1. Who are a couple of your favourite composers? ;-)
We'd just been talking about classical composers, which is why the Yoon is winking at me. Anyway -- some of you know this story -- when I was a senior in high school, I went in for my first piano lesson of the year and told my piano teacher I wanted to talk to her. "Sandi, we've been together eight years," I said, "and I've trusted your judgment. But this is my senior year, and I'm really busy, and I'm only going to play what I want to play this year." Sandi, seeing her only chance at four-hand Mozart duets going up in smoke for the piano reductions of the score of Disney's Aladdin, sighed and agreed. "And what I want to play this year," I said, "is fugues." And I did. I played Bach fugues all the way up through early February. Sandi talked me into some Kabalevsky in mid-February. Other than that, it was All Bach, All The Time.
Her Golden Retriever loved Bach.
2. What instrument did you learn first, and why?
Seriously learned? Piano. I tootled around with a recorder and an ocarina, and I messed with my mom's guitar, but I also messed around with the piano. The piano has room. You can do a lot of stuff with a piano. You don't get pigeonholed as a pianist. Also, we had one in the house bought and paid for. That helped.
3. What was your least favourite nickname (if any) growing up? Or even now. (YoonHaHaHaHa!)
One of my *cough* zanier great-aunts called me Ris-Kris, for Marissa Kristine. Adorable.
Almost all the relatives used to call me Rissy when I was small. My grands still do, but my grands are entitled. It always slays me, though: my grandmother will start a phone conversation, "Say, Rissy," and then back up parenthetically: "This is Grandma." There's only one other person in the world who would still start a conversation, "Say, Rissy," and he has lived with her for 55 years and has an easily distinguishable voice.
At school I got called clever things like "brain" and "calculator" and "dictionary." I don't think those are really nicknames per se.
4. How do you approach jewelry-shopping? I am mystified by this, even when I see the pretty.
In a totally avian fashion: "Ooh, sparkly! [swoopgrab]"
Some things are mine. I see them and think, "Mine." I can't explain it. I didn't buy myself jewelry at all often before I met elisem. Most of my jewelry arrived as gifts, some inspired, some functional, some destined to live in the back of the jewelry box. I still don't buy myself a lot of jewelry. Not a lot of it is mine. But some is. It's not even always funky unique stuff. There was a little silver heart on a little silver chain that fit the right way in my hand and in the hollow of my throat, and I startled my mom by buying it on the spot -- she'd never seen me do so before, and it was another several years until I did again.
I can't explain how those things are mine. They just are.
I also get a little symbolic with jewelry given me by friends. porphyrin has made me niftier necklaces than the first one she made me, but I still reach for it when I'm most uncertain, or for an ankle bracelet she made me (it can go under my sock when it's too wintry to wear on its own, so it doesn't have to match), because it's a tangible reminder of unexpected joy in that friendship.
Also my books have always felt like rocks in my head, so sometimes if I get to wear those rocks, that's a good thing. And I know my own books. I mean, of course one would. I spent last December terrified that elisem was going to sell one of my (unwritten) books to someone else before I had a chance to pet, wear, and write it. I don't think someone else could write this one. It's going to be hard for me, but I think it would be impossible for not-me.
5. Best way to relax on a cold autumn evening?
Varies with evenings. A book and a hot beverage (mulled cider or cocoa) will rarely serve me ill, but sometimes they're not enough to actually get me to relax. Relaxing a Mrissa is not as easy as it perhaps should be.
I'm off to fetch markgritter from the airport. This will be a good, good thing.