So there’s this meme going around called the “Liebster Award”; it’s basically a way to pass around questions and draw attention to other blogs. I’ve been tagged by three people (that I know of; if I’ve missed one, sorry!), so I figured I’d knock out a post to answer the questions. There are a few rules associated with it, but a: I’m not always good about following rules, and b: most of the rules relate to passing the award on. While there are many bloggers who I think are worthy of a spotlight — if I’m following you, and/or if I’ve featured you in my Weekly Weblinks, you’re almost certainly one of them — I suspect that anybody I could tag either doesn’t want to do it or has been tagged three or four times already. So like a few others I’ve seen, I won’t be passing it along — but if by chance you haven’t been tagged and want to have been, consider yourself tagged and steal 11 questions from the people who asked me questions. I’m sure they won’t mind.
The other rules are that I have to post eleven things about myself, and answer 11 questions from the people who tagged me. Since three people tagged me, that’s 33 questions. Plus 5 more from a fellow rule-breaker. So here we go.
11 Facts About Myself:
1. I am an Osage Indian. Mixed-blood, but on all official paperwork I am simply “Osage” (or “Indian” or “Native American” if it’s more general), and that is what I think of myself as. That thing you see in my avatar when I post is the Osage Medicine Spider.
2. I live about 7 miles outside the city limits of Springfield, Oregon. I consider living outside the city to be an advantage in most respects.
3. I have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer and Information Science from the University of Oregon. My professional career has been focused primarily in web development. I write code in a lot of different languages, but my personal preference is to use server-side Java.
4. I’ve always been interested in computer graphics, ever since I first discovered GeoPaint on my Commodore 64. Nowadays I primarily tinker around with vector graphics and 3D graphics. For a guy with no formal training, I think I do fairly well, but I’m always trying to improve. A lot of the graphics on my blog are my own creations, including the header, background, and the icons for the Weekly Weblinks and Top X lists.
5. Though I love movies, and started my DVD collection many years ago, I still don’t actually have very many, simply because I’m often thinking of other things when I have money to spend on such. I have about 100 titles on DVD; my brother, on the other hand, has about 800.
6. I am mixed-handed. This does not work the way it’s usually portrayed in fiction. Most things I can use either hand equally, but with things that require fine motor control, I do have to learn it separately for each hand. As such there are a few things I favor my right hand for, such as handwriting, and a few things I favor my left hand for, such as using a steak knife.
7. I used to collect comic books. I was a fan of different superhero cartoons as a kid, and got into the comics as an adult with spending cash around 2004. I stopped a few years later, and sold off most of my collection, because of a few reasons. First, it’s expensive; $3 an issue adds up fast when you’re buying anywhere from 3 to 15 titles a week. Second, it takes up a lot of space, which is always at a premium for me. And third, it seems like the companies can never go very long without doing something to make reading them less enjoyable, whether it’s mega-crossovers or just bad writing decisions. My favorite Marvel Comics character has always been Spider-Man, and at one point while I was collecting they were putting out four Spider-Man titles a month and I wasn’t reading any of them because I was that displeased with how they were handling the character. And then it got worse.
8. When it comes to music, I like classic rock, 80s pop and hair metal. And “Weird Al” Yankovic. My other favorite artists include Alice Cooper, Cream, Huey Lewis and the News, among many others. I have 8,222 music files on my computer right now, and generally if I’m at my computer I have it playing on shuffle.
9. I’m more of a science fiction and fantasy fan now, but when I was in middle school, my first non-kid books were mysteries. Sherlock Holmes and the works of Agatha Christie figured heavily in my reading.
10. I think most ongoing TV series would be improved by the writers having a firm plan for how long the show is going to run, knowing well before the end when its last season will be. Some of my favorite shows — Chuck, The Pretender, and others — have suffered from not knowing this.
11. I have yet to rescue the princess in any Super Mario Bros. game. I was, however, a Bad enough Dude to rescue the president, on the Commodore 64, the NES, and the arcade machine.
11 Questions From Jaina at Time Well Spent
1. If you could live in another country, where would you live?
Assuming I had to move, I’d probably go to Canada. Close by, same language (except for Quebec), similar culture. Failing that, I gather England has about the same pea-soup climate I’m familiar with from living in western Oregon.
2. Cats or dogs?
I have three beagles. I do not have any cats.
3. What’s your all time favourite food?
I’m capable of making myself sick from overeating on homemade biscuits. (The American definition, not cookies. Not that I don’t like cookies as well, of course.)
4. If you could only watch one TV show for the rest of your life, which would it be?
Doctor Who. Despite being a sci-fi fan, I’ve never seen it, but it sounds as if I’d be very likely to enjoy it. And with 33 seasons and counting, it could just possibly last me the rest of my life.
5. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?
The Dark Knight Rises. Went to see it with my brother on opening day (though at midday, not midnight.)
6. What were you doing, this time last year?
Contemplating how best to setup my blog, actually.
7. Comic book films – they’re not going away any time soon. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?
It’s a good thing. Not all entities in the genre may be good, but I’m a fan of the genre and I’m glad to see it doing well. Truthfully I wish all genres had regular strong showings.
8. What is your most cherished childhood memory?
Probably Christmas Eve, one year when I was a kid. At my aunt’s house, playing Laser Tag with my brother and cousin, our grandparents there, all five of us kids singing, opening presents. Getting some cool off-brand transforming robots… each of us boys got one. Many, many years later, when I had long been wondering just what those toys were, I stumbled across a pair in the packages at a garage sale. They’re now hanging on my wall.
9. Have you got sucked into the Olympics? Will you be watching the closing ceremony?
(This one kind of reveals how long I’ve been holding on to this….) I was not sucked in, and I did not watch. I usually have only a very passing interest in the Olympics.
10. What’s the one book you would recommend everyone to read?
I don’t know that there’s a single book I would recommend to everyone. But since I’ve been asked, and we’re coming in on Halloween time again in a month, and I already recommended it before, I’m going to suggest people who like fantasy, monsters, or Victorian-era crossover fiction check out Roger Zelazny’s A Night in the Lonesome October.
11. Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?
I have no idea, and I hate getting asked that in job interviews (where I’ve heard it a few times). I’ve never been where I saw myself five years prior, and I doubt many people have been.
11 Qs. From Andrew at A Constant Visual Feast
1. Why do you write about film?
To share my thoughts on films with others and to have them share theirs. To examine why I do or don’t like a particular movie. To spur myself to knock movies off of my need-to-see list.
2. Who are your biggest influences in film writing?
I doubt I have any strong influences, but there’s certainly some from Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel (of whom one of my English teachers said I made seem nice by comparison when I was thrashing a film about the Donner party….) I respect the views of Leonard Maltin and Richard Roeper as well.
3. What is your least favorite cinematic fad of the day?
Shaky-cam and its litter-mate “found footage”.
4. How often do you attend film festivals?
I have yet to attend one.
5. What’s the last movie that you saw, whether you’ve reviewed it or not?
That would be Mars Attacks!.
6. Do you have an aversion to films made before 1980?
While it’s certainly true that I have a predilection for films made between 1980 and 1989, I don’t have any actual aversion to films made earlier (or later for the most part, though I can be harsh on modern comedies.)
7. How far are you willing to go to catch screenings of your annual must-sees?
There’s a first-run theatre in town, and a second-run theatre in the same mall. In Eugene, Springfield’s sister-city, there’s another first-run theatre, which has one IMAX screen (which I need to check out sometime). I don’t really see myself going farther than that for any film. So the answer is “15 miles.”
8. How much do you consider the music you listen to in a film as part of the experience?
Most of the time the music is deliberately made as background, so while I’m aware of it, I’m not paying it a lot of attention. If it’s part of the foreground, however, I’ll definitely take notice and remember it as part of the film.
9. Do you have a favorite genre?
I tend to favor science-fiction and fantasy films, but I’ll watch just about anything, except possibly romantic comedies.
10. What do you think about a world where celluloid no longer exists and everything is shot on digital?
I don’t really think about it that much. I don’t think the quality is quite there yet, but it’s constantly getting closer. When it’s there, and that day will come, there will not be a practical reason to continue touting celluloid.
11. What are your most overrated and underrated films of all time?
Overrated? Easy Rider; while it’s masterfully done, it’s also boring as watching paint dry. (Runners up, in the “popular acclaim” if not critical acclaim field, include Sin City and 300.) Underrated? Why surprise my regular readers? Sneakers.
11 Questions From Michael at It Rains, You Get Wet
1. What was the last reference book (regardless of subject or genre) you used?
Probably my combinatorics textbook from college. Nowadays I usually just look things up online.
2. What pop song from your youth, used in movie, immediately got you to react, “Oh, no you didn’t!”?
I don’t recall having that reaction yet while watching a movie. Though I did have it when hearing that Boogie Nights used “The Touch” by Stan Bush, which was originally made for The Transformers: The Movie.
3. Steve McQueen or Paul Newman?
Paul Newman. Though no disrespect at all to Steve McQueen.
4. Which foreign country, known for its cinema, have you yet to watch a movie from?
India. And I think I haven’t seen any from Korea either. And if Youtube’s free movie section is to be believed, Nigeria is also a cinematic powerhouse, but I haven’t dared check them out. But I’ve seen films from the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Japan, China, Canada, Ireland and Australia, so I think I’m doing all right.
5. Favorite film with Samuel L. Jackson in it? (whether he’s starring, supporting, or cameo)
Checking my scores on IMDb, it looks like Iron Man is the winner, with The Avengers coming in a close second.
6. Favorite over-the-top performance from Face/Off: John Travolta as Sean Archer/Troy Castor or Nicolas Cage as Troy Castor/Sean Archer?
Haven’t seen it yet, sorry. It’s on the list.
7. Ketchup or Salsa?
Salsa is a tasty addition to Mexican dishes or chips. Ketchup is an abomination before God.
8. What clearly dramatic scene from a movie made you inexplicably burst out laughing in reaction?
The scene in which Will Salas’s mother dies in In Time, thanks to Justin Timberlake’s acting. Most moments in 300. Nearly every minute of Pay It Forward.
9. Wyatt Earp or Tombstone?
I haven’t seen Wyatt Earp yet, though I’ve heard it’s very good, so Tombstone wins by default. It’s a film I like a lot, so I don’t mind the default victory there.
10. What was the latest, or earliest, movie screening you’ve ever attended?
I attended the midnight showings for John Carter and The Avengers. I’ve attended a few 10:00 am screenings, but the only one I remember is The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle.
11. Who is your favorite writer? (can be author, film or TV screenwriter, or director/writer)
5 Qs. From Terrence at The Focused Filmographer
1. Which director’s work do you not really care for?
Although it may sound strange since I just posted a review praising one of his films, I’m not a fan of most of Tim Burton’s work that I’ve seen.
2. If you could recast any iconic character in a movie, who would you recast? and who would be your new choice in the role?
Again, assuming I have to choose somebody…. While I like Harrison Ford a lot as an actor, I have to admit to being curious to see what it would have been like if they had been able to go with their original choice of Tom Selleck for Indiana Jones.
3. The Land Before Time or An American Tail?
I think The Land Before Time is just slightly better than An American Tail. However, either American Tail film is better than all of the Land Before Time sequels.
4. Have you watched Ben Hur?
Not yet. It’s on the list.
5. What movie in this final quarter of 2012 are you looking forward to seeing most?
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.
Well, that’s it. 38 questions from other bloggers, plus 11 facts supplied on my own, per the Liebster Award rules. And now you know everything. Or at least a tiny blip more than you did before. Thank you to Jaina, Andrew, and Michael for singling me out for this, and to Terrence for posting some questions as a free-for-all.