Science writing sucks, kids. It sucks so hard. It generates hypotheses that lead to potential cures for stuff and furthers the neverending quest for knowledge and understanding, sure, but it still blows goats. During weeks of days spent writing words, then agonizing over the words you’d written, then hunting down references in order to make sure that the words you wrote weren’t previously written by someone else, the last thing you want to do is sit down and write more words. So, thank God for Sarah and pointless questions that require no thought about what you write.
What was the first grown-up book you read?
The Second World War by John Keegan, pretty much simultaneously with About Face by David Hackworth. I was a bit obsessed with the military, having grown up around the grandfathers and friends whose fathers were Vietnam vets and/or themselves aiming for West Point. The Keegan book is dry, but thorough in the way that all books by British historians tend to be. I recently read a review of his newest effort concerning the civil war. The reviewer said it read like a British person trying to make sense of a civil war being fought by people that had defeated the British nearly a century earlier. More than that, though, Keegan’s experience in the world of military history led him to marvel at the quality of leadership on both sides and the tragedy of the fact that they were fighting each other. As opposed to hopping on a boat, heading to Europe, and preemptively crushing the Kaiser, I suppose. O, history! Thou art fat with the bleat of ‘IF ONLY!’ David Hackworth was an amazing dude who enlisted at 16, garnered a battlefield commission in Korea, went on to become an amazing leader, and eventually called ‘bullshit’ on the military strategy in Vietnam, thereby ending his career. Heavy for a kid, but I loved it and still re-read it today.
What is your favorite movie with Kevin Bacon in it?
Animal House. Duh. And yet he also had a cameo in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, so perhaps not as ‘duh’ as one might think.
Name one song that you love, but are embarrassed to admit it.
I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack. Shut up.
What was the best meal of your life?
El Gaucho in Seattle. My 27th birthday with the new girlfriend at the time (holy shit it’s been a decade someone kill me). The surf & turf was the special that night and it consisted of an 8oz filet, a huge lobster tail, and an absurdly large baked potato crammed with everything you can imagine. And the wine. And the martinis. Remembering it just made me soil myself. In a good way.
What was the first concert you ever saw live?
Pearl Jam on their Ten tour in an enormous Oklahoma City livestock warehouse. Not exactly built for sound, but awesome, nonetheless. And I failed to buy a goddamned t-shirt. Still makes me want to punch myself.
Sir @ May 20, 2010