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[personal profile] karlht
1. Leave me a comment saying anything random, like your favorite lyric to your current favorite song. Or your favorite kind of sandwich. Something random. Whatever you like.
2. I respond by asking you five personal questions so I can get to know you better.
3. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
4. Include this explanation and offer to ask someone else in the post.
5. When others comment asking to be asked, you will ask them five questions.

[livejournal.com profile] arliss asked me:

1. You suddenly acquire an income more than adequate to meet your needs. Liberated from the need to earn a living, what profession or avocation do you pursue?

2. You spent part of your childhood in the south. What makes you nostalgic? What are you glad you escaped?

3. You're having a celebration. How large a party is it, and who do you invite? Do you include people from work and the neighborhood and the grocer from the corner store? I don't need a guest list, just an idea of how large or small your celebration would be.

4. If you could change one national government policy, what would it be?

5. One week with unlimited funds; what do you do?

And I answered:

1. The answer to this one terrifies me with how easily it slipped into my mind: I start a church. I turn no one away: no denominational requirements. I invite pastors, priests, rabbis, imams, bodhisattvas, anyone who will help. And we preach love, forgiveness, love, resistance to evil, love, mindfulness, love, tolerance, and a bit more love. Until they came to take us away.

2. What makes me nostalgic: The sounds of thunder in the summertime (rare out here, but much more common there). The sound of a young black waitress asking an older white man in a wheelchair, "What can I get you, baby?" (I do not know whether they were previously acquainted -- I've been away too long to differentiate the 'baby' one uses with strangers from the one used with friends and family.) Talking to you; hearing the softness of those North Carolina vowels, coupled with the natural warmth of your voice. The sight of fireflies, so common in the east Tennessee summers, unheard of in my portion of California.

What I'm glad I escaped: The almost-ritualised homophobia, and the air of casual menace that Southern males project towards people they see as interlopers. The deep mistrust of intellectual pursuits, although there's quite a bit of that out here in supposedly-enlightened California as well. The 95F/95% humidity summers. The American exceptionalism, the feeling that somehow the landed white males are superior to everyone else by God's grace.

3. The door is open, and all are welcome. But I've only invited about a dozen people. If the grocer happens by, we'll greet her from the porch and invite her and her kids in for a bite. I live in a household of five, so we can switch off the hosting duties -- I can go hide in the back room as it's necessary, without fear that people will feel unwelcomed.

4. Universal health care. Right bloody now. Emphatically including medical and psychiatric care for the veterans and victims of this clusterfuck of a war. As important as it is to end the war, and as much as I'd like to do it, this trumps it by a long way.

5. Unlimited? Pay off a staggering number of bills. Contribute another staggering amount to the bank accounts of various charities and associates (friends in the fannish community, Buffistas, etc.) anonymously if possible. Rent a truly silly minivan and drive my entire household and their mates up to Harbin Hot Springs and laze around for a week. Wire money to any of my far-flung family-by-choice (Buffistas and otherwise) who want to join us. Give my mother enough money that she can retire comfortably.

Go nuts, y'all.
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