Settling Accounts [for Amy]

photo-2Since I have two and a half hours left on this train and need to keep tuning up the band [Blogging: For when writing is too damn hard!].

Up top is Amy Clarke. I used to work with Amy Clarke, then I stopped and she went off and got a grown up life with things like ‘desk jobs’ and ‘health benefits’ and ‘a wife.’ Lives diverge, doesn’t mean you love people any less.

ANYWAY. Back in March [MARCH!] the lovely Amy Clarke left a comment here that she’d nominated me for some sort of award. Which, upon further inspection, turned out to be a sort of glorified chain letter, but when I swung over to her blog and read her original post, she said some very nice things about me, which has guilted me into answering the questions she laid out. Oh boo-hoo, you have to talk about yourself? Everyone knows how much you hate that!

Yeah, yeah….

So, since I don’t read enough blogs by actual people, I’m only doing the requested portions I can do by myself, which is a total cop-out, I admit, but I’m doing it anyway. Because reasons.

1. List 11 Facts About Yourself.

  1. I abhor lateness, in myself and others. For casual meetups I will always try to be early; for important appointments I will show up early and then wait, timing my arrival to the second. It’s a problem.
  2. I am terribly afraid of dying from an embolism. Because you can’t plan or prepare for that shit, just BAM, and that’s it. Which is probably one of the better ways to go as opposed to cancer or AIDS, but I still worry about it more than a normal person would.
  3. I consistently worry about being exposed as a fraud, for not being as smart of as good a writer as other people like to describe me as. This is a problem most writers have.
  4. I hate labeling myself as a ‘writer.’ Despite having done in most of my life, and in professional capacities for almost a decade, paycheques and all, I don’t feel I’ve earned it. People who bandy it about nonchalantly irritate me.
  5. I drank two liters of chocolate milk over the course of yesterday afternoon and evening. I’m not sorry.
  6. I love hard. Probably too hard, because it leads to attachments that typically backfire on me. Comfortably in my 30s, I can acknowledge this has made me somewhat distant to most people.
  7. I sometimes worry I’m a sociopath. I know this is a trendy self-diagnosis to make, but it still worries me. It’s not that I lack empathy, I just feel like I have a very limited supply, reserved for my parents, a dozen friends, and baby animals. I rarely find children interesting [but will likely think my own, should I have them, will be fascinating, and superior to yours. I’d like to think most parents do the same. Gonna be rough times at the swingset if not].
  8. I hate falling asleep. Not insomnia, I can fall asleep. I just don’t like it. Control issues, most likely. Being “the cousin of death” doesn’t help.
  9. My tragic flaw is knowing what I want to do, but inability to act. I’ve never really known where this came from.
  10. A combination of accepting my own introversion and having some small measure of success and affirmation of my writing has only made me less willing to compromise and do shit I don’t like. I am trying to figure out how to feel bad about this. It’s not working.
  11. Since moving into my place, while not increasing my income much, I’ve been amazed at how well I’ve acclimated a  to minimalist way of living. Well, as minimalist as you can be when you have an Xbox, giant TV, Macbook, iPad, iPhone and DJ controller, among other toys. The only thing I ever spend money on anymore are the bills and food, which I’m still terrible about. Probably because I justify it as an expenditure on a ‘need’. Food is a need. Doritos and Pepsi are not.


  1. What website do you subconsiously always type first in your internet browser even though you mean to go to a completely different website? 

    I wish I could say something smart like The New Yorker, but it’s usually Facebook or Twitter, since most of my web consumption comes through things other people post. Social! Synergy! Buzzwords! Kill Yourself!

  2. What are you MOST looking forward to in spring? (Patios? Birds? Women wearing less clothing? (that’s obviously mine)) 

    I have never understood this city’s insanity for eating food and drinking beer while sitting on uncomfortable plastic chairs crammed shoulder to shoulder on an unshaded slab of concrete. Honestly, Toronto, what is your damage with the damn patios?Daylight Savings Time is the thing I always look forward to. I was out of the house at 6:00 a.m. to catch the train I’m currently on and the sun was up and it was lovely and I was all, ‘Why don’t I do this every day!‘ then realizing with no train to catch I would have slept until 11:00 which totally defeats the purpose. I hate heat, but I love me some sunlight.

  3. What’s one of the weirdest gifts your parents have given you since you became an “adult”? 

    Is it weird if I asked for it? Last Christmas I got a pair of insulated Contigo travel mugs, and they have been life changing. One of them was eaten by the lunchroom gnomes a month ago and I’m still salty about it. When you realize you can brew your own for a month for what it costs to get two cups of Tim Horton’s, you’ll never go back. I had to stop at Tim’s today and I’m so angry, Amy. SO ANGRY. $1.65? Come on, now.

  4. Did you ever read a book all the way through even though you knew you weren’t enjoying it/going to enjoy it? School books don’t count. 

    It’s an interesting question, since I have a much more vivid memory of the books I let defeat me [looking at you, Roberto Bolaño]. The last Jonathan Lethem boks were a bit of a slog, but I loved his other work so much I powered through. If his next novel [sitting at home on the post-draft pile] has another pretentious know-it-all stoner in it, I may have to tap out and stick to his non-fiction.

  5. Ditto the above for movies (though replace “read” with “watch”/”pay for”) 

    Back before we had Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic, if your taste in movies ran towards the weird or underground, you normally bought DVDs on the box art and then hoped for the best. I’ve sat through a number of Asian horror and action moves because I spent money on the DVD. They now, with few exceptions, live at the Annex BMV. I’m sure you can still find my copy of ‘Versus‘ in the basement.

  6. If you had to write a haiku (and you do have to) about your favourite Superhero, how would it go? 

    Superstitious lot,
    Criminals need a symbol.
    I will be a bat.

  7. What is your least favourite board game and why? 

    Previously, I would have said Risk, but having watched people play it at a recent outing to Snakes and Lattés, I take that back. Probably Trouble. I can’t abide anything that gets over on a gimmick.

  8. You’re trapped on an island. You can only bring with you one celebrity of your choice. Who do you choose? (For sexy times? For eating? Who would be the best at figuring out an escape plan?) 

    I’d love to say I’d pick Tom Hanks for all the amazing raft building skills he picked up on Castaway, but really, I just want to watch Alison Brie spearfish topless. I’m a base, base man, Amy Clarke.

  9. What is your go-to easiest meal to make yourself? 

    Besides Doritos? Vegetable noodle bowl.

  10. Sprite or crab juice? 

    EEEEEUUUUUAAAUUUGH!! I’ll take the crab juice! Amy didn’t actually have 11 questions, which I feel absolves me of any guilt I might feel about leaving this for four months, but I’ll steal one of the ones she was asked.

  11. Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

    Change or die.

Cool, I just gave you more content today than I have in months. Between the two entries, I wrote almost 2,000 words. If I do that 15 times, I’ll be done the book!  Piece of cake!  If you know, the cake is made of anxiety and frosted with tears.



  1. It took me 1 week and 1 day to notice this! Man, I am BAD at the Internet. But what matters, Fergs, is that I DID notice and I loved it. I LOVED IT. When you’re back we should hang out. You can come over to my grownup house and we can play video games and eat doritos. I may or may not agree with your assessment of my being a “grown-up”. You know what I did yesterday with my wife? Yeah, we watched Superman I and Superman II and played Super Mario on the Wii until anger and defeat were beaten by sleep deprivation.

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