Saturday, April 21, 2012

Tag Teamed

Last week when I bestowed the vaunted “Kreativ Blogger” award on my pal Hoody, she, in turn, installed me into her “Royal Court.”  While I immensely appreciated the honor, my thought was that this was a “ceremonial” title at best.  I did not know that there would be homework.

So her post yesterday, she was “Tagged” and assigned some questions to answer.  She then reassigned the questions to we in her Royal Court.

As I’m new there, I do not want to fumble my first assignment so now that “I’m ‘It’” (by proxy) here are my answers to the “Tag, You’re It” questions.

1. Book or movie, and why?

I go with a combination of both.  When there’s a book/movie combination out there, my preference is to see the movie first and then read the book.  It’s common knowledge that the book is almost always better.  If I read the book first, I love the book and am then disappointed by the movie (once you notice all the things from the book that don’t make the cut.)  By seeing the movie first, I enjoy the movie and then enjoy the book even more, as it adds detail and fleshes things out.  Win/Win.

I did this most recently with “The Hunger Games.”  Just saw it last weekend, then immediately bought and read the book.  Of course, I bought the other two books of the trilogy as well and will read them first, despite my preference not to do so.  It’s even less appealing to wait another five years for them to make two more movies, just to see how things turn out

2. Real book or E-book?

Real book.  I don’t have an E-reader.  I might, someday, as real books go the way of LP records and cassettes (and CDs) but for the time being, I like the physical nature of a paper book.

3. Funniest thing you’ve done in the last 15 years?

Probably writing this blog, although granted, it’s kind of hit-or-miss.  But I’m more of a funny writer than a funny doer.  To me the funniest thing I’ve been involved with lately was writing the “seeing Hairy Harry marry Merry Mary Cherry Darrybarry” post from Tuesday.  I giggled my ass off at every mental run-through.

As for actual “doing?”  I’d have to go outside the 15-year parameter and cull through the stupid stunts of my youth… like falling down the steps at the Bowling Green Armory while trying to help carry out a keg, or showing up at the airport with my buddies to pick up a friend, while we were dressed in 3-piece suits and shorts in December, or dressing up in cowboy garb and riding a stick horse off a plane, when we went to visit that same buddy.

Closer to the 15-year frame, would probably be my speech to my record retailer’s RMs and DMs, where I bucked the order to keep is short and delivered all the funny shit I had planned.  But even so, that’s still pretty much about writing.

Of course, it just occurred to me that I actually have post titled “The Funniest Story Ever Written (by me).”  Perhaps that will suffice.  Long-time readers know this one.  You should too.

4. Do you put yourself in the books you read or movies you watch?

Not really, although sometimes I will allow myself the fantasy of “What if I went to Hogwarts,” or “What if I got to kiss Sandra Bullock while speeding away from a burning bus on an improvised skateboard?”  And like Hoody, sometimes I end up in the movies by way of dreams.  I’m sure the book would have been much better though.

5. How would your best friend describe you?

Wow.  Depends on the friend.  Like my buddy Rick (Chairman of Fuck Off) would describe me as desperately unfunny, because it’s been his mission since high school to never laugh at anything I say or do.  But for the most part, I think my friends would say that I’m there for them, (even if I live in another state).  When one of us sounds the alarm, the rest of us come running.

6. Favorite kind of car, and why?

I’m not really a “car guy” so I don’t have much of a basis to compare.  I haven’t driven all that many types, nor do I really worry about it.  I just want something comfy and reliable, with a good stereo.

7. Would your choice of party be a catered meal or a barbeque out back?

A catered meal of barbeque, out back.  I prefer the informality, love grilled food and if it’s catered, neither me nor my friends and family have to cook or clean up.

8. What is your favorite season and why?

Fall, hands down.  Love the colors, football and hockey start, and my birthday!

9. What important lessons have you learned?  Spiritual, educational and occupational?

Spiritual: You needn’t rely on church or religion to feel a sense of spirituality.  Each denomination fights for its own market share, often bypassing the message behind why they’re supposed to be there.  If there is a God, I prefer to reach him without a “middleman.”

Educational: Honors freshman courses in college, covering values and judgment.  They taught me how to think for myself and pick apart faulty arguments.  And of course, English Lit as a high school junior put me in the room with the best teacher I ever had, who taught me the value of non-conformity and (again) thinking for one’s self rather than running with the herd.  Life got much, much easier once I stopped giving a shit about what others thought of me.  It was there that I came up with one of my Book of Bluz lessons: “In trying to please everyone, you end up pleasing no one, least of all, yourself.”

Occupational: Never answer an email when angry or upset.  Write it then delete it.  Take a breath.  Let someone else read it first.  Unfortunately, I unleashed too many a flaming email that ended up burning my own ass, before I accepted this lesson.

10. Besides writing, what’s your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?

That’s tough, because my life is built around nothing but extra time.  No kids to attend, no house to fix, just work and come home.  Writing this and reading your blogs is my life’s blood.  But eventually, I get all caught up and then I have to do something

So I’d have to say, watching movies, going to ballgames and taking nature pictures.  There.

11. What’s the one place you can be found at least one time every week?

The deli and liquor store in my neighborhood, picking up the weekend’s libations for Pinky and me.  Mine is not a glamorous life.

So that’s that.  Hoody said that the rules are that she had to pass this on to 11 people, but she doesn’t follow the rules.  (And thus assigned it instead to the 28 members of her Royal Court.)  I don’t follow the rules either.  So feel free to answer these yourself, if you want.  Otherwise, don’t. 

Or you can simply put the idea in your vault until later… it’s an easy way to bang out a post when you need one…


  1. Bluz, it's very nice of you to answer all those questions for your friend. If people want to know what kind of person I am, they'll never figure it out by having me answer questions, because I will probably lie.

    You, on the other hand, are an extremely honest person. One of your charms, Bluz!



    1. Eh, I'm a pretty horrible liar, so I just go w/ the truth. Much easier that way. Plus I have no reason to broadcast lies here. If I didn't want anybody to know something, I just wouldn't bring it up.

  2. Well done, young Jedi! And so PROMPT!

    1. Young??? I got called “young!” Whoo Hoo!

      And always prompt when dealing with a prompt. Now if only your prompt was about a prom… I’d be prompt with a prom prompt.

      Uh oh, here I go again…

  3. This was great to read, and it looks like we see eye to eye on a lot of things. Like the book vs movie thing. I don't know why there's this stigma that if you're a writer you have to be pro-book and anti-movie. I love both, and I'll be the first to say that I want a big fat movie check.

    Also, I hear you on spirituality. The closest I ever felt to the man upstairs was in an ancient Buddhist temple in Ayutthaya, Thailand. It's just full of peace and serenity and the monks there just radiate positivity while not saying a single word. Meanwhile, I've never felt anything like that standing in a church pew next to a family who's not listening and their screaming baby.

    1. Hey, somebody has to write the movies… But yeah, why not have both. There’s no need to be a competition between the two.

      The older I get, the more I’m disgusted by organized religion. The weekend before last, at every Catholic mass, the priest read a letter from the Bishop urging parishioners to reject the upcoming referendum allowing gay marriage in Maryland.

      How very “Christian” of them, right? Because that’s what JC was all about… the exclusion of others from rights enjoyed by everyone else. And once again, I have to wonder where they get off using their religion to bring influence over a law that covers those that don’t necessarily adhere to that religion.

  4. "Never answer an email when angry or upset. Write it then delete it. Take a breath. Let someone else read it first. "

    I find myself having to do that a lot. I will say that there have been a number of times where I didn't check myself though and things blew up. Good advice.

    Also, fall is my favorite too. :)

    1. Yes, there was a time that I was the King of the Flaming Email Retort, which was a dubious title at best. My boss constantly had to put out fires and soothe people’s feelings because of me. (Although believe me, some of these dum-dums desperately needed a good flaming.) But I learned… eventually.

      Although sometimes, even a straight, just-the-facts email would get people all ticked off. So many people wrote these glossy, fluffy, if-you-please emails, my neutral-tome emails looked mean just by comparison. Just goes to show that once you “go mean,” they all look mean… which all the more reason to be nice right from the start.

  5. I've always wondered if it's a sign of a lack of imagination that I like seeing the movie before I read the book. I love knowing "what the characters look like" as I'm reading, although of course what the characters look like in the movie is just some other schmuck's idea that's as good as mine. Maybe I should be blaming the authors for not describing enough, like with the Harry Potter books, which are total shams next to the movies.

    1. That’s another reason I like to see the movie first. I hate it when the movie character looks nothing like what I imaged from the book. It’s disconcerting.

  6. Man, I should have waited to read the Hunger Games until after I saw the movie. "By seeing the movie first, I enjoy the movie and then enjoy the book even more, as it adds detail and fleshes things out. Win/Win."
    Of course! The whole time I saw it, I was anticipating what would come next, how it would be presented, what would be left out. I even knew half of the dialogue. ::facepalm:: Stupid stupid stupid!

    I'm with you about reading the next two now though; who the hell can wait for the movies to come out? "Catching Fire" might not even be filmed this year because of a scheduling conflict with Jennifer Lawrence.... apparently she has to do another "X-Men" movie first. WTF??

    1. I had that happen to me with the Harry Potter books. Saw all the movies first, but then read all the books before the Deathly Hallows movies came out. Just couldn’t sit on the last book that long before the movie(s) finally came out. So I did the same thing… wondering how they were going to do this or that, or what would be cut out.

      It was funny, though, how much of the Hunger Games dialogue was put, verbatim, into the movie. Maybe I only noticed because I bought the book on the way home from seeing the movie, so it was still fresh. And BTW, I liked the 2nd book a lot. And they’re such quick reads… a couple hours and you can knock it out.

  7. I swore I'd never get an E-reader...then I moved and had a bazillion boxes of books. I don't want to move any more books: they're too heavy.

    1. Yeah, I have the same problem… next time I move, I’m going to have to lug a giant bookshelf crammed full of thick, heavy books. (and lots of small ones too.) I suppose before that time, I’ll take another pass at thinning the herd and offloading some more to the used books outlets.

  8. I'm always putting other people in the books I read... some real people, some famous people. I have a casting couch and everything.

    1. I've never tried that... will have to give it a shot. (The idea, not your casting couch. I'm not that kind of guy.)