What HP character do you identify with most and why? Luna Lovegood. I am not as Zen or as innately self-confident as she is and God-willing I will never know if I am as brave under fire. However, I hope my friends feel I create a safe and supportive space for them to be themselves. My mother was a school social worker so I learned a lot of counseling techniques growing up and I try to give good counsel when it is needed. On a sillier note, I have decorated my cubicle with toys and carry a glitter wand to work every day so I guess even as a full-grown adult I am not afraid to show who I truly am.
I spent a good deal of my recesses in childhood wandering the very edges of the playground singing songs I made up. My schoolmates thought I was thoroughly strange and I was often teased. I was picked last to play because not only was I totally uncoordinated but I also tended to derail any games of imagination with excruciatingly detailed back stories and flowery physical descriptions for my characters.
I had badly cut wispy hair which darkened to dirty blonde with age. I had a very strange fashion sense as well. Throughout my elementary school years, I wore mostly hand-me-downs that were horribly dated or clothing my grandmother or mother sewed. When I was in middle school, I often wore clothing marketed toward adults and even when I did wear clothing that was more age appropriate I had a knack for walking into a popular store and gravitating toward whatever style was never going to take off (at least in my neck of the woods).
Lastly, I am extremely protective of my family. My mom has always been very talkative, zany and whimsical. Many of my friends loved her but other people made fun of her. I think who I am, is due in no small part to what my mom taught me, to look at things from other people’s perspectives, to feel things deeply (and express it – even if you talk too much) and to never let go of my sense of wonder. I can take people saying pretty much anything to me without getting angry but insult my mother (or my sister) and I will let you have it.
What one moment in the books was the most meaningful to you? When Ron befriended Hermione. I know there are far more thrilling and grandiose moments but Hermione being teased for being good at school work and getting so upset she hid in the bathroom and cried really tugged at my heart strings. I hate it when people get hurt for being good people. She was trying to help him after all! It’s so rare that someone who gets a bad first impression takes the time to look again. I felt so justified when Ron (and Harry of course) got to see what an amazing person, and an amazing friend, Hermione was. Each one of them needed a friend, a really good friend, so badly but Harry and Ron found each other first and if I think about Hermione remaining on the outside… it seems like the most unfair, awful thing ever. So even now, after everything, that first taste of making things right, of Hermione going from being teased to being affectionately teased means so much to me.
What would you see if you looked into the Mirror of Erised? The people I love looking joy-filled around me. Mental irregularities run in my family. I think people who have encountered such things have a depth to them that just draws me in, so it isn’t at all surprising that my closest friends have all struggled with such challenges. My husband and my brother-in-law, in particular, suffer from major depressive disorder and I would give pretty much anything for them to see themselves as the amazing gifts to the world that they are – to know deeply and truly that they are loved and wanted. My gravest regret at the end of my life will be leaving the ones I love behind without being able to tell them every day how awesome and loved they are.
If you were to become headmaster at Hogwarts, what is one thing you would change about the school or how it operates? I want to say I’d do away with the prejudices associated with the different houses but not even headmasters have the power to change the way people think and feel. If I could change the entire culture of the school, I’d change that. Far more realistically, I would add classes that aren’t magic. I really do worry about kids not learning mathematics and biology and world history and language arts. Knowing how to express yourself well is vital to being understood and reading helps us to understand other points of view. Those who do not know history (human history, not just magical history) are doomed to repeat it. And I can’t believe even spell work isn’t improved by knowing how numbers and nature work on a higher level than one usually has access to at ten years old.
There also don’t appear to be music classes or art classes or shop classes or home economics classes either. I realize there are spells to make pretty much everything but kneading bread dough is good for the soul, crafting something aerodynamic from wood helps you understand how lift works like nothing else can (also sawdust smells amazing) and the point of painting and drawing and singing and playing the violin is the doing of it just as much as (if not more so than) the outcome.
If you were able to invent one spell, potion, or charm, what would it do, what would you use it for or how would you use it, and what would you call it? I’d create a spell that let you hear, read, write, understand and speak any language. I would use it all the time. 1) whenever I travel 2) to read or watch any story in any language (or to read any information but stories entice me more) 3) whenever anyone who needed help spoke a language the people around them didn’t understand 4) to write poetry in other languages. I’d call it Babelia.
You have to venture deep into the Forbidden Forest one night. Pick one Harry Potter character other than Hagrid and one object (muggle or magical), besides your wand, that you'd want with you. Firenze. Firstly because he knows the forest well and secondly because I want to chat with a centaur and an amicable one at that. I’d take a basket of baked goods, fruit, cheese and chocolate with me because feeding people/creatures is often the easiest way to befriend them (and those are the best foods ^_^).
What was your ideal job as a child? What is your ideal job now? Do you think it would be the same in the Wizarding World? I wanted to be a cartoon cat as a very young child and then a fairy princess. My ideal job now is a lyricist. I think I’d still want to write for a living, even in the Wizarding World. However I also have a deep love of herbalism and if making tinctures and teas and salves could be done magically and infused with compatible magic, I’d have to try my hand at that too. (I do enjoy making herbal bath, beauty and health products for friends but making enough to sell is rather tiring to imagine if I have to do it all by hand.)
What kinds of decisions are the most difficult for you to make? Any decision that could negatively affect others. I hate to think I could make a bad decision and someone else could suffer for it. I don’t like suffering myself of course and I tend to take a long time to make pretty much every decision because I’m a perfectionist and want to make the very best decision with the very best research to back it up (however I am trying to remember that there is no such thing as one right answer in real life situations). Still, if I make a bad decision it’s my fault and I should be the one who suffers the fallout. Knowing someone else is suffering and it’s all my fault is the worst feeling in the world.
If you had the opportunity to live forever, under what conditions would you accept? And if you did choose to live forever, what would you do with eternity? The opportunity to live forever in this world? In my current body? I really can’t think of any situation where I’d accept. Of course, I believe death is not the end of us and that is the defining factor in that decision. If death was the end of everything, I guess the conditions I’d need to take the opportunity to live forever would be: 1) Eternal youth and good health, say I’d be physically 21 forever and fit no matter how many peanut butter chocolate cheesecake slices I had 2) My mother, sister, husband and brother-in-law would be eternally young and healthy too 3) We’d be able to travel anywhere in space and time and 4) We’d have enough wealth (in whatever way wealth is measured) to live a comfortable and enjoyable life wherever we went (and buy our way out of any troubles that could arise especially if people realized we were immortal).
If I did choose to live forever, I’d spend eternity traveling. I’d chat with Jane Austen over tea. I’d get my portrait painted by Leonardo da Vinci. I’d gossip with Sei Shounagon as we viewed a beautiful autumn moon from the palace gardens. I’d learn and see everything there is to view and know and I’d eat a lot of yummy foods too!
What is one thing you would never want said about you? “She is such a hateful person.” It’s a tough call because I hate being thought stupid but most of all I think I’d hate being seen as bitter, vindictive and cruel.
Do you believe that moral actions should be judged by the intentions behind them, or by the consequences they create? Both. Rather like the American judicial system. There is a difference between manslaughter and murder. Yes, killing someone is horrendous and wrong but setting out to kill someone, planning and premeditating it is worse than getting into an argument and pushing someone so hard they fall and hit a sharp corner.
That’s taking it to the extreme but I think both motive and outcome should be taken into consideration, especially when we are talking about things purely from a moral standpoint. If someone steals five loafs of bread because there are children to feed but no money with which to buy bread, is it wrong? Is it the fault of the baker that the children can’t afford bread? Probably not. If everyone who was hungry stole bread than the baker would have no money to buy fruit or clothes and that is hardly just. So the outcome (theft) is not morally good all around even though feeding a hungry person is morally good. On the other hand would I feel justified in bringing the weight of society down on this thief because s/he was so desperate to feed some children that theft seemed like the only answer? No. The intention was a good intention and that should soften our criticism of the behavior. We must mitigate our judgments with compassion. We should lead people to consider better alternatives than ones that have caused negative consequences while understanding why those better alternatives might not have been readily seen by the perpetrator. More holistically, we need to create a world in which everyone has access to and understanding of good choices.
What do you look for in a friend? Someone with a good and ready sense of humor, a great deal of compassion and who makes me feel understood and appreciated. I generally like people who are intelligent and well read and that share some hobbies with me like having fancy teas, antiquing or vintage fashion. Of course it’s a big plus if we can rhapsodize about the intricacy of fandom histories, squeal over favorite characters and both concur that Studio Ghibli’s “Whisper of the Heart” and Louisa May Alcott’s “Rose in Bloom” are amazing. Having similar values is nice but we can disagree on some things if we both are coming from a place of love. Honestly, having someone who “gets you” is a wonderful thing even if you can never agree on where to go, what to watch or how best to fight for equality.
What trait most annoys you about other people? Annoys? So more like a pet peeve than a “how can people like this sleep at night?” A lack of curiosity is a very annoying trait. If I say “Actually JFK didn’t say “I am a jelly donut” when he was in Berlin.” I want the person listening to say “Oh really? What happened then?” if they don’t know the story themselves. It’s not just because I want to right a misconception that makes fun of someone but also because the true story is an interesting story and there is very little I love more than an interesting story. Someone who answers, ‘Well, I think it’s funnier to believe he did,” is the worst because they aren’t interested in the story and they would rather make fun of someone than know the truth. However someone who says “Who cares?” is also annoying because how can you not want to hear an interesting story?
What do you think are your top five abilities or qualities? 1) Passionate – I feel everything to the hilt. I have cried at Disney movies (not Pixar, I’m talking Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid; I cried at Pixar movies too, but that’s a given). On the other hand, it is not unusual for me to literally jump for joy. I love loving things and with love comes both exhilaration and sorrow so there’s nothing to do but dive right in!
2) Whimsical – I am charmingly quirky. I would call myself a hipster but hipsters won’t admit to being one and I have had several hipster haters tell me I can’t possibly be one because they don’t hate me. I have been called a manic pixie dream girl on multiple occasions and I’m fine with it. When I was younger I wanted to be beautiful but I am always called cute (even now as I near 40) and I’ve come to accept that’s just who I am. I love things that are labeled twee like German glass glitter, embroidered ribbons and fountain pens. I have a collection of vintage hats and more than one fairy crown.
3) Narrative – I will make anything into a story. Want to know about my ancestor that suggested you put your crawling baby in the backyard and dig some holes for the tyke to fall into and figure a way out of but you should never, never cuddle your child? I’ll probably make you laugh at his (awful) antics. I got my BA in storytelling and have done little with it other than gather story upon story upon story to tell to keep boredom at bay.
4) Witty – I am almost always good for a laugh. Not only do I tend towards humor to diffuse all types of awkwardness or upset, I enjoy throwing in amusing asides whenever possible. Being funny is great but being funny while referencing Star Wars? Even better in my book. We can talk about the deepest, bleakest subjects as long as we throw in a little levity from time to time to buoy our spirits, right?
5) Spiritual – I have an abiding belief in the Divine. I won’t preach but it colors the way I see everything because the Divine is in everyone and everything. It helps me see the beauty in our world and it helps me love people who may be difficult to love.
What do you think are your top five weaknesses or worst qualities? 1) Perfectionist – I want to do everything the right way, the best way, and let me tell you there are so many people out there who will tell you what that is. I have books on etiquette, correct silverware placement, how to sit down elegantly and on and on. This makes me rather rigid and controlling and often about the most trifling things. I have very serious opinions on lettuce and napkins and stationery. I am always researching and collecting info, and then I need to research the experts since they often don’t agree, and after all that I rarely do anything with it all. I can become quite frozen in my indecision because I just don’t know what the ne plus ultra choice is.
2) Unmotivated – This is very much connected to my perfectionism. If I can’t be the best, do the best, find the best, why try at all? I easily get overwhelmed by all the choices and all the work each step requires so I’d rather run away and lose myself in a nice fictional world where the author knows what the consequence of each choice will be and all I need to do is read along.
3) Chatterbox – I am really, really, really talkative. I also tend to speed up the more excited I get. I will “talk your ear off.” I often worry that people are trying to politely end our conversation and get away but then some great story pops into my head and I just keep talking.
4) Worrywart – Also connected to my perfectionism, I worry all the time about a lot of different things. My biggest worry is of course for the health and safety of those I love, and the world at large. I worry about seeming stupid, about seeming rude, about seeming overbearing. I worry that I’ve insulted people or made them feel undervalued because I didn’t know the right words to say. I worry that I’m not using my time or my talents well. I worry about my ecological footprint a lot. I worry that I might have made someone’s day worse rather than better. I worry that I’m not as good as I could be. I worry that I missed some important information that would change everything; it’s probably in that article I tore out five years ago but never finished reading!
5) Fear of missing out – The episode “Too Many Pinkie Pies” of the current My Little Pony cartoon is me to a tee. I am always concerned that I am missing something fun or useful. Is there a free class in genealogy at the library that I missed because I haven’t kept up with the calendar this month? Did I sign up for every useful mailing list I could be on? Oh no! Now I can’t get through my inbox every day, or even every week! Three months from now I’ll find out there was a webinar on creating dreamboards for the summer solstice and I missed it! Is the ball-jointed doll community having a tea? Are the gothic lolitas hosting a fashion show? Did I miss the steampunk meet-up? Why are there so many panels at Comic Con? I can’t get to all of them! How do I choose?
Where did you find out about us? mzmtiger’s profile page
Do you plan on being active in the communities once you are sorted? I check my LJ friend’s feed almost every day so as long as I feel like I can make a good contribution, I’ll be taking part!