[Mekashef]'s diary

1060120  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2008-12-25
Written: (2093 days ago)

(VOIR PLUS BAS POUR EN FRANÇAIS)

This is the e-mail I send to all my friends around Christmas time. I post it here in case I forget anybody (I always do):

Greetings friends,

This deplorably curt missive is to wish you a merry Christmas & a happy New Year. May the year 2009 bring you nothing but the best: health, peace, love & the serenity to get through these confusing times. As soon as I have the chance, I will send personal wishes to all the recipients of this e-mail; unfortunately, my schedule is rather full for the next few weeks, so these may be long in coming. Do not hesitate to e-mail me some news of you, however, as I would be delighted to read them.

For those of you whom I have not informed: I just finished my first semester as a full-time undergraduate student in Psychology, with the objective of obtaining a bachelor’s degree & moving on to a doctorate of Psychology at Université de Sherbrooke. My hope is to eventually work in an institutional setting. I am also theorizing as to the various ways in which this educational process could be streamlined, & eagerly wish to integrate graduate studies in contemporary Religion. If you have any comments/suggestions to this effect, they would be warmly welcome in my inbox.

You may or may not know that I am flying to India on Christmas day. My brother, his girlfriend & I are going to the wedding of a childhood friend in the city of Pune, which is located near the Western coast, in the Maharashtra state. After the wedding, we plan to visit the ruins at Hampi & travel as far south as the Kerala backwaters. I am very excited (& not just a little anxious) about this adventure.

Again, best wishes to you & your loved ones. I am very much looking forward to hearing from you in 2009.

Peace,

Etienne D.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

Bonjour à tous,

La présente missive est pour vous souhaiter un joyeux Noêl et une bon Nouvel An. Puisse l’année 2009 vous apporter tout ce qu’il y a de meilleur : paix, amour et sérénité pour traverser cette époque confuse. Aussitôt que j’en aurai la chance, j’enverrai des vœux personnels à tous les destinataires de ce courriel ; malheureusement mon horaire est assez rempli pour les semaines à venir, et ces souhaits prendront peut-être du temps à arriver. Qu’à cela ne tienne, n’hésitez pas à m’envoyer de vos nouvelles car il me ferait plaisir de les lire.

Pour ceux que je n’ai pas tenus au courant, je viens tout juste de terminer ma première session d’un baccalauréat en Psychologie. J’ai l’intention d’éventuellement faire un doctorat à l’Université de Sherbrooke. J’espère pratiquer dans un milieu institutionnel. J’explore présentement diverses façons d’écourter ce processus pédagogique ; toutes suggestions à cet effet seraient très, très bienvenues dans ma boîte de réception.

Vous ne le savez peut-être pas, mais je m’envole pour l’Inde demain. Mon frère, sa conjointe et moi allons au mariage d’un ami d’enfance à Pune, près de la côte ouest, dans l’état du Maharashtra. Après le mariage, nous avons l’intention de visiter les ruines à Hampi, et de voyager au sud jusqu’aux lagunes du Kerala. J’ai très hâte, quoi que je suis également un peu inquiet.

Encore une fois, veuillez agréer de mes meilleurs vœux, tant pour vous que pour vos êtres chers. J’ai hâte d’avoir de vous nouvelles en 2009.

Paix,

Etienne D.

1053059  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2008-11-01
Written: (2147 days ago)

Stolen from [Ilana], who stole it from [Lerune]:

1. Do you have the guts to answer these questions and re-post as The Controversial Survey?

Yes, but not on Facebook. On Facebook my more conservative friends would find out, & there might be... conversations.

2. Would you do meth if it was legal?
No. Methamphetamine interferes with dopamine re-uptake in the reward pathway, an area of the brain I strongly believe people should leave alone if they plan on leading a functional life.

3. Abortion: for or against it?
I am neither for nor against abortion. I believe men are not qualified to enter into this debate.

4. Do you think the world would fail with a female president?
That entirely depends on which woman becomes president.

5. Do you believe in the death penalty?
I believe that it exists. I do not believe in its moral or practical validity in the current condition of our civilization.

6. Do you wish marijuana would be legalized already?
Yes.

7. Are you for or against premarital sex?
I am somewhat opposed to meaningless sex. Enough of life is pointless fun already. That being said, I don't rely on any kind of social convention to confer sacramental value to relationships. In my mind, both marriage & sex should be about love, & the former is not a pre-requisite for the latter if love is genuine.

8. Do you believe in God?
I believe in Love, which is G-D. 

9. Do you think same sex marriage should be legalized?
It is legal in Canada. I believe homosexual unions should be legally recognized. I believe individual faith groups are free to decide whether or not to recognize this right within their own community of believers. If I were in a position of authority as part of a certain faith group (Heaven forbids!) I would vouch for the recognition of same-sex marriage.


10. Do you think it's wrong that so many Hispanics are illegally moving to the USA?
No. Ideally, openness & diversity should be recognized as part of the founding values of the United States of America. All of the First World nations are extremely rich & should be more willing to share their wealth.

11. A twelve year old girl has a baby, should she keep it?
This depends on her support network, but from what limited training I have in Social Work, I'd say the likelihood of that situation working out for the good of the child is pretty slim.

12. Should the alcohol age be lowered to eighteen?
In Québec, the legal drinking age is not congruent with social convention. As a general rule, people start drinking in their mid-teens. There is no evidence to suggest Québec has a higher incidence of alcoholism than any place where the legal drinking age is higher or more strictly enforced. Québec does have too much mental pathology, & very high suicide rates. On the other hand, we also have extremely good statisticians.


13. Should the war in Iraq be called off?
Yes. All military actions for peace & global security should go through the UN. Though flawed in many ways, the UN is the only body of international government with the popular mandate, moral authority & diplomatic expertise to conduct such difficult operations. In assuming the role of policing the globe, First World nations like Canada, the United States & the UK are engaging in oppressive imperialism. Genuine peace can only be established in consultation with the global community.


14. Assisted suicide is illegal: do you agree?
I agree that it is illegal in most places, in the present state of things.
I believe Canadian law should be ammended to allow terminally ill patients to die with dignity, though new social structures would have to monitor this aspect of palliative care very closely.

15. Do you believe in spanking your children?
I am not convinced of the practical efficiency of this sort of corrective method, but I do not think the research in child psychology is conclusive enough to legislate on the subject. I don't think I would spank my hypothetical children.

16. Would you burn an American flag for a million dollars?
I would burn ANY contemporary flag for a million dollars, & donate the money to charity, possibly to the offended country.


17. Who do you think would make a better president? McCain or Obama?
I think the most educated, most progressive & most tolerant of the two would make the best president. I am somewhat concerned about the hyperconservatives' response to his eventual election, & of the aftermath of a possible coup.


18. Are you afraid others will judge you from reading some of your answers?
Not on Elftown, no.

1047220  Link to this entry 
Written about Friday 2008-09-26
Written: (2182 days ago)
Next in thread: 1052207

Stolen from [Priscilla Primkin]:
The Big Read reckons that the average adult has only read 6 of the top 100 books they've printed.

1) Look at the list and bold those you have read.
2) Italicize those you intend to read.
3) Underline the books you LOVE. Strikethrough the ones you HATED.
4) Reprint this list in your own LJ (or ET) so we can try and track down these people who've read 6 and force books upon them ;-)

1 Pride and Prejudice - Jane Austen
2 The Lord of the Rings - JRR Tolkien (Well, sortof. I read the Hobbit & I listened to much of LOTR on audiobook)
3 Jane Eyre - Charlotte Bronte
4 Harry Potter series - JK Rowling
5 To Kill a Mockingbird - Harper Lee
6 The Bible (& even some of its sequels.)
7 Wuthering Heights - Emily Bronte
8 Nineteen Eighty Four - George Orwell
9 His Dark Materials - Philip Pullman (Sloppy ending!)
10 Great Expectations - Charles Dickens
11 Little Women - Louisa M Alcott
12 Tess of the D'Urbervilles - Thomas Hardy
13 Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
14 Complete Works of Shakespeare
15 Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
16 The Hobbit - JRR Tolkien (Two works of Tolkien on their list? That's overkill.)
17 Birdsong - Sebastian Faulks
18 Catcher in the Rye - JD Salinger
19 The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
20 Middlemarch - George Eliot
21 Gone With The Wind - Margaret Mitchell
22 The Great Gatsby - F Scott Fitzgerald
23 Bleak House - Charles Dickens
24 War and Peace - Leo Tolstoy
25 The Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - Douglas Adams
26 Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
27 Crime and Punishment - Fyodor Dostoyevsky
28 Grapes of Wrath - John Steinbeck
29 Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
30 The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Grahame
31 Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
32 David Copperfield - Charles Dickens
33 Chronicles of Narnia - CS Lewis
34 Emma - Jane Austen
35 Persuasion - Jane Austen
36 The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe - CS Lewis (Isn't this redundant?)
37 The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
38 Captain Corelli's Mandolin - Louis De Bernieres
39 Memoirs of a Geisha - Arthur Golden
40 Winnie the Pooh - AA Milne
41 Animal Farm - George Orwell
42 The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown (Really don't plan on it. At all.)
43 One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
44 A Prayer for Owen Meaney - John Irving
45 The Woman in White - Wilkie Collins
46 Anne of Green Gables - LM Montgomery
47 Far From The Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
48 The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
49 Lord of the Flies - William Golding
50 Atonement - Ian McEwan
51 Life of Pi - Yann Martel
52 Dune - Frank Herbert
53 Cold Comfort Farm - Stella Gibbons
54 Sense and Sensibility - Jane Austen
55 A Suitable Boy - Vikram Seth
56 The Shadow of the Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
57 A Tale Of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
58 Brave New World - Aldous Huxley (This has been on my shelf for years)
59 The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
60 Love In The Time Of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
61 Of Mice and Men - John Steinbeck
62 Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
63 The Secret History - Donna Tartt
64 The Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
65 Count of Monte Cristo - Alexandre Dumas
66 On The Road - Jack Kerouac
67 Jude the Obscure - Thomas Hardy
68 Bridget Jones's Diary - Helen Fielding
69 Midnight's Children - Salman Rushdie
70 Moby Dick - Herman Melville
71 Oliver Twist - Charles Dickens
72 Dracula - Bram Stoker (This is the book I am trying to immitate.)
73 The Secret Garden - Frances Hodgson Burnett
74 Notes From A Small Island - Bill Bryson
75 Ulysses - James Joyce (I sortof read only parts. I suspect only James Joyce has read the whole thing.)
76 The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
77 Swallows and Amazons - Arthur Ransome
78 Germinal - Emile Zola (I have a French paper to prove I've read this. I do not remember anything about it.)
79 Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackeray
80 Possession - AS Byatt
81 A Christmas Carol - Charles Dickens
82 Cloud Atlas - David Mitchell
83 The Color Purple - Alice Walker
84 The Remains of the Day - Kazuo Ishiguro
85 Madame Bovary - Gustave Flaubert (Do not, I repeat, do not even think of reading this book).
86 A Fine Balance - Rohinton Mistry
87 Charlotte's Web - EB White
88 The Five People You Meet In Heaven - Mitch Albom
89 Adventures of Sherlock Holmes - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
90 The Faraway Tree Collection - Enid Blyton
91 Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
92 The Little Prince - Antoine De Saint-Exupery (I think you can't be Québecois & not have read that book).
93 The Wasp Factory - Iain Banks
94 Watership Down - Richard Adams
95 A Confederacy of Dunces - John Kennedy Toole
96 A Town Like Alice - Nevil Shute
97 The Three Musketeers - Alexandre Dumas
98 Hamlet - William Shakespeare
99 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Roald Dahl
100 Les Miserables - Victor Hug

1029872  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2008-05-17
Written: (2314 days ago)
1028667  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2008-05-11
Written: (2320 days ago)

Regina Spektor -- Après Moi : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otNyX_uMXYk

"Be afraid of the lame; they'll inherit your legs."

1028477  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2008-05-10
Written: (2321 days ago)

It has been brought to our attention that a certain foul person -- that,or some combination of repulsive circumstances -- has brought the venerable [Sunrose] to retire from her position as the Vice-Mayor of this august community.

The Mekashef respects [Sunrose]'s decision & wishes her luck in all of her endeavours.

1021567  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2008-03-31
Written: (2361 days ago)
Next in thread: 1021571

<img:http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/duty_calls.png>

http://altreligion.wpadmin.about.com/?comments_popup=257360

I doubt that this tardy intervention will find much of an audience, or that such an audience will be particularly receptive, but I thought I might as well speak my mind — & do so as clearly as possible — to shed a little light on a subject I consider to be very confusing for the layperson.

Proposing that the cult of Jesus is merely another face of “solar religion” (an artificial & reductionistic concept to start with) betrays a narrow-minded understanding of the complex mechanics of myth-making, & poor appreciation of the Judaeo-Hellenic context out of which Christianity emerged. That is not to say that Christianity does not have some strong “solar” elements — it does. Any religion with a soteriological aspect is bound to include metaphors of “light” & “the sun” in its allegorical language; this is only natural considering the critical, salvific role that star plays in our lives.

The early Christian Fathers were candid about this; the dates for the holidays were decided upon in large part to coincide with Roman Pagan holidays. This makes sense not only from a marketing perspective but also from a strictly pragmatic one — it was easier for Roman Christianity to adapt the popular holiday calendar than to completely change it. Note that Orthodox Christianity (manifest in the Greek, Ukrainian & Syriac Churches, just to name a few)does not have the same calendar. Note also that Christmas drastically increased in importance only recently in Christian history — prior to that, it was a rather minor holiday, indicating that this “heliocentric” obsession only ever developed as an afterthought, if at all.

I do not understand, moreover, how the assimilation of Pagan elements into Christianity might be taken to invalidate the cult of Christ. If you are sympathetic to Paganism, shouldn’t this syncretism rather increase Christianity’s validity?

If you wish to dabble in Comparative Religion, you had best understand that originality of concepts is no guarantee of spiritual value. Scientology, Raëlianism & Mormonism are all very interesting & original each in their own right, & yet we can relatively safely assume that our spiritual evolution will eventually see all such movements relegated to the dustbin of religious history. Meanwhile the Gospels continue to carry a positive moral message for Christians & non-Christians alike. Reconstructionism, occultism, the New Age — though all fascinating movements — will remain indebted to Judaeo-Christianity for having provided the cultural matrix for their articulation. Tragically, the theological works & the metaphysical foundation of the religious morality of the Ancient Pagans did not survive for us to witness. The theology & morality of Reconstructionism is therefore a construct of the Judaeo-Christian era.

The bogus novelty of adolescent critiques of any time-tested doctrine will never be able to shake the conviction of anyone whose faith is genuine. Not even under threat of force.

On a completely different note, I should very much like to know how many of the people who accuse Christianity of being a “phallic” religion have actually read into Christian theology — or, for that matter, Shaiva theology, which incorporates phallic themes. Having read into both these traditions extensively, I fail to see how they might be considered anyhow similar or related.

1002397  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2008-01-02
Written: (2451 days ago)
Next in thread: 1002433

Best wishes for 2008!
Friends, Romans, countrymen (& countrywomen),
lend me your ears;
I come to bury 2007, not to praise it;
The evil that years do lives after them,
The good is oft interred with their bones,
So let it be with 2007 ...


The past year has been extremely eventful for a lot of us. For me 2007 consisted of a mixture of rather unfortunate events & surprisingly lucky breaks.

I shan’t extrapolate on any of the various unpleasant occurrences in this missive, but I will say that I am exceptionally grateful for your kindness & support in helping me get through the bad passes. Oftentimes thankful people will utter unlikely claims such as “I couldn’t have done it without you”; in my case it is not just an expression. I will endeavour in the next few days to express my gratitude more personally to each individual I feel indebted to, though the list is long & this may take some time. 

I am now the proud uncle of a preternaturally cute nephew (pictures forthcoming on Facebook), & about to start studying in a completely different field. I still have more questions than I have answers but I am tremendously appreciative of a few good leads.

I hope to hear more good news from you in 2008, especially from those of you who live far from Lennoxville, the town which continues to be the center of my little world. Best wishes for 2008, for health, inspiration & peace of mind. May this new year give you all you need to be happy.
God, or gods, bless (as preferred). When neither are appreciated, [insert favourite expression of good wishes here].

Yours most sincerely,
Etienne D.

991121  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2007-11-10
Written: (2503 days ago)
Next in thread: 991492

Yet another high school shooting.

(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jokela_school_shooting)

The world needs to start investing in love, & realize that those who are dying inside are as much of a threat to civilization as global warming or nuclear warfare.

All over the globe lives the diaspora of the dejected & the broken, & each one of us is a potential terrorist if we do not learn to care for our neighbours.

990660  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-11-08
Written: (2505 days ago)

More memeness, again stolen from [Levoton].

1. Whats one thing thats heavily weighing on your mind?
G-D, where do I start? I'm completely shattered right now.

2. Whats one thing you've learned from a good friendship gone bad?
Communication is key, but does not always fit the lock.

3. Whats one thing you've learned lately from love?
Aha! NEVER AGAIN.

4. Is there anyone special in your life in general at the moment?
Some of my friends are so special they have a little army of professionals watching their every move. They're just that special.

5. What's a happy time you've had in the past week?
I've been singing to myself a lot, in between fits of coughing -- entirely pointless tunes & half-finished lyrics. It feels good.

6. Is there anything in your past that you'd like to try again?
Try again? Nothing that I couldn't try now. Change? A lot of things.

7. Who do you like to spend your nights with?
Hypnos, god of Sleep.

8. Are you an emotional person?
The technical term is schizoid.

9. Are you self conscious?
It's part of the pathology, yes.

10. Do you think of others before yourself?
It is standard human habit to think of what others will think of yourself before you think for yourself, so I suppose so.

11. Whats something that can always make you feel better?
I use pumpkin pie as an anti-depressant.

12. Who was the last person you had a crush on?
That information has been classified for reasons stated on #3. 

13. Where do you see yourself this time next year?
I have no idea -- absolutely none, & it's rather terrifying now that I think about it.

14. Do you tend to make relationships complicated?
I entertain a very complicated relationship with myself, & it is my standard relationship model.

15. Who do you feel the most comfortable around?
[Ilana] & the guys from highschool. Unfortunately the guys from highschool have pretty much stepped out of my life & one of them will undoubtedly be sent to Afghanistan soon...

16. Is there something that you're waiting for?
Liberation, earnestly.

17. One thing you're not looking forward to?
Christmas.

18. How do you feel about change?
It is part of life, like cancer & earthquakes.

19. What are you most looking forward to?
Finding my place in life, away from the evil call centre.

20. What are your plans for your next birthday?
If I still have friends by then, I'd like to have a Candelmass-themed party.

21. Do you even care about your birthday?
I care about Candelmass. It's a beautiful ritual.

22. Do you think anyone in general out there loves you?
I'm sure of it, but that doesn't stop me from feeling awfully lonely right now.

23. When do you think the world will end?
When Cthulhu awakes.

24. Whats the most expensive piece of clothing you own?
In terms of worth, probably my leather coat. In terms of ammount paid upon purchase, probably Joachim, my top hat.

25. Why do you drive the car you have right now?
Because I have to get to work within a reasonable time-frame.

26. Do you still talk to the person you LAST kissed?
No. Bitter? YES.

27. Have you ever seen your best friend cry?
No, well, yes. I depends who my best friend is.

28. What kind of vitamins did you take as a kid?
All sorts of vitamins, & iron supplements for anemics.

29. What is the last thing you ate?
Perogis à-la-Etienne.

30. Did you get any compliments today?
No, but I got a shitload of insults.

31. Are you friends with your neighbors?
I don't know my neighbours. They likely think I'm crazy.

32. What were you just thinking about?
My mind feels like a cafeteria filled with pre-schoolers with built-in megaphones right now.

33. Name two different places you have lived in.
St-Denis de Brompton, Fleurimont.

34. When was the last time you drove more than 15 minutes?
About 3 hours ago.

35. Have you ever had a crush on your sister's/brother's friend?
No.

36. Have you ever gone to a beach?
Yes. I'm not exceedingly fond of sand, or sea water.

37. Do you remember your music teacher's names?
No. It's horrible now that I think about it.

38. How good is your eyesight?
My glasses are three years overdue. Very bad.

39. Would you ever swim with sharks?
Certain sharks are harmless.

40. Have you ever been out of your country?
Yes.

41. Have you seen your best friend naked?
No.

42. Do you possibly like anyone at the moment?
You mean, "like" like? No.

43. Where are your siblings right now?
In their respective homes.

44. Who was the last person that texted you?
What an entirely futile question.

45. What time did you wake up this morning?
Early, though I would much rather not wake up in the morning at all.

46. What did you do this weekend?
Last week end? I worked on a website.

47. What does the 4th text message on your phone say?
*Whips out fictitious phone for the purpose of this ridiculous exercice* "Yes my liege, the siege instrument is ready & the assault will take place as scheduled."

48. When was the last time you were really sick and where?
Here, now.

49. Who was the last celebrity you touched?
Does Eleni Mandell count as a celebrity?

50. When's the last time you smoked a cigarette?
I never smoked.

51. Is there anyone out there who is mad at you right now?
Probably a whole ton, & I'm sorry.

52. Who was the last person to upset you?
Myself.

53. Are you still friends with your LAST ex?
I wouldn't call her that, & no.

54. Why did your last relationship fail?
Because sometimes what you think is there is just the product of someone else's hyperactive imagination.

55. What were you doing at 3am this morning?
Sleeping.

56. What is your favourite memory so far this year?
Seeing my baby nephew for the first time.

57. What did you get for your birthday this year?
A pair of slippers, a sketchbook, a pewter figurine rendition of a what I think is a hummingbird. Yet another promise from my brother to take me someplace nice. I don't advertise my birthday. I'm usually busy with other things.

58. Do you know anybody in the military?
Yes, unfortunately.

59. Whose opinion matters to you the most?
My mother's, [Ilana]'s, [Priscilla Primkin]'s, Chris' (although he presently ignores me), my voice teacher's (although we haven't talked in a while).

60. What are you going to do after this?
I don't know. I might sleep through the night or wake up immediately & feel like screaming my lungs out. I'm in a highly unpredictable mood. Who knows? I might even take up drinking.

987281  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2007-10-28
Written: (2517 days ago)

Because really, it's been too long since I've posted something here, & nothing fills up space like navel-staring. Stolen from [Levoton].

TECHNOLOGY

Q. What is your wallpaper on your computer?
A drawing of a yogi in the lotus position with a symbolic representation of the chakras & prana channels.

Q. Most visited website?
A. Apart from Gmail, Elftown.

Q. How many televisions are in your house?
A. Two, neither of which I watch.

Q. What kind of cell phone do you have?
A. The best kind, which is non-existent.

Q. How many songs on your mp3?
A. About 400.

BIOLOGY

Q. Are you right-handed or left-handed?
A. Right-handed.

Q. Have you ever had anything removed from your body?
A. Not to my knowledge.

Q. When was the last time you had a cavity?
A. I probably have one right now. I am determined not to let the superstition that is modern dentistry affect my lifestyle.

Q. What is the last heavy item you lifted?
A. The laptop from which I answer these questions.

Q. Have you ever been knocked unconscious?
A. No, although I have come very close to losing consciousness due to extreme pain, mostly related to a dislocated limb.

RANDOMOLOGY

Q. If it were possible, would you want to know the day you were going to die?
A. Yes.

Q. If you could change your name, what would you change it to?
A. I'm rather fond of Hakim -- otherwise I would also like to change it to Jasmain, which is the name my mother initially intended for me.

Q. What color do you think looks best on you?
A. Green & red.

Q. Have you ever swallowed a non-food item by mistake?
A. I suppose I must have, though I can remember neither when nor what.

Q. Have you ever saved someone’s life?
A. Someone has said that I have, though it would be much better for him to think he saved his own.

Q. Has someone ever saved yours?
A. Of course -- many people, several times. I rather resent them for it.

Q. What color is your front door?
A. White.

Q: Do you smile often?
A. I think it is more properly called a grin, & it is never full-toothed.

Q: Are you a friendly person?
A: Yes & no. I am told I am polite, well-mannered & approachable, but I'd say I have very few friends.

Q. Do you hold grudges?
A. Absolutely. They're very practical.

Q. Who do you tell your secrets to?
A. I don't have many secrets in that I have many loquacious friends & acquaintances. Then there is my religion, which is mostly secrets, & I don't tell anyone about it.

DAREOLOGY

Q. Would you kiss a member of the same sex for $100?
A. It depends on the said member of the same sex.

Q. Would you allow one of your little fingers to be cut off for $200,000?
A. No.

Q. Would you never blog again for $50,000?
A. Yes. I figure there are better ways of communicating, online or otherwise, & $50,000 could get me places.

Q. Would you pose naked in a magazine for $250,000?
A. It depends which magazine.

Q. Would you drink an entire bottle of hot sauce for $1000?
A. No.

Q. Would you, without fear of punishment, take a human life for $1,000,000?
A. It depends whose life. Probably not.

DUMBOLOGY

Q: What is in your left pocket?
A: I am not currently wearing pants. AH!

Q: Is Napoleon Dynamite actually a good movie?
A. No. I have too much humanitarian sympathy to watch such films without feeling ashamed, both for the protagonist & for the human race being so cruel.

Q: Do you have a hardwood or carpet floor in your house?
A: Hard wood.

Q: Could you live with roommates?
A: Yes, but could they live with me?

Q: How many pairs of flip flops do you own?
A: One.

Q: Last time you had a run-in with the cops?
A: Late last summer.

Q: What do you want to be when you grow up?
A: I am all grown up, & I suppose I am a lot of things.

Q: Who is number 1 on your top 8
A: I have no idea what this question is supposed to mean.

FAVORITOLOGY

Q: Number?
A: It depends on the occasion.

Q: Season?
A: Autumn. It's a bit of a love-hate relationship.

Q. TV show?
A. Though I never watch them on television -- Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Avatar: The Last Airbender & Full Metal Alchemist.

Q. Flavor of gum?
A. I'm not picky. I don't chew gum habitually.

CURRENTOLOGY

Q: Missing someone?
A: Old friends from highschool, especially the geniuses.

Q: Mood?
A: Trust me, you don't want to go there.

Q: Listening to?
A. My baby nephew crying sporadically.

Q: Watching?
A. The computer screen?

Q: Worrying about?
A: Research work I need to catch up with, losing my soul to the corporate ethic.

Q: First place you went this morning?
A: I am, actually, still in bed. I get a lot of stuff done from here -- reading, writing, & research work.

Q: What cant you wait to do?
A: Quit one of my current jobs.

Q: What do you dread?
A: Dread? Dread is too ambiguous.

Q: What will you do when you answer this question?
A: First, correct its spelling, then type my answer. It seems rather straightforward. I may also levitate a little -- it tends to happen when I'm still drowsy from sleep.

957770  Link to this entry 
Written about Saturday 2007-07-14
Written: (2623 days ago)
Next in thread: 957800

Friday the 13th cemetery walks after dark are so goth; as for spending half an hour arguing that Christianity isn't (or at least, shouldn't be) the cult of suffering & failure, that was just plain weird.

956454  Link to this entry 
Written about Monday 2007-07-09
Written: (2627 days ago)
Next in thread: 956484

We have had a poem featured (for the second time: hurrah!).
Here it is in case you missed it:

Questions - A Song (It really is a song, it is performed by der Doppelgänger Effekt, although infrequently, & we wrote it with a friend in mind).

While the grammar rends asunder
will my number still remain
part of your mental congestion
on defeated westbound trains?
While the chimneys – brazen, bloated -
cough up the flood of their pains
when your memory lashes at you
will you turn to me again?

I was not so innocent & those murders were real;
I don't need your sympathy to tell me how I feel.

When you found your inner sanctum
laid to waste by ghosts & dreams
did you probe your disposition?
Is it truly what it seems?
While I do suppose they noticed
all the mismatched colour schemes
could they weigh you down to ask you
what those flights of fancy mean?

We are all so broken it's a wonder we still try.
I wish I could walk your ways but I'm too old to fly.

While the letters rot unopened
on my windowsill I think
Is your number finally up?
Is your boat so hard to sink?
Did I ask too many questions?
Have my rhyme & reason failed?
Won't they weigh you down a little?
Will you run to me again?
Will you run to me again?
Will you run to me again?

946346  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-06-07
Written: (2659 days ago)
Next in thread: 946496

Hurrah for perpetuating memes!

OO1. When's the last time you ran?
Mere minutes ago. We run to keep in shape. Human shape.

OO2. Do your jeans have rips, tears, and holes in them?
We do not wear jeans.

003. What are you dreading right now?
Work on Friday, the power-vaccuum created by the imminent collapse of the American Empire, the conquest of global economy by a Maoism-based ideology.

OO4. Do you celebrate 4/20?
No.

OO5. When is the last time you saw your significant other?
All others are significant.

OO8. Do you get the full 8 hours of sleep a night?
Sometimes, albeit not recently.

O11. What's your current favourite song?
Si rien ne bouge by Noir Désir, we think, although we have also been mumbling Modest Mouse's Parting of the Sensory quite often recently. "Someday you will die somehow & someone is going to steal your carbon."

O12. If anyone came to your house on your "lazy days" what would you do?
We do not have lazy days.

O13. Who last grabbed your ass?
That person likely ODed years ago. This should serve as a warning to anyone else who tries.

O14. Have you ever been in your school's band?
Yes, although not as a musician.

O15. Do you own a pair of Converse?
We are not sure. We have many pairs of sneakers we never wear sleeping in our closet, dreaming of world conquest.

O16. Did you copy and paste this survey?
No. We asked our minions to translate it into Mekashefan, which is a long & tedious process. After several weeks, we answered each question in code, inscribing our answers on golden plates to be translated by future generations of mystics, interpreted wrongly, & turned into religion.

O17. Do you eat raw cookie dough?
Only in self-defense.

O18. Have you ever kicked a vending machine?
We've even mugged a few. Some are most obliging.

O19. Don't you hate when the radio ruins good songs by playing a slow one right after it?
Not really, no.

O21. Do you watch Trading Spaces?
We have watched places where trading happens, but otherwise no, we do not watch television.

O23. Have you ever stayed online for a very long time waiting for someone?
We are training in "waiting" for when it becomes an olympic sport.

O24. Are you cocky?
We have been told we are more ophidian than avian.

O25. Could you live without a computer?
Of course. Not that our life wouldn't be significantly altered.

O26. Do you wear your shoes in the house?
No.

O27. At what age did you find out that Santa wasn't real?
Santa is real.

O28. How many phones, house phones and cell phones are in your house?
Five that we are aware of.

O29. What do you do when you're sad?
Slay demons.

O30. Who would you call first if you won the lottery?
We would keep it a secret for a little while, making random anonymous gifts & donations until people figured it out.

O31. Last time you saw your best friend?
We have several best friends & see them daily.

O32. Who or what sleeps with you?
Acarian hordes, indubitably.

O33. Are you in high school?
No. The school we attended is rather close to sea-level.

034. Is anyone on your bad side now?
We do not actively pursue vengeful objectives at the moment.

O35. What jewellery are you wearing?
Presently, none. We usually wear a silver band on our ring finger, as well as a pentacle signet ring on our middle finger when the stars are right.

O36. What's the first thing you do when you get online?
Check e-mails, Elftown, apply for jobs, read webcomics, play Diablo, read copious ammounts of Wikipedia.

O37. Do you watch Grey's Anatomy?
We have examined the anatomy of grey extraterrestrials. Otherwise no, we do not watch television.

O38. Would you wear a boy/girlfriends clothes?
Probably, although not their underwear.

O39. Where do you work?
For a NGO, which means: all over the place.

O40. What are you doing Friday?
Working for the said NGO.

O42. Favourite name for a girl?
Vashti, Leucothea, Thetis...

O43. Favorite name for a boy?
Hakim, Lionel, Auaran...

O44. Will you keep your last name when you get married?
If we get married (big "if") we probably will, if only because we are male & that is the convention.

O45. When is the last time you left your house?
Minutes ago, to chase our canine familiar around the said house.

O46. Do you return your cart?
We don't usually take one. We carry everything in our pocket dimension.

O47. Do you have a dishwasher?
Yes.

O48. What noise do you hear?
Modest Mouse, birds outside, rustling of leaves, radio downstairs, vague city noises.

O49. Would you survive in prison?
If we can survive corporate slavery, I think prison shouldn't be much more difficult.

943625  Link to this entry 
Written about Wednesday 2007-05-30
Written: (2668 days ago)
931002  Link to this entry 
Written about Tuesday 2007-04-17
Written: (2711 days ago)
Next in thread: 931049, 931100

33


930403  Link to this entry 
Written about Sunday 2007-04-15
Written: (2712 days ago)

Yersternight we dreamt that we were attending a very strange learning instution. The outside court was set up like a labyrinth, with lockers for walls. Some of the lockers would open up to a new sections of the labyrinth -- it seems that there was a colour code of some sort, as each locker was painted bright red, yellow or blue.

The older students would not help the freshmen, so we were very confused as to how to get to class. We decided to climb on top of the lockers and walk on the walls to the centre -- something which the older students vociferously disapproved.

When we made it to the main building we met the same kind of puzzle: row upon row of brightly-coloured lockers, but this time without the loophole. At that point we decided it was pointless to go on & we woke up.

929405  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-04-12
Written: (2716 days ago)

Last night I dreamt that I was part of a secret organization in charge of infiltrating a totalitarian regime somewhere in Asia. My partner (a tall, seductive, black-leather-wearing brunette) & I were asked to meet an informer, some kind of bureaucrat, at his office situated at the end of a long corridor. We went there; it had a very beige feel to it, with pale-brown carpets and faux boiseries.

We obtained the desired information from the bureaucrat. He had just opened the door for us to leave when he noticed the corridor was gone. He seemed rather disturbed by this. He went into the space that should have been the corridor, & I began to see from his perspective. It was an empty square room with mouldy, dilapidated walls. On the wall opposite to the door hung a faded photograph of the bureaucrat & Mao Tse tung. The bureaucrat looked up, & there was a hole in the ceiling -- more like a tunnel in fact, filled with important and confidential-looking documents. The bureaucrat began to fear for his life.

My partner also went into the space, & I began to see from her perspective as well. She landed in an eighties' kitchen & met an Asian equivalent of Martha Stewart who was happily chopping vegetables. She was absolutely horrified to see this, despite the Asian Martha Stewart's politeness.

Then I decided I'd rather wake up than go into that room.

929285  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-04-12
Written: (2716 days ago)
Next in thread: 929297

Recently I dreamt that a radical student organization staged a coup and "liberated" my university. The campus turned into a commune where a kind of anarchistic economy of knowledge ruled. Teachers were still welcome to give lectures, but credits were abolished. The radicals also began to teach what they knew, like anarchist microeconomics, drug production, radical poetry, etc.

I continued to attend school as though nothing happened, even though there were spontaneous theatrical productions and interpretative dance shows. The army came and the teaching kept on going in the face of tremendous repression -- I was even conned into giving a lecture on demonology to an auditorium gradually filling with teargas. Despite the State's best efforts, the security perimeter around the campus was constantly breached and "teaching" persisted. Even some of the old teachers and staff still went to school whenever they could sneak in.

University. Guerrilla style.

926895  Link to this entry 
Written about Thursday 2007-04-05
Written: (2723 days ago)

This morning, Aeolus -- or is it Tempestas? -- decided to bombard us with... SNOW. Again.
The French saying "En avril, ne te découvre pas d'un fil" remains true, even though its consequent ("En mai, fais ce qu'il te plaît") doesn't really rhyme.

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