Friday, November 25, 2005

Tag - I'm It!

My buddy Pete tagged me with this silly blog version of a chain letter - but, as they say “When in Rome . . . see if you can make a lunch date with the Pope” (or something along those lines). And this is a bit more fun than those sentimental statement chain emails that tell you some glorious truism about life and then make you feel guilty if you don’t send it back to the person who sent it to you as well as 100 other friends.


Rules are as follows: Remove the blog at #1 from the following list and bump everyone up one place; add your blog to the #5 spot.

Here's Your Sign

MamaKBear's World

Not so silent lucidiy

Life Isn't Fair

Mark Leslie

Next: Select 5 new friends to piss off.

The Lone Consultant
Rick Mercer

(Lucky you’re in London right now Gwen, ‘cause you were gonna be next - but I put Rick into your place instead - let’s see if he’ll play, because I'm sure his answers would be hilarious)

--------------- Q & A ---------------

What were you doing 10 years ago?

In 1995 I was living in Ottawa, a few years after graduating from Carleton University and, having given up on the thought that I could write full time and work a multitude of part-time jobs (Theatre Technician, Security Guard, Trade Show Laborer) and still make ends meet, I’d taken the plunge for full-time work (with actual benefits) at the very low paying (but guaranteed full-time hours) roll of bookseller within Coles. I think 1995 was about the time that Coles and SmithBooks merged to become Chapters (little did we know that Chapters would be taken over by Indigo some 5 years later)

I had been writing back then as well. That year, apart from a handful of reviews of novels and anthologies and magazines, I published a single short story in Crossroads magazine. It was called “But Once A Year”

1995 was a good year for me because Francine and I were engaged, but it was also a tough year because my best friend and long-running room-mate Steve and I finally parted ways when Fran and I moved in together in a condo in Nepean and out of the Glebe in Ottawa where I’d spent some of the best years of my young adult life.

What were you doing 1 year ago?

One year ago I was working for the very same company I’d been working at in 1995. Okay, so it’s been 2 different companies since then (Coles became Chapters became Indigo), but I’ve held the same employee ID all these years. The company changed and I survived all half dozen mergers through those years. One year ago I was going into my first Christmas season where I wasn’t in a management role (it was blissful), and I was eagerly anticipating my son’s first Christmas.

With my writing, I was just coming off the high of having my short story collection “One Hand Screaming” published and a series of book signings in Sudbury, and Hamilton.

Five snacks you enjoy:

1) Salt and vinegar potato chips
2) Tortilla Chips and salsa
3) Hot buttered popcorn
4) Peanut M&M’s
5) Beer (it is too a snack food)

Five songs to which you know all the lyrics:

You mean besides “Row, Row, Row Your Boat?” (I mean, who doesn’t know the lyrics to that one - of course, it took a while to realize that it wasn’t a song about a girl named “Mary-Lee”)

In The Air Tonight (Phil Collins)
Like the goofy intense artist in that Seinfeld episode who claimed “Desperato” was his song, this was my song for most of my teenage years. Good old Phil

In Your Eyes (Peter Gabriel)
Francine and I used this as “our first dance” song at our wedding. Gabriel’s “So” had always been a favourite album of mine, and we’d wanted a non-traditional song that we loved and that had special meaning for us for our special “first” dance.

Cats in the Cradle (Cat Stevens)
This song always made me cry when I was young, always having a soft spot in my heart for father-son relationships. Now that I’ve been blessed with the privilege of being a father, it still makes me cry - I haven’t been able to get through a single round of singing it to Alexander without crying, even though, so far, we’re pretty tight, he and I, because I haven’t had a plane to catch while he was learning to walk.

Tears (RUSH)
Okay, so I know all the lyrics from virtually every song off of the every Rush album up until the last two. I chose this one for two reasons -- a) because many of my favourite Rush tunes can be traced back to the album 2112 and b) because I was such a Rush nerd that I circulated a petition in high school to get the DJ to play this ballad at a dance and I danced to this song with the girl who completely owned my heart at the time. I started to learn how to play this song on the guitar a few years ago and will likely return to learn this song as well as Madrigal

The Theme Song to Cheers (Gary Portnoy - “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”)
Yes, I know ALL the lyrics from the full song, not just the shortened version they played for the show’s theme. My heart broke when Cheers was finally pulled off the air, as I had a great ritual of sitting down to watch an episode late at night after getting home from work and drinking a beer (or two or three) in my favourite chair. I had a blast when I taught this song to my drama students and the tune “Where Everybody Knows Your Name” represented the drama studio’s open and friendly welcoming atmosphere. (Not sure why no parents ever got upset that I was teaching their children a song about a bar) Along these lines, I can still recite the theme songs to “Gilligan’s Island”, “The Fall Guy”, “Perfect Strangers”, “The Dukes of Hazard” and “Bosom Buddies” (which was really just Billy Joel’s “My Life”) If I try really hard, I can recite the theme to “Alice” and hum the tune to “Knight Rider”

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

1) Keep my day job for long enough to enjoy the occasional rented helicopter commute from Hamilton to Toronto. (I would offer rides, of course, to my GO train buddies)
2) I would see what it would be like to roll around naked in a huge pile of money
3) I’d likely eat out more often rather than taking my lunch to work every day
4) I’d set up a trust fund in my father’s name and dole out money each year to a young person who demonstrates a love and passion for the great outdoors
5) I would buy you a monkey. "Haven’t you always wanted a monkey?” I know I have. (with a tip of my hat to the Bare Naked Ladies)

Five bad habits:
1) I bite my nails (it drives Fran nuts)
2) I sing popular tunes with modified lyrics to match the day’s circumstances
3) Frequently commit to more than I can handle
4) Sometimes when people are talking there’s a little Homer Simpson in my head running around a tree chasing a squirrel and giggling like a school girl -- too often I’m paying more attention to that image than I am to the conversation at hand. (But man does it ever get me through a lot of boring meetings)
5) I’m convinced that everyone else on the highway is an asshole but me. (No wait, that’s not a bad habit, that’s the truth, dammit!)

Five things you like doing:
1) Writing
2) Reading
3) Laughing (with friends or just by myself when planning great schemes - mwah hah hah!)
4) Going on a date with my wife - just the two of us, nice conversation, staring into her beautiful eyes
5) Reminiscing with strangers (it really keeps me on my toes)

Five things you would never wear again:
1) My cousin’s bra and nightie (don’t ask, it was a dare)
2) Toothpaste on my eyelids (I was pretending to be a zombie and scare a younger friend of mine - man that stuff smarts when you get it in your eyes)
3) That smug “I told you so” smile that precedes me having to sleep on the couch or in the garage
4) Briefs (I love my boxers)
5) That sleeveless black leather “Playboy” vest-shirt I wore in high school that I thought made me look cool

Five favorite toys:
1) Lego’s (particularly “Space Lego”)
2) Mr. Potato Head
3) X-Box (the old one, not the new 360 thing-a-ma-gig)
4) Does my basement beer tap and bar count as a toy?
5) Power tools


Pete Mitchell said...

Ooo. I do that Homer Simpson thing too. You almost feel guilty cuz people think you're really deep, and you're not.

Thanks for being a sport. (And standing by me when the world thought I turned into a little censorship Nazi. I'll never tag, flag, shag, gag, bag, lag, nag, rag, sag or anything else that ends with -ag ever again.)

Mr B said...

Hey, there is a guy that can help you get more leggo....assuming he makes bale....

Rainypete said...

I've lost countless hours to Lego and hope that once the children get a little bigger that people will stop staring so much.

Kimberly said...

I'm diappointed that you never wore that playboy shirt to Chapters....the look on your fellow manager's faces would have been priceless! You were by far the best manager there!


Bob said...

Dude.... currently in BC watching the sun sink in the horizon (among other things). Will post my results when I get back.

Lyvvie said...

I don't know about the beer as a snack thing. I mean if it's beer on it's own, I don't think it counts, but if it's beer combined with any of the other choices then yes, it's a snack.

It's like, a cup of coffee is just a drink, but coffee and a donut is a snack. Beer is just a drink on it's own, but beer and nachos, now that's a snack!

As someone who is a Space Lego and Star Wars far, have you seen Revenge of the Brick" yet? said...

Dude I have never been tagged before, don't get any ideas. Nice HNT.


Mantaray Ocean said...

Great Responses to the dreaded Chain Letter... ;0

Brilliant actually :)

and one that does not promise you 7 yrs of bad luck ...