Part R in the 2015 A-Z Blogging Challenge
Last month I asked my readers to think of questions to ask me. Here's what they came up with...
Jacquelineand.... from Cheapskate Blethering: What makes you angry Michael? What makes you angry enough that you can't *not* do or say something?
There are a few answers to this, but the biggest and must prevalent would have to be when people claim moral highground. It's all well and good to support gender equality and gay rights etc, but if any of those people attacks others who don't agree with them, then that makes them just as bad. I recently had a conversation with a friend who was drunk and had tears in his eyes. In a hurt, puppy-dog voice, he described a conversation he'd had with another friend of his. He described how he'd read the police report for the Ferguson Shooting and he thought the cop might be innocent. He'd apparently told this other friend and the friend said he was being a racist and now won't talk to him. It was really upsetting. Another time, I saw something from a friend on Facebook who was brave enough to say that people should do plenty of research before vaccinating their kids. The amount of vitriol she endured from who so-called "friends" was horrifying. They were telling her not to ever become a mother and to stay away from their kids. I'll probably vaccinate my own kids, but if anyone else has done the research and decides it's too dangerous, what right would I have to refute that? Personally, I've chosen to keep believing in God while everyone else my age rejects religion altogether. I have to be careful who I reveal that information to, lest people draw conclusions that I hate gay people or that I'm not too bright. It's very frustrating.
John Gray at Going Gently: Your biggest regret when it came to love?
I literally have no regrets. I've certainly made mistakes (a shitload of them), but none that I dearly wish I could take back. All the dumb things I've done have made me a better person now than if I'd never done them.
Okay, there is one thing... On my second Valentine's Day with my first girlfriend, I suggested we give each other gifts that don't cost any money. My brilliant idea was to give her an old hard drive I didn't need any more and I filled it with thousands upon thousands of music tracks that may or may not have been illegally obtained. She had an issue with torrented music and refused to partake in it. Later I found out that the hard drive had also stopped working. It's by FAR the worst gift I've ever gotten somebody and if I could take that mistake back, I would. But nothing else.
Alex J. Cavanaugh at Alex J. Cavanaugh: You jumped out of a plane - what's the next wild thing you want to do?
That's a tough one. The short answer is EVERYTHING. But I guess if I had to pick one thing,I've always considered skydiving to be a package deal with bungee jumping. I actually have a typed-up bucket list on my computer and those are the first two items on it.
Debra at She Who Seeks: What's your favourite movie and who's your favourite movie star?
It's a polarising choice, but for me it has to be Man of Steel. I've spoken before about how much Superman means to me and someone once pointed out to me that Superman's a character that's manage to update itself for 70 years based on what's been going on in the world at that time. Man of Steel brought Superman into a post-9/11 world where we're all too jaded to really believe in an icon of perfection. It highlighted some of his weaknesses - in particular, that he cares too much. Look out in the sequels for the consequences of the first movie to affect him deeply in the second. He'll become so protective of human life that others can start to take advantage of it.
As for my favourite actor, it's a dead heat between Bryan Cranston and James Spader. I'm endlessly impressed with how competently Cranston went from hapless father Hal in Malcom in the Middle to badass druglord Walter in Breaking Bad. And Spader has played two of my favourite ever characters on TV - Alan Shore from Boston Legal (my all-time favourite character) and Red Reddington on The Blacklist.
Cherdo at Cherdo on the Flipside: When Men at Work said "You'd better run, you'd better take cover", what the heck were you running from? Do you really eat Vegemite? Why? How? From this side of the globe, Australia seems to have a ridiculous number of scary, crazy critters. Is it really like that, day to day?
Well, I imagine Men at work were telling us to run from all that thunder and men chundering (puking).
I very rarely eat eat Vegemite, but there are a lot of people who seem to love it. I'm convinced it's some sort of practical joke we play on other countries - we tell everyone how awesome it is and then watch their faces as they try it and squirm. Apparently, if you just spread the bare minimum amount, it doesn't taste like you're being beaten to death with salt.
My gut feeling is that bushland in America is filled with just as many snakes and spiders as bushland in Australia. We get the impression of having more because something like 90% of the area of Australia is bushland. The majority of our population is crammed into a number of cities around the coast and in those cities, there's nary a croc or a 'roo to be found. To put it in perspective, my Mum and sister still freak out when they see a spider in the house and my Dad or I have to stop whatever we're doing and come and kill it.
Patt Hatt at It's Rhyme Time: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Ever hop along with a kangaroo? Think you could get around the world in 80 days without a plane?
It depends on the size and the motivation of the woodchuck. Why is it chucking the wood in the first place?
I haven't hopped along with a kangaroo, but I have shot at one from a 4WD at midnight? Is that close enough? ...Hello?
Three words - hot air balloon.
Bryan & Brandon at A Beer for the Shower: What makes you tick? In other words, what can't you live without? If you could sit down and talk to your 6 year old self, do you think he'd be happy with how you turned out? And would you give him any advice on the future, or would you let him figure it out on his own?
I'm driven by a powerful, unquenchable desire to live life to the fullest. I'm not at all sure when it happened, but at some point I started to picture how I'd be on my deathbed. Death seems like such a final and absolute thing that if I ever got there and had regrets on how I'd lived, then that would be incredibly sad. So I work very hard at not letting that happen. What can't I live without? I see that as a very different question and I'm ashamed to say that the answer is probably my phone :P
That next question is very interesting, because when I was 6 years old, life was still very peachy. I was very outgoing, everyone thought I was adorable and I was pretty smart for my age. Things didn't start going wrong for me until I was 9. However, while my time between the ages of 9 and 19 were pretty painful, I still wouldn't try to stop it from happening. Like I mentioned before, I'm a better person now than if that stuff had never happened. The one thing I would try and convince my six-year-old self to do is to be wary of junk food and video games later on. When I was ten years old a doctor told me that I was among the shortest 10% of kids my age in Australia, but among the heaviest 10% as well. That put me firmly in obese range. I'm in really good shape now, but I do wonder what life would be like now if I'd forgone those two things. I imagine I'd be fitter and taller and that being social would have come more naturally to me later on.
Linda Kay at Senior Adventures: If you had plenty of money and a choice of a month to spend in a foreign country, where would you go and what would you plan to see?
Hm... Well it's on my bucket list to travel to every continent. I've already been to Italy and the US (and Australia of course). I think Antarctica would only be a couple of days tops. So that leaves somewhere in Asia, Africa or South America. Of the countries they include, I'm most interested in visiting Japan, China, India, Brazil and South Africa. I'll say... Japan. As for what I'd see, I generally like to have a good mix of touristy stuff and local stuff on my trips, so I'd see all the historical sites, Sumo matches etc, but I'd also just chill out at Japanese restaurants and watch some Japanese game shows on TV.
Elephant's Child at Elephant's Child: What is your biggest (most impossible) dream?
To make a very comfortable living working in jobs that I love and am passionate about. I've been doing it at Quiz Meisters for a while, I occasionally perform those kids' theatre shows and I'm trying to fit in my footy umpiring so I can develop that into a decent income too. Once that's achieved, my biggest dream will be to find the girl of my dreams and start a family with her.
Susan Barclay at Notes from Innisfree: If you were stuck on a desert island, who would you want to be with and why?
Probably Australian comedian Justin Hamilton. He's fascinating (download his podcast), knows how to make things fun without needing technology (Hey our phones are dead and useless, let's see if we can use them to nail those toucans!) and since it's a desert island and we'd have no food to sustain us, we'd probably only last a few days. In that case, I want to be laughing until the end.
Elizabeth Seckman at Elizabeth Seckman, Author: What's the best and worst fashion trend? Show us your style!
Sorry Liz, this is probably the only question I won't be able to satisfactorily answer. I honestly have no eye for fashion whatsoever. I can have an hour-long conversation with someone and then someone else will say "Did you see what he was wearing?" I wouldn't be able to tell them. I just don't pay attention to it.
Personally, I've been wearing the same thing for 20 years - a t-shirt (most likely one that I got at a concert or just a plain white one), sandshoes and either shorts in Summer or jeans and a jacket in Winter. I think I look ridiculous in anything else.
Stephen T. McCarthy at STMcC Presents Battle of the Bands: Where were you when the lights went out? Where do you go to "meet a man about a horse"? What are your general thoughts about Radio Birdman, and your specific thoughts about "Aloha Steve and Danno"?
I had to look these ones up to answer them. First I came up with the Doris Day film "Where Were You When the Lights Went Out?", which took place in 1965. I wasn't even a twinkle in my parents' eyes at that point, seeing as my father was only four years old and my mother hadn't quite been born yet.
Okay, I'll let you in on a secret - I didn't really have to see anyone about a horse. I just wanted to get out of the conversation.
My general thoughts on Radio Birdman - they're really cool! More specific thoughts on Aloha Steve and Danno - I love it! A lot of that trademark punk thrash, love the cutting guitar. Wish I could understand what they were singing though :P
Pickelope Von Pickelope at Strangely Naked: Are you doing this because you couldn't think of another post that starts with "Q"?
Nope ;) I wrote a ridiculously long post for Q (it took me three solid days to write). R on the other hand...
Peaches D. Ledwidge at Day Laughs Night Cries: How do you heal from emotional pain/wounds?
Time and company. For me, that's a foolproof combination and it hasn't failed me yet. I might walk around like the world's on my shoulders for a while, but I make sure to NEVER take it out on anyone else.
Jax at Raviolis and Waterworks: What is your BIGGEST fear and why?
I have two answers for this. The first is that I fear I'll never get a chance to become a dad. I want children a lot, but at the moment I barely make enough money to support myself let alone a child, and I have no idea if I'll ever find the right mother in time. My biggest fear used to be that I wouldn't be a good dad. But I've studied enough cases of good and bad parenting that I feel like I've got a good shot. Plus, there was this moment I had once when I was hanging out with my group of friends and someone asked the question "If you had to pick two people from this group to be your parents, who would you pick?" Most of the group picked me as the dad, which I found very surprising, but also flattering and encouraging.
The other fear... well, it's needles. Seriously, it's a proper phobia. The last time I had to give blood, I whimpered like a little boy.
Theresa Mahoney at Theresa's Mixed Nuts: What's something you absolutely feel you must accomplish before you die? What makes you so happy, so happy you could pee your pants? (just playing off the angry question from before, lol)
Without a doubt it's to own my own property and become self-sufficient. I'm lucky enough to have parents who'll support me while I make my dreams a reality (albeit reluctantly - they'd love it if I just got a 9-5 job like everyone else), and in turn it spurs me on to not just get comfortable living with them and to actually make sure I'm working towards that home-owning goal.
What makes me pants-wettingly happy? Nougat. I love nougat so much.
Jimmy Fungus at JimmyFungus.com: Who was the guy who replaced John Travolta on "Welcome Back Kotter"? Someone told me it was Ted McGinley, but I think they were lying to me.
I think he was lying. According to my research, they never actually replaced Travolta. He just appeared in the occasional episode as a "special guest star". He reportedly got paid $2000 per episode that season.
Dixie at dcrelief: If you threw a party - invited every girl you knew - how many would you ask, and how many of those asked would show up? And would you still be able to say to the ones who didn't show... "Thank you for being a friend'? Would they always be your "Golden Girls"? (Like you're gonna know that sitcom or theme song - right?)
Every girl I know? We might be getting into the triple-digits there :P I doubt many would come, because I'm just not known as the guy who holds parties. You probably know how it is, you generally either hold all the parties yourself or you attend everyone else's parties. I'm the latter. As such, they would of course still be my "Golden Girls" (I know the show. Unfortunately never watched it, so I don't know the theme).
Alissa Apel at Planet of the Apels: Have you ever done anything illegal? What was it? Would you do it again? Or do you regret that you did it now?
Nothing major, mostly downloading music and TV shows or jaywalking. Although there are two moments that I wish I could take back. One happened when I was 17 and still drinking (I quit when I was 18, how weird is that?). My friends of the time and I had stumbled out of the house and gone for a walk through the night. We passed an ATM and some of the boys were getting out money when for some reason I realised "You know what? I've never publicly urinated before!" I proceeded to go against the side of the bank, much to my friends' amusement. Not proud of that.
The other moment came when I was 12 years old and I was hanging out in the school canteen with my friends. One of them mentioned that the walls there were really weak and demonstrated by kicking a hole in one of them. The rest of us wanted to see if we could do it too and by the end of lunch, the whole room was full of holes. The school decided not to press charges, but we were suspended and asked to pay the cost of fixing the damage.
Sarah, my friend from The Buttercup Gang: What is your favourite moment with each individual member of the Buttercup Gang? (especially that Sarah, she's a keeper)
Phew, that's tough. I'm not sure I can remember individual moments, just the presence of you guys in my life is what stands out to me. But I'll give it a go. These are subject to change as more moments come to me.
Kelsey - The time we did the World's Greatest Shave together. We decided to do it fairly late (like a week out) but we still managed to raise over $400.
Mitchell - The 10-minute burger challenge. Not only was it really really fun, but it's the moment I learned that he can be just as competitive as me.
Sarah - The moment I learned the full extent of what you went through growing up. I've never felt so close to you as that moment. We were having the conversation over Facebook, so you couldn't see the tears welling in my eyes as I read it.
Juan - Seeing him at his salsa performance. He's such a good dancer!
Jerida - We worked our way through all five seasons of Boston Legal together. We were both crazy about the show and after every episode it sparked a lot of moral and ethical debate between us, which I enjoyed. It's the only thing I ever introduced her to that she genuinely enjoyed. She got me onto Gilmore Girls, but we never got to the end of the first season because she preferred to watch Boston Legal.
Jasmine - Last Christmas, her and Mitchell were completely adamant that they weren't to get presents. I wasn't hearing any of that, so I made sure to include them on my Christmas list. Mitchell was easy to buy for because I know him so well, but Jasmine I don't know as well. Every attempt I made at finding out what she likes was shot down, so I ended up spending a whole afternoon drawing a picture of her surrounded by images of the three things I know about her - that she's a nurse and that she loves reading and anime. I'm an AWFUL drawer, which gave the picture a juvenile charm. She totally loved it.
Brooke - One time we went to the beach (just her and I) and I think I noticed for the first time how much of a sense of fun she has. We threw/kicked footballs, tumbled down sand dunes and pretended to be superheroes by tying our towels around our necks as capes.
Jason - During the road trip to Pine Point, Jason was teaching us (myself and Jerida) some gospel folk songs he knew (he's a singing teacher and a music major). Eventually, the three of us kind of fell into this groove where Jason and Jerida lay down a beat and I made trumpet noises over the top. It had this great jazz sound and I loved how we were all completely in sync for that moment. That and that video he made for us after the trip ;)
Wendy - There was a time where we met at Burger Theory and it was the first time I'd had any proper interaction with her. I discovered she's really funny and it made me like her more.