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03 November 2009 @ 11:12 am
getting back on the horse  
Mr. G is home. I also happen to be in the Minneapolis area. (It is a complete coincidence that I was also here last time he returned from a big international trip. I'm not here to assist with the decanting. Honest.)

Mailbag time!

stimpson writes:
Webgoblin, what is your favourite thing about Anthropology?

I loved Cultural Anthropology. Questioning why groups behave as they do and trying to put into words the unspoken rules of social interaction was a hobby of mine anyway. Once I discovered ethnographic fiction, though, and realized that I could turn in short stories instead of research papers, I was completely sold on the major.

My specific area of interest is my circle of friends. It has been one of my life's ambitions to surround myself with interesting people, so they're usually a rich bed to mine. Additionally, I really identify with anthropology's struggle over ethos, in asking what right any observer has to claim to understand a group, and the issues of how much a participant-observer effects the observed by the act of observing. So I wrote about my friends, because I was already hanging out with them anyway and because I really wanted to understand them better.

My most successful paper about them was entitled something like, "The Shared Cognitive Mediated Structures of Dumping Someone". My professor said she wished she'd read it before her divorce.

My most successful non-paper was a memoir written from the perspective of an individual with Repetitive Self-Harm Syndrome, who cut and burned himself. I presented it on the last day of class as a monologue, during which I slowly laid various cutting and burning implements out across the table in front of me. My classmates seemed stunned, to my delight, and one whom I later befriended told me that I had really creeped her out.

Which tells you something of how I measured success.

eowynofithilien writes:
And, if I may add to the above, do you have any anthropological/cultural observations from your time maintaining the blog?

Not particularly, I'm afraid. Mr. G tends to attract very kind fans. Beyond that, the structures of fandom are pretty consistent. I am convinced that you would all find me much less witty were it not for my association with Mr. G, though.

tehlobster writes:
You say you've been participating successfully in NaNo since '05? That's about when I learned of it, though this is my first year and I'm CURRENTLY VERY TERRIFIED HAHA.

What happened with your successes? Did you do anything with them after their respective 30th's?

I haven't had any of it published. I haven't tried much.

My first NaNoWriMo novel was an excellent experience. I completed it. I put everything I'd ever thought to write about into it. And now I know better than to try to put that many disparate elements and themes into a single story, much less attempt to deal with that many different personal issues in a single place. I've revised it since then, and, though the first third is still largely horrid, I'm rather fond of the remaining two thirds.

Don't tell the people in the NaNoWriMo forums (-- seriously, they get all mad and declare jihad if you do --), but every year since then I've written 50k words worth of short stories. This year I'm trying to write a short story a day, each one inspired by a song I heard that morning on the radio.

prettymess writes:
Do you know what's decomposing in my air ducts?

By the time I located it, it was unrecognizable. It appeared to have five paws and two beaks.

queclecumber writes:
What are you going as for Halloween? A goblin?

Guy Fawkes.

skye_princess writes:
Webgoblin, would it be alright if I friend you? Feel free to look over at my profile to get a sense of what I am like as a person. Just to let you know, I don't post that often in my own journal, but I try to be really good about making comments in others' journals, trying to keep up with everything that is going on in their lives. I do like making friends, both in real life and on-line.

BTW, I really like the work that you're doing on Neil's blog while he is away. I especially liked the different journal styles you were trying out. Keep up the good and beautiful work :-)

No need to ask. I really wish social networks would call them something other than "friends".

flawed_karma writes:
Here's a two parter for you.

What is the most fascinating part of doing the webgoblining for Neil Gaiman
And what part do you hate the most?

The most fascinating part is getting a little peek behind the scenes, and the people who show up in my inbox.

The hardest part is dealing with my own insecurity when it comes to emailing Mr. G. I have, on multiple occasions, spent three hours revising an email to Mr. G that was, in the end, maybe four sentences. I know that he is a busy man with many people clamoring for his attention. I don't want to waste his time. This truth extends to all things.

inuki42 writes:
You mentioned a customized G1 - just what sort of customized? :)

For the way I use my phone, the G1 wins over the Cliq too - while I really like the social networking widgets, the G1's keyboard is just more comfortable. The Droid does look shiny, though... but it makes me laugh every time I see those commercials, because they had to pay Lucasfilm to use the "droid" name, and the term brings something very different to my mind!

I'm running CM4.0.4 with CM Recovery 1.4 and various tweaks picked up along the way.

After playing with a CLIQ, I think I'd miss the scrollball if I got a Droid. What a need is a Droid-like phone with hardware keyboard, scrollball, 1GHz Snapdragon processor, and a lot of RAM.

wineandlemons writes:
Who is Eben?

And what's your novel (tentatively) about this year?

I have no idea who Eben is. I discovered him one day after buying a pair of pince-nez and getting them fitted with my prescription. If you find out, please tell me.

skyeyedoc writes:
What do you drive? Personally, I've always wanted Jack Sprat's Austin Allegro, but with high miles on the odometer...

A Toyota Prius with vanity plates referencing to a certain epic SF series that KJA has done his best to ruin. (Not Star Wars.)

marence writes:
And whatever happened to the decoder rings*?

*and distribution scheme, too. That was what piqued my interest.

I never found a place selling bulk decoder rings cheaply. As for the distribution scheme, I'm not entirely sure if the one that I'm thinking of now is the same one that I had thought of then, so I can't speak on it with any confidence.

rekre8 writes:
When sitting at breakfast at home, what's on the wall infront of you? Please also make up a good lie as to why it's there.

Though it is my favorite meal, I do not eat breakfast.

dianapassy writes:
Webgoblin, what was the last book you read that you really loved? Please mention another if your first answer involves Mr. G.

I rather liked "The Time Traveler's Wife", though its dark turns took me by surprise. It has depths to be considered, and is far less a romantic story than most seem to think. I have not seen the film.

takenbythesky writes:
Do you have a favorite facet / tale of mythology?

As is fitting a puckish hobgoblin, I am rather partial to Hermes, in all of his many forms across mythologies. Among them, I count: Yinepu, Hesus and Esus, Turms, Cyllenius, Robin Goodfellow and Hobgoblin and Puck, Psychopompos, Mercury and Alipes, Anpu and Ienpw and Imy-ut and Anubis, Hermanubis, Hermes, Peter Pan, and even Spock.

Please feel free to ask more questions via LJ-internal email or Mr. G's Site Inquiry line; questions in comments to this post will be answered with further comments of my own.
Jasthewebmistress on November 3rd, 2009 06:46 pm (UTC)
These were really interesting, thanks!
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
How very... specific.

How do I know you're not a spambot? ^_^
(no subject) - thewebmistress on November 3rd, 2009 08:04 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - thewebmistress on November 3rd, 2009 08:13 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:29 pm (UTC) (Expand)
therru: Firefly - Kill you with my braintherru on November 3rd, 2009 07:22 pm (UTC)
No need to ask. I really wish social networks would call them something other than "friends".

They should have called it "reading list" instead of "friends list". That choice of name has led to incredible amounts of confusion and unnecessary drama.
Elusiselusis on November 3rd, 2009 08:26 pm (UTC)
LJ promised to do this years ago. Except then Ad Revenue (tm) became more of a brass ring and we got a ton of unnecessary crap like voice posts and virtual gifts and sponsored journals.
(no subject) - therru on November 3rd, 2009 08:36 pm (UTC) (Expand)
His name's Fred, but we call him Brucet_c_da on November 3rd, 2009 07:48 pm (UTC)
Why do I get the feeling that this is about 95% random (appropriate) names picked from LJ and mythical questions to suit the webgoblins personal proclivities???
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
Hey, all the questions were asked in public right here:
(no subject) - t_c_da on November 4th, 2009 07:38 am (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 4th, 2009 01:49 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Queclecumber (online, at least)queclecumber on November 3rd, 2009 08:03 pm (UTC)
My most successful paper about them was entitled something like, "The Shared Cognitive Mediated Structures of Dumping Someone". My professor said she wished she'd read it before her divorce.

Is there any chance you might put it somewhere where the online community can read it? It sounds interesting!
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I may still have it digitally on my NAS as home. I'm not sure I'd want to share it even if I could find it, though; I've since realized that I failed to address several cases.
(no subject) - rhyolight04 on November 4th, 2009 01:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 4th, 2009 01:50 pm (UTC) (Expand)
grammar nerd extraordinairemisslynn on November 3rd, 2009 08:12 pm (UTC)
Oh, good, another male who loved the Time Traveler's Wife. I can encourage my husband to not feel shame at liking a "chick" book now. (I kid, it's totally NOT a chick book...)
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:15 pm (UTC)
Totally not a chick book.
(no subject) - psychababble on November 3rd, 2009 08:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - misslynn on November 3rd, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - psychababble on November 3rd, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - misslynn on November 3rd, 2009 08:25 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - psychababble on November 3rd, 2009 08:27 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:32 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - psychababble on November 3rd, 2009 08:33 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:40 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - therru on November 3rd, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - therru on November 3rd, 2009 09:06 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:28 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - psychababble on November 3rd, 2009 08:35 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - webgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC) (Expand)
dyserenitydyserenity on November 3rd, 2009 08:37 pm (UTC)
I love your NaNo idea; I might steal it for next year.
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 08:41 pm (UTC)
It's a bit grueling, but I'm enjoying it.
→ the beggar king.viserys on November 3rd, 2009 09:15 pm (UTC)
"I am convinced that you would all find me much less witty were it not for my association with Mr. G, though."

This actually really bothered me to read! Not true at all, at least in my case.

Granted, yes, I think a number of your readers here became aware of you because of Mr. Gaiman, of course. But! I personally came over here and friended you because I was genuinely enjoying what you had to say over on his blog, and didn't want to miss out on it when the blog went back to it's actual author.

I'm not posting this as a brown-nosing attempt, I promise. :P Just saying you shouldn't sell yourself short, sir.
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 09:21 pm (UTC)
My blogging is good enough,
it's witty enough,
and, gosh darn it, people friend me.
(no subject) - kuroshii on November 4th, 2009 03:28 am (UTC) (Expand)
"Salanth": leafsalanth on November 3rd, 2009 09:16 pm (UTC)
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 3rd, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
You shall have an imaginary cookie! (It has sqrt(-1) written on it in icing.)
rhyolight04rhyolight04 on November 4th, 2009 01:30 pm (UTC)
Oh gosh, by the time I got down here I forgot what I wanted to say. Oh, right. Your spirit animal, Eben, made me laugh and is doing so again. Thank you.

Of course you're there for the decanting. NG-infused brandy promotes visions, benignity, and immortality. I see you and the Fabulous One, Birdchick and NBB, AFP, Maddy, Cabal, and a host of others, many in robes, standing around his travelling module with very long straws.
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 4th, 2009 01:51 pm (UTC)
Elelvendaydream on November 4th, 2009 03:01 pm (UTC)
I'm afraid I don't get Spock as Hermes. Would you kindly elaborate please?

And why do you deny yourself your favorite meal?
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 4th, 2009 03:15 pm (UTC)
It's the ears. And I bet an infant Spock totally could have snuck away from his mother and invented the lute.

And the fact that if anyone was going to accompany Kirk's soul to Hades, it would be Spock.

I love a wide variety of breakfast cereals, but became lactose intolerant about a decade ago. And soy milk is too expensive and spoils before I can finish it.
(no subject) - elvendaydream on November 4th, 2009 03:19 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Tora Boraprettymess on November 4th, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
Thanks for answering Webgoblin!

Unfortunately, or not, eventually we found what was decomposing in the vents. Perhaps I shall call it Bob.
HellZiggy: Minnesotahellziggy on November 5th, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
Well hey there, welcome to my neighborhood! Although you got here about 2 months too late for our best weather...
Francis Baconnotshakespeare on November 5th, 2009 03:39 am (UTC)
Wait a minute! If you are a goblin, and Neil is your boss, does that make him the Goblin King?
True Story.: For the aliveeowynofithilien on November 6th, 2009 05:03 am (UTC)
I am convinced that you would all find me much less witty were it not for my association with Mr. G, though.

I must respectfully disagree.

Your cutting project sounds really fascinating. For some reason a lot of culutural writing seems to be dry in inverse proportion to the interestingness of the subject it deals with. I also tended to stick to my circles of friends for research, partially because they're interesting and partially because I was so trepidatious about the whole interviewing complete strangers thing. (I think my favourite anthro paper was about the development of the antihero as American folklore, though it didn't turn out quite as folklorish as I meant for it to be.) Anyway, if one's friends aren't anthropologically interesting, they're probably not very good friends, are they?

Also note taken about The Time Traveller's Wife. I had gotten the impression that it was rather chick lit, but dark turns are frequently the best kind.
cinnamonishcinnamonish on November 10th, 2009 01:40 pm (UTC)
This is not the spot to report this, I know, but I'm either very thick or the "red sentence" in the inquiry page isn't showing up for me. Anyway, I'm uploading the Romanian covers on Mr. Gaiman's site and I screwed the first up, I picked American Gods and inputted the info for Anansi Boys. It's pretty ovbious since the cover has "Anansi Boys" in big letters, but I figured I'd explain the double submission. I promise not to mess up on the others, really.
webgoblinwebgoblin on November 10th, 2009 06:35 pm (UTC)
Re: oops
Are you red/green colorblind, by chance? ^_^ It's aaaaalll the way at the top. I really need to do something about the inherent accessibility issues...

Thank you for your submissions, and for your note! Big help, both.
Re: oops - cinnamonish on November 10th, 2009 07:05 pm (UTC) (Expand)