- Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me" or something similar.
- I will respond by asking you five questions of my choosing.
- You will update your LJ with the answers to the questions and leave the answers as comments on my LJ
- You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
- When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
And so the cosmic cycle continues.
The questions I got from chikwithscourge and my answers to those questions follow.
- you are given an infinite budget to create a pair of underwear completely out of jewels. what are they? why?
I suppose I could make them out of diamonds, the hardest substance known to man! I think the real question is what I would do with them once I had them. Maybe sell them on eBay? There's probably a big underground market for jeweled underwear out there.
- how do you feel when you see the ocean?
If it is a nice day looking at the ocean and hearing the waves makes me happy, but I also worry about getting sunburned.
- what are your strongest musical influences?
Hmmm. I think my influences tend to be somewhat unconcious, so this is difficult to answer.
On piano, Jimmy Yancey's someone I certainly listened to a lot when I was learning, and Otis Spann, Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles, Thelonious Monk, and Professor Longhair are also some people I have listened to a lot, although I feel like I'm not really a good enough player to sound very much like any of them. To get a little closer to home, playing with my father's cousin David has certainly influenced my style.
On guitar, my playing is a lot more rudimentary and I probably sound like any other three-chord picker out there ... I do have a few set pieces that I learned more or less by rote from recordings by Robert Johnson and Tommy Johnson, and my father's playing has probably been the biggest influence on the stuff I do that doesn't sound completely generic.d
For singing, you probably couldn't really tell, but Muddy Waters is someone whose singing I've listened to a lot. Aretha Franklin is again someone who, in my wildest dreams, I might sound 5% as good as. I dunno. I listen to a lot of people.
- whats your fondest co-op memory?
Watermyn Co-Op saved me from starving to death! I was taking summer courses so was stuck in Providence for the summer, but I had become angry at all of the Providence banks and refused to get accounts with any of them, so all my money was in a Massachusetts bank, and I had no ATM card, and I also wasn't on the meal plan. The Brown Bookstore would cash a single check for $150 every two weeks (or something like that -- I remember it came out to about $10 per day), so I could have about a meal and a half a day if I kept it cheap. Probably the low point was when I got a sandwich at D'Angelo's and it was so vile that I couldn't eat it, so I threw it out and went hungry for the day.
I mentioned this to a friend of mine (who I happened to have a giant non-reciprocated crush on) and she suggested that I join the Watermyn food co-op, since they would take a check. I did so and the rest was history.
After I moved to Watermyn Co-Op there are a lot of things I remember fondly, but they tend not to be tied to specific incidents. Vegging out on the waterbed in the living room watching old tapes of the Simpsons for hours on end; hanging out in the kitchen into the wee hours chatting with folks and writing in the house journal; chatting with my unrequited crush in the laundry room as she was doing her laundry; playing bridge on the third floor of the co-op during the naked party ... these are all things I think about from time to time which make me happy.
- Whats your worst co-op memory?
Urg. There are a few things that stand out. I will list them in ascending order of badness.
- The series of house meetings in which the topic of what kind of toaster we should get came up and refused to die, so that we ended up discussing the same stupid topic for three hours without resolution. (Eventually, someone went out and bought a random toaster, then asked at the next house meeting to be reimbursed, which was agreed to with very little discussion. This taught me a valuable lesson, but I'm not sure what it was.)
- Before I lived in Watermyn I lived in the house that later became Finlandia Co-Op. This was at a time when it wasn't yet officially a co-op, although it was owned by BACH ... it was being renovated to become fit to be a co-op. Those of us who lived there did try to function as a semi-official co-op, though, for a while at least.
The big problem was the kitchen. We had an ant problem, and as someone who grew up in a house where ants were a problem I knew that the only solution to this was to never leave out food and to do the dishes as soon as they became dirty. My recollection is that eventually I became the only person who would do the dishes, although I am sure this is exaggerated. Eventually this annoyed me enough that I would only do my own dishes, because, what the hell. But things got worse.
Things came to a head after Thanksgiving, when I arrived back at the house and ventured down into the kitchen, which was in the cellar (because the kitchens on the other floors were being renovated). There I discovered that somebody had left a turkey carcass on the counter. There was a house cat, though, and it had gone into the kitchen and pulled the carcass onto the floor. Ants were everywhere.
I turned around, left the kitchen, and vowed never to enter that room again, a vow I successfully stuck to until the year was over and I could move to Watermyn.
At one point I tried to incorporate this incident into a song I was writing, but I had to take it out because it was too over the top and unbelievable.
- The worst memory, though, came from when I moved out. I had got a job in New York and so was leaving in the middle of the semester. The rule was that I could find someone to sublet as long as they fit the rules of who could live in BACH (which I think was along the lines of: Brown student, staff, or faculty).
As it happened, at around this time a friend of mine, who worked as a security guard at the CIT, was looking for a cheap place to live near campus. It didn't get much cheaper than the co-op back then and he was a cool guy who I thought everyone would get along with, so I suggested that he might want to sublet from me and he indicated interest.
So I brought it up at house meeting and several people were very, very negative about the idea. They indicated that they would be very uncomfortable with a thirty year old guy living in the same house as them and insinuated that the only reason that my buddy would think about doing something like that was because he was a perv.
This put me in a very bad situation. Of course I was not happy with my friends being insulted, and I thought that the people who opposed him moving in were being prejudiced. On the other hand I didn't want my last act as a member of BACH to be forcing someone into the house that the house didn't want, particularly since it seemed like it could be pretty divisive. Also, it didn't seem fair to my friend to have him move into this situation where people who didn't even know him already hated him.
So I decided that I had to rescind the offer. That was not a very pleasant conversation, although I don't remember the details.
It was a very bad situation and it caused a lot of agonizing on my part. I felt very bad about the whole thing. I'm still not sure what the right way to handle it was.