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Old 08-10-2006, 06:51 PM   #16
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1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note: has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)
It's tough for me to answer this one, because I'm not very good at recognizing Defining Big Moments in real life. I think the birth of a child can be like that, and not nearly so me-and-mine focused an experience as you might think. Other than that, mostly the things that make me feel grateful and proud to be human are the "little things"--ongoing and "everyday" displays of fortitude, dedication and compassion from "ordinary" people doing "ordinary" things.

2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)
Probably Baba Yaga--not really a story, but the main character in a series of Slavic folktales--a witch who kidnaps and enslaves children, ages a year every time she's asked a question, can sometimes help people out if they're not put off by making a deal with the Devil, so to speak...standard witchy stuff like that.

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you most envy? Or what freedom?
None really. Generally I find that once you really get to know someone, these kinds of collective assumptions turn out to not hold much water, and what looks at first glance like an enviable freedom or strength often turns out on closer examination to be a double-edged sword, or worse. Although this probably sounds pat, I think it's often just confining and difficult to be human, period.

4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or haunting voices and what effect do they have on you? (As always, Bono excluded)
Cesaria Evora, Tom Waits, Billie Holiday, Johnny Cash all come to mind...I don't really tend to favor particular artists, though. It would be hard to identify any common "effect" they have, other than that I immediately forget everything else when I put one of their songs on.

5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?
Hundreds of them, but most of these regrets aren't serious I guess, as they visit me only occasionally and not for very long. At the moment I frequently find myself regretting that I never got around to taking any courses in Islam as a student, since I often teach Indian Muslim politics . ( Fortunately, the class always attracts some Indian Muslim students, who've been very gracious and generous in filling in some of the gaps I cannot; I've learned much from them already.) But this much I can change, and I plan to, if/when I come up for sabbatical.

I live to travel, always have, and would need five lifetimes to visit all the places I dream of seeing, but considering the wealth of opportunities my career provides for partially-expenses-paid travel, I hardly feel that I can complain.

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?
Hmmm. I don't know that I'm clear enough on what exactly my FYM reputation might be (probably better off not knowing some days? ) to answer that. Being a mod is sometimes rewarding and sometimes not--in many ways it makes me more reticent about contradicting or objecting to certain types of things, as it can add a dimension of "official" reproval whose implications I'm not always comfortable with. And it reduces the time available for posting--though considering how much else I have to do, like the stack of term papers currently sitting by my elbow awaiting grades , that might well be a net time-management benefit.

Perhaps one "surprise" might(?) be that in real life, I'm generally quite taciturn and my participation in conversations is typically limited to one-line observations, more often than not wisecracks--in other words, I'm not nearly so much of a windbag in person. It's really only through writing that I realize the extent of my own opinions about things, and it's been that way for as long as I can remember.

7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?
Well I'm not much of a preacher, and I arrive at final convictions on things only rarely and with great difficulty. Parenting entails a bit of preaching I guess, but mostly it's about taking situations as they came; spouting abstracts at children is pretty worthless. I aspire (in no particular order) to be a good parent, a good citizen, a good teacher and a good Jew, but I can't say I have a clear-cut formula for how to be any of these things. "Always try to keep the long-term best interests of all involved first in mind", perhaps--I guess I'd say I generally do a decent enough job, not a stellar one, of following that maxim.

8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?
"Do what you love and the money will follow"?

9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute favorite pet?
We have two cats named Sammy and Lucia, a fish named Algernon, a guinea pig named Hirokazu (one of my oldest son's karate heroes), and "my" dog, a now-blind,-crippled-and-toothless 16-year-old black pug named Falstaff, who I've had since college. I must admit I love Falstaff more dearly than the other four --"favorite" would probably be a tossup between him and a childhood collie named Argos.

10. Do you cry easily?
No, generally those kinds of feelings slide quickly for me into depression, and depression paradoxically numbs you, unpleasant though it is.

11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you are intrigued by the artist?
That certainly enhances my appreciation, however, I can't think of an instance where I became enthusiastic about an artist I hadn't already been been interested in after reading their biography or whatever.

12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
Maps and cookbooks primarily; I have embarrassingly large collections of both. If I had the money for it, I'd probably also collect Indian folk art, and add to my stockpile every time I go back; the few pieces I do have are among my most cherished possessions. I generally run a marathon every couple years, which is in a sense a form of collecting, of the experiential variety.




Thanks for doing this, BonosSaint--reading people's responses to these types of threads is always so interesting, and you really do excel at creating them.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:05 PM   #17
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Quote:
1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note: has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)
The moon landing still leaves me in awe. Especially considering the ancient technology used to accomplish the feat. It was one of the few moments when all of the earth stood united behind a positive event. I hope current generations will have the opportunity for a similar experience.

Quote:
2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)
I don’t recall the name of the story, but I distinctly recall listening to an audio tape (8-track – the youngin’s here will need to look that up on Wikipedia) in my parent’s car during long driving trips. The story involved a character who was roasting a chicken and sharpening a knife to cut the cooked chicken. Another character mistook the comments about the upcoming meal as directed towards them as a person, not the chicken.

Quote:
3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you most envy? Or what freedom?
To process actions and events through the lens of emotion.

Quote:
4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or haunting voices and what effect do they have on you? (As always, Bono excluded)
Honestly, I can’t think of any. Bono included.

Quote:
5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?
I’m not sure I had a dream to pursue. When I look at what my children have already accomplished, I wish I could go back and experience the same things.

Quote:
6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?
Considering I’ve disclosed quite a bit about myself over the last 4 year, I guess the biggest surprise would be that I’m just a simple, nice guy.

Quote:
7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?
To live as an encourager to others.

Quote:
8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?
That Christianity was false.

Quote:
9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute favorite pet?
My wife has a cat. Let’s just leave it at that.

Quote:
10. Do you cry easily?
No.

Quote:
11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you are intrigued by the artist?
I may be intrigued by an artist because of their work.

Quote:
12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
I’ve given up collecting things. In the end, it is very unsatisfying – especially when you accomplish your goal, collect all things, and realize that there is little lasting satisfaction in the collection. I guess the “thrill of the chase” is alluring, but in the end it is meaningless.
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:11 PM   #18
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Re: Break from whatever, Part whatever

1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note: has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)
This may sound funny, but many of the preserved and restored railway lines and trains I have visited really inspire a sense of pride that people could be so dedicated to history and heritage that they would give so much time and effort to lovingly restore trains that I otherwise would never have had the chance to see or ride (as they were withdrawn from regular service before my birth). The work in restoring NZR K 88 in particular is an accomplishment that amazes me, and the current work going in to restoring NZR RM 5 (Wairarapa) and WMR No. 9/NZR N 453 is just astounding.

2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)
None. Never really had much of an interest in them.

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you most envy? Or what freedom?
I would basically echo yolland's comments.

4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or haunting voices and what effect do they have on you?
Steven Wilson of Porcupine Tree - he has such a powerful, pure voice capable of transmitting such meaningful depth. Joy Division's Ian Curtis had an incredibly haunting voice too.

5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?
I feel I'm too young to give a decent answer to this. I haven't yet had any notable dreams that I have failed to pursue. There are a few missed opportunities, but not unpursued dreams. They still lie in the future. I suppose I regret not more eagerly pursuing my writing, but it's becoming more articulate and meaningful now so I'm not too disappointed.

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?
I am a huge railfan, even more than I am a U2 fan. But I don't get much chance to express that on Interference.

7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?
I'd like to think so. I tend to preach pacificism, but in practice, I can occasionally have a bit of a temper. In some other ways, I doubt I really live up to what I preach either.

8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?
Christianity is for braindead idiots.

9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute favorite pet?
I don't have any pets now, but I was (and I guess still am) deeply attached to my cat Shogun.

10. Do you cry easily?
Depends. I have found it incredibly hard to cry when someone dies. But in less serious circumstances, I sometimes feel I cry too easily.

11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you are intrigued by the artist?
Nope. I tend to be disinterested in the artist.

12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
Absolutely. I collect model trains, stamps, books, and also U2 setlists in a sense (not the paper ones, but I view the U2-Vertigo-Tour.com archive as a sort of collection and I certainly maintain it as if it were a collecting hobby). I'd say I collect knowledge too.
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"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-10-2006, 09:14 PM   #19
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Re: Re: Break from whatever, Part whatever

Ugh, double post.
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Ian McCulloch the U2 fan:
"Who buys U2 records anyway? It's just music for plumbers and bricklayers. Bono, what a slob. You'd think with all that climbing about he does, he'd look real fit and that. But he's real fat, y'know. Reminds me of a soddin' mountain goat."
"And as for Bono, he needs a colostomy bag for his mouth."

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Old 08-10-2006, 09:23 PM   #20
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1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of
mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note:
has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be
earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)

Dr Victor Chang and his transplant team.

2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)

The Dark Crystal

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you
most envy? Or what freedom?

Seriously, peeing standing up.

4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or
haunting voices and what effect do they have on you?
(As always, Bono excluded)

Lulu, Peggy Lee, Skin (Deborah Ann Dyer), Heather Nova...those who make you feel the music with their voices/through their voices.

5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?

B. Art Hist. & Criticism, with overseas internship before life took over and I had too much to leave behind.

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?



7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day
to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?

No, not really. I keep trying to, though. I think that's all we can do.

8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?

That life cannot recover, that people cannot recover. Now I know we can, if we allow ourselves and dont give up.

9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute
favorite pet?

All of them! Muffy, Tigger, Matty, Jordan, Zoe, Abby, Benson, Angus, The stupid guinea pig who kept escaping when I was a kid and who's name I now cannot recall, Sunshine, the birds in our aviary, the blue-tongue lizard who lived next to the rusty old 44 gallon drum, etc.

10. Do you cry easily?

Maybe.

11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you
are intrigued by the artist?

Nope. I'm not really intrigued by artists personally.

12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?

Art books. Crime books. Any books.
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Old 08-11-2006, 12:03 AM   #21
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Re: Re: Break from whatever, Part whatever

1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note: has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)

Definitely the evolution of the PC and internet. DNA/genetic sequencing.

2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)

Cinderella

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you most envy? Or what freedom?

Wash-and-go hair.

4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or haunting voices and what effect do they have on you? (As always, Bono excluded)

Eddie Vedder, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, Freddie Mercury, Robert Plant, John Lennon, Roy Orbison, Elvis

5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?

I could have gone to a US university on a tennis scholarship.

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?

It would surprise me if anyone knows me well enough to be surprised by anything I might reveal. Except maybe the previous answer for people here I know fairly well in person (who don't come to FYM really).

7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?

I don't think I will ever live up to my own expectations. But for the most part yes, I walk the talk.

8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?

For a long time I stopped believing "good things come to those who wait". I've changed my mind again on that though - it's true after all.

9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute favorite pet?

Jake (yes, I know, the John Smith of dog names lol). Can't pick a favourite, I've loved all my cats and dogs...it's like asking a parent to pick a favourite child.

10. Do you cry easily?

Long distance telephone commercials in the Christmas season get me every time. I cried watching a rerun of Grey's Anaotomy earlier.

11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you are intrigued by the artist?

Very much so. The more I am intrigued by an artist the more I want to understand what their art tells me about them.

12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?

Not at all. I only keep things that have sentimental value so there's no one type of thing or category for my stuff that fits being called a collection.[/QUOTE]
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:02 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you
most envy? Or what freedom?

Seriously, peeing standing up.
yeah but who wants to walk around with those things

I think my answer to 1 would be all accomplishments of women in my lifetime, because they inspire me and make me feel better about myself as a woman.

I can't think of anything I care to say that anyone would be surprised about, I just wonder and speculate about what impression people here have of me, and don't think it's probably much of one at all. So that alone makes it tough to answer that one.Who knows, and I probably really don't want to know In general the "humanness" and fun, more personally interactive side of FYM doesn't really exist anymore.

7. I "preach" humility, kindness/basic human decency, empathy and compassion. I do my best to practice all of those, of course I'm only human and I fail often.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:19 AM   #23
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1. What creation or accomplishment makes you proud of mankind, womankind, humankind, animalkind? (Note: has to have been in your lifetime, doesn't have to be earthshattering, but made you stop and take notice.)
Hmm. I think the fall of the Berlin Wall comes to mind.

2. Favorite Grimms fairy tale (or other dark children's story)
The original story of the Little Mermaid. I remember being quite traumatized by her being turned into sea foam at the end.

3. What quality associated with the opposite sex do you most envy? Or what freedom?
In general, I’m quite happy to be a woman. But as Angela pointed out, I really do envy men their ability to pee anywhere. I'm not kidding! After so much traveling in rough conditions (Indonesia and Africa) where toilets do not exist and you might get 2 minutes of time before the bus leaves and all the privacy you are afforded are some grass and scrubby trees, you really do envy the men turning their backs, getting the job done in a few seconds and then climbing back on the damn bus.

4. What singers do you think have the most compelling or haunting voices and what effect do they have on you? (As always, Bono excluded)
Jonsi from Sigur Ros, Jeff Buckley, Salif Keita, Rokia Traore, and Luciano Pavarotti when he sings Nessun Dorma. I get chills down my spine and am sometimes moved to tears even if I don’t fully understand what is being sung (most of those singers do their work in other languages).

5. What dream(s) do you regret not having pursued?
Becoming a concert pianist. I can truthfully say that I have (or had) a lot of natural talent but due to many circumstances (being raised in Indonesia with no access to teachers and real pianos and my stubbornness to listen to my mom’s direction when she did try to teach me what she knew) I never pursued it. I always took my ability for granted and didn’t take the time nor the patience to be trained and now I regret it. I always wonder what might have been if I had.

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?
I voted for Bush in the 2000 elections.

In my defense I had not yet reached that point in my life where I started questioning the assumptions that had been fed to me as “truth” all my life. Thankfully, it wasn’t long afterwards when some painful circumstances in my personal life forced me to take a hard look at reality and start thinking for myself. I’m much happier today and feel like the cognitive dissonance I lived with for so long (professing a belief in a Jesus who championed the poor and defenseless but espousing political ideas that had everything to do with exploitation and marginalization of those very people) has been resolved.

7. On a whole, do you practice what you preach in your day to day life? What do you preach (in a nontheological sense)?
I like to think that I do, but I’m quite sure that I fail in my respects. I want to be open to the “other”, to respect all people and their beliefs, to reject violence in all forms and to protect the environment. In reality I struggle to respect those who hold views that I find narrow-minded, I have a temper, and I am sometimes too lazy to bring my trash to the recycling center. But as we say in Bambara “Dooni, dooni ji be don ko la” (Little by little the water gets into the river).

8. What truism did you once believe, but no longer do?
“God has a plan for your life.”

The concept of a God who knows and predestines all things was a MAJOR stumbling block for me because such a being would be responsible for evil. I studied a lot of theological texts which led me to the conclusion that although God knows all that can be known at any given time, he/she has given humans and nature (animals, the environment, etc.) the ability to make choices, and those free choices, by definition, cannot be definitively known. I believe in a God that knows all the possibilities but interacts with us in a true relationship.

9. What's your pet(s)' name(s) and what was your absolute favorite pet?
I don’t have any pets at the moment. We had many cats when I was growing up and my favorite was a mellow, chilled out cuddler named Tuffy II.

10. Do you cry easily?
Yes actually. I hate it because my mind can be completely logical but my emotions will force me to tears at the most inopportune moments. Ugh!

11. Do you find you are more intrigued by an artist's work if you are intrigued by the artist?
Definitely. In fact it was learning more about the members of U2 that made their music come alive to me and become even more fascinating.

12. Are you a collector? If so, what do you collect?
No not really. I used to collect U2 memorabilia, but since I travel so much and uproot my life so frequently, I’ve found that collecting is not practical. I don’t have the room in my suitcase, and I don’t have the money for storage space.
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Old 08-12-2006, 07:47 AM   #24
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1. Accomplishment:

Moon landing, space travel.
Afleet Alex stumbling then winning the Preakness.

2. Grimms: Rumpelstiltskin

3. Opposite sex: freedom to walk around with a sense of more
physical safety than I can.

4. Singers: Neil Young, Stephen Stills, Eddie Vedder, young
Denny Doherty, Sinead O'Connor, Chris Isaak, Stevie
Ray Vaughan.

I am either drawn to voices with simple beauty and
heartbreaking clarity or I'm drawn to unusual voices,
raw or vulnerable (or both). Voices that can take me to
another place or can get behind whatever wall I've built.
(And I like guitars that remind me of voices--Stevie Ray
Vaughan and Santana)

5. I don't know if it's a specific dream I regret. I would have
pursued a more bohemian lifestyle.

6. Surprise: I write pretty good, pretty graphic erotica (for
my eyes only )

7. I don't preach too much (I used to, lol) but I've set my
own ethical code and I try to follow that as closely as I
can--I try to be honest with myself whether it is comfortable
or not, I try to step in when I see somebody weaker being
bullied. I'm not always kind but I am almost always fair.
I monitor my own hypocrisies. I try to listen and look at the
other person's point of view. I will fight dirty when I think I
have to, but I try to limit those occasions.

8. Truism I no longer believe: Things happen for a reason.

9. My cat's name is Clare. She was abandoned as a tiny kitten
and we had to bottlefeed her for her to survive. The family
has a German Shepherd (Shadow) and a shih-tzu (Hugs).
I've loved all my pets, but my favorite was an orange Tom
named Arthur (who used to suck on my ear until he got
embarassed by it). Arthur was an absolute juvenile
delinquent. He and I would be arriving at home at 4 am
together. He was a great mouser, rabbiter, squirreler, birder
and other animals I don't want to think abouter. Never
bonded with an animal like that in my life. He was hit by a
car before he was two the day after Christmas (we did spend
all day Christmas playing together). Broke my heart. I haven't
been able to give that much of my heart to an animal since,
but I've gotten close.

10. I can cry when I'm drawn into a story or a piece of music.
Something outside of my real life. Eight Below was brutal.
In real life, I don't cry very often, whatever the circumstance.
I don't show much emotion.

11. I am definitely more intrigued by an artist's work if I am
intrigued by the artist. Almost a necessity for me.

12. I'm a serial collector. Collect, then get rid of the collection.
I can be ruthless when I lose interest. Then a few years later,
I am scrambling to recreate the collection, lol. But it's good
for the soul to toss things out now and again. The things
I've stayed collecting over the years are 1986 Mets team
autographs, Neil Young stuff, Henry VIII stuff, books on
late sixties, early seventies pop culture, Philip Roth books
and currently stuff on thoroughbreds. Most of the things I
collect or own have emotional importance to me. The rest
of my belongings I'm pretty indifferent to.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:11 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally posted by A_Wanderer

6. What about you would surprise everyone on this forum?

I have no hands, it doesn't actually have to be true does it?
.

lol, no it doesn't have to be true.

I take great delight in reading everyone's answers.
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:25 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint


3. Opposite sex: freedom to walk around with a sense of more
physical safety than I can.
Yes indeed, so true. When I went for my nightly walk last night this car was stopped on the street across from me then drove past me and it sort of freaked me out. A guy just doesn't have to react to that the way a woman does.

You told all of FYM about the erotica
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Old 08-12-2006, 08:40 AM   #27
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I couldn't actually ask everybody to come clean if I didn't. I thought long and hard about it, lol. (Perhaps that wasn't the best choice of expression)
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:25 AM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonosSaint
I thought long and hard about it, lol. (Perhaps that wasn't the best choice of expression)
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:30 AM   #29
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I don't see that it's anything to be ashamed of. If I was any kind of a writer, I'd try my hand at it.
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Old 08-12-2006, 09:47 AM   #30
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^awesome

I don't think it's anything to be ashamed of either, especially if you're good at it. Anyone can write cheap porn, quality stuff that's really erotic is a different thing altogether. She's a very good writer and a very creative and smart person, so I bet it's good stuff. We could possibly have a dare type thread in which she'd have to post it , but in all likelihood it would violate the FAQ
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