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2014/02/25

TMI Questions: Please Read Me a Story!

If I read you a story, I am going to want to use character voices throughout, take lots of dramatic pauses, and quiz you at the end to determine if you understood the story after which I will ask you to critique the story, the writing, and my… ahem, performance.

Yeah, I would just choke all the fun out of it, huh?  Sucks to be you.

So, better that you read said story yourself.   Besides… you’d tire quickly of my hammy interpretation of the text and constant need for reassurance.

That and I only have so much energy.  And while my throat never tires out (never – ask my boyfriend), my voice frequently does these days, due to a lack of use.  

Like Madonna before me, for me, words, at least spoken ones, have lost their meaning, don’t function anymore.

I’d rather type – preferably with Boodles Gin martini close at hand.

TMI QUESTIONS:
Questions designed to reveal Too Much Information

Link: http://tmiquestions.blogspot.com/

TMI Questions: Please Read Me a Story!

Describe your favorite place to cozy-up with a good book.

My day bed.  With a big blanket.  When it’s cold out or raining.  Sometimes with the dogs all gathered around me. 

I used to love reading at the cabin in winter also… although I’d be more likely to be writing then.  Something about the isolation allows me to shut down and go on that inner journey – something required in order for me to either read or write.

Winter has always been my favorite time to read. 

During the summer I prefer to be outside, where I have tried reading while sunning, but typically there’s baby oil or sun screen on my hands and usually I’d be sweating and I would almost certainly be distracted, so reading outdoors has never really worked for me. 

Reading inside a tent, on the other hand, does. 

I’m waiting for the day that my boyfriend and I reach a point where we can sit on opposite sides of the couch with our legs intertwined and read books.  But, that would require me keeping my hands off him, and, well… I just don’t see that happening any time in the near or distant future.  Grrr.

What do you read when you're on the toilet?

Nothing. 

The notion grosses me out.  Whenever I see people walk into a public bathroom with a newspaper or paperback all I can think of is all the germs and crap they will transfer all over those pages.  Ugh.  These are typically the people who also don’t bother washing their hands.

The notion of doing that at home?  Ugh.  Why?  Toilets are for one thing – get in there, get on it, take care of business and shove off.  They are not meant to be vehicles of entertainment.

Well, at least, not in polite circles.

Do you read when taking a bath?

I shower.  Rarely ever take a bath, although a good soak in the tub does feel great. 

When I did take baths I never read.  Again, it’s a matter of taking care of business and getting on with the rest of the day.  Also, the pages get wet.  I know there are people who enjoy that sort of thing, but it’s not for me.

If you can, do you read when at the gym?

Too busy at the gym to read. There is always a newspaper around and on occasion, if I am really struggling to regain between sets I will do a quick read on a story that catches my eye.  But I am a slow reader, and there to accomplish something else, so I’m not going to spend much time doing that. 

I have to laugh at the dudes who grab the whole paper and then spend 20 minutes on an elliptical machine, reading the entire time.  Their priority is very clear to me, and it has nothing to do with getting physically fit.  They are fooling themselves if they think they are accomplishing much.  These are the same guys who have incredibly loud conversations with one another, wasting even more gym time.

But then, yes, some people do go to the gym for different reasons.  I am not a social animal, so that kind of fraternizing just seems like such a waste of time and opportunity.

Get sweaty.

Do you still read newspapers and or magazines?

Not really.  To this day, I get ‘Rolling Stone’ delivered to the house, but that’s it.  I sort of read it.  On occasion there will be a news article, investigative piece, interview, or political commentary that grabs my attention, but all I really read are the album reviews. 

My only contact with newspapers is at the gym, and, as stated, that is quite limited. 

The demise of print media is sad, but an eventuality.  The Minneapolis Star Tribune is fading away.  In my brief time in this city I saw it go from being two separate newspapers with morning and evening editions to being a single paper put out once a day.  And soon… it will only exist on-line. 

Nostalgic, yes, but ultimately happier for the trees.

What are your favorite genres to read?

I am all over the place.  Love biographies, the classics, character-driven drama fiction, certain poetry classics, certain murder mysteries, certain illustrated children’s books and cartoon anthologies. 

Favorite authors: Sue Miller, Faye Weldon, Anne Tyler, Sara Paretsky

Poets: Emily Dickenson, Stevie Smith, Sylvia Plath, Edgar Allen Poe

Favorite children’s books series: Olivia

Favorite cartoon anthologies: Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed

Do you read one book at a time or can you read several?

I read one book at a time.  My brain can’t hold more than that.  And I read so slowly… it’s embarrassing. My brain floods with anxiety anytime I have to read something to myself in front of others.  They always finish first and left with the impression that I am none too bright (which, may indeed, be the case). 

Frequently, I simply can’t find the time to read.  I like to read before going to sleep, but am often too tired to do so – my eyes get so bloody tired from staring at screens all day (laptops, televisions), sometimes I find myself wanting to tear them out so I can get some peace.

Ultimately, that’s why I love sleeping so much… I get to close my eyes.

If you start a book, do you finish it no matter what?

There is only one book I have begun and not finished: ‘Cider House Rules’ by John Irving.  I tried reading it three times, always making it to the middle of the book, where my interest would simply die of attrition.

I sometimes wonder if the author’s interest didn’t also meet a similar fate.

Did your parents read to you when you were growing up?

Yes. 

It was free entertainment and a means of establishing bedtime.  As soon as we could read, we were left on our own.  But we had all the Dr. Seuss books, along with these red-bound volumes of various traditional fairytales and stories from different nationalities. 

I rescued the latter from my Mother’s basement last year.  They are in poor condition, but the illustrations bring back such memories, I can’t part with them.  Not sure what to do with them, either.

My favorite books, as a small child:

Ferdinand the Bull (I, too, would rather smell the flowers than fight)

Old Black Witch (about a witch who haunts a Victorian-style house turned into a tea room)

The Ugly Duckling (enough said)

Alexander (about an imaginary horse a horrid little boy blamed things on)

Harold and the Purple Crayon (about the power of imagination)

Dr. Seuss and Maurice Sendak books struck me as sophisticated and exotic.  I preferred Sendak over Seuss.  ‘The Sign on Rosie’s’ Door’ gave me lots of hope.

‘Curious George’, on the other hand, struck me as wrong (and, now, as a strange allegory on slavery).  Early on, I developed a strange love/hate relationship with zoos, thanks to George and would always wonder if the animals were sad they were not in the jungle.  George, in my mind, should have been a sad little monkey, so the story made no sense to me. 

Have you read to your kids / nephews / nieces?

Yes, ages ago, when I still tried. 

As a babysitter, I always succeeded, but my own nephews and nieces demonstrated a disdain for me from the moment we met.  It was weird.  And, ultimately, fine with me.

I avoid children like the plague these days.  I’m polite, but distant.  They have parents, toys, television, and rooms of their own. 

I’m not here to entertain the little shits.

I’m here to drink Boodles Gin martinis.   

How do you feel about reading books vs. using electronic devices?

My business partner/ex tried to give me a Kindle a few years ago.  I made him take it back.  I like books; the smell of the pages, the weight of the volume, the choice of cover art… all that remains a huge part of reading for me. 

I don’t mind reading articles, as long as they are well-edited, on-line, on a laptop. But I couldn’t imagine reading an entire book that way. 

I had one of those tablet things for a bit.  Never warmed up to it, so I gave it to my boyfriend.   He plays games on it (something else I can’t imagine me ever doing on anything but a big flat screen TV).

Have your feelings evolved from one or two years ago?

No.

And they won’t. 

I’m to a point in my life where I don’t need to have the latest anything to be happy.  That kind of thinking leads to madness.  Take the leap from Windows 7 to Windows 8, for example; I don’t want to do it.  I will put it off as long as possible.  Windows 8 is not a necessary improvement.  It is an inconvenient nuisance, to ask us to adjust how we navigate something as vital and immediate as a laptop.  I haven’t forgiven them for it yet and I am not likely to in the near future, though, I suppose, moving over to that platform is an inevitability I will have to accept. 

If this makes me sound like a dinosaur, than, yeah, I’m a fucking T-Rex, motherfuckers.

Bonus

When was the last time you looked at or read an adult magazine to satisfy yourself?

That would be the mid-nineties in L.A.  I stopped into some abandoned 7-11 store and there were stacks and stacks of porn mags (some used) sitting around in piles on the floor.  I sifted through a bit and found some crap I thought might get me off.  I took it home, where it sat in a drawer in my walk-in closet where I would dress each day.

In the mid-eighties, I used to love fuck rags so much.  I would have a hundred of them at a time… cream all the pages.  Then the shame of it all would get to me and I would wander down the alley in the middle of the night, depositing them in someone else’s garbage can.

My resolve would last for maybe two weeks or so, or until my next pay check, when I would scurry into the bookstore on the corner of Chicago and Lake and buy ten or so at a time, only to repeat the whole scenario again.

When was the last time you even saw one? 

This summer.   In the woods and down by the river.
It’s common practice for certain trolls to purchase fuck rags (usually straight porn), and leave them in a thicket or on an out of the way trail in the hopes that some young thing will happen by, discover the fuck books, and begin masturbating madly right on the spot.
I don’t know if that actually works.

Straight fuck rags do very little for me.  So, I would look at them out of curiosity as my eyes scanned the surrounding area to see who might be watching.

What with all the porn available for free on the net these days, I’m not sure what appeal modern fuck rags hold anymore, though I must admit I get damn nostalgic when I come across a still from one of the gay rags I used to beat off to in the mid-eighties.

Ah, massive orgasms and shame.


Good times… good times.





























3 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

we used to have morning/evening newspapers also when I was a wee thing. now we are down to morning only. and I wonder how muchg longer it will last.

personally, I want nothing to do with a man who doesn't read.

whkattk said...

Well, Upton, you know I'm a voracious reader. I'd love to have you read me a story - character voices and all!
As a kid, there was a morning and evening paper. Today, here, there is only a morning one - which I read each day at lunch.

HM said...

I will critic your reading Upton :) You can even chose the book...