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16 May, 2004

This time it's fifty questions

Neil has posted another meme.  Sort-of; it's the type that circulates by e-mail, so some of the questions only really apply to that medium.

1. Full name:
[CENSORED - I don't reveal this in public], though I don't use it when avoidable. I just don't like it, and always prefer 'NRT', except in speech, 'cos that'd seem pitifully pretentious.
Neil is a Neil R****** too, but we're not the same person, honest, even if we've never been seen in the same room at the same time. Anyway, I'm over a decade older than Neil, so have prior claim.

2. What colour underwear are you wearing?
Straight to the point, eh? Since you ask, black.

3. What are you listening to right now?
Fish 'Yang' (1995); just the 'up' tracks, not the ballads.
Hang on; this is too good, and I can't concentrate on the questions. Back in a minute.
NP: Bass Communion: 'Bass Communion I' (1998). Also excellent, but ambient, so less distracting. Well, overtly; it might affect my mood, and hence answers.

4. Are your legs crossed?
Just my ankles.

5. What was the last thing you ate?
Crunchy Nut Cornflakes.

6. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

7. How is the weather right now?
I'll ask.
It's a bit under the weather, but thanks you for asking.

8. Last person you talked to on the phone?

9. First thing you notice about the opposite sex?
That's a surprisingly good question. I really don't know, but will consider it over the next few days. Assuming it refers to the first thing I notice visually, I suspect it's clothes, which is a bit shallow - what about the person in them? Not a comfortable thought. Then again, if we're talking about the first instant impression, that's inherently shallow.

10. Do you like the person who sent you this?
See what I mean? An artifact of the e-mail meme. Neil didn't send me the questions, but he seems okay ;) I agree with a majority of the stated opinions at his blog, anyway.

11. How are you today?
Fine, thanks.

12. Favourite non-alcoholic drink?
Ice-cold, full-fat milk.

13. Favourite alcoholic drink:
That varies. Right now, none. No, I'm not hung over, I'm just going through a phase of not liking alcohol. I'll say white wine; perhaps 'real' bitter.

14. Favourite sports:
None. I cycle, but I don't regard that as a sport, it's a mode of travel.

15. Hair colour:
Mid/dark brown. Boring question!

16. Eye colour:

17. Do you wear contacts?
I'm very uneasy about the very idea if putting a lens actually on the surface of my eye, so I wear glasses, just for distance viewing. At present, I wear glasses for a tiny fraction of a typical day, so don't need the 'always on' vision correction provided by contact lenses. Glasses are inconvenient too, so perhaps I'll try contacts if my vision deteriorates to requiring more continuous correction.

18. Siblings?
K, an orthopedic surgeon, lives 253 miles (408 km) away in Taunton. Her job and location mean I tend to only see her annually.

19. Favourite month:
I don't have a favourite, so any answer would be arbitrary.

20. Favourite food:
Sea food: prawns, cockles, mussels, crab, lobster. Garlic prawns are a particular favourite, particularly for their firm texture, but the prawns available in the UK tend to be too small and insufficiently fresh.

21. Last movie you watched:
'Cube' (1996), on DVD last night. Though the central premise was excellent and execution very good, such a claustrophobic setting required very strong human elements (credible, three-dimensional characters acted particularly well, with good dialogue), which weren't quite there. I'd still recommend it.

22. Favourite day of the year:
Again, I don't have a favourite. Certainly not my birthday or socially-determined festivals.

23. Saturday or Sunday?
Saturday. It's difficult to say why. When I think of childhood Sundays, I have a few unhappy memories, but that doesn't really affect me now. Nowadays, I wake on a Saturday with a mass of plans for the weekend, whereas I wake on a Sunday with less than half of Saturday's plans even started.

24. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Too right!

25. Do you like Marmite?
Not even the thought of it.

26. Summer or winter?
Both have advantages. Summer probably edges ahead, as I can paint in natural light, tend to see friends more on walks and whilst camping, and it's pleasant to read in the park. If the question had allowed, I'd have said spring, maybe autumn, but both ahead of summer or winter.

27. Hugs or kisses?
Definitely hugs. There's probably some deep psychological reason I've yet to resolve, but I don't like kissing. I find hugs affirming and immensely comforting, whereas kisses make me very uncomfortable.

28. Chocolate or vanilla?

29. Do you want your friends to write back?
Another e-mail question, which doesn't really apply here. Comments are welcome, as are trackbacks to other peoples' (ooh; where does that apostrophe go?) answers.

30. Who is most likely to respond?
Not applicable.

31. Who is least likely to respond?
Not applicable.

32. Living arrangements:
I own my home, a small terraced house. I occupy it alone. That was phrased carefully: in an age of phones, e-mail and web-based communication, it's not so accurate to say "I live alone".

33. What books are you reading?
I read the first two books of Ken MacLeod's 'Engines Of Light' trilogy separately, soon after their paperback releases (i.e. a year apart), but now I'm reading the trilogy back-to-back; I finished re-reading 'Dark Light' in the park yesterday, and will return to start 'Engine City' (for the first time) later this afternoon.

34. What did you do last night?
After returning from the park at 19:00 (see previous question), I redesigned the Ministry's favicon and responded to a couple of e-mails, then took slight exception to a posting at the official Porcupine Tree discussion forum, and wrote a long rebuttal which caused me to delay watching 'Cube' until an hour or so later than I'd planned. I was in bed by about 01:00. No, food wasn't part of this sequence, but that's usual.

35. Did you wake up before your alarm went off this morning?
About six hours beforehand, yes. I was sleeping with the window open when a taxi-load of neighbours returned from a night out. It seems there'd been a row, and this group had stormed off - without a door key. Hence, they sat on doorsteps and ranted for at least half an hour before another taxi-load arrived, and they took the re-energised argument indoors.
To more directly answer the question, when the alarm went off I was asleep, and hit the 'snooze' button twice before waking properly ten minutes later.

36. Question missing.
I don't remember the foregoing questions, but I do have a vague memory of completing an e-mail questionnaire which omitted three questions; have I done this whole exercise before? If so, it must have been a few years ago.

37. Question missing.

38. What inspires you?
I find some artwork and graphic design inspiring; the whole look of 'The Matrix' had a greater impact on me than the film itself. I also find the photography and digital editing of Lasse Hoile to be directly inspiring.
I don't find people, their actions or words particularly inspiring, but one has to remember that there's both positive and negative inspiration, and the actions taken by some activist or politician might shape my opinions; I just can't think of any cases when that's been towards the person's standpoint.

39. Question missing

40. Favourite crisps:
'Sea salt and balsamic vinegar' Kettle Chips. They're more like the crispy bits in a bag of chips (US: fries) than ordinary salt & vinegar crisps, which I consider to taste of, well, salt & vinegar flavouring, which is a flavour of its own. Kettle Chips are also contain drastically less fat than ordinary mass-produced crisps: 27.5% (3.2% saturates) versus 33.0% (14.0%) in Walkers salt & vinegar crisps.

41. Favourite car:
A & A's! I'm always grateful for a lift, so it would be disingenuous to disdain cars outright. However, I don't have the vaguest interest in different models of cars.

42. Favourite flowers:
None. I don't like flowers.

43. How many keys on your key ring?
Four. I need keys to my front door, office door and bike lock on a daily basis, but since a key snapped off in my front door lock, I've added A & A's house key (used for occasional cat-feeding) to my key ring, as four keys together are less vulnerable to bending (and hence weakening) in my pocket.

44. Can you juggle?
Objects, no. My life, not really.

45. Favourite day of the week:
Saturday, as it's not a work day, and has the prospect of another non-work day to follow. Hmm... that's repeating my answer to Q.23, more conclusively.

46. Red or white wine:
White, though I like red too.

47. What did you do for your last birthday?
I really don't remember. Pub?

48. Do you own a donor card?
Own, but not carry. I have a Damien Hurst donor card, which I bought from the Tate Liverpool. When I die, I donate my body to art. Note to executors: the card is a joke.

49. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up in the morning?
I don't do thought for at least a further ninety minutes.

50. What are you doing once this is finished?
We could go and get a drink, if you'd like.


Same first name, same middle name and last names that start with the same letter. Freaky :).

Posted by The other Neil T. at May 16, 2004 11:21 PM
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