The Never Ending Meme ends at last -- 01/22/12

Okay, so I was wrong about it ending last time. There was a third section that Sunday Stealing just posted today. So, having done the first two installments, there's just no way I could skip the final one.

36. Have you watched American Horror Story?

No. I've never heard of it. I assumed it was a movie but Google told me it is a TV series.

37. Baseball hat or toque?
Neither. I never grew addicted to the ubiquitous baseball cap and I am not a chef. I don't seem to be a hat person; just about the only time I wear a hat is a stretchy knit watch cap when shoveling snow in the cold.

38. Do you shampoo or soap up first in the shower?

39. Wet the toothbrush or brush dry with the toothpaste?
Wet the toothbrush, then add toothpaste.

40. Pen or pencil?
Either. I used to be more of a pen user, but in recent years I find that I prefer using a pencil for making notes while working. However, whichever I use, my handwriting is so bad that sometimes I have trouble understanding what I've written mere minutes later. I think I prefer keyboards.

41. Have you ever gambled at a casino?
No. Really. Never. Even though I have spent several weeks in Las Vegas (at technical conferences) I have never actually gambled in a casino. One time my friend Hamid and I were going to gamble on the "penny slots" (while waiting for a shuttle bus to the airport) until we found out that you didn't actually put a coin in them, you bought a magnetic scan card..

42. Have you thrown up on a plane?

43. Have you thrown up in a car?

44. Have you thrown up at work?

45. Do you scream on roller coasters?
I've yelled. Is that close enough to screaming?

46. How many shoes do you have?
Hmmmm, let me count the pairs. Lets skip two pairs of wingtip dress shoes, (a black pair and a brown pair) which I never wear anymore because they kill my bunions. One pair of formal dress shows (i.e., to wear with a tux) that are a little more comfortable. One pair of fake dress shoes. (I call them "fake" because they are nicely padded walking shoes but are black and unless you look closely, they can pass for dress shoes.) One pair of hiking shoes. Four pairs of Brooks Beast running shoes (two "good" pairs for actual running and two worn out pairs for just everyday stuff). Okay, ignoring the old wingtips (which I really should get rid of) that's seven pairs of shoes. Do boots count? I also have a pair of steel-toe work boots (for heavy duty yard work, splitting wood, etc.) and a pair of snow boots.

47. Who was your first roommate?
My brother.

48. What alcoholic beverage did you drink when you got drunk for the first time?

49. What was your first job?
In a furniture store: general purpose everything (sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, assemble coffee tables, go for coffee, delivery assistant, and do anything else that needed doing).

50. What was your first car?
1957 Volkswagen Beetle.

51. When did you go to your first funeral?
When I was in first grade, one of my classmates died (was playing on the banks of the Rondout, fell in, and drowned). I can remember the teacher lining us all up and we walked down the street (the family lived just a block or two from the school back in the days of neighborhood schools) to his house. The casket was set up in their living room with lots of flowers around. We took turns walking up to the casket, where there was a padded bench for kneeling. The Catholic kids genuflected and made the sign of the cross. Those of us who weren't Catholic tried to kneel properly like they did. I didn't know how to make the sign of the cross, so I just clasped my hands together. He didn't look dead but he didn't look alive either.

52. How old were you when you first moved away from your hometown?

53. Who was your first grade teacher?
Miss Sullivan. (She had also been my parent's teacher when they attended that same school. Years after I was in her class, the school district began pushing her to retire. Eventually she did retire from the public school, and then immediately began teaching at St. Mary's school.)

54. Where did you go on your first airplane ride?
Up and down. The summer I graduated high school I was working for a guy who owned a private plane and he took me and two co-workers up for a joy ride in his airplane. He'd been a fighter pilot during the war (when he couldn't have been too much older than us kids) and I think he was hoping to scare us a bit.

55. When you snuck out of your house for the first time, who was it with?
My brother. Well, we didn't so much sneak out of the house. We were camping in the backyard and woke up in that pre-dawn light when all the birds are chirping and singing. We wandered about a little bit but it was very strange and eerie for there to be no people sounds and no traffic, etc. We didn't wander too far because we knew that it would be frowned upon and we didn't want to lose the freedom to be able to sleep outside in the tent.

56. Who was your first best friend and are you still friends with them?
There were three of us: me, Mike, and Louie. There are photographs of us when we were so young our mothers had us in strollers. Louis went to barber school and went on to own a very successful barbershop. Mike became a hairdresser but died in a car accident in his twenties. I went off to college.

57. Where did you live the first time you moved out of your parents house?
It depends on how you define "first time." The summer I graduated high school, I spent the summer away from home working at small summer resort in the northern Catskills. Then I lived on campus my freshman year and rented a place off-campus with friends my sophomore year. Then I changed schools, commuting from home, and then rented a house with friends my final year of school. Or, does that mean full legal change of address? In that case, in the fall of 1966, at age 23 I got married and rented an apartment in the town where my wife was attending college.

58. Who is the first person you call when you have a bad day?
I'm trying to picture myself phoning someone to whine about having a bad day. I can't see it.

59. Whose wedding were you in the first time you were a bridesmaid or a groomsmen?
The first time I was a groomsman was when I was in college and my girlfriend's brother got married. The first (and only) time I've been a best man was about three years later when my brother got married. (He and Donna have been married 45 years.)

60. What is the first thing you do in the morning?
Put on my glasses.

61. What was the first concert you attended?
Assuming this means an actual professional pop music concert (rather than a semi-pro local bar band), that would probably be The Four Freshman in concert on the SUNY New Paltz campus, my junior year of college (probably in early autumn, 1963).

62. First tattoo or piercing?
No ink, no holes. (And no plans for any.)

63. First celebrity crush?
Susan Oliver in the movie The Green-Eyed Blonde, a black & white low-budget girl's reformatory flick. I thought she was awesome. Of course, lacking the Internet and IMDB.com in those days, I never saw her in anything else. (She appeared in The Gene Krupa Story and Butterfield 8, but mostly had a fairly busy career on television -- including appearing in the original Star Trek pilot -- and then began directing, including an episode of Mash. She was also an aviator -- 4th woman to fly solo across the Atlantic in a single-engine airplane, and 1970 winner of the Powder Puff Derby cross-country air race. She died in 1990 at age 58.)


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