Taffiny tagged me in June with this meme. She expressed doubt that I would undertake it, but I always intended to. Better late than never, I suppose. It's 8 questions.
1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
Probably goofing off. It was the late summer of 1998. Our first album was still newish. I was freelancing at the place that would later make me a department head for the first time when I was 25. Whether at work or not, I spent a lot of time listening to Patty Griffin's Flaming Red, Tragically Hip's Phantom Power, Grant Lee Buffalo's Jubilee. The three shared a bill in Chicago that October, but I was unable to attend when I contracted strep throat.
2. 5 things on your to-do list for today?
1. Start making to-do lists.
2. Try to do a blog post. (Maybe a meme of some kind?)
3. Undo space/time damage caused by recent experiment.
4. Learn to play the cello (if cannot complete today, abandon).
3. What would you do if you were a billionaire?
It is hard to imagine that I could somehow become a billionaire without being a completely different human. One of those money people. I presume the spirit of the question is that I should imagine that I awaken one morning with a billion dollars but nothing else different about me or my life? Hmmm. I guess if I put it into the bank at, say, 5% interest, I'd make about 50 million dollars a year. I should be able to live on that, so that'd be step one. Step two is the inevitable orgy of spending on music and possibly a house to put my new acquisitions in. I'd have the cats gold-plated, install a chocolate faucet in the kitchen. Realizing how passe a gold-plated cat is, I'd then encrust them with precious stones. If I had any time left, I'd work on my novel.
4. What are three of your bad habits?
Uno: I have been known to disappear for months on end (see: blog, elsewhere).
Dos: I smoke.
Tres: Sometimes I pretend that I can speak spanish.
5. What are some snacks you enjoy?
I would never risk the ire of any snack food by championing another in such a forum. I am a big fan of snacks, and I adore each one for its merits.
6. What were the last five books you read?
I have not been reading much lately. I am a bad man. I just reread Player Piano by Kurt Vonnegut and Pastwatch by Orson Scott Card. And I really enjoyed Miranda July's short story collection, but I think that was last summer. As was Minx's A Coven of One and Caroline's In Search of Adam.
7. What are five jobs you have had?
- In college, I worked for a while as a telemarketer. We did not sell anything, just conducted surveys. My telephone name was "Mr. Fletcher." I was able, the one time it came up, to tell a caller that a fletcher was a person who made bows. I once phoned Lou Reed's house to speak to his wife about her credit card. He was very polite, and it took every ounce of self-discipline I possessed not to tell him what a fan of his work I am. This job ended catastrophically when they attempted to promote me.
- In high school, I worked for a frozen yogurt shop. It was there I discovered coffee. We were forbidden to change the radio station, but we always did when the customers were gone and we were doing cleanup. One night, we accidentally locked ourselves out of the office, and could not change the station back. A wildly physical comedy ensued which culminated in my climbing through the ceiling, falling through it and into the office, and being fired for same. One of the only times I have ever been fired, incidentally. Driving home that night, my friend's car erupted in flames. Good times.
- Also in high school, I dressed up in a bear costume to be the mascot of a local bank at fairs and such a few times during a summer. This is the origin of the line "there was no fan in the head, and there should have been" which I still use from time to time. In order to cool off without revealing that I was secretly just a normal human male, I would take advantage of the fact that ride operators would let me on for free, and when whatever ride I was on reached speed, cool air would rush in through the vents where the eyes were.
- Returning to college jobs, I worked in a local "chain" record shop for a few months. This was right around the time that such entities were being thoroughly destroyed by the massive big box stores. I started in January, 1994, and there were 33 locations throughout Chicagoland. By the end of spring, there were, I think, 3. I used to play PJ Harvey's 4-Track Demos album when it was time to clear the customers out so we could go home. I was convinced for years that I was the only person on earth who actually enjoyed that record.
- For most of my adult, post-college life, I have been primarily employed as a graphic artist. There is almost never a dress code, and I was always free to dye my hair when I chose.
8. What are five places where you have lived?
- No matter what rumors may be floating around, I have lived my entire existence right here on Earth.
- I have twice made my home in Denver, Colorado for reasons beyond my immediate control.
- One block from my current apartment.
- Three blocks from my current apartment.
- My current apartment.