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.
What’s a food that tastes completely unlike anything else you can think of?
I suspect that one reason truffles are so dang expensive is that nothing tastes anything like them. There aren’t any cheaper taste-alikes, so if you want that flavor, you have to pay whatever they’re asking. I don’t even know if I really like them: all I taste is expensive, you know?
What’s a movie that’s completely unlike any movie you can think of? Bubba Ho-Tep, a movie I hate. Bruce Campbell is Elvis Presley living in a nursing home. I know people who are crazy about this movie, and they’re the kind of people who would normally make me want to reconsider my response, but that would mean watching this again and I simply can’t imagine myself doing so.
Who’s a musician or band you consider completely unoriginal but whom you still like?
Well, I’m a big fan of 80s hair metal, so that’s almost a whole genre of unoriginal bands. For me, the most emblematic of the talented no-talent bands is Poison, whom I really dig.
Who or what are two people or things you keep mixing up with one another?
For the longest time, despite having seen a bunch of each of their films, I couldn’t keep Ryan Reynolds, Ryan Gosling, and Bradley Cooper straight. Now I’ve sorta got Reynolds separated out, but I don’t think I can say with any confidence which of Gosling and Cooper I’m looking at if I haven’t looked at the credits first.
What’s something you’ll do this weekend that’s different from your normal weekend activity?
I might see a movie in a theater, something I think I’ve done once in the past three years or so. I’m annoyed that I haven’t made time to see more films this year, but I’ve been so danged busy. I’m even planning to put myself to bed before 10:30 this evening so I might be able to sleep in AND catch an early matinee.
From here. Questions inspired by The Greatest Showman which I recommend highly.
What physical trait are you (or have you been) self-conscious about?
It’s changed over the years. In recent years it’s this gap between my front teeth. It’s not quite the size of Dave Letterman’s old gap or Michael Strahan’s, but it’s noticeable. I try not to think about it, especially since Letterman and Strahan rocked theirs so well, but I can’t help feeling everyone is staring at it even when I know nobody is staring at it. Although now that my wonderfully long hair is thinning at a heartbreaking rate, I have a feeling my answer’s going to change soon.
When did you last do something risking injury?
We’ve been having a bit of a gecko problem at the office, and while I don’t have a problem with geckos, I do not need their poop on my computer mouse. The problem got pretty bad, so I came in one weekend with a plan for repelling (not killing) the little grey reptiles. I can coexist with them. I just don’t want them in certain areas above my desk. So I did a little bit of research and brought in some garlic, which I hung from the ceiling. I will not share how I got the garlic up there, since I’m sure it would be prohibited by my employer, but I could really have hurt myself had I not been so nimble.
Why do critics and the general movie-going public never seem to agree?
It’s because critics see thousands of movies. If you eat a thousand chicken parmesans all over the country, you get pretty good at telling the better from the worse, as Brian Windhorst will tell you. Critics see so many movies that they actually know more than the rest of us about what’s good and what’s not. They don’t know more than we do about what we’ll like, and that’s where people get all huffy when critics hate the movies they love, or love movies they don’t get. This is why the good critics tell you why they dislike or like a movie, and we decide for ourselves if those are the reasons we would also dislike or like a movie.
How do you feel about Hugh Jackman as an actor?
He’s good. I have always liked him as Wolverine, and I thought he was a good Jean Valjean. As P. T. Barnum, he plays a kind of Disneyfied version of the Greatest Showman, and while that disturbs me a bit, the product is too good not to be forgiving. I’m not sure he’s a very good singer, though.
Who is the best singer you’ve seen in live performance?
This would have to be Renee Fleming, whom I saw in performance with the Honolulu Symphony in March 2006. It was amazing. And I do not mind admitting that I was totally, completely in love, and if she had somehow asked me after the show to leave everything behind and come be her servant, I would have done it in a second.
Don’t worry. I do plan to put up something interesting (at least interesting to me) besides these Friday memes. Just finding my groove while still trying to address the malware on my other WordPress sites. It’s not just cleaning up the mess, but doing what I can to prevent this kind of thing later.
What did you most recently spray out of a can?
Shaving cream, and that was last Sunday, although I’m seeing a concert this evening so I’ll be cleaning myself up sometime before I go to town. I like shaving gels, actually, something I originally picked up because it’s what my dad mostly used when I was growing up. But I’ve tried various options over the years and keep coming back to the gels. My favorite was a medicated (not aloe, but something else) Edge that really made my skin feel good. It was discontinued by the time I got through the first can. Nowadays, I shave in three different places (home, my folks’ place, and the office) and I have a different gel in each place. So I’m kind of picky, but there’s a bit of range to my pickiness.
What’s your favorite food (or food product) that’s sprayed from a can?
I have to admit I really love (‘though almost never indulge in) that spray cheese you supposedly put on crackers. Still, what’s better than whipped cream?
When did you last spray-paint something?
I think it was five years ago when I was the publications advisor at the community college. We cleaned up and painted the old newspaper boxes around campus. Took a lot of ridiculous energy but they looked nice.
What’s something that’s not sprayed from a can but would be pretty cool if it were?
I really think we haven’t explored far enough the possibilities of better ways to use butter. Real butter. Spreading it on stuff that’s not hot can be a real pain, and while the butter stick incarnation is great for most cooking uses, it fares poorly as a condiment. What about softened or whipped butter out of a can like with spray cheese or whipped cream? As long as you didn’t have to add too much to it, and if you could maintain all the wonderful qualities that make butter butter, I’d be down to give it a try.
What’s conceptually the oddest thing sprayed from a can? I know everyone’s probably going to say fake hair from a can, and that’s certainly a worthy contender, but as an island boy for most of my life, I have to say spray can snow for Christmas trees. I especially don’t get it for people who live here. Other contenders: spray air (like for cleaning computer stuff) and spray noise.
I’ll get into details later. Still cleaning up the mess on other WordPress sites I take care of, but I now have this one cleaned up and ready to repopulate. Gonna spend a couple of days next week refamiliarizing myself with MySQL to see if I can find a quick(ish) way to import my old content or to scan for wherever the nasty stuff is. Yay.
What’s something you enjoy that contains garlic?
I used to make this thing called 29 clove garlic soup. It was thickened with bread, which was kind of neat, and it tasted garlicky not but super garlicky. It was an Emeril Lagasse recipe. I should dig that up and make it again.
What’s something you enjoy that contains ginger?
I’m half Japanese, so I care very deeply and passionately about ginger. Of the (too many) unitaskers I keep in my kitchen, one of my favorites is the ceramic ginger grater (which actually works nicely with garlic too, so maybe it’s a duotasker). Still, the ginger-containing thing I like best is something I’ve never made in my kitchen: gingerbread. Holy cow. Is there a better smell in the world than fresh-baked gingerbread?
What’s something you enjoy that contains cloves?
When I used to teach Romeo and Juliet to ninth-graders, we would end the unit with Renaissance Day, a day with recitations, dancing, games, and food. I would sometimes bring a mulled cider that I rather liked. Lots of cloves and cardamom.
What’s something you enjoy that contains cinnamon?
Cinnamon is good in everything, right? I found a pretty good recipe online for slow-cooker Cincinnati chili, and it’s delicious. One of my favorite things to make, really. I’ve tweaked it enough over the years that it might not pass for the real deal anymore, but I love it. Lots of cocoa and cinnamon.
What’s something you enjoy that contains celery?
So, I’ve hated celery for most of my life and still don’t like it much, but there are a few things I’ve learned to actually kind of like it in, if it’s chopped in pieces small enough. Something about the mayo in tuna salad makes chopped celery kind of okay now, so I’m going to say that, although I do use it in (and remove it from) most of the soups and stews I make, too. Celery flavor without the celery grossness.