I get bored easily and I like answering survey questions. Found a list of questions that were suggested as atypical questions you can ask on a date. (Original Source.) I thought that was an interesting idea, and decided I’d pretend I was on a date and being asked these questions. So…this is what it’s like to date me. Buckle in.
- Who inspires you? Who do you aspire to be like?
I don’t know that those are the same thing. When someone says “inspires,” I think in artistic terms. I’d love to write songs like Pete Townshend or David Bowie. Or to write like Vonnegut or Salinger. But ASPIRE… Who would I like to be like? It’s mostly personal friends… That’s kind of why you choose each other, I think. I’d like to be as strong as one friend, as smart as another, as handsome as a third… I’d give names, but let’s not entrap anybody. 🙂
- What was the last book you read without skipping through anything?
Dennis Lehane’s “Sacred.” Should be reading “Gone Baby Gone” this weekend, too.
- What is the weirdest scar you have and how did you get it?
Hmm…this is a weird date, but if that’s what you’re into, who am I to judge? I have various and sundry scars and marks that don’t seem to want to fade… I’m not sure any of them are very weird. Got one on my knee from a car accident where I probably should’ve gotten stitches but thought it’d be fine with a Band-Aid. But I think that’s as close as I can come to “weird.”
- What is the most random thing you’ve ever watched all the way through on Netflix?
I don’t have a Netflix account, but my former roommate did. I binge-watched Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. But otherwise I think my viewing was pretty tame in the times I used it. I watched some of season 4 of Arrested Development with some friends once, not having seen the rest of the show in order…so I was a little lost and uninterested…but I don’t think that counts.
- If you could trade lives with one person for an entire day who would it be and why?
I’d like to pick the day…but probably Cate Blanchett or somebody just to see if stunningly pretty people care about being that pretty. Or Elvis on a fried-baloney day for the exact opposite reason.
- Do you believe in ghosts?
Not really. I mean I believe in an afterlife–Heaven, Hell, and all that–but hauntings and such…? I have my doubts. I’d like to think the dead have better things to do. I wouldn’t tempt fate by screwing around trying to hold a séance or anything, but I am highly skeptical of anybody who’s got their hands on a weegie board. I haven’t encountered any “haunting” stories that don’t have some sort of rational explanation, if you look for it. I’m much more afraid of real people than I am of intangible spirits.
- Shark diving, bungee jumping, or sky diving?
No, no, and no. If that was what you had in mind for the second date, it’s been nice having dinner with you, but we probably won’t work out. You could maybe talk me in to one or another over time…but let’s not rush this thing.
- Which would be harder for you to give up: coffee or alcohol?
I already quit drinking alcohol three years ago. I drink coffee like a fish. Well…like a fish who swims in coffee. Which would probably kill the fish. But then so would alcohol.
- How did you meet your best friend?
I don’t remember the specific event. I know that one day I realized we were into a lot of the same music and knew I’d like to get to know him better…but we’d definitely met before that. I often don’t remember the first time I met someone. We met many years before we were best friends, lost track for a while, and circled back into each other’s lives through a combination of bumping into one another at a wake and Facebook. And I’m not sure either of us really decided to be the other’s best friend–we both just kind of realized it. He might tell the story a little differently though–he’s probably got it in a better order than I do. In general, he’s better organized. 🙂
- Do you have a sweet tooth or a savory tooth?
Both. I love chocolate and ice cream and all that, but also enjoy a good pretzel or potato chip. I’m a fat guy. I find joy in a lot of places.
- What is something you’ve always wanted to try but have been too scared to?
The human emotion of love. Or getting a tattoo. Let’s say the tattoo. I’m afraid of needles…but I’ve always wanted one.
- What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I’m pretty proud of a couple of my records and the work behind them. (As well as a couple of albums I’ve played on for other artists.) I get proud about stuff I’ve done at work sometimes too, but I’ll usually fuck something up later that afternoon and end up staying humble. Proud of my musical collection and knowledge… And there’s a handful of blog posts or other writings I’ve done that I’m pretty pleased with.
- If you were going to go to the movies alone, what would be the perfect film for you to watch by yourself?
Probably a musical biopic. Something like a Love & Mercy or even Hi Fidelity. I recently was trying to make time to go see I Saw the Light, but there wasn’t a showtime when I could go. But I’m more likely to watch a movie at home than go to the theatre.
- What is your favorite Wikipedia article? (Shuddup. Everyone has one.)
Believe it or not, I don’t have one. And don’t tell me to shuddup. I use Wikipedia a lot, and when I do, I park on a page for a while. Usually a band discography or biographical info…but I don’t have any bookmarked or anything. Do people actually do that? Like you’ve got a favorite Wiki page?
- What is your favorite physical attribute about yourself?
I really don’t have one. Don’t get me wrong, imaginary girl I’m on a date with, I have my vanity issues…but I don’t really know what my best features are or spend time looking in the mirror thinking, “Yes…THAT!” I just try to look like me. If anything I’m more interested in covering stuff up than showing it off.
- Tell me about the best vacation you’ve ever taken.
Haven’t taken a ton of vacations. I can’t remember any family trips except to the family farm in Arkansas. But those trips were lovely. I’d like to think that even if we’d gone to Disney or Paris or Oz, I’d still talk about loving walking around the farm.
- Where is your favorite place to go on a weekday afternoon when you have no plans or obligations?
I will typically go to a record store or book store. Maybe a cafe or someplace to eat. I like shopping a lot, so I’m likely to go and spend money in my free time. I’ve had to try to be intentional about GOING HOME in recent years, in fact! If I weren’t careful, I’d spend entire paychecks at Barnes & Noble.
- What is one of the weirdest things you used to do as a teenager?
I was in a band. EVERYTHING I did as a teenager was weird!
- Gin, vodka, or tequila?
Well, as I said, I don’t drink…but I did used to enjoy the occasional tequila shot. Prefered whiskey over all of them, though.
- What drives you to do what you do? What motivates you?
At work, it’s that it’s my job–you just DO your job, man. As a musician, the motivation is usually just to work through whatever I’m writing about or whatever I’m going through as a person. Everything else is a variant of “trying to have fun.”
- In your opinion, what is the best Disney movie to come out since Disney’s Golden Age?
I have no idea when the “golden age” was supposed to be…so I’m going to say Lion King. Is that fair, or is that supposed to be in the “golden age?” I was a Bugs Bunny guy, not really a Disney guy.
- What kind of phone was your first cell phone?
I’m going to say it was a Nokia, but I’m not 100%.
- What did you love most about the place you grew up? What about it did you love the least?
Well, it was St. Louis and I’m still here, so it’s a little bit of a tough question. I guess I’ve stayed because we’ve got a little bit of everything within a half-hour drive. You can find urban bustle, urban violence, urban commerce, urban revitalization, suburban seclusion, suburban community, suburban small business, rural solitude, and rural collapse all within the same afternoon if you do it right. Few other places in the country offer that kind of variety. And all my stuff is here, so that’s convenient. The stuff I don’t like boils down to the city feeling a little like it has given up. Like any time we have hope, we shoot Michael Brown and pretend it was all in a day’s work. And if you try to talk about it, you just fight–you don’t talk. The divide in this town is deep over a lot of things–not just race… And I sometimes feel like not only will it not ever get better; we don’t even WANT it to.
- What trajectory are you hoping to push yourself onto? Where do you want to head?
I’m a company man. I’ll probably stay at this job until they tell me otherwise and try to go as far with it as they’ll let me. I’d love for the musical career to finally go somewhere, but even if/when it doesn’t, I’ll still do it. I’d like to push myself to actually write something for publication someday too. And even though I’m pushing my way toward 40, there’s still the part of me that wouldn’t mind being in a serious, lasting relationship. Although I hope saying that doesn’t add any unnecessary pressure to this imaginary date. Since it’s my imagination, I’m going to imagine that you’re blushing.
- What is your most bizarre talent?
I don’t know. Probably something with sandwiches.
- Is there a documentary or book that really changed the way you thought about something?
Oh, several. I try to learn something from everything I read. Brennan Manning had a big impact on me though–especially The Ragamuffin Gospel. And I don’t watch a ton of documentaries…but Bowling for Columbine made me think differently about a lot of stuff at the time it was out.
- What are three albums (soundtracks or compilations don’t count) that really define you or have shaped you as a person?
Oh God…only THREE??? The Who’s “Quadrophenia.” Pink Floyd’s “The Wall.” Neil Young’s “Harvest.” But there are dozens more. Those three just came to mind–they’re some of my all-time favorites. (“Quadrophenia” would be in first place on any list, no matter how much time I put into thinking about it.)
- Who was someone you really looked up to when you were little — someone you considered to be a mentor?
Like any kid, I wanted to spend a lot of time with my dad and my brother. So I did.
- What’s your favorite cheesy pick-up line? Have you ever used it for real?
I don’t use pick-up lines normally. I get to know the PERSON and if she seems like someone I’d like to spend more time with, I’ll try to do that. If she seems to like spending time with me, I’ll ask her if she’d like to spend some time alone together, maybe at a restaurant or coffee shop, and we’ll see what happens from there. Although, I must say, it’s weird that you fell for the old “I seem to have lost my phone number, can I have yours?” line. You’re pretty gullible, aren’t you, lady?
- Who is a character from a TV show or a book that you’ve always resonated with?
I hate to sound like a pretentious douchebag…but Holden Caufield from “Catcher in the Rye,” if we’re talking about books. Offended by hypocrisy, but embodying it in my own life… I get that… Of course, also Rob from Hi Fidelity, too… From TV, there are a few…but I mostly watch comedies and I like to think I’m less inept than some of those guys. Cory from “Boy Meets World,” Ted from “How I Met Your Mother” (before the last season killed my enjoyment of the show forever), and even Frasier from “Frasier” come to mind in varying degrees though.
- Can I get you another drink?
You don’t listen, do you? I mean this first shot of tequila is just SITTING here…
Okay. Now…marry me.
- Steven Wilson – “The Raven That Refused to Sing,” “Grace for Drowning,” and “Hand. Cannot. Erase.”
- Porcupine Tree – “In Absentia” and “The Incident”
- Dream Theater – Self Titled
- Yes – Just a shit-ton of Yes.