The meme goes like this: Comment to this post and I will give you 5 subjects/things I associate you with. Then post this in your LJ and elaborate on the subjects given.
- Marillion - My most favorite band ever. Why? Hard to say, and I've spent some time deconstructing it. I got into them in high school, a little bit. But it was in 1987 that it went critical. "Clutching At Straws" came out that summer, and I bought the cassette before I went off to college. I listened to that tape nearly every day, all the time. It tore me apart, it's still one of the most brilliant things ever. I missed seeing them with Fish my freshman year--I found out they were playing in NYC the night of the show, and didn't think I could handle just going into the city with no ticket and no plan (this is before cell phones, before I had an ATM card, before GPSes, and before the Internet). I did see them in 1989 with Steve Hogarth, and have seen them a dozen times since, including once in England, and just a month ago in Montreal for the Marillion Convention.
As to why I've remained a loyal and rabid fan for so long, it's because what they do and how they do it resonates with my personal and cultural milestones. First, their music has all the elements I like--complexity, hardness, melody, emotion. They're a bit geeky and so am I. Also--and I freely admit this--my musical tastes run very, shall we say, white. Marillion are a very geeky, white band. And that's who I am, and I should just embrace it.
- Aide Station - A part of my life for over 20 years now. I started working there October of my Freshman year--I came to Drew with a bank account filled with a $1000 scholarship I had won in high school (from something like the Kiwanis Ladies Auxiliary or some such). After a few weeks--after books, travel, and life stuff--I realized it wasn't going to last all year and I better get a job. I applied and interviewed with Les Lloyd, who was the director of the Computer Center at the time, and got a job. Apparently most people didn't start their freshman year (and I was beat out by yesthattom who had applied the first day of school), and I worked there every summer and most Jan Terms. When I went to grad school, I was basically the computing manager for my research group. I left grad school to help manage the helpdesk I had worked at as a student, and the rest, they say, is history.
- That Medieval Thing - I don't feel my participation in this was as hardcore as the typical Medfest crowd--although many of them are my good friends. Basically, I was in the chess game one year and another ran around the festival calling myself "Michael The Loud"--which was a hell of a lot of fun.
I was also there for the first Revels, which is when I made myself the promise I would never participate in another one. Basically, we were doing all the cooking and food prep ourselves, and it was only through the grace of a non-existent superior being that we didn't poison everyone. The experience was so harrowing that I can't face the event again, even though it sounds very nice and well-run these days. Oh, and also, I was a character in the evening--I decided about 20 minutes before guests arrived that I would play a mute. Also a hell of a lot of fun. The kids loved it. And no, they didn't get me to mess up.
So, senior year, I agreed to be the King at the chess board, playing the game. I was to win the game, step on to the board, and be struck with an arrow. My friend Jerry worked out an elaborate system of fishing line, a hollow arrow, and a metal-backed foam breastplate. What was supposed to happen was that the arrow was fired, lodged in the foam, and I fall down injured. What actually happened is that the arrow was fired, bounced off the plate, and remained floating in air. I still fell appropriately (I was wounded but would survive in the story), but the arrow had to be explained by "magic" and such. Some of the kids were very worried about me.
So yeah, that sounds like a lot, but I was a dilettante, and really didn't put in the effort that the more serious MedFesters did. And yet, they kept asking me to participate, and didn't care that I wasn't really taking it seriously.
- Tofurky! - I think nemo_wistar meant "tofu jerky" but I'll bite. I'm not really a vegetarian but I play one on TV. I was a member of the George Street Co-Op for several years and enjoyed it. When I was in grad school, I bought some tofu jerky at the local health food store. It was good but it was like $4 for a little pouch, and I thought, "I could do this" and I did. I posted it to Usenet and the recipe morphed all over the net, sometimes attributed to me, sometimes not. I have to work on it more, but http://www.tofujerky.org/ is where I documented my recipe.
- A kindred passion for politics - I think I was always liberal but didn't know it. Before the 80's both my parents were solid Democrats. In the 80s my dad started the journey through being a Reagan Democrat to the very conservative person he is today. My mom always stayed more lefty--she voted for Dukakis. College was the stereotypical solidification of my latent liberal tendencies, and I've been pretty progressive ever since. Which is odd because the rest of my family is very conservative. Well, my immediate family--I still think of my aunt, who raised my mom, once when my brothers and father were visiting. We were sitting around the table, and politics came up. My dad and brothers started discussing typical conservative viewpoints. My aunt gradually became more and more concerned, and finally blurted out, "You're Republicans!" with more than a hint of contempt. I like to think I didn't disappoint her so.
So there you go. If you reply, I'll give you five things to talk about. Revive your LiveJournal, it will be fun.