August 25th, 2011


Questions from Juliansinger and Dichroic

From juliansinger:

1) When you’re roadtripping (which I suppose you kind of are but I understand this more as a visit than a roadtrip), do you prefer a) car, b) train, c) something else? Why?

No, I'm home now. But anyway.

The thing is, I love trains. I love train travel. But I live in the Upper Midwest of the US. There are some places I could get to on a train very conveniently, and others...less so. Quite a bit less so. Amtrak is not run by people who believe in the fervent desire of great numbers of Americans to go places by rail, and I am sad to say that they are right to hold this doubt, yet at the same time it contributes to the problem. It would be entirely sensible to go to Denver by train, and I would have truly liked to do so earlier this summer. And yet my understanding is that in order to get from Minneapolis to Denver, one must first go east as far as Chicago. Unless one can say, "Splendid, here's a list of things I've always wanted to do in Chicago, and I have the time, money, and energy to extend the trip by that far, nor does doing so interfere with important commitments and responsibilities," that is just not a feasible course of action. So while I would say trains in a heartbeat, trains wouldn't actually get me all the places I would like to be, so I don't want to have to choose between them and cars.

Not buses, though. Good heavens, not buses. My godfather's wife and her parents have gone by coach tour from Los Angeles to Mount Rushmore. They have done this more than once. I am fond of Hsin-yi and very glad she married my godfather, but: this is insane. This is not the behavior of a stable person. Oh, did I mention that after they went by coach there, they had to come by coach back again? This seems relevant somehow. Coach tour from Los Angeles to Mount Rushmore, uff da, death first.

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Questions from Tiger_Spot

1. What is an interesting object you have out on display in your house somewhere? Why is it interesting, and where did it come from?

On the mantelpiece in the library, we have: three star-shaped crystal candleholders that were in my grandparents' house from before I was born and that only came here when Grandpa died and Grandma moved up here; a vase ladysea made for us; a three-vase dealie that looks like a Miyazaki thinger (purchased at the Eagan Art Fair); a blown-glass ship in a blown-glass bottle, imported from Hungary; a rosmaled box made by my grandmother who died before I was born; and a chunk of salt (I forget what kind of salt) that lights up interestingly, purchased by markgritter's father.

We are full of cool stuff. I promise.

2. Why is five the canonical number for LJ? Five questions, five things make a post, five times such-and-such a character did X.

I don't know about the other ones. But five things make a post was my friend wilfulcait's originally. This is why all my "five things make a post" post are tagged "missing rise," because I do miss Rise every time I do a post like that. We lost her far too young (breast cancer that metastasized), and I am still wistful about the absence of this true and good friend whose face I never saw in person.

Sorry, bet you didn't see that one coming.

3. What is the most recent bit of art you've traveled somewhere (a museum, a theater, a freeway overpass) to see? What is the most recent bit of art you've stumbled upon accidentally? Which approach do you generally prefer?

Well, markgritter and I went to the surrealists exhibit at the Vancouver Art Gallery more recently than to the Inuit Prints exhibit at the Museum of Anthropology. I always think I like surrealists better than I do because I like Rene Magritte enough for all the rest of them. People: painting an eyeball on things does not make them surreal. It makes them eyebally. We are all done with the eyeballs now. You can do something else. (Hint: not the old-fashioned diving suit.)

As for the stumbling, I don't know--do people's homes count? Or foodstuffs? Usually foodstuffs are sought out, but knowing that they're art in advance is not always possible...anyway, I enjoy the things I look for but also things unsought. I wouldn't want to pick just one.

4. Do you any particularly cute/funny/dramatic Ista stories?

Oh yes. Ista is me in a dogsuit. She is frequently quite opinionated, and this translates well into monkey tales. Just today I have generated an interpretive dance of what Ista is like when she doesn't want me to disturb her by printing out my book.

(I do more interpretive dances than people expect, I think.)

And I'm going to steal one you asked me, because it was interesting: 5. What part of your life would be hardest to explain to your 20-year-old self? your 10-year-old self?

I think my 10-year-old self would be more surprised at the inability to do all things simultaneously backwards in high heels, so "here is why you are not a physicist" would take more doing. "Why there is essentially no math in your life at the moment" would take a lot of doing. My 20-year-old self had actually overcorrected in a number of ways there, so it would be very nearly the opposite explanation from the one my 10-year-old self would need. Which somehow seems to imply that my 33-year-old self has found a lovely balance. I chuckle quietly at the thought.