It has been awhile since I opened up a jar of balloons or the uncooked rice.  I honestly did not think I would let this project lapse for so long, but here I am in December with some six months separating me and part III.  What can I say other than I am honing my skills in procrastination or else building up suspense for those of you following along one installment at a time.

Note, I pretty much just transcribe these questions and answer as I go.  That said, if you come across incomprehensible questions or answers it is most entirely due to my inability to read and type at the same time.  Please let me know and I will remedy it or keep it as-is if it is funnier that way.

Would you say you “exist”, in the sense that you can sense some thread of you-ness tying together, as handwriting ties together a person’s hand-written words, the way you behave in bank lines, around bosses, around lovers, friends — in all situations, I mean?  Ah, the solipsist’s dilemma.  I can certainly feel my own “thread” even if it is, or is not, split across an infinite set of slices of infinitely small bits of space and time.  And in so much as I am aware I am also aware of my self; however, are those others with whom I interact with observing me truly?  Or are they, including yourself, just figments of my own who are “observing” me, which is really just some abstracted sense of my self observing my self from an externalized position?  Do you follow?  Maybe not, but frankly, this may not be wholly what you are asking, now is it?  I believe I have touched other people’s lives and I further believe that it is something we should all strive to do whenever (reasonably) possible, even if it is just to smile to a stranger or open a door for a parent pushing her child in a stroller.  In this we “thread” ourselves into others, knitting a fabric of community, as it were, if you can bear with me this rather saccharine metaphor.  But there it is and that is how I feel.

Doesn’t your heart just plummet when you cause a big mess?  Yes and no.  Yes in that I never wish to cause harm to another.  But at the same time we are all human, myself included.  (Surprise!)  And some times the mess I am involved with is more as catalyst or stimulant than as causer (sic).  In this I mean we are all responsible for how we respond to stimuli; I cannot bear the weight of any person’s response to something I do or say.

Do you hate the rich?  What a silly question.  I try not to spend too much time thinking about other people, nor do I spend much energy (anymore) concerning myself with the “shoulds” and “ought to’s” for either myself or others.  I do not think people are materially better off than others are necessarily “wealthier” nor just “better” than others.  For myself, the wealthiest people are those who have found love in themselves, nurtured love in others, and made the time for both.

Or pity them?  I try never to pity anyone anything; we are all on our own journey with our means to find ourselves, or lose ourselves, as the case may be.

How much help have you had in life?  In some ways I have had more help than others.  In other ways I have had very little.  I grew up under the guiding words, “Do not do as I do or say since I do not know what I am doing, just figure life out for yourself.”  And yes; I quote.  I took that advise to heart and raised myself … sadly not too well.  So I am starting all over in my mid-thirties.  I think I have a chance of getting it right this time, too.

How many beds have you had in your life?  I must presume you mean how many beds have I owned or at least were deemed mine, not just slept in.  Off the top of my head, I had a crib, child’s bed, waterbed, bunk bed, futon, queen, and two king’s, or eight (8) total.

As a little kid, did you consciously act like a little kid?  Oh god yes!  It was the best way to drive my father nuts, especially nonsensical baby-talk.

Do you see a shrink?  Not presently, but in the past I have sought the help of therapists and counselors.  Some of the best revelations have come from moments with a “practiced guide.”

Have you ever been on a blind date?  No.

Where did your grandparents end up?  In a grave.

Did they stay where they were or immigrate toward the heat, chasing sunshine like cartoon potted plants that creep about on tiptoe roots?  Oh, you mean that.  My one grandmother remained in the area where she was born and raised.  My other grandmother did an annual migration between summery north and wintery south.  Neither of my grandfathers I knew well, but one of my grandfathers, too, remained to his last days in the area we was born and raised.

At a certain point, will we all switch to “old people’s clothes”, or will we go on dressing as we always have until we learn what we have been wearing ARE old people’s clothes?   The latter.

Macs or PCs?  Macs.

Do you finish most books you start, or do they lie around on coffee-tables and night-stands, open, face-down, slowly deforming?  I am definitely not into the deformation of books.  Books should be respected, in my opinion.  But you are certainly free to crack the bindings, just not on my own, though.  And I normally finish a book once I start it.

Do you take good care of things?  Yes.

Have you ever had an injury from sleeping badly?  Yes.  I swear I have sprained my big toe from tossing and turning.

Do you belong to any online friend networks, or has that box where you’re asked to cram yourself into 200 words always been too intimidating?  Yes.

Are you very (or would you be if you let yourself be) hairy?  I am told by others I am hairy.  I consider myself average.  I have thought of going the other way (hairy) and removing hair from certain areas.

Where, if you have a choice, do you like to sit when at the movies?  Two-thirds of the way back and center of the row.

Do you like to turn around and look at the shining, rapt faces?  No.  And I do not go to those kinds of movies.

Do you like watching people watch tennis, the uniformly turning faces?  I have never really watched people play tennis, let along people watch tennis.

When did you learn to tie shoelaces?  I have no idea, but sometime between my birth and now.

Do you remember when three o’clock was the most important time?  Yes; those were good years.

Boxers or briefs (if such applies)?  Boxers.

What is the worst injury you’ve ever sustained at a beach?  I accidentally ripped off the toenail on my little toe.  I did so by tripping over a rock I had hidden in the sand.  I hid it in the vain attempt to trip an unwary person.  One might say I discovered how quickly karma can get paid back.

Do you like to go in?  Do I like to swim at the beach?   Yes; except for the sharks.

Do you like going around shirtless or going around in bathing suits, or are you secretly electric with nerves?  I do not like going around shirtless.  And for the rest, I am not even sure what you are asking.  Are you smoking something?

As far (as) places you’ve been, if you are tallying the list for the sheer pleasure of a large number, do airports counts?  No.

Shoes with Velcro, have you ever owned?  Yep.  I love velcro shoes, especially my Vibram FiveFingers.

Who do you think has more friends, me or you?  You.  But then again, you spent all this time writing all these questions which may imply you are a quiet introverted writer.  And then there is me who is diligently answering all your questions, another introverted aspiring-writer.  So maybe we have about the same number of friends.

When indoors and too warm, is your impulse to blame the room or fear a fever?  I like warm rooms, but I assume the room is warm and not I with a fever.

Is a lack of exterior corridors how you go about judging a motel?  I have not thought of it till now, but on reflection it does seem to signify (to me, at least) a place of lower quality.

Have you ever walked along a highway for reasons other than a broken-down car?  I have walked along country-side highways, but never one with purpose-built on- and off-ramps.

Is there any ordinary walk more desolate than the longer-than-you’d think walk between huge joined chain stores (such as between a Best Buy and Home Depot) where you vacillate as to whether to drive but don’t because it’s all the same parking lot?  Walking along a road with strip-malls along the side is the most desolate to me, such as walking up and down Aurora Avenue in Seattle north of 100th Street NE.

Have you ever sharpened a knife?  Quite regularly.

As a teenager, did you loiter?  No.  I did not grow in towns like that.  We had garbage cans like most civilized places.

What is the longest you’ve ever gone without speaking to another human?  Months.

Do you think you could go a week?  When I was younger that was my norm.

For whom have you caused the greatest joy?  As an aspiring self-actualized person I hope it is myself.

Who has hurt you the most?  Myself.

When is the last time you purchased pornography?  Twenty or more years ago when I was in high school.

Do you tend toward pigeon-toed or penguin-footed?  Penguin footed.

Did you ever purchase CliffNotes?  I think once when I was in high school.

Do people generally listen to you or ignore you?  I depends on the person for sure, but I feel I am listened to by most people.  But then again, I might infer from the question, that you are referring to situations when I might give people advise.  I loathe giving people advice lest I am willing to take responsibility for my advice.

Are you vigilant about seatbelts?  Yes.  When I am the driver I will not move the car until everyone has buckled up.  It is one the few times where I will not respect individual rights.

Peppermint or spearmint?  Peppermint ice cream or peppermint chocolate.  Otherwise, spearmint tea or spearmint gum.

Which you find increases more rapidly, your age or your idea of what age is old?  I grew up with older parents so I tend to think “old” begins in a person’s seventies.  But as I have aged that age has actually decreased since I feel my own mortality more acutely.  I only apply “old” to myself.  I am old.   Other people in my same age bracket are not old, in my opinion.

Why does it feel like such a victory, just remembering certain instances, certain people?  Because you and I both likely have crappy memories.

Do you set you watch at the exact time or ahead?   Exact time.  This includes all clocks.  Ideally, I set them to within tenths of a second against a world clock.

If ahead, do you find you simply subtract the difference, thus making the point of setting your watch ahead entirely irrelevant?  For awhile I did this with an alarm clock.  And yes, I just ended up subtracting the difference.  And while I always knew how to read the clock, others did not and regularly complained to me.

Do you mess with things, such as a watch’s tiny winding knob, just thumbnail it out , then thumb it in?  Yes.  I love to mindlessly fidget with things like that.

Do you ever mess with the button inside the fridge that makes the light go on and off?  Only once as a kid to verify that is how it worked.

Does your weight go up and down or stay the same?  My weight used to fluctuate more than it does currently.  Currently it fluctuates by 1-2 pounds per day above or below my average.

What roller coasters, generally, is your mental health strapped into?  I am always one for the old timber roller coasters.  I like something that has character and can be a bit unpredictable in little ways but ultimately gives you a rocking good time and never really lets you down or gets you hurt.

Have you ever been caught in the act of sex?  Yes.

Were you secretly proud?  No.  I was mortified.

When was the last time you ran as fast you possibly could?  It is how I end every run no matter the distance is to sprint at the end.  It is a lot of fun.

You can recall when you were pooped on by birds, no?  Actually, I cannot.  But I can remember when a seagull pooped into my grandmother’s hair.  It, the poop, was the same color as her hair which made finding it rather difficult.  I recall it being very funny at the time, however, in so remembering it does not seem particularly funny.  Maybe you had to just be there in the moment for it to be funny, eh?

Do you ever find yourself (particularly when dressed up) tallying the total cost of all that you have on?  Yes.  It normally shocks me.

When naked, do you think “zero”?  No.  But it is a good point.

Do you say “take a shower” or “have a shower”?  In this instance I am a taker.  You?

Is “like” your vocal tic, or is it “you know”?  Neither.

At what age did you buy your final pair of cleats?  I am not certain of the exact age, but I was younger than sixteen.

Does scrawling your name on a screen when you pay by card scare you?  Never.  And nowadays I much prefer not getting a bag to carry my items along with getting my receipt emailed to me.  It seems all very much more environmentally friendly.

As if they might think you are a forger?  That has never crossed my mind.

In what grade in school did people begin to date?  I think people began dating, at least as far as I was aware of it, in sixth grade.   And by seventh grade it seemed pretty common except for myself.  I never dated till after graduating high school.

 Were you in on this?  Like kickball I believe I was in the position right behind the “last person picked”.

If you had to dispose of a dead body, how would you?  The simplest approach seems to call the coroner.  Assuming I am in the middle of nowhere then I might dig them a grave.  And if it is the end of the world I might just leave them there.

Who is your least judgmental friend?  It is a tie between girlfriend and my best friend.  Both of them just accept people, but then again that is a quality I value very highly in people so it is not too surprising that they are also closest to me.

Do you own or have you ever owned leather pants?  No.  Wait, I may have owned a pair but I cannot rightly remember.  It seems like something I would have wanted when I was a teenager.

Is there anyone to whom you can tell everything?  Yes.  Finding such people is very important to me; those who I can form my closest ring of people with whom I share my life.  There is a very strong correlation between non-judgmental and me sharing everything.

 Can you sing any songs a cappella from beginning to end?  Nope.  But it would be neat if I could.

Do you like being followed around a house by an animal and then stopping, saying, hands on hips, “What are you looking at, little fellow?”  You are a very strange person.  No, I have not done that.  But I imagine I might do that if I had an animal living with me.

Do you prefer being more loved or the more loving, the hunter or the hind?  When I was younger I loved to be the one being loved.  Nowadays, and I like to think it is due to wisdom or maturity gained at the hand of my mistakes, I prefer to both love and be loved in equal parts.

How many dogs, alive right now, do you know by name?  Three.

What is the first website you go to after checking email?  Either http://www.facebook.com or http://www.google.com/ig

Who, of those you know personally, has had the shortest marriage?  Sadly, me.  And likely me in both instances of my two marriages.

What is the oldest couple you know that has gotten divorced?  I do not recall exact ages, but it seems like a lot of people get divorced around the twenty-year mark which would put the oldest couples in the late forties or early fifties.

Aren’t old-age divorces really sad?  Divorce is always sad.  The only time I truly mourn or lament over a divorce is when still-living-at-home children are involved.  Otherwise, I only hope that the couple involved is making a decision that will (eventually) lead to them individually both being happier.

Did you know that Robert Frost loved gossip and was secure enough, as an old man, to admit it?  Nope.

Do leather belts, when the excess isn’t tucked into a belt loop, ever confuse you into thinking they’re exposed penises?  No.  But I have thought it rather phallic when I used to tie my overly long, braided leather belt into a loop such that the excess hung down just a little to the side of the zipper.  I was young.  I was foolish.  I had no common sense.

Do you then try to sneak back into that unknowing place, and continue trying to see then as 2-D penises?  Ummm.  No.

Two piece bathing suits or one (again, if such applies)?  One.

Are you more an exhibitionist or a voyeur?  My entire life feels like I am just one continuous stretch of voyeurism.

But the sight of yourself having sex in a mirror is exhilarating, no?  No.  I used to feel sorry for my partners having to look on me.  Yes; I have a lousy body image.

Is there any furniture of your parents’ (a clock, an antique chair, a crystal bowl) that you’ve had your eye on for most of your remembered life?  No.

When you see an old man or woman in a supporting role at a film’s outset, do you immediately begin thinking, “Well, it’s a given this one is going to die”?  Yes.  I do so whenever I read, too.

Is it really a bad thing that most films are predictable, as little else is?  I do not think a story works, at some level, if it is not predictable.  Stories are deeply ingrained in we humans and there is a reason that cultures separated by time and space repeatedly reproduce the same archetypes because fundamentally we share a common human experience. And when a story is not predictable it is often because the creator follows the basic structure of a story and yet is sufficiently nimble enough to vary parts in a way that does not violate the fundamentals.  And whenever a story truly feels strange (e.g. French films) it because they are working at breaking down the deepest structures.  As an aside, it may be that like language structure is an instinct (see Steve Pinker) story structure is built into the human brain at birth.

Do you, if you celebrate it, celebrate Christmas on Christmas or Christmas Eve?   I celebrate it like it is 1999 and celebrate both on the Eve and the day of.

When making approximate sock matches, do you pair on texture (“these feel about right”), color (“well, these two have gold toes”), or both?  I do not make approximate sock matches.  I also buy socks in batches and ensure they are all the same style so I do not have to worry about this whole “approximate sock matching” farce.

Did you have chicken pox early in life?  No.  I actually had it when I turned 30.  I got it on my way to Florida for Christmas with my family.  I likely got it from one of the kids on their way to Disney World.  And karma being what it is, I was my most contagious while at Disney World with my family, so I likely infected a lot of kids.

How much money do you make?  More money than I need.

Is it less now than you’ve made in the past?  No.

Which dish of your mom’s is or was your favorite?  My mother used to make a delicious shepard’s pie made with real beef, corn, vegetables and potatoes.  In the intervening years she has replaced it with ground beef, frozen peas and fake mashed potato.  Sadly.

Which was your least favorite?  Her idea of “chicken soup” which basically involves chicken meat, chicken bones, celery and water.  Yes; no salt or seasoning.

Do you listen to phone messages all the way through or delete them?  It really depends on who left the message.  But I normally jump off the message and phone the person once I get a gist of what they need or want.

What is the longest book or series of books you’ve ever read?  I suspect that Hardy Boys is the longest series by number of books.  And certainly L. Ron Hubbard’s Mission Earth series was pretty long and a bit more “mature” in nature.  The longest book, most likely, is David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest.

Are you at a loss when you finish?  I love reading books, but I am not sure I have ever been at a loss for words.  But then you did not ask me if I was at a loss of words.  Some books I feel a loss then they end.  In particular, I feel this way whenever I read any of Tad William‘s books or J.R.R. Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings.

Are you a sucker for products on infomercials, adhesive putties, magnetic brooms, new devices for rapidly dicing vegetables?  Absolutely not.  Quite the opposite; I have an allergic reaction.

What about the extras, thrown in at the end, though predictable as a rock band’s big hit delayed until a concert’s encore, (“All this for only…”)?  I do not get them.  Both physically and intellectually.

Are you a sucker for those, too?  Nope.

Do you find it frustrating that although you know how certain things “work” (for instance, how a love interest not calling you back automatically increases your interest), you can’t help but being drawn in?

But isn’t it human to be drawn in?  Sure, it is human to be intrigued.  But that does not mean we have to react to it, either.  We can achieve self-actualization and allow ourselves the opportunity for interspection.

But then again, what is it to be “human” anyway, and why do we even want to be it?

Why not something else?  Who says we are not something else?  Who says you are human?  Or me?  A bit presumptuous, aren’t we?

Which would you rather be?  A blue whale, unconscious and in tune, or God?  A blue whale.

Do you ever miss appointments entirely?  Yep, but only if it is a group of people getting together where I may only know one or two people.

Are you ever guilty about wanting too much, and monitor, like a waistline, your wants?  Yes.

Isn’t it nice to stir butter around in, say a pot of pasta, and watch the pat dwindle and dwindle — “Oh, and here it comes again, now a little smaller”?  I actually very much love seeing butter melt in things.  Because I know it will soon my yummy-in-my-tummy time!

Do you think that?  Umm, didn’t I already answer you?

Likewise, do you like watching flying helium balloons disappear into specks?  No.  It makes me mad because I think of how much it will likely impact the environment or kill some animal later on.

Do you watch loved ones disappear on train platforms or in rearview mirrors?  I like to the stand in the front of my place and be sure to watch my guests leave safely.  I only return inside after they are out of view.  Does that count?

How often is it, would you say, that your life, to you, resembles a movie?  Never.

Less often as before?  I do not think I have ever thought that.

Are you adept at remembering birthdays?  I cannot remember squat.

As a host, are you skilled and willing, skilled and unwilling, unskilled and willing, or unskilled and unwilling?  It really depends on a lot of factors.  I am willing if the party-size is small and intimate.  And I think I am skilled for these size parties.  But as the party size grows so does my willingness and skill diminish, likely exponentially.

In general, do you feel it’s your fault if someone is not having a good time?  I used to think it was my responsibility.  Nowadays I think everyone is responsible for themselves.

Are you a person that thinks he can fix people?  No.

Can you? Even if I could that is not the issue.

Can you recreate the facial expression you use when purchasing items like condoms or Preparation H?  I have a specific facial expression for this kind of purchase?  I guess I use my normal face.

Plastic or paper at the grocery?  First I use my own cloth bags.  Then I ask for paper bags.

Are you one of these people who just doesn’t give a shit?  I give a shit about myself.  And I care about others.  But at the end of the day, where my responsibility for myself ends my caring begins.

If no, do you think that these people actually exist?  Yes.

Are they conscious of the fact that they don’t care and chant their un-caring down their collars?  Yes.

Do you ever wish you could break dance, just spin and spin on your head in a subway station on a pizza box?  I used to dream of that when I was younger, but I never could bust’a move.

Who would you guess is happier, me or you?  I am pretty sure you already asked me this.  Oh wait, you asked who had more friends.  I know I am the happiest I have ever been in my life.  But I do not know you so I really cannot answer that with any amount of confidence.

Do you like black liquorice?  Yes.

Do you ever invite yourself?  No.

Tonic water or soda water (yellow label or blue)?  Tonic water.  I believe it is the yellow label.

Bottled water or is doesn’t matter?  I normally do not care, but on occasion I like bottled water.

Do you buy generic?  If I buy bottled water than San Pellegrino.

Do you think you’re capable of letting yourself fall without bracing your body in any way?  No.

How much money would that take?  Nothing.  It founds like a fun experience.

How much will?  It is not a matter of will but a matter of mitigating the risk of injury.  In that regards it takes will to not care about injury.  And I think it irrational to intentionally hurt yourself.

How little must you sleep before you round down to none, tell others you didn’t sleep a wink?  Three hours?  Two?  One?  No sleep.  Pretty simple, huh?

Do you still have possessions in someone else’s attic? No.

How conscious are you of your breath?  Not at all.  But I am now that you have asked.

When eating Thanksgiving, do you like to mash together the turkey and stuffing and potatoes and beans or keep them apart and them eat them separately?   When I was a kid I loved to mash all my things together.  Nowadays I like to largely keep them separate and on occasion add some of the carbohydrates to the proteins.  And yes; I keep my favorite dish to the last so I am ensured my last bite is the best.

What’s been your toughest birthday?  The day I turned 30.  My first wife had contacted me on IM a few weeks prior while I was abroad on work to inform me she was divorcing me.  I returned around 11PM the night before turning 30 to an empty house.  The newt day, on my birthday, I went to see The Two Towers in a packed theater by myself.  It was smothered in “awesome” sauce.

Are their any card games you’d say you were good at?  I won the single poker tournament I was in.  I used to be pretty good at Black Jack.  I am otherwise not a card player of any repute.

Can you predict the rain with aches?   No.  But I can smell the rain in the air.

Do you knock on wood?  No unless I am trying to be “ironic”, as it were.

Are you famous?  I mean, do more people know who you are that you haven’t met than people that you have met?  Marginally famous for somethings, but overall no.

If you opened the hood of your own smoking car, would you have any idea what you were looking at?  Yes, an engine that is smoking.

Do you like to pretend?  I have an enormous imagination so I love going on trips in my head whenever I get a chance, especially when I am running.

How often do you Google yourself?  Rarely if ever.

Do you have any collections of things (books, wines, sports cards, jeans, fountain pens, stamps, toy figurines in original packaging) that you actively grow?  Yes.  I love buying (and reading, too) books.  I also have started to collect wines, and yes I love to drink them, too.

Who is the animal you’ve loved the most?  I had a goldfish I had for a few years that really grew on me.

What was its name?  Kipper?  Munchkin?  Jake?  Goldfish.

Do you like guessing names?  No.  I actually think it is rude and tends to indicate a more a prejudice of the caller than the callee.

What about guessing games?  Those I enjoy.

At what age was your first kiss?  I think I was 19 years old.

How often do you think of this?  More than once a year?  Never.

How often do you sleep till you wake?  Normally I never sleep till I wake when I am working.  But I am now do that more and more now that it is winter and I have less of an urge to go running in the early morning.

Is there anything better than climbing into bed and knowing this, knowing you’ll be sleeping an indefinite length?  Only when another person is in bed with me.

What’s the most you’ve ever shelled out for shoes?  $350.00

Do you like to camp?  I love to camp, especially when I can see the stars.

Have you ever killed an animal with a car?  I killed a few birds.

A gun?  I once killed a bird with a BB-gun.  It was the worst feeling ever.

Have you ever been in a boat from which you couldn’t see a shore?  No.

What catalogs do you get?  Catalogs that I want?  None.

Can you ski?  Yep.  I just started skiing again after a near 20-year hiatus.  It is awesome!  I will be a ski instructor for kids with various challenges in the Outdoors for All program.  I assume you mean alpine skiing.  I used to nordic ski but not often.  And I have also done water ski.

Id you could own a pro sports franchise, which sport would it be?  Soccer or ice hockey.

Which team?  Seattle FC Sounders or Buffalo Sabres (but I would move them to Seattle).

Who was your favorite teacher?  My high school art teacher, Smo(lenski).

Is he/she still where he/she was, still teaching?  I do not know.

What alterations to your form have you imagined?  Unscrewable limbs?  An extendable neck?  A third arm, very short, projecting from your sternum?  Perhaps four more fingers on each hand to fill the gaps between fingers, so as to double the noise you could make when drumming on tables while waiting, four more fingers to keep fine things like sugar from falling through fingers (though a doubling of fingers would, of course, double the number of gaps)?  I used to think bionic lower legs would be cool so I could run faster.  But all your other options sort of convey your sense of imagination at the expense of pragmatism or any degree of aptitude for engineering.  Just saying.

Do you wash your hands before you eat?  No.

Can you play any guitar?  No.

Do you floss?  Yes.

Have you ever pulled your car to the shoulder due to driving rain, and then just sat, waiting, totally overwhelmed?  Yes, I was once in a thunderstorm with visibility down to 30 feet or so.

Are you disappointed by your windshield wipers’ highest speed?  No.

Can you talk like Donald Duck?  Yes!  I heart Donald Duck.

Are you a fast walker?  I am a moderately paced walker.

Do you or have you ever had a nickname?  I have had a few nicknames.  Wardo.  Wardly.  Interestingly, “Wardly” has been given to me on distinct occasions from different people who did not know each other or the shared nickname.

Were you one of these people at whom nicknames, like noodles at cabinets, were thrown?  Just a little bit.

Do you count the books you have by a certain artist and then just delight a moment in the number (“ah, 13” or “ah, 7”)?  No.

If you smoke, do you stub butts mid-way or always suck them down to the filter’s end?  I do not smoke.

Do ringing phones on televisions cause you confusion?  No.

Do you take your pulse a lot?  No.

Are you ever afraid to take it, in the way one is afraid to take a receipt from an ATM?  No.  My pulse is between 45 and 60 depending on how rested or relaxed I am.

Are you salaried or hourly?  Salaried.

At what age did you cease taking baths or cease exclusively taking baths?  I stopped when I was very young.  10?  And then I started taking them again in Japan.  I love hot baths.

How rare or not rare are those days in which you don’t leave your home or don’t spend any money?  I can certainly leave my home without spending any money since I love to run.  And now that it is winter I enjoy staying inside, but I still try to get out at least once during the day for physical activity.

That feels great, doesn’t it?  Yes.

Who am I?  You.

Have you ever let a roach or some other bug in your apartment or home live?  All the time.

Do you always eat breakfast?  It is very rare that I ever skip breakfast.

Did you cheat in school?  No.

Did you let others cheat off you?  No.

At what age (if such applies) did the thought of a pink room begin to sicken you?  Does it sicken you?  I cannot say I would love it, but I cannot say it would sicken me, either.

Were you allowed, as a child, to watch R-rated movies?  Nope.

Which minds do you admire? Any?  That has changed over the years from abstractions, or at least people I did not know, to people I know.  I used to admire Einstein and Feynman and Jobs.  Nowadays, I admire the people around me who exhibited a sense of measured proportion and balance such as my girlfriend.

Have you ever stayed overnight in a hospital?  No.

Do you like being patient and having people coming to see you like a kind, or are you driven mad that you can’t get up and go?  That is an interesting characterization of two extremes without a middle ground.  I like to be patient.  But I also like to get up and go once something is decided upon.  And I do not like people coming to me like I am a king.

Do you hope for a swift, abrupt death, or would you rather spend time on the deathbed?  I think it is important to let go and help yourself and the people love move on, as it were.  In that sense I think spending time before my death is an admirable and worthy way to spend some of your time living.

Have you ever, imagining the deathbed as a kind of perfectly edited highlight reel of your life, filed away certain items to recall later, such as “Yes, the first time I biked home from work through Times Square at about 4 am, hopping through red lights, and no one was there, and the whole square, that 75-foot-tall cube of light, was something I was having to myself, and the wet white litter was everywhere, just an unbelievable amount, yes, yes, absolutely, that definitely makes the deathbed reel”?   No.  But I do often think upon what I will be remembered for.  I hope it is for kindness.  I hope it is for some sense of wisdom and empathy toward the people in and around me.  I hope that if I have children they will strive to duplicate and then exceed these attributes about me, the things that I believe make a human noble even not always humble (in so much that it is not humble to have these thoughts).

Would you put low-lights on your reels?  I think we think a bit differently.  And I am not too sure that that means.

Say, some childhood scene when you spilled a whole quart of yogurt on your lap, or the time you waited in a 45-minute line on your birthday for a roller coaster you ended up being too afraid to ride or when you pushed a friend’s little brother into a swimming pool in his clothes and their mother screamed at you and screamed at  you because the child could have died?   I prefer either the touching scenes or the ones that make fun of me.  Like when my sister put me in my grandmother’s bra and snapped shots on grandma’s camera without telling her and she only realized that her grandson was dressed in drag after the pharmacist who developed her film commented on the pictures and then she called us up mortified that everyone thought her grandson was gay and that everyone in Kitchner-Waterloo knew it.  I am not gay, but that is not the point.  She yelled at Renee for what seemed like an eternity; it was the best thing ever.

Do you begin to think of yourself as a year older before your birthday?  Yes.  I turn 38 in a week or so and already I feel it better to round-up ahead of everything.  It is just easier that way.

If so, how many days or months before?  By November rolls around I have already added a year to my age.

Do you mind when dogs lick  your face?  No.

If so, will you pretty much let any non-stray dog lick your face?  Yes.

What websites do you like?  Wouldn’t you like to know, eh?

Have you ever flown first class?  Yes.  I got bumped up to first class on my first return trip from Japan.  And I happened to have caught mono but did not yet know it at the time.  I was popping aspirin like it was candy to manage the pain in my throat.  I did not enjoy the experience at all; sadly, too.

Do you ever fantasize about returning with your present abilities to a situation where your lack of those abilities caused you shame or just ordinariness?  Yes.  I wish I could go back to Japan as an exchange student but being as fluent as I am now.  And then once this break in time-space continuum is generated, it loop over infinitely and then 1 second afterwards I will be a world-expert in Japanese.  It will be awesome.

What is your favorite month?  I love August and September.

Are there businesses that you boycott?  No.  But I prefer to buy from local stores and those owned by people living in my community.

Were you a real go-getter when it came to selling raffle tickets?  Raising money?  Securing magazine subscriptions?  Once.  I sold the most items when in Cub Scouts.  But I really did not enjoy the experience; it seemed a lot like manipulating people.

Among relatives, who is the biggest low-life?   My mother’s sister.

How tall was your dad?  I think he was once 5-foot, 10-inches.  He is now closer to 5-foot, 8-inches.

When you sense your breath is bad, do you exhale into your cupped hand then attempt to sniff with your nose?  Yes.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but the cold showers you’ve been forced to take have survived in memory, have they not?  Yes.  I love them.

From top to bottom, off the top of your head, are traffic lights red-yellow-green or green-yellow-red?  Red-yellow-green.  That is to ensure that the red-light is visible from the furthest distance since stopping is more important than going.

Do you know who know things like that?  Yes.  Me.

How frequently do you say your own name followed by “is dead, is dead” in the imagined voices of sorrowful friends?  Never.


The saga continues.  Beasts of the most horrible ilk shall be slaughtered.  Damsels of the most beautiful flaxen hair shall be saved.  Interlopers will be crushed.  Heathens will be burned.  The righteous shall prevail.  Well, not quite.  This is just the third installment in a bet I am both bound to win and lose (since I made it with myself).  If you have been following along then I salute you for you undoubtedly have as much, if not more, stamina than I.  Your courage at coming even this far down the path into the inane and brutally boring world of my inner mind is to be lauded and commended.  Now let us commence with the frivolities.  Tally, ho!

Do you find its always green suckers that disappoint with their flavor, mint or sour apple when you want lime? I love mint and so I cannot complain on this front.  But I concur that anything tasting of sour apple is never very good.  I am not sure why anyone would ever eat this other than to prove their hatred for their tongue.

Do you have any racist relatives? Hell, no.  We are all white.  Honestly, I am sure we do.  I certainly have religious relatives and I cannot make much of a distinction between people who judge another based on belief and those who judge based on melatonin.

What advice do you generally give to people who have colds? Get over it.  Seriously, get a lot of rest and a ton of vitamin C (2000-4000 mg per day) till you are better.  Also, cut the whiskey intake in half.

Are you intrigued by the lives of movie stars? Only if I cannot get to sleep.

Are you one of these people who’s always interested in match-making? If you mean in terms of me meeting someone for myself then yes; otherwise, no.  Get your own date!

Do you like horror flicks? I rarely go in for horror flicks, but I do make an exception for either supernatural suspense and zombie films.  And remember, kids: headshots count for two.

What tools do you own? As an engineer I am qualified to make an aeroplane out of duct tape, used toilet paper roll and tin-foil so basically everything I own qualifies.

Do you sometimes sing the alphabet song to remember the ordering of letters? Yes; it is the only way.  And even then I still cannot make it through without making mistakes.

Do you ever think “el-em-en-o” was itself a letter? No. But I swore that “zed” was the 27th letter of the alphabet for years, especially since my mother put a horizontal stroke through it.

What lengths will you go to avoid hearing the sound of your own voice? I never talk anymore.  I just stare people down.  And then text them on my iPhone.

How many telephone numbers have you had in your life? If we include my parents’ numbers then less than 6.  If we include those in Japan when I lived there then add another 8.

How many addresses? About the same.

Do you sneeze through your nose or your mouth? Ideally through my nose although I think that is not good, or so I have read somewhere.

Do you sleep on your back, side, or stomach? All of them, but not at once.

Coke or Diet-Coke? Neither.  But if I had to choose then Coke with cane sugar.  Don’t ask; either you understand or you do not.

Do you own, currently, any furniture you’ve found on the street? Nope.

What items have you stolen? For a week or so I had a scam at Wegman’s to steal comic books.  I would buy 1 or 2 comics and walk them out to the car.  I would then empty the back and return to the store and put in the same amount of comics into the back.  If asked I could show the receipt which, while had a timestamp, was still close enough to the time of the theft to not matter.  I did it twice.  I was 10.  I never got caught but my Lutheran guilt convinced me that I was going to a Hell where there were only Archie comics.

Cats or dogs? Who steals a cat?

Do you have allergies? Yes.  Thanks for asking.

How ripe a banana can you handle? I do not love super ripe bananas per se, but I will nonetheless eat them over seeing them go to waste.

Have you ever seriously done the limbo? No, but I have toyed with the idea from time to time.

Have you ever cracked a vase and then tried to hide the crack by rotating it to face the wall? No.  But thanks for the trick.

Did your parents get angry, or take it in stride when you broke things as a child? I have no idea since they were always angry so I do not know whether it was they just never got over the first thing I ever broke, whatever it was, or if they just were always angry.  Well, my mom was never angry, but my dad was a 24×7 convenience store of prickliness.  Now, don’t you feel awkward for asking?

When replacing toilet paper, do you orient it so the sheets issue from the bottom or top of the roll? From the top.  And if I am feeling generous, I will correct it when I encounter it at a friend’s who has done it (obviously) incorrectly.

Can you draw well? Better than a dog.

Do you prefer whole, 2% or skim milk? Only one of those qualifies as milk.   The other two are just aberrations of nature and should not be consumed unless under duress.

Soy? I tried it but it is not my thing.  Sort of like those heterosexual women who experiment with lesbianism in college.

What bones have you broken? My left forearm.  I was 4 and I had just learned to ride a bicycle the day or two before.  I literally rode it into a parked car and broke the arm where the car hood and grill met.  I remember clearly the pain which I went to sleep on because my parents’ refused to believe me that I had broken anything.  I was also devastated since we had hamburgers that night and it hurt too much to eat.  I then panicked the next day when I recalled a friend of the family who was missing an arm, and I concluded they had amputated after breaking it.  It was a very traumatic 24 hours for me.  I think my mother still feels bad that she unwittingly made me suffer for so long.  I am not sure I have wholly forgiven her.  Joking!  Jeez.  Of course I forgave her (sort of).

Have you ever pressed your forearms against the jambs of a door so that upon stepping out your arms suddenly rise? I actually have no idea that this means.  But it sounds like fun.

Can you give an example of the kind of lie you tell? I lie.

Do you litter? No.

Do you ever drop refuse on the sidewalk and then ten steps later, turn around, walk back and properly dispose of it? No. I do not litter.

Do you throw away Hamburger Helper, Rice-A-Roni, et al. boxes too early, then have to dig them out to check the instructions? No, I never eat out of a box unless it is cereal.

Have you given much thought as to what you’d eat for your last meal? Grass-fed steak prepared medium-rare.  Roasted mushrooms.  Roasted kale.  Goat cheeses.  Grapes and slices of pear.  A nice bottle of Bordeaux wine.  A slice of moist, hot brownie with a shot of 18-year Macallan whisky (it is not whiskey, that is the Irish spelling). But no, I have not thought too much about it.

Have you ever heard sex through a motel room wall? No, but I have when I lived in dormitories.  Lucky bastards.

Have you ever in a motel moaned loudly and shaken a bed to freak the people out next door? No, that is depressing since then I know I am definitely acknowledging I am noot “getting any”.

What, if so, was the silence like afterwards? Awkward?

Which newspaper sections do you like? Comics.  Science & Technology.  International.

Do you prefer wide-rule or college-rule notebooks? College-ruled.  I think this question is the closest you have come to asking me a religious question.

Do you like holding hands in public with a love? It is the best thing.  Ever.

Do you feel bad, sweat-palmed, letting go, like you’ve just let the person down by letting go of her hand? Yes.

Do you like the ways lovers communicate? Yes.

How are you at holding urine? If I must then in a beer bottle.  Otherwise, I never hold urine.

How old is the oldest article of clothing that still in your rotation? Twelve months old.

Do you own any complete sets (of dining room chairs, for instance, or figurines or commemorative plates)? No.

Have you been eager to complete these, or to keep these sets intact? No.

And why is there such satisfaction in any complete set? I haven’t the slightest idea.  Why?

Is it because the tendency of all things and people is to drift, to end up apart, scattered all over the place, like a bouquet of helium balloons, released into the sky that comes down in little balloons bits in places so far apart it actually becomes something, something to relish and be impressed by, seeing how far it is they’ve managed to drift.  What is this called?  Entropy? You almost lost me at first in my thoughts that you had fallen off your rocker.  But I must admit there is a certain logic to this, a sense of consciously imposed order in a world of chaos.

Do you ever ask aloud what the name of something is, even when you know? No.  I never know the name of things so I am always asking.

Does your possession of uncommon knowledge make you proud or ashamed? More like embarrassed since I never quite know how I come about as much knowledge as I do.  And it is not like it has really risen my quality of life or saved me from making some fabulously wonderful mistakes in my life.

When did you cease calling your mother “Mommy”? I do not recall ever calling her that.

In grade school, did you raise your hand a lot? No.

Did it snap up almost against your control, or did you look around first and then raise it slowly, like a periscope peeking out of water? Neither.  I normally just did my own thing in class like read or draw.

What is the longest you’ve ever continuously driven? By hours I suspect I have driven 10-12 hours continuously, although I must imagine that I stopped to pee.

What’s the longest you’ve ever continuously wept? Maybe a few hours?  I really do not know.

Do you save plastic drugstore bags, margarine containers, coffee cans, bottles? No, although I try to recycle them if I can.  The one exception is a certain brand of jelly glass jar that I will keep for use as a drinking glass.

While showering, has it ever occurred to you that you wash the parts of your body in the same order each time? I think I generally follow a pattern, but nothing too specific.

When you stir with a spoon milk or sugar into coffee or tea, do you like to turn the spoon against the direction of the swirl? I do not like to stir my milk, instead opting for naturally occurring diffusion to do its work.

Do you ever ask someone a question only hoping that it will be asked back? On occasion.  You must be dying from anticipation, aren’t ya.

Are you then frustrated if that doesn’t work and the talk leaps ahead to a new topic? On occasion, but I am only frustrated with myself for not letting the person to know by more direct means that I wanted to talk about the previous topic, too.

Have you ever carried a weapon? No.  But I think my grin qualifies as a concealed weapon in the state of New Jersey.  Gawd, that is a horrible joke, Ward.

Have you ever known a suicide? No.

Do you often feel like slapping door-opening or elevator-holding strangers who say, “You’re welcome” before you can thank them? Yes.  But honestly, I am normally the one holding open the elevator for everyone.

What is the costliest item you’ve ever purposely smashed? My artwork.

Have you ever inflicted physical pain (even as simple as a deep thigh pinch) to escape pain of an emotional sort? No.  Does that work?

It worked, didn’t it? I have no idea.

Have you ever won an award? Yes.

Have you ever received a loud ovation in a public place after dropping something? I think that frames much of my school days.

Do you tend to finish meals in restaurants or take home half in doggy bags? I normally never take home the remains of a meal.

Should I be embarrassed that the only flowers I can identify by sight are those found in my mother’s yard? No.

How many of Shakespeare’s 37 plays can you name? King Lear.  Macbeth.  Hamlet.  Merry Wives of Windsor.  Julius Caesar.  Chamber Cymbeline.  Mid-Summer Night’s Dream.  Romeo and Juliet.  Richard II and III.

Which wrist do you wear your watch on? I do not wear a watch.

Do you sing karaoke, and if so, what’s you go-to song? Mack the Knife.

What was your first remembered movie? Star Wars, Part IV

Do you eat the cereal that falls out of the bag and into the bottom of the box? I do not recall it ever happening so no, but I see no reason not to eat it.

What about food that falls to the floor? It depends on how hungry I am.  I tend to not think much if it is dry food.  But moist foods I tend to throw away.  I do not think it really matters from the perspective of germs, though, based on what I have read of studies.

How large are your feet?  (Are they, I mean, big or small for your body?) Average to small, I think.

Which brought you more satisfaction, when adults told you looked like your mother or your dad? Neither.

What is your favorite type of candy? Chocolate toffee.

What is your favorite shape of pasta? Long and medium thinness.

What is the fastest you’ve ever traveled in a car? I think around 110 mph.

After washing hands in a public restroom, does touching the doorknob bother you? Only if the place is filthy, especially if there is a strong stink to the place.  Otherwise, I am not sure how to get around that conundrum.

Will you ever grab the knob with a paper towel, if only so as to prolong the period of cleanliness? No.

What was the first think you ever wanted to be when you grew up? Pastor; it made my mom happy.  Then PhD in orbital mechanics; it made me happy.

How hight are your ceilings? 14 feet in the great room.  10 feet in the master bedroom.  8 feet in the guest bedroom.

Does the thought that in a few years phonebooks will no longer fill desk drawers or sit on the tops of refrigerators make you slightly sad? God no.  I hated those things even when they used to be necessary.

How tall are you? 6-foot.

How tall is the tallest person you know? Somewhere near 6-foot-6-inches.

Ever wished this person could stand beside the shortest person you know? That is mean, no?

Would you agree that a ninety-year-old person today is significantly “older” than a ninety-year-old person two-hundred years ago, just in terms of all that person has seen? Yes.

Could you describe your wall hangings? With two exceptions they are all photographs that I have taken in recent years.  The exceptions are an oil on silk painting that a friend brought back from India for me.  The other is a picture I commissioned by my friend to paint.

Do you like or dislike having your picture taken? I used to absolutely hate it in any form.  Nowadays I quite enjoy it now that I am comfortable with my huge mouth and consequent smile.

What color is your hair or was your hair or would your be if you didn’t color it? Brown.

Could you tell me, right now, the thread-count of your bed-sheets? 400 or 800.

How old were you when you first flew in a plane? I think I was an infant.  My father has his commercial pilot’s license and instructed in his free time so I grew in and around single-engine airplanes.

Who was your favorite nightly news anchorman (Brokaw, Rather, Jennings)? I thought you were British.  I really never grew up with these people, at least not at a time when I might care who was on the news.  And anchorman, like  printed phonebooks, are now obsolete, in my opinion.

Did you have a difficult time telling apart when you were young? Yes.  One of them has a rug for hair, though.  I am not sure which one, though.

Should I just go ahead and ask how old you are? Sure.  I am 37.

How are you at impersonations? Horrible.

Do you stick with them when they aren’t going well or jump ship? I can never carry them on for longer than a minute at a time before I switch into another impersonation.  They get all mixed up with each other and then I just end up doing my Donald Duck, which is maybe the only think I can do consistently.

One CD at a time, over and over, or always a mix? I used to listen to all my Queen CDs over and over again.  Nowadays I listen to Pandora.  What is that?   That is after your time, I think.  Which means I listen to a lot of different music all the time.

Do you look forward to your birthday? When I was younger I did not really look forward to it.  Nowadays I actually enjoy the entire month of December as a birthmonth, not just a birthday.  Beat that!

At what age did you cease looking forward to your birthday? I think from the age of 10 or 12 to about the age of 36 I was pretty indifferent to it.  And I think my 30th birthday was my low-point, but not because I turned 30.  It was because my then wife had just divorced me, electing to tell via Instant Message (IM) while I was abroad on business.  Three weeks later I came home to an empty home.  The next day I turned 30.  So yeah, I was not too jazzed that year.

Were your parents younger or older than most of the parents of your peers? Older.  Like grandparent old in spirit if not in body.

Did you lose your virginity to a virgin? No.

Which board games do you own? None.  Sadly, too.  I really like a good board game, but none of my friends play so I just play video games from time to time.

What’s your favorite? I used to enjoy Axis & Allies.  It takes quite a few hours, if not the whole day, to play.  It is a bit like Risk but a whole bloody more difficult.

What music did you like when you were thirteen? Queen.  David Bowie.  Led Zeppelin.  Pink Floyd.  Boston.  Steely Dan.

Do you have siblings? Yes.  I have two older sisters.

If white, do you tan or burn? I tan a bit, but I also burn a lot, too.

Can you recall a place that’s prompted you to say, “This is, without doubt, the prettiest place I’ve ever been”? Yes.  I think of that often when I am on the bus on my way to work.  As I cross over the bridge going south from the University of Washington on I-5 there are days when I can see the sun rising up over the Cascade mountains and part of the light is just kissing the Olympic mountains to the west.  It is breathtaking.

Is there anything you can’t do that most people can (swim, ride a bicycle, drive, snap your fingers, whistle, wink)? I cannot do cartwheels.  I also wished I could do cartwheels.  I think it would be fun to just go to a park to do cartwheels.

How are you at naming a dog’s breed? Not too good, although not too bad.  I guess I can guess some of the more popular breeds.

What name have you always thought would also be fitting for you? Who.

What name would have if you were of the opposite sex? Likely Wardreka, but that is because my youngest older sister would sadly have named me.

Do you like dancing enough to go out dancing? No.  But if a group of people are going then I enjoy joining them.  But in reality I do not think I know how to dance.  This is another thing, on top of cartwheels, that I cannot do that others can do.

Is it your nature to give advice? No.  But people seem to ask me for advice.  I prefer to give suggestions, but I rarely find that giving advice is, well, advisable.

Do you ever take another’s story and make yourself the protagonist in its retelling? Only if I think it might embarrassing for them but where I think the story is worth retelling.  I do not mind embarrassing myself.

When, while conversing, a flock of spittle flies out of someone’s mouth and lands on your face, is your tendency to pretend it didn’t happen, make a display, or subtly (after a pause) wipe it away? I think I would pause and then wipe it away.

How many ex-loves are you currently in contact with? Two.

Have you ever done hard drugs? No.

How competitive are you? I think I am innately competitive, but I find it much more rewarding to work cooperatively with people.

Do you attempt to refold clothes in stores after after having tried them on? It depends.  I like to attempt to refold them, but I think the people working there are much better at it then me.  But I think it is a nice thing to do if I can.

If no, is your reasoning that to fold and restock is somebody’s job and why should you help her with her job when she don’t help you with yours? No.

What do you do about indefinite pronouns? “He,” “she,” or the nearly impossible “he/she”? I really prefer to use “he” but I appreciate a lot of people like to make a point of using “she.”  I think “he/she” is too hard to maintain so I tend to avoid it altogether.

Do you find you always exaggerate, at least a little, how little you’ve slept the prior night? No.

At what point do you round down to zero? Oh gosh, you are asking an engineer.  That is too hard to answer.

Are you able to sleep well on buses, airplanes, backseats of cars? I can pretty much sleep anywhere.  And buses and cars are the easiest and the best.  I love grabbing a quick nap on the bus on the way home from work.

Do you get frightened when your hands, legs etc. fall asleep? I think I got frightened only once when I had absolutely no feeling and I could not stand.  But it quickly passed.

“Oh” or “O”? Oh.

Do you go to the doc when sick or try to tough it out? I am a man.  I tough it out.

Do you have health insurance? Yes.

Have you ever disappeared on someone? No.

At what age were you heaviest? When I was 18 and when I was 34.  Both times I reached some 300 pounds.

Do you correct people’s small errors in pronunciation, by, to their unspoken embarrassment, correctly pronouncing the word in question in the next sentence? I have a hard time pronouncing words myself, so normally I am the one being corrected.

Do you completely remove pull-tabs from pop cans? Yes.

Do you call soda “soda” or “pop”? Soda.

What movies haven’t you seen that most people have? I have no idea.

Any piercings you want to tell me about? No.  I have no piercings.

Have you ever been kicked out of school? No.  But teachers called me “The Itch.”  As hard as they scratched I always came back.  Yeah, I was that jerk.

If someone swung open your refrigerator, would they find food, wonderful food and juices and fresh milk, or just condiments? Wonderful, fresh food.

Do your friends know one another? No.  Some of them have met each other, but a lot of friends run in pretty different circles.

Do you have any friends with whom you’ve never had what you’d consider a “deep” conversation? Yes, but they are the exception.

If so, do you consider this a bad thing or just a thing. I consider someone a really good friend only if I can have said “deep” conversations.

In winter (if such applies), do you remove window air conditioners? No.

Ever licked a sucker down to its paper sticker? Yes.

Ever even tried? Yes.

What do you use to wipe yourself when out of toilet paper? I normally get more toilet paper.

Can you tell me a story that you find yourself telling people over and over? Yes.  But I will tell you later.

Do you secretly miss sleepovers? Yes.  I loved sleepovers.

If a band or brand becomes too popular, do you cease to like it? I used to think this way.  Nowadays, I just decide whether I like something or not irrespective of other peoples’ inclinations.

Which do you prefer: keeping secrets or telling everyone? I think I like to tell secrets, especially my secrets.

Have you ever had surgery? No.

How many people from high school do you keep in touch with? A few of them directly.

Do you ever swallow your gum? No.

Have you ever fallen out of a tree? No.  When I was younger I was too heavy (read fat) to easily climb trees and so never really had the chance to experience falling out of a tree.  I think it would have done me good, as they say.

What is the highest height you have fallen from? Do you even read my answers before asking the next question.

What about figuratively? I have fallen straight down from the moon.

Do you plan to be buried or cremated? Cremated?  Or maybe just kindly decompose somewhere quietly.

Have you ever sat down at a table and everyone has gotten up? No.  And I hope I never experience it.

Laptop or desktop? Laptop.

Why is the inclination always to assume that a street musician possesses talent and a tragic story if the instrument he plays is a saxophone? I am not sure I have ever thought that.

Do you play the lotto? No.

What’s the most money you’ve ever given to a homeless person? I think it was a $20 bill.

What movies have you cried in? A lot of different movies.  But I think IKIRU is the movie I cried through the near entirety of it.

Are you irked when a cashier hands back over a buck in coins? I have had it happen, but I think it would irk me.  I know I really do not like the one-dollar coins.

At what age did age suddenly seem not to matter so much? I think somewhere in my mid-twenties.  But then all of sudden turning 37 mattered to me.  I think it was as much the fact that I realized that on the average I was half-way through my life.  It became a very sobering realization for me.

Did you have braces? Amazingly enough no.

Front or back of a canoe? I am a mad good canoer.  Back.

If you could date any celebrity (including dead celebrities, in their primes), who would it be? Audrey Hepburn.

What are the toughest pieces of mail you’ve ever had to open (give top three)? I cannot think of any pieces of mail that were hard to open.  Seriously.  But I think when my then wife instant messaged me telling me she was divorcing me was a low-point in my adult life.

Do you look before you flush? Yep.  And then I think, “man, I got damn fine bowels.”

Do you divide people into opposing categories (such as “windows-up” and “windows-down” people)? I am not sure entirely what that means, but I definitely like people who like the windows-down when the sun is out and we are road-tripping.

Any trophies? Not that I have kept, but I have earned a few over the years.

Do you travel heavy or light? Super light.  30 pounds or less for three weeks abroad.

Is traveling light a form of showing off? Yes.  And it is mighty fine showing off.  People who travel heavy seriously can annoy me if they consider me their personal sherpa.

What is your opinion of jewelry on men? Very little.

What about clothes on dogs? I think it is hilarious.

When you find yourself, say, on a building-top as dawn whitens and you feel that unfortunate burst of energy shooting bright veins through your fatigue (all sound-tracked with birdsongs’ beginnings), do you find you always want to change your life? I think I feel that both in the morning while I am running and I see the sun come up over the mountains, or in the evenings as the sun sets over the mountains.  Something about crystal clear mountains awash in colors will always make me think life is perfect … and that in that moment I wish to live eternally, timelessly.

Have you ever sued anyone? No.

When people are attempting to leave do you let them go or do your best to make them stay? Given I am the introvert, I am normally slightly happy to see my “me time” fast approaching, which is to say I am happy to see them leave and come back another day.

Faces or names? Faces.  I can never remember names to save my life.

As a driver, are you aggressive or defensive? I used to be super aggressive.  So much so that people would ask to ride with me on the “Ride to Hell” which including me driving at break-neck speeds on the roads immediately around the high school.  After the ride either they decided they never wanted to get out of the car, or they never wanted to be anywhere near me when I was in a car driving.  I could park a car between two other parked cars by coming in at 45 to 50 mph, doing a rear-wheel skid out and then pop into second gear to shoot forward into the open space.  Or I could do a controlled 90, 270 or even 360 skid through intersections on both dry or wet pavement.  Nowadays I rarely drive and when I do I believe I am a very defensive, sedate driver.

Have you ever fasted? Yes.  I try a few days every year.

When naked, are you capable of forgetting you’re naked? Not really.

Do you ever think, “Yep, this will make a good rag”? No.  The question offends me, too.  You offend me.  Just joking.

First job? I used to deliver the morning paper.  It may have been the best job ever.  A daily walk in the early morning before everyone was up.  I loved it.

Worst job? Working at Boeing.  Not a job specifically, but on the whole the company and I never ever really synched up.

Current job? I work as a technical program manager at the heart of online retail.  The fucking heart of it all.  If there is a center to that universe then I am about two plank lengths away from it.  Seriously.  It is pretty cool.

Ever had a job where you see face after face after face (cashier, club bartender, ticket-taker at a theater, toll-booth collector), one face after another, faces like bubbles that appear and then pop, although occasionally, as with a bartender, re-appearing so that a tiny relationship (made up of a few well-executed gestures) starts up? In some ways I have had the opposite in that I go to the same cafe night after night that I know most of the workers and other patrons at the place.  We talk regularly and share our lives with each other.

Big, little or medium-sized dogs? Any size.  But I do not like it when the dogs are too small.

How are you at keeping your word? To a fault.

Over the year, have you noticed your voice has changed? Never.

Do you tend to be praised by dentists? Nowadays they do.  But that was not always the case.  Still, the fact that I have never had braces and still have near perfectly straight teeth seems to be regarded on the same level as seeing the face of the virgin Mary in bread mold.

Do you send out a Christmas letter, filling people in on your year? I have done it once or twice, but invariably I find the task daunting.  But I appreciate it when other people do it.

Have you ever been genuinely lost in a parking lot? Maybe for a few minutes, but I am not sure if that qualifies for genuinely lost.

Has anyone ever left without you? Yes.

Are you quick to admit fault, accept blame? Generally, yes. But I have my off-years like everyone else.  I think it is the part of growing up and maturing out, as it were.

Do you have houseplants? Yes.

Do you save room for dessert? No.

Even when you know there’s no food, do you open the fridge and stare until the fridge’s motor begins to hum? I used to do that a lot.  Not very often nowadays, though.

Are you good about turning out lights? I think I am too good at it.  I can be a bit pedantic about it at a subconscious level and turn off lights behind other people.  It used to annoy my then wife who liked to have all the lights on in the home at all times.

Do you often enter rooms to get something and then blank as to why you went in? Always.  I am generally painfully absent-minded to myself and people around me.

Does this frighten you? No.

Are you frightened by your occasional slumps in memory, and do you tell others? No and no.

Have you ever lied about your age? No.

What’s the largest amount of years you’ve tacked on or shaved? 0.  Zero.  None.  Nada.

Isn’t it miserable when you get home and have no clue what to with yourself? Yes.  That is why I rarely go home except to sleep.

If you plan to be buried, with which objects would you like to share your casket? I want to be cremated.

Would you enter the earth in casual or formal attire? Burnt.

Would you enter in serious or ironic attire? I am not sure it would be ironic after it was burned.  But ironic to start with.

Do you have any photos of just yourself in frames? No.  God no.  But I have a picture of my flaccid penis in the bathroom to inspire my all my guests.  Seriously?  You really believe me?  You really have no idea who I am, do you?

What was I just talking about? You were asking if I have pictures of me wearing glasses.  Naturally.

Do you live alone? Isn’t it patently clear: yes.

How many keys are on your key ring? Two.

What do they unlock? My house key and my car key.

Do you tell people when they bore you? Sometimes.  Seriously.  I need more social graces than I was granted.

Have you ever, through a window, seen a naked neighbor? Thankfully, no.  Most of my neighbors are 70+ years old.

If so, did the sight titillate or revolt you? Neither.

Do you smoke pot? I have in the past.  But not recently.  I have no issue with smoking it or people who do it.

Have you ever worked in a strip mall? No.

Are you a fast or slow reader? Fast.

What kind of music do or did your folks like? Classical music.  Big band.  Zamfir on his bloody damn pan flute.

Can you chant me a chant children chanted when you were a child? Fatty fat fat.  What can I tell you other than they were right: I was fat.

At what age did you know the most good jokes? I was in my late teens and early twenties when I think I told the most jokes.

Do you write things down or think, “I think I can remember that”? I always think I will remember it, but I do not.  I only recall that I did not remember what it was that I said I was going to remember.  So in some ays I wallow in my own self-induced shame.

Would you rather go first, generally? No.

Isn’t it crazy that at one point you didn’t know what a rose was, didn’t know your name or even how to blow your nose? Now that you mention it, yes.

About what subject have you forgotten the most? Astrophysics.

Have you more often broken up with significant others or been broken up with? People break up with me.

Do people tell you you look younger than you are? All the time.

Are they right? Yes.

How do you take compliments? It makes me feel awkward at times, at other times I think I am gracious about it.

How do you take rejection? It used to devastate me.  Nowadays I take it in stride.

What is the most unsettling creature, such as a tarantula, that you’ve held or handled? A boa-constrictor.

A snake at the zoo? Actually, it was at the science center in Syracuse where I volunteered.

Do you open people’s medicine cabinets? No.

Do you feel, on the whole, guiltier when you get caught or don’t get caught? Caught doing what?

What are your feelings on reincarnation? It is a nice idea, but I do not think it is true.

It’s not a bad idea, is it? No.

Can you sit still well? Too well, I suspect.

Ever had a job where you pass people tools? No.

Dental hygienist? No.

Grip? No.

Are you a good or bad assistant? I think I make a great assistant or team member.  I really enjoy with my equals to solve a problem.

Have you ever tooted in a bathtub, (be honest) and bent forward to greet the rising stink bubble nose-first? Yes.

Are you fun? Yes, sometimes.  But I am pretty intense so some people have a hard time keeping up with my gear shifts.

Are you quick to purchase new technologies? No, ironically enough.  I really just want to ensure that whatever I own fits into my lifestyle.  I hate gadgets for gadgets’ sake.

Have you ever been burned by a video game system that never caught on? I have owned Apple computers all my life so yes: every single Apple I have owned as burned me on games.  But I love to play on Photoshop.  I get high score all the time.

Is your can-opener electric? No.  I do not open enough cans to worry about it.

What is your opinion of greeting cards? I like them, but I prefer to make cards for people when I have the time.  But it can take a lot of time for me to sketch something and then write something specific to them.

Would you rather receive a note on loose-leaf and two bucks, or do you like the fact that someone went, for you, to a drugstore, and stood there in the card aisle, opening, deliberating, opening? I would rather that whatever they give me have more than my name and their signature in it.

Is there anyone out there who hates you? Yes.  Sadly so.

Is there anyone out there who hates you justifiably so? Yes in so much as they see the facts.  But I feel sad that they cannot forgive me if no other reason than I am not worth the hatred.  No one is.

Do you care? No.  It is their decision to hate me.

Do you like showing others your bruises, cuts and scars? It depends who it is.  It can be fun to show off scars and the stories that go with them.

Did you ever believe that pro wrestling wasn’t fake? No.  I always found it absurd.

What was the first “adult” book you recall reading?  I think my friend Allen had found some old copies of Penthouse.  We’d read the letters.  We thought they were great.  Nowadays I cannot understand all the fuss.

Do you like big round numbers? Yes.  I love integers.

Do you like baseball? I do not hate it.  I prefer to watch a game outdoors in the company of friends on a sunny day.  The game is just an excuse for the rest.

Do you like to do things (get out of bed, leave a friend’s apartment, make a difficult phone call) at exact times (“I will get up off this couch at exactly 11:15PM”)? I have never thought about it but yes.  What an interesting thing to think about.

Ever wonder how all would be without clocks? Lovely.

Do you find baseball boring and slow, or do you feel absolutely the opposite? Neither.  It is somewhere in-between.

Have you ever wished your room could be dusted for fingerprints, as in the cop movies, just so you could see? I think it might be cool.  But then I would have clean it all up and I do not think I would like that.  So only if you include a cleaning service to come in and, well, clean up.

Do you, in general, like to see? Yes.

Do you like to open presents early? Absolutely.  That is the best part.

When no one is around, do you do number two with the bathroom door flung open? Yes.

Why is this so damned great? It is my damn house, I can do bloody well whatever I want to do.


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.


In one of those of wholiest [sic] of pursuits, I recently stumbled upon, rather metaphorically of course, a challenge, or more so a request, that I know not how to resist.  This challenge?  I am glad you ask.  The challenge, simply put, is to answer all the questions posted by Matthew Yeager’s A JAR OF BALLOONS or THE UNCOOKED RICE.  So levied I accept; although given the sheer number of questions, I fully suspect that this will take me five or more sittings to complete in full.

Have you ever had a haircut so bad you cried? Yes.  I was maybe 6 or 7 when an Italian barber who lived in our neighborhood decided that all young boys needed a butchered job with a clipper and to whom my unsuspecting and naive mother readily gave me over to.  You know the style of barber: old school.  No older.  You need to go back to the days when barber and surgical butcher were one and the same to get my meaning of “old school”.  I think I cried not so much because he found and subsequently unleashed every cowlick on my head, but the fact that the place smelled of sweat and musk and old men splashed with too much tonic and too little sense to see that yelling at a child is the best way to assuage their obvious near catatonic fear.

When you open the drawer after having poured yourself a bowl of cereal, do you reach for a small or large spoon? Large.  Have you even seen the size of my mouth?  I could use two large spoons and still have room to talk to you.

How conscious are you of your posture? It depends.  I try very hard to maintain good posture, but I blow it anytime I get really engrossed in something I am doing such as writing or artwork.

Will you agree to let a lover use your toothbrush? Yes.  Sort of.  I am sure I have had worst things in my mouth, but frankly it would be a one-off kind of thing.  And I’d never ask to use theirs.  That is gross.

Which chemicals’ smells do you like? Roasted coffee.  Lavendar.  Garlic on my skin after eating it.  Smell of ice or snow on a really cold morning in the middle of a field.  Manure in the Spring driving through farmland.  Firewood and leaves being burned in the Fall.  Washed hair.  The acrid, talcum smell of an aroused woman.  Warm apple pie.

During which phase of life did you acquire the bulk of your friends? I am always meeting new people and making new friends, albeit a slow, incremental pace.  I think the closest I came to an “inflationary period” would be from my year in Japan during in 1995 to when I graduated from SUNY Buffalo in 1998.

Have you ever quit a bad job emphatically, ripped off a uniform or apron, thrown the balled-up cloth at a superior, then stomped off? Given the specificity of the question then to the letter then I must say no.  But I did quit a small, family-owned burger and ice cream joint where I worked at when in high school after a night of comedic absurdity.  I was short-order cook at the time when, due to the fact that one of the burners had never been correctly cleaned underneath, ignited into a grease fire.  When I hit the emergency shutoff button, neither the gas cutoff nor integrated extinguisher worked.  I later found out that the system had never been installed correctly; likely various officials’ palms had been, metaphorically (and rather ironically), greased. When I went to grab the recently re-certified fire extinguisher I discovered that the handle was broken and was thus as-is inoperable.  My only known option involved me quite literally placing my thumb on the button and lifting my entire body (some 300 pounds) off the ground on said thumb to apply sufficient pressure to open the valve.  I then had to tilt and put out the by-then raging grease fire.  When I did manage to get things under control I had fire retardant foam practically everywhere.  Given that we were closing in less than two hours I decided to shut down the kitchen and clean everything up with the intent to not re-open.  The owner’s son, ever “competent”, called me to let me know I had to clean everything up and re-open even if for only for a few minutes.  I kindly told him in no uncertain terms that that would not happen and that I was quitting as of the end of my shift.

Grey or gray? This is the hardest question thus far.  Can I come back to this?

Who most often terminates your telephone conversations, you or the person to whom you’ve been speaking? I believe the other person.  I am not too good at closure.

In your bad dreams do you ever throw the slow motion punch? No.  But I do, on occasion, have that slow running feeling, or flying but just above the ground and I am not able to go any higher.

Are you punctual? I am normally a few minutes early.  Growing up we used to say “5 minutes early is on time, on-time is late, and late is unacceptable.”  Since living in Seattle for the past 13 years I have acclimated myself to not worrying too much about punctuality except while at work.

Is your signature legible? My legal signature is barely legible, however my casual signature is very legible.  I always think I have sloppy hand-writing, but a lot of people, even random strangers peering over my shoulder, have commented on how legible and precise my handwriting is.  Granted and in spirit of the original question I acknowledge that one’s signature is not the same as one’s own handwriting.

Have you ever had a birthday go uncelebrated? Yes.  My 30th birthday.  My then wife had sent me an IM while I was abroad in Japan to tell me she was divorcing me.  Three weeks later, one night before my 30th, I returned home to an empty house.  I spent my 30th birthday alone, surrounded by strangers.  Nowadays I have month-long celebrations of my birthday, both with myself and my friends.  It is not like I need an excuse to go out to the symphony or dine out, but it is nice to wrap it in the excuse of celebrating your own birthday.

What’s the largest TV set you’ve ever lived with? I currently own a 50″ plasma.  It more than enough.  I use it more to display my photographs while listening to music.  But it is nice when friends are over to watch a movie together.

Showers or baths? Showers.  But!  But, I love Japanese-style (i.e. soaking) baths.  The hotter the better, too.

How much cash do you like to carry? Very little as I pay nearly everything with a credit card.  But I do carry cash in order to tip the baristas at Cafe Solstice and Victrola Cafe where I frequent.

Ever been knocked unconscious? Yes.  I was on a futon couch/bed next to a window.  I was talking out said window onto the porch where my sister was sitting.  I must have applied too much downward force as the couch decided to fold out into a bed whereby my chin hit the window’s ledge.  I blacked out for a few seconds only to awake to my sister standing over me in tears of laughter.  Thanks, sis.  I love you, too.

One larger winter coat or layers? Layers.  What if I want to go run and I need to peel off a few layers?

If you cross paths with someone walking a dog, do you talk first to the person or the dog? The person.  I drop my hand so the dog can smell me and then I ask the owner before engaging the dog.

Do you eat or give away pickles? I eat ’em.  And I will eat yours, too, if you are not careful.

What’s the highest floor on which you’ve ever lived? I believe it was the ninth floor of my dormitory during my junior year at SUNY Buffalo.  We had a single, narrow window out on to the courtyard with nothing obstructing us but blue sky.  I thought either they thought very highly of us or else were very naive about the various stresses and absurdities that drive undergraduates to doing stupid things from those heights.

Who is your most promiscuous friend? Most of my friends are now married and monogamous.  I do not know all the particulars of all my friends’ past relationships, but it may be that I was the most promiscuous of the lot.  Does make me a slut?

Do you get jittery during airplane turbulence? No.  Part of my background is aerospace engineering, and after working at Boeing I am more concerned with what the mechanic did (or did not do) than whatever the weather might effect on us.  Anyway, I can think of worse ways to go.

How jittery? Not at all.

Do you still drink glasses of milk? Absolutely.  The best thing in the world is a glass of cold, whole (cow or goat) milk.  Better yet is when it is combined with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

How many people have lived with you? This question is sort of vague, but I think it is asking how many people have I co-habitated with while in a serious relationship.  If so then two other persons; both of whom I married and then subsequently got divorced from.

How’s your balance? Better than many but worse than some.  While I am average on balance, I have mad, mad skills for suddenly stopping mid-stride and holding the pose.  I agree with you; that is cool.

Have you ever ridden in a limousine? When I was younger I thought that riding in a limo was a sign of making it big.  Nowadays I would only ride in one for the irony.

What are the chances, would you say, of you becoming, one day, the president of anything?  Greater than none? I am already the president of the SUNY Buffalo chapter for Society of Slackers.  Granted, they have not convened to vote me in, but I am a shoe in given all the campaigning I have been doing for the past 15 years.

When did you learn to write checks? I think my father taught me when I was less than 16 years old.  I felt so grown up.  I am not sure what all the fuss was when I think back on it.  Nowadays I have Mickey Mouse and other characters on my checks.  My previous set had prints of Superman.

Can you accurately size up the square footage of a room? Yes.  Eerily so, including backyards.

What games do you play with small children you meet (such as faking snatching off their noses by poking a thumb between fingers)? Yep, I do that.  And there are the supermans, and rocket liftoffs, and tossing them gently up into the air, and flipping them about, and running around in circles, and letting them crawl over me, and paint my face, and hide and seek, and generally I will do whatever they are doing.  It is not uncommon that the grown-ups at parties ask me to quiet down because I am riling up all the kids.  Sometimes grownups can really suck.  I am so outta here when I am 18.

Where you live is the night sky starry? We have moments of starry nights, but not to the degree and extent that satisfies me.  But I have had a love of all things astronomy, especially astro-physics, since a child.  I have owned telescopes and I hope to one-day find some land, even if only to put a small cottage on it, where I can see the stars even if only on weekends when I leave the city and work behind for a small reprieve.

How high can you kick? In my head I am a ninja who can kick clear to my backside.  Anyone sneaking on me from behind?  Bam!  I just kick, and without even turning around, I hit them in the head.  Bad ass, huh?  In reality I think I might make it to the height of my nose or forehead and with the form of a four-year-old who really thinks he is a ninja.

Have you wasted much thought as to what you’d do were money suddenly no limitation? Jesus, this is like asking me what I want to do when I grow up.  It is all I think about.  I do not mean to sound flippant but money is so bourgeoisie.  We need it because we live in a world of limited resources, but I otherwise try to ignore it.

Cake or sugar cones? In order of preference, I prefer freshly made waffle cones and next sugar cones, but never cake cones.

Are you quick with your wit, or do comebacks tend to always to arrive hours later? I wish my wit remained as inside words, which is to say that I am fairly quick of wit.

Do you keep your photos in albums or shoeboxes? A bit of both.  Nowadays I keep all my photos online since I am creature of the digital (photography) age.

Are you handy? Yes; with myself and with tools.

Do you cross the street to avoid groups of young men at night? No.

Have you ever been a part of one of these groups and watched others cross streets as a result of you? No.  I never walk in large groups.  I have seen people be wary of me when I am alone on a street, but that is in part due to the fact that we are both out walking at 5 in the morning.

Do you match and ball socks or just dump them, en masse, into the drawer? I match and ball my socks.

Do you bisect your sevens with one of those squiggly hyphens? Not often, but I like to do so with zeros.

Have you gravitated, traditionally, toward the top of the bottom bunk? Top.  I like being on top.

Is it your tendency to order the same dish over and over or mix it up? I tend to mix it up when I am dining out.  When at home I have a core set of meals I prefer which I incrementally vary.

Are you easy or hard to shop with? Easy.  I can go hours when I am with another person to help them shop.  I actually find it quite relaxing when I am not the one doing the shopping.

Is your bed up against a wall, or does it sit in the center of a room, accessible from both sides? I think the question is poorly phrased, but I will answer what I think is being asked and say the head-end of the bed is up against the wall and situated to the middle of the wall so people can access it from either side.

Do you own any pieces of monogrammed attire? No, and if I did it would be for the irony.

Aisle or window seat? Window seat on longer flights so I can get up and walk about.  Aisle on shorter flights so I can stare out at the view.

When eating out, do you set your knife atop your plate and change hands? Yes, when I am at a particularly nice venue or when I am intentionally trying to dine and not merely eat.  I find the act is a great forcing function to keep me in the moment with whomever I am dining and conversing with.

What’s your favorite cuss word? Fuck.

How long did you call your parent’s home your home. Right up to the day I left to go to Japan for a year.

How are you at keeping track of which acquaintances you’ve told which thing that happened to you? I am sort of good at it, but I do not worry too much about repeating myself.  I am pretty certain I am always the most interesting person in the room at any given moment.

Do you recycle? Do I have a choice?  I live in Seattle; we have compost, recycle and landfill bins in the cafe I am presently sitting at.  Yes.

Do you think that every Bic light you see, when in the hands of a friend, likely once belonged to you? Wow, that is the wierdest question I have heard in awhile.  No.  Never.  (Maybe this is the kind of thing that consumes the minds of smokers?)

How are you at not losing pens? I am pretty good at keeping track of the better pens I own.  In particular, I have a roll-out case for my pencils and pens.  People often think I am a surgeon at first glance.  It is not uncommon for someone to quip about something called “Dexter”, whatever that means.

When making a shooting-yourself gesture, do you do the gun barrel with two fingers or one? I had to just check but definitely two-fingers.  One finger makes me feel like an idiot.

Do you insert the finger-gun into your mouth or press it to your temple? Temple.  I have read of people surviving both styles of suicide, but I suspect a square temple shot is better guaranteed to do the job.  Even in jest it is best to take measure of the facts, right?

Do you cut up plastic six-pack can holders so as to save fish? I never buy beer or soda in cans let alone drink them, but if I did I would.

What colors have you painted rooms? Mint.  Sage green.  Midnight blue.  Deep, deep red.  Townhouse tan.

When driving by cows, do you give in to the urge to moo? How else can you say hello?

What is the most valuable (to you) possession you’ve ever lost or had stolen? A pencil case I had since my time in Japan and owned for nearly two decades.

Do you miss it? Yes.

Would you rather just stay in the car? No. I rarely ever ride in a car as I more often ride the bus, walk or drive the car.   Even at a gas station, I will get out as a passenger in order to help out by cleaning the windows.

Do you always know the day of the week? No.  If my iPhone did not tell me I’d have almost no idea.  My week is broken into weekday and weekend.

Are you ashamed, like admitting you don’t read the newspaper, when you’re way off the mark (though, in truth, the most you can be off is two days?) No.  Quite to the contrary, I think it is great that days of week and other such temporal considerations do not consume me.

What about dates? I am even worse with dates.

Do you find you have to ask aloud every time you’re at the bank or when you’re on the grocery store floor, attempting to pick out milk? Yep.  And if I do not ask then I have to use my iPhone.

Isn’t it nice how willing people are to tell you the date? Yes.  And I appreciate their sacrifice of the brain cells to store that bit of information for my free consumption.

Do you have any “original” items in your home, anything with a total production limited to one? Yes.  I commissioned my best friend to create a piece of art for my current home.  And while I can make an infinite number of copies of my photography, all my rooms have my photography and artwork hanging on the walls.

Are you accurate at guessing people’s weights and ages? I used to be pretty good at this when I was a teenager, but I think I can no longer do it well.  People, especially their ages, sort of blend together for me.  I am not sure which is cause or symptom, but I suspected it is related to the fact that I have friends whose ages span 20 to 55.  Certainly, most people never guess my weight (185 lbs) or age (37).

Do you take into consideration their feelings with guessing? I try to guess the weight or age I think they want (or wish) to be.  So I guess that means I do take their feelings into consideration.  (Strange, when I first read this question I was thinking I was callous about guessing.  Isn’t it funny the things we learn about ourselves?)

Can you fall asleep on your own at the end of the day, or do you need “help”? I can do it on my own.  How is that for dissembling?  N.b., I love to “help”, too.

Look at your fingernails: did you just stretch out all five fingers, palm out, or did you fold your fingers down over your inward facing palm? The former; I just stretched them out.

About what parts of life do you have anxiety about having anxiety? I worry that I worry too much about meeting a person to share my life with.  I know, at some deep level, that it will happen when it will happen.  Which is to say, I will meet her when I am least looking and ergo I should just let things ride themselves out to their natural (and eventual) conclusion.  Nevertheless, I do spend a lot of time cogitating upon her, whoever she may be.  I also worry that, on average, my life is already half over and that I have squandered this gift of life.  This worry is connected back into finding someone to love since I would hate to spend the rest of my life alone.  It is not that being alone is lonely, but I think I, and by “I” I mean we as humans, are meant to be solely solitary creatures.

Do you have a system when it comes to pockets, or do you blindly dump in coins, lighter, i-pod, phone, smokes, etc., then fish around each time? I definitely have a system for organizing my things in my house.  As for my pockets, my only real rule I follow is that my keys go in one pocket and my iphone goes in the other pocket so as the keys do not scratch it.  And my wallet has to be in my back, left pant pocket or I else feel unbalanced or otherwise missing something.  The only time I do not miss my wallet outside is when I am running.  I have tried putting my wallet on my right-side as an experiment; it sort of freaked me out.  I swore I was going to tip over to the left in my seat.

Blue or black pens? Black.  Preferably my fountain pen.

Chunky peanut butter or smooth? I buy the crushed peanuts.  I am hardkore [sic].

When eating bananas, do you peel them nude at the outset or peel as you eat? I peel them from the outset since I do not take too much time to eat them.  And I eat a lot of them.

Do you tear into wrapped presents or open them nearly with the spoken intent to save the paper? If the gift giver is nearby I am restrained, neatly opening the paper.  But I never save the paper.  Otherwise, when by myself I rip into them.

Do you currently own a phone with a cord? No.  Yes, but only if you consider the recharger’s cord.

AM or FM radio? Pandora.

In school, did you pack or buy lunch?  Both.  My mother would make me sandwiches, but they only varied by the school year.  One year I would get peanut butter and jelly every day.  When I complained and asked for some variety she would deliver; the next year I got bologna for the entire year.  And when I could finally convince her to let me buy at school?  Pizza for the next four years.

Have you ever made a scrapbook? Yes.  When I first lived in Japan I had an enormous scrapbook that ended up being some eight inches thick when I finally finished it.  I still enjoying showing select persons and I secretly love it when they ask me to show it to them.

What famous landmarks have you found especially disappointing? Mount Rushmore.  I think I spent all of five minutes walking to the observation area only to leave.  I remember this disappointment most sharply since days leading up to it there was a budding anticipation of seeing a grand construction writ large in stone, and when I finally did see it with my own eyes I found it neither grand (at least relative to what I had built up in my mind) nor as majestic as even some minuscule waterfalls known only to the farmer who tells you of it as you pass over his lands.

Which do you (or would you) find more embarrassing: crying in public by yourself on a bench, or laughing out loud in public by yourself on a bench? Crying.  I laugh out loud (for those younger person in the crowd, read LOL) all the time.

Would you rather drive or be driven? I love to drive, but I love it when I can be driven, especially on long road-trips, so I can enjoy the scenery.

Ever just want to spit in someone’s face, though you actually really like the person? Dude!  No!

Do you engage strangers in conversations on airplanes? Not regularly, but it does happen from time to time.

If no, it’s odd, isn’t it, when the time comes to accept peanut packets or order sodas and you hear their voices? No, not really.

Ever wished (if you are right-handed) that you could be left-handed? I wish I could be both-handed (yes, I mean ambidextrous!) so if I ever have to fight with a sword I will be able to toy and then ultimately triumph over my foes like Iñigo Montoya.

Do you measure distance in miles or minutes? If I am running then I measure in kilometers.  If I am driving I measure in miles.  If I am walking I tend to measure in minutes.

Is there anything that feels nicer touching the back of the hand than a tassel? I appreciate it is clichéd, but I love the light touch of another person’s touch.

What about gently blown breath? That is pretty good, too.

Are you in bed at a similar time each night? It really depends on my mood.  I think it varies from day to day although I suspect that by-and-large I will, on average, be to bed somewhere between 10pm and midnight most days of the week.  On a rare evening where I get deeply involved in a book or art I may stay up till I pass out which may be as late as (or early, depending on your point of view) as 5am.

Do you imagine sleep as a kind of rising (you are a basket being pulled gently up in a hot air balloon) or as a kind of sinking (you are a flat stone no longer skipping, disappearing through layers of lake)? Wow, I never thought of it as anything other than as sinking deep into water.  Who thinks of its as being rising?  I wonder what that feels like.

Can you ice skate? Yes.  I learned how to ice skate when I was thirteen after me and my parents moved to Skaneateles from Fairport.  I spent every day after school at the town skating ring.  I recall started the ice hockey season barely able to keep upright and on my feet to ending the season able to maintain a certain amount dignity while playing against others who had been playing (and skating) since the age of 3.  I never rose to star player, but I believe I grew to be a competent player by the time I stopped playing sometime around the age of sixteen.

Do you own a bathrobe? No.  But I sometimes think it would be cool, especially if I ever build for myself a Japanese-style soaking bath.