The following is a meme. So far as I can tell, it was derived by the Incurable Insomniac; I am putting it here instead of on the blog because some of these questions require me to be slightly less flippant than usual. Not that I expect to be deadly serious for an entire page, of course.
What has surprised you most about your life as an adult?
The fact that it's still going on. At no time in my life have I ever been able to look more than five or six years ahead, for the simple reason that I didn't expect to be around five or six more years. The fact that up to now this assessment has always been wrong has not altered the perspective in the slightest: I have no idea what life will be like in my sixties, which begin just over six years from now. The new incurable disease doesn't help in the slightest, despite the fact that my other chronic conditions continue to respond well to treatment.
My life would be easier if...
I weren't so absolutely convinced that I was going to spend the rest of it alone.
My secret vice?
After eleven and a half years of this Web site, I don't think I have any secrets anymore.
What part of your appearance are you most happy with?
You'd have to amend that from "most happy" to "least unhappy," since I have never been particularly fond of the way I look. On the other hand, carrying a few extra pounds seems to have kept down the wrinkles. (Not that I recommend this method to anyone.) And unlike most guys not actually suffering from weird pituitary malfunctions, I sometimes wish I were a couple of inches shorter, if only to simplify the task of ducking down into an automobile. That said, my level of body acceptance is not especially low: were it so, I'd have to go to a lot more trouble to avoid mirrors.
Any talent I have surely is unknown; I'm not aware of any.
The most important question in the world right now?
Do we continue to follow the path drawn for us by the Enlightenment, or do we indulge ourselves in activities that make us feel good but contribute nothing to our own welfare or to anyone else's?
When is a good time to pull a white lie?
Even the whitest of lies has a tinge of grey, a vestige of the blackness at the heart of it. My criteria are: (1) beyond the deception itself, it must have no consequences, and (2) the alternative must be seen to be much, much worse.
What was your first job?
I delivered the Charleston Evening Post (since combined with The News and Courier) after school. I occasionally mowed lawns, but this was seasonal at best.
What is the best thing which can be bought for money?
I'm not entirely sure, but I suspect that the lower it is on Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, the more likely it is to be a good purchase; things nearer the top either cannot be bought, or can be bought only in low-quality forms.
Which personal ability are you most pleased with?
The ability to string a number of sentences together and pass them off as an article.
My best buy?
Probably the palatial estate at Surlywood, which serves as something of an anchor point for my existence. During most of my life I had no such grounding, and occasionally the lack thereof would cause me grief.
What do you pull out of the hat if you get surprise visitors?
The car keys, followed by "Let's run over to [fill in name of restaurant appropriate for said visitors]."
What can get you to NOT want to get up in the morning?
The thought of going to work is usually enough by itself.
What are you most proud of in your life?
I think it's the fact that my children and their children seem comparatively normal, a term I would probably never apply to myself.