Hot Pot

For some reason, we thought it would be a good idea to include a staff-wide Hot Seat in this issue. To do so, we sequestered ourselves in Sacred Grounds one evening and recorded an erratic hour of conversation, taking turns berating a single person with (varyingly unintelligent) questions. In the following pages we’ve included our debatably comical dialogue.

Callie copy.jpg

Kat: Would you rather have no eyes or be covered in functional eyes?

Callie: I don't want either of those things! ... I'd rather have no eyes because I already feel like I see too much, and I get really stressed out about it, so I feel like if I had eyes all over my body it would hurt me.

Megan:  On a scale of one to 10 how excited are you about life right now?

Callie: Ha. I'm at like a constant below 5.5 at all times. I'm at like 5.5.

Sara: So right now is a good time for you?

Callie: It's ... a 5.5

Sara: What's your ideal sandwich?

Callie: On sourdough, on like sprouted sourdough bread. That's pretty much all I know about it at this point. I just want toast. No, I just want peanut butter toast with hemp seeds on it.

Jenny: What's something that most people enjoy to do that you don't like to do?

Callie: Uh, talking to people sober. Like at parties. Like talking to people. At parties. It came out wrong.

Yumiko: What is the most absurd thing that's ever happened to you?

Callie: Being born. No, I don't know. A lot of absurd things have happened to me, but a lot of them are mostly just sad when I think about them. Like I thought I told a really funny story about how one time a cat caller spat on me from above and I was laughing and the person I was with was like, that's really awful.

Kat: What do you feel most guilty about?

Callie: I don't think I'm a very good friend or family member or person

Kat: [quietly] Don't we all.

Megan: You're making dinner for three people, any three people, who are they?

Callie: Uhh, fuck. I don't know. Babe Ruth? He'd be like, good conversation. Cameron Diaz and Michel Foucault. I think they'd make a good group. They're offering really different things to the table.

Jenny: What is something that you've been rejected for that you're still bitter about?

Callie: Oh, like a lot. Friend groups in middle school. There was one mean group of friends and I sat down for lunch and they all stood up and walked away and sat somewhere else. I could see the comedy even then.

Maddie: How did they organize that?

Callie: With clearly a lot of discussion.


Megan: In 40 years, what will you feel nostalgic about?

Caroline: I mean, probably this. Cipher being an all girls staff. We just get to fuck around and do whatever we want.

Megan: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever seen in someone’s house?

Caroline: At Sara’s house, they have a whole pot of dead flies.

Callie: What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?

Caroline: When I was younger, I used to suck my thumb a lot and then I would eat dandelions and then my thumb would taste like dandelions and it would be really bad but I still did it.

Megan: What’s the trashiest thing someone could do on a date?

Caroline: You have to be a pretty shitty person to scare me away, because people are very awkward and I’m very awkward and I like that.

Caroline: When I was in ninth grade it was my first time going out to a club with my friends and I was dressed as Pikachu, but like … Sexy Pikachu. And then I went home and slept by the elevator because my parents thought I was at a sleepover but I wasn’t.

Jenny copy.jpg

Sara: Would you rather be hairy or bald?

Jenny: Hairy.

Sara: Why?

Jenny: I already am hairy.

Callie: If a person is bald, do they have no forehead, or never-ending forehead?

Jenny: I think they’re the same as the rest of us. They have a scalp and a forehead.

Everyone: Aww.

Callie: What is your most irrational fear?

Jenny: I don’t have any irrational fears.

Callie: What is your most rational fear?

Jenny: Breast cancer.

Callie: What is a food you didn’t like when you were younger, but you really like now?

Jenny: Um, alcohol.

Sara: What’s been your favorite age to be so far in your life?

Jenny: Probably 17.

Sara: Why? Because you were smokin’ hot?

Jenny: Because I was smokin’ hot. There were no rules. I had a car, I was in high school.

Callie: Wow, you are so fucking cool. I can’t believe I’m friends with you.

Megan: What is the most imaginative insult you can come up with?

Jenny: The other night I had a dream that I was insulting a Zionist in Hebrew with real-life Hebrew vocabulary, and I just called him an ugly big-head. Well, how I said it was “not-pretty big-head.”

Sara: Can you pronounce that in Hebrew?

Jenny: Yeah, uh, um, לא די גדול הראש.

Callie: Worst job?

Callie: This one.

[Sara, the boss, looks internally wounded.]

Jenny: I’ve loved all of my jobs.

Callie: Whatever.

Sara: Do you think falling in love is a choice or an accident?

Kat: I think … that you can choose to continue to associate with someone. [laughter] Yeah … I’ll end it there.

Jenny: What’s your dream block break?

Kat: I’ve always dreamed of having a block break where I just drink and sleep for five days.

Callie: So like a big bender?

Kat: Yeah, but it’s just me.

Callie: Do you think it’s cruel to have children?

Kat: Yes, I actually very much think it’s cruel, but I’ll still do it because I don’t care … I want to replicate my relationship with my mother.

Megan: You’re 16 years old, you’re a virgin, you get pregnant: who do you tell?

[After some discussion everyone understands that Megan is referring to a Virgin-Mary-carrying-the-Messiah situation]

Kat: Planned Parenthood.

Megan: You would kill the Messiah!

Callie: Worst color of light?

Kat: You know when it’s cool light and it’s blue, not warm light, that never fails to make me anxious.

Yumiko: If you could feel one emotion for the rest of your life what would it be?

Kat: I guess … slightly better than average?

Megan: What’s a book that everyone should read?

Kat: Tao of Pooh.

Callie: What’s a book no one should read?

Kat: Te of Piglet?

Jenny: When was the last time you tripped?

Kat: [Does not realize that Jenny is referring to physically tripping and falling, tells story that won’t be included in this issue.]

Kat: What’s the last question you would want to be asked? Like the worst question we could ask.

Megan: What was the worst thing you did in middle school?

Kat: What was the worst thing you did in middle school?

Megan: Y’all, I am really not going to answer this question.

Callie: What’s one of your interests that’s sort niche or weird that you know a lot about?

Megan: Oil. Production. In Siberia.

Lo: We have to put periods after all those words … Oil! Production! In! Siberia!

Jenny: What’s your favorite spot in your hometown?

Megan: Ohmigod, anywhere along the Mississippi River or Lake Pontchartrain.

Callie: What’s your favorite spot in Colorado Springs?

Megan: The first pull off by the parking lot at Garden of the Gods. Sometimes my friends and I go there at night and look at the stars or [whispered] smoke.

Sara: What was your favorite age to be?

Megan: Oh … I’m pretty happy at 20. 19 was pretty good.

Sara: Nice!

Everyone: That’s positive

Sara: I always answer I’d go back to 10. [Everyone looks sad.]

Megan: What’s something everybody looks stupid doing?

Maddie: Like if you’re not a good dancer, you can’t dance. But everyone dances, so is dancing really all that good?

Callie: If you had to give an organ to somebody right now? Which organ would you choose (and you can’t say blood)?

Maddie: I would give a kidney. Because I only need one.

Callie: What if it was someone you hated?

Maddie: If I could be a hero, if I was the last person available, and everyone would be like, “That was a really nice thing you did,” I would absolutely do it.

Yumiko: What is something you always lie about?

Maddie: When I notice a change in someone’s appearance, I always compliment it, even if I think it’s bad.

Sara: That’s good to know.

Maddie: But sometimes I actually like it.

Sara: Where do you hope to be in your life when you are 57 years old?

Maddie: I don’t know. Like alive. And maybe not really poor.

Megan: What is something you really liked in your adolescence that is something you are now really embarrassed about?

Maddie: I had a Green Day phase, and my mom got me Green Day Rock Band, and we had the whole set, but my sister was like five and I was 15, and that wasn’t something my friends and I would do together, so I would play the drums, and then I tied the microphone to my face so I could do both things at once.


Megan: What kind of cult do you want to start?

Sara: One where we follow the philosophical teachings of one philosopher a year. So every year we switch.

Callie: What kind of dad would you be?

Sara: I would be … I am a dad. I would just be like … God, I would be the kind of dad my dad is: very compassionate and guiding and supportive. My dad is great!

Megan: Do you miss Wi of the Tiger?

Sara: Yes, because it was called Wi of the Tiger.

Caroline: Favorite kind of wine?

Sara: Uh … white?

Callie: What was the first thing you got too drunk on?

Sara: Whiskey.

Kat: Most embarrassing really drunk story?

Sara: In Cuba, I passed out in a bar and had to be driven home by the cousin of the owner of the bar—I don’t remember this, because I was passed out, but the person I was with told me that like six guys picked me up and carried me to his car.

Lo: What’s the trashiest sex you’ve ever had?

Sara: [tells story of trashiest sex] But we’re not going to put that in the issue.

Trio copy.jpg


Callie: Since your body is more bacteria than it is you, what do you name all of the collected bacteria in your body?

Yumiko: Germie!!

Kat: Do you think that they are you? Or are they someone else?

Yumiko: I don’t know who I am.

Callie: Could they be you?

Yumiko: They could be! They could be more me than even me.

Callie: What do you think God looks like?

Yumiko: I think he could look like a little guppy.

Callie: If you had to kill somebody right now, who would it be? And alive right now.

Yumiko: I …

Callie: … but that you’ve met.

Yumiko: Yikes.

Kat: It’s good that Yumiko’s having trouble with this.

Yumiko: I think this lady who yelled at me … No, just kidding.

[uncomfortable laughter]

Megan: Can we extend this killing to anyone, because I feel like this is a very hard question to answer.

Callie: Anyone in the world.

Maddie: And you wouldn’t be held responsible for it.

Megan: Also, no guilt.

Callie: Well, maybe some guilt?

Sara: Yumiko can’t answer this question.

Yumiko: I just have a deep … love? for humanity? I just don’t …

Jenny: Do you like sea lions or seals?

Yumiko: I’m … kind of stupid. I have no idea what those are.

Callie: What’s your weirdest late-night purchase?

Yumiko: This wasn’t really a purchase, but late at night, I get into these strange internet rabbit holes. Hence, the clinical trial I’m in with the mysterious prebiotics, and hence, my sugar daddies.

Sara: What is the most corrupt thing you’ve ever done? Or against the rules?

Yumiko: Against the rules … I mean, I do a lot of weird things … (accidentally overshares and launches into an embarrassingly strange story)

Lo copy.jpg

Megan: Stairs or elevator?

Lo: Oh man … you know, when my legs aren’t broken, I really like the stairs.

Sara: [incredulously] When your legs aren’t broken?

Callie: [also incredulously] So like most of the time?

Callie: Most irrational fear.

Lo: That I won’t live in Chicago.

Kat: What would you do if society collapsed due to like, environmental decline and it’s just anarchy, like where would you go?

Lo: Chicago.

Sara: Chicago’s gonna be underwater! Actually, that’s not a sea. It’s a lake.

Callie: If you could turn into an animal what would you turn into?

Lo: I would turn into a bunny.

Everyone: Aww.

Callie: I see that.

Megan: What’s a smell that you have a specific memory of?

Lo: Uh … Casinos. Like nothing says home like getting off the airplane and smelling the smoke and hearing slot machines.

Jenny: Wait, there’s a casino in the airport?

Callie: [urgently, for some reason] What was the first thing you ever smoked?

Lo: So it was 3 a.m., and I was in my pajamas on the Las Vegas strip and this 21-year-old bought me a cigar and, I was just smokin’ it.

Jenny: How old were you?

Lo: I was 15. And I had cut open my arm earlier, and we couldn’t find a bandage, so I had a sanitary pad wrapped around my arm to stop the bleeding, and I was smokin’ this cigar in these pajamas.

Sara: What would’ve been your middle school clique’s lunch table label?

Lo: Y’know, I kind of floated around a lot.

Sara: [wisely] You were a floater.

Megan: Song that you can listen to on repeat.

Lo: Oh, I’ve been listening to “Primadonna Girl” by Marina and the Diamonds nonstop recently.

Jenny: That’s my dad’s favorite song.

Yumiko: Do you have a secret talent?

Lo: You know, I can make a really good dying swine sound.

Callie: Go!


Everyone: Oh my god!


Everyone: Wow.

Lo: So, anyways.

Maddie: How are we gonna transcribe that?

Callie: Asterisk, dying swine noise. And then HUEHUEH.

Sara: Everyone else, Wow.

Kat: What food would you be?

Lo: You know… I wouldn’t be yeast, that’s for sure.

Sara: That’s an ingredient!

Kat: [with stereotypical Italian accent] That’s an ingredient!

Callie: [mocking Kat’s stereotypical Italian accent] That’s a spicy meat-a-ball!

Lo: I feel like you can’t go wrong with a bowl of rice.

Megan: White rice, brown rice, what kind of rice are we talking? Fried rice?

Callie: Forbidden rice? Jasmine rice?

Lo: You know I think I would be wild rice ‘cause I’m kind of like … edgy.

Sara: You’re rice, but you’re wild rice.

Callie: She’s wild.


Heat Issue | November 2018