
19. Favorite childhood memory.
Not being able to recall any of them.
20. Any regrets?
I have tons of ’em. The strongest, though is not meeting my wife in my youth and having most of my four decades with her.
* * * * *
Well, there you have it. I hope it was as much fun for you as it has been for me, and Casey — I’m sorry if you’re disappointed. I don’t really know how to wordsmith anything fancy for something like this. But I feel so much more exposed and vulnerable now, so all of you please be gentle with me.
I’m going to cop out of the tag thing, though, and say this: if you’ve read this much about me, you are a faithful — and bored — reader. If you’re so inclined, why not try doing it yourself? You might have fun.
God bless everyone, and have a great weekend!