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branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
Written by a religious cynic; read at your own risk.

1) What religion, spirituality, or belief system were you raised in? I was raised by a fallen away Catholic and a non-practicing Methodist, both of whom believed more in meditation than in religion. Until I was about twelve. Then they both hied themselves back to the Catholic church, something for which I have still not entirely forgiven the particular priest who was the cause. I spent the next six or eight years carefully not listening to readings that would infuriate me and being glad when the hymns were in Latin, which I didn't speak.

2) Do you subscribe to the same belief system now? If not, what do you believe/identify with now? Insofar as I am somewhere around an empirical agnostic or a relaxed atheist, yeah I guess it kind of did stick. I did go through a practicing Wiccan period but pretty much gave that up when every single organized form failed my litmus test of not being a basic description of the inside of my own head every day. (This is a frequent problem with me and spirituality of all kinds; all the "special reaching beyond states" seem to me to be not particularly special at all and not a descriptor of anything but my own brain.) Besides, I'm not big into useless symbolism. You want to cleanse a ritual space? Get a freaking mop and bucket.

3) Is belonging to an organized religious community important to you? Why nor why not? Rather the reverse. Given the bad effects I have observed to arise from pretty much every organized form of religion I have encountered, it's kind of important to me not to. I'm always up for a really good drumming circle, but that's about as organized as I want to get near.

4) Have you read any holy texts? (Of your faith or another). Have they had/do they have any impact on your worldview? In what way? Rather more of them than the great majority of practitioners I have known. This trend has been demonstrated frequently enough to really quite worry me. I can't say that they changed my worldview much, but then I'm really big on historical context in my reading and that tends to dump a lot of salt on most of those texts. Besides, they are uniformly bigoted and undesirably hierarchical, even when they're trying not to be. As for the explicitly "progressive" pagan texts? Don't get me started on cultural appropriation without context, or we're gonna have to talk about Kali and it isn't gonna be pretty.

5) Do you participate in any spiritual rituals? (Eg: prayer, religious services, nonsecular holidays, etc). *thinks* I still put no-cop spells on my cars? I try to circulate my energy properly when I'm walking to work? I talk to my trees? I think that's about it.
branchandroot: an elouai doll (doll)
  1. What is your most irrational fear or dislike (i.e. something most people are fine with, or something that brings back bad memories)? Hm. Well, lots of people have arachnaphobia, so I'm not sure that quite counts. I hate pink, but only in my own clothing, so that's pretty rational too. And my "brings back bad memories" thing with a handful of specific songs is... yeah, that's really very rational also. I don't have many irrational fears, except the spiders.

  2. Describe your last (or only) encounter with the police. Um, my next door neighbor? But as far as in the course of their duties... I think that would be the time last year that three cops came to fetch one of my students out of my classroom for having missed his underage-drinking court date. Yeah.

  3. What's the biggest secret about yourself that you've ever revealed, accidentally or on purpose? Well, the biggest by whose standards? I mean, I've generally been fairly up front about being a survivor, except with my actual family. And I tend to wave my multiplicity under people's noses now and then just because. I'm not sure those count as secrets. Similarly, I'm out about being bi and about being a fanwriter (though I don't exactly tell workfellows my handle). None of those are things I bring up in casual conversation, because there are a lot of assholes in the world, but they're not exactly close held.

  4. When is the last time you were really, really angry? Did you do anything drastic because you were so angry? ...that's not a question that has a lot of meaning to me. My scale for anger is, um. Skewed from what "most" people think is normal. There's always a fuck of a lot of rage just, you know, hanging around. I live with it. Once or twice my coping has broken and... well, yes, that's when I tend to grab people by the throat or get out of my car in a traffic jam to stand in front of the semi creeping down the margin.

  5. If you could raise someone from the dead, who would it be, why, and do you think he or she would be happy to be alive again? No one. That would fuck with everyone incredibly. And what condition would the raise-ee be in? Still terminally ill or with a body falling apart? Yeah, I'm thinking not much with the happy.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
  1. have you ever really lived outside the country of your birth? why or why not?
  2. I lived in Sussex, England for six months on foreign study, during which time I was haunted by the ghost of Virginia Woolf (depression, getting crushes on statuesque women, dealing with abuse issues... seems as good an explanation as any; of course, I'd just finished reading her complete journals, letters and novels, too). I did wrangle a place in an adult students flat, despite being an undergrad, which was a good way to live barring the week when one idiot flatmate almost got us busted.
  3. what was your first record/cassette tape/cd?
  4. That... was kind of a long time ago. *thinks* I believe it was Styx's Paradise Theater. The vinyl record with the laser etching. Oh, no wait! If you count 45s is would have been the "More Than A Feeling" single! *thinks some more* Did that come before the Disney Robin Hood record or not? I don't remember.
  5. what do you think of your parents?
  6. Not talking about that, thanks.
  7. what is your relationship with your hair?
  8. Some days I love it, some days I want someone else's. Someone with much thicker, stronger hair, so I could grow it out really long again. But most days, I like my fine, short hair with the unpredictable body.
  9. what kind of pens do you like?
  10. Roller ball. Thick ones with some weight to them. I'm fond of my Waterman green enameled job. But I also really like a wood barrel. I used to love Cross pens but they're really too thin for comfort despite being pretty.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
  1. The 30th song in your playlist: Right at the moment that would be "Storms in Africa" by Enya.

  2. A city that starts with C in your state/province/etc: Columbus, queer center of the whole state.

  3. Your boss' (or favorite teacher's) name: *thoughtful* Redacting the boss, because I really don't connect that identity to this one, but my long-standing favorite teacher was named Scott.

  4. The second book on your bookshelf: ...um, which one? Okay, let me render this as "on the bookshelf nearest me". That would be Relative Magic, one of Tanya Huff's anthologies.

  5. Your 7th LJ friend DW subscription: *counts* That would be [personal profile] ankari.
branchandroot: oak against sky (Default)
  1. What was the happiest dream (aka the best one) dream you ever had? Hmmm. This is a little difficult, because my good dreams tend to center more around feeling good rather than good events per se. I think the last one I remember had to do with a bright, pretty day when the sun was shining and everything was done.

  2. What was the worst dream you ever had? I am not talking about that. And you are glad I am not talking about that.

  3. If you had your choice tonight, what would you dream about? ...I would say really good sex, but honestly those tend to be the frustrating dreams; if I'm far enough up the layers to script it properly I'm far enough up for involuntary movement to wake me and that's invariably in media res.

  4. If you had your choice again tonight, what dream would you not like to have? Any and all of the being-chased variations. Even when I change them, those leave a bad taste.

  5. What was your wildest dream (the craziest dream you would dare speak of)? I think the winner in this category is still this one, and I quote from the entry where I recorded it: I have too many knitters in my dwircle. And I can tell this because this morning's wake-up dream featured me and a partner acting as some kind of 007 time-hopping secret agents in the cause of bringing natural fiber from the past back to our agency of commando knitters. Said agency president may have been Sephiroth; I'm not sure. The weirdness of sneaking a bag of (I think) wool into a building full of fabric arts ninjas and booby-traps that kill unauthorized people in the stairwells above the third floor woke me up laughing.
branchandroot: one tree in an open field (calm solitary tree)
  1. What were your three favorite songs ten years ago? Well, now, that's a little hard to pin down. Let me, therefore, name three artists instead. Ani Difranco, Capercaille (only not the ballads, please, god), Indigo Girls.

  2. What songs or groups from ten years ago did you love then, but don't like anymore? *ponders* Well, I still like them all a lot, but I listen to the ones in English less often. I've found I'm less susceptible to a) earworming and b) alarming emotional identification when the music isn't in a language I know. So there's a lot of Jpop and Celtic rock and instrumental jazz in my mixes these days, and less in the way of US folk or rock. I suppose Sarah Mclachlan and Tori Amos come closest, because while I may throw Ani on, I'm far less likely to listen to them ever again. Scary, depressed-place songs.

  3. What songs from ten years ago did you love then, still love now, but haven't heard in a long time? Ani is probably the biggest, though it's been a long time since I put on The Story either. And I suppose it's been a long time since my last Billy Joel. I should make a favorites playlist of him.

  4. What songs or groups from ten years ago did you not like then, but do like now? None I can think of. If I didn't like them ten years ago, I probably a) don't remember them and b) still wouldn't like them.

  5. How has your taste in music changed in the last ten years? There has been the addition of anime soundtracks and forays into Jpop in general.


Bonus: The growing mix titled "Dance Love"

"Dance With Me" by Orleans
"In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel
"While the Night is Still Young" by Billy Joel
branchandroot: blowing dandelion (dandelion blowing)
  1. What is the best painting you've ever seen in a museum or art gallery? I can't say it was the best, but one of my most favorites would be a canvas I think was called "Angelic Choir" by Ron Newman, showing at the local art museum. It was a style I don't usually care for much, very abstract and layered oils, but the colors... For loosely similar reasons, the month that The Winds Cafe had Genari's flowers up on the walls was a very good one.

  2. What was the most interesting display you've seen in a museum setting? The dinosaur skeleton displays at the Natural History museum; the dioramas were pathetic, but the bones totally rocked, especially when you're three feet high. The very best part, though, was the iron lions outside the front doors, which were just the right size to ride.

  3. Have you ever been to a Children's museum? If so have you been as a child and/or as an adult? If so did you find it more interesting as you were older? I've always liked hands-on museums, at any age. I have to admit, my tolerance for shrieking tykes has gone down as I get older, but when we've got a display to ourselves it's still huge fun.

  4. What is the most important thing you learned in a museum? Check your backtrail markers as you go.

  5. What is your most memorable trip to a museum? That's actually kind of hard to say; any museum has its own memorable parts, which may be a mural or a staircase or the first time you saw a soap bubble that big. But the Detroit Institute of Arts definitely holds many fond memories, as does the Science Center across the way.

Drinks

Jul. 30th, 2010 02:44 pm
branchandroot: two cocktails by a pool (cocktails by pool)
Five things about beverages

  1. What is your favorite drink of all time? Does it hold a special memory to you or is it just because it tastes good? Hmm. That's actually kind of a hard one. My 'signature' as it were is probably Sleepytime tea, because it's nice and calming (which may or may not be sheer operant conditioning). But I'm not sure I'd say that's my favorite. Really good cocoa? Double cream, straight up? Dry red wines with a nice body? Favorite is definitely about 'tastes good'. As far as drinks with memories attached, that would be Black Russians, because that was the drink of choice during my most memorable, bizarre summer of undergrad, but I wouldn't say /that/ was a favorite either.

  2. Tea or coffee or hot cocoa? Coffee in the morning, tea any time, cocoa on winter evenings after being outside.

  3. Best summer time drink? Hmm. Possibly margaritas. Possibly good lemonade. Used to be blackberry sun tea, before that mix went off the market.

  4. Worst soda brand ever? It isn't exactly a brand, but New Coke. I will never forgive Coke, never ever ever.

  5. Water: flavored, bottled, carbonated, or regular old tap? Tap, but filtered and fridged. Though I am quite partial to the faintly flavored carbonated stuff.
branchandroot: Saitou looking considering (Saitou considering)
1. You are on your way to work, when suddenly a wormhole to the far side of the galaxy opens in the middle of the road. You are thus the first to meet the alien being that emerges. Despite your protestations, you are now Earth’s unofficial First Contact ambassador. What will you say to the visitor?

In all probability? "Um. Hi. Oh shit."

2. A wandering trading caravan emerges from the wormhole. They plan to stay on Earth for a few weeks, and then will move on to the next planet and the next. Whatever you said must have really impressed them, because they offer to let you and a few other humans come along with them. The only catch is that the caravan probably won’t be back to Earth. Would you go? Why or why not?

Hell no. I'm a very land-bound type of person; I have enough trouble when I don't have native vegetation in the right proportions. I shudder to think what I'd be like after a few years of nothing but non-native vegetation.

3. Suppose you decided to go. The master of the caravan will allow you to bring along whatever trinkets and baubles you think will sell on alien worlds, and will also allow you to bring exactly five other items that you may always keep. Clearly, he does not mean practical items like shoes or a toothbrush. What would you bring?

My spouse, my cat, a new computer with seriously boosted storage (onto which I will hastily download Project Gutenberg and as much other reading as possible), my own pillow, and a stuffed animal.

If this trip does not come with a good wireless plan so I can stay online, all bets are off.

4. Suppose you decided to stay home after all. The caravan master offers you a parting gift. You may choose among super-brain pills, a flying car, a robot butler, or an invisibility belt. Which would you choose and why?

My brain is super enough already, thanks, and since I have no desire to be a either a burglar, a spy, or a voyeur, invisibility leaves me unmoved. It would have to be either the car or the butler. The butler would probably have an edge as long as we live outside major cities; goodness knows we could use a specialist in management and housekeeping around here. If we're in traffic-jam land, the car would probably win.

5. Suppose you ended up taking the super-brain pills. You now have a head the size, shape, and color of a watermelon. But you also now have the most fantastic mind the world has ever seen. What would be the first task you set it to?

*hoots with laughter* What is this, a size fantasy? I doubt I'd do anything different than I normally do. Analyze literature, because it's fun. Teach my classes, because that's my vocation (which probably just got harder). Extra brain cells aren't going to help negotiate my polygons, get the weeding done, or solve the wold's problems, and there's only so many hours in the day to do stuff so taking up particle physics as a hobby is unlikely. Moreso than I already do, anyway. So, yeah, go on as usual.
branchandroot: sunny medow of poppies (summer meadow)
*wry* Some interesting answers to this one.
  1. What do you love about Summer?
    Who said I love summer? Summer is my bane and doom! I am not made to bake, grill, or swelter, and ever since we moved a state south summer has lost most of its charm for me. I used to like warm weather and the sun through the leaves and going to the lake (and the Lake), but that was when I lived in a reasonable climate.

  2. How many times have you had a fun summer?
    Well, there are often fun things to do, as long as one remembers the sunscreen and bug spray and has access to shade. The most enduring example is probably the Ann Arbor Art Fair, which is annual. I've always been fond of paddle boating too, and spotting for the water skiers.

  3. What do you most like to do during summer time?
    Stay indoors where it's a little cooler. I try to do most of my heavy garden work in the spring and fall so I don't have to go die of heat stroke. Which is not entirely an exaggeration, I actually got heat stroke doing garden work a few years back.

  4. Do you like the place where you live?
    Not as well as I like the place where I used to live, which was about four hours north, and had a lot more north to resort to at need.

  5. If given a chance, do you want to live in a tropical country?
    That would be a big En Oh. I would be hesitant even to visit for very long. I am a northern girl and weak against heat.

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