So, more "memes". That's not really the appropriate designator for the exercise, but it's the one that's stuck, which makes it the appropriate term, after a fashion. That's the problem with being such a proponent of neologisms, really. It's difficult to argue with so-called "incorrect" uses of language, because if they become part of the vernacular, then they weren't wrong, merely avant-garde. This war between the creative and obsessive components of my head makes me dizzy, but not nearly so dizzy as when they work together to make me create entirely new calendars.
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- From Torque:
- What do you consider to be the "best time" of your life so far?
- I can't answer this in a single "here is your answer, so I'm going to cheat and provide you with several spans of time out of which I would select certain facets that should be combined in the manner of all proper giant robots into one death-machine of happiness:
- My two years at UTAustin were an emotionally formative period, during which I was first really starting to understand that the world was a lot bigger than I thought it was, and that the worlds inside me were a lot bigger than the worlds outside. This is the time period during which I really learned to ask questions, instead of already having answers, and I miss that state of naked seeking.
- My ten-month period in Australia, for all that being with one specific individual was abhorrent, was a strangely beautiful thing. It was very much like being in Sweden. Everything there was just slightly off, and that state of things not quite meshing left me pleasantly disoriented during my entire stay. Adding to that is the fact that, for once in my life, I wasn't the one working. I had the days to myself to spend as I wished, and I feel like I got a lot of good creative work done during this period.
- Jessie's and my trip to Thailand by way of England was a journey of self-creation and discovery. I got to spend time with someone who was at the time my mistress, in a headspace that I rarely get to explore. I touch on parts of it, but I never quite get into the full experience. We both got to experience that cultural discontinuity together, which made every day a new development, and through it all was the underlying process of rebuilding my body, something that I wish I could experience in even greater degree now.
- Finally, the first month of unemployment after HMS was a bizarrely idyllic period. I had Jessie, I had no daily obligation to leave home, I actually had more money than usual thanks to my severance pay and my unemployment checks, and I had every reason to believe that a new job would be right around the corner. It felt like what I imagine retirement must be like.
- If you could change one facet of your personality, what would it be?
- There exists an unpleasant gap in my head between that which I morally, logically, and ethically believe is what I should be doing; and what I end up doing anyway. I know that the source of my eating problems lies in the fact that it's somewhere between a compulsion and a comfort activity, and yet I continue to indulge it even when doing so makes me feel sick. I know that I have the ability to lose weight; I dropped 110 pounds without stressing myself just by taking the right diet pills and getting the occasional walk, and yet now all my struggles seem to get me nowhere because I sabotage my own best efforts. I have so many stories I could be writing, and yet I spend most of my free time playing City of Heroes. If I could change any one thing, it would be to close the gap between should and shall.
- Would you feel comfortable with me being a global dictator?
- I'm generally uncomfortable with anyone playing the part of global dictator, but I'll say that I'm far less uncomfortable with the idea of you in the role than I would be with many others in the same position. I could only hope that your reign would end up looking more like the Dave Conspiracy than the Steak Conspiracy.
- Would you swap lives with any of your characters willingly?
- That's actually a more difficult question to answer than I would care to admit, considering that some of my characters are defined as "me, given some twist of the universe that lets me look like that. If we include the caveat that we're not talking about the realm of eponymous or pseudoeponymous characters, then I can't at this point think of any character whose life I would rather lead than my own. However, I will add that I have a setting in mind involving digital uploads and all-digital sex scenes that might induce me to change my mind.
- Would you exchange a walk on part in the war for a lead role in a cage?
- "I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion." —Henry David Thoreau
- From Jessie:
- Pick the political figure you most wish would spontaneously combust.
- Leo Strauss.
- Celebrity Deathmatch... James LaBrie of Dream Theater vs. Paul McDermott of Doug Anthony All Stars. Who leaves the cage alive?
- Oh, don't make me choose between my babies, you heartless bitch! James castigates Paul for falling and prepares to unleash the full fury of the Host upon him, when Paul suddenly erupes in golden light and convinces James that he's returned to his former glory. James lets down his guard and prepares to launch into the Ultimate Duet, and that's when Paul devours his soul. Their powers thusly fused, Paul then reveals his true form, spreads his wings, opens one of his six mouths, and sings the song that ends the universe.
- What do you miss most about Pennsylvania?
- The social interaction. As little as we got in Pottstown, we get less in Seattle. Monday Night Dinner might have evolved from a fun evening into an obligation as the attendance shifted away from the crowd with which I was comfortable, but it was still a reason to get out of the house and go somewhere. Then there were the tabletop sessions, the occasional trips to Boston or for the Posts to come down. Seattle doesn't really have the same style of local get-together scene, or if it does I haven't really noticed. Shaterri's been instrumental in organizing the gatherings I've seen, and I've been glad to participate, but I'd love to get something regular happening, even if it's just hooking up once a week to go out to eat with folks.
- You've had jobs end due to misunderstandings, politics, and all sorts of reasons. Which one do you most wish you could have kept going at, and why?
- ISI. I was on medical leave during a re-org, during which the rest of my team got migrated into Development, which is where I wanted to be in the first place. If I'd been there, I'd have made the same transition and I likely would still be there now. They were big believers in fifty-year careers and long-term vision, and I respected that a lot. Of all the companies for which I've worked, that one felt the most like a cruel twist of fate and the least like a clash of values that made the job unpleasant. I'm willing to bet that, had the timing of the Thailand trip been different, I'd have never had the run-ins with senior management that made my staying there untenable.
- You've roleplayed with lots of people. Have you ever wanted to take somebody's character away from them, slap them on the hand, say "you're doing it wrong," and bring the character into your own head so you could do justice to the concept?
- Gerald from ASB
- Chinook from the Shalek games
It's also happened on other occasions, but never quite so strongly as with those.