meme mailbag

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Okay, it's been more than a week. Let's do this. Sorry if I neglected anybody's questions--I think somebody might have mailed me one that I misplaced. Remember, if you asked me one of these questions, you now have to answer all of them on your own blog...

What is the oldest article of clothing still in active use in your wardrobe?

I'm guessing the T-shirt from the New Order/PiL/Sugarcubes tour of 1989, with the day-glo American flag. Sadly, the amazing purple plaid flannel shirt I bought at Canal Jean in 1986 has given up the ghost, and the Cure T-shirt from the "Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me" tour in 1987 is still intact but probably too fragile to be worn very often.

If you were to pass along to a child (offspring, godchild, favorite young person you hope to influence for the better) a lifelong passion for one thing, what would it be?

Not to get all meta-, but being passionate about stuff in general: being engaged in whatever interests them, not just passively experiencing it. People who like to figure out how things work and think about them and argue about them and make stuff themselves based on what they've learned tend to be happier, I suspect.

What's the one website or periodical that you read which nobody would expect you to?

The question presumes that there is one. I suspect I am entirely predictable in my tastes--I don't think my reading habits have surprised anyone in a while. Although a friend of mine was alarmed last year to see a copy of Stuff in our house (Edie briefly had a subscription--it's a lot weirder and funnier than you'd guess).

Does there ever come a point when [insert interviewee's occupation] becomes kind of arbitrary to you?

Only in the sense that my job as an interviewer is always first to shut up and listen, and second to cue the interviewee to go on at length about whatever s/he finds interesting. But that usually means I need to find out a lot about the interviewee first.

What is one album/book/movie you have not heard/read/seen but which you really should to be doing what you do, and how do you work around that?

Again, a question that presumes that there is one; I don't think there is. Occasionally I meet someone who's amazed that I haven't seen Almost Famous, but I think I get along just fine that way. I used to get the same reaction to never having seen Chasing Amy. Then I did; two hours of my life I'll never get back.

What superstitions do you follow or have you made up for yourself?

Oh, my God. So many. The first that leaps to mind is that if I find a penny, not only is it lucky, but the luck will have something to do with something that happened in the year the penny was minted. Also that I can tell whether something is a good idea or not by holding it in my mind and attempting to crack my thumbs; if they both make a sound, that's a green light. (Note that in practice this is a good way of checking whether I think something is a good idea or not.)

What happened the first time you danced?

My cousin's bar mitzvah party. I'm not sure if he's ever entirely forgiven me.

What was the first piece of art (book, song, film, painting, building, etc.) that changed your life? What happened? How do you regard that work now?

One that changed my life, as opposed to really really liking it a lot? Douglas Hofstadter's Gödel, Escher, Bach was a thunderbolt when I was 12 or so: the first book that I had to struggle to keep up with, and that eventually gave me some enormous "now I get it!" moments. Haven't read it in many years--it's not the sort of book one needs to have a lifelong relationship with, if you see what I mean--but I'd be curious to. (Music-wise, it was probably Into Battle with the Art of Noise.)

If you could choose to understand one thing in much greater depth than the other, what would it be -- your roots or your current surroundings, and why?

My current surroundings, because I can act on them.

How do you like your eggs?

French-style omelet, preferably with onions. Who was it who said that if onions were rare and hard to grow, they'd be considered a great delicacy?

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This page contains a single entry by Douglas published on July 10, 2005 3:08 PM.

and speaking of derivative works (well, protected parody, fair use, etc.) was the previous entry in this blog.

con and confidence is the next entry in this blog.

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