I've also been memorizing MAPS lately. Because I couldn't tell you every country that bordered Serbia, say, until about a month ago, and that seemed (rightly) like a personal deficiency. No more.
Also anything that requires a lot of waiting, that doesn't much faze me. Remembering things there is no good reason to remember, both trivial and personal in nature. And coming up with convincing if still ridiculous explanations for actions after the fact, that's right in my wheelhouse.
Coming through in a pinch. Even just an absent-minded squeeze, really. No need to wait until you're in metaphorical crab and lobster territory, in my book.
Oh, and hugging, apparently. That's actually been mentioned, enough that I kind of wonder if I'm in fact really bad at hugging, and everyone is embarrassed for me. If not, I guess a lot of people aren't particularly good at hugging. It seems not that hard to me. Totally glad to be good at it, though. Unless there's some "warm hands/cold heart" parallel here that I'm unaware of, and that compliment is code that I have terrible lungs, or something. Which would imply that I never shut up? Someone send me an email if this is aphoristically known, would you?
If seen from the front, and introduced, probably "He's been working on that thing for a while, clearly", and then (by most accounts, typically) "Oh, he's awfully nice/polite. Huh!"
Probably a fair pair of bets, there. Skinny/hairy, polite/pleasant, and then probably something about being fairly formal, grammatically. And I think that's probably taking first noticements far enough.
By category, then:
I read less than I ought to, and care to excess about what I do. As is about to become clear.
I read a lot of Haruki Murakami for a while, and I still like a lot of it, but I care less about when his next novel is coming out than I used to. Meanwhile, he is one of the authors that finally tipped me into properly enjoying and for my own purposes seeking out and reading short stories. Which in turn has led to me caring more about contemporary writers, although I still lean towards the dead ones. I also quite like David Mitchell, which is no surprise if you read the preceding three sentences.
The best book I have ever read is Infinite Jest, and I promise it is worth anyone's time and effort. In fact, if you read this all and think, "Yeah, he's not for me, this guy", you should still read Infinite Jest. I enjoyed it but was getting my vocabulary's ass handed right back to me for almost two hundred pages, creeping at like three pages a day, and then I stopped reading without a dictionary or expecting to remember everything forever, and that plus passing some particularly slow chapter just did it, and I didn't put it down, near enough, until I finished. I wanted there to be another two hundred pages in the thing, and I knew it when I still had two hundred pages to go. It's fantastic, just trust me, or don't trust me, but read it anyway.
George Orwell wrecked me at two crucial stages in my life, first with 1984 when I was fourteen, and then with Keep The Aspidistra Flying when I was twenty-one or -two. The second was the more gutting. I like to think both were in an ultimately good way. The books certainly were.
I feel I should admit that I read The Lord of the Rings in the third grade (the first time) and I think that I'm only coming completely out of that for the first time in my life, in a way. I nearly never read fantasy, any more, and trying to read "Game of Thrones", which I got through two books of, made me take long hard looks in the mirror and have truly tense conversations with myself while I was driving. I still love The Silmarillion, which is as beautiful a bit of modern myth-building as anyone has accomplished, and which I may have reread as much as Dashiell Hammett, whose name I wish I could match so that when someone asked me to spell it I too could say "Double L, double M, double T." And then just actually spell it, what with those vowels; but still.
And that seems plenty (you know, right?), but let me just mention that I also really enjoy Robert Creeley, Frank O'Hara, Mexico City Blues, the one slim volume of Marjorie Welish I have, and occasionally Elizabethan (and thereabouts) poetry. Just in case you ever see me reading one of those and think, "This guy. Feeling worried before he's even got any cause." Because I would struggle to make the case holding any of those that I don't have some apparent pretensions. .... So, yeah. I was in an English program, before I wasn't, and I kept my text books. They were (and remain) good ones.
Lastly, and I would say this has gone on if I didn't want to hear at least this much about what you read, I try to read a straight history out of the library or off my shelf not irregularly these days. It's good and good for you. It's the spinach of the modern codex. You just have to try it, is all.
I like a lot of movies. That last one went on, well, very long, so I'll try to condense, here. I grew up largely on and really still like "old" movies. I don't really know more than a few highlights from the '20s and '30s very well, but I like black and white probably just as well as color, and I am not opposed to musicals that preceded the '90s. My current favorites include Amadeus, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, What's Up Doc?, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, The Last Emperor, Rashamon, His Girl Friday, Brick, and Inglourious Basterds currently wearing whatever belt you get for winning the my-brain championship. I only know that the belt is overlong. Also pretty much anything by Jim Henson, who I believe to be Jesus's younger brother. THINK ABOUT IT. Really though. Think about it. Move on, but do so having thought about it, as I am now. I feel like I'm skipping loads of stuff. I would watch The Court Jester, The Happiest Millionaire, The Third Man, The Lion in Winter, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, the first two Godfather films, or The Muppet Movie (the original) at the drop of a hat. I guess, if you find it appealing, know that I can go on and not just listing things, but actually discussing what makes them fun and great, and that I'm more eager to find common ground in such a discussion than to just prattle on myself. Much, much more eager.
As to shows, I don't keep up on much actively. Currently Community, Parks and Recreation, Doctor Who (erratically), and The Venture Bros. when it's on. I'm not particularly into anime, these days, but Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood is absolutely incredible. It could sell you on the stuff. I was a Law & Order guy (original/main franchise) once upon a time, and I don't want to go back to having a show in that way. Hooray for DVDs, Netflix, and Hulu, in that order. It is great to just live your life and catch up on things when convenient, and not have a TV on in the background.
So, this one could go on, and I want it to not. I... hm. Listen, everybody listens to a lot these days. I don't think I'm ahead of the curve, here; if anything, behind. So, survey: The first band I ever saw in concert was The Smashing Pumpkins. I dearly love Paul Simon; I own all the albums that everything from Negotiations and Love Songs originally came from, and I'm glad I do, but that album will never collect much dust. I like a lot of the '60s and '70s pop and rock. Zeppelin rules. You should know who Frankie Lymon is. David Bowie's a pretty big deal, by weight of albums on my shelf, and by space intended for other albums I will one day also own. If you don't like Motown, I don't know what you have against harmony and horns. Dusty In Memphis is an excellent album. I have and like a lot of jazz, including swing and even some free, but my favorite stuff is late '50s to mid-'60s, and increasingly the more electronic late '70s and early '80s stuff, especially where it overlaps with the dance music of the era. I prefer small combos, for jazz, except where Gil Evans is concerned, and he can do anything he wants. "Where Flamingos Fly" is one of the prettiest songs I have ever heard. A friend got me into really late disco, and it's really good. As is a lot of its tributary material. I've been learning classical music, which was always of interest but prohibitively expensive to learn alone (what with needing a good label, a good pressing, and a good performance, all on top of a good piece), until my record buying/selling gig, where it turned out there's a lot of classical music on vinyl and dirt cheap, and I finally got to just get and listen to things that sounded interesting. Bach is great; the Baroque era is underrated and Vivaldi particularly; Hooray, and I mean HOORAY for Chopin. I'm just going to put some albums and pieces down, now, that have had little or no specific mention.
Kammerflimmer Kollektief: Abscencen; Johannes Sebastian Bach: The Brandenburg Concertos; Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers: Moanin'; Horace Silver: Song for my Father; Miles Davis: pretty much everything with his two best-known quintets, and plenty else; The Who: Who's Next; Yo La Tengo: And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out; Weldon Irvine: Sinbad; Shuggie Otis: Inspiration Information; Okay: Low Road, (and also) High Road; and since I have been listening to it all the time lately, specifically the Violent Femmes song "Please Do Not Go"; and since I listen to it all the time all the time, Mary Clark "Take Me I'm Yours". I still feel like I'm skipping everything.
Purely for favorites of aesthetics or taste, I love Indian and my favorite restaurant is Thai. I enjoy meats. Peanut butter is the staple of a lazy diet, which means depending on the year I eat a lot of it. Over the last year I've taken to eating jicama the way people used to eat apples, cutting a piece out at a time until you've eaten a half or a whole. Which has led me to learn that dried jicama peelings smell like a rained-on ashtray, so you take that shit out immediately. Pasta is always a safe bet, and now that I like white and vodka sauces, man does a lot of Italian food taste good. But I really don't typically eat out all that much, and if I can put away a meal when the mood hits me, I'm pretty lazy about making food for myself, so I don't end up eating loads very often. And water is GREAT.
Post Script: It wasn't called for, but I am the kind of guy who instinctively began making a list of favorite games, of both a board- and video- nature. Not going to go into it, but you should probably know I could have, but also that it would not have been particularly contemporary.
If you're sincerely looking for whatever that you want to be good and to last, or if you're skeptically trying to eliminate any last doubts that you're not going to find the same.
Or if you're just put at incredible ease by the fact that my name is not Herman. Because it's not. It's even sillier.