the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero

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The Community of WordPress (Zero to Hero Day 4)

I didn’t really give a full post for the Zero to Hero Day 4 challenge, so I am coming back to it.

Now the assignment reads:  follow five new topics in the Reader, and begin finding blogs (and bloggers) you love.

I wanted to write a bit first about how I came to WordPress, and started following bloggers, and how that’s evolved since I’ve been here.

The largest LJ community to date is Oh No They Didn’t, which focuses on celebrity gossip and pop culture. Some things never change, apparently.

My time at LiveJournal was mostly tied to pretty specific communities.  There was the LARP group (the Camarilla) that introduced me, and then there was the online BBS community I had come from (Grex/

LiveJournal did have gathering spots called “communities”.  I guess they were precursors to what WordPress accomplishes with collaborative blogging features, but they were a little more like forums.  It was a mixed bag– as I posted earlier, one devoted to the Homestar Runner website brought me a stalker.

It was simple, it was short-lived, and sometimes, it was cliquish

VOX had a similar concept called “Groups”.  What is now jak & Cimmy’s Journal Jar was a VOX group Cimmorene started.

VOX didn’t have collaborative tools, but I did get introduced to the concept there.   The first blog I was invited to collaborate on was We Heart Music, and Vu had some HTML wizardry to distinguish all the writers.  My understanding is he’s still doing that at their new home on TypePad.  (TypePad does not have collaboration tools.)

TechsWrite was another blog I was invited to collaborate at during my time at VOX, until Michelle lost interest in it (and got very busy with work again) and turned it over to me.  Actually, the blog was one of hers that she turned into a collaborative project after a discussion we had.

When VOX closed on September 30th, 2010, many of us scrambled to find a place to keep our blog archives.  TypePad (another platform from the parent company) and WordPress were among our options.  I decided to export to both platforms, but decided WordPress was the better option in the long run.

Some looked to Google Reader, which didn’t last too long after that

This closing DID split a lot of our community, and some of us that flocked to WordPress looked to feed readers to keep touch with friends that had gone elsewhere.  This is one reason why I don’t like WordPress’s native Reader feature: it’s specific to WordPress.  There are other reasons, which I’ll save for another time.

Also, the Reader never has been a big source of new blogs for me.  I guess it’s maybe been a starting point, but it’s never quite been something I remember.

The Freshly Pressed spotlight has brought my attention to some blogs, but, it’s difficult for me to really connect in the scores of comments that can bring.  I’ve never been Freshly Pressed (and those scores of comments would probably freak me out– honest, I don’t like THAT much attention).  I’ve gotten a [this is good] spotlight at VOX– again, another story for another time.

You remember this one, right?  I heard it's coming back for Valentine's Day

You remember this one, right? I heard it’s coming back for Valentine’s Day

What has really brought me into the community more is stuff like Come for Company (previously known as Company for Christmas), and haiku challenges at Rob’s Surf Report.  I reblogged To Madame Weebles. Love Garry Weinrib today as it introduced me to even more bloggers even now (I got to know Madame Weebles herself at C4C).  These resources just keep bringing more blogs to look at.

In a way, things have come full circle.  Some of these things have been like LiveJournal’s communities, and VOX’s Groups, and some things have been memes, sort of like the lemmings I knew at LiveJournal, and the memes I knew at VOX– but WordPress bloggers have done more with them.  They wrote more stories behind the answers, and engaged their readers just a little bit more.  5 Truths, 1 Lie prompted me to dig down into the archive and share some things with new readers.

Maybe I cheated a bit on this challenge– but honest, I’ve been exploring blogs a lot, pretty independently of it!

I'm a Zero to Hero Blogger!


5 Truths, 1 Lie

As seen at Skoolie‘s VOX.  She says:

So what is truth and what is fiction? What is the one lie?  and I want all of my friends to do this. It should be fun so even if you don’t comment here, do your own, I’d love to see it.
As some of you know, dear readers, I do enjoy memes and quizzes of this sort.  Its original form is “2 Truths, 1 Lie”, so if you wish to share only two and not five, that’s fine, but for curiosity’s sake, five helps that “getting to know you” objective so I do invite you to give five if you can.
1.  An apartment we lived in was quite an experience.  It was a fourplex on the corner of a busy street and a quiet one.  One of our downstairs neighbors just below us decided to get the bright idea of becoming a madam and running a brothel out of her unit.  So for a while at any given time we would have nowhere to park because of all the vehicles occupying that tiny little parking lot.  The booze would flow and the music was loud late into the night– one evening Cimmorene went down and knocked on the door asking them to turn it down.  She said the girl that answered the door appeared to be inebriated and to be sizing her up for a trick.  Another evening I came home with my daughter, who was all but 2 or 3 at the time, after keeping her busy for the day.  One of the girls was at the foot of the stairs with a john and so I played it cool.  Oddly enough, it hadn’t sunk in what she was doing although ironically my thought was “She looks like a whore!”  Probably best I didn’t immediately realize– looking back, what could I have said?  “Say bye bye to the nice whore, Princess”…?
2. The animator Don Bluth, who created movies such as An American Tail, The Secret of NIMH, and Anastasia is my father’s cousin.  His middle name is Virgil.
3. I’m also distantly related to Mitt Romney, former contender for the 2008 Republican presidential nomination and governor of Massachussetts.
4. After finishing up music studies at Central Washington University, I took my newfound guitar skills and started playing bass in an electropunk band.  We called ourselves “Cyberstank” and said we were influenced by Kraftwerk, Parliment/Funkadelic, and Spike Jones.  Our lead singer was a hacker chick that didn’t like our suggestions for costumes at first but then shocked us all with her own apparel consisting of wires, chips, several metal parts from various household appliances, and a revealing rubber catsuit.
5. My first year of college was at a church-affliated school where I got kicked out after just a few semesters.  One of my dormmates was a crazy Texan that one day insisted I needed a haircut after trimming it just a month ago, and so I had it shaved on the sides straight down to the skin with the help of another dormmate we all called “GQ” because of his pretty boy looks and preppy clothes.  Some dared me to stiffen the remaining hair into a mohawk but I wasn’t that gutsy.
6. [EDIT November 23, 2013- time to play again, and oops, need another item!]
Another apartment I lived in had some problems with crime.  There was a stabbing and two burglaries shortly after we moved in.  The children ran like wild dogs and would vandalize anything we had outside our unit if we dared to even scold them.
EDIT: To be fair to everyone, I’ll send the answers privately.  I will probably reveal all in another post, since I will only be messaging you as to the validity of your guess.

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The Proust Questionnaire makes the rounds

Last seen at Cori's VOX, as featured on [culture is good] here.

If you want to answer this, too, copy the text after this sentence.

The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature. Here is the basic Proust Questionnaire.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Self-actualization.  In layman's terms, that is realizing everything I was meant to be.  Finally understanding the mystery of the Song of the Stars; see also here.  (Yes, that is all deliberately cryptic.)

2. What is your greatest fear?
Being unworthy of that which is described in #1 and therefore being declared a crazy fraud.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Fear of the past and future.

4. What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Those that would force their will upon others.

5. Which living person do you most admire?
For some, my answer might as well be "Mork from Ork" but I have a very clear recollection, as well as frequent reminders, of why I admire my God. 

6. What is your greatest extravagance?
Probably my Frankenstein-ish desktop computer.

7. What is your current state of mind?

8. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
True virtue, to me, is not overrated; it is not susceptible to corruption or the vicissitudes of time.  Principles are not dependent upon people save by the interpretations by which they are perceived.

9. On what occasion do you lie?
Lawful Good is not the same as Lawful Neutral, for those of you that get the D&D reference.  I'm not a "rules lawyer" type that is all by the book and all letter of the law.  I have lied in the past, but I don't see a reason to justify it.  But neither do I believe in delivering "honesty" in a way that is cruel or harmful to others.

10. What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Well, the excess fat can be dealt with, eventually.  I hate my button nose and it's going to be quite a while before my boyish looks will be envied or seen as favorable.

11. Which living person do you most despise?
Despise?  Though I hold terrible grudges for years against someone who I feel has genuinely betrayed my trust, I never truly despise.  Fear, yes, for that is what is underneath layers of anger, hate, and suffering.  Pity, perhaps, if it seems that for now, they are lost to their destruction.

12. What is the quality you most like in a man?

13. What is the quality you most like in a woman?

My answer to #12 and #13 are pretty much the same– I admire those that are at peace with themselves and the world around them.

14. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Cimmorene has made fun of my frequent use of "fail", "epic", and other gamer terms as of late.  Many originate from the hacker culture, although I must admit I'm a hardware tinkerer and have little patience for code.

15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Cimmorene, who is truly my eternal companion.  I wish I could explain better somehow, but I will repeat the dream analogy if you wish.

16. When and where were you happiest?
Before the abuse.  That is all I care to discuss about that right now.  Since then, such things have been more respites and relief than pure, unfettered joy.

17. Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to further develop and refine my dancing skills someday, if not pursue a thorough exploration of the martial arts and the philosophy that surrounds them (the Tao).

18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I want to better be able to live in the moment, to live for today, and not worry so much about yesterday or tomorrow; one day, hopefully, it would be one eternal round.

19. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Making a family of my own, and realizing that things are NOT the way they were with my family of origin.  I am blessed to have a woman that loves me and children that are healthy and happy.

20. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
As much as I admire the philosophy of the East, I do not believe in reincarnation, and I think it unwise to focus too much on anything or anyone I am not.

21. Where would you most like to live?
Locale is not quite so important, as long as I have space to be alone and I am near those that love me.  But as far as environment, I would like to be near the mountains.

22. What is your most treasured possession?
My body, although it sometimes seems strange and foreign to me.  I do not know how to better explain this answer. 

23. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Being robbed of agency, either by one's own choices, or the choices of others.

24. What is your favorite occupation?
I am fond of mechanics, handymen, and those that work with moving parts.

25. What is your most marked characteristic?
My sense of humor is what helped me and many of my family of origin to survive.  Yes, really.

26. What do you most value in your friends?
That they accept me, warts and all.

27. Who are your favorite writers?
I don't think I have any standouts right now, save maybe Stan Lee.  Yes, I'm sorry I don't have any names of "great" fictional literature– it has been a long while since I honestly read fiction, although a friend has recommended some good SF (once I can get a written list from him).  I mostly read periodicals, reference materials, and other particular non-fiction.

28. Who is your hero of fiction?
The Silver Surfer, a.k.a. Norrin Radd, who was actually created by artist Jack Kirby (but whom Stan Lee wrote dialogue for).  I cannot explain here why I deeply relate to him.

29. Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I don't have one, although I guess George Washington is a favorite of mine.

30. Who are your heroes in real life?
Those that stand by their convictions and invite, not force, others to consider them.

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I need (meme)

last seen at Purplesque's VOX

Instructions: Search for "[your first name] needs" on Google and list the first ten hits.

1. J– needs a one or two parent family that will set guidelines and be consistent in sticking to those standards..

2. J– needs an experienced, skilled family that is understanding of his special needs.

Believe it or not, those first two hits are answers to this very meme for other individuals.  Google was nice enough to give different answers, but both individuals had #1 as their first hit.

3. J– needs a haircut!

This one was a picture on Flickr of someone's little boy.  Judging from the photo– why yes, yes he does.  Now, imagine the sound of hairclippers shearing off lots of hair, and you'll get the idea I'm thinking of…  well, yeah, that's how I typically cut my hair…

4. [see above]

Same Flickr user, with the photo linked on a Typepad blog.

5. J– needs to stay on top of the latest technologies

Yet another hit from another individual playing this game.  Seems to fit me, but where am I going to get the funds?

6. [Like Pam, I’m especially fond of] J– needs real women with real sound systems.” Hopefully your wife won’t get wind of this!

This was a comment for another individual playing this game.  His first hit was "needs a poke in the other eye."

7-8. Boring.  They are just entries on some business networking sites.

9. J– needs to learn the definition of a "clean lead."

Yet another answer for another individual playing this game, BUT, this is that person's first hit.  Granted, the post is from last October, on the 24th.

10. J– needs milk by Pauls baby

It sounds weird typed like that, but this is a video on MySpace, of someone's baby crying for some milk and getting it.  Evidently his dad is named Paul?

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100 Things Meme

last seen at the VOX blogs of Jaime and blogginginthewind

Copy the list and highlight the things you've done.
Give your readers MUCH more than they ever wanted to know about you!

1. Started your own blog
2. Slept under the stars
3. Played in a band (nothing cool– I studied instrumental music for years but was rather hamstrung by classical training)
4. Visited Hawaii (Island of Oahu– Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, Waimea Bay/North Shore)
5. Watched a meteor shower
6. Given more than you could afford to charity
7. Been to Disneyland
8. Climbed a mountain (Mount Adams south side)
9. Held a praying mantis
10. Sang a solo
11. Bungee jumped
12. Visited Paris
13. Watched a lightning storm
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch (I suppose woodcarving counts)
15. Adopted a child
16. Had food poisoning
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
18. Grown your own vegetables
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France
20. Slept on an overnight train
21. Had a pillow fight
22. Hitch hiked
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
24. Built a snow fort (also helped build a snow house)
25. Held a lamb
26. Gone skinny dipping
27. Run a marathon (the Lilac Bloomsday Run in Spokane is not long enough)
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
29. Seen a total eclipse (of the moon, solar eclipses were only partials)
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
31.Hit a home run.
32. Been on a cruise
33. Seen Niagara Falls
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors
35. Seen an Amish community (no– only Mennonites and German Baptists)
36. Taught yourself a new language
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (hah, I wish!)
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
39. Gone rock climbing
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
41. Sung karaoke
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
44. Visited Africa
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
46. Been transported in an ambulance
47. Had your portrait painted
48. Gone deep sea fishing
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
51. Gone scuba diving and snorkeling
52. Kissed in the rain (not sure on this one)
53. Played in the mud
54. Gone to a drive-in theater
55. Been in a movie
56. Visited the Great Wall of China
57. Started a business (technically, yes)
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia
60. Served at a soup kitchen
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Impossible for me.)
62. Gone whale watching
63. Got flowers for no reason
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
65. Gone sky diving
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
67. Bounced a check
68. Flown in a helicopter (nope, only a piston-driven small plane as a co-pilot)
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
71. Eaten caviar (I shall have to try it– given I like anchovies and oysters, I might like it)
72. Pieced a quilt
73. Stood in Times Square
74. Toured the Everglades
75. Been fired from a job
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
77. Broken a bone (cracked right pinky finger)
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (been on a motorcycle yes, driven a motorcycle yes, one that was speeding, no)
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
80. Published a book (writing a book yes, published it, no)
81. Visited the Vatican
82. Bought a brand new car (I wish!)
83. Walked in Jerusalem
84. Had your picture in the newspaper
85. Read the entire Bible (and the Book of Mormon, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Tao Te Ching)

86. Visited the White House
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (do fish count?)
88. Had chickenpox
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury.
91. Met someone famous (a few members of the Wolfgramm family a.k.a. The Jets)
92. Joined a book club
93. Lost a loved one
94. Had a baby (I'm the father of two– that counts :P)
95. Seen the Alamo in person
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
97. Been involved in a lawsuit (declined)
98. Owned a mobile phone
99. Been stung by a bee
100. Read an entire book in one day

Crossposted to LJ, itemid = 1050, security = public, mask = 0.

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What I’ll call “The Self-Tagging” meme

as seen at the VOX blogs of Hangaku Gozen, Purplesque, and blogginginthewind

So… list 7 things about yourself that your friends would describe as weird (or strange, eccentric, whatever).  I'd say you get bonus points if friends have actually posted about it and described it as weird, but it's totally optional.

  1.  I really like oyster and anchovy pizzas.  Yes, I have blogged about it, and yes, I have gotten interesting responses.
  2.  I don't know how many have actually said it was weird, but I really like mashed rutabagas at Thanksgiving.  (Thanks, Mom Q.)
  3. My first year in college– junior college (but it's a 4-year university now)– the Grey Poupon commercial with the slogan "Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?" was quite popular, and I was actually asked that sometimes.  I considered carrying around a jar in my jacket so I could pull it out, offer it, and reply "But of course", just like in the commercial.
  4. I have snorted and made pancakes with purple Kool-Aid.  Yes, I actually posted about this one too on a "Random Things About YOU!" thread on the forums of my Runescape clan.  I thought it would amuse the kids.  (I think they were amused, after I satisfied their curiosity by answering a few questions.)
  5. I have found great amusement in people's reactions to the hair on my head and face.  Same first year in college, when a dorm mate insisted I needed to get a haircut, I promptly had my hair shaved down to the skin on the sides.  Some other dorm guys suggested I stiffen it up into a mohawk, but I kept it skater messy or pulled back into a pigtail.  I've also shaved my head a number of times.  I do it now only as a summer haircut or for Halloween costumes (see earlier posts) but I always find great ribald delight in my mother complaining about it.  She'll complain even when it grows out to close-cropped, and so I'm doubly amused when my grandmother (her mom) compliments me on it.  If you know either of them personally, you'll appreciate the humor.
  6. I drank a bowl of salsa at a church dance years ago.  What a mixture of boredom and nervousness will do to me!
  7. I blew a gasoline fireball in high school, burned half my face, and went on my first date with the bandages still on.

Crossposted to LJ, itemid = 1040, security = public, mask = 0.

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Alphabet meme.

First seen at Hannahbanana's– I was going to reply myself, but then canarygirl (Nikki) beat me to the punch.  Their responses are here and hereThen's (she was the original poster– that we know of, as far as the meme appearing on VOX) original post is here

No matter– I have time and inclination to do it now :)  Now formatted (or reformatted– I forget which) for your reading enjoyment.

The Letter A
Are you available?  For what? 

What is your age?  I'm 33 as of this writing.

What annoys you?  When people discuss on of the Top 5 Sensitive Categories (Religion, Politics, Sex, and Money/Finances) aggressively, rudely, with no thought for others save how they'll steamroll them with their opinion.

The Letter B
Do you live in a big house?  Nope.  Just a two-bedroom apartment (flat).

When is your birthday?  August 3rd.

Who is your best friend?  If there had to be a best, it would have to be Cimmy, honestly.  And I mean that sincerely.  
The Letter C
What's your favorite candy? I like a lot of candies, but I guess my favorite really is horehound.  It's not disgustingly sweet– it's a treat I feel I can honestly enjoy.

Who's your crush?  I thought Natalie Portman was stunning in Attack of the Clones.

When was the last time you cried?  I'd rather laugh than cry.
The Letter D
Do you daydream?  Not as much as I used to or would like to.

What's your favorite kind of dog? As long as a dog is small and relatively quiet, a mutt will do just fine.

What day of the week is it?  Saturday.
The Letter E
How do you like your eggs?  Hard/soft boiled or poached.  Scrambled is a close second.

Have you ever been in the emergency room?  Sure.

What's the easiest thing ever to do?  That's a rather subjective question, isn't it?  No idea, and not even for myself.
The Letter F
Have you ever flown in a plane? Yup.

Do you use fly swatters?  Sometimes.

Have you ever used a foghorn?  No.  Tried to imitate one blowing my nose?  Yes.
The Letter G
Do you chew gum?  If I need to clean my teeth, then yes.  Otherwise, I think it's a rather vile and disgusting habit, particularly with the way most people chew gum.  Damnit, I don't actually want to see it in your mouth!

Are you a giver or a taker?  I aspire to graciously give, and graciously receive.

Do you like gummy candies?  Yup, especially the worm-shaped ones.
The Letter H
How are you?  Tired (3 A.M. here) with a headache

What color is your hair?  The hair on my head, my face, or elsewhere?  The hair on my head is a light brown that darkened from a "dishwater blonde".  (It used to sunbleach more to blonde in the summer.)  The small amount of red is more noticeable when I grow a beard, particularly a full one– because the amounts of brown and red in my beard is even more noticeable.
The Letter I
What's your favorite ice cream?  Ben and Jerry's Cherry Garcia, or Cherry Garcia mixed with Fudge Brownie.

Have you ever ice skated?  Yup, but not recently.  The bigger I got, the more I appreciated hockey skates, and the more I detested the toe pick on figure skates.

Do you play an instrument?  I was a music major in college, so I learned to play a variety of instruments.

I learned to play the piano, which became an ubiquitous part of my studies.  You had to have keyboard proficiency.  I also learned organ on my own, and became somewhat familiar with mallet and electronic instruments.

I played brass instruments for most of my time in band– trumpet, baritone horn, and tuba– but I was rather fond of the trombone when I learned a little bit of it.

I learned a little clarinet and alto sax, but didn't particularly care for either.

The cello professor that taught my string methods classes was a real trip– I learned some viola, cello, and double bass.  He said my hands were perfect for cello, although I didn't particularly care to have a bow in my hand.  Plucking the bass felt quite natural, and by this time, I was starting to come into my own as a guitar student; having studied folk style on my own, I was then taking classical guitar lessons.  I continued with it in recent years, but could not afford to continue.  Shame, really– my father told me that my teacher was pushing me hard because I supposedly had talent.

The Letter J
What's your favorite jelly bean brand?  Jelly Belly, naturally.  Although I'm not a programmer, I suppose I fit the geeky stereotype of a fondness for bite-sized foods, and I especially love a mixed assortment of Jelly Belly beans.  Small, easy to have at hand by the keyboard, and a delectable variety of flavors.

Do you wear jewelry?  Aside from my wedding band, no, not really.  If I could find a steel pocket watch that matched twill (including denim) stylings as well as more formal wear, I'd wear that fairly often– otherwise, I'd be dressed to the nines in as many gadgets as I could (well, at least as much as reasonably looked good).

I don't believe in tattooing or piercing the body, myself– but I allow myself to appreciate good ink.  I've also had a few friends that are piercing freaks, and I have some amusing Prince Albert stories  (well, they're amusing to me, OK?)

The Letter K
Who do you want to kill?  What?  It's human nature to privately experience such thoughts from time to time, but the actual deed… no SANE person WANTS to kill.

Do you want kids?  Realize that I am laughing contemplating that the author of this meme is likely young and without kids.  Replace "want" with "love" and I answer yes, particularly if I speak of my two lovely children.  Those that know me know I speak of them fondly.

Where did you go for kindergarten? Kiona-Benton Elementary.  But really, the stories involving kindergarten are far more amusing.  Probably the best of them was giving a young man a ride a small handful of years back– his sporty Trans Am was grounded– and finding out he was the son of my old kindergarten teacher.
The Letter L
Are you laid back? On a good day, when I'm in my element, and comfortable, yes.  When I'm out of my element, stressed, and otherwise pressured, I'm a goddamned anal-retentive control freak.

Do you lie?  What a loaded question!  I have.  Am I proud of such?  No.
The Letter M
What's your favorite movie?  Do I have to pick just one?  All right– The Empire Strikes Back.  I'm an unabashed Star Wars geek.

Do you still watch Disney movies?  Of course I do– although I'm not happy with some of the hijinks that popped up ever since Michael Eisner came and left the CEO chair.  The squeaky-clean image has been tarnished.  Oh, and I watch Don Bluth movies, too, but hey– he's family (he's one of my dad's cousins).

Do you like mangos? The flavor, yes– but the fruit itself is just too messy sometimes.
The Letter N
Do you have a nickname?  Sure– most of the Internet world calls me jak.  Beyond that, you'll have to get to know me far, far better.

What is your real name?  See the last question.  I am a private person, and I decided that I'm only comfortable sharing that with folks that have moved past the "just text" phase as far as a friendship.  Of course, if you want to be a freak and stalk me, well, hey, I already admit freely that I've left a well-paved electronic trail.

What's your favorite number?  Well, aside from 8, how about 69?  *snort*

Do you prefer night over day?  I'm chuckling reading Nikki's answer (I did a lazy copy and paste).  I do, but mostly because things are generally much more subdued and most people are in bed– yes, I'm a bit socially isolated.  But then, most people that wait on me in the wee hours of the morning are much more fun to talk to.  Already, the graveyard pharmacists at my pharmacy know me, and they (incidentally) are the only ones I can rely upon to care care of my med needs and treat me with a proper amount of decency.  (If you detected a hint of a rant, you're right!)
The Letter O
What's your one wish?  To be one with The One.

Are you an only child?  I have three younger sisters.  To a degree, I think it's good to have siblings– you have less excuses to be self-absorbed.  (Cheeky sentiment, but hey… only children CAN be self-absorbed.)
The Letter P

What one fear are you most paranoid about?  Well, speaking of the letter P, don't try to climb into my head unless you're prepared to face the pain within.

What are your pet peeves?  Inconsideration, mostly.  For the most part, it irritates me to no end when people speak without considering other people's feelings and points of view/perspectives/paradigms and generally react poorly when they are informed of such.

What's a personality trait you look for in people?  Empathy.  Everything else tends to follow that.
The Letter Q
What's your favorite quote?

Here's a composite of some of my favorites: "We live for The One– we die for The One.  For there can be only One, until all are one."

Extra brownie points for you if you can separate them out and tell me where they are from.

Cosmic karma points for you if you can ascertain my meaning in putting them together.

Are you quick to judge people?  The Hebrew word translated "jealous" is qannah– meaning "possessing deep and sensitive feelings".  I admit that I hold terrible grudges when I feel I have been deeply wronged– I have not learned to balance the warrior and the priest just yet.
The Letter R
Do you think you're always right?  Life would be pretty dull if I actually was, so no.

Are you one to cry?  I'm confused– where is the R here?  No, I'm not– it was largely shamed out of me.
The Letter S
Do you prefer sun or rain?  I should say my body and mind responds better to sun than rain– but still, I appreciate the joy in a good rainfall.  They are yin and yang in a way– most green things need both, at some time.

Do you like snow? identify 100 things that make me happy (besides money): Snow

What's your favorite season?  I'm chuckling again because my answer again seems to be the polar opposite of canarygirl's.  I am generally fond of winter, provided there is snow.  Autumn runs a close second.  Now, most people respond with "spring" or "summer" and no doubt, more sunshine lifts people's moods.  But… being the huddled introvert I am, I am a bit more fond of the "dark" seasons.
The Letter T
What time is it? 04:32 Pacific Standard Time (-08:00 GMT/UTC)

What time did you wake up? Nunaya.


Nunaya damn business!

When was the last time you slept in a tent? About 2-3 summers ago.
The Letter U
Are you wearing underwear?  Would you really want to know if I wasn't?  Perv!
Underwear or boxers?  No, no, no, no… let's try this again… the question is "boxers or briefs?"  Otherwise, it doesn't work.  By the way… "panties" count as briefs, although the original question is pretty male-centric.

All right… now that's settled, well, ideally– briefs are great, provided one has the body for them.

The Letter V
What's the worst veggie?  Again, what is it with the unabashedly subjective questions?  Well, my personal dislike is raw celery– and that has remained consistent since I was a baby.

Where do you want to go on vacation?  Cimmy hasn't been to the state of Hawaii yet, so I'd like to go back.  I wouldn't mind going back to Oahu, but the big island of Hawai'i would be fun.
The Letter W
What's your worst habit? Please forgive me for poking, but…

"Being annoyed frequently"… Nikki, that's not a habit!  The question is something you do, not something that is done to you.

Now that that's out of the way… well, I'll admit that picking my nose in public needs to end, soon.

Where do you live? I live in the great state of Washington– primarily in the sagebrush steppes of the Columbia Basin.
The Letter X
Have you ever had an x-ray? Aye, and recently, too.

Have you seen the x-games? Somehow I missed Hannah's and Nikki's questions in turn: The "X" in X-Games stands for extreme, as in "extreme sports".  I've caught snippets of it, but not much.  It's supposed to be a sort of mini-Olympics for extreme sports.  I'm not much of a spectator– I find Warren Miller's skiing films more entertaining.

Do you own a xylophone?  Considering grand marimbas alone cost as much as a small car, and trying to imagine how much a xylophone would cost by comparison… no!
The Letter Y
Do you like the color yellow?  And herrre's where the author's creativity started running low.  No!  But let me take an opportunity to ask Nikki this one, since she apparently does: Do you like canary yellow?


What's one thing you yearn for?  Balance.
The Letter Z
Whats your zodiac sign?

Greco-Roman: Leo

Chinese: Tiger– 1974 was a wood element year, which is interesting as the Tiger is a wood-positive sign.

Do you believe in the zodiac? I don't put much stock in astrology on the whole, really.  But just comparing the Leo sign (I don't know the rest of my chart) of the Greco-Roman zodiac with the Wood Tiger sign of the Chinese calendar– well, that DOES give you some insight into my personality, somewhat.

Favorite zoo animal? Please, allow me just a moment to tease Nikki again:

"I don't know, the birds maybe."  How about… canaries


Ok, my favorite animal… at the zoo?  Tigers, I guess.  Golden tabbies and Siberians, I think, are especially beautiful.  Tigers are such magnificent creatures– they love water (most cats, big/great or small, don't), and while they seem to enjoy company, they do not live in large groups as lions do.

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one-word meme pilfered from Doug

1. Where is your cell phone? I don't have one.

2. Relationship? Cimmorene

3. Your hair? Fine, light brown, wavy, soft.  Facial hair is soft, too.

4. Work? Househusband and father– looking into PT work on disability

5. Your sister? jenntheamazon at LiveJournal

6. Your favorite thing? I have to pick just one?

7. Your dream last night? So weird and so forgotten

8. Your favorite drink? Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr. Pepper.  Now, if Pepsi Blue would just come back…

9. Your dream car? A real, actual plug-in Toyota Prius.  Or a meticulously maintained Prius with the plug-in kit.

10. The room you’re in? living room

11. Your shoes? black dress socks

12. Your fears? Sorry, not sharing right now.

13. What do you want to be in 10 years? Ask me again… later.

14. Who did you hang out with this weekend? Family and online friends

15. What you’re not good at? software coding/programming

16. Muffin? Poppy, or poppy lemon.  Does that mean I'm a druggie?

17. One of your wish list items? A house– and NOT a rental.

18. Where you grew up? Here.

19. The last thing you did? went to church

20. What are you wearing? white button-down dress shirt, navy polyester blend slacks

21. What aren’t you wearing? shoes, tie

22. Your pet? Don't have one, but I want a dog.  A toy mix would be nice.

23. Your computer? A Frankenstein of sorts with newegg OEM and hand-me-down parts

24. Your life? complex

25. Your mood? Decent.  I'm tired.

26. Missing? digital camera

27. What are you thinking about right now? Umm, how about this meme?

28. Your car? 1998 Honda Civic LX

29. Your kitchen? messy, but well used

30. Your summer? Anticipated.

31. Your favorite color? I have to pick one again?  Forest green, midnight blue, black

32. When is the last time you laughed? Not sure on the actual time, but it was a chuckle at church

33. Last time you cried? Same place, but not at the same time.

34. School? Grad school, please!  (Can I have some money to pay for it?)

35. Love? see #2

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Visited States, ganked from Doug

This sort of thing has made its way around LiveJournal, so I'm not surprised it's come to VOX.  Here's my results:

create your own visited states map

I haven't had much opportunity to travel, so not surprisingly, most of my visited states are in the West and Pacific Northwest region.

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Quizzes/lemmings/memes and bad posting habits

Anyone familiar with LiveJournal here will probably remember various quizzes, lemmings, and memes– so much junk food for posts– fluff, but oh so tasty and fattening.  Most of them produce various code to be posted in a variety of places- LJ, MySpace, Xanga, forums, etc.

I went through that sort of posting phase on LJ, and I hope I'm not repeating it here, although I would say the QotD tends to be of higher quality, at least in that it can generate some thoughtful discussion from time to time aside from generating common ground among the community.  My general rule has been to choose things that I think will offer some insight into the real me… or at least the 'real' me I want to present (which is quite another discussion).

The really bad examples I can think of are the chain letters that started in the post, circulated by e-mail, and then finally made their way into MySpace through so many bulletins.  They all say that if you circulate the message to so many people, you will have good luck, but if you don't, you will definitely have bad luck.  E-mail hoaxes take things a bit further by purporting to have some real-life relevance, but are usually urban legends.

I suppose folklore will never die, but I will endeavor to make posts that are of some substance.

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