Viral Questionnaire responses

So that rascal Belghast pinged me on a viral questionnaire that is making the rounds. His purpose seemed to be to poke me to see if my blog software still works, given how long it has been since I posted. It does!

The idea is that I answer 7 questions he sent, then I’m supposed to come up with 7 new questions and send them to 7 other bloggers. I’m not sure I know seven other bloggers that haven’t already been tagged, though, so I’m going to be a spoil-sport and just answer Bel’s questions. Also see question 2. Anyway, here goes nothing:

  • What is your earliest memory?

I grew up in a fishing community. We ate a lot of shellfish and used the shells to “pave” the driveway. The adults would just toss the shells out there and drive over them and it was like poor-man’s gravel, I guess. Anyway, I was maybe 3 years old, walking across this (I guess I had tough feet back then) and I stepped on a shell that had a yellow jacket in it and got stung. All I remember is that I got stung, cried a bunch and got carried inside. My next memory is from years later so this must’ve had quite an impact.

  • What is something that you have lost in your past that you would love to have today?

This one hurts to admit, but it’s my imagination. I used to have a really vivid imagination but it has faded with time. In some ways I blame video games for that. A lot of my ‘imagination time’ was spent on making up some kind of story behind the games and activities I enjoyed. (I was effectively an only child — my brother left home when I was six — and there were no other kids in my neighborhood so I spent a lot of time playing alone.) Then video/computer games came along and they gave me both the activity and the story behind it. Or maybe it is just part of getting older? Anyway when I fire up Minecraft or The Sims (something that lets me create) I just tend to stare vacantly, devoid of ideas. And I could no longer write fiction if my life depended on it. I just don’t get the ideas like I used to.

Answering the same question from a completely different point of view, I’d say the ocean. As I said, I grew up in a fishing community but it was also in the Hamptons and we were in the ocean constantly during warm weather. I really miss that and would love to have it back.

  • What is the last piece of media (book/movie/video/whatever) that really moved you emotionally?

SPOILERS: Has to be Avengers: Endgame, for a couple of reasons (and I should point out that I just watched it last weekend for the first time). I’ve never been a HUGE comic book fan but when I was a kid I’d get Marvel comics mostly for Stan’s Soapbox. Stan Lee was the first adult that felt like he was talking to me, not talking down to me. My father died when I was young, my mom eventually re-married someone I never respected. In a weird way Stan Lee was my prevalent father-figure. When he died I was crushed, and somehow seeing some of the long-time Avengers being phased out kind of reinforced that feeling. So the movie both reminded me that Stan is gone, and removed from the playfield characters I’ve “known” since I was a boy.

  • What was your favorite childhood “character” (comic/movie/literary/etc) and has that changed over the years?

This one is tough. I guess I’d have to say James T Kirk. He was, at the least, the character that I watched over and over again. I mean look, he traveled through the stars, won every fight, got every woman he chased, but he wasn’t just a warrior; he was a diplomat, too. And having Spock as a friend, who I was also drawn to because he was so damned smart, just made him even better.

I dunno that I have a favorite these days. I am now more drawn to worlds and ensembles of characters than to individuals. I love Tolkien’s world, but I can’t point at a single character and say “THAT is my favorite.” I enjoy TV shows, even bad ones, that have a crew of characters who get along, watch each others backs, and have fun together. I think that might be a reflection of being such an introvert. I don’t have friends of my own so I enjoy watching other groups of friends.

  • What are you looking forward to the most in the second half of 2019?

Hmm, I can’t think of a damned thing. Getting closer to the election that has some small chance of turning this ship around. Gaming-wise, nothing has me really fired up. I’m looking forward to new consoles, but that’s next year. I guess I’m really curious about how well Stadia will work.

  • What is your greatest fear and has it changed as you have aged?

Jeez Bel, you don’t pull any punches, eh? My greatest fear is being helpless. Always has been. Like being broke and unable to provide for myself. Or having a lingering illness where I need people to look after me. Really I hate having to ask for help or HAVING to rely on others. (Which is slightly different from having people offering to help me with something just because they actually WANT to help.)

What keeps you engaged in a community over time and where do you feel the most at home?

I’ve yet to find a community that I can stay engaged in, so for the first part of that question, I just don’t know. I feel most at home sitting on the couch alone (well aside from my doggo) playing a single player game. Thankfully Angela gets this and is willing to give me that “alone time” on a pretty regular basis. I’ve tried, over and over, to get involved in online communities, but really most people irritate me unless I keep them at arm’s length, so thus far I’ve always failed to make the online community thing work.

So that’s my questions answered! Hopefully I’ve been a semi-good sport. I just don’t know 7 other people to tag even if I HAD 7 new questions, which I don’t. Every chain has a last link, I guess!

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