What book should I read next? That one I gave you for your birthday. No, not that one. The other one. Ooh, or the one from the library, by the guy with the idea. That one looks good.
Have you ever heard Great Big Sea? Ayep.
What makes you the most frustrated? Waiting and waiting and then more waiting, followed by -- you guessed it! -- waiting. I would say I picked the wrong business, but I think that would be inverting causality.
What's your definition of soul? I'm not sure, but Aretha Franklin has it, and I don't think I do. Say -- when my dad was dancing around the living room to Gladys Knight and the Pips on Christmas morning? The reason he didn't look like The Long-Lost White Pip is soul, or more properly lack thereof. (Not that my dad is not cute when he Pip-dances. Because he totally is, in that crazy father way that was supposed to embarrass me when I was an adolescent but somehow never did. He is not, however, soulful.)
Unless you mean the religion sense, in which case, elephino. Some quantum superposition of something, I reckon. Lots of things have to do with quantum superpositions, so it's a better guess than many. I can't write out the wavefunction for you, though. Oh, oh, or it could be an emergent property. Emergent properties also have to do with lots of things.
How many languages do you speak? I speak two, English and French. My French is rusty and quirky but serviceable; I can still read French, although I sometimes have to look things up -- and not always what you'd expect, either -- and sometimes I find my brain automatically translating things when I'm bored. When they took out my first two wisdom teeth, for example, I translated nearly all of that into French in my head. Not on purpose. It just kind of happened.
I muddle around in Japanese and a bit of Finnish and a bit of Icelandic. I keep trying to claim that you don't have to learn Norwegian, you just have to listen very slowly, but other people argue with me about that, so maybe I am wrong. Anyway, I can muddle by pretty well in Norwegian, and from it Danish and Swedish a bit -- that involves listening even slower. (I don't mean speaking slowly, and I don't mean listening carefully. I mean listening slowly.) I could probably make enough tourist phrases understood in German and Spanish to make it through. I don't know. Languages kind of wiggle into my head. I didn't mean to know any Finnish at all. I just started recognizing bits of it, "Väinämöinen got in the boat" and basic stuff like that.
What do you miss about Concord? (That's Concord, CA, where I lived for a year and a half, starting seven years ago.) Oh, gosh. Pasta Primavera, probably. Black Diamond Brewery, oh, oh, I wish we had a Black Diamond here. (Not a chain, though.) Garcia's, but they're gone now. I wouldn't like to have Mt. Diablo in my backyard again, but I liked going up it sometimes. This is a hard one, because some of the unhappiest times I've had in my life were in Concord. I liked going to Mocha Lisa and the art supply store, but that was mostly in comparison to the rest of the time we spent there. My bloody-minded optimism was tested by our circumstances that year+; the focus was more on the bloody-minded and less on the optimism. I'm not sure how much that was Concord's fault, but I am sure that it's not the place for me. No snow, no Mris.
What *is* your idea of decadence (or rather enjoyable self-indulgence)? This. Plus chocolate.
If someone were to offer you any gift you wanted right now, what would it be? Hmm. I have big to-read piles, and I just ordered myself backup swimsuits on clearance. Are we steering clear of that whole "peace on earth" thing? And cures for various diseases and all? And the "I wish for a million wishes" or "I want a gift card for $1 billion"? Because if we're talking about trivial-scale gifts, well, a short, dark red dress with bell sleeves would be just lovely. One that fit me, I mean. Or blue, or a nice deep green. I'm flexible on that part. I just like bell sleeves, and colors that are high-contrast with me.
Or, oh, oh, I know, one of those sea-salt caramels from that place in Toronto. Or the next Gwyneth Jones book in that series of which I have the first two. Or a good dark, dark green ink cartridge that would fit in my fountain pen. Or some cheese. We're out of good cheese. (I will probably fix that in the morning when I go to Byerly's, though.)
What movie would you like to see made? This is kind of like "what book would you like to see written" for me, but worse: I write books. I don't make movies. I'm not very keen on movies that used to be books, in theory. Sometimes the practice works out all right, often not. If someone would make a movie that felt in my head like a Dorothy Sayers novel feels in my head, I would like that. This is not at all the same thing as making a movie of a Dorothy Sayers novel.
Did all you physics people make up all that stuff about quarks just to mess with our heads? Not all of us. Just some. The rest of us went along with it out of reluctance to spoil someone else's joke.