15 March 2003
File under "Duh"

"Which Humor Troubles the Disposition of YOUR Body?"

cholerDid you really need to ask?

Your humor is: yellow bile
Your personality is: choleric
Your season is: summer
Your element is: fire
Your qualities are: hot and dry
Your color is: yellow
Your organ is: the liver
Your lunar phase is: the full moon
Your opposing humor is: phlegm

When yellow bile dominates, an individual is quick to anger. Choleric personalities (cholera meaning yellow as in yellow fever) are often violent and vengeful.

Black Hellebore, which is known for its laxative properties, purges lower tracts of phlegm and choleric humors.

Avoid herbs with a bitter taste, as they are most likely to promote yellow bile.

Choler is hot and dry, begotten of the hotter parts of the chylus, and gathered to the gall. It helps the natural heat and senses.

(Muchas gracias: LAN3 at The Sound and Fury, whose humors are far better balanced than mine.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:14 AM)
6 October 2003
To no one's amazement

This Big Five Personality Test is currently making the rounds, and, well, how am I going to resist a deal like that?

The Big Five Personality Test
Extroverted|||||||||| 36%
Introverted |||||||||||||||| 64%
Friendly |||||||||| 40%
Aggressive |||||||||||||| 60%
Orderly |||||||||||||||| 70%
Disorderly |||||| 30%
Relaxed |||| 16%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Practical |||||| 30%
Take Free Big 5 Personality Test

Now go away before I have a panic attack.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:36 AM)
24 October 2003
The Acidman quiz

Well, why the hell not? The original is here.

1) Does anybody really see a correlation between the size of a man's feet or his nose and the size of his penis?

I wear a size 14 shoe, and my glasses fit; I don't think there is any such correlation.

2) If you are a woman, would you ever get a tit-job? If so, why?

Not applicable, though if I were, I don't think I could afford a good one, and I don't think I could afford the misery of a bad one.

3) If you are a man, would you buy a bionic Roscoe if your dick quit working? If so, why?

It's not like the ol' YCB* is getting any kind of a workout anyway, so probably not.

4) Did you ever sleep with someone and wake up in the morning unable to remember their name? If not, WHY NOT?

No, because the sample size is too small to justify this level of forgetfulness.

5) Which would you rather have for a pet? A DOG or a CAT? If you answer "cat," you've got some serious explaining to do.

Cats are more like me — surly, uncommunicative, indifferent — all of which are probably good arguments for dogs.

6) Do you eat grits for breakfast?

I have before, though not lately; usually I skip breakfast altogether, on the dubious basis that I need those few extra minutes of sleep more than I need a sloshing of nutrient-like substances.

7) What is the most dumb-ass thing you ever did in your life? Was it fun or has it haunted you for years?

I actually fell for the armorer's request for a left-handed barrel stabilizer while I was a lowly E-1.

8) Do you exceed the speed limit regularly when you drive, or just do it occasionally? Don't tell me that you NEVER SPEED you lying shit! Tell the truth!

Most places I go, going the speed limit is an invitation to tailgaters.

9) Describe the happiest day you can remember living.

Working on it yet.

10) Do you believe that some things are worth dying for? If so, name one thing worth dying for and tell me why you feel so strongly about it.

When I joined the Army in 1972, it was mostly because I expected to get drafted and wanted some small say in what they did to me. But a few years of wearing the uniform convinced me that there is merit in the traditional American approach to world affairs, i.e. issue platitudes then kick ass, and if the time comes when we're all needed, well, you've already seen my platitudes.

* Yugoslavian Crotch Bugle. Don't ask.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:37 AM)
8 November 2003
Ransack a mung fig

Once again, the blogosphere has seized on a meme which I've already beaten to death, but what the hell. I mean, what's a few extra strokes to the deceased equine, anyway?

I was in a semi-jaunty mood, remarkably so considering it's cold and damp and dreary outside and the inside of my head is awash in histamine, so I went ahead and plugged the name of the Resonant Tuscan's blog into the generator, and was rewarded with A NICE HOT BUST, not to mention STOIC BANE HUT and USE BATH TONIC and THE COUSIN TAB and SNUB TO THE CIA and ESTONIA BUTCH and AUTHENTIC SOB.

I do hope she's still speaking to me. (And that goes for Shari Rae Darn at Taut Chrome Doom, too.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 8:04 PM)
20 February 2004
It goes to show you never can tell

Lesley at Plum Crazy passes on this insane but simple meme:

[T]urn on your mp3 player, set it to random, and list the first 20 songs that play, regardless of how embarrassing.

Well, okay. There are 1331 songs on the playlist on this box, mostly fairly mainstream. Let's see what happens:

  1. "Silhouettes," a case of mistaken identity in the Herman's Hermits remake.

  2. "Wonderland by Night," Bert Kaempfert's lovely instrumental with a hair-raising trumpet part.

  3. "Zip Code", the Five Americans once again turning a communications medium into a song (cf. "Western Union").

  4. "No More Mr. Nice Guy," the Alice Cooper manifesto.

  5. "Flowers on the Wall," the Statler Brothers statement on loneliness.

  6. "Loser," transmogrified from the Beck original into ultra-lounge by Richard Cheese.

  7. "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head", B. J. Thomas reminding us of Butch and Sundance.

  8. "Diamonds and Rust," in which Joan Baez remembers what used to be.

  9. "Wild Thing," an example of Boston Soul from the pseudonymous "Senator Bobby."

10. "The Loco-Motion", a little bit of rhythm and a lot of soul from Little Eva.

11. "Let Me Go the Right Way," a very early Supremes track with Florence, rather than Diana, on lead.

12. "I'm So Lonesome I Could Cry," another shot of B. J. Thomas, this time channeling Hank Williams.

13. "Walking in the Rain," the Ronettes speculating about Mr. Right with help from Phil Spector's Wall of Sound.

14. "Walk Away," Donna Summer's blend of torch and dance.

15. "Kazooed on Klassics," by the Temple City Kazoo Orchestra, which I hope needs no explanation.

16. "Electric Avenue," in which Eddy Grant anticipates a department at Montgomery Ward.

17. "Courtney Love Stinks," a Bob Rivers Twisted Tune.

18. "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)," dark sarcasm from Pink Floyd.

19. "When Liking Turns to Loving," Ronnie Dove on the cusp.

20. "Metamorphosis," a ten-minute sonata of sorts by a mid-Seventies version of Curved Air.

If nothing else, this might explain why I usually keep the radio on the classical station, or spin one of the 40 CD-Rs I store at deskside.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:15 AM)
9 June 2004
Gone to pieces, bits and pieces

This started with retroCRUSH's 50 Coolest Song Parts survey, which is based on the perfectly reasonable notion that "sometimes there are pieces of songs that are cooler than the song itself." With a nod to Michele, who's already worked up a list, here are some of my favorite fragments. The criterion for inclusion is simple: does it make the hair on the back of my neck stand up, even now, however many years later? These do.

  • The very last line of "Rag Doll," the 4 Seasons (Philips, 1964), in which Frankie Valli proclaims, "I love you just the way you are."

  • Hal Blaine's drum break, leading into the outro to the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" (Philles, 1963).

  • Roger Daltrey's scream right before "Meet the new boss / Same as the old boss" in the Who's "Won't Get Fooled Again" (Decca, 1971).

  • "It doesn't matter what you wear / Just as long as you are there" in "Dancing in the Street", Martha and the Vandellas (Gordy, 1964).

  • The second instrumental break (the one without the sound effects) and the outro of the Lovin' Spoonful's "Summer in the City" (Kama Sutra, 1966).

  • Jimi Hendrix' extended break in the middle of "All Along the Watchtower" (Reprise, 1970).

  • Diana Ross' cries of "I'll always love you" in the outro of the Supremes' "Love Child" (Motown, 1968).

  • The interplay of drum and piano after Badfinger sing the title of "Day After Day" (Apple, 1971).

  • The a cappella section midway through the Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" (Capitol, 1966).

  • Silence, followed by a fierce drum pounding, and then "Came the dawn", twice in "I Had Too Much to Dream (Last Night)" by the Electric Prunes (Reprise, 1966).

  • "One, two, three, FOUR!" The Beatles, "I Saw Her Standing There" (Capitol, 1964).

  • The ersatz Wall of Sound surrounding T. Rex's "Metal Guru" (Reprise, 1972).

  • The stop-time beat right before the invocation of the title, all through Lesley Gore's "That's the Way Boys Are" (Mercury, 1965).

  • "At the bottom of this mine lies a big, big man: Big John." Jimmy Dean, "Big Bad John" (Columbia, 1961).

  • The six-note riff that opens J. J. Jackson's "But It's Alright" (Calla, 1966).

  • "You're so vain / You probably think this song is about you." Carly Simon, "You're So Vain" (Elektra, 1972).

  • The plodding, almost sorrowful opening to Jimmy Ruffin's "What Becomes of the Brokenhearted" (Soul, 1966).

  • The spooky opening to "With You There to Help Me," the lead track from Jethro Tull's Benefit (Reprise, 1970).

  • The fade of the Walker Brothers' "The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine (Anymore)" (Smash, 1966).

  • Arthur Alexander's rueful "Every girl I've ever had / Breaks my heart and leaves me sad / What am I, what am I supposed to do?" in "Anna" (Dot, 1962).

  • Whatever the hell that is in the middle of the Trashmen's "Surfin' Bird" (Garrett, 1963).

Feel free to contribute your own bits.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:29 AM)
22 June 2004
Alphabet soup for you

(Swiped from Dave.)

Act your age?  If I have to, I suppose.

Born on what day of the week?  Wednesday's child, full of woe (full of something, anyway).

Chore you hate?  Washing dishes; fortunately, there aren't many.

Dad's name?  Ged. Not with a J, but with a G. And a hard G at that.

Essential makeup item?  Does sunscreen count?

Favorite actor?  The late Gene Kelly.

Gold or silver?  Gimme silver.

Hometown?  Born in Illinois, grew up in South Carolina, wound up in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

Instruments you play?  I can pick out something vaguely tunelike on most piano-type keyboards.

Job title?  "System Operator and General Flunky." Okay, forget the "general."

Kids?  Two. (Gender division: one of each.)

Living arrangements?  I own my own home, or at least the 1/200th of it that's paid for.

Mom's name?  Bette. Not with a Y, but with an E.

Need?  A knee operation, and a functioning oil well to pay for it.

Overnight hospital stays?  2000, when my blood pressure dropped off the scale and random pains came in to fill the gap.

Phobias?  Certainly claustro.

Quote you like?  See "It is written" (left column, main page) for sample.

Religious affiliation?  Deist with vaguely-Christian leanings.

Siblings?  Four: two boys, who survive, and two girls, who don't.

Time you wake up?  5:55 am on weekdays, though it usually takes me to 6:01 to bestir myself. Weekends are anyone's guess.

Unique talent?  You're soaking in it.

Vegetable you refuse to eat?  Zucchini. Deal with it.

Worst habit?  Like I have good ones?

X-rays you've had?  Mostly dental, with the occasional chestal.

Yummy food you make?  I am a genuinely lousy cook.

Zodiac Sign?  Sagittarius, who never believed in those things anyway.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:35 AM)
18 September 2004
The last few bars

Lynn S. says that these are the greatest symphonic endings of all time:

Dvorak's Stabat Mater
Beethoven's 5th Symphony
Dvorak's 9th Symphony
Rossini's William Tell Overture
Mussorgsky's Night on Bald Mountain (the Rimsky-Korsakov orchestration)

An impressive set. I might suggest the following for #6 and below:

  • Prokofiev's Piano Concerto No. 3 (always makes me hyperventilate)

  • Ravel's Boléro (yeah, I know, we're glad it's over)

  • Haydn's Symphony No. 60 (the fake ending after the fourth movement; there are two movements to come)

  • Holst's The Planets (pick either the end of "Mars," which is thunderous and scary, or the end of "Neptune", which is ethereal and almost as scary)

Hmmm. Wonder if next we should try beginnings?

(Update, 8:20 pm: Greg Hlatky offers his Top Ten, which duplicates none of the above.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 12:32 AM)
29 December 2004
I suspect they all do that

This is what happens when I get seriously deranged and start doing quizzes, fercrissake.

Which Mozart Opera Does Your Life Most Resemble? brought to you by Quizilla
Cosi fan tutte

For a complete synopsis, see http://www.metopera.org/synopses/cosi.html.

(Spurred on by Lynn S., who has successfully passed fifteen.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:29 AM)
26 January 2005
Filler? We got some

The Music Meme, by way of Syaffolee:

1) What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

11.5 GB, more or less, but probably more.

2) The CD you last bought was

Overflow by Tanisha Taitt.

3) What is the song you last listened to before reading this message?

"Last Night" by the Mar-Keys.

4) Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you:

"Runaway," Del Shannon (Del Shannon-Max Crook)

"Anyone Who Had a Heart," Dionne Warwick (Burt Bacharach-Hal David)

"Rag Doll," the Four Seasons (Bob Crewe-Bob Gaudio)

"Wichita Lineman," Glen Campbell (Jimmy Webb)

"It's One of Those Nights," the Partridge Family (Tony Romeo)

5) To whom (three people) are you going to pass this stick? And why?

It's open to anyone who wants it; I'm not going to email it or anything.

Permalink to this item (posted at 2:42 PM)
30 January 2005
Yet another silly meme

Not that I'm above silly memes, of course.

How this one works:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the "coolest" book you can find. Do what's actually next to you.

From Born Grown: An Oklahoma City History by Roy P. Stewart (Oklahoma City: Fidelity Bank, National Association, 1974):

"In 1976 the American Bowling Congress tournament will come to Oklahoma City for the first time, setting up its own lanes in the Myriad."

Jim Schroeder won the singles title with a 750 series. The ABC became part of the United States Bowling Congress on the first of January, 2005.

Well, you know, I hate to leave a story unfinished.

(Via Phoebe Gleeson.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 5:03 AM)
23 February 2005
Locational meme

It's called, simply, where you've been.

bold the states you've been to, underline the states you've lived in and italicize the state you're in now...

Alabama / Alaska / Arizona / Arkansas / California / Colorado / Connecticut / Delaware / Florida / Georgia / Hawaii / Idaho / Illinois / Indiana / Iowa / Kansas / Kentucky / Louisiana / Maine / Maryland / Massachusetts / Michigan / Minnesota / Mississippi / Missouri / Montana / Nebraska / Nevada / New Hampshire / New Jersey / New Mexico / New York / North Carolina / North Dakota / Ohio / Oklahoma / Oregon / Pennsylvania / Rhode Island / South Carolina / South Dakota / Tennessee / Texas / Utah / Vermont / Virginia / Washington / West Virginia / Wisconsin / Wyoming / Washington D.C. /

For some reason, this made me think of an old Jack Benny radio show. There was a contest in which you were to complete the following in 25 words or less: I can't stand Jack Benny because...

WWII was going full-tilt at the time, so prizes of Victory Bonds were awarded. And one day on the show, Rochester is opening one of the bazillions of envelopes received, and announces, "Here's one from Fred Allen."

"Fred Allen?" says Jack. "He can't enter. He's a judge."

"Just the same," insists Rochester. "He says, 'I can't stand Jack Benny because...' and then he lists the reasons, alphabetically, chronologically, and geographically."


"Yeah. He can't stand you any place."

Given the amount of moving around I've done, I'm wondering if they (whoever "they" are) can't stand me any place.

Go HERE to have a form generate the HTML for you.

(Snatched from Accidental Verbosity.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:56 PM)
19 March 2005
By the numbers

Michele's been looking for songs with numbers in their titles.

Two years ago I put together a CD-R, a foreshortened version (with some songs shuffled) of an earlier mix tape. The track list follows:

  • One (Three Dog Night)
  • Two Divided by Love (The Grass Roots)
  • Knock Three Times (Dawn)
  • Let the Four Winds Blow (Fats Domino)
  • Five O'Clock World (The Vogues)
  • Six Man Band (The Association)
  • Seven Little Girls Sitting in the Back Seat (Paul Evans and the Curls)
  • Eight Days a Week (The Beatles)
  • Love Potion No. 9 (The Searchers)
  • Ten Commandments of Love (Harvey and the Moonglows)
  • Twelve Thirty (The Mamas and the Papas)
  • Only Sixteen (Sam Cooke)
  • At Seventeen (Janis Ian)
  • Eighteen with a Bullet (Pete Wingfield)
  • 19th Nervous Breakdown (The Rolling Stones)
  • Twenty Flight Rock (Eddie Cochran)
  • Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa (Gene Pitney)
  • 25 or 6 to 4 (Chicago)
  • 26 Miles (The Four Preps)
  • Forty Days (Ronnie Hawkins)
  • Sixty Minute Man (Billy Ward and the Dominoes)
  • When I'm Sixty-Four (The Beatles)
  • Questions 67 and 68 (Chicago)
  • Rocket 88 (Jackie Brenston and his Delta Cats)
  • 96 Tears (? and the Mysterians)
  • 98.6 (Keith)
  • A Hundred Pounds of Clay (Gene McDaniels)

Incidentally, "Forty Days" is the same song as Chuck Berry's "Thirty Days." The tape version substituted Boyd Bennett's "Seventeen" and Alice Cooper's "I'm Eighteen," the Clovers' version of "Love Potion No. 9," and added Nena's "99 Luftballons" and the Drifters' "Three Thirty Three."

Playing time: 79:30. Not available on Wendex Records (111077-2).

By the Numbers

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:31 AM)
29 March 2005
From the Metaquestion Box

Heavy stuff from Babs:

[W]here is the line between blogging for ones own enjoyment and the responsibility of maintaining a public blog?

Right about here: ________________________

I did that because (1) I enjoyed it, lame as it was, and (2) I figure there are at least two or three readers who will accept it in the spirit in which it was given. (The Snark was a Boojum, you see.)

I do try to shove something up here at least once a day. (In practice, it's more like four or five times a day, assuming I'm not on Tour.) And I'm not above coming up with items that will elicit responses from specific individuals who are known to frequent this site; by so doing, I create the illusion of dialogue, which may not sound impressive until you compare it to the average monologue.

As the dean kucinich of Oklahoma bloggers, I have certain responsibilities, one of which is that I should occasionally write about things in Oklahoma. I feel that I occasionally meet this standard. However, I do try to avoid the appearance of tunnel vision, especially since I am not qualified in the field of proctology. (If I were, admittedly, it would at least afford me a different perspective during my bouts of navel-gazing.)

And, of course, I blog to meet girls. This works extremely well for some people, less well for others, and by "others" I mean "me."

But beyond that, I figure once it ceases to be fun, I probably should go look for some other avocation, even though the replacement will probably cost more (at its worst, running this place runs twentyish a month) and do less to shore up my insufficiently-outsized ego.

Besides, I've run this site for almost nine freaking years. As commitments go, this has to be one of the longer ones in my life. It's certainly the one that's caused me the least dyspepsia.

Permalink to this item (posted at 7:00 AM)
15 April 2005
Who wants to know?

Well, well, more questions. Why not?

1. Have you ever felt left out or gotten your feelings hurt by another blogger? For example ... (PURELY HYPOTHETICALLY) Say a person asks you and four other people the same question, which you all answer in different ways. Then you run across a totally different blog, and that author has linked to every person's answer except yours.

No difference to me; I don't always work in every last possible link, nor do I expect the rest of the 'sphere to do so.

2. Do you become (even slightly) emotionally involved with your posts?

The good ones, yes. Fortunately, they are a minority.

3. Knowing that a blog is NOT the sum total of the author's parts ... tell me if you would agree or disagree (and WHY you agree or disagree) with the following statement:

Regardless of the material posted, aspects of the author's personality inevitably bleed through, unless every post they make is plagiarized.

How could they not? I figure someone could write a frighteningly detailed, spectacularly slow-selling book about me based solely upon the archives here.

And finally... 4. If you eat pasta together with anti-pasta ... will you feel as though you haven't eaten?

Hardly. You're simply transported to another world, known familiarly as the calzone.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:30 AM)
6 May 2005
At least there's only ten

The ten questions asked by James Lipton on Inside the Actors Studio, originally compiled by Bernard Pivot, have now made it as far as A Small Victory, and, well, if Michele can do these, so can I.

  1. What is your favorite word?

  2. What is your least favorite word?

  3. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
    The willingness to break beyond the superficial.

  4. What turns you off?
    Preconceived notions.

  5. What is your favorite curse word?
    Apart from the F-bomb, I tend to fall back on the Modified Savior (as in, say, "Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ!")

  6. What sound or noise do you love?
    First rustle of birds an hour before sunrise.

  7. What sound or noise do you hate?
    Squealing brakes.

  8. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

  9. What profession would you not like to do?
    Anything that requires me to deal with self-proclaimed "sportsmen" and that doesn't involve firearms.

  10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
    "I had a lot fewer doubts than you did, but you know that now."

Pass it on, as they say.

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:13 AM)
16 May 2005
Well, I never!

Make of these what you will.

I have never:

  • Eaten oysters.
  • Visited the Pacific Northwest.
  • Dated a redhead.
  • Owned a pickup truck.
  • Seen Titanic.
  • Ordered a Big Mac.
  • Desecrated a Koran.
  • Attended an NFL game.
  • Gone skiing.
  • Looked good on television.

(Via Accidental Verbosity.)

Permalink to this item (posted at 9:11 AM)
25 May 2005
Recycled meme

Dear LilRed:

I've already answered this survey.

Updates in the four months since then:

Total volume: 12 GB

Last CD bought: The Originals, Susan and the SurfTones

Last song heard: "Wingding," Thurl Ravenscroft (courtesy of Lileks)

But thanks for asking.

Permalink to this item (posted at 10:00 AM)
8 June 2005
Books? We got some

How the mighty have fallen. Tony Blair comes to America with hat in hand and is sent away without even the hat; Jimmy Carter is reduced to pleading on behalf of the scuzzballs at Guantanamo; and, perhaps most startlingly, Francis W. Porretto passes on a meme. What is this world coming to?

Oh, well. To the business at hand:

1. The number of books I own.
It seems churlish actually to count them, but my best guess is 1100. (There are also about 1200 magazines around here, boxed, and not particularly neatly boxed at that.)

2. The last book I bought.
Kim du Toit's novel Vienna Days.

3. The last book I read.
Laurie Notaro's memoir (or whatever it is) We Thought You Would Be Prettier.

4. Five books that mean a lot to me.

  • Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
  • H. Allen Smith, How to Write Without Knowing Nothing
  • Robert Townsend, Up the Organization: How to Stop the Corporation from Stifling People and Strangling Profits
  • Mark Twain, The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson
  • Meredith Willson, Eggs I Have Laid

Pick up on it if you like; I hate inflicting these things on people.

Permalink to this item (posted at 11:23 AM)
20 June 2005
Return engagement

At the request of Cam Edwards: five books I liked enough as a teen/young adult to read again as an adult.

1. Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
I picked up on this at the beginning of the Seventies, when it was considered the hip read of the times. And I suppose it's a measure of something that the one character I connected to most strongly on a personal level at the time was the curmudgeonly Jubal Harshaw, whose distaste for the foibles of the world was exceeded only by his fondness for the fair sex, but the one I ultimately found most relevant to my own existence was his secretary Anne (did she even have a last name?), an official Fair Witness, who, when enrobed and therefore on duty, was expected to give the most accurate appraisal of any given situation. Would that I could be so discriminating myself.

2. Vladimir Nabokov, Lolita
I read this mostly so I wouldn't have to see the movie, which struck me as kinda creepy. While most of the sexual references went right over my head, obsession and possessiveness were concepts I could easily grasp, concepts I vowed (not exactly successfully) to avoid in my own life.

3. Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, Teaching as a Subversive Activity
Published in 1969 and bought by me the next year, this is a guide to getting ideas past the mossbacks on the right who were presumably in charge of the education establishment in those days, and it's nearly as useful for getting ideas past the mossbacks on the left who are presumably in charge of the education establishment in these days — provided you blow off the last chapter, which embraces moral relativism in the classic sanctimonious Sixties style.

4. Dodie Smith, I Capture the Castle
I've talked about this one before; it is, I suppose, an odd choice for a teenage boy, inasmuch as it's the journal of a teenage girl who's in love with someone unattainable and the one boy who fancies her is kind of a dork and she wouldn't have him on a bet, and — well, maybe it's not so odd after all.

5. Frank Yerby, The Foxes of Harrow
Yerby's specialty was the historical novel, often set in the American South, and this was his first: the tale of a rakish Irish fellow named Stephen Fox, or, as the folks of New Orleans were wont to call him, "Etienne Reynard," who builds (well, actually, absorbs) a magnificent spread in Louisiana and then manages to piss it away in his pursuit of a young lady of, um, dubious ethnicity. I found this fascinating, not only for Fox's ruthless attempts to achieve surface respectability, but for his willingness to risk it all for horizontal calisthenics. Having experienced none such at the time myself, I figure my own expectations were thenceforth distorted.

Permalink to this item (posted at 6:22 AM)
1 July 2005
Under the general heading of TMI

What this is all about can be found here. Here's the procedure:


Overview: This post is a community experiment with two broad purposes. The first is to create publicly accessible data about bloggers' personalities, which may have sociological value in addition to being just plain fun. The second is to track the propagation of this meme through blogspace.

Instructions (to join in the experiment):

  1. Take the IPIP-NEO personality test and the Political Compass quiz, if you have not done so already.

  2. Copy to the clipboard that section of this post that is between the double lines, and paste it into your blog editor. (Blogger users may wish to use 'compose' mode to preserve formatting and hyperlinks. Otherwise, be sure to add hyperlinks as necessary.)

  3. Replace the answers in the "survey" section below with your own.

  4. Add your blog information to the "track list", in the form: "Linked title - URL - optional GUID".

  5. Any additional comments should go outside of the double lines, including the (optional) nomination of bloggers you wish to pass this experimental meme on to.

  6. Post it to your blog!

[My own responses are after the jump, which is also where you'll find the second set of double lines. Delete this paragraph if you're copying from me.]


Age: 51
Gender: Male
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Religion: Generic Christian
Occupation: Computer systems operator
Began blogging (dd/mm/yy): 06/23/00

Political Compass results:

Economic Left/Right: -2.00
Authoritarian/Libertarian: -3.90

IPIP-NEO results:

  Friendliness: 3
  Gregariousness: 10
  Assertiveness: 42
  Activity Level: 29