Oy! She’s Posting Questions Again!!!

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Yes, I am.

Wanna make something of it? I shall continue to do this once a month.

Actually, the reason why I post these questions is strictly mercenary. Mainly, it’s because it’s a quick and easy post, they’re thought provoking and telling, plus you kids really seem to like them.

And why not? This is YOU we’re talking about.

One of the first things you learn as a neophyte reporter is that when given the opportunity, people will always willingly talk about themselves. Sometimes, even the shyest person will open up, to a degree. And if you can do it in the comment section of a blog where you can be completely honest while being completely anonymous???

Well, that THAT’S the mother f-ing blogging motherload.!!!

Let us plow through shall we, kiddies?

••••••••

1. Regardless of your current age, describe the person you are now in 2008 as opposed to the person you were in 1988. Other than the actual process of aging, what’s been the biggest reason for your biggest change?

2. Name the smell you remember as a child that continues to elicit a visceral reaction within you today. Do you remember the olfactory sensations when your mother or grandmother baked cookies at Christmas? Does the smell of freshly cut grass after your father mowed the front lawn make you hearken back to your days as a schoolboy? What about your first boyfriend’s cologne? The smell of paste in first grade?

Tell me what the smell is and what it conjures emotionally–good or bad– and why you remember it as you do.

3. Tell me about your very first life lesson. How old were you; what did it include? What were the circumstances? Let’s talk impact—does the lesson that was learned still resonate with you as an adult?

4. Tell me what moves you emotionally. What ‘moves” you deeply? Hearing the national anthem choke you up? Looking at a sunset? Do you get emotion watching a U.S. flag unfurl? Weddings? Hearing a baby’s laugh?

And finally…..

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5. You have the uniquely morbid task of creating the epitaph in your own headstone. The epitaph is the last two lines in the example above. It in effect, sums up your life. You can use NO MORE THAN EIGHT WORDS.

This is your sign off, your goodbye and your last dalliance with narcissism. That being the case said, what would you say?

22 comments

  1. 1. Me in 1988: A pastel-wearing, alternative rock junkie who was brainwashed by liberal econ professors into voting for Jesse Jackson in the primary. (I ended up voting for Bush Sr….I mean, c’mon. Michael Dukakis?)
    Me in 2008: A jeans and golf-shirt wearing, ’80’s music junkie who had his head yanked out of the sand on 9/11.

    2. Two smells…cut grass: reminds me of my kidhood in Northern Virginia during the summer time…little league baseball, my grandfather’s back yard, the hum of crickets on a warm summer night.
    2nd smell: Southern California barranca and tall grass…reminds me of when I first moved here in 6th grade…

    3. First life lesson: Watching my mom and dad fight when I was four. I determined right then and there, I would never fight with my wife like that. I’m 42 and have never had the chance to back that vow up.

    4. I still get extremely choked up during the last 30 seconds of the “Miracle on Ice”. USA! USA!
    Tell me this doesn’t choke you up:

    5. “He didn’t suck”

  2. 1) Much older agreed. My biggest reason for change-a death of a child.

    2) The smell was mother’s perfume-I wear it now. Her homeade cinnamon rolls she made for Christmas breakfast, her roasts, fresh mowed grass and the sounds and smells permeated the house when she and daddy would entertain.

    3) Life lesson happened late in life. Life is so short on earth-live it to the fullest. It can be taken away quickly.

    4) One of SA’s radio stations plays our national anthem and it chokes me up every time I hear it.

    5) My epitaph-“You ain’t seen nothing yet”

  3. 1. 1988: Immature juvenile high school junior with a mullet. 2008: Immature juvenile software developer with no hair at all.

    2. Smelling a fireplace outside on a cold winter day. It reminds me of my grandparents’ home in Ohio. I miss them greatly.

    3. First life lesson: don’t lie to the parents. They know, and they’ll make your life miserable if you try! That still applies to this day.

    4. What moves me emotionally? Children with disabilities or some kind of debilitating disease. I used to detest God for doing that to kids, until Jan. 1, 2006, when a trip to church changed my view on that. I’ll spare you the story, but suffice it to say, my large posterior breaks down into a sobbing wench when I see or think about kids with autism, cancer, etc.

    5. “OK, he DID suck…but not THAT much!”

  4. 1. In 1988 I was a new college grad ready to take on the world. In 2008, I’m resigned to just take on my personal life – not the whole world. Wiser, better looking, realistic. I’m a counselor, not the know it all.

    2. The thing I can smell when I close my eyes and drift back to my childhood is my dad’s repair shop. Everything from fresh oil and gas to the smell of the “cooker” used to clean sludge out of car radiators. That thing was filled with black water and god knows what kinds of chemicals – I’m sure it would have given Chemical Ali a hard on.

    3. The life lesson I learned at an early age was all about respecting others. The most helpful life lesson came later in life: Trust then verify.

    4. I am moved by live music of almost any kind, but especially when I hear songs I know performed in a live venue. For example, when Prince played the Xcel Energy Center and hit the chords for “Purple Rain” my heart was seriously in my throat.

    5. My epitaph: “For the journey is done and the summit attained…” -Robert Browning

  5. 1. 1988 I was five so clearly much has happened since then. I think my biggest reason for change occured in 2007 when my husband and I split up. I’m now learning to be completely independent. Never really experienced true independence before.

    2. The smell of fresh vegetables. Beans to be specific. At my grandmother’s house we always shelled beans when I was little. I miss that.

    3. That lying, no matter how minor is wrong. People find out, lies hurt people. That hit home once again when my marriage ended. Being honest and communicating is the most important thing in a relationship.

    4. Music. It has been one of the most important parts of my life for as long as I can remember. It moves me to listen, it moves me to play. I have a constant soundtrack in my mind and occasionlly will burst out into song.

    5. “She lived and loved with passion.”

  6. 1. grandkids and vicodin
    2. “heaven scent” perfume…denise wore it in 10th grade
    3. as the fear grows, the bad blood slows and turns to stone
    4. jimi hendrix playing the blues
    5. “damn, he forgot our private ‘safety’ word”

  7. 1. 1988-I was not a very self-confident woman. I was extermely busy raising four kids(alone most of the time due to my husband’s job)and full of self pity and blame.
    Today-I’m more confident. Finished raising the kids. Almost retired(husband is retired) I have accepted my faults and am not as “pitiful” as I use to be. Overall, darn happy….
    2. I remember the Lysol smell of our house on Thursdays(Harvey our cleaning lady came then). Everything was spotless and smelled sooooo clean. Wish I could have that same thing now happening in my life!
    3. I was very distraught and confused about a certain experience with a close family member and went for advice from our Pastor. He listened to me moan and cry and then told me about people’s choices in life cause other people to make choices and it was perfectly OK to give yourself that right. It was a huge life changing statement for me and I have adopted the rest of my life.
    4.Hearing two songs-one sung at my Grandmother’s funeral 39 years ago, The Garden and the other one played at my niece’s funeral. Also, I heard the arrangement of the National Anthem played at noon that Karol talked about and it’s the most beautiful one I have ever heard. It’s on KONO radion station in S.A.
    5. “Remember me with smiles and laughter-for that’s how I will think of you all-if you only remember me with tears, then don’t remember me at all.”

  8. 1. 37 vs. 17. Wow.
    Me then: straight but in a relationship with my female best friend, entered into largely because I think guys aren’t into me. 116 lbs. but think I’m chubby and about as sexy as a stuffed bunny rabbit. Cute and bubbly are my nemeses: I long to be tall and haughty.
    Me now: lesbian but very comfortable with my attractiveness to (and occasional attraction to) men. 116 lbs and love my body. Cute and bubbly are wonderful and now interspersed with a different sort of self-possession.

    2. Two smells: cut Christmas trees (good Jew that I am, recalls the delight of Christmases in my family) and wood fires: warmth, security.

    3. On an airplane, looking down at ribbons of highways with cars driving along them and realizing, all of a sudden, that there were millions and millions of people with lives totally unconnected to and unaware of mine, and whose lives I, too, knew nothing about.

    4. I live for the things that move me deeply, and am hoping there will be more of them as I continue to unpeel the layers of protection I’ve built over myself over the past 30 or so years. Tastes of foods I love move me: the sweet, milky pop of fresh summer corn on the cob; the chewy saltiness of fresh mozzarella cheese; the mouth-filling richness of really good dark chocolate. Great orgasms make me laugh out loud, giddy and heady with sheer pleasure. And music…hearing “The Leader of the Band” by Dan Fogelberg (who died recently) or that song where the two estranged lovers meet and don’t really connect except through memories, or Barbra Streisand and Neil Diamond singing “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers”…what am I, 60?

    5. Assuming I get my way, I will be cremated and my ashes thrown over the kettle ponds in Wellfleet, MA, so there won’t be any headstone for me. But if there were, I think I’d want it to say “she lived by example.”

    Thanks for this!

  9. 1. 1988, The last day of active duty on a thirty year military career, still a vibrant physically active man. A debilitating adult onset disease has had me degrading physically ever since. Next stop, assisted living.

    2. The smell of the lake early in the morning. It reminds me of all the good things in my life growing up.

    3. When I was in the first grade, I found a dollar bill on the playground which I turned over to the teacher. A month later, I received a letter from the school principal along with the dollar. In the letter, he praised me for my honesty and that my parents must be very proud. That simple lesson has stayed with me my entire life.

    4. The Marines Hymn, the National Anthem (played by a band, not sung) and military aircraft (the sound of freedom) passing over head will turn me into jelly.

    5. Gone already? He was a good friend.

  10. 1. Hmm, in 1988 I was 13, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it would have to be the maturing of my my worldview that’s driven the rest of the changes. For example, today I know that the world extends far beyond the range of my 10-speed. And that there are a lot of bad people in the world. But that there are also a lot of good people too.

    2. I remember my dad’s Polo cologne…we bought him a gallon jug of it one Christmas and it lasted for years. He very well could still be using the same bottle. Not sure it applies, but the most memorable scent to me is the perfume of an ex-girlfriend. The relationship ended very badly, and I get these flashbacks whenever I happen across someone wearing it. The bad part is that I don’t know what it’s called in order to avoid it.

    3. Very first life lesson, learned over and over: Gravity hurts.

    4. Hearing the national anthem always gets me, as cliché as it sounds. If I pause to reflect on the flag I get the same feeling. Cemeteries also call to mind some emotion, regardless of if I know someone buried there or not.

    5. My epitaph, huh? In my last eight words to this world, I wouldn’t be able to avoid being a smartass: Hey you, watch where you’re walking.

  11. 1. 1988, long haired 9yr. old that collected baseball cards. 2008, shaved head, still a 9yr. old but now I collect disability checks from the VA.
    2. The smell of rain. Pisses me off. Reminds me of days where I had to stay inside.
    3. Don’t trust mom.
    4. National Anthem, “If You’re Reading This” by Tim McGraw.
    5. As you pass go, please kiss my ass. Yeah, that’s about right.

  12. 1. LK in 1988: I was out of work, in a horrible relationship. Hopeless and broke and contemplating my future and uncertain about all of it.

    LK in 2008. Nothing has changed. Save for the relationship part, I’m exactly where I was 20 -years ago. The realization of that has just fucked with my head.

    2. The smell of freshly mowed grass on a late summer Sunday afternoon. The smell of Magic Markers. Don’t ask. I can also remember the smell ofAmbergris perfume (I think that’s whale splooge or something),. There’s that inimitable smell of the heater when it comes on for the first time at the first cold snap. Christmas trees and stored decorations have their own smell; when you first wake up on Thanksgiving morning and smell the turkey as it just starts to roast properly.

    The smell of “him” still lingering on my pillow after he leaves. Then, I scramble to find the $20 he threw in my general direction as he walked out of the room.

    3. Disappointment is an UNAVOIDABLE fact of life.

    4. The national anthem, watching people in love and seeing sincerity and trust in the eyes of someone I sincerely want to trust.

    5. What do I want on my epitaph? That’s easy:

    .”Please tell me I earned it”

  13. 1. In 1988 I was 9 years old, grade four, buck-toothed, and had just gone from a mullet to a mushroom cut.

    In 2008 I am 29 years old, have grown into my teeth, and am seriously contemplating cutting my hair short again.

    2. The smell of homemade french fries in a deep fryer. My dad would make his own fries almost every Saturday so the smell takes me back to those Saturdays, coming in from sliding or playing in the snow, snot-nosed and red-cheeked, and shedding the big snowsuits for a big plate of homemade fries. Nobody makes ’em like dad.

    3. People say they speak their minds and say they want you to but few actually do. Sometimes honesty is not the best policy.

    4. Music moves me like nothing else. The national anthem does it but also a beautiful solo fiddle or an orchestra playing Beethoven or the song my best friend and I call ours or a 6-year-old standing in front of an audience singing a Christmas song. Yup … … definitely music.

    5. Play on!

  14. 1. 1988 – Fast tracking a career in computer technology (big, room-filling computers) and taking on more responsibility, hours, whatever…I was going somewhere, but had no clue where. 2008 – burnt out and recently retired. Learning to cook for my wife, cleaning the house, worrying about my elderly parents that I don’t have much of a relationship with. Rebuilding my relationship with my daughter and enjoying my grankids a whole lot. Not going anywhere and very glad about that.

    2. I can’t smell pine scented cleaner without immediately being back in the slanted floor bathroom of my grandmother’s house.

    3. Maybe not first, but biggest life’s lesson was when it hit me that no matter what I did, unless I was a great athlete (college level at least), I was never going to really please my father and all that effort spent trying to do it any other way was just a waste. At least I don’t try anymore!

    4. Oh God! After just writing my response to number 3, I realize that the only thing that consistently gets to me are sports movies like Rudy. How freakin sad is that?

    5. He Just Couldn’t Procrastinate Any Longer.

  15. 1. I am married now, for 12 years, plus or minus. There are many differences between the married and single state. I’m not sure what they all are; too damn many to list, that’s for sure.

    2. I was playing with a telephone/power pole when I was a kid, late one evening. I locked my legs around it about waist high, then tried to hold my body out horizontally. When I put my arms out over my head, I slid to the ground. There was a pile of fresh dogshit there. It really made an impression on me. The splinters in my legs were not the worst.

    I reckon you know what the smell is, and I remember it because I had to go home and get mom to scrub my back before the feel of that hot pack on my spine and the smell in my head would go away.

    3. I stuck a knife through a kids foot when I was in the fourth grade. I was throwing it and sticking it up in a piece of board. He’d wait till I was in the motion of the throw, then put his foot down on the board and jerk it away just before the knife hit. He was too slow to play that game. I learned that some people are just fucking stupid that day.

    4. I like to think that I can control my emotions. Mostly, I can, in public. When I’m alone, any of those things, or even nothing at all, moves me. It took me four tries before I could watch past the scene at the beginning of Saving Private Ryan. I didn’t try to see it at the movies.

    5. “What was that guy’s name, again?”

  16. 1. 1998: Stay-at-home mom with three small children living in Colorado. 2008: Divorced twice more, children grown and gone, grandmother to 1-1/2, living in the burbs of Chicago alone.

    2. Old Spice – because my grandfather wore it. It reminds me of unconditional love.

    3. First life lesson: Men in your life will leave you, even if they don’t want to. Learned when my father died when I was 7 years old.

    4. Reading a surprise e-mail or text from my love with the words ‘I love you’

    5. “She was Marilyn Monroe without the fame, beauty or pills.”

  17. 1. A 28 year old boy thinking he is a man. Marriage, death, and life. When I gave my step-son his mother’s ring to marry his girlfriend.

    2. Waking from a sound sleep, saying “oh my God!” When your better half cuts one. No it’s not current but it is a serious olfactory memory.

    3. Age 3 wandering away from home in the desert, and finding out strange critters bites and it hurts.

    4. National Anthem.

    5. “I owe the mountains a body.”

  18. 1) In 1988, I was in the midst of a journey to become free of substance abuse, focusing on alcohol and nicotine. Now, I’m off nicotine, alcohol, and other illicit drugs. (Instead I take powerful prescribed psychotropics.) I would say my recovery from addiction is due essentially to the power of God and the support of my wife.

    2) The smell of bacon frying takes me back to waking up at my grandmother’s house on a Saturday morning.

    3) One of my first life lessons was being made to return the baseball cards my teacher had confiscated from me that I later stole out of her desk.

    4) Baptizing babies often moves me to tears.

    5) My epitaph – BOOM. BOOM. AIN’T IT GREAT TO BE CRAZY.

  19. 1. Regardless of your current age, describe the person you are now in 2008 as opposed to the person you were in 1988. Other than the actual process of aging, what’s been the biggest reason for your biggest change?

    I graduated college in 1988. There’s a photo of me, near the school fountain, with eyes narrowed. I remember exactly what I was thinking at that moment: What now? I still have no idea.

    2. Plain Chapstick — the kind in the black tube — reminds me of my father, who died when I was 13.

    3. In 5th grade I ran home crying because a bully had threatened me after school. I asked Dad what I should do, and instead of giving me some token of love or tired cliche, he just looked me in the eye and said, “You have to decide what you can live with.” The next day I picked a fight with the bully, and he backed off.

    4. Watching my kids sleep. They’re so beautiful.

    5. “It’s just life; take risks! You die anyway.”

  20. 1. Me in 1988: I was 11. I was smart and not cool and desperately wanted to be cool. I had insatiable curiosity. I had big dreams. I was wide eyed and innocent.
    Me in 2008: I’m 30. I’m smart and could give a fuck whether or not I’m cool. Ironically, that makes me cool. I’m still curious and I still have big dreams. There’s just a whole of jaded and bitter in the mix these days. I’ve changed because I have been around the proverbial block many many many times since 1988.

    2. Big Red gum reminds me of my grandmother because she always had some in her purse. Cut grass reminds me of my uncle because he would come and cut our grass on his tractor and then bail the clippings. The smell of cattle reminds me of lazy afternoons at my grandparent’s ranch. Chlorine reminds me of summers spent in a pool. Cherry tobacco reminds me of all the men in my family.

    3. It was not technically the first life lesson. But it’s the earliest one with the biggest impact. I made the cheerleading squad my freshman year of high school. Which instantly made me popular. My old friends no longer wanted anything to do with me, because now I was one of the popular kids. That didn’t hurt as much as it should have, because I had a new crowd. But two years later when I decided to quit cheerleading, I lost the popular friends too. And was alone. It taught me the importance of finding the folks that like you for who you really are, not who your public persona is. It absolutely resonates with me still.

    4. I choke up at the thought of how much our military has sacrificed for my rights.

    5. She knew who she was. And embraced it.

  21. 1. I got married, had kids and went from confident, outgoing, party animal to stressed out, brow beaten 39 year old cynic.

    2. Fresh cut bales of hay. I grew up on a farm and loved hiding in the hay with my girl friends playing ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’.

    3. Smashing my first car into a lampost while driving in thick fog. I learned that driving in thick fog is dangerous especially at 60 miles per hour.

    4. My mom sent me a photograph recently. It was of my father sitting in hospital with a baby in his arms. Sadly my father died shortly afterward so this is the only photograph of us both together. You see, I was the baby. I never even knew him and yet I cry everytime I look at the photo.

    5. I told you I was sick!

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