Saturday, August 02, 2008

Two Memes for the Price of One

Ian tagged me for this one, but I saw it first at Charlotte’s and then at Ms. Make Tea’s. By the time it had come to them, though, some of the 40 things had been dropped, so, being the insatiably curious cat that I am, I hunted around for a version with all 40 until I found one (and I found it dating all the way back to before I even had a blog. This was, I think (one never knows what’s original to a meme) originally called the “40 Things Meme,” but the editor in me was balking at that. Thus, my red pencil has deleted that and replaced it with a more accurate term (is it kosher to change the names of memes? Oh...wait a minute. I'm Her Majesty, The Queen o' Memes. That means I get to make the rules, so, yes, it's absolutely kosher).


1. My uncle once arrived at our house, unannounced, while our parents were out of town and we had a babysitter, and he brought butter pecan ice cream with him (an event I still remember, because we didn’t see that uncle much).

2. Never in my life have I seen a panda in the wild, but it’s a great dream of mine.

3. When I was five we spent a glorious summer living in England, where I discovered the delights of eating English sweets and drinking orange squash (which, like Kool-Aid, is way too sweet for me now). If you read Ian’s answers, this makes us sound like twins, but we’re not. We just happened to also spend a summer in England when he was five. I was eight by then.

4. High School was excessively boring (except for the one semester I spent in England, which was excessively confusing). I couldn’t wait to go to college.

5. I will never forget my first scuba diving experience, getting to see both a HUGE sea turtle and an octopus in one dive. I had no idea how uncommon an experience this was until I took up the sport in earnest.

6. I once met Michael Cunningham and said the most idiotic thing to him, which was that I’d been waiting forever for his newest book to be published. Come to think of it, that’s something I’ll never forget, either. Wish I could.

7. There's this girl I know who just moved back to California, and I’m very sad about that (not that I was seeing her much, she being in CT, and I in PA, but it was at least “do-able,” and now she’s going to grow up, and I’m going to miss each stage, and next time I see her, I probably won’t recognize her).

8. Once, at a bar I actually met a decent guy, and we dated for quite some time.

9. By noon, I'm usually starving if I haven’t had any sort of a mid-morning snack.

10. Last night I went to the community picnic, ate way too much delicious food, and watched fireworks.

11. If I only had a perfectly strong and healthy body that would remain so until I’m 95 years old, and then I’d just go to bed one night and wake up dead the next morning (who knows? Maybe I do?).

12. Next time I go to church might be sometime today, depending on if I go visit the minister or not. Next time I attend services will be tomorrow, when I go twice: Sunday morning and then to the community hymn sing we have once a month on summer Sunday evenings. The better fill-in for a minister’s wife, I guess, would be: Next time I don’t go to church will be Sunday, Aug. 31, when, if all goes as planned, I will be communing with God’s creation, oh, somewhere around 60 feet below sea level.

13. Terry Shiavo is an extremely mysterious fill-in. I haven’t a clue what to say or what’s expected here. Come on, you’ve got to give me more than a person’s name. How about: The Terry Shiavo story makes me hope I never wind up in a vegetative state (although I hoped that long before anyone had ever heard of Terry Shiavo)?

14. What worries me most right now (got to have a clarifier in there for someone who worries as much as I do), because I just skimmed The NYT online, is that the American public is stupid enough to give us four more years of a Republican president, despite the disastrous 7 ½ we’ve just had.

15. When I turn my head left, I see a comfy couch with a lovely hand-made quilt stretched across its back, where I love to lie and read for both work and pleasure.

16. When I turn my head right, I see part of a blank wall and part of a large window that looks out on the parking lot and part of the church.

17. You know I'm lying when I’m telling a story about something that happened to me. I mean, come on, no one’s memory is that good to be able to remember everything exactly as it happened (which is why I get so frustrated with all the debates surrounding memoir-writing-and-publishing). I do try to tell such stories without lying, though.

18. What I miss most about the eighties is smoking.

19. If I was a character in Shakespeare, I'd be any number of ghosts. Or maybe one of Macbeth’s witches.

20. By this time next year maybe I will have encountered the elusive ghost who lives in my house, but don’t hold your breath. It’s about as likely as having the attic cleared out and organized.

21. A better name for me would be one that I can’t possibly think of right now. Maybe that means there isn’t a better name for me?

22. I have a hard time understanding why people are so afraid to let homosexuals get married/be ordained ministers. Actually, having studied psychology, I do understand it, but I still say I don’t, because it bothers me so much.

23. If I ever go back to school, I'll take more math courses than I did the first go-around.

24. You know I like you if I recommend/lend/give you books.

25. If I ever won an award, the first person I'd thank would be Bob. He’d better do the same for me.

26. Darwin, Mozart, Slim Pickens & Geraldine Ferraro is what? The free association sentence to finish?

27. Take my advice, never go running through the woods at dusk while listening to the audiobook version of Dracula. I promise you: it’s true that your brain doesn’t know the difference between a rapid heartbeat due to exercise and a rapid heartbeat due to fear. (Then again, it may be something you want to try if you’re into adrenalin rushes and being scared shitless.)

28. My ideal breakfast is something huge and extremely unhealthy eaten while sitting at a booth at a diner.

29. A song I love, but do not have is difficult to find, since I tend to go out and buy entire albums having heard only one song, but it’s a song I love. This means I have lots of albums that have many, many mediocre songs and just one I love.

30. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you get out of it before you think it seems like such a nice place, decide to settle down there, and find yourself immersed in its muckiness from whence you will have a difficult time extracting yourself. That’s my hometown. If you’re talking about where I now live, I suggest you visit in mid-summer and enjoy all the fantastic local produce and the green, green fields (but bring a gun to protect yourself from all the “Christians” who are busy protecting themselves with one).

31. Tulips, character flaws, microchips & track stars is helping me understand why some very wise people decided to delete some of the 40 fill-ins. (It’s also bringing back nightmares of absurd S.A.T. analogies.)

32. Why won't people just give me a nice cottage on the water near Acadia, ME and a two-bedroom apartment in Upper-West-Side Manhattan overlooking the Hudson? (Oh, am I sounding like a broken record again? Sorry.)

33. If you spend the night at my house you must be able to ignore clutter and dust while eating good food and engaging in even better conversation (oh yeah, and did I mention you must not be afraid of books, as you will encounter thousands of them?).

34. I'd stop my wedding for is another reason to skip a few of the forty. What on earth is expected here? Are we meant to produce some other person we would have married instead? Or prove we’re not so callous that we certainly would have stopped in the middle of our vows had Great Uncle Herman collapsed from a stroke?

35. The world could do without another book whose cover copy depicts it as being the “new David Sedaris” when it most certainly isn’t.

36. I'd rather lick the belly of a cockroach than puke. I despise throwing up. But then, I’d probably puke if I licked the belly of a cockroach.

37. My favorite blond is me. She’s also my least favorite blond. After all, it’s all about me, which is why this is called a "meme."

38. Paper clips are more useful than those stupid “Baby on Board” signs. I mean, has anyone ever, ever thought, “Oh, yes, ‘baby on board.’ I must slow down and drive really, really carefully now” when they’ve encountered one of those?” And are we all so blind that we can’t see that HUGE baby seat (or two) in the back of any car?

39. If I do anything well, it's: avoiding housework and keeping my house in a nice squalid fashion while wishing I had better housekeeping skills and a home like those belonging to my more obsessive-compulsive organized and tidier friends and acquaintances.

40. And by the way: I can completely understand why some chose to delete a number of these 40 fill-ins. But that doesn’t mean I’m letting you off the hook if you want to do this one. After all, I slogged my way through all 40, and it’s not misery, but rather, those asking “WTF?” who love company.

And then, while searching for the 40 Finish-the-Sentence Meme, I went and found this one. It seems originally to have been from MySpace. You can tell by all the grammatical errors, misplaced commas, and awkward phrasing that this one was not created by a book blogger. Then again, maybe there's some sort of virus attached to this meme, because spell/grammar check wanted me to make all kinds of weird changes to my answers, not the least of which was changing an "I am" to "I are."


1. Have you ever been searched by the cops?

2. Do you close your eyes on roller coasters?
Only when I’m worried my contacts might blow out of my eyes, but most of the time I forget about that and leave them open.

3. When's the last time you've been sledding?
So long ago, I can’t even begin to remember. Does using a river-rafting boat to go down a snow-covered hill in Crater Lake National Park count? If so, that would be 1987.

4. Would you rather sleep with someone else, or alone?
Someone else, as long as it’s Bob. Otherwise, alone. I’m a terribly restless sleeper and worry too much that I’d keep someone else awake. Bob is used to it.

5. Do you believe in ghosts?
If you don’t know the answer to this question, you must be new to my blog. See: here and here and here for just a few answers to this question.

6. Do you consider yourself creative?
I do, but my bosses have consistently not rated me as high in this area as they do in other areas when filling out evaluation forms, which makes me wonder: do I save my creative energies for endeavors outside of work?

7. Do you think O.J. killed his wife?
Of course I do, as would anyone who has a fleeting acquaintance with statistics and thus knows who is likely to kill whom in this world (e.g. wives of abusive husbands are most likely to have been killed by said husbands when they wind up dead).

8. Jennifer Aniston or Angelina Jolie?
I’m not particularly fond of either. I used to like Angelina Jolie, sort of, before anyone seemed to be paying much attention to who she was.

9. Do you stay friends with your ex’s?
I’ve stayed friends with one, but he and I were friends first anyway, and we eventually both came to the mutual agreement (he sooner than I) that we were really not meant to be more than friends. Others I stayed friends with for a while, but we eventually lost touch.

10. Do you know how to play poker?
Yes, I've known how to play that since I was about eight (which came in handy when I was in my late teens and early twenties, and people at parties -- for some strange reason, usually the boys -- had the bright idea of playing strip versions). Bridge, on the other hand, is still a game I want to learn to play.

11. Have you ever been awake for 48 hours straight?
Does three nights in a row with less than four hours of sleep each night count? I suppose not, so I guess the answer is “no.”

12. What's your favorite commercial?
I like that old cell phone commercial where the guy had ordered oxen, but because his cell phone broke up, he received dachshunds instead. I also like the one for some insurance company where the guy is on hold on a phone that isn’t cordless, and his food starts to burn, and he can’t reach the burner in the kitchen, and then he grabs a broom, and the broom catches on fire. Most commercials are pretty lame, though.

13. What are you allergic to?
Sulfa and Penicillin, and, it seems, I’ve recently developed allergies to pollen.

14. If you're driving in the middle of the night, and no one is around, do you run red lights?
I don’t exactly run them, but I stop and then go through them before they turn green, especially if I’m in a “dodgy” part of town.

15. Do you have a secret that no one knows but you?
I can’t think of any, but that doesn’t mean I don’t. It’d be pretty difficult to have a secret nobody else knows, though, wouldn’t it? I mean, barring something like, “I beat my dog when no one is around, and he doesn’t make a sound, so even the neighbors don’t know,” but then, the dog knows that, doesn’t he?

16. Boston Red Sox or New York Yankees?
New York Yankees, but I’m a weird Yankees fan and also like the Red Sox.

17. Have you ever been Ice Skating?
Yes. I broke my wrist ice skating back in the days when I used to skate once or twice a week.

18. How often do you remember your dreams?
Every morning I remember at least one; often I remember more than one. By lunchtime, though, they’re pretty much gone if I don’t discuss them with anyone.

19. When was the last time you laughed so hard you cried?
I don’t know. I do that all the time, if you just mean my eyes began to water a little.

20. Can you name 5 songs by The Beatles?
But, of course. (This must be one for the under-thirty set.)

21. What's the one thing on your mind now?
Getting through these forty questions.

22. Do you know who Ghetto-ass barbie is?
Haven’t a clue. Sounds horrible, though.

23. Do you always wear your seat belt?
Yes. I was in a car accident when I was learning to drive, and my head hit the windshield so hard, I saw stars, even with my seatbelt on. I was terrified as to what would have happened if I hadn’t been wearing it and have worn one ever since.

24. What cell service do you use?
I’m not about to give a cell phone company free advertising like that.

25. Do you like Sushi?
Absolutely LOVE it! As a matter of fact, if you like it and want to have lunch with me sometime...

26. Have you ever narrowly avoided a fatal accident?
Now, how would I know? When I’ve slammed on my brakes and swerved out of the way, or grabbed onto the railing just in time, or watched a tree fall ahead of me, the last thing on my mind is, “Well, that one was sure to have been fatal if I hadn’t avoided it.” At that moment, I’m just happy to have avoided any sort of accident.

27. What do you wear to bed?
Comfortable pajamas or nothing.

28. Been caught stealing?

29. What shoe size do you have?
7 or 7 ½ , depending on the shoe

30. Do you truly hate anyone?
Yes: Dick Cheney, who is evil personified, at least if everything I’ve read about him is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn’t. Jesse Helms was up there, too. And Charles Manson. And Ted Bundy. Actually, I guess this list could get pretty long, so I’m going to stop here.

31. Classic Rock or Rap?
How about folk? Or classic alternative rock? But, yeah, a lot of classic rock, and a minuscule amount of rap.

32. If you could sleep with one famous person, who would it be?
That depends on how we’re defining “famous.” Bob’s pretty “famous” being a pastor in a small town, and he’d be my first choice. If you mean someone famous enough to end up in the tabloids, though, it would be Sting, based on that infamous Rolling Stone interview that had the yoga quote in it.

33. Favorite Song?
I can’t ever name only one favorite anything, so I’m skipping this one.

34. Have you ever sang in front of the mirror?
Hmmm…up until this point, I’ve been able to ignore all the grammatical errors. However, this one is impossible to ignore, no? But the answer to the question is no. I have, however, danced and played both air guitar and air drums in front of a mirror to see how idiotic I looked doing so.

35. What food do you find disgusting?
Not much, really, that I truly find disgusting, although there are a few things I don’t particularly like (sun-dried tomatoes always spring to mind). I suppose I’d have to say some things that others consider “food” that I don’t, such as insects.

36. Do you sing in the shower?
Sometimes, if I’ve got something going around in my head, but it’s pretty atypical.

37. Did you ever play, "I'll show you mine, if you show me yours"?

38. Have you ever made fun of your friends behind their back?
Maybe when I was a kid or a teenager, but I certainly haven’t since I became an adult. I do it all the time when they’re present, though, but still not as often as I make fun of myself.

39. Have you ever stood up for someone you hardly knew?
Yes, all the time.

40. Have you ever been punched in the face?
No. I’ve never been punched anywhere. I’ve never even been slapped in the face, and I hope to keep it that way for the rest of my life.

And now, you really know more about me than anyone should be the least bit interested in knowing. It was fun, though. If you’d like to do either or both of these, please do. I’d love to know more about you than anyone should be the least bit interested in knowing, because I’m not just anyone, but, rather, someone who is excessively nosy.


Rebecca H. said...

So much interesting information here! And yes, those memes are quite strange -- I can see why someone would edit them just a bit ... but they do yield fun answers ...

Amanda said...

I've no idea if either of these two factoids are true but I like to think the first one is:

1. apparently Sting has since clarified that when he said 8 hours he was including 7 hours and 50 minutes of begging.

2. I used to think those baby on board signs were kind of smug and also pointless & unlikely to change anyone's driving behavior. However someone told me what they are supposed to be for, is if there is a serious car accident, emergency workers will know there is a baby in the back if the car has to be cut open

Emily Barton said...

Dorr, yep, they do yield fun answers, but I think I'm all fun-answered out for a while at this point. 80 is a huge number to which I never should have committed. So, for a while now, I think I'm going to avoid any blog posts with the word "meme" in the title.

Ms Make Tea, really? Huh! If that's the case then I take back my answers for those two questions (but I'm not coming up with new ones).

ZoesMom said...

You really are Queen o' Memes!

Love your answers. They definitely feed the nosy in me. I'll have to get around to one or possibly both of these -- weird questions and all.

Emily Barton said...

ZM, I'd recommend doing only one at a time. It's hard to do both! Having said that, though, I of course want you to do both.