1) Name a hobby/sport/activity that you've tried but eventually gave up. Why?
When I was 12, I joined Community Boating on the Charles River and absolutely loved it. When I first started out, I spent most mornings sailing with my instructor, a preppy Napoleon Dynamite look-alike who had a few bong hits for breakfast every day. In a glassy-eyed trance, he’d tell me how sailing was “as close to flying as one could get.” When he got excited about something, he’d become shrill, do a quick knee bend, and use exclamations that I’d never heard before like “Oh my Head.” For a few weeks, sailing with Napoleon was all well and good. However, once I earned my Solo rating and was able to take a boat out by myself, I constantly found myself on the wrong side of the wind. Suddenly, sailing felt less like flying than it did struggling with a golf umbrella by the John Hancock tower on a windy day. The first two times I sailed alone, I capsized. By the third time, Napoleon was monitoring me from a neighboring boat. When he saw me start to keel over, he started screeching and flailing his gawky limbs, “Hike out, hike out" For me -- then 80 pounds -- "hiking out" was an exercise in futility. When I capsized for the third time, Napoleon somehow decided I was doing this on purpose...which was ridiculous. Nobody in their right mind would have chosen to take a fully-clothed dip in the Charles River during the 1980s – it was an unswimmable cesspool of filth. I had to get a tetanus shot and then, if that weren't punishment enough, was forced to scrub bird poo off the decks. After that, I was placed on probation and paired with another Solo-non-grata -- Kristina from Brookline who chain smoked and wore pearls every day. It soon became clear that two wrongs did not make a right: While attempting to tack upwind, we ended up spinning in circles by the MIT boathouse and put a gigantic hole in the side of an old wooden boat. Got into BIG trouble and that was the end of that. Ever masochistic, I tried the Boston Sailing Center in high school where I learned that sailing did sort of feel like flying -- as long as I was a passenger. Moral: If you don’t know which way the wind is blowing, you should not be the captain.
2) Describe your hairstyle:
Suburban hippy. Unkempt. Past due for a highlight.
3) Do you sleep on your back, belly or side?
All of the above. Now would someone please crystallize some Lunesta so I can smoke it immediately?
4) What is the last album you *loved*?
It’s sad but I can’t remember the last time I listened to an album in its entirety. For several years now, I’ve been downloading single songs. I keep telling myself that it’s like buying one chapter of a novel and that I’m missing out on the larger context. But at the same time, I’m pretty cheap. While I’d sooner die than part with my iPod and digital tunes, I do miss the tangibility of new music, not to mention the ceremony of it. I miss popping in a CD for the first time and lying on my couch reading the liner notes and lyrics. Sure, you can Google all of this info but it’s not the same and I never have enough printer ink anyway.
Again…I digress. The last album I *loved* was one of the last CDs I actually purchased the old fashioned way: “Sea Change” by Beck (2002). This record is so deliciously sad that it almost makes you wish you were going through a break-up purely for the catharsis.
5) Admit something – anything:
I am addicted to the Lost Experience online game but am completely befuddled by it. There are a lot of numbers and anagrams and patterns and my mind simply does not work that way. Between James’ fantasy baseball league and my Lost obsession, it’s a total Dungeons and Dragons fest over here.