September 27, 2004

Answers (Part One)

You asked and I have least some of your questions anyway. These things take time...especially when some of them are tough! But, for your reading enjoyment, I give you the first installment of answers. More to come tomorrow...

Heather asked...
So, Cactus, what species of cacti are you, anyway?
Blogus sedentaria. Once described by Audubon as ďoften lazy yet opinionated in its demeanor, blogus sedentaria can thrive in even the most hostile environs, although it seems to produce larger thorns without the requisite amount of caffeine or sugar, often times becoming one giant prick.Ē

Rachael asked...
You said that you're highly caffeinated, so what's your absolute FAVORITE caffeinated beverage??
I love caffeine. I usually get into the office by 6 or 6:30 in the morning so its vital. And nothing can ever take the place of a large cup of black coffee. All the frou-frou Starbucks specialty crap canít take the place of good, strong black coffee.

Rock Star Mommy asked...
Plant or Page?
Thatís practically impossible Ė apples to oranges and all that. But Iíll go with Plant. Page is an amazing guitarist but his output since Zeppelin hasnít been nearly as great. He remains, however, one of my true guitar heroes. Plant has continued to thrive. His latest, Dreamland, is one of the most played CDs I've bought in the last couple of years.

Muhammed Ali or Mike Tyson?
Ali. From what I can recall, he didnít remove other boxersí appendages with his teeth. Right? He floated like a butterfly, stung like a bee and didn't snack on his opponents.

Lennon or McCartney?
Lennon. He was about the music, about peace and about art. Paul, at least lately, seems to have sold out. I doubt Lennon ever would have. Although he married Yoko and I really never understood that.

Rip Taylor or Rip Torn?
Torn. Rip Taylor always freaked my ass out with that wig. Was he supposed to be funny or something?

Rambo or Rocky?
Rocky. Much better character than a ripped mercenary, I think.

The Grateful Dead or Phish?
Phish, although Iím not much of a fan of either. My wife likes The Dead. I donít understand it at all. At. All.

90210 or Melrose Place?
Gotta go old(er) school and say 90210. That said, I didnít watch much of either. Except Iím scaring myself by knowing things like ďThe Peach PitĒ.

Punky Brewster or Pippi Longstocking?
Punky! And Soleil Moon Frye or whatever the hell her name is turned out kinda hot. No, not then! Now. See?

Shel Silverstein or Dr. Seuss?
That might be the single toughest question Iíve ever gotten. Iím going to go with Dr. Seuss though. Loved him as a kid and still do. Not that I didnít like Shel. But I think I got more outta Dr. Seuss.

Ray Charles or Stevie Wonder?
Ok, second only in toughness to the previous question. I think Stevie is one of the more brilliant musicians of our time, although Ray had one of the best voices in soul. Iím still going to go with Stevie. Just go back and listen to Innervisions to see why.

Lord Of The Rings or Harry Potter?
Harry all the way. I was one of the masses who waited in line at midnight for the last book to be released. My wife and I were in the minority as we didnít have any kids. So we made up an elaborate story and talked loudly about our poor nephew Timmy who couldnít attend because of a vicious lobster attack. People still stared, albeit for different reasons.

Whammy bar or Wah pedal?
Wah. Although I have a special place in my heart for whammy bars, I dig my wah. And? I really like the phrase "dig my wah" although it sounds slightly dirty.

Potato chips or Goldfish?
Goldfish. Thereís really no contest. Goldfish all the way. They're like snack-crack.

Letterman or Leno?
Letterman. Leno annoys me. And heís too careful. Rarely does he go out on a limb to be funny. Letterman, on the other hand, is just wacky and has a sense of humor I appreciate. I mean, who doesn't like a bit called "Will It Float?"

Guns N' Roses or Motley Crue?
Guns Ní Roses. I bought Appetite for Destruction right after its release and was blown away. I caught their Washington DC show on the Use Your Illusion tour and I still maintain they were one of the most talented bands of their time. As for Crue, I was one of the few people who was happy when Vince Neil left. I've always had trouble with his nasally voice and liked his replacement (John Corabi, which I knew off the top of my head...aren't you impressed?) a lot better. Sadly that arrangement only lasted one album after which I really gave up on them.

Movies: Renting or Theaters?
It depends on the movie. Some things you just have to see in theaters. Other movies I can easily pass on and wait for the DVD.

Maureen asked...
Bono or The Edge?
Bono. While I like The Edge, I think heís slightly overrated as a guitarist. Bono seems like a cool guy all around.

On the Don and Mike Show- who is your fav. one on it?
Mike, actually. Talented dude.

Sledge asked...
Less filling, or tastes great?
As far as accuracy goes, Iíll go with less filling. If its less filling, chances are it doesnít taste great.

Jon asked...
You receive a secret love note from someone, complete with nude pictures (hiding her identity but showing enough to interest you) asking you to meet her somewhere for a ren-dez-vous. She tells you NOT to tell your wife.
Like the fool that men are, you tell your wife about it and she smiles and says, "Go ahead, it might be funny. I trust you."
Do you:
1) Stay home, knowing that its a female trick to test your loyalty and she probably set it all up anyway?
2) Go because its probably something she set up to be sneaky and romantic without involving a plastic cup and '70's porn, and she'll be completely heart broken if you don't do it because she's been planning it for months?

Knowing my wife as I do, I doubt it would be a setup. But Iíd stay home just to be on the safe side. Iím all for stuff that doesnít involve a cup or 70ís porn but Iíll stay away from the sketchy rendezvous (what's the plural of rendezvous, by the way? Rendezvi?).

Doulazanie asked...
Boxers, briefs or commando?
Boxers. Canít stand the briefs yet freeballiní can be a little uncomfortable too. Boxers seem to be an appropriate happy medium.

Loup asked...
re: the bizarre ice cream incident ... What flavor?
Vanilla. Yes, I almost lost a finger for simple vanilla ice cream. The shame!

Goodsnake asked...
How old were you when you had your first sexual experience and how many had you had before the misses made an honest man out of you?
That would be the ripe old age of 15, if I recall correctly. Now, for the second part? I have no clue!

Heather asked...
Um...if you could choose one superpower what would it be? You know, to complement your wife's alter ego of "The Pantless Wonder".
How about the Pantless Wonder Twins? That could be cool, right? Although not twins in the strict sense of the word. Iím talking a pantless crime fighting couple thing here. The superpower? Iíd like to be able to stop time and exist independent of it. That? Would be cool! Also, Iíd like to have super blogging commenting powers so that I could visit every one of your sites and comment everyday. Of course, if I was able to stop time, I could do that while no one was paying attention.

Groovebunny asked...
Mmmmkay...when are you gonna grace us with that audio of you playing something on guitar??? I mean...since now that you have the technology to deliver and all. :)
I actually have to try that. The problem? Iím a perfectionist and Iím not going to ever be happy with anything I post. Hell, I already record audioblogs about eleventy-billion times before I record one I'm happy to post. Hi, Iím anal!

Sweety asked...
Have you ever got emotional by looking at a piece of art, like a painting or a statue? What was it?
Kinda sorta. My wifeís favorite piece of sculpture is Nike of Samothrace at the Louvre. When we traveled there last year, it was pretty much the first thing she wanted to see since, being an art history major sheíd studied it quite a bit. Its placed at the top of a long stairway and its presence is almost magical. That magic combined with the way my wife reacted to it forced one of the stronger reactions Iíve ever had to art.

Do you always remember your dreams?
No. Rarely do I, actually. Which is probably good and bad.

Will you show me & Mr Sweety around Washington if we ever visit?
Of course! Let me know when youíre coming and Iíll sign you up for the Washington Cactus Tour. I know where all the good record and bookstores are. Oh, wait. Youíd probably actually like to see important stuff like monuments and museums, huh? I guess I can do that too :-)

What advice would you give me & Mr Sweety if we ever come & live in the US?
First, save money. Second, be somewhat prepared to be disillusioned. This is a wonderful country but, like any other country, its not without its faults. That elusive American Dream is becoming harder to obtain and clouded by crass commercialism and ridiculous politics. You might have to look a little harder for it. But its still here.

Ever had cartoon characters on you boxers?
Yes. Iíve got a pair of boxers with Marvin The Martian (I have a matching tie too) as well as a pair with Scooby Doo. I only wear those on special occasions.

Samantha asked...
if you were to hand select a menu, of all of your favorite foods and wines, what would you choose, for a perfect meal?
The perfect mealÖprobably something Italian. Iím a big pasta fan. Perhaps a nice Caesar salad followed by some homemade risotto and possibly a nice spaghetti with a red wine sauce? Desert tooÖchocolate mousse! Iím not a wine drinker so Iíd have to pass there.

what do you really think about the state of popular music right now? Does it scare the shit out of you? Depress you? Or did you buy an Usher CD?
I have mixed feelings, honestly. The music industry is horrible. It rarely fosters original talent or creativity. Music Ė the art and the creativity Ė has been thrown under the bus for the sake of revenue. Yet, we also live in a time in which there are so many ways of getting music out to the world. Indie labels have large following and the Internet is providing artists new and old with new tools for distribution. Sadly, I think the industry overall will continue to be dominated by whatever sells.

Monique asked...
if/when i go to DC what are the 3 places i HAVE TO SEE... and they don't have to be touristy spots (i've never been there). i'll show you and the missus around boston if you show me and the boys (that would be hubby and child) around DC sometime.
Deal! As far as the three places you have to go, Iíd say the first stop would be the Mall. Thatís with a capital M, not one of our local teenage hangouts with the Shoe Hut and Pizza World. No, the Mall in DC with all the museums and monuments is a must. The second would be Great Falls. Did you know that more water flows over Great Falls in an hour than passes over Niagara Falls? Its true. You can look it up. Itís a truly gorgeous site that most people donít expect to see right outside our nationís capital. The third? Arlington Cemetery. Its almost impossible to comprehend how many people have sacrificed themselves for this country. And while Arlington doesnít paint a complete picture, its both surreal and humbling.

you're a vegetarian, what prompted that? have you tried Trader Joe's Succotash?
Yes, Beth and I are both vegetarians. We never ate that much meat to begin with. Eventually, when we realized we werenít even cooking it anymore and just eating it when we went out, we decided to stop altogether. It wasnít a major life change or anything. And no, I havenít tried that but it looks like Iíll have to!

you're a avid, rabid reader, do you prefer one specific genre or do you read all over the map?
I primarily read fiction. My dad started me off on sci-fi as a kid. I credit the imaginations of Isaac Asimov and Robert Heinlein with most of my enthusiasm to read now. But rarely do I read much sci-fi anymore. I enjoy almost everything Ė from good literary fiction to cheap horror novels.

Dawn asked...
When was the last time you cleaned out your car?
Um. Does the fifth amendment apply to a blog? Please!? Its been ages, quite possibly eons, since Iíve cleaned my car. Iím not proud of it. Excavation and carbon dating is perhaps the only way to determine how long its been.

Out of your insanely large CD collection, which ONE is your absolute all-time favorite?
Iím not trying to duck a question here but thatís seriously impossible and my answer would change on a daily basis. I have a few though. Genesisí 1974 album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway probably did more to get me into music than any other single album. After I bought it, I was transfixed for days. It was elaborate, epic and singularly original. Iíll also credit Yesí The Yes Album with similar early inspiration. Led Zeppelinís Physical Graffiti showed me that there was more to life than progressive art-rock, specifically insane guitar solos, wailing vocals and bombastic drum work. There was a level of energy to the music I hadnít heard beforeÖand I loved it. Still do.

Kelley asked...
What are you and Mrs. Cactus doing for your fifth anniversary?
For our upcoming anniversary, weíre traveling back to NYC where we went on our honeymoon. Weíve got tickets to a few shows and reservations at some of our favorite restaurants.

Zoot asked...
What's your favorite Halloween Candy?
Does it have sugar in it? If so, its my favorite. Iím an equal-opportunity candy consumer. For example, Iím currently typing this with a mouthful of gummy bears.

What are you going to be for Halloween?
I think Iíll probably just go as me.

Do you dress your cats up for Halloween?
No. While Callie, our smaller, more docile one would most likely put up with it, Pixel would remove several of our limbs if we tried. I value my appendages.

Shiz asked...
Would you stop shopping at TARGET (or another favourite store) if you found out they were irresponsibly contributing to some world misery? Like slavery or child prostitution or something?
Yes. Although Iím sure it would be hard to find a store in which there isnít something objectionable from that point of view. But on the whole, I couldnít in good conscience support a store who knowingly sold or distributed something like that.

Groovebunny returned and asked...
Mmmkay...what's your happiest memory from your life thus far?
My wedding. Or all the random memories I have of being silly with the woman I love.

Your life overall...the grass in greener on the other side or the grass is just lovely where you are?
The grass is fine right here. Of course there are always going to be some weeds but you just pull those out and move on.

How much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?
27.43 cubic feet per day for your average sized wood chuck. This number will vary based on the region. For instance, your wood chuck in the Pacific Northwest will often chuck more wood than the Midwestern wood chuck, given that they're larger in size and are generally located closer to Starbucks.

Do you even know what a wood chuck is?

Favorite line from a movie?
ďSew, old one. Sew like the wind.Ē From Three Amigos.

Favorite thing about yourself?
Iím going to go with personality. I think Iím reasonably intelligent, a fairly nice guy and have an okay sense of humor.

Most unfavorite thing about yourself?
My occasional lack of a sunny disposition and the inability to just chill.

Do you dream in color?
3-D actually. But only when I remember to put on the glasses.

Do you snore?
Oh hell yeah. Much to Mrs. Cactusí chagrin.

I know you've written somewhere here that Mrs. Cactus works out in the morning before work, while you make your coffee and donut in an arm wrestling battle, who would be the victor? You or Mrs. Cactus?
I think Iíd win. Of course once she reads this, Iíll probably have to test that theory so Iíll let you know for sure.

So we've seen shots of your fabulous shoes. How many pairs of shoes do you own?
Somewhere around 10. I wear maybe three of them regularly.

Do the shoes make the man or the man makes the shoes?
The shoes definitely donít make the whole man but they canít hurt.

What would you do if you were in the shower and a very large spider appeared from no where and landed on your face?
Probably pass out, hit my head on something and die. I hate spiders. HATE!

Do you sing in the shower?
Yes. Although very quietly so Mrs. Cactus canít hear me. I'm okay with a guitar. Singing? Not so much.

Do you have any holes in your socks?
I have one pair of socks that I found holes in the other day. Other than that, no.

If you were stuck on a deserted island, what is the one thing you could not live with?
My mother. Damn, I love the woman but sheís crazy.

If you had the opportunity to say one thing to the entire world, where everyone was listening to you at once, what would that one thing be?
Be nice to each other.

Genuine asked...
How did you get hooked up with the JLB?
Most of the members of the JLB all hooked up at the same time. We were chatting one day and it all just came together. And can I tell you what a kick ass group of people they are? I couldn't ask for nicer, more wonderful friends.

Bond Girl asked...
How'd you and your missus meet? Was she charmed right away or did you have to convince her?
We met in college and halfway through our freshman year, she picked me up in a bathroom. Really! Havenít I told this story before? If not, I smell a future post. When I moved off campus, she came with me and we havenít looked back since. I like to think she was charmed right away but thatís really her question to answer.

And the one that speaks volumes, Coke or Pepsi?
Coke. Coke all the way.

BMH asked...
Red or Green Apples?
Red, preferably Fuji.

And what do you make of the theory that Smurfette was actually a guy in drag?
I can get onboard that theory. What proof do you have though?

Retro Girl asked...
I'm new to your blog so I have to know just what the hell is the 'Judith Light Brigade' besides a collection of great blogs? And who came up with such a brilliant name for this troupe?
All your answers should be here: ďGreat blogs?Ē Thanks for that! As I mentioned earlier (scroll up), the JLB is an awesome, supremely talented group of I'm not really sure how I fit in there! ;-)

Second question: Your top 5 films (in any order).
Thatís a tough one.
1. Avalon
2. North By Northwest
3. Philadelphia Story
4. Magnolia
5. Citizen Kane

Amy asked...
My friend wants to learn how to play the guitar...and lessons will be in her future very soon...but I was wondering if you have any suggestions for books or videos as well that I can pass along to her??? Or words of wisdom? Or both. :)
First thing first Ė get a decent, simple chord book. That pays off instantly because knowing the chords is important and they sound cool, thus providing encouragement. A word of advice Ė lessons arenít for everyone. The second my parents hired a piano teacher, I lost interest. When I started seeing a guitar teacher for pointers a few years after I started playing, the same thing happened. I think the most important thing about learning to play the guitar is simply playing. Instruction helps but some of the best lessons are learned by screwing around.

Alektra asked...
You are quite the writer. If you could quit your job and just write, what would you write? Fiction? Social history? Journalism?
Fiction. Iíd like to write the clichť Great American Novel one day. Weíll see how that goes. I originally wanted to be a journalist but the college I went to didn't have a great program. In retrospect, that probably wouldn't have made me happy.

And why do you feel that draw?
Iím not sure. I think itís the way my brainís wired. Iíve always been a words person, never drawn to numbers or proofs or theorems. Always words and sentences and paragraphs. Strings of the right words woven together can yield such emotion and such power. While I'm reading, I'll occasionally run across a sentence or paragraph that forces me to sit back, reread and think "my god that's an incredible sentence." I'd like to be able to do that...I'd like for someone to have the same reaction to something I piece together.

Posted by Chris at September 27, 2004 10:39 AM

Well, I think your anniversary plans are definitely more exciting than ours. Of course, right now, I don't think I want to recreate my honeymoon. Too many hurricanes. ;-)

Posted by: Kelley at September 27, 2004 11:24 AM

i tried watching magnolia the other day and couldn't find a single glimmer of anything that didn't make me want to kill myself. so i watched the end and decided to forget about it. should i give it another shot? north by northwest is one of my favorites, too (and i love philadelphia story, but i still wish she'd have ended up with jimmy stewart).

Posted by: rachel at September 27, 2004 12:12 PM

Magnolia. Ugh. Gross. makes me feel stupid! I wrote an epinion about it a long time ago. Go read it..

Posted by: Amy at September 27, 2004 12:39 PM

Dig my wah. I'm so gonna say that all day!

Posted by: RockStar Mommy at September 27, 2004 12:56 PM

Thanks for answering the questions! We already figured we had to save lots and lots of money before making the big step.

Thanks & I'm looking forward to the Cactus Tour!

Posted by: Sweety at September 27, 2004 01:08 PM

Hey, did you ever answer the post about how many CDs you have? Did I miss it????

Posted by: Tjej at September 27, 2004 01:08 PM

Coke and Letterman? You're officially one of my BFFs. You don't mind right? :D

Posted by: patricia at September 27, 2004 01:45 PM

No fair! I was absent for the questions! Do I get an absentee ballot?

Posted by: debby at September 27, 2004 02:38 PM

there are MORE questions? You are so beloved, we want to know everything about you - next up: The Unauthorized Biography of Rude Cactus.

Posted by: samantha at September 27, 2004 03:52 PM

That you are a coke drinker makes me happy. I tend to watch Leno but usually just as a prelude to Conan, who is weird. I am not sure if I could choose between Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. That's just one of those unfair decisions. Except I know that if I could be either blind or deaf, I'd be blind any day. Though I couldn't drive or read, that'd suck, I can't imagine not being able to hear or play music.

Posted by: Heather at September 27, 2004 04:44 PM

15?? you slut.

and we agree on almost all of the either or questions. i always knew you were cool :)

Posted by: laura at September 27, 2004 05:00 PM

Citizen Kane was one of the most boring films ever. :P

Eh.. To me tis BONO that is overrated. The Edge is just so YOW! (I recognize the fact that I have used that phrase -YOW!- a lot recently but it is definatly apt here)

Posted by: Maureen at September 27, 2004 06:18 PM

I, too, have been to a bookstore for a Harry unveiling (dig my wah?) without child. I didn't cop to inventing one though! I'm adding a part B to that question, though-- do you get one copy of the book or two? And C... if one, who has to wait to read it?

Posted by: bmh at September 27, 2004 06:18 PM

I've never read any of your writing and thought, "Wow! That's an amazing sentence!" But I have read and thought to myself, "Wow that's an amazing thought!" :)

Posted by: groovebunny at September 27, 2004 08:02 PM

Totally with you on the Goldfish thing. I can eat a bag as a meal. NO PROBLEM. And I totally used to live near a Pepperidge Farm Outlet. Not at all good for the waistline. So...cheddar or parmesan? I'm a parm girl myself.

Posted by: feisty girl at September 28, 2004 03:15 AM

You would be shocked at the depth of my relief to know that you are a Coke man. I just can't trust Pepsi people. :-P

Posted by: bond girl at September 28, 2004 12:31 PM

Yay, a Coke person! That almost redeems you for calling Paul McCartney a sell-out. *evil eye* Though I do agree with you on your assessment of John Lennon. My son isn't named after him for nothing.

Posted by: Mary at September 30, 2004 11:04 PM