Wednesday, January 14, 2009

7 Things You Probably Don't Know About Me

I have not technically been tagged, I don't think, but I am taking @Hello_Nurse 's and @trelvix 's queries as to whether I have written my 7 things yet as constructive tags to do the same. It appears that @texburgher has tagged his entire list of people he follows, which I think might not be in the spirit of the meme, but it is efficient!

This is an interesting and tricky enterprise. Most information I feel comfortable sharing directly is available below (in the "About This Person" post), and there is plenty more available indirectly at the opoyul~ pages and elsewhere. So, what is there that is both plausibly of interest and share-able?

1. In June, 2000, on an internship with an international law entity, I spent 10-15 minutes in the hugely echoing double-staircase marble entryway of the Peace Palace in the Hague in the dark, at night, with nobody there, whistling every song I could think of. It was marvelous. The coolest thing I have ever done and ever expect to do.

2. I believe that a desire for physical immortality, or even simple immortality of consciousness, is inherently immoral. I cannot say for certain whether this belief predates my initial diagnosis with brain tumor, but I know that I had well developed negative opinions on the subject in the early years, after resection surgery but before the first time I went on chemo. If you show even the slightest signs of asking me more about how I feel about this, I will tell you at length.

3. Although I do not self-identify as part of any particular religious or non-religious group (raised atheist, educated Presbyterian, friends and relatives of all different faiths), I pray daily. That prayer consists solely of "Thank you for this beautiful day." I started praying more than ten years ago, and it took a while to figure out what I had to say, but eventually it all boiled down to simply being grateful for existence and for this beautiful world (as horrible and ugly as life and people often are).

4. I smoke Marlboro Reds. At least a pack a day. Suck it! Too bad! Not going to quit. I will probably continue to want to want to quit, because my smoking distresses my loved ones. If a day arrives when I do in fact just want to quit, I will quit. I have quit a couple of times before, once for a few years, but the day came when I didn't want to be quit anymore, and started again.

5. I don't see movies in the theater anymore, and almost never watch them on dvd. I have stopped watching TV, too. Pretty much the only books I read now are ones (A) I have read before; or (B) are guaranteed to blow my mind with awesome information; and (C) are fun. This amazes me sometimes. From my teens up through most of my twenties (I am 36), I was fairly committed to staying on top of what were the actually good movies and books coming out, and I did a reasonably good job of it. No more Pynchon (bums me out), no more Nabokov (ditto), leery of all the McSweeney's folks too, now that I suspect them of planning a New Yorker coup and simply becoming the new boss, just like the old boss. Now it is not so much that I can't be bothered but that I have an actual aversion to finding these things out unless its by cheating and reading reviews and keeping up with the Onion AV Club.

Almost there!

6. I suspect that I have some psychic powers. All the evidence for this probably boils down to well-trained intelligence and highly intuitive thought processing, except for the way I can usually tell which elevator in a bank of elevators is going to open its doors, even when there is no display of what floors the elevators are on. I do give pretty good Tarot readings, but there really isn't anything paranormal about it. On this general subject, I will say that Ouija boards are wicked, if only in that they invariably bring out the worst in people.

7. Things I am irrationally frightened of: two that I can think of right this second. The first is water, mainly the ocean. Drowning. I nearly died being born (breech birth, one leg caught up, weight 1/10th my mother's entire body weight), and there might be a correlation. The second is engines, or anything running on a gas tank. This has mainly been a problem with lawn mowers and camping stoves - I just can't deal with them.

There are my 7 things, all of them easier to share than my ambition, occasionally alluded to on this blog, of having a hand in tearing down and rebuilding the decadent state of Western literary culture.

Now that I have written up my 7 things I will just totally copy @texburgher and tag these folks.


Hello_Nurse said...

Awesome! I had not gotten around to tagging anyone yet but you were at the top of my list so thank you for beating me to it. Thank you for sharing so much!

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