May 14, 2005

Weekend Report

SAY! IT'S another weekend survey from RTG. Here, yet again, are my answers to 14 out of the 15 questions she presented. (Item No. 14 was political in nature and hence struck off). ANYHOO -- here you go:

1. Name three people you consider heroes.

Looking at the wider world, I don't have any heroes. There are certainly people out there whom I admire, and for whom I have the utmost respect, and to whom I look up, and so on -- but actual heroes? No. Anyway, though, if I had to think of three people outside my circle of family and friends whom I greatly admired, those would be Alexander Hamilton, C.S. Lewis, and William Shirer.

2. What qualities attract you to others?

I like people who are intelligent and well-read. I like people who are fun to be with, who have a good sense of humor, and who have many of the same common interests and/or a desire to try new things.

3. What qualities do you think other people are attracted to in you?

I have a good sense of humor, and I'm down for whatever, and I'm extremely low-maintenance.

4. Where do you want to go today?

I want to go to the desert, because there is pollen everywhere up here in New Hampshire and it makes my eyes water and my head congested. The way to escape this annual trauma is for me to go someplace where there are few flowering plants and very little humidity. The desert fits the bill.

Right now, I'd like to head out on old Route 66 for a drive -- out in eastern California, the part of the state which can be accurately described as, a la Star Wars, The Point Which is Farthest From.

By the by, while I'm thinking of it, Rant readers are advised that, thanks to some very happy coincidences (increased vacation time from work, alignment of the planets and so on), I'll be taking a Kickass Vacation Trip sometime in 2006. The details of the "Oh Christ, I'm Thirty" Tour must still all be worked out, but it looks at this point as if I could get two weeks off in a row.

5. What's your favorite curse word?

Now look, this is a family-friendly site. Well, it's kind of a family-friendly site -- OK, fine, no one who hasn't yet achieved the age of majority in his or her state, province or similar jurisdiction ought read this. Anyway, my favorite curse word is The One Magical Word -- you know, the one that can fill in for pretty much everything in a sentence.

For more information, click here. But be advised: the link, whilst very very funny, has sound and as such is Not Safe For Work. So use all due caution in clicking on it, although aside from the language, there's not any obscenity. Well, not really any.

6. What lights you up and blisses you out?

Oh, I haven't done any of THAT since college. But I suppose one thing which really blisses me out is traveling; it really is a love of mine. Someday I'll write a post on why this is so.

7. What qualities do you dislike in others?

For starters, I dislike it when people think they're all that and a bag of chips, generally because they are not, in fact, all that and a bag of chips. I dislike it when people fail to operate their motor vehicles competently, shout into their mobile telephones at inopportune times, and make a big deal out of ordering expensive vodka. Also, I dislike it when people have a thrombo in public over other people smoking cigarettes.

8. Do you speak any foreign languages?

I speak enough Spanish to get me in trouble, but I must admit I'm not very good even at that. My trouble is that I think in English, so I'm not as quick on the draw as I'd like. Interestingly enough, when I went to central Mexico back in March, practically everyone I met spoke English. That was somewhat surreal -- almost as surreal as watching "A Day Without a Mexican" in Mexico. (It's a long story. But I liked the movie, even if its premise and execution are both a bit ham-handed).

9. Recommend a book you think RTG readers should check out.

William Shirer's "The Nightmare Years: 1930-1940." Mr Shirer was a pioneering radio and print journalist who covered Germany and other hot spots in Europe during the Thirties.

10. Angels are to cargo nets as _____ is to swimsuit mishaps.

Ah ... ahem. Sorry. Just got distracted there for a moment thinking about the swimsuit mishaps bit. Anyway, I don't know.

11. Name at least one person you'd have a fling with (besides your significant other - I'm looking for celebs here.)

NOW I'm really going to be distracted. But if I had to pick just one person to have a fling with, I have to say it would be Monica Bellucci. I mean, my God.

12. What happens when we die?

Well, this depends. I obviously have as much insight as any other person not in direct contact with the spiritual world, but here's my guess. There will be three outcomes, and of the outcomes there will be three: Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory. Or places roughly corresponding to each -- after all, for all I know, they'll call Hell "Indianapolis." But you get my point.

I won't speculate on Heaven or Hell because I don't see myself ending up in either, at least not to start. Fully keeping in mind that I am setting myself up for a Really Nasty Surprise some sixty years hence, I do think that I will end up in Purgatory. Here, I imagine I will be tasked with working at Purgatory's Central Bank, which is fighting a seemingly-eternal case of stagflation. Furthermore, the Central Bank would be located in a city not unlike C.S. Lewis' city in "The Great Divorce," except it wouldn't be as, well, hellish. However, I still couldn't get any decent Indian food, and I'd be forced to rely on public transit, and I'd come home to an awful third-floor walkup. There would be gin, though. Not very good gin. Yet gin nonetheless.

But I ought go on no longer; for as Dr Lewis noted, there is little value in factual curiosity about just what's on the other side. And besides, to borrow again from Dr Lewis -- we'll find out sooner or later what's there. Whether we like it or not is a different matter!

13. Do you believe in anything supernatural?

Well, it depends on what you mean by supernatural. If you mean things like vampires and werewolves and banshees and all the rest, the answer is certainly No.

14. (Struck for political content).

15. Why is the sky blue?

Rayleigh scattering! -- as this excellent article found via Google shows. I like Google.

OK, that's it -- back to the regularly-scheduled programming. Or unregularly-scheduled programming, given everything else happening these days...

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at May 14, 2005 04:09 PM | TrackBack


Those have to be the best Weekend Survey answers ever.

I completely approve.


Posted by: Right Thinking Girl at May 14, 2005 09:56 PM

I love The Nightmare Years, too. What an amazing book.

Posted by: red at May 15, 2005 09:22 AM

No heroes? Not even me?

Oh, wait -- guess I shoulda readthe answer to # 7 first. Never mind.

Posted by: Geoff Brown at May 15, 2005 06:48 PM

And you're shying away from political content? Good Lord -- did you hit your head or something?

And "Oh Christ, I'm Thirty" is quickly approaching for me, too. I feel your pain.

Posted by: Geoff Brown at May 15, 2005 06:49 PM

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments! Responses follow--

RTG: Thanks! And thanks very much for posting these weekend surveys each week -- they make for excellent posts and they're great fun to complete.

Sheila: Agreed! Shirer just rules. I love the stories -- they're almost an aside in the book -- about his Year Off in Spain.

Geoff: Yes, turning thirty will be no fun for either of us! Well, I take that back. Turning thirty WILL be fun. It'll just be the hangover afterwards that'll hurt. Besides, they say 30 is the new 20, and clearly they -- whomever they are -- are right.

Posted by: Benjamin Kepple at May 15, 2005 07:50 PM