1. What one thing are you most looking forward to... today? Getting off work.
2. ... over the next week? The only thing I am looking forward to next week is it ending.
3. ... this year? A few more Hard Rock visits and seeing a bit more of the world.
4. ... over the next five years? Finally finishing my book.
5. ... for the rest of your life? Finding happiness without it having come at the expense of others.
1. What does it say in the signature line of your e-mails? Dave2. I used to have my favorite quote of all time: "No matter where you go, there you are" at the bottom (from the most excellent movie Buckaroo Banzai), but dropped it a few months ago.
2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? No. What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be? If Buckaroo Banzai had been released before I graduated, then it would have been the same quote as above but, as it were, I just signed my name.
3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say? If I were to get them for my car, they would say "F650GS" which is the model of my motorcycle that I'd rather be riding than driving in a car in the first place.
4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? Once that I can think of... it was on a metal picture frame. What did the inscription say? "You are my world." It was really sweet, but the woman who gave it to me destroyed it when we broke up.
5. What would you like your epitaph to be? "He made a difference."
At this moment, what is your favorite...
1. Song? At this very moment it would have to be You're Mine by A Flock of Seagulls from their Light at the End of the World album. VH1 is getting old bands back together, and ever since I heard Flock would be one of them, I've been listening to their music... this song has been kind of stuck in my head ever since.
2. Food? Totino's has out a new "Four Cheese" pizza that I've been currently consuming at a rate of about 3-4 a week. For those unfamiliar with the brand, Totino's makes these nasty pizzas you can often find on sale for around $1.00... they taste like crap, but I somehow like them anyway.
3. TV Show? I am totally addicted to Alias.
4. Scent? Vanilla.
5. Quote? I doubt my favorite quote will ever change... it's been the same for decades: "No matter where you go, there you are." —Buckaroo Banzai.
You have just won one million dollars...
1. Who do you call first? The BMW dealership.
2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself? A BMW Z4 Roadster Convertable 3.0i.
3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else? Airline tickets.
4. Do you give any away? Absolutely. If yes, to whom? Probably some charities promoting animal conservation or child welfare.
5. Do you invest any? Yes. If so, how? Whatever my new investment broker thinks will be a good idea, so long as it doesn't involve weapon producing or environmental damaging companies.
1. What's the most daring thing you've ever done? I'm tempted to say skydiving, but compared to asking for a date, that's a piece of cake. Nothing is more daring or terrifying than that awful moment of vulnerability where you ask a woman out... I keep thinking I will find something worse, but it hasn't happened yet.
2. What one thing would you like to try that your mother/friend/significant other would never approve of? Well, my mother probably doesn't approve of skydiving, motorcycles, or some of the trips I take, so I suppose it's a little late to try and figure that one out.
3. On a scale of 1-10, what's your risk factor? (1=never take risks, 10=it's a lifestyle)? When I was younger, I'd say it was a hard 8... but now I'm probably more of a 5. I don't avoid risks when they come up, but I don't go actively seeking them anymore either.
4. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you as a result of being bold/risky? I had one of the most memorable days of my life.
5. ... and what's the worst? I got the crap beat out of me. Twice.
1. Are you superstitious? No. Well, maybe. I have a map of the world on my office wall where I stick a flag pin for each Hard Rock Cafe I visit. I always stick the pin in before I take the trip, with the thinking that if the pin is already in the map, I'll make it home safely. But that's more of a tradition and superstition I think.
2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition? It is said that if thirteen people sit down at a dinner together that one will die before the year is through. When I was in a restaurant in New York, a woman stood up and started screaming, then left the restaurant while a few people ran after her. Eventually the reason she was screaming made its way through the restaurant... half way through the meal, she realized that there were 13 sitting at her table and she thought she was going to die. If she really believed that, then maybe she did.
3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition? That if you don't hold your breath and stick two fingers in the air while driving through a tunnel, you'll have a wreck.
4. Do you believe in luck? I believe that people make their own luck, so yes. If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual? I have a Helly-Hanson baseball cap and a pair of Joe Boxer underwear with Hawaiian TikiBowl & Bowlerama signs on them that I like to think are pretty lucky.
5. Do you believe in astrology? Not really. Why or why not? While I do find Chinese astrology to be eerily accurate for myself and several people I know, I honestly don't believe that there are any outside forces controlling our lives, nor that our destiny is predetermined or predictable in any way. I was born in the Year of the Horse and am a Fire Sign, which I am told is a unique thing... "Horses born under the element sign of fire are said to be blessed with great fortune or cursed will great misfortune. Sometimes they are served both, but in any event, a fire horse will never lead a 'normal' life." Isn't that the truth.
When was the last time you...
1. Went to the doctor? I have no idea... it's been years since I've seen a doctor-doctor.
2. Went to the dentist? I go every six months and my next appointment is in March, so I guess that would be September 2003.
3. Filled your gas tank? That was this past Sunday... Valentine's Day. I am really looking forward to driving my motorcycle again so I don't have to waste so much money on gas.
4. Got enough sleep? Probably my last night in Japan a few months ago... I got back to the hotel room early, and had a late afternoon flight the next day so all I did was sleep until then. That would be December 8th.
5. Backed up your computer? According to my log file, my PowerBook was last backed up on Friday, February 6th. I don't back it up very often because all the projects on it are written to my Apple iDisk, which are then backed up by Apple's .Mac servers. I have never had to restore from a backup on any Macintosh computer I have ever owned, so I don't really worry about backing up as much as I probably should.
Yet another week without a Friday Five. Bizarre that they don't ever seem to have any sets of questions in reserve for those times when there is "too much going on." Since the questions come from reader suggestions, it doesn't seem like it would take much time at all. Oh well. I decided to make my own "Friday Five" from suggestions found on Blog Ideas. This can be dangerous, because their ideas can be a bit odd, but I'll give it a shot...
1. How good is your penmanship? Not so good now that everything I "write" is typed out on a computer. In the 80's I had swell penmanship for printing... I've always sucked at cursive.
2. Have you ever seen a dead body? Unfortunately, yes... but surprisingly, it was not because I killed anybody!
3. How do you feel about being naked? I'm fine with it. The question that you should be asking is how do other people feel about me being naked.
4. The perfect pizza? As I've blogged before... pizza perfection is the "Da Vinci" (Feta cheese, basil pesto, fresh tomato, and mozzarella) from David's Pizza in Spokane, Washington. Yes, really.
5. Who would you want to be tied to for 24 hours? That's a no-brainer... Elizabeth Hurley. I would gladly be tied to such brutal hotness for the rest of my life.
1. Your first grade teacher's name? Mrs. Jones.
2. Your favorite Saturday morning cartoon? Super Friends. "Wonder Twin powers... activate!"
3. The name of your best friend? There were several kids on my block and all could be considered "best friends" while I was growing up.
4. Your favorite breakfast cereal? Cocoa Puffs. This was the most awesome cereal ever, until they made it "more chocolatey" which made them taste like plastic. Ugh.
5. Your favorite thing to do after school? In elementary school, it was playing outside (with gobs of friends). In junior high, it was playing video games (with one or two friends). In high school, it was playing on my computer (by myself). Don't you find it curious how escalating technology advancement seems to isolate us from physical interaction?
1. What was the last song you heard? Stop Crying Your Heart Out from the album Heathen Chemistry by Oasis.
2. What were the last two movies you saw? On DVD that would be The Sweetest Thing: Unrated Version and Once Upon a Time in Mexico (again).
3. What were the last three things you purchased? Apples, bananas, and some Quaker chocolate rice cakes.
4. What four things do you need to do this weekend? Pack a suitcase, drive to Seattle, see a concert with my friends, then drive home.
5. Who are the last five people you talked to? (In reverse order)... My mother, a co-worker, my boss, the cashier at the grocery store, a good friend.
1. ...owned a restaurant, what kind of food would you serve?? Vegetarian versions of "regular" fast food: burgers, tacos, et-cetera.
2. ...owned a small store, what kind of merchandise would you sell? Imported Japanese candies and snacks.
3. ...wrote a book, what genre would it be? Sci-Fi.
4. ...ran a school, what would you teach? Geometry.
5. ...recorded an album, what kind of music would be on it? 80's pop.
Yet another Friday Five with no Friday Five... I don't get it. If the questions are suggested by reader submission, how hard is it to pick a set and post it? Oh well, I will pick my OWN set of questions and call it "FREDAG FEM" which, if you had a Norwegian dictionary, would make perfect sense. In keeping with the theme of "none this week," here we go...
1. If you had to go without your main mode of transportation next week, how would you get around? Since the snow melted, I ride my motorcycle everywhere. If I had to do without it, I guess I'd go back to using my car for the week.
2. If you could spend next week without commitment or obligation (work, appointments, etc.), what would you do instead? My first instinct would be to say I'd spend the week on a motorcycle trip somewhere, but I think I would actually end up visiting with friends for a few days and then coming back home to clean up my messy apartment.
3. If you could live next week without fear, what would you do then that you're too afraid to do now? Quit my job, sell everything I own, then move to Edinburgh, Scotland to try out a new life that's completely different from the one I have now.
4. If you had to spend next week without any of your non-essential possessions (clothing, food, etc.) except one "luxury item", what would you choose? There is no one thing that I couldn't live without for a week, but I think I would take my sunglasses because bright light gives me a headache. I would have chosen my motorcycle, but it's illegal to ride without a helmet here, and that would be two items.
5. If you had to go without internet access next week, what would you fill all that spare time with? I spend a lot of time online, so I could probably run through several books that I've been meaning to read.
There, that's better. I suppose that if there is no Friday Five again next week, I'll have to go for "VRIJDAG VIJF" which, if you had a Dutch dictionary would make perfect sense.
1. Who is your favorite super-hero from cartoons, comics, or television? It's a tie between two you probably have never heard of... Ultra Boy, who is a member of the futuristic Legion of Super-Heroes (he's kind of like Superman, but is far more interesting because he can only use one super power at a time!)... and Airwave, who is nephew to original Green Lantern of the Silver Age of comics, Hal Jordan.
I wonder if Friday Five has gone down permanently?
1. What do you do for a living? I'm a graphic designer.
2. What do you like most about your job? Being creative.
3. What do you like least about your job? Long hours.
4. When you have a bad day at work it's usually because...? I'm behind -- again -- because other people wait until the last minute when they need something and I have to drop everything else to fit it in my overwhelmingly busy schedule.
5. What other career(s) are you interested in? Photojournalist or translator.
I still cannot figure out what is so astoundingly difficult about The Friday Five that "April is a busy month" is a rational excuse not to post five simple questions. I think people are going to start abandoning it if this keeps up. Anyway, I am once again going to post up my own questions so I don't get out of the habit. I was talking with some people about the end of the television show Friends yesterday, so maybe that's a timely topic?
1. What is your favorite episode of Friends? That is amazingly difficult because there have been so many excellent episodes (particularly in the early days), but "The One Where Everybody Finds Out" is the one I most often think of when I think of the show now... it's the one where Phoebe accidently finds out about Monica and Chandler's relationship, so she conspires with Rachel to mess with them by pretending to be attracted to Chandler. Not only do you get a hilarious faux-seduction scene with Phoebe and Chandler, you also get Chandler and Monica saying they love each other, which is a much more defining moment for the show to me that the whole Ross/Rachel thing. Close runners up would any of the "flashback" episodes and the shows where we get to see Phoebe with her twin sister Ursula.
2. Who is your favorite Friends character? That's a close call between Chandler and Phoebe... but in the end I'd have to say Chandler. Most of the funniest moments have him in them.
3. Who is your least favorite Friends character? ROSS... could he BE any more annoying? Though Monica does have her stupid moments too.
4. Which of the Friends characters are you most like? Just like Chandler, I also have disastrous luck with women and an often-inappropriate sense of humor.
5. If they were to make Friends all over again today with an entirely different cast, who would you like to see on the show? I can't imagine anybody else playing those parts but, just for fun, here's my go at it: Phoebe: Tara Reid plays ditsy well and, from her guest appearances on Scrubs, I know she could also have a serious side and fit into a group dynamic with no trouble. Monica: Caroline Dhavernas from the short-lived (but amazing) show Wonderfalls could easily bring another level of irony and wit to the character, all while making her less compulsive and whiny. Rachel: Jessica Alba would totally kick ass in this role. Chandler: This part is almost impossible to cast better than Matthew Perry, but I think The O.C. alum Adam Brody (who plays a similar character anyway) would be a good choice. Joey: The show always suffered a bit from a lack of diversity (as MOST shows do) so why not convert from a struggling actor to a struggling singer and put Usher in the mix? Ross: It's not hard to top David Schwimmer's whiny, spineless take on the character, and I think someone like Breckin Meyer could do a much better job of it.
Friends has had their ups and downs over the years, but very few American television programs have this consistent level of quality, so I will definitely miss it (though not too much, because I've been buying all the DVD sets!). In the end, it's probably best that they are calling it quits while the show is once again on a high note, but I can't help but wonder what would have happened if we would have gotten just one more season...
It seems that bloggers missing the Friday Five this week are searching for something else to fill the void. I received an e-mail telling me that a great place for blog questions is BZOINK!, which has lots of them. This one was called "Have You Ever?"
Have you ever hit someone forcefully?: Yes. It's easy when somebody is hitting you.
Have you ever thrown anything at a moving car?: Yes. But before you get too excited, it was a water balloon.
Have you ever been in a fist fight?: Yes. Twice. It is NOT like it looks in the movies.
Have you ever laughed so hard you cried?: Yes. My friends are THAT funny (when I've been drinking).
Have you ever hit an animal on the road?: No. Thankfully.
Have you ever seen a Beatles film?: Yes. A Hard Day's Night is classic.
Have you ever cussed?: Yes. Often.
Have you ever been on a subway?: Yes. It's kind of a hobby: Berlin, Boston, Kobe, Kyoto, London, Montreal, Nagoya, New York, Osaka, Paris, Rome, San Francisco, Singapore, Stockholm, Tokyo, Toronto, and Washington DC.
Have you ever taught a little kid to cuss?: No. Why in the hell would you do something like that?
Have you ever cheated on a test/exam?: Yes. But only because the teacher was a dick and penalized me for no good reason on a previous test. I had to make up for it somehow.
Have you ever skipped school?: Yes. Hasn't everybody?
Have you ever egged someones house?: Yes. Halloween, and it was that same dick-head teacher. I can't bring myself to regret it, even today.
Have you ever gotten a computer virus?: No. I use a Mac.
Have you ever cried for no reason at all?: No. Does being drunk count as a reason?
Have you ever missed someone?: Yes. All the time.
There's quite an assortment to choose from... including R-rated, political, and l-o-n-g (over 100 questions) surveys.
Okay then, it would seem that Heather has finally hung it up over at The Friday Five. Game over. That's really too bad and all, but if she didn't want to do it anymore, why not turn it over to somebody else? With the weekend looming, it's kind of nice to be able to create an entry without having to really think about it. Oh well.
When I first started Blogography, I didn't really know how to begin. My two previous blogs had failed because it was too difficult to maintain them and I never had good ideas as to what I should talk about. In surfing through other blogs out there, I came across The Friday Five... a great site that offered up new ideas for your blog every Friday. After a few test entries, my very first post to this blog was a Friday Fiver and, every week thereafter, I never missed a single one (no matter where in the world I was!).
But then tragedy struck... Friday Five ideas started coming out only rarely, and then stopped altogether in early May. I kept looking for something to take its place, but never managed to find anything. I fooled around with some fake Friday Five entries for a while, then gave up. Eventually I found out that there were other bloggers who were in the same situation, and started to get e-mails with suggestions and encouragement to post more ideas.
Thus, FridayQ was born...
If bloggers enjoy it and want to participate, I'll try to keep it going... or give it to somebody else if I can't. While comparisons to Friday Five are inevitable, I'm trying to make it a little unique by adding "FQ Challenges" each week... it could be a dare, or a quiz, or a project of some kind... or even something completely bizarre. I expect the site will evolve as I figure out what people like (or don't like) and change things around based on suggestions I get.
So feel free to give it a try and let me know what you think. More information is available in the FridayQ FAQ, and if you plan on being a regular participant or have an idea, be sure to let me know.
What is your favorite way to escape from everyday life? A good movie, and it doesn't matter if it's in the theater or on DVD at home. As long as the story is absorbing, it's an easy escape for me. Oddly enough, if asked the same question just five years ago my answer would have been "a good book." Am I getting lazy?
When was the last time you made an escape? Just last night. Where did you go? I've recently returned home from a month of traveling, and pulled my motorcycle back out of storage then rode around town for about a half-hour. Every time I hop on my bike it's an escape.
If you could escape to anywhere on earth right now, where would that be? I'm tempted to say Edinburgh, Scotland because it's my favorite place on earth right now. But I've been there a half-dozen times already, so I would probably pick someplace entirely new... perhaps the Greek Islands.
FQ DARE: Post your passport photo (or your driver's license photo if you don't have a passport). I don't take very good photos to begin with, but any photo that you're going to be stuck with for 4 years (driver's license) or 10 years (passport), is guaranteed to be even worse that usual. Oh well. Given that most of the time people see my passport I am jet-lagged to a near-comatose state, the photo probably looks better than I do to the poor immigration agent...
Now go take the FridayQ yourself... I double-dare you.
Do you play any musical instruments or have any musical talents? I played sax and clarinet in school band, but that's long-forgotten and I couldn't play a note now if I tried. I am finding a small amount of imitation musical talent playing with Apple's Garage Band software though. Whose musical talent would you most like to have? It's a toss-up between the vocal talent of Chris Martin from Coldplay or the song-writing ability of Martin Gore from Depeche Mode.
What was the last musical event you attended? Not counting the performance of a street musician in New York a few weeks back, I'd have to say it would be when I took my mother to see The Lion King in London's West End for Mother's Day in 2002. I haven't been to a proper concert in ages.
Give it up... to which musician would you most like to have an "all access pass" for the night? Gwen Stefani or any of the ladies from The Corrs (though I'm a bit partial to Sharon)...
FQ DARE: Reveal a musical artist or group that you are embarrassed to like. My musical tastes are pretty eclectic, but the most embarrassing would have to be the A*Teens. It's bubble-gum pop of the absolute most vapid, yet I find myself listening to them entirely too often recently.
FQ CHALLENGE: Mention the above artist or group in a comment you leave on some other blog, then provide the permalink URL where we can find it! (No fair lying about how much you think they suck and no cheating by leaving the comment on somebody else's FridayQ entry!). Extra creativity points for somehow working them into a completely unrelated conversation. How in the heck do you work A*Teens into any conversation? Somehow I managed it over at chaotic intransient prose bursts in this entry: http://blog.kung-foo.tv/archives/001009.php.
Take up the challenge yourself at the FridayQ!
What's your favorite electronic gadget that you own? Probably my iPod. It's amazing how I can carry around my entire music collection (so sweet while traveling). Which gadget do you wish you owned but don't? I want a mobile phone with a camera on it (like the SonyEricsson K700, my dream phone) so I can start a moblog.
What gadget do you wish somebody would invent so you could have one? A wireless power transformer, so my laptop can charge from any room in the apartment without being plugged into an outlet. That would be really cool. Which gadget do you wish had never been invented at all? Whatever it is in mobile phones that allow polyphonic ringtones to exist...
Do you consider yourself an electronic gadget junkie? Absolutely. How many gadgets are around/on you right now? At least a dozen. Looking around, I see 1) Apple iPod, 2) Motorola V60i mobile phone, 3) GameBoy Advance, 4) XboX, 5) DVD recorder, 6) Japanese to English Translator, 7) Canon EOS Digital Rebel Camera, 8) Canon Powershot IXUS 400 Camera, 9) Pocket Hard Drive, 10) Apple Airport Base Station, 11) Apple iSight A/V Chat Camera, 12) Apple Wireless Mouse & Keyboard.
FQ DARE: Reveal a trendy gadget you bought, but are now embarrassed to own/have owned. There are so many. Probably the worst was a $450 Sony Clie PDA... I thought it would change my life, but tossed it in a drawer after having owned it for just a week. It's not only embarrassing to think I was so enamored with it, but also a colossal waste of money and I should have known better. A close second would have to be my first MP3 Player which could only hold a maximum of 6 songs... totally useless, but I bought it anyway.
Lie about where you spent your last vacation. My last vacation was spent scuba diving around the private tropical paradise of Young Island off the coast of St. Vincent in the Caribbean.
Tell an untruth about your last romantic encounter. Whilst waiting for my yacht to be fueled in Barbados, I happened upon Elizabeth Hurley at the Monkey Bar in St. James. After a few drinks and some clever conversation, we retired to her luxury suite at the Sandy Lane Hotel for a romantic evening so incredible that the movie rights have been sold to Miramax.
Fib about the last gift you received. As thanks for the most amazing night of passion she has ever known, Elizabeth Hurley gave me a $16,000 Rolex Submariner Gold watch.
FQ DARE: This time tell the truth on all the above! My last real vacation was a trip to New Orleans with my mom last December. My last romantic encounter was with an ex-girlfriend who had just broken up with her current boyfriend and was looking for a rebounder a couple months ago. The last gift I received was a basket of fresh fruit.
You too can be a liar at the FridayQ!
What's the one thing above all others that drives you insane... that one dreaded event that causes you to completely lose your composure and want to kick, scream, and beat something with a big stick? Inconsiderate people will do it every time. You know... neighbors who slam their doors and play loud music at all hours... people who don't pay attention while driving... people who cut in line... things like that.
Is that all? Surely there is something else that will cause you to freak out! Here's your chance to vent and list a few other things that make you go nuts... Sadly, there are so many. Hotels that don't have high-speed internet access. People who don't mind their kids and just let them run amok. Restaurants that don't have meatless items on the menu. Idiots who drive in the passing lane when they are not passing anybody. Morons that scream into their mobile phones in public places. Asshats who don't turn their mobile ringer off in restaurants or theaters. Lazy people who don't get their work done. Stupid people who can't think for themselves. Annoying people who think they are the center of the universe and everything revolves around them. People who lie. People who use violence to solve their problems. Rednecks who feel their way is the only way, and everybody should think the way they do. Microsoft Windows. Chicken broth. Anything made by Panasonic. Censorship. Network television executives who cancel brilliant shows. Traffic. Rush Limbaugh. Animal cruelty. Stores that don't carry Yoo-Hoo. Indifference. Ignorance. Intollerance. Incompetence. I could go on and on...
When you've been driven crazy by something or someone... and are barely containing your frustration... is there anything you can do to calm down, dispell the rage, and be happy again? A motorcycle ride will make me forget about even the worst offenses.
FQ DARE: Admit it, you're not perfect... what is something you do that drives other people crazy? When I am focused on something, it is very hard for me to tear my attention away from what I'm doing, and I know it drives people insane when I ignore them like that. It's nothing personal, just don't bug me when I'm busy.
You too can vent your frustrations with the FridayQ!
Suggest something to read, something to watch... I just re-read Lightning by Dean Koontz and enjoyed it every bit as much as the first time (it's not his usual "horror genre" fare, but more of a science fiction tale with a nifty twist). If you want something to read right now, then head over to Belly Button Window which is a blog that captivated me for hours, and is as entertaining as a good book in many places. As for what to watch, if you have Showtime I highly recommend Dead Like Me which is starting its new season any day now.
Suggest someone to admire, someone to stare at... After wathing Spider-Man 2, I really admire movie director Sam Raimi, who has worked his way from cult favorite (with the Evil Dead films) to mainstream (with the Spider-Man films) and has managed not to sell out to moronic studio executives along the way. I can only imagine the stupid crap that was thrust upon him ("I know, let's make Spider-Man a Japanese school girl that turns into a real spider and spins a web over Tokyo and Brad Pitt plays a secret government agent sent to capture her!!"). I admire his courage in holding true to the source material because it gives me hope that future comic book adaptations might follow his lead and actually be worth watching! For someone to stare at, I can only suggest Elizabeth Hurley, who is completely stare-worthy.
Suggest someplace to go, someplace to avoid... Having just spent an amazing couple of days in Moab, Utah and the surrounding area, I would highly recommend it as a place to go. As for someplace to avoid, I will never again use the parking garage in the casino adjacent the Hard Rock Cafe in Niagara Falls, Canada... which is hands-down the most stupid, stupid, stupid parking garage on the face of the planet.FQ PROJECT: Suggest an itinerary for somebody visiting your city by listing the five must-see attractions of the area. I live in a very small town with not very much to do, but there are a few attractions worth mentioning:
You too can be suggestive at the FridayQ!
Admit it, sometimes you are not the sharpest tool in the shed. What's something stupid you've done recently? (The FridayQ doesn't count!) I purchased an XboX and a bunch of games to go with it, knowing full well I'd never have time to play it. Sure enough, I've turned it on exactly once, and so there it sits gathering dust. Sigh. Perhaps once winter comes around I'll find time to play it?
Children do idiotic things all the time because they just can't seem to help it. What's something stupid you did as a kid? I once road my bicycle full-speed into the back of a car because a super-hero "Batman" mask I crafted out of a garbage bag started to come apart and completely covered my eyes. It never occurred to me to stop the freakin' bike once I couldn't see, which is pretty stupid.
Sometimes, being a bit of an idiot is required (or fun!). What's something stupid you will be doing in the future? Paying somebody to change the oil in my motorcycle because I haven't bothered to learn how to do it myself yet.
FQ OBSERVER: People are morons. Without naming names, what's something stupid you've seen somebody else do? I see people do stupid things all the time, but every once in a while I see an act of stupidity that defies my ability to comprehend. Last month while I was standing in line to Universal Studios Florida, I overheard the people ahead of me scheming how they were going to purchase their tickets. Here, to the best of my recollection, is what I had to listen to (names changed to protect the clueless):
Man: How much cash do you have?
Woman: I've only got five bucks!
Man: What the hell? How are we going to get in?
Woman: I think we've got enough on the VISA to get you and Timmy a ticket, and there's probably room on the other card for me and Billy.
Man: Cool. What are we going to do for dinner?
Woman: Eh, there's crap for the kids to eat in the car. We can just split a burger or something.
The conversation only went downhill from there and, once you notice that their kids are wearing dirty clothes that are all torn up and filled with holes... well, you kind of have to ask yourself what kind of morons these people are to be spending a couple hundred dollars to visit a theme park when they've got hungry kids that are desperately in need of some decent clothing. I can think of nothing more stupid than sacrificing the health and comfort of your own kids because you want to ride a roller coaster.
How have you decorated the walls of your living space (photos, posters, works of art, etc.)? Most walls in my apartment (and office at work) have prints by Robert Lyn Nelson on them. For quite a while during/after college, I was making annual vacations to Maui with my friends, and purchased a new Nelson print each trip. I think I have about seven of them scattered around. Other than that, I have a print of "The Flower Bearer" by Diego Rivera, which is one of my favorite paintings. In my bedroom I have movie posters from Pulp Fiction, Strange Days, and Field of Dreams.
How have you decorated your body, both intentionally (piercings, tattoos, etc.) and unintentionally (wounds, scars, etc.)? I had my ear pierced for many years, but finally removed it a while back for a wedding I was in. I don't have any tattoos, but have wanted one for a long time... so one day that will happen. I have a few assorted scars from my adventures, including one on my left thumb (where I attempted to saw it off, accidentally).
How have you decorated your computer's "desktop"? Post a snapshot if you want. I have my desktop display a random travel photo that recycles every hour or so. Of course, with all the Konfabulator gadgets I've got cluttering my desktop, you sometimes can't even see the photo, but it's under there somewhere! Oooh. Right now it's a shot of the most excellent Hard Rock Hotel and Beach Club from Bali...
FQ PROJECT: Decorate your blog today! Create some art with an online Etch-a-Sketch (like the one here) and post a snapshot of your efforts (or, if you're not an Etch-a-Sketch fan, draw us a picture using whatever you want). Wow. This was a lot tougher than I thought. I spent quite a lot of time getting the hang of the controls before I managed to squeeze out this instant masterpiece:
Whoa. I never thought it was possible for my beautiful motorcycle to look that bad.
If you could steal something and be assured of getting away with it, what would you take? That's a really tough choice. I want a Ducati SuperSport 800, a BMW R1200-C Montauk, and Harley-Davidson V-Rod motorcycle... I suppose if I could only steal one, I'd take the Harley. I'd probably kill myself on the Ducati, and I've already got a BMW.
If you could vandalize something without fear of being caught, what object would you deface? Vandalizing something is kind of petty, so I'd at least try to be creative about it. Perhaps painting a giant image of Ralph Wiggum (from The Simpsons) on the front of Trump Tower? Every time The Donald is in public talking himself up with that gigantic ego of his, I picture Ralph for some reason. That being said, Trump was pretty good on Saturday Night Live, and it's nice to know that even a egotistical billionaire has no problem poking fun at himself. Since Ralph is my favorite of all characters on the show, this is actually kind of a compliment now that I think about it.
If you could trespass someplace where you were not allowed and nobody would find out, where would it be? That's easy. I'd love to sneak into Jonathan Ive's lab (he's the lead designer at Apple Computer). How cool would it be to know what amazing products Apple's going to release next?
FQ REDEMPTION: Time to redeem yourself for the above stated criminal activities! If you were allowed to write a new law, what law would you create? No talking on your mobile phone is allowed while driving. I do this all the time, and certainly most people are capable of doing this while still being a good driver. But unfortunately, there are morons out there who are simply not capable of doing two things at once. I've nearly been creamed twice on my motorcycle by idiots who are incapable of talking and driving at the same time. It's sad that the majority of us who are responsible mobile users would have to suffer because of a stupid minority, but I'd feel a lot safer while riding my motorcycle knowing that these dumbasses have one less thing distracting them.
Get criminal at the FridayQ.
Where did you live out your childhood years? I was born in San Diego, California, but only until I was four years old. My family then moved to Cashmere, Washington where I grew up.
As a child, what was your favorite toy, book, television show, and cartoon character? Toy would probably be my stuffed monkey Paula. Book is hands-down Curious George. Television show would be Captain Kangaroo. And cartoon character is probably Bugs Bunny.
Charm us with a favorite childhood memory... I'm getting old, so childhood memories are far and few between, but I do remember riding my tricycle while still living in San Diego. One time I got yelled at for one reason or another by a neighbor lady for riding down the sidewalk. The next time I rode by, I covered me and my trike with a blanket so she wouldn't see me. I don't recall if my invisibility ploy worked out or not.
FQ Photo-Op: Show us a photo of just how adorable you were as a child. I was an incredibly cute kid (no, I don't know what happened), so that's not difficult. My favorite shot has me wearing my tiger slippers while cooling out in my underwear...
Discover your inner-child at the FridayQ.
What is an activity that you can do better than anybody else you know? Draw a map. It seems whenever somebody gives me directions and they draw a map to follow, it sucks ass. When I draw a map to show you how to get somewhere, you ain't getting lost. Helpful hint: unless you possess rudimentary drawing skills and have a sense of direction, use MapQuest (or MultiMap, if you're outside the US) instead of attempting to draw one.
What is a subject where you are smarter than anybody else you know? Movie trivia. Whenever somebody wants to know the name of a film or who was in it, I'm the guy they ask. People e-mail me. They call me at work. They stop me on the street. They apparently don't know about IMDB.com. "What's the name of that guy who was a spy with his wife in that movie where he did that thing to that guy in that place with the alligator?" That would be Dennis Quaid and Kathleen Turner, who treed Stanley Tucci's character in the New Orleans Zoo at the Alligator Pit in the underrated movie Undercover Blues. Yep, I'm a genius.
What is a trait you possess that makes you superior to lesser humans? Intelligence. I see so many stupid people doing so many stupid things on a daily basis that sometimes I think we'd be better off if alien overlords would arrive and enslave us all. That way, when stupid people did something stupid, they'd be vaporized or have their brains sucked out.
FQ Fiction: Which of your many stellar accomplishments should be recorded in the history books? (Can't think of one? Make it up!). I'd have to say it would be the time I saved humanity from enslavement by the alien overlords and was elected Supreme Ruler of the planet Earth. Since all the stupid people were vaporized or brainless, all the remaining smart people realized it was the intelligent thing to do.
Stroke your ego at the FridayQ.
Every once in a while (usually when I am put on hold while talking on the phone) I take a glance at my web site stats just to see what people are interested in and where they are going. Several months back, I shared some of the most popular keywords and links, and thought I would do that again just to see what has changed. Boy what a difference five months make!
Here are the top ten keyword searches people use to find me in August so far (anybody see a pattern here?)...
Going back a month, so I can get the big picture, I notice that most everything changes in the top five...
My most popular direct-linked entries for the past three months...
In other news: August appears to be yet another record-breaking month for unique visitor counts. In June it was averaging 307 per day, July 428 per day, and August so far is 446 per day. The vast majority of those counts are visitors to the Blogography entry page, so I am guessing most visitors are regular readers?
The FridayQ is a distant second entry point, but still receives a respectable number of visitors. Oddly enough, when I actually follow-up on people who are doing the FridayQ, it's shocking just how many people participate only to bitch about how they don't like the questions! Jeez, if you don't like FridayQ, DON'T DO IT!! Some of the comments are so nasty that I finally understand why other memes are dying off... I mean, why put any work into something that people are going to crap all over? It's not like I'm asking for money or anything, and anybody who thinks it's easy to dream up something unique every week should try their own meme for a few months before passing judgment. I've even had some people tell me that they refuse to participate in FridayQ because they don't get to leave comments and links to boost their web ranking! Well, I'm putting FridayQ out there NOT to make money or increase your ranking... I'm doing it just to help out because I know that coming up with an idea on Friday can be tough! If that's not enough for you, I'm sorry, but that's all I have to offer just now. That being said, it's pretty nice to get that occasional e-mail from people who like FridayQ, so maybe I'll hang in there a bit longer?Lastly, I continue to find it amazing that nearly 450 people each day find this blog (and my life!) interesting enough that they feel like stopping by and checking in. Who knew that my love of motorcycles, Elizabeth Hurley, and travel (along with my all-too-frequent rants) would be something people want to read?
In addition to the dearly departed Julia Child, who is your favorite food personality? I'm a big fan of Iron Chef French: Hiroyuki Sakai. He seems a very capable and hard working chef in the kitchen, and both a respectful winner and gracious loser in Iron Chef food battles.
What meal would you have this culinary genius prepare for you if they asked? Well, since he's an expert in French cooking, probably something French? Problem is, French dishes don't tend to be the most vegetarian-friendly cuisine around (though their pastry is the best in the world, so it's probably a fair trade-off?). How about a vegetable bisque soup with French bread and a nice wine, followed by a large assortment of pastries for dessert.
If they refused, and you could eat at any restaurant you wanted as a consolation, which one would you choose? A plate of Fettucini Alfredo at Alfredo alla Scrofa in Rome would do nicely. It's a restaurant that doesn't rank high in atmosphere, but their pasta is the best I have ever tasted.
FQ Kitchen: Share with us a favorite recipe or cooking tip. I'm not much of a cook, so any recipe I might offer would involve combining two frozen foods in a microwave. I do, however, have a few tips which somebody might enjoy...
Eat your heart out at the FridayQ.
A while back I posted a rant about lame Internet quizzes in response to an entry at Geekable where Jeff had mentioned "Your blog is a quiz-free zone. You do not care if you are a princess of light, or a flute, or a Toyota Prius. If you wanted to take a test, you'd go back to school."
In response to all of that, Will James left a comment saying "I am in school, and these tests are way more fun." Since I had just had a friend lose their job to outsourcing, this led me to theorize (with sadness) that, "with all our tech jobs being shipped to foreign countries, maybe you really do get more mileage out of an Internet quiz after all?"
Then today I get a message from another friend who just lost their tech job to outsourcing. I used to think that so long as Windows was the dominate OS, there would always be jobs in tech support to deal with all the bugs, crashes, and confusion that goes along with it. Well, my friend's job was in tech support. Those Internet quizzes are looking better all the time, so here's my contribution (I'll make up for lost time by doing the Top 5 Most Popular at Quizilla)...
What movie Do you Belong in?(many different outcomes!)
What is Your Color? (girls only... great anime pics)
How Old is Your Inner Child?
What Sign of Affection Are You?
Which of the Greek Gods Are You?
Having my "Sign of Affection" being "Holding Hands" nearly caused me to throw myself off a building... but I kind of redeemed myself by having my "Greek God" be "Death." So there, is that lame enough for everybody?
Oh, just an FYI... the actual Greek god of death is Thanatos. The Romans changed Thanatos to Mors when they adopted the gods as their own. As an aside, Thanatos should not be confused with Hades, who is not Death... he's lord of the underworld. Thanatos should also not be confused with Thanos, which is the Marvel Comics villain who is obsessed with Death. Furthermore, the Roman god of death Mors should not be confused with the Roman god of war, who is Mars (stolen from the greek god of war Ares). I'm a big mythology buff, and errors like this bug the crap out of me!
Which Olympic events are your most and least favorite? I'm not a huge sports fan, but I do enjoy watching a good game of Beach Volleyball. As for my least favorite, that's easily Synchronized Swimming. I mean no disrespect as to the difficulty of such an endeavor, but it just looks stupid to me.
In what Olympic competition would you have the best shot at a gold medal? Uhhh... I think I'm equally tragic in just about all sports, so anything I choose is going to be pretty demeaning to those events. But, if forced to pick, perhaps Archery for Summer and Curling for Winter? Not that I've ever actually attempted Curling before, but I think I could probably scrub the ice with those little brushes better than any of my other choices (if I could manage to keep from falling on my ass, that is!).
If you could add or invent a new Olympic sport, what would it be? Motocross! And not just for Summer as you might think... motorcycle racing could be cool in Winter as well! Remember that chase scene in the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only where the motorcycles with spiked tires were racing down the bobsled course? That would kick ass as an Olympic competition!
FQ Pitchman: Propose why your home town should host the next Olympic Games (your choice Summer or Winter). When I really think about it... Cashmere might actually be a cool venue for the Winter Olympics. We're near some terrific mountains for skiing, and there's already plenty of winter activity areas to build on. And, since the fruit orchard market is dying off thanks to ever-increasing imports, there are plenty of orchards nearby that we can rip out in order to make room for a stadium and such. The only big problem is that we're a very small city with only one motel... so I have no idea how we'd be able to house all the spectators that would show up for the Games.
Go for the gold at the FridayQ.
What's something you find humorous, but probably shouldn't? Graham Norton. He is not funny. Honestly, he's obnoxious and foul. But I laugh my ass off anyway. The same probably goes for South Park, Dave Chappelle, and Martha Stewart.
What's something that others find funny, but you don't? It's a tie between Adam Sandler, Everybody Loves Raymond, and racist jokes. I don't "get" any of them.
What actor/comedian/personality always makes you laugh? Right now it's Wanda Sykes, but Eddie Murphy and Phil Hartman are favorites too. What movie? Office Space only slightly beats out Baseketball, both of which I have seen dozens of times. What book? My copy of The Indispensable Calvin And Hobbes (or any of the other Calvin and Hobbes books) will do it.
FQ Stand-Up: Tell us a joke or funny story. True story. Once after having had dinner at a Red Robin in Seattle, I was washing my hands after using the restroom and overheard a guy at the urinal talking to himself. Things like "oh crap!" and "holy shit, what am I going to do here" and "aw, f#@% me!" I was scared to turn and look at what might be going on, so I didn't even bother to dry my hands, I just ran out.
As we were leaving the restaurant, I saw the same guy exiting the bathroom with a huge stain on the front of his trousers. That's when I realized he had urinated all over himself while taking a piss. His date came up and said "oh there you are, I was beginning to wonder if you needed some help in there!" Then she noticed his wet crotch and said "whoa... and apparently you did!"
The guy, in a feeble attempt to cover his horror said "uuuhhhh... the faucet was broken and I got sprayed." To which she replied in disgust: "Suuuuure it was the faucet. I'm going to go get a newspaper so you won't get 'water' stains on my seat" (and she visually surrounded the word "water" with air quotes to get her point across). This made the guy really embarrassed and angry, so he shouted out "I didn't make fun of you that time you got drunk and crapped your pants!!"
This got the attention of the dozen or so people that were waiting for a table, and everybody turned and looked as they walked out the door. A second after the door had closed, a kid blurted out "mom, you should wear diapers next time you get drunk!"
Have a laugh at the FridayQ.
You've been given a million dollars to donate to a worthy charity! Which organization would benefit from your generosity and why are they deserving? I'm a huge fan of Doctors Without Borders, and wouldn't think twice about dropping a million there. This amazing group provides medical care to people in need regardless of race, religion, creed, or politics (and often do so at great risk). That, to me, is the very definition of charity and an example of the kind of world we should be building.
You've testified against the mob and have to leave the country! Where do you go to start your new life, and what new career will you pursue? Hmmm... how about a motorcycle mechanic in Sicily? I could work on Ducatis and ride year-round because of the great weather there.
A movie studio has given you carte blanche to develop a sequel to a film of your choice! What's your sequel going to be about and who's starring in it? There are many movies I'd like to see sequels to, but I think there are two above all others I'd like to see made...
In my sequel to Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai: Across the 8th Dimension, I'd simply proceed with the originally-planned sequel which was to be called "Buckaroo Banzai and the World Crime Syndicate." Naturally Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, and the rest of the cast would have to reprise their roles as Buckaroo and the Hong Kong Cavaliers. I'm not sure what it would be about, but wackiness would definitely ensue!
For my sequel to Undercover Blues, husband & wife super-spies Jeff & Jane Blue (Dennis Quaid & Kathleen Turner) could come out of retirement to rescue their now-grown up daughter Janey from some revenge scheme hatched by their arch-nemesis Paulina Novacek (Fiona Shaw) and her "confederate" Muerte (Stanley Tucci).
FQ Re-Blog: A tragic computer malfunction has erased your current blog so you decide to start over again under a fictitious identity. Who would you become and what would you write about? I would become a psychologist who anonymously blogs about all the freaky patients he's seeing. Something tells me I'd have a real talent for inventing imaginary psychological disorders!
What is your favorite posession made mostly from wood? A small elephant carving I bought in Vancouver at Expo 86. Metal? My motorcycle. Plastic? My motorcycle helmet.
What is your favorite posession colored mostly red? My Gameboy Advance. Blue? My Hard Rock Maui denim jacket. Green? My pet pine tree, Oscar.
What is your favorite posession looking mostly soft? My Harley Davidson weathered T-Shirt. Sharp? My Calvin Cline suit. Fragile? My Canon 16-35mm camera lens.
FQ Net Worth: If your nine prized posessions listed above were stolen, what do you estimate the cost would be to replace them? Ooooh. Some of them would be difficult to replace, but here we go...
I guess that totals roughly $13,000 US, which is a little more materialistic than I thought I would be!
You too can take possession of the FridayQ.
What is the biggest fear you've had to face? I fear three things above all others: heights, deep water, and freaky-looking insects. Of those three, the hardest to face was scuba diving the back-side of Molokini where I couldn't see the ocean floor beneath me. It was pretty frightening. Now that it's over, would it scare you to confront it again? It wouldn't scare me as much, but I would probably still be a bit afraid.
What is your greatest fear that you've not yet met? Being covered in bugs would scare me so bad that it would probably send me into a coma. If you were paid loads of money, would you willingly face it? If I were a contestant on Fear Factor or something, and they would pay me $50,000 or more to be covered in non-life-threatening bugs, I would probably take it. I'd be absolutely terrified, but I'd be rich!
What is something most people are afraid of, but you don't have a problem with? Snakes. Why do you think that is? Ever since seeing the Goldie Hawn/Chevy Chase movie Foul Play I see snakes as more "cute" than "scary." This is not to say I'm unafraid of deadly or poisonous snakes... they're still frightening... I'm just not petrified like most people seem to be.
FQ Movie Night: Your readers are looking for a thrill! What's the scariest scene from a movie you've ever seen? I saw the original Ridley Scott Alien when I was 13 and was scared senseless. So many scenes in that film are terrifying, but the little alien bursting out of the chest shocked me pretty bad, and it was only a harbinger of things to come! I had seen other horror movies before Alien, but this was the first one to really freak me out. I still think it's fairly scary, even today.
What happened the last time you thought yourself to be in danger? I've only been in a couple of truly dangerous situations, but the one that sticks in my mind is being held up at knife-point while walking through a not-so-nice part of San Francisco in 1999. Oddly enough, though it was obviously a dangerous situation, I didn't actually feel my life was at risk. I handed over my wallet, and that was the end of it.
How do you generally react when faced with a dangerous situation? Cautiously. My days of laughing in the face of danger are long since over.
What's something you enjoy doing that has an element of danger to it? I used to have a few things I enjoy like parachuting and scuba diving that could be considered dangerous, but that was a decade ago. Currently I am guessing the most dangerous thing I enjoy is riding my motorcycle... which can be pretty dangerous thanks to the many idiots out on the road.
FQ Gallery: Post a dangerous photo. One of the many helpful signs at Bryce Canyon National Park...
You too can live dangerously at the FridayQ.
What's the coldest you've ever been and where was that? As an adult, one of the coldest moments I can recall was waiting for my train in Berlin, Germany in the winter of 2001. I wasn't planning to spend much time outdoors for the trip, and was grossly unprepared for how cold it was. After an hour I was shivering uncontrollably and couldn't feel my hands or legs. Once I had thawed out, I had leg cramps for days.
What's the warmest you've ever been and where was that? On a trip to Phoenix, I arrived after the sun went down but it was still over 90-degrees! The next day was a record-setting 116-degrees, which was unbearably hot. Just walking across the parking lot from my hotel to the restaurant was a physical effort that had me feeling as if I was on fire.
If you had to choose, would you rather be too warm or too cold? Definitely too warm. I can't stand being cold.
FQ Ego: What's a moment you were at your coolest? Any time I'm on my motorcycle (obviously it's not me that's cool in this scenario, but I think some of my bike's coolness rubs off on me!). Your hottest? Hah! I don't feel I am even remotely "hot," but I once dated a girl who was so hot that she made me feel hot to be standing next to her. The fact that she ended up being a total nightmare that ruined my life is besides the point.
Be cool at the FridayQ.
In one word, describe a luxury item you would want if stranded on a desert island for a year. Surfboard. Why? I would need something to keep me entertained, and learning to surf seems like it might be a good way to pass the time.
In one word, describe a food you wouldn't mind eating every day for a month. Pizza. Why? It's my favorite food and never get tired of eating it. I know I should probably choose something more nutritional, but oh well.
In one word, describe an occupation that you wouldn't necessarily want as a career, but wouldn't mind trying out for a week. Cartographer. Why? I've always loved maps and enjoy drawing them from time to time. It might be interesting to see what is involved in map-making for an actual job.
FQ Search: Enter your first name PLUS the above three words into a Google search and see if anything interesting comes up! Just two results: A site reviewing the 15 Greatest War Movies and a very cool journal about a bicycle trip around New Zealand! That's kind of nifty... I thought for sure I'd end up with junk or no entries at all!
Your search is over at the FridayQ.
If you were able to visit any time period in the past, when would it be? I know it would be cool to say "Ancient Rome" or something like that, but I honestly think that I would choose the early 80's. What is it about this particular point in history that appeals to you? I had good times back then! Personal computers were starting to explode onto the scene, and everything was fresh and new in the computing world. Computers where fun back then. The music was cool as well. The haircuts... not so cool.
If you could meet any person from throughout history, who would that be? Hands-down, it would be Michelangelo. What makes them so special to you? He was one of the most brilliant minds and gifted artists who ever lived.
If you could reach through time and grab a piece of historical memorabilia, what artifact would you take and what would you do with it? I'd snag something cool, like an animation cell from Akira or one of Michelangelo's paint brushes, and hang it on the wall of my office for inspiration.
FQ Quantum Leap: You have been given a one-time-only opportunity to travel back in time and interfere with history! Would you do it? Sure! Where would you go and what would you try to change? I'd go back to when Microsoft was first starting out and sabotage the company... that way, I wouldn't have to freak out about trying to make web sites render properly on Window's crappy "Internet Explorer" program because Windows wouldn't exist.
Explore your history at the FridayQ.
Share an obscure movie or show and tell use why we should watch it. That would depend on your tastes. Want to watch something smartly funny? Then you should hunt down Undercover Blues. Want to see something that will touch your heart and make you laugh? Then try to get your hands on Creator. Want to see something scary? Then The Devil's Backbone should do the trick. Want to see a fact-based tale that's better than most fiction? Then The Dish is for you. Want to cry your eyes out? Then try to find the made-for-television film After the Promise. Want to see the best show that ever aired on television? Then beg, borrow, or steal somebody's copies of Cupid. Why should you watch any of them? Because they were all incredibly good, and don't deserve to be mired in obscurity.
Share an obscure band or musical talent and tell us why we should listen to it. That's a tough one, because I'm habitually stuck in the 80's when it comes to music. Two groups you may not have heard of are The Kane Gang and When in Rome. Both are kind of contemporary, easy-listening pop groups that seemed ahead of their time for some reason. If you are looking to mellow out for a bit, you should give them a listen because the music is pretty darn good (even by pop music standards!).
Share an obscure blog or web site and tell use why we should visit it. I think everybody would feel a little better if they started the week by looking at a picture at Exploding Dog. It's not exactly obscure, but it often times seems overlooked to me.
FQ 15 Minutes: There will one day be an event in your life so big that it will drag you out of obscurity and make your name known to the entire world. Speculate on what it will be that brings you your 15 minutes of fame! It will either be for marrying Elizabeth Hurley, or having a restraining order set against me for stalking Elizabeth Hurley.
Escape obscurity with the FridayQ.
Who is your one favorite author and why is their work so appealing to you? Richard Bach. His writings were comforting and inspiring during a difficult time in my life.
What are your two favorite literary subjects and why is reading about them interesting to you? I enjoy many different subjects. Two off the top of my head are science fiction books dealing with time travel and historical fiction & non-fiction set in Asia.
What are your three favorite books and why are each of them special to you? The first two on my list are easy. That third spot is almost impossible to pick because there are literally dozens of books I love that could be put there.
FQ AUTHOR: If you had to write a book, what genre of book would you pen (mystery, romance, science fiction, biography, etc.) and what would it be about? Probably science fiction, since I enjoy reading it so much. As to what it would be about... how about a group Japanese Samurai warriors who discover a method of time travel during the fall of the Shogunate and escape destruction by fleeing to the future where they can rebuild their society? There they become an elite force of techno-warriors who fight to overthrow the cyborgs enslaving the human race. I would want to read something like that!
Find something new to read with the FridayQ.
What's your favorite ending to a movie or play? That's a toughie. From an emotional standpoint, two movies that choke me up every time I see their endings are Field of Dreams and The Big Blue, so I suppose they could qualify. I had the ending for The Sixth Sense figured out, but still think it was superb, so that could be a contender. One of the more uplifting endings I've ever seen would have to be Creator, so that would be a good choice. The ending I never saw coming would be Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile, so it could be the one. I sure like the way that everything came together at the end of The Shawshank Redemption, so that's a good option. The ending of The Terminator haunted me for weeks, so that might very well be the one. But, when all is said and done, I think I have to give the nod to Amelie as having my favorite ending. There's a charming little mystery that's solved in addition to the romantic storyline that really touches me. Since I ordinarily dislike romantic comedies, that's quite an accomplishment, and reason enough to earn my top pick.
What's your favorite ending to a song or musical? Depeche Mode consistently churns out songs with fascinating messages of love, loss, devotion, and healing that give me chills. Probably my favorite ending would be their song Higher Love because the medley and lyrics rise up to levels that actually lift me higher. Other good choices would be The Thompson Twins' If You Were Here and Kamikaze, both of which have me thinking about the song long after it's over. Or perhaps Coldplay's The Scientist, which leaves me longing for something I can't put into words.
What's your favorite ending to a book or graphic novel? Hands down the ending to Alan Moore's Watchmen would have to be my favorite of all time. The second I read that last panel, I immediately felt compelled to read the entire series over again. Anybody who would dismiss this book as "nothing more than a comic book" is seriously missing out on one of the most imaginative stories told. After that, I'd have to say the ending of Dean Koontz's Lightning was kind of clever, and the endings of both Edgar Rice Burroughs' original Tarzan of the Apes and A Princess of Mars were bittersweet and badly left me wanting more. Isn't that what an ending should do?
FQ MEMORIAL: What would be your favorite ending to your life? Dying happy and fulfilled would be the perfect way to go... preferably in my sleep?
Make your own happy ending at the FridayQ.
Name one thing you are thankful for that is kind of a silly thing to be thankful about. My Macintosh PowerBook.
Name two things other people seem to be thankful for which you are not. Four more years of Bush. Espresso.
Name three things that don't currently exist which you would be thankful for if they did. The death penalty for spammers. A cure for cancer. World peace.
FQ THANKFUL: Forget about thanking others, what's something everybody else should be thankful to YOU for? That I don't wear spandex.
Be unthankful at the FridayQ.
Which entry in your blog is your favorite so far and why is that? It's strange, but I don't really like any of my entries overly-much. I compare them to the genius displayed on other blogs and just kringe, because mine all seem so senseless, useless, and plain silly (why in the heck do people read this stuff?). With that in mind, I guess the ones I don't mind so much are those that use these traits as an advantage. I like Toothpaste a bit, because it was fun to draw. The same goes for Leather Jackets, which I find funny every time I look at it (mainly because it does seem funny as a cartoon, but would be horrifying in real-life!).
Which entry in your blog has gotten you the most attention and why do you think that is? That would be STILL Stop Calling Me. My saga with the ass-hats at Stonebridge Life Insurance and their harassing telemarketing policy has become a kind of repository for Google searchers who have suffered as well. I receive emails and comments on this entry even today. A close second would have to be Credit, where I made a joke about setting a clown's ass on fire. I received over 100 emails from some kind of "Clown Coalition" that was enraged by it (which is odd, because you'd think clowns would have a sense of humor).
Which entry in your blog do you feel was overlooked and why should people have read it? Probably Theme Thursday: Wings. This is the hardest blog entry I've ever done, because it took a lot of luck, planning, begging, and scheming to pull off. But now that the Theme Thursday meme is dead, nobody really sees it anymore to appreciate what I had to go through to make it work (my blog didn't have nearly as many people reading it back then either). I still think it's a cool entry, so go look at it right now!
FQ REVEAL: Which entry in your blog do you think is most indicative of who you are and what makes it so? That's kind of difficult to answer, because none of the most personal details of my life are really shared here. Every once in a while, a little more "me" than usual ends up in an entry when I feel strongly about something... like when I am saddened (The Sad State of Modern Times), bitter (Heart), grateful (Strut the Rooster), etc. If forced to pick just one, I'd have to say The Bears of Berlin shows a side of me that doesn't make it to Blogography very often.
Get blogged at the FridayQ.
Describe your morning routine on work/school days, from the time you wake up until you leave. Well, since I only sleep 4-5 hours each night, I wake up waaayy early (usually around 3-4am), which gives me plenty of time to kill. Since my apartment is wireless, I usually start out by grabbing my PowerBook and spending the next couple hours checking email, running through my blogroll, reviewing my work schedule, and jotting down ideas for the day's blog entry. If it's a really light day, I may grab a book and read for a while. Regardless, I am always out of bed pretty close to 6am each work day. After I get up and grab some clean clothes, it's off to the shower so I can get washed up. Then, 15 minutes later (after I've put some boxers on), it's time to eat a bowl of cereal, two slices of toast (lightly buttered), and a glass of milk. Next, believe it or not, I try to force myself to take an hour-long nap so I can be fresh for work. After my nap, I wash my face, brush my teeth, get dressed, and am out the door around 8:30am.
Now describe your morning routine on NON-work/school days (weekends, holidays, etc.). It is incredibly rare that I have a day with no work at all, so nothing really changes... I just don't worry about getting out of bed at a specific time, and will probably get caught up with some television off my TiVo while enjoying an extended breakfast. Other than that, it's all the same.
And finally, describe your night-time routine before you go to bed. I hate to be rushed in the morning, so most of my pre-bedtime moments are spent making sure everything is ready to go for the next morning. If it's summer, that means things like making sure my motorcycle helmet and visor are clean, my keys and various work materials are waiting on the table, and a bag of dry Cheerios have been poured out for the next day's work-time snacking. Then it's just a matter of double-checking that all the doors are locked before brushing my teeth. If it's not too late, I might take a quick run through my blogroll. Finally, around 11:00pm, I'm in bed trying to fall asleep.
FQ FANTASY: You've won 100 million (US) dollars in the lottery! Re-write your morning routine one month from now! I rise from yet another excellent night of carefree slumber, being careful not to wake Elizabeth Hurley (who fell in love with me not for my 100 million, but because she found me witty and charming). As I slip out of my hand-carved oak four-post bed, I pull back the window shade to look out over Old Town Edinburgh and yet another beautiful Scottish morning ahead of me. I then leisurely make my way across the bedroom to the spa so I can take a quick shower (not just any shower... The Best Shower on Earth®, imported from Dublin). After that, my morning routine is spent surfing the internet for new and interesting places in the world we can travel to, while Liz iron's my laundry (it's not exactly how you're thinking). But, other than making sweet, sweet love all morning, I spend all my time fulfilling my dream of doing absolutely nothing in the most exotic locations the world has to offer (though I think a bowl of Cheerios will end up in there as well).
Your weekly routine is at the FridayQ.
What's the strangest thing you've ever eaten? Unquestionably, without a doubt, no contest - natto. This traditional Japanese food is strange even among strange foods. They say it's made of fermented soybeans... but this heinously foul-smelling, sticky abomination more likely comes from some grotesque alien planet, as mere humans should not be eating it. My Japanese friends tell me that natto is an acquired taste, and I just haven't eaten enough of it to appreciate how yummy it is. They are, of course, insane. I still dream of one day getting revenge upon the "friend" of mine who tricked me into eating this blasphemy of all things food-like. Does this stuff seriously look like something you should be putting in your mouth? (photo copyrighted by Matt Wegener, from his terrific Japan photos page, which is well worth a visit!)...
What's the strangest thing you've ever read? I'm tempted to say any travel book written by Rick Steves (seriously, I travel a lot and am a huge fan of travel books... but Rick Steves' stuff is so laughably bad that I find it strange they are so popular). But, even stranger, would have to be the disclaimer on my disembarkation card before landing in Singapore: It basically said that anyone caught smuggling drugs in or out of the country would be put to death, and by entering the country you accede to this law with the understanding that any appeal made to your government would do you no good at all. I found it strange they should tell you this after you've already boarded the plane! I mean, I didn't have any intention of smuggling drugs, but became terrified that somebody would stash their drugs in my suitcase or something. I was paranoid the entire trip.
What's the strangest thing you've ever seen? Excluding the ending of the movie 2001, those stupid-ass television commercials with Jared's Subway Diet, and the Yayoi Kusama exhibit at MOMA in New York? I'd have to say the strangest thing I've ever seen would be a child beauty pageant in New Orleans. I didn't actually go out of my way to see it mind you... the event was taking place at my hotel. This bizarre activity has obsessive parents dressing up their little girls to look and act like whores, then parading them in front of a freaky group of people who actually find entertainment in such a thing. I've seen a whole lotta freaky in my travels, but that was the strangest of all.
FQ YOU: What's the strangest thing you've ever done? Putting parts of my life in a blog for the entire world to see would rank right near the top, but I'd have to say skydiving is #1. Back when I first tried it (tandem) and then went on to take classes, it was just something fun to do. But now, I find it strange that anybody would choose to jump out of a plane when they weren't forced to do so.
Everything's strange at the FridayQ.
What's an impressive gift ($50 US or less) on your wish list? I think there's a bundle deal where you can get a one-year subscription to National Geographic and National Geographic Traveler for under $50. That would be a terrific gift.
What's an expensive gift ($500 US or less) on your wish list? I already own an iPod, but the new iPod Photo is cream. I'd prefer the 60gig version, but since it is $599, I suppose I'd have to "settle" for the smaller 40gig version at $499.
What's an extravagant gift ($5000 US or less) on your wish list? A tricked out Apple Macintosh Dual 2.5GHz Power Mac G5 desktop computer with all the trimmings nets out at $4,953.00 (shipping is free). I actually don't need a new computer, but if somebody were to give me one, I wouldn't have the slightest objection. From playing with this monster at the Apple Store a few weeks ago, I can say that MacOS X is an entirely new experience with such outlandish speed and power running behind it.
FQ GREED: Money is no object! What's the most outrageous gift money can buy on your dream list? A private Caribbean island from which to plan my bid for world domination would be pretty sweet (it would have to include a pirate ship and secret volcano lair as well).
Give the gift of FridayQ.
What do you hope will be the big technology breakthrough in 2005? Getting together some kind of early warning system that works for earthquake-induced tsunamis is a much-needed breakthrough, but I'm not sure how close they are to figuring out something like that. So I guess it would be Apple finding a way to put a PowerPC G5 chip into a PowerBook laptop (preferably in such a way that the fan doesn't have to keep running all the time).
What do you hope will be the big medical breakthrough in 2005? Gee, there's too many things that kill too many people to make this an easy choice. Realistically, I guess I'd have to say help for kids with Juvenile Diabetes, since it's my understanding that they are getting pretty close to figuring that one out.
What do you hope will be the big entertainment breakthrough in 2005? Depeche Mode touring in support of their new album (which I believe they'll be starting to work on any day now).
FQ FUTURE: It's one year from now! What was your greatest accomplishment in 2005? Finding time to spend two weeks this past summer touring on my motorcycle down the Pacific Coast (it's a long shot, but a boy can dream can't he?).
Keep hope alive at the FridayQ.
Who is your favorite artist? What is it about their work that you find so appealing? This is an impossible question for me to answer, because there are literally hundreds of artists I admire equally. Michelangelo is probably furthest up my list, and that's the best I can do. He has such a magnificent and inspiring body of diverse works, that it's hard not to count him as a "favorite among favorites."
What is your favorite work of art? What makes you like it so much? There are two paintings I am infatuated with... The Flower Bearer by Diego Rivera, and Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh. I can't tell you why I like them so much except to say that I seem to connect with them on an emotional level.
Where is your favorite place for art? What does this location have that makes it so great? Hmmm... in choosing among my top three picks of New York City, London, and Paris... I'm going to have to give the edge to New York. That's probably because The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Guggenheim, and Museum of Modern Art (three of my most favorite) are all there.
FQ ARTISTIC: Create a quick piece of art for us... Ready. Set. GO!
I shall call it... Sunflowers in Utah!
That's two-and-a-half minutes quick! For anybody interested, here is my initial quick sketch superimposed over my impressionistic completed picture...
Get artistic with the FridayQ.