Telstar: “Thank you for giving me this lovely dirt bed to roll around in. I touch your radish with my foot. See my gratitude? See?”
Meme taken from spiffikins and hamsterwoman.
Have you ever had a pen pal? If so, are you still writing with them?
Yes, from back in the days when handwritten letters were still a common thing. I’m still in touch with said pen pals (one from Australia), but now we’re connected on Instagram.
I also consider DW/LJ people to be a modern form of “pen pals”, as we’re communicating in long form text, and it sometimes takes us forever to reply to one another. :P
Do you prefer writing by hand or typing?
I don’t do much hand-writing these days, apart from on postcards and thank-you notes. I’ve even given up on keeping a handwritten notebook at work. I type quite quickly, so it’s just more efficient.
Think of one of the biggest decisions you've had to make in your life. If you made a different choice, how different would your life be now?
I choose three:
- Going to university before completing high school. I was 16 when I left home. I think my university experience would have been a lot less chaotic and traumatic, particularly the first two years, if I’d waited until I was older. But OTOH, I might not have been able to go to a private university on a full scholarship if I had. I don’t think I would have ended up studying different subjects, as I had already determined I liked science best. But I would probably have ended up being more confident, more mature and less...emotionally damaged.
- Keeping an online journal. It was an off-hand remark from a friend that caused me to sign up for LJ. I had no idea how integral it would become when I joined seventeen years ago. I doubt I would have chosen differently, simply because I didn’t recognise the significance of the choice at the time.
- Moving to the UK. I have difficulty imagining the shape of my life if I had decided to stay in California.
I find it interesting that “having children” didn’t immediately spring to mind when I wrote this list, as I was pretty well convinced I’d never have them for the better part of three decades.
Have you ever taken a course on CPR?
What's your favorite thing to have as a snack?
Arare (rice crackers). Always and forever.
What is the best thing about the internet?
Being able to form long-lasting, stable communities of lovely people with whom you’d never otherwise have been able to maintain contact.
Is there a person you know who seems to surround themselves with drama?
Yes. I find that people who frequently say, “I have no time for drama”, are usually the ones who somehow have the most drama going on in their lives...
What's the best thing you've made with your own hands?
Probably this painting, which hangs in a friend's home.
Which social media platforms do you frequent the most?
Dreamwidth and Livejournal, hands down. Instagram is a distant third.
What makes you laugh most effortlessly?
The antics of my cat.
What makes you cry most effortlessly?
I don’t cry very often because of things happening in real life. But films and television shows can make me weep at the drop of a hat. This is probably backwards.
What is the best smell in the whole world?
Popcorn popping. My children's heads.
Do you wear a watch? If so, what kind of a watch?
No. I wore a Fitbit for a year or so but I have given it up as it did its job (made me get more active on a regular basis). I don’t much like having things on my wrists as a general rule.
Is there a number or a combination of numbers that feels important to you?
This question sounds like an underhanded way of winkling people’s pin numbers out of them. Nice try, meme.
What is the most socially awkward thing you've done?
I don’t know. I probably do socially awkward things all the time, but British people are generally too polite to tell me so in a straightforward manner.
What is in the top drawer of your desk?
Depends on whether you’re talking about home or work. At work, it’s pens, batteries, paper clips, bits of string, random cables, etc. At home, it’s camera lenses.
What is a topic you could give a talk on without preparation?
The history of the Cassini mission from an engineering perspective, the Cluster mission magnetic field measurements, the JUICE mission soldering qualification process (this would be a rant rather than a talk), things that are wrong and dysfunctional about academia (also a rant, also about 3 hours long), potty training: the horror.
What's the silliest thing you own?
If by “silliest” you mean “most useless/obsolete”, it’s probably some floppy disks for a Word processor on which I wrote some terrible fiction as a teen.
What do you think of people who wear lensless glasses?
As someone who’s had to wear glasses with lenses in for most of her adult life, I don’t understand why you’d want to.
What is your favourite accessory?
My rings, both of which are from my mother. They’re the only accessories I wear on a regular basis.
Do you enjoy cooking?
No. I like baking, though.
Which piece of technology do you use the most every day?
Desktop computer and phone.
How do you handle pressure?
Like a duck.
What makes you feel good about yourself?
Completing all the tasks on my to-do list.
If you could have absolutely anything to eat right now, what would it be?
What is the strangest book in your bookshelf?
Which bookshelf? Strange according to whom? A lot of people would probably find “The Wordsworth Encyclopedia of Plague and Pestilence” a peculiar choice of bedtime reading material.
Do you like cheese? If so, what's your favorite kind?
I love cheese. You can’t make me choose. A short list would include manchego, Cornish yarg, pont l’eveque, and gruyere.
If you could dress up as someone, who would you dress up as?
Morticia from the Addams Family.
Do you ever feel like dancing in public, when you're listening to music?
Yes, all the time. Sometime I do.
When are you at your most energetic?
First thing in the morning. Yes, I’m one of those irritating people.
Do you prefer cold or warm drinks?
Is your computer decorated in any way?
My monitors at work have little figurines stuck to the top: Nightmare Before Christmas, the Simpsons from the episode where Homer become an astronaut, and Lilo and Stitch.
Do you enjoy the birds' singing in the morning?
Yes. I hear it every morning, living in the countryside.
What is a chore you enjoy doing?
I’m not sure “enjoy” is the right word, but I do find doing the laundry deeply satisfying.
What was your favorite toy when you were growing up?
Rubber ducks, as discussed in the answer to this Friday Five meme.
Do you like playing cards? If so, what's your favorite game?
I used to love poker (with my dad) and solitaire. At the moment, I enjoy playing Snap with Humuhumu, and look forward to teaching her some more complicated games.
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