Monday, August 03, 2009

I Give Myself a Questionnaire Which Will Result in the Readership Getting to Know Me Better

I found this at a blog called The Neurotic Housewife that had been tagged from another blog called Ministry So Fabulous. I like these little exercises once in a while.

1. What time did you get up this morning? 6:00am on the nose. That is, I came downstairs with the baby at that time. I did dose off again for 15-20 minutes at some point.

2. How do you like your steak? Cooked through, but still a little pink. Am I correct in thinking that this is what is called a point?

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? To be honest, I believe it was Rachel Getting Married. There wasn't much of a choice that night. The big attraction was that it was our first time going to the new local art cinema, at which you can buy beer, wine and gourmet sandwiches, among other things. I liked it, though it is so clean and sleek as to be a little oppressive. It makes for an interesting contrast with the indie art cinema in Brattleboro, which is housed in a well-worn 1920s auditorium-style room with a lobby scene that resembles a gathering of a 50s or 60s college film society. The scene in Brattleboro is a little more fun, and something of the artistic spirit even spills out onto the street a little, whereas in Concord it drops stone dead at the first exposure to outdoor air, but I appreciate the effort.

4. What is your favorite TV show? I haven't watched TV, in terms of shows, in about twenty years. I missed Seinfeld. I missed Friends. I missed Twin Peaks. I missed The Wire. I started watching season 2 of the Sopranos which somebody gave me but I had to give up on it (unlike everyone else apparently, I identify too strongly with the victims and hapless weak bystanders to enjoy mob entertainments). I could also feel the show not helping me to become at bottom any better, smarter or stronger of a person than I was. On the other hand, the last time I did watch TV regularly, two of my favorite programs, for therapeutic reasons which remain obscure to me, were reruns of Car 54 Where Are You? and Charles in Charge, so the possibility exists than I am not an especially skilled watcher of television.

5. If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be? I still have this dream of living in Paris, at least for a decade or so, at some point in my life, so I guess I'll say that, though I suspect Paris isn't really what I imagine it to be, what it was even in the early 90s, anymore. But everywhere obvious in Europe and North America seems to be in some kind of decline compared to what it was 50 years ago. Beirut is supposed to be cool. Maybe Alexandria will make a comeback. Moscow. A village on the Aegean coast of Turkey? Houston's star is apparently on the rise, and when I was in Prague I actually met a lot of very intelligent people who came from there, but I can't generate any desire to live there.

6. What did you have for breakfast? 2 Hannaford everything bagels toasted with butter, and a can of Coca-Cola. Nice, huh?

7. What's your favorite cuisine? American. German/central European.

8. What foods do you dislike? Carrots. Lima beans. Lots of vegetables. I haven't found that I enjoy Indian or Middle Eastern food all that much on the few occasions I've had it, but perhaps I simply need either to try harder or have better luck in where I go to eat.

9. Where is your favorite place to eat? Bars with tables where if you want you can have three or four drinks first and then call for the menu. The numbers of these kinds of places seem to be dwindling however.

10. What is your favorite salad dressing? I'm really into Greek lately. As I, I look forward to it for several hours before I know I'm going to have it.

11. What kind of vehicle do you drive? I have two cars (the word 'vehicle' has been ruined by the undying love law enforcement types evidently have for it), which actually sounds incredible emanating from my consciousness (a lot of cute girls only require that you have one, after all). These cars however are but a 2002 Ford Focus and a 2007 Dodge Grand Caravan.

12. What are your favorite clothes? Oh, they have found my weak point. I hate all of my clothes, I always have, and I probably always will. I fantasize about having cool clothes the way other people fantasize about expensive cars, or being tall, and I have no idea of how to go about getting them.

13. Where would you visit if you had the chance? My list is quite long. Russia, Greece, Turkey, Israel, Egypt, Iran. I have never been to Spain either, and I have been feeling a great pull to go there which I had not observed previously. The same with California, though I don't know what I expect to find there. I would like to go to India even though the climate terrifies me. I would be curious to see Japan and China as well.

14. Is the cup half-empty or half-full? This is a stupid question.

15. Where would you want to retire? I really don't know. I've not done, or not done nearly enough, the cosmopolitan city thing, so I have this part of me that really would still like to do that at some point. The Mediterrenean villa retirement is great once you've already led a full and vigorous life of sex and art and drinking and intellectual combat. But I haven't. To this day when I am in a big city and I see an old apartment building in a semi-happening neighborhood with some units to rent I still get a throb in my heart at being reminded of my great unrealized dream.

16. What is your favorite time of the day? My favorite time to write is from about 10am to 3 or 4pm. Unfortunately the current circumstances of my life almost never allow me to do this. When I used to have a good day of writing done by seven or so p.m. and would go out, those first few hours out up to 10 or so would be very enjoyable.

17. Where were you born? I was born in the hospital in Abington, Pennsylvania. My parents at the time lived in a second or third story apartment in Melrose Park, Pennsylvania, the fourth house from the Philadelphia city line (being able to call myself an authentic city person has been tantalizingly just out of my grasp from the very beginning).

18. What is your favorite sport to watch? Baseball at this point. I used to like the N.F.L., but I find it less enjoyable in a lot of ways as both it and I have changed over the years. I do like the atmosphere and enthusiasm of college football, but most of the games are not competitive, and the system actually discourages enjoying games that are if you're a fan of a major team. I mean, I like Penn State, right, but if Penn State plays an exciting game in Happy Valley against Minnesota and wins 21-17, everybody is wringing their hands because against Minnesota at home you have to win 49-7 and physically humiliate them or you don't get any respect. It's ridiculous.

19. Are you a bird watcher? Not really, though I am much more attentive to them since I've been living in the quasi-country.

20. Are you a morning person or a night person? I used to be a night person. Now I am more of a mid-day and evening person. I'm pretty much useless before 9:30am and then again between 3 and 5 or so in the afternoon.

21. What did you want to be when you were little? I had some idea when I was six or seven that I would like to be president someday. Seriously though, I don't think the concept of being something when I grew up--or maybe it was the concept that I ever would grow up--had a very strong presence in my developing psyche. Until I was about 35 actually.

22. What's your best childhood memory? I don't know. I won the county spelling bee in fourth grade (this was in the days before immigration from India had really taken off) and I got a two out base hit and later scored the winning run in extra innings in a little league game when I was 12 against my team's archrival and their star pitcher who threw 75 miles per hour and had a moustache, but I think I knew in both these instances that I had gotten lucky and that the glory would be fleeting. A cheerleader named Betsy slow-danced with me to two songs at the Christmas dance in seventh grade, which was done on her part as a joke, but it was still exciting at the time. In eighth grade I somehow ended up wondering around a supermarket one Friday night with a bunch of kids I thought were cool, including a girl named Courtney of whom I thought a great deal and who was fairly cordial to me on this occasion (I have since secretly looked her up on the internet, and she still has the look of someone who is both cool and very decent towards people like me, which I have found to be rather rare). I have fond memories of a lot of my reading.

23. Do you always wear your seat belt? I hate to say it but yes. The car beeps if I don't, and I am too lazy/dull-minded to figure out how to deprogram it.

24. Do you have any pet peeves? I get very upset when people cut me off before I finish talking.

25. Favorite type of pizza? Cheese/Margherita. I actually sort of liked the version of pizza in Eastern Europe where they give you a slab of dough with melted cheese on it and a bottle of ketchup. Not bad, with the local beer or some Moravian wine anyway.

26. Favorite Flower? Blue morning glories. I guess. Nothing else comes to mind.

27. Favorite Ice Cream? I like all the classic flavors. Ice cream is like beer, in that whatever innovation you try to bring to it, it all spins off from the basic varieties that were discovered a long time ago and have been diligently practised forever. So Ben & Jerry's ("the only ice cream company in the world with its own foreign policy" Yeah, right. As if there is a corporation anywhere that doesn't have a thoroughly developed policy nowadays) holds no interest for me.

28. Have you done anything spontaneous lately? I doubt it. being spontaneous has never really worked for me.

29. Do you like your job? My job does not exist to be liked. Seriously. It just doesn't.

30. Do you like broccoli? My passion for it has been on the wane. It was my favorite vegetable for several years in the 1996-2002 period or so but it just doesn't excite me anymore. At this point my top 5 favorite vegetables are 1) Cabbage. 2) Green Leaf Lettuce (with Greek salad dressing). 3) Asparagus. 4). Peas. 5). Broccoli, I guess. Corn is not a vegetable I don't think.

Now you know all about me.

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