quintets

Saw this over on Adam’s blog the other day.

Five things you don’t know about me:

I fart. A lot. More than anyone I know. Probably more than anyone you know. Unless you know me. Then I fart just as much as myself.(1) I’m not sure what my problem is, or even that it’s a problem. But it seems like it should be a problem and I should seek a solution. People ask, “Well what do you eat that gives you so much gas?” My only answer is, “Everything.”

Several years ago I ordered a Pumpkin Spice Latte from Starbucks.(2) This was easily the 100th or so of these things I’d had over the years. They are, after all, delicious. But on this ill-fated occasion I took the lid off after about 30 mins. I don’t remember why I did this, but what I saw inside my cup – what I’d been drinking in large quantities for years – gave me such a case of the fantods(3) that I haven’t had one since. Sometimes I’m at the counter and I want to order one…but I can’t. Just can’t.

I will rearrange a room at the drop of a hat. Any excuse at all. Sometimes I start out just cleaning and end up swapping the sofa for the bookcases and the TV for the other bookcases and the chair for the loveseat and maybe even the small bookcase for the microwave stand. I don’t know what this is all about, but Ashley is smart not to leave me in a room by myself for too long.

I go through more hand-lotion that anyone who isn’t that really creepy guy in Silence of the Lambs probably should. This is largely because I work at a library and deal with books all day. Cloth covers just leach the moisture out of your skin and the mere thought of my hands cracking from dryness gives me a serious case of the howlers. Hence the oceans of lotion.

Sometimes at night when I’m trying to fall asleep I get terribly sad. So sad I can barely take it. I don’t know why this happens.

Five things I am knowledgeable about:

I understand how music works. All the instruments I play I can only play marginally well,(4) but I know music theory incredibly well. I know why Gaga’s songs are so incredibly popular just as I know why Rush will always be a niche band. I can interpret what Mozart was trying to get us to feel and I can transmit feelings into my own songs. This is just something I can do, though I do not take it for granted.

I understand how people work, why they do what they do. Quite frequently I know what someone’s going to do long before he or she does, and just as frequently I know why someone’s behaving a certain way even when no one else understands.

I know books. I read widely and well. I read often. I read to ask questions and to get answers. My first impulse is to grab a book when I want to know something.

I know how to make people laugh. More importantly, I know how much most people need a good laugh. I’m willing to go to any length to provide someone with a hearty chuckle when it’s needed. I also know that making someone laugh is an excellent way to get myself out of trouble.

I know what I don’t know. I keep a lot of random information in my head and a lot of people think this makes me smart. I know that this isn’t true; it just makes me a collector. I’m nowhere near as smart as people think I am. I want to tell them that just because I could probably win a few games of Jeopardy! doesn’t mean I’m intelligent.

Five things I know nothing about:

Statistics. I know what an average is. That’s it. I feel like I almost know what median means…but not quite. And standard deviation and f-derivation(5) just forget about it. Luckily, Ashley’s a stats savant, so this is something I don’t have to worry about. I’ll just ask her.

Actually, pretty much any type of higher math. And by higher I mean above like add and subtract. Maybe multiplication. I did fine with algebra and geometry in high school but since then I haven’t really touched the stuff and, well, I guess I needed that part of my brain to store obscure etymologies and Star Wars trivia.

Taxes, stocks, investing…pretty much anything just above tucking money under a mattress. Money has never been my motivation for much of anything(6) so I’ve never really bothered to figure this out.

How to take a compliment. I don’t do it gracefully. At all. If someone compliments me I feel an impulse to be a self-deprecating as I can be in that moment.

I really have no idea what it means to be human. Many of the things I collect around me are meant to remind me constantly of what being an aware and intelligent being capable of love and compassion should be or mean in everyday life. But these represent my best guesses. Maybe no one really knows. But I know for sure I have no idea.

Five things I believe:

I really truly honestly believe I am supposed to be with Ashley for the rest of my life. I’ve believed that since I ran into her again a few years ago.(7)

I believe that people are basically good and, to precisely the same degree, easily misguided.

I believe that everything – everything – is connected. And language is the best tool we have to illuminate those connections.

I believe that the United States of America is at the forefront of its own demise. Perhaps the country itself will continue to exist, the greatness and largess of the recent century is gone forever.

For the first time ever, I realize I no longer believe that I will die by my own hand. Which is to say I believe that I am better, that I don’t need to be quite so afraid. I believe, however, I’ll go right on being just as afraid because it’s a pill I’m too scared not to take.


  1. Obviously.
  2. To anyone from the Starbucks Corporation: There really should be a hyphen in there. Pumpkin-Spice Latte. Please fix this.
  3. The howling variety, of course.
  4. Passably might be a better word.
  5. I’m pretty sure that’s a thing. But maybe not.
  6. Though of course the part where I owed people money was a motivator. No one wants hired goons at the door.
  7. I only wish I’d have known years ago that if I went through a lot of the shite I’ve gone through over the last ten years or so I’d eventually get to her. It would have made weathering some of those storms a bit easier.
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