Thursday, January 29, 2009

Since I am almost always putting mostly, if not entirely, serious posts on this blog I thought I would digress a little and post something for everybody that I did for another forum. Facebook, a social networking site once reserved for college students and now open to all, has a thing going around inviting people to list 25 random factoids about themselves. Obviously this, while potentially serious, is a way to let people into some of the more personal and bizarre things that differentiate us all, even more than we are already, as individuals. I participated and below are my factoids, enjoy!

1. I stole pieces of the Turkish railroads that T.E. Lawrence and his Arab Legion blew up in the first world war, and no, I'm not returning them to the kingdom.

2. For some reason, probably because I don't think that they are, ipso facto, pure evil, people in college always suspect me of being a Republican. I am not. I do not affiliate with any political party and while being intensely political, modern politics disappoints and disgusts me no matter what letter happens to follow your name.

3. Because I live(d) in Las Vegas for so long people naturally assume I gamble all the time and live in strip clubs. FALSE. I gamble only when people insist on taking me to casinos for that express purpose and I've only ever been to two strip clubs in my entire life, once for a bachelor party and once because some relatives wanted to see one (they were not impressed and left after 10 minutes).

4. A frequent question when people see my room for the first time is "have you read all these books?" A fair question I suppose, but some of the books obviously displayed are dictionaries, who in god's name reads the dictionary? The answer by the way in no, I'd say I've read somewhere in the range of 35-40% of my holdings.

5. What do I consider to be a "turning point" in a relationship for it to become "serious?" Well, saying "I love you" is all well and good, but I'd posit that burping and farting in front of one another and being neither embarrassed nor offended is actually the "big" moment. That's right ladies, now you know what to look forward to.

6. Writing a dissertation is a lot like pursuing a woman, there's lots of careful studying and planning, patience and thought. And in the end it's completely in somebody else's hands. Unless you decide to quit, in which case this analogy is pretty useless.

7. I hate self-deprecation and yet I employ it all the time to defray a constant critique of myself made by others, namely my alleged arrogance. I'd make a new's years resolution about it, but I oppose picking random days to suddenly start altering one's behavior. Besides, it's not my fault I'm better than you! ;)

8. I love 18th and 19th century clothing, if I could wear it all the time, I would.

9. Would I have conspired to kill Caesar on 15 March 44 BC? Yes, yes I would have.

10. So the most exciting thing about coming to graduate school in new england was that I would be in the land of dunkin donuts again. I've been there maybe five times and they've since opened them in Vegas, go figure.

11. Since I'm an atheist I enjoy reading the holy legends of all active religions the same way religious people read the holy tales of the greeks, as myths and legends. So if Jesus came back from the dead, wouldn't that make him a zombie in the parlance of the present? If so, Voodoo and Christianity may become the syncretic super religion the world has been waiting for.

12. When I first became interested in history, I was swept up in the glory that was, or so I thought at the time, Napoleon Bonaparte. Over time I realized this was an error, and now I despise the man with something bordering on the feeling one has for an intimate that has severely betrayed and disappointed them. Bizarre I know.

13. I've only ever seriously kissed two women in my life. I've half seriously kissed countless others.

14. I was so caught up with youthful exuberance as a lad for women's legs that I used to kiss Tina Turner's when her music videos came on TV.

15. I collect busts. That's right, you heard me. Most are still in my room in Las Vegas, but it's a decent collection.

16. At one point in my life I was not fond at all of reading. What turned it around? Young Indiana Jones novels.

17. I never beat the first Super Mario until I was an adult.

18. Which is better, James Bond novels or James Bond movies? The answer is obvious to anyone who has read all the former and seen all the latter. I am such a person and the answer is, without doubt, the novels. The Sean Connery films however are still great.

19. My favorite run of the mill story plotline? Revenge tales, and here I mean a guy who has a legitimate reason to seek it, not some robber who is pissed at his partner for screwing him over or something. Christians may prefer vengeance in the hands of the lord but not I.

20. My favorite city in all the world is Chicago, the home of the world's greatest sports team the Chicago Cubs.

21. So Obama keeps comparing himself to Lincoln, like an ass, but not to the other President from Illinois, U.S. Grant. The Ku Klux Klan Act and the 15th Amendment aren't good enough or something? Oh yeah, something about me, I like Grant and am acerbic!

22. If I could be Vice-President my first goal would be to task NASA with sending me to the moon in order to solidify our territorial claims there. I would just hope there were no tie votes in the Senate!

23. I did not sleep the night before my Ph.D oral exams, and while I started off decently, by the end of the three and a half hours i just wanted to crawl onto the table and go to sleep. Unfortunately I then had to pick up a friend from the airport and then went out to celebrate with friends. The moral here is sleep before your orals, nothing I stayed up studying was a damn bit of help.

24. I am committed in theory to procreating one day, but no time soon, I am temperamentally unfit to raise a child at this time. Sorry ladies, I'll let you know when I can be your baby's daddy :P

25. If I could punch one "intellectual" in the face (assuming it would result in no lasting harm to them or me, and assuming that I suddenly became the sort of person who would do such things) it would without a doubt be Noam Chomsky/Howard Zinn/Gore Vidal/Al Gore. OK, so there is more than one intellectual I would punch in the face and, also, that last one made it in by mistake, Al Gore is by no means an intellectual.


barry gillis said...

so whats your rationale for punching (those)intellectuals in the face?

They hate America, they are leftists, you dont like wussies or something else?

Alexander said...

Well, tongue was clearly in cheak, I'm not going to punch any intellectuals in the face unless they attack me obviously. I singled out those three simply because they've severely annoyed me as a historian at one point or another.

barry gillis said...

You dont have the spirit of William Buckley reincarnated in you, do you?

I know he threatened to punch at least two of them in the face when he failed to bully them intellectually.Very interesting figure tough, i disagree with many of his arguments but cant deny his intelligence.

Personally i like the style of the left better than the right, (aside from the Fringers) they seem more honest to me, but i suppose that is open for discussion.

I hope we can have one i`m always interested in arguments i havent thought about and views that go beyond my own.

Inspector said...

"So if Jesus came back from the dead, wouldn't that make him a zombie in the parlance of the present?"

There's actually a quote from the show Futurama in which a character exclaims, "Sweet Zombie Jesus!"

Entertaining post, by the way. I found the phrasing of your bit on Caesar particularly amusing.