201. Can you think of anything that is unhelpful, or useless, yet traditional and unquestioned? What?
Most gender stereotypes and the notion of racial essentialism.
202. Can you do 'six degrees of separation' to anyone famous?
Lots of them. One of my friends is friends with John Taylor. Another runs Warren’s website. Another drew for Spongebob Squarepants. Another used to work for Tim Burton. One books for/owns a bunch of clubs, including two biggies on the Sunset Strip. One used to work for Rick Dees at KIIS, and now has her own radio show. One's a Groundling. Sugie's working with a bunch of musicians, both famous and just "respected in the musical community," at school.
And Marilyn Monroe’s real father was my grandpa’s cousin.
203. What's the oddest thing in your home?
The Husband-Type Man.
204. Do you find it odd when people who are not handicapped use the handicapped stall:
No, because that’s handicap-accessible, not handicap-exclusive. Sometimes, like at airports, it’s the only stall I can fit my suitcase in. Obviously, if someone who needs it comes in, I have no problem not using the larger stall.
Yes. Parking is a different story. Of course, lots of people who aren’t in wheelchairs have to park close to stores for various other ailments: asthma, back pain, whatnot. So if someone has that blue placard in their car, I usually assume they’re supposed to be making use of that space.
205. Do you sometimes find yourself talking to yourself? Do you answer yourself back?
Yes and yes. According to Abraham Maslow, it’s the sign of great mental health. I’m usually admonishing myself, though.
206. What is the best excuse for why you haven't done your homework?
Because I was asleep on a 13-hour flight from Tokyo. But I did my homework anyway.
I actually had one student tell me that he didn’t do it because he was too drunk the night before. And expected me to give him an extension. Sorry. Wrong.
207. Does culture shape behavior or does behavior shape culture?
I’ll be spending the rest of my life contemplating the nuances of this question. Amongst other things.
208. What determines whether a person will be:
A secure sense of self
209. Who REALLY has a higher sex drive, girls or guys? How can you tell?
It’s all media-contrived bullshit. You can’t make a generalization based on gender like that. Some do, some don’t.
210. Do you generally prefer reading to meeting people?
Yeah. I’m not a small-talk meet-and-greet type of person.
211. Do you often long for excitement?
No, my life is pretty exciting, actually. And during The Years of Drama and Turmoil, I used to long for stability instead.
212. Are you mostly quiet when you are with others?
With strangers, usually. Not with my friends, though!
213. Do you often do things spur of the moment?
Rarely. I ponder things first.
214. Are you slow and unhurried in the way you move?
Nope. You don’t live and work in NYC and remain slow and unhurried for long.
215. Do you enjoy wild parties?
Not in the least.
216. Have you ever paid for something priced more than $5.00 in only change?
Do photocopies count? I carry huge amounts of change for photocopying, because half of the machines don’t take bills or the bill-thingie is broken. Other than that, I can’t remember when or what, but I’m sure I have. It was prolly something like gas or Taco Bell in my Starving Student days or a parking fee I wasn’t anticipating.
217. Have you told your parents you love them today?
I tell Mom and Gram I love them every time I talk to them, and I usually talk to them a couple times a week. I tell my in-laws I love them. I tell my friends I love them. I tell THTM I love him a lot.
218. What is the difference between a number two pencil and any other kind of pencil?
Ah, this is one of life’s great mysteries.
219. Is oral sex, anal sex or regular sex more intimate?
It’s (well, most of it is) all intimate. Regular sex when you’re close and face-to-face is pretty intimate, but oral is, too. However, anal sex isn’t usually about intimacy; it’s about control and/or power. Just ask Dr. Drew. While I’m well aware that there are a few women who are just wired differently enough to enjoy it physically, generally speaking-
Wait a sec.
Mom? STOP READING NOW! Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
What I wrote elsewhere once ‘splains how I feel best:
I have to admit, I'm increasingly disturbed by the... misogyny, I guess, implied with the whole (pun) anal-sex thing. Yeah, I know there are some women who truly enjoy it, but generally, it seems you hear "Well, I don't really like it, but HE wanted to, so-"
What man would do something physically painful, humiliating, degrading and possibly harmful because SHE wanted it?
I also don't get the appeal of it. I mean, vaginas are warm and wet and friendly and (usually) clean. You'd think a guy would be more into that than a butt-hole. So again, the degradation aspect disturbs me. Plus, I can't help wondering about guys who are exclusively interested in the back-door. I'm sure lots of folks would disagree, but if you have no interest in vagina, that seems... well, closer to homosexuality for my comfort in a partner.
I guess I tend to agree with Dr. Drew that anal sex is usually about power/control/manipulation, not sex. Of course, anything that can cause tearing, bleeding, and the possibility of your anus, um, falling outis a little much for me.
Besides, there's so much other fun stuff to do!
Wow, I think it’s time to shift gears….
220. Apples or peaches or pumpkin pie?
Pumpkin pie! Yummy! That’s my favorite post-Thanksgiving breakkie, even though I now pay for it with heartburn. Jeebus, I’m old.
221. What was one evening you'll never forget?
A recent one was last month, when The Husband-Type Man and I had been separated for a week. I was on a research trip, and he had to go up to San Francisco for work, and I flew in to meet him for a half-weekend before heading home, and his work partner was having an open house and all that. So THTM fetches me at the airport, and then drives not to Gerry’s house, but to a nearby hotel. He grinned, held up a room key, and said “By the way… your flight doesn’t get in until seven tonight.”
222. If you had money to burn, what 'toy' would you spend your money on (think monopoly game with real money, luxury boat, a train layout that takes up a house, etc.)?
I’d want a plush but secluded beach house. With a housekeeper/cook/massage therapist.
223. What are you guilty of?
Feeling guilty about everything.
224. What gives you inner strength?
God, love, and my own resilience. Does that sound like an awards acceptance speech?
225. If you don't like the service at a restaurant would you skip the tip?
It takes a lot to get me to that point, but yes, emphatically, I would and have.
226. When people lose weight, where does it go?
227. What kind of bread do you like to eat (white, rye, potato, grain, whole wheat, etc)?
Bread is one of my favorite foods, and I like most kinds… especially when it’s fresh and crusty. I don’t like it when it has bits and things in it, though, like grains or raisins.
228. Are you emotionally articulate?
I understand myself. Does that count?
229. Does everything happen for a reason?
Yes. Very much so. We may not know why at the time, but over time it can become clear.
230. Can you think of a door that has closed in your life? Can you think of a window that has opened?
Yes, but we’ve already discussed that at length.
231. What helps you to get over a major heartache?
Taking care of my emotional self and well-being. And therapy. A lot of therapy.
232. Can you depend completely upon yourself? Have you ever tried?
Yes and yes. It was actually an important step for me to take before I got involved with/lived with/married someone. I had to live on my own, handle all my own bills, take care of myself, and be 100% responsible for myself.
233. Do you often make the best discoveries when you really weren't looking for anything (or anyone)?
Of course! From rambles through flea markets to getting lost walking around a foreign city to meeting The Husband-Type Man, the best discoveries are usually total surprises.
234. Have you ever been prank called?
When I was in my teens, someone used to crank call me all the time. He knew my name, and would start talking to me, like “Hi, Dwanollah. Do you know who this is?” and would then start making graphic comments or just doing the whole “You know who this is” shtick. And because I was such a pussy-ass spineless wimp, I was too embarrassed and intimidated to say “No” or hang up, because that was RUDE! And, oh, the horrors of being RUDE to someone who was tormenting me! *eyeroll* Yeah. I finally started saying “No, who is this?” but he would keep playing the “You know who it is” game. Fucking A. I should’ve read The Gift of Fear decades ago.
I never found out who it was, but I had some suspicions.
Anyway, now I have no tolerance for that. If I ask “Who’s this?” and the person says “You know who it is!” and I don’t, and they don’t tell me, I hang up. Period. I did that to one of my great-uncles once. Sorry, Uncle Bob, you had a chance.
235. What are your favorite games to play?
Anything that involves thinking. I don’t like games of chance, like Yatzee. No skills involved at all. We have annual Trivial Pursuit marathons every Thanksgiving, and it’s become quite the grudge match between me and my MiL. When she won several years back, she made herself a button that said “Trivial Pursuit Champ” and innocently (yet SMUGLY!) wore it at me the next time I saw her. I kicked her ass last year, though. *cracking knuckles*
236. Are you quick to judge something as stupid just because you don't understand it?
No. This is one of those ways that I consciously rebelled against my mom. She’s very vocal about “What the hell is THAT? That’s asinine! That’s just wrong!” sometimes. I’d rather struggle to understand it, even if I don’t like it. Which is why I actually look at post-modern art.
237. Are you obnoxious to others?
Not usually. Obnoxious people are one of my pet peeves. I’m sure there have been incidents, but they’re few and far between, and I gotta be hardcore provoked first.
238. Do you feel superior to anyone?
239. Shouldn't people take a good look at themselves before they criticize others?
Obviously. But “criticism” has such negative connotations. It doesn’t necessarily mean the butt-pipe at work who spends all day bitching about what so-and-so is wearing and who’s-it is doing. It’s more about the necessity of analyzing and evaluating information and really reflecting upon the meaning of things instead of just accepting something as true.
240. Do you apologize too often?
I’m sorry, what did you ask…?
That’s another one of my Bad Habits… apologizing for everything. Even stuff that I have no reason to be apologizing for. One of the first phrases I learn in another language when I travel is “I’m sorry.”
241. What files have you recently downloaded?
Several articles from JStor, a bunch of music onto the iPod, Sugie’s band’s two new songs, a snippet of Robbie Williams, naked.
242. What about you is heroic?
My ability to survive, particularly my childhood, and come out intact. “Heroic” doesn’t mean “hero” though. That word’s thrown around WAY too lightly these days.
243. What is your first memory?
Waking up in the middle of the night with a creepy feeling that everything was terrifyingly wrong. I was about 3. I also remember when Sugie was born, which must’ve been around the same time. The two aren’t related, though. But if they were, it’d explain a lot!
244. What was your favorite toy?
My Barbies, obviously.
245. What was your favorite game?
I was big on pretend-games. It usually depended on what I’d been reading. Sometimes I’d pretend that the clump of bushes in the back yard was an island, and I was like Karana in Island of the Blue Dolphins. Other times I’d pretend I was an orphan who’d ran away from home and had to build a place to live in the “wilderness.” Or I was a younger Princess Leia, escaping the Death Star. Or I was Annie Oakley, hunting in the woods to support my poor family. That sort of thing.
246. Any non-family member adults stick out in your mind? Who were they, and how did you know them? Why do they stick out?
Aw, Mrs. Crickmore, of course! She was my brother’s preschool teacher, a frumpy, fat, frowzy old woman who always wore the same purple dress every day. What a nasty, cantankerous old bag! She ran a daycare out of the home, and fixed things like rice with crushed up potato chips and ketchup for everyone’s lunch. One summer, when Mom was working, Mrs. Crickmore “babysat” me (even though I was 7 years old) along with Sugie. It pissed me off that she had a cat who she kept in a small cage all the time. She wouldn’t let anyone bring their own lunches, so you were stuck with the cold-macaroni-and-ketchup stuff she provided. And on my birthday, my mom sent with me enough cupcakes for each of the kids (maybe twenty) to have at LEAST one; Mrs. Crickmore cut them into quarters and served them, and ate the rest during the daily 2-hour naptime. You weren’t allowed to use the bathroom except during certain times, and then it was a big room with two toilets and no door, and all the boys would line up at one and the girls at another with their pants down.
You can see why we named my most villainous Barbie after Mrs. Crickmore, can’t you?
247. Who was your best friend when you were growing up?
I didn’t really have many friends as a child. There were friends-of-family friends who I’d grown up with and played with. I had a short-term “best friend” in 4 th grade, Kim. She was the one who I saw working at some store years later. She used to pretend to like me, and then would tell the other kids all the weird things I did, like making up disco dances with the plans to audition for “The Gong Show,” or blindfolding myself one day to pretend I was Helen Keller. I stopped being friends with her when I realized she was doing this, when I realized that someone who did that wasn’t really a friend. I didn’t exactly attract the best kind of people when I was younger. My weirdness might’ve had something to do with that, though. Gee.
248. What is your fondest childhood memory?
Making the choral ensemble in 8 th grade. It was a singing group of about 20 girls, and you had to audition, and I’d tried in 7 th grade and not made it, and practiced so hard for the following year and summer…. That was the first time Big Loser Me had accomplished anything of merit.
249. What is your worst childhood memory?
Pretty much anything to do with The Stepfathers. I was a sad, terrified, insecure and weak child. I was easy prey for their shit. Stepfather 1, in particular, had some pretty violent episodes.
250. What do you look like?
Spectacularly average and overweight.
251. How do you dress most of the time?
Professional-funky, I guess. I like things in weird combinations and colors. I’m pissed that “boho” has become a trend, because I’ve been rockin’ the vintage stuff and hippy drag for years. I like combining odd things, like a tailored jacket with a hippy shirt, or a couple stripey patterns at once, or an expensive silk shirt with cheap sneakers, or a spectacular hat. My wardrobe usually revolves around t-shirts/jackets/jeans/Converse sneaks. However, when I’m teaching, I dress much more conservatively: black suits, white shirts, very austere.
252. How do you "dress up?"
A lot of black and sparkly jewelry.
253. How do you "dress down?"
When I’m at home studying, I have a whole wardrobe of weird t-shirts and comfy yoga pants. Although I recently acquired some new favorite at-home-wear! Yes, I actually do flounce around here in bloomers, a chemise and a petticoat. I rule!
254. What do you wear when you go to sleep?
I’m a wafty white nightgown type of girl. If I’m sleeping by myself, I bundle up in flannel jammies to stay warm. I also like pj-bottoms and fitted t-shirts or tank tops in colors and patterns I’d normally never wear out in public.
255. Do you wear any jewelry?
My wedding ring, and, if I’m going out, usually earrings and necklaces. I love combining them like I do my clothes… in weird combos, with lots of vintage pieces.
I recently received a diamond ring and strand of pearls that Strega Nona had willed to me a dozen years ago; My Dumb Dad tried to keep from me as, like, ransom, so’s I would call him and “earn” them by begging him and having a relationship with him, but Sugie pointed out that he wasn’t honoring his mother’s wishes, which was ironic since Daddy bangs on about how IMPORTANT family is, and finally browbeat Dumb Dad into giving them to Sugie, who, in turn, finally gave them to me. In fact, I’ve only had the ring for a month or so. The last time Sugie saw Dumb Dad, Dad was whining again about how broke and pathetic he is, and showed Sugie a bag of coins and jewelry that he thought he was going to have to pawn. Sugie saw a diamond ring in there, and asked “What’s that?” “That was your grandmother’s.” “That’s not yours, it’s Dwanollah’s,” Sugie said. “Well, it’d be nice if she’d call me and ask me for it-” Daddy started to whine, but Sugie pocketed the ring and said “It’s not for you to decide, and it’s not yours to sell.” I wear the ring often, and the pearls on special occasions. The nicest thing is now these pieces are gifts from my brother and have more special meaning than Strega Nona/My Dumb Dad.
And I recently bought myself a ring. I’d seen a picture of an interesting looking ring in a magazine, and looked up the jeweler, and saw another ring that I reacted to with an uncharacteristic, breathless, “That is so … me!” When I discovered that the jewelry store was only a few blocks away from our house, I stopped in on one of my walks to check it out. And came out less than fifteen minutes as the proud owner of a moonstone and sapphire ring (Cancer, Virgo rising). Plus a pair of moonstone earrings. I’d NEVER done anything like THAT before!
256. In your opinion, what is your best feature?
257. What one word best describes you?
258. Do you believe that you have a strong personality?
Yeah. I’ve been told I do.
259. When Jesus saves souls...does he trade them in for valuable prizes?
No, but the televangelists do.
260. Do you feel like time is on your side or working against you?
It often feels like a constant battle to get done what I want/need to get done, to get to the next point, to reach the next goal. But I don’t want to ever feel like I’m “done.”
261. What do you do for yourself when you are down to put a little joy back into your life?
Blast great music. Sing. Play, either by myself, with THTM, or with friends. Re-read books I love.
262. How much Tolkien have you read?
The three Lord of the Rings books, and The Hobbit.
263. Do you believe that Jesus existed as a real person?
264. Do you believe he was the Son of God?
265. What sentence have you heard lately that would sound pretty odd out of context?
“Would you like to make a little boy very happy?”
266. Name one thing that turns your stomach.
Hawking loogies. It gives me the heebies just to think about it.
267. If you had to choose one image to be a symbol of our times, what would you pick?
A giant middle finger sticking up. Or a Big Mac. Same thing.
268. What causes you to panic?
Venturing into The Unknown, or doing something that feels like a huge risk.
269. Have you ever saved someone's life or had your life saved?
No. Unless "I'd've died if I hadn't sought immediate medical treatment" counts. Then, yes.
270. What was the last thing you made with your own hands?
271. How many TVs are in your house?
Just one. That’s more than enough. As I’ve mentioned before, I hate it when homes have a telly in every room, or a telly in the bedroom. That sucks.
272. What is your favorite thing to do outside?
273. How do you feel when you see a rainbow?
274. Have you ever been to a psychic/tarot reader?
Yeah, I’ve had a couple great experiences. One showed me where my lifeline was forked; my life almost went one way, but ended up going in another. Plus, Gram is psychic (although she’s really downplayed it in the last decade or so), and often just knows things that she shouldn’t have any way of knowing. She used to read our tea leaves whenever we’d go for Chinese food. I wish she still would; it was so awesomely fun!
Me and a bunch of friends from the bookstore where I used to work used to have what we called jokingly Pagan Tea Parties. One friend could read auras and cards. I can read tarot if it’s major arcana only. And I have other stuff… psychcards and transreference cards that are fun – and revealing. I can’t do readings on myself, though.
275. What is your idea of paradise?
Earthly paradise, or actual heaven-paradise? I expect heaven-paradise to be filled with love and loved ones, finally knowing/understanding everything, and feeling the overwhelming and indescribable presence of God’s love. Earthly paradise would be me and The Husband-Type Man on a private island with no Internet, no phones, a big stack of books, a fully-stocked kitchen, SPF 45, a massage chair, and pizza delivery.
276. Do you believe in God and if so what is he/she/it like?
Yes. Pure love. Love beyond what we as humans can imagine.
277. Do you believe in Hell?
278. What one thing have you done that most people haven't?
Safari-ing in Namibia, where we hiked to watering holes at night to watch elephant herds, followed giraffes across the plains, found a pride of lions with cubs under a grove of trees, and visited a cheetah preserve. Amongst other things. That was life-altering.
279. What is the kindest thing you have ever done?
I don’t know. I’m not a naturally altruistic person; I’m too suspicious of others and protective of myself. But I try to do things for family and friends, both just in the “being there” sense as well as others. I budgeted an “allowance” for Gram’s house, so she never needs to worry if she needs work on the plumbing or to paint or anything. We did the same thing for THTM’s folks. It makes me feel so lucky to be able to spring for someone’s airline ticket. I took Mom to Ireland and got her health insurance, and Sugie and I bought her a car. We split the cost of a house in Boston with Sugie as a financial investment. We gave Bro-in-Law our old car. I like knowing that I can take care of the ones I love, after they took care of me for so long. But one could argue that that’s not pure “kindness.” My therapist disputes this, so I guess I still have some work to do on that attitude.
280. What holiday should exist but doesn't?
Something non-religious to celebrate coming-of-age for both boys and girls. Like a Quinceañera. Not at all like a “purity ball.”
281. What holiday shouldn't exist but does?
282. What's the best joke you ever heard?
"What do you call a fish without eyes?” “FSH!”
283. Where is the most fun place you have EVER been?
Tokyo . Between the Harajuku district, the toy stores, the gardens, the restaurants, and the karaoke place we ended up at on our last night, all drunk… dang, that was awfully fun!
284. Is your hair natural or dyed?
Natural. I tried highlights once, but it was too much hassle. I’m thinking about taking the plunge again, though.
285. Do you have any deep dark secrets or are you pretty much up front?
Very up front, especially after I outed all the molestation from my childhood. Plus I stopped apologizing for everything about me that was “weird” or “different.” Hence, Blathers on my site about my Barbies and teen poo books and stuff.
286. What is under your bed right now?
Maybe a stray book from the stack by my side of the bed. I should go look….
Yep, indeed, a book by Jean Webster called Just Patty (hardcover, early 1900s), and my eye drops, which had fallen off the nightstand.
287. If you were in the Land of Oz would you want to live there or go home?
I wouldn’t turn down the adventure of Oz, but eventually, I’d want to go home. I’m a Cancer… I like home. As long as home wasn’t Kansas. That sucked.
288. If you drive do you frequently speed?
Yup. Only if the road’s open, though. I don’t race people, tailgate and flash my lights, or weave in and out of traffic.
289. What is the world's best song to dance to?
The ear-cracky goodness of that Kylie Minouge/New Order mash-up, “I Can’t Get Blue Monday Out of My Head.”
290. What song was on the last time you danced with someone?
The Devils, “World Exclusive.” That may actually be the world’s best song to dance to, now that I think about it….
291. Do you prefer Disney or Warner Brothers?
Neither. It’s that whole Corporate Megalomaniac Pig Dog thing.
292. What is the first animal you would run to see if you went to the zoo?
293. Would you consider yourself to be romantic?
I am in the Victorian Child sense… very dreamy and fanciful.
294. If the earth stopped rotating would we all fly off?
Wouldn’t we all be crushed into the ground by force of gravity or something?
295. What is the one thing that you love to do so much that you would make sacrifices to be able to do it?
Go to school. I’ve already had to make a bunch of sacrifices: moving, buying/selling a house, working summers, being away summers, not to mention the average things – like hanging out with friends, taking a trip or going to a show – that I often skip because of schoolwork. But if I didn’t love it, I wouldn’t do it. No shit.
296. If you (and everyone) had to lose one right or freedom, but you could pick which one everyone had to lose, what would you pick?
I’ll go for the obvious right to bear arms. That’d really fuck up the military, too, wouldn’t it (she asked gleefully)?
297. If you had to choose would you live on the equator or at the North Pole?
Equator, I guess. Even though I hate hot weather, the North Pole is too isolated. Even for me. And after Iceland, I know I couldn’t handle the fucked-up daylight/nighttime thing.
298. Would you rather give up listening to music or watching television?
Watching television, easy. I can’t live without music.
299. What do you think makes someone a hero?
Truly selfless and courageous acts, above and beyond basic human nature.
300. What cartoon would you like to be a character in?
The slashy Nick-John one, Fake!