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Interviewed by cassiopia. - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Feb. 9th, 2004

12:56 pm - Interviewed by cassiopia.

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1. If someone gave you $2000 and 2 weeks off where would you go?

It'd really depend on the moment. Being all organizery and such, I'd whip out some web searches and figure out which friends were available to be kidnaped onto my trip, what kinds of things they'd probably be interested in, what exciting events are going on at that moment and what the best way for us all to meet up would be. It'd be best if it could be a road trip with lots of friends, but with only 2 weeks to play with maybe we'd have to fly to one place, rent a car, and then road trip. The important thing about spontaneous long road trips with friends is the drive time itself is serious bonding time. If you fly to an event you don't get to talk because you're too busy being tourists. We'd go to a folk music festival, or a massive demonstration/protest, or some beautiful place for camping, or some convention-like gathering of people.

Sure with $2k I could probably go anywhere in the world, but with only 2 weeks to spend, I think we'd get a lot more bang for the buck out of a domestic adventure.

2. What makes you feel alive?

Bicycling, dancing, and having a really successful event come together well. Being outdoors with nothing to do but be, moving my whole body to the point of absolute exhaustion, and solving a complex problem.

3. Have you ever been to a Ren Faire? If so, what do you like about them? If not, why not?

I've been to the one in Bristol Wisconsin twice. Both times were pretty fun. I had no idea what to expect the first time. I never really got into the dress up and acting bits of it, I was there with friends. I REALLY loved the music and often would leave my friends to just sit and listen to the various players for hours at a time. I fell in love with the Hammered Dulcimer there. The games and performances are fun. I'm attracted to any large gathering of people with a festival atmosphere. There's a sort of palpable energy in the air that I'm addicted to. It's the second best rush to the backstage moment the curtain goes down at the end of a play.

4. What do you like about Buffy? Got a favorite episode? Favorite character?

Buffy is nearly perfect television. Joss Whedon is a nearly perfect television writer. I love that Buffy is about real life. I love that we can all relate to the crap that the gang goes through on a daily basis. Fighting monster's is the easy part for them, growing up and working together is the hard part. Buffy can be funny, scary, depressing, dramatic, musical, or romantic and yet the episodes never seem out of place. It all just works. The actors managed to develop an incredible ensemble together, they're all really superbly developed and well acted characters and the whole strength of the show is in their interactions and growth through interaction.

I also like that the problems they face on Buffy are complex. I used to be a big fan of Trek but it always bothered me that with so many collective seasons, the show always approached complex problems with a moral sledgehammer. The good guys always knew the right thing and they always did it. They were never more than superficially tempted by evil. They were too perfect. Buffy's characters are human.

I don't think I can possibly name a single favorite episode. My tops are The Zeppo, Hush, The Body, The Wish, Band Candy, and Once More With Feeling. My season ranking order would be 6,3,2,1,5,7,4. Buffy's strength is in it's highly developed ensemble cast and so as such I couldn't pinpoint a single favorite character. Andrew and Faith are both pretty cool though.

5. Tell me a story from a time when you were the most happy.

Here are three different times. Happiness through: friends, romance, and meditation.

In high school, one summer, a group of friends and I took what was supposed to be a 4-day 80 mile bike ride in northern Illinois across the Wisconsin border with camping each of the three nights. This was the first time I'd really been completely out of any adult supervision for so long. I mean I'd been a really independent kid but there's always a parent or teacher or resident councillor or security guard or something around somewhere keeping tabs even if they are giving you free reign. Anyway, the weather was absolutely perfect for those days. The trip formed this incredible bond that was an intense version of the perfection of that entire perfect utopian summer. We dealt with various disasters on the road, we talked, we contemplated, we felt the world around us, we swam in Lake Geneva, we sat around a campfire, I lost my virginity on that trip but I really didn't have to for it to have been so perfect. Sadly, one of our member's bikes completely broke down on the second day. His front fork just fell off the bike. So we had to call in our parents with a pickup truck to save us. I could have lived forever on that bike ride.

During college, I found myself caught in the center of a complex, soap operatic, and somewhat mutually-destructive love triangle (we referred to it as a love polyhedron because it was so much more complex than a 2 dimensional object). But that isn't the story. The story is that day that we admitted our feelings for each other over pizza and the time (I think it was the same night) we spent what seemed an eternity making out in the driveway before turning around to face the realities of the complex world that lived outside of that kiss. I could have stayed forever in that driveway.

I saw Kodo perform at the local performing arts center during college. I showed up 30 minutes before the show and it was sold out but I got in at the very last possible minute on late release seating. I got one of the best seats in the house, right in the center aisle right at the point where the stadium seating starts going upwards so I was as close as possible while still not having to crane my neck. Anyway they performed for 2 hours straight and for that 2 hours there wasn't any sound in the room besides their thundering rhythms and our periodic wild applause. The room was acoustically perfect, the audience was perfectly silent. Every movement of every drummer, the finest detail of every sound, was studied meditative perfection. I swear the beating locked into something deep and primal in my brain and set my neurons to ticking right. I walked out after the show feeling blown away, it was a cold winter night and an ice storm had recently hit. I looked up into a bare tree covered with a thin layer of ice and I just stared at that tree for at least 15 minutes. I was oblivious to the cold, the people around me, places I had to be, or any other thoughts. I just stared at the perfect beauty and complexity of the tree and felt wildly content with the world. Smiling a huge grin. I could have stared at that tree forever.

The way this age-old meme works is that if you would like to be interviewed with 5 questions from me, just post a comment to that effect.

Comments:

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From:cassiopia
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:12 pm (UTC)
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Ask away.
This meme has been fun...and gotten me posting again after a long silence.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 9th, 2004 08:06 pm (UTC)

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1. What draws you to sci-fi cons? Were there any particularly special experiences that you had at your first few cons that have kept you coming back? Do the cons continue to live up to your expectations for them?

2. What is one of the most beautiful things you've ever seen?

3. You live in a house with a group of people. Have you ever lived by yourself? Do you prefer group living or living alone? Why?

4. What tattoos do you have? When did you get them? What inspired them? Is there special meaning or a story for any of them?

5. What was the most recent thing you daydreamed in any depth about?
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From:juvenilia
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:15 pm (UTC)
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If you fly to an event you don't get to talk because you're too busy being tourists.

i completely disagree with this statement, on any and all fronts.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:33 pm (UTC)

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My words were oversimplified. It's just the case that at a big concert or a huge gathering of people there's not as much chance for close one on one interactions as there are in a car together.

I was considering flying to be a case where everyone flies in to the event from separate locations. Sure there's be some hanging out, but on a road trip there's a LOT of hanging out.

That is all. Certainly I've flown places and had lots of non-touristy fun with my friends, too.
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From:juvenilia
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)

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i actually prefer events where a lot of people fly from a lot of different places to get together. i don't think it does any damage to the intimacy as long as you all hang out together.

there is also the added bonus of a lot of geographical diversity that you don't get with road-trippy events because i mean really, how many people are willing to drive for 30 hours to get somewhere?

i am also totally besotted with airplanes of any and all kinds. so i'm biased.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:41 pm (UTC)

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Hehe. I hate the process of flying. Too much standing around, sitting around, getting frisked, getting scanned, rescheduling, parking carrying, etc. Being in the air is cool though.

Gimme a train or a car or even a Greyhound bus any day though. I'm a weirdo. So I'm biased. :)

I've been on road trips where people fly out to join the road trip.

There's something about spending 30 hours in a car together that is like a heroic journey. I mean if a friendship can survive the kind of serious snippiness and discomfort that is the final leg of the trip, then it can survive anything. You go to the bottom of the abyss together and find each other and hopefully help each other back up to the top to the other side. :)
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From:juvenilia
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:44 pm (UTC)

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i don't need to go "to the bottom of the abyss" to be reassured that my friendships are good, thanks.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:46 pm (UTC)

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people take me too seriously.
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From:cassiopia
Date:February 9th, 2004 07:21 pm (UTC)
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I forgot to also say thank you for your answers. Very enjoyable reading between calls. :)
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From:culfinglin
Date:February 9th, 2004 09:15 pm (UTC)
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what a different ren faire experience you've had. :)

i'd like to be interviewed, please.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 9th, 2004 09:57 pm (UTC)

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1. Your geek code lists you as a Geek of Fine Arts. Is there a particular area of fine arts that you are most interested in? What artist's works are you most drawn to? Why?

2. Your userinfo page doesn't list any interests. What are you interested in that you've never ever posted about in your journal?

3. You've mentioned several times that you are a fairly cautious person with good reason not to over-extend trust. What is the most positive uncautious/wild/leap of faith thing you've done? Why did you do it and would you do it again?

4. If you could be given 24 hours outside of time, a day in which no deadlines get any closer, no meetings will be missed, nothing is expected of you, what would you do with it? If you could save it up, would you use it now or save it for later? If later, when?

5. How did you meet herbivorous?
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From:bookoflies
Date:February 9th, 2004 11:08 pm (UTC)
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Thank you for posting those answers, the ones about when you were most happy, the kodo story espcially, really helped to take me up and above a edgy mood I've been in for hours. Lovely reading.
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From:jane837
Date:February 9th, 2004 11:28 pm (UTC)
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interview me. :)
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 10th, 2004 06:16 am (UTC)

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1. What do you like most about being involved with organizing/promoting/staffing/planning shows? What keeps you involved?

2. If you could travel anywhere next week, where would you go?

3. If you could have a superpower but NOT flying or invisibility, what would it be?

4. Tell us more about the womyn's learning circle. What do you like most about this form of learning? What thing do you most want to learn soon?

5. What was the most recent thing you daydreamed about?
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From:bdar
Date:February 10th, 2004 12:10 am (UTC)
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I wish for a one-of-a-kind Zach interview.
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 10th, 2004 08:25 am (UTC)

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Really, who doesn't?
(-:,
Rose
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:06 pm (UTC)

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Rose, if you'd just get yourself a real livejournal, I'd be happy to give you a one-of-a-kind Zach interview. Dork.

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From:boannan
Date:February 10th, 2004 07:18 pm (UTC)

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Man, you are a hard taskmaster!
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 10th, 2004 07:37 pm (UTC)

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She's so stubborn about not getting a livejournal. It's INSANE! :)
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From:(Anonymous)
Date:February 11th, 2004 08:17 am (UTC)

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I'm just doing it to annoy you, Zach. Tee hee.
(-:,
R
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From:arun251
Date:February 11th, 2004 05:37 pm (UTC)

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She is very wise.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:04 pm (UTC)

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1. How might your plans to become our overload include a role for They Might Be Giants?

2. What is your favorite moment during the process of creating and putting on a play? Describe how you usually feel at that moment.

3. As an Alan Moore fan, what did you think of the movie adaptation of From Hell?

4. What place do you most want to travel to? Why haven't you yet? Do you think you one day will?

5. What originally attracted you to LiveJournal?
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From:boannan
Date:February 10th, 2004 08:40 am (UTC)
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interview me! :)
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 10th, 2004 04:39 pm (UTC)

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1. What is the most interesting legal case that you have studied? What do you like so much about it?

2. If you could pick any one Shakepearean role to play on stage, who would you pick? Why?

3. The only "interest" on your list that I don't recognize is "moscato d'asti". Tell us more about that. What is it and why do you like it so much?

4. What is the first celebratory thing you want to do when you move back to Chicagoland (besides taking a nap in your new digs because the move was so tiring...after that)?

5. If you could change one concept in American culture with a magic wand, what would it be? Limit the concept to a single sentence but feel free to elaborate on that theme.
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From:arun251
Date:February 10th, 2004 05:58 pm (UTC)

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Jane could go on for hours about moscato d'asti.
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From:nomadwolf
Date:February 12th, 2004 10:39 am (UTC)

repeat...

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Dude, you have good questions... Hopefully no one'll ask for one after I put one up... I ask dumb questions... maybe that's why I suck at small-talk.

Anyway, as me!

Edge of Sanity -- Crimson
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From:zarfmouse
Date:February 13th, 2004 04:35 am (UTC)

Re: repeat...

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1. Have you ever been injured at a Metal event or other concert (e.g. in the mosh pit)? What happened?

2. In your worldly travels, what is the most striking stereotype about Americans that you have encountered? Do you think it has any truth to it?

3. What is the basis of your interest in wolves?

4. If you were elected president, what would your first act in office be?

5. If you could make the same amount of money you are making now doing work you enjoyed, would you take a job that kept you in one place or do you prefer a job that keeps you traveling?
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From:weirdkarma
Date:February 23rd, 2004 02:07 pm (UTC)
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I was involved in a love polyhedron thing once!!(actually just this summer). But I didn't get pizza! :( I just lost a good friend, made an enemy, realized my housemate was psycho, and gained a wonderful boyfriend.. ah, hell, I think the wonderful boyfriend makes up for it. ;)
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