Is it animal, vegetable, or mineral?
Saturday, November 6, 1999
Al's Survey

Tonight's entry consists of my answers to Al Schroeder's Nova Notes survey. I don't usually read the journal in question, but Columbine quoted it, thus bringing it to my attention.

It turns out that the survey wasn't actually meant to be taken seriously, but why should that stop me? It's still easier than writing a real entry...


1. Have you stopped beating your wife/husband/lover/sheep?

At Scrabble? I haven't been able to find a partner for a game in years. A pity. I love Scrabble.

2. Do you fantasize about anyone else when having sex with your partner? Who?


3. What's the wildest, most unusual thing you have ever done sexually -- the thing you would hesitate to even tell your partner or your psychiatrist?

Ditto. About the wildest thing I do is proofread erotica.

4. Looking at yourself naked in a mirror, who or what are you reminded of?

Why on Earth would I want to look at myself naked in a mirror? Do you want the poor thing to break?

5. What wouldn't you do -- sexually? What are your taboos?

At this point, I wouldn't do anything at all.

The big questions:

6. Is there a God, gods, or not?

One God, yes.

7. If there is a God, can He (choose the pronoun that suits you -- She, whatever) create a mass so large He Himself cannot lift it? Why not, if God's omnipotent?

Two answers, which are really the same answer, if you think about it:

1) The question is meaningless.

2) Yes. And then He'd lift it.

8. If there isn't a god, then everyone is the sum total of their experiences and genetics; so can they be held responsible for their actions? (And why bother to send them to prison, or execute them?)

First, as already established, I don't accept the premise. Second, this implies that, in the absence of God, there can be no free will, which is a ridiculous assertion, if you ask me. Fatally flawed question.

9. If there is a God, then He (choose the pronoun, etc.) is responsible for everything existing, including the evil. So can people be held responsible for their actions? (Same question about prisons.)

That's half the point of giving them free will, no? Just because God enables people to make their own decisions, that means they need to be immune from the effects of those decisions? What an absurd concept...

10. Don't you -- deep down -- feel people are responsible for their actions? That you are responsible for your own actions? How do you justify that?

What's to justify? Of course people are responsible for their actions. Why would this be a problem?


11. Coke or Pepsi?

Coke. Or better yet, Barq's root beer.

12. Mac or PC?


13. Liberal or conservative?


14. Did you love The Blair Witch Project or hate it? (There seems to be no middle ground on that movie....nobody says, "Ehhhh, it was okay.")

Not being a fan of horror films, I haven't seen it.

15. Half-empty or half-full? (i.e., optimist or pessimist?)

Half-empty, but, hey, that's life. (i.e., cheerful pessimism.)


16. What's the last meal you had that was so good, so delicious, it made you want to lick the plate afterwards?

Such meals really exist?

Well, actually, it was a year or two ago. In Baltimore. The wedding of a schoolmate from my first year in Israel. Not the meal in general, but this incredibly rich chocolate cake. Sheer heaven.

In general, though, while I'm picky about what I eat, that's mostly to avoid stuff that tastes bad. Otherwise, I tend to regard food as fuel.

17. What was the last book you've read knocked you sideways, that you'd recommend?

Our Dumb Century.

18. What was the last movie you've seen that you raved about, that you'd recommend?

South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut. How scary is that?

19. What TV shows do you watch, if any, that you really like? If you don't watch TV, what TV shows did you use to watch?

Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Action, Sesame Street.

20. What's the last song you heard that you had to hear again, that you had to immediately get the CD or haunted the airwaves to hear again, you thought it was so good?

This is the story of my life. Why do you think my List of CDs to Buy Once I Win the Lottery is so long?

Most recently... that'd be "The Brown-Skinned Gal (in the Calico Gown)" by Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington, which I heard on a mix tape Erin sent me.


21. If you write an on-line journal or email to newsgroups or chatrooms under a pseudonym -- what's your real name, your address, and your phone number? If you use your real name, what would you say or talk about that you don't talk about now -- if you used a pseudonym? What are you busting to tell that you can't now, because you use your real name?

Heh. Nice try.

I don't use a pseudonym, but I do keep my last name off this site, to deter search engines. But all of the above information is easy to find in my case, and that doesn't really bother me.

22. What's the silliest flamewar you were ever involved in? Weren't you at fault also?

Isn't "silly flamewar" a contradiction in terms?

(If it's benign enough to be considered silly, it can't be intense enough to be considered a flamewar.)

23. Where were you on the night of October 27th, 1990, at two o'clock in the morning?

In Israel. Probably in Telshe-Stone, a small town about fifteen minutes from Jerusalem. It used to be a one-horse town, until the horse died of boredom.

24. Hmmm. And you're sure that's where you were?

No, there's an outside chance that I was in Jerusalem at the time, if I spent the weekend in question there.

25. Aren't you sick of journal surveys yet?