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Interview With The Dragon - Baxil [bakh-HEEL'], n. My Sites [Tomorrowlands] [The TTU Wiki] [Photos]
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May 5th, 2005
03:00 am
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Interview With The Dragon
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.

Current Mood: productiveproductive
Current Music: Oingo Boingo, "Helpless"

(18 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:May 5th, 2005 11:30 am (UTC)
Oooh that looks like fun. :D Interview me!
[User Picture]
Date:May 5th, 2005 04:40 pm (UTC)
And when you're done with that... interview me!

I'm glad I'm second, because I'm betting you're gonna have loads of requests...
Date:May 5th, 2005 05:05 pm (UTC)

Meow? Interview me?

Date:May 5th, 2005 05:26 pm (UTC)
Interview me, and we shall rule the Galaxy as Guy and Other Guy. =D
Date:May 5th, 2005 05:54 pm (UTC)
I would reccomend you NOt get neon tetras... in fact, I strongly reccomend against any tetras. Neon tetras need at least 12-15 of them to be happy, they are schooling fishies. All tetras are schooling fishies, and even the easier ones need at least 10 for happiness. also, all tetras are *extremely* temperature sensitive, ebo-jager heaters work best with them.

I had 10 lemon tetras, cute little things, and they were divinely happy all by themselves in a 29 gal aquarium with lots of hiding places and much room to school. Lemon tetras (based on the research I did) are the easiest to care for tetras, but overall they aren`t that easy of fish to keep alive, especially in a new tank. They need enough of them to have a proper school, and hiding spots, and open space to be able to swim together. They also generally need a pH a bit lower than most other fresh-water fishies, mine were happiest between 6.5-6.8, and pretty high temperatures, too high to keep with goldfish, for example. I lost a whole school of tetras just getting the tank started, and lost a few more to disease, stress, etc. But they are adorable fishies!!

Plecos are amazing fish, and the one thing about them I`ll say is that they are FILTHY! worse than goldfish. they get rather large too, I saw a pleco that was almost 2feet long, huge cute fishie! they are also succeptible to unknown myserious death syndrome, after some sort of change to the tank, so you know. They, just like tetras, need lots of room. I think on average, the way to count space is .... now I forget. but its by inch of fish though I forget the ratio, doubled for dirty fish and schooling fish.

Good luck with your tank and may it bring you many fun hours of staring at fishies swimming around being happy!
[User Picture]
Date:May 5th, 2005 09:26 pm (UTC)

Isn't it one inch per gallon?

That's the one that I remember from a while ago.
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2005 12:14 am (UTC)
I've been hearing "at least six" for tetras.

Bax, you mention "careful study," so maybe you've already found all these sites, but in case you haven't:

From what I've read, a gourami and a betta are too closely related to share the same tank: they'd see each other as rivals. But you might luck out and get peaceable individuals.

I have my very first aquarium, a 15 gallon, and I began fishless cycling this week. Here's to a new hobby. :)
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2005 12:39 am (UTC)
So is there a fish that would play well with others that you do recommend?
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2005 12:40 am (UTC)

Hey Bax!

Ask me when I started dancing. C'mon, I dare you.
[User Picture]
Date:May 8th, 2005 10:59 pm (UTC)

Re: Hey Bax!

It appears Bax won't ask, so I will. When did you start dancing? *wink*
[User Picture]
Date:May 15th, 2005 08:52 am (UTC)

Re: Hey Bax!

Gather 'round kids and I'll tell you a story of a nice girl gone bad. In 1995 I was sharing an apartment with my brother, when he told me that he would be leaving soon because God told him to go to Africa (true story). He moved out a month or two later and I had to make rent.

A friend of mine had been dancing in a strip club about 45 miles away and she suggested that I give that a shot to supplement my waitressing income. So I packed up every piece of lingere that I owned and gave it a whirl. I made $200 the first night and that became my new part-time job for the next five years.

So if anyone asks how I got started in the "sex industry", I blame God.
[User Picture]
Date:May 15th, 2005 10:13 pm (UTC)

Re: Hey Bax!

I'm not so sure that's a story of "nice girl gone bad." I'd contest both the first and second point there. ;)
Date:May 6th, 2005 01:34 am (UTC)
Oooh, interview me!
[User Picture]
Date:May 6th, 2005 02:08 am (UTC)
Raki, interview me to take the load off Bax. ;D
Date:May 6th, 2005 02:28 am (UTC)
Hahaha, okay. ;-p

May contain spoilers.

1. How did you get into body painting?
2. Distill the essence of your creative impulses into a paragraph or two.
3. How much to you identify with Donnie Darko? Would you sacrifice yourself for your compromised, but human, community?
4. Dance Dance Revolution: for or against?
5. Tell me about fishnets. ;-)
[User Picture]
Date:May 7th, 2005 05:57 am (UTC)
Ooh. Go into journalism; you're good. Vicious, but good.

(deleted to avoid spamming Bax's comments. See my journal for the response)
[User Picture]
Date:May 18th, 2005 05:39 am (UTC)


...do interview me, if you would.
Date:May 28th, 2005 03:39 pm (UTC)

about those fish

I think that, although Glitterychaos may think otherwise, tetras are much more fun to have. Aesthetically, their schools are amazing--absolutely hypnotizing to watch. I've never had any problem keeping them alive, either.

However, as a recommendation, I would say that you should not get gouramis. They are extremely hardy, stay alive way too long, and are evil. Mine have a tendency to chase each other to death, especially the kissing gouramis. While they may be pretty, don't get gouramis.

P.S. I found your site through Tomorrwlands. I've read most of the stuff on their, and am very mad that you haven't updated the stories in about three years. Cuz I have a couple of stories, but I don't want to donate to a dead website.
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