Questionnaire 12.

Running low on time before I have to post, so here’s old reliable: a questionnaire plucked from online.

1. ARE YOU YOUNG AT HEART, OR AN OLD SOUL? I’ve been told the latter more than the former. That I’ve phrased it that way should tell you which is accurate.

2. WHAT MAKES SOMEONE A BEST FRIEND? The most important factor is time. Go from there.

3. WHAT CHRISTMAS (OR HANUKKAH) PRESENT DO YOU REMEMBER THE MOST? I remember a few birthday gifts and an Easter gift, but I can’t remember any particular gift as being given on Christmas or Hanukkah. In fact, I’ve never received a Hanukkah gift, which is odd.

4. TELL ME ABOUT A MOVIE/SONG/TV SHOW/PLAY/BOOK THAT HAS CHANGED YOUR LIFE. In an early episode of Twin Peaks, Cooper told Truman, “Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.” I don’t drink coffee, but a nap will do in a pinch.

5. NAME A MOVIE THAT YOU KNEW WOULD BE TERRIBLE JUST FROM READING THE TITLE. American Psycho 2.

6. WHAT HOLIDAY DO YOU MOST LOOK FORWARD TO? Thanksgiving, because it’s my birthday.

7. HOW IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR PARENTS? The age gap has held constant since we first met, but I’ve caught up heightwise.

8. YOU’VE GOT THE TV ON, BUT YOU’RE NOT REALLY WATCHING. WHAT CHANNEL IS THE TV ON? The channel with football on it.

9. NAME A SONG THAT NEVER FAILS TO MAKE YOU HAPPY. “Grass Roots” by Havalina Rail Co. I don’t listen to it that often.

10. YOU KNOW AT LEAST ONE PERSON NAMED MICHAEL. TELL ME ABOUT HIM. He was a buddy from Clemson. Just about the time he started to act like a decent human being, he got in a car wreck that wiped 15 to 20 years off his memory. He didn’t know his wife or kids. He didn’t know his high school, college, or work buddies. He acted like a little kid. But he slowly started to recover, and from what I can tell he’s functioning like a high-schooler now.

11. HAVE YOU EVER READ THE “MISSED CONNECTIONS” ON CRAIGSLIST? HAVE YOU EVER POSTED ONE, OR WANTED TO? No and no.

12. CAN MONEY BUY HAPPINESS? It can try.

13. DO YOU DRINK? SMOKE? DO DRUGS? WHY, OR WHY NOT? I don’t smoke because I have enough trouble breathing. I don’t do drugs because I have enough trouble thinking and keeping my heart beating. I drink a little because steaks and pasta aren’t going to wash themselves down.

14. IS THERE ANYONE CLOSE TO YOU THAT YOU KNOW YOU CAN’T TRUST? YOU DON’T HAVE TO GIVE NAMES. Yes, but they’re being closely monitored.

15. WHERE WAS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO GO WHEN YOU WERE A LITTLE KID? The tall jungle gym at my elementary school in Virginia. It doubled as a spaceship.

16. DO YOU ENJOY BEING WITH ONLY ONE OR TWO FRIENDS, OR WITH A LARGE GROUP OF PEOPLE? Depends on the friends and the group. But all else being equal, I prefer being with only one or two friends. Fewer witnesses.

17. DO YOU LIKE THE TYPE OF MUSIC YOUR PARENTS LISTEN TO? My parents’ musical preferences are generally tolerable.

18. DO YOUR PARENTS LIKE THE TYPE OF MUSIC YOU LISTEN TO? Who cares?

19. IF YOU COULD ONLY EAT ONE THING FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Slop (elbow macaroni with meat sauce).

20. WOULD YOU CALL YOURSELF/YOUR FAMILY “MIDDLE CLASS?” Yes.

21. NAME A TV SERIES YOU DIDN’T ENJOY UNTIL AFTER IT ENDED. There are several that I didn’t even start watching until after it ended. The original Star Trek, Twin Peaks, The Wire, Arrested Development come to mind.

22. HAVE YOU EVER BOUGHT A PRODUCT FROM AN INFOMERCIAL? Does a George Foreman grill count?

23. IF YOU COULD GIVE UP YOUR CAR AND NEVER HAVE TO DRIVE AGAIN, WOULD YOU? Only if I could afford to be chauffeured around for the rest of my life.

24. IF YOU GO BACK TO ONE POINT IN TIME TO GIVE ADVICE TO YOURSELF, WHEN WOULD YOU GO AND WHAT WOULD YOU SAY? Spring 1996. Skip the steak dinner. Go with Martha.

25. WHAT’S YOUR “QUIRKIEST” HABIT? I make sure the fridge is closed before turning in for the evening.

26. SOMEONE CLOSE TO YOU IS DYING. YOU HAVE THE CHOICE TO LET THIS PERSON LIVE FOR 10 MORE YEARS, BUT IF YOU DO, YOU CAUSE THE DEATH OF 10 STRANGERS. YOU DON’T HAVE TO SEE THEM DIE. DO YOU TAKE THE OFFER? Tough call. Too many variables. Who are the strangers? Could I pick them? Because I must confess that I’d kill ten bad guys in order to extend the life of a loved one. But even then, it’d depend on the age and condition of the dying– he or she might not want ten more years.

27. WHAT IS ONE THING YOU COULD NEVER FORGIVE? The unforgiven has already been informed.

28. WOULD YOU RATHER BE IN A RELATIONSHIP AFTER THE HONEYMOON PERIOD ENDS, OR BE SINGLE? In the relationship. A wise man once said that life goes on long after the thrill of living is gone.

29. WRITE THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF YOUR OBITUARY. Here goes:

VISCARIELLO, Vincent Dominic, 128, declared dead April 4, 2105 (Mars 80/9/495). Mr. Viscariello disappeared from his suite in the Caveside Hilton at the Coca-Cola/ZeitBank Arsia Mons Colony on April 1, 2104 (Mars 80/3/137) and was declared dead in absentia upon petition by his family. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the Orinthius Octavian Winterbourne Foundation for Economic Education.

30. DO YOU WANT TO HAVE MORE FRIENDS THAN YOU HAVE RIGHT NOW? I’m okay with the number of friends I have now.

31. WHAT PART OF THE PAST YEAR STICKS OUT IN YOUR MIND? Seeing my niece.

32. YOU WIN A SCRATCH-OFF LOTTERY GAME THAT GIVES YOU $2000 A WEEK (AFTER TAXES) FOR THE REST OF YOUR LIFE. DO YOU KEEP YOUR JOB? $104,000 a year? I might hang on to my job, just in case that two grand isn’t going to be adjusted for inflation.

33. COULD YOU BE IN A LONG-DISTANCE RELATIONSHIP? IF YOU’RE IN ONE, WHAT MAKES YOURS WORK? Not easily. Not applicable.

34. WHAT’S THE BEST ROUTE TO YOUR HEART? Up under the sternum.

35. HAVE YOU EVER MET SOMEONE THROUGH THE INTERNET, THEN MET THEM IN REAL LIFE? Yes.

36. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE SPORT? Soccer.

37. WHAT HAS BEEN TROUBLING YOU LATELY? Back.

38. DID YOU ENJOY YOUR HIGH SCHOOL PROM? IF YOU HAVEN’T GOTTEN THERE YET, DO YOU LOOK FORWARD TO IT? IF YOU DIDN’T GO, WHY NOT? I didn’t go because I attended a soccer tournament, which we won by defeating a much-hated arch-rival. I scored either the most or the second-most goals for my team in that tournament.

39. WHAT DO YOU USE MORE OFTEN: YOUR INTUITION OR LOGICAL REASONING? Reasoning, but even my intuition is pretty darned logical.

40. WHAT IS THE NICEST COMPLIMENT YOU’VE EVER BEEN GIVEN? [Redacted]

41. WHO WAS YOUR FIRST CRUSH? A girl named Tracy.

42. DO YOU BELIEVE THAT THERE IS LIFE ON OTHER PLANETS? Yes, for now.

43. PREDICT WHAT YOUR LIFE WILL LOOK LIKE A YEAR FROM NOW. Pretty darned similar to now, except in a different house.

44. OFTEN, PEOPLE WILL ASK HOW YOUR LAST RELATIONSHIP ENDED. I WANT TO KNOW HOW IT BEGAN. In a bookstore.

45. WHERE IS YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO GO OUT AND EAT? Portillo’s.

46. EARLY BIRD OR NIGHT OWL? Night owl.

47. WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU WANT TO CHANGE ABOUT YOUR CURRENT SITUATION? I’d rather be an early bird.

48. ARE THERE ANY CHILDHOOD POSSESSIONS YOU STILL HOLD ON TO? Certainly.

49. GIVE ME AN UNPOPULAR OPINION YOU HAVE. Just one? We should have more states.

50. WHAT WAS THE LAST SONG THAT WAS STUCK IN YOUR HEAD? “I’m not like everybody else,” by the Kinks.

51. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? BE AS GENERAL OR SPECIFIC AS YOU WANT. Inside the Oort Cloud.

52. DO YOU BELIEVE IN GIVING KIDS MEDALS AND TROPHIES FOR PARTICIPATION? No. Maybe certificates.

53. WHAT WAS THE LONGEST CAR RIDE YOU’VE EVER TAKEN? Drove to El Paso and back, although some of my sojourns to the northeast and out to Chicago and back may have technically been longer.

54. HAVE YOU EVER TAKEN PART IN A PROTEST? Yes.

55. WHAT IS YOUR ETHNIC HERITAGE? Depends on who you ask. I say three-quarters Italian, one-quarter Irish.

56. DESCRIBE A PERSON THAT INSPIRES YOU.

57. IF YOU EARN MINIMUM WAGE DOING WHAT YOU LOVE, WOULD YOU? If it were running the multimillion dollar business that I own and that’s rapidly rising in value, then yes.

58. DO YOU BELIEVE IN LUCK? Yes.

59. DESCRIBE THE LAST TIME YOU WERE VERY ANGRY AT SOMEONE. I’d rather not, so that the next time, my target is totally unprepared.

60. DO YOU WANT TO LIVE UNTIL YOU’RE 100? Yes.

61. DO PEOPLE CHANGE? IF SO, HOW DO YOU KEEP A RELATIONSHIP TOGETHER WHEN BOTH OF YOU START TO CHANGE? Yes. Work and love.

62. HAVE YOU EVER RISKED A FRIENDSHIP BY TELLING SOMEONE YOU LIKED THEM? Yes.

63. WOULD YOU RATHER BE ALONE DOING SOMETHING YOU ENJOY, OR DOING SOMETHING YOU DON’T LIKE WITH YOUR BEST FRIENDS? The latter.

64. DO YOU PRACTICE WHAT YOU PREACH? Generally.

65. IF YOU TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO STAY SAFE, DO YOU ULTIMATELY ACT MORE RECKLESSLY? Yes. This is almost true by definition, and the phenomenon is not unknown to those of us who study econ.

66. WHAT DO YOU VALUE MORE IN A SIGNIFICANT OTHER: ATTRACTIVENESS OR INTELLIGENCE? Intelligence is part of the attraction, so intelligence.

67. ARE YOU HARD-HEADED? Yes.

68. HAVE YOU EVER LAUGHED UNCONTROLLABLY WHEN IT WAS SOCIALLY INAPPROPRIATE? Yes.

69. WOULD YOU PREFER TO LIVE? A CITY? THE SUBURBS? THE COUNTRYSIDE? THE MOUNTAINS? Suburbs, especially if equidistant from the city, the countryside, and the mountains.

70. DO YOU OFTEN SKIP BREAKFAST? I’d say 95% of the time.

71. HOW DO YOU KNOW WHAT TRUE LOVE IS? I can’t tell you, but it lasts forever. (The lyrics don’t exactly match, but whatever.)

72. WOULD YOU WANT TO KNOW THE EXACT DATE AND TIME YOU WERE GOING TO DIE? Yes.

73. WHERE IS “HOME” FOR YOU? Nice try, stalker.

74. DO YOU WANT TO BE PERFECT? “Want to be”?

75. WHAT HAVE YOU NEVER TRIED, BUT WOULD REALLY LIKE TO SOMEDAY? WHAT’S HOLDING YOU BACK? Flying a plane. I haven’t been diagnosed with a terminal illness yet.

76. HOW DO YOU EXPRESS YOUR CREATIVITY? This here blog’s about as close to creativity as I get.

77. DESCRIBE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD. I’m not going to fall for this.

78. NAME SOMETHING YOU ONLY LIKED BECAUSE IT WAS POPULAR. I’d have to dig around the old memory palace before finding an answer. I realized a very long time ago that “fitting in” isn’t me.

79. GIVE ME THE STORY OF YOUR LIFE IN SIX WORDS. “Mind your own damn business. Please.”

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