11 For 11

During last year’s BlogFestivus, one of the best bloggers I found was RewindRevise, who lives and writes in New York City. Lindsey’s thoughtful and funny, about to get married, and as I can see it, her largest defect as a person is her continuing support for the New York Football Giants. No one’s perfect.

This week, she tagged a few people in her neighborhood with a meme and who doesn’t love a good meme? It works like this: You answer Lindsey’s 11 questions and then come up with 11 of your own for others. Pretty straightforward. Ok, to it:

1. What do you say when someone sneezes and do you expect them to say thank you in return? The whole sneezing “Bless You” thing is pretty odd when you think about it, isn’t it? I mean, do people really die from sneezing? Are they vulnerable to evil influence post-sneeze? Why the blessing? If we blessed people after they farted, my dad and brother would be saints. Still, I almost always will blurt out a “Bless you” after a sneeze. Now I’m going to be self-conscious about that.

2. If you could invite any seven people to dinner (alive or dead, fictional or real) who would it be? My grandparents (all 4 deceased, both grandfathers were deceased before I was born and my parents, both deceased) and Isaac Newton, because really, Isaac Newton might be the smartest person that ever lived.

Newton vs Stevil

3. Favorite fictional character from a book? While Atticus Finch is probably the one that I’d say I’d “look up to” the most, I choose Stephen R. Donaldson’s Thomas Covenant. I read the first two sets of books in my teens and they shaped the way I read and see characters. Covenant’s bitterness, and his eventual salvation, still move me.

Thomas Covenant

4. Favorite Fairy Tale? Easy. The Bollyhoppers. Who are they, you ask? The Bollyhoppers were stories about 3 little aliens that came to earth and got in all sorts of hijinks. My dad made the stories up and told them to me at night when I was a boy.

5. If you could say one thing to America, what would it be? Read more. Read every day. Become an educated electorate.

6. How would you like to be remembered? I would like to be remembered as someone that made peoples’ lives better. Not so much in a “he contributed xyz to human progress” way, but in the way that peoples’ lives were better for having known me.

7. If you could have experienced another time period, which would you choose? I think maybe the Age of Enlightenment in the 1700s. I think it’s the first time when reason began to hold sway over superstition and that would really be something to celebrate. Maybe I’m fixated on that a little because I think that’s something we’re losing in this day an age of internet misinformation, propaganda, and hyperbole.

8. Desert island question – one food, one friend, one movie…who/what would you pick? Easy. Turkey. The Beloved. Jaws.


9. If you could pick only one mode of transportation for the rest of your life what would it be? How about a Star Trek transporter? Then I could go anywhere I wanted to at anytime. No? I’m pretty partial to Buzz, but he can only go 100 miles at a time, which could be a little limiting for your ONLY transportation. My 3-series BMW convertible was pretty sweet though.

10. Name three places you need to go to before you die. I’m generally against the 100 Things/Places/Foods/whatever You Need To Do Before You Die, because it turns life into a checklist process — one at which you might fail if you don’t get all 100 check marks. That said — I would very much like to visit Iceland, Antarctica, and South America before I leave this earthly plane.

11. Tell me about a time when a teacher truly inspired you. It’s funny, maybe the best inspiration I got was a dressing down I received from a nun (Sister Mathias, her real name) who in 7th grade told me that she didn’t give a crap (her word) if I was the smartest kid in the class and that I should get off my lazy ass (her words) and start applying myself or I’d waste the gift of the intelligence I’d received. I’d never been anything but a teacher’s favorite, so this was pretty surprising to me — but it was and still is a great motivator never to get complacent.

Here are my questions. I will tap a few of you on the shoulder, but please if you’re interested in replying, I’d love to hear your answers.
1. God exists. Yes or no?
2. Religion. Source of good over history, or not?
3. Mt Rushmore. Who belongs there the most? the least? If you could add another head, who would it be?
4. Adult beverage. Beer? Wine? or Cocktail?
5. Extraterrestrial life. Yes or no? Is there intelligence out there?
6. Mea culpa. Who is the person, living or dead, that you’d most like to apologize to?
7. Favorite vacation. Beach chair, ski slope, foreign city, theme park, natural wonder, or visit with family?
8. Meat. Love it? Won’t eat it? Eat it, but feel sort of guilty about it sometimes?
9. Sports. Die hard fan, or don’t care?
10. Music. What is your favorite instrument to play, or would you like to play?
11. The future. Optimistic about it?

21 thoughts on “11 For 11

  1. First, these questions are deliciously deep. Second, your answers are awesomely um – awesome.
    The sneeze thing – I’ve switched to ‘gesundheit’. I share your thoughts on the matter.
    Steve, I heart the fact that your favorite fairy tale is one your Dad created. What a wonderful memory. The boys and I are currently reading Roald Dahl’s “Danny, Champion of the World”. The book popped into my head when you mentioned your Dad telling you stories at bedtime.

    • Thanks LD — you know, I hadn’t thought of The Bollyhoppers for years before that question sparked my memory. Who says the internet isn’t good for anything. :)

  2. I’m kind of laughing at your answer to #1 because I just read an article that was all about germs and how those who work around them deal with them (folks from the CDC for example) and they were all stressing the dangers people present to each other by sneezing.

    Made up stories are always the best. Kudos to your dad.

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  5. Ahhh…BlogFestivus as an introduction service. I wonder what this year’s challenge will bring. Hopefully more of the same. Splendiferous questions with splendiferous answers.

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