Monday, October 31, 2011

Of silly computers, time-travel, and, most importantly, ME: (Thinking The Lions)

I'm sitting here typing away on a brief in support of a motion I made in court, and the brief is full of fascinating things like "promissory estoppel" which is not only a thing but a thing that my word processor insists must be plural, so that when I type

promissory estoppel

My word processor -- do people still call them that? I don't know why I use a term that sounds like it should be on a sign in the "Electronics" Department of K-Mart, circa 1982 -- my computer tries to change it to

promissory estoppels

which is both annoying and proof that computers will never replace lawyers, because while lawyers are silly enough to think up phrases like promissory estoppel, we're not silly enough to think they're plural! HA! Stupid computer, not knowing that.*

*Dear Computer: I was only kidding around. Showing off for the guys. Please do not slash my credit rating, or sign me up to automatically download all of Taylor Swift's podcasts about how great unicorns are. I am very sorry and will get you a fancy flash drive in the future.

Anyway, what with the backbreaking nature of my work and all, I decided I needed a little break and I remembered how author Michael Offutt tagged me with something called a meme, which sounds dirtier than it really is, and then he Twitter-shamed me into not complaining about it (much), and so I figured this would be as good a time as any to meme-reply.**

**Not a word. Sorry I said it.
So below are the questions I've been directed by the Blogging Authority to answer, and the answers I gave little to no thought to typing up. If I'm lucky, my computer did not, after I hit "Publish," change all the answers to "Nyah, nyah, I'm a little jerk-face."

1.If you could go back in time and relive one moment, what would it be?

This puts me in kind of a bind, for two reasons: 1. The "NESTLE-R" problem, and 2. Time travel.

First, the "NESTLE-R" problem. Remember Wheel Of Fortune? In the olden days I used to watch that and not be appalled at how easy it was, and also note that on the final problem, people were required to pick five consonants and a vowel, and everyone uniformly picked "R, N, S, T, L, and E." Which I eventually converted to "Nestle" (like the candy bar) "R" as shorthand for what to remember to say if I ever got on Wheel.

The NESTLE-R problem in real life is this: Whenever someone asks something like "Who would you have lunch with?" or "What five people would you like to see?"or "Which vice president do you think was secretly a space monster?" you're required to say certain things or you're an idiot and terrible human being.

For example: Which five people would you like to have lunch with if you could sounds easy, but let's say you name your five and leave out the Big Ones, like Abraham Lincoln or Gandhi or Jesus or Superman. Well, you're an idiot, or probably a heathen. Or both.

And if you do name Jesus and Superman and also maybe George Washington (forgot him, didn't you?) then you're using up your five slots, and then you realize "Oh, crap, I didn't even invite Mom!" and then "Dad! He'll want to come, too!"

So in the end, you end up blurting out that if you were given a chance to have lunch with any five people, those five people would all be family members.

That's the first problem with this question, because when you ask what moment I want to re-live, I'm supposed to say "My wedding day" or "The births of all my kids all of whom are equally important to me, I'd like to see them simultaneously" and everyone says "Awwww" but those answers, as nice as they are, aren't really indicative of what I might really want to see -- but if I say I might really want something else, then you/Sweetie/humanity are potentially going to say "What kind of monster doesn't want to relive the day he married his amazingly beautiful, smart, supportive, funny, beautiful wife?"

Then there's time-travel. The way the question is phrased, it suggests I could only pick a moment I actually lived through, but if time travel is possible, then I could have lived through any moment, conceivably, as I could travel back in time, say, to when they claimed to have discovered velociraptors, and I could prove that they did not, and then I could go back and re-live that as my greatest achievement ever.

Or am I overthinking this?

In any event, here's what I'd relive: About 7 or 8 years ago, after everyone had gone to bed on Christmas Eve, I got my Walkman -- it was a Walkman, then, not an iPod -- and I turned on the Christmas tree lights and I sat down in the otherwise dark house and listened to "O Holy Night" by Mannheim Steamroller while I just sat quietly and looked at the tree and thought about how lucky I was to have my life.

2. If you could go back in time and change one thing, what would it be?

I would have the asteroid kill only some of the dinosaurs, so that humans evolved into their niche while dinosaurs stayed alive, because not only would it be extremely cool to have dinosaurs around today, but also there would be no oil in the world and most of the bad stuff of the 20th century would not have happened.***

***Note: I'm aware that it was actually plankton that formed oil, but it would not be in any way cool to have prehistoric plankton wandering around the Earth, so I'm sticking with dinosaurs.
3. What movie/TV character do you most resemble in personality?

I'll go with a combination of Doug Heffernan on The King Of Queens crossed with Ed, from that eponymous show. I'm not as clever or funny as Ed, not as degenerate as Doug, but I'm close enough to both.

4. If you could push one person off a cliff and get away with it, who would you choose?

Anyone who complains that taxes are too high but who also owns either (a) a football jersey or (b) an "app" that revolves around birds. If you can spend money on stupid stuff, you can pay higher taxes. And if you think otherwise, I'd like to push you off a cliff. A foolish inability to realize that tiny adjustments in egregious overconsumption by the middle class combined with a modicum of input from the rich would make our society a paradise is at the root of most of why I hate people.

5. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

The habit I'd most like to change is being amazingly self-centered. But I'm working on it. And I'll tell you at length just how much and how hard I'm working on it, probably doing so by butting into your completely unrelated conversation. I gotta be me, but I try not to make everyone else gotta hear about me.

6. Why do you blog?

Mostly because it lets me talk about myself and my thoughts almost as much as I'd be inclined to do in real life, thereby sparing people from my inflicting my self on their selves; if you come read my blog, you're doing so willingly, except in Russia where I understand some political prisoners are forced to read me.*4

*4. Not true. Also, originally I wrote China but that seemed not funny, so I changed it to Russia, which seems better, humanitarianly-speaking. Was I right?
I first began blogging when I first discovered what blogs were, and that I could talk about myself on them and people would read it and I could therefore exponentially increase the number of people who know how awesome I am.

Sadly, my first-ever post is lost to the annals of time; I deletrd it a long time ago. I bet I wrote something like "Hey, I have a blog!"

I also make money from my blogs -- ads and sponsored posts-- which is nice, because it's like getting paid to talk about me. In fact, it's not "like" that. It's literally that thing: I get paid to talk about me. If I could get paid more to do that, I'd be living the dream.

But I kind of already am. Living the dream, I mean. And talking about me. A lot.

7. Name three people to send this to
: George Washington. A clone made of equal parts Gandhi and Jesus. My mom!

No, wait. I panicked. How about

Anna Carrera at [i like that],

Stephen Hayes at The Chubby Chatterbox,


Lee, at Bookish Boy.


Andrew Leon said...

How do you pronounce "deletrd"? Is that a word like NESTLE-R?

2 out of the 3 Michael cursed have fulfilled their curses. That just leaves me. I think, maybe, I'll just talk about you in my post. It seems easier than trying to come up with my own answers.

Stephen Hayes said...

Am I supposed to answer these questions here?

#1 The Big Bang. I'd like to be there when it all started.

#2 I'd go back to 1492 and tell the Indians that under no circumstance should they let those guys off of those three ships.

#3 Physically I most resemble Norm Peterson from "Cheers." Personality-wise I'm probably more like Leonard from "Big Bang."

#4 It's a tie for who I'd push off a cliff. Rush Limbaugh and Michele Bachmann.

#5 My skin is the only thing about me that needs to be thicker.

#6 I started blogging three months ago because I'm a pathetically needy bastard addicted to attention. In truth, I've always been a storyteller, first in paint as an illustrator and now with words. I love it.

#7 Three people to send this to? Leonardo da Vinci, Mark Twain and Gertrude Stein.

Next time I'll be the one handing out the homework!

Middle said...

Oh Mr. F looks so sad :( Cheer up my little buddy...Love Taylor (Middle)

Nancy said...

So many times people do give the socially expected answers instead of the real truth. I like hearing about Christmas Eve instead of a wedding day. Unless disease strikes, most of us will remember those big events without having to wish for it. Plus, there is no small amount of stress involved in each of those things.

The moments I'd most like to remember are how it feels to sit and watch a movie with both my kids small enough to snuggle in next to me on the couch and hearing them laugh. Or the times my husband makes me laugh so hard I want to pee (which since I have a pretty lowbrow sense of humor would probably fit whatever the joke is).

I also applaud that you want to sit with your family for dinner. I love knowledge but I would be so intimidated I don't think I'd enjoy my dinner much. I'd be worried the whole time about what kind of impression I was making. Talk about some indigestion waiting to happen.

I'm not going to answer the rest because I feel I've already begun a doctoral dissertation except #4 and I will loosely quote the Captain America movie by saying, I don't want to kill anyone but I don't like bullies.

anna. said...

so many things in this post made me laugh. i used to be obsessed with wheel of fortune and i love the internal conflict of the dinner guests. luckily, i've never been married or had children, but maybe that makes it more difficult for me to have memorable moments.

also i replied.