How has your clothing style changed over time? It really hasn't. I still own and wear clothes that I see pictures of myself in from, again, decades ago when I was in my teens, twenties, and I still wear them and I still, luckily I guess, they still fit, I guess that's one way to look at it. And they're still in pretty good shape, which I guess you couldn't always say. But stylewise I really couldn't care less about the style. Again, as long as it's comfortable and it's still fits, I will pretty much still wear it. Maybe with a few exceptions, when I was a kid I remember probably -- I don't know -- this would have been the early to mid nineties, my sister and I used to love Hammer pants, so the big billowy pants that MC Hammer wore. My sister and I had several pairs of those and we loved them and we used to wear them all the time. And I don't know that I would really wear Hammer pants now. They're probably back in style, who even knows. I don't have any idea, but I don't know that I would wear those again. That's one big thing that I can think of that I used to wear and probably would not wear again, even if I had a size that'd fit me.
This brings me back to the days when I was working as a coffee roaster and we'd get to try the new coffees before we bought them, which was always fun and relied a lot on my taste buds and we'd have to do tastings with new employees at the coffee shop and some people are very stringent in their methods of note taking of what they taste and how they taste and I've always been a little more liberal when it comes to things like that. If -- you know, if I taste something and all of a sudden I get, like, my mind's eye goes to like a fluffy bunny, it's not wrong, that's just my experience. And, that's just how my brain is wired. And I -- you know, like I associate fluffy bunnies as a good thing. Some people might not. If it -- I mean I might not want like bunny fur on my tongue but that's not what I was getting at. So, when I would hold the tastings, I would -- I would let people know that everybody, you know, has different taste buds and likes different things and they're not wrong. They're -- it's just how they perceive things.
What's the spiciest food you've ever tried? Oh, so I got a story about this. I was working in Palo Alto, California for Ford Motor, and at our Halloween party someone brought these one chip challenge things and I tried it when I was later at home, but basically it's a one -- one chip coated in like pepper seasoning. Ghost pepper, Carolina Reaper, et cetera. And you're supposed to like just eat it and film it. I didn't film it, kind of -- maybe I should've, but it was super hot and basically, I ate it all in, like, one bite. It was like the size of a Doritos chip, maybe a little bigger, and it was -- I instantly regretted it. I was like, "Oh no," 'cause I didn't have any milk, I don't think. I don't even -- I didn't have any like, bananas. I might've had like one slice of bread, I don't know, I don't think I had a lot of bread. All I had was like some beer, some peanut butter, or maybe some jelly, I don't know. I was -- I just remember feeling like "Oh no. Oh no. Oh no." Luckily, the pain subsided not long after but I thought my lips like looked sort of different somehow. Like there was like a ring around the outside or maybe it was just my perception but it looked slightly different color and I don't know if I'd do it again, but that has to be by far the spiciest thing I've ever had, the one chip challenge.
What do you want to talk about? What I'm going to do in my next bath. So, it's going to be a clear bath. No bubbles or anything. And that's because I want to be able to see where my sharpedos, my fish and Titanic are. Can you explain what a sharkpedo is? It's these like shark toys, but there was like these things on like each side like a triangle and it- you can like throw them. And my tank Titanic is actually a submarine. Why do you call it Titanic? Because I- one day it sunk cuz that's bad. So yeah- I tried to be- make it be the Titanic, getting hit by the ice-berg, but I haven't done that yet. Actually, I'm going to do that in my next bath, but the submarine is also really good for cleaning my hair, but the problem is, it's a bit overkill. Yeah, it really pours out.
If I ever lost my sense of smell, I feel like I'd be losing a really important piece of how I experience the world and things around me. I feel like more often than not I associate scents and fragrances with people that I know, places that I've been, or very specific memories that I have from my past. For example, there's a time in the spring transitioning to summer time where I get a whiff of something. I don't know exactly what the scent is. But when I do smell it, it takes me back to when I was in high school and I was an exchange student in Japan, and it takes me back to that moment where I'm walking around the streets in Tokyo, Japan in high school. I also kind of relate smells and fragrances to people that I know and I'm like, oh, this is my friend's smell, and then it also takes me back to specific memories that I've had with them before. I know that when summer is coming, there's a certain scent that I get and I'm like, oh I know, summer is coming, like summer is on its way. I also like to think about how in the future, when I have my own home and family that my family home is going to have a certain smell and it's just exciting to me to think about how when people come over, they are going to think, oh, that's that family's smell.
It's meant a lot to me to participate in this project because I live alone with my dog in Perry, Georgia, a small city, and I have been in self-imposed solitary confinement for most of the past months, since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. So, being able to talk to the Michigan Diaries has given me a listening ear of people who are interested in what I have to say. And that's been a source of great psychological support to me during this difficult period. Also have appreciated the $5 gift certificates that you have sent me every time I give you a recording of at least 15 minutes. I went to the library this past Friday to get some help from one of the librarians in copying all those gift certificate IDs over from my email in to my Amazon account. And I was impressed to discover that since I started participating in this study last fall, you have paid me $75 and all in gift coupons to Amazon. That's an impressive amount of money and I do appreciate it and one of your previous emails to us participants, you ask how we were spending our gift certificates. Well, my answer to you is that I'm saving the money up and I haven't quite decided yet how to spend it, but I think I might just spend it on buying electronic books from Amazon.
Okay, close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose. What can you smell? Well, I'm kind of stuffy because of all the doggone pollen. I have a bowl, sitting here next to my computer cuz I work from home today. I have a bowl that needs to go in the sink but it smells like mayonnaise. It's all 'cause I had—It was a chicken salad that I made as a meal. I also smell my wax, my hot wax, that you put in your your smelly waxes its Rice Krispies very sweet-smelling. I can smell that. Smells good though.
Can you do any impressions of animal sounds? Yes, an owl. Oh, wait. What are those things that go "caw-"? Crows? Yeah. I can do a really good impression of that. "Caw - caw caw- " I am thinking that wasn't owl. "Hoot- hoot- " Can you do any any animals that are not Birds? Dog? "Arf- arf- arf- arf- arf- arf- " Big dog? Not really. What noise does the fox make? "Gering- ding- ding- ding-"
Me and my closest friend -- me and my best friend came up with -- it wasn't really like a language. It was-- I guess it was kind of like a language, but it was kind of all-around strange, where it was like some letters were like little movements, some were like saying something, some were like moving a certain way or moving your leg or scratching your head or something. Like the letter A was like staring at someone -- like staring at her or like a really long blink. I think that the letter C was like cracking your knuckles. We try to kind of move a letter to have the first letter of that thing to kind of be the letter that we’re corresponding. So I think B was like do a fake burp, so B-Burp. C-Crack your knuckles, I don't know why A was blink. I don't think I could come up with anything for A but I can-- I think I have a list I could probably look at. Yeah, I found the list. E is like, elevate your chin. F is fake laugh, G is grab something and I is like itch yourself. So overall -- it's like -- there's obviously more letters, but that's just some of them. I don't feel like naming off all of them. But, we made it like last summer I think coz we were bored and we were sitting on a hammock and we were like "what if we made our own language?" And we could play games and stuff and win if we were on teams. So then, because then we could be talking to ourselves -- with each other and nobody would know, yeah.
Have I ever heard something I wasn't supposed to? Oh good Lord, yes. Are you kidding me? One time I remember when I was a kid. I had come downstairs and I overheard my mother talking on the telephone in the kitchen, on the old wall phone in the kitchen. And she was talking to a girlfriend of hers, a lady friend of hers, and I forget what the salty language was, what the word was. She didn't know I was there, obviously. And whatever she said, I came around the corner and I said, "what did you say?" And she looked so busted as she saw me standing there. It was really kind of funny. I probably was a teenager at the time and I said, "what did you say?" And she said, "you're not supposed to hear that." I said, "you're not supposed to say that."