Several months ago I made a few posts with a series of fun yet thought-provoking questions that I’d stumbled across online. My job is one of the most low-key (i.e. boring) situations one could ever hope to be paid for, and since I am not permitted to surf The Net or use my smartphone while I’m on the clock (and of course I would NEVER break the rules) I must find other ways to amuse myself. I’m all about introspection and find these types of exercises to be cathartic, stimulating, & a charming diversion, so when I saw a couple of other questionnaires I decided to condense them a bit and accept the challenge. I eliminated a few dozen questions that I found rather lame & uninspiring, and I’ve done my best to exclude replication from the previous posts, although I apologize in advance because I am sure I fell short in that regard. If you are really bored or have some sort of odd desire to get to know Yours Truly a little better then you’re in the right place.
If you could learn only one magic spell, but it could only do something mundane and boring, what would the spell do??
Well first of all one would need to specifically know what is considered “mundane & boring”. Assuming those parameters are up to each individual, I would love to be able to disapparate, like they do in Harry Potter. No more driving for this guy…just POOF and I’m wherever I need or want to be.
What would be the scariest sound to hear after waking up suddenly in the middle of the night??
Any kind of wild animal sounds emanating from inside my abode.
What high level job do you think you could lie your way into with no experience and no one would notice??
Judging by what I see in the media these days…journalist. Atleast I know I can write proficiently.
Who or what is your nemesis??
What would be the consequences of a scientific discovery that extended the life span of humans to 500 years??
Wow…that’s an interesting thought. I suppose there’d be myriad issues. Overcrowding. Food & water shortage. Lack of jobs for all those people living so much longer. Economic issues due to people utilizing “entitlements” much longer. It’d be like when a website suddenly becomes popular and gets so much traffic that it crashes the server.
What’s the worst and best thing about being male??
The best thing is that we don’t have to deal with female issues like pregnancy & menstruation. The worst thing is that we have to deal with women lol.
What childish thing do you still enjoy??
I believe that retaining some sense of an inner child can be healthy. I still love Christmas & Santa Claus. I’ve been a pro wrestling fan for nearly 40 years, and I am aware that some might consider that childish (I disagree).
What movie can you watch over and over and never get tired of??
I could probably name dozens of movies like that. The Godfather. The Meg Ryan rom-com three pack…When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle, & You’ve Got Mail. Forrest Gump. A bunch of Christmas movies. Grumpy/Grumpier Old Men. Field of Dreams.
If you designed and built a tree house, what would it look like and what would be in it??
It’d be a mix of simplicity & comfort. I’d have a bookshelf because I think a treehouse would be an awesome place to read. I suppose I’d want some form of electricity or a generator hookup because I’d need a small refrigerator for snacks & drinks, light so that I could hang out reading on warm summer nights, and access to music. Two things that I’d deny myself are TV & internet access. A guy has to rough it a bit sometimes, right?? Some sort of cot or small bed would be nice because just like the reading thing I think a treehouse would be a cool place to take a nap.
What movie do you wish life was more like??
The Hobbit. Not the dangerous part when Bilbo and the rest go on their quest, but before that…life in The Shire. Hobbits eat six meals/day, have a life expectancy of 100+ years, and enjoy socializing, smoking “pipe-weed”, & chilling out. I could handle that.
What is the most interesting piece of trivia you know??
I love trivia. I am a fountain of useless knowledge. Not sure what would be considered “most interesting”.
Which celebrity would make the worst leader of a country??
What were you really into when you were younger but now think is silly??
Most things that kids are into are silly…that’s the charm of childhood. I’d be somewhat concerned if I still had the same interests now as I did three or four decades ago.
What is the most useless thing you know how to do??
If you name a movie I can…if I am even vaguely familiar with it…usually tell you what year it was released. I usually nail it, and at worst I’ll be one year off.
How many phones have you broken or lost??
Which historical figure wasn’t as amazing as most people think they were??
I suspect most of them. We love to create myths and manufacture heroes, which certainly has its place in society. But every human being puts their pants on one leg at a time just like you & me. No one is infallible. That doesn’t mean that they don’t deserve kudos for their achievements and significant impact on society, but only that we should be cautious about idol worship.
You are in charge of making insects a popular food item. You have 1 billion US dollars to achieve your goal. How do you do it??
Marketing is an amazing thing. Especially with a billion dollar bankroll I don’t believe it’d be that difficult to promote insects as desirable nourishment. Do a little R&D in regard to flavoring, advertise it in such a way that it seems to be the hip thing that everybody is eating, and partner with eateries & retail outlets to make the product readily available…BOOM…you’ve got a winner.
What’s something you were really stressed about, but it turned out to be no big deal??
Almost everything that causes us advanced stress is no big deal, and if it is a big deal we have to deal with the situation anyway, right??
What are you tired of hearing about??
I’m tired of celebrities & athletes pontificating about sociopolitical issues, especially since most are completely ignorant of facts and out of touch with how the average person lives. Just entertain us…that’s what we pay you so much money to do.
What three events made the biggest impact on who you are today??
June 9, 1995. That’s the day I left the town in which I attended college and returned to my small hometown. It was a huge mistake…one that I’ve regretted nearly every day since.
June 20, 1996. I was in a car accident. I went off the road, over an embankment, & hit a tree. I wasn’t intoxicated. It was a beautiful day. It was about 4pm in the afternoon on a road I’d driven countess times. I may have been going a bit too fast, but nothing crazy. I just lost control of my car. I smacked my head on my windshield and bruised my midsection on the steering wheel, but otherwise my physical injuries weren’t too awful. However, my psychological issues…I suppose it’s probably PTSD…grew out of control, to the point that I developed a crippling driving phobia. I am okay within my small comfort zone, which is probably an area of about 15-20 square miles…but I do not drive outside of that zone, which has had a destructive effect on my life for over two decades.
February 23, 2000. The day my mother died. Nothing has been the same since that day.
What would you NOT do for 5 million dollars??
I draw the line at any kind of violent crime. Beyond that I am open to a discussion. I still may not do it, but I’d atleast want to ponder the possibilities.
What is society doing now that in 20 years will be laughed at and ridiculed??
The question assumes progress, as if the future will bring enlightenment & growth. However, from what I’ve seen our society is morally regressive, so I am left to assume that two decades from now what will be ridiculed & belittled will be faith, ethics, & basic standards of decency that we have always taken for granted. Actually, people scoff at those things now, but I don’t see it getting any better. Other than all of that, one would expect technology & communication to evolve, meaning that, just as we can reflect on and chuckle at items that we utilized decades ago and thought were cutting edge at the time, in two decades we will probably look back some of the ways we do things & equipment we use now and think of them as primitive.
What’s the most effective way for a government to control its populace??
Economics & education. We see it now, and have for decades. The Welfare State ostensibly began with the best of intentions, but it has created a level of dependence in which people willingly give up control of virtually their entire lives to the government. Education in America is far behind several other nations. Essentially we are taught just enough to be able to run the machines & apparati that make things go on a daily basis, but we lack true understanding of the bigger issues, and that allows for even more control.
If you had to choose one cause to dedicate your life to, what would that cause be??
I’m not really into causes. That doesn’t mean I don’t care about certain things, but being a passionate crusader just isn’t my thing.
If you died today, what would your greatest achievement be??
I don’t feel like I’ve actually achieved much of anything. I hope some folks would have a few nice things to say about me, and I’d like to think I’ve been a decent person who has made a positive impression, but sadly I would not consider my life…impactful.
Who are some people you only met once but they left a big impression on you??
I can’t think of anyone who I met only once that left much of an imprint, but there are several folks who may have only been in my orbit for a very short period of time…a few months, a year or two…decades ago that I still fondly recall…teachers, co-workers, classmates. There are people that I attended college with that were only in my daily life for a few years and I haven’t actually spent much time with in over two decades that I still consider dear friends.
What do you think is the most common complaint people in your country have??
We Americans like to complain about everything…sports, politics, weather, our job, traffic, entertainment, rich people, food, racism, sexism, homophobia, crime, etc. I have no idea what the most common complaint is, but it’s probably something totally goofy that isn’t a real problem at all, or if it is actually an issue it’s something we’ve been whining about for decades and there’s not a whole lot that can be done that hasn’t already been tried.
What stories from your life will you tell your children about (assuming you have children)??
If God ever blesses me with children the stories that I’d want to share with them would be about family and the good things I recall about growing up in my small town. The few crazy tales I might have about my misspent youth probably aren’t ones I’d want to share with my kids.
If you could become the number one expert in one niche field, what would it be??
Is blogging considered a niche field?? If so I’d love to become an expert and be able to bestow wisdom to the masses about becoming a well-paid blogger and making a great living doing something you love right from the comfort of home.
What was the worst purchase you’ve ever made??
About 20 years ago I signed up thru Easton Press to receive a set of leatherbound books…one at a time that were atleast $50 a pop. I don’t necessarily regret the purchase and I still own most of the books, but at the time I was unemployed and really couldn’t afford them. It was financially irresponsible and I should’ve been smarter.
What did you think was silly until you tried it??
Who is your favorite author??
I have a few. Twain. Bradbury. Conan Doyle. Dickens. Tolkien. Steinbeck.
When you are day dreaming, what do you dream about??
I probably should keep that to myself lol.
What do you believe even though you know it’s probably wrong??
If I believe something or believe in something in my heart & mind it must be right. Others may disagree and that’s okay, but why would I contradict myself?? That’d be asinine.
What signs make you think someone will go on to be successful??
First of all, one must define success. What that looks like may be vastly different to various people. However, I assume the question is looking thru the prism of an accepted traditional view of success…great job, financial security, nice house, fancy car, etc. So what are early indicators that someone is destined for that description of success?? I’m not sure. I’ve known people who were great students, had a solid work ethic, & and seemed to have a good head on their shoulders but were never able to translate all of that into any sort of professional achievement. Conversely, I’ve seen folks who barely made it thru school & weren’t particularly motivated find something they love to do and/or are especially talented at and parlay it into a good income with all the associated stuff. “Success” seems to be a surreptitious recipe involving focus, attitude, motivation, common sense, opportunity, networking, fortitude, & timing.
What was the weirdest habit you had as a child??
I slept with a teddy bear until I was…well, probably a little too old to be sleeping with a teddy bear. I guess that’s kind of weird.
What is the most irritating food?
Crab legs. Too much effort to justify the output.
How does your definition of a “real man” differ from the mainstream stereotype of a “real man”??
I think the world defines a man as being a tough, rugged, macho guy who drinks beer, likes to “throw down”, enjoys working on cars & going hunting, & doesn’t talk much or express any kind of emotion. To a certain extent I don’t disagree with some of that and take issue with the growing penchant for trying to feminize men, turning them into overly sensitive metrosexuals. However, I don’t feel like a man needs to be particularly outdoorsy or have any kind of affinity for hunting, fishing, beer, cars, or tobacco products. A real man can be intelligent & enjoy the finer things in life. A real man is responsible, trustworthy, honorable, polite, reliable, & takes proper care of his family.
If time wasn’t an issue and you had forever to master a skill, what skill would you master??
Cooking. I think it’d be fun (and beneficial) to be a skilled culinary craftsman.
What was the biggest mistake in history??
Oh wow. I’m not sure that can be narrowed down to just one thing, and though I enjoy history I am far from an expert. But off the top of my head I think we can point to things like slavery, fascism, communism, & socialism as failures of society.
If you wanted to give a tourist the local flavor of where you live, what would you have them do??
I’d take them to a WVU Mountaineers football game, have them attend the Italian Heritage Festival on Labor Day Weekend, eat some pepperoni rolls, catch a Davisson Brothers concert, & go to church with me on Sunday.
Who or what do you always have time for??
My dog Rocco and my family.
What are two things you’ll never spend money on??
Since I’m a guy I could take the easy way out and mention things like makeup, frilly underwear, or high heel shoes…but I won’t let myself off that easy. The first thing that comes to mind is a mega expensive vehicle. Dependable transportation is important, but I’m not trying to impress anybody. I don’t travel all that much, and the fact that I use a wheelchair means that any car or truck I own is going to get scuffed up quite a bit anyway, so I don’t see myself ever spending six figures on a BMW, Lexus, or any kind of fancy sports car. I also don’t see myself spending money to buy a house. Houses are for married couples & families. It is unlikely that I will ever get married or have children, so I don’t think buying a house is necessary even if I had the money.
What do you need to rant about or get off your chest??
I try to avoid ranting. That’s why I have a blog lol.
What’s the best bad decision you’ve made??
When I was a freshman in college I joined a fraternity. In retrospect it may have been a wiser decision to focus more on academics and forego the frivolity. Perhaps if I’d buckled down and concentrated on school I’d have been better prepared for “the real world” and found a career that would have provided professional fulfillment & financial security. But I’ll be darned if those four…okay, four & a half…years weren’t the best time of my life that supplied lifelong memories & cherished friendships. I’m not sure I’d change anything.
What can a movie do to make you get up and walk out??
I can’t recall ever leaving a theater before the film was over, and I’ve seen some bad movies. These days there is enough information available to make an informed decision before ever buying a ticket, so it’s unlikely that a movie could be so surprisingly unentertaining or offensive that I’d leave early. I might not have a high opinion of the film, but I’ll probably stay for the whole mess.
What are you so incredibly terrible at, that you’ve given up ever doing it again??
When I was a kid my grandmother tried to teach me how to crochet, and when I was in college a friend tried to teach me how to play guitar. I don’t think that I was terrible as much as the fact that I didn’t have the patience or inclination to really put any effort into either endeavor.
What was your favorite cartoon when you were growing up??
What are some things people have selflessly done to make your life better??
I am sure there have been multiple people who have done isolated selfless acts of kindness for me, but the prize has to go to my parents, who constantly put their interests aside & sacrificed their needs to take care of me & my sister. I’m sure that’s not uncommon amongst parents…or atleast I’d hope that it’s not uncommon.
What do you own that a lot of people comment on??
An old friend once opined that I “live in a library”. In my modest one bedroom apartment I have about eight bookshelves. Visitors to my abode are rare, but my books usually get noticed by anyone who stops by.
What’s your perfect burger??
I prefer to keep it rather uncomplicated. Nothing fancy for me. Plain bun, thick & juicy burger, ketchup, mustard, mayo, sautéed onions, & melted American cheese. I’m not really a tomato fan, and though I like bacon I can take it or leave it as a burger topping.
Which fictional villain is your favorite??
There are just so many to choose from!! JR Ewing from the TV show Dallas. The Joker & The Riddler from the Batman comics, shows, & movies. Henry F. Potter from It’s A Wonderful Life. Darth Vader from Star Wars. Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Professor James Moriarty. Professor Snape from Harry Potter. Michael Myers from Halloween. Star Trek II’s Khan. Hans Gruber in the original Die Hard. Ebenezer Scrooge from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
You’re given $300,000 to make one room in your house or apartment ridiculously amazing, what room do you pick and what upgrades do you make??
I live on the fifth floor of a ten story apartment building. There are about a dozen apartments on each floor. With $300k I would just take over one whole floor for myself, making all of those apartments into one unit. I would have a huge living room with a 50 inch TV, a nice library, a huge kitchen with all the bells & whistles and every gadget one could imagine, a big ol’ porch/veranda, a bathroom four times as big as what I have now, & atleast three bedrooms.
What are some boring games or sports and how can they be livened up??
When I think of boring sports my mind immediately goes to soccer. They say it is the most popular sport in the world, but I just don’t get it. Off the top of my head the first thing I would change is the size if the field. A soccer field can be 100–130 yards long & 50–100 yards wide. I would suggest a standard field size of 100 yards long & 50 yards wide. I would reduce the number of players on each team from 11 to 7. Let’s also reduce the length of each game from 45 minutes per half to 30 minutes, divided further into four quarters. As opposed to current rules my revised soccer format would have the clock stopping each time a ball goes out of bounds. We’d also get rid of the yellow card & red card stuff and just call fouls/penalties, with each player allowed three penalties before being disqualified from the game. When a player is eliminated no substitution would occur, effectively giving the opposing team a “power play” for the remainder of the game. New overtime rules would eliminate “extra time” and skip right to a 3 on 3 sudden death. “Stoppage time” needs to be eliminated altogether. And finally…as silly as it may seem…let’s talk about team names. The United States’ pro soccer league has teams like FC Dallas, Minnesota United FC, & Sporting Kansas City, while the English Premier League has Arsenal & West Ham United. No…just no. A sports team needs a nickname, with a mascot. Lions…Tigers…Bears…oh my!!
What do you like to do that is traditionally considered feminine??
What’s the weirdest thing you used to eat as a child??
I wish my mother was still with us because I’m sure she’d remember such things much better than I do, but off the top of my head I do recall eating mayonnaise sandwiches. No meat. No cheese. Just Miracle Whip slathered on a piece of bread. I suppose that’s kind of weird.
What small stuff do you always sweat??
Every single day of my working life…in every job that I have had…I have feared getting fired. I know I am a good employee. I show up on time, do what needs to be done, treat colleagues & everyone else with respect, and put in an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay…but the paranoia about being fired does not ever go away.
If you could add 4 hours to your day, what would you spend that 4 hours doing??
Sadly, nothing exciting. I’d probably just read or watch TV more…possibly get some extra sleep.
What state / city would you like to move to??
Part of me will always believe that I should have moved somewhere right out of college or soon thereafter. I am intrigued by the idea of moving to Pittsburgh, PA because it is only two hours from my hometown so I’d still be relatively close to family, plus I’m a huge Steelers/Pirates/Penguins fan so the thought of going to those games on a regular basis is intriguing. However, if I were to move the smart thing would be to go south…the Carolinas or Florida. Living near the beach might be fun. Anywhere warm where I don’t have to be concerned with ice & snow all that much during the winter, and someplace where there is culture & plenty of entertainment options. Having said all of that, the reality is that, at this point in my life, if I’ve not relocated by now it is very unlikely that I ever will.
What are some websites you used to use all the time but have stopped using??
Well, everybody stopped using MySpace when Facebook came along lol. Aside from that,
Who would be the worst celebrity to have dinner with??
Unlike many people I am really not into the whole celebrity idol worship thing. I respect their talent and appreciate their movies, songs, TV shows, etc., but the older I get the weirder Hollywood becomes, so it’d be easier to come up with a small list of stars that I would be interested in having dinner with. I have zero interest in any contact with the majority of them.
Assuming that any people or animals made it out safely already, what one thing would you most want to save if your house caught fire??
My books…as many as possible.
Where have you traveled??
Unfortunately I haven’t traveled much at all. I live in West Virginia. I’ve been to Pittsburgh, Washington DC, Charlotte NC, and a few places in Ohio & Kentucky. That’s it. I’ve never been on a plane, ship, or train. At this point in my life there are only a few places that I’d really love to visit…Vegas, the beach, New York City. If I’d suddenly come into some serious cash I wouldn’t mind taking a cruise or visiting Europe (specifically Italy & England).
What obscure website do you absolutely love??
Online Onslaught & 411mania, which are for pro wrestling fans. And of course The Manofesto.
What random acts of extreme kindness would you like to see??
Well, if anyone wants to give me a big ol’ wad of money so that I can travel a bit more that’d be really kind.
When was the last time you remember someone doing or saying something so stupid that you were sure it was a joke??
Just turn on CNN or MSNBC lol…you’ll find comical stupidity on a daily basis.
If you could go back in time and inspire someone to make a present-day invention, what invention in what time period would advance humanity the most??
Here’s a radical thought. What if The Internet would have been around in the early 1900’s?? Would enhanced communication have prevented two World Wars?? It’s an interesting idea to ponder.
What’s your favorite board or card game?? How about your least favorite??
I love both board games & card games. My grandmother taught me how to play rummy when I was a kid, and it’s pretty fun. I like poker & blackjack. I love Scrabble & Trivial Pursuit.
What was the worst thing you ever tasted??
If you were a ghost, how would you haunt??
I’d like to think I’d be a friendly ghost, so I would “haunt” in such a way that the person (most likely a friend or loved one) would know I was there but would understand that I mean no harm.
What’s one small thing you could do each day that would greatly improve your life??
What would be the last movie you’d like to see before you die??
There are a lot of movies that I love, so it’s hard to narrow it down to just one. I suppose I’d have to choose one of my favorite Christmas films.
What two things are you most passionate about??
Aside from my family, in general I’d have to say movies & sports.
What must be seen or experienced in person to really appreciate it??
I would really like to visit The Grand Canyon. That seems like something that needs to be seen in person.
What common ingredient or spice do you despise??
Anything spicy. My body just can’t handle spicy.
What celebrities are most likely to be jerks??
I’m guessing most of them.
How well can you explain how a car works??
I am NOT a car guy. Not at all.
What’s the first thing that you think when see a homeless person??
Obviously I feel a certain level of empathy, and I can’t help but be curious as to what choices & calamities led them down this path.
What’s the most ridiculous tattoo you’ve ever seen??
I believe that any kind of tattoo is ridiculous.
If you were an actor, what kind of roles do you think you would be good at??
I would be the supportive & funny best friend. I believe that’d be right in my wheelhouse.
What’s currently legal but won’t be in ten or twenty years??
What would you like to be the best in the world at doing??
What was fun to do once, but you’ll never do it again??
I smoked marijuana a few times in college and in my 20’s, but two decades later I doubt if I ever partake again.
If you could pick up any one instrument and instantly be a virtuoso at it, what instrument would you choose??
Guitar or piano
Would you volunteer to go colonize another planet if it meant you would never return to earth??
My gut instinct is no…but I’d be open-minded enough to hear my options.
What would be the worst store to have a $1000 gift card for??
For me personally it would either be a smoking/tobacco shop or any kind of women’s clothing store. I don’t smoke and I don’t have a wife/girlfriend or daughter, so the gift card would be a complete waste.
What’s something you’re surprised no one has figured out how to do yet??
Flying cars!! Back to the Future II promised us flying cars by 2015.
What’s your creative outlet??
Who’s famous for their talent, but really shouldn’t be??
Almost anyone on “reality TV”.
If you could add one rule that everyone must follow when they use the internet, what would your rule be??
I would impose a fifteen minute waiting period before posting emotional responses on social media.
What have you really wanted to do for a long time but haven’t done yet??
I have wanted to travel to Las Vegas for atleast a decade or longer, but I hesitate to go alone and can’t get anyone else to go with me.
What activity or hobby is so filled with hateful people that it puts you off trying it??
I suppose we could categorize any kind of social activism as a hobby, but it’s just not my thing. People who are caught up in causes like animal rights, environmentalism, or any other kind of sociopolitical protests strike me as a bit full of themselves and the kind of individuals who take everything way too seriously.
What’s the best part of your day??
Anytime I get to hang out & snuggle with my dog Rocco is just awesome. He’s so laid back & easy to take care of. He enjoys be held and talked to, and I can do that.
What language do you like the sound of even though you don’t know how to speak it??
Italian. I did take a couple of years of Italian in high school and recall a few words & phrases, but definitely wouldn’t say that I know how to speak the language.
What’s your favorite movie from each genre??
It depends on how you categorize movie genres. I spent a few years writing about my 100 Favorite Movies. Check out the complete list.
What news headline would you most like to see??
“West Virginia Man Wins Billion Dollar Lottery”. That man would be me…obviously.
If you could run away from it all and start fresh somewhere new, would you??
Speaking of immense wealth…
I have this fantasy of coming into a ton of money and then faking my own death. I would essentially go off the grid and hole up in a secluded mansion in a tropical locale. But then I’d travel incognito whenever I felt the urge to do so. So basically I’m not as much interested in starting anew as much as I am having the freedom & means to completely disengage.
If you were given $10,000 to throw an amazing party, gathering, or event, what would that look like??
It would either be a New Year’s Eve bash or a Super Bowl party. I’m not really into loud music or dancing or acting like a crazy teenager, so it would probably be a relaxed yet classy affair with plenty of great food, a low key band, & maybe a few theme related activities.
When was the last time you felt completely out of the loop??
I feel out of the loop a lot. It’s been a lifelong running theme. I used to be bothered by it, but the older I get the less I care. Being out of the loop means less responsibility for me, and that’s perfectly fine.
What’s something you boycott but don’t make a big deal of boycotting??
I am not generally a boycott kind of person, but in the past year I have stopped watching late night television for various reasons. I used to love late night TV, but with Carson, Leno, Letterman, Snyder, & Ferguson all gone it’s just not the same anymore. I can’t stand Colbert or Kimmel. Conan, Meyers, & Corden are irrelevant. I used to like Fallon but not anymore. It’s not necessarily a boycott as much as a conscious decision that those shows are no longer worthy of my time & attention.
Okay, that’s it…for now. There is another round of questions that I’ll post whenever I get around to answering them. Until then…God bless & thanks for stopping by.