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[personal profile] kageotogi
[personal profile] lawless523 posted this and, well, someone (*coff[profile] masteroftroublecoff*) keeps kvetching about how I never update my journal even though I say I will, so here. I did a meme.

I've done it before, and I'm sure y'all know the rules. Comment to this post, and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post the list with your answers to your Journal. By commenting, others can get lists from you, and so we keep the meme running.

[personal profile] lawless523 gave me...

1. What's your favorite oddball flavor combination?

I had to think about this one for a while. I like a lot of different things and I enjoy a ton of things mixed together that shouldn't work but do (try this: toss sliced strawberries in a pan with some balsamic vinegar and brown sugar, add a little black pepper, let the whole mix get syrupy, and pour that over vanilla ice cream. YUM). But oddball flavor combinations? It stumped me.

And then I remembered: peanut butter pizza.

Growing up, there was a pizza place about twenty minutes away that specialized in "weird" pizza toppings. One of those was a pizza -- standard pizza with tomato sauce, cheese, etcetera -- with peanut butter either mixed in the sauce or spread on the crust or something, I'm not sure. But it was peanut buttery and it was weird and it was delicious. I remember being very hesitant to even try it, but my brothers raved about it (although the youngest brother used to eat grilled PB&Js and cheese, so his taste was questionable to begin with) and eventually they broke me down. It was fabulous. I still chose standard pepperoni or hawaiian pizza over the PB pizza most of the time, but it was a good occasional treat.

I haven't had PB pizza in years, though, and my palate has changed considerably since then. Who knows if I'd like it now?

2. What is your favorite genre of book to read (if you have one)?
Haha... Does "Arthurian" count as a genre? I've been obsessed with Camelot-based stories since I was little. I started that obsession with The Once and Future King, which remains one of my top five books ever, and then it just got worse when I found a copy of The Crystal Cave in the collection of books in my parents' basement. I added to all that with the Guinevere series and the Mists of Avalon books and so and so forth, but yeah. Arthurian. It gets me every time.

If we're not counting that as its own genre, then I'm going to go with (and this one should be a bit of a surprise) supernatural romances. I discredited romance as a genre for a really long time, mostly because most of the romance books I came across growing up were historical romances or super cheesy and basically an excuse for softcore porn, which isn't really my thing. Sometime in my late-junior high years, I think my mother got tired of me wrinkling my nose at all her books and she pointed me in the direction of a romance series that had vampires and witches and it was awesome. I can't remember what it was, but I kind of devoured it. It also rekindled my childhood obsession with vampires (I read the "My Babysitter is a Vampire!" series when I much, much younger, but the junior high years brought me into the Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles), which later turned into an obsession with everything undead which went on to become an obsession with specifically zombies, which continues to this day.

All that said, Twilight is still absolutely fucking ridiculous.

3. When did you first start writing stories and how long have you known that's what you want to do?
I used to get in trouble in school for daydreaming all the time, so one of my teachers put a piece of paper and a few crayons in front of me and told me to draw whatever it was that was distracting me from the lesson, then get in front of the class and explain it. It was supposed to be a punishment. It wound up being a drawing of a princess riding a unicorn and an hour-long story about the cloud princess and how she had to save an entire kingdom from the evil storm clouds that were threatening to rain over her kingdom forever (no, really, rain, not reign. I was apparently a punny eight-year-old). I think probably my teacher interrupted me after the first fifteen minutes or so, but I finished my story over recess to a few people who wanted to hear how it ended. Either way, the teacher learned her lesson and never asked me to tell the class what I was daydreaming about again, and I learned the art of the doodle.

It kind of spiraled out of control from there. I eventually realized the doodles were too obvious -- people could tell that I was drawing instead of paying attention -- so I started making up stories instead. I wasn't much of an artist anyway, so overall this was the better choice. I don't think I started writing them down until maybe the end of elementary school or the beginning of junior high, when my neighbor across the street moved in and we started making up stories and plays. We had a grand scheme to write a play and perform it for the neighborhood and make lots of money and get discovered and never have to take math classes again. That clearly didn't work out, but eh.

I kind of figured out that I wanted to write -- rather than just make up stories -- at the very end of junior high or the beginning of high school. That's also around the time I stopped taking notes in class and started writing stories (and fan fiction) instead. That was better than doodling, since it looked like I was taking notes, and while, okay, maybe I should have paid more attention in some classes (math, again), for the most part it didn't hurt my grades. (As an aside, I only got called out on this habit once, in college, and the professor just shook her head and told me to be less obvious because, since I was making the grades and was the only English major in this particular writing-based course, she really didn't care.)

...what was the question? Right. Okay. Long story short, I started making up stories at, like, age five, telling stories around eight or nine, writing them down around twelve or thirteen, and started sharing those written stories at about fifteen. The end.

4. What's the grossest photograph or illustration from a book that you've edited?
Oh dear... Well, we've decided within our office that everyone has their "thing" that they can't stand to read about. One coworker hates embryology books solely because the photographs are usually of deceased infants. Another coworker can't stand the pictures of teeth. One other coworker has a habit of always flipping anatomy books to the chapter on the pelvis, and that kind of grosses her out a little. We all have our things. My thing is eyeballs.

The good news there is that the books I edit typically have very little to do with eyeballs. I don't work on any ophthalmology or oncology-based books, so I lucked out there. What I do work on, occasionally, are books on family medicine. And those family medicine books, without fail, have chapters on the eyes. One particular book was a one-colour book (so it was black and white, no colour in the design or the text) with a colour plate in the middle (so a few glossy sheets of paper with colour photographs). And, of course, two pages of that colour plate were devoted to... eyeballs.

I happened to be perusing the previous edition of this book on the train home one day. I got to the colour plate and glanced at it long enough to see a picture of a person's eyelid held up and open per Clockwork Orange and needles stuck into the pupil. I nearly vomited. So yes, that wins the "grosses picture ever" award, in my book.

(Oddly, I have two "things" I can't stand. I hate seeing pictures of eyeballs, but I hate reading about ovaries. Ob/gyn books kind of make me squeamish solely because I have an overactive imagination and a touch of hypochondria and without fail read the descriptions of torn and ripped uteri or ovarian tubes and imagine it happening to me. I tend to skim those parts, when I can...)

5. What do you like best about Baltimore? What do you like least?
B'more has a little bit of everything, which is great, and it is a wealth of culture -- and, more importantly, all kinds of different subcultures. There are, for instance, the Hons. Hons have their own rich history and culture and quirks, and they are entirely different from the history and culture and quirks of, say, the 12 O'clock Boys (the dirt bike culture, so to speak) or the Napoleons (an all-male group of Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts).

Baltimore is the city where people race (and train) homing pigeons. The city where people congregate in front of a grave site every year to see if a mysterious, anonymous man will leave gifts for Edgar Allan Poe. The city of H. L. Mencken. The home of Babe Ruth. The only place I trust to serve a good crab cake (sorry, New England) along with maybe some Old Bay fries and a Berger cookie. It once hosted the greatest sideshow museum in the country. Film and television crews flock here (recent movie and television crews? Game Change and "VEEP" are the ones that immediately pop to mind. I can actually tell you what Woody Harrelson's bus/trailer looks like, mostly because I almost broke into it.) To sum up: I love that Baltimore is never boring.

To that end, it's also a city with a reputation, and that part isn't so great. Every time I tell someone I'm from Baltimore and they respond "Oh, like 'The Wire'!", I fight the urge to cringe. Not because the show is bad -- it's definitely not -- but because it's honest. Baltimore deserves its reputation. The trouble is that it's so much more than Murderland Alley. It's more than the drugs and the crime and the corrupt government. But that's what sticks with people.

6. How and when did you first get into anime?
I kind of grew up with the mindset that "if it's a cartoon, it's appropriate for children". This apparently explains a lot of the more screwed up aspects of my childhood imagination, since apparently the cartoons in my repertoire included things like Sarah and the Squirrel and the slightly-less-like-an-acid-trip Anderusen Dōwa Ningyo Hime (basically, the anime version of The Little Mermaid, told Hans Christian Andersen style). So, yeah. Ningyo Hime was my first anime, back before I knew it was anime, and I think there was an anime version of The Wizard of Oz that popped up now and then, too.

That said, those were "cartoons" when I was growing up, not anime. I didn't really recognize the difference between the two -- or actively start watching anime -- until much later. I think I started with... I don't know. Gundam Wing? DBZ? Something like that. Not Sailor Moon, because that weirded me out a little for some reason. And my brothers watched Pokemon, so I watched that with them now and then, too. But all that was when I was iiiiin... junior high? High school? Early teens.

7. How and when did you first get into BL?
Junior year of high school. I had a friend I knew from when I lived in Canada who somehow found out I was into the anime stuff, and she was into BL. She started sending me all kinds of things. And then I had two high school friends -- the only real-life friends I could really talk to about anime and stuff at all, really -- who were sort of dipping their hands into that field (one way more so than the other). And then they introduced me to the Gundam Wing BBS and... Well, it kind of went downhill from there. I started reading it. And then I started writing it. And then I started reading new series that focused on the BL. And then Gravitation happened and everything got a little out of control.

The end!
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