That I am going to have to come up with some witty title involving either "Tuesday", "Ophiucha", or "Alexandra" to fill up an entire year of weekly blogging. O.O
For the questions,
I do believe my patronus would be a snake. As I may have already explained, Ophiucha, a name I am known by perhaps more widely than Alexandra, is the Greek (feminine) for "snake bearer", as the constellation specifically. I can't remember a time when reptiles were not my life. When I was young, it was Jurassic Park (if one thing got me reading at an advanced level, it was my desire to read Crichton), Land Before Time, and any encyclopedia on the things I could find. The Long Island Game Farm, about five minutes from my home, gave kids a chance to play with an alligator and pet a boa constrictor one day, and my nonna would let me do things that gave my mum a heart attack. Snakes, in particular, became rather dear to me after - well - Harry Potter. What can I say, I'm a Slytherin at heart.
Many a thing gets my blood boiling. As a writer of fantasy, I think the way it is so commonly accepted to worldbuild is what irks me the most. I see people saying you can't write a story without a map, and I start sharpening my knife (and my pencil, for a well-worded thrashing). It's the Tolkien model. Tolkien wrote a story about Middle Earth; it worked for him. But most of us write stories about people, about tales of adventure, about many things in the world, but so rarely the world itself. His influence is so far-stretched, however, that we still use him as the model for high fantasy, and it just doesn't do a writer any good. On a less niche note, I can't stand people who, if you will, feel the need to get involved in our bedrooms. Anything from anti-interracial relationships, anti-LGBT, and even anti-polygamy. That last one is probably where some people step back. But it's something I've always felt strongly about, that a relationship is built on honesty and trust, and if you say "may I have a/nother husband or wife?" and s/he says "okay", well, have at it hoss.
And I do indeed have a best friend. She is the girl I mentioned before who goes to BGSU. :) Her name is Carina, and we met in high school. I was originally friends with her older sister (Carina is one year younger than me, her sister is one year older than me), but in either eighth or ninth grade - I can't recall which - I pretty much ended up sticking with Carina. We weren't best friends for a fair bit, though I did a lot with her. My best friend at the time was a girl named Kristen, but... well, things were tough. She was a serious hypochondriac, and her mother was a clutterbug. They moved out West when I did, and I saw them once, but... haven't been able to get in touch since. I worry about them sometimes, but they were at a bad downhill spiral, spending more money than they made. But, yeah, anyway. Carina. Two others eventually joined our "posse", Eric and Gayle, and they are as good a friend as Carina, but she's been there the longest, and she's made the most effort to stay in touch since we split apart for university.
And I hope you had/are having/will have a Happy 22nd Birthday, Christina!
So, what are people most shocked to learn about me? That really depends on who these 'people' are, I think.
Online, where I near exclusively am around talking about writing, I think people are often shocked to learn some of the books I enjoy. For all that I love my New Weird, my classics, my Cormac McCarthy, I love nearly as much a great bad book. For all that I enjoy China Miéville's elegant prose (“Here a crawling man spiral-shelled in iron and venting smoke. Here a woman working, because there are women among the Remade, a woman become a guttered pillar, her organic parts like afterthoughts. A man — or is it a woman? — whose flesh moves with tides, with eructations like an octopus. People with their faces relocated, bodies made of iron and rubber cables, and steam-engine arms, and animal arms, and arms that are body-length pistons on which the Remade walk, their legs replaced with monkey’s paws so they reach out from below their own waists.”), I also love to make fun of Kristen and P.C. Cast's (“She wasn’t thin like the freak girls who puked and starved themselves into what they thought was Paris Hilton chic. (‘That’s Hott.’ Yeah, okay, whatever, Paris.) This woman’s body was perfect because she was strong, but curvy. And she had great boobs. (I wish I had great boobs.) / ‘Huh’ I said. Speaking of boobs-I was totally sounding like one. (Boob… hee hee).”). And I think you can learn as much from reading The Lord of the Rings or another fantasy classic as you can from reading Eragon or R.A. Salvatore.
In real life, there are two categories: people I want to like or not insult, and people I am forced to interact with and don't much care about their opinions. The former, I am rather shy at first, but I can be remarkably outspoken, loud, perhaps even a bit rude when it comes down to it. Get me in a room with my husband or some of my friends, and we'll be laughing up a storm or groaning about the latest bestseller or some political development. I think a lot of people are like that, but there it is. For people I care a bit less about, I suppose it is simply my ideologies. I am pretty far left, on the political scale. My mini rant about polygamy up there might give you a bit of a taste for that. I am very, very open. There isn't a question you could ask that I wouldn't answer, as long as I had an answer to give. I don't censor myself, either. In general, I guess I am just a bit... upfront, if I don't need to keep it quiet for the sake of a job or for pleasing someone I care about.
Not much else to say today. I don't have a driver's license either, though I live in a city with some amazing public transit, so I don't much see the point in getting one anytime soon. I will probably learn (or more accurately, have my husband learn) if I get pregnant, though. I would hate to take a stroller everywhere via transit. Way too much work, and you always get dirty looks from the other commuters.
See you tomorrow, Carlyn.