Category Archives: Surveys


(Not really. Just a plain ol’ survey.)

Think of your last ten kisses, were they with the same person?
Who was the last person you were under a blanket with?
Nate (and Jazzy).

Did anyone see you kiss the last person you kissed?
Who was the last person to call you?
My mom.

Have you ever kissed someone inside a vehicle?

How are you feeling?
Like a failure. As always.

How does your hair look?
Absolutely terrible. As always.

Would you ever try being a vegetarian?
Sure. I don’t eat much meat, so it would be easy to give up.
What do you carry with you at all times?
My external hard drive and USB, which have backups of all my stuff. I’m super paranoid about losing all my stuff.

This time last year, can you remember who you liked?
My husband.

Have you ever gone out of your way to make someone happy?

Any plans for summer?
Working. Panicking. Being sad. The usual.

Do you believe teenagers can fall in love?
Will you be in a relationship next month?
Haha, hopefully.

Does sex mean love?

What are you doing for your next birthday?
Nothing special, hopefully.

If your girlfriend/boyfriend broke up with you tonight, where would you go?
I don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend. I have upgraded to HUSBAND, yo.

What are you wearing on your feet?

Have you ever had feelings for someone who was seeing someone else?

What are your plans for tomorrow?
Work. Groceries. Baseball.

How old are your siblings, if you have any?
No sibbies.

Is your birthday in less than 6 months?

Would you rather get stuck on an island with your ex or a python?
…what if my ex IS a python? DIDN’T THINK OF THAT, DID YOU

Do you get upset over the opposite sex easily?
I get upset over EVERYTHING easily.

Do you live closer to the desert or a body of water?

In school, are you one of those people who often get nominated for Homecoming courts, etc?




What health problems do you have right now?
None, as far as I know. Unless you count the 2017 Leg Incident, which still hurts every once and a while. Or the migraines, but those are few and far between.

Are you in chronic pain?

What do you take medications for?

What are some health issues you have had in the past?
I had appendicitis when I was 12. Migraines. A few concussions when I was younger, but I don’t know if a concussion is a “medical issue” more than it is an “injury.”

Do you have allergies?
Pineapple and Asthmacort. The weirdest thing about the pineapple allergy is that my dad never believed me when I told him I was allergic to it. Like…why would I lie about that? And why would he doubt me? It’s not a severe allergy by any means, but when I was in elementary school, I was pretty quick to make the connection between having pineapple at lunch and feeling my airway tighten. Not cool.

If so, what are you allergic to?
See above.

Have you ever been to an allergist?
Nope. I “diagnosed” the pineapple allergy on my own, and the asthmacort allergy came about when I had pleurisy. They gave me asthmacort to help improve my breathing. Turns out it does the opposite when you’re allergic to it.

Have you ever been to the ER?
Hahaha. Yes.

Have you ever been treated poorly in the ER?
Have…have you been to Gritman? Incompetence City. That ER I went to in Vancouver wasn’t bad, though.

Have you ever been told your symptoms were anxiety, when they weren’t?
I don’t think so?

What is the most physically painful thing you’ve ever experienced?
Appendicitis hurt pretty badly. I couldn’t stand up straight and it was Puke City. The migraines are pretty bad, too, if I don’t catch them in time.

How many surgeries have you had?

What types of surgery have you had?
I had my appendix out at the end of 6th grade and my wisdom teeth out at the end of 12th grade.

Have you ever been treated poorly by a doctor?
Man, let’s not go into that, huh?

Have you ever had a doctor tried to kill you?
Probably not.

Is your primary care doctor a man or a woman?
I don’t have a primary care doctor. Doctors suck.

Have you had the same primary care doctor your whole life?
See above. And every primary care doctor I had as a kid/teenager sucked.

Are you happy with your current doctor?
Again, see above.

Have you ever seen a specialist for anything?
I saw an ENT who tested my hearing when I was younger. I have a weird thing with my left ear. He don’t work so good. I also saw an ENT (at the same place?) about my lack of smell, though no one really did anything about that ‘cause nobody gives a shit.

What is the most itchiest thing you have ever experienced?
My appendix scars (the biggest one, at least) still itch every once and a while. Though really dry legs itch like hell, too.

Have you ever had a severe itch, that you’d rate a 10?

On a scale of 1-10, what’s the worst physical pain you’ve ever been in?
[insert femur ward joke here]
Uh…7? I dunno.

Have you ever passed out from pain?

Have you ever thrown up from pain?

Do you have any food intolerances? If so, to what?
I don’t think so.

Do you have any food sensitivities? If so, to what?
I don’t know if the pineapple thing is actually an allergy or a sensitivity. But I don’t have gluten sensitivity or anything like that.

What medications are you allergic to?

Do you have acne?
I get pimples every once and a while, but nothing too severe.

Do you take birth control pills?

Are your hormones screwed up?
Ha, probably.

Do you have bad withdrawals from medications?
I don’t think I’ve ever had withdrawal issues.

What are some withdrawal symptoms you’ve had?

What are some bad side effects of medications that you’ve had?
If there’s a side effect, I’ll get it. Let’s just put it that way.

Have you ever gained weight from a medication? If so, how much?
Remeron can go die.

Have you ever had to take Prednisone?

How many hours a sleep do you need?
I can still swing three hours a night for a few nights if I need to.

How many hours a sleep do you get?
2-5, depending on the day.

Do you exercise enough?
I walk 15 miles a day, you tell me.

Do you eat healthy?
Not as healthy as I should.

Are you on a special diet for your health?

Are you trying to lose weight or gain weight?
Whatever my weight is, I’ll still be ugly, so who cares.

Are you a healthy weight?
Last time I checked.

Are you happy with your weight?

Do you take showers or baths?

How often do you shower or bathe?
Less often than I should, haha.

Do you take vitamins? If so, which ones?

What bones have you broken?
None, surprisingly.

What’s the worst physical injury you’ve had?
The concussions. They both happened when I was pretty young; I fell off a slide after defying my parents and climbing on the outside of it rather than going down it the normal way. That was concussion 1. Concussion 2 happened while I was sledding. I was motoring down a hill and ran right into a frozen clod of dirt.

Do you have sensitive skin?

What time of year do you usually get sick?
I get sick once every four years. Seriously. Time me.

What’s the highest fever you’ve ever had?
I was hitting 103 that time I had pleurisy in high school.

Have you ever had the flu?
…maybe? I actually don’t know.

Have you ever had bronchitis?

Have you ever had an ear infection?
Nope. I was one of those kids who never got one.

Do you snore?
I’m not sure. Nate, do I snore?

What pain reliever do you use for cramps?
Ibuprofen. That’s the only thing that works.

Are you afraid of shots?

Have you ever donated blood?
I tried once in high school, but the tech said I was “dangerously anemic” so I didn’t.

Do you do well with shots?
Sure. They’re fine.

What x-rays have you had?
I know I’ve had at least one. We were playing wombat in high school and John chucked the bat right at my shin. I didn’t have a fracture, but that’s what they were afraid of.

What do you keep on hand for emergencies?
My Bottle o’ Pills (Excedrine, Gravol, ibuprofen) and my Swiss army knife. In case I have to cut anything.

Have you ever had a severe allergic reaction?
Not super severe, but severe enough.

Have you ever used an epi pen?

Have you ever been to the ER for a severe allergic reaction?

What’s the worst burn you’ve ever had?
I scalded the hell out of my mouth with some hot tea once. I drank tea in Vancouver because it was warm and it was the only comforting thing I had. Once I had to go to this early morning seminar thing, so I put my tea in one of those insulated coffee mug things and brought it with me. Did you know that those insulated coffee mug things are designed to keep hot things hot for longer than they’d stay hot in an open cup? Apparently I didn’t know that. Took a big swig of it and couldn’t taste anything for like a week.

Do you get nosebleeds?
When it’s dry.

Do you get motion sickness?
Unfortunately, yes.

Do you have scars?

Do you have a sweet tooth?
HAHA yes.

Do you ever crave chocolate?

Do you ever crave cheese?
Cheese is the best.

Do you drink enough water?
Probably not.

How old were you when you started your period?

How old were you when you started going through puberty?

At what time of day do you normally feel your best?
Like 2 AM. I’m weird.

Are you naturally optimistic or pessimistic?
Very pessimistic.

Are you naturally energetic?

Does your mind wander a lot?

Do you know your blood type?
O positive.

Have you ever been taken to the hospital against your will?

End o’ Year Nonsense

Well 2018 was a bag of unwashed dicks.

(That’s not a good thing)

But let’s do the survey thing ‘cause that’s what we do on Dececmber 26th.

What did you do in 2018 that you’d never done before?
Taught ALL YEAR LONG without a break. It was tough, but it got done.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
There will soon be a blog post regarding this!

Did anyone close to you give birth?
Everybody’s freaking having babies. Chill, y’all.

Did anyone close to you die?

What countries did you visit?

What would you like to have in 2019 that you lacked in 2018?
Once again…job security.

What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
None. I have already purged this garbage year from my memory.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
None. I am useless.

What was your biggest failure?
Being me.

Did you suffer illness or injury?
I got sick, as per my “get sick every four years” routine.

What was the best thing you bought?
My Garmin.

Where did most of your money go?
Condo fees. Broccoli. Tank tops. The usual.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Absolutely nothing.

What song will always remind you of 2018?
Peanut Butter Jelly by Galantis

What do you wish you’d done less of?

How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas was yesterday. I went walking with Nate in weather that was just a little bit too cold.

Did you fall in love in 2018?
I stayed in love in 2018.

How many one-night stands?

What was your favourite TV program?
The third season of Daredevil was really good.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
I don’t know if I got a chance to read at all this year.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
That will be revealed on the 31st!

What was your favourite film of this year?

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30. I don’t think I did anything special, because I am 0% special.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably satisfying?
J O B  S E C U R I T Y

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2018?

What kept you sane?

Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
Leibniz. Always and forever.

Who did you miss?
My mom, my dad, and Annabelle.

Who was the best new person you met?
I got to know Katie a little bit. She’s pretty cool.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018:
Life sucks

Well that was depressing.

Are false potatoes imitaters?

I haven’t done a survey in like four days so LET’S GO

Classical: If you were an Olympian god, what would you be known for?
Being obnoxious My endurance? I’d be like “the god of can’t stop won’t stop”

Byzantine: Do you prefer gold or silver accessories?

Medieval: Are you religious?
Not at all.

Gothic: What is your favourite historic building?
Does Big Ben (the tower itself) count? I’ve always liked Big Ben and was glad I got to see it in person once.
(It also has the best Twitter account)

Renaissance: Have you ever had a time in your life when you felt enlightened or changed?
The spring semester of 2007. I was taking just the right set of classes that made me feel like my mind was really opening up to the world and was starting to be able to see a whole bunch of connections that I’d been unable to see prior to that.

Baroque: Do you enjoy the finer things in life?
Meh. I’ll take it if I have it, but I’m cool with not having it.

Rococo: Is your bedroom full of trinkets and pictures? If so, which pictures adorn your walls?
Not the bedroom, but I have a designated “trinket shelf” right next to my computer desk full of all sorts of fun little baubles and things that I’ve designated as important. I only have two pictures (of my own) on the wall: one of Leibniz, one of a chart showing the relationships amongst univariate distributions.

Neoclassicism: If something came back into fashion, what do you hope it would be?
Bell bottoms or bell-bottom-style pants. These freaking skinny jeans and ESPECIALLY this “leggings as everyday pants” garbage needs to stop.

Romanticism: Do you often see things in a positive light?
Ha. No.

Pre-Raphaelite: Which book would you like to see turned into a film?

Impressionism: Do you look for details or take everything in at once?
I try to take everything in at once. It’s all interconnected, after all.

Art Nouveau: When were you last at the theatre?
Like, movie theatre? When we took my mom to see Infinity Wars. Live theatre? Never.

Surrealism: Why does the porcupine think it’s a duck?
Because it can’t see its quills.

Pop Art: Do you enjoy pop culture?
Sure. Though much more on the music/memes side than the celebrities/TV/gossip side.

Contemporary: What did you do today?
Uhhhhh…taught, walked, panicked about the future, wrote basically nothing for NaNo. Not my best day.


Do you think your ex still wants to be with you?
Ha. I seriously doubt any of them do. Which is fine by me! I found my soulmate, after all.

Let’s say you had a baby with the last person you kissed?
Let’s not.

Will this Friday be a good one?
Uhhhhhhhhhh sure.

When was the last time you completely broke down?
Like a month ago, ‘cause I’m pathetic.

Do you know anyone that smokes pot?

Are you nice to the people you dislike?
I don’t know if I really dislike anyone.

Do you have someone you can spill your heart out to?
Mostly, yes.

What are you excited for?
The upcoming semester.

Your ex shows up randomly at your house, what do you say?
Depends on which one. Matt: “HELLO FRIEND!” Aaron: “HELLO FRIEND I THOUGHT YOU WERE DEAD!” Rob: “How the hell did you find my house?”

Is there a person that you would do absolutely anything and everything for?

Does sex mean love?

Have you ever fallen asleep on someone?
Haha. Yup.

What’s something you really want right now?

What was the first thing you did this morning?
I don’t know, that was like 15 hours ago. How am I supposed to remember that?

What is your relationship status?
Happily taken.

What did the last text in your inbox say? From Who.
“OK” from my mom.

What was the longest time you’ve wasted on a certain person?
Too long.

Are you listening to music right now?
No, surprisingly.

Anyone you would like to get things straight with?
There are a few people I’d like to speak to about a few things, but I’m trying to just let it all go.

What’s in your purse?
I don’t have a purse.

Is your name a common name?
Eh. I know that there was a lady that worked in the DMV who had my name, but I don’t know anyone else personally with it.

What is your favorite color out of these 5: Green, yellow, blue, pink, or red?

What are you doing tomorrow?
Screwing around.

You receive $500 without any reason, what do you spend it on?

Where will you be in an hour?
Probably right here.

*slaps roof of blog* This baby can hold so many pointless surveys

German Philosophy ask!

Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz : What is the integral part of your personality?
(The fact that this survey started with Leibniz is what made me take it, not going to lie)
(Also, lol integral joke)
Uhhhh…I guess my desire to make incredibly stupid puns? I’m not sure if that counts as part of my personality. I’m also incredibly good at screwing things up, so that can count, too.

Immanuel Kant : How honest are you?
I try to be as honest as possible in most situations.

Critique of Pure Reason : Do people find you boring?
Probably. Especially when they first get to know me. “Oh, she likes statistics, she must be boring as all hell.” But I’m also a useless bag of trash, so I probably really am boring.

a Priori : Are you a fast learner?
I like to think that I am, for most things at least.

a Posteriori : What is the field you are most knowledgeable about?
Stats? Probably stats. Unless Leibniz counts as a “field.”

Synthetic a Posteriori : Do you like to disappear from people’s lives?
I’m really bad at holding onto friendships if that counts. I like to drift through a point in people’s lives, let’s say that.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel : Does your speech get incomprehensible at times?

Young Hegelians : Are you a rebel?
Nah. I like to follow the rules (unless they’re really dumb).

Old Hegelians : Or do you like to keep things in order?
In fact, I get pretty upset when other people don’t follow the rules. Just do what you’re freaking supposed to do. You’re not special.

Arthur Schopenhauer : Do you like to isolate yourself?
People are turd bags and I’d rather be around just a select few. I also just tend to be awkward as hell and don’t like to talk to other people, so it kind of all works out.

The World as Will and Representation : Do you feel like the world is working against you?
Sometimes. Sometimes it feels like everything is just out to get me. But then I remember that my importance in the grand scheme of things (or even just the minor scheme of things) is basically zero, so.

On the Suffering of the World : How do you deal with your pains?
Physical pains? I bitch about it. Emotional/mental pains? I bitch about it more. Existential dread and related pains? I brood.

The Sublime : Would you like to just leave the world and disappear?
Holy crab apples, you have no idea.

Friedrich Nietzsche : Are you the sore thumb?
I am the sore thumb that broke the camel’s back.

Übermensch : Do you work hard?
I try to. I’d say I worked very hard to get where I am right now, at least.

Thus Spoke Zarathustra : If you had the ability to change one, and ONLY ONE thing in the minds of others, what would you change?
Answer I should give: probably something to do with “stop being racist dickholes” or something

Human, All Too Human : Are you alienated?

Schopenhauer as an Educator : Favorite teacher?
Junior high: I really liked my science teacher, Mr. LaFortune.
High school: Mr. Garrett, my band teacher!
College: Either Dr. Woo, because he was ridiculously smart and crazy, or Dr. Abu, because he was so cool and calm and nice.

Karl Marx : Do you believe in change?
I hate it, but I believe in it.

The Communist Manifesto : Left or Right? Or neither?

Das Kapital : Can you manage your money well?
Pfft. “Manage.” I buy stuff I need (and sometimes some extra nonsense) and hope that there’s sufficient money in my account to do so. Does that count? I mean, I’m not doing $500 shopping sprees or anything.

Max Stirner : Are you selfish?
More selfish than I’d like to be, yes.

Gottlob Frege : How are you with maths?
That’s…that’s a complicated question. I don’t find it intuitive in the slightest, but I can power through and make sense of (some of) it.

Rudolf Carnap : Would you try first, think later, or think first, try later?
Think first, try later in most situations.

Ludwig Wittgenstein : Did you finish something grand?
I walked 5,100 miles last year. Is that grand?

Tractatus Philoso-Logicus : How many languages do you know?
Uno and a half. English and I can spell in ASL, so I’mma count it.

The Beetle : Objective or Subjective?

Karl Popper : Favorite branch of science?
Does math count?


1) What was your dream growing up?
I always wanted to go to Antarctica. Always. I still do, but apart from becoming a glaciologist or something and going down there for research, I don’t think there’s any other way I could justify it. The more people that go down there, the more damage occurs.

2) What talent do you wish you had?
Not being a useless bag of trash.

3) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
Water, yo. Or Red Bull.

4) What was the last book you read?
Uhhhhhhhhh jeez. I don’t remember. Fun, huh?

5) Worst Habit?
That’s private.

6) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
Sure, but I don’t have a car, so…

7) What is your favorite sport?

8) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?

9) Worst thing to ever happen to you?

10) Tell me one weird fact about you.
I can fold my entire outer ear into my ear canal. I do so quite often.

11) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?

12) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?

13) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
Depends. Are we committing murder or are we going streaking through a park at 2 AM?

14) Ever been arrested?
Nope. Not even close.

15) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
Probably buy three of those $3000 speakers Try to save it. Maybe buy one speaker?

16) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
Think. Walk. Do both at the same time.

17) Biggest pet peeve?
You know I’m going to say the sidewalk thing. Why can’t people treat walking like driving and walk ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE SIDEWALK? Is this really that difficult of a concept?

18) In one word, how would you describe yourself?

19) Do you believe in/appreciate romance?
I appreciate it, yes. I don’t expect over the top nonsense or anything like that, but kind, thoughtful little gestures are great. Nate is fantastic at that, haha.


In honor of this being the 12-year anniversary of my high school graduation, let’s do a high school-related survey.

‘Cause why not.

1. Did you date someone from your school?
Ha. Nope.

2. Did you marry someone from your high school?

3. Did you car pool to school?
Before I got my license, my mom drove me to school and I carpooled back home with a bunch of my band geek friends (since band was our last period). I still remember Alan getting out and yelling at that car Jonathan had. That terrible, terrible car.
After I got my license, I was the one driving people home from band.

4. What kind of car did you have?
My mom had a Jeep. I borrowed it.

5. What kind of car do you have now?
I don’t have a car of my own. Never have. I’m cool with that.

6. NOW: It is Friday night…where are you?
At home with Nate. Probably watching baseball.

7. THEN: It is Friday night…where were you then?
Upstairs with my dad. Probably watching King of the Hill or Adult Swim or something.

8. What kind of job did you have in high school?
I didn’t have a job until I was in college.

9. What kind of job do you do now?
I teach stats!

10. Were you a party animal?

11. Were you considered a flirt?
God no.

12. Were you in band, orchestra, or choir?
Band geeks 4 lyfe

13. Were you a nerd?
Not as big of a nerd as I am now, but yeah.

14. Did you get suspended from school?

15. Can you sing the fight song?
Haha, nope. Not from high school. College? Yes.

16. Who was/were your favorite teacher?
I really liked Mr. Garrett, my band teacher.

17. Where did you sit during lunch?
We sat in the hall and threw bread at each other like hooligans.

18. What was your school’s full name?
Moscow Senior High School

19. Where did you party the most?
Parties are for squares.

20. What was your school mascot?
A bear? Were we the bears? Can’t remember.

21. Would you do it again?
High school? Eh. Only if I’d have the motivation for school that I had in college.

22. Did you have fun at Prom?
I went with all my friends because Mr. Buttface didn’t want to go with me.

23. Do you still talk to the person you went to Prom with?
I haven’t talked to any of my high school friends since like 2007.

24. Are you planning on going to your next reunion?

25. Do you still talk to people from school?
See #23.

26. What are/were your school’s colors?
Red and black?



Three names you go by, other than your given name:
1. “Hey you”
2. “Bruh”

Three screen names you’ve had:
1. StarPotty
2. AntarcticaFreak
3. Nailpit (this is the only one I still use)

Three things you like about yourself:
1. Not
2. One
3. Thing

Three things you don’t like about yourself:
1. All
2. The
3. Things

Three parts of your heritage:
1. Basque
2. Czech

Three things you are wearing right now:
1. Underwear
2. Bra

Three favorite bands/musical artists:
1. Coldplay
2. Muse
3. Anybody who makes killer mashups

Three favorite songs:
1. Running Away (The Royal Foundry)
2. Infectious (Tobu)
3. Doin’ It Right (Daft Punk)

Three things you want in a relationship:
1. Dicks
2. …Dicks?

Three things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
1. Macho
2. Macho
3. Man

Three of your favorite hobbies:
1. Answering these surveys in a completely nonsensical manner
2. Answering these surveys in a completely serious manner
3. Making people guess which of the above I’m doing at any given point in a survey

Three things that scare you:
1. Ghosts with a license to kill
2. Spelling the word “license”
3. Scary shit

Three of your everyday essentials:
1. Air
2. Water
3. Cheese

Three places you want to go on vacation:
1. Hanover
2. Antarctica
3. Hanover again

Three careers you have considered/are considering: .

Three things you want to do before you die:
1. Get born
2. Do the livin’
3. Win a Pulitzer

Three things you want to do really badly right now:
1. Fuckin’ sprint around the house, but I am WOUNDED and thus am too scared to do so.
3. Pee.


Hey, so

I haven’t posted a survey in like a week, so let’s GET ON IT.

How long have you been blogging?
Since May 1, 2006. I’m in this for the long haul, dudes.

Did you go to college?

Where have you traveled?
Uhhhhhhh London, Stockholm, and Helsinki for “overseas,” Hawaii and Alaska for “in the US but TOTALLY NOT TOUCHY FEELY LIKE THOSE OTHER GARBAGE STATES,” and Canada.

Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?
I don’t think I’ve even ever been told I look like a celebrity. Celebrities are usually attractive and I am…well, unattractive.

What are your three biggest pet peeves?
People who have no sidewalk etiquette
People who misquote movies/TV shows
People in general

What is your favorite movie?

What is your drink of choice; wine, beer, or liquor. Or Water, Soda, Tea?
Water, yo.

What is something you enjoy to do when you have me time?
Thinking. Blogging. I used to draw/write, but I haven’t had time for that in a while.

What is your biggest phobia?
I don’t know if I have one.

Share with us an embarrassing moment of your past?
Existing? Or that “band seminar” incident with Beau, one of the two.

What day would you love to relive again? Why?
July 25, 2009. The reason is private.

If your life was turned into a movie… what actor would your best friend think should play you?
I don’t know if I have a best friend. I have no idea who would play me. Can it be William Shatner?

What are the jobs you had in high school/college/the early years?
Wendy’s employee, custodian for the U of I, in-home caretaker. I also had that lecturer job at the U of I technically while I was in college (getting my math degree), so I guess that counts.

Show us a picture from high school or college.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, all expenses paid, where would you go?

Where do you see your life 6 and 1/2 years from now?
That’s…a specific distance into the future. Um…hopefully in a secure, permanent position as an instructor at the U of C, still with Nate, still with Jazzy, still walking my toes off every day.

If you could choose to stay a certain age forever, what age would it be and why?
19 wasn’t too bad.

Romney picked Paul Ryan to run as his veep. Any thoughts?
Jesus, this survey is old, isn’t it?

Just skip this one

It’s cold outside and I hate myself and I hate my life so have a survey because I also don’t care about this dumb blog anymore either.

What’s the coolest item you’ve found at a garage sale, flea market, etc.?
I’ve found quite a few snazzy clothes at garage sales, but I can’t think of anything specific right now.

Describe how your day went yesterday.
Terribly. Just like every other day. Go away.

Do you have issues with people entering your personal space? What do you do when your personal space is violated?
I don’t have too much of a personal space, believe it or not, if I’m just at my desk or standing around or whatever. But if I’m walking down the sidewalk and you’re within like 30 feet of me behind me? Fuck off. I don’t like being followed when I’m walking.

What is the one meal recipe you think you’ve mastered?
My penne pasta/broccoli thing. It’s practically the only thing I ever cook.

If you could take back something you did to someone, what would it be?
I would have not overreacted so much to breaking with Matt. Sorry, friend. It was my first relationship and I had yet to be emotionally calibrated by a breakup.

Would you describe yourself as spiritual, religious, or something else?
Neither. I am not religious at all and I don’t really know what people ever really mean when they say they’re “spiritual,” so yeah.

Did you ever receive detention in school? What sort of kid were you in school – bookworm, smart kid, troublemaker, quiet … etc.
I got detention once. 8th grade math. We were doing stuff with perfect squares and I wouldn’t stop making stupid jokes about it (e.g., “why aren’t there perfect rectangles, durrrrrrr”) so my teacher gave me 15 minutes of detention. Other than that I was pretty quiet.

When’s the last time you ran a mile? How often do you exercise?
I ran back in January for the first time since busting up my leg (only for like two miles ‘cause I didn’t want to hurt it), but haven’t run since because shortly after I got back to Calgary I tweaked the leg again and I’m kinda terrified to push it beyond what I normally do.
But I exercise by walking 15 miles a day six (usually) days a week.
Because, you know, that’s not pushing my leg at all.

What would you say to your 16-year-old self, and why?
“End it now.”

What are you avoiding?

Describe a “Hah! I told you so” moment you had recently.
Every damn day looking at the U.S. Government. Which is why I have backed far off news reports except in the very broadest sense.

What’s more important, where you live or what you do for a living? Why?
What you do for a living. I suspect that if you’re happy enough in your job, you can tolerate pretty much any location. Not true for the reverse.

Swear words: Are you pro or con? Why

Paper or plastic? Do you prefer to pack your own groceries?
I either huck everything into my backpack bagless or get plastic, mainly because we use the plastic bags as trash bags in our little bathroom, bedroom, and Jazzy litter box trashcans.

Do you have a shoe fetish? How often do you buy new shoes? Do you ever get rid of a pair of shoes?
I don’t have a shoe fetish. But I buy new walking shoes a lot because I burn through them very quickly. I can usually get them to last about 600-700 miles, which takes me about a month and a half or so. I also have issues getting rid of my old walking shoes. That seems so insulting to them. So I have a giant pile-up of them in my closet.

Do school-age cows eat at a calfeteria?


1. What book are you reading?
Nothing right now, ‘cause I’m a bad person.

3. Favorite board game?
Scrabble is fun. So is Pictionary.

4. Favorite magazine?
Uh…that Running Room magazine I get?

5. Favorite smells?
Go to hell

6. Favorite sounds?
Frisson-inducing music. Jazzy purring.

7. Worst feeling in the world?
Failing. Or running your nails across dry towel fabric (or heavy yarn blankets). I really don’t like that feeling.

8. What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?

9. Favorite fast food place?
Cougar Country or (if it counts) Mongolian BBQ. But I don’t know if the latter counts.

10. Future child’s name?
I will not be having a future child.

11. Finish this statement. “If I had lot of money I’d….?
Give enough of it to my mom so that she could retire.

12. Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?

13. Storms – cool or scary?

14. Favorite drink?
15. Finish this statement, “If I had the time I would….”?
Draw more, read more, create more.
16. Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Ew, no. Give me florets or give me death!
17. If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
18. Name all the different cities/towns you’ve lived in?
Moscow, Troy, Vancouver, London, Marana, Tucson, Calgary.

Thank you for not asking me to list all the different houses.

19. Favorite sports to watch?

20. One nice thing about the person who sent this to you?
No one sent this to me. I stole it like the thieving thief I am.

21. What’s under your bed?
Cat hair, cat toys, and sometimes a cat.

22. Would you like to be born as yourself again?

23. Morning person, or night owl?
Night owl.

24. Over easy, or sunny side up?
Over easy.

25. Favorite place to relax?
Relaxing is for SQUARES

26. Favorite pie?
Not a pie fan, really.

27. Favorite ice cream flavor?

It’s a math meme. Because of course it is.

You honestly think I’d pass this up?

I’m going to try to focus on math instead of stats, but I might have to include some stats. Sorryz.

What math classes have you taken?
Lots. The calculus series, linear algebra, discrete math, mathematical statistics, stochastic methods, complex analysis, analysis of algorithms, linear regression, plus a whole bunch of stats classes…those are the main ones I can remember.

What math classes did you do best in?
Technically my highest grade was in calc III, but I did pretty good in discrete math as well. I also got a 100% on a calc II test, which is wild because that’s the one and only 100% I’ve ever gotten on a math test.

What math classes did you like the most?
Calculus, discrete math, mathematical stats.

What math classes did you do worst in?
I did terribly in Stochastic Methods. That was a ridiculously hard class for me for whatever reason. I just couldn’t get it.

Are there areas of math that you enjoy? What are they?
Statistics. Complex analysis. Is calculus an area? If so, calculus.

Why do you learn math?
Because I don’t want to be afraid of it anymore. The more I learn about it, the more that visceral reaction of “OH GOD WHAT IS THIS I’M SCARED” disappears faster whenever I see math.

What do you like about math?
I like how much it can explain in our universe. It’s so wild to me that humans have found a way to use math in so many different situations to explain or describe how things work. I love that.

Least favorite notation you’ve ever seen?
This nonsense. What in the hell, Newton?

Do you have any favorite theorems?
Does the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus count?

Better yet, do you have any least favorite theorems?
Not that I’m aware of.

Who actually invented calculus?
Oh, honey. Oh, honey.

Do you have any stories of Mathematical failure you’d like to share?
My entire high school experience? I hated algebra II. Hated it.

Do you think you’re good at math? Do you expect more from yourself?
I can make math work for me, but I am absolutely not naturally good at it. It takes a lot of work, I have zero mathematical intuition, and I feel like I don’t “get” it like a true math person should. I always expect more from myself, but I’d say I’m doing pretty good for someone who would get hives whenever she’d go to math in high school.

Do other people think you’re good at math?
People automatically assume I am because I teach stats. I guess I can’t blame them. But GOD I AM NOT.

Do you know anyone who doesn’t think they’re good at math but you look up to anyway? Do you think they are?
I don’t think so.

Have you ever taken a competitive exam?
Nope. I’m not good enough to even try.

Do you have any friends on Tumblr that also do math?
I follow a good number of math-related Tumblr blogs, but I don’t personally know any of the blog owners.

Who is your favorite Mathematician?
Leibniz. Absolutely no question. I love that man, y’all have no freaking idea.

Who is your least favorite Mathematician?
I don’t think I have one. Maybe John Keill ‘cause he was a dick to Leibniz.

Who is/was the most attractive Mathematician, living or dead?
L E I B N I Z oh dear god yes

Have you ever dated a Mathematician?

Would you date someone who dislikes math?
I think Rob disliked math. But Rob disliked everything, so…

Would you date someone who’s better than you at math?
I think anyone I’d date would be better at math than me.

Have you ever used math in a novel or entertaining way?
I’ve used stats in some interesting ways, like when I tried to analyze to see if people tended to assign blame to certain types of FMLs more than others.

Have you learned any math on your own recently?
I had to re-teach myself a bunch of intro stats stuff when I first started teaching here. Some of that is really easy to just completely forget.

When’s the last time you computed something without a calculator?
Lawl. I need a calculator for everything. 2 + 3? Goddamn, I have no idea.

What’s the silliest Mathematical mistake you’ve ever made?
My first semester teaching at the U of I. I was defining some basic set theory stuff for my stats class and I wanted to make a set of all even integers from 0 to 10. I forgot to include 0.

Did you ever fail a math class?
No, surprisingly. Not even in high school.

Is math a challenge for you?
Yes. At the very least, it’s not intuitive at all.

Are you a Formalist, Logicist, or Platonist?

Are you close with a math professor?
Not super close, no.

Just how big is a big number?
Graham’s Number!

What’s your favorite number system? Integers? Reals? Rationals? Hyper-reals? Surreals? Complex? Natural numbers?
I have a bit of a soft spot for complex numbers. They’re super cool plus were a major weird part of “Prime.”

Favorite casual math book?
“Classical Mathematics: A Concise History of Mathematics in the Seventheenth and Eighteenth Centuries” by Joseph Ehrenfried Hofmann. So much calculus history.
(So much Leibniz.)

Do you have favorite math textbooks? If so, what are they?
I really like my “Handbook of Parametric and Nonparametric Statistical Procedures” book, but I guess that’s more stats than math. Gonna count it. I also like the calculus books I used while taking calc I, II, and III. They were very good textbooks.

Do you collect anything that is math-related?
I…don’t think so? Which is shocking. Maybe math books, does that count?

Where is your most favorite place to do math?
Anywhere that’s quiet with a large desk so that I can spread out my stuff. I used to like doing math in the U of I library.

What inspired you to do math?
Fear. I don’t like being afraid of things and I was afraid of math for the longest time. Then I started doing stats and didn’t find that too bad, so I thought “what the hell let’s get a math degree” and bam here we are.

Do you have any favorite/cool math websites you’d like to share?
Mathematicians’ birthdays
Pronunciation guide for mathematics
A handbook for mathematics teaching assistants


What’s your favorite number?
I really like 11, but I also dig 2 because that number shows up a lot for me.

Are there any non-interesting numbers?
Nope! Every number has a story, a use, and a background.

Have you ever tried to figure out the prime factors of your phone number?

Do you have any math tattoos?
No, unfortunately.

Do you want any math tattoos?
I would love to have either just a plain old integral sign tattooed somewhere or the second part of the Fundamental Theorem of Calculus.

Are you a fan of algorithms? If so, which are your favorite?
Dijkstra’s algorithm.

Can you program? What languages do you know?
A little C++, some Perl, R.


1. January was National Mentoring Month. Have you ever had a mentor? Been a mentor? How would you rate the experience?
I’ve never been a mentor and have never been mentored. So there.

2. What current trend makes no sense to you?
Active wear (especially yoga pants (ESPECIALLY yoga pants with that weird mesh nonsense)) being worn as everyday clothing. NO. STOP. You’re RUINING EVERYTHING.

3. I saw a cartoon on Facebook highlighting a few ‘weird’ things that make you happy as an adult. The list included-writing with a nice pen, having plans cancelled, freshly cleaned sheets, eating the corner brownie, cleaning the dryer lint screen, and sipping coffee in that brief time before anyone else wakes up. Of the ‘weird’ things listed which one makes you happiest?
Having plans cancelled, but only if they’re plans with other people that I really didn’t want to commit to in the first place.

4. What’s the last good thing you ate?
I made broccoli and pasta the other day. Yesterday? Maybe. I don’t know how days work anymore.

5. Describe life in your 20’s in one sentence.
*velociraptor screeching*

6. It’s that time of year again…time for Lake Superior University to present a list of words (or phrases) they’d like to see banished (for over-use, mis-use, or general uselessness) in 2018. This year’s top vote getters are — unpack, dish (as in dish out the latest rumor), pre-owned, onboarding/offboarding, nothingburger, let that sink in, let me ask you this, impactful, Covfefe, drill down, fake news, hot water heater(hot water doesn’t need to be heated), and gig economy. Which of these words/phrases would you most like to see banished from everyday speech and why? Is there a word not on the list you’d like to add?
None of these really bother me. I’m getting really tired of “tea” being used as slang for gossip as of late, though. Just call it gossip, you nerds.

7. What’s something you need to get rid of in the New Year?

8. Where do you feel stuck?

9. January is National Soup Month. When did you last have a bowl of soup? Was it made from scratch or from a can? Your favorite canned soup? Your favorite soup to make from scratch on a cold winter’s day?

10. Tell us one thing you’re looking forward to in 2018.


1. Do you prefer winter or summer? Why?
Summer. Better walking conditions.

2. What are your favorite winter activities?
Walking when it’s actively snowing but there’s not a lot of build-up on the sidewalks. Trying not to fall on the ice. Trying not to get frostbite. All that fun stuff!

3. Can you tell me about a time you went skiing or skating?
I’ve never skied. It’s been a long time since I’ve skated (the last time I remember skating was in 2007. It was my reward to myself for getting a 4.0 in a semester where there was no way in hell I should have gotten a 4.0).

4. Have you ever made a snow angel?
Long ago.

5. Is your house cold?
It’s 74 in here because Nate understands that he married a lizard and needs to keep said lizard warm.

6. Do you have a fireplace in your house?
Nope. Unless you count Nate, which you should, ‘cause his body temperature is usually high enough to qualify as fire.

7. What do you usually do to keep warm in the winter?

8. Have you ever gone hiking in the snow?
Not hiking. Just walking.

9. Tell me about a snowball fight you had.
Not sure if I’ve ever had one that’s memorable enough to recall.

10. Have you ever looked at a snowflake carefully?
I’ve looked a snowflake in the eye as I told it I killed its pa.

11. Do you have a sled? Have you been sledding?
I used to sled all the time. Our dog Mindy would chase me down the hills. Then I got a concussion after barreling into a clod of frozen dirt, ‘cause that how I roll.

12. What do you usually do after a big snowfall?
Hope that the sidewalks are still walkable, but walk either way.

13. What’s the best thing about winter?
I like snow. Ice? No. The threat of frostbite? No. But I like snow.

14. What’s the worst thing about winter?
Ice. And the melting period when the whole damn city is just a giant puddle and walking is the most frustrating thing ever.

15. Have you ever been in a blizzard?
Not a technical blizzard, no.

16. Can you describe ice for me?
It’s the devil.

17. Have you ever slipped on ice and hurt yourself?
I’ve slipped on the ice a decent amount of times, but never actually hurt myself past bruises.

18. Have you ever had to shovel snow?
Oh yeah. When I lived in that house with the guys I was the only one on that entire damn block who shoveled.

19. Will you be watching the Olympics?

20. If yes, what are your favorite events?
I love speed skating. And figure skating.


I’m cold and bored, LEAVE ME ALONE

1. What is a normal thing that took you an embarrassingly long time to learn?
I don’t know if this counts at all since it’s not really something you “learn,” but it took me a long time to understand what a lot of people in movies were actually saying when they spoke. This was especially true in Disney movies. I focused much more on the intonations and “sing-songiness” of peoples’ voices and phrases and not really much on the actual words they said. Even today when I watch movies I first saw as a little kid, the memories of the “song” of the speech comes back to my memory much quicker than the actual words.

Maybe a more appropriate answer to this one would be the fact that it took me quite a long time to learn that sounds like “th” and “ch” and “sh” did not have their own letter of the alphabet but instead were comprised of multiple letters. I remember sitting in kindergarten trying to spell the word “chair” and freaking out because I couldn’t figure out which of the 26 letters in the alphabet made the “ch” sound.

2. In what ways are you old-fashioned?
Ways that would probably make me enemy #1 for some of my friends, so I won’t mention them. Don’t worry, I’m not a closet republican or anything like that. I’ve just got some old-fashioned views about a few sensitive subjects that I’d rather not express.

3. What is the best sandwich you’ve ever eaten? Where did you get it? What made it so delicious?
My mom’s grilled cheese. I got it from my mom. It’s delicious ‘cause of mom.
(It’s Colby-Jack cheese on potato bread. Try it. It’s so much better than your standard American cheese on white bread.)

4. What are you currently not bragging about that you should totally brag about?
The fact that I walked 5,100 miles last year. Because, you know, I haven’t mentioned that in the last five minutes.

5. What food have you never tasted and are most interested in trying?
None. None foods. I don’t like new things, they’re scary.

6. What history facts were you surprised to learn because it was never covered in school?
Pretty much any math facts or facts about those who came up with mathematical techniques and theorems. I think I would have enjoyed math more if we had gotten some human context to it, you know?

7. What is something that you waited entirely too long to start or stop doing? What made you say “Why did I wait so long?”
Walking for pleasure/exercise/the sake of my sanity. I used to shun it and thought it was boring. Now it’s my life.

8. What socially expected thing do you hate doing the most?
All this germophobe garbage. “Don’t touch the dirt!” “Sanitize everything!” “Ew you touched a worm that’s gross so many germs better saw off your fingers so you don’t get C O N T A M I N A T E D!!!!!1” This is why the superbugs will win.

10. What do you miss most about childhood?
Having so much time and potential ahead of me to do things right. Too bad I screwed it all up.

11. What “fact” did you learn in school that is not true or no longer true?
Christopher Columbus is a planet and Pluto discovered America.

12. What’s your favorite piece of useless trivia?
The kilogram is the only SI unit that is still defined by a physical object rather than by a physical constant. The kilogram, “Le Grand K,” is a platinum alloy cylinder stored in France.

13. What’s your best go to homemade “lazy” meal
Handfuls of shredded cheese straight from the bag. You’re not an adult until you’ve snarfed down half a cup of cheese while watching Vine compilations on YouTube.

Actually, my typical “lazy” meal is “pass out on the couch and forget to eat.” That happens more frequently than I’d like to admit

14. What’s the title of this current chapter in your life?
“LOL You’re a Still A Failure”

15. What is a habit or practice that you learned from your childhood that you didn’t realize was “weird” until you were an adult?|
Uh…let’s not talk about that one. It’s private.

End o’ Year Survey

Hey so let’s do that survey thing I always do around this time of year.

What did you do in 2017 that you’d never done before?
Got injured due to physical activity? I was just going to put “got injured” but I’ve had bee stings and shit and whatnots and I guess those count as injuries, but this is the first time I’ve been actually injured to the point where it affected my physical performance.

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
There will soon be a blog post regarding this!

Did anyone close to you give birth?

Did anyone close to you die?
Annabelle. Poor little kitty.

What countries did you visit?
Does the US count? I think I always count it.

What would you like to have in 2018 that you lacked in 2017?
I said it last year and I’ll say it again: job security.

What date from 2017 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
December 22, the day I hit 5,000 walking miles.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
See above. That took a lot of work, yo.

What was your biggest failure?
Getting injured. Screw that nonsense. It slowed me down (literally), but did not prevent me from my goal.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

What was the best thing you bought?
God, I don’t even know.

Where did most of your money go
Condo fees, groceries, tank tops from Walmart because I have a SERIOUS PROBLEM, cruise.

What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Teaching! As always.

What song will always remind you of 2017?
Running Away by The Royal Foundry. So good.

What do you wish you’d done less of?
Getting injured, haha. Are you sensing a theme here?

How will you be spending Christmas?
Christmas was yesterday. We hung out at Nate’s parents’ place and opened presents.

Did you fall in love in 2017?
Nope, but I stayed in love with the most wonderful man ever!

How many one-night stands?
Haha. Zero.

What was your favourite TV program?
I actually didn’t mind Iron Fist.

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

What was the best book you read?
Did…did I read anything this year? I don’t think I read any fiction. Too busy walking.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
That will be revealed on the 31st!

What was your favourite film of this year?
Thor: Ragnarok was freaking awesome.

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 29. Can’t remember what I did. Probably walked.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably satisfying?
G E T T I N G  S O M E  J O B  S E C U R I T Y

How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2017?

What kept you sane?
Sanity is for plebs.

Which celebrity/public figure(s) did you fancy the most?
Leibniz. Always and forever.

Who did you miss?
My mom and dad.

Who was the best new person you met?
I don’t think I met anyone new this year.

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2017:


Book survey. ‘Cause NaNo and all that nonsense.

(Warning: I’m hyper)

1. Do you prefer hardcover, paperback, or Kindle…and why?
Paperback. Light, easy to read, and you can touch the pages.

2. If I were to own a book shop I would call it …

3. My favorite quote from a book (mention the title) is …
“They’re a rotten crowd,” I shouted across the lawn. “You’re worth the whole damn bunch put together.”

I’ve always been glad I said that. It was the only compliment I ever gave him, because I disapproved of him from beginning to end. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time. First he nodded politely, and then his face broke into that radiant and understanding smile, as if we’d been in ecstatic cahoots on that fact all the time. His gorgeous pink rag of a suit made a bright spot of color against the white steps, and I thought of the night when I first came to his ancestral home, three months before. The lawn and drive had been crowded with the faces of those who guessed at his corruption—and he had stood on those steps, concealing his incorruptible dream, as he waved them good-by.

Nick to Gatsby, from The Great Gatsby.

4. The author (alive or dead) I would love to have lunch with would be …
Probably Fitzgerald. Or Nabokov!

5. If I was going to a deserted island and could only bring one book, except for the SAS survival guide, it would be …
The Caine Mutiny. That will never get old to me. Love it.

6. I would love someone to invent a bookish gadget that …
Would automatically make an audiobook of your book of choice. Read by Alexander Scourby.

7. The smell of an old book reminds me of ….

8. If I could be the lead character in a book (mention the title), it would be….
Phileas Fogg from Around the World in 80 Days. Love that dude. OR Gatsby from The Great Gatsby. Love that dude, too.

9. The most over-rated book of all time is….
If I say Lord of the Rings, will Tolkien rise from his grave and murder me in a very slow, drawn-out, boring fashion?

10. I hate it when a book….
Just tanks the ending. A book can be fantastic from pages 1 to n-1, but if that nth page is a disappointment (or however many pages it takes to make the “ending” happen), it’ll ruin the whole thing for me. I’m looking you, A Handmaid’s Tale.


ghost: what would you like on your tombstone?
I shall not have a tombstone. I will be cremated. Part of my ashes will be scattered near Leibniz’ grave. If this does not happen I will HAUNT FOREVER

dracula: are you afraid of aging? or death?
Neither. Bring on the end, man.

nosferatu: what, as a child, did you imagine went bump in the night?
I don’t remember being afraid of much as a kid, though that might be inaccurate.

godzilla: what do you do when you are angry? are you ever destructive?
I’m not a pleasant person when I’m angry. And I’m angry quite often, so that’s not a fantastic combination. I try not to take it out on anyone but myself, though.

the blob: do you collect anything? if so, what & why?
I don’t collect anything specifically, but I do tend to amass trinkets/random nonsense I find cute/interesting/cool. Hence the trinket shelf.

zombie: when was the last time you trusted your gut? was it successful?
I’ve learned to always trust my gut based on past experience. The last time I did was when I was trying to decide between going to Carleton University versus U of C. Trusted my gut and chose U of C. Things couldn’t have worked out better.

mothra: what is something dangerous that attracts or fascinates you?
I’d totally do skydiving again. No question.

king kong: what are some questionable choices you’ve made lately?

alien: what is your strangest feature?
The sheer ugliness of my body. It’s bad, yo.

cthulhu: do you like the ocean? why or why not?
The ocean’s great. Terrifying, but awesome.

nessie: have you ever felt invisible to people — the feeling of not existing?

mutant spider: what is one of your biggest fears?
I don’t have any major ones, I don’t think.

golem: if you could make up an imaginary friend, what would they be like and why?
Not going to lie: it would be Leibniz. Just…Leibniz. Though he’d speak English so we could converse. I am being 100% honest here, so DON’T JUDGE ME.

sharktopus: what is something you’ve done that was ridiculous or a bad decision?
Going to University of Western Ontario, mainly because I very promptly failed at everything I wanted to do there and had to move back to Moscow. I’d had a bad feeling about going to Ontario before I even left, but didn’t listen to that feeling. Now I listen to those types of feelings.

robot: what is a habit you do without thinking?
Panic. That’s totally a habit, fight me.

Survey says…survey!

(I think I’ve already used that title…)

Let’s do it, yo.


2. What was the best year of your life so far?
2017 has been pretty good, even though I got hurt. I got my semester off to do my obsessive walking, I’m having a relatively stress-free fall semester, I will hopefully complete NaNo, and will hopefully walk 5,000 miles. Not too shabby.
(2013 wasn’t bad, either)

3. What’s your favorite thing to do on the Internet?
Screw around, aka read Reddit, read Twitter, watch dumb YouTubes.

4. What fad have you held on to even tho it isn’t popular any more?
Loose-fitting pants. Not sure if that is really a “trend,” but I hate the whole skinny jeans/yoga pants fad so damn much right now. Nobody looks good in pants that are tight all the way down. Nobody.

5. What do you spend most of your time doing?
Walking. Teaching.

6. What do you spend way too much money on?

Stuff. Just stuff. And tank tops.

7. What event, large or small, has changed the course of your life most?
Quitting UBC at the right time. I really, really, really wanted to quit my Masters program there. I came so close so many times. But I stuck it out. I did, however, “quit” my upcoming PhD program there by just not applying/submitting the fee payment in time. I really do think I would have ended my life if I had to spend any more time in that hellhole of a program. But finishing the MA got me teaching, eventually, which got me…well, where I am now. Teaching. Haha.

8. Who do you have a hard time taking seriously?
Our dear old POTUS.

9. What do you judge people for most often?

10. What was the most beautiful view you have ever experienced?
I really liked the view I had during skydiving. You could see so much, both of the earth below and the sky/horizon. I would skydive again in a heartbeat.

11. What is something you read or heard that has stuck with you for a long time?
Ethan Frome has really stuck with me. There are countless stories about forbidden love and people pining for each other knowing that they can’t have each other, but this story is so genuine and has such a tragic outcome that it’s just always stuck with me.

12. What’s your favorite thing to shop for. Why?
Electronics, haha. Headphones. That kind of thing. I don’t know why. I guess I like the possibility of getting a new shiny.

13. What’s the best compliment someone can receive?
Depends on the person. Whatever makes them feel the best, I suppose. I like being told I’m smart, even though that’s a blatant lie.

14. What’s something people go on and on about and you just can’t stand sitting through?
Nothing specific, really. If they’re boring, I just start tuning them out, haha.

15. What’s something you can do that most people can’t?
I can walk 15 miles a day six days a week. I’m sure most people could do that if they built up to it, though, so big freaking deal. So let’s say walking 50 miles in 10 hours and 16 minutes, ‘cause I did that.

16. When was the last time you tried to look cool and ended in embarrassment?
This is my existence, yo.

17. What is the most ridiculous rule you have to follow?
I have tri-colored pasta in my pasta/broccoli thing I make (plain, red, and green). I have this self-imposed rule where I have to have the same amount of noodles of each color, which means I have to count them all out each time I make dinner. Which takes a bit of time. Which is why I usually don’t have dinner until like 3 AM.

18. What country do you not know the location of, even though you should?
I don’t know if I could identify Iran on a map. Maybe I could—I certainly know the general area—but I’m not sure if I remember exactly where it is. Same could be said about Iraq, Afghanistan, and a lot of the European countries. It’s been a long time since I’ve really paid attention to a map .

19. What do you have a hard time with but most people find quite easy?
Simple math. Like 2+4 kind of simple. I still have to think about it, and that’s really sad.

20. What’s the most impressive skill you have?
I’m pretty good at learning new instruments (at least I used to be, I haven’t tried recently). I can pick up a new instrument and be somewhat decent at playing it quite quickly without the help of anyone else. I did this for most of the instruments I know how to play. In high school I learned oboe specifically for that little oboe solo in the 1812 Overture and I had about a week to do that, so. Kind of the same thing happened with the flute. And tuba.

“23 Questions I Ask Everybody I Meet In Order To Decide If I Can Really Love Them”

So these questions, from the mind of Chuck Klosterman, appear in a series of essays titled Sex, Drugs and Cocoa Puffs: A Low Culture Manifesto. The title of the section containing these questions is “23 Questions I Ask Everybody I Meet In Order To Decide If I Can Really Love Them.” Ignoring the fact that he failed my own first test of love—“Does the person use the Oxford comma?”—I’ll give his questions a whirl. Nate, do you really love me based on my answers? Haha.

  1. Let us assume you met a rudimentary magician. Let us assume he can do five simple tricks—he can pull a rabbit out of his hat, he can make a coin disappear, he can turn the ace of spades into the Joker card, and two others in a similar vein. These are his only tricks and he can’t learn any more; he can only do these five. HOWEVER, it turns out he’s doing these five tricks with real magic. It’s not an illusion; he can actually conjure the bunny out of the ether and he can move the coin through space. He’s legitimately magical, but extremely limited in scope and influence. Would this person be more impressive than Albert Einstein?

He’s be just as impressive, I’d say, but in a different way. There are weirder things than magic out there.


  1. Let us assume a fully grown, completely healthy Clydesdale horse has his hooves shackled to the ground while his head is held in place with thick rope. He is conscious and standing upright, but completely immobile. And let us assume that—for some reason—every political prisoner on earth (as cited by Amnesty International) will be released from captivity if you can kick this horse to death in less than twenty minutes. You are allowed to wear steel-toed boots. Would you attempt to do this?

No. It wouldn’t feel right to kill an innocent animal, especially in such a cruel and painful manner as kicking it to death while it stands practically defenseless. The payoff would benefit a lot of people, but even that payoff wouldn’t justify the killing.


  1. Let us assume there are two boxes on a table. In one box, there is a relatively normal turtle; in the other, Adolf Hitler’s skull. You have to select one of these items for your home. If you select the turtle, you can’t give it away and you have to keep it alive for two years; if either of these parameters are not met, you will be fined $999 by the state. If you select Hitler’s skull, you are required to display it in a semi-prominent location in your living room for the same amount of time, although you will be paid a stipend of $120 per month for doing so. Display of the skull must be apolitical. Which option do you select?

Are people allowed to come into my house and view the skull? If so, I choose the turtle. Stay out of my house. But if not, I choose the skull (mainly because I have very little experience with turtle care and I’d be afraid I’d do something wrong and hurt it).


  1. Genetic engineers at Johns Hopkins University announce that they have developed a so-called “super gorilla.” Though the animal cannot speak, it has a sign language lexicon of over twelve thousand words, an I.Q. of almost 85, and—most notably—a vague sense of self-awareness. Oddly, the creature (who weighs seven hundred pounds) becomes fascinated by football. The gorilla aspires to play the game at its highest level and quickly develops the rudimentary skills of a defensive end. ESPN analyst Tom Jackson speculates that this gorilla would be “borderline unblockable” and would likely average six sacks a game (although Jackson concedes the beast might be susceptible to counters and misdirection plays). Meanwhile, the gorilla has made it clear he would never intentionally injure any opponent. You are commissioner of the NFL: Would you allow this gorilla to sign with the Oakland Raiders?

Hahaha. No. Even if Dr. Pigskin (this is the gorilla’s name, fight me) has made it clear that he would never intentionally injure an opponent, 700 pounds of football-obsessed gorilla would probably unintentionally hurt a lot of people. Football is finally starting to recognize the damage that concussions cause. Dr. Pigskin wouldn’t cause concussions. He would just demolish brain stems. Much worse.

And honestly, the most unrealistic thing in this whole scenario is me being commissioner of the NFL.


  1. You meet your soul mate. However, there is a catch: Every three years, someone will break both of your soul mate’s collarbones with a Crescent wrench, and there is only one way you can stop this from happening: You must swallow a pill that will make every song you hear—for the rest of your life—sound as if it’s being performed by the band Alice in Chains. When you hear Creedence Clearwater Revival on the radio, it will sound (to your ears) like it’s being played by Alice in Chains. If you see Radiohead live, every one of their tunes will sound like it’s being covered by Alice in Chains. When you hear a commercial jingle on TV, it will sound like Alice in Chains; if you sing to yourself in the shower, your voice will sound like deceased Alice vocalist Layne Staley performing a capella (but it will only sound this way to you). Would you swallow the pill?

I’ve already met my soul mate. And as much as I love music, I love him more. I’d take the pill.


  1. At long last, someone invents “the dream VCR.” This machine allows you to tape an entire evening’s worth of your own dreams, which you can then watch at your leisure. However, the inventor of the dream VCR will only allow you to use this device of you agree to a strange caveat: When you watch your dreams, you must do so with your family and your closest friends in the same room. They get to watch your dreams along with you. And if you don’t agree to this, you can’t use the dream VCR. Would you still do this?

Absolutely. We all have weird-ass dreams, right? I’d like to be able to see mine. I’m sure everyone would understand that they’re just dreams. Plus, if I ever have The Leibniz Dream™, that shit’s getting re-watched daily.


  1. Defying all expectation, a group of Scottish marine biologists capture a live Loch Ness Monster. In an almost unbelievable coincidence, a bear hunter in the Pacific Northwest shoots a Sasquatch in the thigh, thereby allowing zoologists to take the furry monster into captivity. These events happen on the same afternoon. That evening, the president announces he may have thyroid cancer and will undergo a biopsy later that week. You are the front page editor of The New York Times: What do you play as the biggest story?

Do we know for certain it’s Nessie? Do we know for certain it’s Bigfoot? I suspect it would take more than an afternoon to figure out either of these, so I’d run the story about the President.


  1. You meet the perfect person. Romantically, this person is ideal: You find them physically attractive, intellectually stimulating, consistently funny, and deeply compassionate. However, they have one quirk: This individual is obsessed with Jim Henson’s gothic puppet fantasy The Dark Crystal. Beyond watching it on DVD at least once a month, he/she peppers casual conversation with Dark Crystal references, uses Dark Crystal analogies to explain everyday events, and occasionally likes to talk intensely about the film’s “deeper philosophy.” Would this be enough to stop you from marrying this individual?

Nope! In fact, I dig it when a person has a very strong passion for something. The Dark Crystal scared the hell out of me when I was a kid, but I can handle it now and wouldn’t be put off by someone who was super into it.

As long as they’d be cool with my Leibniz obsession.


  1. A novel titled Interior Mirror is released to mammoth commercial success (despite middling reviews). However, a curious social trend emerges: Though no one can prove a direct scientific link, it appears that almost 30 percent of the people who read this book immediately become homosexual. Many of these newfound homosexuals credit the book for helping them reach this conclusion about their orientation, despite the fact that Interior Mirror is ostensibly a crime novel with no homoerotic content (and was written by a straight man). Would this phenomenon increase (or decrease) the likelihood of you reading this book?

Decrease, but only because I’m with Nate. If I was single, I wouldn’t care what my sexuality was, but I would feel really bad about the chance that I would suddenly not be attracted to men while with him.


  1. This is the opening line of Jay McInerney’s Bright Lights, Big City: “You are not the kind of guy who would be in a place like this at this time of the morning.” Think about that line in the context of the novel (assuming you’ve read it). Now go to your CD collection and find Heart’s Little Queen album (assuming you own it). Listen to the opening riff to “Barracuda.” Which of these two introductions is a higher form of art?

Meh. Not a big fan of either, actually. The opening line, I guess, if I had to pick one.


  1. You are watching a movie in a crowded theater. Though the plot is mediocre, you find yourself dazzled by the special effects. But with twenty minutes left in the film, you are struck with an undeniable feeling of doom: You are suddenly certain your mother has just died. There is no logical reason for this to be true, but you are certain of it. You are overtaken with the irrational metaphysical sense that—somewhere—your mom has just perished. But this is only an intuitive, amorphous feeling; there is no evidence for this, and your mother has not been ill. Would you immediately exit the theater, or would you finish watching the movie?

I would leave, absolutely. I have learned to trust my gut feelings/intuitions, as they have been proven to be right much more often than wrong. Also, I’m not really a huge movie fan, anyway.


  1. You meet a wizard in downtown Chicago. The wizard tells you he can make you more attractive if you pay him money. When you ask how this process works, the wizard points to a random person on the street. You look at this random stranger. The wizard says, “I will now make them a dollar more attractive.” He waves his magic wand. Ostensibly, this person does not change at all; as far as you can tell, nothing is different. But—somehow—this person is suddenly a little more appealing. The tangible difference is invisible to the naked eye, but you can’t deny that this person is vaguely sexier. This wizard has a weird rule, though—you can only pay him once. You can’t keep giving him money until you’re satisfied. You can only pay him one lump sum up front. How much cash do you give the wizard?

Every goddamn cent I’ve got on me. I’m ugly as sin; maybe that would make me tolerable.


  1. Every person you have ever slept with is invited to a banquet where you are the guest of honor. No one will be in attendance except you, the collection of your former lovers, and the catering service. After the meal, you are asked to give a fifteen-minute speech to the assembly. What do you talk about?

This would be the loneliest banquet ever.


  1. For reasons that cannot be explained, cats can suddenly read at a twelfth-grade level. They can’t talk and they can’t write, but they can read silently and understand the text. Many cats love this new skill, because they now have something to do all day while they lay around the house; however, a few cats become depressed, because reading forces them to realize the limitations of their existence (not to mention the utter frustration of being unable to express themselves). This being the case, do you think the average cat would enjoy Garfield, or would cats find this cartoon to be an insulting caricature?

I think there would be a split in opinions. Some cats would be highly insulted by the caricature and would find it such an inaccurate depiction that they would purposefully destroy books of Garfield comics. I think other cats would find it hysterical and would love the depiction, regardless of if they found it accurate or not. Kind of like humans are split when it comes to that kind of thing.


15. You have a brain tumor. Though there is no discomfort at the moment, this tumor would unquestionably kill you in six months. However, your life can (and will) be saved by an operation; the only downside is that there will be a brutal incision to your frontal lobe. After the surgery, you will be significantly less intelligent. You will still be a fully functioning adult, but you will be less logical, you will have a terrible memory, and you will have little ability to understand complex concepts or difficult ideas. The surgery is in two weeks. How do you spend the next fourteen days?

Waitwaitwait. Do I have to have this operation? Can I say no to it? I’d rather say “no” to it if I had the option. I’mma say “no” to it. FIGHT ME, KLOSTERMAN!


  1. Someone builds and optical portal that allows you to see a vision of your own life in the future (it’s essentially a crystal ball that shows a randomly selected image of what your life will be like in twenty years). You can only see into this portal for thirty seconds. When you finally peer into the crystal, you see yourself in a living room, two decades older than you are today. You are watching a Canadian football game, and you are extremely happy. You are wearing a CFL jersey. Your chair is surrounded by books and magazines that promote the Canadian Football League, and there are CFL pennants covering your walls. You are alone in the room, but you are gleefully muttering about historical moments in Canadian football history. It becomes clear that—for some unknown reason—you have become obsessed with Canadian football. And this future is static and absolute; no matter what you do, this future will happen. The optical portal is never wrong. This destiny cannot be changed. The next day, you are flipping through television channels and randomly come across a pre-season CFL game between the Toronto Argonauts and the Saskatchewan Roughriders. Knowing your inevitable future, do you now watch it?

Given what’s happened with me and baseball, this is actually not an entirely far-fetched scenario (though currently I have zero interest in hockey. BASEBALL 4 EVAR!). Sure, I’d watch it.


  1. You are sitting in an empty bar (in a town you’ve never before visited), drinking Bacardi with a soft-spoken acquaintance you barely know. After an hour, a third individual walks into the tavern and sits by himself, and you ask your acquaintance who the new man is. “Be careful of that guy,” you are told. “He is a man with a past.” A few minutes later, a fourth person enters the bar; he also sits alone. You ask your acquaintance who this new individual is. “Be careful of that guy, too,” he says. “He is a man with no past.” Which of these two people do you trust less?

The dude talking to me (can I pick him?). Can’t be suspicious of everyone, bro. And who the hell are you, anyway, to know all these sketchy buddies?


  1. You have won a prize. The prize has two options, and you can choose either (but not both). The first option is a year in Europe with a monthly stipend of $2,000. The second option is ten minutes on the moon. Which option do you select?

Ten minutes on the moon. No question. UNLESS there was a guarantee that I could spend the whole year in Europe in Leibniz’ old house and prancing around the Leibniz museum. ‘Cause then Europe.


  1. Your best friend is taking a nap on the floor of your living room. Suddenly, you are faced with a bizarre existential problem: This friend is going to die unless you kick them (as hard as you can) in the rib cage. If you don’t kick them while they slumber, they will never wake up. However, you can never explain this to your friend; if you later inform them that you did this to save their life, they will also die from that. So you have to kick a sleeping friend in the ribs, and you can’t tell them why. Since you cannot tell your friend the truth, what excuse will you fabricate to explain this (seemingly inexplicable) attack?

…do I have to explain it? What if I, like, kick the hell out of him and then pretend to be asleep as he’s waking up confused and in pain? If I have to explain it, I’d pretend to be in like a zombie sleep-walking mode and keep kicking random things until my friend “wakes me up.” Easy-peasy.


  1. For whatever the reason, two unauthorized movies are made about your life. The first is an independently released documentary, primarily comprised of interviews with people who know you and bootleg footage from your actual life. Critics are describing the documentary as “brutally honest and relentlessly fair.” Meanwhile, Columbia Tri-Star has produced a big-budget biopic of your life, casting major Hollywood stars as you and all your acquaintances; though the movie is based on actual events, screenwriters have taken some liberties with the facts. Critics are split on the artistic merits of this fictionalized account, but audiences love it. Which film would you be most interested in seeing?

I’d love to see the honest film. What do people really think of me? It’d probably be all negative, but that’s how I think of myself anyway, SO…


  1. Imagine you could go back to the age of five and relive the rest of your life, knowing everything that you know now. You will re-experience your entire adolescence with both the cognitive ability of an adult and the memories of everything you’ve learned form having lived your life previously. Would you lose your virginity earlier or later than you did the first time around (and by how many years)?

Ugh, of all the possible wonderful things that could be asked regarding this scenario and it’s a question about losing my virginity? That’s the least important thing ever. I would care about my virginity in this scenario exactly as much as I care about it in real life. Which is not at all. Deal with it.


  1. You work in an office. Generally, you are popular with your coworkers. However, you discover that there are currently two rumors circulating the office gossip mill, and both involve you. The first rumor is that you got drunk at the office holiday party and had sex with one of your married coworkers. This rumor is completely true, but most people don’t believe it. The second rumor is that you have been stealing hundreds of dollars of office supplies (and then selling them to cover a gambling debt). This rumor is completely false, but virtually everyone assumes it is factual. Which of these two rumors is most troubling to you?

The sex one, because it’s the true one. I don’t think I could live with myself if I did that.

  1. Consider this possibility: Think about deceased TV star John Ritter. Now, pretend Ritter had never become famous. Pretend he was never affected by the trappings of fame, and try to imagine what his personality would have been like. Now, imagine that this person—the unfamous John Ritter—is a character in a situation comedy. Now, you are also a character in this sitcom, and the unfamous John Ritter character is your sitcom father. However, this sitcom is actually your real life. In other words, you are living inside a sitcom: Everything about our life is a construction, featuring the unfamous John Ritter playing himself (in the role of your TV father). But this is not a sitcom. This is your real life. How would you feel about this?

(Am I supposed to know who John Ritter is?)

I’mma replace John Ritter with Drew Carey, because a) I know who Drew Carey is, b) Drew Carey is badass, and c) Drew Carey actually looked a lot like my real dad when they were both a little younger, so yeah.


So this is like The Truman Show kind of a thing? I actually used to be really paranoid that everything in my life was “fake” like this…just a giant setup for the amusement of others. I actually don’t really mind. I’m cool with it. Also, if it’s a sitcom, things are probably all going to work out in the end, right?