Thursday, November 27, 2008

I did not choose la meme, la meme chose me

I'm generally not one to participate in these internet pass-arounds, but getting tagged by two people I respect in the space of a few weeks seemed to be a bit of an omen, so I figured I'd give in for a change.

Here are the rules. And here they are in a more recent permutation. Like David, I ended up going with the magic number eight.

What follows is incredibly boring -- though, on the flip side, it's not as bombastic as my usual posting fare. I tried to stay away from anything having to do with my so-called art, cuz I figured that if you read this blog you get enough of that already.

1. In high school, I was known as either "Andy" or "Durk." Some friends from that period of my life still refer to me that way, and I'm happy to let them (but if you weren't there, I generally discourage it). I don't know where those nicknames came from (I was always "Andrew" before high school). But I probably let them flourish because I thought they would help me attract girls somehow. (Boy was I wrong.)

2. When I was in junior high, my best friend was an Indian kid named Ajay Sharma. Our idea of fun was to throw rocks at each other, across a busy street, at rush hour. Many years later, in college, I was in an anti-fraternity called "Monkey Pus" -- a gang of first-year hooligans who basically wanted very little to do with the mainstream educational experience -- and one of our many truancy-oriented pastimes was to play pool as if it were basketball, attempting to throw the balls into the pockets instead of knocking them in with a cue. (Amazingly, no one ever got hurt.)

3. When I was a Boy Scout, I once got lost on Bear Mountain. This was in the context of a hiking trip. I have always had a problem with authority, and I disliked everything about being a Boy Scout, except for the fact that it provided me with a foil (enabling me to cultivate certain habits of resistance that I have found essential to survival in the adult world). Anyway, on this particular trip, a comrade and I decided to break away from the group, and we spent the better part of a day wandering around in the wilderness. We were finally reunited with our Scoutmaster just before sunset (and just as true panic was setting in).

4. In my worst nightmare ever, an evil magic Play Doh Fun Factory Extruder worked in reverse, sucking people and things through its tiny aperture, and converting them into a single nondescript lump of clay.

5. When I was in first grade, my mom -- bless her heart, she was a single mother trying to raise two kids on a budget -- always played barber to my brother and I. This was in the mid 70's, but Mom's idea of an appropriate hairstyle for male children was "so last decade": the tried-and-true crew cut. Perhaps this is where I developed an early appreciation for incongruity. In any case, I picked up the nickname "Peach Fuzz," because most of my classmates had true Eight is Enough manes, while my hair was always extremely short.

6. I can't stand organized sports, either as a participant or an observer. I'm sure this is at least in part because of my relationship with my father, who is a sports fanatic. (See also: my problem with authority, above.) To me, the idea of developing an affection for a specific team, following the exploits of a given player, or maintaining a knowledge of the stats and obscure rules of the game -- all of this seems like an absurd way to spend one's time. I have never understood the romance of it. Which is not to say I dislike physical activity or the thrill of casual athletics. But I can't help but experience any organized sporting activity through the ironic frame of the "Block that kick!" bit from "Revolution no. 9." It all seems vaguely fascist to me.

7. I have a hard time relaxing, in the sense of just kicking back and enjoying some activity not directly related (in my own mind, anyway) to what I consider "work." Related: I'm a pacer. Particularly when I'm writing, reading, or listening to music, I find it hard to sit still. So I walk around a lot. To some extent this has more to do with certain physical realities (limitations) -- chronic back pain, restless legs -- than a short attention span. Which is not to say I don't have a short attention span.

8. I once put a close friend through what I can only imagine was an extremely awkward kind of hell, by forcing his superior to force him to fire me from an office job that he had helped me get in the first place. Why did I let this happen? I was too lazy, distracted, and bored to take the damned job seriously. Sometimes I wonder if I'm ever going to grow up.

* * * * *

Alright, thanks to Matt and David for the tagging. I can't actually bring myself to pass the game along to anyone else (as I said, I'm no good at this sort of thing). But hell, since you got this far, I'd be happy to read your own list of random nonsense if you are so inclined to write it down. So consider yourself tagged if you want to be.

(Photo credit.)

No comments: