every light casts a shadow

  1. You notice a ring is priced $40.00, but the cashier only charges you $10.00. Do you mention this to the cashier? probably, though it depends very much on the type of store. I realize it ought not to be a sliding scale, but it's true.
  2. Could a kiss on the ___ be considered cheating?
    yep - could. Morality is relative.
  3. Would it bother you if your lover occasionally flirted with others? 'bother' is also relative, apparently
  4. How long has it been since you last played Truth or Dare? forever!
  5. Should people who are living now be obligated to do things that will make the world better for people who will live 100 years from now? yes. It's a cost of living in society, and also the benefit.
  6. Imagine you have a dream in which someone you care for acts mean to you. Is it possible you will still be angry with this person when you wake up? only if you're irrational
  7. Have you ever left someone a note with a picture in it? uh, yes?
  8. If yes, how do you do it? by...putting a picture in the note? Is this a philosophical question or a practical one? In either case, it's weird.
  9. What do you fear more, death or pain? pain, of course
  10. Are the questions still interesting this far into the survey? this one seems to be on irregular repeat...
  11. Do you like the cartoon Inspector Gadget? more in theory than in practice
  12. You know how Gadget wears the same outfit all the time, and his closet is full of outfits that are exactly identical to the one he wears? If your closet was full of just one outfit that you had to wear everyday what would it be like? jeans, white shirt, and either sandals or boots (depending on the weather)
  13. Would you rather time travel to the future or the past? eh. It's sort of intriguing to imagine knowing how it'll all turn out, but that would also be anticlimactic. The better alternative might be to go back and tweak a couple of things to prevent some pain--though, how much pain would be caused inadvertently, by making those changes? Prehaps it's best to stick with the devil I know.
  14. Would you rather know how the world began or how it will end? neither for this mortal, thanks
  15. Would you rather meet your ancient ancestors or your great great great great great great grandchildren? I'm the Omega of my line, so it would have to be those ancestors
  16. Out of these 4 which is most important (1=most, 2= second most, 3 = 3rd most, 4 = least)?
    Curing diseases such as AIDS, cancer:
    Preserving wildlife areas:
    Ending terrorism:
    Building colonies in space:
    1, 3, 2, 4
  17. In your opinion should every child be entitled to a good education? "entitled" is a sticky word that I try not to use
  18. What news item are you tired of hearing about? pretty much all of them. More specifically, anything that's ever repeated on FB. More broadly, anything political.
  19. Speaking of 9/11 the anniversary is coming up. What will you be doing? I noted the anniversary in my own way
  20. If this were a recipe for you, how would it go?
    2 cups:
    1 cup:
    1/2 cup:
    A pinch of:
    A dash of:
    Mix well and bake until:
    2 cups of silent observation, 1 cup of contemplation, 1/2 cup of opinion (probably warmer than room temperature), a pinch of snark and a dash of wistfulness. Mix well and bake until toasty. Add a dollop of something sweet and slightly sticky - but off to the side somewhere. Serve cool.
  21. Which of the following would YOU be more likely to survive:
    A fall from a 3 story building
    Driving a car into the water
    depending on the depth of the water--the latter
  22. What philosophy was manifested in the communist manifesto? the Communist. Duh
  23. Who is your exact opposite? there's this woman who seems to, unthinkingly, be living the life I wish I had...
  24. Would you rather have serenity or insanity? what the Hell? Why would anyone wish for insanity?
  25. What is the longest distance you have ever walked? 5K
  26. The ancient Greek philosopher Plato believes that beauty, truth, and justice all basically mean the same thing. What are your feelings about this? first, I feel that Plato's been dead for long enough that his feelings could fairly be phrased in the past tense.

    More importantly, the ideals of "beauty" and "truth," as understood and expressed by Plato, were hardly used in the modern sense. They were much closer to the same concept, a sort of pattern for perfection. It was not just being attractive, or even not telling lies.
  27. How did you first begin to assert yourself as independent from your parents? I think I gradually spent more time with my friends, though it took a while. I was pretty attached to my parents fairly late into my teens.
  28. If you had a magic bracelet, would you use it to gain luck, money, health, creativity or love? love. Sad but true.
  29. What would you do if every time you used your magic bracelet something bad would happen to someone else? that's the price you pay, I think, when you start messing with the concepts of "fate" and "destiny"
  30. Have you ever intentionally hurt someone’s feelings? yes. It's nothing to be proud of.
  31. What do you think of Franz Ferdinand? not to my taste
  32. What do you think of the band Modest Mouse? reminds me of Dan the pothead
  33. What do you think of Morrissey? a lot of his stuff, I just don't get, but what I do get, I like a lot
[From the 5000-question meme; this is the third third of the eighteenth part. The title quotation is by Plato, from Critias, and reads in its entirety:

“No matter how hard you fight the darkness, 
every light casts a shadow, 
and the closer you get to the light, 
the darker that shadow becomes.”


I don’t want to be without you seeing me

Now if you’d leave me in peace.
Now if you’d get on without me.

I am going to close my eyes

And I only want five things,
five favorite roots.

The first is love without end.

The second is to see autumn.
I cannot be without leaves
flying away and returning to earth.

Third is grave winter,
the rain I loved, the caress
of a fire in a wilderness of cold.

In fourth place is summertime
round like a watermelon.

The fifth thing is your eyes,
Matilde, my love, my beloved,
I don’t want to sleep without your eyes,
I don’t want to be without you seeing me:
I’d trade springtime
for your gaze still upon me.

My friends, all of that is what I want.
It’s nearly nothing and almost everything.

And now if you wish you may leave.

So much have I lived that one day
you’ll have to make yourselves forget me,
erasing the blackboard of me:
my heart was endless.

But just because I ask for silence
don’t go thinking I’m about to die:
au contraire!:
it so happens I am going to be lived.

It just so happens that I am and I keep being.

I will not be dying for within me
grains will grow,
first the kernels that break through
the ground to see light,
but mother earth is dark:
and inside me I am dark:
I am like a well in whose waters
the nighttime leaves her stars
and goes on alone through the fields.

This is about my having lived so much
that I want to live another much.

Never have I felt such resonance,
never have I had so many kisses.

Now, as always, it is early.
The light takes flight with her bees.

Leave me alone with this day.
I ask permission to be born.

[Pablo Neruda {1904-1973}, 'I ask for silence', trans. by Heidi Fischbach. A version appears in Intimacies.
Read Neruda’s original “Pido Silencio”]


I propose to wring the truth out of you

  1. Who are you waiting for an email/call/note/visit from? right at this moment, I have all that I need. I am happy.
  2. What are you counting the days until? that question hurts my soul

    Thursday appeals a lot. Saturday sounds pretty good, too.
  3. What is the greatest temptation for you? attention
  4. How do you resist it? make myself prickly
  5. Who is your knight in shining armor? there are a few of them. They know who they are. Finest kind.
  6. If you were walking and someone behind you yelled "HEY YOU!" would you turn around? depends on the circumstances. If there were a bunch of people around, I wouldn't likely pay attention at all. If we were alone...I probably wouldn't turn around. Creepy.
  7. Do loud noises make you tense? yes. "I've been reading a book about introversion..." and have come to the conclusion that I am a "highly sensitive person." Sigh.
  8. Has anyone ever told you that your epidermis was showing? har har har
  9. Would you rather work or stay home with the baby? if some sort of baby miracle happened at this point, I'd sure as hell stay home for the entire blessed experience
  10. Would you rather have people agree with you all the time or tell you the honest truth? honest truth is almost always better, as long as it's not an excuse for brutality
  11. Will you/have you gone to your high school reunion? I've been to one. The friends that I miss, I see (or at least remain in contact with). Those I don't, I don't.
  12. What do you think of your yearbook picture? it's not bad
  13. Are you more of a hunter or a gatherer? funny thought. I suppose that I'm roughly half and half; my green side is the gatherer and my orange is the hunter.
  14. If you ever were to visit Hershey Park, the theme park based on the chocolate candy, would you enjoy going to the spa where you can be treated to a whipped cocoa bath, a milk and honey bath, or simply a chocolate fondue skin wrap? no, thank you. I love skin treatments, but neither of those sounds any good at all.
  15. If someone asks you to read a poem they wrote, will you really take your time to try and understand what they wrote and tell them what you think or just read it quickly and tell them that its really good? truth is key in that situation
  16. Do you feel that if a coincidence occurs it means something? once is accident, twice is coincidence - but three times is a pattern
  17. Were you beautiful as a child? nope. The highest I've ever aspired to is "cute."
  18. Do you think that it is OK for a homosexual or a woman to become a priest? I'm really not too bent out of shape about the priesthood
  19. Which would you rather give up forever, religion or sex? funny
  20. What comes to mind when you think of these places:
    Justin Trudeau
  21. UK? architecture
  22. USA? red, white and blue
  23. Australia? Wolfgang
  24. Germany? beer
  25. Italy? food
  26. What does your favorite bumper sticker say? "vegetarians taste funny"
  27. Have you ever taken a shower with another person? I'm sure I cannot answer that without incriminating
  28. What bath toys do you have, if any? ninja duck
  29. Would you rather propose to someone you love or would you rather be proposed to by someone you love? uhm. Not an issue.
  30. How can you reject someone nicely? tell the truth, don't give too much detail, and resist the urge to be too emotional
  31. Pick an object in the room. Give that object a name. there is a treadmill (new to me, bought used from friends) that I now call "my roommate"
  32. What is the quickest way to make you blush? get me telling stories from my young teen years
  33. Do you usually feel that you deserve it when other people compliment you? sometimes. If someone is sincere in their compliment, I accept it.
  34. If you were to start your own business, what kind of business do you think it might be? I decided last night to grow birch trees, calla lilies and sunflowers for sale to hipsters
  35. What is one of your pet peeves? people bursting into my office without knocking or otherwise announcing their presence
  36. What question do you get asked too frequently? "why did you go to law school?"

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second third of the eighteenth part. The title quotation is from Goldfinger by Ian Fleming, and reads in its entirety:

"Mr Bond, they have a saying in Chicago: 'Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. The third time it's enemy action.' Miami, Sandwich and now Geneva. I propose to wring the truth out of you."]


only the duration of a dance

After the clash of elevator gates
And the long sinking, she emerges where,
A slight thing in the morning’s crosstown glare,
She looks up toward the window where he waits,
Then in a fleeting taxi joins the rest
Of the huge traffic bound forever west.

On such grand scale do lovers say good-bye—
Even this other pair whose high romance
Had only the duration of a dance,
And who, now taking leave with stricken eye,
See each in each a whole new life forgone.
For them, above the darkling clubhouse lawn,

Bright Perseids flash and crumble; while for these
Who part now on the dock, weighed down by grief
And baggage, yet with something like relief,
It takes three thousand miles of knitting seas
To cancel out their crossing, and unmake
The amorous rough and tumble of their wake.

We are denied, my love, their fine tristesse
And bittersweet regrets, and cannot share
The frequent vistas of their large despair,
Where love and all are swept to nothingness;
Still, there’s a certain scope in that long love
Which constant spirits are the keepers of,

And which, though taken to be tame and staid,
Is a wild sostenuto of the heart,
A passion joined to courtesy and art
Which has the quality of something made,
Like a good fiddle, like the rose’s scent,
Like a rose window or the firmament.

[Richard Wilbur {1921- }, 'For C.', from Mayflies]


I suppose I have learned to be... creative, sir - when necessary

  1. How will tomorrow be like today? cool weather, places to be/people to see, and some deeper meaning
  2. How would you react if a stranger pinched your bottom? if history is anything to go by, I'd get mad, and then get even
  3. When was the last time you went on a date? tonight--I had dinner with my favorite second cousin
  4. Have you ever ridden a horse? unfortunately, yes
  5. What is almost over? the episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation that I'm watching ("The Ensigns of Command")--four minutes remain
  6. What should you be doing that you are putting off? writing a card to accompany a care package that I'm mailing out tomorrow
  7. How much would you have to change physically before you would no longer be yourself anymore? 51%
  8. How much would you have to change mentally before you would no longer be yourself anymore? anything. At all.
  9. Would you rather be famous or notorious? notorious, of course. The mere idea of fame is abhorrent to me.
  10. Would you rather have a necklace that's dripping with diamonds or a blueberry farm? I love commas SO MUCH!

    And I would, of course, prefer the diamond necklace to the blueberry farm necklace.
  11. Could you take first place in a beauty contest? depends on the competition, right?
  12. Who is the biggest hypocrite you know and why? my former boss, for reasons that ought to be clear by now
  13. Would you consider yourself to be more opinionated or bitchy? yep
  14. How long is it until your next day off? it's tomorrow! Woot woot woot
  15. What sound is annoying you right now? some part of the fridge (or something inside) is rattling
  16. Imagine you're taking a vacation with 4 people. Who are they? D, R, H, and "Señor Magnifico"
  17. The five of you travel by plane. Suddenly your plane crashes down over snowy mountains. The pilot and the air crew and all the other passengers die. The only way for you to survive is for one of you to get eaten by the others. Who will it be? me
  18. Anorexia and obesity are two life threatening eating related disorders. Why is it that when it is discovered that someone is an anorexic they are rushed to the hospital, but when someone is obese they are not rushed to the hospital? uhm, in my experience one is generally not "discovered" to be anorexic" and subsequently "rushed to the hospital." While there are certainly acute difficulties involved, it is not a sudden-onset illness.
  19. Who is your favorite Smurf? Darryl
  20. Why do you do things that you know are bad for you? I'm a glutton for ... gluttony (and so forth)
  21. How important is testing to education? eh. There are all kinds of justifications for it, pedagogically, socially and psychologically.
  22. What food group do you eat the most of (bread and pasta, meats and eggs and fish, fruits and vegetables, milk and cheese, sugar and butter)? alcohol and fat
  23. Who is the most adorable person you know? D
  24. If you had to spend a half hour locked in a dark closet with someone from school or work that you don't normally hang out with who would you want it to be? Crush Level Red
  25. In the USA people work a full third of the year for the government, due to taxes. How do you feel about this? the accuracy of that statement would depend upon one's tax bracket. In any case, a question like this is all about manipulation and aggravation and not about open dialog.
  26. Should people be allowed to use cell phones in their cars? yes, but not for handheld calls or texts while driving
  27. Have you ever been in the room while a human baby was born? no
  28. Have you ever been in the room while an animal baby was born? no
  29. Did you see the video The Miracle of Life in school? no
  30. How do you feel about having a baby? somewhat horrified, particularly after conversations this weekend about persons my age reproducing unexpectedly
  31. Have you ever had a tooth pulled? yep

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the first third of the eighteenth part. The title quotation is from "The Ensigns of Command"]


rising very far away

This is how you live when you have a cold heart.
As I do: in shadows, trailing over cool rock,
under the great maple trees.

The sun hardly touches me.
Sometimes I see it in early spring, rising very far away.
Then leaves grow over it, completely hiding it. I feel it
glinting through the leaves, erratic,
like someone hitting the side of a glass with a metal spoon.

Living things don't all require
light in the same degree. Some of us
make our own light: a silver leaf
like a path no one can use, a shallow
lake of silver in the darkness under the great maples.

But you know this already.
You and the others who think
you live for truth and, by extension, love
all that is cold.

[Louise Glück {1943- }, 'Lamium', from The Wild Iris]


he's so fluffy, I'm gonna die!

  1. What quality do you value most highly in others? clarity
  2. What is your opinion of the current political climate in your country? f'd up
  3. In some high schools attendance of pep rallies is mandatory. How would you feel in this situation? it's what I grew up with, so it doesn't seem that strange to me. Odd, but not completely wrong.
  4. Could you possibly fall in love with a prostitute? nope
  5. What is one situation you want to avoid ever happening to you? playing the fool--though it seems to happen with alarming frequency
  6. Low fat or fat free? low fat
  7. Are you cowardly? in a lot of ways, I'm as bold as can be; in some ways, I'm very much a coward.
  8. Do you ever feel less than fresh? what a bizarre question! I'm not sure how to answer.
  9. Whose number is 867-5309? Jenny's...er, maybe not
  10. Have you ever written something on a bathroom wall? I have, indeed
  11. When was the last time you fell down in public? February 21st
  12. Are you more aggressive or mellow? mellow (though I'm working on a poem about that very subject)
  13. What have you done with yourself to keep your life worth living? that's a very forthright issue, isn't it? I think that at the heart of all this is whether life is worth living, just as a basic question.
  14. What is the most incredible thing you can do? I'm just a simple person
  15. Do you bury your pets, flush them, or throw them away? I don't have pets
  16. Do you get embarrassed when someone shows off baby pictures of you? nah - I was cute as heck as a baby
  17. Who has made the biggest sacrifice for you? my parents
  18. What's your favorite thing that is yellow?
  19. Do you take any vitamins or drugs? yup
  20. What's the coolest HTML code you know? strikethrough, I guess? HTML really isn't "cool" in any case...
  21. If you had to change your diary name what would you change it to? feh
  22. Do you want to grow old with someone? already am - that's what friends are for
  23. Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons? nah
  24. Have you ever played Magic the Gathering? no
  25. Have you ever played Vampire the Masquerade? never even heard of it
  26. Have you ever played Risk? no - for reasons
  27. Of the above mentioned four games which one is most appealing to you? Risk, I suppose?
  28. What have you complained for so long about having to do that you could've accomplished it by the time you were finished complaining? plenty of things: going out to buy gas, exercising, preparing income taxes, getting ready for bed...
  29. When was the last time you went out of your way to be cheerful and friendly, even when you felt like punching everyone around you? um, WORK
  30. Do you treat others better or worse than yourself and why? some others, I always treat better than I treat myself. I'll just leave it there.

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second half of the seventeenth part. The title quotation is from Despicable Me]