Tuesday, April 21, 2009

???????s of the Week

1. What author have you read most (which means not necessarily your favorite or the one you want people to think is your favorite)?

2. If you could pick a new first name for yourself, what would it be?

3. Since food is a recurring theme (I put on 10 pounds last week with all the snacking), what do you love that you thought you would hate?

4. Who is the first person you saw in real life after meeting online? (Feel free to elaborate or not depending on whether your partner is reading)

5. What is your favorite cause/appeal?


DarceysDad said...

1. Read most? Enid Blyton, undoubtedly! As an adult, probably Michael Connolly.

2. Anything but Ronnie, which is what I was called at school. Boring story of origin, but if anyone actually wants to hear it . . .

3. Spinach. Went through childhood/adolescence struggling with most greenery, thanks to a mother with less than perfect culinary skills. Fresh spinach, though, is my first leaf choice now. Sandwich fillers, salad, curries, I even do a lasagne with a white fish layer replacing the mince, and spinach & pinenuts in the alternate layers.

4. A Saturday job workmate/drinking buddy via FriendsReunited. Me and Helen were a chef pairing in a Chester restaurant in the early 80s. We were tighter than Keegan & Toshack! You can be friends with the opposite sex, even when controlled by raging teenage hormones.

5. LEAST favourite?! Blimey, how do you answer that without offending someone with an affected family member? As a lifelong Liverpool fan, the answer to that one is whichever cause The Scum screwspaper is jumping on to further their own ends.

tincanman said...

Sorry, I meant to change that to favorite from leastfavorite for just the reason DsD said.
I've edited the post

DarceysDad said...

In which case, tin, my favourite - and I've no real idea why; there are much bigger things to worry about in this world - has always been Guide Dogs For The Blind. I don't know of anyone with one, hell I don't even like dogs! But the idea, execution, and benefits of these animals' devotion to duty has always really touched me.

tincanman said...

Yeah, good one.
And for someone struggling to get a puppy to sit, I am amazed by how much service dogs can do.

Abahachi said...

1.In terms of most works read, or most time spent reading or rereading? For the former, a toss-up between Malcolm Saville (anyone else remember the Lone Pine adventures?) and the late lamented JG Ballard. For the former, if we count stuff I have to read partly for professional purposes then Marx, and otherwise Anthony Powell.

2.I have enough trouble dealing with all the different names I get called at the moment.

3. I've always expected to like pretty well everything.

4. DarceysDad - the one and only, in fact.

5. Amnesty International.

Frogprincess said...

Lunch break - cup of Butlers Irish coffee. Sorted.
1. I'm not going to pretend it's Saki or Shakespeare, both of whom I worship. Jilly Cooper (bless her) got me through major spinal surgery. Rupert Campbell Black and his shagfests got me through a tough period in my life. And for that I'm deeply grateful.
2. I've always liked Alexandra for some reason. Don't know why. Perhaps the way Jack says it in The Witches of Eastwick?
3.Oysters!! A recent love story. Still can't do frogs legs or snails though....
4. No one but can I cheat and say actor Rade Serbedzija who you know as the costume shop owner in Eyes Wide shut. We watched the marvellous film 'Before the Rain' in which he plays and then unexpectedly he came to the cocktail do afterwards. WELL weird seeing him on screen and then in reality. Just as if someone had walked of the screen into my life...
5. Anti torture and death penalty. So that would be Amnesty too I suppose.

ToffeeBoy said...

1. PG Wodehouse - over a hundred of his books on the Toffee book shelves. The perfect antidote to any heavy reading experience - pick up a Wodehouse and within minutes your mind is emptied of troubling thoughts - guaranteed.

2. I can't imagine it being anything but Toffee - errr....

3. Food is not one of my strong points - serious eating disorder - house of fussy eaters and all that sort of thing...

4. My mum's half brother(s) - who she never met. Very moving - long story - maybe some cold Winter's evening I'll share it.


goneforeign said...

Delighted to know that DsD loves Michael Connolly, I've read all his books, he was originally the crime reporter at the LA Times and then he started writing superb crime novels, one detail I enjoy is his ability to describe location, I've spent my whole life in LA and I can relate very closely to every location he describes. Plus his hero, Harry Bosch is an ex cop who loves jazz and plays the tenor sax, there's always very knowledgable details about a record or musician he happens to be listening to. As with most things I'm fairly obsessive about authors, when I find one I like I start reading everything by them, Len Deighton definitely, both fiction and non-fiction, I especially recommend his trilogies, London, Berlin, Paris and Hook, Line and Sinker, you must read them in sequence.
A new first name: I'm quite happy with 'Gone' but I suppose 'Long-gone' might be OK.

Food; Converse to Tin I lost 30+ lbs when I had that recent short stint in the hospital, the food was inedible, absolutely tasteless. I didn't eat anything literally for 5 days. Otherwise I'm fine with anything that's on a plate. I cook most days, usually with produce from the garden in the summer/fall, we grow much of our own food.

Can't think of anyone who fits the 'internet' bill but there's been a fair number the other way around, ie those who I've known who've then become internet staples, Coppola comes to mind. Lots of musicians, BMW plus half of Jamaica,

Favorite causes: My wife teaches world history at a high school, she's also the Amnesty person there, she co-ordinates the student Amnesty club but we have another cause that we support that I'd choose as my preference, it's The Southern Poverty Law Center, a small team of lawyers who challenge discrimination and support poor people in the southern US.

DarceysDad said...

Thanks goneforeign. 'Tis true that I've never read a Connolly that I wouldn't happily read again. Put it this way, I won't even lend any out to friends for fear of them not coming back. If I have a tiny criticism, it's that (with the exception of a couple - The Poet, Trunk Music, Void Moon) I can't instantly recall which is which just from the titles. gf's right though, Harry Bosch is a true star. Why hasn't there been a screen Harry ... or has there?

Compare and contrast with the author that probably comes second in the list of sheer quantity (of different titles) read: Stephen King. Some wonderful highs - The Stand (full version), Christine, IT, even The Langoliers from Four Past Midnight is a DsD fave. But the lows ... ugh. I'm looking at my shelves now. I've given the paperbacks away, but for some reason I've kept the hardbacks. But as I look I'm trying to figure out why! Insomnia and The Dark Half in particular were absolute pants, and I can't even remember what happens in Rose Madder, Hearts In Atlantis, or Desperation. Misery is ace, but bleak reading. The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon is also very good, but not recommended to any nervous parent wondering how much freedom to give their growing kids!

saneshane said...

1 Apart from the picture books 20 times a day it would be Rupert Thomson.
I very rarely re-read but all of his have been a few times.. not the best writer in the world and certainly needs some nips and tucks from an editor.. but a unique imagination.
The two Dirk Gently books by Douglas Adams make me chuckle when needed also.

2 I've worked under different names.. so I've had that fun.. for the first time in my life being sane is fine.

3 Growing up on a Market Garden I hated green things.. Asparagus was a melting exception.

4 Dorian.. but didn't really count as I knew what he looked like and hadn't engaged in that much conversation - except for the fact that he didn't pick 'Wrong Radio' after it had been donded to death! ..so DsD gets the points here.. he does work a gathering well!

5 Favorite is an odd term...
I support the MS society as my mum suffers.. my other half ran a Big Issue office for a while, mostly they are trying to help themselves so I contribute..

(Glad you changed it from least liked.. I would have had a right barney about organized charity days when rich 'stars' make poor people feel guilty until they give away their only savings.. started by that **** G.....
-the rest of this post has been removed to save sensitive eyes and lawyers fees-

ummm did I go off on one?)

Shoey said...

1. Iain Banks, think I've read all his; sometimes disappointing, often not. J.G. Ballard, especially the short stories, essays & autobiographical novels. Like Burroughs too, but have to be in the right mood for his black humour.
2. Would be too confusing.
3. Crawfish grits.
4. DsD.
5. Amnesty International, although they have to wait in line behind the shoeteen college & car fund.

Blimpy said...

1. Grant Morrison

2. "Bear". I was gutted when I found out what Bear Grylls first name was. Had I thought of this trick years ago, I'm sure my life would be completely different.

3. I never thought I'd get my head round blue cheese.

4. No-one

5. I tend to pitch in with stuff for the village mainly, but I'm not picky.

Blimpy said...

Are these questions separate from EOTWQ? I'm confused.

CaroleBristol said...

1) Bernard Cornwell, based on a quick count up of his books on my shelves. He just beat Lindsay Davis into second place.

Neither are in my top five authors though, they have just turned out a lot of books. I've also read lots of Terry Pratchett too but I think not as many as those two.

2) Hmmmm, it's gotta be Galadriel. Not a massively popular name in 1950s East London, why explains why I am Carole.

I'm not sure how it would work out in real life, but I always wanted to be her from when I first read the books.

3) This is a tricky one, because I am a total gannet, but going back to before I tried them, I always thought I'd dislike oysters. It was the idea of eating something alive, but the moment I tried them, I was hooked.

4) My partner Nicola. We had known each other online for ages, been chatting etc and we had never met. Then when I split up with my ex, she was there for me and we decided to meet up and we just clicked in real life like we had online.

CaroleBristol said...

Oops, I missed the last one, so

5. Cancer Research. My Mum died of cancer.

sourpus said...

Hm..fair enough then...

1) I think its fair to ask what author you've read the most - and in my case, it would probably be Bret Easton Ellis, because I read everything he wrote. The time when I cared for his writing has been pretty much over for some years though, and I cant say the same about any other 'writer' because im not in the habit of reading book after book by the same author.

Im such a tart when it comes to literature. Or a butterfly if you will. I prefer non-fiction mostly.

2) When I was a kid, like all kids, I just wanted to fit in. My somewhat unsual real name meant that I was sometimes embarrassed. It must have got to me, because when I went to stay with my gran, who lived far enough away for no one in the local area to know me, I used to go by another name to the local kids. When my Gran came out into the street to call me in for dinner, I had to ignore her and then pretend to go and see what she wanted...that name was Dave.

Although I quite like Chippie.

3. I never got into anything that much if I hated it enough not to eat it as a kid. Although, strangely, I will now eat tomatoes in almost every form - except raw.

How odd.

4. The first person I saw in real life after meeting on line was my first ever (and only) internet date.

I was living in Finland, bored in my office alone, with very little work, day after day; so I began to explore on line. Internet was new to me and I decided to use a search to visit a country id never been before. I came up with Hungary for no good reason other than I hadnt ever been there.

The first site I found was a social network site. The first person I found on line struck up a conversation with me, talked to me every day for about a week and then invited me to Hungary for the upcoming holiday weekend, and I accepted. She turned out to be the manager of a travel agents and so the tickets were free - she threatened to send them; I didnt actually think she would.

We met for the first time in the airport. She was nice and showed me around Budapest. I enjoyed myself but said to myself 'Well, i'll make sure I never go there again because I really didnt like it, but im glad ive seen it"

Four years later I was living there.

The moral of this story is: ???

TracyK said...

1: My very literary friend recently coerced me to join something called Library Thing, where you can input all your books, like a virtual library: it shows you people who share your tastes, there are book rings and all sorts of geeky/cool things. According to my author cloud, Neil Gaiman is my most read, which sounds about right, though the books I re-read most often are Guy Gavriel Kay's The Fionavar Tapestry sequence and Kate Atkinson's everything.

2: Almost any name other than Tracy, which dates me and places me right in the fitting social category. I like Welsh names, like Rhiannon and Ceinwen though.

3: Olives, whiskey. Not together. When I was younger the smell of both made me retch. Not anymore.

4: I used to be a regular on the Ooberman board, and we used to meet quite regularly: the only person I've stayed in contact with is my friend Liane: most of the others sided with my ex when we split, so, ho-hum. through one of the Ooberman girls I joined the Spaced forum, where I met Lydia, my cool indie dj friend, and my hubby, so well worth it! Lots of the Spaced refugees I see now and then. Final bunch I met were Ricj, Ed, Georgina, Gordon and, ahem, some others. Apologies if I was annoying!

5: Ditto to cancer charities and Cats Protection League, who have given me the three beautiful cats I've owned. Or rather, let them own me.

sourpus said...

Oops, I missed one too.

Favorite cause?

Me, really.

steenbeck said...

This is sort of a tough one, because when I like an author I tend to read everything they've written. So it would be the person who wrote the most. Which I suppose might be Dickens, but maybe I'm just thinking of him because we were just talking about him.

Claire! haha, very tricky, no?

I'm not a picky eater at all, and I love eating, so this is a hard one, too. Maybe I'll say meat. Not that I thought I'd hate it, but that I should hate it as a vegetarian, and I don't. I haven't eaten any since I was about 12, but the smell of it cooking drives me crazy, sometimes.


In general--animal rights. But as a specific organization maybe Doctors without Borders.

treefrogdemon said...

1 Arthur Ransome - I saved up my pocket money to buy them all when I was a kid, and I read them all again whenever I'm ill. (And yes, the children ARE middle-class. So?)

2 Before I was born I was going to be Paul, with an emergency Bryony in case the worst happened...quite glad they changed their minds about that one. I have an alter ego called Psyche.

3 Yes, oysters for me too. Please.

4 Nobody (yet).

5 UNICEF, and I have a separate standing order for the project that gives a mixture of salt and sugar to stop kids' diarhhoea. I've always been intrigued by that because it's so simple and cheap and does such a lot of good. So I reckon it's good value for money!

goneforeign said...

DsD; Connolly has a follow-up to The Poet coming out in UK in about 3 weeks, plus he's doing a tour over there. Check his website for details and video clips at;
Sour: My cats name is Chippie.

Japanther said...

1. I go through phases, but can't pin one author down that i've read a HUGE amount by, probably a toss up between Dostoevsky, Murakami, Mishima and Roald Dahl.

2. I always wanted to be called Johnny, not John, but Johnny cos' it's the ultimate fifties rebel name like out of a Shangri-La's song.

3. Sushi!! I lived in Japan for over 5 years before I could bring myself to try it, now I love it!

4. No-one yet, but if anyone is in the area......

5. With both parents having operations for the Big C, within the last 2 months, one just a couple of weeks ago, i'll definitely go for a cancer charity.

ejaydee said...

1. Like steenbeck and others, I tend to read a lot of books by few authors, I think I've read a comparable amount of books by Albert Cohen, a French author I used to read alot but forgot now, Richard Wright, and lately David Sedaris.

2. Many people misunderstand my name when I say it, as a child they heard "Gregoire", in Brazil I've heard "Edualdo" (maybe that's due to my bad pronunciation though), and lately it's been "Edwin". SIgh. I really should e-nun-ci-ate.
PS. sourpus, when I saw your name on the emails for the social, I thought I'd gotten your gender wrong

3. Probably Aubergine.

4. Gordon, Georgina, Dorian, Patricia, letterO,d33pf1x, Mark68, Proudy, and late as usual another Paul (murphsup) I think I'm forgetting one more name. Is Paul the most common name in RR?

5. I like Guide DOgs too, and I dislike dogs in general too, or something to do with education, or plumbing (clean water and sanitation).

tincanman said...

@ ejay
* waves

ejaydee said...

I know I met you too Tin along with Stenebeck, Rich, his brother, Cyan, Gordon's other brother, Tracy, Gareth, etc. but this was the first social. WHen I got there, I was a bit late so almost everybody was there, which means I met them all first.

ejaydee said...

Is it me or did that read a bit tetchy? I was typing with a smile, like am now.

steenbeck said...

Donds for David Sedaris. So funny, but smart and poignant, too. Have you heard him speak? His voice always surprises and amuses me.

tincanman said...

no worries ejay.
My fault, I misunderstood my own question of the week

ejaydee said...

I have heard his voice, in fact i think I had heard before knowing who he was and that he wrote books, he has such a cheeky, smug(in a good way) tone.

bethnoir said...

TracyK, I've read a lot of Neil Gaiman too. My bookshelf does not reflect my most read authors though as I make liberal use of the library due to limited storage space.

TracyK said...

I like his books, but The Endless books are what really skews that statistic for me Beth: his and Jaime Hernandez are pretty much everything to me in graphic novels. I'd secrtly like to be Death, she's so sparky and her eyeliner is always perfect!

saneshane said...

I get to read 'The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish' almost every day.. as a Gaiman and McKean fan this is cool...
but is my 4 year old already trying to tell me something?

snadfrod said...

1. I go through big phases too, and very rarely read a novel more than once. So its probably a tie between Dickens, Chabon, Cormac McCarthy and Hornby. With a side order of Donaldson/Scheffler thrown in too.

2. It wouldn't be new, just a variant on my extant name - Kit. I don't know why, I just love the way it works. Failing that, Nebuchadnezzar.

3. Oysters. Raw, grilled, plain, flavoured. I did NOT see that one coming.

4. DsD. He keeps a mean tally sheet of Spillers.

5. We support cleft palate and cancer charities for general personal reasons, but I actively and irrationally take against any cause that tries to foist its way through my front door or into my shopping street reverie.

Blimpy said...

@shane - mini mcf refuses to have me read "goldfish" to him, the swine!!

goneforeign said...

Steen; How about his sister's voice? Now there's a wierd one!

debbym said...

My goodness, the end of the week is getting earlier and earlier... Miss a day or three and you've almost a month's worth of 'Spill to catch up on!

1) Most read author very probably P.G. Wodehouse, as I return to his stories again and again, especially if I'm feeling under the weather or blue for any reason whatsoever.

2) This is hard. I have one of the most popular names of my generation (there were SIX of us in my year at school), but now I live abroad I don't mind it so much, it's not that usual over here. I do have days when I wouldn't mind answering to J.K. Rowling, though (they're usually the days my pockets just don't seem deep enough)...

3) Ham in the German sense, i.e. dried or cured or whatever you call it. For 20 years it felt like forcing down raw meat, but all of a sudden I've come to like it.

4) I have only one candidate for this, and that's a girlfriend I meet up with for coffee two or three times a year. She found me on a forum for English speakers - she spends her summers in Edinburgh and is terrified of losing all her English when she gets back to Germany. She regales me with stories of the nasty looks she gets from all the old ladies in her Hamburg neighbourhood (her fashion sense is definitely Goth) and I get coffee and cake. Nice deal!

5) As most of you know, my daughter is mentally handicapped, so I have lots to do with that kind of thing. The charity I do most to support is a group of paediatric nurses who care for children in their own homes (the kids' homes, not the nurses'!) Most of their patients have either heart trouble or cancer, but having this team on call can get you out of a lengthy hospital stay - and that's worth sooo much, especially if you have other kids at home. I figure anyone with children could use their help some day, handicapped or no.

Mnemonic said...

1. Georgette Heyer. She does for me what Wodehouse does for others. Supremely funny social comedies with a fine line in appalling mothers rather than aunts. She has seen me through burglaries, paralysis (temporary thought I didn't know that at the time), kalashnikovs being fired in the night, whatever.

2. Although I am known by it to the world at large, my family have never used it so, in a sense, I have already chosen my first name.

3. Sushi and oysters, both in the same week in New York in 1980.

4. D33pf1x, at the first social.

5. Kids Company. Camila Batmanghelidjh founded this and feeds and loves children most of us would flee from if we saw them on a street corner.

gordonimmel said...

Hmmm, as debby said, the end of the week gets earlier every week. I'm putting together a set of questions myself. When can I post them?

Anyway to answer these ones first.....
1. I'm not a great fiction reader, I mainly read non-fiction (history usually) so it's not easy to choose but if I HAD to I'd go for Goscinny & Uderzo. Who? I hear you ask. Think 'Asterix' and you're there. I can read these books again and again and see a different visual joke or pun every time.
Failing that, I quite like James Clavell, especially 'Shogun'.
2. Probably my middle name of 'Stewart' which, in the Scottish tradition isn't actually a first name atall but a family name (my maternal grandmother's maiden name since you ask). But frogprincess also reminded me that if little tessimmel had been a boy, as it were, his most probable name would have been Alexander. If nothing else, in an 'international family' like ours it's an easily recognisable, easily spelt international name.
3. Can't really answer this one since I've always been up for anything. When I was growing up my family called me 'Anika's Midden' since I tended to hoover up anything put infront of me and any leftovers from other people's plate if they weren't fast enough. Mind you I've not yet tried sheep's eyeballs or bulls testicles and have no wish to volunteer but, you know, if a major business deal rested on it, you never know.
4. As with the others who attended the first RR social in London in May 2007, the ones who were already there when I walked over and introduced myself were Dorian, mnemonic and d33pf1x.
I could also argue that it was Darceysdad since I've known him in real life for 25 years now. I'm still not sure that I did the right thing in introducing him to this particular online community.....
5. Sad to say I don't really have a special cause but I would agree with the sentiments of Amnesty, Guide Dogs For The Blind and Trinity House (i.e. lifeboats)

Tim (Kalyr) said...

1 - Not done a scientific count, but it's probably either Iain Banks, Terry Pratchitt or Jack Vance.

2 - When I was a student, I used to go by the name of "Tarquin". Blame it on Monty Python

3 - I seem to have drawn a complete blank with this. Suffering from multiple food allergies there are far too many things I love but can't actually eat.

4 - I've met so many people I first new 'online' I've lost count, but I think the total must be well into three figures by now. So few have borne any resemblance to how I'd imagined them that the ones that do stand out. As far as I know, I've not met any of the RR crew yet, although I was at the same gig as @jforbes last year.

5 - Andreas Gift, a brain tumour charity. This has a lot to do with Howard Sparnenn, who died of a brain tumour about this time last year.

AliMunday said...

Shakespeare probably because it took up a year of my degree course. A dozen plays (plus ones I'd already read), all the sonnets - can't remember a thing now!

Siobhan - because it's pretty an no one can spell it

Ostrich. I was being polite but it's actually very nice, for meat.

Darcey's Dad, Gordonimmel and respective families. And very nice they were too.

Ooooh - probably World Wildlife Fund if there has to be a favourite. i worked in CITES licensing years ago so it's not just a cuddly tiger thing. It's a sustainability thing.

AliMunday said...

Oh, Abahachi - Malcolm Saville. I loved the Lone Pine adventures when I was a kid. There was a girl called Peter (Petronella), which I thought was cool. And she had two fair plaits. So perhaps my first name of choice should be Peter (but I'd have to buy some hair dye).

goneforeign said...

Don't miss the Ballard short story on Saturday's page one.

nilpferd said...

For Goscinny and Uderzo, you'd really need to add Anthea Bell- her translations are vastly superior to, say, the German versions of Asterix I've read.

Personally it would be a toss up between the above mentioned dwarf (and his well proportioned friend) and Italo Calvino, who's probably the author I've read most often as an adult. Sandra's would be Saul Bellow.

I think the only person I've met in person after getting to know them online was my sister-in-law. Still, all 'spillers are welcome to visit if you ever pass through Stuttgart- Gateway to Southern Europe.