Monday, 12 August 2019

7 Little Questions

If, like me, you've been trying to keep up with the Blaugust posts this week, then you'll have noticed a few iterations of this little 'seven questions' LiveJournal-style meme floating about. I never had a LiveJournal, but I absorbed the content of quite a few of them back in the day, and when I gt around to making a blog I tried to keep a lot of the personal day-to-day nature that seemed to ooze out of them, as I remember how much I enjoyed seeing those little glimpses into people's day-to-days, and the ups and downs of real life. 

Remember when we called these viral things that travelled from blog to blog memes? I must have sent the answers to hundreds of these questions to various friends over the years. I hate to think what dirt sort of them must have on me, should I ever lose my marbles enough to attempt to run for public office.

These questions appeared on Naithin's Time to Loot blog earlier in the week, and I thought it would be a good topic, both for my weekly response to Blaugust post and also for 'Getting to Know You' week. I hope that you get a little peek into my life through it and that you find a little enjoyment in getting to know me a little better. Feel free to ask more questions if you feel it drags any up, too, there's few things I enjoy more than talking about myself, after all.

What hobbies or interests do you have that you might not regularly include on your blog?

The part of my life that takes up the most time but goes mostly under the radar here on the Leaflocker is probably my faith. From the blog I imagine that people would get an idea that I spend all of my time playing games and generally lounging about, and while that's not a completely inaccurate assessment, I also spend a significant amount -though never as much as I'd like- of my time reading and praying, and for most of the life of the blog I've been working in churches too.
The beautiful College Chapel has been an important place of meditations and reflection for me in recent years.

I've tried to share some Christian stuff on the blog here and there -last Blaugust one of my weekly topics was going to be the homilies that I've planned or preached for our college chapel- I've generally found that I have to work very hard to make it work. Somehow the tone and flow that I have here doesn't work for it. Maybe it's just that I do take my faith seriously and the blog is a casual pursuit with a pretty high level of irreverence that doesn't suit it. The same can be said for my daily life, though, I'm not a very committed evangelist because I struggle to make room for my faith in my daily conversations unless I'm really working at it, so it's not just a blog thing!

Are you learning any skills at the moment? If not, what would you like to learn?

I've done a little bit of self-taught book-binding here and there, and that's something that I'd really like to spend a bit more effort committing to on a larger scale. It's a relatively easy way to make something beautiful and personal, and as someone who is terrible at giving gifts but likes to keep busy it seems like a perfect hobby to get me out of the constant bind of wondering what to get people for birthdays and weddings.

Ultimately by the end of the Great Conversation Project I'd like to be able to make my own hard-bound versions of the books that make my own personal canon and have a whole shelf of matching books that I've printed and bound myself, but that's a pretty long-term goal, and not just because the Great Conversation is currently looking like running for about 70 years.

If you were invited on a one-way trip to Mars to establish a new colony, would you go?

I think so. Living away from home for a while has shown me that while I do suffer from homesickness, often pretty severely, it's a feeling that can be mostly mitigated by the occasional long-distance call passes and that doesn't get in the way of getting on with life. I'd be more likely to go if I could take, oh...a couple of hundred of my favourite people with me, but I suppose if you're selected for a one-way Mars mission bringing that sort of luggage isn't really an option.

You also have to wonder what kind of Mars mission would consider me as a candidate. Presumably you need people with specialised skills, a high level of fitness and a single-minded passion to see things through, and I am not remotely qualified in any of those areas. If their screening process lets me in, I'm not entirely confident that I'd feel comfortable trusting that the mission leadership are qualified for the position and I wouldn't expect our new colony to last very long.

That said, I'm generally alright at giving unfamiliar things a good solid try, I don't mind a bit of hard work and have a can-do attitude and a sense of prioritising the communal good that could be useful on a Mars mission. I also don't really own very many things and aren't that attached to the things that I do, and don't really need creature comforts that aren't caffeine-based, so there's no worry about that. I try to be generally likable and am pretty confident that I am at least a lot less annoying than I was in my youth. So they could do worse. Pick me, pick me!

What is the one thing that you most want readers to come away from your blog with? 

I'd like folks to go away glad they'd visited and a desire to learn more. Whether it's a book post or a game post or a bit of nonsense, I want people to have wanted to keep reading when I reach the conclusion, to have found a line here or there to have brought a smile to their face, and to have an overwhelming desire to open a wikipedia tab and look into something fun that I mentioned in passing. Basically, I try to convey the idea of a comfortable friendly late-night conversation with a dear friend, with laughter, a little bit of off-topic rambling, and the sort of atmosphere where you could bring up something important to you if you needed to, knowing that I'd listen and care. I'm not sure the blog goes there most of time, but that's the sort of vibe that I shoot for.

What excites you most about having a blog?

The most exciting part is when you've run with an idea and managed to turn a blank page into something that someone might actually want to read. There's a moment when you're about half-way through when it suddenly just clicks, you can envision a potential reader being carried along with what you're writing and just nodding as they scroll. That's a good feeling. It's usually followed by the recognition that actually, on second though, this is utter nonsense, but every now and then it's not, and even when it is the original feeling is intoxicating enough to keep me coming back for more.

If you could make one thing from a book, TV show or movie real, and in your possession, what would it be?

If I owned a sonic screwdriver, I wouldn't need to remember my house keys, and I'd be employable in any number of services, identifying and fixing mechanical problems. I think it'd be a pretty good excuse to get to look around interesting places and a fun toy to just play with when I have a quiet moment. Also, I could make that really annoying woowoowoo noise and drive any dogs in the area completely nuts, so that'd be a big win, I reckon.

They say everyone has at least one book in them — if you were to write a book, what would it be about?

I still want to write that comic-book about time travelling popes. I still can't draw, or write, and don't have any really solid ideas for it, but I am still 150% committed to the idea of being a person that is one day going to write a time travelling pope book.

Usually one ends this sort of post by tagging other people that should answer some questions, but I've always found that sort of thing the least attractive part of the whole process. I like talking about myself, but I also like throwing these words out into the ether to the nameless internet rather than to any particular individual. If you've read this and you feel the need to respond, that makes my day. Take that energy and turn into a blog post that leaves people with an insatiable urge to open a wikipedia tab.

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