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Q and A

Mar 03, 2009; Liam, From MySpace With Love... Asks:

So, Stacey. We've all watched the endless banned-substance-revelations unfold in the world of Major League Baseball, and I think I'm not alone in wondering, "Have you, Stacey Mildred Richter (that's your middle name, right?), ever taken a performance-enhancing drug?"

I don't want to imply that I think you certainly have, but I'm just saying it seems like the right time to finally come clean and say you're sorry. That's all. But rest assured, S-Ricky, should you choose to confess, we, your mindless, sycophantic zombie-army (we prefer the labels of "the Richter Undeads" or even, more whimsically, "the Richter-lings), will absolutely forgive you, and stand behind you 100%. The ball is, as they say, in your court, my dear Mildred.

Hungering for Brains --Delicious, Delicious Brains,

Stacey answers:

Liam, Liam. Once I stole some of my ancient grandmother's Provigil, a stimulant prescribed to her when she was 99 years of age because she was sleeping 20 hours I day. I believe this is a banned substance in cycling, so yes, I have taken performance enhancing drugs. I'm not sure how feeling dizzy, wired, and tired all at the same time can enhance performance, but we have to go with the anti-doping committee's recommendation, so there it is.

Feb 28, 2009; Wag Asks:

You think I'm a zombie just because I want to eat your delicious brains?

Stacey answers:


Feb 24, 2009; Wag Asks:

Do you really know who I am? Really?

Stacey answers:

Ah, so true. Zombie?

Feb 23, 2009; NonAnon Asks:

Do you pay attention to the IP addresses of the people who ask you questions here so that, no matter what pseudonym people come up with in the little line name above, more or less, you know who is asking you questions? Just curious.

Stacey answers:

Uh, no. I don't know how to do that. Wait, I just asked someone. Okay, I see. I can check with my internet host and find out what city people are writing from, though apparently it's not always that precise, i.e. my own IP address says Phoenix even though I'm in Tucson. So even if I checked the IP address, I would only have a vague sense that certain pseudonyms might belong to the same person--which is fine, NonAnon. You can ask as many questions as you want. It's a big enough world that I doubt I could pin you down even if I knew your city. Do you think all the questions are from, like, two people I went to grade school with? That would be a little disheartening.

I do know who a few questioners are because I either know them in real life or they're pen pals who write me additional emails on the side (stretching the definition of "knowing" here). There are a lot of questions from Wag (who appears as some variation of Wag), my friend Chris, who in real life was trying to help me get my roof to drain, which is why there's a whole conversation below about how to get a roof to drain. Obviously I know who that is. Anyway, Non, to answer your question: I don't check the IP addresses, I don't know how, and I don't plan to start. Does this mean you have some sort of racy question you want to ask?

Feb 21, 2009; Possibly Stupid Asks:

So, this might be a stupid question but what *do* you eat if no grains and potatoes and whatnot? What does breakfast look like without toast or cereal or whatever? Also - don't you got fuzzy brain from lack of carbs? Or do you just eat a lot of bananas?

Stacey answers:

I eat a lot of macadamia nuts and often think of Rabbit at Rest wherein Harry Angstrom dies from, I kid you not, eating too many macadamia nuts. For breakfast I eat eggs, bacon, yogurt, fruit, cheese, and sometimes oatmeal because I'm a cheater. In general, I eat a lot of meat and vegetables and nuts and stevia. I eat fruit but I don't eat a lot of bananas. The reason I've adopted this diet is because (and again, I kid you not) people who don't eat processed food (flour, sugar, juice, Hot Pockets) seem not to get cancer, heart disease, diabetes, cavities, and a host of other ailments, some of which have been bothering me. So, essentially I'm aiming for a hunter-gatherer diet but with some dairy because I'm too lazy to do it without dairy.

I'm not fuzzy without carbs, but I had to adjust to having less of them. At first I was fuzzy and really hungry, but now in general I'm almost never feel as hungry as I used to when I ate more carbs. Still, it's a hard diet to get used to and to stick with, even for me--and I feel sick when I eat sugar.

Feb 17, 2009; Liam of MySpace fame... Asks:

Hey, Stacey. I'm having trouble losing weight. Although you seem like the naturally thin type (which makes me resent you a little), I was wondering if you had any theories as to what is the best way to get in shape.
Please share.

Stacey answers:

Hi Liam. I'm so, so glad you asked! Boy, do I have theories. I'm not exactly naturally thin, I'm sort of naturally average, but in the past three or four years I've lost about 25 pounds and now I am thin. You can't do it exactly the way I did it because I have weird, non-dangerous stomach problems--I know that's disgusting, but really it is my stomach and I'm not using that as a euphemism for my intestines, okay? Because of this, I've read dozens of books about food and diet and learned that almost all the information we have about food and diet is made-up bullshit. I know, I know, now I sound like the crazy Scientology person but really, it is, and I will provide references.

So here's what I recommend you do to lose weight: eat as much as you want of anything BUT really, really never eat: sugar, grains, potatoes and their pals, beer, fruit juice, and don't eat anything after 8 at night. Corn is a grain. Go easy on the booze and try to eat a lot of non-starchy vegetables. This will seem weird and uncivilized for a while--especially not eating bread--but then it won't seem so strange, and no one will even notice if you don't tell them. You must eat fat. Don't skip this step and don't listen to anyone who yells at you when you dump butter on your spinach. Eat as much as you want but obviously try to eat natural fats and not trans fat. Because I'm on this diet for health reasons, not weight reasons, I try to eat them in their descending order of healthfulness, which I've decided is: fish fat, coconut oil, butter, animal fat, olive oil, macadamia nut oil, whatever else.

Okay, now this is even weirder but truly don't get into a hardcore aerobic exercise program because it will make you hungry and therefore unhappy and eventually your knees will start to hurt. Resistance training is better than rampant aerobic training. You'll look and feel better. I'm nuts, sure, but my BMI is 18.8 and I promise this won't make you have a heart attack. Also, you won't be hungry after you adjust. The bad news is that when you first cut out sugar and grains you'll probably go insane. It's temporary, maybe for three weeks...or longer, especially if you've been eating a low fat, high-grain diet for a while. It's easier to ease into it if you first cut out sugar for a couple of weeks, then cut out the grains.

For references read Good Calories, Bad Calories by the fantastic science writer Gary Taubes. If you really do this and it works, please let me know.

Feb 07, 2009; Wag Asks:

Wicky-wicky-what? (sorry, couldn't resist). Lucas and Dan are just jealous that they didn't come up with my brilliant solution first. I'm doing well. Life seems to be progressing within expected parameters.

Stacey answers:

Oh good. Expected parameters sounds good!

Feb 06, 2009; Wag Asks:

Well, I figured the burlap would make a good conduit to get the water from the puddles to the roof drains, not just an increase in evaporative surface area. How are you doing?

Stacey answers:

Yes, I understood your clever principal of wicking the water off the flat roof with the burlap. I just didn't pay enough attention to see if it was wicking or what. I will try harder. It's hard to pay attention to the roof. As a child I used to hide on top of the refrigerator when we played hide & seek and even though I was in plain sight no one could ever find me.

I'm a little disappointed in life even though it's better than it's been in a long time. How are you?

Feb 06, 2009; wag Asks:

Did the burlap work?

Stacey answers:

Hmmm. Maybe. There were three puddles and the puddle with the burlap it in vanished way before the others. However, everyone (Lucas, Dan) seemed to discount the burlap as the agent of the fast-drying. I think we need another rain to determine if it was a coincidence. We also need a ladder.

Jan 27, 2009; Xerox Asks:

How do I get with the hot, recently divorced guy at work? Without being creepy/unprofessional?

Stacey answers:

If he's recently divorced, he probably feels like he's a pathetic failure and that women are poison. Therefore, I assume that he's good for sex but not much else. So I suggest you come on to him in a film noir manner that suggests sex, sexiness, and having sex. It's cute, it's sort of respectful, and it's to the point. Ask him out for drinks. Get him drunk. Wear a low-cut shirt. Lean forward. Tell him he has nice hands. Have him walk you to your house/bus stop/bike. Give him a hug goodbye. Make it last too long. Giggle and say, "I shouldn't do this," then kiss him. See where it goes from there. It might be easier (for you) if you actually are somewhat drunk. Drunk is not creepy, drunk is drunk, and if it doesn't go well you can always roll your eyes and half-apologize the next day. Don't even bother to full apologize--you were drunk, remember? Hmmm, maybe not.

However, there's really no way to proposition a co-worker without being unprofessional.

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