To know me is to know that I like many things and have a few key obsessions: for the last few years its been Smallville. I tend to be very analytical, but sometimes surprise people with a passionate outburst. I'm a horrible introvert and the idea of going to a party filled with strangers can send me into a mini panic attack. The internet helps get me out of my shell and exposes me to so many different points of view.
One of my prime passions is travelling, although I'm doing less of the big trips lately because I feel guilty about leaving my pets behind. My most exotic trips were to Egypt and Kenya in 2006 (solar eclipse), Australia in 2000 (Olympics), Peru in 1987 (supernova 1987a) and Iran in 1966-8 (because my dad was working for an oil company). I've also been lucky enough to do many trips through Europe, the Caribbean, the US and Canada. My first priority is to try to appreciate the major scenic highlights and the major museums - I would have made a horrible anthropologist because I'm not really all that interested in soaking up the local culture. Still, it always amazes me how much I can get done on holiday compared to my normal life!
I own (?) three cats, who provide me with endless entertainment. The two eldest Agrippine and Julia, both females, tend to be a bit standoffish but are so amusing to watch when The Demon ambushes them. The Demon (officially named Ginger Snap) is the youngest and is the friendliest cat I've ever had the good fortune to meet. He loves sleeping on me, which is nice until I have to roll over because my leg or arm has gone numb. Fortunately, I've yet to squash him.
I read endlessly and quite diversely. I've always read science fiction and to a lesser degree fantasy, but some of the other genres have come and gone over the years. For example, I devoured comics while I was growing up, got turned off in the eighties, then rediscovered them when I started watching Smallville. Its amazing how much the quality has improved in the last decade. I'm also devouring the extensive Smallville fanfic available online - all ships welcome unless its too anti-Clark. I used to read a lot of romance novels, until I figured out the formula. Recently I've taken to reading history and biographies - truth isn't necessarily stranger than fiction but it's definitely far more complex.
I also adore music of just about all genres: the only type I hear and consistently dislike is jazz, which I just don't understand. But my heart belongs to the so-called alternative bands and especially Nirvana. It wasn't Teen Spirit that really got me: I had got so sick of the rock mainstream that I wasn't listening to the radio enough in 1991 to pick up on the band when they broke. No, it was the other 11 tracks on Nevermind that amazed me, and then I devoured the rest of their catalogue. And bootlegs (obsessive you know). So sad that Kurt left us too soon. But along with the other breakthrough acts of the early nineties like Nine Inch Nails, Oasis and Radiohead, they led the way for many other bands that form the core of my playlist: Killers, Coldplay, Keane, White Stripes and Snow Patrol to name a few.