Will's Coffee House

John Dryden, Dramatist, Critic, Poet Laureate, and my ancestor, frequented a coffee house called Will's almost daily, where he would hold forth on sundry subjects with great wit and aplomb. Same deal here, only without the wit or aplomb.

Location: Large Midwestern City, Midwestern State, United States

I am a stranger in a sane land...

Thursday, December 08, 2005

This Thing Called a "Meme"

It's either grade papers and exams, worry about tomorrow's phone interview for a really nice job at a really good school, or frivel away the time by blogging nonsensically. Guess which one I choose? Thanks to "abd me" (check out her blog at http://probablyedandme.blogspot.com) for this form of procrastination, a kind of self-revelatory count-down called, I take it, a "Meme," which sounds vaguely Greek in origin if pronounced "meem," but probably isn't. Anyway, here goes:

10 Random Things You Might Not Know About Me:
10. I can 'crack' not just my knuckles, but virtually every joint in my body, often with disturbing loudness.
9. I'm not allergic to anything.
8. I can sing pretty much all of Gilbert & Sullivan by heart. Though if you're nice to me, I won't.
7. I'm addicted to computer RPGs, to the exclusion of food, sleep, and human contact.
6. (This is embarassing.) I love Romantic Comedies--even the dreadful ones with Jennifer Lopez. (Sorry, I should just say "even the ones with Jennifer Lopez." Although Kate Hudson is really giving her a run for her money in the 'dreadful' race.)
5. I have to sleep with a pillow over my eyes.
4. I used to smoke--and I miss it.
3. I think pugs are the coolest dogs ever. Shut up, they are so. No, you're wrong.
2. I really don't like white wine.
1. The life I appear to lead is not my secret identity, but oh, how I wish it were.

9 Places I've Visited:
9. County Cork, and yes, I've kissed the Blarney Stone.
8. Salem, Massachusetts, which has turned the hysteria-induced execution of largely innocent people into a source of tourism.
7. The top of St. Paul's Cathedral in London, which is more impressive than it sounds, since you have to climb a lot of stairs and ignore any latent vertigo.
6. The Louvre. And the Mona Lisa is called La Giaconde, and depending where you stand in the room, her expression changes. It's quite cool.
5. Mont St. Michel. "Hey! Let's build a cathedral city on a tidal plain!" "Why?" "Because it will look amazingly spooky and impressive and cool!" "OK, then."
4. St. John's College, Oxford. Where I delivered a paper on 18th Century Pornography.
3. Fanning Island. Middle of the Pacific, 3 Degrees north of the equator.
2. Alcatraz. Just to make sure I had the whole 'experience,' I tipped a couple of the guides to rape me in the shower. I still get Christmas cards.
1. The Mall of America, where I worked selling troll dolls in one of the most humiliating post-collegiate periods of my life.

8 Ways to Win My Heart:
8. Shut up and leave me alone; I'm reading.
7. Shut up and leave me alone; I'm XBoxing.
6. Just shut up and leave me alone.
5. Wait, come back, I'm lonely. Hold me. Lingerie helps this procedure. Unless you're a guy, in which case--eh, so long as it's tasteful...
4. Bring me coffee in the morning--Latte, with a splash of half-and-half, if you can.
3. Listen to me prattle on about pretentious crap with enthusiasm and/or patience.
2. Reach for my hand for no reason whatsoever. That goes double for hugging me from behind.
1. Put up with me when I'm at my worst. (Which is to say, "Put up with me.")

7 Things I Want to Do Before I Die:
7. Finish my g*d-d**ned novel.
6. Publish my g*d-d**ned novel.
5. Have at least 24 hours of sustained 'fun.'
6. Visit Rome.
5. See Wagner's Ring Cycle at Bayreuth.
4. Have a child (or two.)
3. Get a really good teaching job.
2. Really learn Latin. Then--
1. Really learn Greek. (Note: Neither this nor #2 will ever actually occur.)

6 Things I'm Afraid Of:
6. Rats.
5. Things that look like rats--mice, possums, even capybaras give me the willies. (Or the Willards, if you're inclined to bad horror movies and puns, which few are, I'll admit.)
4. Teaching the first day of a new class.
3. Change. (The process, not the coins in my pocket--those I'm fine with.)
2. Job interviews, especially ones that require me to travel cross-country.
1. The realization that I may very well have to deal with periodic and often lengthy bouts of severe depression for the rest of my life. (Sorry to bring the mood down, but it really does scare me.)

5 Things I Don't Like:
5. Plane travel. I'm not afraid of flying, but I just don't trust them to get me where I want to go, on time and with all my luggage. None of them seem to care about their jobs with enough fanaticism to inspire total confidence.
4. Artichokes. Ate a bad one once, got sick, can't do it again.
3. White chocolate. Ate about five pounds of it once at one sitting. Can't do it again.
2. People having inane conversations on cell phones in places where they shouldn't, like...anywhere I can hear them, basically.
1. Abridged versions of novels. Whom are these for, and how can we stop them from breeding?

4 Ways To Turn Me Off:
4. Answer a cell phone in the middle of our conversation. You're not a surgeon or a member of the bomb squad--let it go to voice mail.
3. Abuse, slight, or try to crack wise with a bartender, waitress, hostess, or busboy. They don't need your crap, and they don't think you're funny. And tip them right, for God's sake.
2. Ask me about plot points, actors' names and what else they've been in, or how the story ends--we're in a movie theater, will you please just watch the f***ing movie???
1. Complain about your relationship with your mother, your co-workers, your shrink, your ex, or your siblings before we've started sleeping together on a regular basis.

3 Things I Do Every Day:
3. Convert oxygen to carbon dioxide.
2. Bathe.
1. Check my e-mail. (Multiply #1 by approx. 473.)

2 Things That Make Me Happy:
2. Love. (I'd name someone whom I love, but it said "things," not people. Besides, you know who you are, and isn't that enough?)
1. Delivered pizza. Seriously, it's like magic--you ask for it, and it comes to you, perfect every time.

1 Thing On My Mind Right Now:
1. I'm in my mid-30s--shouldn't I be doing something more meaningful with my time than filling out a Meme?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

No. It. Is. Not.

But I love you anyway.

5:00 PM  
Blogger phd me said...

The top of St. Paul's is just as impressive as it sounds - and one of my favorite spots in London Towne. And having dear Mona Lisa's eyes follow you about the room is flat out spooky. Now I'll shut up and leave you alone.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, ok -- when you asked if I knew what a "meme" was, and I said I did, I was thinking of something completely different. I've never heard the term used to refer to the interesting CV you provided. In my experience the term "meme" means (stolen from dictionary.com, who stole it from someone else) "n : a cultural unit (an idea or value or pattern of behavior) that is passed from one generation to another by nongenetic means (as by imitation); 'memes are the cultural counterpart of genes'"

Not quite the same thing.


8:38 PM  

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