Sunday, February 22, 2009

25 Things About Fosco (Sort Of)

February is the month that the NY Times discovered the "Twenty-Five Things About You" meme that whipped through Facebook during late January. You know, it's that thing where you are tagged by a friend/acquaintance/coworker to post 25 random things about yourself--your choice. Several of Fosco's blogopals, like Jill and Ted, have even relocated this task from Facebook to their blogs.

In one recent piece in the Times, they discuss the ways in which the list can be used (like everything else on Facebook) in the service of self-presentation. So, in the spirit of that Times piece, Fosco offers you his own 25 list today. Note: the Times's recommendations for each number are in brackets and italics. Fosco's actual answers follow the recommendations.

  1. [Say that you hate things like this, and are doing it only to get the (oh, so many) friends clamoring for your list off your back.]
    I'm actually not a fan of this kind of thing, but people keep asking me. (Although, the very fact that I blog at all should suggest that I actually don't mind this kind of thing too much.)
  2. [Describe “embarrassing” high school incident that makes you look cool.]
    I was the valedictorian of my high school, which was pretty embarrassing at the time because our school did not strongly value academics.
  3. [Confess to crush on a) third-grade teacher b) obscure indie actor or actress c) your significant other, especially if he or she is on Facebook.]
    My third grade teacher was a giant lesbian, so I didn't have a crush on her. I do, however, have a (not exactly sexual) crush on Alan Tudyk.
  4. [Identify real, but minor, flaw.]
    I noticed last week that, in profile, I have Lincoln's nose.
  5. [Identify major flaw by suggesting how it may also be major virtue.]
    I have absolutely no control over my book-buying habit. It's a terribly expensive habit for someone with a grad student's income. However, it is very nice to own a large library--especially when much of it is useful for your work.
  6. [Cite mean nickname you were given as a child.]
    As a tween, I was occasionally called "Spanky."
  7. [Follow with offhand mention of receipt of high professional honor or athletic or artistic achievement.]
    After graduating from Harvard, I received a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to study psychology.
  8. [Describe meeting a celebrity and how it a) disillusioned or b) thrilled you or c) if it’s a really good celebrity just the name will do.]
    I've met Bruce Springsteen and it was a little thrilling.
  9. [Mention small adversity, like long commute or annoying neighbor, and the unexpected, preferably funny, way you overcome it.]
    I would really love to own a pug dog, but almost all Santa Cruz leases don't allow dogs. So instead, I have bought a Pug-A-Day Calendar the last three years. And every day, I name the pug(s) of the day.
  10. [Cite an actual random thing that comes to mind while writing this list.]
    John Cameron Mitchell saw my penis once.
  11. [“Admit” that you always identified with weird ancillary character on popular TV show in 7th grade, as if you didn’t know that everyone in retrospect agrees that was the best character.]
    It doesn't quite fit, but in seventh grade I thought I was Alex P. Keaton of "Family Ties."
  12. [Expose something genuine and poignant about yourself, such as untimely death of close relative or rare genetic condition.] I have a genetic non-Parkinsonian tremor, which will probably slowly get worse over the rest of my life. Most of the time, people just think I'm very nervous.
  13. [Express heartfelt thanks to friends or family for helping you through #12, or just for being there, or whatever.]
    My boyfriend Oz has been extremely understanding and supportive about my tremor (and it's potential for future degeneration).
  14. [Conclude sentimental portion of list by citing the scene in movie X that always makes you cry. Could also be a lyric, or a memory, so long as it involves crying.]
    I always cry during the prom scene in Buffy Season 3.
  15. [Something about drugs.]
    I think cocaine is much more interesting and useful than marijuana. I'm not really into drugs, but if I were, it would be coke all the way.
  16. [Tell a story of how you stood up to authority. Dwelling on descriptive details can help it not seem like you are making yourself out to be a hero even though you are.]
    When I was an announcer for a classical music station, I once chose to play a piece that contained the full text of Allen Ginsberg's Howl as the libretto, insisting that the station's obscenity policy could not apply to art. I was wrong. All of the announcers had to take obscenity training because of me. They weren't thrilled.
  17. [Recount a dramatic moment, like having your heart broken or getting arrested, but withhold details, forcing readers to ask for them in your "comments" section. In case you didn’t know, comments equate to status on Facebook even more than number of friends.]
    I once failed a field sobriety test when I was completely sober.
  18. [Make one up.]
    I've appeared on "Card Sharks."
  19. [Say “one of these is completely made up.”]
    One of these is completely made up.
  20. [If you have kids, a) cite weird names you wanted for them and how your more rational, if less creative, spouse rescued them from a lifetime of torture,]
    I don't have kids, nor do I want kids. But if I accidentally ended up with three kids, I would probably name them Foucault (boy), Derrida (girl), and Dickens (either). Luckily, Oz wouldn't let these names happen (because he hates creative names).
  21. [and/or b) relate story that appears to expose your inept parenting while in fact highlighting their precocious brilliance. If you don’t have kids, relate a cute anecdote from your early life to show everyone that you’re still a kid at heart.]
    When I was six, I was in an art class at the local nature center. I made a model that I called the "Hall of Justice." The teacher was so impressed with my precocity until the mother of one of my friends/rivals explained to her that the "Hall of Justice" was the headquarters of the Super Friends.
  22. [If you have a pet, you have one item only through which to convey its superlative nature. If you don’t have a pet, talk about how much you yearn for an obscure breed of cat/dog/reptile or, alternatively, how much you hate animals and the people who love them.]
    Oz and I have a cat named Isis who loves to play "fetch" with her catnip-stuffed fish (named "Tina Tuna").
  23. [Something about parents.]
    My mother is a distant relative of Abraham Lincoln. My father is a distant relative of Ralph Waldo Emerson.
  24. [Name skill that you are proud of by recounting unexpected way you acquired it.]
    I learned to smoke a pipe while I was (briefly, in college) a member of a shadowy conservative organization. College was a very confusing and awkward time for me.
  25. [Close with the unusual: a) recount a genuinely traumatic event you witnessed or b) name an exotic location that is your favorite place on earth or c) cite a dubious world record that you performed.]
    I love Reykjavik, Iceland and have been there twice. It's one of my favorite cities in the world.


Maggie said...

ALAN TUDYK. I mean, splendid list.

Do you ever go through your book collection and weed out items or can you not bear to part with anything (I can't bear to part with the Victorian collection, but routinely sell back modern stuff).

Meredith said...

Well, shit. I have done this wrong.

Anonymous said...

I am commenting to show that you are popular/intriguing.

Anonymous said...

5. Deduct, deduct, deduct!
15. Totally.
22. What happened to Condaleeza Mice?

(Also, make sure you comment by "thing" number so other readers have to flip back and forth to make sense of your remarks.)

Word Verification: cocauthr

When you finally realize you've been drinking someone else's soda, and wonder if they noticed.

FOSCO said...

@Maggie: Alas, I cannot bear to part with books. Which explains why I still have a large (and every day more outdated) social psychology library in a storage unit...

@Meredith: No. There is no "right" answer here.

@JennyT: I am responding to your comment to show that I am acknowledging your response.

@Anon (BeeMaster?):
5. Fosco, like most Democrats, doesn't really understand how to do his taxes. Deducting sounds too complicated.
15. Coke forever!
22. Isis got tired of Condoleeza. The catnip effect wears off after awhile. Tina Tuna smells much fresher to her.

todd said...

@Maggie, @FOSCO: I'm with Neil Gaiman on ever selling books: "If I haven't read it I might want to read it someday. If I have read it I might want to read it again."

Word verification: trite.

Is Google trying to tell me something?

Anonymous said...

ugh... Oz gets enough of this on Facebook. Some are plain lies!

Jill said...

I have so missed reading your blog. Once family leaves, I plan on catching up. The tremor could come in handy! (I'm a dirty girl)