February 24th, 2006

good mris pic

Quizzy Careswen

careswen and greykev started playing the five questions meme again, so I decided to join in. Ask me five and I'll ask you, if you want to. Or don't. Whatever. careswen asks:

1. Going with the theme of what's good on men*: Boxers or briefs?
Oh, gosh, no thanks.

Seriously, while I am very fond of men, men's underwear does remarkably little for me. I like men who are comfortable. Some men are comfortable in boxers, some in briefs, some in boxerbriefs, some commando...whatever. Not a big thing for me.

*Kev asked her kilts vs. tights at Fest.

2. How did your parents meet?
At church, when they were 11 and 12, respectively. Dad's father was the new pastor. They were in junior high youth group together. Later they were Luther League (high school youth group) presidents successive years. They also went to school together. Even before they started dating, their friends addressed them as "Mom" and "Dad." They dated other people briefly in high school, but there was never much question in anybody's mind, apparently; they married when Mom was 18 and Dad was 19, and they've been happily married ever since.

3. If there were one song you could strike from the universe, never to be heard again, which would it be?
I talked about this awhile ago: "Tell Laura I loooooove heeeerrr...." Bleh! Bleh!

4. What's the last thing you bought for yourself?
For just myself? and not to share with someone else, like dinner or groceries or something? Umm. I think that would be Jonathan I. Israel's Radical Enlightenment: Philosophy and the Making of Modernity 1650-1750 and Robert McGhee's The Last Imaginary Place: a Human History of the Arctic World. OUP was having a big sale for their contributors, and since I am one such, I took advantage of it. I've read the McGhee but not the Israel yet.

5. Do you have any nicknames (other than variations of Mris)?
Variations on a theme of my actual name are abundant. Mris, Mrissa, Mariss, Ris, Rissa, Risstopher Robin. Other than that, my nicknames are extremely quirky and limited to use by one person (well, so are some of the Mris-variations: only one of you is permitted "Risstopher Robin," and even he doesn't use it much). My dad calls me Sunshine, except at night, when he calls me Moonshine (at the age of 3, I objected to being called Sunshine when there was none apparent). My mom calls me Punk. (It's short for Punkin, or so she says. She used to get death glares from elderly ladies who objected to her calling such a conservatively dressed, quiet young woman "Punk" in public places.) My grandpa calls me Princess. scottjames doesn't actually call me Mo when he's talking to me, but he used to deliberately use it to rile me. I hated it because people could never spell my name, and calling me Mo reinforced the idea that they should spell it MO-rissa.

I can't think of any others. Mostly the Mris variations cover it.

I will do greykev's questions when I get back from Byerly's.

Harkka Päälle!

My little Scandophile hockey-loving heart is very happy this afternoon. I don't even know who I want to win the gold medal game.

So, greykev's five questions:

1. If you could start a story collaboration tomorrow with any living author, who would you choose? (aside from Timprov, though I do hope he gets to feeling well enough to write again soon)
2. Same as above only with dead people. (and yes, you'de get to finish the collaberation too)

Well, here's the thing. I don't want to write books and stories in general. I want to write that book there, and that one, and that other one, in specific. So I wouldn't want to do a collaboration with Person X in general. I might want to write Story X with Person X, if we got to talking about Story X and it seemed like a good thing and fun and all that. But I couldn't just pick someone based on characters or prose style or sense of humor or work habits or anything like that. It's got to be for a story that's worth the time, or it's not worth doing. And as I don't really have those stories now, I can't say who would have come up with them with me.

Some of the people I like best both as people and as writers have work styles so drastically different from mine that I'm not sure it could work to write stuff together. I think we may be best keeping our distance except for squeeing.

3. You can go hiking anywhere in the world, where do you choose?
Iceland. Probably in the northwest.

4. Worse plot: 'magic goes away' or 'magic is really technology in drag'?
Umm. I can actually think of decent ways to handle each, although it's fairly rare. The latter would generally be my choice as a stinker, but then I read [naming the title would spoil the book] and enjoyed it very much.

For myself to write? I'm not really interested in either, much. "Magic goes away" is much less fun than "magic goes awry." Also, the things I'm interested in doing with systems of magic almost never are the sorts of things that can just up and disappear without divine intervention, and then it's a matter of figuring out which gods to kick. I also think that the subtext of "magic is really technology in drag" is often a fair amount of contempt for humanity or at least the society in the book -- not always, but often -- and that's not really what I want to do, and it's particularly not what I want to use the idea of magic to do.

5. What can random strangers do or not do to cheer you up?
That's very context dependent. I'm assuming we mean truly random strangers, not people whose names I know but whom I don't know very well. Some guy in Byerly's, say; some lady in the doctor's office; some person on an airplane.

Usually the best they can do is ignore me. I don't want to be asked what's wrong unless I know the questioner. I don't want to be chattered at extensively, particularly because I then feel that I have to cheer them up. I don't want to be touched by people whose names I don't know (and, "hi, I'm Paula, tooooouch," is not what I have in mind). The kindest a random stranger has ever been was on the plane back from getting engaged to markgritter, knowing we wouldn't be able to see each other very often or for very long over the next two years. I was sobbing my eyes out with my head up in that "I just dare you to stare" mode. The woman in the seat next to mine looked at me for a long moment, and then without saying a word she got out a tissue and set it on my knee. I thanked her. She told me I was welcome and went back to her book. Another example is when I was caught in the airport in an ice storm. I had too many bags and was feeling the hypoglycemia pretty severely. Some guy carried my biggest two bags to the taxi stand for me and stayed there until I had a taxi and had found the fruit in my bag. Then he wished me a better evening and left. This is the general approach: practicality and detachment. Do I appear to be in need of some concrete assistance that J. Random Stranger can provide? If so, good, thanks. If not, JRS should let me be.