Interest lists are interesting; this is also another way to blather about myself. :-) My seven interests were chosen for me by naraht; leave a comment and I'll choose seven off your interest list for you.
- chai: So easy to ruin, so delicious when done well. One of my favorite ways to consume caffeine, though I will readily admit that the only places I can seem to find a decent cuppa are in Indian restaurants (particularly in Japan), and at Small World Coffee in Princeton, one of my favorite coffee shops on the planet. Small World's is unsweetened and has a ton of ginger, while the Indian form as I've had it is often pre-sweetened (or, if not, takes at least three packets of sugar) and has a lot of different spices. Oh, yum.
- European Union: This ties in with my simmering interest in political science, human rights, and social justice. I'm well aware of the drawbacks in the EU's governing structure, but I also think that super-sovereign entities/regional unions are going to be a characteristic feature of the 21stC. Speaking from a human rights perspective, I think that's a good thing, and I also think the Union is a unique social experiment with its own idealistic charm. Though I am sad that it killed the drachma.
- hearing chimes at midnight: this is me pretentiously inventing a unique LJ interest. More seriously, it's a reference to Shakespeare (2 King Henry IV, III, ii to be precise), towards the end when Falstaff and Shallow are reminiscing about their past. I'm not in love with Falstaff like Harold Bloom is, but I do think that the phrase encapsulates a certain sense of having lived life to the fullest, which is a worthy goal.
- Jorge Luis Borges: The great Latin American writer of metafiction--Labyrinths is an iconic achievement. For my senior project in high school I read Borges' Collected Stories, House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski, and made some pathetic attempts at writing my own metafiction. Yes, senior projects weren't very serious. A lot of writers owe a lot of unspoken debts to Borges, who might just be the quintessential postmodernist.
- Quakerism: Until college, every school I attended was a private Quaker school (yes, privelege. also social justice, human rights, and graveyards). I basically consider myself a Quaker, although I still haven't yet been formally convinced as they say, but I think Quakerism is probably one of the least pernicious world religions, and I wish it had more adherents. The American Friends Service Committee, Quakerism's action arm in the United States (and located a block from my high school in Philadelphia), won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1947. What's it about? Pacifism, freedom of conscience, and the idea that everyone has the Light within them (to the point that the last two can overrule the first). Oh, and you can't keep the truth in a book, as George Fox said. I'm aware of the irony of that statement when applied to me.
- The Oxford English Dictionary: A quintessential project of the Victorian age, an expression of madness and obsession, an essential resource for writers, and anyone with a large vocabulary--I hope to own one at some point. My high school had an old condensed edition (the typeface can't be larger than 4 pt, it comes with a magnifying glass), and it's hard to think of more literate fun.
- VNV Nation--An industrial band from Ireland to whom I was introduced by one of my college roommates. My sister and I saw them live a few years ago and they are awesome. Their newer albums are mellower, but their songs certainly appeal to my vestigial Catholic sensibilities. I listened to their song "Honor" on repeat for about a week after the 2004 election, which should give you an idea as to my interpretation of their politics.