Monday, May 01, 2006

Uneasy poster

I have a bit of a problem with memes, because, whether you believe it or not, I'm actually kind of a private person, and revealing stuff about myself does not come easy. But Wen tagged me, so how can I refuse? Here I go!

5 Nicknames you've had (or have):

When I was a kid, I was called "Ears," because I had big ones that stuck out. I didn't like it. But that's another story. As I grew up, they stayed big, but somehow flattened back against my skull, like normal people's, so now they aren't as noticeable.

Other than that, I don't think I've ever been called by any nickname other than Greg. Not to my face, anyway.

5 Sweet Treats You Like to Eat:

I'm not much on sweets, so I'll fudge (pun intended) on this one a little:

  1. Plain vanilla ice cream

  2. Plain cake donuts

  3. Plain potato chips

  4. Plain cheesecake

  5. Lime-flavored Tostilla chips in refried bean dip

5 Things People Would Be Surprised You Have:

  1. Beagle socks!

  2. A pith helmet (don't ask)

  3. A blog (most people know me as a very private person, and would be surprised that I post any of my thoughts on the Internet)

  4. Reiki Master certification (most people think of me as a Spock-like geek, and are surprised when they find I'm involved with something "weird")

  5. Four cases of Forest Glen Chardonnay stacked in my living room (hey, it's good stuff -- when it goes on super-duper sale, you have to stock up!)

5 Fabulous Celebrations:

The last five holidays -- Christmas, Thanksgiving, Labor Day, Independence Day, or Memorial Day -- that Judi held one of her fabulous cookouts, stirring up her gourmet food in quantities that exceeded by four or five times the capacity of those present to consume it. Leftovers! Yay!

5 Things You'd Like to Have:

  1. A beachfront condo in Miami Beach. South Beach.

  2. Wealth (kinda goes with #1)

  3. A chance to relive the last few years of my mother's life, so that I could treat her better than I did the first time around

  4. A picture of Missy's face in the window, greeting me as I came home

  5. Love

5 Cool Presents You've Received:

  1. A ring

  2. Thirty years ago my brother gave me a sweater. I'm not kidding -- it was so long ago that he doesn't even remember anymore. It's a cable knit, and buttons up the front, kind of like a Mr. Rogers sweater. After all this time, I still have it. It's missing a couple of buttons, and has a couple of holes, but I still keep it at work, where I need it because although my company preaches conservation and environmentalism up one side and down the other, they also over-air-condition my building so it's as cold as heck.

  3. When I was a child -- I don't know how old, maybe ten or so -- my parents gave us a sleeps-four tent for Christmas. It was meant for camping, of course, but in the mountains of New Hampshire in December with I-don't-know-how-many-feet of snow on the ground, putting it to use right away didn't seem to be in the cards. It was a disappointment. But then my father decided that it would be alright put the tent up in our living room. We had solid wood floors. He got a hammer, and nails took the place of tent stakes. That Christmas night, and I don't know how many nights after, my brother and sister and I slept in sleeping bags in our tent in our living room. We camped in our living room. It was way cool. I can't tell you how great it was. I have lots of great memories of growing up, but this is among the greatest. Since then, my life has taken such a course that I didn't have children of my own, but if I had, I would have wanted them to have memories like this. Like my parents, I wouldn't have worried about the nail holes in the floor. Memories mean so much more. (The cool present, in case you're wondering, wasn't the tent, it was the memory.)

  4. A pair of Birkenstock Wicklow shoes. These are awesome shoes. They are so comfortable. I love these shoes. And this is coming from someone who doesn't even like to wear shoes. When I die, these are the shoes I would want to be buried in, except I don't want to be buried, I want to be cremated, and why incinerate a wonderful pair of shoes? Nope, cook me naked, and give these shoes to someone else who has small feet.

  5. Love

5 Things You've Collected:

  1. Orchids

  2. The Nero Wolfe stories by Rex Stout

  3. The Brandstetter stories by Joseph Hansen

  4. Maybe I should just say books. Did I mention books?

  5. Love, not "collected" in the sense that I've displayed it on poster board attached with a pin, but collected in the sense that it adhered to me some, like dust. Magic dust.

5 Books you've read in the past 5 years:

This is easy. I've been slowly plowing through Joseph Hansen's Brandstetter mysteries, in the order they were written, and so here are the last five that I've finished:

  1. The Boy Who Was Buried Yesterday

  2. The Little Dog Laughed

  3. Early Graves

  4. Skinflick

  5. Fadeout

Some of Hansen's works are better than others, but always he forms words into structures that are like perfectly clear and cut crystals, even when the passage itself is relating a mundane matter. This is a quote from the opening page of The Boy Who Was Buried Yesterday. Enid and Roy are co-owners of a "paintball park" near Los Angeles. One of their customers was recently killed by a for-real gun, and Enid is worried that it will scare other customers away:

He [Roy] said proudly, "Only the Combat Zome gives you ground fog for your action pursuit games."

"Paintball," Enid Saddler said. She had a flat, prairie face, crinkled around the eyes, a flat, prairie voice. She wore a plaid cotton shirt and blue jeans. Her hips were skinny. She crossed her arms over flat breasts. "Paintball games," she told Dave [Brandstetter]. "That's what we'll be calling them from here on."

"Maybe you," Roy grunted. "Not me. Fancy-ass word. Shaves all the hair off. Men don't play 'paintball.'" He sneered. "Men play action pursuit. Search and destroy. That's what men play." He coughed, hard, racked by cough, bloated face turning red. He dropped his cigarette, stepped on it. "'Paintball games.'" He wheezed. "Shit."

"Shaves all the hair off." Isn't that such a great turn of words?

5 slang terms you use regularly:

Strictly speaking, I think these are jargon, not slang, but I'm going to bend the rules a little bit. You may not get these if you aren't a geek:

  1. Strike

  2. Under

  3. Whack

  4. Pipe

  5. Splat



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