1. When did you first become a Vegan and why did you decide to make the change?
I've proddly posted all this before, but I'll give you the brief rundown -I went to martial arts camp in May 2006 and the subject of religion was brought up. The majority of seniors in the school are Buddhist, with the exception of Magf and I (both going through the same Catholic schools), although I've long had an interested in exploring it further (Magf does not). When I got home I started reading "Living Buddha, Living Christ" which got me thinking more about cruelty and compassion. I hadn't intentionally killed a bug for many years - our martial arts school has a pledge containing the line "I will not cause suffering or harm to other living beings" and I remember the day my instructor told me that it included bugs and insects too, it was like a light switch going off. Anyway, I thought to myself "Self, you are a hypocrite for feeling righteous about not killing bugs when you eat meat. So stop eating meat.". That was the middle of May 2006. I spent the rest of the month on the internet reading about vegetarianism and realised that not eating meat is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to compassionate living - there is just so much suffering going on in the dairy, egg and all animal industries (read more here), I decided that I was not going to participate in that any more. On the first of June 2006, I became vegan.
2. I notice that you are really into martial arts. What martial arts have you studied? When did you first start taking them and what is it about them that you like?
Ah - a tricky one! I don't really disclose on here which martial art it is because it is quite small and would likely come up on the first page if anyone googled it. So unfortunately, I won't be sharing that with you BUT I can tell you that it's a Korean/Chinese martial art. I started training in June 1999 - they did a pamphlet drop and my mum took eldest bro and middle bro along to a class, who then came back talking about much fun it was, so I joined a class later. I double graded on my first grading (because I was older, I think) so I was always a bit ahead of my brothers (youngest bro joined when he was old enough, middle bro stopped when he started playing MUDD online) which was good for me, maybe not so much for them ;o) I graded to 1st Dan in 1997, 2nd Dan in 2000, and 3rd Dan in 2005 - I have a projected grading date to 4th Dan in 2009 after which I'll be considered a Master. This point is somewhat hilarious to me because I know that I'm not the most technically proficient, I forget things easilly and I do more talking and correcting than actual training - HOWEVER what keeps me there is the people (I have a class of such lovely people, all of them really are genuine and I would consider them all friends) and the 'way of life' it has become for me. I can't imagine not doing it. Also - I tend to think of people who 'collect' black belts as sportspeople or hobbyists, so I'm happy to say I've only ever done the one.
3. You have tried to keep your blog a secret from your family. Why did you make that choice and do you think that your blog would be different if they did know about it?
Interesting... I made the choice when I first started because I wanted to get good first. It's taken a while to get to where I am and I wouldn't exactly say it's good. I was also a bit more open about my work and other peoples business when I first started so I wanted to remain anonymous and "honest". I told youngest bro about it after finding out he had blogged but he didn't much care for it, and I don't think he does to this day. There was then the fiasco with middle bro finding it somehow, then apparently telling eldest bro and his gf and the few fallouts that have happened since then. Mumsy and Dadsy now know there is a blog, but as yet I don't know if they've read it. That said - I do kinda wish it wasn't that way. I might just yet go back and remove the "offensive" things so I don't have anything to feel ashamed of, but something I can be kinda proud of. I'm getting better at realising that being "honest" doesn't mean being nasty and lashing my tongue at everyone and everything. In terms of where it would change, I did say to mumsy that if she became a reader and I found out it would change - I hate being judged (which kinda makes blogging a dumb idea, huh?!) and it would be harder to know I'm being judged by them too.
4. What have been the best and worse things about blogging in your experience?
The best thing would easilly be the people I have met that I do consider friends - Erica, D'jen, Adam, Deb and TokenWoman. I also really enjoy the interaction, the talking through an issue, the discussion, the shared interests and the entertainment. I also got to meet a goth (pretty safe to say this never would have happened otherwise) and the first blogger that I ever read!
The worst thing for me might well be the amount of time I spend with my lappy - reading, writing and browsing. Secondarily, I'm not that big a fan of some of the nastiness that seems to happen when ppl congregate for a while (less so on blogs, more on forums and contribution based sites).
5. What are you studying at University and what got you interested in that degree?
I'm studying Commerce. My reasoning is pretty selfish - I dropped out of my IT degree in the third year after (FINALLY) realising I didn't have a coding bone in my body (I'd get them all mixed up and couldn't work out what I wanted to do and how) and work offered to pay for me if I went back and did something work related. Commerce is basically a bit of everything, so I knew it would always be work related and that I wouldn't have to commit to any one thing, plus being able to choose a major that took into consideration the units I had already completed brought my anticipated end date forward from mid 2011 to the end of 2009. So I got interested in it because it was free and quick(ish).
*******Now it's your turn. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment including the words "Interview me." I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions. If you don't have a valid email address on your blog, please provide one. You will update your blog with a post containing your answers to the questions. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.