Saturday, May 10, 2008


* The rules of the game get posted at the beginning.

* Each player answers the questions about himself or herself.

* At the end of the post, the player then tags five people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know they’ve been tagged and asking them to read your blog.

It's taken me entirely too long to finish this. I don't know what's wrong with me. I think I made it more complicated than it needed to be. Oh, well.

1. Ten years ago I was:

I lived in the same house I'm living in now. My daughters were nine years old and two years old. Appliances-SFB, the band with which I had played for 17 years, had only recently fizzled out of existence and I wasn't playing any music at all. I was working as a cabinet maker for the same company I was working for when I got laid off last November due to the crappy economy.

2. Five Things on Today's To Do List:

- Take daughter #2 and neighbor kid to school.

- Go to new (temporary?) job. House painting with brother-in-law.

- Take dog to dog park.

- Go to Veseliyka rehearsal (8:00 pm.)

- Go to Madison Media Institute for recording session with RPO (10:00 pm.)

- Pick daughter #1 up at her job, drive her home (11:30 pm - no busses run at this time and I don't want her walking home alone at that hour) and return to MMI for remainder of recording session (ending at 1:00 am.)

Oops. I guess that's six. Messed up again.

3. Things I'd do if I were a billionaire:

* Pay off all my debt.

* Fix all the stuff in the house that is falling apart and add a sauna (pronounced SOW-nuh, not SAW-nuh.)

* Set up a multi-purpose music rehearsal/recording studio near my house so I can play music any time without bothering anyone and without other distractions.

* Buy a few toys (basses, guitars and other musical instruments, a restored Volvo P1800, maybe a motorcycle and a Piper J3 Cub airplane. Oh, and a bunch of spud guns, too. That should be about it.)

* Indulge my lovely and talented wife in whatever she would like - probably stuff like new knitting needles, yarn, some sheep, a new guitar and clothes that aren't always from a second-hand shop. I suppose she'll also want either a restored VW Beetle from around 1967 or a restored Volvo 240 wagon with a manual transmission. Oh, what the heck, I'll get her both!

* Travel.

* Determine how much money I need to keep in order to accomplish all the items above and so I won't have to worry about future income; seems to me one should be able to live quite comfortably on the interest if you kept, say $100,000,000 which would probably leave well over $800,000,000 to use charitably.

4. Three Bad Habits:

* Only three? Let's just say if you look up the word "loser" in the dictionary, you'll find my picture. Were it not for the generosity and tolerance of people such as my lovely and talented wife, I would most likely be homeless by now. As it is, homelessness is only an eye-blink or divorce away. I suppose I had better get rid of that Packer lamp, after all.

Okay, okay. The rules.

* The Sackville-Bagginses. Oh, I guess they're bad hobbits, not bad habits.

Start again.

* I have a difficult time motivating myself to do the things that would ultimately be the most rewarding.

* I'm a night person. I don't think that's really a bad habit, but our society seems to think it is. Unfortunately, the net result of my natural inclination and the societal expectations is that I'm chronically sleep deprived.

* I'm organizationally challenged. What does that mean? It means I have a difficult time keeping my life in order and getting to all the places I need to be at the time I need to be there. I've seen doctors about this. To the best of my ability to understand it, it seems that there are people whose brains are wired such that it is easy for them to be well organized. Then there are people like me, whose brains are wired such that they find it to be a supreme effort to keep everything organized and under control, and from time to time everything comes crashing down around them. In many other countries, this would not be a problem, but our culture is not very understanding of those of us who aren't able to compartmentalize their lives in the manner that has been dictated as "normal." We are understanding of the fact that there are people who find math to come easily and people who find math to be difficult, the same is true for spelling, athletic ability, musical and artistic aptitude, but people like me are called lazy, selfish, we don't try hard enough, or we have developed "bad habits." Of course, nobody seems to see anything at all wrong with the people who are compulsive about time and organization. I actually once had the experience of meeting some people for dinner, arrived a few minutes early and not only had they already ordered, but they had already started eating! Why? Because their time is so valuable that they can't bear to wait for anyone. What are they going to do with all that time they save? Win a Nobel Prize? Probably watch more television. Rrrrrrrrr....

* I'm sure I've missed a few, ask my wife.

5. Five Places I've lived:

* Monroe, Connecticut.
I lived there from the time I was born until I was 9 years old.

* Midvale Heights, Madison, WI
The house my parents moved to when they left Connecticut. My father had been offered a partnership in an advertising firm in NY which was reaping huge profits as a result of the Vietnam war. A life-long republican until shortly before that time, he was uncomfortable with the concept of profiting from an immoral and illegal war (sound familiar?). Rather than accept the partnership, he opted instead for a teaching position in Madison, WI at Madison Area Technical College.

* Township of Middleton/Verona, WI. When my paternal grandmother was no longer able to take care of herself, my parents bought a two family house in (Middleton phone number, Verona zip code), WI, using the proceeds from the sale of their house and the sale of my grandmother's house. Almost immediately after my grandmother's house was sold, she died, so she never lived in the house my parents bought so she could live with them. A couple of years later, my mother's parents moved in. At that point in my life (early twenties), I was trying to establish my independence and I moved out for what was to be the last time soon after my grandparents moved in.

* Willy Street neighborhood, Madison, WI
The first house my wife and I bought together. 900 square feet, 2 bedrooms, built in 1888. A very nice house, nice neighborhood, but not enough room for a family (the first owner had 12 children in that house and no bathroom - information courtesy of Elizabeth Miller, Historical Preservationist.) We also had a neighbor with what I think were serious mental health issues who decided that we were evil people. That, along with the space considerations, was enough to get us to move.

* Emerson East neighborhood, Madison, WI
A wonderful neighborhood. It's an actual neighborhood! We can walk to grocery stores, the library - almost anything you really need is within walking distance. The house is still pretty small (1149 square feet, three bedrooms, one bathroom and one scary bathroom in the basement), but we made it this far in the house and with our oldest in college (she's only home for maybe 5 months out of the year), I know the amount of time she lives here will only decrease, so we don't really need any more space. We have neighbors we love, so my guess is we won't move from this house until the bank takes it away, we're forced to leave the country by the ruling totalitarian regime, or we can't go up and down stairs anymore. The only drawback to this neighborhood is it is changing from an "undesirable" neighborhood to an overpriced neighborhood. In the last few years, as gentrification of Madison has spread, prices around here have skyrocketed. The middle-income people that used to be able to buy a house in this neighborhood are no longer able to do so. As a result, our taxes keep going up and every time a house sells, the new owners tend to be people with money. This trend is causing the whole atmosphere of the neighborhood to change, and not for the better, if you ask me. If we were looking to buy a house today, we wouldn't be able to afford the house we live in. I hate rich people and their rich attitudes. (Oops! I'm not supposed to say that! It's un-american.)

6. Five Jobs I've had in life:

* Record store sails clerk and manager.

* Stone cutter.

* Cabinet maker/woodworker

* Luthier

* Musician (a.k.a. deadbeat)

Tagged: Well, most of the people I can think of either have already done this mememe or they don't do mememememes. Unless I pick a few blogs at random, I'll have to go with two, and the winners are (drum roll, please) ...... Luminiferous Ether and Quaker Fruit Salad


Suzy said...

One possible solution: Put Packer lamp in scary bathroom. You're not homeless, scary bathroom is scary in a different way.

Seriously Ed, you are an excellent writer and your answers are by turns funny, self-deprecating and achingly honest. I am a lucky woman to be married to you, for many reasons. <3

(And just in case any readers think it's weird that I'm writing that in the comment section of a blog, for heaven's sake, we do talk to each other and I do say those things aloud too.)

Ed said...


Jess Wundrun said...

Your neighbors once thought you were evil? You probably should have tried harder so that they would KNOW you were evil (he he)

Thanks for answering! Verrrry interesting.

Maybe you should become a buddhist monk? They have almost no trouble organizing, since they've got nothing to organize. Just wondering.

Ed said...

But buddhist monks don't rock. Do they?

Suzy said...

The neighbor who thought we were evil: it all started with the dead possum ...

Suzy said...

Oh, and don't forget the interesting/sad/morbid tidbit that George McGovern's daughter died just over the fence from our backyard at the crazy neighbor, dead possum house.

Suzy said...

One more thing: Did the record store also sell recreational boating equipment? Just wondering ...

Ed said...

I'm trying to figure out that recreational boating bit... paddles? No... PFDs (Personal Flotation Devices)? No... beer coolers? No... I don't know. You've got me on that one.