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A JAR OF BALLOONS or THE UNCOOKED RICE: A Response, Part II


This is part II in my bold, audacious I tell you, attempt to scale the vast queries levied by Matthew Yeager.

Do you go to movies alone? Yes.

When eating out, do you prefer, in general, to face the crowd or the wall? The crowd and preferably with the wall to the back.  You never know when ninjas may attack out.  And some waiters, well, let us just say I am uncomfortable whenever they handle steak knives.

Are you a person who has certain items that unequivocally yours (a coffee mug, a side of the bed, a chair, a place at the table)? I have patterns that I prefer to but nothing that I would say is unequivocally mine.  One exception might be that I order so many quad-tall Americanos that I am now the the name of drink at Cafe Solstice.  I used to have a Lilo & Stitch coffee mug that only I could use; sadly I recently broke it against the kitchen counter-top.  I was very much sad that day.

What names have you thought to name children? I cannot say I have spent too much time coming up with names.  But names that come to mind are Ion, Nathan, Eve, Lavender.  I think I will stop now; all my future children are bound to get beaten up if I continue in this light.

How many different bathrooms would you say you use on a given day? No more than four.  Two at home.  One at work.  One at Cafe Solstice; yeah, I am there a lot.

Are there bathrooms (not your own) that you consider a pleasure to use, even look forward to using? I am sort of morbidly curious to find a person who has such deep thoughts about where they conduct their business, as it were.  Sorry.  To answer the question directly:  no.

Are you shy? I think I am “pathologically” shy.  I am not sure what this really means other than I find that first introductions to be very unnerving. I do not normally just walk up to people and start talking, although I have been practicing getting better at simple chit-chat.  I sincerely believe that if a person has the courage to ask me a question then I should have the courage to answer them as honestly as possible.  That said, once engaged in a conversation I will happily talk at length which I think often disguises, to a point that many people are shocked when I claim I am shy, my true(r) nature.

Do you save your receipts? I do but I have no reason why I do since I regularly throw them out.

Have you ever made love outdoors? Yes.

Before throwing spaghetti into the pot, do you break the bundle in half? Why on earth would ever do that?  No!  Actually, yes if I am cooking them directly in the sauce I am making in the pan.

Can you recall a [bowel movement] that produced the thought: “Wow, this is the biggest and best [bowel movement] of my life?” Yes.

What did you call bowel movements as a child? Poo(p).

How old were you when you learned to read? I have no idea.  I do recall reading my first novel, “The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien, around the age of 8.  I know I was this old as I distinctly recall finishing the book while at my oldest sister’s university graduation.  I also recall that the very reason I started reading it was because she had read it in one of her university classes and had left a copy at our house.  And I also clearly remember that the ceremony pamphlet had a misspelling “alot” instead of “a lot.”  Nowadays I cannot spell worth crap:  thanks, WordStar.

Do you nap? Not very often, but I like to take one after some of my longer runs.  It can be very pleasant to run 20-30 kilometers in the early morning only to return home by 9am for a nap.

Isn’t stretching something you always feel you should do more of while you’re doing it? Yes!  I am always thinking that if only I did this every day since a child I would already be able to contort myself into a pretzel.

Why must we always draw a blank after entering a record store? Record stores are now extinct.  Like dinosaurs.  Seriously.  But I get that feeling from time to time when I enter a bookstore.  I just see all those lovely, lovely books and lose track of why I am there.

What’s the strangest non-food item you swallowed as a kid? I used to chew off the nibs on pen caps.

Do you use Post-it notes? All the time at work.  It is the cheapest way to track a project.  And also the best way to do over any software solution I have ever seen.

Are they still there, those ascending horizontal lines that marked your growth as a child up a wall or a door? I have no idea since we moved from the house.  I suspect not.  Does this mean, like a tree in a forest, I never now grew up?  That instead, I just appeared on the scene as a fully-(mal)formed adult?

In how many cities and towns do you know your way around? Four off the top of my head.  Skaneateles, New York with a population of some 3,000.  Buffalo, New York with a population rapidly shrinking to some 3,000.  Seattle, Washington which I have a moderate comprehension although only after living here for 12 years.  Kanazawa, Ishikawa (Japan) where I acquired such a detailed understanding of the roads within the first 12 months that even 12 years later I can tell people the way to get around.

Can you describe to me your most frequent freak-out fantasy, or do the particulars of your situations vary so that it’s always a new table you’re overturning or bus window you’re punching out? I think my freak out fantasy vaguely includes kittens being killed.  Mercilessly.  Did I ever mention to you that cuteness and tastiness are directly proportional to each other?

Do you ride the bus? Every day.  All day.  I never get off.  I just go around the city, big man on the bus.  I am the one wearing over-sized RayBans staring at your right now.  Yeah, right now.

How is your handshake? Firm, unlike my grasp of reality.

Can you ever know for sure if it’s too hard or too soft? If it hurts then too hard.  If it requires a lot of tissue paper too soft.

When at a museum, do you like to walk around by yourself or take the tour? Normally I much prefer to walk around by myself.  But I did discover that a tour is its weight in gold when visiting the Vatican.

Can you recall how the moon looked the first time you saw it through glasses (if you wear glasses)? No.  But I suspect it was vaguely round.

When cooking, do you eyeball or measure? I measure when it is my first with a recipe.  Thereafter I just eyeball it.  Unless I am baking then I always measure the large quantities (greater than a tablespoon).

Do you buy low-fat products? Fuck.  No.  Unless I hate you.

In which of these opposing clichés (“absence makes the heart grow fonder” or “out of sight, out of mind”) do you find more truth? Out of sight, out of mind.  I guess that sounds harsh when lain, as it were, next to the other phrase.  But overall, with the exception of people I am in love with, I try to focus on my “now” versus worrying about all the things outside of my purview.

Do you go, each time, to the same barber or hair-stylist? I do now.

When at the barber or hair-stylist, do you tend to talk about hair or realize that people there must always talk about hair? I am a fairly quiet person.  It really depends on my mood whether I engage in chit-chat.  Some days, especially since I go after work, I am just too tired to have much of a conversation about much of anything.

Was your Christmas tree (if you had one as a child) fake or real? Originally it was real until it was determined that it might be setting off my asthma.  So we had a crappy fake one for years till I pleaded for a real one.  Now, when I do have one, I go out and cut my own.

What was it topped with, an angel or a star? Angel.  My mother also has a birthday cake for Jesus Christ that we light candles for and sing “Happy Birthday!” to.  So definitely an angel.  I think if she could she’d hire a real angel for the job.

Have you ever purchased a item with the secret intent to return it? No.  Wait, yes.  I used to buy books from Walden (?) and then return them after reading to exchange for a new book.  I can read a book and leave it in pristine condition afterwards.

In which of your pockets do you carry your wallet? I glad you weren’t paying attention since I already told you.  My back, left pocket.

Were you breast- or bottle-fed? I have no idea.  I suspect breast-fed.  It might explain some things.  What things it explains I have no ideas.

Can you write at all with your opposite hand? At all?  Yes.  Well?  No.

Do audiences affect your attempts to urinate or parallel park? Nope.  I can busta move and put a car just about anywhere even when it is only a few inches on either end to spare.

Do you rise to occasions, generally? I think this is a straight-up question.  Yes.  Although, like Beckam, my bends a bit to the left.

Butter or margarine? Butter.  Margarine is for?  I have no bloody idea what margarine is good for.

Do you bookmark or dog-ear your books? Dog-earring a book is a good way for me to beat you to sublime oblivion.  Bookmark every time.

How do you show love to what is your, by wearing it in or attempting to keep it pristine? A bit of both.

Do you mind losing battles? My hammer of Thor no!  But I do not mind losing an argument.

When was the last time you write a hand-written letter that was not a greeting card? About a year ago.  It was basically a book of sketches and letters to a single person.  Sort of intense, huh?  This might explain my predictable state of being single.

Have you ever collected unemployment? No.  Sounds nice, though.

Do you check the dates on coins? No.

Did you play sports? Did?  I still run a lot, but I am not sure that qualifies at least if we qualify sports with “team”.  My last serious team sport was ice hockey when I was still in high school.

If so, what was your preferred number? 18.

Were you a planned or unplanned pregnancy? Unplanned.

Do you save hangers from dry cleaners, amazed that they’re free? God, no.  I hate the things.  I wish I could bring them my own not because I love the environment, which I do, but because they are so f’ugly.

When pondering what things are free, do you always find yourself inhaling deeply through the nose, newly aware that air is free? No, but that is rather an interesting insight.

What actor(s) could you play? No one.

Are you a fast dresser? Yes.

Do you like to be the one who holds the tickets (for airplanes, moveis, et cetera)? Yes.

Do you trust others? To others I trust to a fault.  To myself I trust others just right.

What about doctors? Yes.

What is the worst ailment you’ve ever been diagnosed with? I was never diagnosed, but I knew that in getting into a serious relationship with my now ex-wife that she had herpes.  It sort of sucks.  But life moves on.

Have you ever been diagnosed with something? I think, dear sir, your question is, quite literally, out of order.  I think you are supposed to lead with this question.

How are you at metabolizing shamed? I love how this question is metabolized.  I think I am pretty good at in comparison to most people I know.

Where, in your calendar year, have the birthdays you celebrate tended to cluster? December.

April? What?  You want to acknowledge your birthday?

If you went to church as a kid, did you and your family sit in the front or in the back? I think we sat regularly about four to five pews from the front on the side of the lector.

What things have you been doing when you’ve received news that a loved on has passed on? Sleeping.

Can you sleep with socks on? Only if on the couch or when I am wearing pajama bottoms.  It has to be really cold for me to do so.

Can you place your place of birth by hearing your accent? I am told by people who grew in the Pacific Northwest that I have an distinct East coast accent for certain words; otherwise, I think my accent is fairly non-distinct.

What would you try to save in a fire? Myself and other people in the house.  Otherwise, my wallet, my camera and computer and myself.  Then let it all burn, baby, burn!

Do you wear non-winter hats? No.  I barely ever wear winter hats until this past year when I started wearing when I go out running when it is snowing or cold.

Pulpy or pulp-less orange juice? The pulpier [sic] the better.

Do you always watch for the longest day of the year and then miss it? Yes.  Always.  It happens so fast.

Do you miss lots of things you mean to see or do? Yes, but that is because I want to do or see a lot of things.

Events you meant to attend? Same deal.

Picnics involving babies? I love babies.  Babies love me.  Why would I miss a picnic with babies?

Do you even notice? The picnic or the babies.  I notice both.

Do you go to the gym? I used to go every day.  I now run every day.  I prefer to just work-out use the power of my mind.  I think I am huge and huge I become.

What is your favorite kind of nut? Unsalted, roasted almond.

Do you remove shoes upon entering? Yes; at least when I enter my home.  I will normally otherwise asks upon entering.

If no, are you annoyed when you walk into someone else’s home and find a pile of shoes and a note? Nope.  It is not like I am the one cleaning their floors?

Does walking on rattling street vents make you anxious? No.

Do you tell people when you’re ticked at them? Unfortunately I need this more often in a constructive manner.

How are you at judging clouds of the metaphorical variety, at discerning those which will blow over and those which will grow to take over the sky? I am getting much better and understanding the pattern of the weather in a metaphorical kind of way.  It is quite liberating since most storms, if there are any, are never really anything to be concerned by.

Is there anyone who likes washing silverware? No.  Only freaks like cleaning silverware.  But I love to otherwise clean, especially with anything that can handle Windex.

What celebrities have you met? Alton Brown.

What is your method for dealing with coins? Spend as you go?  Hoard?  Roll? I toss them into a jar and then I eventually trade them in for cash at one of those machines they have at grocery stores.  Or I might just give them all to the baristas at the cafe I frequent.

Are you a sucker for foreign accents? It depends on the accent.

Do you rearrange your furniture regularly? No.  But when I was a kid I did so nearly every month with my bed and bedroom furnishing.

Do you live in a place where furniture can be rearranged, or is there really one one logical place for everything? Certainly things can be rearranged, but I find the effort not worth it.  I like my arrangement the way it is.

What gift or gifts did you receive upon graduating high school? I do not recall.

Do you get mad when a drink is handed across a bar to you with too much ice? Yes.

Mad enough to send it back? If I specifically ask for no ice then yes.

Do you send meals back in restaurants or just suffer through them? It really depends how bad it is.  More than likely it will mean I will not revisit the restaurant.

Are there multiple languages in which you’re fluent? Yes.

Why did you leave your hometown, if you did? There is not much that I feel fits me when I am back East.  There are too many bits and pieces of my personality that are not a good culture fit.

What are you usually doing when it occurs to you to clip your toenails? When I am sitting at a chair at home and start picking at the toenails.  Then I get up and clip them.

Can you drive stick? Damn straight, Skippy!

If no, do you feel that this makes you inadequate? I am so glad I can skip this one.

How do you occupy your time when in a waiting room or on a train?  Books, magazines, music or just looking at people then looking away? I listen to music and read books or do a bit of people watching.

Ever French-kissed the inside of your elbow? Yes.  Oddly, I have.  I have no why idea, though.

Do you live in a place where tourists come? Yes.  Why they come is still a wonder to me.

Are you skilled at giving directions? No.  My idea of directions is to tell me to turn left at the yellow house with the white fence.  Or else just “go thatta way.”

Do you own a record player? Like for LPs?  No.  But I wish I had for the purposes of listening to the older, analog lushness that was LPs.  But then I would have to make space for them and start collecting them and I have seen where that can lead.

If so, have you owned one for long? Nope.

What celebrities do people insist that you look like? No one.

Is your name such that it is frequently mispronounced? Not that people mispronounce it, but they regularly think my name is “Wade.”  I hate that name.  Not that I hate people with that name, but my name is decidedly not “Wade.”  It is “Ward.”  Remember it, please.  Thank you.

Do you attempt to pronounce foreign words correctly, such as calling a crescent-shaped roll a cwaSAHN? It depends on where the word originates.  I definitely do this for Japanese words.  Sometimes for French word.  Occasionally for German words.  But otherwise no.

Do you like being an American (if you are one)? Do I have a choice?  Seriously, though.  Hating being from your own country is such a waste of emotion and energy since its attribution is arbitrarily tied to a government and not its people.  And I resonate with the people with me, not so legal-economic-system that is far removed from my daily realities.

Have you ever walked around carrying a bouquet of flowers just because you like the looks folks give you on the street? No.  But it is an interesting idea.

Are you accurate in determining the ages of children? No.

What age do you consider old? I think one year younger than me which is, as of today, 36.

How has it changed? It only recently changed, largely because I am having a hard time adjusting to being 37.  Up until last year I thought 85 was old.  But turning 37 changed all that.  I am not sure why other than the fact that I realized that on the average I am half-way through my life.

Ever just want to yank the gun from the cop’s holster? Yes!  Especially the tazer.  But I suspect it would not be the smartest thing I have done.  But sadly, not the dumbest, either.

When receiving bad service, as you inclined to think (“it happens”) that the server is just having an off day? Yes; at least, this is the case in the last couple of years after spending a lot of time around the service industry vis-a-vis cafes.

Can you spell (without looking it up) the word “hors d’oeuvre”? If I said yes you would never believe me; nor would I believe me.  I cannot spell just about anything.

Will you wait for a booth when a table is available? What is up with booths?  I prefer small tables off to the side.  I just do not get booths.  Are they more private?  Quieter?  I feel like I am with the mob when I sit in a booth or just some good fellas.  But I only notice distinction when the booth’s back is higher than a normal chair.

Will you step out of a shower to pee? I try to pee beforehand.  And now that the toilet is replaced I might.  But honestly, right down the drain does it.

When writing the number 2 do you loop the bottom? Never.

Surely at some point you’ve worn the clothing of the opposite sex? Yes; my then wife’s bikini.  For the people who did not immediately blackout the reports are that it was terrifying.

Have you ever lived in a room lit by a bare light bulb? Yes; Japan.  I could aso stretch out my arms and touch opposite walls simultaneously.  I actually miss it; bare minimum living is really not as bad as one might imagine it.  It certainly simplify much of your life to only the essentials.

If yes, when you opened the door and tugged that jump-back-upping beaded chain and saw the items of your life in that dimness, did you find it gloriously romantic or hilariously gloomy? I found it both fitting and ironic at the same time.

If you don’t live alone, is it you or someone else who changes the light bulbs? I change them both when single, as now, and when married, as previously.

Are you a good speller? Umm. No.

What physical skills have you lost? I think I have likely gained a few since I am healthier and fitter now than at any time in my life previous.  But I suspect I no longe have the same skills for ice hockey or kendo as I used to have.

Can you still touch your toes? Yes.

As a child, were you able to turn a cartwheel? Never.

Are you hard on people? I am told I hardest on myself.

What is the deepest water which you’ve been swimming? I have swam in parts of Skaneateles Lake in central New York.  But I honestly can freak myself right out of the water wondering with a great white will cut me in two even when I am in a pool with a depth of 8 feet.  Never, ever do that “dun-da dun-da” from JAWS or I will likely pulverize after waking from an epileptic fit.

You root privately for loose plastic drink lids, wind-blown and cartwheeling, to stay up, to keep rolling and rolling, don’t you? No.  I like to chase them down and stomp on them.  It seems funnier that way.

Do you think grades in school mattered? I think the processing of getting grades might matter in some instances; but, overall I found school an abyss of boredom.

Can you identify flowers? Yes; if I see one I think “There is a flower.”  I am quite good at it, actually.

Can you identify artists by paintings? A few artists but not many.

Do you eat the crusts of pizza or only when they’re excellent or you’re hungry? I pretty mich always eat the crust.  On a very rare occasion I will leave a bit of crust behind.

Do you eat other people’s crusts? If I know them well then yes.  Or I am really hungry.  Or I have had one too many beers.

Are you a member anywhere, of anything, as of a group of people that meets at a certain time and at a certain place? Yes.

What do you think about Communism? Like I think of fascism and any kind of totalitarism.  Stoopid [sic].

Can cans of whipped cream last long in your fridge? I make my whipped cream from scratch.  +1 for foodie snob (read me).

How is your self-control? I think it is well-above average for most things.

How is your cholesterol? Basically superhuman.

Have you ever spent a night in jail or been in a physical altercation as an adult? No.

Have you been cheated on? Yes.

How did you handle it? I only discovered afterwards.  By then we were already divorced. And because we were divorced it made it even easier; who the hell wants to be with a person who cheats?

if you could walk on stage as the lead singer of any band in any time period, who would it be? That is a difficult one.  Minus the lifestyle then I think Freddie Mercury of Queen.  Otherwise, Frank Sinatra.

When no one is looking, will you stick chewed gum to a chair or table bottom? No.  Unless it is your house.

When no one is looking, will you do really just about anything? I certainly feel less inhibited when no one is around or otherwise when I am around people I trust.

What is the most money you’ve ever found on a sidewalk or a street? Likely a Canadian quarter; which is to say nothing.

Can you tie a tie? Yes.

What about a bowtie? I have never tried but I am sure I can manage if I saw instructions.

In which stores have you ever imagined having shopping sprees? The Apple Store.  Best Buy.  Barnes & Nobles.  Porsche.

How are you at Trivial Pursuit? I used to be really good.  Nowadays I suck at it.

Crossword puzzles? The same.

Does making a good list ever like an accomplishment in itself? No.  But I do feel that way about diagramming something out.

Do you clip coupons or mail in rebates? No.

What’s your theory on why the martini glass is shaped the way it is? There is a theory for this kind of thing?

Do you like animals? For the most part.  They is good eating!  Especially the cuter they are the better they taste.

Do you find it beautiful when sidewalks begin to freckle with rain? Yes; but I love the smell of rain even more.

Seen from a high window, is there anything more lovely than when, all at once, umbrellas blackly bloom? I have never seen this but it does sound like a visual treat.

About what subject (other than yourself) do you possess the most knowledge? I know a lot about nothing.

Do you say caddy-corner or kitty-corner? Neither.  I say “kiddy-corner.”  I guess I just got schooled.

Isn’t it nice when a drinking fountain is cold and with the right pressure, when you push the metal button down and up pipes a sweet cold glassy little arc of water? Yes.

Have you ever been on fire? Yes, when I was younger.

You cuff or your hair? Both.

What is the worst you’ve ever been burned yourself? I still have a scare from when I grabbed a stainless-steel pan off the stove-top after it had been in the oven at a temperature of 450 degrees Fahrenheit.

Can you sing? Yes.  Albeit not well.

Do you find you begin singing along to songs you know always a bar or so too early? Unless there is a machine to prompt me I would not be able to sing along to a song.

About what things do you think you’re a snob? Food.  Books.  Health.

Which is snobbier, ballet or opera? Neither.

Poetry or croquet? No real opinion.  Are there many more of these questions?

How about football, beer, and buffalo wings as a little group? I love wings when I can get them done well.  I am allergic beer so I rarely drink it anymore.  And I really do not get football.

How about cigarettes and cities and streetlights and walking away in a leather jacket? Okay, does seem affected to me.

Do you use raincoats or umbrellas? Neither.  I live in Seattle.  At some point you realize that fighting getting wet is entirely useless.

Are your faucets tricky to the point where were an out-of-towner to use your shower, you’d feel the need to give a tutorial? No.

Are they trickly? Nope.

When dealing with a know, are you more likely to pass the knot to another, sign and say,”Can you get this?” or take the know from another and say, “I can get this”? The latter.  I have made skills with knots.  Actually, I am just obsessive compulsive.

Are you a take-charge type of person? I actually do not normally like leading.  But now that it is a part of my everyday job I have become accustomed to making decisions in their vacuum.

Are you good with jars? I can hold my own.

Have you ever thrown away a crusted pan as opposed to cleaning it? Only if the pan itself is throw-away.

What is the most difficult phone call you’ve had to make? Calling a girl when in high school to ask her out.  She said “yes”.  Two hours later she called back to say she had made a mistake.  Till this I feel devastated over it.

What is the most difficult test you’ve ever taken? My senior year class on compressible flow taught by Dr. Madea.  He said it took him 70 minutes to complete when he tried it.  He gave us 60 minutes.  I was the only one to complete the whole thing.  It is the only time in my entire life I ever studied for anything.  I think I done good.

Do you prefer aiming fans directly at your face or setting them on oscillate so as to best relish that all-to-brief rush of coolness? I prefer they oscillate or move air just tangential to my body; I otherwise cool down too much.

And when a fan turns away to, say, rustle an unpaid bill on the end table, do you follow it with your face as far as you can? Sometimes?  But normally I can feel my hearing follow it, as it were.

Do you sit and patiently wait? Yes.  I find waiting very relaxing.

How important is it for you to have things to look forward to? I think I crave it a lot; especially, recently when I question what this life is all about.  I am rather bored in a manner that is actually quite unsettling.

When did you cave in and buy a cell phone? I bought when I was in Japan back in 2000.  When I returned back to the U.S. I waited for a few years before finally getting one.  Now I likely cannot survive without one.

Do you mind getting shots or having blood taken? I look forward to donating blood.  And I grew up shots for allergies.

How many people have you called your best friend? About a dozen or so.

Do the number of beaches you’ve been on exceed your fingers? Yes; but, I am not really a beaches for basking-in-the-sun moments.

Does a sense of true self-worth feel like the light from a lighthouse, a sudden enveloping golden feeling that soon moves on, too fast to chase? Yes.

Who is your wealthiest relative? I do not know.

Who is your poorest? I do not know.

Do you have snort when you laugh? Yes.  A lot.

How are you at building fires? I think I am better than most but I am no McGuyver.

How about changing flat tires? I am not sure I have ever tried to change a tire.

Till what age do you hope to live? That changes by the day.  Somedays I think tomorrow wouldn’t be so bad.  Somedays I think as long as I still have my health which, given the genetic disposition of my family, will be sometime in my 80s or 90s.

Have you found this has changed with time? Not really.  There are days when I love life.  There are days when I do not feel much of anything.  It is not even really depression as it is a general apathy.

When eating Asian cuisine, do you ask for a fork? No.  I always use chopsticks even when even the Asians are using forks.  I guess I am a chopstick snob.

Do you bite or clip your nails? I wish I clipped them more; I am a horrible biter.

Did you like high school? It was the worst four years of my life.  So I guess no.

When walking or driving with a companion in a place where your companion is familiar and you are not, do you tend not to pay any attention whatsoever? I think I am pretty much an observer all the time.

Were you cruel or the object of cruelty as a child? I was the object.

The object of cruelty, right? What!?  You read my mind!

Aren’t children awful? Adults can be worse.

What’s the longest you’ve ever consecutively slept (not counting when you were sick)? Maybe 12 or 14 hours but I think I did it once years ago.

Is your skin sensitive? Yes.

Do you set down sheets of toilet paper before sitting down on public toilets? No.

Have you ever carved initials into wet cement? No; but it sounds fun.

What about thrown a grocery cart or brick off of a bridge? No that specifically, but we used to grab shopping carts from the passenger seat of a car and then accelerate while aiming them at a light post in the parking lot.  At the very last moment possible we’d release the cart and let it smash into the post, hopefully wrapping it around the post.  The metal carts will do this.  The plastic ones will ricochet wildly, so much so that the side of your car is jeopardy as one evening years ago will attest to.

At what age (or ages) do you feel that you were at your stupidest, by which I mean proudest? I think I did a lot of stupid things while living in Japan, especially the second time from 1995 to 1996.

Do you make it a point to go somewhere to watch fireworks? From time to time and from year to year I get the craving to go and see fireworks.

Are there certain blocks you avoid because of memories? I try to never let memories interfere with my life; but, for awhile I refused to return to North Seattle where I currently live due to the memories.

What is the oldest object (man-made) you’ve ever held? I held a box within contained within it a hand-written diary that some many hundreds of years old.

Biggest vehicle you’ve ever driven? F250, I think.  Or maybe it was a F350 van.

Does your alarm clock wake you noise or radio? I normally wake a minute or so before the buzzer goes off.

Can you think of a particular mirror in which you appear particularly ugly or particularly attractive? I am one very handsome dude.  Actually, I think I am pretty average-looking fellow.  And I have never thought about I might appear more or less attractive relative to a mirror.  Isn’t a mirror a mirror?

Do you find whatever season is next (spring, winter, fall summer) sounds pretty good? Yes.

In which have the majority of your memories clustered? Spring and Fall.

Do you tend (or did you tend) to date people older or younger than yourself? I have tended to date people my age or younger.  I have done on dates with people of all ages to some 15 years younger to 20 years older.  I agree with people who say people of a similar age are more likely to find happiness with each other, I still find that people are people and love is love regardless of (consenting) age.

Are you thrown when the time changes? I never notice nowadays since all the electronics in my life do it automatically for me.

Are you close with anyone bi-polar? Not that I am aware of, although I think for years I exhibited traits of it.

Are you bothered by insects? I used to hate them.  Nowadays I almost find them comforting, especially spiders in my home.  I feel less lonely and I have this sense of familiarity, even familial connectedness, to them.

Have you ever noticed how, when the subject is bugs, the size of the bug will keep increasing? Dude, bugs are bigger than houses.  Everyone knows this.

Have you ever participated in a parade? Yes.  I have even participated in a procession as a part of an ancient ritual at a shrine in Japan.  Now beat that!

Which of the earth’s creatures would you least like to see granted to set of wings?  An alligator?  A shark?  A snake? A shark.  But it would quickly die unless it was also granted air-breathing lungs.

Which of the earth’s creatures would you most like to see granted a set of wings?  The turtle? What is this?  Some vague reference to Mario Brothers?

Are you ever, while eating something messy, able to look down your face and actually see the food particles on it? Not in recent memory.

Was farting an acceptable activity in your household? Sadly, yes.  My mother once entered a room with me and my friend.  She promptly laid us out and then, without missing a beat, asked us what we wanted for dinner.

Were you tall, short, or medium as a kid? Tall but fat so I think proportionate-wise  I came across as medium.

Did you go through phases (tye-dyed tee shirts and reggae music, then goth, then job, say), or have you been mostly the same over the course of your life? I think I have stayed the course and been myself most of my life.

At what age did you reach you present height? I suspect when I was 15 or 16 years old.

Do you own a washing machine and drier? Yes.  I cannot live without one.

Do you believe (or have you ever believed) in heaven? I am not sure I ever really believed, although I tried for awhile for my mother’s sake.  But I became an atheist in my teen years, although it took me nearly two decades before I would make that declaration explicitly.

What technique do you most commonly use when striking a match? Folding the book over?  Two matches at once? I normally just strike one match at a time with a motion away from my body.  Did I mention I have caught on fire?

Are you skilled at eating crabs and lobsters? No.  But I like to eat them nonetheless.

How are you with the metric system, or, if that’s your system, with the English system? I use the metric for some things and the English system for others.  I am a typical American engineer who likes to think he has a grasp of the metric system when in fact we are just mightily confused.

What magazines do you get? None at the moment.  But in the past I have subscribed to Astronomy, Sky & Telescope, Scientific America and MacTech.  Do you per chance detect a theme? If I buy something at the newsstand then I get the Japanese graphic science magazine Newton.

Which do you read standing up in drugstore aisles? Nothing.  I have not been in a drugstore in ages.

What’s your favorite color of popsicle? I note not flavor.  But I am sucker for both red or blue.  I think red since I prefer the “cherry” flavor.

When encountering a huge and many-roomed house, do you ever want just to find a remote room in its upstairs and hide? Yes; all the time.

What would you do in there? I would read a book.  Or lay on the floor within the beams of light through a window and take a nap.

Regardless, why is there so much delight in the though that who days might pass before you were found? Am I still alive when they find me?

Have you ever had a load of laundry ruined by a pen? No, but I have had one ruin a shirt.

Have you ever run out of gas? No.

Have you ever been a victim of burglary? Once. Someone stole my Walkman, and more disturbingly, my copy of Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”?

Do you think you could mug someone? No.

Do you think you could kill if it came to that? Without a doubt.  Isn’t it interesting that something so minor as a mugging is hard, but killing is so easy in our minds?

What type of food have you eaten the most, would you guess?  Pizza, chicken? Pizza.  I am from New York state; enough said.

Close your eyes: how many living rooms have you memorized? Seven off of the top of my head.

Could you please call to mind at least two or three and hold them a moment? Yes.

Can you flip your eyelids inside out? Thankfully no.

What was your best Halloween costume? I think when my parents dressed me up as Superman and I pulled behind me on my red wagon a cardboard-box of a telephone booth.  At the time, I think I was four, I hated it, though.

When you imagine your own funeral, does the thought of certain acquaintances in the same room worry you? No.

Have you ever picked up a hitchhiker? No.

Have you ever been a hitchhiker? No.

How much stock do you put in the Zodiac? None.  But it can be fun to read from time to time.

Are your earlobes attached? No.

Can you recall the first time you saw snow, or was it something you were born into, a blurry awareness that snow was a feature of this world you lived in? I was about three or four when I first recall skiing and snow.  I absolutely love a cold, sunny snow day; there is no better smell and feeling of being warm inside and cold on your cheeks.

Can you recall the last number of candles on your birthday cake equaled the number of years you’d been alive? My mother used to buy the actual digits so my birthday cakes normally only had one or two candles.  The last time I had a cake with my birthday number on it was likely when I was 16 or 17.

Could you, right now, name the location of your social security card? Yes.  But I am not going to tell you.

Can you read music? Yes; although not well.   Nevertheless, my fingers still remember how to move when I read sheets of music for the violin.  It seems to be a nearly autonomic kind of thing, the reading of the music and playing of it.

Do you give in when people plead? Likely more often than I should.

Why isn’t it a law that the street address of every house and building be clearly marked and in an identical place, such as is the licens plate on a car? Because you cannot get away with a house.

What percentage of your life would you say you spend alone and recollecting? Most of it.

Okay, you have a plate of cake and ice cream: do you go with a spoon, with a fork, or with both? Fork.  I use the cake to sop up the ice cream as it melts.  But it does feel a bit odd to fork ice cream into my mouth like it is some how an aberration to nature to do so.

Do you have al your original adult teeth? With the exception of my wisdom teeth, yes.  Although I do have one capped tooth.

When you enter a bathroom and find urine in the toilet, are you inclined to flush before you use it yourself? No.  I find it really wasteful even if it is still, umm, occupied.

Does it depend upon whether you know the person who left it, upon the yellowness of the substance? Good point.  If I know the person I may not flush.  And if it is yellow I just leave it till when I am done and flush.

One Comment

  1. That’s a lot of questions. I know you pretty good, so it was more for curiosity sake. I may take a stab at this.

    Saturday, May 21, 2011 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

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