Roger sent me a bunch of questions.
Explain to me what database/software you are using to catalog your music so that you can easily pick your favorite music from, say, 1956, before you were even born.
It's basically just Word documents. It's really just me making lists, as is my habit in life. Sometimes I feel like that one eccentric guy in an organized office who just has information lying everywhere and lots of piles and says "Hey, I have my own system." I've had too much data wiped out on me to ever fully trust anything digital.
What are your favorite (10? 50? 100?) songs of the 21st century?
Interesting question. I'm so profoundly unhip when it comes to most current music, and I had to look at some charts and such, so instead of making a definitive list (see how I always weasel out of those?), I'm going to list three or four songs from each year of the current millennium that I still really like to listen to. And here I just went for pop singles.
2001: "Lady Marmelade" from Moulin Rouge, "I'm Like a Bird" by Nelly Furtado, "One More Time" by Daft Punk, "Ms. Jackson" by Outkast, "Clint Eastwood" by Gorillaz
2002: "Hey Baby" by No Doubt, "Hands Clean" by Alanis Morissette, "The Whole World" by Outkast, "Don't Know Why" by Norah Jones
2003: "Hey Ya!" by Outkast," "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, "Work It" by Missy Elliott, "Holidae In" by Chingy
2004: "I Believe in a Thing Called Love," The Darkness, "Float On" by Modest Mouse, "What You Waiting For?" by Gwen Stefani, "Drop It Like It's Hot" by Snoop Dogg
2005: "Since U Been Gone" by Kelly Clarkson, "Ordinary People" by John Legend, "Gold Digger" by Kanye West, "Signs" by Snoop Dogg
2006: "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley, "White & Nerdy" by "Weird Al" Yankovic, "When You Were Young" by the Killers, "Promiscuous" by Nelly Furtado
2007: "1234" by Feist, "Candyman" by Christina Aguilera, "Hey There Delilah" by Plain White T's, "Smile" by Lily Allen
2008: "Lovebug" by Jonas Brothers, "Our Song" by Taylor Swift, "Sensual Seduction" by Snoop Dogg"
2009: "Party in the USA" by Miley Cyrus, "Fireflies" by Owl City, "Human" by the Killers, "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga
2010: "Tik Tok" and "Your Love Is My Drug" by Ke$ha, "Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green, "Ridin' Solo" by Jason DeRulo
2011: "Super Bass" by Nicki Minaj and that seems to be it
2012: "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" by Taylor Swift, "Die Young" by Ke$ha
2013: "Get Lucky" by Daft Punk & Pharrell, "Royals" by Lorde, "Wrecking Ball" by Miley Cyrus, "Do What U Want" by Lady Gaga
2014: "Shake It Off" by Taylor Swift, "Happy" by Pharrell Williams, "Chandelier" by Sia, "Love Never Felt So Good" by Michael Jackson
2015: "Elastic Heart" by Sia, "Jealous" by Nick Jonas, "Style" and "Wildest Dreams" by Taylor Swift
2016: Well, I'm digging "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE because it reminds me of being in the car in 1985.
What do you believe these days, spiritually/theologically?
That's an even harder question. Like a lot to do with me, it's pretty vague and undefined, but I know it when I feel it. I tell people now that it's spiritual agnosticism, which probably doesn't really mean anything on its face. But I find a spiritual connection in music or activity or stories or my garden or stillness and serenity or the planets or just the sounds of the animals. Even in other people sometimes; I even find it in someone's expression of faith, even though I don't necessarily have faith in any kind of deity or divine creator or anything. I don't believe in an afterlife, which upsets some of my family. But I'm making a lot of peace with myself, and that's good.
Will Donald Trump be President? And if so, why?
In my most cynical moments (and I have many of them), I think probably he will be. I'm a pretty ardent Bernie Sanders supporter, but I've not been talking to a lot of people about it because I don't like discussing Hillary Clinton. (Short answer: I don't like her, and there are reasons to not like her that extend beyond a knee-jerk assumption that I'm a sexist, and most of you didn't like her back in 2008 so I have no idea why now you think she's going to somehow be the third Obama term.) I think Trump will be a disaster, and I think the people who want to vote for him know that and don't really care: they just want whitey back in charge and, like a child who got picked last for a game, they'd rather derail everything and fuck it up for everyone than take a moment to feel something other than selfish (and in this case, bigoted) anger.
It looks like Clinton will probably be the Democratic nominee, as her supporters have condescendingly reminded me every day, and as someone on public aid, it would be incredibly stupid of me to vote for Trump. But another reason I think President Trump will most likely happen--other than my lack of faith in America's collective ability to make good decisions--is that Clinton is polling lower than Trump. The Right is so deranged in their hatred of all things Clinton that I'm expecting some Republican voters to come out just to vote against her. But, since she'll inevitably leap to the right after the convention, maybe her numbers will go up.
What are some of the worst Oscar winners? (Movies, performers, technical awards, whatever)
I really have stopped paying attention to the Oscars. Nothing leaps out at me, though I know there are lists out there of undeserving winners. Those lists, though, are made with the benefit of hindsight. Looking back, you can see why The Hurt Locker won Best Picture, even though no one's watched that movie since 2009.
That said, giving Jennifer Lawrence an award for acting, particularly over that awful diner scene in Silver Linings Playbook, is pretty ridiculous.
What have you collected over the years (comics, coins, stamps, Hess trucks)? When did you start, when did you stop - if you did stop - and why?
I collected comic books for a long time, since I was 10, and then just because I wanted to read everything... but had to stop when I was in college because I just didn't have the money anymore. I do have the complete run of the original series of Howard the Duck, and that's good enough for me. As long as libraries exist, I'll always have comics to read.
For a while, I collected science fiction paperbacks, and I have a pretty good-sized science fiction library. That was helped along by working in bookstores and going to library sales.
These days I'll just sometimes pick up something neat if someone sends me a gift card or something for my birthday. Money's so tight.
How do you write? Do you need music or silence? What time of day? Can anyone be around? And where? At home? At the library? At Starbucks?
I prefer to write alone and in the morning. I wake up early anyway, but my inspiration sort of starts to run out around noon or one. Sometimes I prefer silence, sometimes I prefer music. Right now it's so quiet here, with the occasional sounds of birds on my balcony, which I do like. When I was in college, I used to write in the library's computer lab, which was always full but still nice and quiet; sometimes I'd plug into my iPod to block noise out, particularly if the assignment was due that day. (I'm like that with deadlines; I don't do it and then I do it in a burst just before the thing is due, even if it's a gigantic research paper--I'll do all of my research, and then it'll sit for days before I just write the damn thing. It's usually half-composed in my mind by then, anyway.)
I've never actually been in a Starbucks, but I'd be way too self-conscious to be there long enough to write.
What are your favorite board games? Card games?
Trivial Pursuit is my favorite board game, but no one ever wanted to play it with me very often. Once, I won at Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit in a single turn, so I get why that wasn't fun for anybody else. Same thing with Star Wars.
I still have a soft spot for The Game of Life. You can get me to play Monopoly, but sometimes it's such a frustrating game... I already have terrible money problems in real life, aren't I supposed to be escaping that when I play a game? And then there's Risk. Oh, man, Risk. I'll get into that one big time, but it trips my anxiety frustration, and I've done that thing where you purposely roll the dice onto the board, knocking over the pieces, so the game derails, because I'm a big baby.
Card games I don't always understand. Mostly it's Solitaire for me.
What are the 10 (20/50/100) essential TV shows? (Or any other genre - Broadway musical soundtracks, books, movies, et al)
Damn, that's a big question. The way my ADHD works, it's probably too big and I could get lost answering it for literal hours.
I'll just take the first part and cut off the word "essential" because I don't like that one. I can't pick things out for other people. (This is part of how my mental thing operates: I feel like I'm being presumptuous and arrogant and speaking for other people. Ah, the adult life of an abused child; being assertive can be hard.)
So, basically, my favorite television shows ever: Farscape, The Muppet Show, Quantum Leap, Batman: The Animated Series, I Love Lucy, The Dick Van Dyke Show, DuckTales, Family Ties, Cheers, Star Trek, All in the Family, Doctor Who, Sanford and Son, M*A*S*H, Fawlty Towers, The Golden Girls, Black Adder, Muppet Babies, The Office (UK), Parks and Recreation, Game of Thrones, Married...with Children, The Vicar of Dibley, Mr. Show with Bob and David, NewsRadio, King of the Hill, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Spaced, Kids in the Hall, The Venture Bros., RuPaul's Drag Race, Downton Abbey, Key & Peele, Agent Carter, Freaks and Geeks and of course Veronica Mars. And probably dozens more.
Wednesday, June 08, 2016
Roger sent me a bunch of questions.