Meme stolen from summer_jackel 'round about a month ago now ...
Here's how it works:
1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog/site with the answers to the questions and leave the answers as comments on my blog.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
This works much better when the questions are personalized with some care, as Summer's were. (Of course, that she knows me in person did help inform that, especially #5.) So if you request an interview I'll try to put together some good ones. They may not be immediate, though.
As for the questions I got asked ...
1. How large is your tank, and do you have it yet?
The tank is 46 gallons, with a bow front even. It arrived last month, we spent several weeks trying to put together its inanimate contents and buy all of the necessary accessories, and the first feesh entered the water right about tax day. It only took about two and a half months to actually get it running after winning it from work. (There were delays getting the feesh store to order it from backstock, then delays finding a way to get it from the store to our house, then finding a place to set it up ...)
2. What sort of fish or other denizens are you planning/have you added to it?
After careful study, kadyg and I agreed that no matter what sort of fish we wanted for our community tank, a plecostomus would be basically essential. So when we bought our first fish (and live plants), a common pleco and three male guppies (cheap fish!) came home to get the tank ecosystem started. A week later, we added three more male guppies and a male betta (quite the stag tank we've got). Ammonia did one of the new gups in, nitrite a second, but we seem to have stabilized with only two casualties.
The tank looks awfully empty and many more feesh will be added -- Kady has called dibs on the next purchase, a mini-school of neon tetras. Beyond that, we're open to suggestions, at least of the plays-well-with-others variety. I also think a non-nippy gourami would be nifty. Meanwhile, our pleco is doing well, has grown to 3.25 inches, and I've fallen in love with his chocolate-colored stripeyness.
[n.b.: Pictures of fish will be forthcoming.]
3. Whence Baxil the dragon...how long has he been with you, and how did you develop his character design? (objection; compound question. ;)
I don't consider Baxil to be a separate entity. As for how long - the name was given by a dear friend and girlfriend in high school, around the same time period my way of thinking coalesced into "I believe I am a dragon in spirit," so it's now been slightly over a decade.
"Character design," insofar as the physical representation goes, began with a past-life regression, and was refined through introspection (and one or two arbitrary choices) as I noticed certain elements kept flip-flopping in my drawings or seemed out of place. The dragon that people have come to visually associate with Baxil is an amalgam of my appearance in my most recent past life and what seems to be a "default," comfortable spiritual appearance, but over time it and I have both grown into each other.
4. How did you decide to pursue journalism?
Pretty much purely an accident of history. I like writing and I'm a good editor. In college, I noticed an ad in UC Santa Barbara's Daily Nexus seeking copy editors, and I figured volunteering for the student paper would be a good excuse to get out of the dorms once in a while and hone my wordsmithery. Only after I was hired (and handed my first paycheck!) did I realize that, in fact, it was a paying position. Of course, turnover at college papers is pretty high, and I quickly became assistant copy editor ... then copy editor ... and then won a statewide award ... and it was all sort of downhill from there.
5. When did you start dancing?
I will admit, without shame or self-consciousness, that my journey to the dance floor began with Dance Dance Revolution. No! Really! I've always had a decent sense of rhythm, but there's a tremendous self-consciousness involved in showing off your moves for an audience. Starting to play DDR helped rewire my mind to put the feet on autopilot, confident in the sort of muscle memory that comes from dashing through a series of blazingly fast arrows.
And it really is an incredible teaching aid if you persist through the difficulty levels -- in order to proceed past the medium-difficulty plateau to top-level play, you have to be comfortable with body twists, spins, and going through sequences of steps with your eyes off the screen. From there, you're only one epiphany away from "Hey, I could do this without a screen, too!" and then from there to escaping the confines of the four arrows and taking over a floor.