Chris Thiem, a.k.a. Birdman and Funk Lord of Blue Earth County, is my former high school English teacher, long-time friend, and a long-time
good, horrible, pagan, hippie, bad, socialist, positive influence on me. He was born in 1950, raised in Mankato, graduated from the University of Montana in Humanities, and returned to Mankato to teach. Except for annual summer drifting throughout the West, he has been steeped in Catholic education ever since. Now Chris Thiem, who once ran (before his knees ran out on him) a 1:51 800 meters, tells it like it is for the Proust Questionnaire:
What is your present state of mind?
That of a man who has escaped.
What is your idea of happiness?
Time to work on my journal, receiving mail, and going birding.
Who are your favorite fictional characters?
Sal Paradise, Queequeg, and Francis Crawford of Lymond.
Who are your favorite people in history?
Artists, explorers, and naturalists.
Your favorite artist?
Your favorite musician?
The quality you most admire in a man?
Saying the unexpected.
The quality you most admire in a woman?
Compassion and cooking.
What do you most value in your friends?
Spontaneity and a willingness to go on meaningless quests.
Your favorite way to spend time?
Wandering, reading, answering the mail, and drinking coffee.
Your most marked characteristic?
Daydreaming and indolence.
What is your principle defect?
Lack of ambition.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Where would you like to live?
Near the sea.
What is your favorite color?
Your favorite flower?
What is your favorite bird?
Out of the 1100 birds on my life list you expect me to choose ONE?! They are all miracles, right down to the starlings with their weird inter-galactic voices!
Who are your favorite prose writers?
Thomas Pynchon, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and Shakespeare.
Your favorite poets?
Keats, Dylan, and Jack Gilbert.
What are your favorite names?
The names of women.
What natural gift would you most like to possess?
The ability to fly.
How would you like to die?
As a sacrificial offering.
Who/what do you want to come back as in your next life?
A Wandering Albatross.
What is your motto?
Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.