Michael at CultureSpace tagged me with this meme. I usually don’t respond to these, but CultureSpace is a great site, and this meme’s sorta interesting. Here goes:
1. What are three of the stupidest things you’ve done in your life?
a. Apparently, I’m not the only one to have done this… in high school, a friend and I mixed a batch of Gatorade with cheap gin, thinking that the Gatorade would re-hydrate us as we got plastered, and so we wouldn’t wake up with hangovers. We were so proud of ourselves that we drunkenly chanted “We’re Number One! We’re Number One!” I’ve never vomited so long and so far in my life.
b. I told my high school class that I’d grown up in Chicago, when in fact I’d never been there, didn’t know anything about its geography or culture, and barely even knew what it was in at the time.
c. I never kissed her when I should have.
2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life? My parents.
3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick? Okay, this is really heavy on the writers…
a. Ralph Ellison: He could talk fluently and frankly about everything from jazz to Proust, high classicism to down-home blues, women to men.
b. Thandie Newton: Because, let’s be honest, why would I select a meal like this without having the most beautiful woman in the world present? Plus, I saw her once on Leno, and she looked so uncomfortable, as if she thought being “good on talk shows” was too insignificant for words, but she couldn’t do anything to get away. I like that in a person.
c. Studs Terkel: Judging from the depth and breadth of his interviews and oral histories, he can talk (and listen) better than anyone alive.
d. Zadie Smith: To see if she’s really as funny in person as she is in print, because she’s really insightful and self-deprecating in interview, and because she’s the closest thing to a genius the McSweeney’s generation has yet produced.
e. Thomas Pynchon: Just to see what he looked like, and because he’d be the funnier person there.
4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?
To be able to dance well. To be able to speak French fluently. To climb Mount Kilimanjaro.
5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.
a. First, I regret that Jackson doesn’t have good public transportation—a good city is one in which you can get around well on foot. Secondly, I wish Jackson had a livelier, more diverse music scene, with a larger range of club sizes.
b. Avoid the northern suburbs—Madison, Ridgeland, Densmore. And, for god’s sake, avoid any bar at which you see more than five pickups in the parking lot.
6. Name one event that has changed your life. I was nine when the Challenger blew up. That’s the first time I saw and faced real death, publicly, unavoidably on TV. I suddenly realized, for the first time, that actual people could die and that there was nothing to be done about that.
*With apologies to James Doohan.