Thursday, 11 September 2014

Lovely Blog Award

Okay, before I get to anything else I first have to mention that it actually snowed here this week. The only consolation is that Calgary got more than us. (hehe)

That aside, I am the recipient of a Lovely Blog Award, thanks to Because I'm Fabulous. Thanks, Michelle! :)

I'm supposed to write seven things about myself. So... here goes:


I am very interested in space travel. Okay, actually like, kind of weirdly obsessed with it. For some reason the idea of visiting other worlds has completely captured my imagination. I’ve spent a lot of time reading all about the history of space age, and the great scientists (Tsiolkovsky, Goddard, Oberth, etc.) who helped to bring it in. And I’ve spent a lot of time reading about what its future might look like, too.

Sometimes there is a small amount of sadness that accompanies this interest— I mean, there hasn’t even been a moon landing in my lifetime, it feels like we’re going nowhere! But I can always indulge in hard sci-fi to make up for it.

Suffice it to say, if humans haven’t landed on Mars before the end of my life, I will probably be very disappointed.
Sunset over Gusev crater on Mars. This is another world. And we can go there! I find that thought exhilarating.
Image credit: NASA/JPL/Texas A&M/Cornell

I loooooove sushi. If I head ten different lifetimes I could devote to mastering different skills, in one of them I would be a sushi chef. For this lifetime, though, it’s just a hobby. And I still don’t make it nearly as often as I would like.


Music is a hugely important part of my life. Not just listening to it, but playing it, too. I play drums and flute, but what I'm best at is piano. I’ve never had any music lessons (other than voice), I just started mashing keys until it sounded good.

Eb2 to A5
I can sing a bit, too. I hope it doesn’t sound braggy, but one thing I’m quite proud of is my range: I can hit notes as low as Eb2 and as high as A5. I’ve decided that if I do transition, I will continue to use that entire range, even the low notes. I refuse to pretend to be less capable than I actually am just for the sake of passing.

Oh, and I like writing songs. I started doing it when I was 12 and have never really stopped. That adds up to a lot of songs. A small handful of them might even be worth listening to. (And yes, an embarrassingly high number are about space travel).

I don't know of any experience I enjoy more, or find more rewarding, than performing music in front of people.

I don’t play a lot of video games but when I do it’s usually Minecraft. I main Kirby in Super Smash Bros. (deal with it). I tried Dwarf Fortress once but gave up in hopelessness and despair.

Dwarf Fortress: I don't know what the hell's going on, but I'm pretty sure I'm losing.
Image credit: Casey Johnston

I have an intolerance to citric acid. This means that my body doesn’t produce enough of the enzyme it needs to digest it; (this differs from a true allergy, which is an immunological response). Apparently this is a pretty rare condition— yay, I’m special!

So, I can eat small amounts of citric acid (which is good because it's in everything and you need it to live), but I do have to watch how much. Citrus fruits (oranges, lemons, etc.) are completely out of the question. Things like cherries and grapes are okay in very small amounts. Anything with tomato sauce is a bad idea. I definitely can’t drink wine.  :(

I used to be a bad-ass anarchist. This was an extension of the religious views I held at the time. Basically, I saw Jesus’ teachings as requiring absolute non-violence, and I saw the state, the military, and capitalism as inherently violent and therefore needing to be opposed. (I wasn't the only person to get that from Jesus, by the way, Christianity has a long tradition of anarchist thought).

Since then, as I've changed from a believer to a skeptic, I’ve had to move away from the kind of moral absolutism that underlies anarchism. It’s very easy to be an absolutist when you’re basing your beliefs on “the infallible word of God”— much harder when you’re basing them on the entirely falsifiable findings of science.

To be clear, I still care about social justice, I’ve simply de-mythologized it. I now think violence is wrong not because God says so, but simply because it hurts people. (This is an improvement, because, like, there were a lot of things the God I believed in said were wrong that didn't actually hurt anyone.)

I'm not originally from Alberta: I was born and raised in British Columbia, (Canada’s western-most province). It’s been eight years since my family moved here but in a way I still feel like an ex-pat. I am, it seems, a child of the Fraser River, and the forests of Cascadia will always be my home. Oh yeah, and go Canucks!! :)

Okay, I'm sure that was way more than I needed to write. Ayways, the actual rules for the award are as follows:
1. Thank and link back to the person who nominated you.
2. List the rules and display the award.
3. Include seven facts about yourself.
4. Nominate 15 10 some other bloggers and let them know about the award.

Since it's a chain-letter-y type thing, I will add that I'm passing it on obligation free: if you want to take part, go for it. If not, that's totally okay too. :) And so, I hereby nominate:

A Part Time Girl

An Unexpected Queerdom (although clicking over there her blog seems to be down at the moment...)

Two Spirits - One Halle

Cassidy's Quest

Transfinite Love


  1. Aww... thank you for the nomination, sweetie! That's very kind of you! I will get to work on my list of seven this weekend. :D

    I've always been fascinated with space travel too. The moon landings *did* take place during my lifetime, but I was too young to have anything but the most fragmentary memories of them.

    Have you read A Man On The Moon, by Andrew Chakin? It's a book about the Apollo space program, and it's fascinating and inspiring in equal measure. It is staggering to contemplate the enormity of the challenges they faced on every front - and to realize that they overcame every single one of them. Would that we had that kind of focus and determination today...

    BTW, Tom Hanks and HBO produced an outstanding mini-series, From The Earth To The Moon, based on the book in 1998. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the program. The two I remember in particular are about the astronaut wives and the engineers who developed the rockets used by the program. And Hanks himself stars in the final episode. I will say no more, lest I spoil what is a magical hour of television. :c)

    One other great book about the space program: Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff. It's quite irreverent, in all the right ways, but still maintains a sense of wonder. Phillip Kauffman made a terrific film version too.

    I'll stop now. lol Thank you again, hon, and congratulations on your well-deserved honor!

    == Cass

    1. I've a seen a few bits and pieces of From The Earth To The Moon that are floating around on Youtube, but I've never actually watched the whole thing. I didn't know it was based on a book either, I'll have to check that out.

      There's been talk that the Chinese space agency might attempt a crewed lunar landing some time in the 2020s. I'd be pretty stoked for that if it happens.

  2. Hey thanks!! I will totally take part and try to post this weekend. I've been lagging on writing and this helps get me going again, so appreciations for thinking of me. :)

    1. Yeah, I was lagging on writing too and the "seven things" format really helped to get me started. :)

  3. Thank you Ashley! While I cannot guarantee seven things about me that are half as interesting as yours, I will give it a go! :-)

    1. Well, I was worried the whole time I was writing this that I'd just end up boring everyone. I suspect most people are more interesting than they think they are. :)

  4. I always thought it would be amazing to be an astronaut too, until my Mom told me there was a lot of math and there went that idea. The moon landing wasn't in my lifetime either; I missed it by almost exactly a year.

    My Mom's side of the family is from Vancouver Island; I used to love going to Nanaimo when I was little. Now my sister Amy lives in BC. Note the complete lack of plans to go visit LOL. Still a lovely province though.

    Jeremy's favourite video game is Minecraft too. Zie downloads all sorts of mods and was building lunar houses not that long ago. I wish Jeremy would put half as much effort into our real house as the game. Zie'll drag 200 tonnes of electronic crap into the living room but zir Minecraft home has chandeliers... which I'm not caring about while tripping over the elliptical.

    I never knew citric acid was in grapes or cherries. Learned something new today.

    And that Dwarf Fortress photo... last time I saw something like that, I needed a new monitor LOL

    1. Hehe, Dwarf Fortress is kind of similar to Minecraft in some ways. The biggest difference is that in Minecraft there's no way to lose, and in Dwarf Fortress there's no way to not lose.