Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

Twice five

Just a note before I get to songwind's questions: I called my state rep, and I'd advise you other Minnesotans to do the same. The magic information on how to contact your own rep is here. They're voting on HF6, which is an amendment to the state constitution banning gay marriage. Didn't we already go through this and they lost? Yes. Yes, we did. But apparently we're going through it again. If you feel strongly about this, call and tell them that intrusive discrimination is not the Minnesotan way. I have no faith whatsoever that my rep will listen (I voted for the other lady), but I want to do my part to give them a twinge of conscience when they try to claim this is what their constituents really want. Also, even the wrong rep can make the right choice sometimes. It can't hurt. It took me less than five minutes.

Anyway, songwind wants to know :

1. You said yesterday that you like EVERYTHING about Minnesota. Since I'm a transplant, what would you take me to do/see that I probably haven't?

Have you been to Minnehaha Falls? I was there Monday. It is cool rain or shine. Have you been to Lock and Dam Number One? The Como Park Conservatory? Have you walked around Lake of the Isles? All of those things are nifty and free, and we will gladly take you and whatever component of your family you can dragoon into it.

2. Did you like college life? Why or why not?

I loved college life for the first three or three and a half years. Adored it. It was so much better than high school, I could hardly express the wonder of it. My department was everything I had always wanted out of school and never gotten (and, incidentally, didn't really get out of most of the rest of my Gustavus classes, either; everything I say about college is about being a physics major, because it was the instant and total filter on my eyes, rose-colored or otherwise). I've said a couple of times that the six professors and assorted students of the Gustavus Physics Department are the largest institution I have ever trusted, and I think it's still true, and likely to remain so.

I also felt very strongly about my dorm. Wahlstrom (Wahlly, Wahlly World) was ancient and decrepit, and the heaters worked too hard or not at all, and they made banging noises, and there were no hallways so you were always wandering through someone's living room, and the rooms were 6'x10' and painted hideous pastel colors. And I loved it. It was a great place to be a gregarious introvert, because I could always wander around and find somebody hanging around in their section lounge playing cards or talking or whatever, or I could leave my door open and converse with passersby -- but when I was done with the gregarious part, I could close my door and be as introverted as I needed to be in my little bitty single room. We had a lovely assortment of geeks, artists, stoners, and combinations of the previous three. I never miss being a college student, but occasionally I wish I could just stick everybody I like in Wahlly for a week or a month.

However. By the time I was a senior, things had changed around the college (in part due to the tornado -- the paternalistic streak in a lot of administrators came out in response to the disaster in ways that were not all right), and I had grown up enough that the situation that looked so free and amazing a few weeks after my 17th birthday looked annoyingly restrictive by my 20th. It took me about a year of grad school to be conscious of it, but by the middle of my senior year, I was really really done letting other people dictate what was important for me to learn. dd_b has said that he was not an English major because it might have interfered with his reading, and I have had similar feelings about the English major. I began to have them about institutional learning in general. And most of what it was getting in the way of was my writing.

For various personal reasons, my last semester of college was wretched. I'm glad of the results of it. Several important things happened then. But they were not any fun at the time, and just in terms of what I learned through the formal college setting, it was a total waste of my time, and I should have left after Nuke in January, which would have been a high note. Everything after that was marking time, in terms of learning, and I hate marking time.

This is probably a good thing. It would be pretty pathetic if I was still yearning for my halcyon college days.

3. What's your favorite non-SF novel?

I assume you're including fantasy in with the SF label? If not, please do let me know.

Anyway: this is no easier than determining a favorite novel without restrictions, because I read a fair amount outside the genre. Nicola Griffith's The Blue Place is brilliant, and I love it. It's a very different book from any of the Anthony Price books. Which are very different from Dumas. Which is very different from Pat Barker's WWI trilogy. Which is very different from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. Which is very different from the Lymond Chronicles. Oh, and there's Smilla's Sense of Snow, I love that book, and Sula and Sharon Kay Penman and Richard Powers and a bunch of the Kate Wilhelms, though not all, and An Instance of the Fingerpost....

I like books, is what.

4. I know you like dogs. What other sorts of pets do you like?

To own? None. One dog, period.

To enjoy at other people's house? Well, I like cats, and cats seem to like me all right, mostly. Some ferrets are nice, and others are not. Hedgehogs are lovely. I'm not much for the family rodentia in general. Anything without fur is not my idea of a good pet, but some people's fish are gorgeous.

5. Is it normal for families of Scandinavian descent to have close ties between the family still in the "old country" and the American side, or have I been exposed to a skewed population sample?

Normal? Yes. Typical? No. That is to say, I don't think it's a shock to anybody that I know some of my relatives in the old countries, but if you select a random Scandosotan, you can't expect them to refer to their uncle in Stockholm or their cousins in Trondheim quite so readily.

And while I'm at it, cadithial asked :

1. Want another person on your alpha reader list? :)

Heh. Thanks. The alpha reader list is extremely short. The alpha reader list contains two people (and a potential third if she has time) outside the house, two inside. The alpha readers have all read previous books of mine and critiqued them, so I know how they think, how they work, and how they react to problems in my work. They will be slogging through the very, very hard part. They will probably have to say, "Honey, I love you, and this is how your book sucks" more times than any human being ever should have to. They may despair. if I'm any indication, they almost certainly will.

The potential beta reader list, however, is opt-in, and if you want me to put you on that filter to ask when the time comes, I can do that. It will still be a crit list -- of course -- but the mistakes will, I hope, be at a higher level by then.

2. Which state other than MN did you like best?

For what? There are many pleasant things to visit in California. Colorado has its points. Oregon, oh, Oregon was a very good place to spend a summer. (Ohio, sadly, was not. I probably had a better time in Ohio than in Oregon, but it wasn't Ohio's fault, it was the people I was with. Hi, steve_dash_o!) If I had to live in a state other than Minnesota...well, I'd live in Hudson, WI, or somewhere like that, is the thing.

3. What hobbies other than reading and journaling do you have?

I bake things. I cook things. When I'm feeling sane enough, I play the piano. Sometimes I paint things, more along the lines of decoration than art. I hike. When I have the chance, I swim, although that one has been getting less attention lately. I do yoga, although that one lives on the borderline between "hobby" and "basic bodily maintenance."

4. City, suburb, or country?

City or suburb. Not exurb. Not country. I like having stuff close. Probably suburb, because even the areas I like in the city are not in the city, they are within city limits, which is different. The area around Lake Nokomis, for example, was where we did a lot of our house-hunting, and it's Mpls-proper but not really very urban. I don't want an apartment. I don't like apartments. Apartment buildings have other people in them that I didn't invite to be there. They slam doors and yell at each other and lift weights in the wee hours of the morning so you hear a mysterious "chink...chink...chink..." and don't know what it is until the guy upstairs moves his weight bench out with him. They make noises tht sound like drey-erase markers for hours at a time. No more apartments for me. The area between our house and our neighbors' house relaxes me with its presence.

If I had to pick a location for an ideal house, it would be around Lake of the Isles or on the River Road. But I'm happy enough driving what seems like a short distance by our California standards to see various friends.

5. What's your favorite vehicle?

One that runs. Seriously, I could possibly care less about cars, but it would take work. I would have to start getting serious antipathy going, and why bother? Our little Saturn, Zeph, is a good little car. We might get another car at some point. Hybrids are cool, and my dad's Volvo is an awfully comfortable car without having the boat-or-tank qualities of my mom's Buick. (My mom is too young to drive a Buick. My mom will not listen to me on this point.) But generally what I want is a car that will function and not make me pay attention to it. I took the car in for an oil change today, and I had to whack the stereo with my knee to make the driver's side speaker come back in, and that is as much attention as I usually want to pay my car.

I believe that's it for people asking me questions so far. If you want to do so and haven't, go on ahead.

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