I’m extremely interested in the way an estimated 6.5 million Americans will react when, next month, they are suddenly confronted with no available television because they didn’t purchase a digital converter box. Many government officials seem to think they will riot in the streets, hence the seemingly massive allocation of funds ($10 per hypothetically affected person). Should we be ashamed that we need to spend $100MM’s of taxpayer money simply in order to keep the populace of America complacent? Once the deadline passes, I figure we’ll be able to measure how effective the government’s investment was by counting the number of people who are getting trampled during Wal-Mart stampedes to buy converter boxes.
Thank God for the $650 million going to the Digital-To-Analog Converter Box Program “to ensure a timely conversion of analog to digital television.” That’s more than the Navy gets for maintenance, more than the Indians get for infrastructure, more than the Small Business Administration gets for making loans, and of course, more important to a “timely” economic recovery. Sick.
For the most part, I tend to resist memes, but apparently my breaking point is when five of my otherwise totally sensible acquaintances get caught up in them. So here are the 25 facts about myself. Thank you, Ms. Piekut? I guess?
1. Default fact: In senior year of high school, I sword-fought my English teacher’s six-year-old child while moving around in a swivel chair. I let him win after fifteen minutes of enthusiastic combat.
2. The legend goes that my last name, “Rubenoff”, was apparently crafted by a fugitive ancestor in the 17th century whose surname was Rubenstein. He needed to have a different identity than what was listed on the Wanted posters.
3. Somewhere in the archives of the Community Newspaper Company, there is a decade-old edition of the Brookline TAB that contains a full-page article on myself and my prestigious yearlong position on the National Geographic Children’s Advisory Board. It included a photo of me in what was my backyard at the time, smiling with my braces on. I’m pretty sure the article ended with a somewhat misleading quote that I “wanted to make Nintendo” when I grew up.
4. Even though I complain when people create drama and blow their personal situation totally out of proportion, I tell everyone who listens that my current plight is identical to that of Cutty from “The Wire”.
5. First kiss: 16, in my empty cubicle at the Museum of Science.
6. I got two gift cards for the holidays, both for bookstores. I purchased “2666” by Roberto Bolano and Dante’s “The Divine Comedy”.
8. The closest thing I have to look forward to is sharing an open container of liquor with Elizabeth Fisher-Bruns in Boston Common during the brief period before she takes the bus up to Maine on March 25. Due to our mutual failure rate of keeping promises and the reliability of the Greyhound Corporation, it is very likely that this will never happen.
9. Default Fact #2: I have broken 10 bones in my life: left arm 4 times, right arm 3 times, lower left leg in a biking accident and a double malleolis fracture that required surgery. I had low bone density as a teenager but then got stronger as a result of my adolescence, so subsequent fractures are either a result of my clumsiness or incredible athleticism.
10. I essentially dropped out of college because my inability to manage my affection for an individual of the opposite sex. In retrospect, I don’t think I could have prevented it from happening.
11. I get way too excited when the results of the latest Channel 101 screening get posted online. Water & Power, The Pop, Classroom, Murder Town and ChooseYourOwnSelectAVision.tv are closer to my heart than they ever had a right to.
12. I feel creatively unchallenged and somewhat defeated.
13. This has at least a little bit to do with a “writing session” with a few friends where the only idea everyone thought was kinda funny involved condoms with the head cut off, marketed as fertility aids.
14. I tell people that I wear beige button-down shirts and khaki pants because it is comforting to be the same color all over.
15. I know I’m going to get along very well with someone when I’m able to ruthlessly mock them to their face for their opinions and the way they’re living their life.
16. It didn’t really hit me that I might never be back at COA until I deleted my Groupwise Fluid instance a month ago and realized I might not ever care about those crazy emails ever again.
17. The emergence of my personal maturity has strongly correlated with my increasing realization that I am really good for nothing.
18. I have consumed alcohol on only three separate days out of the past eight months: one glass of wine each over two days and one 40-oz. bottle of King Cobra malt liquor in a filthy garage last September.
19. Last weekend, I downloaded an Academy DVD screener of Frost/Nixon and watched it with my parents. I felt just a tiny bit uncomfortable the next day when they asked me to break the law again so we could watch Doubt.
20. The Worst: I watch Family Guy out of sheer boredom, and sometimes, I laugh.
21. I’m definitely no longer Jewish in most senses of the word, but I have somehow still sustained my kosher dietary habits.
22. Coke is good in cans and from a soda fountain. Pepsi is good in 20-oz. bottles.
23. In the absence of any opportunity for social interaction, I spend the majority of my days checking Tumblr and Google Reader trying to predict the future.
24. I have disappointed or personally hurt many of my mentors in some shape or form.
25. The subjects currently most prominent in my mind are those which I took the most care to avoid in the previous 24.
This is probably the last I will write about myself personally in a very long while.