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Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004, 09:30 pm
Oh no! Another meme!

Five questions courtesy of kit_ping:

1. Why did you pick a rat as your animal?

I answered this question before in the three questions meme, and all I can do is repeat what I said there:

Although it sounds hopelessly pretentious, I honestly feel as if I didn't pick the rat as a totem animal, the rat chose me. This would explain why I sometimes have a deeply ambivalent relationship with the species. I love them, I adore them, but sometimes I fear them. I will admit I probably did watch The Secret of NIMH or read Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C. O'Brien at a critical point in my development. I'm told that I have a lot of rat-like attributes, most of which are not affectations. It is a question that interests me, but it interests precisely because I can't answer it.

2. What's the stupidest/most inaccurate/most laughable stereotype that Americans hold about Australians?

Gosh. That's really hard for me to say. I suppose I could point to a few stereotypes that irk me.

(a) There are kangaroos hopping down the streets of our cities. If this were true, would I be retreating to Lone Pine periodically? Kangaroos are visually extinct in the urban and suburban environment.

(b) That Australians have, erm, relations with sheep. We Australians blame that on New Zealanders.

(c) That Australians are somehow 'backward' or red-necks. This is the one that really upsets me. Australians, like everyone else, are different. Every year, Sydney hosts the Gay and Lesbian Mardis Gras. Does that sound like a red-necked nation to you? It's true I am embarassed at our Prime Minister, who has done so much to reclaim the red neck vote he was once in danger of losing, but I am hopeful he will be deservedly swept out of office at the next election.

3. What would be a relationship deal-breaker for you? (Can be a friend relationship, a love relationship, or both.)

That would have to be abuse, either physical or verbal. I understand that sometimes, in the heat of the moment, voices may be raised, but it should never go further than that. I'm fortunate enough that I've never been in an abusive relationship, but I would hope that I wouldn't end up feeling 'trapped'. I know I'll never have to worry about that with ristin; if anything, he is sometimes not assertive enough.

4. A political one: what do you think about the UK's decision to make all immigrants prove take an English proficency test, refusing to accept "I'm from Canada/Australia/New Zealand" as proof of English fluency?

Strewth! Fair crack o' the whip, darlin'! If it were a matter of having an informal talk with an immigration official, I would think that fair enough, but needing proof from an English-language school for those without secondary or tertiary qualifications is a bit rich. I don't mind admitting that I'm offended. Surely you Brits can make exceptions for your friends in the Commonwealth?

5. What's one thing (hobby- or sports- wise, I hasten to clarify) that you like to do but not many people know about?

That's a tough one. I'm not sure I can think of anything I like that I don't either have websites celebrating or have mentioned in my LiveJournal. I like reading, which should be no secret, but in particular I enjoy reading classical literature from time to time. I also find walking helps me to clear my head.

This is the part of the meme that I'm most uncomfortable with. Not only will I be perpetuating a meme, but I'll have to think of five questions to ask which is a lot harder than answering them. Only you can stop this travesty! I challenge you not to ask me to interview you!

1 -- Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2 -- I will respond; I'll ask you five questions.
3 -- You'll update YOUR journal with my five questions, and your five answers.
4 -- You'll include this explanation.

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 06:40 am (UTC)
mollymargay

You can interview me

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 02:31 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

1. What is it about mike_kangaroo that makes you love him?

2. You plan to come to Australia, but then what? It's not a criticism of coming to Australia; I'm curious as to your long and short term plans.

3. This is liable to be a touch subject but, do you feel there's any conflict between your furryness and your Christianity? If so, how do you reconcile it?

4. What would be your dream job?

5. What is the current menagerie at home? What will happen to them if you migrate to Australia? (Is this two questions? If so, feel free to skip any one question.)

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 11:19 am (UTC)
nicodemusrat

I haven't done this yet, either, so: I'd like to be interviewed, please.

(And I'm glad to say I didn't have those stereotypes of Aussies. ...But you guys do wrestle alligators and drink beer all the time, right? ;)

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 11:24 am (UTC)
mollymargay

Actually its crocs..lol ;) Over here, from all you see on TV about Aussie, you are led to believe life is just one big party down there and everyone is friends with everyone, and noone has any cares about anything.

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 12:01 pm (UTC)
nicodemusrat

Yep. So the stereotype is that it's basically a paradise.

Ya know, if you need to have a stereotype for your country, that's a pretty good one. :)

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

I must be out of touch with the current stereotypes about Australia. I think, as countries go, Australia is a pretty good place to live. But it is getting infected by a work ethic that I consider unhealthy and must be conributing to the declining birth rate that so scares politicians and economists alike. As Molly said, it's a myth that we wrestle alligators. It's crocs down here, mate. And, yeah, I like the odd beer, but not so often since I met Ristin.

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 02:42 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

1. I gather your household includes your wife and a housemate. How do the dynamics of the household work? Do you and Kit ever feel "crowded"?

2. What is it about you that you identify as being rat-like?

3. Since we're talking so much about stereotypes, what steretype do you think the rest of the world has (I'd ask you to focus on Australia, but that might be too hard) about America that is most unfair?

4. I know you've written a book which is due to be published. (?) Why did you decide to write it?

5. (Here's a curly one.) What little idiosyncrasy have you noticed about Kit, but which just makes you love her more?

Sat, Aug. 28th, 2004 03:41 pm (UTC)
bigkidsid

ME me me! but as you hardly know me it may be tough to find some good questions.... :) Just ask me a couple about plushies!! ;)

Sun, Aug. 29th, 2004 01:29 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

You were difficult to write questions for, but I've done the best I can here:

1. What are your favourite species and kinds of plush?

2. How did you first discover plush?

3. Did you get that cute raccoon at Harrod's? Do you have photos?

4. What do you think is the most unfair stereotype held about the UK by the rest of the world?

5. You seem to have a very good grasp of music. Name the most influential album to come out circa 1978. (Some of my favourite albums came out around that year.)

Sun, Aug. 29th, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC)
bigkidsid

Just gonna answer some here, and do the rest tomorrow

>1. What are your favourite species and kinds of plush?

Favourite species are dogs, wild cats (still looking for a nice black panther) and horses (with apologies to the rest of my plushies!), as to kinds - I like them to be a nice cuddleable size (pref 18+ inches), usually lying down (easier to snuggle with!) and stuffed on "the softer side of medium" and I like them to have nice feeling fur, rather than the "silky" looking but greesy feeling stuff. I also prefer them unclothed, although most of my "Teddy bear" style cuddlies wear nappies/diapers.

2. How did you first discover plush?

I guess I stopped having them as a child when I was about 11-12, and realised that I liked them again when Mum and Dad were taking my brother to university and I saw the cute ones his Girlfriend had!, however I didn't want to buy any, as I was a man, and cuddly toys were for kids (bad prejudice!!) It was 13 years between then and me getting into buying them again (having seen that there were a few people online who kept them too! (this was the beginning of last year). Haven't looked back since - I'm hooked on buying them!!

3. Did you get that cute raccoon at Harrod's? Do you have photos?

No - just too expensive - May consider it sometime though!

(ps - pics of my other plushies are at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fluffyfwends/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fluffyfwends2/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/fluffyfwends3/

)

4. What do you think is the most unfair stereotype held about the UK by the rest of the world?

I'll have to think about this one

5. You seem to have a very good grasp of music. Name the most influential album to come out circa 1978. (Some of my favourite albums came out around that year.)

and this one - it's half midnight and i'm knackered!
(Deleted comment)

Sun, Aug. 29th, 2004 06:24 am (UTC)
sissycoon: Interviewing the 'coon

"Ask me the five ... er, three ... er, five questions, rat boy, I am not afraid!" (Monty Python's Holy Grail reference, in case you didn't twig!) Go for it.

Mon, Aug. 30th, 2004 02:04 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat: Re: Interviewing the 'coon

1. How did you meet Squirrel?

2. This shouldn't be taken as a criticism, but why are you keeping your LiveJournal secret from Squirrel?

3. What is the appeal in cross-dressing? (I'm asking from a spirit of inquiry.)

4. I know you said you don't buy into doing romantic crap, but I'm in charge now. ;) What do you love most about Squrrel?

5. How would you describe your relationship with Squirrel? Is it "open"? If so, how do the dynamics of that work?

There are many other questions I could ask, but I'm only allowed five. You will notice that most of them are about Squirrel; love is a topic that understandably occupies me a great deal of late.

Sun, Aug. 29th, 2004 07:09 am (UTC)
darqrat

Heh, I used to live where the Kangaroo's would jump down the street ;)

I'd ask you to give me some questions as I am curious as to what you would ask, but I think that would be unfair to you. Afterall, we don't know each very well yet. :)

I can relate to your question one...*nods

Mon, Aug. 30th, 2004 04:09 am (UTC)
shadowbitten

You are welcome to interview me as well.

Feel free to ask anything. *grins*
I can always circumvent it.. *nefarious chuckle*

Mon, Aug. 30th, 2004 01:57 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

Um, I'll get back to you...

Tue, Aug. 31st, 2004 12:40 am (UTC)
shadowbitten

*grins*
I'll be waiting... ;-)
*nefarious grin*

What?? I didn't DO anything...

Wed, Sep. 1st, 2004 03:47 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat

1. I have a vivid memory of you describing in detail how you neutered your pet rat. You were trying to shock me, but I think, if you have the skills and equipment, it is a loving act. What other surgical procedures have you performed on your pets or those of your friends?

2. You have mentioned you have been the victim of racism in Denmark. Have you ever considered emigrating and, if so, where?

3. You are a fan of larping, which I gather is also popular in Finland. Why do you think larping is so popular in Scandinavian countries?

4. *braces himself* Tell me about your children?

5. The former Tasmanian Governor Richard Butler, who recently resigned his post, apparently disgraced himself at the wedding of Tasmanian Mary Donaldson to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark by starting to eat before the Queen arrived. How was his behaviour received in Denmark and how did it reflect on Australia as a whole?

Tue, Aug. 31st, 2004 04:32 pm (UTC)
subrosa_florens

*waves hand in air*

Oooh! Oooh! Mr Kotter! Pick Me! Pick Me!

Any 5 questions, go ahead.

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 04:10 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat

1. How long have you felt that you are really a woman?

2. When did you first become interested in Wicca?

3. What attracted you to Wicca?

4. This is a complicated question. Where do you feel your self image lies? In your body, in how you see yourself in your mind, in how others see you? I'm not explaining this very well. I can try again later when I'm more awake if you like.

5. I really should download one of your stories and read them. Where do you recommend I start?

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 01:38 pm (UTC)
subrosa_florens

I am going to put my answers here and on my journal as well. What can I say, I am a rebel.

1. How long have you felt that you are really a woman?

I have known since I was 2 years old (which is as far back as I can remember anything) that I was not a boy, even though that is what everyone kept telling me I was. Sometime between then and 4 years old I realized that I wanted to be a girl. To have a girl's body, to dress like a girl, to live as a girl. The details are in this post.

Of course it was not until much later that I found out that I really could be a girl. Growing up, it was one of those things that just seemed impossible. Like breathing underwater or flying. Something I could only do in my mind. It was not until I was in my 20s that I ever heard the word Transsexuality.

Now of course I have the facts about my condition. I was a woman before I was ever born. From about 6-7 weeks after conception. Look here
here, and here for the evidence.


2. When did you first become interested in Wicca?

The seeds were sown last fall when I was doing some research on Goddess worship. Something that was itself spurred on by collecting counter-intelligence on the bible. Then a few months later, in January, I started reading about it all again to help create my background for Amalia, not to menton for the Ionian magicians. That got it all brewing in my mind.


3. What attracted you to Wicca?

Wicca had caught my eye the first time. Now it did again for two reasons. One was magick. It offered a good basis to build how magic works in my fiction. The other was the core beliefs of Wicca itself, and how they related to me.

There are a lot of things about Wicca itself that attracts me. First as a feminist, I appreciate a religion that does not repress women as so many others do. Secondly, as a minority, I appreciate a religion that does not arbitrarily persecute anyone. One that in fact does not toleate that kind of behaviour at all. Something many other religions say while all along they encourage hatred.

Then there is the connection to life and the natural world. Which is to say, the entire Universe. In Wicca, divinity is imanant, meaning a part of everything and everyone. You, me, this chair I am sitting on, everything. Divinity is not separate from life. It is an inseperabe part of it.

There is also the way that Wicca places responsiblity upon the individual, and in so doing, encourages one to empower oneself. The Lord and Lady are not here to answer our prayers and make our lives better, like children crying for their mother. That is up to us to do. Most simply put, Witchcraft the ability to change our world, and Witches like myself are people who dare to use their inborn ability to do that.

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 01:41 pm (UTC)
subrosa_florens

4. This is a complicated question. Where do you feel your self image lies? In your body, in how you see yourself in your mind, in how others see you? I'm not explaining this very well. I can try again later when I'm more awake if you like.

I am not sure what you mean by self-image? Do you mean my identity? I would say my brain to that, seasoned by my experiences.


5. I really should download one of your stories and read them. Where do you recommend I start?

Start with something recent. The Amalia & Tanistrae stories. If you want something short and simple to just get a sample of my writing style, then read Of Horses And Friendship. If you are willing to read something with substance (and more pages) then read The Dolmen. If you want to read all the Amalia & Tanistrae fiction, do it in the following order: The Dolmen, Bedtime Stories, then finally Of Horses And Friendship. Look at the Setting Notes for a map and a look at the work I put in building the background for my writing.

Wed, Sep. 1st, 2004 01:03 pm (UTC)
shadowbitten

*snip*1. I have a vivid memory of you describing in detail how you neutered your pet rat. You were trying to shock me, but I think, if you have the skills and equipment, it is a loving act. What other surgical procedures have you performed on your pets or those of your friends? *snap*

#1:
Well, I've done spaying on my cats and my horse. Though the latter required that we went in through the abdomen/groin area and thus was a regular surgery. I've removed a fishhook from a dog and subsequently sewed the mutt back together again (5 stitches, big fishhook). On my friends none. Though I've drawn blood on a friend, because she didn't trust others to do it.

*snip*2. You have mentioned you have been the victim of racism in Denmark. Have you ever considered emigrating and, if so, where?*snap*

#2: No, I haven't considered moving away from my country. Because if I move away, who is going to lead by example then, and set the higher standards?

*snip*3. You are a fan of larping, which I gather is also popular in Finland. Why do you think larping is so popular in Scandinavian countries?*snap*

#3: It is a way to play dress up for us girls.;-) But it is also a way to escape the nerdness/geekness of everyday life. It is a safe way for men to be men and women to be women. You know, reversal to the genderroles. Courtesy, chivalry, true love, Honor and glory for the good. You know, black and white IS black and white..:-)
It is also a way to outlive your inner elf or bitch..;-) Guess what I am??:-)

*snips*4. *braces himself* Tell me about your children?*snap*
No, not if you have to brace yourself. I give information on my kids freely. I do not believe in forcing my kids down other people throats.

*snip*5. The former Tasmanian Governor Richard Butler, who recently resigned his post, apparently disgraced himself at the wedding of Tasmanian Mary Donaldson to Crown Prince Frederik of Denmark by starting to eat before the Queen arrived. How was his behaviour received in Denmark and how did it reflect on Australia as a whole?*snap*

Well, his behaviour was received like this:
"Stoopid australian! Backwater bushman!" with the complimentary rolled eyes and headshakes...
"He must have been told. Or was he just plain dumb?" "If that is the usual sort of statesmen they have... *rolled eyes*
Others was: "*grinning from ear to ear*
And "Who did what at the wedding??"
And "Who cares?"

But mostly it was: "Who cares?" and "Who did what?"

*grins*
No worries mate. Every one knows that OUR Mary is from Hobart Tasmania.;-) NOT from plain Ozz... *laughs my head off*

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 02:44 am (UTC)
marko_the_rat

No worries mate. Every one knows that OUR Mary is from Hobart Tasmania.;-) NOT from plain Ozz... *laughs my head off*

So was the Governor, I hasten to point out!

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 06:31 am (UTC)
shadowbitten

*grins* Well, we got the best part of Tasmania and left you the dross..:-)

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 01:13 pm (UTC)
marko_the_rat

It's true. And I have to admit Richard Butler was a mainlander originally; he only moved to Tasmania when they offered him the plum job.

Thu, Sep. 2nd, 2004 11:08 pm (UTC)
shadowbitten

Well, then he isn't a tasmanian devil, now is he?? *grins*