So begins that promised Buzzfeed-esque list, for your dubious reading pleasure. Answered here are such momentous questions as, Who is my favourite composer? and, How do I take my tea? and, What is the airspeed of an unleaden swallow?
The answer to this question is, of course, 42. 42 what? Nobody knows.
If your good sense has not yet overtaken your curiosity, read on!
I. Favourite Things
Raindrops on Roses Sold Separately
- Tea: In no particular order — sen-matcha, genmaicha, hojicha, Scottish breakfast tea, lychee pu-erh, chocolate pu-ehr, mint melange, and hibiscus [in my case this one is more like sugar with hibiscus-flavoured water in it]. I make a batch of my own concoction weekly, which has no name but might reasonably be called peppermint-catmint-chamomile-skullcap-cinnamon tisane. Yes, I know the difference between tea and tisane, and no, won’t frown at you if you don’t. Just don’t spill my tea, I will cry.
- Comic Universe: Marvel, fullstop. The late Stan Lee had a vision, a sense of humour, and a sense of honour. He had a talent to see the word between what it is and what it could be. His creations reflect this in every iteration. Sorry, Batman.
- Soda: I rarely drink soda, but when I do it’s going to be butterbeer [the soda, not the medieval drink, obviously, this is the soda question]. I do enjoy the rare Roy Rogers on occasion, but butterbeer [the soda] is my favourite — followed at a close second by cinnamon cola.
- Dead People: Grace O’Malley — she was an alley cat
although actually she was a pirate; Ambrose Bierce; Steve Irwin, my second father [wasn’t he everyone’s?]; and Fred Rogers [everyone’s kindest neighbour]. Those last two are actually my favourites, and I miss them a lot; the first two are just fun to read about.
- Food: Dumplings. Any type of dumpling, really — pasty, pierogi, ravioli, gnocci, gyoza, xiaolongbao, tangyuan, daifuku… A very close second — sushi.
Yes it’s also a food, and no I don’t care. Stop me, I dare you.This one is a close tie between sourdough and Irish sweet bread. Although honourable mention goes to lemon poppyseed…
- Jokes: The very lamest, stupidest jokes are the best. STEM jokes, socio-political satire, pithy one-liners, and any yo mama joke ever uttered.
- Classical Composers: Mozart, Rachmaninoff, and of course Tchaikovsky.
- Contemporary Composers: John Williams, Joe Hisaishi, and Yoko Kanno.
- Insults: If we are judging by most often used, then it’s got to be either numpty or daft numpty. Of course I’ve got plenty I use when the occasion calls for it, but perhaps I ought not to list them here, you know, they’re rather rude…
- Pranks: Multi-layer pranks are the craic! A classic template is comprised of three parts — the setup, the prank, and the reprise. For example, hypothetically, you might feed your
victimfriend chocolate-covered onion — nasty! So they might then reach for their trusty water bottle, which just so happens to have a toy spider inside of it — ew! So they might then startle and jump, and it might just so happen that the top is unscrewed… Hypothetically. Also, spiders — spider everywhere, that is always funny.
II. Who, What, Why, When, Where + How
The Real Soup Questions
- Why do all of your links open in new tabs?
I’m particularly fond of having far more tabs open than good sense allows, but also, I’m not particularly fond of having my present reading interrupted by new reading. I extend this sensibility to others; and this is why my poor phone has got…27 tabs waiting? [To be fair, this is better than the 49 tabs it was last month!]
- What is your superpower?
I rather like the idea of morphing, that is, shapeshifting. Can you imagine turning into a fox? I love foxes! Foxes are my spirit animal. How about turning into a dragon? I’m a dragon according to the Chinese Zodiac. If not a dragon, then a Giganotosaurus, or a deinonychus, or a horse.
- How do you keep organised?
Lists, everywhere! I utilise corkboards and write lists on index cards. I stick notes on magnetic strips. Also, I’ve got wicker baskets all over; they’re dead useful, and pretty to boot. And where it’s relevant, I add alarms to my phone.
So very many alarms.
- What have you been reading?
In 2019 I read mostly nonfiction: the history of San Francisco, books about Bernie Sanders and anthologies on forgotten women of science, Stephen Hawking’s A Brief History of Time: From the Big Bang to Black Holes, and Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything.
In 2020, I was leaning more toward fiction: I made my way through Westeros at a fair clip [but not as fast as in the last season, looking at you movie physics]. I’d love to read more whimsical crack — is that an official genre? It should be.
During 2021, I returned again to nonfiction. First with A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn, recently I’ve finished History on Trial: My Day in Court with a Holocaust Deniar by Deborah E Lipstadt [an intense book surely, absolutely every person should read it], and Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife. Following that was Labour in Irish History by James Connolly.
For 2022 it’s mostly been sewing patterns! Although I am making my way through James Lipton’s An Exultation of Larks: The Ultimate Edition. Did you know that when you’ve got more than a single electrician, you’ve got an ohm of electricians? And you must have a quantum of mechanics, if you’ve more than one…
Generally, or why specifically? This is a truly important distinction. But of course the answer will be the same: whyever not?
- How do you do so many things?
Actually I get this question fairly regularly. The short answer is, I’m not particularly good at being idle. I do make a point to limit my projects to four at a time, you know, as a nod to that proverb about chasing two rabbits… The long answer might be better served with a good cup of tea! :]
- What do you call your style of dress?
Isn’t that a fun question surely! I’ve had great craic hopping down the internet rabbit holes of fashion style naming fads. My style draws from dark cottagecore and dark academia, with some influence from royalcore and a few other things, likely. Are these a lot of odd names? Absolutely they are, they were new to me too, before I started searching! What it means is this:
I love the aesthetic of Edwardian-era blouses, waistcoats, shawls, and swooshy long skirts; their lace, buttons, and shoes. I also love the aesthetic of cloaks and capes and vambraces, of bejeweled walking sticks and headpieces and belts. I love intricate, historically-inspired braiding styles, and I nearly always wear my four house colours.
I jest with my sister about calling my style Imperial Dark Magecore, which she says is fitting as it — and I — are “suitably dramatic“! ;D
- What do you sing?
I do indeed sing, and not half bad I’d say! I lean toward Irish trad, classical, classic jazz, or else electronica. Most of it I’ve posted to Soundcloud, and I’m always open to collaborating with other artists. Music is its own magic.
- What sort of engineering do you do?
Mechantronics! That’s robotics and prosthetics, mostly. You can read about it here. Presently I’ve got an office job, but I am keen to get back to STEM. You hear me joke about my spiderbots, but they’re no joke!