Friday, April 27, 2012

Tag, I'm It

I remember back in elementary school when we played tag on the playground.  If whoever was "It" was chasing me down, one of my tricks was to spin in a circle with my arms outstretched so that if he tagged me, I would immediately tag him back with my helicopter arms.  And it would probably hurt.

This kept them away until they introduced the "Tag, No Tag Backs" rule, in which whoever was "It" was immune to becoming "It" from the person they had just passed the germ to.  Either my memory has faded or the rules were unclear to begin with, but I remember it always led to controversy.

How long was the person immune?  Three seconds?  A minute?  The entire recess?

I also remember there being some stipulation wherein whoever was "It" actually had to say the entire phrase "Tag No Tag Backs" before the other person tagged him, as if it were some incantation that was powerless unless recited to completion.  This led to an inevitable battle in which one kid would hit the other and then reel back, attempting to avoid the counterattack, usually failing.  They would stand there, taking turns tagging each other and attempting to get out the words "Tagnotagbacks" for minutes until one would finally run away, claiming victory.  The other would yell at him as he ran away, screaming "I got you!  I got you!" and then he would cry.

Anyway, the reason I bring this up is that Brett over at The Transformed Non-Conformist tagged me with a quiz for my readers to get to know me better.

He didn't say "No Tag Backs" when he tagged me, but I chose to not tag him back because, well, that would be a pretty boring second post for him.

Here are my answers to the questions.

Recess is almost over, so I am not going to tag anyone else.

But if you want to answer these questions on your blog, feel free to do so.  Just shoot me an e-mail or comment and let me know that you want me to "tag" you, and I'll come over to your blog and make it official.

Or you can just pick up my hand and put it on you.

Oh baby.

1) Book or movie and why?

Movie, because it takes two hours.  And it takes me forever to read books.  Sometimes a couple years.  No joke.

In my defense, I am usually in the middle of 5-7 books at any given time, but I probably only read 100 pages of printed text every month.

If there is a movie coming out that was based off of the popularity of a book (Think: Hunger Games, Girl with the Boring Tattoo, Harry Potter, etc) then I will definitely read the book before I see the movie.  It is the reason why I haven't seen the last four Harry Potters.

2) Real book or e-book?

Real book.  I buy tons of real books from Amazon and then never read them.  I think it is my subconscious's way of forcing me to do some exercise every two or three years when I move from one location to another.

3) Funniest thing you've done in the last 5 years?

After I graduated from college four years ago, I said "Here I come, world!"

4) Do you put yourself into the books you read/write or the movies you watch?

Only the erotic ones.

As far as the stuff that I write, I'd have to say that yes, I suppose a piece of me is in any fictional character that I make up.  Most of my writing for this blog, however, is completely true stories about my life*.

So yea.

*Question 11 in this blog post is a rare exception in which I say something completely fictional.  And it is important that you believe me.

5) How would your best friend describe you?

Someone who is down to earth.  Someone who can be counted on. 

6) Favorite kind of car and why?

I am definitely not a guy who knows or cares much about cars.  If it gets from A to B in a relatively safe fashion, then it is good for me.

A nice-sounding turn signal never hurt anyone, though.

7) Would your choice of party be a catered meal or barbeque out back?

Barbecue.  Because beer is always plentiful at barbecues.  Plus, I've never heard of an impromptu Wiffle Ball game break out at a catered meal.

8) What's your favorite season and why?

Summer and Spring, for the obvious awesome-weather reasons.  There is nothing better than when the weather gets warm and all of the sudden girls are wearing skirts and sundresses.  I'm not trying to be a creeper.  I'm just saying that you are all so damn beautiful.

Winter is alright too, I guess.  Especially during the first snowfall.  But it gets old pretty quick.

9) What specific lesson have you learned - Spiritual, educational, occupational?

Spiritual - That I don't know shit.

Educational - For the past year or two, I have been craving school.  It is a really weird thing, but when I think back to classes in college, the memories are fond ones (not for all of my classes, obviously).  I have been looking forward to finally settling down in one location so that I can start taking some classes at a local college.  Not towards any degree, but simply for the sake of learning and fun.  It is definitely a major change in my psyche from when I was in school.  I am going to start out with some writing classes (more for the chance to share my writing and get feedback) as well as a photography class (because I never got into it and would love to be able to have some original photography for this blog).

Occupational- This is a new one for me, as I recently started an actual normal-person job.  But the one thing I learned is that there is something sacred about having steady money coming in at a predictable rate.  For people who have been working for years, it is easy to fall into the habit of complaining about their jobs, even when the money they receive in relation to the amount of work they actually do equates to a ludicrous overpayment.  So many people would kill to have their job or their opportunities, and I will do my best to never complain about my job because it could be much worse.

10) Besides writing, what's your favorite thing to do when you get some extra time?

Recently, there hasn't been much extra time.  My time used to be spent watching movies and TV shows, and I still do partake in that.  But recently my Netflix discs remain in my house for 3-4 weeks before I get a chance to watch them and send them back.

While playing poker, much of my "free time" was spent studying the game, taking notes on my opponents, and analyzing my own play.  Spending the time to do these things were what separated me from the other 90% of poker players who are losers and feed the winners.

I suppose that blogging has filled the gap that poker left behind.  I have found so many amazing blogs out there, that it takes a great deal of time to read them all.  There are so many prolific writers that it makes me feel inadequate that I am only able to put out three posts a week.

I don't just read blogs like A Beer for the Shower or Mother of Brothers to support them, though.  And I don't read them just because they are hilarious or compelling, either.

I read them to learn.

Not to rediscover the heartbreak of loss and the triumph of victory as a child.  And not to learn how to approach a sexually confused hawk.

But to learn how to be a better writer.

When I studied my opponents in poker, I could get inside their heads and begin to understand the way they thought about particular hands and the way they thought about the game in general.  Likewise, when I read the writing of Bryan, Brandon, and MOV, I can understand the literary devices that they use which are brilliant to me, but are most likely second nature to them.

The great difference between studying these blogs and studying my opponents in poker is the fact that at the end of the day, the bloggers end up being your friend.  And you are not trying to take them for every penny they have*.

And that is a pretty nice feeling.

*Speaking of which, you should give Brandon and Bryan ninety-nine pennies.  In exchange, they will give you their brilliantly hilarious e-book "The Missing Link."

11) What's one place you can be found at least one time every week?

At the local school yard, refereeing games of tag amongst the young children. 

The police take me away sometimes, which is weird.  I don't really understand, because I am really just doing it as community service and a public good.  I even bring my video camera so as to have instant replay to determine whether or not "Tag No Tag Backs" was said before "It" was tagged back.

I mean, how else will the children know who is "It," you know?

This is NOT me.  I would totally have matching armbands.
-Youngman Brown


  1. You read blogs to learn? Interesting concept... you're dedicated to your craft! :)

  2. Thanks for letting us know you better. I may just take you up on this as I'm having a hard time trying to get my "About Me" completed, lol. Our big game in school was Dodgeball. I dodged the hell out of those balls because it hurt like a mutha when you got hit.

    1. It is always a good idea to dodge balls.

  3. These are great responses! Nice shout out to ABFTS! I'm a car girl but it's hard to keep up with the newest this or that. I just know what I like.

    Your response to #9 regarding occupational hits me where it hurts. I can easily complain about my job because I'm not being challenged at all, a 7th grader could do this job. BUT... this pays my bills and allows me to stand on my own two feet (and blog!). How can I take the for granted? Thanks for putting things back into perspective.

  4. "studying the game"? GAME OVAH, Tag you're it. bzzzzz

    1. Dammit, why did I ever write that post?

  5. Oh, please. That's is TOTALLY you. You are just incognito with a creeper stare and sweet stache, and you INTENTIONALLY mismatched your armbands so we wouldn't THINK it was you! Nicely played.

    1. I love how happily content the referee seems to be.

  6. Oh, some of the phrases of my youth... Ollie Ollie oxen free. What?

    I remember playing kick the can with my friends, and the guy who was faster than me. I was closer to the can, but he's yelling 'I see Scott running towards the can' as he is running to the can. He went to leap over the can AS I was kicking it. Wow, did tha start an argument.

    And you so totally missed me even when I went to put your hand on me, and we are both thankful.


    1. There you are. No posts from you the since Tuesday. I'm still waiting for the arson story, tsk tsk. I'm taking names and numbers, lol.

      As for the Ollie Ollie oxen free. Seriously, what were we thinking? I'm sure there's a story behind that one.

    2. I posted today. Road trip underway.

  7. The rule in my school was you had to say "creamo" to be immune from getting tagged back.

    And no, I have no idea how or where that started, or even what it means.

    Our favourite game was to grab one of the boys and drag him into the girls toilets.
    I don't really know why we did that either.

    So this 'other writing' you do - where can we read that ?

    1. Aw, there you go doing awesome stuff again like referring to things with crazy words and adding the letter "u" to words like "favorite."

      My other writing varies from short stories to screenplays to parts of novels to poems (actual poetry, not the short quips that I call poems on this blog). You can read it if you hack into my computer.

      Perhaps I will eventually expand the horizons of this blog and post some of it, but for now it is just stuff that I have written that nobody else has read.

      Perhaps one day I will publish

  8. Oh, and the referee looks like a total Lester molester...

  9. That ref was by the far the creepiest thing I've seen today and that's saying something.

    I think I remember you saying it took you 2 years to read Girl with a Dragon Tattoo. It took me just shy of that. Could NOT get into it. In the end was glad I soldiered through. I typically read first but don't get all bent out of shape about the movie renditions. I never understood those didn't write it, what do you care?

    If you ever need backup or a 2nd set of eyes you let me know because there's nothing I hate more than douche kids cheating at tag! ;)

    1. Okay, cool! I'll bring the beer for us and you bring the wine coolers for the kids.

  10. Youngman Brown,

    I think we are part of the Mutual Admiration Society. I adore your writing, and you certainly don't need any tips from me. I am beyond flattered that you would say that you read my blog to learn.

    Thank you. You made my day.

    I think you should put your material in a book. You are that good. I would buy your book (and not just to hold up the one wobbly leg of that cheap IKEA desk I put together wrong).

    Email me:


    1. I guess that we are, indeed, a part of the M.A.S.

      That is very kind of you to say, regarding the book. I fear that it would be something that I do further into the future, however. I have enough trouble motivating myself to post three times a week, I don't know if I want to add the stress of figuring out a book.

      But your suggesting it definitely made my day :)

  11. I found myself nodding in agreement with most of your answers, however I'm the one girl who isn't wearing a skirt or a summer dress, because nobody needs to see that! Baggy jeans and emormous T-shirt, please! Hide me!

    You're such a honey, Youngman! :) ♥

  12. some cool answers.
    I like the way you use other blogs to learn more about writing - and a great choice in Beer for the Shower, those guys are hilarious.

  13. Wiffle ball might be the key to happiness.

    1. Especially one-handed Wiffle Ball (with the other hand clenching a beer, obviously).

  14. Glad #11 is fiction. Really glad.

    And Brandon/Bryan at Beer for the Shower are brilliant, but then again, so are you!

  15. Forget the arm bands! Why does he look so happy to watch kids humping?

    This post made me laugh. I like to laugh.

    1. I know, he really is enjoying it, which is what makes the picture so great.

      I like to laugh, too. And I like making you laugh.

  16. Pick up my hand and put it on you??? If it wasn't so easy I would so throw in a TWSS right there.

    Ok, now I'll go back to reading the rest of the post. LOL

  17. Great answers!! My only question is, how are you going to list every season except for fall? Autumn is great!!! Hayrides, pumpkins, and a feast so big it takes a week to eat the leftovers are all a part of it. Sigh...

    1. The Fall and I don't really get along. I had to rake so many leaves when I was a kid, and I'm still not quite over it. I do love Halloween and Thanksgiving, though!

  18. Dude, many a thank you for the shout-out. Although I do have to warn you, anything learned from Bryan is suspect in nature. Mostly because, the man cannot get drunk. I don't know why or how it's scientifically possible, but I've seen him drink enough to kill a sailor and still be in full control of his faculties. And for whatever reason, this leads me to believe that he isn't human, and therefore, not to be trusted. True story, if completely fucking irrelevant.

    Also, sidenote, I played a lot of poker back in college and did pretty well with it before playing pool consumed my life. Cheers to past sharping, and my now leathery ass!

    You rock, brother. Funny stuff.

    1. I had to comment on this one pal. My ex was like that. He could drink all day and not get drunk. In the 17 years I was with him (and we partied harty) I was always assured of a designated driver. Me, on the other hand, I was a cheap date, haha. On an empty stomach I can have 2 drinks and be drunk. I mean why bother drinking if you can't get drunk, where's the fun in that?

    2. That is definitely impressive. I must say that I look forward to sharing a beer or twenty with you fellas one day.

  19. I think at my school the actual game of tag went missing, and the boys just went around windmilling their arms for the whole of breaktime. I think they were trying to impress us girls, coz that really worked...

    1. Maybe they just watched too much of "The Sound of Music."

  20. Book or movie? you went with movie, and i totally get why. i find myself lost in a great book, and as much as i love it, it doesn't do my work ethic any good at all!

  21. I love that you referee tag games for kids. I think it's really important to give back to the community. You've just jumped up a notch in my esteem.

  22. Memes like this are pretty cool because I really like learning new and cool things about my brilliant blogging buddies. =)

    *adds get random wiffle ball game to break out at next catered event to list of things to do*

  23. I do the same thing. Read blogs to learn to be a better writer. I've learned so much! I liked this, we got a little glimpse of your life.

  24. It was great getting to know you a little better.

    About question #3 - I have to call your bluff. I'm betting you've done numerous funny things in the last 5 years (and things that are funnier than yelling "Here I come, world"... not to say that's not funny). At least, when I read your blog I often burst out laughing, which leads me to think that you are one hilarious guy.


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