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Five Questions
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I have questions! These questions are from mrissa. If you would like lovingly handcrafted questions of your own from me, comment below and ask for them.


1. What is the most unexpected thing about the chickens?

Sunday, I cleaned out the coop. This is not unexpected, just obnoxious, but it's important background. So I cleaned out the coop, filthying up many rags and dampening much ground and wearing myself out entirely, then covered the bottom of said coop with nice clean rice hulls to replace the rather horrible mess of sand and food dust and god-knows-what that had developed since the last time I cleaned out the chicken coop. Ah, bliss. Clean bliss.

Each morning I scoop out obvious lumps of waste and deposit them in a small trash can near the coop for later transport to the compost heap. Monday morning, while I was bent over depositing a scoop, Dragon kicked a bunch of rice hulls out of the coop onto my head. The unexpected part is how they then filtered down into my undergarments.

Rice hulls are itchy.


2. The sword in your icon: how often do you pick it up? Can it be sheathed without drinking blood?

That particular sword is a cavalry saber. Like the shirt I'm wearing in that icon, it wasn't (and isn't) mine, just brought along to share for the photo shoot. (When I was in the UT fencing club, we did a photo shoot for a calendar for a fundraiser one year. The calendar did not come out well, but the original pictures were excellent.) I don't think it actually had a sheath, so its blood-drinking requirements are unknown to me.

I don't pick up any other swords regularly these days either, which is a shame.


3. What part of your life would be hardest to explain to your 20-year-old self? your 10-year-old self?

Hmmm. 10-year-old me I think predates our AOL subscription, so perhaps the amount of socializing and information-finding I do online would be hardest to explain. Or I could go into detail about how to get a mortgage -- I don't really fully understand that now and I've done it, so explaining it would definitely be a challenge. "Why I don't really, 100%, with every fiber of my being, want to go to Mars" would also be a tricky one.

20-year-old me... I'm not sure. I was going to say certain aspects of my job situation, but 20 was after I'd graduated, so the seeds of that were already well-planted and predictable. (Not inevitable, but obviously likely enough.) It'd be slightly depressing to explain, but not actually difficult. This sense I've been having lately of my life being fated, in a seasonal circle-of-life kind of way, would probably be hard to explain to a lot of 20-year-olds but I don't think I was one of them. Politics, maybe, but 20-year-old me had vivid recent memories of the World Trade Center towers coming down and would not have been surprised by anything. I may have to fall back on the mortgage again.

I wish 40 or 50 or 60-year-old me would come explain something. It doesn't have to be anything difficult.


4. What is your reading missing most these days?

Spanish. And picture books. But I will get to those.


5. What do you wish you could send out as a postcard (image, text, whatever)?

Plans for a low cost, very safe, easy to build teleporter. Or possibly the resume and cover letter to end all resumes and cover letters; that'd be handy to have in a nice easily-distributable format.

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Do you know the Elephant and Piggy picture books? They are really quite fine.

I look forward eagerly to Should I Share My Ice Cream?, because this is a difficult question on which I need Elephant and Piggy's input.

(Mo Willems is the author here.)

I do not know those. I shall keep them in mind.

The sharing of ice cream is a difficult question. I favor the swapping of tastes, as a rule, since the first bite is always the best, so increasing the total number of first bites is a win-win. But further sharing depends on so many factors. It is complex.

I would like questions.

Thinking of questions is a surprisingly difficult activity for my poor brain right now. It has not been a good day for my brain.

1. You've been all about the interesting food ideas lately. What is an interesting food idea involving eggs? (We have an awful lot of eggs here, you see.)

2. What are some of the books you think should have been on that NPR top-100 SF&F list that weren't?

3. What is the funniest thing you've ever seen in a movie or TV show?

4. Which character from Discworld would you most like to invite to a dinner party? Who else would you invite to meet that character?

5. Are you a native speaker of Minnesotan? What is a feature of the dialect you find particularly interesting or useful?

Sure - Questions are always good.

For me or for the Kiton? You pick!

1. You're climbing a nice new route at the gym, one you've never climbed before. You fall off X times, but persevere and reach the top! What is the best, most satisfying value of X, and why?

2. Why don't cats use standard English spelling and grammar on the Internet?

3. What kind of pet would you like to have, if only pesky reality didn't interfere?

4. Zombies attack: What's your action plan?

5. Do you have any strong opinions about grammar, punctuation, or typography? If so, what are they?

1. What's your favorite method of travel? What place would you most like to go via that method? What place would you most like to go that can't be reached via that method?

2. Insert humorous or dramatic parrot story here.

3. Do you have any strong opinions about grammar, punctuation, or typography? If so, what are they?

4. What's a good snack to keep in my desk at work? I am tired of trail mix.

5. What's the perfect beverage? What's the best food to have along with that beverage?

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