In actuality, the replier may just be playing off my special brand of humor very well. If not, I have a pretty significant case of misinterpretation via email. In their defense, upon rereading my original message, I can see that my humor was probably undetectable. I'm praying that the email I received in return was indeed meant to be humorous as well. The lesson here: humor may not always come across well over email to someone you have never met.
On another note, the paper that I have been putting off for the last two weeks now has a concrete deadline a mere day away. This strangely eases stress because in my crazy head I know I will be done with it no matter what in a little over 24 hours and I am now forced to write it tonight. Strange how relaxing a deadline can actually be. Without a deadline, I successfully put of this paper for an absurd length of time. Also, I'm feeling more and more motivated to write the paper because of its political relevance.
In other words, I'll be thoroughly relieved when these two situations are behind me.