The unexamined life is not worth living – Socrates
It’s time once again to play everyone’s favorite blog based game…Getting to Know Your Humble Potentate of Profundity. We’ve gone down this road before, because I happen to have a job with stretches of downtime and I’m just nerdy enough to enjoy these kinds of exercises.
What social media post has really stuck with you??
Social media posts aren’t meant to stick with anyone. People skim across tweets or Facebook posts when they have nothing else better to do, and what they read is generally like cotton candy…entertaining for a brief moment before it melts away into the ether. Oh sure people occasionally attempt to be profound…even me. But it’s just a fun time waster.
If you had to be stuck at one age forever, what age would you choose??
I think I’d be a perpetual 19 year old college student. That was really a great time in my life.
What would be the worst animal to be eaten by??
Ever since watching Quint (Robert Shaw) be eaten alive by the shark in Jaws when I was a kid I’ve thought that’d be a pretty horrific way to go. I suppose being swallowed by a python might not be too much fun either.
On a scale of existential crisis to living the dream how’s life going??
somewhere in the middle
Besides religion & politics, what topic always gets heated in your circle of friends and acquaintances??
What would you recommend to someone if they had the day off and didn’t know what to do??
Do what you enjoy. There’s nothing wrong with chilling out at home reading a book or watching movies, but if you are a more adventurous spirit by all means get out there and have some fun.
What do you imagine the lives of super rich people are like??
I can’t really imagine, and I don’t really care. I assume life in general is much easier for folks for whom money is not a problem.
Do you like your name? Would you ever change it??
Yes, I like my name. I have no plans to change it.
Do you prefer writing with black or blue pen??
I don’t have a preference.
Who is a mentor to you??
Are you a restless sleeper??
Yes. I do better when I actually wear my CPAP machine though.
Would you ever want to be famous??
No thanks…I’ll pass.
What is your star sign??
Libra. I don’t really believe in all that astrology stuff, but I won’t deny that it can be sort of fascinating.
What do you collect??
Nothing really. I tried to get into baseball cards when I was a kid, but it was a passing fancy. I like eagles and have several sculptures & similar artwork in my apartment, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I collect eagles.
Do you like your cereal crunchy or soggy??
What would you want your legacy to be??
I wrote about legacy a few years ago after my friend Robert passed away.
Do you like reading? What was the last thing you read??
I love to read, although I don’t seem to have the attention span now that I had when I was younger. I used to blow thru a 500 page book in a few days, but now I’ll have a half dozen books started concurrently and it takes me forever to actually finish. I recently read biographies about golfer Tiger Woods & comedian Robin Williams.
How do you show someone you love them??
There are a million ways to show someone you love them. It just depends on the person and the relationship.
Do you like ice in your drinks??
What useless bit of information have you memorized and will probably never forget??
My head is filled with meaningless trivia that will probably only matter if I somehow end up as a contestant on Jeopardy.
Do you prefer swimming in pools or in the ocean??
I can’t swim, so it doesn’t really matter to me. I’ve never been to the ocean, but I will make it there someday. It seems like the ocean is atleast more interesting to look at than a swimming pool.
What quote has always stuck with you??
“A hammer shatters glass but forges steel. Adversity is like the hammer, and what it does to a person depends on what they’re made of”. I believe it is an old Russian proverb.
What would be the worst thing to have a phobia of??
I have had what I call a driving phobia (it is more likely a form of PTSD) that has been pretty awful for over twenty years. It has virtually ruined what was potentially an impactful & stimulating life.
Where do you feel the safest??
At home in my humble little apartment. It is a cocoon that I retreat into more & more with each passing day.
If you could travel back to any era, which would you choose??
I think it’d be fun to check out the 1950’s. I know it probably wasn’t as innocent & enjoyable as it is often portrayed, but if it was…I could handle hanging out at the drive-in, playing awesome tunes on a jukebox at the malt shop, & driving some of the coolest cars of all time.
What was the last movie that made you cry??
Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston & Owen Wilson. It is allegedly a comedy, but anyone who has watched it until the end knows that it takes a very sad turn. I didn’t catch it in the theater, but when it came out on home video I ordered it on demand. I was at home watching it with my puppy Rocco, and I bawled like a freakin’ baby.
What game do you always lose??
Pretty much any game I play. Card games. Billiards. Video games. Words with Friends. I’m ultra-competitive & hate to lose…but I’m also not very skilled or lucky.
What is your favorite season? Why??
I like summer. I just feel happier, healthier, & more energetic when the sun is shining. Sunglasses, air conditioning, backyard BBQs, concerts in the park, fairs & festivals, fireworks. What’s not to love about summertime??
What do you know way too much about??
soap operas & professional wrestling
If it was decided that all countries would be abolished and the entire earth would be one unified political body, what would be the capital city of Earth? What would its flag and anthem be??
When that happens I don’t think it’ll matter much what the capital city is or what kind of flag or anthem we’ll have. A One World Government signifies The End, and the only thing that matters is Jesus.
What movie really encapsulates the era in which it was made??
Two films immediately come to mind. I think Saturday Night Fever really captures the late 70’s disco era, and Fast Times at Ridgemont High is quintessential 80’s.
What was a random compliment that someone gave you that really stuck in your memory??
A teacher in junior high school told me I should become a writer. I really should have followed her advice.
Have you ever seen a shooting star? Did you make a wish??
No. Maybe someday.
What do you regret the most??
Regrets?? I have a few…but, then again, too few to mention.
If you had to have a tattoo, what would it be and where would you get it??
I seriously considered getting a tattoo in college. Several of my fraternity brothers had our letters tattooed on their ankles and I thought about doing the same because a) that area is generally hidden or not all that noticeable in a professional situation, and b) I have no feeling below my knee so pain wouldn’t have been an issue. However, ultimately I talked myself out of it and now have absolutely no desire to get a tattoo.
Do you address older people by their first or last name??
It depends on how well I know them. There are elderly people in my church, my hometown, & my apartment building that I know well enough & feel comfortable using their first name. But with strangers or people I don’t know well I’m all about “sir’ or “ma’am” and “Mr.” or “Mrs.”.
Do you consider yourself a romantic??
Theoretically I believe I can be romantic, but I haven’t had much opportunity to practice so I might not be very good at it.
If money was not a factor, how would you live your life??
I don’t think I’d want to live anywhere else, but I would travel a lot more. And I would build a house that I designed. Other than that I wouldn’t want my life to drastically change.
Do you prefer baths or showers??
Would you prefer to live in the country or the city??
I like living in a small town that’s not too far away from a big city. Right now I am about two hours away from Pittsburgh, but my life would be much more interesting if I lived only 15-30 minutes outside of the city. I have zero desire to actually live in the city.
Do you drink your tea or coffee with sugar??
I like my hot tea with sugar & some milk. I don’t put sugar in my coffee…just cream.
What is your favorite item of clothing??
There’s nothing better than a comfie pair of sweatpants & a ratty ol’ t-shirt that one would never wear out in public. And when I do go out & about I’m all about jeans & a nice polo or Henley shirt. I’m not trying to impress anybody.
Do you prefer reading paper or electronic books??
For the longest time I refused to even deal with the whole e-reader thing. But then my sister got me a tablet for Christmas a few years ago, so I downloaded the Amazon Kindle app and began using it occasionally. However, at the end of the day I’m still a traditionalist and prefer a good old-fashioned paper book.
What can you see outside your bedroom window??
Subway. Wendy’s. Long John Silver’s. Kroger.
What is the strangest thing you have eaten??
Eel. Shark. Escargot. I’m willing to try different things, but for the most part I prefer to stick with normal, average, basic stuff…meat, pasta, veggies, chocolate.
What are you most thankful for??
I’m thankful for many things…when I actually take time to reflect on my blessings. However, more often than not I “sweat the small stuff” and feel frustrated or angry about things that have gone awry in my life. Perhaps I give off negative vibes and strike others as petty & ungrateful. That’s the only reason I can come up with to explain my loneliness and why so many people tend to shun me nowadays…even friends who I thought I’d always be able to count on.
Do you like spicy food??
Not at all. I have whatever the opposite of a “cast iron stomach” would be called. Just thinking about spicy food might necessitate a trip to the bathroom.
Have you ever met someone famous??
A few. Former WV Governor & Senator Jay Rockefeller. Former First Lady Hillary Clinton. 80’s supergroup Kansas. TV’s Incredible Hulk Lou Ferrigno.
Do you keep a diary or journal??
I blog, which is a similar concept. And I do have a daily planner that I essentially use as a journal of my mundane little life.
Do you prefer to use pen or pencil??
Definitely a pen.
What’s something everyone should experience at least once in their life??
I think everyone should have the joy of owning a pet.
How would you spend your ideal day??
It depends on my mood. Generally I am a homebody, don’t enjoy crowds, & become easily annoyed by humanity. Therefore, oftentimes a perfect day is chillin’ with my boy Rocco, a good book, & some movies. However, I do occasionally venture out, so dinner & a movie, a ball game, a play, or a concert could be fun with the right company.
What are your most used emojis??
What really annoys you when other people do it, but you occasionally do it as well??
To be honest many things annoy me, but I do my best not to be hypocritical and do the very things that annoy me.
What movie quote(s) are you tired of hearing??
“Life is like a box of chocolates…”
And I LOVE Forrest Gump
What small thing makes you angrier than it should??
I could probably list multiple things, but one situation in particular has really been ticking me off lately. There are pages on Facebook dedicated to very specific things, like 80’s Music or 90’s TV. They are just harmless time wasters like what social media was intended to be. At any rate, someone will post a question like “Name a 70’s movie that didn’t get a sequel but should have”, and the thread will be chockful of responses naming films that either weren’t produced in that decade or did in fact have a sequel. I could understand one or two people misunderstanding the question, but when dozens of people post such wrong answers it becomes clear that things like reading comprehension & critical thinking are in short supply and it saddens me.
If you could show everyone in the world one image for 10 seconds but it couldn’t contain text, what image would you choose??
Who is the funniest actor or actress still doing movies or TV shows??
There are quite a few actually…it just depends on what one likes. Off the top of my head I’m fond of Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller, Jack Black, Steve Carell, & Vince Vaughn. They may not be cool & hip anymore but Jerry Seinfeld, Billy Crystal, & Steve Martin still have “it”. Melissa McCarthy is funny in small doses.
If there were an Olympics for average people, what would some of the events be??
Angry Birds. Putt Putt Golf. Fishing. Pizza Eating. Air Hockey. Beer Chugging. HORSE. Checkers. Hunting. Bowling. Poker. Couponing. Mowing Grass.
Would you travel to a foreign country all by yourself??
Possibly. It wouldn’t be ideal because there is safety in numbers, and especially because I am in a wheelchair I know I can be viewed by evildoers as an easy target. However, depending on the circumstances I may be willing to take a chance.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life??
I actually began writing an outline for a screenplay based on wacky things that happened at a job I held about fifteen years ago. In my mind I always had Jack Black playing me.
What’s your best podcast recommendation??
I’ve never really gotten into podcasts. Perhaps I should investigate the options.
What would be the absolute best pet to have??
A dog. Specifically a pug. Like my Rocco. Of course I may be just a bit biased.
What’s a piece of advice that you wish everyone would take to heart??
It’s not necessarily advice, but I wish that everyone believed in God and His Son Jesus Christ. I’m not a good Christian and I am forthcoming about that. I am far too flawed and stubborn. I make too many mistakes & bad decisions, and I am far too moody. However, I atleast believe in the reality of God and the basic foundations of Christianity, which is a good jumping off point for improvement and getting to where I need to be. I have interacted with so many people who are scoffers, who consider God to be an imaginary fairy tale, who have absolutely no faith. They are so lost & misguided, and it’s a complete waste of time to even have a discussion with such individuals. I walk away feeling so many negative emotions.
What’s your most common first thought when you wake up??
I’m not sure I think too clearly for a few moments after I first wake up. I’m a slow starter that needs to ease into my day. I usually give some lovins’ to my boy Rocco, then I hop online or check my phone to see what’s going on in the world. Sometimes I need to listen to some music to help clear the cobwebs. Then it’s time to decide on a plan for the day. If I have somewhere I need to be or things I need to accomplish then I get up, get dressed, & get going. If I don’t have anything I need to do then maybe I’ll just chill out for awhile and enjoy the tranquility. Every day is slightly different, so I don’t think there is necessarily a common thought process.
What’s the most absurd thing that has become reality for you??
Same sex marriage & “gender fluidity”. Those things aren’t specifically reality for me, but they’ve become accepted norms in society, which blows my mind.
If you could be a mythical creature, which would you choose??
A hobbit!! I’d dig living a simple life in The Shire…smoking, eating six meals a day, being neighborly.
Do you think your childhood was better or worse than other people growing up in a similar place and time??
Definitely better. On a personal level I had my handicap & associated health issues to deal with. However, based on how great my family has always been and the idyllic small town life I had I realize how blessed I was and that so many kids had it far worse than me.
What’s your “back in my day, we…”??
I am amazed at how often school is called off these days for inclement weather. When I was a kid we’d get 6 or 8 inches of snow and they’d just slap some chains on the buses and go for it. Some folks lived up a holler or other places that the bus couldn’t get to, but those kids would just miss out and have to make up their work the next day. Nowadays it doesn’t even have to be snowing…sometimes the powers-that-be will call off school just because it’s cold lol.
What flavor combination is kind of weird but you really like it??
It’s not necessarily a flavor combo, and I don’t believe it’s all that weird, but allow me to offer a recommendation. I like to buy Country Time On the Go lemonade packets, but instead of putting it in a regular bottle of water I put it in seltzer water, which ends up essentially being carbonated lemonade. The fizz of the water & the tang of the lemon work really well together.
What fictional character did you / do you have the hots for??
When I was a kid I had a thing for Sandy (Olivia Newton-John’s character) in Grease. Now I understand why…it’s that intriguing combination of sweet & sexy, plus she could sing. Then, as a teenager, I had a crush on Alyssa Milano…specifically her character Samantha Micelli on Who’s the Boss?. In the 90’s I was all about Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) on Friends. When A Walk to Remember hit theaters in 2002 I was thirty years old and totally fell for Mandy Moore…affection that remains to this day.
What genetic modification would you most like to have??
Well…if I could be genetically modified into being able to walk that’d be nice.
What was something you loved but it never really took off or was ended before it’s time??
I’m a Pittsburgh Pirates fan, and that sounds like a description of most of their seasons the past two decades.
What habit would you most like to break? What habit would you most like to start?
I’ve always had an issue with procrastination, so that’d be a great habit to break. Along those same lines, I’d love to make better use of my time…spend a lot less time online & watching TV, write more, read more books, and really dig more into The Word of God.
How do you like to relax?
I enjoy a good movie. Sometimes I get in the mood to listen to music. I like to read, though not as much as I once did. Lately I’ve been playing Spades Plus on my phone & find it very soothing.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I had planned to go to law school and eventually go into politics, but none of that ever happened and that’s just fine with me.
Who would you like to connect (or reconnect) with? Why?
A good friend of mine stopped calling a couple of years ago. When our only communication became snarky remarks he’d make about comments I’d made on social media I deleted him from my Facebook. I still don’t know why he stopped talking to me. We used to talk on the phone for hours two or three times per week, and I really miss those conversations.
If life stopped today, what would you regret not doing?
traveling…moving away from West Virginia…marriage & children
Imagine you’re in your 90s. What memories would you like to have? What stories do you want to tell?
When my paternal grandfather was near death I remember him being surrounded by his grandchildren. At some point I realized that I won’t have that big family if/when that moment arrives for me. He had decades of wonderful memories with family & friends. That doesn’t mean his life was perfect or without heartache, just that there was a lot of positive stuff to balance things out. How awesome is it to have that kind of life to be able to reflect on in your 90s??
What qualities do you admire in others?
honesty…faith…a good sense of humor…humility…intelligence
Pretend money is no object. What would you do?
I would absolutely travel more. At this point in my life home is home and I don’t see that changing, but there are a ton of places that would be fun to visit and events that’d I’d love to attend.
What practical skills do you wish you had?
I’d like to be a better cook & more mechanically inclined.
If you could have dinner with any 3 people (dead or alive), who would they be and why?
I’m going to cheat and list four…my mother, my maternal grandmother (I never met my maternal grandfather), and my paternal grandparents. Oh how I miss all of them and what I wouldn’t do to have one more meal with them.
What is your favorite book/movie/song? Why?
I’ve written a lot about my favorite movies. When it comes to books & music there are so many things that I enjoy that it is nearly impossible to narrow it down.
What sorts of things make you laugh?
Puns. Silly videos of people being stupid. A good old-fashioned sitcom. Dad jokes. Memes.
What piece of advice would you give to five year old you? Sixteen year old you? Twenty-one year old you? Right now?
Hmmm. To five year old Me I would say that life isn’t easy, but have faith because you’ve got a great family that will take good care of you. To 16 year old Me I would encourage continuing education as long as possible (Master’s, PhD) and try to map out a career path. To 21 year old me I would suggest wise financial decisions, offer a reminder to appreciate parents & grandparents because they won’t be around forever, advocate healthier eating habits, explore the idea of finding someone to settle down with, and really push moving out of the comfort zone of home & relocating somewhere. I’m not sure what advice I’d offer to Current Me. I understand the mistakes I make and various ways that I mess up my life, but in the moment it is difficult to change.
What was your favorite TV show while you were growing up? What are your favorite TV shows now?
We had some awesome TV shows when I was growing up…Dallas, Cheers, The Dukes of Hazzard. I could go on & on. Then when I was a young adult there was Friends, Seinfeld, & Frasier. Nowadays I love The Big Bang Theory, my ESPN talk shows, a couple of soap operas, & of course pro wrasslin’. I explored this topic when I wrote about my 50 Favorite TV Shows a few years ago.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Oh sure. Selfishness. People who comment on things without knowing what the heck they’re talking about. Anyone who can’t take a hint, doesn’t know when to leave, or continues inane babbling long after the conversation has become tedious. Being late.
What are your favorite movies?
I wrote a whole series about my 100 Favorite Movies a few years ago. I also did Merry Movie Mayhem, 80’s Movie Mania, & 90’s Film Frenzy. I love a lot of different movies.
What do you like to do on the weekend?
Unfortunately I work every weekend.
What are some of the items on your bucket list?
I did a bucket list of sorts several years ago…45 Things To Do Before 45, but that birthday has come & gone and I haven’t fulfilled very many of those things. At this point in my life I’ve concluded that it’s not smart to have unrealistic pipe dreams, so I try to stay within the realm of attainable goals. I’ve been wanting to visit Las Vegas for many years and think it’s doable…if I can ever talk a couple of my friends into joining me.
Have you found your calling? If so, what is it?
Some would opine that writing is my calling, and I’d be inclined to agree. However, I always assumed that one’s calling was a big deal that led to big & important things. Perhaps I am wrong.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I can’t imagine listening to only one song for the rest of my life. Even if one loves that particular song it would become irritating after awhile. I love music, but my taste is very eclectic and oftentimes dictated by my mood. Perhaps I’m feeling like jazz & blues today, tomorrow I’ll be into classic rock, and the next day I might want to listen to classical. Miles Davis. Billy Joel. Vivaldi. Hank Williams Jr. It’s all good for the most part. Why limit yourself to one song when there is so much greatness available??
Do you now – or have you ever – had any pets? If so, tell me more about them.
I have a ten year old pug named Rocco. I live in an apartment and originally we weren’t allowed to have pets, but that changed, with the stipulation that they not be over a certain size. That’s fine with me because I like smaller dogs, although I didn’t want a girlie dog like the kind that some women carry in their purse. I decided I liked pugs because they’re small & cute but still kind of tough looking. Back in the summer of 2008 I got an opportunity to adopt a puppy, and it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. Rocco is my best lil buddy…the closest thing to a baby I’ll ever have. He can be stubborn sometimes, but usually he’s rather chill & low maintenance. He’s a great lapdog that is happy to lay around being lazy with his Daddy. He loves carrots, bananas, & the treats that my neighbor…Crazy Uncle Bernie…brings over to him. Rocco is getting a bit older now & has noticeably slowed down, which makes me kind of sad, although I am thankful for every single moment I’ve had with him.
If you were stuck on a deserted island and you could only bring one thing, what would it be and why?
My Bible. That’s just how I roll.
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why? If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why? If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be, and why?
I feel the same way about these as I do about the “one song” concept, but I’ll be a good sport and play along. Food?? Chocolate (which leaves multiple possibilities available). Television show?? The Andy Griffith Show. More than a half century after original episodes ended the world still enjoys reruns. I watch an episode (or two or three) of TAGS on an almost daily basis, and it never gets old. One movie?? Wow…that’s really difficult. I am so…random…when it comes to movies. I love Christmas movies…at Christmastime. I love baseball movies like Field of Dreams & Bull Durham…in the summer. I really enjoy a good rom-com like When Harry Met Sally (preferably in the fall) or Sleepless in Seattle (winter). Occasionally I will watch the entire Back to the Future trilogy back-to-back-to-back, although my shortening attention span has made that less appealing in recent years. So okay…I guess I am going to wuss out again. I just don’t think I can choose only one movie.
What is your favorite cartoon?
I wrote about my favorite cartoons a few years ago.
Who is your favorite music artist? What is your favorite music genre?
I enjoy most music genres except country, and even some of that is okay occasionally. I’d probably lean toward classic rock as my favorite, with The Eagles, Van Halen, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Journey, & REO Speedwagon among my preferred performers.
What would you do if you won a million dollars?
I suppose I’d spend a little, donate a bit to charity, invest a big chunk of it, and put some away for a rainy day. My father has always opined that one could not live like a millionaire on a million dollars. It’d be easy to burn thru every penny in no time at all, so I assume my lifestyle wouldn’t change all that much except for finally being able to afford a couple of nice vacations and being able to save & invest a few dollars.
What is your favorite color?
blue & purple
What would be your dream vacation?
Vegas Baby!! Vegas!!!!
I also wouldn’t complain about a trip to Italy.
If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
Where did you grow up?
A lil blip on the radar called Mount Clare, WV, which is just outside a slightly bigger blip called Clarksburg. I always just tell folks it’s about two hours south of Pittsburgh, PA.
What are some small pleasures that make you way happier than they should??
Once upon a time I wrote specifically about that very subject.
What’s your favorite book? Who’s your favorite author?
Unlike favorite movies & TV shows I have resisted the urge to write about my favorite books. My tastes are very eclectic and I try to remain open-minded. I love a good biography. I’ve been a Sherlock Holmes fan since grade school. Ray Bradbury, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens are some of my favorite authors.
What is your favorite drink?
milk, iced tea, Pepsi
I’m not much into alcoholic drinks nowadays, but I enjoy a good mojito on occasion.
What’s your favorite TV game show?
What’s the dumbest rule you’ve been forced to follow??
I like my job, but there’s a lot of downtime and it gets boring sometimes. However, despite having a computer right in front of me I am not permitted to get online & surf The Net. I completely understand that certain sites (you know what I mean ;-)) shouldn’t be permitted, but to not be allowed to be online at all is silly. I think it should be okay as long as I do my job.
Do you like to cook?
I wish I did. I love watching The Food Network and seeing other people create tasty dishes, but if I’m being honest I mostly take the easy way out and either eat simple food at home like sandwiches, cereal, or something I can microwave, or I eat out somewhere.
What rules do you make for yourself??
I live by myself so I can pretty much do as I please as long as I pay my bills & take care of Rocco. I eat what I want when I want, I go to sleep & get up when I want, & go where I want to when I want to. Having said that, I have had an issue with being able to say “no”, and realize that I am perceived by many as a “nice guy”, aka a soft touch. Therefore, I have had to learn to set boundaries & walk away if I feel like people are taking advantage of me.
What’s the single most important thing you have done in your life??
ask my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ into my heart to cleanse me of all my sins