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A "Five" you can get behind

This (well, by now, last) week's Friday Five, cryptically entitled "My Dreams They Aren’t as Empty as My Conscience Seems to Be," all seem to feature behind-ness in some way. That fits, since i am behind in answering them, having been out of town all weekend.



1. What's got you behind the 8-ball?
Before answering the question, I decided to do a little looking up, because I had a sneaking suspicion that I've been using that idiom wrong ... and it turns out that I have been. "Behind the 8-ball" doesn't mean "behind schedule" after all, and that's a shame, because I could have filled a post with a long list of answers to *that* question. It actually means "in a precarious position," and at the moment I don't think there's any particular event that has propelled me into that spot.

I mean, I could say in general that my lack of a PhD has me behind the 8-ball with respect to job security, or that my lack of a pension plan has me behind the 8-ball with respect to retirement, but neither of those things is news (and only the former is a pressing issue at this moment).

2. Who would you like to see a VH-1-Behind-the-Music-style documentary about?
Before answering the question, I decided to do a little looking up, because I have never seen an episode of Behind the Music. The show's Wikipedia article includes a list of artists and bands who've been profiled to date, and I was surprised not to find Harry Nilsson on there. From what I gathered, the program's point was to profile people who not only had musical success, but also made enough dubious choices to qualify for the voyeur treatment; and that's surely Harry! The beautiful tenor voice ravaged from hard living, the idiosyncratic and un-commercial choices throughout his career, the bad-boy Lennon friendship, the unwillingness to do concerts, the doomed London apartment, the drinking and drugs, the has-been years (the Popeye movie!), the bankruptcy, the early death -- it kinda writes itself, which I believe is the idea.

And, what do you know? There *is* an independently produced Nilsson documentary available on DVD, and I think it pretty much does what the VH-1 show would have done (though perhaps with more of a bias in favor of the artist). I'll have to watch it some time.

Oh, you know who I'd like to see that they'd never do, because he's an opera guy? My long-time favorite baritone Bryn Terfel. I think there's definitely a story there.

3. What are you likely to find behind your sofa?
Nothing. Our living room is arranged so that no sofa back is against a wall. Now, *under* the sofa, I expect you'd find the usual coins and dust balls and pencils and bits of paper.

4. What's something you'd like to put behind you this year?
Something bad from last year? I can't think of much. The adjustment to living with son and wife was harder than I anticipated, so maybe any buried resentment from that.

5. What's something you don't want to eat if there's no ketchup?
I guess a hamburger would be hard to eat without ketchup. Now, I could make do with mustard alone on a hot dog (which is, incidentally, the only other food I ever take ketchup on), but a burger would have to have some other wet and umami-rich topping -- say, sauteed onions -- before I would not miss the ketchup.