When were you recently SOL?
I took Friday off from work because Bruce Cockburn played two shows here for the first time in his 50+ year career. I had a few errands to run in the morning and took the opportunity to have lunch downtown. Now that I work in Manoa, I’m almost never downtown on a weekday for lunch anymore and I miss it. As I passed through this one sandwich spot off Fort Street Mall, I was lured by the digital sign saying the sandwich of the week was a roasted chicken and goat cheese sandwich with curry mayo. Sold! But not really. It had been last week’s sandwich of the week, and they hadn’t changed the sign yet. Great. I ordered instead a half turkey-bacon-avo sandwich on sourdough that would have been decent but it was so messy I had to eat it with a knife and fork.
What was a recent SNAFU?
Friday I discovered that I didn’t have seven tickets for the Saturday show; I had eight. Woo. Sent a few texts to friends who’d probably be interested, but they had family plans. When I invited the third person on my list, she seemed interested but then I didn’t hear back from her all day Friday, despite my text every few hours. Ugh. Now I had this extra ticket, an invitation just hanging out there, and time running out to find a new plan if this person declined. When I finally heard back Saturday afternoon, my friend said she was bringing her dad. It was kind of messed up but I refused to worry about it, and it mostly worked out fine.
From what social gathering were you most recently AWOL?
I planned to get lunch on a work day with a couple of former coworkers at the engineering firm. But I was working against a deadline so I had to bail. The friends decided not to meet anyway once I was out.
When has someone reminded you to MYOB?
I make a huge effort to stay out of other people’s stuff unless it looks like people need help and I might be able to offer it. When I was in Walmart several months ago to get a micro SD card, the woman in front of me asked the cashier something about USB ports on a wireless keyboard she was holding up. You should never ask a Walmart cashier a technical question, no matter how easy the question. I thought I was being helpful when I said the keyboard she had in her hand was wireless and didn’t need a USB, which I now realize was egregious mansplaining, or possibly geeksplaining. She was an older woman, and I think I assumed she was therefore clueless (I mean, who asks a Walmart cashier a tech questions if she’s not clueless?). It turns out she was asking for auxiliary USB ports so some things could run off the keyboard. I apologized but probably not sincerely enough. She didn’t tell me to MYOB but that’s what she was saying. It was the message I received anyway.
What might get in your way this weekend as you TCB?
I’m typing this Sunday morning, so there’s not much weekend left, and the important stuff happened Friday and Saturday. Most of what I have left is the usual Sunday stuff, so missed buses could foul things up, but probably not much else. I’m a little behind on my Camp NaNo project, but I’m ahead on my side work, so I may have some time this evening to focus on getting those flash fictions drafted.
What are some titles in your to-read stack?
My stack is huge and keeps getting huger. Some books I’m really looking forward to are David Mitchell’s Slade House, Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, Erin Entrada Kelly’s Hello, Universe, Robin McKinley’s The Blue Sword, and a whole bunch of cozy mysteries I recently took a break from.
What are the highlights of this weekend’s to-do list?
A bit of work for the side gigs, for sure. Some housecleaning. A trip to the swap meet for black t-shirts. Maybe the World Cup final. I’d like to squeeze in a DVD or two as well.
Which current or upcoming movies are you looking forward to?
Still haven’t seen The Incredibles 2, and there’s this Ben Foster film called Leave No Trace that interests me even though it’s only playing at Kahala, a theater that’s a bit out of the way for me. Crazy Rich Asians in August. A modernization of Little Women at the end of September with Lea Thompson as Marmee.
What’s something you meant to do this past week that will have to wait until next week?
Really wanted to make a bunch of cucumber kimchi but with Camp NaNoWriMo taking up almost every evening, it’s been tough to make time. Plus I’ve really tried to put a high priority on getting enough sleep on work nights. It’s tough to find time for that. I also have a boatload of films to write reviews for and some website-related maintenance I’ve putting off.
What’s an unfinished project (unrelated to media consumption) you haven’t touched in at least a year?
Ah shoot. I started my first cross-stitching project a couple of years ago and it was going really well, but I haven’t had time to finish it up. It’s sitting in a very visible, prominent space in my living room to remind me that I want to do this.
Camp NaNoWriMo July has consumed me these past couple of weeks and it will continue to do so until the end of the month. More about this later.
It’s about trail mix, you see? ASLIRT. Trail mix. Or trails mix I guess.
What are your favorite and least favorite nuts?
I guess pistachios are my favorite, but I want to shout out two non-nuts that are nutty enough for consideration: cashews and pumpkin seeds. Although I certainly don’t dislike them, I’m beginning not to be thrilled about either walnuts or pecans, exept in a pecan pie.
What are your favorite and least favorite berries?
My favorite are blackberries, with strawberries a close second. My least favorite are raspberries, which I will eat if they are placed in front of me but will not place them in front of me myself. You know those berry mixes in the freezer aisle? I don’t buy those because a third of those mixes is always raspberries. I’ll be darned if I’m going to pay for them. I will make my own blueberry-blackberry-strawberry mix myself, thank you.
What are your favorite and least favorite tropical fruits?
It’s a sad thing that I have lived in the tropics pretty much my whole life and do not love tropical fruit. I guess I’ll go with lychee as a favorite and mango as a least favorite, although there’s a local tradition of pickling green mango, and that’s pretty good eating, I guess because I just love vinegar so much. In recent years, I’ve taught myself to like banana. I am now trying to do the same with papaya.
What are your favorite and least favorite varieties of M&Ms?
My favorite are peanut butter, with rice krispies second. My least are either those berry-flavored ones the mint ones. I dig mint with chocolate (those Hershey Cookies & Mint bars are amazing), but the mint in the M&Ms is disgusting. It tastes like brushing your teeth and eating chocolate at the same time.
What are your favorite and least favorite raisin-containing foods?
My favorite are cinnamon raisin bagels. My least favorite might be bread pudding. I eat them when they’re in there, but I can’t help feeling like they’re degrading a perfectly good bread pudding. You know, it’s also true of rice pudding with raisins. Let’s just keep raisins out of any pudding.
I rolled the letter G. I like it. Surely not a gimme, but not crazy difficult either. I always find G words intriguing. For example, what do you think is the largest American city whose name begins with G? Galveston? Grand Rapids? Can you even think of other cities beginning with G? I just looked it up, and it’s Greensboro, North Carolina, whose 2010 Census data says it has 269,666 residents, good enough for 68th largest in the country. Next is Glendale, Arizona, with 226,721, the 87th largest. Gilbert, Arizona (91st), Garland, Texas (95th), and Glendale, California (112th), all come in ahead of Grand Rapids, Michigan at 119. Galveston doesn’t make it into the top 311. Sheldon Cooper was a big fish in a small pond, I guess.
What’s a movie you love whose title begins with the letter?
Librarians say The Greatest Showman begins with G, but maybe that’s cheating. I mean the title isn’t Greatest Showman. Movies I’ve seen that legitimately begin with G include Galaxy Quest, Garden State, Gates of Heaven, Gattaca, Get Him to the Greek, Get Low, Get Smart, Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal, Get on the Bus, Ghost, Ghost World, Ghostbusters, Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, Global Metal, Glory, Gnomeo & Juliet, God Said Ha!, Gods and Monsters, Goin’ Coconuts, Going Ape!, Gone, Gone in Sixty Seconds, Good Hair, Good Morning Vietnam, Good Will Hunting, Goodfellas, Gosford Park, Grand Canyon, Grease, Gremlins, Gross Anatomy, Groundhog Day, Gulliver’s Travels, Gung Ho, Grown Ups, Grown Ups 2, Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2, Gangster Squad, Garden of Words, Gimme the Loot, Godzilla Vs. Mechagodzilla, and Gravity. There are some great movies in that list, but my favorite is easily Groundhog Day. Top 20 movie of all time for me.
What’s a popular tourist destination whose name begins with the letter?
The Grand Canyon certainly qualifies, but the Texas Rangers (Texas again?) play in Globe Life Park in Arlington (the “in Arlington” is part of its name), the Cincinnati Reds play in Great American Ball Park, and the Chicago White Sox play in Guaranteed Rate Field. I would rather visit each of those ballparks a few times each before the Grand Canyon .
What’s something you do, whose name begins with the letter, when you’re very happy?
I’m neither much of a gloater nor gamboler, so how about just grinning?
What’s a frightening animal whose name begins with the letter?
Are you supposed to be afraid of gila monsters? No? Okay then: Great. White. Shark.
Who’s a person you admire whose name begins with the letter?
My first answer is Geddy Lee of Rush, but I talk about Rush all the time, so let’s take a moment to appreciate George Thorogood. George is sort of Geddy’s opposite. Where just about everything about Rush is precise, considered, exact, almost strangely (and beautifully) mechanical, George’s playing style is loose and messy, dirty and nasty. It almost seems like he just puts his chording hand wherever it lands on the fretboard, and he does something with whatever sound happens to come out. Someday I’ll take formal lessons, and I envision myself telling my instructor to teach me how to play like George Thorogood. This live video of my favorite Thorogood song is super cool because it includes Elvin Bishop. “One drink ain’t enough, Jack; you better bring three.”
What kind of specialized equipment do you own for a specific non-electronic hobby or job?
Okay, here’s one I may not have written about. I used to make wine. Fruit wine, as opposed to grape wine. I still consider it a hobby despite having put it on hold for the past ten years or so. Still read up on it, still window-shop the winemaking vendor websites, still make plans for the next batch I plan to make. The hobby of winemaking suits my personality very well: it requires some intense attention but not every day. It requires a lot of patience. And it helps if the winemaker is a bit adventurous. So I have a bunch of winemaking stuff: carboys, bungs, airlocks, hydrometers, funnels, and tubing aren’t exclusive to winemaking, but I have a corker, a device that squeezes corks so you can insert them into the necks of bottles. Also corks, yeast (Montrachet and Champagne) and other chemicals to keep things either sterile or alive.
In what way can this equipment be upgraded or souped-up, and how difficult or expensive would the update be?
There’s definitely high-end winemaking stuff but it’s not a lot better than mid-level stuff, so I don’t feel the need to upgrade. I did get one of the better corkers; it’s a device I’m rather fond of. My next toy, whenever I get around to making my next batch, will be an air gun. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s called, but it’s like a blow-dryer amped up, the sort you might use if you were shaping plastics. You know the foil that wraps around the mouth and upper neck of the wine bottle? The air gun shrink-wraps the foil there so nothing messes with the corkWhen critters are aware of something good behind the cork, they will nibble at it until they finally get through. Please don’t ask me how I know.
In your fields of interest, what’s the gear envy like?
You know, I don’t know any other winemakers, so I wouldn’t know. I look through the catalogs and there’s stuff I want, but I don’t necessarily envy people who have it, perhaps because I don’t know anyone who has it. If I hung out at the local winemaking supply store more, I would probably have a better answer. As you can tell from my verbosity, winemakers love talking about winemaking. I seldom go into the supply store anymore, but whenever I do, I take my purchases to the register and I can count on the cashier to ask me what he or she asks everyone: “What are you making?” It’s mostly a homebrew store, actually, and I guess homebrew people are about the same kind of person as the winemakers.
What’s something you own the old version of because it’s better than the new version?
If you’d asked me this question two weeks ago, I’d have said my iPhone 5s. I held onto that thing as long as I possibly could because I didn’t like the larger sizes of the newer models. I no longer think this, and I feel great about moving on. Oh shoot, I meant for these answers to be non-electronic. I suppose the easy answer is books, since reading is my favorite thing in the world. This question is difficult. Who’s the banana who wrote it?
What’s a hobby you don’t engage in that intrigues you mostly because of its equipment or tools?
You know, fishers seem to have cool stuff. Oh, and bowlers.
What food, normally eaten cooked, do you prefer uncooked?
Fresh Kahuku corn. Or really any corn grown locally. It’s so crisp and sweet, I don’t get why people feel the need to put it on a grill or boil it in water. Whenever I go to the north shore, I keep an eye out for vendors selling it out of the backs of pickup trucks — it’s aaaaaaalmost as exciting a part of a north shore cruise as a plate of steamed prawns. Oh, and don’t forget the raw egg on rice, on sukiyaki, or in bibimbap (I have to ask for them not to cook it; Koreans don’t seem to have as nice a relationship with eggs as Japanese people). Raw egg with shoyu, aji-no-moto, and kim chee is one of my favorite everyday breakfasts, ‘though I’ve mostly given it up because of the rice.
What food, normally eaten uncooked, do you prefer cooked?
I really like wilting mixed salad greens in some olive oil and then mixing them up with mashed potatoes and a little bit of wasabi oil.
What food, normally eaten cold, do you prefer hot?
This reminds me that there are places in this country where people drink hot Dr. Pepper, which at the same time fascinates me and grosses me out. Exactly the right combination for a late-night experiment someday. I’m going to cheat a little and say either tomato juice or vegetable juice. I use it as an ingredient in my slow-cooker stew, and although it’s perfectly fine cold, I do prefer it after a few hours soaking up the flavors of beef, thickened slightly with some tapioca starch.
What food, normally eaten hot, do you prefer cold?
Okay, I have two great answers for this, and if they gross you out I would just implore you try them. First, macaroni and cheese. I’m totally serious. Cook it however you normally cook it, then set it aside until it cools to room temp, then put it in the fridge and eat it the next day. It’s even better with ketchup. Second, Pizza Pockets. It’s been years since I’ve had them, but when I taught at a school that had no food service, I had to have some quick options for days when I just didn’t have it in me to make lunch. Pizza Pockets, baby — specifically the pizza variety of Hot Pockets. Take ’em out of the freezer in the morning, let ’em sit out all morning, or leave them in the fridge from the night before, and eat them without zapping in the microwave oven. It’s then basically a crusty cheese sandwich with marinara and pepperoni. What’s not to love about that? Thawed but cold is the way to go. Oh, and I know I’ve written about this before, but canned pork and beans. Always keep a can in the fridge, then eat right from the can, maybe with a drizzle of ketchup. Just like Boy Scouts days.
What are your favorite dinner meals to have for breakfast and breakfast meals to have for dinner?
Seriously, any leftovers from dinner the night before are great breakfasts, but I’ll agree with the popular answer and say cold pizza for breakfast. For dinner, it’s tough to beat corned beef hash, eggs sunny-side up, and rice. One of God’s perfect foods.
Man, I’m having all kinds of trouble sitting still enough to write anything. Forcing myself before I dive into the weekend to at least do one of these. The responses by other participants have been fun to read.
What kind of trouble are you getting yourself into?
Uuuuuugggggh. I still haven’t made those appointments I missed a few months ago. I really, really, really need to. Next week for sure. I actually need to get my BP checked, my eyes checked, and probably my left knee checked. The knee has been bugging me for about three weeks and although it feels better, I still feel it with almost every step. Also need to ask someone about my thinning hair. Eep.
What was your most recent car trouble?
I’ve been a bus rider for a few years now, because of my most recent car trouble. I’ve discussed this before, I’m quite sure. But I was distracted (I was not texting or speaking on my phone) (okay, but it might have been phone-related) and rear-ended the pickup truck driven by a famous local radio DJ from the 80s. He and his truck were fine, but my car was totaled. I made myself not drive for a couple of years as penance. I mean, I really could have killed someone. But I’m sloooooooowly getting caught up on a few things and am ready for some wheels. Hopefully before winter rolls around.
What’s a rhyming phrase (such as “work jerk” or “poo shoe”) to describe something causing you problems lately?
How about creepy sleepy? It’s terrible, I know. But this is what sleep deprivation does to me. I had a very encouraging week of sleep last week, but this past week has been freaking miserable. Last night was about as bad as it’s been.
What’s something that needs loosening or unsticking?
I have those windows that have weights hanging within the window frames, to make opening and closing them easy, like with a garage door. One of these windows is sticking, only when I try to shut it. There’s a weird resistance. I sometimes have to slam it down, which scares me because it’s a very old house and it would devastate me to slam that window shut and have it shatter.
What’s your favorite board game involving rolling dice?
I have to go with Risk, a game I love but never ever get to play. I really love Risk, and some of my best game-playing memories are centered on that game. I once bought my friend Ross a very old Risk set. Not the first edition, but pretty close. Picked it up on eBay. The old-looking world map and wooden pieces. Box totally intact. It was sweet. I don’t think we ever played with it.
I’ll do more of these later this weekend, I think. Just to get caught up or something.
When did you last punch someone? Alternate question: When did someone last punch you?
I wasn’t always the pacifist I claim to be today, so I have thrown a fair number of punches, some of them finding their mark. But it has been a very long time, since early high school, and it shames me to think about them now, so I’m answering the alternate question. A couple of months ago, I was walking to a bus stop rather late at night in my neighborhood. People familiar with the area (North King Street near Mokauea Street in Kalihi) will tell you the only surprising thing about this story is that things didn’t escalate, or maybe that this kind of thing doesn’t happen to me all the time. I walked past one bus stop on my way to a safer one at which to wait in the dark (the one across Farrington High School). A guy — thin, not very tall, slightly hunched over, early twenties — threw a punch at my face as I passed. His aim was horrible, and his fist glanced harmlessly off my cheekbone. I was startled. I drew a fist back (honestly, not to take a swing, but to give him something to think about as I considered where I might run) and I looked him in the eye. He was drunk. “What?!” he demanded, taking an aggressive stance as though he might swing again. I gave him an exaggeratedly puzzled look. “What are you doing?” I asked. He repeated his question. I said, “What the heck?” and continued walking to the next bus stop. I kept my eyes on him as I did, awkwardly looking back over my shoulder. He kept yelling one-word threats at me but didn’t come after me. At least not at first. He did make his slow, staggering way toward my bus stop and arrived just as my bus pulled up at the curb. I got on and he didn’t follow me.
How many of those frequent (whatever) stampcards/punchcards do you have, and which are you most likely to fill and redeem?
I’m not going to count duplicates and say it’s in the area of twenty local establishments, some of which aren’t even in business anymore, such as Koi Catering and Takeout (the food truck still exists but I’ve never seen it), Ice Forest, and Ice Fru. I need to do some cleaning up. The card I’m most likely to complete and redeem next is from Friend Cafe, my favorite boba cafe. I actually have a couple of completed cards but haven’t redeemed them so I could use them some day when I don’t have any money. I tend to save my completed stamp cards for rainy days, and then the cards either expire or the businesses close permanently.
When have you had a really good fruit punch?
I used to make a really popular fruit punch from a recipe I got from my mom. People would ask me, going back to high school days, to bring it to parties. I made it often enough that I didn’t need to look at the recipe anymore, and over the years whenever I’ve made it, I think I’ve mutated the amounts bit by bit until the last time I tried to make it and it was terrible. It used powdered strawberry Jell-O (cooked but not set), pineapple juice (to keep the Jell-O from setting), frozen strawberries, and ginger ale. I’ve also been at functions at some of the really nice hotels here, and the fruit punches at those things can be crazy good.
What are your thoughts on boxing?
I love it, but I swore off it shortly after I began teaching. I decided that watching boxing was getting in the way of my becoming the pacifist I wanted to be. My dad taught me how to fight, taught me beginning at a young age, and although I love him and respect him, I don’t want to be him, at least not where it comes to resolving conflict. I’m not saying watching boxing leads to violence. I am saying that watching boxing glorifies something I don’t want to glorify, as much as I love the sporting aspect. Amd yeah, I think it makes ME (not anyone else) more likely to seek non-peaceful ways out of stuff. I mean, I’ll watch pro wrestling, and I’ll watch movies about boxing. But I won’t watch real boxing. My resolve was first put to the test when Tyson fought Holyfield the first time. When I found out the next morning that Holyfield won, I felt a large pit open up in my stomach. “I missed it!” I said to myself, sadly. Then when they fought again, when Tyson bit Holyfield’s ear off, I said, “Oh thank goodness I don’t watch boxing anymore!” After each major fight ever since, I have one or the other response when I hear the results. I believe I’m better off — if not necessarily a better person — not watching.
When do you usually punch in and punch out?
Officially 8:30 in and 5:30 out, but I’ve gotten temporary permission to come in at 9:00 and leave at 6:00. I’m having major sleep issues that make the later start time much, much easier on me. My boss is wonderful and would let me make it permanent, would even let me go 9:30 to 6:30 if I asked for it, which would be even better for me, but I’m trying to work these sleep problems out, not to rely on a later start time. ‘Though to be honest, two days out of five, I’m in from 9:30 anyway and staying until past 7:00. I get more work done when everyone else leaves the building.
What did you last place into a file folder?
I’m not usually very good about keeping things filed, but I’m trying to keep my space at work tidy, so I take a little bit of time each week for filing. The most recent thing was a couple of receipts for money orders. I pay my rent via money order. I keep the stubs for a year or so, just in case.
What do you know how to fold a piece of paper into?
Origami cranes, of course, but I can also do boats, the fortune-telling flip-flop thing, that triangle that makes WHAP! sounds, and a mobius strip. Why did the chicken cross the mobius strip? To get to the same side!
What’s your laundry-folding procedure like?
Okay. For reasons I don’t want to get into, I take my laundry with me when I visit my folks on Sundays. I can usually cram the whole week’s worth into my gym bag, but it works better if I fold the laundry. So all week, my dirty laundry piles up in my living room. Then Saturday night, I stack my work pants in a neat pile, fold the pile and put it in the bag. I next stack all my dress shirts, fold them neatly, and put them in the bag. Then my shorts and jeans similarly, then all my t-shirts the same way. Stack, then fold as one. Then my boxers. My socks just get shoved on top, then my bed linens if I decide to wash them.When I get to my parents’ house, I take each pile out, unfold it, shake the individual items loose, and start the machine. Yes, I do not separate my items because I just don’t have enough laundry for that.
When it’s clean and dried, I put everything back the same way. Stack, then fold as one. When I get it home a couple of hours later, it comes out of the bag and then hung. I hang everything except my socks. Dresser drawers do not work for me; I’ve given up on them completely, at least for now. Instead everything is put on a hanger and hung on a rod in my living room. Socks go into a gift bag I keep next to my desk, since I sit at my desk to put my socks and shoes on each morning.
Yes. I live alone. Why do you ask?
When do you next expect to invite someone into your fold?
The next Camp NaNoWriMo is in July, and we Honolulu writers usually welcome at least one new person to the evening Skype sessions. That’s probably the next time I expect to welcome anyone new to any of my folds.
When have you slept on a foldaway bed?
When we were kids, we had a foldaway bed for our friends’ use whenever someone slept over. It was such a novelty that we loved being allowed to sleep on it when visiting relatives took our beds. That was a very long time ago. I’ve slept on many folding futons as an adult while visiting friends. When i lived in Hilo, my regular bed was a nice folding mattress I put on the floor of my closet so the rest of my bedroom could be for desk space. After two years of sleeping on it, it was pretty flat and no longer comfy. I have a folding futon in my living room that I never use anymore. The futon has worn thin enough that I can feel the slats of the pallet right through the mattress. I plan to get a new one in the next year or so. The last time I slept on it was maybe ten years ago. Maybe longer.
With which Looney Tunes character do you have the most in common?
You know what? I hate Tweety. But I think it’s Tweety. Every optimistic. Passive but safe. Naive. How do I even stand myself?
Who or what are your metaphorical Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote?
My metaphorical Road Runner is literary success, on which I still haven’t given up hope. Of course, I’m not pursuing it as doggedly or as single-mindedly as Mr. Coyote (Genius). My Wile E. Coyote is death, at least for now. Can’t catch me, Mister Death! Oh wait, I’m changing my first answer. My Road Runner is a good night’s sleep!
What’s up, doc?
Attended my friend Momi’s doctoral dissertation defense today. She did a great job, and I was really proud. I’m suuuper tired right now (slept great Friday and Saturday nights, but terribly Sunday and Monday nights) but seeing if I have enough in me to have dinner with her and her (new) husband while they’re still in town. I’m not thrilled about the husband part, but for the sake of this friendship whatever. And now that she’s not still working on this doctorate, she doesn’t need to come to Manoa from Hilo anymore, which means who knows when I’ll get to see her again? Ugh. I think I just talked myself into it.
When did you last hear some opera music?
Man, that’s a good question. It’s been quite a while. Maybe when I saw Renee Fleming with the Honolulu Symphony, which was more than ten years ago. That can’t be right, but maybe it is.
What’s a good life lesson you learned from Looney Tunes?
Watch where you point that thing, and I shoulda made that left toin at Albakoykee.
What’s one of your language-related (that is, something people say or write) pet peeves?
Because I listen to a lot of sports talk, I become sensitive to whatever the athletes and their pundits say. What miffs me lately is “at the end of the day…” which isn’t really bad. It’s just that they all say it now, all the time, sometimes multiple times in one conversation. Please just gouge my eyeballs out with a dull spoon instead.
What’s one of your dining-out-related pet peeves? You know, I’ve learned to be pretty easygoing when it comes to eating out. I’ll admit to a half-second of peevishness when at a fast food place I ask for my order to dine in and they pack it to go, but it’s fleeting, because I realize I’m not paying enough for my food and that kind of pickiness. If it’s fast food, I want it quick, predictable, and tasty (enough), so whatever.
Oh, I just thought of a good one. There are places around here that won’t serve an egg sunny-side up, ostensibly for health reasons. You know, we who enjoy a runny (or even raw) egg know what we’re getting into. If we order it anyway, just give it to us. At the campus where I work, you can’t get a sunny-side-up egg, but nine feet away in a chill case is ready-to-go poke. Cubes of raw fish are okay but a sunny-side-up egg isn’t? Who makes these rules?
What’s one of your technology-related pet peeves?
It honestly shouldn’t bother me, and maybe this goes under language rather than tech, but the mass media have a way of misusing tech terminology. They do it so often that their misunderstanding of the term becomes the commonplace usage. One (dated) example is the flash mob. A flash mob used to be a nearly spontaneous group behavior where “organizers” (such as this could be called organized) sent out text messages with simple instructions, such as “Walk into the Pali Highway Safeway at exactly 10:00 a.m. today and purchase exactly one orange. Pay for it at register 1. Pass it on!” You never knew how many people were going to show up or if there would be some rebel who’d show up and buy an apple instead, but there was a spontaneity combined with surrealism that was magical.
How “flash mob” became the name of a rehearsed performance in a public space (sometimes even promoted ahead of time! “Food truck rally with flash mob performance by Flash Mobb Kreww!”) is a mystery to me, but I know the mass media played a part in the devolution of the terminology. And this kind of thing happens all the time, with terms like “sexting,” “home page,” and even (many many many years ago) “blog.”
And if you’ve missed my saying it before, here it is again: Chalkdust is not a blog.
Am I a tech/language snob? Only if you consider my usual, insistent position snobby: if language changes because we’re using it creatively, the language becomes richer and more dynamic. If it changes because we’re too lazy to use it specifically or correctly, the language becomes dingy and dull.
What’s one of your television-watching pet peeves?
What’s something you do that you know peeves others?
I move pretty slowly through crosswalks. I’m old and often injured, and often am in the middle of a ten-mile walk. Cut me some slack, please.