Monday, November 22, 2004

Survey Memes ~ A Quartet

Because I have nothing better to say at the moment, and since nobody in my blogroll has posted one lately, I did a Google Search for survey memes... and among the blinding array of results, I found the following four survey memes, which I now present (with links to sources) for your reading pleasure:

A - Age: 36 years (or more accurately, 13481 days)

B - Band listening to right now: I'm listening to the radio, and I don't know who this chick singing is... something about "I can feel you breathe"... it appears to be Faith Hill (according to Google... it's not like radio deejays ever tell you anything useful anymore)... in the time it took me to find out about Faith Hill, it changed to the classic "Melt With You" from Saves The Day!

C - Career future: Career? I have no thoughts... though I expect I will continue having some dumb day job that pays the bills and squashes my soul, along with my non-paying but soul-enriching real careers of drag and writing.

D - Dad's name: Robert L. Manners, Senior (not really, but I am named after my father, and my nom de plume is Robert L. Manners, and that's all you're getting).

E - Easiest person to talk to: I don't find anybody particularly easy to talk to, it's always difficult for me to start conversations, and I seem to forever be explaining myself on one level or another.

F - Favorite song: I don't really have a favorite song just now... but the last song to obsess me was "Yo, Pumpkinhead" from the Cowboy Bebop soundtrack.

G - Gummy Bears or Gummy Worms: Eew, either way.

H - Hometown: Oakland, CA.

I - Instruments: I played the viola and the French horn in elementary school (back in the olden days when schools actually had arts funding), and I took piano lessons in mid-adolescence, but I never became proficient at any of them... I am not known for applying myself to things that don't come easily.

J - Job: My title is "Staff Secretary" but I am really an office manager/administrative assistant/general factotum.

K - Kids: The bloodline stops here... well, that's not strictly true, since my sister has a son who carries the family name and he's straight, but we hope he has sense enough to not reproduce.

L - Longest car ride ever: From Hayward, California to Bridger, Montana... it took thirty-two hours, Kevin refused to stop anywhere along the way to sleep (though we did stop to eat), and it was miserable... though the scenery was splendid.

M - Mom's name: Kathryn Marie (no Manners... she's remarried twice since Daddy; I shall not divulge her last name and cannot be bothered to make one up for her).

N - Number of people you slept with: Uhm... let's see... for the purpose of counting, we will include the people with whom I just had sex and then left, rather than actually sleeping with them (though that's a much more manageable list)... actually, I'm just not sure, I'll have to count them out: 1 Joey (the first), 2 Todd, 3 Anthony, 4 Eric, 5 some English guy with a ponytail, 6 Glen, 7 a friend of Glen's, 8 Jason, 9 some straight guy who was a friend of a coworker, 10 a guy with a moustache who was really understanding when I shit on him during sex, 11 this older guy who lived in San Mateo with his parents and was a nurse I think, 12 Kevin (though he doesn't remember it), 13 a Berkeley student with really smooth balls, 14 another Berkeley student with a funny goatee, 15 Eustacio, 16 a really cute WASPy Navy boy with black hair, 17 a cute but very short bodybuilder, 18 & 19 two different straight male strippers in one night, 20 a guy with false teeth who turned out to be homeless, 21 Jim, 22 this guy with long hair who lived on a boat, 23 Wally, 24 an English teacher who lived out in Pittsburgh and was really tall and had huge hands and feet but the tiniest pipi I've ever seen, 25 some blond guy at a bathhouse, 26 an Arab guy who pretended to be Latino, 27 & 28 this ugly older man and his pretty young Puerto Rican partner who lived in SOMA, 29 the gorgeous Czech I threw up on, 30 a big ugly black man who insisted on a blowjob just because he'd been buying me drinks all night, 31 Greg, 32 another random pickup with pretty brown eyes and a lesbian roommate, and finally 33 Ed... that's all I can remember, after wasting about an hour searching the dusty corners of my mind.

O - Obsession[s]: Beefcake! In particular at Most Sexy Guys.

P - Phobia[s]: Crowds and small spaces.

Q - Quote: "You can't direct the wind, but you can adjust your sails."

R - Reason to smile: The pear I just ate for lunch was molto delicioso!

S - Song you sang last: "Another Mr. Right Left," I can't remember who sings it, it was on a CD Bill at Mermaniac made. I love singing along with it.

T - Time you wake up: Whenever I wake up. Today it was 10:30 a.m. and I had to rush like hell to get to the office.

U - Unknown fact about me: I can't think of anything interesting and factual I've never shared here before... how about this: my third-grade teacher's name was Mrs. Kermit.

V - Vegetable you hate: Squash. I dislike lots of vegetables, but I really hate squash. I don't even like the way it sounds.

W - Worst habit: Belching loudly... but then, I'd rather belch it all out as soon as I can, rather than let the air come out elsewhere.

X - X-rays you've had: I've had my teeth X-rayed a number of times, and I had my back X-rayed once, and my hand got X-rayed when I was helping my Grandfather remain in position for a chest X-ray.

Y - Yummy food: I ate a perfectly-ripe Macintosh apple the other day, and it was quite possibly the best apple I've ever eaten in my whole life... I wished I'd bought a dozen.

Z - Zodiac sign: Capricorn, with Gemini rising and a Scorpio moon.

1. Are you mono- or polytheistic? I guess I'm a monotheist, insofar as I am not an atheist or a polytheist and there seems no other choice... but I have a hard time thinking of God as an individual... though when I talk of God, I use the personal pronouns He and Him, I really think of God rather as a force than as a personal gendered individual.

2. Do you subscribe to a major religion? No. I deplore religion; though it has its good points as making spiritual growth accessible to people, it unfortunately sets too many traps in the way of spiritual progress... religion isn't evil in and of itself, but it is too easily used for evil, in the same way that weapons are not intrinsically evil but they are too easily used for evil purposes(the difference between a tool and a weapon is its usage).

3. How do you feel about Jesus? I think he was a teacher, and that much of what he taught, or as much of it as was passed down, was good and worthwhile (though like most Semitic mystics, he was a little too body-phobic).

4. What holy book do you feel is most accurate (Bible, Koran, etc)? The Tao Te Ching... it's not really holy, but we studied it in a comparative religion class and I found it very... restful. I also find The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran spiritually uplifting, though it is not strictly "holy" either.

5. Do you believe in reincarnation? Sort of, I think it happens, and it's a good idea and it has a poetic resonance that I find charming; but I can't say I really believe in it, in that my actions are not based on the belief (that's the difference between believing and believing in something... you can believe something, but unless your actions are based on and influenced by that belief, you don't believe in it).

6. Do you believe in the traditional heaven and hell? No.

7. Do you believe in ANY heaven and/or hell? I believe in Enlightenment, and I think that a soul can learn after death (either in "purgatory" or through reincarnation) the lessons it needs to attain enlightenment... and that Heaven is the destination of enlightened souls.

8. Do you think the god(s) are vengeful or nice? I don't think God is either vengeful or nice, these are human constructs. I believe that God is benevolent, that He wants us to love and enjoy creation and be happy, but we have to learn to accept the "cruel" aspects of Creation (death, pain, etc.), and we have to find out how on our own.

9. Do you believe in angels? I think the probability they exist is fairly high, considering the number of sightings, but I don't know what they are and I don't think they are messengers of God.

10. Do you believe in miracles? Not insofar as the laws of matter and nature being suspended and/or reversed by God; the only miracles are those where our animal nature overcomes itself in actions of pure good. I think that a lot of the physical "miracles" that people see and experience (stigmatae, weeping statues, visitations and apparitions, etc.) are the result of a natural process, involved in human will, that we don't fully understand, and more akin to hallucination than anything else.

11. Do you believe in predestination? No... first, because predestination negates the possibility of free will; second, because time is linear and only moves in one direction. The future hasn't happened yet: I don't think God even knows the future, though He may know what all the possible outcomes are.

12. Do you believe in original sin? I don't believe in sin at all, I only believe in harm; and furthermore the concept of Original Sin is ridiculous and sets up the paradigm that human beings are inherently evil, which I think is disastrous.

13. Do you believe in freedom of will? That I do believe in. You'll find that most of the "evils" that people blame God for allowing are based in two principles: free will and natural process. We are harmed by the will of others and by our own choices, and we are "harmed" by the movements of nature and the inevitablility of disease and death. Getting our panties in a bunch that God "allows" these things is selfish and egomaniacal folly on our part.

14. Do you believe in souls? Yes indeed. I believe that our intelligence and our individuality and our abstract memory are part of a force that develops from and resides in our bodies but is independent of us and continues on after the body returns to process.

15. What do you think will happen to you when you die? I don't have any expectations or ideas, though I am interested in finding out. I believe I will continue in another form, be it spiritual or physical. I feel that our ability to consider our individuality, to want the possibility of consciousness and individuality after death, indicates that there is some form of individuality after death... for if it weren't there, we would create it by the strength of our own wills.

16. Do you think there will be an Armageddon? Not with the armies of Earth battling to the death and all that jazz (though it is possible that the armies of Earth can end life as we know it). But all things end, it is the nature of natural process, and there will come a time when the planet Earth will end and that the human race will no longer be what we know... it will either evolve or die out.

17. Why do you think we exist? Because we do... everything exists, I think, because God set the universe in motion and we are one of the results. I don't believe we were created to fulfill a specific preconceived purpose, though, other than to be a part of the Creation.

18. Do you believe in life on other planets? Considering the size of the universe, I think it's mathematically impossible for there not to be life on other planets; but it may not be life as we understand and define it, it might not even be recognizeable to us as life.

19. Do you believe in evolution? What's to "believe"? It's scientifically proven fact; it is the process by which God created the universe.

20. Do you think religion and science will always oppose each other? Only as long as people ask religion to answer our questions about the natural world, and ask science to answer our questions about the spiritual world. As far as I am concerned, religion exists only to understand our relationship to the spiritual, and science exists only to understand our relationship with the physical; there may be overlap, spirit and matter do affect each other, but science and religion are separate objects and should not even be considered as opposing forces or even opposite sides of the same coin... they're apples and oranges, if you know what I mean.

21. What would you say to God if you met him/her/them today? Hi! How are you today? What is it all about, Alfie? And thanks for the orgasms, those were a nice touch.

1. Using band names, spell out your first name.
    Rolling Stones

    Orchestral Maneuvers in the Dark (OMD)



    Roxy Music

    Thompson Twins

    Mamas and the Papas

    Alvin and the Chipmunks

    Rude Boyz

    Linkin Park

    Everly Brothers

    Nine Inch Nails

2. Ever had a song written about you? No, nobody I know writes songs; nobody has even inadvertently written a song about me, thinking they were writing it about someone else but nevertheless describing me perfectly.

3. What songs make you cry? "Bill" from Showboat. I don't know why, but I always tear up at the end of the verse.

4. What song makes you happy? Almost without fail, "The Lonely Goatherd" from The Sound of Music.

5. What do you like to listen to before bed? Whatever. I usually have the Classical station on when I go to sleep... I leave it on all night.

6. Name a song by Coal Chamber: Who? Never heard of them.

7. Who were your idols when you were younger? Nick Rhodes of Duran Duran was perhaps my first pop idol (in that I loved him and loved looking at him and wanted to be like him), and then the fabulous David Bowie (particularly his earlier incarnations as Ziggy Stardust and the Thin White Duke), and then Annie Lennox... after that I ceased to be "younger."

8. First album you ever bought? Quel embarasse! The first album I ever bought with my own money was Wham!'s Make It Big... somewhat less embarassing is the first album I ever owned (which I demanded by name for a Christmas present), Beethoven's Fifth Symphony, Eugene Ormandy conducting.

9. Name a song that reminds you of someone. Why? Songs don't generally remind me of people, except maybe of a drag queen who performed it. But the song "Stardust" does usually make me think of my Grandfather; it was his favorite song, and he used to have this brushed steel music-box with big sparkly rhinestones on top that played the tune (Grandmother still has it).

1: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18, find line 4. Write down what it says: There are hundreds of books within inches of me, I'm sitting right next to my tall bookshelves... but the one closest to me by virtue of not having anything else in front of it to block my way is Natural History by Maureen Howard, which I've never read. I think my sister gave it to me. And the text in question is: "all." The fourth sentence is: "Then she can face her Bill, round and balding, his tilted smile fresh as a wondering boy's, the little strawberry mark like a dollop of jam in the cleft of his chin, big open eyes, for sure the windows of his soul." Gack, I don't think I will ever read this one (though I notice on a later editing spree that this is the third occurrence of the name "Bill" in this post... hmmmm)

Maybe I should have grabbed the book next to it, Paradise Lost and Other Poems by John Milton, which would have resulted in "And former sufferings otherwhere are found" (from "The Passion," 1630).

2: Stretch your left arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first?: Since I can't really stretch my left arm out, as my bookcase is about eight inches from my shoulder, I have to reach out diagonally, then swing my arm left... at which point the first thing I touch is my CD tower, my longest finger landing on... let's see, what is this? Sarah Vaughn at Mister Kelly's.

3: What is the last thing you watched on TV?: Drawn Together on Comedy Central last night. That show is seriously fucked up, and I love it!

4: WITHOUT LOOKING, guess what the time is: Eight-thirty-ish?

5: Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?: 9:11 p.m.

6: With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?: I can hear Grandmother watching television in the next room... right this second it's a Dodge truck commercial.

7: When did you last step outside? What were you doing?: I stepped out of the gym, and then I stepped out of my car before I came into the house (PS: I started answering these questions hours ago, in case you were wondering).

8: Before you came to this website, what did you look at?: What do you think? Most Sexy Guys... they should be giving me some kind of a subsidy, I've linked to them like ten times in the last couple of weeks. But then I've spent more time mining beautiful images there than I have writing about it here, so I guess I am being paid.

9: What are you wearing?: Black t-shirt, grey sweatpants (they're cargo sweats, they have pockets on the legs, so hip-hop), white socks, and a silver wristwatch.

10: Did you dream last night?: I dream every night, I just don't always remember them. I kind of vaguely remember the dream just before I woke up as being interesting and fun, but I can't now remember the plotline.

11: When did you last laugh?: At dinner when I was talking to Grandmother about something. I laugh a lot, though. I like laughing.

12: What is on the walls of the room you are in?: I wish I'd answered this question while I was still at the office, where I haven't quite loaded the walls up yet. Going clockwise from directly in front of me: three wall-mounted shelves with books and magazines, two metal plaques from Aahmes Shriners' 100 Club that belonged to my Grandfather, two narrow closet-door mirrors mounted side-by-side to create one large mirror, a red sequined headband with a red ostrich feather, a tiny Polaroid picture of myself and Shiloh, a waterproof tchotchke-box on a cord (for putting your money and glasses into on water rides) from Dalton's company picnic at Marine World (these last three hanging from the same plastic thumbtack), then the door, around the corner to a large photograph of Caroline with really long hair and lots of beaded necklaces and nothing else on (from her first paid modeling gig), another large set of wall-mounted shelves with three shelves on either side of my dressing-table mirror and one shelf over the top containing books and videos and jewelry boxes and my stereo and a rather baroque little clock and a stuffed turtle and a lot of grooming products and my alarm clock and four folding fans, then the closet door and around the next corner, an oval mirror in a white wicker frame, then the window with miniblinds, then (gasp!) a blank space, then around the corner to another set of three wall-mounted shelves filled with books, and then my tall bookcase with an elecric fan and several decorative objects and commemoratie coffee mugs and an immensely tacky but somehow endearing lamp featuring a porcelain statue of a flapper and a bead-fringed shade, and then the CD tower with a white teddy bear with a leopard-trimmed black velvet coat and hat with her own little pet leopard cub, (I know these are not on the wall so much as in front of the wall, but they cover the wall, anyway), and then another tiny blank space and the fourth corner.

13: Seen anything weird lately?: Define "weird." But no, I can't think of anything lately that struck me as particularly odd.

14: What do you think of this quiz?: It's harder than I thought it would be to answer.

15: What is the last film you saw?: Joseph Andrews, based on the Henry Fielding novel, starring Ann-Margret and Peter Firth. It was very amusing, if a trifle silly. But that was on DVD, not film... the last on-film film I saw was Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban... it's sad that the last movie I saw in a theater is about to come out on DVD next week.

16: If you became a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy first?: A fur coat. Silver fox, long, fabulous! Or else a really really big diamond. But definitely something to wear.

17: Tell me something about you that I don’t know: Well, now that I've let Mrs. Kermit out of the bag, I just don't know what's left... how about this: I've only once had an orgasm without using my own hand, and boy was I surprised! (for those following along, it was #5 the English guy with the ponytail).

18: If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt or politics, what would you do?: Create some kind of mandated test by which stupid people would be given to comprehend that they were stupid, and would thereafter be forced to act accordingly by keeping their stupidity to themselves.

19: Do you like to dance?: Not really... I enjoy it for a little while, but eventually I will become poisoned by the knowledge that I look stupid, and that takes the fun out of it.

20: Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?: Anastasia... or Charlotte... or Charlotte Anastasia Manners.

21: Imagine your first child is a boy, what do you call him?: Sebastian Mountjoy Manners. He will perforce have to be home-schooled.

22: Would you ever consider living abroad?: No, I don't think I'd care for that. Not even just to Canada. I would like to take extended vacations, but to have to go through all the resident alien paperwork and buying household necessities in a foreign language and having to actually figure out currency exchanges for a long period of time? No thank you.

23: Will you pass on this survey?: I just did.


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