PATRICK STEPHENSON

Earthbound concerns of an ascendant adult

Surrender to the Meme

with 2 comments

Rules: Write 25 things about yourself. Tag the people who tagged you and the people you think’ll respond. Tag me.

1. Let’s just get this out of the way: I grew up in Saudi Arabia. I never rode a camel and I don’t speak Arabic. I’m sad about that.

2. My favorite authors are dying. David Foster Wallace committed suicide in September, John Updike died of lung cancer in January. Both of these were difficult to process, but the first was INSANELY difficult.

3. I don’t watch television. I hate people who make a point of saying they don’t watch television, but I don’t hate myself.

4. I really love making mixes. I put a lot of thought into them and try to create a story with the sequencing.

5. I’m a mesomorph—which is to say, I have big shoulders and a big neck. I’m only 5’9″ tall, though. I once had a scrawny body and a big head, but my body’s become mesomorphic within the past 5 years, and it’s obviously designed to carry a lot of weight. I’m a stocky muthafucka.

6. In 2008, among other things, I bought a fixed-gear bike, protested the Republican National Convention, was interrogated in a tiny room and had my Miranda rights read to me (you don’t wanna know), jumped out of plane in Wisconsin, learned to surf on a secluded beach in Hawaii, and underwent hypnotherapy in south Minneapolis. I spent a month on anti-depressants but decided they weren’t for me and weaned myself off sans supervision. I helped to elect Barack Obama, then partied in Al Franken’s presence. I saw of Montreal, Broken Social Scene, Henry Rollins, Andrew Bird, Cloud Cult and Wilco live. I met Lakisha Latham, my new best friend. I sang “My Way” karaoke (somewhat vicariously) with Kris Hickman and David Morse. I realized how awesome dodgeball is (but realized also that playing it as a kid is much easier). I celebrated my first anniversary at Fallon.

7. Already in 2009, I’ve snowshoed, cross-country skiied and mushed dogs (from the passenger’s seat, because I broke my glasses the day we went dogsledding) in the Boundary Waters. Yesterday, I drunkenly jumped into White Bear Lake wearing a bridesmaid dress my boss wore a few decades ago. The dress was green and covered in a gross flower print. I’ve got big plans for 2009.

8. I love Flamin’ Hot Cheetos but feel guilty whenever I eat them. Goddam, I’m going to walk up to the gas station and get a bag tonight.

9. I love carbonated water. I’m addicted to it and usually settle for packs of H2OH! or Klarbrünn—or some other cheapie brand. I prefer Perrier, though, because of its softer texture; meanwhile, H2OH! and Klarbrünn are harshly textured. I’ve been drinking the carbonated since age 10 and believe it grants me some European sophistication. To mentally embody Sartre, I don’t smoke. I drink Perrier.

10. I went to Catholic school, but I’m an atheist. I want you to know this (most definitely) doesn’t make me a cold, unfeeling person. I’m very moral, but my morality isn’t derived from any religion. Actually, I hate the word “atheist,” because I don’t like defining myself in relation to religion. I’m a “secular humanist,” which is a contrived term constructed to avoid “atheist,” but it works.

11. I like red pens.

12. I’m very self-conscious about the number of sentences in this note that’ll begin with “I.”

13. If I were to summarize my life’s philosophy in one word, I’d say “engagement.” Not the nuptial kind yet. I want to experience the world and life as fully as I can. Sometimes, this seems an artificial search for experiences. But most of the time, it’s REALLY cool.

14. I’m addicted to social networks. I’m on Facebook (more than) a few times a day, and I post on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/patiomensch) WAY too often. I realize how unhealthy this is—the addictive quality of these networks—and I’ve tried to curtail my usage, but… at least I’m not using heroin. Here’s how I justify it: I’m creating a sort of art project out of my life, and Twitter and Facebook combined are the medium I’ve chosen. The ephemerality of life frightens me. Recording mine (via the photography and tiny status messages I’ve posted) reduces that fear.

15. I’m a proofreader/copy editor, but w/r/t grammar and syntax, I’m more of a descriptivist (someone interested in the way language changes and is actually used every day) than a prescriptivist (someone who doesn’t view these linguistic rules we’ve imposed as arbitrary and who strictly enforces them).

This is helpful to a proofreader who, like me, works in advertising, where copywriters break rules very, very often. That doesn’t bother me. I understand the value of consistency, but I don’t mind split infinitives (which’re only a problem if you’re some dope who wishes English were Latin) or fragments. Maybe that makes me a fraud. I think it makes me more functional.

16. My favorite film of 2008 was The Dark Knight. I saw it five times in theatres and bought it on DVD the week it came out. I haven’t yet watched the DVD.

17. Presently, two DVDs are on my desk: Ichi the Killer and Tokyo Gore Police. I rarely buy movies anymore, but lately, I purchase a few whenever I visit Action Master in Rosedale. Visiting the booth without buying anything is impossible. They stock only the goriest (fountains of blood from eyes-style) and weirdest films Asian cinema has to offer. Is it sketchy? Totes. Do I care? Not really.

18. To my left, my cat Corona is sleeping on my bed. She’s not technically mine, but I hope she will be someday—once I can afford her. Explanation: My sister Emily and I are fostering Corona for Happy Tails Rescue, an adoption agency that pays for Corona’s food and litter. She’s been in the system for awhile, and I don’t understand why no one’s adopted her. She’s amazing. Before she jumps up onto my bed, she makes this weird little noise that I love. “Guh!”

When we first got her, she didn’t like being held, and she was very jumpy. (Now we treat her like a baby and she’s the queen of our apartment.) Her former owner’s in jail and we think he/she hurt Corona. What an asshole. Who hurts a cat? Who throws a shoe? But she’s with us now, so she’s safe. We’re also fostering a cat named Cliff, and he’s orange and makes me think of lions. But Corona’s the boss.

19. I don’t know anything about cars. I’m a really good driver (in my opinion), but the mechanics of cars are beyond me. My grandpa Stephenson could take a car apart and put it back together, and I wish I had this skill.

20. I like hats. I have two Irish hats: the first is a brown-tweed Hanna from Irish on Grand, the second a green tweed purchased by Linda Faust, Fallon’s senior proofreader, while she vacationed in Ireland. “Where’d ya get that hat?” my dad once asked me about the former. “The drunk guy store?”

Wearing either, I feel grandpaternal and totes Irish. I’m 25 and not wholly Irish, despite my birthday (St. Patrick’s Day), my name (Patrick), my freckles (up and down my arms and elsewhere), and my red (auburn) hair. I also wear a Vikings hat—purchased on discount at a now-closed sporting goods store in downtown Minneapolis. I once had a Gophers hat, but I left it on a seat at Crown Block E as a symbolic gesture.

21. I’ve been working on a book for the past two years. I wonder if I’ll ever finish it.

22. I have man crushes on Daniel Craig, Jonathan Ames, Kanye West, Clint Eastwood and Barack Obama. I have regular old crushes on Zooey Deschanel (holy crap), Diane Lane, Kate Winslet, and Emily Haines/Leslie Feist.

23. “Roscoe,” by Midlake, is one of my favorite songs of all time.

24. I play Call of Duty 4, for Xbox 360, every day, without fail. I’ve attained the rank of Commander. Five stars, level 55. I can’t decide whether I’m into Prestige.

25. The Superbowl is on right now and I don’t care. I don’t care that I don’t care.

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Written by patiomensch

February 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

2 Responses

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  1. Hey man! You wrote your blog post.

    I used to not watch TV, but I came back for PBS.

    I went to Catholic church, but now I guess I’m an agnostic or something.

    Sometimes I use a red pen. It makes me feel like I have some kind of authority.

    I’m addicted to social media too!

    I can’t think of a full 25 things. This’ll have to do. Ha.

    Bobby

    February 4, 2009 at 5:04 am

  2. I have been using it for years and wouldnt use anything else!

    tower 200

    March 5, 2010 at 3:08 pm


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