October 26, 2003

survey and slumber

So the questionnaire meme is going around again--I actually really like the idea of personality-type surveys, but never fill them out, because I'm always frustrated by a) the preponderance of questions whose answers are totally uninteresting to me--I mean, even Proust's questionnaire was kind of dull, b) the preponderance of questions that are like "and so what's your Social Security number, just asking for no particular reason?," c) how freaking long they are.

Here, then, is my simple twelve-question questionnaire. You are invited to post your answers in the comments section, propagate it via your own site or whatever, or, if you prefer, quietly ignore it:

1) What's something you (seriously) aspire to do?
2) What's the best piece of creative work you've ever done?
3) With what fictional character do you identify most closely?
4) Name a favorite visual artist of yours.
5) What album have you played the most in your life?
6) If you were to get a (new) tattoo, what would it be?
7) What's the best thing you can cook?
8) What could you teach a really good class on?
9) If you could take any class, what would it be?
10) What do you wish somebody would ask you?
11) What do you wish people would stop asking you?
12) What do you wish somebody would send you in the mail?

Konked out early last night, following a hot-hot-hot 801 band practice (sadly without Leela, who is preserving her dulcet tones for Tuesday)--I think we actually now know four songs we didn't get to play at the first show--and a couple of failed attempts to see the Thermals play. Missed Fat Day, too, which I'm unhappy about, though apparently they're taping at WFMU this morning.

Current station of the parashah: the expanded reissue of the Deep Freeze Mice's I Love You Little BoBo With Your Delicate Golden Lions, their fifth album and one of the most self-indulgent records ever made, which doesn't mean it isn't really good in places. They're like the wacky pop version of Nurse With Wound. Bonus points for titling it after a line from Ginsberg's "The Lion For Real."

Posted by Douglas at October 26, 2003 8:36 AM
Comments

well. you -sort of- responded. :)

Posted by: lauren on October 26, 2003 8:10 PM

joe is asleep, but i had a lot of coffee after nine, so here you go.

Posted by: maura on October 27, 2003 1:09 AM

My Pitas site is down and I don't have the energy to start a new personal blog right now so I'll just post these here.

1) Read from my book to an adoring audience at Ruminator Books in St. Paul, MN. (I don’t think it’ll be the Sign ‘O’ the Times book I do this from, though.)
2) If journalism counts, http://citypages.com/databank/20/952/print7293.asp. If it doesn’t, the time I pretended to be Trent Vedder on a comedy tape my friend Eric and I made in 1994. (This is more Eric's answer than my own but given my dearth of actual creative work it'll have to do.)
3) The narrator of “Rebel Girl.”
4) Keith Haring. I have the radiant baby tattooed on my left shoulder.
5) Sly & the Family Stone, There’s a Riot Goin’ On
6) A miniature rendition of the cover of Triple R’s Friends minus the lettering, or of the cover of the CD version of Superlongevity, on either my left forearm or my right shoulder.
7) This question fucks me up because I cooked for a living from ages 18-23, and I haven’t voluntarily cooked anything for myself in the six years since. It’s a source of deep shame--not, of course, that I’m doing anything about it.
8) Rave aesthetics.
9) Probably the Greil Marcus practical criticism one. (This is how out of touch I am with academia--irony alert!--because I have no idea what kind of courses are being taught.)
10) “What are you doing Friday night?”
11) Any variation on “Dude, did you really fire Richard Meltzer?”
12) Smartly chosen but really catholic and lengthy-as-fuck MP3 CDR mixes of songs from every year from the advent of recorded sound onward.

Posted by: M Matos on October 27, 2003 4:54 AM

But don't you SEE? Those other quizzes are EASIER! But I've had coffee already, so I'm going to do it:

1) What's something you (seriously) aspire to do?

Nest successfully and stylishly with someone who I'm excited to see every day for the rest of my life.

2) What's the best piece of creative work you've
ever done?

I'm kind of partial to my collages. But there are a couple of journal entries I've written over the course of my life that I think are special-in-the-diamond-not-retarded sense. I also like the first version of the Cat Power article I wrote for Fabula (the one they didn't want).

3) With what fictional character do you identify
most closely?

Mei in My Neighbor Totoro. Crap, actually, I have no clue.

4) Name a favorite visual artist of yours.

I really really like Jasper Johns. I've always kind of used him as a pat answer for questions like that, but, upon visiting the SFMOMA again recently, I was reminded that I really really love his art.

5) What album have you played the most in your
life?

Because I was five when I got it, probably the Muppet Movie Soundtrack. It threw off the curve, I'm certain, knocking out Neutral Milk Hotel's "Aeroplane...," Cat Power's "Moonpix," and Will Oldham's "Joya."

6) If you were to get a (new) tattoo, what would
it be?

Backseams with plus signs at the top of my thigh and at the Achilles' tendon.

7) What's the best thing you can cook?

Irish breakfasts, tomato-basil-cheese on rye, "asian" noodle soup.

8) What could you teach a really good class on?

Bondage and Discipline. Travelling by Yourself Through SE Asia. Dealing With Cat Pee. Treating Yourself for Urinary Tract Infections.

9) If you could take any class, what would it be?

See #s 1 and 3 of above (because you can always learn more about rope tying) and, also, How to Convincingly Pronounce the Pleasantries of Every Language in the World. Perhaps also: How to Maintain Love, Excitement and Respect in Your Semi-Open Relationship.

10) What do you wish somebody would ask you?

For my autobiography.

11) What do you wish people would stop asking
you?

For my girl friends' phone numbers.

12) What do you wish somebody would send you in
the mail?

A huge box of money that is mine to spend at will, risk and obligation free.

Posted by: Kate on October 27, 2003 11:27 AM

i came upon this site thanks to maura.com. neat survey, thought i'd take a stab at it:

1) What's something you (seriously) aspire to do?
a. become a better software programmer b. write one novella-length story c. live in a city other than the one i'm in now
2) What's the best piece of creative work you've ever done?
managing 50 djs at a college radio station
3) With what fictional character do you identify most closely?
kogepan
4) Name a favorite visual artist of yours.
edward hopper
5) What album have you played the most in your life?
probably an early elvis costello album like "this year's model"
6) If you were to get a (new) tattoo, what would it be?
a chinese character (after i checked with someone who can read chinese) or something like a flaming death head with snakes and a barely-readable font saying something scary and funny
7) What's the best thing you can cook?
chana masala
8) What could you teach a really good class on?
procrastination
9) If you could take any class, what would it be?
"how to make people think favorably of you without actually interacting with them"
10) What do you wish somebody would ask you?
"i'm trying to organize a prison break. we have to first get out of this bar, then the city, and then the country. are you in or you out?"
11) What do you wish people would stop asking you?
"you're really quiet, aren't you?"
12) What do you wish somebody would send you in the mail?
a tiny hand-crafted item they made especially for me. or a nice letter.

Posted by: random visitor on October 27, 2003 3:07 PM

1) Design and live in a totally efficient, energy regenerative house... or at least make them possible for other people.

2) I've written some fiction from a hypnotic-type state I can sometimes get to, where I don't recognize myself in the writing later... nobody has seen it though. In terms of public creative work, er, I'm not really proud of any of it except in its particular context relative to others in its class. Music writing, for instance.

3) Most of Lorrie Moore's adult narrators... maybe that's aspirational, but they all seem so well-educated and constructively cynical.

4) There are a couple of local artists in Austin whose work I'm loving, Kim Canton being one (a painter), and Faith Gay, who works in multimedia, being another. Here's a glare-ridden photo of one of Faith's cool melted-plastic pieces, called "Tapioca": http://www.ladyfesttx.org/2003/2003Fest/Lombardi/P5220028.JPG

5) Probably either the White Album or They Might Be Giants' "Flood."

6) Phil doodled our three cats in ballpoint on a message pad last year, and I'd probably try and have that reproduced on my arm.

7) Tortilla espanola

8) I'm a _terrible_ teacher. I have no sense of pace, can't read students' signs of comprehension/not, and take for granted that everyone is as bored as I am. I did teach Ann Marie how to drive a stick shift. So I'll go with that.

9) Aside from anything in the field of sustainable design, which if all goes well I'll be taking too many classes in come next fall, I'd like to take more visual art classes of all types. Drawing. Pottery. Photography.

10) I wish someone would ask me if I'd like a nap in the middle of my workday, every day. The answer being yes, thank you.

11) I'm sick of people asking whether I'm _really_ happy in Texas. What do I have to do, send out a press release? Yes, dammit! I'm happy! One can love one's home passionately and yet be happy somewhere else. Hard to fathom, but true.


12) I wish someone would send me something other than bottom-of-the-barrel promo cds, which are still coming even though I asked everyone to please, please stop. One time I got half a skateboard, jaggedly severed, with my address brushed on it in Wite Out. That was cool. Mostly, after I get over being vegan (11/21/03), I'd like someone to send me some really good artisanal cheese.

Posted by: Dylan on October 27, 2003 4:03 PM

1) Overcome petty annoyances; own real estate.

2) Booking my old band's tours. Booking a tour is like setting up a domino fall via telephone. Then embarking on the tour is a whole other thing, like a Happening minus the theoretical framework, or an orgy structured like a boxing match, with rounds. The most real collision of art and indeterminacy, and you get to drink a lot of beer.

3) Jay Gatsby. I grew up in a nouveau-riche town and was an outsider looking in at outsiders looking out. Didn't envy the money, just the perspective. Came away with a nickname.

4) Francis Bacon. You can see his love-hate take on the world in the love-hate relationship he had with his canvasses -- painting, painting over, defacing, restoring, apologizing, more painting.

5) The Stooges, Funhouse

6) I always wonder about this, but I've never been able to conceive of any symbol or image that wasn't eventually deflated in my mind.

7) Martinis

8) Technological determinism and the dynamism of pop music aesthetics and social movements (as one class)

9) Hutchins & Adler's humanities core at U. of Chicago ca. mid-'30s

10) Is alienation overrated?

11) How are ya?

12) A magical object that I can't fully control

Posted by: J. on October 28, 2003 3:15 AM

1. (a) Get some fiction published, just as soon as I finish (b) reversing 28 years of entropy to live in a moderately well-ordered, clean environment. I'm a month into the latter project and astonishingly it's working.

2. Probably the short screenplay I wrote last winter, which a friend of mine produced.

3. Shade The Changing Man, perhaps unhealthily.

4. Joseph Cornell. I stumbled onto a room full of his boxes at the Guggenheim once and couldn't leave.

5. Substance (the New Order one). Some of the Loud Family records must be close, though.

6. Until recently, I would have said 'an aleph'. I met someone who had not only that very tattoo but who gave the same reasons, though, and I'm not sure if that makes me change my mind.

7. I now make a really good macaroni and cheese.

8. "Basic Pinball Skills and Techniques".

9. I'm looking for a good ASL class around Boston. If I could take *any* class, though, it would have to be a class on moving solid objects with the power of my mind.

10. "Do you know anyone who's looking for a really interesting entry-level job in publishing?" or, more realistically, "Do you have a room for rent?"

11. "Are you related to Howie?"

12. Funky clothes that fit me.

Posted by: Aaron on October 28, 2003 12:06 PM

(1) Visit Japan.
(2) The interlinked fictions that comprise Imaginary Year (http://www.imaginaryyear.com), a project that tells the stories of the everyday lives of a dozen characters in real time. Three years old now, and sprawling ever outward.
(3) Barring any of my own characters, probably the protagonist of Nicholson Baker's The Mezzanine.
(4) Paul Klee.
(5) Probably They Might Be Giants' self-titled album, the Smiths' "Louder than Bombs", the Pixies' "Doolittle", or the Beatles' "Revolver."
(6) A glyph derived from photocopier noise.
(7) I made a really good tortilla soup with chicken and lime once, and twice I have managed a really good chicken pot pie (from scratch, including crust). But I doubt I will repeat these experiences. The best thing I cook regularly is probably pear salsa quesadillas.
(8) I'm employed as a freshman composition / fiction teacher, so I guess that. More fancifully: "Drone Appreciation."
(9) Aikido. Or banjo. Or circuit-bending.
(10) "Do you want to take my photograph?" or "Do you to trade mix CDs?" (tie)
(11) n/a
(12) Cryptic books. Mysterious recordings. Pieces to boardgames from alien cultures. Dream narratives. Smut.

Posted by: Jeremy on October 28, 2003 2:30 PM

1) What's something you (seriously) aspire to do?

Change the way youth perceive the public airwaves.

2) What's the best piece of creative work you've ever done?

I spend my days listening to the creative work of others. My personal creative achievements seem to peak at diy home projects.

3) With what fictional character do you identify most closely?

Hester Prynne

4) Name a favorite visual artist of yours.

Klimt.

5) What album have you played the most in your life?

Tapestry by Carole King, but possibly because it was the only record I owned really until I was 14 (minus some Raffi compilations).

6) If you were to get a (new) tattoo, what would it be?

A giant eraser hovering over my terrible tattoo mistake of the past.

7) What's the best thing you can cook?

grilled cheese sammies.

8) What could you teach a really good class on?

How to rally troops.

9) If you could take any class, what would it be?

Ham Radio Operation

10) What do you wish somebody would ask you?

Do you need a back rub?

11) What do you wish people would stop asking you?

Can you get that? ('that' being the phone/door/ashtray/food/spills/dead air)

12) What do you wish somebody would send you in the mail?

A mix tape/CD.

Posted by: Jessica on October 29, 2003 10:02 PM

I'm jetlagged and on a phone meeting at work. Perfrct time to not pay attention and answer the survey.

1. I seriously aspire to be fluent enough in Japanese so as to read Mishima in the original. He uses a lot of arcane language, so it's going to take some time, even then.

2. The best piece of creative work is probably my "book", which is in quotes because it hasn't actually been published yet. Maybe it never will be.

3. I wish I could say I was like Jigen Daisuke from the LUPIN THE THIRD franchise - cool, mysterious, and a hell of a shot. Instead, I think I'm sort of like Daffy Duck - meanspirited and thwarted at every turn. I dunno.

4. Someone else said Cornell, so I will pick another fave of mine: Maruo Suehiro.

5. I have played the Deutsche Grammophon version of Gustav Holst's THE PLANETS once a week for about 20 years. Sometimes twice. Worn out 8 cassette copies, three vinyl.

6. I always thought having an ffl ligature would be cool, but I would have to choose the typeface carefully.

7. I cook lots of stuff well, but the simplest is the community favorite: roasted small potatoes with herbs.

8. I could probably teach a class on the duality of Japanese popular culture, if I cared about academic stuff. I'd rather teach a class on Asian gangster/historical cinema.

9. Probably a Tony Robbins "course".

10. "Would you write for us? About anything you feel like? We'll pay you."

or

"Would you shoot for us? Anything you feel like. We'll pay you."

11. "Why don't you have a boyfriend?" To ensure nobody asks this ever again, I will answer it: I have no idea. Ask him.

12. I would like to be in the Bacon-of-the-month club. Getting meat products in the mail is pretty close to heaven.

Posted by: jodi on November 3, 2003 1:35 PM

1) relearn French and learn Yiddish
2) my kitten hat
3) the narrator in Ethan Mordden's I've a Feeling We're Not in Kansas Anymore or the sisters in Fat Girl
4) Fragonard
5) France Gall Poupee de Son ???? I don't know
6) Chococat
7) toad in the hole
8) Law and Order
9) see answer 1
10) would you like to work for us?
11) if I am named after that Salinger novel ARGGGHHHHHHHHHH
12) knitting books

Posted by: zoe on November 6, 2003 12:55 AM
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