About You

Please take the time to answer the questions in this survey carefully. Providing accurate answers to these questions will make you a better person. Answer any or all questions in the Comments section, or for a personalized, in-depth analysis, send your completed survey to biblioklept.ed@gmail.com. Thanks you and have the blessed day.

1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.

2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)

3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?

4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?

4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?

5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?

6. Who is your favorite author?

7. What is your favorite book?

8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.

9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?

10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?

11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?

12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?

E. Do you believe in a life after love?

14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?

17. Isn’t this a lucky number?

15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?

16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

a)      the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying

b)      the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his

c)      the monster’s mother

d)      the bitch who sold you the popcorn

Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?

18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?

19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?

20. How many books do you claim to have read?

21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?

13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?

22. How often do machines disappoint you?

22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

a)      a petulant phony

b)      a monomaniacal fraud

c)      the son of Zeus

d)      a Narcissistic douche bag

YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?

XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?

ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?

XXVII. All you need is love?

28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?

29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

a)      Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.

b)      Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.

c)      Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.

d)      Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.

e)      The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.

f)        The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:

“What lives for ever and never dies,

             Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,

  Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,

  Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?

31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?

32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it  because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?

32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?

33. Still there?

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75 thoughts on “About You

  1. 1.Yes

    2.I used to work for one of the chains. Too many to list, but suffice to say I stuck with dead authors, and those books with covers which I could not resist.

    3. Possibly

    4. I thought it was a fair question, though I would say it might put some on the defensive.

    4a. Sure, as long as you promise to delete them if I ever interview for a high-paying job.

    5. If the event were tonight, I would say Roberto Bolaño

    6. ibid

    7. journey to the end of the night or Distant Star

    8. I bought one years ago that revolved around corporate logos, but I have since sold it via amazon.

    9. Worse

    10. I suffer

    11. No, but I once punched in an alarm clock, something to do with the disappointment of Time and the meaningless of it all or something equally juvenile or philosophical.

    12. 3

    E. I sing that song to my cat daily.

    14. My grandfather is still banging chicks.

    17. No, but if you want to believe it is, fine.

    15. People should feel free to eat whatever they please, no matter how nasty it is, and I would say sour cream is relatively low on that scale considering there are sick fucks out there who actually get off on eating spoonfuls of feces.

    16. c

    J. Y

    18. My mother has never been right, and my father drank himself to death. I’m pretty sure my cats would eat you alive.

    19! It’s waiting for until Jan. 3rd

    20. Many, but not so many as others have

    21. Well, I’m wasting time answering this, so I am going to have to go with No, it does not bother me. I have done less with more.

    13. I have never wet the bed due to a nightmare, but I have shit my pants during a baseball game.

    22. daily

    22a. Yes, I have read DFW

    XXIII. d

    YYIV. I have a clean tongue, but a foul mouth

    XXV. How old are the songs?

    ZZVI. I am the incomplete bear

    XXVII. F

    28. Rudolf Steiner

    29. There is too much superfluous information, and not enough critical detail to successfully solve this riddle

    xxx. darkness

    31. No, but I have my own

    32. Lately, in my dreams I am usually captaining an ocean liner through the city streets as the water from the ocean chases behind my ship across the avenue and streets, submerging all of this man-made wreckage beneath it’s sturdy waves. I suppose it’s a Noah’s Ark Dream.

    32. ask a stolen question, get a stolen answer.

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  2. 1. Yes.
    2. Pride and Prejudice from my sister. Badass.
    3. Only on this question!
    4. What should I expect from someone who likes 2666 so much?
    5. Paulo Coehlo
    6. Italo Calvino
    7. The Rings of Saturn. (No really, how do you think I found this site?)
    8. The Denial of Death
    9. Batteries in my mouth? Like, invigorating?
    10. The universe is indifferent.
    11. Nope.
    12. I used that word in scrabble the other day.
    E. Certainly life before love.
    14. Skippity.
    17. All prime numbers are, I hear.
    15. So cold in this apartment.
    16. Popcorn.
    J. No, but Barnes & Noble does.
    18. “Mom I fucked up.” “O, ok. Don’t do it again.” “K.”
    19. Adventure still runs wildly from my anus.
    20. About 5 less than I’ve started. Books like The White Tiger should not win Booker Prizes.
    21. Sacrilege.
    13. The lattest, yes.
    22. Eh, I get viruses more than my computers do.
    XXIII. A monomaniacal friend?
    YYIV. Unsure.
    XXV. Karaoke is reserved for drunker times.
    ZZVI. Santa?
    XXVII. That’s pretty close, but give peace a chance too. And weed.
    29. I gotta get back to reading the Starr Report. No time for long questions.
    xxx. Barack Obama
    31. Does my girlfriend’s sex change count?
    32. So many questions and so little attention span. I must be a middle school girl, bathing in my pool of the everlasting now (stolen quote).
    33. Love the site! Thanks a lot. I remember telling a friend who was telling me how great Infinite Jest, 2666 and The Rings of Saturn were the most defining books of our generation, if only the average @#$% would read something other than Stieg Larsson or ugh, Stephanie Meyer. It’s nice to know I have a companion.

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  3. Today is a gray, sad day, a fine day for making lists and narcissistic dips in the polluted pond of the past.

    1. It seems to me that stealing a book is an acceptable peccadillo, in the same vein as stealing food for one’s family. And if you’re going to steal food for your family, you might as well go for the good stuff. Shove a nice big steak down your pants, maybe some paté; grab some wine while you’re at it.

    2. Once, when I was much younger and working in the library of a hoity-toity Ivy league college, I fell in love with a children’s book by Edward Gorey called Donald and the …. Yes, that’s right, and the …, and you are supposed to open the book to discover what the … is. In typical Gorey fashion, the … turns out to be a maggot that little toe-headed Donald finds at the bottom of a garbage can and takes home to play with. The maggot infects him with some horrid illness from which he narrowly recovers.
    How charming! I thought. When I have kids, this is the kind of book I will read to them. I will dress them in all black, I will teach them my favorite swear words, I will let them drink coffee, I will let them play with garbage. I will give them little tattoos, maybe a heart with “mom” written inside.

    3. There were probably many other books I have stolen, stupid or boring ones I don’t want to admit. Perhaps I have stolen so many I can’t remember them all. Maybe I’m a bibliokleptomaniac.

    Of course I am not telling the whole truth. In real life, I sound just like your mother. But here, I am a brazen, foul-mouthed goth girl.

    4. So shut up and listen.

    4a. Okay, fine. I will treat you like my four year old. If you insist.

    5. Darling, if you want to spell “your” with an apostrophe, go right ahead. We’ll tell the teacher not to squelch your flourish.
    Now, remember: “Lolita,” is the sexy answer when someone sexy asks who your favorite author is. (The smart and sexy answer is “Nabokov.”)

    6. My favorite author is Toni Morrison and Philip K. Dick and Jose Saramago.

    7. Saramago wrote Blindness. I wrote about it http://thegirlinthehat.wordpress.com/2010/11/12/how-to-make-a-grown-woman-cry/ here.

    8. Alas, my bookshelf is full of books I have not read, but I did not buy them to impress you. I bought them to make an impression on the person I used to be, the one who read books. Who has time for Freedom?

    9. Memories of my shambolic youth taste like mushrooms sautéed in coconut oil (with garlic). Or maybe they taste like monkey brains boiled in red wine (with garlic).

    10. I wonder: Isn’t it typical to suffer? Did I mention that I write?

    11. Mirrors lack dimension. Choose a window instead—it’ll take you farther. (http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110327203417AAJPkgV

    12. Speaking of jumping out a window, the last time someone asked me how many words per minute I typed, I seriously considered suicide. I wrote about it http://thegirlinthehat.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/awakenings/ here.

    E. Do I strike you as a romantic? Or should I just clop you real horrorshow?

    14. Enough about you, my darling. This is my narcissistic pool we’re dipping into.

    17. My lucky number is 19, by the way.

    15. Me me me me me! Me? (Excuse me. Just clearing my throat.)

    16. I’ve always thought that Grendl’s mother needs a better name. If I wrote her story, I’d call her Betty. Just think of the shit poor Betty had to put up with.

    Ĵ. Grendl: the aging bachelor living at home with mum. No woman would have him.

    18. I bet he spent all his time spying on the neighbors, threatening, decapitating, molesting, baring his teeth and pissing around his territory. I bet he spent the rest of his time watching sports, horror movies, and porn. I bet Grendl wet the bed.

    19. I bet Betty got damn tired of cleaning up all the bodily fluids. My god, Grendl. Get a tissue!

    20. But who knows?

    21. Not me.

    13. Everyone has monsters in their closets. As a child I had a recurring nightmare of a man who wanted to keep me in a tower (and always ended with his slow-motion fall from the top; as he falls, he spins, hitting his head repeatedly against the plaster facade, spilling blood and brains, limbs catching on the iron bars). I haven’t had that dream for thirty years but still remember it vividly.

    22. People disappoint me more than machines ever could.

    22a. Do you ever find yourself in the middle of a conversation that feels more like a tennis match? You know, one person just waiting for the other to stop speaking so that they can have their turn? Two briefly interrupted monologues. One person reminisces about how comfortable an old beloved pair of Wallabees was while the other stares at the ceiling as she recounts a dream she once had (my god, how boring, no wonder therapists get paid big bucks). When she stops to take a sip of whisky (to whet the whistle so to speak), he barges on: Speaking about dreams, those shoes were so fucking dreamy…. When he starts moaning about some guy who taught him to lace his shoes, she wonders if it’s a metaphor, wonders what her therapist would say, and their dialogues starts sounding like the first section of Sound and the Fury, two ghosts yearning to feel their own flesh, two oddly parallel arcs making a discordant harmony, pushing up and up toward their disconnected epiphanies, and it was almost harmonic, almost meaningful.

    XXIII. If I were to describe myself, I would not use someone else’s words, now would I?

    YYIV. I have a bubblegum tongue.

    XXV. (I only use other people’s words when I’m listening to music.)

    ZZVI. I am the eggman. I am the walrus.

    XXVII. (Coo coo ca choo.)

    28. I bet Grendl was colorblind. He probably saw everything in black or white. He probably knew all the words to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7gFlSGXt_k this song.

    29. I am the girl in the hat http://thegirlinthehat.wordpress.com/ . I am reading Oedipus and listening to my Ipod. The best part is the chorus.

    xxx. When I turn out the light, I see stars.

    31. I am not afraid of mirrors but, like I said, windows are much more interesting.

    32. In conclusion: “adult children” is an oxymoron and nobody, not even your best friend, really wants to hear about your dreams. Neurotics always remind me of Woody Allen and sometimes I think I’m a man trapped in a woman’s body; an ugly, nerdish, cranky little man. Sometimes we catch sight of each other in the mirror. http://thegirlinthehat.wordpress.com/2011/04/21/20-random-things-about-me/ We pretend not to notice. So take it from me: Choose the window.

    (I also carry two invisible swords crossed across my back, but I’ve never had to use them.)

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? A towel. Or perhaps an oroborus. And here we are, back where we started. Yes, I admit. I have stolen a book. A book about a wyrm.

    33. I am always http://thegirlinthehat.wordpress.com/ here.

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  4. 3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey? Nooo

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone? uh, yea!

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results? sure.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say? Oh god I am terrible at answering questions like this when I am actually attracted to someone.

    6. Who is your favorite author? I don’t know. I don’t have a favorite. I tend not to reread books. I want to read as many books as I can in my lifetime by as many different writers as possible.

    7. What is your favorite book? Most recently, “Are You There God, Its Me Chelsea” by Chelsea Handler. Is that bad? I could have said “John Adams” by Daniel McCoulough but in truth he’s a close second.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf. Everything I read lately is because I need to review it. But I do judge a book by its cover. I think good designers deserve credit for their work.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth? Sometimes…

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer? I pretty normal I think

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    HAHA ehh no.
    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    Again, funny. I don’t know. I am a fast typer and can function well drunk. So I’d imagine a lot!
    E. Do you believe in a life after love? Yea. Cher taught me to.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall? No…

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number? I like this number actually. This and the number 2.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time? Absolutely not!

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying

    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his

    c) the monster’s mother

    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn

    A for sure
    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight? Yes

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c? I ok admitting I am wrong. That’s why people don’t gloat at me. It’s no fun.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.? I decided I needed to hunker down and make a career

    20. How many books do you claim to have read? I have no idea. That’s like asking how many people I’ve slept with. If I had to guess…200. About 20 to the second guess.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death? Nah. I am reading this so that I can do what is important in life…. get people to read MY blog and start a portfolio to become a book editor.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting? Can’t say I have.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you? Lately, not often! I rather like them!

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    One time when I was jogging a car pulled up really fast, like there was something wrong. I stopped to observe and suddenly a couple of teenagers hopped out of the car, approached me, tried to keep a straight face, stared at my bewilderment, and silly sprayed me. In the face.
    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    a) a petulant phony

    b) a monomaniacal fraud

    c) the son of Zeus

    d) a Narcissistic douche bag

    C… I think?
    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue? WTF is that? No. When I’m drunk I can make my tongue stick out like Raegan’s from The Exorcism.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs? Nope but my mom probably does.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you? Texas Roadhouse?

    XXVII. All you need is love? Sometimes. When I have everything else I need.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)? Who? Dewey decimal?

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

    I didn’t even read this.

    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.

    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.

    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.

    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.

    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.

    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:

    “What lives for ever and never dies,

    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,

    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,

    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light? Cockroaches and Rats

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)? No.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?

    TOO LONG
    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    ????
    33. Still there? You are losing me.

    Oh thank god it’s over.

    Like

  5. 1. Oh yes.

    2. Books that fit in my pants. Seriously. That’s my MO.

    3. Misrepresentation is what I do.

    4. I found it very attorney-ish.

    4a. Yes, but only if people like them and they bring me fame and fortune and everything that goes with it.

    5. i don’t know. Not that I don’t know what I’m going to say, because I do know, I would say I don’t know, that’s what I would say. i don’t know what I would say, really.

    6. I don’t know.

    7. All those that I’ve finished. Fuck the rest.

    8. I don’t drink coffee.

    9. Like exhausted batteries. Which don’t have any taste really, so no.

    10. Somewhat. Isn’t that typical?

    11. I dropped it because the handle broke in my hand, OK? I’m not taking any bad luck for this. It was an accident.

    12. 33.3 knots per hectoPascal

    E. No, only in love after life. Or after hours. OK, sometimes during lunch break.

    14. My mother was rarely home.

    17. No.

    15. Yes. Ever.

    16. e) The scriptwriter, who though that writing isn’t that hard after all.

    Ĵ. Yes, to see me is to love me.

    18. &c. I would rather &c.

    19! Some if it still clings to the hair around my anus, &c.

    20. Lots, let me tell you.

    21. Worry me? What’s more reassuring that getting a bit closer to the greatest certainty in every man’s life?

    13. What’s a Maine lobster? So I guess yes, all the time.

    22. Never. They do what I tell them. I am disappointed in myself for not being able to do that better.

    22a. The same thing happened to me once. It was the same and I can totally relate.

    XXIII. Yes, yes I would.

    YYIV. I don’t suffer from it, no.

    XXV. I know some of the words to all the old songs, and all the words to some of the old songs, and sometimes I know old the words to some of the all songs.

    ZZVI. I’m right here, wrapping this up now.

    XXVII. It’s not all I need, no, but I need all of it, so all love is what I need.

    28. Oh yes, please. Aggravated, yes.

    29. In a New York minute.

    Yes, I think I can. Want me to try now, or…like later, or can I take this home and get back to you? Or do you, I mean was I supposed to do it right now? I didn’t know, sorry. I mean, yes, I think I can.

    “Is this a question?”

    xxx. The switch, for a moment, and then the tiny red dot on the switch.

    31. It did not make it difficult to not throw up a bit in my mouth, it did not make anything difficult, in fact what was difficult stayed that way and what was easy also pretty much stayed that way because it just came naturally to me or I was getting good at it or just not thinking about it, and what was difficult was not more difficult, I mean it was still hard but it could have been worse or even perhaps even worse than before. I, listen, I do not throw up in my mouth, I just let it go. It goes out of my mouth, it’s throwing out really, not up, it’s outwards and downwards, so pretty much, yeah.

    32. No, not quite, not in an inexplicable way, no. In an explicable way, I think yes. it is explicable.

    32. Isn’t what what this whole thing is about? This? I mean, I don’t think so, this isn’t what this whole thing is about, maybe this is what part of this whole thing is about, and even this is what this whole thing isn’t about, entirely. Meaning whole, the whole thing, or wholly the thing, because it’s an adverb.

    33. Still where?

    Like

  6. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    Yes

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    Led Zeppelin IV guitar book
    The Super Guitar Song Book
    The Guitar Grimoire
    Everything But Espresso

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    If relevant

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    no, but perhaps a bit pugnacious

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    I’m publishing it right here.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    George Orwell

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    Aldous Huxley

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Catcher in the Rye

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    The Encyclopedia of Ignorance

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    Yes, 9volts especially.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    I must be neurotypical.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his
    c) the monster’s mother
    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn
    The monster’s mother, C

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    Yeah, but I probably wouldn’t recognize it.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    I’d admit I was wrong, there’s no shame in that. You doing those things to ME? Eh, I couldn’t tell that story even if my other option was death.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    Living in the souls of my children.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    How ever many I’ve read. Er, 15 approximately. Give or take the number ‘i’.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    No, but it will.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    Always. Minus the lobster toes and werewolves.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Their life expectancy

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    I was working at this coffee shop, you see, and one day this older gentleman came in. Well, let me go back and say I was having a shitty day. I wasn’t working in one of those chain starbucks or anything, and it wasn’t one of those starbucks wannabe’s either. I was working at (not to toot my employer’s horn) the best coffee shop in the city. Granted, I use the term city loosely, but that kind of loosely you get when you don’t tie your left shoe as tight as the right. Anyway, I always get these indignant deserving people coming in and bitching about shit. I can’t give you a very good example, I tune most of it out. My guest would be to say money, or something along the depreciation of their new Volvo or Mercedes or something. Sometimes it’s about the game, but who gives a shit about the game. Anyway, it was a pretty shitty ass day. I really just hate the job. But anyway, this old man comes in and was asking me about the book I was reading. Asking me! I was pretty shocked, people don’t even ask me how my days going usually. So we chatted it up about Douglas Adams, and his dirk gently books. I was pretty fond of ‘em, but anyway, he was still a customer and I wasn’t ready to put some faith in him just because he also liked ol’ DA. But then again, I had this weird feeling inside me, you know, the one you get when someone isn’t who they appear to be. I started hating him for that too. Like he was deceiving me or something. Anyway, we chatted for another minute or so until he asked me where the papers were. Then I noticed his hat. He had on this red baseball cap. It wasn’t like any old baseball cap, it was MY baseball cap. Well, only different. suddenly I had this overwhelming feeling I was talking to my grandfather. It was really strange, the connection I had with this old man. My grandfather passed away about a year ago. I loved him. I mean, it was terrible when I lost him, I like to imagine what life would be like if he were still here to talk to with. I know he’s out there, watching over me, protecting me. The baseball cap, the red one? The one that was mine? I got it from my grandfather.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    a) a petulant phony
    b) a monomaniacal fraud
    c) the son of Zeus
    d) a Narcissistic douche bag

    The Son of Zeus

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    nah

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    I believe that to be impossible.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    Home, duh.

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    and liqour

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    Both

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    Oh, God.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    A kaleidoscope of black

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    Nope

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?

    That is the opposite of flying. I dream of future. Of flying cars (in dreams) and absurd taxes (in nightmares)

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    Maybe embellish? Isn’t appropriate it procreate?

    33. Still there?
    Fortunately yes, approximately 8 hours later (give or take a few breaks here and there, and here and there)

    Like

  7. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    I have never stolen a book in my entire life. Although my freind borrowed a book from me and he cut the picture of ‘Blue Whale’ from that book. It made me sad. I once borrowed a storybook from him and i forgot to return.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    The book i borrowed and forgot to return was a fable book with lot of stories.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    No, I do not intend to lie or misrepresent myself on this survey. I intend to tell the truth.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    No. I do not find question 3 to be belligerent in its tone.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Yes. You have my permission to publish my survey results.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    My favorite author is Chetan Bhagat.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    My favorite author is Chetan Bhagat. My favorite authors change from time to time .

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Two States.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    ‘The winner stands alone’ by Paulo Coelho and ‘toxic bachelors’ by danielle steel.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    No.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    No. I am not neurotypical.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    I have never shattered a mirror. I do not believe in the seven year cycle of bad luck. I used to believe in luck. Life has taught me that there is no such thing as luck.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    I do not drink. My typing speed is 20 wpm.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    No. I do not believe in a live after love.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    Yes. I can recall.
    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    No. I do not believe in luck.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    I eat ice creams at night.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying

    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his

    c) the monster’s mother

    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn
    I do not identify with anyone above.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    No. I do not belive in a love at first or second sight.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    No. I do not understand this question completely.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    It is still there in my life.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    I claim to read hundred books of many languages like english, marathi and hindi.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    No. I do not think it is a waste of time reading this. I do not think of death.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    Yes. During my childhood I was afraid of ghosts at night.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    The machines disappoint me when they do not work. The monitor dissapoints me when it does not show good display.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.
    This is a unique experince you had.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    a) a petulant phony

    b) a monomaniacal fraud

    c) the son of Zeus

    d) a Narcissistic douche bag
    I would best describe myself as a loner.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    No.
    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    No.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    Castle.
    XXVII. All you need is love?
    All I need is to be left alone. I can produce my own love.
    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    Who is John Dewey?

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.

    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.

    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.

    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.

    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.

    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:

    “What lives for ever and never dies,

    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,

    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,

    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    No idea.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    Yes.
    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    I think about my blog stats when I fall asleep.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    No idea.

    33. Still there?
    Yes. I want more. I like your blog. I could answer some questions. But many questions were beyond my thinking capacity. Thank you.

    Like

  8. We are all of us thieves. If I say no, well then I’m a liar, too.

    You know those books with the covers ripped off? That was me. You may use the number provided to report me.

    Can we really misrepresent ourselves? If I lie, then I’m a liar, which is a fairly good representation of self. Maybe John Dewey has an opinion. (I do more to misrepresent myself by providing answers to these questions, any answers at all, than the answers themselves)

    No. Some of these questions are a little too cute, but so far, no belligerence. No real tone, either.

    IS this a survey? Really? I thought it was a test to see if I can be in your little group. But go ahead. I’ve always wanted to be published.

    Depends on the party. A networking event attended by business professionals? Stephen Covey. A post-theater cocktail party? JD Salinger (or David Sedaris, depending on whether the actors are around). Lot’s of chicks with dark hair and red lipstick? Anne Rice. Book club party? Any author from The Oprah Winfrey Selection’s. What, no alcohol involved? James Frey. See? Do you see now?

    Not sure…are you “someone attractive”? I’ll need to know before I can answer.

    See above.

    That’s an easy one. The Oxford William Shakespeare, The Complete Works. It has this neato feature in the back with modern day translations of each line. For the record, I did end up reading it. Good Stuff. Oh, and “Consciousness Explained”.

    Please qualify the question. 9 volts taste much different than AAA’s.

    Suffering is the human condition. Give me a warm, wet womb and I can be happy.

    You ask this as if the bad luck doesn’t count if the mirror is broken in a fit of clumsiness.

    There is a bell curve, where a=amount of drinks, b=average wpm and c=length of binge.

    I believe in rhetorical questions and bullshit answers. I believe that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. I believe I am either lying or misrepresenting myself. I believe that maybe you shouldn’t?

    See here? That’s a “cute” question.

    This is not a number.

    If you really want nachos but don’t have chips, cheese or salsa. However, considering PH imbalance due to lactic acid, I would recommend a plastic spoon.

    We used to watch these movies in Home Ec. The bitch that goes crazy doesn’t necessarily die, but always, ALWAYS, ends up pregnant. The track coach usually does “get his”, but sometimes that means banging the cheerleader in the ball room while everyone else watched the movie. We are the monsters (fathers, mothers, children). Hey! Shesnotabitchitsjustathanklessjob.

    Asked and answered, Counselor. Badgering the witness. Sustained!

    “Molest my buttons?”. So fucking cute…

    It’s still there. Does that make me a monster hiding in your closet?

    A Thousand. Any more, and I sound pretentious. Any less, and I’m a liar.

    Tsk Tsk Tsk. You’re associating time with proximity. It’s true that as we age we get closer to death. But that time I jumped out of an airplane, or the other time I hydroplaned on 95 into oncoming traffic? I was sitting right next to the bitch then, eating her fucking popcorn.

    Have to love a question laced with metaphors and cursive language. Except for the part about Maine lobsters. Would Spiny lobster have ruined the metaphor since they’re lacking claws? What if I said Yes? Better yet, if someone could reasonably answer Yes to this question, how do you expect they would be able to finish the survey/admission exam/pre-interview questionnaire?

    Machines don’t disappoint. Their programmers do. Duh. Intro to Computing and Technology, Day 1. It’s in the Goddamn syllabus.

    I remember one I…perfect day and the equation was bright…Fred, for example (and lack of a better one)..inches seemed like miles…dark nights and darker days…but really, who would…so as you can see…mostly fines but possibly incarceration….can’t stand the darkness so he leaves me every winter…not the content so much as the context…and I was briefly, unjustly satisfied.

    D. Definitely D. As long as Narcissistic is CAPITALIZED. No, wait..aren’t (a+b) and (c+d) basically the same? Way to limit my options.

    I’ve suffered to eat tongue. Not just my own.

    I know the old words to all the songs.

    Here. I. Am.

    All you need is an actual question.

    I’ll take aggravated assault for 500, Alex.

    Another terribly CUTE Question!!! ;)

    The basket weave.

    Scars are life’s souvenirs. I’d rather see those than a slide show from Duluth.

    Well, you see it’s like this…wait. What was the question? Seriously. I don’t know whether I should google “Flesh Eating Parasite” or go see How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

    Finally, a question I know the answer to…

    Here. I. Am. Did I pass?

    Like

  9. About me survey.
    1 Yes.
    2 Two early John Steinbeck from a used book store, when I was thirteen.
    And one book on Bristol Cars from the Library in Belfast.
    3 Yes, no, I’m not sure yet.
    4 No, just clever in a smarty pants way.
    4a Yes.
    5 John Steinbeck, even if they were an ugly dog.
    6 John Steinbeck and me.
    7 The Oxford English Dictionary and Steinbeck’s “Sweet Thursday” if that doesn’t count.
    8 None, I keep all my books in my study/library or my bedside table.
    9 No, much worse than that.
    10 Oh NT eh? Normal? Waz that?
    11 No, I’m clam, cool, calm personified. B hates that when she has her hands on her hips being loud.
    12 Don’t never happen, I’m wine or Hennessy XO only.
    E Yes indeed I do and have the proof. Oh hang on no, I found love again right quick and it was as I dream it should be so maybe not.
    14 What? My grandpa memories are much more sanitary and rose tinted.
    17 What happened to 15 and 16. Lucky numbers? Piffle!
    15 Oh here it is, I should read ahead. Well now I’d say anytime and yes I’ve done that.
    16 None of the above. I avoid such stuff always, even when I was a hormonal teen.
    J Na, not really. At first talk and kiss – yes.
    18. Do you want my address?
    19 Still there but more often expressed in the novels now.
    20 I don’t, claim that is. I’ve no idea.
    21 Na , I never worry about death. Been too close too often. Such worry is a waste.
    13. Oh I see! No I never did recurring nightmares as a child.
    22 Every other day.
    22a I really have no time for that one sorry.
    XXIII No.
    YYIV No
    XXV. No.
    ZZVI. In a dream.
    XXVII. Yea, yea, yea, I got it.
    28 Pragmatism suggests neither.
    29 Oh really this is getting too silly.
    xxx. The next few words and the next days dinner.
    31 Never happened, all my family had perfect tits etc.
    32. Neurotic me?
    32 again? No it’s not.
    33 Yes.
    That was fun, I think.
    davidrory

    Like

  10. 1. I feel like I must have stolen a book but can’t think of a time.

    2. If I stole a book it was from someone I am likely friends with. Come to think of it, I have a few books that I don’t exactly remember where they came from. I guess I stole some books. I’m pretty sure the one existentialism book I have was technically stolen.

    3. Originally I read question #1 and skipped down to #3. #3 made me worry about whether or not I was about to tell the internet a lie. So, I may be overly worried about misrepresenting myself. Answer: No.

    4. No, but things got serious real quick.

    4a. Yes, but maybe first I should tell my friend about the book of hers I think I stole.

    5. I’d probably strain from rolling my eyes at the question, then answer Haruki Murakami. And then I’d roll my eyes at my own answer.

    6. Dr. Suess

    7. When I was in middle school it was To Hang a Thousand Trees with Ribbons. But I kept telling people that and they hadn’t heard of (been required to read) it so it’s become A Day No Pigs Would Die.

    8. There may have been an underlying reason I stole that existentialism book but that doesn’t make it okay does it?

    9. bhahah no but reading that did bring back the taste. I was a big fan of the taste of a battery on my tongue

    10. For a few years I thought I may have had Asperger’s. Then I realized that was a politically incorrect excuse for my avoidance of social situations and I bucked up and am now, for the most part, neurotypical.

    11. I have broken many a CD just to see how far I could bend it before it broke. Never drew blood from it though.

    12. When drinking whiskey I always opt to write pen to paper. Answer: N/A

    E. There is only life after love. I don’t really believe that, I just always wanted to share that with Cher.

    14. I remember my great grandmother doing this, feeding me as many Sno Caps from her pockets she could sneak in until mom got home.

    17. It’s alright. Much better than 43. makes me shudder just to type it

    15. No way! Butter from a Country Crock tub though…

    16. b. but I wish it was c.

    Ĵ. Only with food.

    18. Whaaaaaa. Admit that I’m wrong to my parents. My mom loves that kind of get together anyway.

    19! I still got all that adventure in my heart, with it fomenting in my innards, rushing in torrents of passion from my eyes, ears, nose, throat! It’s just no longer in my anus.

    20. Since 1st grade, I gave up counting. But I’ll just say 2. It’s a nice easy number.

    21. I CANNOT WAIT TO DIE. I mean. I’m looking forward to the experience but have no issue with living. For a while. For like…a handful of decades more. But not like, exactly a handful of decades from now. But like…when it happens……Look, I just don’t want to be a vampire living forever is all. I’m so thankful I’m not a vampire.

    13. I did not wet the bed over lobster toes, if that’s what you’re asking.

    22. Every time my transmission shakes the whole car for 5 second intervals when driving between 61 and 67 mph

    22a. When I was younger I had this all black cat named Spooky. I considered him mine and not the family cat for reasons which I will explain. On my 7th birthday my half brother, Les, who was my dad’s son but not my mom’s, and the same age as my mom, both of them being in their mid 30’s at the time, came home. Les didn’t really live with us, but sometimes he would. My mom was never happy about it and my dad was always reluctant, mostly because my mom and Les did not get along. Les, since before I was born, had been in and out of jail for drug and theft charges and probably involved in other things that my dad didn’t want to let me and my brother’s know about. Usually when Les was living with us it meant he had just gotten out of jail or a work program or been kicked out of where ever he was staying. He never stayed for more than a couple of weeks at a time and he would stay in my room since I had two twin beds on opposite sides of my room and my brothers shared a bunk bed in another room. So, just before sunrise, July 31st, 1995, there was a barrage of taps on my bedroom window. With it being my birthday I didn’t hesitate to assume my parent’s had planned some elaborate surprise for me which started at the crack of dawn and would likely last all week, so I shot out of bed then quickly composed myself to play it cool. I peeked through the blinds and saw two oval yellow eyes staring back at me. I screamed. My dad came rushing into my room to make sure I hadn’t been murdered by the ET that lived in my closet (I was not a fan of the alien). Before I could properly explain to him what I saw and after he realized that I was fine, the doorbell rang. My dad headed to the front door with me in tow, sure that it was ET’s family coming to finally take my Odie doll since the ET in my closest had definitely already stolen my Garfield. My mom had beat us to the front door. Before I could warn her about the alien she swung open the door. Les was standing on our front stoop with his ratty Jansport backpack in one hand and a black kitten with the prettiest yellow eyes in the other. As far as words that were exchanged at this point, I don’t remember. I know it was loud and angry because the kitten’s eyes got wider and he started to scratch at Les’ arm. With it being my birthday and without a Garfield to my Odie, I dashed to the kitten’s rescue and pulled it from Les’ arm skin. My parents continued to scream and a drugged Les smiled back like the goon that I’ve never seen him not be and I raced to my room with the kitten in my arms.
    The rest of the day went by with no interaction from my parents as they quickly learned that Les had just robbed somebody’s home in our neighborhood and the cops had been told by our neighbor where Les sometimes lived. I spent my 7th birthday playing with a kitten. Due to our first meeting through my blinds, I thought it apt to name him Spooky. He seemed to like it.
    Five years later, my family and myself and Spooky and my mom’s evil Siamese cat, Sophie, moved to Northern Utah. We had been living in Utah for almost a year and I still was not used the terrifying roads that we had to take driving back into the little valley in which we lived. The options were vomit-inducing swervy canyon pass with the raging rapid river that hugged one side OR the pee-your-pants mountain pass that never failed to bring on vertigo when you looked to the drop-off if you couldn’t handle staring at the stone wall that threatened to run into your car if you got too close to it. We were taking the mountain pass home after a day of school shopping when suddenly I felt a sharp pain in my stomach. It hurt. And then it pierced again. Then, it wouldn’t stop, it was just one long intense pain that made me scream out to my mom who was concentrating on the treacherous pass she was driving, “Mom! I’m dying!” (I’ve learned to use less dramatic words when someone is driving on narrow scary roads since.) My mom almost sent the car into the side of the mountain before coming to a complete stop with one wheel kissing too much air on the drop-off side. I opened the car door and threw up over the side of the mountain.
    The rest of the drive home I still felt the sharp pain in my stomach. I remember telling my mom that something was wrong. “What do you mean? Are you going to throw up again?” I didn’t know how to explain it but I knew that something other than my stomach hurting was wrong. Something very bad has happened. I didn’t know what it was, I just wanted to get home as fast as possible.
    We pulled up to the house and I stepped out of the car and immediately started crying. I couldn’t tell if I was still hurt or why I was so scared or what was wrong with me but I didn’t stop crying until several hours later when my dad came in from the shed.
    He said he had found Spooky out in the shed. Somehow he had gotten into the anti-freeze. He must have knocked it over and it burst open. He had licked it up. My dad had always told us that the anti-freeze smells and taste sweet and never to do anything dumb with it because it was poison. “I’m sorry kiddo. Spooky’s dead.”
    I still miss Spooky. He’s way better than Garfield.

    XXIII. c. the son of Zeus. but without the testicles and penis part. and I have boobs. and a vagina. and softer bone structure. and no Disney movie about me.

    YYIV. I’m not a giraffe.

    XXV. No way but I sure do like to pretend when singing along.

    ZZVI. Probably hanging out with the g-ma. She loves her looms of animal tapestries.

    XXVII. and chocolate. and some music. and a comfy jacket.

    28. You seem interesting and all, but…look it’s not you, it’s me. I need some space. It’s not the right time. I just can’t commit to someone who isn’t dead. Dewey’s my guy.

    29. Hrm. I’ll get back to you on that one.

    xxx. Definitely not ET. I’ve conquered/pretend to have conquered that fear.

    31. I have no family who has had an elective surgery. But I have been asked to feel a girl’s new boobs before. I think I told her they were “nice and perky” but was secretly disappointed with the shape.

    32. Every time I’ve had a flying dream, it’s been cruddy and limited. For some reason as soon as I’m flying I think, “Hey! I’m flying!” and then my body gets heavy and sinks me back into a house below through the roof. I try all night to make myself cut away the roof so I can float back out and fly around but I just get stuck in the top floor of some house until I wake up and go pee.

    32. YES! Though, I’ve come to think it’s never appropriate when no proper respect is given to the origin. Which is why I now feel great about doing this because question numbers 1, 2, 3 made me realize that Tiffany, I appreciate the existentialism book I borrowed from you and told you I would return and then had many chances to and never did. You can’t have it back though.

    33. Oh yeah.

    thanks for this and the great site!

    -Morgan

    Like

  11. Very funny: providing accurate answers will make me a better person…. :) Actually, I just read the ABOUT US but couldn’t comment, and then curiously clicked this ABOUT YOU as I’ve never seen one of those before. So here goes, I’ll answer your Qs, since I’m here & I’m on holidays (PS: great site – been around since 2006? Love the way you put AD – as if it could be other!)

    1. No, I have never stolen a book. I have ALWAYS returned books I borrowed. And then I remember being told of the “new thing” of leaving a book, once you’ve read it, on a bus or just simply giving it away. So when I bought, and read Schapelle Corby’s experiences in the Bali prison, I remember mentioning it to my hairdresser & when she said she wanted to read it, I came back another day & gave it to her. Felt good!

    3. No, it is not my intention. You’ve thought about the Qs, so I’ll think honestly about the As.
    4. No; it was a fair ask.
    4a. Yes you can publish my survey results, but just not on tonight’s national news – ta.

    5. OMG, I’m going to look so culturally retarded, but I’m going to say I don’t have a favourite author & I’m not that well read. The last book I read was ‘The Importance of Now’ (I THINK that was it) – & I can’t remember the author though he rose up from “nowhere” with this best seller & I read it only months ago. I’m so bad at remembering authors, but artists – Tom Waites, David Bowie, Grace Jones, Billy Idol – easy to remember.

    6. Don’t have one (yet)
    7. Um, I don’t have one. Heh.

    8. Now THAT, I do not do. When I buy or borrow a book, it’s because I want to read it. My sister (I have 3 so you’ll never know which one… although one did change her surname by deed poll so maybe I’ve only got two) – my sister has HEAPS of interesting looking books on her shelves & I remember when I introduced my new boyfriend of the time to her & he, very well read, went to her book shelves & starting asking what did she think of x book – she hadn’t read it – & what about x book – she hadn’t read it; and she ended up getting shitty at him. I remember feeling at the time, ‘Why so many interestingly titled books, unread?’

    9. Fearing your next Q will be ‘did you have to look up the meaning of ‘shambolic”, I did so anyway. So now having defined shambolic – my answer to this Q is no, and my youth wasn’t that chaotic. It was a struggle beneath my manic depressive father & I used to wag school & sit under a tree in Wattle Park, Melbourne Australia, & write, & write & write.

    10. OK, so I had to look up ‘neurotypical’ too. You’re not going to invite me to your next cocktail party, are you? Sigh. Well anyway, I’m not neurotypical and I SUFFERED FUCKING HARD, bad & intensely, living with my father ages 10-17, was suicidal, bulimic, depressed to the extreme, into adulthood, into marriage, broke free, discovered myself, and only recently have addressed my depression & found ways of management. So I don’t presently suffer, no.

    11. No, I haven’t destroyed anything/one in a fit of rage. Um, are you guys fair dinkum with these Qs or are you teasing us the people, I am beginning to wonder around about now….

    12. Sober is 95, never typed imbued with whisky.

    E. Hee hee. So E is 13, hey? Are you scared of the no. 13? It’s now MY turn to ask YOU: Y do you have an ‘E’ for a 13??? I believe in life after love, but haven’t found it yet.

    14. My mother suicided when I was 6 & I had no grandpa in the State of Australia I was living at the time, so HA!
    17. No. It’s the age I left my Dad’s domain. And why r u messin’ with the numbers?
    15.The thought of doing this does not appeal, but no, it aint OK if you’re living with someone else. Ich!
    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with: (b)

    Ĵ. J. Now we’re doing a J. You see, your numbers have now lost their VALUE because you’ve thrown in a J. Do you get that? The only way your numbers can get their value back, is if you add another number at the end, which the J will represent, to get it back into full sequence. Anyhow, I believe in an instinctive knowingness at first sight, with love to be realised between the two, or few.

    18. Um, admit I was wrong.
    19! I downed it with too many shots of vodka some time way back.
    20. All the ones I HAD to in school, and spasmodically thereafter – sort of can’t count them.
    21. It doesn’t worry me. It comforts me.
    13. Uh, nope. And I see you’ve no superstitions about 13 after all.
    22. Regularly, when they don’t give me money.

    22a. Doing this freaking survey! (jeez, and to think I read all that).

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as – c) the female son of Zeus

    YYIV. Eech. No.
    XXV. Eech. No.
    ZZVI. In your lounge room.
    XXVII. Nope. All you need is balance.
    28. Sorry, I don’t know who John Dewey is & I can’t be bothered looking him up.
    29. There was no man.
    Can this you do? – d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    xxx. night.
    31. No!

    32. Sorry. I’m getting tired & didn’t read this one through (you wanted me to be honest?)

    32. &c.

    33. Barely.

    PHEW

    Like

  12. 1. Yes. I started my career as a book thief when I was in 4th grade: I stole books from my school’s book fair. I wanted to buy about 20 but only had money for 3-4. You know the rest.
    2. I think I stole a bunch of biographies/fiction pieces. I do not remember. They were all in Turkish. Later, I went on to stealing books from my local library in New York (most recent: The Metamorphoses & Other Stories – Kafka). I also took Wicked by Gregory Maguire, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden, The Reader by Bernard Schlink and various other works of literature from various friends and relatives. They are currently on my book shelf, well-read, and sitting for three years.
    3. Why would I need that?
    4. It was somewhat hostile.
    a. Yes, yes.
    5. Herman Melville. I’m going to marry him some day.
    6. Herman Melville.
    7. Moby-Dick.
    8. Do cookbooks count?
    9. Old, rotten batteries, indeed.
    10. Oh, I suffer.
    11. I don’t believe in luck.
    12. Whiskey drinks? Do I look like a Manhattan drinking one-night-stand to you? (I’ve never counted.)
    E. Love?
    14. I can’t. My grandpa never held me. He was too busy committing adultery/smoking cigars/getting drunk.
    17. Refer to number 11.
    15. Only if you’re Russian.
    16. Victor Frankenstein
    Ĵ. Re: E
    18. Not my puppy….
    19. A throng of parasitic townspeople (AP Physics) took it and in attempts to find the e=mc2, I lost my soul. That makes very little sense.
    20. Zero. (Insert random literature references in the next 10 minutes of this conversation.)
    13. Uh.
    21. I’ve wasted my valuable lifetime doing worse things.
    22. Too often.
    22a. I did not read your story, but I can safely assume that I’ve had a similar experience that I do not feel like sharing.
    XXIII. b
    YYIV. Not in the literal sense.
    XXV. I do not.
    ZZVI. In a fucking room.
    XXVII. All YOU need is love.
    28. Who ate my chocolate covered coffee beans?
    29. What?
    xxx. I haz cat visionz.
    31. I have actually never had the opportunity to engage in such a glorious conversation.
    32. Flight has never been one of my fancies.
    32. Good artists copy, great artists steal. I heard that somewhere.
    33. 20 minutes and 3 locations later….

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  13. I have twice in my life stolen a book, both times at a place of commerce. It is entirely by coincidence that each one was by John Updike.

    Two years separated the acts of thievery. The first occurred some time in 2006; at a chain bookstore still very much in business, I lifted a copy of Rabbit, Run. Then, in the summer of 2008, while visiting a friend in Atlanta, I pilfered a copy of Of the Farm from a Borders. Neither time was it my specific intention to rob the still-living Mr. Updike of his due royalties; it just so happened that when I was taken by the mad whim to steal, it was something by John Updike I wanted. I haven’t stolen anything since, nor can I imagine that I would be moved to do so any time ever again.

    Speaking of Updike, it just so happens that this morning, while book shopping on Amazon, I purchased a copy of the recently reissued Couples. It was either this or Rabbit, Run that was the first thing I read by the man either seven or eight years ago. (You see, I had previously read RR prior to stealing it. I also had previously read Of the Farm prior to stealing that one, as well. This has nothing to do with anything, but since I’m here I thought I’d share.)

    Like

  14. 1) Depends on what you mean by “stolen” and “book.”
    3) No.
    4) Compared to what?
    4a) Sure.
    5) I say “Arthur,” leading to this hilarious conversation based on misunderstanding, and somewhere in there I say “and my name is Arthur too” and they say “No, really!” and I’m all like “remember my name; you’ll be screaming it later.”
    6) I just ans – oh, I get it. Well, without knowing what you look like, I’d say I wished I wrote like Mark Salzman.
    7) Since I answer Mark Salzman above, that boxes me in to about three books. I’ll go with *The Soloist,* the book about the cellist but NOT the book about the crazy cellist played by Denzel Washington in that movie, although that movie was okay and the cellist in Salzman’s book was pretty crazy in his own quiet long-suffering way too.
    8) War & Peace, except I bought the B&N hardback and put it in the guest bathroom.
    9) Doesn’t everyone’s?
    10) If I were neurotypical, I wouldn’t be answering this questionnaire, now would I?
    11) No, but I did hit my own car with my fist once, putting a dent in it. Dad wasn’t happy.
    12) wellthsseewsofarit’saout 80
    E). I really don’t think you’re strong enough, oh ohh oh.
    14) That doesn’t sound famil —- OH MY GOD.
    17) Well, my dad died in Vietnam at that age, so not really.
    15) Yes, right after taking Crestor.
    16) B – all the way.
    Ĵ) I think you do.
    18) DM me for the address.
    19! The penicillin cleared it up.
    20) Depending on the venue, 80-876. Wait, is this about question 5 again?
    13) Yeah, and it’s strange. It’s like a dream where you’re wetting the bed and you wake up and you really are. That tells you something about the creative process.
    22) I work in IT so it’s more a continuous process than a series of discrete events.
    22a) As a young child, my now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle me gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway me and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting me from the fact that mother is still not home.
    XXIII) C
    YYIV) The penicillin cleared it up.
    XXV) Yes.
    ZZVI) It depends.
    XXVII) Love is all you need.
    28) What’s the difference?
    29) The answer is “no,” 12316.2323232,
    xxx) I can see outside the window into my neighbor’s bedroom.
    31) No.
    32) No, Yes, now that you mention it, mostly I dream about trying to fall asleep.
    32) A horny woman doing dishes.
    33) No.

    Like

  15. 1. Not from a licensed bookseller. But I’ve wantonly kept books that I’ve borrowed when I think the person who owns them doesn’t appreciate them enough. The acid test is when they don’t notice. The fools!

    2. The best policy is to constantly deflect their questions when (if ever) they ask you about borrowed book/DVD. If they really cared, they would wring your scraggly neck like a chicken until you handed it over. They never do.

    3. My identity is a misrepresentation. I can scarcely tell the difference between the now-me, the me-that-was, and the me-that-turns-up-on-social-occasions-to-pull-women/men. Frankly, I think your insistence on the truth is in very poor taste.

    4. My jackbootometer never went off, so there’s that.

    4a. Why all these cloying and ingratiating platitudes? Its understood that we’re all narcissists who respond to online quizzes. Publish or be damned.

    5. I can’t shake Elliot no matter how hard I try. She already gave birth to all my words, watched them grow up, and sent them to a fabulous university where they all impressed everyone.

    7. Since I’m already telling you the secrets of my soul – Middlemarch.

    8. The Female Eunuch. Self explanatory really.

    9. No, my youth was an arid wasteland watered with other peoples fantasies. I had to shed it like a snake’s scaly epidermis.

    10. I don’t trust anyone who doesn’t suffer on an almost minute by minute basis. I’m trying to work on that.

    11. Sheesh. As I don’t believe in luck the second half of your question is moot. As far as T-shirt stainage goes, I am quite particular about my clothes. I like to be seen as the sort of person who doesn’t mind lending them out, that is, the sort of person that is nonchalantly stylish enough for other people to want to borrow my clothes, but I suspect this is not the case. I am also preternaturally cautious about spilling body fluids. Some moron spilled olive oil on my favourite shirt on the tube and I stifled the urge to gauge her eyes out with my thumbs – her boyfriend was some sort of man-mammoth so I reconsidered. It still bugs me though.

    12. Control freakery has meant that there have been only about two occasions in my life where I’ve been drunk. On neither of them did I feel the need to record my typing speed. I was too busy trying to ‘live in the moment’ and ‘let my hair down.’ Needless to say, my attempts at these puerile (more puking than mewling) states of being were an abysmal failure.

    E. As I fall in love suddenly and without warning, and as it usually lasts only long enough for me to enjoy the effects of hopeless pining I would have to say, in the physical sense yes. Am I sure certain versions of myself don’t survive. Ye-nom. No-s.

    As for the rest, my computer just crash dumped on my full and deliciously witty answers. There was a lengthy and hilarious anecdote in there about me forcing a group of English Language students to solve a murder mystery Jessica Fletcher-stylee as well as the key to my soul through the medium of poetry. The above was all I could remember.

    Like

  16. 1. Yes
    2. Do you think I’m a photocopier? I’ve no head for these sort of details
    3. Yes, of course. I amn’t qualified to represent myself.
    4. No
    4a. Yes
    5. William Gaddis
    6. William Gaddis
    7. Riddley Walker
    8. At this stage I cant find any books amoung the creeping chaos of books. Only impressive to similarly obsessive bibliophiles who I only meet virtually so they don’t even get to see them so I only have to pretend to have them.
    9. More like sour crème de menthe
    10. I suffer somewhat
    11. No, but I did smash up a large collection of red wine bottles and spend my first minutes of wakefulness looking for the wound that had bled all over my t-shirt
    12. I literally vomit words
    E. Neither
    14. I was too drunk on the brandy he put in my bottle to remember anything
    17. What sort of rambling nonsense is this?
    15. Whenever
    16. The monster
    Ĵ. Dunno I was always blind drunk when it happened
    18. I’ll leave the key under the mat
    19! I know I could still find it if I hadn’t lost my keen sense of sight, of smell and of humour
    20. More than you
    21. Bring it on
    13. No, but they wouldn’t leave me alone when I was awake
    22. Never they are my only true friends
    22a. No
    Xxiii. B
    Yyiv. My shoes do
    Xxv. I don’t even know the words to all my old songs
    Zzvi. Here
    Xxvii. Always preferred the stones
    28. Aggravated assault
    29. Have you heard of editing?
    31. No
    32. I dream that I don’t waste the time I have trawling the internet
    32. Yes
    33. I wasn’t all there to start with

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  17. Regarding the book-stealing question: I am ashamed that I stole the Mark Twain What is Man? collection of essays from my junior year high school teacher. She lent it to me after I asked about Twain’s connection to Satanism and I never returned it. It’s a first edition from 1909, as I recall, and I cherish it.

    Like

  18. 1. Yes

    2. The one I stole most recently was from the public library, and I stole it because my late grandfather’s signature was on the inside front cover. I assume he had donated it. Then my mother stole it from me.

    3. No more than anyone misrepresents themselves on the internet.

    4. Not really, unless belligerent is the same as direct.

    5. Walker Percy

    6. Me, of course.

    7. Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon.

    8. Those would be all the textbooks I bought while getting my expensive and ultimately unimpressive bachelor’s degree.

    9. They taste more like hashbrowns.

    10. I am not neurotypical, no, although I have no diagnosis. People who have known me since I was a child, when they find out my son has Asperger’s, think that explains a lot about my youthful behavior, even though no one has proven it’s hereditary.

    11. No, but I went to a 21st birthday party that involved people smashing electronics with a sledgehammer in the woods and come to think of it, I’ve been somewhat unlucky since then.

    12. The same speed as a Johnny Horton LP.

    E. If you can give it, I can take it. But if this heart is gonna break, it’s gonna take a lot to break it.

    14. It was my grandmother, and she said the words that had a lasting effect on my life: “Stop crying and eat this doughnut.”

    17. It was, but I didn’t know it at the time.

    15. It’s okay as long as you either eat only one spoonful, or you get a new spoon each time you go into the container. And only in times of great distress.

    16. e) The mysterious crazy person who knows all about the killer’s backstory, and who later dies horribly.

    Ĵ. It happens to me every day.

    18. I try to tell my parents that I was wrong and they were right whenever it comes to mind these days.

    19. It manifests as an audible crickle in the back of my neck.

    20. I can’t imagine. I know it is a high number, but I’m not good at estimating quantities. I haven’t read ALL the books, because I’m too picky.

    21. Not at all.

    13. I don’t remember recurring dreams from childhood. As an adult I had the terrifying “I am back in school and haven’t studied for the test” dream for years until one night in a fit of lucidity I stood up in the classroom and said to the teacher, “Lady, I am 34 years old and I don’t know what I’m doing here, so I’m going out to lunch.”

    22. Every time I pick up the cell phone. What other utility would people accept such poor service from and pay so much for? Gah!

    22a. Yes, I see the profound in the mundane all the time, but I’m usually in the United States wearing flip flops when it happens.

    XXIII. a) a petulant phony

    YYIV. No.

    XXV. Usually when they are playing, I do.

    ZZVI. Living as a character in Beowulf.

    xxx. Really, the only acceptable answer is that I can’t tell you but I know it’s mine.

    31. Why do people always want you to look at their surgical scars? I don’t show them mine, but without fail, most people can’t wait for you to see that shit, and they tend to be very insistent about it.

    32. I like to think and think, and then try to work backwards through the train of thoughts to see what led to what.

    32. I used to get drunk and take small items from the houses of people who had those huge parties like you usually see in 80s movies where there are hundreds of young people running around and you don’t actually know whose house it is. But only small things, like a pot brownie, or a koozie, or picking up a camera and taking a picture of my friend and me with it and leaving it there for them to wonder who were those bitches in that picture. This felt more like stealing when cameras all used film.

    33. Naw.

    Like

  19. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    Yes.
    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    I took the collected works of Lewis Caroll and Identity by Milan Kundera from the library and never returned them.
    I also borrowed The Pajamaist by Matthew Zapruder and a Mary Reufle book from my poetry professor and I just can’t let them go. And I stole Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T.S. Eliot from my brother.
    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    No.
    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    Yes!
    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Sure
    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    I would probably say that I have favorite books and favorite writers, but none of my favorite books are by my favorite writers. Then I would realize that I already made myself seem crazy and I would throw out whatever writer I’d been reading most recently, which would likely be a poet, likely Mary Howe.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    Milan Kundera
    7. What is your favorite book?
    Where the Wild things Are
    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    I can’t afford those yet
    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    Who says I have left my shambolic youth behind?
    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    or
    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    No
    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    Hate whiskey
    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    Whatever
    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    He just clipped my fingernails and read me Dr. Seuss
    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    Yes. I hate numbers.
    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    I guess that’s okay but probably when everyone is sleeping.
    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:
    * a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his
    c) the monster’s mother
    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn
    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    Uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh
    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    Definitely the latter
    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    ITSALLPERCOLATINGNICELYSTILLTHANKU4ASKING
    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    I don’t finish most books I start and I only read poetry these days. I’m bad with estimates.
    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    “Damn right I like the life I live because I went from negatif 2 pawzitif” ~Biggie
    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    I usually had this dream that a friend and I cut off our hands and tried to sell them on the sidewalk
    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Every single damn minute of my life I waste trying to master them
    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.
    I didn’t read that but thank you for sharing
    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    a) a petulant phony
    b) a monomaniacal fraud
    c) the son of Zeus
    d) a Narcissistic douche bag
    e) the ghost of my last furby
    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    eeeeeeew
    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    THE OLD ONEZ DDNT HAV WORDZ SO U CULD MAKE EM UP LE DUH
    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    undergrad creative nonfiction workshop in Jackson, MS
    XXVII. All you need is love?
    b aba b aba ba
    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    sounds about right
    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—
    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.meow
    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.meow
    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled. Me ow
    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress. purrhaps
    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress. meowzaltov
    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this: meow
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”
    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    meow

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    sweat gland removal
    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    buzzzzzzzzz
    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    I WANT A CAT
    33. Still there?
    ARE YOU ABOUT TO GIVE ME A CAT FOR DOING THIS

    Like

  20. 1. Yes

    2. I honestly can’t remember. My library is so large now that I can’t remember the origins of every single volume. I only know that I have borrowed several books and not returned them. (Including, when I was a pret-teen, one from a library that no longer exists, though I couldn’t for the life of me tell you the title or author.)

    3. No. I am eerily candid about what I believe to be the truth.

    4. Not really.

    5. I would say: “That’s complicated. The simple answer is that my favourite living author is William Gibson, even though he hasn’t written any of my favourite books. My favourite Canadian author is Robertson Davies, but he didn’t write any of my favourite books either. It depends on what kind of books we’re talking about. How much time do you have?”

    6. I’m not sure how to answer that. Do you think I might find you attractive? Can I see a photo?

    7. In the Place of Last Things, by Michael Helm. Most of the time.

    8. I have the complete works of François Rabelais that I bought largely to appear impressive. It hasn’t really worked out.

    9. I didn’t really get properly shambolic until I got older. I had kind of an uptight youth.

    10. I suffer, though I think ‘somewhat’ might be a tad nebulous as a qualifier. Who among us does not suffer? The insensate, one supposes, but then one doesn’t always suppose correctly.

    11. I have not. I do not break things unless I absolutely cannot help it. I have an archivist’s soul.

    12. Somewhere in the neighbourhood of 50. Slightly more on rum, and slightly less on gin.

    E. No. Yes. It depends what you mean by “life.”

    14. No. My grandparents lived many hundreds of miles away, I almost never saw them outside the presence of a parent.

    17. My lucky number is “4,” which is an unlucky number to quite a few people, I’m told.

    15. No. It is only okay to eat large amounts of sour cream if it is added to borscht or perogies.

    16. The bitch who sold me the popcorn, although she actually seems like a pretty nice person just trying to make it through one more shift at a thankless job.

    Ĵ. Yes.

    18. I would rather admit I was wrong. Invading my space is not a thing I endure with grace.

    19! It died a little when I learned my partner of seven years had been engaged to marry another man for what turned out to be the last four months of our relationship, and then completely when my next partner, whom I had been seeing off and on for three years (and would wind up being, still, half a decade later, the person I have loved more than I have ever loved anyone, to the point where I sometimes wonder if I have the capacity for love, or even real caring, left in me) left me for another man because he makes enough money to buy her a house, and I do not. And probably never will.

    20. A few thousand. Fifteen hundred at least, three thousand at most.

    21. Yes. I have been aware, almost constantly and on a conscious level, of my own mortality since I had a brush with suicide in 2005. One of my brows has a scar, and though it was not caused by worry, it does itch from it, sometimes.

    13. No. But I was plagued by nightmares of my stepfather being entombed by stick people in a coffin that looked like a giant Duracell brand battery, and then buried alive in the purple, plasticine-like ground dotted by stick-drawing trees. They were night terrors that I would sometimes be stuck in as much as half an hour after waking up, unable to escape them as the totality of my reality, and to this day I can taste pennies and smell piss from the terror that rises up from the mere echo of them.

    22. Almost daily.

    22a. You sound a little bit crunchy, but I’ll acknowledge that little things matter.

    XXIII. Mostly d), but sometimes also a) and b). But wouldn’t it be cool if I was c)? I used to watch this cartoon about c) when I was a kid, even though it was actually made for kids, like, two generations older than me, and I always wanted to be able to put on a magic ring that, for whatever I reason I kept in my belt instead of wearing all the time, and be super strong like c) and get to hang out with little centaurs and such who had funny names and played pan flutes.

    YYIV. I don’t know. I’ll have to look those things up later. Maybe let me get back to you on that.

    XXV. No. I’m surprisingly bad at remembering lyrics. Though my memory is bad in general unless there’s some kind of emotional trigger, so maybe it’s not so surprising.

    ZZVI. I’m in a room.

    XXVII. No, but it helps.

    28. Library of Congress for life, motherfucker.

    29. Foxy, and zero. When his soul slips from his carcass he will have unexpectedly (for him, no doubt) have stopped traveling at speed, and there will be a millisecond, perhaps a unit of time even smaller, when he is not moving at all (the forces in fact pushing each other backwards, even if not equal, a mosquito would for one infinitesimal moment of its life quite literally dent an iron locomotive at the moment of contact, as rigid and immovable as Gibraltar), before the immutable laws of physics resume and his body is torn asunder. It is then that he shall pass from this life to the next (or not, as the case may be; it’s best to make allowances).

    xxx. Very little. (I’m sad because I’m on my own.)

    31. No. I have seen scars, but have no remarked on them. It seemed rude.

    32. I tend to dream about very pedestrian things. I have frequent nightmares about ex-lovers morphing into people I know, and am attracted to, but deep down believe will never find me interesting enough to connect with any meaningful way, physically or spiritually.

    32. A towel. I have stolen and pilfered, but I also have to admit that sometimes I cheat. Like just now, I looked up the answer to your riddle on Google. I should say that I feel bad about it, because I like puzzles, but mostly what I like about them is finding out the answers. And for me it’s not some idealized notion of using my superior reasoning skills to deduce the answer; if I were to have my druthers I would say that it would be amazing to have that kind of intellect and skill, but the reality is that I’m not really clever at that sort of thing–what I am really clever at is finding who (in the sense, not only of people, but of sources like books and websites and such) already has the answers, and getting them to tell me. So that is how I solve puzzles, and I think it’s every bit as satisfying. Your mileage may vary.

    33. Always.

    Like

  21. 1. yes
    2. i took ‘The Trial’ from my high school library by holding it above my head when i walked through the electric gate things. It was my favourite book and I had to have it. Normally I return books that I borrow from friends, keep ones I borrow from my grandmother.
    3. maybe? but not really
    4. no. the whole idea of this survey is unusual so once i decided to do the survey i stopped judging the questions
    4a. yes
    5. kafka, joseph heller.
    6. kafka, joseph heller
    7. the trial, catch-22
    8. art books
    9. no
    10. what? oh. perhaps i suffer a little bit
    11. don’t generally have fits of rage. am going through a boring patch, hopefully things will look up before 7 years passes
    12. word per minute? i dont drink whiskey so 0
    13. i dont really believe in those kind of questions
    14. i dont think it happened like that.
    15. what happened to the numbers?
    17. i like number 7 or number 3
    15. nutella is better! its ok to eat anything you want, but perhaps in moderation. even though thats easier said than done
    16. what???
    J. infatuation. havent experienced love at first sight,
    18, the latter, just for fun?
    19! good question. its just hiding, waiting to come out again
    20. 1000?
    21. no. sometimes i wonder how i will fill all that time anyway
    13. no. i was plagued by needles and ants
    22. constantly.
    22a.
    XXIII. d
    YYIV. no
    XXV. I make them up
    ZZVI. in a dream
    XXVII. no
    28. i dont know who john is
    29. i dont know what is going on with this question.
    xxx i close my eyes and sleep.
    31. im not really a fan of any elective surgery, obsession about body image etc
    32.was there a question? i generally fall asleep pretty easily. and i often wake up having weird dreams about people i know being sick. or i have absurd dreams that i remember a few days later and dont make sense.
    32.
    33. yes but just!

    Like

  22. 1. No.

    3. Honesty is the only way.

    4. I refer you to question 3., above.

    4a. Why not.

    5. I would say no true aficionado has just one favourite. Thus I will not be answering 6 or 7.

    8. Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, by Frederic Jameson. I’m expecting to host F. R. Leavis’ ghost any day now.

    9. Everyday I mourn my own stupidity, but can only reflect that I will feel the same about myself in 10 years time.

    11. I feel this is a trick question.

    12. I never am, and never have been.

    E. I don’t agree with anything Cher says.

    14. I have no such memory- but I did once sit in the front seat of the car with a bowl of green vomit while he drove.

    17. I sometimes use the phrases ‘luckily’ or ‘fortunately’, but I don’t believe in either.

    15. Only after chilli.

    16. I don’t understand the logic that computes fear with enjoyment.

    Ĵ. I didn’t, until I realized it had happened 5 years ago.

    18. I think it’s good to admit that I am wrong, even to a despicable gloater.

    19! It died when I got depressed. I miss Jesus more and more each day. True story.

    20. At least 100. I made a list to prove it.

    21. No. I hope with more eagerness each day for the end. True story.

    13. As an adult I recurringly dream that I have to leave this moment but cannot find anything suitable to wear.

    22. I’m a Mac, not a PC.

    22a. I’m offended by your use of ‘Downsykins’ and will therefore be declining your request.

    XXIII. I’m often Narcissistic, but never a feminine hygiene product.

    YYIV. No. I had to look that up. Thanks for the picture, Wikipedia. I had my eyes open and everything.

    XXV. How else would I have identified Cher off the bat?

    ZZVI. Where David Attenborough is under the same curse as the Lady of Shallot.

    XXVII. If that love is the love of God. Job thought so.

    28. J-Dizzle.

    29. I don’t care.

    29. I’m offended by your use of ‘Charmykins’ and will therefore by declining your request.

    XXX. Sweet, sweet rest.

    31. I didn’t say so- I just shivered inside.

    32. I often dream that I can swim through air. But I don’t wish it could happen. The press attention would be unbearable.

    32. There is nothing new under the sun.

    33. With deepest regret.

    Like

  23. 1. Oh, yes..

    2. The only book I remember stealing was a copy of the I Ching. From my yoga ashram’s library. No kidding. I signed it out and, you know…just never went back.

    3. What would be the point?

    4. It filled me with a strange dread and the fear I would be unable to piss in the cup.

    4a. I think this comment amounts to same.

    5. Colette.

    6. Colette.

    7. Funny, that. Because my favorite book is not by Colette. I think my favorite book is Heart of Darkness. Anyway, I keep rereading it.

    8. I think a used book by Diane Arbus once, many years ago.

    9. Actually, more like lithium without the batteries. I mean, exactly like lithium.

    10. Yeah.

    11. Get out of my head, Biblioklept!

    12. I am a “I really, really really love you” kind of drunk and I think I drawl and speak pretty slowly and empathically. Can’t much remember. But I love you.

    E. Yup.

    14. *weeps*

    17. ME TOO I LOVE !& I MEAN 17!

    15. Yes. Right after the Nutella is gone.

    16. I teach Beowulf annually, so, ‘c’.

    Ĵ. I experienced it. It was a phone message, so, first hear, but, yes.

    18. I was with you till the pets.

    19! Better now actually–no, this is quite serious. At nearly age 50 (turning 49 in four days) I am riskier than ever and very happy about that. Also happy that I didn’t die the several times I wished to.

    20. I never make claims of that sort. Look what just happened to Paul Ryan.

    21. OHMYGOD FUCKING YES, IT DOES. WAIT–THERE IT GOES….AND AGAIN. DAMMIT.

    13. It was spiders, but whatever.

    22. If the coffee machine does its thing each morning, I can forgive all the rest. So, not often.

    22a. I had this baby, see (she’s 13 now). The whole thing went really, really well for a first time for both of us, actually. But then, the days afterward were tough for everyone. She was hungry, and me with no milk. We tried everything but since i have actually written about it elsewhere ad nauseum I will cut to the chase: a desperate night in the wee hours, just her and me and the recalcitrant breast. And my poor husband looking on helpless. Then he put on The Elysian Fields, this still-going-strong sort of shoegaze blues-folk-trance act out of New York that I like a lot, and they were playing a song called “Open Your Eyes” and just as the singer sang the titular phrase (pun not intended), the baby stopped her rageful fussing and opened her very new eyes and looked right up at me and into my eyes. Open Your Eyes. She did. She briefly forgot her hunger, I briefly forgot my shame in not being able to nourish her, and briefly we simply saw one another. And she nursed.

    XXIII. ‘d’ suits me pretty well. Technically I am ‘c’, but a girl.

    YYIV. Okay, sure.

    XXV. I write the songs.

    ZZVI. At my kitchen counter answering these questions like an overeducated moron.

    XXVII. ba-da-bada-ba

    28. Latter.

    29. Please see my response below:

    Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”
    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?

    31. Seriously, everyone in my family would have to have a reduction and I don’t think those look like much.

    32. On Wednesdays.

    32. What was the question again?

    33. I have never really been all there.

    Like

  24. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    Yes.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    I failed to return two books that I had to read for school. The first was my treasured Penguin paperback copy of Macbeth, which I insisted on keeping as a reminder of my first throes of passion with Shakespeare. The second was a far less cherished little edition of Of Mice and Men, which I didn’t even read in full.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    No.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    Yes. It suggests that I am likely to be insincere, which is not in my personality. Even if it was, it really isn’t the place of an impersonal questionnaire with no prior knowledge of its audience to say so.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Yes.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    James Joyce. Possibly Milan Kundera or someone like that depending on the company.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    James Joyce! Georges Perec and Vladimir Nabokov come close, and I’m also a big fan of Émile Zola, B.S. Johnson, David Mitchell, Don DeLillo etc but not to the same extent.

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Life: A User’s Manual by Georges Perec.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    A big Jackson Pollock book, a bigger Paul Gauguin book, a few things about architecture, and Structural Anthropology by Claude Lévi-Strauss which I bought despite knowing I wouldn’t understand it.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    They do even though they only ever felt like an aftertaste of a youth which had vanished before it ever came into being.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    I’m normally abnormal (as opposed to abnormally normal). This is probably the most satisfying way to be, ultimately.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    Never a mirror, although I did punch an LCD computer monitor and damge it beyond repair about five years ago. My luck hasn’t changed since.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    0.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    After a love – yes. After all love – no.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    No. I remember more the dessicated cracks of his skin soaking up his aftershave or the look of pride when he tended to his prized tomatoes.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    No. Prime numbers are evil.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Not only is it okay, it’s actually far better than okay. I have been known to polish off an entire tub, using plain Pringles as a form of spoon.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying, because at least she finds it inteminable too.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    Not any more. Subtext: I have
    a) refined my concept of ‘love’ since my adolescense.
    b) developed a means of assessing the probability of forming a relationship with someone based on grown-up rational thinking.
    c) pretended to have stopped believing in love at first sight in order to appear to have a more adult, masculine way of thinking and thus attract more women by making myself appear vaguely sane to them.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    When can you come?

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    It morphed into anxiety a long time ago.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    I don’t make claims like that. It’s probably upwards of a few hundred and possibly as much as a thousand.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    Constantly. At least death isn’t a worry for the dead.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    No. The bad dreams were normally about roadworks and the Welsh language, and the bedwetting was probably unconnected.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Always. This is why I have become some sort of luddite (albeit one who owns a mobile phone, a laptop computer, a television, a hi-fi, a portable music player and many other recent technological innovations).

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    Were this a real test, I would have just felt that ‘downward tug of internal organs’ sensation upon realising I would be unable to complete it adequately.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    b) a monomaniacal fraud
    and
    d) a Narcissistic douche bag

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    No.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    I know none of the words to any of the old songs. This leaves me out of certain gatherings to an extent but I have the last laugh because while ‘they’ are out there singing blindly along to ABBA or something, I’m at home having a much better time listening to drone music or something.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    A strange post-modern hotel in northern Sweden.

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    Yes. I think most of the other things are just ways of sublimating our yearning for love anyway.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    Were this a real test, I would have just started scribbling on the paper in lieu of being able to formulate a serious answer.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.

    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.

    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.

    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.

    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.

    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:

    “What lives for ever and never dies,

    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,

    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,

    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    A strange substance which seems to fill the room more than is apparent when it is illuminated.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    Sort of. I feigned interest when my grandmother showed me her gallstones.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    I do, but in a different way. In these fantasies, my body is not present and rather than something flying through the air, I am the air, usually being pushed through a valley by a current of wind.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    When you think about it, everything is stolen. Is it possible to be original? (Is it a towel?)

    33. Still there?
    Physically – yes. In spirit – probably not.

    Like

  25. 1.Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    Yes.

    2.What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)

    I was a very young child. I fell in love with a book I had borrowed from the library. It was English, and about a bear, or maybe a teddy bear. I somehow felt that this book was essential to my existence, some kind of literary mana I couldn’t do without. I hid it under my mattress and hoped the issue of its return would never come up. My mother found it and took it back to the library. It was very overdue. I always saw this attempted theft as completely justified and indeed not really theft at all, as opposed to when I picked a peppermint scented marker up off the classroom floor and was eaten up by guilt because I made no attempt to locate the rightful owner.

    3.Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    I don’t intend to, no.

    4.Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    It’s understandable. Don’t we all doubt the narratives people create for their own lives?

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Yes, but not for profit. All rights reserved.

    5.If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    I would ramble about how I don’t believe in having a “favourite” this or that and how top 5 lists and the like are even worse. Or I would say Dostoyevsky and then have to explain that it’s been years since I read anything by Dostoyevsky and I’m not sure I ever understood any of his books at all but there’s just something about them. Neither of these approaches is a highly successful strategy for attracting the opposite sex.

    6.Who is your favorite author?
    I don’t have one in particular.

    7.What is your favorite book?
    Under the Frog, by Tibor Fischer. The rest of his stuff is crap, but that one is just wonderful if you’re young and slightly melancholic and think you might secretly be quite special but then again maybe not. It’s also funny, if you like a certain kind of humour.

    8.Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    n/a

    9.Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    More like madeleines.

    10.Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    Oh, I certainly lean towards suffering. But then that seems to be neurotypical among people I know.

    11.In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    No. I did punch a wall once. That hurts, even if you pull the punch because even in a fit of rage or despair you know you don’t want to break your knuckles.

    12.What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    55? 75 if I don’t bother correcting the mistakes.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    Life without love is no type of life at all.

    14.Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?

    One of the hardest things about growing up – really growing up – is to understand that not everyone has had the same life experiences you have.

    17.Isn’t this a lucky number?
    I don’t know. Did you get a lotto win off it?

    15.Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Yes. It is wonderful and especially appropriate when you realize that those nachos were just an excuse for a sour cream conveyance anyway.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:
    a)      the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    b)      the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his
    c)      the monster’s mother
    d)      the bitch who sold you the popcorn

    Ah, I’ve always wondered who watches that sadistic crap.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    Science says yes.

    18.Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    I would own up for the sake of poor Mr. Fluffernutter III. He does suffer so when overexcited.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    I don’t know. I’ve begun contemplating whether it’s a finite resource, and I’ve run through it recklessly. Or is it a case of ‘use it or lose it’? Sometimes it’s nice to have your ambitions fulfilled by a cup of tea and a nice chat, though.

    20.How many books do you claim to have read?
    I remember in grade 4 we had a contest to see who in our class could read the most books in one term. I read so many that I was accused of cheating. I hadn’t. So extrapolating from that, quite a lot.

    21.Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?

    You can’t spend all your time MAKING EVERY SECOND COUNT. You just can’t. It’s too stressful. It’d lead to an early grave.

    13.When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?

    How bizarre. No, not at all. I just used to sleep with the covers over my head every night to protect me from the imminent threat of alien abduction, like all normal children.

    22.How often do machines disappoint you?
    Rarely, but when they do it’s all the more disappointing precisely because you expect them to be predictable.

    22a.
    tl;dr

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    a)      a petulant phony
    b)      a monomaniacal fraud
    c)      the son of Zeus
    d)      a Narcissistic douche bag

    C raises some interesting questions about gender, certainly.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    No.

    XXV.Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    Yes. It freaks my parents out. Apparently they forget that they’re the ones who first played them for me.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    Northwest of Deepwood Motte and Winterfell.

    XXVII.All you need is love?
    Well it certainly helps. Although I would also think food, water, etc.

    28.John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    John Dewey as in… what, you win him as a prize? I can’t afford the upkeep of a reanimated philosopher, but aggravated assault doesn’t seem like a fair alternative. Then again, you do write a blog on books and other various artsy fartsy things. Chances are good that you’re weedy and ineffectual.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—
    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a)      Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b)      Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c)      Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d)      Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e)      The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f)        The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
                 Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
      Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
      Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    I had a set of Matryoskas when I was small. They really are most charming.

    xxx.What do you see when you turn out the light?
    I’m not sure this is sort of thing we should speak of. Society only works, insofar as it does work, because we keep some things to ourselves.

    31.Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    Scars are badass.

    32.When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it  because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?

    I have never understood the fascination with flying, actually. When people are asked what superpower they would have if they could choose one, why do so many people choose the ability to fly? Teleportation, for example, would be much more useful.

    32.What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    Plagiarism is wrong. It’s only defensible when you take the stolen material and do something interesting with it. Then it’s art.

    33.Still there?
    Are any of us really here? And if we are, where is that, exactly?

    Like

  26. Wow, are there people who actually responded to all that? Well, OK. I remember stealing one book The Henry Miller Reader from Barnes and Noble on Fifth Ave. And Les Miserables comes to mind as my favorite. And skipping to the last question, so long.

    Like

  27. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    I have.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    I’ve borrowed books from the library, moved away, and completely forgotten about it. They were in the middle of transitioning all the files and I somehow was able to evade the system.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    I don’t.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    No, it’s a survey. Ask away.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    If you feel so inclined to, sure. I just ask for anonymity.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    It’d depend on the day, but it’s a tie between Dostoevsky, Pasternak, and John Green.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    It’s still between those three, but I have an affinity for classical novels, so it’d likely be more Dostoevsky and Pasternak.

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Doctor Zhivago

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    Emerson Journals, Twice Told Tales, War and Peace, Anna Karenina, The Idiot, David Copperfield,The Great Dialogues of Plato, MacBeth, From Socrates to Sartre, Gone with the Wind, The Timetables of History, Shakespearian Sonnets, and plenty more.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    I’m still experiencing my shambolic youth. If they tasted like batteries, I’d probably would have changed by now.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    I’d say both.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    I broke a mirror when I was seven, so I should be a few years out of the seven year cycle. Bad luck didn’t manifest itself in my life, because I had near-death situations and was rather lucky in not dying.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    I’ve never been drunk.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    For the most part.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    My grandpa never cradled me. One was dead for years before I was born, the other thousands of miles away. I only saw him twice.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    It’s my age, so maybe. Why are they not in order?

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Sour cream is disgusting. No.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    d) the bitch (or really worn-out girl) who sold you the popcorn

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    No. My perspective of human love is what John Green said: I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly and then all at once.
    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    …. I’d rather admit I was wrong.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    Not in me.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    Not as many as I wish I could.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    We all die. If this fact should worry me, how can I enjoy life?

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    I may have experienced a nightmare that was 90% less intense.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    25% of the time.

    22a. I’m going to claim that I’m too young to have been blessed by a similar scenario.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    I’d use a combination of those things to describe myself, but I can’t limit my own description to an A-D format.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    Can’t say I do.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    No.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    Setting of The Most Dangerous Game?

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    And food, shelter, and other basic necessities.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    I imagine that there will be less legal trouble if I end up assaulted than if I had possession of Mr. Dewey.

    29. Yes, the quantity exceeds the circumference.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    The monsters.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    No.

    32. Falling asleep, linguistically, seems to be the opposite of flying.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    I’ve stolen, yes. Life is about appropriating? I wouldn’t know.

    33. Still there?
    Somehow.

    Like

  28. 1. Have you ever stolen a book?
    Why yes, yes I have.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)
    I have stolen too many books to remember all the names, however, one sticks in my mind, “The Bonfire of the Vanities” by Tom Wolfe. That particular one I borrowed from a friend and I can still hear his words “make sure you give it back, it’s my favourite book” ringing in my ears. I moved away, and took the book with me. I’ve also done the same (accidentally), with countless other friends’ books and with some library books. I still visit my parents and comb through their book collection, seeing what looks like a good read. I’ve never stolen a book from a place of commerce, I’m much to anxious for that kind of behaviour.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    Not really, no.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    A little, but I kind of like that in a survey.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Sure. As long as my friend from whom I pinched the Tom Wolfe book doesn’t read it…

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    Depending on what type of party it is, I would either say Michael Chabon, or Salman Rushdie. More people I find have heard of Salman Rushdie, so I use him a lot. He’s my go-to.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    All-time – Salman Rushdie, at the moment – Michael Chabon.

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Hmm. Probably ‘A Confederacy of Dunces’, I tend to think about it a lot.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    ‘Endgame – Part I & II’ by Derrick Jensen. Turns out they were better than I thought.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    Good god yes. And sometimes like cigarettes.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    Neurotypical, as far as I know.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    I never actually wear my favourite t-shirts, because the thought of ruining them in any way (the above way included) makes me slightly neurotic. I have shattered two mirrors in my life, that I remember. I think I’m past both seven year stints, however they kind of overlapped and I had a run of really horrible luck for a few years there.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    Probably 12, because I get up every 30 seconds to go pee.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    I can feel something inside me say, I really don’t think you’re strong enough. No.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    My granddad did not cradle me much, his arthritic hands were used far more for gardening. I remember his bluish fingers disappearing into garden gloves and then those gloves disappearing into the garden and growing ridiculous amounts of amazing things.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    For teenagers…sometimes.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Of course, every day it is acceptable. It’s also okay to drink coffee cream out of the carton, if you are so inclined.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his
    c) the monster’s mother
    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn
    Popcorn bitch. She looks as depressed as I feel when I go to the movies.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    If there isn’t a Cher song about it, then no. Unless it’s a puppy, then yes.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    I have no pets, so we’re good there. I would much prefer you to come over and do the above-mentioned rather than admit I was wrong to pretty much anybody. Also, my teeth could use an objective cleaning.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    I think it married one of my dreams and they moved to a castle in Ireland, which I am not invited to.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    I don’t ever thing I’ve claimed a number. But, I would probably venture a guess of about 3.6 billion…and five.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    Of course it does. What am I, a vampire? It makes me wince to think about all the time I’ve wasted doing things I hated just because I thought I had to.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    No, but I did have a recurring nightmare that I found my jelly sandals near the edge of the ocean and it was because I had drowned. I think I was a ghost. And I miss my jelly sandals.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Every day. Every day that I don’t have a robot butler, I am disappointed.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    I can’t. That is the single most amazing experience that I have read about today, and my life has had no such meaningful situation that can compare. I am sad.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    a) a petulant phony
    b) a monomaniacal fraud
    c) the son of Zeus
    d) a Narcissistic douche bag
    Most definitely B.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    Not that I’m aware of, although today I ate a blue lollipop (do adults even use that word) and my tongue is a beautiful shade of indigo.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    I know all the Everly Brothers song lyrics and they wrote all the songs, I believe.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    I’m in Scotland in 1643, an the queen has just asked me to create a tapestry to recreate a nightmare she had the previous night where her secret lover turned into a polar bear (or white bear, as she said. I doubt she would know what a polar bear is).

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    And water and oxygen. And you’re set!

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    I feel like aggravated assault would be the better choice here, since you threatened to brush my teeth earlier and that seemed pretty great to me.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”
    I’ll say your niece’s name is Gabby Charmykins, because who wouldn’t want that name.
    And the riddle sounds like my kindergarten teacher.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    Hula hoops.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    I had a mole removed once, and I was told several times that it was like an iceberg, bigger underneath the skin. That damn thing almost sunk my hair.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    Who sends real checks to the electric company? And no, I don’t dream about watching people through the reticle of a sniper scope, I do that in real life. I have an imaginary crosshair on everyone, just to make sure they behave. Not that anything would happen in they didn’t, I just like to put the pressure on.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    A towel. And yes, I am a thief every time I walk through the bulk foods section of the grocery store. They say no hands, but how are you really supposed to know what the product tastes like? Are you just supposed to buy it and trust that it won’t be the worst thing you’ve ever put in your mouth? You can’t bring it back! What was the question…

    33. Still there?
    No, my happy ghost has taken over and I am actually watching that annoying medium from New Jersey.

    Like

  29. 1. Of course; hasn’t everyone?

    2. A few titles were pilfered from my father-in-law’s personal collection. Quite a few came into my position from a volunteer gig at a local, Friends of the Library warehouse. A few titles just remain on my bookshelves because the owner never reclaimed them or I accidently marked them up. It’s a messy business, reading is.

    3. I’m not sure. I’ve just started and haven’t seen all the questions.

    4. Certainly not. It’s a legit question.

    4a. In the New Yorker? I’m flattered!

    5. Italo Calvino

    6. James Joyce

    7. Blood Meridian

    8. Delillo’s Underworld and Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow (they’re both on my ‘to read list’, I swear!)

    9. No but the word “shambolic” sounds like I would imagine batteries in your mouth taste like—carbolic being what it is and all.

    10. Social anxiety, agoraphobia, chronic depression, bipolarity, crippling insecurity, and sever halitosis.

    11. I’ve broken too many things to keep count. I punched a window once. I was 12. In retrospect, the memory reminds me of that scene in Ghost.

    12. I don’t do whiskey, or wpm. I only go for see-through spirits and most of my typing consists of cursor-blinking hypnosis.

    13. I guess I would need to believe in love to say for certain. I might have a follow up in fifty years.

    14. I don’t think he ever did. I only remember the washcloth between my toes at bath time, the self-conscious butt-wiping moments, and the wormy way his tongue quivered around an ice-cream cone. Ech!

    17. Nope.

    15. Only when you’ve forgotten the 6 other ingredients for a 7-layer-dip.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    e. the crotchety older guy who verbally predicts every scene before it happens to annoy hormonal teens.

    17. see 13

    18. I pick number 2. Both are just as shitty.

    19! I threw it away when I got a French press.

    20. Hundreds, maybe close to a thousand.

    21. My brows are just fine, thank you. They always weave together with the passing of time. They knit a uni and I pluck them into separation. It’s ebb and flow.

    13. How did you know? Grandma, is that you? You know you’re supposed to stay in the basement every full moon.

    22. Only once. Terminator 3, I’m looking at you. “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice…”

    22a. I used to enjoy crumbly goat cheese on multigrain crackers with neon-pink slivers of smoked salmon but now I’m a vegan so that’s behind me. Now all I’ve got to live for is Pinot.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as:

    E. All of the above

    YYIV. I often wake up with cotton mouth, does that count?

    XXV. Only three. Three of them.

    ZZVI. In a loom room? 1976 Egypt? 1934 Quebec?

    XXVII. Is that rhetorical? Because you’re probably right.

    28. yes, please.

    29. Responder MIA…

    xxx. A naked and ancient white-bearded man driving a school bus full of chimps.

    31. I couldn’t maintain my composure. I blurted out hideous disgust, covered my face, and ran away. Whoops. Sorry mom.

    32. I saw the Rocketeer but I don’t dream-fly; Goldblum wasn’t half-bad in The Fly. Last night I skated across blacktop like it was ice until I was thrown awake by a shard of glass in the ball of my barefoot.

    32. Something about “law of the commons” or TM or copyright or the price of the birthday song. I’ll need Ray’s “friend way over town” if I’m to make it without appropriating.

    33. I doubt all of it.

    Like

  30. 1. Yes. From a shop in which I worked. I don’t feel bad because it would most like have been thrown out anyway.

    2. Novels. A few classics. A few modern. Both fiction and nonfiction. Pilfered from commerce. Victimless crime. You will not make me feel guilty for this.

    3. I can’t lie (well).

    4. No. Just redundant since there’s very little you can do either way and you can’t tell which parts I”m lying about. I may even have lief in question 3.

    4a. Sure. Unless they get excessively intimate further down. I haven’t read them all yet.

    5. Where is 4b? Isn’t 4 also 4a? And I would say ‘within what parameters?’

    6. Within what parameters?

    7. From Roverandum to Moby Dick.

    8. I am much too shy and insecure to exhibit anything and only buy paperbacks. You can’t display paperbacks.

    9. I can’t imagine what it would be like for the regrets and embarrassment to produce that kind of physical manifestation. Seems like a weird synesthesia. But my memories are the major contributor to my crushing inhibition and paralysis in the face of future expectations and opportunities.

    10. Both, obviously.

    11. I don’t relate to that particular anecdote but I did once place a mirror on the ground to stand on it, partly to see what reflection it would create and partly to see if I could step through into another dimension. It shattered but I don’t consider it bad luck, though I did pay for it a few weeks later with my ugly embarrassing appearance.

    12. I’ve never been more than tipsy. Never drank a substantial amount of whiskey. Never attempted much writing after drinking. I’m really quite sheltered, boring and uncreative. Though I can embarrass myself with rapid fire commenting on internet message boards so I would assume quite a lot.

    E. There is only life without love so yes.

    14. I tried but I can’t go back that far to blissful babyhood. I remember my deceased grandpa though. he had such a warmhearted forgiving nature even when I crushed him in his hospital bed.

    17. Do you mean ‘lucky’ as in the superstitious magic or metaphor, or ‘lucky’ as in chance is such that ‘seventeen’ coincides with many a favourable outcome? Because neither is true. So sad.

    15. Only accompanied with a berry pie of some sort.

    16. a,b,c,d) All 4. I’m very empathic.

    [Stupid letter I can't type] (I hate you). I believe people believe in love at first sight. Isn’t that enough? It’s all that matters.

    18. The second thing. I do that all the time. It would be nice to have a partner in crime. I also hate my parents (so edgy).

    19! Decimated by nihilism and simultaneously dropped voluntarily to avoid comparisons with hipsters.

    20. Honestly? Maybe 30. Total guess but I’m an idiot, dispirited and unenthusiastic for most cultural productions, struggling to create or discover my passion so it’s accurate in that regard. I’ve also read a few I’d never admit to reading. I’ve read varying sized extracts several more that I only pretend to have read cover to cover.

    21. No, that’s the only relieving prospect that keeps me going. It concerns me more that every day I’m accelerating towards my mental, physical and material fragility, decline and eventual breakdown. I try help as many as i can while I’m able in the hope that there will be enough remaining to aid me. In that regard, it’s sort of karmic.

    13. No, but I experienced a velociraptor invasion and of my school and the usual paralysis or show motion in event of danger. Now all I get are sex dreams. My subconscious was permitted to be more imaginative before puberty.

    22. Whenever I have something important to do. But I realise it’s my stress level rather than them so I always make up.

    22a. tl;dr. Sorry if it’s insulting but I don’t really care for your story. I don’t expect you to care for mine so it’s all fair. I’m answering these questions for me, not for you. That’s why we write, isn’t it? We’re never going to break down the barriers between us. I’m never going to relate to your story unless I share the experience. No offence but I doubt you’re skillful or evocative enough to engage me in a way that feels like I’ve experienced it. Only with that, and there being a strong correlation between our cultural perceptions, will it ever be meaningful to me.

    XXIII. a, b, d

    YYIV. No and ewww.

    XXV. I barely remember any words to any song. I’m not a clever man.

    ZZVI. The home of a very pretentious medieval nobleman.

    XXVII. We do but can’t has :(

    28. I seriously doubt the latter as any vital role associated with pedagogy but I’ll pick it because I like courtroom language.

    29. You’d think it’d be easy but I bet it took you ages to invent that surrealist drivel. I hope you regret it as I will after answering these questions.

    xxx. I see what I feel. The world becomes whole.

    31. I have experienced supporting a friend’s emergency surgery but they were stronger than me, didn’t need reassurance, and they were not repulsive. In fact I’m a little offended by the tone of this question. Please rethink this one.

    32. I do know this restless slumbering anxiety and isn’t it strange that coincides with intensified periods of rapid creativity. I keep my iPad by my bed to record such ideas which also helps relieve the stress of college, work, future, family etc that torment my mind between dreams.

    32. Would you say ‘and wetter’ practice in language is redundant or useful for emphasis? It conflicts with any sensible appeal for brevity. Don’t worry about originality. ‘Steal from everywhere’. Production comes from consumption and vice versa and in most cases independent invention vs diffusion is too difficult to disentangle. Thankfully doing so is not important. Finally, maybes aye; maybes naw.

    33. Was I ever?

    Like

  31. 1. Have you ever stolen a book?
    Yes. Books.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? 
    Flann O’Brien’s The Third Police Man. Heidegger’s Poetry Language Thought. One was from a corporate bookstore, because I wanted it. The latter from a used bookstore I was visiting in the small town where my pal lives. The bookstore owner was kind condescending, and the prices were ridiculous. Said copy was shredded with pages falling out. Anyway, once I saw it I knew it was meant to have it. Generally I don’t though. I really dislike collecting stuff.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    No. There may be some purposeful obfuscation, though, and horrid typos.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone? No.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results? Yes.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    Dennis Cooper.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    My favorite author depends on who I’m reading or who I’ve read recently, honestly. I go through little bursts. I just read some Robbe-Grillet and I’m reading the new trans of Demons. Plus, really, my living writer pals in the Bay Area are maybe truthfully my favorite authors, because they call me to hang out, take that Joan Didion, you ole stupid head.

    7. What is your favorite book?
    Okay, maybe The Stranger because it was my first favorite book as a tween.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    I don’t do this. I hate collecting books and prefer to go to the public library. Also, I don’t have a coffee table and all of the books on my bookshelf are gifts.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    I was too responsible, sensitive, competitive, and square as a youth. I was much too serious and despite mood swings, I think I was very much throughly under the control of my short-sighted ambition.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    I am too poor to go to the doctor for anything basically, so thankfully no one can tell me how aberrant I am or vice versa.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    No, that sort of thing would ruin my cello playing and make my landlord mad.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    Probably 20 or 30. I am not a very good typist. Hell, I could go for a drink right now.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love? No. I don’t think I’m strong enough.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    No. My grandfathers lived quite far away from us. Dude is this some kind of Cormac McCarthy moment? Snore.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number? 18 is the lucky number.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Yes, as needed. Sour cream is delicious. I prefer cottage cheese. I recommend diced green onion and horseradish mixed in.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:
    a)      the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    or the monster. I love gross out movies.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    No. I believe in the persuasive power of my horniness at times, though.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    That second bit sounds alright, though I don’t have any pets. We could have some tea and then makeout afterward…?

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    It’s still hanging in there.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    I don’t know. Like [3-6 average a month x 12] x 20 somethingish. Plus some kind of total for college, ug, who cares.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    No. I’m kind of into death.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    Not really. What is this, some kind of McSwweney’s piece? Barf!

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Not terribly often. I’m more frustrated about wanting more money to spend on dumb shit and paaaarrrtying.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. . . permeated. Please relate a similar experience.
    I used to teach abroad, but I don’t think I was as subtle as all that. My story involves feeling sort of tired and overwhelmed, yet simultaneously, like, everyone is being a total prick to me. Then I realize it’s two days before my period. The end.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    c)      the son of Zeus and
    d)      a Narcissistic douche bag
    however I am a lady.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    No. My tongue tends toward a pasty shade of undead white.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    I only remember the intros and the choruses. Then I kind of hum the other bits.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    Probably at a some kind of center for new art in Europe looking at an art student’s installation, wondering if I can get fries afterward.

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    Yeah! I love this Spaceship Earth! All in one.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    Oh John Dewey definitely. I kind of missed out on reading him in my philosophy classes, but he got referred to a lot.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles . . .
      Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    OMG TOTALLY! I want that matryoshka so bad.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    The street lights shine through my window so it’s pretty bright in here.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)? Never.

    32. When you finally fall asleep. . . isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    The opposite of flying is wondering if that dude who bought your book then called you “cute” bought it because he thought has was more likely to hump you. :(

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    Oh yeah. I’m pretty unapologetic about that sort of thing.

    33. Still there?
    Yeah, hold up for a sec.

    Like

  32. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3. — Of course, who hasn’t? Why, are you going to turn me in?

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.) — Wouldn’t you just like to know?

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey? — Naturally.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone? — Did you?

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results? — Why not?

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say? — I would first ask them who their favorite author was, then comment on the remarkable coincidence.

    6. Who is your favorite author? — Constantly in flux.

    7. What is your favorite book? Ditto.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf. — Actually I use the books to prop up the coffee table.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth? — No, but does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer? — I suffer from being neurotypical.
    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life? — Being a vampire I cast no reflection.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks? — negative 50.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love? — No, I believe in a love after life.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall? — My grandfather and I had a major falling out years ago. The family refers to it as “the veal parmesan incident.” Well, what was it doing in his wallet?

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number? — Not even in the lotto.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time? — Not since I read that Heidegger disproved the existence of sour cream in his cookbook, Being and Thyme.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:
    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying
    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his
    c) the monster’s mother
    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn
    — All of the above

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight? — Ever since I first saw my self in the mirror.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c? — So when are you available? I haven’t had my buttons molested in ages.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.? — I don’t know. I haven’t felt that way ever since taking Maalox on a regular basis.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read? — One more than the person that tells me how much he or she has read. After that I lose count.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death? — My brow and brain – no. But it does disturb my bowels.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting? — No, in all my dreams I’m standing on a pyramid dressed in sun god robes and hordes of naked women are tossing pickles to me. My dreams always end the same way – with both Winston Churchill and Mariska Hargitay applauding me.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you? — Every time the warranty expires.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience. — You, too? I thought I was the only one that had that experience.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    a) a petulant phony
    b) a monomaniacal fraud
    c) the son of Zeus
    d) a Narcissistic douche bag
    — All and None of the Above.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue? — No, but I am allergic to amniotic fluid.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs? — And then some.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you? — Never mind that. Where are you and how do you know so much about my bear?

    XXVII. All you need is love? — That’s what John used to say as he beat the snot out of Yoko.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)? — I’ll take the aggravated assault. Anything’s better than sitting through Dewey.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—
    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”
    — I once saw a doll collection like that on an episode of Storage Wars.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light? — I can’t tell you, but I think it drowned.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)? — All the time. My relatives love to show me the results of their elective surgery.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying? — How do you know so much about me? Are we related? And if we are, is it something you care to admit?

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about? — No. This whole thing is really about my vague fear of suddenly being grabbed and stuffed with crabmeat.

    33. Still there? — I don’t know. Let me check . . . Yeah, I think so.

    Like

  33. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.

    Yes, Lots.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)

    Too many to count, and my guilt prevents me from divulging details.

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?

    What would be the fun in that?

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?

    Not at all. Honesty is the most difficult feat of all. I’d expect most folks would answer it with “Yes” gleefully, like they’d gotten one over on you.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?

    Of course.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?

    Exactly the same thing I’d say to a homely hunchback who might ask: Raymond Roussel.

    6. Who is your favorite author?

    Hey baby, it’s Raymond Roussel.

    7. What is your favorite book?

    Don’t make me answer that question. There’s a herd of at least 15 books vying for the Grand Title.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.

    Every book I buy would be impressive on my coffee table or bookshelf, but any visitor to realize that would be an instant dear friend.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?

    No, the offal of my youth tastes just like the excrement it was, with one small, flawless diamond in the repulsive, gooey center.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?

    Depending upon which source you believe, I am bipolar, epileptic, chronically depressed, plagued with severe social anxiety disorder, or mildly, misanthropically sociopathic. Or a genius. Whatever the true definition is…yes, I suffer!

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?

    I hope that I have by now paid off the 27 years of bad luck I remember accruing. Other mirrors may have been broken in the twilight zone of my blurred memory. My Christian Death tshirt was definitely sullied with bloodstains. As were all of my diaries.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?

    As many as it takes.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    The ONLY life there is is AFTER Love. Only then does one comprehend the true magnitude of the Blackness in the duality of this world.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?

    Nope. My paternal grandfather literally had a “claw hand” from a battle with Polio in his youth, and was distinctly non-affectionate. I don’t even remember a smile from him. But I don’t blame him. He had a truly horrible life.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?

    Not for me, but for someone, I’m sure.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?

    I’d prefer cream cheese, but to each their own. There is a time for everything under the sun, I’ve heard.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    e. The producer who is laughing his way to the bank whilst struggling with the existential torture of witnessing the decay of humankind.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?

    Yes, actually. I’ve got proof.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?

    I have no problem admitting that I’m wrong to anyone. Especially my parents, who had to put up with my insufferable extended adolescence.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?

    In the process of being lassoed and concentrated into a steady, focused laser beam.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?

    If I had kept count, I’d have lost a few hours of reading! Thousands over the past 40 years, but I have no real idea.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?

    No. Death is my only true friend, the only certainty. The only thing that bothers me is the uncertainty of its arrival, and I’m working on that!
    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?

    No. My worst childhood nightmare was in black and white, when I was 10 years old, and involved a masked, hooded figure beheading a corpse in a hospital. Strong stuff, no need for embellishment!

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?

    An amount I find acceptable, as I accept their foibles inherited from their creators.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    No comment. My life is so full of these kinds of experiences. Not a casual topic.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as
    a)      a petulant phony
    b)      a monomaniacal fraud
    c)      the son of Zeus
    d)      a Narcissistic douche bag daughter of the mating between Zeus(Yahoweh?/Superman?Grimaldi the Clown? and a Too-Intelligent for Her Own Good Harpy

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?

    Thank heavens, no. but I do have periodontal (gum) disease, and am damned worried about the state of my mouth.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?

    Only a few bawdy Appalachian songs and a gospel or two.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?

    In Al Gore’s new Reality Show: “Back to the Basics”.

    XXVII. All you need is love?

    Apparently. According to Crowley and Lennon and every other mystic…

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?

    John Dewey, in a perfect world, which will never happen.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—
    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

    a)      Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.
    b)      Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.
    c)      Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.
    d)      Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.
    e)      The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.
    f)        The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:
    “What lives for ever and never dies,
                 Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,
      Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,
      Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    g) Infinity Never Ends.

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?

    Hopefully swirling blackness, but often, specks.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?

    Scars are the only true, concise journals of our pathetic human lives.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it  because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?

    No. I dream about packing a never-ending amount of belongings, desperately poignant and sentimental, into bags much too small. Over and over again, in every imaginable situation.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?

    I am a thief at heart. But I am also my own executioner.
    33. Still there?

    33 is a great number to stop at.

    Like

  34. 1. Have you ever stolen a book? If you’ve never stolen a book, go ahead and skip down to question 3.
    No.

    2. What books have you stolen, and under what circumstances did you take the book? (e.g. did you outright steal the book from a place of commerce, did you pilfer it discreetly from a relative, did you borrow it from a dear friend and never return it, etc.)

    3. Do you intend to lie or misrepresent yourself on this survey?
    No.

    4. Did you find question 3 to be a little belligerent in its tone?
    No.

    4a. Do we have your permission to publish your survey results?
    Yes.

    5. If someone attractive, at a party or social event, let’s say, was to ask you who your favorite author is, what would you say?
    Melville.

    6. Who is your favorite author?
    Tolstoy.

    7. What is your favorite book?
    War and Peace.

    8. Please list any books you’ve bought because they might look impressive on your coffee table or bookshelf.
    Philosophical Investigations.

    9. Do the remnants of your shambolic youth taste like batteries in your mouth?
    No. They taste like morning breath.

    10. Are you neurotypical or do you somewhat suffer?
    Yes.

    11. In a fit of rage or despair, have you shattered a mirror or mirrors with your hands, cutting up your hands badly, getting blood on a favorite t-shirt (possibly ruining said shirt)? And if so, how far along are you into your seven year cycle of bad luck, and how has the bad luck manifested in your life?
    No.

    12. What is your wpm when drunk on whiskey drinks?
    Many. I don’t remember.

    E. Do you believe in a life after love?
    Yes.

    14. Can you recall when, as a young child, your now-deceased dear departed grandpa would cradle you gently and firmly in his arthritic clutch, his gnarled fingers inexplicably pink and yellow and purple and green and throbbing, his tired blood pulsing in tight, dry notches through those crumpled crooks; how he would gently sway you and hum and hum nonsense, soft murmurs distracting you from the fact that mother is still not home, can you please, now, recall?
    No. My grandfather would stand above my cereal bowl and chop bananas into it, though he knew I hated bananas.

    17. Isn’t this a lucky number?
    No.

    15. Is it ever okay to eat large amounts of cold sour cream directly from the plastic container, perhaps with a large metal spoon, and if it is ever okay to do such a thing, when is that time?
    Yes, anytime. Food is for eating.

    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:

    a) the bitch who goes crazy and screams and loses it and ends up dying

    b) the track coach who is a bully in an early scene but just fucking wait, he’ll get his

    c) the monster’s mother

    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn

    D.

    Ĵ. Do you believe in a love at first sight?
    Yes.

    18. Would you rather admit that you were wrong to your gloating parent figure or would you rather me come to your house, steal some of your socks, molest your buttons, hold you down and brush your teeth, horseplay with your pets in a fashion too rough for their delicate bodies, &c?
    I’d rather admit I was wrong. Humility is good and difficult to learn.

    19! Where is the keen sense of adventure that once percolated in your heart, fomenting in your innards, rushing in torrents of passion from your eyes, ears, nose, throat, anus, &c.?
    Still around. Mostly when I wake up and realize I can go back to sleep.

    20. How many books do you claim to have read?
    200?

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?
    No. I’m not ready to die, but the fact that there is a definite limit no matter what happens is comforting.

    13. When you were a child were you plagued by recurring nightmares that miniature werewolves in torn blue jeans were slowly nibbling all the flesh from your toes as if they were Maine lobsters (your toes, here likened to said lobsters, not the werewolves), nightmares that were attended by actual somatic tingling of the extremities, and possible bedwetting?
    No.

    22. How often do machines disappoint you?
    Daily.

    22a. I remember I had an interesting experience a few years back, which I will now try to relate to you. I was working for a horrible corporation that hired young English speakers to “teach” conversational English to native Japanese speakers. I was living in
    Tokyo, Japan at the time. It’s important to better understand this story for you to know that at the time my brown pair of shoes was a pair of Clark’s Wallabees, dark brown leather, a replacement pair really for a lighter, beigeish (sp?) suede pair that I had loved and worn the fuck out of, so to speak, in my college days. There is a certain way to lace these shoes that makes them so fucking comfortable (it’s unbelievable!), but unfortunately, at the time I was living in Tokyo I had the new brown pair and had somehow (and I can’t remember how) undone the good, comfortable lacing set-up and the new set-up was painful—and I mean it fucking hurt to walk in those things. It was unpleasant. So and so you should also know that this guy, J_____, who I knew, had actually fixed my previous, beig(e?)ish Wallabees a few years prior to this, when for some reason, drunk on a cruise ship I had taken the laces out, and this guy J_____ showed me how to lace them properly (taught a man to fish, so to speak). But, frustrated and perhaps overworked and mayhap a little frazzled I couldn’t remember how to re-lace these newer brown leather Wallabees, and my feet were fucking killing me! But so here’s what happened: See: there was this kid of about twelve years who came to the English school that I worked at, who happened to have the Down’s. And because he was Downsy, some of my colleagues were uncomfortable with teaching him the conversational English. But so see that didn’t really bother me at all, in fact he was a nice kid, and though I don’t recall his name, he was nice and it was never a bad time to be in there with him, and to speak to him in English, and sometimes he might even speak a few words of English too, mostly animals and colors, because my major technique with him, my strategy so to speak, was to bring crayons and paper and pictures of animals and basic things, objects, and to like, draw the objects and have him draw the objects and say the names of the animals and objects and things and also the names of the colors of all the animals and objects and things, and most of the time this technique or strategy seemed to work out okay and besides his parents mostly seemed to want for him to do things, you know, he didn’t really need to learn conversational English (which I’m not really sure you can really learn anyway), it was more like horseback riding lessons or guitar lessons or ikebana or something for him, and for the most part I think everyone, his parents and my colleagues and the Japanese staff, and the pair of us, everyone that is, was okay with us just coloring and saying “red” and “egg” and so forth. But so and then anyway this one day one of my colleagues who didn’t particularly care to spend time, paid or otherwise, with this Down’s kid, this colleague asked if I would, you know, swap with her and could I go please give the kid his lesson? So I went into the Spartan little cubicle to chat with old Downsykins. Anyway so well, we usually got along, as I aforementioned, but today we weren’t vibing. I don’t know how else to put it, except and please accept that this kid put out a real intense vibe – it was palpable, tangible, thick like sweat and smelly. It permeated. And so he would have none of my strategy today, he wouldn’t look at the pictures I’d brought, he wouldn’t draw the object or the animal, he wouldn’t engage, he would just scribble in a minor fury. So and there was frustration between us, it seemed, and we couldn’t gel or vibe or get in sync, and at that point my feet were just killing me, just fucking so painful, so that I just had to get down there and untie the Wallabees , and then take them off and then even start massaging the instep, and relieve my poor dogs. And as I massaged the brutal crinks out of my pathetic feet maybe it was that my attitude and posture and vibe changed. Maybe I started feeling better. And well so I guess because of this Mr. Downs and I started to sync up more, and at this particular point in my memory he kind of put his head directly on his desk, right in the middle of his scribbled mess of colors, his full fathom five for frustration, and I could feel this weird vibe from out of his eyes and ears &c. And I massaged my awful clump of a foot and just tuned into his head-on-the-desk vibe. It was harmonic. And then well I could clearly recall, like an eidetic Guinness Book freak the whole scene years earlier on that booze cruise ship—there, in Tokyo, I was there, in the Gulf of fucking Mexico, bending down to the sticky dance club floor, being shown how to do something, learning how to do something, with my laces, as it were. So and in the little corral the twain of us shared, I, like I was doing it in my sleep, I re-laced the new brown leather Wallabees making them somehow instantly comfortable and comforting, endearing them to my feet again, snug in the right places, all the pain and crimp gone.
    So well at that point the kid took his head up and the whole trance was over between us it seemed, and but it was a warm and calm and generally gently chilled kind of come-down atmosphere between us and the little cubicle. And I admit that I was happy and my soles were healed and I might have learned something. But I can always unlearn it. Please relate a similar experience.

    I wrote a story here and then deleted it. But I know what you’re talking about.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as

    a) a petulant phony

    b) a monomaniacal fraud

    c) the son of Zeus

    d) a Narcissistic douche bag

    C.

    YYIV. Do you suffer from black (sometimes known as brown) tongue?
    No.

    XXV. Do you know all the words to all the old songs?
    No. Few of them.

    ZZVI. You are in a room. There is a large loom in the center of the room; an unfinished tapestry of a bear hangs on the loom. The bear is completely white. Where are you?
    My tomb.

    XXVII. All you need is love?
    If you know what love is.

    28. John Dewey or aggravated assault (c/o yrstruly)?
    Both, if simultaneous. Systematic derangement of the senses.

    29. Two trains separated by 667 miles of densely populated urban sprawl travel toward each other along the same track, the first train at 9993 mph, the second at 2323.2323232 mph. Some people on the first train are hatless. At least one woman on the second train is wearing a hat. Some of the people on both of the trains are women and children. A Pegasus flutters back and forth between the two trains until they collide. If the Pegasus flutters sweetly at 776.667 mph, casting riddles, what should a hatless man on the second train answer to the following riddle, and at what speed will the man find the life-force crushed out his fragile body?—translated from the original Pegasese—

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?
    Gimme a dolalr.

    a) Yoshiko, with the bone dress, isn’t the widest or the fiercest.

    b) Pop open the doll with the cream dress, and Sanchez appears.

    c) Barely fitting inside the doll with the ecru dress, Gabby is stifled.

    d) Charmykins is somewhat smaller than the doll with the eggshell dress.

    e) The third largest doll has either the cream or the bone dress.

    f) The doll with who is my niece will ask of you this:

    “What lives for ever and never dies,

    Has knife for tongue and teeth for eyes,

    Bricks for ears and pricks for spines,

    Eats hearts for snacks and drinks blood for wine?”

    xxx. What do you see when you turn out the light?
    My mind humming like a refrigerator, me not knowing what’s going on inside.

    31. Have you ever endured a peek at a relative’s elective surgery, remarked on their scars, assured them that they were not now freakishly repulsive to you, an aberration that made it difficult to not throw up a little bit in your mouth, &c (note: not limited to boob jobs)?
    No. Praise be.

    32. When you finally fall asleep—funny how you think that you’re exhausted but it turns out that you were actually restless, perhaps bodily ambivalent about the day’s smaller and larger successes and failures, perhaps that fifth cup of coffee was a bad idea, or you find it difficult to crash into slumbers because you forgot to call your mother back, and things aren’t really going well with/for her as it is, and you should really do more for her, be a better adult child, or maybe you forgot to post the check to the electric company, or maybe your pet doesn’t really love you like you think that they do, or maybe you’re sick and you don’t know it because you haven’t seen a doctor in so long, and how would you even know, I mean, what if you had some disease that was eating you alive right now, only it had no real outwardly-manifesting symptoms, but meanwhile it’s inside you eating you up like millions and millions of minute (microscopic really) crabs—and when you finally fall asleep, do you fantasize about flying like a winged creature?, or perhaps you fantasize about flying without wings?, soaring through the azure sky on lightning-bolt legs, the pure joy of it, the literal exhilaration—or maybe you don’t even think about flying even though you used to, especially when you were a kid, when you used to think about it all the time, when you used to pray for some kind of special (possibly cybernetic?) flight-suit, but now you think about being a sniper, about shooting faceless people from a long distance, but not even shooting them, just kind of watching them and knowing that you could shoot them?, and isn’t that, in some inexplicable way, the opposite of flying?
    Think about your death every day and spend time outside.

    32. What gets wetter and wetter the more it dries? Okay, okay, I admit—I didn’t originate that question! Haven’t you ever stolen or borrowed or pilfered, burgled, pinched, filched, embezzled, &c.? Isn’t it sometimes appropriate to appropriate? Isn’t this what this whole thing is about?
    Yes. No to that last question.

    33. Still there?
    Yes.

    Like

    1. Wow . . . wow . . . whew . . . I had actually been quite bored last evening/early morn and “stumbledupon” this site/blog which, after 50 or so “don’t like” clicks . . . . wow . . . I was instantly captivated. Checking out the website I navigated to your deceptively unique, quite funny, somewhat tedious “About You” survey. I answered, oh, I think about 22 questions when my Life suggested I pay attention to something, well, more serious in nature . . . a friend of mine had disappeared for four days and I was asked by another friend to go check on him . . . so I put my laptop down for a nap without saving my word doc with my fairly snap, crackle and pop answers and when I returned (just now) it was all gone. I must confess, I was suspicious I might be going down the rabbit hole following your questions to the chamber of fools so I thought it might be a blessing . . . wow . . . you know, that I would not have to continue down that path, at least not without whatever it is/was you were looped on . . . so in a nutcaseshell . . . . wow . . . . will your “survey” have results of any kind besides how many followed you down the rabbit hole? My survey says you broke the tedious boredom I fell victim to last evening, and I enjoyed the little magic mushroom ride that compelled me to snap out of blah land . . . and laugh and think and . . . wow!

      Like

  35. Hi Biblioklept,

    Nice blog, and that questionnaire (phew), how would you like to see a blog set up to promote New (to me) Authors and their books?

    Call over and have a look at mine and if you like it enough, I’d be delighted if you became a follower :)

    Like

  36. 1. Too many to count.
    2. All three methods mentioned, as well as giving a book as a “gift” that I wanted, knowing they would offer it to me a week later and conveniently not ask for it back.
    3. What else are these for?
    4. Nothing beyond the pale.
    4a. Would it even matter if I said ‘No’?
    5. Depends how attractive they are, and what kind of words/clothes they use/wear.
    6. Preferences change, but now possibly Kosinski.
    7. Moneyball, for extraliterary reasons.
    8. 2666 by Bolano. Being and Time by Heidegger. Encyclopedia Britannica version of Great Books. I don’t care to read them any time soon.
    9. No, but I do often look back in anger.
    10. I suffer typically.
    11. Despite my disfigurement I still have not taken revenge on a mirror.
    12. Slightly faster than my vodka drunk.
    E. I’d prefer to turn back time, if I could.
    14. I recall. Then he dropped me during the last leg of the horse races.
    17. No comment.
    15. That time is when you anticipate an ending of some sort.
    16. b)
    J. Naturally.
    18. Parents need self-esteem. I choose the former.
    19! I misplaced it somewhere in my adolescence.
    20. Roughly 63,000
    21. No, but thank you for reminding me.
    13. My nightmares were more abstract than that.
    22. I have low expectations of them, so rarely.
    22a. Once, I had a hard time breathing, to the point where I was screaming, and everyone around me was in pain, to the point where my screaming and their pain caused them to smack me repeatedly. They would dangle me upside down by the heel and smack me until I stopped screaming. My mother was in ferocious pain, and would not stop crying. But after some time, I breathed normally and stopped screaming, and my mother stopped weeping, and our mutual frustrations had only momentarily ceased before the years to come.
    XXIII. e) all of the above. Though Zeus does not capitulate to paternity tests. Not easily.
    YVIV. No.
    ZZVI. Doo doo, dah dahh.
    XXVII. I prefer justice.
    28. Both instrumental, Dewey wins slightly.
    29. Your senselessness is also your most charming trait.
    xxx. A half-forgotten image of a lamp.
    31. All families are more or less unhappily disgusted by each other’s flesh.
    32. Yes.
    32. Sure, why not.
    33. Unfortunately.

    Like

  37. 1. Yes. 2. Came to Believe from an AA meeting. I still have it. I had no money; I needed belief. I did put $9 in the basket a couple years later. 3. No. 4. No. 4a. Yes 5. “Why?” 6. William Gaddis 7. JR 8. I did buy The Recognitions in order to GET BACK at my then recently-ex boyfriend, who would not SHUT UP about Gravvity’s Rainbow, which I at the time had never managed to finish. I went to (yes the closest bookstore was) Borders (I lived in the Tenderloin back then) and looked for a book fatter than Pynchon’s. “I’ll show him” was really all that was running thru my tiny brain. Found The Recognitions and joke is on me and the ex cos I was hooked and bad. Loved it and gobbled up all subsequent, in order. 9. Well you know in my 12-step program we call that “wreckage of the past.” 10. I don’t know what neurotypical means. I do not suffer somewhat tho I do suffer some fools. 11. No. 12. See Q. 2. 4 longhand pages per hour. 13 aka E. Hell yeah. Better that way. 14. Of course not. I recall him pressing the vibrating thing up to his neck with the hole in it and buzzing out “Never ever smoke cigarettes.” Not that I listened. After he quit smoking he took up macrame and woodcarving. He had black hair. 17. You too? I love it. 17 and 5, my faves. 15. Yes it is, especially when you think you are coming down with a cold. 16. I try never to identify. j-thingy. Yes but only because it has been so heavily advertised, not from personal expereince. As another ex’s of mine’s father used to say, “You think advertising doesn’t work, but look how many people drink Budweiser.” He had the Tampax account. 18. I wasn’t wrong, though. 19. It was beaten out of me by student loan debt. 20. More than many. 21. Not really. My expectations of myself are significantly lowered in old age (40s). 13. The only recurring nightmares involved sontinuously-self-building treehouses made out of tin cans. I am out of time here at the library and will continue my answers later.

    Like

  38. 22a. No longer at library. I believe your Down’s student is an empath. XXIII. a phony petulant YYIV. no my accupuncturist says it is dusky, pale, and occasionally scalloped XXV. no ZZVI. Mystery Mansion, my favorite adventure game! XXVII. Of self. 28. Not feeling this one. 29. Although I did get a 98% on the GRE when they still had an analytical section on it, today my brain will not do these things. xxx. Is this supposed to be racy? I will disappoint. The lights of the tower acorss the street through slats of blinds. Silhouettes of plants; trapezoid of light on a wall from a streetlamp out the other window. It’s pretty bright, really. No wonder I don’t sleep well. I thought it was just cos my downstairs neighbor microwaves bacon at 4am. 31. No elective surgery in my family but the stepsister’s nosejob, which didn’t do much; it was subtle. Did enjoy it when I was four and we went to a upick cherry farm and this lady in a wheelchair showed us the stump of her amputated leg. Now that was cool. 32. I am a connoisseur (sp?) of airplaine-crashing dreams, and they generally happen on the eves of actual, physical-world airplane crashes. Once I dreamt I was a bird skirting the SF bay; I wouldn’t mind that one coming true. 32. Mainly I steal time. From employers or from myself. 33. This would be an example of from myself.

    Like

  39. 1. Yes

    2. Well, I didn’t expect the Spanish Inquisition

    3. No

    4. Yes

    4a. Yes

    5. Bret Easton Ellis

    6. As above

    7. Less Than Zero

    8. I don’t aim to please

    9. Nope

    10. We all think we know suffering

    11. Is that a joke?

    12. I didn’t check my words per minute

    E. I am living it

    14. I cannot recall a memory I do not have

    17. Oooh

    15. When sour cream tastes like chocolate chip ice cream

    16. The bitch who sold you the popcorn cause she owned it

    Ĵ. No

    18. Gloating parent

    19! It never left

    20. I don’t

    21. Yeah, a bit. What about when you read all the responses? Hmmm?

    13. I used to dream about vampires. I was too young to consider vampires as anything near sexy, but even now the kill factor really takes the sexy out of it so…hmmm…I still sleep with the doona covering my neck, right up to and over my ears.

    22. Often, but I rage against them

    22a. Too long! Remember? Death is quickly approaching us all.

    XXIII. a Narcissistic douche bag

    YYIV. Ew

    XXV. Yes

    ZZVI. In the doorway, about to leave. I think I entered the wrong house, the wrong room. There’s a creepy looking crack addled grandma smashing bottles in the hallway, and I am thinking she might be the mother of a serial killer who does tapestries in his down time.

    XXVII. “Sometimes love just aint enough” – Old Song

    28. Dewey and a remote control

    29. He would say…..

    Enough for this evening.

    Like

  40. 1. Not that I could remember.

    3. Don’t we all? But yes, I’m afraid I have to admit I am in most cases quite a dishonest person if it’s to my advantage.

    4. Not in the slightest.

    4a. Apologies, but rather not. Thank you.

    5. I would stumble into that person and screech; and then, probably F. Scott Fitzgerald and J. D. Salinger. And Marisha Pessl, to throw in a bit of elegance and hipsterism. And because she is terribly unknown.

    6. Don’t ask. But, to be honest, from everything I’ve read so far, Jack Kerouac and Marisha Pessl.

    7. I have a top five list but I really can’t distinguish between those Great Five which are The Catcher in the Rye, On The Road, Only Revolutions, Special Topics in Calamity Physics and – The Great Gatsby, I suppose?

    8. Twilight (the entire tetralogy, sadly). I bought some solely to read them, but they turned out to look really nice on my bookshelf too: Edward Tulane, The Virgin Suicides, my copy of LOTR, The Catcher in the Rye, Game of Thrones. And the Oxford Dictionary.

    9. My youth is blossoming and blooming over here.

    10. I am a teenager, what do you expect.

    11. I wish I could be a bit more Caulfield here and a bit less Alice in Wonderland – but no, I am not the destructive type.

    12. I honestly think I’ve never drunk whiskey.

    E. Never.

    14. I fail to.

    17. Yes!

    15. Everything is alright at the end of the world. So, ten on a Thursday morning.

    16. d)

    Ĵ. Yes. I’m certain that it happens all the time.

    18. I always tell my parents I’m wrong.

    19! Deceased and gone to heaven.

    20. Around 1000.

    21. Death doesn’t worry me. Life does.

    13. My bed has been dry for years.

    22. On a daily basis.

    22a. I never relate to anyone.

    XXIII. a)

    YYIV. No.

    XXV. No.

    ZZVI. Welcome To Night Vale.

    XXVII. Bam ba da da dam.

    28. Jawn.

    29. Two hundred.

    xxx. I can tell you but I know it’s mine.

    31. No.

    32. Yes.

    32. I think so

    33. Never left.

    Like

  41. 1. Yes.

    2. Don’t remember specifically all of them, but it was usually from the library of books that most of my teachers seemed to keep in their classrooms. This happened to me reasonably frequently as a child, and still happens with people who lend me books and never follow up with me about them.

    3. Nope.

    4. I’d describe it as slightly antagonistic, but yes.

    4a. Sure thing.

    5. Neil Gaiman. Or John Steinbeck, depending on my headspace at the time.

    6. Neil Gaiman.

    7. East of Eden.

    8. Genuinely, none. I may decide not to buy a book because other people might see the title/cover and reach the wrong conclusion (although I’ll sometimes buy them anyway), but I don’t buy books to impress. I buy them because I actually want to read them.

    9. Depends on where the line is drawn as far as “youth” is concerned. But mostly no.

    10. I am reasonably far from neurotypical while still maintaining function in mainstream society. Suffering depends on my attitude and perspective at the time (and sometimes what I’m reading).

    11. No. A wall, once or twice, and my desk a few times. But haven’t broken anything yet, hand or other.

    12. I don’t drink whiskey.

    E. I believe that love comes in so many different forms that it is intrinsic to life. If talking about romantic love, yes, I believe that there is life after.

    14. No. My grandparents were distant, both emotionally and physically. As a result, I never had occasion to experience this.

    17. Perhaps. Not for me personally, but who knows what life the number 17 has led?

    15. On its own? No. Perhaps with some Eastern European food. Or spooned in vast quantities atop Mexican food of some sort. Or with a massive container of potato wedges, accompanied with sweet chilli sauce.

    16. Probably d.

    Ĵ. No, although I believe in lust at first sight.

    18. I don’t mind admitting I was wrong, even to a gloating parent figure, at least if I actually was wrong.

    19! I moved from California to Australia with very little support network to start with. I think my sense of adventure looked at that and went “That’ll do me.”

    20. If I read 100 books for every year of my life, I would have read 3000. But I don’t think I have, even if you averaged it. So we’ll say 2000. I’ve never claimed a number, though, just for the record.

    21. Does it worry your brow and brain that each day, even today, every moment, this passing moment in fact, even as you waste time reading this, all these times, yes!–even now, here, you are closer now than before to approaching death?

    13. No. I did have one where my old house was burning down and I couldn’t find my parents and I found myself wandering down a dark street with blood everywhere that I could see. It sounds scarier when you’re a very small child.

    22. More often than I probably remember.

    22a. I have to admit, I got a bit of a Murakami vibe off of that story. And I can’t say anything along those lines has ever really happened to me (that I recall). So I suppose I’m going to be disappointing in my response to this one.

    XXIII. a) a petulant phony

    YYIV. No.

    XXV. Sometimes.

    ZZVI. Somewhere in Scandinavia. Probably. Or asleep in my head having a dream that I won’t remember when I wake up.

    XXVII. If only. But no. It helps, though.

    28. Dewey I suppose.

    29. I am uncultured and your words are incomprehensible to me. I say, 42.

    xxx. Darkness. Apples. Cows.

    31. No, I haven’t had occasion to encounter that.

    32. Perhaps.

    32. More or less.

    33. In some ways.

    Like

  42. 1. Yes.
    2. I liberated a coffee table book of Midwestern photos from a place of former, and miserable, employment.
    3. No.
    4. Not really.
    4a. Sure
    5. “Which year?”
    6. Answer the question.
    7. Fiction or nonfiction?
    8. Never bought a book for the “look” of it.
    9. No, the present is far more batteryesque.
    10. Psychic Genius to the general populace.
    11. No.
    12. W&wwhat?>
    E. I believe Cher’s wig room has more square footage than my house. P.S. Triskaidekaphobic pussies.
    14. No. One grandfather died before memory took hold, the other was almost a Nazi.
    17. It is for one of my central characters.
    15. Yes, when you are starving to death and a working toilet is nearby.
    16. D.
    j. No.
    18. My family already knows I am always right.
    19! Still there, percolating, fomenting. and rushing.
    20. Several thousand so far.
    21. No. Death is an illusion.
    13. No, mostly just falling, drowning, and poverty
    22. Rarely. They’d have a long way to go to catch up to humanity’s record.
    22a. Same thing happens every time I get bored partway through a mommy post on WordPress…and stop reading.
    XXIII. C.
    YYIV. No.
    XXV. No.
    ZZVI. Halfway out the door, heading for a coffee shop, then the park.
    XXVII. Nope.
    28. I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I may incriminate myself.
    29. See number 22.
    xxx. Enjoy the ocular rest.
    31. No.
    32. No, on all counts. I can already fly.
    32. A towel that is not already wet. Yes, yes, and No.
    33. In what sense?

    Like

  43. Great questions!! :)
    1 yes edgar allen poe–unabridged
    3 no
    4 kind of
    5 samuel taylor coleridge
    7 secret garden
    9 yes
    10 suffer or both?
    11 absolutely-want it to end
    12 never tried
    15 yes
    14 sitting on his lap–my parent yelled at me because he was sick
    15 anytime
    16 b
    j yes
    18 WT??
    19 became a parent
    20 i have no idea
    21. death doesn’t worry me- only the HOW?
    13 no
    22 all the time
    22a can’t relate
    xx111 non of the above
    yyiv What is black tongue?
    xxv yes- my own lyrics
    22vi in a castle
    xxvii yes & unfortunately money to pay taxman
    28 aggravated assault
    29 no reply
    xxx colors
    31 yes

    Like

  44. Couldn’t find an appropriate comment box to post this–Your blog has been selected by me for the Dragon’s Loyalty Award. Even if you prefer not to accept this award, please accept this as a compliment and an indication of appreciation for your creative work. The philosophy of the award is: “The Dragon’s Loyalty Award is an award for the loyal fan/commenter, whether the recipient is a fellow blogger or just someone who follows and comments regularly.” Congratulations!
    -kelseylynhoff

    Like

  45. 1. Yes

    2. Ripped off a book about Shaun Cassidy in the 7th grade.

    3. No.

    4. No, but I was tempted to lie and say I ripped off “Edith Hamilton’s Mythology”.

    4a. Sure…It will be the most entertainment they get in years.

    5. Charles Lamb

    6. Charles Lamb. Trick question?

    7. Essays of Elia

    8. The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe.

    9. Only when I have flashbacks to the days when the Hudson Brothers had a TV show.

    10. It depends on my mood swings.

    11. Oh no! Never break mirrors but I once broke a wine glass in my hand.

    12. 95 wpm. It doesn’t slow me down…

    E. No. I require little human contact.

    14. No but my Grandmother did that a few times. My most vivid memory of my grandpa was when a pig bit my pinky and he hit it over the head with this cane yelling, “Damn you! Turn loose of my grand baby you son of a bitch!” I was six…

    17. I’ll play the lottery Wednesday and let you know.

    15. No. I’ll only do that with Rocky Road ice cream. Either way, I pay later.

    16. The Monster’s mother–especially if it’s Sigourney Weaver.

    Ĵ. Not no, but HELL NO!

    18. I always admit I’m wrong to my mother. Usually with the words, “Mom, I need advice. I really fucked up this time.” Funny thing is, she forgets how old I am and that I’m no longer able to have kids and asks me if I’m pregnant again!

    19! I’ll answer this when I grow another pair and go bungee jumping while hoping to cure my fear of heights.

    20. Too many to list.

    21. No because we are all born astride a grave.

    13. No but I have an older brother that tried to give me a few nightmares, but he’d end up wetting the bed before it was over. ;-)

    22. Daily.

    22a. I am sure I will be able to relay such an experience if I teach in China in 2014. I may go in September of next year.

    XXIII. You would best describe yourself as: None of these apply but will grumpy grandma suffice?

    YYIV. No.

    XXV. Please define old.

    ZZVI. India

    XXVII. No. All I need is a shot of rum at the moment.

    28. Aggravated Assault but preferably on Dewey.

    29. I’ll come back to that when I’m drunk. I might be more coherent then.

    For her First Communion, I stole for my brother’s daughter a set of five Russian dolls, painted. I’m sure you know the kind. Upon initial inspection, the set appears in the unity of one doll, but bisect said doll at the waist and find within the riches of another painted doll, perhaps more exquisite than the first (but possibly not), and within that doll, once popped along the seam, yes, another doll, and within that, a solid central doll glowing like the embers of the twilit sun, yes yes! Each doll has been baptized and christened by Pan hisself; the solid central glowing &c. doll is named after my niece. Size you the dolls from that which taketh the largest portion of space to the teeniest; also give me their names (one is named Foxy, b/t/w); also, tell me the color of each doll’s dress, and my brothers daughter’s name. Can this you do?

    No but I see darkness when the lights go out..

    31. No, thank god.

    32. Haven’t thought about flying in fantasy since I saw the “Flying Nun” on TV years ago, but I did write stories where the monsters represented the bullies in my school and killed a lot of them off. A teacher figured this out and I ended up in a counselor’s office. My thought was better to write them off or wish them into the corn field than to deal with them the way others thought would be a good idea, but me and a few other girls who were bullied did drag one into the drama prop room once, stripped him down, put a dress on him and threw his clothes by the flag pole for him to gather up–but not before we put make up on his face that he couldn’t wash off easily. He never bothered us again.

    32. My paper towels.

    33. Not really but I’m always in another dimension anyway.

    Like

  46. 1. I consider it a rescue
    2. A copy of the Dark Is Rising from the bathroom of an irritating wine bar in Bloomsbury. Also, a Nathanael West and a silver hardback of ‘Voyage to Arctarus’ from a post-grad common room in Manchester. All were dead books, left to rot. I’ve replanted them on my shelves and they’re blossoming nicely.
    3. I probably already have.
    4. Nah, more honest. Sometimes it’s nice to be honest.
    4a. Ovvo, yes.
    5. Possibly Anthony Burgess or Angela Carter. Someone with a grubby sensibility and too many ideas. It’s important to give a clear impression of the troubles ahead.
    6. See above.
    7. I could read and re-read ‘The Code of the Woosters’ until my eyeballs atrophy, but I wouldn’t call it a favourite, per se.
    8. *pleh*
    9. Not at all. It’s the bits of adulthood I’ve buggered up that leave the lasting stink.
    10. A perfectly ordinary sort of mess, thank you very much.
    11. Nope.
    12. Never write drunk – often when hungover.
    14. Not quite, but I do remember something about a nest of spider eggs in a tree. I poked it with a stick. That definitely happened.
    17. I thought that was slix. Or Sleven.
    15. Is there another way to eat it?
    16. When watching a movie intended to horrify hormonal teenagers, you identify most with:
    d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn – I’m with the people, bruv.
    Ĵ. No. I believe sight is a trick our archon overlords play on our vulnerable eye blobs. We deserve better.
    18. The latter sounds like a very pleasant way to spend a Thursday evening. Do you require cash upfront?
    19! I keep it in a little wooden box at the end of the bed. It’s starting to smell a little like cabbage.
    20. Basically, anything I can summarise in an epithet.
    21. Does it worry me? Not nearly enough. Death feels like the brilliant person you ignore until the end of the party and then resent the hours spent, bored as sin, chatting to the dullard with impeccable cleavage.
    22. I feel I disappoint them with much greater frequency.

    Like

  47. Best books I stole are . . .

    Hart Crane: Complete Poems and Selected Letters (Library of America).

    Emily Dickinson – Complete.

    Lydia Davis – Collected.

    Nabokov’s – Complete Short Stories

    Should I feel bad? Is it unwise to admit to bookcrimes in a public forum such as this?

    But stealing books is one of the best drugs there is . . . and since reading that Bolaño says it’s okay, there must be something in that.

    The Savage Detective’s show that stealing books is a way of life . . . like the music of the band The Fall.

    Like

  48. 1. Yes I have stolen a book.

    2. Stealing the books was kind of unintentional/down to laziness. I think I stole some of the Goosebumps books from my school library because I loved them too much to give them back, and an animal rights book that I felt compelled to have for myself.

    3. I do not tend to lie on this survey and it is in my best interest to not misrepresent myself!

    4. Yes actually now you mention it!

    4a. You do indeed.

    5. I would probably panic and say Bret Easton Ellis although I only love one book of his…so he’s not really my favorite author in that respect.

    6. Hmm, Charles Bukowski or J.D Salinger.

    7. American Psycho or The Great Gatsby.

    8. I have a leather bound book with gold rimmed pages that I inherited from my uncle, that one’s pretty fancy.

    9. I’m still living my shambolic youth.

    10. Not really sure what neurotypical means…so I guess I suffer.

    11. Haha! Unfortunately I have not ever done such a thing. There is always time though, I’ll remember that for my next fit of rage.

    12. I don’t drink whiskey! Or at least, not by choice have I ever drank whiskey.

    E. Absolutely!

    14. Now you mention it… I do remember that quite clearly.

    17. 17 was my favorite age, so maybe.

    15. Definitely OK for any mid-life crisis or existentialist break down.

    16. I identify most with the bitch who goes crazy, most likely.

    Ĵ. Lust at first sight but not love. You don’t know how annoying that person could be yet.

    18. How dare you touch my pets in a manner like that! I’d prefer to admit I was wrong.

    19! It’s still there!

    20. A lot more than I have.

    21. Sometimes It bothers me, sometimes it comforts me.

    13. No thank God, that sounds awful.

    22. All the god damn time.

    22a. I don’t even know what to say to that, but I am saddened I don’t have a similar experience to share.

    XXIII. I am definitely a petulant phony

    YYIV. I don’t think I do!

    XXV. I’d like to think I do yes.

    ZZVI. Underneath the bear staring in wonder.

    XXVII. And money. And food.

    xxx. Faces. Always faces.

    31. Never, unfortunately. Although when my dad had an operation on his elbow there was a pigeon on the hospital ward…that was kind of gross.

    32. I…I guess so.

    32. Yes, yes and…yes?!

    33. Still here baby.

    Like

  49. 3. No.
    4. No.
    4a. Yes.
    5. Maurice Sendak. Duh.
    6. I’m sensing Deja vu.
    7. “Where the Wild Things Are”
    8. “Guns, Germs, and Steel” by Jared Diamond and Plato’s “The Republic,” of course. Read the latter a dozen times but never touched the former.
    9. Worse.
    10. Sure. Let’s go with that.
    11. No.
    12. 1,000,000,000
    E. No. There is nothing after love. Love never ends; love has thereby no predecessor.
    14. No. Can’t recall.
    17. Unfortunately.
    15. It’s all about what you want to do. I’m never going to hold you back, man.
    16. d) the bitch who sold you the popcorn. Minimum wage, dude. I think we can all agree it sucks.
    J. Absolutely.
    18. Pretty sure I’d rather admit I was wrong to my “gloating” parents.
    19. Oh, unfortunately still here.
    20. How am I supposed to know? Are there people who actually keep track of stuff like that?
    21. No.
    13. That sounds like one of my good dreams.
    22. Not often. It’s the inventors that disappoint me.
    22a. I did not read any of that. Something about a Japanese dude? Anyway I can’t relate a similar story because obviously…I don’t know what “similar” would be.
    XXIII. e) an intuitive rebel
    YYIV. No.
    XXV. I like to personally write “BS” to anyone who would actually comment and say “Yes, I know all the words to all the old songs.”
    ZZVI. Somewhere I shouldn’t be. At least not in the form of a Disney Pixar movie.
    XXVII. Yep.
    28. Neither. Chocolate.
    29. I love how you think I’ll actually read this.
    xxx. The absence of light.
    31. No.
    32. *yawn*
    32. You just used that number.

    Like

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