March 19, 2007

Dialogue, Duologue, Diatribe

Memes again! This one's what might be described as "self-tagging." If any of my faithful readership want to carry on with it, here's how it works:
Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better. If I already know you well, expect the questions may be a little more intimate!
You WILL update your journal/bloggy thing/whatever with the answers to the questions.
You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
Me, I've volunteered to be interviewed by the sharp and eloquent Belledame, who it was my pleasure to actually hang out with in person during Spyder's birthday celebration a few weekends back. (Yes, she is also wicked cool in the flesh.) Anyway, here follow the results:

1) Who's your favorite Gaiman character?

Starting right in with the easy ones, I see.

There's a lot to choose from here, but I have to say the one I was always happiest to see come around in the pages of Sandman was Hob Gadling. Hob is, for my money, a really fine example of Gaiman magic - he's frequently arrogant, self-absorbed, opportunistic, and full of his own sense of entitlement, and at the same time he's genuinely charming and witty and even (eventually) compassionate, and very human in spite of all the weird things he sees over the centuries. (I love how, even after hundreds of years and all his changes of fortune, his self-image is still of a scruffy 14th-century freeman commoner.) He's almost always a grounding force in the Sandman storylines, and that's not an obvious trick to pull off with a character who's immortal. Plus he gets a lot of the best lines, especially at the Ren Faire in "Sunday Mourning" ("You should spray 'em with shit as they come through the gates").

And I have to say that his storyline was ballsy in a lot of ways. He gets wiser and sadder, yes; but he doesn't learn any kind of stupid lesson that the value of life is that it ends. He learns that, despite everything, given a chance, the more of life he gets the more he wants more of it. There's something very honest and true about that, and using fantasy to say honest and true things is pretty much what I read Neil Gaiman for.

2) If you could play any musical instrument that you can't already play, what would it be?

I'd love to play lute and/or harp, the two emblematic instruments of the musical heritage I identify most strongly with. Actually, what I'd really like is to have the patience and dexterity necessary to learn those techniques, because I'm really crap at arpeggios and fingerpicking, to the extent that I sometimes wonder if there isn't some kind of actual learning disability at work.

On the more reasonable end of my capabilities, I'd really like to learn the hurdy-gurdy.

3) Favorite epoch for clothing?

Again with the easy questions. Damn.

Well, forced to narrow it down to a reasonable timeframe, considering that I'm fond of pretty much everything from cowls and liripipes on one end of the timeline to cavalier coats on the other, I'd have to say the 16th century. (Raise your hand, everyone who's surprised. Yeah, that's what I thought.) Say what you will about ruffs and pumpkin pants - and as far as over-the-top frippery goes, I'll take those in a heartbeat over a lot of other sartorial excesses - there's just something about a well-fashioned doublet that's pure style and cool. Plus, rapiers. And codpieces.

4) Name an actor or public figure you think is the hawtness.

I'm hardly unique in this, I'm sure, even in the switch-hitting dork set, so it will shock exactly no one to learn that Aly Hannigan and Alan Cumming have occupied honored places on my Freebie List for some small time now. I mean, hello.

5) What makes you happy?

The seasons changing. Moonlight. Starlight. Having a house full of people I love. New books. Traveling. Coming home. City lights. Trees. My puppy and my kitten. Staying up late. Getting up early. Sleeping in. Good food and drink. Smart pop culture, and having conversations about it. Music. Finding other people who are in my tribe. Knowing someone loves something I've created. Going to the movies. Having quiet time to read. Being friends for ten years and counting with the person I'm married to. Making things up.

March 07, 2007

Articulate Announcements

No, I don't know where the hell the comments went. It may be that BackBlog truly did dissolve into air, into thin air.

I've been meaning to switch to HaloScan anyway; I managed to save an archive of the comments here up to the end of last year, so some of that may yet be restored. Should've updated recently! Oh, well.

In the meantime, I suppose you can always come around and harass me on the LJ.

March 02, 2007

Blameless and Amazon

Elizabeth Bear (whose books you should read, and on whose livejournal I've found myself of late engaging in the Wednesday night Criminal Minds fansquee, because I am the King of the Chubby Nerds) has written a self-described feminist screed on the Subterranean Press website that pretty much sums up exactly how I feel about this gender-and-society stuff:
Dear Patriarchy:

I don’t care what you think.

I’m not here to convert you. I’m not here to enlighten you. I’m not here to try to earn your respect. I don’t need it.

I am not scared of you.
It is, as the kids these days say, made out of awesome. RTWT, right now.

(And it occurs to me that this is more or less exactly the sort of thing I mean when I say, "I'm a feminist. Not the nuts kind.")