Answering My Own Meme

The Facebook 25 Things Meme was so frustrating to me that I wrote my own – yeah, that was a humbling experience.

Most people have at least heard Rene Descartes’ elegant cornerstone of philosophy “Cogito Ergo Sum” which translates from Latin to “I think, therefore I am.”  One of my favorite magazines, Automobile which plays the role of New Yorker to Car & Driver’s US Weekly, uses a derivative phrase to encapsulate its existence – “Cogito Ergo Zoom, I think therefore I go fast.”  What would your derivative be? Cogito Ergo ____________

Cogito Ergo Soufflé – I think, therefore I cook and love food in all of its forms.  Yes, I am taking some liberties with the implication of Soufflé in this case but so did Automobile with Zoom.  To a large degree, my life revolves around food, its service, and the libations that ought accompany it; and I refuse to resist the gravitational pull.


I find 99.99% of all Employment Applications to be disrespectful of the tree that gave its life for the printing.  Canned questions with even more practiced answers yield no useful information that could not be gleaned from a resume.  If you were able to add one substantive question to every standard application what would it be?

If you won the lottery tomorrow, how would you fill your days?  Life is too short to work a job that doesn’t fulfill; and if a person’s answer is completely unrelated to the job for which they are applying that is a telling indicator.  I am not suggesting that an unrelated answer is wrong or has been a barrier to employment with me, rather, I want to understand that which moves a person and learn how this job is connected to that motivation or how it furthers their cause to reach that goal.


I think that the manner in which people treat restaurant service staff is among the truest measures of character.  What unconventional behavioral norm or standard do you use as a personal tape measure?

Though I sort of answered this in my question, I will give another answer.  I measure a person’s use of their Sundays.  I think that how one spends this karmicly holy day of rest is a true indicator of their priorities/philosophies etc.  No answers are inherently right or wrong, all are simply information that may or may not be useful to gain an understanding a person’s measure.


2009 hands you an unexpected, wrapped gift with a large bow. What is inside? You then have to gift this box anonymously to someone else. To whom do you give it and what is inside? 

Katertot gave an answer to this question better than I could ever pen, however, I would want a magic pen.  A pen that could write every thought in the manner I wish I could.  I would want a supply of cash that would enable me and those I love to pursue all of their passions ala question #2.


You recently witnessed a Mob hit.  After testifying, you entered the Witness Protection Program.  Where would you like to be sent?  Who would you miss the least?

I have had the good fortune to see a decently sized chunk of the world, and DC is still my favorite city.  If I had to leave her, I would opt for San Francisco, London, Chicago, and Toronto – not necessarily in that order.  What do those cities have in common? An insanely exciting culinary landscape, a very urban feel, and none would force me to learn another language.  Which would seem an apt moment to disclose that I wrap too much of my self-worth around my facility with language and I am too insecure about the amount of time it would take for me to learn a new language sufficiently to bend it as I want.

The people I would miss the least is a more difficult question than I thought it was when I originally wrote it.  I wouldn’t miss the workaholic, self-important (mostly carpet bagging) waste of their parent’s fuck that are over represented in DC.  I wouldn’t miss all of the refuse-to-have-a-good-time ex-New Yorkers who love to hate DC.  I wouldn’t miss all of the people that don’t regard restaurant work as the noble and honorable profession that it is.


The Johari Window is a decades old personality test.  Four panes of a window are used to represent the self that is known to you and others, the self only known to you, the self that is known to others but not you, and the self that is unknown. Two part question: What are the rough percentage sizes of your window panes, and how has blogging changed your window?

johari_window5This is another question of which I thought highly when crafting but as I answer, recognize its difficulty.  I would guesstimate that the Arena is 70% of my world, the Blind Spot, Façade, and Unknown are 10%, 15% and 5% respectively.   I hypothesize that the reasons for my relatively small percentages of the latter three is mostly attributable to introspection, therapy, and hubris too.  The degree to which it has changed because of my blogging life is only relevant to the small number of friends I have made through this life as they surely know more about me than most but in a limited context.


Opposite ends of the Bell Curve: name something you do so poorly that you are an outlier to the left and something you do so well that you are an outlier to the right – assume a normal distribution; therefore the outliers represent the worst 2.5% and the best 2.5%

I think that I have an ability to interview people better than most others.  This is not to suggest that my style is one that would work for all people just that it’s highly effective in determining the characteristics of people who will work with my management style.  Among my most proud career accomplishments is the extremely small number of employees I have had to terminate (relative to the number I have hired.)

In addition to my difficulty with complex math, I am horrible speller.

Gimmie a couple truly Pet Peeves – nothing grand like intolerance or people who kick puppies; list something rather trivial that irks you way more than it should.

Among my more eccentric peeves: Gum chewing in public or dignified spaces, people who play their music at intolerable volumes on public transportation, talking too loudly on a cell phone, television commercials for things I consider unseemly, The Real Housewives of Anywhere.


The rules:

I still ain’t tagging a soul – this is a purely voluntary gig.  If you wish to respond in the comments, or on your own blog, that would be nice.  


5 Responses to Answering My Own Meme

  1. ella says:

    i like the idea of a magic pen – one that has the ability to pull the thoughts from my head and have them all of a sudden make sense when i’m struggling to say anything more coherent than “wow, cool.”

  2. carrie m says:

    I loathe gum chewers, even in undignified spaces. Why? Because 98% of people can’t. shut. their. mouths. It’s like being in Chipotle, where something about the food requires the eater to lose all manners and chew with their mouths open. I posted one of my silly pet peeves thanks to the original post, but I definitely feel better proclaiming my disdain for the gum chewing masses.

  3. kjohnsonesq says:

    It was a great question (as were all of yours and SG’s). I sorta felt like I was being interviewed by Barbara Walters, except without the strange tree question.

  4. f.B says:

    The last one; re: day-to-day pet peeves.

    My pet peeve is the conscious injection of self, aka the deliberate imposition of self… I’m biased here. I admit. I prefer to not show up on the radar at all in public. But with that caveat mentioned, I just can’t stand people in public settings who behave as if we (the public) are their audience. Walking onto a crowded metro car and hearing two people use their outside voices to talk about their inside lives makes me long for the suburbs where we all rode around in isolated personal vehicles.

  5. Vittoria says:

    god lord i hope you don’t think i’m an ex-new yorker who hates DC. i love DC. LOVE IT! i just don’t like the pizza here (and yes, i’m totally giving the pizzerias a shot. ella’s is next and i am super excited for i have heard fantastic things).

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