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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Five questions, five answers. Plus one. [20080116|21:56]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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I have the most ridiculously tightly scheduled day ever tomorrow, and then I'm on holiday for a week. It seems an appropriate moment to do a meme.

The rules are below. The continuity requirement has been removed.

  1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
  2. I will respond by asking you five questions.
  3. Respond in a comment, or update your LJ with the answers to the questions.


I'll roll in another meme and allow you to ask me any one question you like. I will answer. I may not, however, choose to do so publicly. If you want to ask a question anonymously, it'll be screened and I'll leave it that way.


from chickenfeet2003

  1. Any regrets about not being a 'proper' academic anymore?

    I would be lying if I said no. I miss doing research. I don't particularly want to climb the academic ladder, though, so that's problematic. It'd be fun to be a perpetual post-doc, but since doing that involves either moving, changing subfields or both every one to three years, it's not a realistic career option. I'm happy in London and I just started to really enjoy being here in my own right. Stability is at a premium when you're an expat in an expensive city, so being a professional is the only way for me to go right now.

  2. Best and worst things about living in London

    Two things are tied for best. The first would be the chances to see wonderful theatre/galleries/gigs with my friends. I got to see Persepolis with omniana because she's an ICA member, months before it comes out in cinemas. I've been to some spectacular paid exhibits and try to go regularly to the free museums. The second would be the pub culture. I love going for a drink or three after work and chatting (or arguing) an evening away, and if the whole thing turns into a gloriously unexpected piss-up, it's usually a good time.

    The worst thing has got to be the way I feel like I can never relax. I always have to exercise a great deal of control over the use of my time, since I have to spend so much of it at work or on public transport, and I find it difficult to get enough sleep. I have to work hard to remain calm and on schedule, or I start to spiral downwards into anger and depression very quickly.

  3. What are your religious views?

    I'm not at all bothered if you wish to pray for my unsaved soul. I just don't think it's going to do anything except possibly make you feel better.

  4. What do you read for fun?

    I'm going to assume that by fun you mean "lightweight entertainment" for times when my brain is otherwise fried and can't even handle a novel. In which case, the answer is magazines, cookbooks and travel guides for places I haven't been to yet. The Economist, Juxtapoz and the occasional girly fashion thing are my top three types of magazines. I find it orally stimulating to read cookbooks, although I'm so busy I rarely actually make anything from them.

  5. Favourite flavour of icecream?

    Sadly, ice cream seems to have a detrimental effect on my insides these days so I don't eat much of it. Green tea is my favorite, however, and anyone who wishes to win me over and/or take me in manly fashion should attempt to do so with mochi.
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From: tdj
2008-01-16 22:38 (UTC)

I shall imagine you wearing a fedora with a press pass tucked into the band

Interview me.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-16 23:29 (UTC)

Will a beret suffice? I don't have any cigarettes, though.


  1. What are your top three science blogs? Besides your own, of course, from which I regularly spam my geek friends with linkage.
  2. Do you think science writing, specifically journal articles, suffers as a result of the sustained use of third-person passive? I don't just mean in terms of accessibility to the general public, I also mean in terms of conveying information between researchers in the same or closely related fields.
  3. If you could allot a substantive funding increase to one neglected research area, which would you choose?
  4. If you could permanently debunk one persistent urban legend about science, which would you choose?
  5. What is your favorite photographic subject?
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[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2008-01-16 23:08 (UTC)
anyone who wishes to win me over and/or take me in manly fashion should attempt to do so with mochi.

I've only ever used the more conventional butter for that...
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-16 23:31 (UTC)
Mochi would a little bit cold, wouldn't it...
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[User Picture]From: shamroq
2008-01-16 23:15 (UTC)
Interview me. HARD.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-17 00:06 (UTC)

  1. Would you consider moving for any reason, or are you SoCal through and through?
  2. Do you believe in the fallacy of false binary opposition? I sure hope not because I'm about to ask if
  3. you're a boob man or an ass man?
  4. When are you going to introduce the sproglet to the joys of your LiveJournal archive?
  5. Why aren't we going to war with the one country that never wins them?
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[User Picture]From: thefounder
2008-01-16 23:22 (UTC)
interview me. please. :) [the please is a separate sentence because your instructions specified "interview me." as a sentence in and of itself...]
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-17 16:31 (UTC)

  1. What's your favorite double-decker bus chassis design?
  2. Bendy buses. Why?!
  3. What's your idea of a great night out with your lady?
  4. At the next real ale festival I attend, what northern offerings shall I try?
  5. Which television show from your childhood do you consider to be quintessentially British?
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[User Picture]From: leidan
2008-01-16 23:48 (UTC)
Pick me.

I'll pretend to be interesting :).
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-17 16:48 (UTC)

  1. If you weren't a scientist, what would you prefer to do to pay the bills?
  2. Best and worst parts of living in Los Angeles.
  3. If you had to apply a goth-subcultural label to yourself, what would it be? (e.g. rivethead)
  4. What's the oddest generally shared trait you observed among Americans?
  5. If finding work and housing were no object, where would you choose to live?
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[User Picture]From: kittenhotep
2008-01-16 23:49 (UTC)

I can has distractions?

I finally finished my resumé today, and should be spending all of my available time applying for jobs and sending it to flashy employment agencies. It seems an appropriate moment to instead say interview me! On the internets! And enjoy your time off!

Also, also: What has been the happiest moment/day/phase of your life so far?

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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-17 16:58 (UTC)

  1. Assuming you want to have children, what do you consider the right circumstances for that to happen?
  2. What's it like being a married lady?
  3. Have you been to Joshua Tree during a meteor shower?
  4. If you had an endless supply of papier mache, what would you make?
    and of course
  5. Where do you see yourself in five years?


I don't think I've had a happiest moment or day. I believe I'm experiencing the happiest phase now. If it gets any better than this, I may pop.
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[User Picture]From: ursarctous
2008-01-16 23:53 (UTC)
ooh, i like questions. interview me! please!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-17 17:08 (UTC)

  1. When did you first pick up bass-playing?
  2. I seem to remember that you don't use recipes, but do you like looking at cookbooks anyway?
  3. What sorts of arts and crafts do your immediate family members do?
  4. On a fantasy road trip to the States, where would you go?
  5. What's the talent of which you're proudest?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 07:34 (UTC)

  1. Do you think you'll ever be satisfied enough with one of your novels to contemplate publications?
  2. When did you first realize that writing was going to be your consuming passion?
  3. Do you see yourself writing for a living, or do you think you'll take unrelated jobs and do it as a hobby?
  4. What qualities would your ideal house have?
  5. What was your first pet?


I read you because I like the way your brain works. Watching your world-building process, or maybe I should say world-elucidation is as fascinating as your careful analysis of your own brain.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 07:48 (UTC)

  1. What do you find most personally gratifying about teaching?
  2. What are the best and worst things about living in New York?
  3. If you could change one thing about American culture before your daughter is old enough to become fully cognizant of it, what would it be?
  4. What's your favorite memory from your time in Hawai'i?
  5. Do you aim to be dean someday?
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[User Picture]From: victorine
2008-01-17 01:57 (UTC)
interview me!

Do you ever see yourself getting married? (status check - I believe last time I checked it was a resounding no.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 08:12 (UTC)

  1. Since we last saw one another, which I think was in mid-2004, in what way do you think you've changed most?
  2. Do you go dancing much any more?
  3. Friends aside, what do you miss most about San Diego?
  4. What has been physically altered in your corner of New Orleans since the flooding?
  5. Do you think you'll have children?
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[User Picture]From: behsharam
2008-01-17 02:00 (UTC)
Interview me!

Do humans have souls?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 09:50 (UTC)
The short answer to your question is no. Assuming that by "soul" you mean some as-yet-unquantified, possibly unquantifiable, portion of a human being which stores their consciousness, the answer is still no. I think that sentience is a matter of synaptic function, and that when the latter ceases, so does the former.
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2008-01-17 03:43 (UTC)
Ooh ooh interview me!

(I do not have a question for you now. I reserve the right to ask one later though.)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 08:40 (UTC)

  1. Do you still draw?
  2. You have been to Uwajimaya in Seattle, yes? Yes?!
  3. Flaky mentors aside, how are you liking grad school?
  4. Are you contemplating a visit to Ireland this year?
  5. (I know this is possibly upsetting, so if it is please ignore it, but I also imagine you're sick of people treating his death like the elephant in the room so...) I recall that he used to annoy you a great deal and I realize also that LJ is often used to vent, so what are the positive things about your brother that you miss?
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[User Picture]From: automatic_kafka
2008-01-17 04:01 (UTC)
Interview me.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 09:26 (UTC)

  1. Do you write anything other than the vignettes you put in LJ posts?
  2. What's your preferred mode of transportation for non-commuter travel?
  3. What's your favorite regional/ethnic type of food?
  4. Have you ever had a nickname that you secretly hated?
  5. If someone passed you an open bottle of wine, would you drink it?


Edited at 2008-01-18 11:10 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2008-01-17 04:22 (UTC)

interview me.

and,
will you settle in london for good?
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[User Picture]From: wurlitzerprized
2008-01-17 04:30 (UTC)

Re: interview me.

retraction: that was a dumb question, let me think of a better one for you.
but please do, interview me!
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[User Picture]From: seismic
2008-01-17 05:57 (UTC)

Ask me your questions, bridgekeeper! I am not afraid!

*hems and haws*

Interview me.

If you knew today that in five years you would absolutely have to make another career move, what do you think it would be and what, if any, steps would you take to begin to prepare for it?

I've just been reminded of this and I like this one better: What associations do you have with being a "grown up"? I've had this conversation a few times recently and it interests me. Examples from those recent conversations include: Acting in a financially responsible manner in general or specific, getting own really good health insurance, and purchasing original art.

Edited at 2008-01-17 07:27 am (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2008-01-18 08:46 (UTC)
Answering the question first: I think for me becoming "grown up" started to happen when I realized that people are often nasty, intentionally or otherwise, to each other for no other reason than they're able to get away with it, and that "people" included "me".
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