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Strange Questions

What’s a weird thing you like to do? Me:  Take inventory.  I work, for the moment, as a kind of roving blue-collar worker on a military base.  And I LOVE to take inventory.  I love everything involved with the process, including the stacking and organizing of the shelves, which is especially odd, because I’m not at all organized or systematic in my private life.  But, there’s just something about lining up those creamy ranch dressing bottles that satisfies a hidden OCD impulse.  But, most of all, I love the counting; I could count all day.  I secretly wonder if it wouldn’t be so bad to Edmund Dantes, when he’s in the Chateau D’lf counting the stones of his cell over and over and over again.

What’s your favorite childhood book? Me:  Probably Where the Red Fern Grows.  I almost hesitate to write that, since I haven’t read it in ages, but I can’t think of any single book that had a bigger impact at the time.  Plus, I’m excluding children’s books I read much later (Things Not Seen, for instance) or books I read during childhood, which I really don’t think fit in the childhood book category.  David Copperfield is my favorite novel of all-time, but I didn’t know many 12 year olds who read it, and it’s chock full of mature themes.

What’s your favorite childhood series? Me:  Cynthia Voigt’s The Tillerman Cycle, no contest.  Homecoming, Dicey’s Song, and most especially, A Solitary Blue, are the best in the series, and the ones I remember most clearly.  The first two follow Dicey Tillerman, a scrappy tom-boy, trying to make a life for her near orphaned siblings.  A Solitary Blue follows Jeff Greene, a boy whose life intersects with Dicey’s.  Terrific stuff.

Tea or Coffee? Me:  Tea.  Either Earl Grey or Darjeeling.  No milk, no lemon, no sugar.

Would you rather be stuck on a deserted Island with three people you hate, or no one at all? Me:  No one at all.  Unless that meaningfully decreased my survival odds.

Best movie that had a decent remake? Me:   The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullivan.  There are actually a couple of remakes of this (I think it’s technically a remake itself), but the most notable is You’ve Got Mail.  Shop was a wonderful flick, and You’ve Got Mail retained a bit of the original’s charm.

Who’s the fairest of them all? Me:  Camilla Belle.


So think of this as a kind of…icebreakers thread?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. November 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    Weird thing: Watching chickens. Have you every watched a flock of chickens? Very entertaining.

    Childhood book: Child childhood: “There once was a boy with a little toy drum \ Ratatat, tatatat, rum a tum tum \ One day he went marching and played on his drum” etc. A little older, the Redwall books. Although now I wonder if I would let my kids read them. They are brutal as hell.

    Series: The Dark is Rising. I want to read them again, now that you mention it.

    Tea or Coffee: No

    Desert island: Alone. I’ve lived this scenario in my head so many times, I’m pretty sure I could handle it. Here’s another question: desert island or zombie apocalypse?

    Decent remake: Battlestar. I watched an episode or two of the original, just to compare.. Man was it wretched.

    Fairest: Hmm, that’s tough. I did just see a picture of Eliza Dushku today, and it.. moved me.

    I also happened on a FB pic of my former girlfriend, and she’s looking reeeeally good. Dammit.

  2. November 2, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    I just re-read the first Dark is Rising book not too long ago; I think when the movie came out. And I was surprised at how little memory I had of the plot.

    Depends on what kind of zombie apocalypse. If it’s the kind where an ubber beta male can meet badass Woody Harrelson and a cautious, but vulnerable Emma Stone, ala Zombieland (genius movie), then Zombie Apocalypse. If it’s a 28 Days Later type Zombie Apocalypse then I’m inevitably screwed and would perish within the first 5 minutes. So I’d take my chances with the desert island.

    You thought the original Battlestar Galactica was wretched? I’ve refused to watch the new series mostly because I liked the original so much. But, yeah, I do seem to be in the minority there.

  3. November 2, 2009 at 8:20 pm

    Well to be fair I only saw an episode or two. Give the new series a shot though, it has excellent acting, interesting characters, and better special effects than a lot of movies (true zero-g environment space battles!). I also hear the ending is good, and I’m trying really really hard not to find out what happens until I get a chance to see it.

    Oh, 28 Days, definitely. Haven’t seen Zombieland (want to! Heard it was good).. but IRL, there’s nothing funny about zombies.

    If you survive the first five minutes, you’re welcome in my compound. I’ll teach you how to shoot. Bring Emma too.

  4. MWS
    November 3, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    Weird thing: Paying bills. Between home and the business, I do a lot of it. I think it’s the satisfaction of knowing I CAN pay the bills, and wiping the slate clean, so to speak. There was a time when this involved massive juggling (when the business was younger), and it wasn’t so much fun then.

    Childhood book: Follow My Leader. It was about a boy who goes blind through an accident. Haven’t read it since 6th grade, so I don’t remember the details, but I liked it.

    Series: Dragonriders of Pern. It’s not a childhood series, per se, but it’s a series I read as a child.


    Deserted Island: No one, even if it did shorten my life expectancy.

    Best movie with a decent remake: Your’s, Mine, and Ours. Although I only have 5 kids, I feel I can somehow relate to a blended family of 18. The original with Lucile Ball was great, and the remake was pretty good too.

    Fairest: Nicole Kidman, at least in her prime. She desperately wanted to marry me, but I turned her down…… 😉

  5. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    Matthew, the “creamy ranch dressing bottles” line is hilarious. MWS, I agree about paying bills, although we’re still juggling.

    Weird thing: yard work, I like it all, but especially enjoy planting. I think this might be partially genetic, German farmers on both sides of my family.

    Childhood book: early: Green eggs and ham. late: Lord of the Flies

    Series: I never got hooked on a series of children’s books. I was a TV zombie kid.

    Coffee: the best in Florida is sold just a stone’s throw from my house at DaSilva’s, but due to my budget, it’s usually Folger’s for me.

    Remakes: The 80’s Star Wars and Indiana Jones remakes were pretty strong.

    Fairest: I’ve noticed how personality/life choices really impact this one for me. When Carmen Electra first appeared on the radar, her beauty was just stunning, but when her personality/lifestyle came to light it made her utterly repulsive. Anyway, back in the day it was Brooke Sheilds, 90’s Halle Barry.

  6. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    fyi, per your recommendations, I checked out both A History of the American People by Paul Johnson and Manchester’s The Glory and the Dream. After a quick peek, I’ve started to slog my way through the former, Manchester will have to wait.

  7. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    The DaSilva’s difference
    In the world of coffee, there’s only one obssessed freak like Kevin Brownell. He speaks an odd combination of Hawaiian, Sumatran and Kenyan. He’d marry coffee if he lived in California. He sleeps in a burlap hammock. His children are named Cup, Roaster and Bean. But he just could be the best coffee roaster in the whole wide world. Read all about it at Coffee 101.


    Disclaimer: Kevin’s dad is my deacon. Regardless, truly great coffee.

  8. MWS
    November 3, 2009 at 4:47 pm


    I finally made time to address some of your points on the Most Incoherently Coherent Coherence thread.

  9. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to read the verses. I truly value your insights.

  10. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    wow, I’m really flashing my doofus bonafides, it just occurred to me that you were talking about movie remakes, not sequels. Obviously, I’m not a fan of cinema, should’ve just punted.

  11. mac
    November 3, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Not to abuse the “other randomness” aspect of Matthew’s site too much but I’m tracking your exchange with Martha this afternoon over at R412 and I’ve got to say, her relentless pouting has got me to the point where I’d be ready to hand the nomination to Mitt just for the off chance hope that she might stop the whinefest…jimeny Christmas!

  12. MWS
    November 4, 2009 at 3:52 am


  13. Doug
    November 8, 2009 at 3:13 am

    What’s a weird thing you like to do?
    Competitive Eating. I only do it for meat related items. I’ve done 88 ounces of steak at one sitting once.

    What’s your favorite childhood book?
    The Magician’s Nephew, C.S. Lewis
    In childhood I found this to be by far Lewis’s best story.

    What’s your favorite childhood series?
    Curious George, although only until age 6.

    Tea or Coffee:
    Tea with cream and lemon.

    Desert island
    Alone. I’ve been absolutely alone in a natural setting for as long as two weeks. I think I could adjust to it.

    Best movie that had a decent remake?
    There’s a part of me that wants to say The Magnificent Seven.

    Who’s the fairest of them all?
    Jane Fonda in Barefoot in the Park. Although I suppose that’s vaguely how my wife looks.

  14. MWS
    November 9, 2009 at 1:28 pm


    Did you ever see “the Great Outdoors?” It was a stupid comedy with Dan Akroyd and John Candy in the 80s. I think John Candy had to eat the “Ninty-sixer,” or something like that.

    Anyway, I find it completely absurd that someone can eat 5 1/2 pounds of steak in one sitting. Don’t get me wrong, I LOOOOVE steak, but 5 1/2 pounds? Where does it all go?

  15. Doug
    November 10, 2009 at 12:57 am

    Have ever seen Chariots of Fire?

    Great Christian movie.

    I’ll answer your question with a line spoken by the great Olympian and Martyr Eric Liddell.


  16. MWS
    November 10, 2009 at 1:14 am



    Do you mean that literally, or figuratively?

  17. Doug
    November 10, 2009 at 1:19 am

    Ah, yes.

  18. Doug
    November 15, 2009 at 11:41 pm

    post Mattwriters block is no excuse. 🙂

  19. December 3, 2009 at 4:47 am

    like I said, gotta stop by here more often…

    anyway, some belated responses:

    weird thing – cleaning. I lumme some cleaning. Yes, I am OCD.
    childhood book – How about The Little Prince?
    childhood series – hard to say. I might pick Dark is Rising, since I LOVED that sequence.
    tea or coffee – Lipton’s
    desert island – alone
    remake – Hmm…The Parent Trap? On a slightly related note, one of the few remakes I think is better than the original is Move Over, Darling.
    hawt – Brad Ausmus *drool*

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