Monday, July 27, 2009

Define Yourself in 25 Questions

It's mainly for chicks, but hell, I take the quizzes in Mrs Cosmo, so why not this? You might get to know me better with this.


1. Do you have a personal hero? If so, who is it?

My old man. Korean war vet, accomplished CPA, faithful husband and father, self educated philosopher, pillar of the community, conservative activist in his younger days, Eagle Scout, and when he died, dozens of people at his funeral and visiting hours told me the same thing: "he was an honorable man, and there are very few people you can say that about." Yeah, he had feet of clay, but even so, he jumped pretty high. I hope that when I die, people say the same thing about me.

2. What is your favorite book of all time and what made it so fucking good?

Moby Dick. The opening paragraph just kills me.

Call me Ishmael. Some years ago -- never mind how long precisely -- having little or no money in my purse, and nothing particular to interest me on shore, I thought I would sail about a little and see the watery part of the world. It is a way I have of driving off the spleen, and regulating the ciruclation. Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off -- then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can.

Damn. That is just so good. It's the best thing ever written, with the possible exception of Genesis 1:1, and for fuck's sake, God himself wrote that.

As a runner up, Hayek's "Road to Serfdom", without which we would undoubtedly be a socialist nation; Ken Heller's Catch-22, in which irony was born; Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", and the Haynes manual for the Honda VTR 1000 twin, a mechanical thing of beauty. And anything by Milton, A.E. Housman, Joyce, Mencken, T.S. Eliot, or Ezra Pound (especially Personae. And Penthouse Letters isn't bad.

3. What does “diversity” mean to you?

It means accepting the fact that not everyone is the same; trying to treat everyone the same in my interactions with them, and trying to make sure (as a lawyer) that they get equal treatment under the law. It does not mean equality of results...

4. What is the wildest thing you’ve ever done?

Hah. Yeah right. I have a security clearance, you know. Kinda depends - with our without clothes? When I was a soldier, I was a wild man. Completely fearless, anti-social, and oversexed.

Man, even I didn't like me back then. But I sure had fun.

5. Do you regret doing it?

Hell no! None of it. That's why we're young.

6. Can you drive a stick shift?

I can drive stick, manual, control yoke, joy stick, or differential on a tracked vehicle. You name it. Just don't ask me to drive a golf ball; I almost never go lower than a 3 wood.

7. What’s the highest speed you ever traveled in a car?

Only about 170 or so, in a buddy's '85 Mustang. He had a hopped up 351 in it. He let me drive - but I didn't break 160 in it. I did used to go around 180 on the autobahn on my Yamaha FZR 1000 (a big motorcycle) pretty regularly. And me & the Missus used to tour around Europe doing 140, two up...

8. Were you driving, or riding at the time?

Riding in the car, operating the bike.

9. Which is better: snakes or spiders?

Spiders. You can tie a rope around them, and make them fight similarly harnessed scorpions and small rats and so forth.

10. What is the most disgusting thing you ever ate?

Dog. Although it was only mentally disgusting. It tasted like... well, like wet dog. I like wet dogs, grew up with labs, huskies and shepards, and all of them swam... so wet dog is a pleasant smell.

The most disgusting thing in terms of taste and texture, was curdled goats blood, which is evidently a bedouin delicacy. In addition to the bad taste, I wound up with a six week long bout of dysentary -- two weeks longer than the dysentary I got from eating the VietNamese dog. So yeah, it was more disgusting in a number of ways. I've eaten butterflies and worms and grubs too... don't ask. They were funny tasting, but when you are hungry, you are hungry. I'll leave it at that.

11. Have you ever shit your pants? Be HONEST!

Not today.

12. Was losing your virginity an enjoyable experience?

Yeah. What was that country song -- "Older Women Make Beautiful Lovers"...

13. Should oral sex be outlawed or encouraged?

Should be compulsory. And graded. The only problem is, the Russians would always come out on top, because they'd bribe the French judges...

14. Name one man with a fine ass.

Eeeeeeekkk. Whaddya think I am... gay? Well, okay. Any big league baseball player, other than David Wells. That's what my wife says, anyhow. And she says David Wells has other charms.

15. Do you watch golf on television? If not, will you iron my shirts?

Yes. No. Get a Korean laundress, asshole. Extra starch on the collar for you.

16. Who is Martha Burk?

More importantly, who cares?

17. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I'd be kinder, gentler, more caring, and a better human being.

Oh, who am I kidding. I'd swap out my hands for giant killer robot death ray guns.

18. Do you eat raw oysters?

Is this related to number 13? Yes, I eat raw oysters. I eat the shit out of them. As doctor Suess might say:

I do so like oysters and beer,
I like them there, I like them here.
I them in a plane or train;
In the sun, or in the rain.

I like oysters with red sauce;
With my wife, or with my boss.
I will eat them with white wine;
I suck 'em down, they are so fine.

But best of all is with horse radish;
nothing rhymes, with horse radish.
But one thing is so very clear;
They do taste better with good beer.

Cross Street Market in Baltimore. That's where I eat raw oysters by the bucket, and swill huge $4 craft brew beers. You can't beat eating oysters and getting faced, while sitting at the exact same spot, in the exact same bar, where H.L. Mencken used to sit, eat oysters and get faced.

19. Are you claustrophobic?

No. What are you, blind?

Oh, you can't see the black leather bondage hood I have on right now...

20. If you rode a motorcycle, would you wear a helmet even if the law said you didn‘t have to?

Yeah. The Hurt Report (really, that's the name, go look it up) pretty conclusively demonstrated that the benefits of wearing a helmet outweighed the minimally increased risk due to added weight on the neck, loss of some hearing. The anti-helmet folks really play up the advantages of being able to hear surrounding traffic, and the increased risk of whiplash injury from the helmet -- but Harry Hurt's exhaustive study shows it just ain't so. Howcome? Because most multiple vehicle motorcycle accidents happen in front of the biker, with a car turning in front of the bike, or running a light in front of the bike. It doesn't matter what you can hear, or whether there's a risk of whiplash, because you wind up T-boning the car, or getting T-boned, flying and skidding on your face. (If you, God willing, clear the cage).

If that doesn't sell ya (and that means you, Mike Hendrix of Cold Fury), then exhibit #1 for the defense is Gary Busey. If you can look at him, and decide that you would rather ride without your brain bucket, you are either incredibly dumb, or incredibly brave.*

That said, I support people's right to go without a helmet, insofar as they support my right to not pay insurance to subsidize the brain injuries that flow naturally from riding without one.

*This does not include slow cruising on warm summer nights, with a little hottie on the back of the bike. That simply must be done without a helmet. At least if I wind up a vegetable, my last memories will be happy happy happy.

21. Name five great Presidents.

Washington (no brainer), Sam Adams (brewer, patriot, president), Teddy Roosevelt (bully; American triumphalism), Cal Coolidge (most problems will just roll into the ditch, if you just do nothing), Reagan (America's back... and its pissed)

22. Name three shitty Presidents.

Most of the rest. Clinton and Andrew Jackson especially; Nixon the same, only less so. (Clinton and Nixon get asterisks -- decent public policy wonks who brought shame and bitterness on the office and on the country).

23. Now call me fanny and slap my ass. Just kidding.

I hope so.

24. This is the 4th of July. Did you set off any fireworks?


25. If you could have dinner and conversation with anyone in the history of the planet, who would you choose?

Jesus, for a lot of reasons. First of all, there's the whole philosophy thing. He's more influential than anyone other than Marcuse, or maybe Nietsche among college sophomores. Then there's the food and booze - you'll never run out, as long as you have at least one fish, one piece of bread and some water. And finally, if you eat dinner with him at the right time and place, you are saved forever, hallelujah. It's win/win.

Either him, or Oliver Reed. If you have to ask why Oliver Reed, then you aren't much of a drinking man, and I don't want to know you anyhow.