First, Neddie Jingo throws this at me:
"'Who is Spain?' 'Why is Hitler?' 'Hi-ho beri-beri!' and 'Balls!' rang out in quick succession."
Ummm...moving on, then.
I had to Google this, and it turns out to come from Joseph Heller's Catch 22, which I have not read. Now I obviously have to read it. Curse you, Neddie Jingo! Stumped on my very first query.
Next up, Roger (who is, every year, consistently the best asker of questions for this feature), poses this:
From your vantage point, what do you think of the new senator Gillibrand and the process that selected her?
I don't have much opinion at all on Senator Gillibrand specifically. For those who haven't been paying attention (and why would you), Kirsten Gillibrand is the current junior Senator from New York, having been appointed to that post from the House of Representatives by Governor David Patterson, after that Senate seat was vacated by Hillary Clinton when she became Secretary of State. I don't know a whole lot about her political views; having just looked her up on Wikipedia, she seems generally around where I stand on a lot of things, and a bit far from me on others – no way I'd support George Bush's tax cuts, for example. She's apparently very strong on gun ownership rights; I generally don't have strong views on guns aside from my own personal dislike of them. So, Gillibrand seems vaguely acceptable to me. I'd have to get more familiar with her as a Senator, which will probably happen now that she represents me. I'd never heard of her before her Senate appointment.
As for the process: I was baffled by the whole Caroline Kennedy thing. That whole business just seemed weird from the get-go; Kennedy has never, to my knowledge, shown a whole lot of interest in being in electoral politics herself, and maybe she was influenced for a time by the availability of a seat and the fact that her uncle, Edward M. Kennedy, is clearly nearing the end of his days. I have no problem with her running for the seat, if she wants, but the flirtation-and-withdrawal seemed strange to me. And in general, I don't like that Governors in many states can directly appoint Senators in the event of a vacancy. Special elections should be the rule, for many reasons.
(I'm not enamored of David Patterson as governor, by the way.)
Roger also asks: who would you "go gay" for?
Ummmm...nobody. Certainly not Viggo Mortensen or Karl Urban from Lord of the Rings. And definitely not Daniel Craig as James Bond. And Ewan MacGregor as Obi Wan Kenobi? Never!!!
OK, I think that's a weird enough note to end on for the first set of answers. Hoo boy!