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October 2008
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corvi [userpic]
The Shower Meme

This is anoisblue's shower meme, which I got from maida_mac.

Here's how it goes:
If you want me to interview you--post a comment that simply says, "Interview me." I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn-- in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.

So maida_mac asked me these questions. And they're very cool ones; I feel all complimented that someone's been paying so much attention to my ramblings.

This is cut for great big huge pictures. I'm afraid it's also a little long.

1. Your photography is an important part of who you are. How did you discover this interest in yourself and what does it mean to you?
I was watching xmurf go through his photography portfolio a couple of years ago, and I was struck by how his camera made ordinary things - a drain pipe, water in a pine tree, a woman with her arm above her head - shine. I was particularly struck by a black and white photo of a pine tree.

Regrettably, this scan of the 8.5 x 11 photo does a poor job of conveying the shine and song of it - ask me to show it to you when you visit me - it hangs on my wall as inspiration. Each water droplet caught on the silver needles carries its own bright crescent moons, and you can see the woven threads of falling rain in the background, like a breath caught upon a stained-glass window.

So I said to xmurf, "Teach me," and he, being a sucker, said, "Okay." I wanted to learn how to see like that, to walk in beauty, to learn to touch the way light curls around a leaf, the way rain sheets across a window, the way glossy ivy leaves kiss a concrete wall, and the way the city sings and murmurs to itself at sunset. And I have, though it be the sort of skill one studies for a thousand lifetimes, and I think I'm a lot happier for it.

2. When and why did you first start collecting beachglass?
My family had just moved to Southern California, and I'd just become acquainted with that wonderful being known as beach. I was five; they were shiny and colorful and fun to pet and not smelly. Pretty straightforward. :)

3. Where does your interest in kanji come from?
Oh dear, now I will be exposed for how shallow I really am!
Once upon a time, I decided to do once piece of art a day with a computer, until my technique no longer made me cringe. They were usually quick and shallow pieces, fifteen minutes or less, working on some specific trick of lighting or texture or framing, and I was always looking for ways to make them look more "cool". Silly things like lens flares, just inverting the entire pictures so that skin was green, using photoshop's stylize filters, elaborate and bizarre picture frames, every silly gaudy trick in the book. (You can see the results of the piece-a-day resolution here ... please don't hold them against me!)
My roommate at the time had gotten me interested in anime (Japanese animation) and I thought kanji looked cool and made a picture seem more deep and mysterious, so I put kanji on a couple of random pictures, just copying them from a website called "Tattoo Dan's Kanji Archive" that contained the sort of things people would want for tattoos - love, spirit, dragon, sex, power, etc, which coincidentally worked very well for overly pretentious digital art, too.

The kanji here says "dragon." It is also, in my opinion, not the best kanji for the job - there's one that's actually from a pictograph of a dragon all coiled and powerful.

These say "pheonix" - I was in a morbid mood. "Pheonix" can also be represented with a single kanji - several, actually, seperate characters for male, female, and gender neutral - but they're NGU (not general use).
Not that I knew any of that at the time.

Until I wanted to put an entire poem on one of my photographs. Obviously I couldn't cut and paste all this from Tattoo Dan's Kanji Archive; I would have to paint it myself. So I did so, and was hooked by the end of the first character, kokoro, heart/thoughts/soul, all restless flame and dagger edges.

Translation here. I cringe at how clumsy this calligraphy is now - I had very little feel for the characters. But it was my first.
I keep doing it because it's fascinating - as an example, today I was looking at kanji meaning "balance" at gement's request, and I saw that all of them also mean "healthy." Interesting idea. On a side note, many of the kanji posts I've made in livejournal are collected here.

4. Obviously, you identify with corvids. Why?

I'm not quite sure. It's one of those life things that just sort of happened randomly, but now feels like such an important part of me that it's hard to say, "Ah, here was a time when I did not think this way," even though I know, objectively, when those times are.
There were all these bits and pieces - the longing to fly, the malaprop-prone black bird who's haunted my dreams since I was very young, the crows who ride my shoulders around Seattle, the love of mischief and shiny things, the tendency to wear black, the silly habit of making croaking bird noises at people, the name Corvi, which started out as a silly ICQ name because I couldn't think of anything else.
They all came together on MidgardMOO, because a MOO is a text-only world, like a chat room but with programmable rooms and objects, where you are what you present yourself as - there's a tendency to respond in kind when someone is being goofy. So when I typed, "Grawk!" at people, they ruffled my feathers in response. velvetknife reprogrammed my usual seat in the common room to be a "pallid bust of Pallas above the chamber door." People started telling me what mischeif they'd seen the crows in their various cities up to, and accusing me of posting spies on them. shandryl fluffs my wings just to annoy me, and eeyorerin offers me tasty eyeballs. I was flattered beyond words to be associated with the universe's most beautiful living creature. When people started referring to me in person as Corvi, it took on its own reality. There's a lot of power in a name, and for a couple of years now everyone but my parents and my professors calls me "corvi".

5. You're in a random place and you hear a song that makes you want to dance. What would it be? Why?

Evanescence - Bring Me To Life. That's the song that makes me dance in my computer chair, wierd arching arm movements and swaying like a tree in a strong wind, much to the consternation of my roommates, since I'm usually listening through headphones. I dance terribly.

So, yeah, post a comment if you want me to write interview questions for you!

Current Mood: sicksick
Current Music: Era - Cathar Rhythm
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Those were nifty answers, and I'd be (as always) delighted to respond to your questions. Please do!

I was struck while writing these with the realization that these questions say a lot about the way I think of the people I'm asking them of. Yours are about books and poetry, about the strangeness that creeps in at the corners of the universe. Interesting. :)

1. You have an understanding I envy of the weight and reality and magic of books. Tell me about the book that influenced you the most and how / why.

2. Tell me about a favorite dream of yours.

3. If you could be any fictional character, who would you be, and why? Alternately, if you could be a new character in a pre-existing fictional world, which one would you pick?

4. I think all geeks were bizarre children. Describe yourself as a child.

5. Tell me about a time when you were struck by the beauty of something.

6. Post or link to a poem or song that you feel describes you very well. Explain how.


Good answers!
I'll bite.

I don't really feel like I know you that well, so these questions are an odd blend of very shallow ("how'd you get interested in EE?") and introspective-but-generic ("what three things do you like about yourself?").

1. I've been following your descriptions of roommate and apartment, and (a while ago) moving with amusement. My favorite is the one about the seedling jalapenos looking "suspicious". :) What's your ideal living situation like, assuming money wasn't a problem?

2. What do you do to relieve all of that unpleasant EE degree stress? (On a related note, what exactly is your USB project? I'm sure you must have answered this somewhere, but I missed it.)

3. I don't know much about your history. Have you lived in Seattle all your life? If so, do you like it? Do you plan to move? If not, where else have you lived? Why'd you leave?

4. Another history/past question: how'd you get interested in EE?

5. What are three things you like about yourself? Three things you dislike about yourself?

6. You're given a three-week all-expenses paid travel vacation. Where do you go? What do you do there?

Count me in.

You get the really dorky question. :)

1. You follow news media religiously: politics, international relations, etc. You're such a fanatic about it that even I have learned something about current affairs via osmosis. What's your utility function here? Why bother?

2. Vernor Vinge's A Deepness in the Sky refers to "the Three [impossible] Dreams": FTL travel, strong AI, and nanotechnology. If you could ensure humanity would reach one of the three, which would it be? Why?

3. What's one area of knowledge that you currently know nothing about that you'd like to learn?

4. You and I have had interesting conversations about cool mental/sensory skills: tetrachromatism, supertasting, eidetic memory, synesthesia, perfect pitch, lightning calculation/numerical savantism, etc. (Assume for the purposes of this question that savantism doesn't include autism.) If you could gain one such ability, what would it be?

5. Share an interesting reflection on the wedding. We've heard a lot from vixyfish, but very little from you.

6. Tell us about your next movie.

Oh, this is cool.

I'd love to be interviewed by you. :)

(Answers will have to wait till tomorrow as I'm simply exhausted, if you want time to rest or consider the questions, yourself. :))

I hope these questions are all okay; some of them are a little prying. You can just choose not to answer those, if need be, or I can give you new ones.

1. Some people I know with Asperger's Syndrome would choose to be "normal" if they could, and some of them feel that they wouldn't be themselves without it, or that they're more focused. If you were given a choice, would you choose to be "normal"?

2. You're obviously rather into fanfic. I don't really "get" it. Can you explain the appeal to me? How'd you get involved? What are your favorite genres? Why? Tell me about the character your journal is named for.

3. What would you like to be doing with your life in five years?

4. Here's another fanfic question: you get to take a character to lunch anywhere in the world. Who, where, why? What would you talk about? (Keep in mind I'm generally clueless about this kinda of thing (never even once see X-Files, for example), so you can't just say, "John because he's cool," - you have to tell me why John's cool.)

5. If you became a were-ferret and could turn yourself into a ferret (while retaining your own mindset) and back into a human whenever you wanted, what would you do?

6. What depresses you? What do you do to feel better?

and I. :)

Here ya go!

1. You speak about a million languages. Which is your favorite? Why? Is there another one you'd like to learn? You write a lot of poetry; is it all in English? If so, why? If not, what other languages?

2. What are you afraid of?

3. Tommorrow morning, you find the thing you've been looking for most. What is it?

4. What are two things you like and two things you dislike about living in Malaysia? Is there somewhere you'd rather live?

5. What inspires you?

6. You're challenged to a duel, and you're allowed to pick any weapon you like (the other person has to use it too). What weapon would you choose?

Most excellent. Thank you so much for sharing.

If you wish to return the favor, feel free. If not, that's fine. :)

One of these is gonna sound awfully familiar. :) Thanks for giving me this great meme!

1. Obviously, you identifiy with corvids. Why?

2. Do you find that you've had to give up many of your dreams, goals, or aspirations to be a mother? Would you do it again, given the choice?

3. Sometimes it's the oddest things that turn out to be important later. Share a moment from your past that shaped you.

4. You've written of your frustration with writer's block. What sort of writing would you like most to do? Poetry, prose, fiction, nonfiction, fantasy? Is it more important to be published or just to write for yourself?

5. A box wrapped in brown paper and red string shows up unexpected in your mail tommorrow. What would you most like it to contain?

6. What do you want to be remembered as?

*Bounce* Me too~! :D

1. What's your Useless Mutant Superpower? Everyone has one!

2. How did you meet stormwolf?

3. If you could live in any anime or manga universe, which one would you pick? Why? Would you try and find / talk to / seduce / kill the "main characters"?

4. What's your biggest regret?

5. Where in the world would you most like to live? Why?

6. What are your favorite things to get at Uwajimaya?

Please to be interviewing me.

This is heavy on the hypotheticals (you get four of 'em) because I already know too many of your silly life details, and because watching you theorize aloud is always fascinating. Thank you for playing; these were great fun to write.

1. At various times in your life, you've blessed and cursed your [self-inflicted] spotty memory. Your fairy godmother or equivalent being offers to restore your memory entirely and perfectly. Do you take her up on it? If she offers to restore any one memory, which do you pick?

2. Describe your Avalon, the shadow of your desire, the place that would keep you happy a hundred years.

3. Ninety eight percent of the world's population is killed by a plague in two weeks (the last two percent is entirely immune), leaving a world of ghost cities, abandoned belongings, etc. (Assume for the sake of argument that your personal improbability field ensures that everyone you're fond of lives. I wouldn't be too surprised, really). What do you do first?

4. A god[dess] is retiring from his/her position and you've been chosen as his/her sucessor. You'll have the same sphere of influence, the same powers, and the same benefits (omniscience, a horde of horny nymphs, bitchin underwater digs, a chariot pulled by goats, whatever), and the same responsibilities (tending fires, answering prayers, banging the nymphs) traditionally associated with that god. Which god would you like it to be? (Monotheistic gods are in fact elegible, but kinda less interesting).

5. What distinguishes the porn that interests you from the porn that doesn't?

6. What characteristics should a good RPG have? Do you ever read a book or watch a movie and say, "hey, this would make a good RPG?"

With humility and patience will I wait for your questions.

1. How did you get started on your current spiritual path?

2. Describe an ideal hike (if this varies by mood, describe the one you'd enjoy most right now). Where? What kind of terrain is it? How long? How difficult? Camping? What company/equipment/time of day?

3. Share an important thing your biological family taught you. Your chosen family?

4. When you feel like your life is in a rut, what do you do to shake things up?

5. You and I are both trying to sort out gender/self issues. I would be happy if I could magically transform myself to some sort of gender-neutral body without any sexual characteristics from either gender. I think you're a little more complicated than that, though. Is there a perfect, magic solution that would work for you?

6. I don't think I've ever heard/read anything about your dreams. Tell me about an interesting dream you had recently.

Me me me! Interview me!

You you you! Here you go!

1. You have an abiding interest in Tarot, and your stories about the smartass Tarot deck are always amusing. Pick any four cards and tell me what they mean to you. Are there certain cards that you're always happy to see, that just resonate with you?

2. Which person, living or dead, would you most like to sing a duet with? What song?

3. What inspires you to write music? Are there any songs you've wanted to write but just can't get to coalesce properly?

4. Bank teller is nobody's grand lifetime ambition. What would you really like to be doing, if money was no object?

5. If you had wings, what would they look like? Feathery, scaled, butterfly, cybernetic, geometric, stained glass window, draconic, fluffy little angel wings? What color? Size?

6. You have a deep, if quiet, faith. How does it affect your outlook on the universe?

Oddly, this set of questions was the easiest yet to write. Thanks for playing!

1. What traits does an ideal lover have?

2. How did you pick your livejournal name?

3. I've gotten the impression you have a musical background or musical training. What sort of training? How did you get interested in music? What kinds of performing or listening interest you most now?

4. Andari, the character vaguely based on you in the [potential] webcomic, is important because she has taught the value of "home" to a people who have never known one. Who or what defines "home" for you?

5. Many of the most important things we learn come only with experience, time, or pain. What is one thing you wish you could teach your daughters?

6. You're given three wishes, but they're constrained by this: you can't make major changes in yours or anyone else's life. The wishes have to be used for small, quirky things. What do you wish for?

I'd love to answer your questions, if you have any and aren't tired of interviewing yet :)

Not at all tired of this yet, though I don't know you all that well, so some of these questions are a little shallow.

1. Due to some sort of bizarre magical/psychic upheaval in the universe, you are tattooed with a symbol of something very important to you. What does it look like and what does it represent?

2. Do you ever miss Seattle? If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

3. If your house burned down and you could only save five things, what would they be?

4. What do you see as your most useful ability?

5. If you had been allowed to go into any field except chemistry, what would you be doing now?

6. What's the most important piece of advice you would have to offer to yourself of fifteen years ago?

: Oh dear, now I will be exposed for how shallow I really am!

If there's one thing you aren't, it's shallow, dear.

If you think i'm interesting enough to interview, i will attempt to repay with interesting answers...

I definitely think you're interesting enough; the difficulty was limiting it to only six!

1. Design a new holiday. When is it? What should people do to observe it?

2. Describe your ideal research project (presumably robots, but something else is okay too), assuming unlimited funding.

3. You've known me nearly three times as long as everyone else reading this. We met in (!) middle school, but we've been out of touch most of the intervening years. So I have this odd mental picture of you - all the little gaps where I don't really know you are filled with imaginary pieces from the you of long ago. What's a turning point or important decision that you made while we were out of touch, something that shaped the utterly cool person you are today?

4. A deranged alien in a spaceship shows up and announces that he is going to exterminate humanity unless you can give him three good reasons not to. What are your reasons?

5. People in general believe a lot of very pessimistic "truisms". That politicians are always crooked, that you can't appreciate something until it's lost, that technology is inherently dehumanizing, that stupidity always triumphs, that you can get more done with flattery than polite requests, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer, etc etc. Nearly infinite list. Some of them are actually true, some of them are self-fulfilling prophecies, some of them are sometimes true and sometimes false, but all are perceived as "common sense". Suppose you have the vast and mystical power to completely disprove one of these cynical truisms. Not only will people not believe it, but it will no longer be true, if it ever was. Which one would you disprove?

6. What does the most important file on your computer contain? What's your most treasured possesion? Do they have anything in common?

(no subject) - (Anonymous)

Definitely not yet sick of this. Kinda almost wishing I could give people multiple sets of questions, actually.

1. You're as broke as I am. What would you do with your life this year if money wasn't an issue?

2. You identify as Catholic. How do you reconcile yourself with some of the Catholic dogma you disagree with (opinions on women, homosexuality, social injustice, etc)? What made you decide to call yourself Catholic?

3. What are three incorrect assumptions people frequently make about you, things your life would be so much easier if people just understood?

4. You've been commissioned to design a large public memorial to somebody important but under-recognized. Who do you pick, and what does the memorial look like?

5. You're given a magic ring that will teleport you whenever you wish to a specific place that, once set, is unchangable. Where do you pick? Why?

6. You think a lot about economic theory, IMF, third world countries. What one thing do you think do you think would be the most help to a poor third-world country? If this answer varies by country, what one thing do you think would help El Salvador the most?

Nice meme, if you have time, please interview me.

Eeeep! You went ahead and posted the meme and I didn't have interview questions for you finished yet because I was trying to do them in order. Sorry! Hope this is okay!

1. Heaven and Hell both attempt to recruit you to be an angel. If you choose to work for Hell, your job will be to attempt to tempt people into committing one of the seven deadly sins: Pride, Envy, Gluttony, Lust, Anger, Greed, Sloth. Working for Heaven would mean inspiring people to commit one of the seven heavenly virtues: Prudence, Temperence, Justice, Fortitude, Love, Hope, or Faith. Benefits from both employers are equivalent: nifty superhuman powers, cool Matrix-like outfits, etc, and working for Hell will not cause you to be damned. Which would you work for and which sin or virtue would you pick?

2. You maintain several poly-oriented websites; it's obviously an important part of your life. How did you discover you were/ decide to be poly?

3. How does your religion affect your day-to-day life?

4. You have a lot of interesting things listed on your interest list. Pick four and tell us a bit about them.

5. What traits do you look for in a partner?

6. If you could pick any country to live in except the United States, where would you pick and why?

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