Posts Tagged ‘Blogs I Follow’

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #2

May 30, 2016

Answering some more questions posed by the Half a 1000 Miles blog.  If you are looking for my take on the first twenty questions then look here.

21. Do you consider going on vacation every year a necessity OR a luxury?

Going on vacation is definitely a luxury. Travel, hotels and time to vacation are expensive propositions in my life and in the life of pretty much everyone I know. My parents were good about saving and budgeting to go somewhere but it was always presented as a big deal and an opportunity that we should not take for granted. At age 33 I actually just took my first actual vacation in January and it was thrilling but expensive. And even that was just two days at National Harbor. I tend to make the most of my off time without traveling far afield or spending too much money.

22. Can you sin without knowing it?

We would have to consider the concept of “sin” first. (Can you tell that I’m entering the legal profession, yet?) I don’t believe in Christian sin. I believe it’s similar to how we try criminals. In the United States, we usually require mens rea (“guilty mind”) and actus reus (“guilty act”) as elements of a crime to having taken place. There are exceptions to every rule but I generally think that your intentions mean a lot. If you don’t know you’ve done wrong, it’s hard to judge your intentions.

23. Do you know someone who could make being stuck in a traffic jam fun?

I know a lot of people. Both of my brothers are incredibly interesting to talk to for different reasons. Anyone in my gaming group is usually hilarious, insightful and they have different enough perspectives that talking to them is fascinating. I think if I were to pick one person it would be my brother Alex since we could talk or listen to awesome music together.

24. Would you consider it negative OR positive if someone told you that you had really tight control over your emotions?

Mostly I would think it would be a compliment. Over the years, I have had problems with anger but that is really the emotion I’ve had trouble with. I often call myself heartless because I tend not to feel as much as the people I know and love. I try to open my heart like they do but often I don’t feel swayed as much as the people around me. And yet, I cry at Disney movies. Weird.

25. Would you consider it a compliment OR an insult if someone called you unpredictable? What if they called you predictable?

I think I would consider it a compliment. Lately, I have been working to build a routine so that I can put a little more structure in my life. It feels good so far so I think that I would feel complimented on my efforts. I am highly resistant to sudden or unscheduled changes so predictable would probably be a good word for me. I have had a pretty consistent political trajectory and pop culture evolution. For those who know me, I probably don’t surprise them too much.

26. Do you think Britney Spears is talented?

Yes. Of course, what she is talented at is up for grabs. When she first showed up on the scene, her music was not for me but when she pulled her life back together the music was way more appealing to me. I consider myself to be a casual Britney fan but I’ve heard different stories. How manufactured is her music? Obviously, she can dance but how much is her voice and how much is a machine in the producer’s hands? Regardless, I think she is talented and entertaining and I occasionally listen to her music to get jazzed.

27. How many adults do you know who don’t have a cell phone?

Absolutely zero. Even the most grizzled, backwoods guy from the middle of West Virginia who I’ve met has had a cell phone. This is the Information Age and, with payphones getting junked, it pays to stay connected to the grid just in case you need it or somebody needs you. Still, I do know people who do not have a smart phone yet which is much more understandable. Smart phones are not a necessary element and I can understand the complaints against them. That said, I have one and I love it.

28. If one partner in a married couple votes Democrat and one votes Republican, are they just canceling out each other’s vote?

No, I don’t believe that is true. I believe that when you vote in an election, that is you letting your voice be heard. It can be debated up and down whether that voice is having an effect but it is definitely going to a spreadsheet which proves that it was at least heard. Staying home is remaining silent and showing certain politicians or schools of thought how many support their cause and how many are against it. If you win by a 100% margin when there was only one vote, it just isn’t the same as when you win by 80% when a million people voted. Voting is always important.

29. When you describe someone as “very opinionated” is it a compliment? (If someone strongly agrees with us, we usually call them smart, but if they strongly disagree with us, we tend to call them “opinionated”). Aren’t they opinionated either way?

When I describe somebody as “very opinionated” it is usually a compliment. Opinions are so important to the way we operate, especially how we operate politically and legally. Different opinions are how we test our knowledge and perception against the world and against each other. I absolutely hate apathy because if you care about nothing that’s what and where you generally get to. I consider “opinionated” and “Stubborn” to be on a different spectrum. A lot of this is affected by intelligence but being opinionated does not mean you are automatically smart or stupid.

30. Do bad boys and high maintenance women exist because there is a demand for them?

Maybe. If there is, I definitely do not understand that demand. As a primarily heterosexual male (Kinsey Scale hype), I could not see myself falling for a high maintenance woman. I have a lot going on in my life that I cherish and enjoy. I factor my life as it is and might be when I think about what kind woman I could spend my life with. She would have to be pretty laid back and intelligent. I don’t even want to get a dog because of the love and attention the poor thing will need. I would want a girlfriend (or wife) who would complement and enrich my life instead of diverting and controlling it.

31. Should you teach a child to say “I’m sorry” when you know they are really not?

Yes. In life, there are a lot of times where, as my mom always says, you need to “eat shit and grin”. You have to apologize to your boss, to the officer who caught you speeding or the aggressive ass at the bar who bumped into you. White lies are an essential skill that even I struggle with to this day but you have to do it. However, I would hope to also teach them to not say “I’m sorry” to somebody they care about when they don’t mean it. I would hope to teach them to listen to the people they care about and empathize and then mean it when they apologize.

32. Would you rather be given a completely restored older car OR a brand new car of the same worth?

Older cars are pretty cool but I would choose a new car of the same worth. A car is not a status symbol for me. A car is a tool to get me from point A to point B in a reliable and enjoyable way. My new car (2013) is definitely reliable as it has never broken down or given me problems beyond normal wear and tear (knock on wood). However, my car also has great climate control and, more importantly, it has a really good sound system. I hate driving a lot of the time but that hate turns to love when I leave early and listen to podcasts or good music. Older cars usually have worse heating systems and I can’t connect my phone to their sound systems (usually a radio and a tape deck).

33. Have you ever seen dimples on someone’s face that were ugly?

No, I have not. I can’t picture dimples being ugly but I often don’t fixate on the parts of the face, I focus on the whole thing.

34. Does a critic’s review of a movie make any difference on whether you see it or not?

I tend not to read or watch reviews of movies before I see them for fear of spoilers. However, I do note a movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score because that is not relying on one critic’s opinion but a whole lot of them. Still, If you read this blog, you know that I watch a ton of movies with poor Rotten Tomatoes scores and I do so with little trepidation in my heart. There are too many times when I have loved a movie when the critics panned it to pay too much attention. However, I will use that same score or bad reviews to justify myself when I chose not to see a movie that looked bad. It is a great feeling to see a bad trailer and then skip the movie and find out you were probably right to do so.

35. If someone tells you that you are too good for them, should you believe them?

No. Compatibility and chemistry are the real factors in determining whether two people should be together. A relationship either works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, it can either be saved or it should be ended for everyone’s sake. If somebody can tell you that you are “too good for them” then that is automatically not true. It means they have something inside of them that is self-aware and compassionate. The real assholes will never tell you that you are too good for them. In fact, they might just tell you the opposite.

36. Buying quality ______is worth the money?

It might sound crass but I think that buying quality toilet paper is definitely worth the money. Pain or discomfort centering on your private areas can be horribly distracting. Moving almost any body part usually also moves that area as well. Cleanliness goes a long way in keeping you from hurting something down there and nothing is more annoying than cheap toilet paper.

37. Would you rather play a game with someone more talented than you OR less talented than you?

I think there is value in both but I would want to compete against somebody more talented than I am. I was never a sports guy but I do enjoy challenges. Overcoming obstacles or beating tough opponents is a real thrill and a lot of fun. I would want to face people who are better than I am to learn and grown even if I never got good enough to beat them. That being said, I would not like to play with somebody so far above my skill level that I did not have a chance. That is horribly frustrating and makes me just want to walk away.

38. Do you think you could consider someone a truly extraordinary person who thought of themselves as a truly extraordinary person?

Yes. Somebody’s opinion of themselves often has no bearing on what they actually are. Adam Sandler seems to think that he is the best thing since sliced bread and definitely is not. Patton Oswalt has spoken of near-crippling doubt and he is one of the funniest and most extraordinary people I can think of. We are often our own worst critics but some people are just the opposite. Now, humility is a very attractive quality to me but pushing it too far can be just annoying as braggadocio. There’s a fine line.

39. Do you arrive at the airport ahead of time in case problems arise OR do you try to get there at the last minute so you don’t have to wait?

I arrive at and drag people to the airport annoyingly and outrageously early. If I am taking off at eight in the morning, do not be surprised to see me get there at five in the morning. I will barely be awake but I will be there. I am terrified of missing the plane so I am often really early. I like being early. I hate flying but I love airports. Once you get through the hassle of security, most large airports have bars and restaurants where you can get some good food. I listen to podcasts, read and write and I just enjoy the absence of anxiety of being there before boarding.

40. What celebrity have you been told you look like? (you don’t have to agree)

I have not been told I look like anyone famous. Fortunately and unfortunately, I guess.

41. Who is the most famous person you ever met?

The most famous person I have ever met would probably be George Takei. I met him about twenty years ago when I was really, really into Star Trek. We used to study starship plans and watch episodes and movies like the kids in Galaxy Quest. We were old school nerds but my friends and I were still preteens so we couldn’t just go out to conventions. My best friend and I went out to King’s Dominion in Virginia where they were doing a big anniversary event. We got our picture taken on the transporter pad and we stood in line for Takei. When we got to the head of the line, we saw that his leg was broken and he told us that he had had an accident but he was alright. It was really cool to meet him and he was so gracious and patient with us. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he is hilarious but he was very charming.

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #1

May 16, 2016

I decided to work on a few questions that the blog Half a 1000 Miles asked in a post from a while ago.  There are 100 questions (duh) so it will take me a while to get through it but I will post questions a little bit at a time.  Enjoy!

1. Name something that sounds like it should be fun, but it’s really not.

Performing. There was a brief moment where I thought I would be an actor or a rock star but I have horrible stage fright. If I have to do something like that in front of people, I can but I wouldn’t want to choose that life. Still, slipping into the skin of a character or rocking out on stage still sounds like a lot of fun but it’s not for me.

2. Name something that people complain about regarding the opposite sex that doesn’t bother you at all.

Well, the easy thing to pick is feminism. I see a lot of guys complaining online about feminism and Tumblr feminists and I don’t see what the problem is. The equality of women (and all people) does not threaten me the way it threatens other people. I love girl power as I grew up with a lot of reminders of how awesome it is.

3. Do you grant more favors OR do you ask for more favors?

I tend not to ask for favors. People do me favors all the time but I try my best not to ask for them. I am trying to get better at not expecting anything of anybody. I don’t want to be a burden to those around me. In the past, I have not been good about granting favors as I can get a bit psycho about scheduling ahead of time. Trying to change my schedule at the last minute often drives me crazy. I am trying to get better at rolling with the punches for the good of my friends and family.

4. Do you think you are smarter than your boss?

Smarter than my boss? Currently, I don’t really have a boss besides my family. Do I think I am smarter than my family? No, I do not. I am younger and less experienced than my folks. However, there are many different kinds of intelligence and my technological abilities are way higher than most people I have worked with. I also usually figure that there’s a reason that they are the boss and I am the employee and such comparisons are usually counterproductive.

5. Do you find watching strangers perform karaoke entertaining OR boring?

I really enjoy watching people perform karaoke. A lot of people are really into it and I always appreciate somebody who puts heart into what they’re doing on stage. Ability is not as important to me in karaoke as whether or not the performer is having fun. In fact, I usually don’t like watching somebody try to be technically proficient up there.

6. Would you take prescription medicine if it had been expired for 5 years, but you were really in pain?

Probably not. I have suffered from migraines and tension headaches for a large part of my life so I am used to managing pain. It sucks but I would hope I could keep myself from doing something potentially dangerous for possible short term benefits. Over the counter stuff can help a little if you need to stay conscious but a Tylenol PM helps to temporarily escape the pain until you can get help.

7. If you found a $100 bill on the sidewalk today, would it be the best thing that happened to you in a week? If not, what was better?

This week? I am of an economic class where $100 means a hell of a lot and I would not look that gift horse in the mouth. Yet, I value experiences more than money because I can’t carry the memory of money further into my life. It’s not memories of money that make me smile to myself just before I drift off to sleep. This past week, I finished a lot of final papers and exams and I am very proud of that. I wouldn’t sneeze at $100 but it would not be the best thing this week.

8. When you receive a Christmas card from someone unexpected, do you turn around and send them one?

Not usually. I don’t usually engage in snail mail these days. If I get something in the mail from somebody, I tend to text, phone, e-mail or contact them electronically. Words mean a lot to me and they mean a lot more when they are timely and not written in my indecipherable chicken-scratch.

9. If you, your child, and a group of 10 were stranded in the snow after 2 days and you secretly had 2 granola bars, would you share with your child only OR with everyone?

I would share with everybody. If I ever had a real child instead of a hypothetical one, I would hope it would teach them a lesson about helping other people. I was actually thinking about this sort of problem lately after watching a Game Theory episode. I vowed to put the needs of the all above the needs of the one or the few. Thanks, Spock.

10. If you didn’t answer your cell phone for 3 days in a row when your friend called, would you feel you owe them an explanation?

Yeah. That would be the first thing I told them and I hope I could be honest. Actually, I would hope that I would have already called them back or texted them a reason. Three days is a long time to leave somebody in the lurch. Some of my friends don’t actually ever physically see me so they might think something bad happened to me.

11. If you went to a party where half the guests were bikers and half the groups were doctors, who do you think you would talk to most?

I would probably end up talking to the bikers. I have met all of two bikers but they were nice and they gave me the impression that a lot of bikers were ok people. Bikers have a lot of different world experience that is different from my own. The closest I have come to that lifestyle was when I briefly worked for the circus so I would be intrigued. If I talked to the doctors it would probably be about books, movies or television and I can do that anytime. Of course, the real answer is whoever wasn’t an asshole.

12. Do you think forgiving your partner for doing something you two had previously agreed was unforgivable raises OR lowers their opinion of you?

In the end, if you really love somebody (whether romantically or otherwise) you have to forgive them or move on. However, if I was dating somebody and they crossed that line and I forgave them, I’d hope it would raise their opinion of me. I wouldn’t want to date somebody who felt that my forgiveness was a sign of weakness when it feels like it would be a sign of strength.

13. When you tell someone to make themselves at home, what do you actually mean?

Mostly sit down and feel free to use the bathroom if they need to. I don’t think anybody ever actually meant it literally when they told somebody to make themselves feel at home. You are not home and becoming that forward with the space feels really rude.

14. If a man publicly asked a woman to marry him and she said no, would you feel more sorry for him OR for her?

I would feel really bad for her. Asking somebody to marry you is like a lawyer asking a question in court. You never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. You’re really just making the words real by asking and having her answer even though you were over ninety percent sure she would say yes.

15. If you won the big lottery and the Lottery Commission said you would not get the money if anyone found out you won in the upcoming month, are there people you would still tell?

Not a chance. I would not risk the good I could do with lottery winnings by breaking the rules ahead of time. I firmly believe that my family and friends would understand if I kept that big of a secret and did not tell them. The payoff is way too big to not just wait to tell people. A month can be a long time to keep a secret but the benefit far outweighs the hardship.

16. Do you think there is a big difference in Coke and Pepsi? Do you think a restaurant should have to ask you if Pepsi is OK if you ask for a Coke?

No. I don’t really think there’s that big of a difference between Coke and Pepsi. I buy both for different reasons. Part of my family comes from Georgia and so I am loyal to Coca-Cola for that reason and also that’s what I grew up with. On the other hand, there’s a Pepsi plant very near where I live in Baltimore so I am kind of loyal to that for my hometown. I think the restaurants can save time by not asking the question because the content of both drinks is very similar.

17. If you and your partner were lying in bed with the window open and you both decided it was cold, would the same person always be the one that got up and shut the window? Would the person that got to stay in bed appreciate that OR take that for granted?

If I had a girlfriend or wife, I wouldn’t mind always being the one to get up and close the window. I would hope that she would appreciate the effort but I would not mind if she also took it for granted. I mean, I’ll always do it so she could depend on that. Of course, I run hot so unless she asked I would not get up and close it myself. I like it cold at night.

18. Is it fair to get mad at someone for something they almost did?

It depends on what the something is. If they were about to do something negligent like they almost hit somebody with their car then I think it would be fair to be angry with them. They should pay attention and there are few excuses for that sort of behavior. However, if they stopped themselves from doing something malicious I don’t think it’s fair to be mad at them unless they were stopped by an outside force. If somebody stops themselves from doing something bad then they should be rewarded because we all get mad and it takes strength to control that.

19. Do you think buying stocks is gambling?

Yes, I think it is gambling. I don’t really understand the stock market other than buy low and sell high. It is gambling in the same sense that poker is gambling. If you’re good at it, there’s less risk and it’s a more acceptable practice. If you have no idea what you’re doing then you need to stay away.

20. Have you ever made a cake and not tasted the batter?

No. Such a thing is not possible.

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