Tag Archives: memes

16/25 Completely Non-Random Things About Me.

Jason at All the Billion Other Moments just tagged me to post 16 things about myself.  Having just done the same thing on Facebook but with 25 things, I figured I’d just copy the post, and let you, the reader, choose which 16 of the 25 you consider worthy of your attention.  Since you have to read all 25 in order to select the best 16 things, however, the savings of time may be limited.  I may have posted about some of these things before, in which case, disregard them in determining your 16 favorite things about me.

1. I like barbecue-flavored potato chips to an unreasonable degree, and therefore almost never eat them.
2. I’m not terribly introspective (thus opening this list with an item about chips), but I do enjoy talking about myself. Just in a very superficial way.
3. I hope that if/when the singularity comes, it at least comes at a time when it gets me out of having to do something unpleasant.
4. I’d really like some chocolate chip cookies right about now.
5. Please walk faster and talk faster, because you’re making me crazy.
6. I’ve been blogging for over a year.
7. I started blogging to ease myself back into writing for pleasure. I started a novel two weeks later, and finished the 500-page first draft in October. So much for easing into it.
8. I started the rewrite in December, and so far, it’s much harder.
9. I was never much of a cook, and have not improved with age.
10. When I was a kid, I was convinced New York City was going to get nuked by the Russians, and researched a plan to use the basement as a shelter.
11. Part of me has continued to be that pessimistic all along.
12. The last time I can remember crying was in April, 2001, when Unfocused Girl was about six weeks old. I was in the Tampa airport, called home from the road, and the Siren told me that UG’s blood test had come back and her liver was starting to work. There would be no bypass surgery, no transplant, just six more months of regular checkups until the liver specialist at Children’s finally told her not to come back until she graduated from medical school.
13. The time before that was during the movie Armageddon. The Siren and I were flying home from Paris, and I’d had a lot of champagne.
14. In the four months after Junior was born, I was hardly ever home, either working late or out of town. Unfocused Girl was so mad at me that she didn’t call me “Daddy” for months. Instead, she called me “Rusty.”
15. I haven’t had a rum and Coke in more than 20 years, and that isn’t going to change.
16. As the clients were dropping the Senior Partner and me off at the airport earlier this week, I accidentally quoted The Rocky Horror Picture Show (“Say good-bye to all this, and say hello to oblivion.”), which I believe I saw 14 times at the 8th Street Playhouse during high school, plus a couple of times in Chicago during college. Nobody caught the reference.
17. I have no vocal talent whatsoever. Despite that (or perhaps because of it), I *really* enjoy karaoke, and I had solos in two musicals while in college, plus a duet as a mad scientist with a six foot tall redheaded fembot.
18. For another (non-singing) role my senior year of college, I lost 25 pounds in two months to play a homeless guy.
19. I always wanted to be a math geek, but it was too much work. Instead, I was just a regular geek.
20. My FB friends include one person I went to school with from nursery school through eighth grade, two people I went to school with from kindergarten through eighth grade, including the best man at my wedding, one person I went to school with from kindergarten through high school, as well as more than one person I know only over teh intertubes.
21. The Siren and I named Junior after our favorite author.
22. I have started the Chicago Marathon five times, and finished it four times. I finished it in 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2003. In 2006, I had knee problems that stopped me running at my 19 and stopped me walking at mile 21. I had never had knee pain before that day, and I have had it off and on ever since. I have run five half marathons and numerous shorter races since, but haven’t tried another marathon.
23. I have read more books about Theodore Roosevelt than any other non-fiction subject, all as the result of being assigned an excerpt from his autobiography in American Civilization in college.
24. I read Thomas Pynchon’s V. in 1992, and five minutes after I finished it could hardly have told you anything about it. Seventeen years later, I don’t remember anything about it at all.
25. I read 1984, Animal Farm, Brave New World, and We in middle school. *Those* made an impression.

I’m not going to tag 16 people — if you’re interested in talking about yourself, consider yourself tagged.  Please leave a link in the comments if you tag yourself.

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A Meme About Food. Because That’s Something I Can Deal With.

I’m completely blown away by what’s been happening on Wall Street since Friday, but I don’t have anything particularly intelligent to add.  There are good articles about it here and here, but the situation keeps changing.

Instead of rambling on about moral hazards, financial contagion, and the potential meltdown of the U.S. financial system, I’m going to post about food.  I caught this meme about food from Freshhell at Life in Scribbletown.  I’m not going to mention chocolate because I’m afraid of sounding like Cathy.

1. How do you like your eggs?

Depends.  Most days I have an egg white omelet with one whole egg mixed in as part of my breakfast (along with the oatmeal I’ve mentioned previously).  If I’m being a little decadent, I’ll have three eggs over easy on toast.  If I’m being a lot decadent, I’ll have eggs benedict.  I also like my eggs scrambled, soft boiled, hard boiled, or poached.  I kind of like eggs.

2. How do you take your coffee/tea?

To paraphrase Montgomery Burns, I take it black, like my lawyer’s heart.

3. Favorite breakfast food:

Oatmeal.  And Mrs. Unfocused’s cinnamon rolls, but I don’t eat those very often.

4. Peanut butter:

Not in our house — Junior is allergic to peanuts.  We eat soynut butter.  I like the crunchy, but am perfectly happy with the smooth.

5. What kind of dressing on your salad?

Vinagrette or honey mustard.

6. Coke or Pepsi?

I hardly ever drink pop, but will always choose a Diet Coke over a Diet Pepsi, and prefer Coke Zero to either.

7. You’re feeling lazy. What do you make?

Soynut butter and jam sandwich.  Toasted bread.  Blueberry, strawberry, or apricot jam.

8. You’re feeling really lazy. What kind of pizza do you order?

Half cheese (for the kids), half veggie (for the Mrs. and me).  Thin crust.

9. You feel like cooking. What do you make?

One of my many failures as a human being is that I hardly ever cook at all (except for eggs and oatmeal).  I’d probably make breakfast for dinner:  scrambled eggs for the Mrs. and me (and Unfocused Girl if she’s in the mood), eggless pancakes for the whole family (Junior’s cursed allergies again), toast, and bacon, if we have any.

10. Do any foods bring back good memories?

Soon after the Mrs. and I got married, we came up with our own tradition for breakfast on Christmas morning, which we have continued since we had children.  There is a very good bagel place in Skokie; it’s a little bit of a hassle to get to, but the bagels are worth it.  On Christmas Eve, I go there and buy bagels, cream cheese, and smoked salmon, and that’s what we eat for breakfast on Christmas.

11. Do any foods bring back bad memories?

Yogurt.  I always hated yogurt, and once, when I was a kid — around 6 or 7 — when I felt nauseous, my father badgered me into eating a bowl of yogurt in the belief that it would make me feel better.  I’m not sure how many bites I took before I had to run to the bathroom to throw up, but every heave tasted like yogurt (sorry for the mental image there).  I don’t eat yogurt, and I still can’t stand the smell more than 30 years later.  Yes, I know it’s good for you.  You can have mine.

12. Do any foods remind you of someone?

Fruity bagels (blueberry, apple, etc.) remind me of Satan, because fruity bagels are the official breakfast food of Hell.

13. Is there a food you refuse to eat?

Yogurt and fruity bagels.

14. What was your favorite food as a child?

For candy, it was Whoppers, until I was 10 or so.  I somehow got my hands on a quart container of Whoppers, and ate all of them.  I did not eat Whoppers again until college.

For real food, it was lobster.  My father and I used to go camping in Maine with the Sierra Club, and at the end of the trip we’d have a steak and lobster cook-out (ah, roughing it!), and I always liked throwing the lobsters into the pots.  I was, apparently, utterly without empathy for our crustacean brethren.

15. Is there a food that you hated as a child but now like?

Peanut butter and hot dogs.  When I was a kid, I was so picky about what I would eat that my mother was reduced to feeding me Campbell’s tomato soup for breakfast and jelly sandwiches (grape jelly and white bread) for lunch.

16. Is there a food that you liked as a child but now hate?

Not that I can think of.  I still have a little trouble with Whoppers.

17. Favorite fruits and vegetables:

Apples, grapes, bananas, blueberries, strawberries, tomatoes, spinach, leeks, carrots.

18. Favorite junk food:

Barbecue-flavored potato chips.

19. Favorite between meal snack:

Ideal:  Fruit smoothie with whey protein.

Between meal snack I actually eat most days:  bag of pretzels.

20. Do you have any weird food habits?

No.  What?  Why are you looking at me like that.  I don’t, okay?  That isn’t weird.  Lots of people do it.

21. You’re on a diet. What food(s) do you fill up on?

The harshest diet I ever went on was the beginning of my senior year of college; I was very overweight, but I was in a play opening in two months in which I was playing a homeless man.  I dropped 30-40 pounds (it didn’t last) by smoking two packs a day and eating pickles as my only snack between meals.

22. You’re off your diet. Now what would you like?

Barbecue-flavored potato chips, fried potato skins, and Giordano’s deep-dish pizza.  And beer.

23. How spicy do you order Indian/Thai?

Medium spicy.

24. Can I get you a drink?

Yes, please.  Dewar’s and soda, no twist.

25. Red or White Wine?

Red.

26. Favorite dessert?

A bowl of fresh berries, with just a sprinkle of brown sugar on top.

HAHAHAHAHAHA — No, I’m kidding.  Let’s see, in no particular order:

— freshly baked chocolate chip cookies;

— the chocolate mousse at Brasserie Jo;

— chocolate cake made from the egg-free, nut-free mix we use for Junior, with Mrs. Unfocused’s frosting; and

— the blueberry pie we get from the farm store at the beach.

27. The perfect nightcap?

The drunken apricot:  a piece of frozen apricot, a shot of Southern Comfort, in a glass of champagne.

Consider yourself tagged.

Update on the To Do List.

Last night, as part of responding to a meme-tag from Freshhell at Life in Scribbletown, I posted five things from my to do list for today and promised to report on how I did. Here’s the report

1. Go for a run in the morning.

It wasn’t pretty, but I did go for a run this morning. I was slow as molasses, even slower than I was on Sunday. Despite the day off yesterday, my legs — my quads, mostly — ached and had nothing to give me. On Sunday, I ran 9.57 in 1:22:37 (an average pace of 8:38 minutes/mile); this morning, I ran 3.64 miles in 35:21, an average pace of 9:42. I’m not entirely sure what happened, excepted that I lifted at the gym on Saturday (including squats) for the first time in three weeks, and may have taken too much out of my leg muscles.

2. Submit TTB to another magazine (snail mail again).

I took care of this on my way to the office. It cost $2.53 for first class mail (no surprise there — it’s a 63-page manuscript).

3. Take my glasses to the optometrist to have new lenses installed.

Yup, got this done at lunch, dropped off my regular glasses and my sunglasses just before the deluge started. I’m hoping they’ll be done by Friday; I’m traveling next week, and I’m stuck wearing my spare glasses until then, and I hate hate hate traveling with only one pair of glasses.

4. Make significant progress on a couple of briefs I need to get through by the end of the week.

I did all right on this one. I got a first draft finished this afternoon on the easier one, and spent most of the evening (when I wasn’t watching Barack’s victory speech or Hillary’s “victory” speech) working on the hard one. Lots more to do, but I got them off the ground, which was what I needed to do today.

5. Write 500 words — just 500 lousy words! — of Meet the Larssons.

Yeah, well, you can’t do everything. Nobody’s perfect. I wrote 350 words, all of them on the train. I got jammed up with work (see no. 4, above). I’ll try again tomorrow.

So there you have it. I have to say, I almost certainly would have turned off the alarm and gone back to bed this morning if I hadn’t posted about going for a run, so thanks for the social pressure.

Another Meme About Me.

Well, I’ve taken my sweet time on this post. I got tagged by Freshhell a week and a half ago to talk about myself. I like talking about myself, so I’m happy to play along. Since Freshhell is a rebel (and she never ever does… what she should), she didn’t post the rules for the meme. As an attorney, this type of anarchistic adhocracy makes me nervous and insecure, but I’ll do my best to work with what I’ve been able to deduce from Freshhell’s entry.

What was I doing ten years ago?

In 1998, I was a third year litigation associate at my old firm, one of the oldest large law firms in town. Mrs. Unfocused and I had been married, but there were no little Unfocuseds on the scene yet. I traveled a lot that summer for work, mostly to Los Angeles (fun!) and Dallas (kill me!). Along with a number of my colleagues, I reviewed documents under the watchful — and heavily armed — guard of a rotating crew of FBI agents in an shuttered post office. Not the worst place I’ve ever reviewed documents (that would be at a shuttered mine, where I had to watch out for snakes and armed poachers), but the latex gloves we had to wear added a special layer of indignity to an already awful project.

The Mrs. and I also went to Paris that November, and spent the entire week NOT going to museums or monuments. We ate in wonderful restaurants, and looked for vintage posters. It was a fantastic week, despite the freezing weather.

Five things on my to do list today.

Since it’s 11pm, and “flossing” does not an interesting blog post make, I’ll give you five things on my to do list for tomorrow.

  1. Go for a run in the morning.
  2. Submit TTB to another magazine (snail mail again).
  3. Take my glasses to the optometrist to have new lenses installed.
  4. Make significant progress on a couple of briefs I need to get through by the end of the week.
  5. Write 500 words — just 500 lousy words! — of Meet the Larssons.

I’ll post tomorrow night or Wednesday to let you know how I did.

Snacks I enjoy.

My kryptonite: barbecue-flavored potato chips.

Things I’d do if I were a billionaire (in no particular order).

  1. Put almost all of the money in really easy investments, so that I wouldn’t have to spend all my time thinking about my money. Better still, hire a bank to deal with it for me.
  2. Set up a private foundation to give some of it away. Hire someone to manage that, too, so that I would only have to get involved with projects that interested me.
  3. Get my damn 5K time below 20 minutes. Even if I have to buy new knees to do it.
  4. Buy an apartment in Paris. The Mrs. always said she was a Rive Gauche kind of gal, she should have the chance to prove it.
  5. Also buy homes in London, Toronto, Sydney, Buenos Aires, Tokyo, Mumbai, and Johannesburg. Diversification is important.
  6. Space Camp for the whole family.
  7. Make the time to finish the damn novel.
  8. Buy any domain name I think of.

Places I’ve lived.

  1. New York City (Manhattan) (July 1969-1970).
  2. New York City (Brooklyn) (1970-October 1987).
  3. Chicago (Hyde Park) (October 1987-August 1995, except as noted below).
  4. New York City (Brooklyn) (summers 1988, 1989).
  5. Lisieux, Normandy, France (March-June 1989).
  6. Washington D.C. (June-August 1990).
  7. Chapel Hill, North Carolina (August 1992-June 1993).
  8. Chicago (Budlong Woods) (June-September 1993, June-September 1994).
  9. Chicago (Andersonville) (August 1995-November 1996).
  10. Chicago (Edgewater) (November 1996-July 2002).
  11. Chicago (Old Irving Park) (July 2002-present)

Who I want to know more about.

Why, you, of course. Do your own post and leave a link here in the comments.