Posts Tagged ‘Bloggess Tribe’

The Bloggess Family

November 18, 2019

It felt like ages ago but it was only about ten or eleven years since I found a blog called The Bloggess. It was created by author Jenny Lawson before she was a published author and long before she was a New York Times Best Seller. At the time, she was telling funny stories about her interactions with the people around her and her interesting thoughts. She was transitioning from being pigeonholed as a “mommy blogger” and was just writing whatever she wanted. She had already amassed quite a following. Her words had flow and had me constantly laughing as I read back through her archives and then impatiently waited for each update.

She was the main inspiration for me starting this blog that has gone through various iterations before the most recent branding (years ago). She made me want to get my own words out there and make my own mark on the words. It helped me in my fight against depression and anxiety and, although I was just shouting into the void, I felt better doing it. Writing has always been a compulsion of mine, something I must do or the words and thoughts will build up and then I will explode or burn out.

I was a fan for years before Jenny (as I and her other fans call her) published her first book, a memoir of her early years called Let’s Pretend This Never Happened. It was such an interesting dive into who she was as a person and I learned so much about her and found more in common with Jenny than before. I was so jealous of her flowing style and worked harder on my own style.  I also wanted to be more open and less fake with my potential audience. I buckled down on my blog, working hard against my own depression to try and keep posts coming. People started to read them. I was astonished. People started to like them. I felt like I had a sliver of what Jenny has.

Years later, I started to pay more attention to what Jenny at the time called her Bloggess Tribe. (A side note: some people are iffy about using that term as they feel it is potentially offensive while others don’t feel it is. The jury is still out.) I identified heavily with Jenny but I also found a lot of kindred spirits among her fans. It is probably the only fandom I have experienced where I have yet to find a bad egg. Jenny preaches positivity and it spreads through the people who like her work. The group also tends to be incredibly creative, the kind of friends that I always attracted. While it is true that the fandom is primarily female, I have never felt unwelcome as a male. I am so thankful for that. I have especially enjoyed interacting with people on twitter and learning and supporting each other.

Most recently, I finally read Jenny’s second book Furiously Happy which had been in my To Be Read pile for far too long. I actually listened to the audiobook even though I have a hard copy because I wanted to hear the book in the author’s own words. It is delightfully insane in the best ways. It is a book full of essays written by Jenny with the theme of it being about battling her anxiety and depression. I myself had undiagnosed depression and anxiety for a long time before finally getting diagnosed and starting on Xanax. Jenny’s is much worse (as she has a multitude of additional disorders) but she is an inspiration. The book is her mission statement in being “furiously happy” instead of succumbing to depression and anxiety. I would almost call it “spitefully happy”. If you have a chance, I would check the book out maybe search for our group online.


100 Questions to Ask Each Other #5

June 27, 2016

And so we reach the end of the 100 questions that Half a 1000 Miles posted a while ago now.  It was a difficult process and I imagine this would have been shorter if I kept it to yes or no answers or I was asked on the spot.  However, I like a good writing challenge.  Anyway, you can check out previous questions and answers here. 1, 2, 3 and 4.

82. Is silence OR a confrontation more uncomfortable?

Both are pretty uncomfortable. Silence means never dealing with the problem and just pushing it away. . Silence is so difficult when you see somebody all the time especially if you love or like them. Silence is the most uncomfortable because I suppose the person you are being silent with does not even know what they did wrong. Confrontation is scary but at least you air your grievance and maybe even see how silly you are being. Best case scenario is they apologize. Best case scenario for silence is that they confront you out of frustration.

83. What is the difference in “remembering” and “not being able to forget”?

When you remember something, a spark goes off in your brain and you are flooded with a memory. It can happen without warning and at the worst times or the best times. One of my favorite positive examples of this in fiction is near the end of Creed. One of the negative examples is the PTSD-like example here. When you can’t forget something, it never really leaves your brain and the emotional and mental weight of it stays with you. Both can be involuntary but not being able to forget is definitely against your will and sounds negative since you would not try to forget positive things.

84. What do you think when you see someone at the grocery store with a lot of coupons?

I usually feel good for them. They had a lot of time on their hands and they are saving money on stuff they actually want. When I get coupons, they usually expire before I run out of whatever they are for or they are for things I don’t want. If you can game the system and use a ton of coupons then that’s great for you and it makes me feel a little envious. Now, I have a feeling that some people might say that they get annoyed at the delay coupons cause but that’s not the case with me. I get annoyed when arguing delays the purchase but not coupons since they are part of the process.

85. Studies have shown that the more creative someone is, the more drama and chaos they will accept as normal in their life. Does that sound right to you?

That does sound right to me. I have had a lot of drama and chaos in parts of my life and especially in friendships. As a writer, I tend to view reality through the lens of fiction and vice versa. I compare my situation with characters in my favorite fiction or my own characters. If they can fight dragons, hunt werewolves and deal with extra-dimensional threats then I can handle a little drama. Of course, sometimes that means I fight when I should run or make peace when I should fight. So it may not always be a good thing but I do take inspiration from my crazy brain and I think of a lot of weird stuff as normal.

86. Do you think positive OR negative consequences would more likely motivate someone to lose 50 pounds?

I think negative consequences would more likely motivate someone to lose 50 pounds. Death or bad health are more of a motivator to me than the vague promise of a relationship or “happiness”. Negative consequences are just more likely and clearly delineated while positive consequences depend on psychological and emotional factors as well. If somebody loses 50 pounds, I cannot promise them it will net them a girlfriend because that is not how it works. I can promise them that if they do not they will continue to wheeze on steps and hills.

87. Would they be more determined to do so if they were given $50,000 if they succeeded OR if there would be a large nude billboard of them all over their hometown if they didn’t?

I honestly do not know. I would be motivated by the 50K just because I could always put that money to good use. The idea of the billboard is chilling but I have to believe it would be torn down or covered up pretty quickly so it would not be a lasting punishment. I might just not lose weight in defiance of somebody threatening me with that to call their bluff. Losing out on a positive thing like all of that money is more likely to crush me than public humiliation. I am used to public humiliation because my broken brain tricks me into experiencing it needlessly a lot anyway.

88. Name something you always do. Name something you never do.

I always write a little every day no matter what it is. I always watch YouTube every day because it is the least stressful content consumption I can think of. I never sing in public. I never go to church.

89. Studies show that contrary to what you might automatically think, when one partner in a marriage travels a lot, it is the partner that stays at home who is more likely to cheat. Do you agree?

Yeah, I would agree with that at least when I think of my experience. A person who is traveling is seeing new sights and meeting people and having a lot of stimuli thrown their way. In the midst of all the interesting things I am doing, I always have home in my thoughts and what I am going to do when I get there. It is easy to think of home romantically when you are away. When you are home and your loved one is abroad, you are seeing the same sights you see every day normally. You make your way through the same experiences and it is easy to get bored. On top of that, the one you love is out in the world having new experiences without you. It makes you long for new experiences.

90. Describe a situation where taking action could cause great potential harm, and not taking action could cause great potential harm.

If I decided to pick a fight with the local bully and I picked up an iron bar when I gave them the impression that it would be a fistfight. I would take them off guard and injure them brutally in an unfair fight and would cause death or massive hospital bills. (Just an example, I don’t fight except in self-defense). If I decided not tell a friend that their back tire was flat and they pulled off without noticing. Their wheel got damaged and they ended up forced to stop and ended up getting hit by another car.

91. Do you think it is more your assigned role to bring excitement OR stability into your relationship?

In my relationships, I think I provide the stability. I am a creature of habit and I tend to schedule things and I work at being dependable. I learn something new every day and I work to better my mind by absorbing news, fiction and general knowledge but it is usually in a set pattern in set locations. I am a nerd and proud of it and I will never be a thrillseeker or a hellraiser and I love that about me. When or if I am in a relationship again, I will always be there when they get home.

92. If you had 6 toes on each foot, would you consider yourself unique OR freaky? Would you hide it OR not hide it?

I would consider having six toes on each foot as a possible evolutionary advantage or at least as a neat and unique oddity. Having six toes is not like having one growing out of the back of your head or having a second face on your stomach. It is more likely to intrigue people than gross them out and I think I would like it. I like being different from everybody else because that is how I feel whether it’s true or not. Confirmation is always a godsend and eagerly anticipated. I would not hide my extra toes and I would proudly go barefoot and explain it to whoever wanted to know about it.

93. Did OJ do it?

I believe he did. First, OJ was on the record as being a serial domestic abuser. Domestic abuse is a personal, emotional crime that turns a relationship of love into one about power. When OJ felt he was losing that power over Nicole, he decided to take the power back forever. Second, there was a ton of DNA evidence and as corrupt as LA cops had been prior to the case, I do not believe they could have planted it all. It was a high profile case and the risk of planting evidence or purposefully contaminating it was too high. There was nothing to be gained from OJ being guilty as the public was initially on his side because he was a celebrity. Third, the defense was not based on reality but instead they focused on wild stories and fiction to cause doubt. Yes, I think he did it.

94. What do you spend too much time perfecting, when it doesn’t require perfection?

E-mail or text correspondence with somebody. Sometimes I will go through three drafts of a text so that I say just the perfect things. What was that text going to say, basically? “Do you want to go to the Orioles game this Friday?” Was that so hard? Yes. Yes it was because sometimes I have trouble connecting with people on a personal level because it makes me nervous sometimes. When it is work, I have the authority to call somebody up and ask them questions but I never want to intrude on a personal level.

95. If she has a habit of not taking a jacket, should he be expected to give her his when it gets cold?

Should he be expected to give her his when it gets cold? No, I believe that if she wanted a jacket she would have remembered to grab one and that is on her. However, I would offer my jacket because it is the nice thing to do. Doing something nice without personal sacrifice is a win-win scenario and a no-brainer when it comes time for a decision. However, nobody should go through life expecting this behavior because they will only get burned. If somebody falls short of your unrealistic expectations, it is only your fault.

96. Do you think you would enjoy jury duty?

I have enjoyed jury duty. In fact, I look forward to jury duty each time it comes around for me. I get to sit in one place and write while I wait and I get to see the inner workings of a trial if I get assigned to a case. It is our civic duty to attend jury duty so why not try and enjoy it instead of fretting about how to get out of it? Sadly, I may soon not be able to get on a jury once I officially become a paralegal as I have heard that is par for the course. One of my most exciting adventures was being on the jury for the Schurick political fraud case. However, every case is a series of stories and insight into other people’s lives.

97. Do you think a job interview simply shows who is good at interviewing OR does it show who is best for the job?

I think it shows the interviewer how quick somebody is on their feet which can qualify them or disqualify them for the job. It is your chance to show that you can answer questions truthfully and show that you are honest. It is your chance to crack a joke and show that you are a positive person. Most importantly, it is a time to show confidence and that is a great intangible that shows you would be good at a job. I think most people can spot those who are just good at interviewing and those people often crash and burn eventually or they run for political office.

98. Why are only storms/tornadoes/floods, etc. referred to as an “Act of God”? Isn’t a beautiful sunny day an Act of God too?

They are all acts of nature rather than acts of a god. However, even legally we use the term “Act of God” so I guess we will keep doing that into the future. Yes, a beautiful day is the other side of the coin of a tornado. You get good days and you get very bad days and you have to learn to not focus on the bad ones more than you have to. Unfortunately, the things we usually call “Acts of God” are horrible and calling them that puts the fault in some invisible man’s hands instead of our own. It helps to not feel guilty during a crisis so you can jut focus on being better.

99. Would you find it much harder to tell someone they hurt your feelings, than that they made you mad?

I would find it harder to tell somebody that they hurt my feelings. I find anger easy although coming down off of it hurts really bad. However, really hurting my feelings is something that would be told through misty eyes and there would be no heat behind it. It is so much easier to be angry.

100. Do you think teachers OR police officers should make more money?

I think teachers should make more money. In a polite, educated society we would not even need police officers but I know that is a more idealized point of view. In reality, teachers put up with a lot of crap dealing with the most emotional and most irrational type of people. Children. They are also tasked with shaping the minds of future citizens. Their efforts are more likely to save lives in the long run. A good teacher is like a proper diet and health care. They can make it less likely for you to get sick or hurt. Police officers are the pills and bandages of our society, scrambling to fix things and lately they hurt things just as much. I think teachers are a more important piece of the puzzle.

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #4

June 13, 2016

I have worked on this lovely list of questions from Half a 1000 Miles three times before.  You can find parts one, two and three on this blog or at the links to the left of these words.  There will be one more after this one for a total of five.

62. If your friends described you, would they be more likely to talk about things you did OR things that happened to you?

I would think that they would be more likely to talk about things that I have done. Friends at work know me for the kind of work that I put in and the kind of guy I am. Friends outside of work are right beside me usually when I am doing awesome stuff. I have had a lot of great times with friends and I hope that they would remember that. I know that as an introvert, I kind of float into the background but I have still done plenty of things in my life. College, Theater, the Circus, the Campaign, this Blog and so many other adventures. Though, a few of my friends tend to live forever on the story about me being chased by an evil dog. I’ll have to tell that on this blog at some point.

63. If you got mad at your partner and went to sleep on the couch, would you be doing so because you wanted to get away from them OR to deprive them of your company?

I have a problem with anger sometimes and I tend to retreat instead of confronting people. The only time I come close to confrontation is if it is forced as I hate the way that situation feels. When I get angry, I definitely want to get away and either be by myself or at least away from the target of my anger. As for depriving people of my company, I do not think that highly of myself. When I walk away angry, I do not think that person misses me at all. Out of sight, out of mind. It’s honestly more about reaching a safe distance to vent my anger than some delusion of grandeur.

64. Is there any circumstance where you would speak up at a wedding when they asked if anyone knows why the couple should not get married?

The last thing I ever want to do is interfere in anyone’s love life. If couples keep secrets from each other, I do not want to be the one to get involved because people get hurt. It is not my place to reveal things or interfere with people unless I somehow knew that one of them was using a false identity. The only other reason I might interfere with a marriage is if I had strong feelings for one of the participants. If I honestly could not bear the thought of them getting married I would have to tell them or somebody. However, all of this does not matter as there is no way I would interrupt a marriage ceremony. The stage fright issues would be off the charts.

65. If the mail carrier accidentally left your neighbor’s mail in your box and it didn’t look important, would you just throw it away?

No, I would not just throw away my neighbor’s mail. My neighbors are all pretty much all less than a block away as I live in a very small area. Returning their mail to them is extremely easy since I don’t really know them or want to know them, I would just place it on their porch or in their mail box. I know what it’s like to not get a piece of mail or for a missing piece of mail to cause a lot of trouble. Who am I to judge what is and isn’t important? Of course, I do sometimes get mail from people who used to live in the house and I have absolutely thrown that away because I have no idea where they are. Apparently the United States Postal Service does not know where they are either so into the trash it goes. Sorry, whatever your name is, I don’t know what else to do.

66. How do you feel about the fact that you will get a ticket for not wearing a seatbelt when there are no seatbelts on school buses?

They are separate issues to me. Wearing your seatbelt is an incredibly important thing that you have to do because it is the law. If it were not the law, it is still something you have to do in order to make sure that you make it out of a crash alive. If anybody rides in my car, they have to wear their seatbelt or they do not ride with me. I have never lost anybody in my life to a car crash but that is not going to change on my watch. As for school buses, I am always astonished that they and charter buses do not have seatbelts. As somebody who has been in a bus crash, I get really nervous when I notice that there are no seatbelts. I don’t want to imagine the kind of pinball that goes on when a school bus gets into a crash. Either somebody needs to explain this to me or they need to attach some seat belts to buses.

67. Would you speak up if all your friends kept telling you how incredibly lucky you were to have something, and you had sacrificed huge amounts of time, money, and energy acquiring that thing?

Yes.  I would definitely speak up. I definitely do not have an arrogance problem. I am very humble about my accomplishments and I am the last person to brag about anything that I have done. However, if my friends were to crap all over the hard work I did to get something done the humility would be set aside. Luck is one thing and it is a great thing to have. You get things for nothing and then you work hard to deserve them after the fact. However, if I work hard to get something that is more important than whatever I acquired. However, I am more than ready to let others have all of the credit for getting something if it helps them out.

68. Which of these phrases do you prefer? a) The Lord helps those who help themselves, OR b) God gives every bird its food, but he does not throw it into their nest?

Neither, really. I believe that God does nothing and is nothing but people are free to believe what they want. So let’s address the concepts by themselves. I do believe that people who work are more likely to get ahead in life. If you work, people respect that and they are more willing to help you. If you cannot find a job and you try, people are more willing to help you. We should still work to help those who cannot help themselves, though. And by that, I mean those who are unable to help themselves through no fault of their own.

69. Do you think most genuine apologies should be followed by a promise never to do it again?

Now that depends on whether or not you are apologizing for something that was wrong to do. If I dented your car and I apologized, I would also sincerely promise to never do it again. Would I do it again? Maybe, but it would not be for lack of trying. If you wrong somebody, you should promise never to do it again and mean it. Part of being sorry for something is trying to redress the emotional damage you did as well as the physical damage. However, if the promise is not sincere then you shouldn’t even bother. On the other hand, if you asked me to keep a precious secret and that secret was dangerous? I would tell and I would apologize but I would never promise to never do it again.

70. Have you ever asked for someone’s help as a favor to them?

Yes. There have been several times where somebody really wanted to help me out and would not take no as answer. I have asked for temporary work in order to make them feel better and it ended up benefitting me as well. Even to this day I will ask somebody to help me in order for them to feel better about themselves.

71. Have you ever been a failure when you tried your hardest, and a success when you did nothing at all?

Yes. I have to admit I failed as a government employee. I tried my hardest but they still let me go and that will stick with me for the rest of my life. I worked hard to get that job, worked myself crazy trying to be the guy and it just was not enough. Even now I wake up sometimes and sweat about having to go back there and I am happy that chapter of my life ended. As for the second part, sometimes I feel that way when family helps me out with something. I gain things and victories and I feel like I am


somebody else’s benefits. Still, if they are offering, I will accept. I will try hard to make the most of it and try not to make them sorry for helping me.

72. Do you undervalue what you are, and overvalue what you are not?

Yes but I think everybody is guilty of that. I am my own worst critic so unless there is empirical evidence that I am good at something, I honestly cannot tell whether I am good at something or not. I definitely routinely undervalue what I am and overvalue what I am not. I am working on it, though. As I get older and prove myself I am gaining more and more confidence. That confidence gives me the power to be a better person in all parts of my life. I am not perfect but I will never be perfect. I can only be perfect.

73. On a show such as American Idol, would you vote for someone simply because they were from your hometown when you didn’t feel they were actually the best singer?

Yes, I have to say I would. For me, talent in singing is one thing but there is another deeper element called heart which is way more important to me. If somebody is singing their heart out, that’s more important to me than technical mastery. That being said, I am a diehard supporter of Baltimore. It is where I was born and raised and pretty much the only place I want to be if I have my way. In the past, I have supported people like Ed Norton, Stacy Keibler, Detective Munch (he’s real to me, damn it!) and (to a point) Anna Faris. I have incredible hometown pride. Besides, anybody of worth finds their footing in the industry whether they win or lose.

74. If you owned the restaurant, who would eat for free?

My mother would always eat free regardless of her protests. Family and my close friends could eat free but within reason. However, I don’t think my family or friends would abuse the power of a free meal and they always have my back anyway. Beyond that, I guess I would give a free meal to anybody it was advantageous to comp. If I could wow somebody and the returns were worth it, dinner would be on me.

75. Have you ever been mad at someone for something they did in a dream?

No, I have not. Most people I know are not in my dreams and when they are, they are usually their kind selves. The people I do not care for often do not make it into my dreams or nightmares. I have woken up from a dream, swearing that I heard somebody I know call out to me. I have run to the window, checked the front door and they were not there. Then I get mad at myself because I was so silly to believe a voice from my dream.

76. Would you rather have someone very smart extremely mad at you OR someone very stupid extremely mad at you?

I would rather have somebody very stupid extremely mad at me. Stupid people are predictable and their revenge can often be seen a million miles away and I can mitigate the damage before it happens. Back in Middle School I got into a few fights that I am not proud of but some of them were against bullies and although they got their licks in, I was too small and scrappy to really put down. Smart people tend to know just how to really make it hurt. They attack you physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. They can even attack your reputation and cut you off from people who could have helped you. They can make it so you never know it was them. The slow pain is the worst of all.

77. Can reputations be built on what you say you are going to do?

Sure, people do it all the time. I am not completely familiar but that seems to be how stocks work. The initial Facebook stock price was built on false promises, dreams and duct tape. Of course, if you keep promising and never deliver then you will build a reputation. It will be a bad reputation but some people are fine with that as long as you get them talking.

78. Name three things worth waiting in line for.

Anything from the Marvel Cinematic Universe
In fact, I stood in the rain to see Captain America: Civil War at 9:30 am so that I would get half price on a 3D IMAX viewing. It’s so fun to see all the heroes who I spent my allowance on gracing the silver screen with all of the action, drama and comedy.

Ninja Sex Party
I stood in one spot for two hours in order to get ten rows back from the stage at the MAGFest 2016 performance of TWRP/NSP. By the end of the night, my legs were more tired than they ever were in the opera days or coming home from the gym. The next day I stood in line for five hours to get an autograph from them but the line was cut off before I could get in. I told the whole story earlier this year.

Meeting one of my personal heroes
While I have not had the chance yet, I have many guys that I would wait a whole day to meet if possible. Kevin Smith, Mick Foley, Neil Gaiman, Adam Savage, Kate Leth, Guillermo Del Toro and the list goes on. I hope someday to meet one of my heroes.

79. If character is what one is, and reputation is what others think one is, do you know both people with a good reputation and a bad character AND people with a good character and a bad reputation?

Yes, I really do. There are plenty of political examples and personal examples but I really do not wish to call people out and get myself in trouble. Both are definitely extremely possible.

80. If you had an unexpected day off, would you look forward more to relaxing OR getting shit done?

I would look forward to relaxing. I would kick back and watch some stuff, take a nap and probably get a little stuff done for the blog since I don’t lump that in with work. The last part of my Meyers-Briggs is J and that means I tend to schedule things and I do not respond well to changes. Sure, I can pull it together and respond to unexpected obstacles and threats but I would rather not if given the choice. A little decompression can go a long way toward mental health and future productivity. You need to take care of yourself when the opportunities arise. I am a strong believer in taking care of myself.

81. Have you ever Googled yourself?

Yes, I have googled myself. It’s how I know how deep my blog is in the results and what others will see when they google me as part of a vetting process. I have never seen anything negative but I have not done it in a while. Honestly, I am getting the itch to do it again right now.

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #3

June 4, 2016

(See the two previous posts with questions here and here. Once again, thanks to Half a 1000 Miles)

42. When someone gets mad and says that they said something they really didn’t mean, did they actually say something they really did mean, but just didn’t say it kindly?

Sometimes anger can remove our filters and make us say things that we shouldn’t but we do believe. However, I think that anger makes people crazy. It certainly makes me crazy. I say or think things that don’t make any sense. I’ve gotten paranoid and desperate and I’ve demonized people in a one vs. all mentality. I have said, done and thought a lot of crazy things when my anger problems and depression problems have collided. However, in the heat of the moment, I have meant everything I said even if I did not mean it later. Anger causes madness and when the anger limps away, there’s a lot of regret.

43. Are calm people just less passionate?

Most calm people I know are not less passionate, they are just better at controlling their surface emotions. They focus on what is deeper and are more rational when dealing with emotions. I envy those people sometimes when I have lost my cool yet again. Of course, there’s also the people I have known who were calm because they smoked a lot of pot. Those people are also still passionate, just mostly about either creative endeavors or video games.

44. Would you be more likely to remain loyal to a brand that had never let you down OR one that let you down and then had bent over backward to compensate?

It would be difficult for the latter to be true. I have a tendency to move on once a product has let me down unless they have a track record of satisfying my needs. I think if a brand disappointed me but then moved heaven and hell to make it up to me, I would appreciate that more. It feels like companies have acceptable losses these days and are more likely to write you off if you complain. That is kind of why people like small businesses so much because a lot of them chase down every customer and try to assure satisfaction.

45. Same question as above, but now about a person.

Obviously, people are different from a brand. If somebody lets you down, that damages your relationship and sometimes it can be really hard to come back from that. I think somebody who is unfailingly loyal to me deserves my respect more than somebody who needs redemption. That does not mean that redemption is not possible or worthwhile but until it is achieved, I find it hard to trust somebody. I respect those who work toward redemption but I respect those who work harder to make redemption unnecessary more.

46. If your current partner said “That’s not the way I would have done it”, is it more likely a compliment to your imagination OR an indicator that they think you did something the wrong or hard way?

I don’t have a current partner but I know that when I say that phrase, I am usually impressed by however that person accomplished a task. I am constantly interested in the different thought patterns people have and, as funny as it sounds, I am sometimes shocked that everyone doesn’t think the same way I do. However, I often let people know how I accomplished a task to show them a different way. Just the other day I watched somebody cook steaks in a George Foreman grill and remarked that I usually cook steaks in the oven. It was just an observation. However, when I talk about cooking bacon in an oven it is more dogmatic and critical.

47. Would you rather have written directions to follow OR a drawn map to a nearby location?

I would rather have written directions. I am a hopelessly devoted disciple of the written word. I have talked on here about how rarely I take pictures even though my phone is great at it. If anything, I’d rather write about the experience because it means so much more than a picture to me. Pictures lose their context over time but words are always descriptive and explanatory. With written directions, you get the correct street names and where exactly to turn. As long as the directions are clear and descriptive you should be fine.

48. Do you work harder OR less hard when your boss is out of town?

I often work harder when my boss is out of the office. When there is nobody doing periodic checks or looking over my shoulder, it’s easier for my ADD mind to focus in and do some heavy lifting. I tend to get a little nervous sometimes when I am being closely supervised because I wonder what their opinion is of how well I am doing. When I have authority and I know what I am doing then I know I can handle business and get things done fast. I prefer the boss to be out but I understand that they are usually in and I try to make a positive out of that rather than a negative.

49. If you had to pick between the two, would you rather your partner have a habit of silent gratitude OR silent anger?

I would rather my partner have silent gratitude. If I had to coax out a thank you, I think that would be fine because I know I did things to make them happy. If they are happy then I really don’t need to hear them say thank you all the time. With silent anger, I would worry that they were angry all of the time and especially that they were angry with me. If somebody has a problem, I want them to just tell me. I don’t want somebody to be angry when I could have helped repair the damage if they had just spoken up.

50. Could you discipline your employee for spending time reading joke emails that your superior had sent them?

No, I definitely could not discipline an employee for that. I would definitely wag my finger a little at them because they should no better but I could not officially discipline them. Making nice with the boss is a skill that everybody needs to master to get anywhere in life so reading their joke e-mails is a small sacrifice to make. However, I would suggest that the employee read the e-mails on a break or at lunch rather than during work hours. I could not be too much of a hardass about it because laughter is a surefire way to keep a workplace’s stress levels down.

51. Does being in a big crowd energize you OR drain you?

Being in a big crowd definitely drains me severely. I am an introvert. Every time I have taken the Meyers-Briggs test I have tested as a strong introvert. Being in a crowd starts making me paranoid that people are paying attention to me and that is a big fear of mine. Back in the day, if I was late to church, I would just not go because I was worried about people watching me enter the room. In a big crowd, I also have to worry about moving through it while I try to be touched by the least amount of people as possible. If you do not know what I am talking about, walk through the Inner Harbor during tourist season and see how many times somebody’s shoulder hits yours. Being alone again recharges my batteries so I can get back out there or (more often) stay in.

52. Do you think handwriting analysis could be fairly accurate?

It depends on what we’re analyzing for. I definitely believe you can analyze handwriting to verify whether or not somebody wrote something in a criminal or civil matter. People who can observe all of the subtleties of handwriting and can tell a forgery from a real signature are amazing. If we are talking about determining somebody’s personality from their handwriting, I am not really sold on it. There are so many reasons for people to have different kinds of handwriting and my handwriting even changes depending on how slowly I write. When I am writing a story in my notebook, it is often nearly illegible to outsiders because of how excited I am. Of course, somebody could read that excitement as anger or lunacy and be completely wrong.

53. The majority of the time, would you rather have the person seated next to you on a plane mostly talk to you OR mostly ignore you?

I would rather they completely ignored me. I hate flying already but I also have a lot of social anxiety so meeting new people often makes me nervous. I don’t want to be part of somebody’s story about how they hated their vacation. I also do not want that person to say something horrible and then I have to spend the rest of the time desperately wanting the plane to land. On top of all of that, I like to sleep or write on airplanes because I hate flying and it makes a positive out of a negative.

54. Do you think the idea of having a quiet, calm kind of love is appealing OR unappealing?

Having a quiet, calm kind of love sounds like exactly what I would want if I was pursuing a relationship right now. I have loved quite a lot of wild and crazy people and eventually somebody got hurt with all the emotional rough housing. Frankly, it was usually me who got hurt because I tend to spend a pretty low key kind of life. Most of the girls I knew in art school were crazy in all the best and worst ways and while I don’t regret anything, I don’t want to go back there. I want things a little more laid back where we can be comfortable just hanging on the couch or cooking together or going to the movies.

55. When you are deep in thought at home, would the subject of your thoughts more often make more sense to be in a textbook (logical), OR in a song (creative)?

I know it’s a cop out but I would say both. There’s an analytic part of me that that strategizes, mulls over things and even analyzes how I think about things. This part of me makes connections and moves in logical circles and it’s a comfortable lull to sit there and think. However, the rest of the time I am often thinking about my next story idea or visualizing some cool imagery and that would probably fit better in a song. I have two strong sides to me but I think the creative one is the tiniest bit stronger when it comes to my own personal thoughts.

56. What is the last thing you did that you promised yourself would be the last time you did it?

I ordered myself a pizza. Every time I order a pizza, I end up regretting ordering an entire pizza for one person. There is no way that I can finish it in one sitting even if it is really tasty. Even the smallest pizza from a pizza place is way too much pizza. I feel gross and overstuffed and disappointed in myself because I just spent too much money. Then I tend not to want to eat the leftovers because I am still sick of pizza from when it was hot and fresh. When it is reheated, it is never as good and I just end up throwing the last few slices away.

57. Think of someone you think of as funny. Do they say funny things OR do they say things funny?

I think they say funny things. The comedians and funny friends that I like the best are very clever and either know how to arrange words in a funny way or they know how to be absurd enough to make me laugh. I think just saying something in a funny voice is the lowest form of comedy. It is part of the reason why I hate comedians like Adam Sandler and Rob Schneider. I also think that impressionism is one of the lowest points of a comedian. It is nothing more than a special effect used to piggyback on a celebrity’s fame to boost your comedy and it usually lacks any valid commentary. I actually value a bad impression more than a pitch perfect impression.

58. Do you think dogs get headaches? Can they be conceited? Do they sometimes withhold affection?

This might be unpopular, but when it comes down to it, I don’t think of pets in that way. Sure, it is fun to try and interpret a dog’s barks or soulful looks as something a human would do. However, I do not think a dog is that smart. They are animals and as such they are honest to a fault. They don’t have the self-awareness that we do so I can’t imagine they would have humility or arrogance. I think if they aren’t being affectionate, they just don’t feel affection. Headaches are a physical phenomenon so perhaps they have that but how would we ever know?

59. Do you use the cruise control in your car? When you are the passenger and the driver uses cruise control, do you feel more relaxed OR more anxious?

I don’t personally use cruise control in my car because I never have and I fear I will do it wrong and cause problems on the highway. I also really like the feeling of complete control over the gas even if it is less fuel efficient. However, I do not feel anxious about other people who use cruise control. Most people who use it know what they are doing. Also, most cars have smartly designed cruise control that will alter speed based on danger on the road.

6o. Have you ever stamped your foot while already on thin ice?

I have but only over puddles. I would never stamp my foot on thin ice over a pond or river where I knew I was in danger if it broke. I spent too much time reading American Gods to not know about or fear the breaking ice. I don’t do things that are physically dangerous and I am not a thrill seeker.

61. Are you more afraid of creatures with too little legs (snakes) OR too many legs (spiders)?

I am more afraid of creatures with too many legs. As weird as it sounds, insects and spiders seem to have no sense of personal space. If I am in a huge room  a spider is going to land on my shoulder rather than hang out safely on the other side of the room. Snakes and worms seem to keep to themselves and lurk where they could be creepy or dangerous should you come across them. Spiders, ants and such invade your space and your stuff and make sure that they are a nuisance. Besides, they feel so alien when they crawl across your skin and many times I have woken dreaming that I felt a spider brush against my hand.

62. Seinfeld OR Friends?

I guess I would prefer Friends but with a gun to my head. I hate Friends and I really hate Seinfeld for much of the same reasons. The characters in both shows are horribly self-absorbed to the point that they have become assholes. They wine even though they have pretty good lives and tend to overlook people who actually have horrible lives. Both shows’ casts and writing definitely annoy me because it presents me with people who I would never ever want to hang out with. When it comes right down to it, I guess I hate Jerry Seinfeld more than I hate Jennifer Anniston so I would go with Friends. I’m not actually much of a sitcom fan.

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #2

May 30, 2016

Answering some more questions posed by the Half a 1000 Miles blog.  If you are looking for my take on the first twenty questions then look here.

21. Do you consider going on vacation every year a necessity OR a luxury?

Going on vacation is definitely a luxury. Travel, hotels and time to vacation are expensive propositions in my life and in the life of pretty much everyone I know. My parents were good about saving and budgeting to go somewhere but it was always presented as a big deal and an opportunity that we should not take for granted. At age 33 I actually just took my first actual vacation in January and it was thrilling but expensive. And even that was just two days at National Harbor. I tend to make the most of my off time without traveling far afield or spending too much money.

22. Can you sin without knowing it?

We would have to consider the concept of “sin” first. (Can you tell that I’m entering the legal profession, yet?) I don’t believe in Christian sin. I believe it’s similar to how we try criminals. In the United States, we usually require mens rea (“guilty mind”) and actus reus (“guilty act”) as elements of a crime to having taken place. There are exceptions to every rule but I generally think that your intentions mean a lot. If you don’t know you’ve done wrong, it’s hard to judge your intentions.

23. Do you know someone who could make being stuck in a traffic jam fun?

I know a lot of people. Both of my brothers are incredibly interesting to talk to for different reasons. Anyone in my gaming group is usually hilarious, insightful and they have different enough perspectives that talking to them is fascinating. I think if I were to pick one person it would be my brother Alex since we could talk or listen to awesome music together.

24. Would you consider it negative OR positive if someone told you that you had really tight control over your emotions?

Mostly I would think it would be a compliment. Over the years, I have had problems with anger but that is really the emotion I’ve had trouble with. I often call myself heartless because I tend not to feel as much as the people I know and love. I try to open my heart like they do but often I don’t feel swayed as much as the people around me. And yet, I cry at Disney movies. Weird.

25. Would you consider it a compliment OR an insult if someone called you unpredictable? What if they called you predictable?

I think I would consider it a compliment. Lately, I have been working to build a routine so that I can put a little more structure in my life. It feels good so far so I think that I would feel complimented on my efforts. I am highly resistant to sudden or unscheduled changes so predictable would probably be a good word for me. I have had a pretty consistent political trajectory and pop culture evolution. For those who know me, I probably don’t surprise them too much.

26. Do you think Britney Spears is talented?

Yes. Of course, what she is talented at is up for grabs. When she first showed up on the scene, her music was not for me but when she pulled her life back together the music was way more appealing to me. I consider myself to be a casual Britney fan but I’ve heard different stories. How manufactured is her music? Obviously, she can dance but how much is her voice and how much is a machine in the producer’s hands? Regardless, I think she is talented and entertaining and I occasionally listen to her music to get jazzed.

27. How many adults do you know who don’t have a cell phone?

Absolutely zero. Even the most grizzled, backwoods guy from the middle of West Virginia who I’ve met has had a cell phone. This is the Information Age and, with payphones getting junked, it pays to stay connected to the grid just in case you need it or somebody needs you. Still, I do know people who do not have a smart phone yet which is much more understandable. Smart phones are not a necessary element and I can understand the complaints against them. That said, I have one and I love it.

28. If one partner in a married couple votes Democrat and one votes Republican, are they just canceling out each other’s vote?

No, I don’t believe that is true. I believe that when you vote in an election, that is you letting your voice be heard. It can be debated up and down whether that voice is having an effect but it is definitely going to a spreadsheet which proves that it was at least heard. Staying home is remaining silent and showing certain politicians or schools of thought how many support their cause and how many are against it. If you win by a 100% margin when there was only one vote, it just isn’t the same as when you win by 80% when a million people voted. Voting is always important.

29. When you describe someone as “very opinionated” is it a compliment? (If someone strongly agrees with us, we usually call them smart, but if they strongly disagree with us, we tend to call them “opinionated”). Aren’t they opinionated either way?

When I describe somebody as “very opinionated” it is usually a compliment. Opinions are so important to the way we operate, especially how we operate politically and legally. Different opinions are how we test our knowledge and perception against the world and against each other. I absolutely hate apathy because if you care about nothing that’s what and where you generally get to. I consider “opinionated” and “Stubborn” to be on a different spectrum. A lot of this is affected by intelligence but being opinionated does not mean you are automatically smart or stupid.

30. Do bad boys and high maintenance women exist because there is a demand for them?

Maybe. If there is, I definitely do not understand that demand. As a primarily heterosexual male (Kinsey Scale hype), I could not see myself falling for a high maintenance woman. I have a lot going on in my life that I cherish and enjoy. I factor my life as it is and might be when I think about what kind woman I could spend my life with. She would have to be pretty laid back and intelligent. I don’t even want to get a dog because of the love and attention the poor thing will need. I would want a girlfriend (or wife) who would complement and enrich my life instead of diverting and controlling it.

31. Should you teach a child to say “I’m sorry” when you know they are really not?

Yes. In life, there are a lot of times where, as my mom always says, you need to “eat shit and grin”. You have to apologize to your boss, to the officer who caught you speeding or the aggressive ass at the bar who bumped into you. White lies are an essential skill that even I struggle with to this day but you have to do it. However, I would hope to also teach them to not say “I’m sorry” to somebody they care about when they don’t mean it. I would hope to teach them to listen to the people they care about and empathize and then mean it when they apologize.

32. Would you rather be given a completely restored older car OR a brand new car of the same worth?

Older cars are pretty cool but I would choose a new car of the same worth. A car is not a status symbol for me. A car is a tool to get me from point A to point B in a reliable and enjoyable way. My new car (2013) is definitely reliable as it has never broken down or given me problems beyond normal wear and tear (knock on wood). However, my car also has great climate control and, more importantly, it has a really good sound system. I hate driving a lot of the time but that hate turns to love when I leave early and listen to podcasts or good music. Older cars usually have worse heating systems and I can’t connect my phone to their sound systems (usually a radio and a tape deck).

33. Have you ever seen dimples on someone’s face that were ugly?

No, I have not. I can’t picture dimples being ugly but I often don’t fixate on the parts of the face, I focus on the whole thing.

34. Does a critic’s review of a movie make any difference on whether you see it or not?

I tend not to read or watch reviews of movies before I see them for fear of spoilers. However, I do note a movie’s Rotten Tomatoes score because that is not relying on one critic’s opinion but a whole lot of them. Still, If you read this blog, you know that I watch a ton of movies with poor Rotten Tomatoes scores and I do so with little trepidation in my heart. There are too many times when I have loved a movie when the critics panned it to pay too much attention. However, I will use that same score or bad reviews to justify myself when I chose not to see a movie that looked bad. It is a great feeling to see a bad trailer and then skip the movie and find out you were probably right to do so.

35. If someone tells you that you are too good for them, should you believe them?

No. Compatibility and chemistry are the real factors in determining whether two people should be together. A relationship either works or it doesn’t. If it doesn’t work, it can either be saved or it should be ended for everyone’s sake. If somebody can tell you that you are “too good for them” then that is automatically not true. It means they have something inside of them that is self-aware and compassionate. The real assholes will never tell you that you are too good for them. In fact, they might just tell you the opposite.

36. Buying quality ______is worth the money?

It might sound crass but I think that buying quality toilet paper is definitely worth the money. Pain or discomfort centering on your private areas can be horribly distracting. Moving almost any body part usually also moves that area as well. Cleanliness goes a long way in keeping you from hurting something down there and nothing is more annoying than cheap toilet paper.

37. Would you rather play a game with someone more talented than you OR less talented than you?

I think there is value in both but I would want to compete against somebody more talented than I am. I was never a sports guy but I do enjoy challenges. Overcoming obstacles or beating tough opponents is a real thrill and a lot of fun. I would want to face people who are better than I am to learn and grown even if I never got good enough to beat them. That being said, I would not like to play with somebody so far above my skill level that I did not have a chance. That is horribly frustrating and makes me just want to walk away.

38. Do you think you could consider someone a truly extraordinary person who thought of themselves as a truly extraordinary person?

Yes. Somebody’s opinion of themselves often has no bearing on what they actually are. Adam Sandler seems to think that he is the best thing since sliced bread and definitely is not. Patton Oswalt has spoken of near-crippling doubt and he is one of the funniest and most extraordinary people I can think of. We are often our own worst critics but some people are just the opposite. Now, humility is a very attractive quality to me but pushing it too far can be just annoying as braggadocio. There’s a fine line.

39. Do you arrive at the airport ahead of time in case problems arise OR do you try to get there at the last minute so you don’t have to wait?

I arrive at and drag people to the airport annoyingly and outrageously early. If I am taking off at eight in the morning, do not be surprised to see me get there at five in the morning. I will barely be awake but I will be there. I am terrified of missing the plane so I am often really early. I like being early. I hate flying but I love airports. Once you get through the hassle of security, most large airports have bars and restaurants where you can get some good food. I listen to podcasts, read and write and I just enjoy the absence of anxiety of being there before boarding.

40. What celebrity have you been told you look like? (you don’t have to agree)

I have not been told I look like anyone famous. Fortunately and unfortunately, I guess.

41. Who is the most famous person you ever met?

The most famous person I have ever met would probably be George Takei. I met him about twenty years ago when I was really, really into Star Trek. We used to study starship plans and watch episodes and movies like the kids in Galaxy Quest. We were old school nerds but my friends and I were still preteens so we couldn’t just go out to conventions. My best friend and I went out to King’s Dominion in Virginia where they were doing a big anniversary event. We got our picture taken on the transporter pad and we stood in line for Takei. When we got to the head of the line, we saw that his leg was broken and he told us that he had had an accident but he was alright. It was really cool to meet him and he was so gracious and patient with us. It wasn’t until later that I found out that he is hilarious but he was very charming.

100 Questions to Ask Each Other #1

May 16, 2016

I decided to work on a few questions that the blog Half a 1000 Miles asked in a post from a while ago.  There are 100 questions (duh) so it will take me a while to get through it but I will post questions a little bit at a time.  Enjoy!

1. Name something that sounds like it should be fun, but it’s really not.

Performing. There was a brief moment where I thought I would be an actor or a rock star but I have horrible stage fright. If I have to do something like that in front of people, I can but I wouldn’t want to choose that life. Still, slipping into the skin of a character or rocking out on stage still sounds like a lot of fun but it’s not for me.

2. Name something that people complain about regarding the opposite sex that doesn’t bother you at all.

Well, the easy thing to pick is feminism. I see a lot of guys complaining online about feminism and Tumblr feminists and I don’t see what the problem is. The equality of women (and all people) does not threaten me the way it threatens other people. I love girl power as I grew up with a lot of reminders of how awesome it is.

3. Do you grant more favors OR do you ask for more favors?

I tend not to ask for favors. People do me favors all the time but I try my best not to ask for them. I am trying to get better at not expecting anything of anybody. I don’t want to be a burden to those around me. In the past, I have not been good about granting favors as I can get a bit psycho about scheduling ahead of time. Trying to change my schedule at the last minute often drives me crazy. I am trying to get better at rolling with the punches for the good of my friends and family.

4. Do you think you are smarter than your boss?

Smarter than my boss? Currently, I don’t really have a boss besides my family. Do I think I am smarter than my family? No, I do not. I am younger and less experienced than my folks. However, there are many different kinds of intelligence and my technological abilities are way higher than most people I have worked with. I also usually figure that there’s a reason that they are the boss and I am the employee and such comparisons are usually counterproductive.

5. Do you find watching strangers perform karaoke entertaining OR boring?

I really enjoy watching people perform karaoke. A lot of people are really into it and I always appreciate somebody who puts heart into what they’re doing on stage. Ability is not as important to me in karaoke as whether or not the performer is having fun. In fact, I usually don’t like watching somebody try to be technically proficient up there.

6. Would you take prescription medicine if it had been expired for 5 years, but you were really in pain?

Probably not. I have suffered from migraines and tension headaches for a large part of my life so I am used to managing pain. It sucks but I would hope I could keep myself from doing something potentially dangerous for possible short term benefits. Over the counter stuff can help a little if you need to stay conscious but a Tylenol PM helps to temporarily escape the pain until you can get help.

7. If you found a $100 bill on the sidewalk today, would it be the best thing that happened to you in a week? If not, what was better?

This week? I am of an economic class where $100 means a hell of a lot and I would not look that gift horse in the mouth. Yet, I value experiences more than money because I can’t carry the memory of money further into my life. It’s not memories of money that make me smile to myself just before I drift off to sleep. This past week, I finished a lot of final papers and exams and I am very proud of that. I wouldn’t sneeze at $100 but it would not be the best thing this week.

8. When you receive a Christmas card from someone unexpected, do you turn around and send them one?

Not usually. I don’t usually engage in snail mail these days. If I get something in the mail from somebody, I tend to text, phone, e-mail or contact them electronically. Words mean a lot to me and they mean a lot more when they are timely and not written in my indecipherable chicken-scratch.

9. If you, your child, and a group of 10 were stranded in the snow after 2 days and you secretly had 2 granola bars, would you share with your child only OR with everyone?

I would share with everybody. If I ever had a real child instead of a hypothetical one, I would hope it would teach them a lesson about helping other people. I was actually thinking about this sort of problem lately after watching a Game Theory episode. I vowed to put the needs of the all above the needs of the one or the few. Thanks, Spock.

10. If you didn’t answer your cell phone for 3 days in a row when your friend called, would you feel you owe them an explanation?

Yeah. That would be the first thing I told them and I hope I could be honest. Actually, I would hope that I would have already called them back or texted them a reason. Three days is a long time to leave somebody in the lurch. Some of my friends don’t actually ever physically see me so they might think something bad happened to me.

11. If you went to a party where half the guests were bikers and half the groups were doctors, who do you think you would talk to most?

I would probably end up talking to the bikers. I have met all of two bikers but they were nice and they gave me the impression that a lot of bikers were ok people. Bikers have a lot of different world experience that is different from my own. The closest I have come to that lifestyle was when I briefly worked for the circus so I would be intrigued. If I talked to the doctors it would probably be about books, movies or television and I can do that anytime. Of course, the real answer is whoever wasn’t an asshole.

12. Do you think forgiving your partner for doing something you two had previously agreed was unforgivable raises OR lowers their opinion of you?

In the end, if you really love somebody (whether romantically or otherwise) you have to forgive them or move on. However, if I was dating somebody and they crossed that line and I forgave them, I’d hope it would raise their opinion of me. I wouldn’t want to date somebody who felt that my forgiveness was a sign of weakness when it feels like it would be a sign of strength.

13. When you tell someone to make themselves at home, what do you actually mean?

Mostly sit down and feel free to use the bathroom if they need to. I don’t think anybody ever actually meant it literally when they told somebody to make themselves feel at home. You are not home and becoming that forward with the space feels really rude.

14. If a man publicly asked a woman to marry him and she said no, would you feel more sorry for him OR for her?

I would feel really bad for her. Asking somebody to marry you is like a lawyer asking a question in court. You never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to. You’re really just making the words real by asking and having her answer even though you were over ninety percent sure she would say yes.

15. If you won the big lottery and the Lottery Commission said you would not get the money if anyone found out you won in the upcoming month, are there people you would still tell?

Not a chance. I would not risk the good I could do with lottery winnings by breaking the rules ahead of time. I firmly believe that my family and friends would understand if I kept that big of a secret and did not tell them. The payoff is way too big to not just wait to tell people. A month can be a long time to keep a secret but the benefit far outweighs the hardship.

16. Do you think there is a big difference in Coke and Pepsi? Do you think a restaurant should have to ask you if Pepsi is OK if you ask for a Coke?

No. I don’t really think there’s that big of a difference between Coke and Pepsi. I buy both for different reasons. Part of my family comes from Georgia and so I am loyal to Coca-Cola for that reason and also that’s what I grew up with. On the other hand, there’s a Pepsi plant very near where I live in Baltimore so I am kind of loyal to that for my hometown. I think the restaurants can save time by not asking the question because the content of both drinks is very similar.

17. If you and your partner were lying in bed with the window open and you both decided it was cold, would the same person always be the one that got up and shut the window? Would the person that got to stay in bed appreciate that OR take that for granted?

If I had a girlfriend or wife, I wouldn’t mind always being the one to get up and close the window. I would hope that she would appreciate the effort but I would not mind if she also took it for granted. I mean, I’ll always do it so she could depend on that. Of course, I run hot so unless she asked I would not get up and close it myself. I like it cold at night.

18. Is it fair to get mad at someone for something they almost did?

It depends on what the something is. If they were about to do something negligent like they almost hit somebody with their car then I think it would be fair to be angry with them. They should pay attention and there are few excuses for that sort of behavior. However, if they stopped themselves from doing something malicious I don’t think it’s fair to be mad at them unless they were stopped by an outside force. If somebody stops themselves from doing something bad then they should be rewarded because we all get mad and it takes strength to control that.

19. Do you think buying stocks is gambling?

Yes, I think it is gambling. I don’t really understand the stock market other than buy low and sell high. It is gambling in the same sense that poker is gambling. If you’re good at it, there’s less risk and it’s a more acceptable practice. If you have no idea what you’re doing then you need to stay away.

20. Have you ever made a cake and not tasted the batter?

No. Such a thing is not possible.

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