I got this list of questions from missdimple, who got it from rek.
(1) What were you like at age 10?
I was quiet, bookish, and completely uninterested in other ten-year-olds. At 10, I was starting to be interested in school (having had a pretty dreadful first few grades), but didn’t really get along with the other kids. I think at 10 I had just read Roots, and was interested in the history of slavery and the slave trade, and the lives the kidnapped Africans had been taken from. At 10 I wanted to be a doctor when I grew up. I still had serious, sometimes life-threatening asthma, and spent a fair amount of time in the hospital. I think that was around when I had my abortive encounter with the Boy Scouts. I remember obsessing for a long time about whether I could honourably recite the Boy Scout Creed (or whatever it was) despite not believing in a god. I overcame my moral qualms enough to join (which I regret), and discovered I didn’t really have much interest in what it got me, anyway. Ask me what I was like at 13, and the picture is considerably less bleak. :-)
(2) What’s your color, and why?
Brown. No, blue. *Aaaaaaaugh.....* Seriously, I tend to wear earth tones and blues (and often black, but I don't think of it as “my colour”). I think if I had to choose I’d say brown, although I wear more blue, and I think brown is my colour because it feels natural, earthy, unpretentious, and relaxed. I especially love a kind of reddish-brown dye made from a certain kind of Hawai'ian clay, but I didn’t get any T-shirts made with it because they all had writing or pictures on them that I didn’t particularly like.
(3) Do you like your job?
I love my job! My boss is wonderful, I’m insulated from politics and get to do a fair amount of things that are fun, I work with fun, interesting people, and I work for a place that generally treats its employees well. So far, I get Fridays off in the summer (there are rumblings that that may change), and I also get lots of vacation. The think I like least about my job is sharing an office — my officemate is great and lots of fun, but I don’t deal with interruptions or distractions as well as you’d expect for someone in my profession, and I find it a struggle to focus and get stuff done when I’m sharing an office. But they’re building us a new building in which I’ll have my own office again, so that’s cool! My job is part of the reason I’m still in Boston so far, even though my better two thirds aren’t. (My friends and community are of course also part of that.)
(4) What was an event or occurrence in your life that changed the way you live or think about the world?
Obviously (to anybody who knows me), meeting Tigris. Over the years, we grew together and I started seeing the world partly through her eyes.
Another one from a few years earlier was getting plugged into a community of people who identified as bi and poly. I’d already identified as poly (the term having been coined a little while before), but now all of a sudden that wasn’t some isolated thing I was doing all by myself out in the wilderness, but a community, a social network I could be a part of. And while I had already discovered that I could be attracted to men, it was only being around people who had feelings similar to mine and called themselves bi that inspired me to adopt that label for myself and think of myself as part of the bi community. And that got me connected to the Boston bi community, which was part of why I ended up moving here. (So, indirectly, that may have led to me meeting Tigris. That’s the way the world works. :-)
(5) What's the coolest place you've ever been to?
There are so many! If you mean a city, I’d have a hard time choosing between Durban and Amsterdam. I’d definitely choose to live in Amsterdam over Durban, but I don’t think “coolness” is my criterion for a place to live, so that doesn’t answer the question. If you mean just a place, and for sheer visual awe and strangeness, I’d have to say the fresh lava fields of the Big Island. Umfolozi-Hluhluwe wildlife preserve north of Durban was really fantastic, too. (People interested in these places might want to check out my picture gallery, although the South Africa pictures are elsewhere, and I don’t have any of the Amsterdam pictures up yet.
Oh, here’s another cool place: the International Court of Justice at the Hague, which I saw on a day trip when we were visiting Amsterdam. It really did something to me to see the flag of my planet and my species flying there in front of an institution I believed in.