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Mad Scientess Jane Expat

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Five questions, five answers [20090223|18:14]
Mad Scientess Jane Expat
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It's been over a year since I did the interview meme, I was tagged a few weeks ago, and I figure it's time to do it again. So! Leave a comment and I'll ask you five questions, which you may answer in a comment here or on your own journal.

My answers to abbacat's difficult questions:

  1. I know you've kind of talked about marriage before, but you seem reticent about the concept. Does it feel archaic to you, or what is the big impetus that makes it feel like an unattractive option?

    I have all sorts of practical reasons for being against marriage, such as its religious connotations, the lack of accessibility for those who are not in a male-female partnership (in my home country), the outrageous expense, the ostentation, the social pressure to get married, etc. I feel pulled towards it by the same social pressures, of course, which only adds to my urge to put both middle fingers up towards the whole idea. My biggest personal reason, though, is the standard fear of commitment. I have a certain horrendously selfish and impetuous streak in me which has driven me to make certain decisions without consulting other people, such as moving thousands of miles away, and thereby hurting them very badly. It’s been a while since I did anything of the sort, but I’m terribly afraid of getting myself into a situation where doing that would involve trying to extricate myself and my partner from a legally binding entanglement.

    No one's ever proposed to me (and I've never proposed to anyone), so who knows whether or not any of this would influence my decision at that moment. See: impetuous.

  2. If being a smart extra-terrestrial-gazing-globe-trotting scientist were not your job, what else would you have chosen for yourself, if you had to go back and do it again?

    I would be an artist (painter-photographer), if I could go back and do it again. However, I’m afraid my lack of self-confidence probably would have sunk me far earlier than it did in science.

  3. Is there anything the new presidential administration could do that would make you say, "Fuck it, I'm moving back to the USA!"?

    I really don’t think so. In fact, the only things that could make me return at this point would be a change in personal circumstances – either my parents becoming very ill or a sudden insatiable desire to become an astronaut – or the administration of this country becoming autocratic or fascistic.

  4. Have you ever actively hated a person so much that the passion of disliking them changed you in some way?

    I can’t think of a singular instance, but there have been a few people who’ve made me so upset or angry or hurt that the act of breaking ties with them changed me. Most of them are former close female friends. This is the primary reason I restrict the confidences I share to either my (written) diary or my partner, and why a lot of things never get written down or shared at all.

  5. Tim Powers is going to model one of the characters in a new novel after you. What do you want the setting to be, and how would you like to be described?

    I want to be on another planet or one of our solar system’s moons, helping to terraform it and making meticulous drawings of the changing landscape. I want short blonde hair, to be about seven feet tall, to have symbiotic/telepathic links with my romantic partners, and I want us to save the world. In other words, I want to be everything I’m not, and accomplish what I could never manage in reality. Hey, it’s fantasy, right?

[User Picture]From: chickenfeet2003
2009-02-23 18:31 (UTC)
I'll take five please
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-23 18:39 (UTC)
Oo, it looks like I was a very bad nanila and neglected your previous request. Five extra special questions for you:

  1. If you were to write a book, what subject would you choose?
  2. What did you do on your last visit to the UK?
  3. String theory: mathematically elegant but physically pointless, or potentially the unifying theory of the particles & forces?
  4. What is your favourite theorem?
  5. Should rugby have cheerleaders?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-23 18:58 (UTC)
  1. Would you live in a foreign country, and if so, where?
  2. Describe your dream job.
  3. There are a few books which seem to be touchstones for you. If you could rewrite any of them, which would you choose?
  4. What do you turn into when you shapeshift?
  5. You have a year's paid holiday to do what you like. How do you spend your time?
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[User Picture]From: angelcityblues
2009-02-23 18:42 (UTC)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-23 19:42 (UTC)
  1. What have you been reading lately?
  2. All your out-of-town friends fly in and join you for a weekend. What do we do?
  3. You are in charge of booking a one-day festival with ten bands. You can select them from any era. What's your line-up?
  4. What's your favourite photograph of yourself?
  5. When are you coming to visit me?
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From: tdj
2009-02-23 18:46 (UTC)
I'll bite. Hit me!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-23 19:55 (UTC)
  1. You can attend one of these lectures in Cambridge this term. Which one do you choose and why?
  2. Biology has probably been the fastest-developing among the three core sciences over the past fifteen years. How much of the information in textbooks from about that long ago would you estimate is now known to be incorrect?
  3. What sort of music do you listen to when you're marking?
  4. What piece of advice do you find yourself most frequently imparting to your students?
  5. In the evening leisure hours, what is your favourite beverage with which to relax and enjoy?
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[User Picture]From: chibaraki
2009-02-23 18:48 (UTC)
Ooh, do me, I'm procrastinating!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-23 19:10 (UTC)

Random! Fast!

  1. Would you like to live in Ireland at some point?
  2. Do you aspire to an academic career?
  3. You can be any anime (or manga) character you like for one episode (or issue). Who are you and what do you do?
  4. What's your favourite smell from your childhood?
  5. Do you like to cook?
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[User Picture]From: automatic_kafka
2009-02-23 19:06 (UTC)
I think I may have asked for 5 questions and then forgot to answer them. If you ask me, I promise I'll answer this time.
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 11:39 (UTC)
Yes, you did. To make the request load easier to handle, I may have recycled a couple...

  1. What do you miss most about living in Los Angeles?
  2. What's the best holiday you've ever taken?
  3. What are your favourite pair of shoes?
  4. Do you write anything other than the vignettes you put in LJ posts?
  5. If someone passed you an open bottle of wine, would you drink it?
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[User Picture]From: ursarctous
2009-02-23 19:18 (UTC)
i'd like some questions, please!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 11:45 (UTC)
Ah, you asked before and didn't answer! No problem, but it does mean I'm going to recycle a couple.

  1. I seem to remember that you don't use recipes, but do you like looking at cookbooks anyway?
  2. What sorts of arts and crafts do your immediate family members do?
  3. Have you acquired any more plants recently? (My lithops/braaains died, tragically, a couple of months ago. First one, then the other. I hypothesize that one ate the other and then collapsed from indigestion.)
  4. Have you seen Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion? If not, I think you should.
  5. If you could pick one cool, expensive gadget for free, what would you get?
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[User Picture]From: senusert
2009-02-23 19:42 (UTC)

Hit me!

I'll take five impossible life questons please!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 21:08 (UTC)
I was going to ask if you wanted to have lunch, but then I found you'd already answered that one!

  1. What's your favourite piece to play on the viola?
  2. What are the qualities in yourself that you think are most limiting and the most liberating?
  3. Do you speak Welsh when you're home with your family?
  4. Which class have you enjoyed most at Imperial?
  5. Do you have any particular memories that are triggered by scent?
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 21:14 (UTC)
  1. How happy are you with your amazing, lovely family?
  2. What would you like most for your daughter to get from her education?
  3. When you went snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, what was your favourite fish to watch?
  4. How do you like your eggs?
  5. How come you've stopped posting to LJ? *sniff*
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 21:20 (UTC)

  1. Are you planning to stay in Portland for the foreseeable future?
  2. To which material possession are you most attached?
  3. If you were given a really long string of Christmas lights, what would you do with it?
  4. When was your last epiphanic moment?
  5. How do you eat a Reese's peanut butter cup?
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[User Picture]From: danaid_luv
2009-02-23 21:22 (UTC)
I read but not officially commenting. (Thanks for sharing your answers with us) :)
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 11:45 (UTC)
Aw. Thank you, dear lady!
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[User Picture]From: sanat
2009-02-24 00:52 (UTC)
I'll take five, despite present feelings of ineptitude that will sorely tempt me to make every answer "I'm a stupid poohead!" :p
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 21:28 (UTC)
I missed out on giving you questions last time. I'm sorry!

  1. Have you ever tried making pysanky out of an ostrich egg? Or a quail egg?
  2. Is there a hair colour you haven't tried?
  3. What would you plant in a garden?
  4. Would you do a formal degree in fine art or illustration?
  5. What social changes are you hoping for under Obama?

PS, I can't remember if I contacted you after they arrived, so I'll take this opportunity to say Thank You for the biscuits, which arrived last week, and they have made a nice accompaniment to my afternoon tea. They are all gone now, though. Nom!
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[User Picture]From: dizzykj
2009-02-24 11:16 (UTC)
If you're not all making-up-questioned-out, I'll take 5!
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[User Picture]From: nanila
2009-02-24 21:40 (UTC)
  1. What got you interested enough in US politics to go there and campaign?
  2. I perceive freelancing/consultancy as quite difficult mostly because of the lack of structure. What's your best trick for managing your time?
  3. Do you prefer sweet or salty snacks?
  4. Have you ever worn your hair short?
  5. What's the best bit of non-fiction you've read in the past three months?
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[User Picture]From: enterlinemedia
2009-02-25 00:45 (UTC)
I'll answer five questions and I'll ask you five back if you want (questions can include content from my Enterline Media web site, or the myspace profile- myspace.com/voidprime or even look for my profile by name at Facebook- plenty of stuff to mine for questions if you need it).
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