Comment on this post and I will choose seven interests from your profile. You will then explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along. (If you don't want to continue the meme, replying to the comment is fine.)
1. Bryn Mawr
My alma mater, Bryn Mawr is an all-women's college in the Philadelphia area. I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that going there changed my life. Not only did it get me three thousand miles away from home, a change I really needed at that stage of my life, I discovered a place where being smart and studious was not only okay, it was the norm. Where being a smart woman was a good thing to be. Being part of that community taught me to be comfortable with who I was. The women's college experience isn't for everyone, but it was perfect for me. I made life-long friends at BMC (some of whom may be reading this right now!), and for many years I was actively involved in the alumni organization. I'm on hiatus from that right now, but I'm sure I'll be pulled back into it sooner or later -- getting to know BMC women of all generations is exhilarating, inspiring, and a lot of fun.
Probably my favorite show that's currently airing. I started watching Lost from the very beginning, and the plethora of mysteries really sucked me in. I almost gave up on it after the third season premiere, to the point where too many episodes piled up on the TiVo and a couple got deleted, but then friends assured me that it improved, so I trusted them, caught up with some help from the iTunes store, and have not regretted the decision. The fourth season has been fantastic, with some unusual storytelling and some amazing character growth, and I'm on pins and needles waiting for the next. My favorite characters are Hurley, Locke, Sawyer, and Juliet. And Jin and Sun. Jack and Kate I'm fairly sick of, but the writers have decided that they're the main characters, so I'll play along.
The fictional nation that serves as the setting for George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire. Westeros is a collection of several smaller nation-states that were conquered and unified under one ruling family, the Tarygarens. Hundreds (or perhaps even thousands) of years later, their reign was overthrown when a madman ascended to the throne. The resulting war destabilized the country, and ASoIaF picks up about ten years later to examine what happened next. Westeros is similar to most "sword-and-sorcery-and-intrigue" epic settings: medieval technology, knights and chivalry, magic is not a common tool but it is a part of the fabric of the land, although most people would deny it. One key difference, though, is the seasons: every summer lasts for a few years, and winters lasts for a decade or more. A long summer leads to an even longer winter, and as the first book opens, one of the longest summers in recorded history is drawing to a close. Winter is coming.
Buildings are cool. Inside and outside. I enjoy looking at them, looking at pictures of them, walking around them, deciding what works and what doesn't. I thought about being an architect, even went to far as to make it my college major, but then I took a design studio course and realized that it wasn't for me -- my brain wasn't creative in that way (my designs were usually criticized for being too straightforward), and I had a hard time with all the picky drawing details that were required. So I took my life in another direction, which involves being a librarian in a school where interior architecture is taught, and that makes me much happier.
5. fandom meta
Online community fascinates me and always has. I enjoy watching how people communicate and relate to one another in this medium, and seeing how and why it differs from RL community. Why does this disagreement dissolve into wank while another becomes a respectful and wide-ranging discussion? Why do some things cause fandom to unite (Open Source Boobs comes to mind) while others become divisive angst-fests (reactions to Strikethrough)? I can read online discussions for hours. I'm also starting to read more academics like Henry Jenkins to see what understanding can be gleaned from academic study -- I'm really looking forward to the launch of OTW's journal.
6. Top Chef
A fairly new discovery, T and I started watching this reality show in the third season (the fourth season finale will be airing next week). We caught a marathon of the third season when it was about halfway through and got thoroughly hooked. In a way, it was a natural for us since we both enjoy a good cooking show, and unlike some reality shows the competition (in this case, watching food prepared in new and interesting ways) is just as important as the interpersonal drama. This season's cast has been more drama-filled and back-biting than last season's, but some of the food has been amazing, and two of the three chefs in the finale seem like great people who I like and respect and would be happy to see win. (The third, not so much, but her chances of winning seem really slim.) One of the few shows that T and I watch together and with about equal enthusiasm.
I never played a console game until FFX. I had watched T play bits of FFVIII and almost all of FFIX, but when FFX came out, he put the controller in my hands, and I was hooked: on gaming, on storytelling RP games, on the Final Fantasy series, and on the world of Spira. So when FFX-2 came out, I picked it up myself the first day. Not the sweeping epic that FFX was, I still enjoyed playing it, and unlike FFX, this game rewarded many replays by offering so many different directions the story could go. I've played it at least four times all the way through, and I keep discovering new angles. Of course, FFX-2 is also what got me writing fanfic, and drew me into LJ fandom, so we have to give it the credit/blame it deserves.
The mysterious swordsman of FFX and my favorite character from that game. Auron was also my second fanfic "muse", and I still enjoy writing about him, for all that I don't do so as much any more. There is an idea brewing, prompted by a short I wrote several months back; we'll see if anything ever comes of it.
2. comic books
I started reading comics in college, during one of my first trips home. My not-quite-a-boyfriend was really into them; he made several recommendations, and so I picked them up off his bookshelf and started reading. The two series that really got me going were The Sandman (which is among some of the finest literature I've ever read) and The Tick (silly superhero satire fun!). I've been reading them ever since, at varying levels of dedication, although I limit my purchases to graphic novels wherever possible -- I prefer the bound book form to the delicate single issues. Other favorites include Love and Rockets by the Hernandez Brothers (two parallel stories, one following punk rock Latinas in Los Angeles and the other chronicling the lives of the residents of a small Central American town called Palomar -- the only magical realism I've ever really enjoyed), the early issues of Strangers in Paradise (young adults dealing with love, friendship, and figuring out what they really want out of life), and Finder (beautiful and almost impossible to describe in such a short space). I enjoy the way that words and pictures combine to tell a story, to create an experience that's somewhere between reading and watching a film. In some ways, it's the best of both worlds.
3. moose (meese?)
The majestic king of the northern woods, the largest member of the deer family, and my totem animal (for lack of a better word). It all goes back to my sophomore year of college, when my friend J came back from summer vacation with the habit of saying the word "moose" at random times. This habit turned out to be highly contagious; before the month was out, our entire group was doing it. Soon the moose was our personal mascot and the word was our term of affection for one another, as well as the one everyone else at school associated with us -- a friend (not in that group) from the class of '94 once reported people at a reunion reminiscing about the "moose people". So I will always have warm feelings for the noble moose, along with the half-dozen stuffed versions I have picked up over the years.
Tea is another habit I picked up in college. In high school, I was a coffee drinker, but the dining hall coffee was so dreadful that I switched to tea. At the same time, J (the same friend who infected us with the moose bug) had a huge tea selection, and we got in the habit of gathering in her room almost every evening to take a study break and have a cup or two. I sampled them all, settled on some favorites, and began a life-long love for good quality tea. Ceylon is my usual favorite, either alone or blended with Assam, although in recent years I've developed a fondness for Oolong and black Chinese teas such as Keemun.
5. They Might Be Giants
Not the George C. Scott movie (which I've actually never seen), but the band that takes its name from the movie. TMBG is the first musical group that I've ever truly loved, starting back in the days when it was just John Flansburgh and his guitar, John Linnel and his accordian, and a drum machine. They were the first concert I ever saw -- a free show in Union Square in the summer of 1990 -- and I've seen them at least half a dozen times more. They write some of the smartest pop music around; many people dismiss them as a joke band because they write about things like Pavlov's dog and the science of the sun and President Polk, but I would put their musical and songwriting skills up against pretty much anyone recording today.
I've been following politics for as long as I can remember. My dad is a political junkie, and I inherited the tendency -- we would talk about candidates and issues, and watch the returns as they came in. I follow every major election closely, and some of the minor ones as well; I'm interested in the horse race aspects as well as the issues, and this time around I've been able to work my interest in online community into the mix as well. Like both of my parents, I'm a committed Democrat, and I have a hard time bringing myself to consider voting any other way. Voting is very important to me, even when uncontested primaries and stupid propositions are the only issues at hand; I always go to the polls, and I always proudly wear my "I Voted" sticker all day. And then it's time to sit in front of the computer and hit "reload" for a few hours...
7. fandom meta
See #5, above! :)
Boy, this journal has been very memey lately, hasn't it? Just one of those cycles.