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Five Questions Meme Once Again

This time, the interrogator was redbrunja:

1.) What's your favorite holiday?

It's become the Fourth of July since we moved to Takoma Park (about 6 years ago). And I have really missed it the past couple of years (we were in Spain last year)! There's nothing much I have to prepare ahead of time, no obligations, the whole town turns out for the parade, the parade has crazy Tacky Park things in it (political street theater, for example, and neighborhood associations doing silly things, and the Co-Op staffers pushing shopping carts full of chilled bottled water to hand out to the crowd), and there are fireworks in the evening at the junior high.

2.) I know you're working on being more healthy; what's the most useful tool you'd found thus far?

Healthmonth! inkstone got me roped into this, and it's the best thing I could have done, and I'm really grateful to her. Basically, every month I decide what health rules I'm keeping - anything from getting enough sleep to working out to doing something creative several times a week - and tell Healthmonth how tough I think the rules will be to keep. It assigns a point value on that basis, and then every day I check in and say what I did or didn't do.

I earn points and "fruit" when I do stuff and if I fail enough to go outside my quota, I lose a life (each player starts the month with 10 lives). And I'm on a team - I think this is the most important for me - so other people know what I'm doing or not doing. If I go through a rough patch and can't make up lost lives by applying my collected fruit, then I can ask other people for fruit ... and other peoples' fruit heals you more effectively than your own fruit does! So you have incentive to interact. And I have my RL friend Kat doing it now, too.

The real but low-key social connection is what makes this tool work for me. (You can play Healthmonth for free for up to 3 rules - if you want more rules, you pay a membership.)

3.) What's your favorite Neil Gaiman book?

Weirdly enough, I don't like any of his books as well as I liked the Sandman comic. I admire them, but I don't tend to re-read them all that often. American Gods is probably the one I like most. I know a lot of people have found Shadow, the protagonist, hard to like, but I sort of understand where Shadow is coming from. And I like Mr. Ibis, and the Zoryas and Czernobog, and Sam Black Crow.

4.) What science fiction novel do you think everyone should read?

That's a tough one! The novels I love, I love because they're important to me, but I know that they're not everyone's type of thing.

People should probably read The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula LeGuin, just because of some of the things it says about the baggage we bring with us when we consider other people's lives and cultures. And more people should read The Witches of Karres by James H. Schmitz because it's fun, and most of us could use a good laugh.

5.) What was your favorite yuletide fic this year?

It's a funny thing about Yuletide fic: I enjoy and admire it during Yuletide season, and then I rarely go back to it.

However, I definitely enjoyed devera's FAKE story, "If You Don't Ask, You Don't Get," which is a very naughty story, bless her. Also, "Experimental Procedure," a Cyteen fic of missing scenes, by Lindensphinx, and "On the Burning Deck," a Swallows and Amazons future fic by halotolerant.

Anyone want five questions from me? Answer "Shoot!" in a comment.

Comments

( 20 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
chomiji
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:10 pm (UTC)

Here you go!

1) What do you like most about the place (city, area) you now live?

2) Which of your current projects is making you the most happy (if it's not a secret, that is)?

3) What's your favorite memory from childhood?

4) It's your birthday, and I'm going to get you whatever you want for dinner, What foods do I have to put together?

5) Which RPG character was your favorite of all those you've ever had, and why?

(Deleted comment)
chomiji
Apr. 2nd, 2011 08:12 pm (UTC)

1) What was your favorite scene in Samurai Deeper Kyo?

2) Where have you never traveled that you'd love to go?

3) You've won £ 1000, and it can't be invested or anything sensible like that! What do you do with it?

4) What five books would you want with you on a desert island?

5) What's your favorite comfort food?

lady_ganesh
Apr. 2nd, 2011 07:12 pm (UTC)
I too still wish Gaiman was still writing comics. DON'T FEEL ALONE.
smillaraaq
Apr. 3rd, 2011 06:34 pm (UTC)
I've never really even bothered to try to read any of his full novels unless you count Stardust -- and I don't count that in my head because I got the version with all the Charles Vess illustrations and they were a huge part of the appeal for me, without pictures it would seem kind of pointless and flat; I've enjoyed a few of his short stories well enough, but they just didn't send me rushing out to seek more naked prose.
chomiji
Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:31 pm (UTC)

He's terribly clever, and sometimes his warmer humanistic side comes through, but it's not enough for the love affair of the mind that I get with my favorite writers.

chomiji
Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:33 pm (UTC)

He really does seem to come across better when someone else is working with him on visuals - not just Sandman, but also the movie Mirrormask.



Edited at 2011-04-03 08:50 pm (UTC)
redbrunja
Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:52 am (UTC)
Oh, man, fourth of July sounds so fun where you are!

I can see how the social aspects of Healthmonth are really beneficial.

It's interesting that you should bring up Left Hand of Darkness because I find that book so ineffective. So many people have talked about all the great things they got out of it yadda, yadda, yadda, but I just found it dull.
chomiji
Apr. 3rd, 2011 08:50 pm (UTC)

I'm not terribly shocked that we don't agree on SF books - we seem to need very different things from our reading, for the most part. I know you really love the Hunger Games series, for example, and to me it sounds unutterably depressing.

XD

In any case, if you were asking what my SF favorites were, rather than which ones I felt like recommending as "everyone should read," I'd say Cyteen, by C.J. Cherryh, which has loads of strong female characters. I also like CJC's Heavy Time and its sequel Hellburner, but the lack of female characters for the first half of Heavy Time might make it a no-go for you. A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge is actually pretty good and has great a couple of great female POV characters (although I actively hated the prequel, which is unusual for me). Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson alternates male and female points of view.

Really, though, at the end of the day, I don't like SF as much as I like fantasy.

smillaraaq
Apr. 3rd, 2011 09:17 pm (UTC)
I am sure you will be TOTALLY SHOCKED to hear that I *loved* the Tines in Fire Upon The Deep! SF tends to be so full of cats and cat-like aliens, so it was all the more pleasing to me to find cool wolf/dog creatures for a change that were convincingly *non-human*, not just sort of dog-faced furries. XD

LHOD, funnily enough, I'm not sure if I ever read it -- if I did, it didn't stick with me at all. I might have passed it by because I know my teenage library had a lot of the usual classic 1960s/1970s Le Guin titles, and I did read a bunch but they always felt very...distant, somehow? The only things of hers that I felt strongly about were the first two Earthsea books (I never read the rest), a couple of her short stories and essays, and Always Coming Home. (There were a lot of the Usual Suspects of the 70s feminist SF scene there -- I think I mostly skipped Joanna Russ, but I read a fair bit of Kate Wilhelm and James Tiptree Jr. back in the day; Tiptree was the only one that really stuck in my head, though.)
redbrunja
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:55 am (UTC)
I've read one of Tiptree's works and ADORED it; I need to read more. And chomiji mentioning The Hunger Games reminded me - have you read that one? Because if not, I really think you should. I think you'd like the main character a lot, and be really interested in some of the themes that the author delves into.
smillaraaq
Apr. 4th, 2011 02:24 am (UTC)
It's been so long since I last reread most of them that I'd be hard-pressed to cite specific titles, but I really really liked all the Tiptree that I read and found it tended to haunt my mind afterwards a lot longer than a lot of the other stuff of that era that I read. My favorite story of hers was one of her late ones with set in the Yucatan, I think from her Tales of the Quintana Roo -- I can't swear to the title as I don't own a copy but I *think* it might have been the first story, "What Came Ashore At Lirios". (If you find a Tiptree story set on the coast where one of the last paragraphs has the narrator musing about Spanish vocabulary, particularly definite articles, that's the one.)

And no, I haven't read THG -- I'd seen some very mixed reviews and it didn't sound like the storyline might grab me, but maerhys's recent post about it at Deadbro talking about how Katniss is strongly coded as mixed-race has gotten me kind of curious now.

(Oh! I've been meaning to drop you a note -- weren't you the one who told me about Her Majesty's Dog way back when? I finally picked that one up recently and enjoyed it quite a bit.)
redbrunja
Apr. 4th, 2011 07:24 am (UTC)
Frankly, The Hunger Games is one of those books I want to hand to everyone, which is to say, I'd give it a shot.
chomiji
Apr. 7th, 2011 01:58 am (UTC)

Always Coming Home is probably my favorite LeGuin, actually, but again, I know it doesn't work for everyone. I find parts of it much more approachable than I do most of her work. I think my favorite part of it is the long short story "The Visionary."

redbrunja
Apr. 4th, 2011 12:53 am (UTC)
The Hunger Games does so so depressing when you describe it! It's actually not as bleak as it sounds but given later events and your own tastes, it's still probably not your cup of tea.

And I'm going to check out some of those books; Cherryh has been on my list to read for a while, as has Snow Crash.
smillaraaq
Apr. 4th, 2011 02:26 am (UTC)
Y.T. in Snow Crash is pretty awesome, I think you'll enjoy her. XD
sovay
Apr. 6th, 2011 10:57 pm (UTC)
Shoot!
chomiji
Apr. 7th, 2011 01:56 am (UTC)

1) What's your favorite scent, and what thoughts or memories does it evoke?

2) If you could have been present for the creation of any one work of art (any medium), which one would you choose?

3) What's the nicest meal (for any combination of factors: food, location, company, etc.) that you've had in the past 3 years?

4) What is the first piece of poetry that you remember liking as a child?

5) If you had a "bucket list" of things you wanted to do or see in your lifetime, what are three things that would be somewhere in your top 10?

lawless523
Apr. 9th, 2011 07:49 am (UTC)
I'm late, but shoot!
chomiji
Apr. 15th, 2011 01:34 am (UTC)

(Ack, that's right, I owe you questions! Sometime this weekend, I thinks ... .)

lawless523
Apr. 15th, 2011 02:15 am (UTC)
I look forward to it.
( 20 comments — Leave a comment )

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