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a survey i stole from ujournal...

...specifically from [Mandy].

Answer every question with as little or as much detail as you deem necessary.

01. What name do you go by?

i used to hate my name. i don't remember when that changed, but now i definitely identify most with Mendel. If i could eliminate my last name, i would. I also identify with darknote and sometimes M. A few people from my high school/undergrad years still call me rEoM, and that feels *very* odd. it reminds me of when i see myself with super long hair. that's not really who i am anymore, and sometimes i forget that that's who i used to be.

02. What is, and do you live up to the traditional description of your Sign of the Zodiac?

i'm an aries. i'm not sure if i live up to the traditional description or not. lemme look it up.

*pause*

Okay. This description is a huge long essay that i'm too brain dead to read right now. if someone else who knows me feels inspired to read it and tell me if it fits me or not, they're free to do so.

03. What is your job description?

Gee. I have a few jobs.

At West Salem High School, i am the battery percussion arranger and teacher.

At Willamette High School, i am an assisant director, show designer, arranger, music ensemble instructor, and percussion instructor.

At Emporia State University, i am the battery percussion arranger.

04. What do you really do at work?

I do all of that and more. Even though i'm the perc. instructor at West, i've taken a small role as a music ensemble instructor. Willamette... i do a little of everything.

05. What is the best job you have ever had? Why?

I love my job at Willamette. I'm not merely a music ensemble/percussion instructor there. I'm a father figure and friend of the individuals in the band. So much of my life is devoted to the group and to its members. It feels awesome to be able to give so much to them and to see them grow to be better people because of me. i feel fortunate that the band director has given me so much control and liberties to be the person i want to be. i've been close to marching groups before, but this one has been my closest. i love them to death, and it's hard to come to terms with the fact that this will probably be my last season with them.

06. What is the worst job you have ever had? Again, why?

The last year I taught at Upper Merion was a difficult one for me because of the band director that took over for Kathy. Kathy and I spent a few years trying to build up that marching program so that it was respectable, and this guy comes in and runs it into the ground in the matter of weeks. Every day that season it was a struggle for me to go into rehearsals and not want to blow up at him or throw something or even just break down and cry. Hiding that from my students at the time was one of the hardest things i ever had to do.

07. What parts of the world are in your bloodline?

scattered areas around the united states, and also in taiwan.

08. Describe a dream or a nightmare that you remember vividly.

I'll defer to the memories section of my LJ.

09. What are some of your most prized possessions?

I have a collection of about 150-175 different aluminum and/or tin cans currently in storage, waiting for a place to be shelved and displayed. I'd have more except that i stopped drinking soda years ago, so it's been harder. Tyson's girlfriend just came back from japan and gave me an 8 oz bottle of coke. it kicks ass - a great addition to my collection.

10. What is your earliest memory?

It's not so much an issue of some early memories, but it's easy for me to get my chronology messed up. I have vague memories of walking along snowy roads of Vermont and seeing buckets sticking out of maple trees. every now and again i think i can remember the duplex that we lived in in new jersey.

11. What is the first thing that ever had a huge impact on your life?

sheesh.

*ponders*

i think it's a toss-up between the discovery of my perfect pitch and being burned by Kristine Funkhouser way back in fifth grade. weird. she used to have some pictures up on the internet. guess when she graduated from Hopkins they all went away.

12. Who is one person that changed you, for better or worse, and why?

So many people change me. how can i assign just one person to it?

Kristine definitely changed me. Eventually for the better, i think. Danny Thankachan also changed me, definitely for the better. In middle school, he was the one that was more of an immature jerk than me, and it made me think twice about being an immature jerk. Mr. Tennesen, my third grade teacher, who inspired me to be creative.

And then there's Rebecca. *waves and grins* I've definitely suffered both negative and positive effects from the five year relationship we had. we were young and still discovering ourselves, and we both made a lot of mistakes. oddly enough there's still a part of me that feels that we never got proper closure to our past. not that i'm necessarily looking for closure. I always cling a bit too tightly to my past, though, and i especially have a soft spot for her that i think will never go away, and that's fine with me so long as it's fine with her.

13. What is the most worthy thing you have ever purchased?

interestingly put. i'm not sure if i'd apply the word "worthy" to a "purchase".

14. What is the most useless thing you have ever purchased?

i make a bunch of useless purchases. *shrug* too lazy to pick out one.

15. Are you vain?

Not really, no.

16. Do you believe you have ever experienced a wormhole (directly or indirectly)?

once, possibly, during a new music ensemble concert at West Chester. changed my life. it's why i'm a composer now.

17. What are some of the best things you have ever read?

Anything by Steven Brust. The few books i own that are interviews with great contemporary composers. and of course various pieces of music.

18. What makes you cry?

The episode of Farscape called The Locket. Samuel Barber's Adagio For Strings. Steve Reich's Variations for Winds, Strings, and Keyboards. David Lang's The Passing Measures. the knowledge that this will be my last season with Willamette. love. death. seeing others suffer. The third movement of Michael Gordon's Weather.

19. What puts you in a state of awe?

music of all sorts. art of all sorts. great architecture. my feelings. great performances. my students. Memento.

20. What is the most surreal experience you have ever had on any type of drug?

</blockquote>

i think i've written about this before, but just in case i'll touch upon it again.

I don't let myself get stoned often. I'll get high occasionally to relax my shoulders since it's the only thing that relaxes my shoulders. but getting stoned is something i can only do it around the people i trust, and i can only do it when i feel like i'm in a state of mind free of responsibility. So any time during school, particularly a busy part of school, is just out.

I've only been Really Stoned three or four times. One of those times was when Kate was visiting me here in Eugene. After getting really stoned, we decided to go out for a walk, and i experienced three things that i'll never forget.

The first thing was that i became physically aware of the tension that's always in my shoulders, but it didn't hurt. I remember it as a strong pulsating feeling, and i thought, "shit. my shoulders are really fucked up."

The second thing was that while we were walking, i started to see my thoughts in pictures. I'd think about something, and then i'd see a picture of it in front of me, and there was no question that what i saw was a visual representation of my thoughts.

The third thing was that i started to experience three different time lines at the same time. The first time line was the present. The second time line was the past a few seconds before. And the third time line was the present if the past had happened in a slightly different way. I was aware of and comprehended all of these things at the same time.

I wouldn't mind putting myself in that state again, but only when i feel comfortable. sometimes when mark smokes (daily), he'll ask if i want a hit. It's not that i'm not comfortable smoking with him, but most of the time he asked it was when i had shit i needed to get done. spring term finals. marching band arranging. a big paper. he likes to smoke in order to help him do those things. i smoke only when i feel free to not have to do anything.

</blockquote>

21. Are you competitive? If so, in what?

i love playing games. i love competing. but i find myself unique in that i don't compete in order to win, i compete just to play. i don't like cheap wins. i don't like unbalanced matches where i'm much better than the other person. the only time i play to win is when the person/people i'm playing with are fekkiks who like to gloat about how great they are.

22. If you could choose your method in which to die, what would it be?

I've recently in the past year or so going through some panic phases when it comes to my mortality, so i don't really think about how i want to die.

23. Do you believe the philosophy that we are all truly alone in our own minds?

Not at all.

24. Are you musically-inclined? If so, in what? If not, what do you wish you had learned, if anything?

I think it's safe to say i'm musically inclined. I have perfect pitch. I'm a composer and an arranger. Music is my life. i'm not sure what i would do without it.

25. List ten random books off of your bookshelf.

  • Issola by Steven Brust.
  • Analytic Approaches to Twentieth-Century Music by some guy named Lester.
  • The Best American Erotica 2000 by Susie Bright.
  • The Missing Piece by Shel Silverstein.
  • What is the Name of this Book? by Raymond Smulyan (sp?)
  • The Golden Compass by Phillip Pullman
  • Music Notation by Gardner Reed
  • Pawn of Prophecy by David Eddings
  • At Least This Place Sells T-Shirts by Bill Amend
  • Archer's Goon by Diane Wynne Jones

26. How much faith do you put in Astrology?

Pretty close to none.

27. What subjects fascinated you as a child?

Define "child". Music and math.

28. Describe a school-time memory.

i can't really think of a good one right now.

29. What was your favourite lunch in school?

I was pretty fond of the school's tacos.

30. Do you re-read books?

constantly.

31. What makes you nervous?

Performing solo in public. confrontation about my insecurities. heights.

32. What are your phobias?

heights. death. commitment.

33. Do you have any siblings? If so, how do you get on? If not, have you ever longed for any?

I have an older brother. he's amazing. one of the smartest people i know. i love him and care about him a great deal.

34. What are some of your favourite films (taste and quality need not apply)?

Memento, Insomnia, Unbreakable, Transformers: The Movie, Dark City, Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker, Best In Show, Ferris Beuller's Day Off, Iron Monkey, The Legend of Drunken Master, Project Ako, most of Terry Gilliam's stuff, The Life of Brian, Twin Warriors... stuff like that.

I guess that's it.

</blockquote>

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