Proust Questionnaire

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I completed a Proust Questionnaire a couple of years ago on another, now defunct blog. I forget most of my answers. If you remember that post, maybe you can let me know how much I have changed. I figure there’s some overlap.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? A cup of coffee and music that suits the mood.

2. What is your greatest fear? Decaf.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Frustration with inattentive drivers.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Inattentive driving.

5. Which living person do you most admire? Dalai Lama.

6. What is your greatest extravagance? I spent an hour in a sensory deprivation tank earlier this week and think I might be hooked on losing myself.

7. What is your current state of mind? Pithy.

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Certainty.

9. On what occasion do you lie? I’m good at coming up with excuses when my curling shots don’t go as planned.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance? Cowlicks when I wear my hair too short.

11. Which living person do you most despise? I don’t like intolerance or its enablers.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man? Rolling with the punches.

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Rolling with the punches.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? These days it’s yoga and sensory deprivation tanks.

16. When and where were you happiest? Now.

17. Which talent would you most like to have? Developing a compelling narrative arc.

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? These last fifteen pounds.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Sobriety.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A mountain breeze.

21. Where would you most like to live? I’m happy where I am, as long as it will have me.

22. What is your most treasured possession? My health.

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Stuck at a red light when you have to use the restroom.

24. What is your favorite occupation? Postal worker.

25. What is your most marked characteristic? A tolerance for spicy foods.

26. What do you most value in your friends? Rolling with the punches.

27. Who are your favorite writers? Willie Nelson.

28. Who is your hero of fiction? Bugs Bunny.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Job.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?  People who want just the right amount.

31. What are your favorite names? I like to look at maps and think about towns I’ve never been to.

32. What is it that you most dislike? Hate.

33. What is your greatest regret? I used to think too much. I wish I stopped sooner.

34. How would you like to die? Not yet and mostly painlessly.

35. What is your motto? Um.

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Pueblo River Walk

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When I visited Pueblo last week, I spent most of my time at the river walk. It’s a nice public space around a controlled portion of the Arkansas River. The weather was overcast and would shortly turn to rain but a good number of dog walkers and joggers were actually using the trails. I tried to take pictures, but many of them came out unfocused. I don’t know if my hand was unsteady, if the camera didn’t respond well to the cloudy lighting, or if it’s time for a camera cleaning.

Walter Jon Williams Interview/Book Signing

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On Sunday afternoon, I headed downtown to hear author Walter Jon Williams talk about his career in writing and his newest book, Quillifer. A Song of Ice and Fire author George RR Martin led the discussion. The discussion covered everything from his childhood in Duluth, Minnesota to the annual writer’s workshop he sponsors in Taos, New Mexico.He got his start as a writer of historical fiction before branching into science fiction. Quillifer is recently published debut foray into fantasy. He gets praise from everyone from the late, great Roger Zelazny to Pulitzer winner Junot Diaz on the back cover, so I have high hopes. I picked up a copy and got it signed. We talked about the excellent bird watching down in his hometown, so the book is inscribed “To maybe a soon neighbor.”

Snowing on Raton

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I drove up to Pueblo, Colorado for a quick evening visit earlier this week. The skies were overcast on the trip up, and they had turned to rain on the trip back. The rain got harder and the temperature dropped the further south I got. I stopped in the Trinidad, the border town on the Colorado side, on the way back to check the road conditions for the remainder of the trip. While I was pulled over, the water on the ground started turning to ice and the rain turned to snow. I didn’t want to go over Raton Pass in the dark in those conditions, so I decided to get a motel room for the night.

Things were still slick in the morning, but the road crews had been treating the highway all night. I’ve driven over this pass countless times and it always makes me think of that Townes Van Zandt song “Snowing on Raton.” It’s not the kind of road you want to be on when it’s slick, so this was the first time I’d actually driven over the pass when there was a fresh coat of snow. The roads were slush and there were no good places to pull over on the pass so there wasn’t a safe place to stop and take a picture, even though it was pretty enough to consider risking it.

The roads cleared even more and the snow had almost entirely melted as I descended the south-facing side of the pass. I took the picture above when I pulled over on the first exit on the New Mexico side to clear my windshield.

Yoga Night

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For the past several years I have been a runner. I’m not the fastest, but it keeps me in relatively good shape and I enjoy getting out on a trail and losing track of time. About halfway through last year, I noticed that my legs’ recovery time was taking longer. I don’t keep exact track of time, but I noticed that I was getting back to the house later and later. And by December, I realized it would be more accurate to describe what I was doing as “walking” rather than “running.” I suspect that several years of running 5-7 miles a day has built up a specific muscle group. Maybe it was time to change things up.

I enrolled myself in an introductory 4-week yoga class to get some of that flexibility back. Also, I figured it would be a good way to work towards my New Year’s Resolution of becoming a calmer person in general. The first session was earlier this week. It was a big class–I assume that many people were acting on their New Year’s Resolution as well. The instructor was very patient with me as we learned some of the philosophy and basic poses. I figured I would be sore the next day, but it wasn’t too bad. But man was my head clear the next day.