Each week The Advocate asks a different “quiz taker” for his or her current favorites in pop culture.
QUIZ TAKER: Tom Merrill, 52, professor, LSU AgCenter Communications, chairman Baton Rouge Pride Fest and building coordinator, Metropolitan Community Church of Baton Rouge.
WHAT I’M LISTENING TO: “To be honest, being slightly hearing impaired, music is more a background issue than a focus. I never go anywhere without something playing in the car, however. That’s usually easy listening or soft rock. I’m a big ’70s and ’80s music fan, although I also have hit concerts in recent years by Cher, Cindi Lauper, Madonna and Lady Gaga — all of which may be stereotypical of why I’m the chair of Pride Fest.”
WHAT I’M READING: “Magazines around our home range from Out to Consumer Reports to Air and Space. I’ve been slowly reading another post-Katrina compilation called ‘Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans,’ and I’ve got a book written by a guy raised by two moms, aptly called ‘My Two Moms,’ and another, ‘Small Church, Big Impact,’ on my nook. At my bedside is a paperback history of the town where I grew up, Plain Dealing, La.”
WHAT I’M WATCHING: “We’re sci-fi fans, so we’ve hit the new ‘Star Trek’ and ‘Ironman’ movies in theaters recently. Conversely, around home, we run a lot of HGTV in the background, and my DVR is set to capture ‘Mike & Molly,’ as well as ‘Revolution’ and a bunch of other programs.”
WHERE I’M SURFING (ON THE INTERNET): “Somewhat of a news junkie, I visit CNN every day, as well as http://www.TheAdvocate.com and http://www.Nola.com. Lately, of course, I spend lots of time watching http://www.BRPrideFest.com and our Facebook page. Wonder why?”
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? “After major diet and lifestyle changes this time last year that took a chunk of the sugar and other carbs out of my life and led to the loss of about 50 to 60 pounds, I’ve become a coffee addict (with Splenda and cream). I still sneak in chocolate, ice cream and cheesecake now and then. Just don’t tell anyone!”
What are your favorite places to visit in the summer?
“My partner’s family has a cabin on the western slope of the Rockies in Colorado. It’s been a favorite place of mine to go most summers for the past 20 years or so. It’s a great break from 90- to 100-degree temperatures and high humidity here when we get out there and they think 80 degrees marks a heat wave and 30 percent humidity is high. Plus, there’s the river running by, the mountains for driving/picnicking ... and the cellphones don’t work at the cabin. It’s just a great place to escape to.”
EVENT INFORMATION: Baton Rouge Pride Fest, the annual celebration of the city’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, runs from noon to 6 p.m. Saturday at the Belle of Baton Rouge Atrium, 102 France St., Baton Rouge. Activities will include an indoor picnic, music and comedy, and a community resource fair.