Interview52:

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A group distraction, presented by nige.


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The first instalment of Interview52 is now complete! It started on Friday 18th July 2008 and finished on 13th September 2009. A little later than expected, but we got there.


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52 mobloggers from around the world...

Some familiar, some not...

Each will publish a unique self-portrait, accompanied by a short interview.


Candid portrait meets candid interview.


The Rules

Every Friday the next interviewee in line will publish a new portrait and interview, consisting of their answers to the ten questions they have been given.

After they have published, the interviewee will then become the interviewer. They will be responsible for finding the next participant, as well as compiling the questions that this next person in line will answer. Interviewers can change as many or as few questions as they like, but they should change at least one before passing them on to the next lucky punter.

Thats it! Simple. More detailed instructions will be given to each interviewee as and when they are approached, so fear not.


The interviewees so far

shitake

spongevid

Salome

FilbertFox

Essitam

harimanjaro

parabolichobo

Viv

Jig along

Caine

factotum

Laszlo Q. V. St-J. Xalieri

arkangel

JokerXL

CHESO

taniwha

PrincessJun

billion

itchymoblog

Jane Doe

kyoob

MaggieD

Spiderbaby / Freakdog

TiliaAmericana

Dhamaka

XelenarendezvousX

George w/Blue Eyes

Rachel

Sprocket

Tori

silar31

Mandy

Puddlepuff

Judo-Jule

OJ

beth

Alfie

Rich

Joe

Steve

Uber-Spy

swamprose

RareAquaticBadger

Euphro

bfish

mara

AmericanFriend

CRAFT

Strange Little Girl

Spike

Toddy

Damage

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The Anticat

(viewed 2511 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

I am at home at my flat in Leeds drinking tin and tonic. This is actually not where I should be. I’ve just got in after trekking on foot across town having abandoned my mum’s car (at a friend’s house) which was threatening imminent break down. I have had to abort my mission back to my parents house in the Dales where my boyfriend is and where I should be cat and dog-sitting. I suppose this was bound to happen after me spending the week complaining that the animal sitting had been boring and uneventful.


2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?

It all started when I worked at this pub called The Fav in Leeds. There was a small bunch of regulars and for a while they were practically our only customers, so we got to know them fairly well. One day in passing, I mentioned I had the same phone as one of the guys who spent more time in that pub than I did. He told me that if I had I camera phone then I should join this blog site thing. After some fairly extensive badgering I caved into curiosity and signed up. That guy turned out to be Joe and I've been great friends with him and his now wife Suzi (and their now daughter little Leila) ever since.

Many strange coincidences happened that first year on Moblog, including realizing that my sister Helen was already pretty closely linked to Moblog through another forum which was set up by some of the guys who started up Moblog and who Helen had inadvertently met whilst at university. Generally the world began to get a little smaller after I joined and people who frequented The Fav kept popping up on the site and this bizarre network of people who already knew each other unfolded.

I guess it was this intrigue that caused me to stick around for so long. That and the really great community here. It's been a great place to share... everything really. I could go on and on about Moblog, I think this place has got a lot of things right with regards to community and temperament and I find the environment a really inspiring place to share moments and ideas with interesting people who usually have their own ideas themselves, not to mention knowledge on a subject!

Oh! Favourite posts! One of my favourite posts was the day I tried to ban cat blogging on Moblog. Needless to say it seriously backfired. It's a shame you can't look back through Moblog chronologically because after this post http://moblog.net/view/54354/kill-the-cat-blog the place was littered with cats. Mainly I enjoy the posts that get people talking, there are some photos I'm pleased with but the really memorable ones are the ones that spark a conversation. I think Helen's Oh Buoy, Oh Buoy post (http://moblog.net/view/66625/oh-buoy-oh-buoy-oh-buoy) is the one that I recall making me laugh the most, but that one’s not mine (I'm sure there were more really awful pun posts but these are the only two tagged http://moblog.net/tag/really%20awful%20puns)




3. Tell us one thing that you've learned in the last week. Or maybe something that surprised you.

This week I’ve mainly been feeling like there are a lot more people that I like than I don’t like. This isn’t really something I’ve learnt specifically this week but it does constantly surprise me how I can swing from a week of thinking I don’t like that many people at all to being overwhelmed by just how many people I think are really quite good eggs. Or if not good eggs, not too bad in a cake mixture.



4. Imagine you would have to spend the rest of your life on a deserted island. Which three items (or people) would you take and why?


Sometimes I already feel like I'm on a desert island. How I stave off this feeling is mainly through amusing conversations and ideas sharing, physical contact and visual output. So those are probably the qualities I value for my existence... which I guess is what the whole point of the question is. There are certain people who come pre-loaded with these qualities enabled already but I'm not naming any names.



5. What did you do today? And what would you do in an ideal day?

Today I got up at 6am got ready and drove from the Dales to Leeds. The whole day feels like it has been fraught with error but in actual fact it’s not been that bad, just driving and parking and cars and stuff in general stresses me out. I’m not superstitious but I did twitch twice when I counted thirteen students this morning and found myself parking on the thirteenth floor.

On an ideal day I'd probably wake with a nice shoulder massage, start working on something -really- good and finish it before lunch. Have a tasty and refreshing lunch. Meet some friends, go to a natural water park and slide down some slides made of rocks, bob around in the water for a bit, chat, go for a tasty dinner al fresco with a beautiful view. Enjoy some live music in the dark with some fire in the vicinity. Get a little heady on some wine and lie staring up at the stars engaging in profound and yet superfluous conversation. Then go to sleep in some white clean sheets in a big comfy bed surrounded by wood and low light shining through canvas and cuddles and dull, possibly cricket noises singing me to sleep.



6. Are there any causes or principles you would be prepared to fight for? What form would your protest take?


Yeh, I think there are probably a lot. Things like equal rights and other things that in my head are a complete given tend to flabberghast me when I find the world isn’t quite like that. You can’t fight every battle but I think you can do your part, which could be as simple as just speaking up when you don’t think something is quite right with what the people are saying around you.

I went down to the "How to make news and influence people" talk that Moblog was involved with and some interesting things were said that kind of relate to how I feel about this. Charlie Beckett discussed the topic with regards to the general public's reaction to charity campaigns, he suggested we are kind of distanced through mass publicity and we consume rather than confront and that emotional appeal isn't the same as empathy. Anyway, basically he was suggesting that traditional media only asks us to consider what's in front of us and new media allows us to engage and interact with a subject.

So I think if I was fighting for a cause I'd probably use this networking skill I've been honing for so many years.

I'm not opposed to more traditional ways of 'getting things done' though. For instance, I got pretty fired up when I discovered our new supposedly quite eco-considered home had no recycling facilities and the council didn't have us on their recycling route and had no recycling areas within Leeds that I could walk to. It was reasonably quickly resolved once I got in touch with our local MP though and I can now recycle most things except organic waste (which still upsets me).


7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favourite saying?


"Everything’s fiiiine"


8. What question were you hoping to be asked? And what would your answer be?

“Where do you see Moblog in 5 years, will you still be blogging?”

Well, technology wise it’s hard to say. Community wise, I hope the place is still thriving. I think in general, the photo blogging format is a winner and I think that the original camera phone premise has enabled people to share images that they wouldn’t previously have deemed really ‘fit’ to share. Moblog is more than just sharing an aesthetic, it’s more about telling a story or setting a scene through pictures and I hope it can carry on doing this. I think this simple format appeals to voyeurs and creatives alike and by creatives I mean people who like to fill in the gaps, who are imaginative and interested. As long as it continues to attract those kinds of people it will continue to appeal to me. I’m really enjoying the short stories and photographic challenge blog at the minute, so yeah basically I’d like to see more of what everyone’s got to share.






9. What movie have you most often recommended to others and why, or what's your favourite movie?


At college I recommend a lot of Michel Gondry's work. I love the way he manages to visualise feelings, quite baffling, difficult and surreal concepts in childlike and experimental ways. He's a pretty good all rounder too, a crafter and a philosopher. I'm particularly taken with "The Science of Sleep" but really any of his feature films would do. I get a kick out of shared experience and sometimes when I'm watching his films I feel like Gondry is lifting the top of my head up and tapping on my brain to say "hello." I love those split second sparks that happen when you feel you've really connected with something.



10. Of all the places you have travelled or lived, is there one in particular
that you think everyone should see some time in their lives, and why?
Conversely, is there one you never want to see again?

I’ve been very fortunate to travel to many special places. I still have very fond memories of a small fishing town in the Basque area of Northern Spain called Mutriku. I’d love to go back there; I’m very nostalgic for it because it just seemed to be this really lively place where the locals really knew how to entertain themselves.

More and more I realise how lucky I was too, to grow up in the Yorkshire Dales, it’s an incredibly lush environment and so very green. You’d be hard pushed to beat the view from my parent’s bathroom window.

I’m not sure there’s anywhere I’d discount ever going back to. I had an unpleasant time in Hull once but even that has it’s charm. All those rotten seaside towns like Blackpool and Llandudno can be depressingly bleak but they’re still very interesting and I’ve hope for them, there’s too much ‘what once was’ for them to go unvisited.

Posted by beth

8th May 2009, 00:57   comments (20)

The outtakes

(viewed 2227 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

Hurtling backwards through the Peak District writing this in longhand. Then at some point later I shall be sat at a laptop in Liverpool writing it up and trying to resist the urge to edit.

How did I get to be writing this in transit? Over the last few years I've worked in Sheffield, London, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool and at present I find myself bouncing about between the most northerly three like a pinball. Still, the scenery is great.

2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?

Back in about 1999, perhaps 1998, I signed up for a photography course. It was the sort that involved an old K1000 permanently borrowed from my dad and much use of film and darkrooms. At the time I remember saying that I had always been such a linguistic person and I wanted to learn a new language, ie. to think in pictures.

Cut forward to late 2004/early 2005 and I was doing some research about online photography communities for a work project (A Digital Picture of Britain), ended up talking to Alfie, as you do, and the rest is history.

Now I moblog for lots of reasons ranging from immediacy to history - I've been here for over four years and have over 90 pages of photos - and back again.

My favourites are probably split between shots that encapsulate moments for me and are part of my personal archive - and those that are portraits of loved ones.

Moments like.... the Apparitions I met whilst walking with my pregnant sister in 2005. Feeling abstracted and emotional in 2006 or just plain through the looking glass in 2008.

Portraits: Beautiful wife, Brother, dear friend

And I've not even started on the wedding photos!

3. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.

Realistically, I'd probably spend the first month panicking and trying to adjust to not having the imperative of work every day. Then.... Travel. Train for a marathon. Learn to do something new.

4. Imagine you would have to spend the rest of your life on a deserted island. Which three items (or people) would you take and why?

Presuming that all the necessaries to sustain life are provided for, I'd like to take my mobile phone, my wife and my cats please.

5. What do you actually do all day long?

Work wise it depends on what project and what role - I'm sometimes more of a journalist and sometimes more of a producer. So any mix of writing, editing, shouting at software (Avid, I mean you!), meeting people, shooting video, having meetings with other organisations to set up partnerships, managing other people, working with designers and developers, doing work with young people.

Outside work you know what I do, if you've seen my moblog. I run. I go to the theatre and gigs and various other arty happenings. I walk up hills. I spend time with my wife, my family, my cats and can usually be found by following a trail of books, newspapers and coffee cups.

6. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you
most dislike in others?


In others? Apart from the obvious like fascistic tendencies, racism, homophobia, bullying, dishonesty....

I have the odd little bugbear which I worry away at. At the moment it's the difference between real friends and networking contacts. A few people don't know the difference and treat every personal interaction as a transaction for gain. That doesn't cut much ice with me. I'm a great believer in good faith and altruism. I'm probably very old fashioned.

In myself? Intolerance!

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favorite saying?

But I digress....

8. What is your strongest memory from childhood?

Well if we're going to get all Romantic with a capital R, my strongest memories are probably isolated but terrifying incidents. Like seeing one of my parents grieve terribly when one of my grandparents died suddenly.

But I had a very happy childhood and remember things that were happening perpetually, like being a good big sister and looking after my clingy younger sister, who always wanted to hold my hand. Or being not such a good big sister and dressing my much younger brother up like a doll in the dressing up box.

9. What movie have you most often recommended to others and why, or what's your favorite movie?

There's no one favourite. Recently I've really enjoyed Milk, My Summer of Love and I've Loved You So Long.

Over the last few years I've probably recommended: Orlando, Far From Heaven, Les Liaisons Dangereuses and Blade Runner.

If there's a common thread to those, it's probably to do with visual style, artifice and how characters construct their identities through dress, makeup, outward appearance. If you care to look at any of the shots I post of myself, you'll notice that very few of them are "straight" look-at-me shots. As a woman I'm very aware that my appearance is constantly being judged and elided with all sorts of other issues about my social standing, so I always try to subvert the picture somehow.

10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one in particular that you think everyone should see some time in their lives, and why?

Conversely, is there one you never want to see again?


I'm not well enough travelled to make a pick from the whole planet. But all Brits who haven't already been should head for the North West Highlands and keep going north, up past Ullapool. The vastness, drama and relative emptiness of the landscape is a real eye-opener for all of us small islanders. And with the exchange rate as it is, it's cheaper than Norway.

I was not a fan of Beverley Hills and in fact spent most of my visit to LA being grumpy that I wasn't still in San Francisco.

Posted by OJ

1st May 2009, 11:36   | tags:comments (22)

Me and my Strawberries.

(viewed 2403 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.
I was born in Berlin, Germany (the ugly side, but we escaped before they made me learn Russian or wear blue uniforms...). To be able to afford fashion school in I worked as a Berlin-to-London coach tour guide for over four years (with the odd Italy, Spain and France tours). That was the most exhausting job I ever had- I always had 50 tourists following me around asking questions. A lot of questions. I never had any time to discover the London outside of Tower Bridge and Big Ben. I loved it though since I first came here when I was 15 and sneaked into that shitty tourist disco Equinox using a (bad) fake ID. Eventually I decided to get some retail job and live here for half a year. Just to find out how it is. Now it’s been nearly three years. Oh well...

2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?
I am obsessed with memories. When I was 12 I started keeping a diary. I have about 35 books (am still too embarrassed to read some of them), 5 video tapes (had a sharp look back then), 2 audio tapes and thousands of printed out e-mails- all hidden in Berlin. When I came to London I decided to blog publically to keep my friends and family up to date. Now I have one blog for words and one for pictures- simple!
My favourite posts? All the ones of happy times- like this one or this one.

3. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.
Travel. I love Asia. I would like to take care of baby tigers in Malaysia and film a documentary about it. Wouldn’t mind looking after baby elephants in Vietnam though.
Note to self: Find out whether there are any elephants in Vietnam.

4. If money, transportation and reservations did not need to be considered, where would you be having dinner tonight? What would you eat?
I would be sitting at a floating restaurant at Taman Negara in Malaysia. It is the most amazing place I have ever been to. Next time I will wear leech-proof-gear though. They have trees, funny animals, mountains and rivers and if you go outside the tourist season it will be rewardingly calm. Don’t get me wrong though- I don’t really like Asian food and they have nothing for vegetarians apart from boiled green leaves and rice, so I would have someone fly in some Italian creamy pasta dish with broccoli and feta.

5. What do you actually do all day long?
I have a pretty boring life really. I get up at 9 in the morning, catch a bus at 10am, have a cinnamon whirl, arrive at the office at 10:45, pretend to be managing online gaming communities, actually play a lot of Pool and Bubble Town all day long, lock the doors and leave at 8pm, take the bus home, cook some dinner (sometimes I get dinner cooked), watch some telly and fall asleep at 11pm (am a very tired person).
On the weekends I get up late(r), take care of my plants, wash clothes, have a bath, skype with my mum and spend money on cosmetics, food, soil, drinks and some clothes from time to time. I like going out even though I am starting to get annoyed by loud music and drunks and I never get past East London because I hate it if I can’t (potentially) walk home.

6. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you most dislike in others?
Dislike? In myself? Is crooked toe nails a trait? If yes I also dislike it in others.

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favourite saying?
My favourite saying is “Palim palim but that doesn’t really mean anything. My motto. I don’t know.
We live in a world where everyone’s highest priority is being happy- we constantly question the places we live in, the relationships we have, the jobs we do because we have too many possibilities in life. It’s called “die Qual der Wahl” in German. If I wanted to be a kettle farmer in Australia I am sure that I could become just that. Or equally I could teach art to children in Paraguay. Or I could just stop asking myself what I might be missing out on and be happy with what I have and do. And if I am not then I can still change it, right?
I like to get excited about the first strawberries on my balcony or about stats day at work and I am definitely looking forward to what experiences I’ll have in the future.
I should print that out and stick it to my mirror. So should you!

8. What is your strongest memory from childhood?
Being in Sweden in a huge red wooden house in the middle of nowhere. No water, no electricity, just lakes and saunas and reindeer and the biggest raspberry bushes in the universe (always look inside your raspberries before putting them in your mouth!!!). Me and my dad went to some tiny peninsula with a rowing boat when a small-ish (big enough) cyclone hit us. We ducked inside the boat (on land) and got spun around several times. Very shaky knees, very strong memory.

9. What movie have you most often recommended to others and why, or what's your favorite movie?
I have to say that I usually don’t like movies. I get bored with them very quickly. Same with books. I love documentaries though- preferably about travelling or animals or fashion.
I don’t think I have a favourite movie. Forrest Gump was alright. And Moonwalker. And You and me and everyone I know.
I certainly recommended High School Musical to a lot of friends. Some of them even watched it.

10. Of all the places you have travelled or lived, is there one in particular that you think everyone should see some time in their lives, and why?
Berlin. Because it is the best place I have ever been to (I think I also said that about Malaysia). It’s got a great mix of cultures, incredible parties, an interesting history, the best kebabs, it’s cheap, the weather isn’t too bad and you can meet my friends and cat there.

Conversely, is there one you never want to see again?
Jena in Germany is pretty bad but I don’t think I’ve ever been to a place I really hated.

Posted by Judo-Jule

24th Apr 2009, 21:35   comments (16)

Exhale,....

(viewed 3172 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.
In Amsterdam, in my old house, in between getting the new place up and breaking down the old one. I was born in Zaandam, about 15 kilometres north of Amsterdam. But you're young and want to move to the big city, so I did.

2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?
I bought a phone with a camera, and wanted to do something with the pictures that came out. After a few failed attempts at other sites I found moblog on wiki, and was hooked from the start.
Now 3 years down the road and over 1100 pictures uploaded I am still hooked. I learned to use the camera in different ways, and got to know some great people that really supported me when things went down bad. Thanks!

My favourite post must be the Balloon Fetish post. I'm not going to explain why, just read!
My favourite picture is the Giraffe

3. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.
Been there, done that, would do the same, all over again.

4. If money, transportation and reservations did not need to be considered, where would you be having dinner tonight? What would you eat?
I would be sitting in Kapchorwa, a town on top of Mt Elgon in the west of Uganda. Hidden away on a cliff stands a nice local hostel called The Crows Nest. I would be eating deep fried chapati with home made guacamole, accompanied by a cold local beer. I have been there with my mom, freezing nights, goats with malaria, and the best atmosphere ever. But the swing they have tops everything, right on the cliff, it makes you feel like flying over the mountain, free as a bird, I want to be buried there.

5. What is your favourite subject to talk about? Tell us about it.
I think that would be about all the countries I have been to in Africa, my travels. Ask me and I won't stop!

6. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you most dislike in others?
Disagreeing with people I don't like, just for the sake of disagreeing. Ignorance, I can't stand it.

7. What's your motto? Your tagline? Your favourite saying?
Don't hurry slow things. I think you can pretty much use it on everything and on everyone that tries to rush things. It was told to me by the conductor on the Tazara train from Tanzania to Zambia, when someone asked the conductor to hurry with the tickets he said this and added, "we have 5 more days, and will probably break down between here and Zambia, we have all the time in the world". It always gives me inner rest when I feel rushed.

8. What is your strongest memory from childhood?
Christmas, I was four years old and my first day at kindergarten. We were painting Christmas tree's, when I was halfway through, the bully of the class stole my green paint, I decided to continue with brown since I didn't have the balls to take it back. I had a wonky Christmas tree that year. The kid who stole my paint, has been in and out of jail since the age of 16.

9. What movie have you most often recommended to others and why, or what's your favorite movie?
The Gods Must be Crazy. The whole movie is great, but the first part is just brilliant, makes you think.

10. Of all the places you have travelled or lived, is there one in particular that you think everyone should see some time in their lives, and why?
Yes, but promise me you won't all go there, because then it just wouldn't be the same. It's Lamu a small Islamic island in the north of Kenya, they have no cars, just donkeys, no garages, but donkey sanctuaries. Small alleys, amazing architecture, sea breeze, playing games, drinking fresh fruit juice.

Conversely, is there one you never want to see again? Yes, Egypt and South Africa. You didn't ask why, so not explaining :)

Posted by Puddlepuff

10th Apr 2009, 11:22   comments (12)

It's all about me.

(viewed 3368 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

Sitting in front of my computer. Duh.

Oh more? Well, I'm in Colorado on the Front Range of the Rocky Mtns. I grew up in southern Maryland, went to school in North Carolina, met Pete in DC and moved in with him here in Colorado about 7 years ago.



2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?

I began to visit moblog to see my sister - sunnidae http://moblog.net/sunnidae/ . Now my other sister is here - GoldenDelicious http://moblog.net/GoldenDelicious/ & my mommy - judy http://moblog.net/judy/ . So we sort of stay in touch like this. Also, I love being able to remember all these days that otherwise would have gone by the wayside.

I suppose my favorite posts are the regular everyday posts that record where I am that day - things I'd have forgotten otherwise.



3. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.


Ha, I don't really work. So I guess I'd do what I'm doing now.... Which means I'd start a business to support my camera habit, (wedding photography), then I'd stop doing weddings because I have to pee every 45 minutes because I'm having a baby.



4. If money, transportation and reservations did not need to be
considered, where would you be having dinner tonight? What would you
eat?


Fondue probably. I loves me the melty cheese. Or maybe Paris in that fancy restaurant Pete & I went to a few years ago where we managed to insult the waiter by asking for chips to go with the steak.



5. What is your favorite subject to talk about? Tell us about it.


Oh that'd be photography probably. I could go on & on about all the technical details & bits & bobs. And, right now, babies. I *could* go on about the crazy physical changes having a baby causes, but I won't.

I can go on & on about business stuff too. Like marketing & strategy. Human resources. That kind of crap. And that would be Pete's fault - we spent last year with him getting his Master's in Management Science.



6. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you
most dislike in others?


I'm pretty lazy. But I'm so sure that's part of my charm. So if I changed it, I'd probably be a busy-body, bossy c*nt. So overall, I guess I'm happy with myself. I can see positives about most every personality trait, so I wouldn't change much about other people. Well, except whingeing. I hate people who whine about stuff & don't do anything to change it. So either accept it & get on with life, people, or get off the pot. (I probably shouldn't use so many cliches. Suppose I could change that.) Oh, and I'm too blunt sometimes. Too honest, I guess.



7. What trait do you most like in yourself and what trait do you most
like in others?


Erm, I'm pretty nice. I like other nice people. I suppose my sense of humor? I definitely like other people with senses of humors. Particularly dark ones.



8. What is your strongest memory from childhood?


That's an easy one.
The Best Day Ever:
scene - sunny sunny hot humid summer day in so. Maryland. Next to the river. cue cicadas.
1. The hot lunch special from the store down the street - roasted chicken. Seriously the best ever roast chicken. I think she must've used a pressure cooker.
2. Micheal R. took us to the farm down the street so we could eat lunch there, look around the old man's big colonial house & pool house, and swim in his in-ground pool. (note - in-ground pool = big deal)
3. Micheal R. catches a horsefly, holds it by the wings, & pretends to shave with it. cuz the noise it makes sounds like an electric razor. (note - big deal because I was scared to death of horseflies.)

End of Best Day Ever.


9. What book have you most often recommended to others and why?

Gosh, I don't know that I've ever recommended any books to others. But right now I'm reading Colleen Mccullough's Rome series & I'm really enjoying it. But I'm not sure a lot of people would because they're almost all ridiculously rich in precise, ancient Roman history. That wouldn't really float everyone's boat.



10. Of all the places you have traveled or lived, is there one in particular
that you think everyone should see some time in their lives, and why?
Conversely, is there one you never want to see again?


Gosh, I've been to a lot of places. Some that stick out are:
Holland is really nice for it's uniformity & the whole "everything works like it's supposed to"-ness.
Athens was awesome but kind of gritty & the taxi drivers were really crooks.
UK's nice but unpredictable in terms of comfort & food.
The Bay area in California was pretty terrific for short term visits, but long term the population tends to be pretty self-absorbed.
You couldn't pay me to live on the US's East Coast again, but it's ok for visiting. Especially the museums in NY & DC.
Paris was nice, but it's full of French people mostly. But there's the Louvre, so you gotta see that.

I really really really want to see more of Italy. We visited Rome & Naples for very brief visits and it wasn't enough. Also, I'd like to explore up the west of Canada & down into Mexico. I think Canada is more likely to happen.

I think right now my favorite place is the whole American Southwest. I love the desert.

Posted by

6th Apr 2009, 23:58   comments (20)

Lost in the details

(viewed 2753 times)
Warning: This is likely to get longish – I'm a child of Tolkien and never use one word where ten will do the same job...

1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.
I live in a town in Massachusetts USA that, rather pretentiously, calls itself a city. I live here because I married a fellow from here who doesn't want to leave. I was born one town east of here, and lived my whole life until marriage one town east of that. We now live in the house that my husband's grandparents owned and I doubt we'll leave until we hit retirement, if then.

2. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favorite?
I moblog because I enjoy the combination of photography and blogging that it offers. I moblog HERE for the community. I followed Bronxelf and Geo here and never looked back.

Even though they aren't my best shots by any means, my favorites are my photos that I actually take with my phone and blog live. I would love to do that a lot more but Sprint, even though they have improved things a bit, still make it really difficult with too bloody many steps. We're considering moving on to a different carrier when we need new phones, hopefully someone else will make it easier!

I also love macro photography, and for that, my little point and shoot does pretty well.  I love to see the tiny details that otherwise would get missed, be it the tiny curls within the heart of a dandelion or the subtle emotional shadings of a conversation in a moblog's comments.  I can easily get so interested in that aspect of things, though, that I lose the big picture - and miss the opportunity to see/interact with it.  Thus the title of this post!

The photo I used for this post in my favorite macro that I've managed so far.  If I ever get a DSLR I want to explore the possibilities of macro a lot more.

This is my favorite recent one. I smile back at it. And Alfie's comment still cracks me up! :)

3. Whats the story behind your moblog username?
I know I've answered this one before...

*thinks*

Ah yes, here we are, I quote from a comment I left back when Nige asked about nicknames:

I've been on the Internet since 1989 (does anyone else fondly remember putting the phone receiver on a 300 baud modem to dial into a BBS?) and for years, I did the firstname_lastname thing, or firstinitiallastname, or variations. But it got to the point where I started to worry about personal security issues because of a few wingnuts on Usenet groups I frequented. So I decided to start using a nickname I had come up for one particular group. Silar is the name of a minor character from David Edding's Belgariad series who is described as fair of skin, dark of hair and eye, and "a silent woman, and her calm face seldom betrayed her emotions." Which pretty much describes me :-). The one problem with a short name like Silar is that it's short - and a lot of places require 6 characters. So I tacked on the 31 as that was my age when I started using it a lot.

I'm markedly less silent than I was then, and a lot more open about my emotions, but I've had the nick this long and it's comfortable now.

4. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.
I'd devote it to changing my lifestyle to take much better care of myself, in the way of lifestyle changes to diet, exercise, sleep habits. I am working on that even around work but it would be easier if I didn't work.

5. If money, transportation and reservations did not need to be considered, where would you be having dinner tonight? What would you eat?
First, let me say I am SO VERY NOT A FOODIE. That being said, I'd be perfectly happy eating a few towns over at my favorite Asian restaurant, they do Japanese hibachi-style and it is SO good.

6. What is your favorite subject to talk about? Tell us about it.
Oh lordie, this a a tough one. Dogs, I think. In case ANYONE hadn't noticed, I love dogs. I've never met a dog I didn't like, and I like most dogs better than I like most people. Of course my favorites are my beloved JennyB and Bandit, followed closely by Gracie, my parent's Golden Retriever. As evidence of my dog obsession, when I was 10 I was mauled by a neighbor's maladjusted, abused “guard” Doberman Pinscer mix, and after getting out of the emergency room, Dad stopped at the pharmacy for my pain meds and antibiotics. When we walked out, there was a man there with a big, black dog. My first words were “Can I pet him?” :)

7. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you most dislike in others?
I've worked very hard in the last few years to eliminate my dislike of myself about damned near everything – legacy of a seriously screwed up childhood. Now, the one self-sabotaging behavior I still do if I'm not careful is to procrastinate like mad, and then I need to run around like a chicken with it's head cut off trying to get things done that would have been much easier if I'd started earlier.
Passive-aggressiveness from other people makes me insane. If you need something from me, just ask, already. If I'm doing something that bothers you, just TELL ME.

8. What trait do you most like in yourself and what trait do you most like in others?
Honesty, both ways. I spent WAY too many years being dishonest with myself and with others due, again, to leftovers from childhood. I no longer have the time or the patience for that crap.

9. What is your strongest memory from childhood?
Positive or negative? I have way more of the latter. One of the positives, though, is going to this beautiful little park with my grandfather a whole bunch of times one summer to feed the swans they still keep there.

10. What book have you most often recommended to others and why?
I'm very very leery of recommending books, as I've had a lifetime of learning that my tastes have nothing to do with the taste of others. That being said, I think everyone should at least give The Hobbit a try once (and move on to The Lord Of The Rings if you like it), and the first of the Dune novels should be required reading in every school. Lord knows it's more relevant and interesting than a lot of the crap they make kids read.

Posted by silar31

27th Mar 2009, 16:34   comments (16)

Buying Time

(viewed 2938 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

I am in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA, in a Caribou Coffee shop, sitting by myself at a table for two. I imagine I will be in a somewhat different place by the time I post this.

I ended up in the general area because my husband got a job offer that was too good to pass up. I never had considered living in Minnesota, and I have no particular desire to be or stay here, but haven't run away screaming (yet).

I am at this coffee shop because my daughter is light board operator on a play at a nearby theater. I didn't feel like watching the show today, nor did I feel like wasting the gas for a drive home and back.

2. One book, one song, and one movie, and tell us why.

Hmm... for what? If I had to give away all but one? If I wanted to recommend one for somebody to read? Which ones had a significant impact on me? I don't understand the nature of the question, so I'll do some typing and see where I go with it.

Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury - "I can't talk to the walls because they're yelling at me. I can't talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say."

With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles - What do you see when you turn out the light? I can't tell you but I know it's mine.

Parenthood, directed by Ron Howard "You need a license to buy a dog, to drive a car - hell, you even need a license to catch a fish. But they'll let any butt-reaming asshole be a father.

So apparently my question was "What is one book, one song, and one movie that you feel like quoting something from?"

Why? Because that is what came to mind.

Sometimes I hated the books assigned to me to read in school. Sometimes I loved them. This wasn't my favorite of the assigned books, but I love it, and it definitely had impact. This quote I wrote and had on my wall for years. Actually, I still have the piece of paper with this quote written on it, in box somewhere.

I don't have a favorite song, or even a favorite group, but The Beatles were highly influential in my life. I listened to them over and over as a kid, sang along to their songs as my uncle played them on his guitar, and gravitated toward people who liked them when I was a teen. My daughter has posters of them on her wall, that I had on my wall when I was her age. I had an excerpt from some lyrics to Imagine on my wall when I was a teen, but that was Lennon, not The Beatles, and those were not the lyrics that came to mind.

Again, not my favorite. I don't even count comedies as one of my top genres. Even at 18, I was already completely cynical about the parenting abilities of most people. It was well delivered by Keanu Reeves, and it made me laugh and feel frustrated at the same time. I am not sure why this particular film quote came to mind right now, as I can practically have conversations in film quotes, I just found myself picturing the weird head shake he tops off his monologue with.

3. Why do you Moblog? And which of the posts on your Moblog are your favourite?

I moblog because of the community. I joined because a friend suggested that I should. I would post more, but I am frustrated by the quality of my cell phone camera. I wander off because I post less. I wander back because I like people here and want to see what they are doing. I post because I want to share too.

In a strange way, some of my favorite posts are ones from before the crash, because I made a half-assed attempt to draw my missing pictures. Beyond that, this one means a lot to me, but there are a lot of other key ones too.

4. Do you think the content of your photos and your photographic style has changed since contributing to Moblog?

It has changed since I started contributing to moblog, but it has steadily changed since I started taking photos as a child. I don't think moblog has specifically had a large impact. Moblog had a huge impact on self portraits though, thanks to nige and the year of self portraits project.


5. If you could take a year off, what would you do with it.

Spend it traveling with my family ( my husband and our daughter ), eating our way around the world and taking photographs of it.


6. When were you happiest?

It is difficult to pick a happiest point, and I am lucky to have had many happy moments. One that springs to mind is - On the ferry after my wedding. We were married. We had said goodbye to guest and planning stress. We had caught the last ferry of the night to make it to our destination, and I was so pleased not to have missed it, and to just be able to relax.


7. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you most dislike in others?

This list is ridiculously long, and absolutes like "most" are too difficult to sort out. I do greatly dislike my tendency to take on too much. In others, being untrustworthy in both large and small ways is a big button pusher for me.


8. Where is your favorite place to holiday/vacation and where in the world would you most like to visit?

My favorite vacation so far was a trip to New Zealand, and I hope to go there again. The place I have gone to the most and am drawn back to is Japan. This year I'd like to go to New York, and to Martha's Vineyard and to California a couple of times. I'd like to travel many places I haven't been to yet. My dream vacation is a trip to Antarctica, which is about just being there, and the scenery and the wildlife. This is unusual since one of my primary motivations for going most places is a chance to sample the cuisine. Some people follow their heart. I follow my taste buds.


9. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth how would spend the day?

I would want to spend it with my family. I especially have many things I still think are important to say to my daughter, and while it wouldn't be ideal to dump them all on her in one day, it would be better than losing the opportunity to say them. I would probably want to write and video record some things for them too, so they could look at them in the future, under less time pressure.


10. What question would you like to ask yourself? Answer it if you can.

What do you want to be when you grow up?

I don't know the answer. I am still trying to sort it out.

Posted by Tori

20th Mar 2009, 13:00   comments (11)

I'm just sitting here watching the wheels go round and round

(viewed 3021 times)
1. Where are you? Tell us the story that got you there.

I’m in Weybridge, Surrey, which is just within the south west bend of the M25. Far enough away from the rat race that I wake up to clean air and smog free skies, but not so far away that I can’t grab a Starbucks chai tea latte and an apple and cinnamon muffin when the urge takes me (which is quite often).

Getting here was quite literally a case of putting a pin in a map trying to find somewhere that was close enough to commute to work and cheap enough to afford.





2. One book, one song, and one movie, and tell us why.

“Elsewhere” by Gabrielle Zevin – because life, and death, are just new beginnings that should be embraced and not feared.

“I’ve Heard the Mermaids Singing” by Patricia Rozema – because beauty and art are all around us in our everyday lives but we need to shrug off our preconceptions and not be influenced by others in order to see it for ourselves.

“Moon River” when sung by Audrey Hepburn – just, because. *sigh*




3. Why do you moblog?

Despite being lucky enough to get paid to do colouring-in for a living, sometimes the prospect of yet another day dealing with yet another ream of 10.5pt Frutiger Roman garbalese* fills me with despair. Moblog allows me to have some creative freedom fun that isn’t tightly constricted by corporate guidelines, ridiculous deadlines and clients who don’t know their Arials from their elbows. It helps me keep the creative juices flowing when they have all but dried up at work.

* made-up word




4. What do you capture with your camera/mobile phone? Tell us your favourite subject.

Most of the things I blog are just odds and sods that make me smile. I’m not a very good photographer, and until recently only had my cameraphone to take pictures with, so I’m never going to come up with some glorious eye-popping image. However, I’ve now embraced this point and click style of taking pictures. Lots of the time I can’t really see in the viewfinder what I’m taking a shot of, which makes it all the more exciting getting home and discovering what I have.

I find that this makes the experience of taking photos more of a challenge, because I then have to really study the shots I’ve taken to see what can be zoomed in on and cropped, and which images can be placed together to make an interesting set. Quite often I find details in photos that I’d never noticed when I was taking them.

I’m currently loving putting together short visual stories, preferably without any words at all, but I’m also exploring how the presentation of a photo can help convey the photographer’s message. There’s a time and a place for colour, black and white and even solarisation, provided the effects help to enhance the appreciation of the photo rather than detract from it .

Brighton is currently my muse, so expect to see more shots of the locals going about their business while I sit on the sidelines and snap them going about their business.




5. If you could travel in time, where would you want to be right now?

Well, obviously travelling back in time to see dinosaurs or into the future to meet my cloned cyborg self are pretty high on the list.




6. When were you happiest?

Lazing on the balcony on sunny Saturday afternoons in Dulwich, reading or doodling and having to share what tiny space we had with three cantankerous felines who all wanted dibs on the cushions and the sunny spot.




7. What trait do you most dislike in yourself and what trait do you most dislike in others?

I’m a terrible ditherer when it comes to making decisions. I’ll come up with a thousand options for any one situation but I’ll never draw a line in the sand and make a definite and final decision. That’s probably why it’s taking me so long to decorate my flat, I start decorating it one way and then change my mind halfway through and go off on a tangent.

I’m also very easily distract . . . . .

In others I can’t abide rudeness, gum chewing, and smokers who think that the world is their ashtray and can just flick their butts where they choose. Grrrrr . . .




8. Where is your favourite place to holiday/vacation and where in the world would you most like to visit?

I generally feel the urge to make one trip a year back to my home town of Weymouth. Whether it’s the middle of summer or the depths of winter, I take the same old walk along the shoreline and over the cliffs taking in the sights and sounds. I don’t think there’s any of my family still living there, but making the trip is almost a reunion of sorts as I walk and remember the times I had growing up there and my grandmother and grandfather now long gone.

Holidays for me are all about friends, I don’t care where in the world I am, just so long as I’m accompanied by those that are dearest to me.




9. If tomorrow was your last day on Earth how would spend the day?

There would be a lot of tea, good friends, chat and cake involved, either something with spicy ginger or perhaps a classic Victoria sponge.

I would probably finish the day having a thumb through my old sketchbooks and photos and thinking to myself that this hasn’t been such a bad life afterall.




10. What question would you like to ask yourself? Answer it if you can.

Where will you be in five years time? I really don’t know. This year I will be “celebrating” having been in my job for 20 years, which is way too long to have been stuck in one place. I’m currently filled with excitement that I am finally ready to make a leap into a brand new direction with my work, but also terrified by the fear of leaving behind the security of the job I know so well.

Oh well, ever onwards . . . into the fog.

Posted by Sprocket

13th Mar 2009, 06:28   | tags:comments (13)