Saturday, January 3, 2009

Stupid mistakes, positive influences

Cecile DuBois has created her own meme and tagged me with it. So now I must answer personal questions about myself and tag someone else:

1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?

A. Being insensitive to the feelings of others. This has been a lifelong malady. The first time I remember was at my birthday party where I said, upon opening a present, "Oo, I didn't want this!" The girl who gave it to me cried. And just last week I joked that a friend was an ***hole then told him about it, thinking he'd get a big kick out of it. He didn't.

B. Not telling someone I loved her until it was too late.

C. Getting drunk every weekend on a regular basis when I was a teenager.

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

I'll say two of my pastors, who also serve to keep me accountable. In trying to develop a deeper spiritual walk, and their oversight is invaluable.

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

Albert Einstein, Jesus, Søren Kierkegaard, Orson Welles and Ingrid Bergman. I know that Charlie Kaufman's brother, Donald, said in Adaptation that everybody says Einstein and Jesus, but I really mean it. I actually have pictures of both of them on my walls. If you just had Einstein and Kierkegaard they could answer almost any question in human learning you'd want to know. Jesus, of course, could set straight any misconceptions we've had about him and his teaching over the past 2,000 years. Kierkegaard would be happy to meet him as well, so he'd be appreciative I chose him. Welles was a master storyteller and at setting up shots; I wish I could do both, and would settle for just meeting someone who can if that's all I can do. I'd get Bergman just because I'd want at least one beautiful woman there, although it might be little awkward with Jesus at the table. It's also unlikely she'd pay me much attention with the other four there. But you might as well get someone perfectly sculpted and classy and smart to boot. I know that there are plenty of modern-day hot women, like Eva Mendez or your friend Flavia, I would want there, but you wouldn't need the time machine for them, so why waste it?

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

1. I would be happily married to a beautiful, smart, classy woman like Ingrid Bergman, except she wouldn't leave me for Roberto Rossellini.

2. I would practice my religion perfectly.

3. And I would have unlimited money and time to do whatever I wish. (Got this one from Cecile.)

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.

Birmingham does not have adequate theater. There are good shows from time to time, but they are few and far between. Mostly, it is either watered-down pablum made to appeal to the masses or it is so avant-garde that it will shock any but the unshockable. Also, Birmingham lacks a good reputation, thanks to the '60s civil rights atrocities. And many people who have never been here think it hasn't changed.

Things to avoid: Avenue U (or the Ensley area in general, for safety's sake), and rush hour on U.S. 280. It will be like a parking lot.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.

Mainly, "getting religion" changed my life, because I honestly feel I'd be dead now otherwise. I was a depressed, lonely and ready to cash in and it gave me a purpose and hope.

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