How long have you been in the SCA?
I'm coming up on 20 years, around the end of this August. (I started at the activity fair, my freshman year of college. Sometime soon I want to try to figure out the exact date, for anniversary purposes.)
What's your most favorite/last favorite part about it?
Most favorite: probably the excuse to fiddle with so many different arts, to whatever depth I feel like.
Least favorite: the global structure of the organization, and particularly the Corporation's tendency to dictate things excessively, to the detriment of the local branches.
How long have you lived in Mass?
Ever since I started college. Within a few days of the same 20 years I've been in the SCA. (Actually, I've lived within about five miles of the same spot since then.)
Ever live (or want to live) anywhere else?
Grew up in New Jersey, and have absolutely no desire whatsoever to move back. I suspect that I would find it difficult to find another place I like as much. Boston's culture is unusual, driven by the vast college population, and that results in an intellectual and cultural tone that I like a lot. And that bleeds over into Carolingia: as far as I can tell, there aren't many other SCA branches that I would enjoy as much.
How did you and your Lady meet? (for those of us just tuning in. =) )
That was the day she joined the SCA. I was helping to run a demo in the early fall at Radcliffe. She'd been interested in the SCA for a number of years, but had never quite managed to get involved. So having just graduated from Wellesley and started at Simmons, she decided to check out the demo. We spent much of the afternoon under an oak tree, talking about it and generally getting to know each other; we started dating kind of gradually over the ensuing couple of months.
1. What's your favorite game? (Period or not.) Why?
Poker. It's a delightful blend of tactics and psychology. (I suck at strategy.) And it has an innate chaos that appeals greatly to my general style of play.
There are many games I like, but poker is the one that I seek out whenever I find a friendly table. (Note, BTW, that I'm not talking about deadly-serious high-stakes poker, which I actually find kind of boring. I'm much fonder of small-stakes dealer's-choice games. They're sillier, but much more fun.)
2. When did you grow your beard?
Initially, probably somewhere around my sophomore year of high school. Certainly by the time I was 16, I could walk into a liquor store and buy without anyone blinking, mostly because of the then-scraggly beard.
Don't know when I last shaved, but I'm pretty sure that no one in the SCA (including my lady) has ever seen my chin. (Chins, plural, really, which is one reason why I keep it that way...)
3. If you had to choose between the two options, would you rather lose an arm or a leg?
Obviously it's a terrible choice. I suspect it would actually be the arm, though -- it would slow down my typing, but I could still dance.
4. What experience do you have with horseback riding, and do you/did you enjoy it? Why?
I've only done it once, actually -- on an outing to the local stables during my first Pennsic. It was a bit scary, but generally fun -- the sense of speed is neat, and I had a reasonably good horse that I felt a little sympatico with. I'm decent with animals in general, so horseback riding has some appeal if I like the horse.
5. Which do you value most in a friend: Intellect, Passion, Honesty, or Kindness? (Need not be an absolute answer; detail is fine.)
Interesting. Obviously, all are important, but definitely to different degrees.
Intellect matters largely in the absence of the absence. I need to be able to respect a friend, which implies some measure of intelligence. But I don't consider it a terribly crucial element otherwise.
Passion is something I respond to, and how I will interact with a friend depends on the degree of passion they have. But in practice I've had friends who range from firey-passionate to pretty cool, and all are friends. So that one's clearly not essential.
Kindness matters more. Friendship is grounded in the ability to be kind, since the moments that need kindness are the moments that test a friendship; like intellect, I probably couldn't truly befriend someone who was lacking in that virtue.
But honesty is probably the one that matters most, simply because it's the virtue that speaks most strongly to me. I don't tend to work in absolutes; indeed, I tend to distrust them. But truth is one of my most fundamental principles, right alongside balance. I value honesty in myself, and I value it in others -- when I'm dealing with someone honest, I can truly understand how to deal with them. That applies to friends at least as much as to everyone else...
1. What would you do if you were given a million dollars and had to spend it in a year? (feel free to be practical if it's in your nature)
Realistically? I'd buy a big house, and the furnishings to go with it. msmemory and I have always craved a really big house, big enough to invite over as many people as we want whenever we want. Our current place isn't nearly enough to hold the parties I want to have...
2. If you discover a problem in a project do you prefer to tell management, work on a solution independantly or look for the source of the problem?
Actually, I tend to do all of the above. That is, I'll first do what I can to understand the problem. That done, I will usually tell my boss what I see as the issue, and then do what I can to ameliorate it. (Which sometimes isn't within my power, but I tend to go as far as is appropriate for me before handing it off to the right person.)
3. What would you say is the purpose of life?
Well, it's arguably arrogant to even speculate on that. But I've found that I'm very fond of the Minbari answer to that question (as, indeed, I've found myself attracted to a lot of the Minbari religion). Paraphrased, I take it as, "Life is the universe's attempt to understand itself". That's an answer with both simplicity and depth, that one could spend a lifetime just understanding...
4. Which AD&D alignment do you think you are?
Seriously? Good, certainly. Probably Neutral Good, although not in the usual apathetic sense. I have a strong and passionate belief in Law, but only in good Law, and most Law isn't that. So the result is that I am highly Lawful -- but only for Laws that I respect.
5. If you could change one decision in your past, what would that be?
There was a girl in high school that I should have kissed when I had the chance. Simply so that I wouldn't have to live with the regret of my own young cowardice.