It's nice to unwind a little and deviate from script, so I thought I would respond back to the lovely L.G. Keltner of Writing Off The Edge who marked me like a human contestant in The Running Man with the prestigious Liebster Blog Award. Thank you for the honor L.G..
Then just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water Jaws swims up looking for some chum. I blinked and the next thing you know It Rains... You Get Wet comes along and bestows the honor upon me like a facehugger on an unsuspecting space explorer. My compadre Michael whom I affectionately refer to as L13 hit me with the Liebster stick too. All of this in the span of three weeks. So I knew I had to take time to pull back the curtain. More than anything, I thought it would be fun to answer your questions and give a respectful nod back to both L.G. and L13.
Bestowed with the prestigious tag, I offer you 11 + 11 = 22 things you probably didn't care to know and follow by answering 11 + 11 = 22 of L13 and L.G.'s questions. Boy, my math is still sharp after all of this writing and math was never a favorite really. Hey, see that, there's one thing right there you didn't know.
1. Justin Bieber and the lot make me miss the 80s terribly.
2. Simon LeBon is one of the world's most underrated and greatest pop stars. In fact, I took my Boy Wonder to see his first concert, Duran Duran, on Aug 24. It rocked! Sadly, Nick Rhodes is quite exhausted at the moment and the band cancelled the rest of their North American Tour the next day, August 25. Get well Nick! You're the original synthesist - an amazing outerspace man!
3. My favorite Bond is Roger Moore and once again I go against conventional wisdom on these things. I happily rush to the top of the highest mountain and proclaim it and I don't care who knows it. The pop culture of my childhood is often disparaged. No more. In fact, The Spy Who Loved Me  is one of the great films of the 1970s.
4. I have two toads living in my window wells around my house. I have one on each side. I regularly feed them live bugs I find around the house. They've been living at our home now since at least June. I did some research concerned for their well-being as the cold grows near, but they hibernate apparently and I need not worry. Anyway, I throw the bugs in the wells and they suck them right up! They take good care of our home.
5. I am addicted to The One To Be Pitied's affection for Dance Moms and especially Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. I love that Honey Boo Boo. I know it's a guilty pleasure and I'm not proud, but damn it's a great show. There's always one out there that captures my attention for the sheer mindless fun. But seeing a family of country bumpkins who genuinely love one another, and need subtitles like they're from another country, is just too damn irresistible.
6. I like the cold and I like snow. Everyone is so down on snow. I also like a good fire.
7. I love looking at the ocean, but not swimming in it so much. I'll do it, but I prefer looking at it with something to drink.
8. I really don't like olives. I love pickles and green peppers but not olives. I don't want them on my pizza either. I can handle a few in a spinach pie. Funny thing is I loved olive loaf when I was a kid - you know the bologna with the green olives in it. Yeah, I loved that!
9. My Scottish terrier is Maisie. She's awesome. She greets me with big yawn sounds in the morning. She's done this since that first fateful day. She's black with big pointed ears. I tried naming her Spock but, well, I lost. In fact, I lose many battles. I don't think you'd want me on your team unless it's baseball.
10. I've discovered driving longer than five hours is not something I enjoy as much anymore. Road trips were once a dream for me. I lived for them. Trips up and down the east coast. Spotting South Of The Border and all sorts of American landmarks along with the occasional iHop stop. Now that was living. Today, I really can't hack it physically. I can still do it as evidenced by my recent road trip to Virginia Beach, but man it takes a toll. I even make old man faces. I really don't intend it, but it's natural. They're like pained Clint Eastwood faces.
11. I'm addicted to Words For Friends. I'm scrabble happy! I do that too much, but it's a phase. Out of frustration, I make old man faces there too. But I've come to the conclusion that having a great hand a and a little luck goes a long way. Skills are good. Having a command of the English language without cheating is good, but a good hand is even better. I'll take a Q and Z any day. That damn application skips you on Z, Q and J from time to time and you're almost thoroughly screwed. Whoever created Scrabble was pretty damn clever.
12. I never finished Lost. I should finish that last season.
13. I enjoy making onion rings from scratch on football Sundays. That with some chicken wings and beer on a football Sunday and you're sitting pretty. Looking forward to it.
14. As a kid I hated running. Running the field at school seemed like an eternity and especially with some of the kids who ran like gazelles. It really wasn't that big, but looking out at the field back then it felt like a barren wasteland that went on for miles. I actually enjoy it today with the ipod. Though, I am constantly calling the ipod my Walkman and my family makes fun of me.
15. I refer to just about anything with the word puppies. "Hey babe, grab me some of those puppies." "Guys, pop a few of those puppies." Again, I am made fun of by my kids. I also say "fudgepackers" a lot. After excessive time playing with my ipad I will use my laptop and try to touch the icons on the screen and then proclaim, "Argh! fudgepackers!" But, it beats cursing and the cliched "shut the front door."
16. I prefer sweet popcorn or kettle corn over buttered popcorn. It's not for everyone. Granted, the movie popcorn is so delicious I've been known to stop in and buy some of it and leave not having seen a movie. I'm not right.
17. If there was one series I still wished would return and for awhile I thought it had a chance, it's Firefly. It's not overrated. It was that good. Such a shame.
18. Of all the animated adventures growing up, I always hoped Gatchaman or Battle Of The Planets would make it to the live action film. Can you imagine?
19. I envision our roadways with transport tubes propelled by air as a mode of transportation. These tubes would be all over the country and would be clear glass and fun to travel. I think of things like this when I'm driving. I haven't considered maintenance or anything substantive like that but they would be cool, fast and fun.
20. I once passed on a T-shirt while in Rockport, MA once as a child. It had an iron-on of Space Glider of the Micronauts. I think of that shirt once in a blue moon because it's symbolic of so many things I decide not to purchase only to wish I had days later when it's too late. Don't you hate that? I was young then and those things do leave an impression.
21. I have Kodak pictures of my Planet Of The Apes dolls climbing my giant oak tree back when I was just a boy. Mind you, I don't have photos of me playing with them. I have close-ups of Cornelius and others in action shots because I was living a movie as a kid and everything was fantasy. I would grab my mom's Kodak and make those things come true. Roddy McDowall was awesome.
22. I was in love with Mrs. George in the 6th grade. She had these massive bosoms and she was a brunette. At the end of the year I said goodbye and she grabbed me, kissed me, and squeezed me against her boobs. GULP. That was as good as it got back then. Things have progressed considerably since based on today's headlines. I think it was best things ended with a harmless squeeze. Good times.
First, here are the answers to L.G.'s questions.
1. Which do you prefer: reading or writing? Or does your preference depend on your mood? Mostly I prefer writing, but reading is such a benefit to writing. I enjoy a good book, but I'm an incredibly slow reader because I tend to wander and day dream and generally need to re-read a page two times. Yes, writing is a process too, but I prefer it.
2. How do you prefer to travel: car, bike, or foot? For longer distances: train, plane, or boat? Honesty, I prefer to bike and jog, but prefer the car for long distances unless there is a big pond with no road. Still, as I've discovered recently, road trips aren't quite as romantic as they used to be.
3. What is the craziest thing you wanted to be when you were a kid? A pop star. I really wanted to be a pop singer. I suppose it's not really that crazy. I jumped around on my bed with music blaring and wrote songs and sang into tape players. All of the bands of the 1980s made me want to be a pop star. Even more crazy, my daughter had dreams of one day being a grocery seller. She's great and she dreams big.
4. If you could pick one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Principled or kind.
5. Board games or video games? Gosh, video games. I liked board games enough, but the second Atari arrived the few board games I enjoyed went into the closet. If I had to play another game of Candy Land I think I might have gone over the edge. Pitfall. Asteroids. Missile Command. Now we were onto something.
6. If you suddenly became a millionaire, what would you buy first and why? A vintage white lotus or red one from the James Bond films' The Spy Who Loved Me and For Your Eyes Only. I'm such a product of that period. I always dreamed I would have one of those. To this day I still look from time to time. But features must include the ability to go under the water and explode if someone tries to steal it.
7. Where in the world would you like to travel most? Japan and the land down under. I've been to the UK. I love it there, but Japan is definitely a place I want to spend a few weeks visiting. I want to go to Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli Museum or wrestle a croc. It's a toss up.
8. If you had a chance to go to space, would you do it? Why or why not? I would definitely do it. I would be terrified. Those people don't train for nothing. What an amazing opportunity to do something like that. It's an experience and a thrill just going down an impressive roller coaster. Can you imagine going to space? I would definitely want to be armed so that I could battle all those Aliens too and our our spaceship must have missiles.
9. What is your favorite movie or TV show? Well, my favorite TV show would probably be Star Trek: The Original Series and that will always be. I'm also a big fan of all things Doctor Who and at the moment I am really digging the new doctors. I loved the classic Baker series, but the new stuff is just so innovative, original and compelling. I love it.
10. Do you collect anything? Maybe a better question would be, are you a science fiction hoarder? It's always such a fine line isn't it? I mean, what's the difference between hoarder and collector? If it's neatness or being tidy, than I am a collector, but yeah, die cast ships, auto cards, toy vehicles and plastic figures, sci-fi magazines and other oddities litter the basement. I also collect thoughts and ideas. Rolling them into action is another story.
11. Chocolate or vanilla? If we're talking ice cream, I prefer Coffee, but Vanilla is the one you can put peanut butter sauce and hot fudge on as well as nuts, cherries, sprinkles and other dips. I pretty much love the blank canvas option of Vanilla. Chocolate is so dominant. It's like a dominant gene. Vanilla feels recessive. I'm giving this way too much thought.
Here are my answer to L13's questions.
1. What was the last reference book you used? The Dalek Handbook. It's not like the Daleks are my favorite Doctor Who villains or anything like that, but I wanted to educate myself on Daleks since they are such a huge part of the Whoniverse. Of course, that's such an important subject I know. Most people would shake their heads.
2. What pop song from your youth, used in a movie, immediately got you to react, "oh, no you didn't!"? I love my music you know, but I can't think of anything.
3. Steve McQueen or Paul Newman? For whatever reason it was Steve McQueen. I just thought he was the coolest. Paul Newman was a terrific actor, but I just identified with McQueen. I enjoyed a ton of his 70s stuff.
4. What foreign country, known for its cinema, have you yet to watch a movie from? I suppose India. I have not connected with any of the Bollywood films. With so much out there to see I have not had time to squeeze one in from India.
5. Favorite Samuel L Jackson film? The man is prolific, but I'll go with F. Gary Gray's The Negotiator . It was a popular picture, but it's damn good entertainment.
6. Favorite over-the-top performance from Face/Off: John Travolta as Sean Archer/Troy Castor or Nicholas Cage as Troy Castor/Sean Archer? It's been a long while since I've seen this crazy, over-the-top flick and I'll give my nod to crazy Nicholas Cage. I just generally enjoy him as an actor much more than Travolta.
7. Ketchup or salsa? Ketchup! No doubt. Salsa, well, really good, homemade salsa can be wonderful, but I use ketchup for everything but eggs and hot dogs. Gross!
8. What clearly dramatic scene from a movie made you inexplicably burst out laughing in reaction? These are tough Mike! Again, tough to remember anything like this. Normally, it's stuff like Star Wars: Attack Of The Clones' love scene that is cringe worthy, but I never laughed out loud. Still, seeing them jump on those round critters was a little goofy too. I may have made a funny face.
9. Wyatt Earp or Tombstone? In full disclosure I have not seen Wyatt Earp, yet I've seen Dances With Wolves and Open Range. So Tombstone gets the nod because it was a great interpretation of that period. I enjoyed it tremendously.
10. What was the latest, or earliest, movie screening you’ve ever attended? I saw The Rocky Horror Picture Show  at midnight as a teenager. The audience was filled with crazy performers. It was hysterical. I didn't care for the film really, but the nuts in the audience made it a blast. So I guess I saw the film as it shoould have been seen.
11. Who is your favorite writer? Doctor Who's Russell T. Davies has written some amazing stuff. It really blows you away. He would definitely rank. Glen Morgan and James Wong are incredible and wrote some of the very best for The X-Files and Millennium. Honestly, much of their material from Millennium served as an inspiration for my upcoming entry into the much anticipated book Back To Frank Black: A Return To Chris Carter's Millennium. Their themes fed into the concept of my own piece.
Well, I hope you enjoyed these random thoughts. Thanks for the nod L.G. and L13. Cheers to all and now back to our irregularly scheduled program.