After fifteen minutes of quiet sitting I found myself once again lacking for something to do, so of course I turned to the Internet. A quick skim of LiveJournal turned up an interesting post by miang, wherein she shared a survey that she had lifted from a friend of hers who also has a LiveJournal (Is LJ officially classified as a controlled substance yet?).
So, without ado, I bring you the answers to questions you didn't want to ask about me, thoughtfully tucked behind a cut tag.
1. Tell me 3 things most people don't know about you.
2. Name 5 songs that make you emotional.
3. If you've got them, what are some or all of your nervous tics?
I crack the vertebrae in my neck just by tipping my head to the side and turning my chin a little one direction or the other; I can practically do it on command. I rub at my mustache with the side of my finger. I'm also prone to cracking my knuckles. I play with my keys and fidget with the change in my pocket.
4. Describe your skin.
In a word: fair. I usually burn the first time I'm out in the sun for an extended period, then I gradually get a tan. These days I don't see much sun, so it's pretty white, and it doesn't hold a tan at all like it used to. On my arms and face I have a few freckles here and there, but not many.
5. What is the hardest lesson you've had to learn thus far in your life? How did you learn it?
I learned life is fragile, and the spark of it can be extinguished so easily..... When I was little I was entrusted with a baby chick that I named "Peep-peep" (wasn't I the clever one). I must have been three or four years old at the time, and I took him outside to play. Of course I knew he was a bird so I thought he should be able to fly... so I started helping him "practice" by throwing him up in the air. Can you see where this is going yet? One time I tossed him up higher than all the other times, I didn't catch him and when he fell to the ground he struck a rock and died. I wept and screamed and begged for it to not be true, I wanted it to just be "taken back." When my parents confronted me I tried to hide the truth like any child would, telling completely outrageous lies. Looking back on it I know how foolish I must have sounded, and I know what a childish thing it was to do (the mistake and the lies), but that's exactly it... I was a child. I never forgot that day, though. Here I am 20 years later, and I'm writing about it as if it happened to me yesterday. I think it's safe to say that the lesson stuck.
6. What's the one thing you never want to hear in the middle of sex?
I want to write something funny here, but I can't really. I could put the stock answer of "Somebody else's name," and it would be true to some extent, but I guess what I'm really afraid of and would never want to hear is "Stop it. Go away."
7. Who do you love?
My cat... my family... somebody far away... my friends.
8. If you could take a few characteristics from people on your friends list, who would you take from and what characteristics would you take and why?
9. Make me laugh. Now, damn you. In other words, what one thing can/do you do that is sure to make people laugh?
I can tell tall tales and I make a lot of self-deprecating jokes. I can't spin yarns the same way that 2_gryphon can, but I can take small portions of my life and make them into entertaining vignettes, complete with dramatic and maybe even amusing (if it's a good night) gestures and poses. Ask miang about the reception dinner, when I related Doug's triumphant exorcism of the bathroom exhaust fan.
10. Tell me a few of the best compliments you've ever received.
I receive very few compliments, and I don't keep track of most of the ones I do get because I'm afraid it would seem egotistical and self-centered. Two that I have heard in recent days that really meant a lot to me are "you're cuddly" and "I think of you like the brother I never had."
11. In a dating relationship, when is it too early to get married? When is it just right?
There's never a rush. If you've found "The One" today, then they should be there tomorrow. To me the time is right after you've enjoyed the courtship, gotten to know your future spouse as well and intimately as you can. A good indicator is when you can simply share company with the other person and an silence makes neither party uncomfortable.
12. Name one book that changed your life. If you're nice, you'll include the author's name too.
I can't say that a book has ever changed my life, not in a radical sense. Some have had subtle influences upon it. Stephen King's The Eyes Of The Dragon introduced me to the world of Stephen King and the horror genre in general. The Bible, perhaps the greatest story ever told, has had some small influence in my life. Currently I'm reading Journey of Self-Discovery by Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada. It's an incredibly complex read, and I find myself pleased that it is as challenging as it is. It may not help me find the "one path to happiness," but it does help broaden my horizons.
13. You go to a park. What's the first thing you do there?
Find a seat in the shade and look around to see if the others who may be around me are enjoying themselves.
14. Is it really possible to go through life with no regrets?
No. Everyone has regrets, no matter how well they may mask it. Nobody, and I do mean nobody, can go through life without feeling some sort of regret for a decision they made or an action they took at some point in their lives. It's not possible to be a living, breathing human being without feeling regret at some point in one's life.
15. What makes for good sex?
16. Tell me one of the stupidest things you've ever done.
While my father was cutting down a rather stately old box elder tree by our pole barn I was assisting by pushing some of the brush out of the way. I looked up, saw that he had nearly cut all the way through, and suddenly thought to myself, If I stand here that tree will fall on me! Rather than moving away from the drop zone I just changed locations, which of course put me directly in the path of the tree when it actually did fall. All I could do was stare up at it and hold out my arms in a gesture of dismay as I vainly attempted to ward the tree off.
Yes, it fell on me.
17. What is your favorite word/phrase and why?
I have a different phrase for each occasion. Some are appropriate for work, some are more apropos when I am wrenching on a car and I bust my knuckles on the socket wrench. I guess my current phrase of choice in casual company is "It's all so fucking hilarious," which reflects a good deal of my standpoint on the state of affairs in this world and in my personal life. If I didn't find it so laughable I'd undoubtedly go insane.
18. Do you believe in soulmates and true love? Explain, please.
I don't know if "soulmates" exist in the sense they exist in for romance novels and Hollywood films with $54 million dollar budgets and sixteen big name actors and actresses. I also don't think that true love exists as I think that love as a whole is all that matters. You can come to love somebody over time, or you can love them instantly... but don't second-guess what you do have by thinking there's something more "deep" or "pure" than what you have now. I know that every love I've felt, no matter how brief or long it may have been, was true to the moment, the spirit, and my partner.
19. If the devil exists, what do you want him to say when you reach the fiery gates?
"Smoking or non-smoking? Oh, sorry, it's all smoking down here."
20. Teach me something.
On a vehicle with OBD-I or OBD-II computer systems, you don't always need a $90/hour mechanic and a piece of $2,500 equipment to find out what's wrong with the car. Every OBD-I/II car has a pair of jumpers that you can short across. Some cars have specially-designed plugs you can use to produce this short, most people just bend a paperclip into the right shape and jam it into the terminals. Whichever method you choose, once you've shorted between the terminals you will cause the on-board computer to flash the "Check Engine" light in a looping pattern. By counting the flashes you can deduce the error code number it is reporting, and then compare that to a list of error codes in a $19 manual. This lets you get an idea of what's wrong with the vehicle without investing a significant amount of cash in a visit to the mechanic, and it may even be something you can fix by yourself, resulting in further savings.