1.15.2018

'tis love, 'tis love, that makes the world go round!

  1. Are you an optimist? selectively, but not generally
  2. If you were in the Breakfast Club, which character would you be? Bender
  3. Who do you have no respect for? those who use a position of power for gain, particularly gossip
  4. Is the plural form of cactus cactuses or cactii? cacti
  5. Is the plural form of penis penises or penii? penises (though it is not a word that is generally pluralized)
  6. What does your favorite coffee mug look like? it looks like an old diner-style mug, and in typewriter font reads "Have a Day"
  7. Have you ever gotten hurt at a concert? uh, no
  8. What age do you think it is most difficult to be? the current one. Always the current one.
  9. Do you like to be considered weird or different? it's not a requirement, but sometimes a byproduct of life
  10. Do you think you could handle a day in jail? sure
  11. Is your body an amusement park? it's a wonderland, of sorts, for the right audience
  12. Are DJs obsolete? not even
  13. What is the best liquid in existence? blood
  14. What is turning out better than expected? one of my plants. It used to be sort of straggly and wussy but now it's a hearty little specimen.
  15. Who is the most overbearing person you know? one of my friends, who really isn't so much of a friend anymore. Just way too much in all senses.
  16. Who does it surprise you that you are close to? LG. She's lovely and kind and very, very moral.
  17. Apparently Eminem got booed at the MTV music video awards because he was making fun of Moby onstage. What do you think of this? the booing, I can get behind. "Making fun" is just bullying by another name.
  18. Close your eyes. What do you see? the laptop screen - there's not much ambient light in this room
  19. What's the best Van Halen song? "Why Can't This be Love?"
  20. What do you picture when you hear the word "Puritans?" Sir Thomas More, as played by Jeremy Northam. Not a fan of those Puritans, was he.
  21. Have you ever been on a trampoline? yes, I was a child for a while
  22. What do you use batteries for the most often? cell phone? Remotes? Garage door opener? They are ubiquitous.
  23. What do you find thrilling? mutual affection
  24. Porch swing. Sunrise. What else could you ask for? a text message that reads "Good morning Sunshine!!!"
  25. Do you like William Shatner's cover of Mr Tambourine Man? ugh, I've never heard it but my ears are bleeding just imagining it
  26. Where's the sexiest place to have a piercing? funny you should ask, I was discussing piercings earlier today. I'm thinking about letting four of mine close up and getting one new one.
    Sexy doesn't really enter into it as much as pain relief and "classy," all of a sudden. Life is weird.
  27. Do you get panic attacks? not as much anymore as I have in the past. I've learned some coping mechanisms that have helped a lot.
  28. How long does getting dressed to go to a club take you? "club". Hmm..
  29. What is Adam Ant's best song? "Strip"
  30. Does your body need improvement or is it just fine? there are, as with the roads in this states, areas under construction at all times
  31. Does watching MTV or reading beauty magazines make you feel bad about yourself? no - but prehaps I don't watch so much MTV or read those magazines, in part because of the psychological effects that they carry
  32. What is the most romantic movie ever? I'm especially fond of "Trust" by Hal Hartley, and "Shakespeare in Love," and "Strictly Ballroom" - off the top of my head
  33. Do you think that women are treated as second-class citizens of this world? well, that's certainly the prevailing theory, isn't it?
[From the 5000-question meme; this is the first third of the twenty-third part. The title quotation is by Lewis Carroll, from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass]

1.07.2018

I would barter my soul to be The prize of love for a single night

Your body’s treasures are mine to-day,
Though bitter as gall be their savour still;
From head to foot shall my kisses play,
Till naught is kept from their sovereign will!

The voice of my need supreme must guide
My passionate love to its destined goal;
My feverish fingers shall seek and glide
Until at the last I hold the soul.

My hot strong hands will no veil endure
That shadows your radiant nakedness;
Lay bare each beauty, conceal no lure,
Leave naught to hinder my fond caress!

Young blood beats onward, unchecked by shame,
When passion’s harvest is ripe to reap;
For who shall speak with the raging flame,
Or stay the cataract in its leap?

My armies have stormed at your city’s gate—
I have conquered you, hold you. Might is right
With the beasts of the wild that celebrate
In the jungle their primal marriage night.

You too are moved by the selfsame power,
Your quick breath tells in its shuddering fall:
There is naught so strong as love this hour—
Call it god or beast, it is lord of all!

The god in me and the beast in me
And all deep things come up to light;
And I would barter my soul to be
The prize of love for a single night.

One long, long night of supreme desire,
One long, long night of riot and rage;
For you are the sea and I the fire,
And old as the world is the war we wage.

The old, old strife of woman and man
That ever has been, and still shall be
Until the day when the vaulted span
Shall sink a wreck in the whelming sea.

Once fed, no longer the wolf-pack raves:
But love can never of madness tire,
And I must drown in your passion’s waves,
And you consume in my hot desire.

This the law of the flowering south,
Of the snow-clad north where the world is white …
You shall faint and fall as I crush your mouth
Beneath a conqueror’s ruthless might!

My life is poured in the stream of yours,
But fire and flood were not meant to mate:
We shall never be one while the world endures—
And the meaning of love at the last is hate!

My soul is drunk with your maddening charms;
You have taken all—I have naught to lose.
About me tighten your slender arms
With the very grip of the hangman’s noose.

So let us struggle, both flame and flood,
Let love and hate and sense have play
Till the slow dawn rises bathed in blood,
And you and I are dead ere day!

[George Sylvester Viereck {1884-1962}, 'Love Triumphant', from Nineveh and Other Poems]

1.06.2018

there are many things in your heart you can never tell to another person

  1. Things change, but what will always remain the same for you? I love roast beef & gravy, I'm no good at science, and I'm not a morning person
  2. Is divorce something you would ever consider, or do you feel that marriage is permanently binding? it is something I would "ever do." I absolutely think there are worse things in life than ending a bond that was entered into voluntarily 
  3. What's the strangest movie you ever saw? "American Me" freaked me out and gave me constant nightmares for six months. There's no film that I regret having watched as much as that one. Very strange.
  4. If you could go into virtual reality and set up your life there to be perfect and it would seem real but not be real, would you trade your life now for the virtual life? Yes.
  5. Does it seem like life is more difficult for you than for anyone else? not "anyone" else - but sure, lots of others
  6. What are you grateful for? heated blankets, backyard bunnies, and weekends off
  7. What was a choice that you didn't want to make but you had to? there are some things that I can't talk about, even here, and one of those is a choice that have had to make nearly every day for nearly a year. Hard, and mostly right, and troubling.
  8. Have you ever had dental surgery? more times than I can count. My baby teeth were embedded in bone, so they didn't fall out like most kids'. I had to have them removed, surgically. I spent lots of time with the oral surgeon as a child.
  9. At what point exactly are you grown up? ironically, I had a conversation with an old friend about this just yesterday. We agreed that one way you realize you're an adult is when you can drive while sobbing.
  10. If there was a weight loss procedure that would destroy your ability to taste food so you wouldn't be tempted by junk food, would you have it done? no
  11. What is one thing that happened that you never expected? uhm, I suppose the fact that I'm thinking about taking the bar exam... again...
  12. If you called one of your friends and they said, "It's nothing personal but I don't want to talk to anyone right now," would you take it personally? of course. The "it's nothing personal" bit is passive aggressive. If you don't want to talk, just don't answer your damned phone.
  13. What is your favorite girl's name? Sparkles
  14. Do you ever feel guilty for being more fortunate than others? globally, but not specifically. 
  15. If you had to wear a shirt with one word on it for a year, what word would you choose? "quiet"
  16. You drop 10 pounds of feathers and a ten pound bowling ball off the top of the same building. Which will hit the ground first? simultaneous hitting. Physics.
  17. Even though you may never get what you want, are you happy because you're trying? close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades
  18. If you started a petition what would it be about? nert
  19. When was the last time you asked someone to do something and they said no? I'm sure it was at work
  20. Do bad things happen to you on Friday the 13th? no more than any other Friday
  21. What's your favorite:
    Madonna song?
     "Live to Tell"
  22. John Lennon song? feh
  23. Michael Jackson song? "Man in the Mirror"
  24. Doors song? "Love Her Madly"
  25. Rolling Stones song? "Satisfaction" - though I'm no fan
  26. David Bowie song? "Under Pressure" (with Queen)
  27. Elvis song? "Suspicious Minds"
  28. If you had started a relationship with someone and they said that it would be best if no one knew about it just to see how it goes, would you be offended? no, I would be glad to have been saved the trouble
  29. Do you know any self defense? just my natural abrasiveness
  30. How about CPR? I'm familiar with it, but not certified
  31. If you had to look into a mirror and see your naked soul stripped of all delusions and pretenses (Neverending Story style) could you handle it? I suppose? I don't know. I sometimes feel like I'm focused too much on my inner self and wish I could turn it off for a while. Other times I realize that, however closely I've been looking, there's something obvious that I haven't seen.
  32. Are you a genius? hardly
  33. How did you find out that Santa Claus wasn't real? I'm pretty sure that can be laid on my siblings. I don't remember it, but I've got a good guess which one it was.
  34. Which is your favorite tarot card? never experienced it, so I have no idea
  35. Does the internet separate people or connect them? both, sometimes at the same time
  36. Have you ever written a letter to a soldier? yes, but I was in actual correspondence with a sailor over a couple of years
  37. Does pain and fear make you feel alive? not in so many words. I think it's more like the experience of having felt (past tense) pain or fear leaves an effect of exhilaration. It's not the actual emotion but going through it and getting out the other side that does it.
  38. Are you:
    good looking?
     not particularly. I'm ... not unpleasant.
  39. thin? nope
  40. happy? sporadically
  41. successful? in a sense
  42. confident? sometimes
  43. Are you decisive or wishy-washy? in the ways that usually matter, I'm decisive. In one particularly painful way, I'm wishy-washy like Charlie Brown.
  44. Do you feel pop stars should be morally responsible to set a good example for their fans? definitely. When you choose a role in the public eye, you ought to accept the bitter with the sweet. 
[From the 5000-question meme; this is the third third of the twenty-second part. The title quotation is by Greta Garbo]

1.05.2018

her solitude always uneasy

She had once had an abortion, she said, and later
an affair with a married man,

then another, her solitude always
uneasy, her body

lonely for something nameless as they had been,
or as she made them.

She said it began as pressure not quite pain,
and they found it outside

the womb, clinging to an ovary, having
conceived of itself.

When they removed it, they told her she could see it
if she wanted to:

just a curiosity with teeth, hair, and nails. Odd
but benign, the doctor

said, most always benign, nodding toward it
as though it could agree

with him, as though that were the fact,
the whole of it: curious

mistake a body can make.

[Claudia Emerson {1957-2014}, 'Cyst', from The Best American Poetry 2016; originally appeared in Subtropics]

1.04.2018

is it possible not to ever know your type--not to even know you have a type--until quite suddenly you do?

  1. Do you save things for special occasions or is everyday a special occasion? saving anything is a waste. Live your life.
  2. What is one thing you are terrible at? being truly patient
  3. What's your favorite:
    rap song:
    "Joy and Pain" by Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock
  4. country song: "If Ever I Could Love" by Keith Urban (according to iTunes, anyway)
  5. industrial song: don't know that I'm a fan?
  6. cover song: "Superman" by R.E.M.
  7. punk song: "Love Love, Kiss Kiss" by Alkaline Trio
  8. odd song: "Come Closer Together"--a mashup of the Beatles "Come Together" and Nine Inch Nails' "Closer"
  9. What do you get your teacher or your boss for the holidays? ornaments and a sarcastic notepad
  10. Do you like to read books by Virginia Woolf? the only one of her books that I've read is "A Room of One's Own." It was important to my intellectual development, but I didn't love the book and probably won't read it again.
  11. What is your favorite TV show from when you were a kid? the first that came to mind is M*A*S*H--and it's still the best
  12. What is now proved was once only imagined. [William Blake]
    What do you imagine?
    happiness and contentment
  13. What has been passed down through at least two generations to you? shadowy blue eyes
  14. Do we live in a particularly bad age for romance? yes - ironically, the behavior I'm currently exhibiting (social media obsession) is the primary contributing factor
  15. Have you ever cheated on someone? I have.
  16. Do you believe that once someone is a cheater they can never be trusted? not exactly
  17. Have you ever gone:
    Christmas caroling?
    no
  18. pumpkin picking? yes
  19. on a hay wagon ride? yes, but it's just called a "hayride"
  20. on a romantic Valentine's Day date? I was married for 12 years; there was a date or two then (and others besides)
  21. to a New Year's Eve party? yup, and some good ones!
  22. to a Memorial Day parade? yes, and even participated in a few
  23. to the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade? eeew, no thank you
  24. to search for gold coins on St. Patrick's day? is that even a thing?
  25. Have you ever done any modeling? sort of. In college I posed as a concert pianist (in a formal gown), as a "typical college kid" at a table in the library, and as a chemistry student in a lab coat. My payment was a little too much of the wrong kind of attention from the guy who took the photos.
  26. Would you consider yourself to be psychologically damaged? absolutely. Of course, so are most other people.
  27. How aware are you of the reasons behind your actions and words? 83%
  28. What is the sickest you ever drank or drugged yourself? it's been a while, but I've been passed-out, nonsense-talking, throwing-up, hung-over drunk more times than I could ever count. It's nothing to be proud of or to look back on fondly, but it's part of that multilayered past that's made me who I am.
  29. Would you prefer it if clothing was optional? oh Christ no. Nudity is really, really overrated most of the time.
  30. What is one interesting fact about you? today I was given three compliments: I was referred to as "an honest attorney" (by one of the executive team), "the best" (by a colleague who I admire greatly - and who happens to be f'in gorgeous) and "very good" (by my favorite direct coworker). I'm a sucker for unexpected compliments.
  31. Are more people depressed because they are alone, or are more people alone because they are depressed? yes
  32. Have you ever gotten a mug, t-shirt, key chain, etc. that was personalized with your picture? uh, no. Though that reminds me of when someone I know had a number of pictures, mugs, mousepads, magnets, etc.--with the same photo--in their house. The effect was profoundly disconcerting, and unintentionally hilarious. I can't think about the person who was photographed without snorting with laughter.
  33. What was the last thing that you experienced for the first time? Wow. That's a tough one. I guess I'll say, I signed my will a couple of weeks ago, after meaning to do so for a long, long time.
  34. If you were going to die tomorrow and you were leaving a postcard for someone to read after you were gone, what would it say? 'I have loved you for a long time, and always will'
  35. If you were about to be executed what would your last request be? just do it
  36. What kinds of people do you find intimidating? only the ones that I love
  37. How much conviction do you have in your feelings and beliefs? 55%
  38. In your house where is the:
    Crazy Glue?
    I don't own any. There was that one incident when I was supposed to fly to Vegas...
  39. flashlight? there's one in nearly every room!
  40. Out of everyone you know, who has the most personality? Bailey
  41. If you could go back in time to experience a musical movement or era, which one would you choose to live through? the 1950s
  42. Do you suffocate people with your love? selectively, yes
  43. Do you feel your life is charmed? it has its moments
  44. What character do you identify the most with from Winnie the Pooh? Owl
  45. When do you do your best thinking? between 10:PM and 2:AM
  46. What motivates you? curiosity, affection, and discontent
  47. Look back at all the people you've dated. Has there been a pattern? not overall, but definitely some shorter term phases.

    I'm out of that right now, for sure.

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the second third of the twenty-second part. The title quotation is by Jennifer E. Smith, from The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight]

1.02.2018

tried my best to be guarded; I'm an open book instead

14 years.

Stories of love and heartbreak. Writing about jobs and school. Tales of music, movies and books. Wandering the world, and going home. Pictures and videos. Quizzes and psychology. Poetry.

The meaning and importance has waxed and waned over time. Sometimes it's impossible for me to stay away, because the words make everything better. Sometimes it's impossible for me to write--the place where the words come from is so painful that anything that touches it is just too much.

I've made friends here, and lost some. Revealed a lot (sometimes far more than I should have). Maybe used all the sharing as a shield to protect myself from telling some truths that had reason to be told.

It started when I was 33, married, with 2 degrees and no ambition to speak of. Zero tattoos and two piercings. Living in the Flatland, surrounded by friends but too far from my family. Now I'm 47, single, 3 degrees (and easing toward a fourth)--still terribly unambitious--but at least working "a real job" again. Ten tattoos and six piercings. Living in the land 'o lakes, surrounded by family and a few phenomenal friends but too far from the others. Freezing my goddamned ass off.

It started when I didn't think I could live by myself. That I would always need to be in the care of another, somehow. And now I question whether I could ever live with anyone again.

Through it all, there are still some people reading. That amazes and humbles me. Thanks for being here, suffering my lapses, humoring my excesses, commenting occasionally, and for reading. It helps.


[the title quotation is from "Broken" by Lifehouse]

12.30.2017

Choose well. Your choice is brief, and yet endless

  1. If you were to a write a "Choose Your Own Adventure" book, what would it be about?
    all of life is "choose your own adventure," and every book worth a damn is about it
  2. What was your best find from a flea market, garage sale, eBay or thrift store?
    a wonderful chair for my basement reading area. The most comfortable seat in the house for $50.
  3. What do you not have enough money for right now?
    anything but the most absolutely necessary. The next six months or so will be pretty tight.
  4. Do you believe that Tears for Fears were right when they said, "Everybody wants to rule the world?"
    yep, in greater or lesser degrees. One's own world, if not the whole banana.
  5. What is the design on your beach towel?
    a kind of salacious looking dog, from Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach, Florida
  6. What stirs something deep and animalistic inside you?
    alcohol, anger, or attraction
  7. Have you ever cross dressed (even as a joke)?
    what a terribly loaded, horrible - and double-standard based - question!
  8. Do you own anything with a rainbow on it?
    the only thing I can think of is the unicorn meat can on my shot glass shelf
  9. What would be the worst object for a child to take on a long car ride with you?
    anything other than Benadryl. Or, I suppose, anything sticky. (Yes, I have the cold shivers.)
  10. What's the best Beatles song in your opinion?
    "Norwegian Wood"
  11. What do these color combinations remind you of:
    orange and pink:

    jello
  12. pink and green:
    7th grade Fun Nites, and the clothes that the Prep girls would wear
  13. green and gold:
    football across the eastern border
  14. purple and gold:
    football in the lake district
  15. gold and red:
    autumn leaves
  16. red and white:
    Switzerland
  17. blue and grey:
    bruises
  18. What is one selfish thing you tend to do?
    I'm a single person living alone. My entire life is an exercise in selfishness.
  19. When do you think technology will catch up with the Jetson's?
    no, I doubt that dogs on treadmills will ever be a thing
  20. What made you laugh today?
    a book that I was reading this morning
  21. Can you freestyle rap?
    the absurdity of that idea is nearly overwhelming
  22. Are you:
    stylish?

    momentarily
  23. shiek?
    I really hope that's supposed to be "chic." What a hilarious thought, either way.
  24. smart?
    sigh - yes
  25. Do you find yourself only buying brand name products?
    "find myself"? There are some products, yes. Others, it really doesn't matter.
  26. Would you ever want to buy an article of clothing or an accessory because you saw a celebrity wear it?
    no
  27. What song do you feel the sexiest dancing to?
    that's really, really private
  28. Who do you know who looks silly when they dance?
    everyone does
  29. Sweaty sex or clean sex?
    yep
  30. Which is more important to you: being kind or being right?
    "important" is a very, very difficult word
  31. Can you do any special dances like swing, tap, or ballroom?
    no
  32. Are you scared of monsters?
    only the internal ones
  33. Who would you like to remind people of?
    sunshine
  34. Do you walk to school or do you bring your lunch?
    what?? that doesn't even make sense.
  35. Rate your skills from one to ten (10 = you are the best at it):
    socializing:

    6
  36. making friends:
    3
  37. working with computers:
    8
  38. arts:
    9
  39. crafts:
    3
  40. dancing:
    2
  41. skating:
    1
  42. talking other people into things:
    7
  43. writing:
    7
  44. living life to the fullest each day:
    6
  45. cooking:
    7
  46. gardening:
    6
  47. cleaning up after yourself:
    5
  48. playing poker:
    4
  49. surviving in the woods:
    2
  50. managing your time:
    7
  51. attracting the opposite sex (or same sex if you prefer)?
    4
  52. Have you ever been to an Indian reservation?
    no
  53. What is going to happen tomorrow that you can celebrate, even if it's a little thing?
    New Year's Eve!

[From the 5000-question meme; this is the first third of the twenty-second part. The title quotation is by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe]