The Bloganuary 2023 questions

lilacs, laundry, Chinese

bloganuary 2023I wanted to do Bloganuary 2023, but I can’t wait for the morning to create. So I did all of them at the end of January, and I’m posting them all here.

What is something you want to achieve this year?

I want to offload some tasks that devolved to me rather than things I sought to do.
How are you brave?

At some level, I’ve managed to fool a lot of people into thinking I’m an extrovert. I’m not, but I must be faking it well.

What is the earliest memory you have?

I don’t know if it is an actual memory, or recalling the photo, probably the latter. My family used to go to the Catskill Game Farm in Catskill, NY. When I was about three, I was in some large plastic or metal pumpkin.

What is a treasure that’s been lost?

I had stuff at my grandmother’s house in Binghamton, NY. Some were stolen from there back in 1973 or so – my coin collection, all of my baseball cards, and some of my LPs, alphabetically A and early B, then S-Z, including a lot of Supremes, and Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass . Worse, then or subsequently, all of the childhood photos that I had in a red photobook disappeared.

What brings you joy in life?

Music. But you knew that.

Why do you write?

To figure things out. Sometimes, I THINK I know what I know. Then I write something, and it often morphs.

Write a short story or poem about rain.

The western US was devoid of rain, then it came too quickly to maintain. It was because of the dry terrain that caused so many such pain.

Week 2

How far back in your family tree can you go?

This is the one prompt I DID answer: here.

What is the most memorable gift you have received?

It might have been my 16th birthday when I got this container with strips of paper from my friends with significant comments.

Has a book changed your life?

Your Erroneous Zones by Wayne Dyer, which I described here.

How do you define success?

I keep asking the questions.

What chore do you find the most challenging to do?

Doing the laundry. It’s not the actual washing, which I rather like. It’s going to the basement. The steps, especially walking down, are nerve-wracking because they’re so tall. There’s no railing. I mentioned to my wife at least a decade ago that I’d love a washer-dryer on the first floor.

If you had a billion US dollars, how would you spend it?

Besides paying off the mortgages of my sisters and brothers-in-law, there are a lot of causes I’d like to contribute to. Better salaries for library staff, create affordable housing, stuff like that.

What is your preferred mode of travel?

The train. The train. And the train.

Week 3


What fear have you conquered?

I was once in a rental that had rodents. So I had to set mousetraps, then empty mousetraps. Yucky. Hadn’t overcome it, just did it anyway.

Do you have a memory that’s linked to a smell?

The lilac bush next to the house I grew up in. Marijuana, which always reminds me of college.  Probably many more.

Describe the happiest day of your life.

I’m not sure it is THE happiest day. Still: I was in college, and my wife, the Okie, split. There was no way I could finish all of my courses. But we weren’t allowed to drop courses after the midterm point, which had passed.

That is unless I had a professional attest that I was having a physical or emotional problem. I talked to the campus pastor, Paul Walley, who I did know. He wrote me a note, and it was accepted. I was able to drop two of my courses on December 4, 1974 – a date I will always remember – keeping three that I could finish.

What’s your favorite meal to cook and/or eat?

Cook: lasagna. Eat: rotisserie chicken.

What color describes your personality and why?

Well, geez, it should be

What irritates you about the home you live in?

Besides the steps to the basement? The deteriorating back porch.  Incidentally, we saw a contractor recommended by a friend in August 2022. He said he’d send us a quote by September 10. We called him twice after that but got no response.

Who is your favorite author, and why?

I’m going to cheat and say, Stephen Sondheim. I have both of his books of lyrics and it’s the lovely descriptions of his writing process. Maybe Russell Baker or Dr. Seuss.

Week 4

What was your dream job as a child?

For a time, it was practically ordained that I’d become a minister. Later, a lawyer.

What’s a lie you tell yourself?

Probably that I’m not vain.

How do you show love?

Hugs are good.

What is a song or poem that speaks to you and why?

A song? One song? There are hundreds, some of which I  will mention in March 2023. The first that comes to mind is Telling Me Lies by Dolly Parton, Linda Ronstadt, and Emmylou Harris. GREAT three-part harmony and melancholy as all get out.

What language do you wish you could speak?

Chinese. Because, unlike the Romance languages, I don’t understand it AT ALL.

What are the pros and cons of procrastination?

Obviously, the pro is when the problem goes away as a result of waiting, and the con is when it doesn’t.

It’s been carrot cake for decades. Yet it wasn’t something I remember eating as a child.
Week 5

I learned that a second great-great-grandfather, besides James Archer,  fought in the Civil War. Samuel Patterson, my father’s mother’s mother’s father, fought in the 5th Massachusetts (Colored) in 1864.

What would you title the chapters of your autobiography? 

I would have no idea until I wrote it. However, I’d probably model them on the 55 short chapters in Life Itself by Roger Ebert.

Where is the best place to watch the sunset near you?

Driving down Route 20 in Rensselaer County, NY, heading towards Albany, gives the best view of the Albany city skyline, including the sunset. Also, a great view of the Fourth of July fireworks.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

2 thoughts on “The Bloganuary 2023 questions”

  1. I love to read this type of post . . .where you learn more about the writer. I can’t imagine living in a place where I had to trap . . .and empty the trap . . .shudder!

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