Disclaimer: This is re-posted from one of my other blogs, Pushing the Quill, a collaborative blog with two of my favorite writers (Dana and Lindsey, respectively) where we’re all looking to shake off some hardcore writer’s block…
When attempting to re-start one’s usually writing habits, it’s key to try many methods.
As you (our non-existent readers) have noticed thus far we’ve employed writing prompts, mind dumps and good ole fashioned rants.
Today I’m rocking another tried and true method to get the fingers going on the ole keyboard—lists. I love lists and when it comes to finding a list that will really give the ole writing muscles a workout, there is no better option than a gigantic internet survey.
Y’all may remember these things from back in the day when people actually sent emails—remember emails?!—to their friends instead of tweets, instant messages and Facebook posts.
Well this one—true to form—reads as though it was sent from those same, now-ancient days back in the early part of this brave new millennium. As such I’ve loving-named it, “generic internet survey from the early 2000s.”
With no further ado…here are one-hundred and forty questions…
Most people just call me “Graves.” I’ve had a slew of other, um, less awesome nicknames over the years, but none that ever really stuck. My last name works so well as a default nickname that there’s never really been a need/desire to create a better one that sticks.
December 5th – you’re down to like 75 shopping days, y’all, make it happen…
04) How old are you then:
26 years old
Hartley, Iowa (“The City with a Heart”)
06) Town you were born in:
Sheldon, Iowa (it’s a really nice place)
07) What do you look like:
Hmmmmmmm…that’s a pretty open-ended question, although it is one that I think I’ve answered in the past (with an illustration):
Gumby but with legs and arms that are even more long and goony. Also I’d throw on a big stop-sign sized noggin. With ears that could double as wings and a schnoz that small mammals may or may not live in whilst I slumber.
…yep, that still seems pretty accurate, except my hair is longer now.
08) Are you handsome/beautiful:
…did you not click through to see the picture?!
Big stop sign head. Gigantic nose. Humungous ears.
09) Why or why not:
I’m sorry, did you not just read “stop sign head” and “humungous ears?!”
10) Family members:
11) Favorite relative:
Favorite relative?! Come on now…that just seems a little wrong. How could I possibly pick certain relatives over others? I love them all. Well, except for maybe Aunt Linda…she’s kind of a douche-bag and a bunch of my Mama’s relatives kinda suck too. Hmmmmm…forget it…I like my immediate family and no one else!
12) Least favorite relative:
13) Lefty or Righty:
I’m a righty. Although I’m worried I may need Tommy John surgery on the right arm some day, so I’d gladly convert if someone had a quick three-step program for that…although it should be noted that I can slap hit decently from the left side when playing slow-pitch softball.
14) Is the #13 unlucky/lucky:
If Taylor Swift digs it, I dig it.
Granted, I don’t really believe in bad luck; just good luck and potluck.
15) What time did you go to bed last night:
Last night I hung out with parent’s in their hotel room until about 12:30 watching the Yankees/Red Sox game (which was awesome) on ESPN and then meandered home, by the time I finally got home and crawled into bed it was like 1:30ish or so…
16) What did you do yesterday:
Yesterday, I spent pretty much all day hanging out in my parents’ hotel room and watching football and baseball games. It was a pretty good time. Not quite what I’d anticipated when planning for my parents to come to town, but my Pappy was feeling rundown the entire time, so we took it easy and just chilled.
17) What did/you doing today:
Well I already helped my parents change their flights and got ‘em on their way back home. I got my would-be-mullet trimmed—albeit poorly—by the fine folks at SuperCuts. I’m now killing time working on this survey thing and in a few hours I’m going to go play some softball with the mighty Face Melters.
18) Do you drink:
19) Do you drive:
20) If so, what kind of car:
It varies. My car—a bitchin’ 2002 Grand Am (what up!)—is basically wasting away at my parent’s place, so it doesn’t have insurance on it right now. When I got home I usually just drive one of my parent’s pick-up trucks or a rental car. In Boston, I occasionally get a car from ZipCar and those vary every time.
21) Did you dye/highlight/lighten your hair or anything:
…like, today?! No.
If we’re talking, ever, then the answer is yes. I’ve done the super-duper blonde hair thing a time or two.
22) What are you wearing in your school pic:
…in my “school pic”?! Well, generic internet survey from the early 2000s, I don’t have a “school pic” to reference, but I’ll assume that I’m wearing something completely geeky and/or out-dated (even by the standards of the time) in just about every school picture I’ve ever taken.
23) Worst thing you ever did:
24) Best thing you ever did:
Suck on that one, generic internet survey from the early 2000s!!
25) What’s on your mouse pad:
Mouse pad. Oh come on now. I realize this thing was written in like 1998 and probably last updated in 2001, but seriously, what’s on your mouse pad?! Even if anyone still had a mouse pad left, who the hell gives a shit what’s on someone’s mouse pad?! I’m disappointed in you, generic internet survey from the early 2000s.
26) Do you have a scanner:
Ugh…really?! I wanna meet the guy who initially wrote this and thought to himself, “Gee whiz, man, in this new-fangled internet era, people will answer anything honestly…because they’re not face-to-face…what should I ask?! What deep, dark secrets do I want to know about someone?! What fetishes or peccadilloes do I want to unearth?! Oh…I’ve GOT IT!! Do they have a scanner or not!! Muhahahahahahaha!!”
Honestly, the only reason I remember ANYONE owning a scanner was to get their pictures—remember film?!—onto the internet. Now that people can take and upload photos with their phones, scanners are pretty much obsolete in the home, unless of course you’ve retro-fitted it into some sort of panini maker, in which case, more power to ya!
27) What kind of computer do you have:
I’ve got a Dell Inspiron laptop. It’s red. It’s pretty. It’s making an ominous death rattle as I type this…
28) Do you have a mic:
…oh no, this is how every chat room horror story of the late ‘90s began.
29) Do you have ICQ
What the shit is an ICQ?!
30) If so, what’s your ICQ#:
Something with a number, huh?! Is this like a chat room pickup line or something?! Is this from World of Warcraft?!
31) Are you wearing nail polish right now:
I fail to see how that is any of your business…
32) If so, what color:
I think I made it pretty clear; this is none of your beeswax, generic internet survey from the early 2000s.
33) What was your most embarrassing moment:
One time I thought I purchased a bottle of Mountain Dew, but it was actually a bottle of Diet Mountain Dew.
…yep, that’s it. Where you expecting something else?!
34) Best friends:
Haha, I say, hah…oh shit, wait, I did that one already…
35) What did you do last New Year’s Eve:
I hung out at the infamous BARn with my crew from the HTL (that’s what those of us who are straight-up gangsta call Hartley, IA) and Grace. We ate foods. We talked talks. We drank dranks. A good time was had by all.
…also I peed in a snow bank.
36) Do you have mIRC:
Part of me wants to Google “mIRC” to see what the hell that is, but another part of me is worried that whomever wrote this thing a decade or so ago was planning to create some sort of seedy porn site that primarily features midgets and sheep and call it mIRC.com…as such, I think I’m just gonna go ahead and bow out on this one.
No, generic internet survey from the early 2000s…I do not have mIRC.
37) Ever stolen something:
…no, literally, it’s buried in a box somewhere in northwest Iowa.
Every year on November 7th, she receives another clue as to its whereabouts. She cannot leave me until she finds it or it will be destroyed.
Spoiler Alert: It has been in my parent’s house the entire time. I just put it on top of the fridge where she can’t see it.
38) Do you like this survey so far:
For nostalgia’s sake, sure. Otherwise, hells-to-the-no.
ONE WORD ASSOCIATION
Lindsey Quick (although, if you ask Stephanie Ovadia, we’re all thinking about Lindsay Lohan)
Jenna Javar (my lil sister)
Jamie Lee Curtis
Eric ANTHONY Graves (my brother)
Brian from Family Guy
Meg from Family Guy
Tim the Beaver
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU…
Let’s see I spoke to the dude at the deli when I told him my order (chicken salad sammitch, what up!) and I guess I’ve been alone since then, so I haven’t really talked out loud in probably a good half an hour.
…that’s kind of weird. I guess I rarely think about how long I go without speaking out loud. Granted, I talk out loud to myself a lot, so maybe that’s why.
Suddenly I’m questioning whether or not I really do talk to myself?! Holy crap, I’m Tom Hanks in Castaway!!
This morning and thank Jebus too, because a brotha works up one heckuva sweat sitting on a hotel couch all day watching sports, eating room service and sipping on Mountain Dews.
Like three minutes ago I just polished off the aforementioned chicken salad sammitch. It was pretty danged good too.
Hmmmmmmmmm…I’m not much of a crier, so I don’t really have a recent one that comes to mind. The only one I can really think of would be when my cat (RIP: Tom S. Katt: 1994-2009) died last December and I cried like a baby…
I gave my Mama a kiss on the cheek at the airport before I saw my parentals off for their flight, does that count?!
If not, I’m pretty sure Grace gave me a smooch on her way out of the house this morning. She usually does, granted, I’m all-kinds of out of it when I’m asleep so I rarely notice.
I laughed about an hour ago when the lady who gave me my haircut (read: scalp raping) was ringing it up and charged me for a Children’s Haircut. I giggled. Paid my stupidity tax for returning to SuperCuts and proceeded with my day.
Um, right now…
Also, right now…
Studied, huh?! Well I’ve been out of school for drastically longer than I care to admit anymore, so I haven’t really studied in quite a while. Although given the months of preparation and research put into fantasy baseball, I guess I could say I studied last winter/spring prior to all of my fantasy baseball drafts.
*takes a swig of his Coke*
Fought?! Who the hell do you think I am, Russell Crowe?!
I ran on Saturday whilst playing softball. I intend to run tonight whilst playing softball. In between softball games, not so much. We’ll see how that holds up when my intense “winter training regimen” starts.
Again, roughly an hour ago on my way from my apartment to SuperCuts to the deli to my apartment.
Honestly, I don’t know if I’ve ever “officially” been hiking. Perhaps I should remedy that, especially if I have any sort of legitimate interest in competing in next spring’s Tough Mudder event in Vermont.
That’s a good question, I don’t cough very often. Maybe last winter or something?! Maybe.
91) Rode a bike:
I stole Grace’s bike a few weeks ago to run out to Taco Bell. But don’t tell her, I can’t imagine she’d be down with that…
Holy crapsticks. I don’t think I’ve done either since like middle school. This is probably for the best. As one might expect, I’m not exactly “nimble” or “light on my feet” as is, so putting me on wheels is never, EVER a good idea.
I’m essentially a rolling insurance liability.
I went ice-skating last winter with some peeps from work. I didn’t fall. I didn’t die. I didn’t break anything. I did, however, spend most of the time gripping the side rail for dear life and moving at a max speed of about 2/3rds mile per hour. Additionally, my ankles hurt for days afterwards.
94) Bought something:
I guess I’m going to count the chicken salad sammitch and Coke I got like an hour ago. So…an hour ago.
95) Were sick:
Pfffffffffffffffffttttt….I don’t get sick.
Maybe the last time I had a collapsed lung or something. Although I guess I did lose my voice last December, let’s just count that as “sick” and call it a day.
96) Forwards or Chain Letters:
In a perfect world: neither f’n one. My Mama and my brother still send me email forwards all the time. I’ve told them eight million times to stop, but they keep doing it. The worst is when they send me the ones warning about some myth that was debunked back in like 2003.
97) White or Black:
…you’re a racist, generic internet survey from the early 2000s! A damned racist!
98) Strawberry or Lemon:
What, uh, what are we talking about here, generic internet survey from the early 2000s? Starburst flavors? Slushy flavors? Skittles flavors? Just fruit in general? Margarita flavors?
I guess in most instances, my gut is to go with strawberry. They’re just so darned yummy.
99) Chicken or Turkey:
Chicken any day of the week.
100) Red or Pink:
Red, ‘tis my favorite color.
101) Soda or Pop:
I come from Iowa, so it should be pop, but I say soda and have since high school. I’m not really sure why, I just sorta always have I guess?! Although I’ve got no problems with both, in fact, I quite enjoy the phrase “soda pop” as it leaves both sides of the argument equally uncomfortable with my answer, yet moderately satisfied as well.
102) Blondes or Brunettes:
All-in-all, I’d say my preference is all of ‘em. It’s my survey and I’ll answer how I want. Booyah!
103) Make-up or No Make-up:
Either one works for me.
104) Straight or curly:
Again, either one works…
105) Summer or Winter:
Summer, ‘tis baseball and slow-pitch softball season…
106) Spring or Fall:
Although spring should probably be my answer since that’s the end of winter and the beginning of both baseball and softball, I definitely prefer fall. The weather is generally pretty much perfect. Baseball has the playoffs and slow-pitch softball in the fall is generally a lot of fun. Also, pumpkin pie and pumpkin spice lattes at Starbucks. All is right with the world.
107) Christmas or Easter:
Christmas. I can’t remember the last time I did anything to celebrate Easter.
108) Valentine’s Day or St Patrick’s Day:
I hate Valentine’s Day as evidenced by this ranting diatribe from roughly a year and a half ago. I find it to be a largely pointless “holiday” and it really annoys me.
St. Patrick’s Day offers more grown-up fun for all, but at the same time I’ve proven to no longer be properly equipped for St. Patrick’s Day either. You know, because I’m old and boring.
I guess they both kinda suck in that regard…perhaps we’ll go with a “neither” on this one to balance out the others questions where I refused to make a choice.
109) Burger King or McDonald’s:
That, however, would be a damned bold-face lie.
I love me some Burger King. Their menu—although riddled with caloric monstrosities—is a thing of beauty. We’re talking about meaty, delicious sammitches that still make my liver quake when it contemplates breaking down a value meal.
110) Turkish Bath House or IHOP:
What. The. Shit?!
I guess IHOP wins because I don’t have to—nor am I afraid to—Google it.
111) Tall or Short:
Well I am tall. So that rules.
Grace—and many of my celebrity crushes—are short. So that rules.
I’m gonna go with both.
112) Paper or Plastic:
Paper. Save the environment y’all…or Gary the No-Trash Cougar will find your ass!!
113) Chocolate or vanilla:
Twist! I finally got my hands on a twist soft-serve cone about a month ago. It was brilliant. Completely f’n brilliant, I say!!
114) Private or Public School:
Having never gone to a private school, I’m going to toss my vote behind public schools.
115) Religious or Spiritual:
116) Half-Empty or Half-Full:
Either way, the odds are pretty good that I’m gonna drink it. I’m a thirsty dude.
117) TV or Radio:
I think both are awesome, but they clearly have their purpose. If I want to hear country music, the radio. If I want to watch “Scrubs,” it’s TV. I don’t think you can really compare the two. Silly, generic internet survey from the early 2000s.
118) Walk or Run:
How’s about a brisk jog?
…unless you’re playing ball, in which case it’s run. Always run.
119) Drive or Walk:
Depends. If I’m going to the living room, driving seems just a tad unnecessary. Let’s play this one by ear.
120) Crowded or Empty:
Like…my house or a subway car?! …my bathroom or a bar?! …the grocery store or a Ford Fiesta?! …I feel like these require a little more context to answer appropriately.
121) Favorite car:
The Batmobile. Period.
If that is unacceptable, then I’ll rock the Pontiac Grand Am and/or a big ole pickup truck.
122) Favorite shampoo:
Whichever one is on-sale and the cheapest. I’m prone to AXE Shampoo, but it’s too expensive and I can smell douchey without it…
123) Favorite colors:
Come on now, generic internet survey from the early 2000s, don’t you remember anything?! I just told you like 23 questions ago that red is my favorite color. Keep up, survey!
124) Favorite place to eat:
125) Favorite food:
126) Favorite drink:
Wait, wait, wait a second here survey…are we talking alcoholic or non-alcoholic?! Soda or non-soda?! This is confusing. Let’s just lay it all out there…
Alcoholic: Beer, Margaritas & Long Island Iced-Teas
Non-Alcoholic: Milk, Water, & Orange Juice
Sodas: Coke, Mt. Dew, & Cherry Coke
127) Favorite number:
I’ve always been partial to the number 99.
I’m not entirely sure why, but as a kid I always wanted either 00 or 99 as my number and in high school, when we got to pick our numbers for our baseball jerseys, 00 was already taken, so I took 99 and that’s been “my number” ever since.
128) Favorite sports team:
129) Favorite TV show:
This one is tough…at one time I’d have said “Friends” hands down (and honestly, I still probably would), but in recent years the emergence of “Scrubs” and “How I Met Your Mother” have really rocked my world.
I also love “The Office,” but I’ve found myself basically checked out for the last two or three seasons b/c of time constraints and I’m about two years behind in the storylines as a result.
130) Favorite room in your house:
Probably the writing room. It’s got a big ole comfy chair, a buttload of books, good writing space, nice natural light and it’s very quiet.
131) Favorite season:
Again, didn’t I already more or less answer this question, survey?! Why wouldn’t you re-configure your questions to obtain new information?! The answer is fall.
132) Favorite book:
I’ve always said “Animal Farm,” but I’ve read some pretty bitchin’ stuff in recent years that may be vying for the top spot.
New candidates include: “On Writing” by Stephen King; “Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs” by Chuck Klosterman; “The Lost Continent” by Bill Bryson; “The Road to Cooperstown” by Tom Stanton and “World War Z” by Max Brooks.
133) Any last words:
Holy shit, this was lengthy. My ass has literally gone numb from sitting for so long. I’m worried that this will haunt me on my death bed as a colossal waste of my short, short life. Fuck you, you devil survey, and the horse you rode in on…
134) How long did this take you to fill out:
Well, I started it on Saturday morning.
It’s now early Monday evening.
So yeah, it took a couple of days, but I was only working on it in small bursts.
135) Are you glad you’re almost done:
Yes. Yes I am.
136) Favorite place to shop:
Wait, what?! Where the hell does that question come from?!
Um, favorite place to shop?! I don’t buy a whole lot of stuff, so I guess any sports store that’s got baseball/softball stuff and/or Twins merchandise?!
137) Do you have an MP3 player:
Do I have an MP3 player?! What?!
This thing must be from the very turn of the century. Yes, yes I do have an MP3 player, generic internet survey from the early 2000s. Thank you for asking. It’s an iPod shuffle.
138) What MP3s do you have, if so:
What MP3s do I have?! Was this thing written when MP3s were some sort of elusive jungle beast? Were they at one time like Pokemon and you could collect the entire set?!
I guess I can’t answer this one because I’ve got like 600,000 songs or something on my iTunes…
139) What book(s) are you reading right now:
Right now, I’m just about 2/3rds of the way—give or take—through the unabridged version of Stephen King’s “The Stand.”
It’s a pretty bitchin’ book, but damned if it isn’t lengthy. Most of the books I read are in the 200-300 range. This sucker comes in right around 1,200 pages and—although entertaining—is taking its toll.
Maybe I’ll just call in sick for a few days so I can plow through the rest of the book or something…
140) What color socks are you wearing right now:
Bright gold, knee-high baseball socks. Go Face Melters!!