Dear 100 Hour Board,
Out of all the Board writers and alumni, who:
1. do you like the most, personally?
2. do you respect the most?
3. have you learned the most from?
- I'm slightly obligated to say I like Spectre the most. But I also really like Dragon Lady and Yellow. I'm gonna miss playing games with them when we move.
- Respect is a slightly confusing concept. I'm not really quite sure who I'd specifically say here.
- I've learned the most from Katya and Spectre. Katya is my go-to for research projects and educational endeavors.
Dear George ~
I thought this would be really difficult, but upon reflection, I realized that the very honest, and easy-out answer is easily:
In short, it was all Yellow.
~ Dragon Lady
I have been laboring over this question because overthinking is just WHO I AM, so I'm going to reject your format but throw some love at some of my favorite writers anyway, alphabetically of course.
Cognoscente is just rad. His commitment to personal improvement is really inspiring to me and is currently teaching me a lot. He's hilarious, obviously, and has suggested I listen to what turned out to be some of my favorite, most personal music. We've been down some roads together.
Man with a Mustache and I started writing for the Board on the very same day, but I feel like I've gotten to know him better during alumni weeks than I did back then. I cannot believe the astronomy-related answers he just pulled out within a few hours, and he has shown some incredible bravery in discussing difficult, personal topics. Always kind, always affirming, always takes the time to let you know you matter to him.
Mico is someone I would just like to be more like. She's smart and she is hilarious without being in any way a show off. She is thoughtful and well-researched. Plus anyone who showed up to all those anti-Conference weekends is fine by me only forever. Also her wedding was legit the coolest one I have ever been to.
Pseudoname is my younger sister who has consistently shown up for me and who knows how to hold secrets and withhold judgment. She's wicked smart and very funny but she doesn't understand why anyone else finds her funny which is endlessly charming.
Queen Alice is an artist and she is authentic. I always feel at ease around her because she is exactly who she is, without apology. She taught me things about how OCD and religion can overlap that literally changed my life. Following her Instagram now just makes me so happy.
Unlucky Stuntman has been my best friend for 10 years. We have been through some Lifetime movie level stuff and created some really cool things together. She believes in standing up against injustice, getting yours, personal improvement, and kitsch.
Van Goff. I have never spoken to him, but my admiration and respect for him is huge. There is a lot of bravery there, which I admire.
yayfulness has shown me a lot of generosity with his time and emotional energy since Board times. He is gentle and understanding as well as being brilliant and creating some of my very favorite answers on the Board.
Zedability is fierce and smart and not about to let you walk all over her. She understands how to receive feedback when she is sitting in a position of privilege. I feel like I kind of watched her grow up over the Board and was so excited to see someone take up those causes, and always so eloquently.
- The Black Sheep
Everybody had better say me.
This answer scared me, not because other writers are egotistical maniacs who would be offended if I didn't choose them, but because I didn't know how to narrow your categories down to one.
So, I'm totally dodging the parameters you've laid out and will just say that I've known Dragon Lady the longest, I've seen Katya the most frequently in person over the last few years, but I've seen Hobbes the most recently.
Also, I've recorded podcasts with those three writers as well as Portia, The Soulful Ginger, and possibly other Board writers (I don't always connect Board names with people, and because of social media I'm awful at remembering how I first connected with some people). They're all insightful people.
Other writers whose answers resonated with me back in the day were Cognoscente, Claudio, The Cleaning Lady, Waldorf and Sauron, Rating Pending, and Foreman (and I haven't always kept up reading the board, so there are many awesome writers I don't know and it's my own darn fault).
P.S. If I left any great writers off my list it's me, not you. I apologize for not remembering all of you in this answer. Seriously, as I scroll through alumni week answers I keep thinking "Oh, their answers are always great..."
My boo Ace is the answer to all of these questions. She's mah bestie (even if she lives too far away).
P.S. But also for real shout out to The Black Sheep, Mico, and Art Vandelay as well.
Dear Curious George,
1) I have to say I personally like Tipperary and Auto Surf the best. This is probably because Tipperary is one of the only people I talk to on a frequent basis in real life... plus he's funny and nice. Auto Surf is the one who secretly pushed me toward the Board AND a sociology major, so even though I don't talk to her a lot anymore... she kinda changed my life.
2) I respect Yayfulness, Zedability, and Anne, Certainly a lot for their incredibly thoughtful answers in the past. They have always stood out to me as being very involved in the Board's wellbeing. I also respect Ardilla a lot for his real-life adventures... and because he honestly seems like he's not a real person, so I suppose I'd have to say I'm more fascinated than anything else. Sherpa Dave has always been on my list of people I really appreciate. I see him on campus sometimes and he always has a smile on his face. He retired right before I came on as a writer, but I follow him on Twitter etc. now and he's just a genuinely awesome person.
Also, I'm but a child, so many of the writers from much longer ago are unfamiliar to me beyond the archives. But I do have a deep respect for all of our writers past and present for their dedication, vulnerability, humor, and general awesomeness.
3) Alta was my mentor, so I've learned a lot from her, Board-wise. I've also learned a lot from talking to guppy of doom, who I really appreciate. In my first few months of writing I appreciated Anne, Certainly. She probably doesn't know it, but I learned a good lot about thinking through what I said before I just went and wrote things... because I wanted to have thoughtful answers like she did. Auto Surf has helped me quite a bit with real-life advice, and Ardilla, through what I initially thought was some sort of initiatory/hazing adventure, has taught not to be a pansy and to have fun in college.
I hope to get to know more of the writers in the future because I'm just incredibly grateful for this community in general, and it wouldn't be what it is without all of the people involved. (Cheesy, I know. Get over it.)
1. Frère Rubik, with honorable mentions for the other writers from my time, especially Alta, Anathema, Ardilla Feroz, Tally M, and Sheebs.
2. I'm not sure what "respect" means so actually I'm gonna pass.
3. I'm gonna go with Anne, Certainly here. Her answers were always well-organized, thoughtful, and logical, and it was always really easy to learn something from them.
The obvious answer to all three is that firey-eyed tall drink of water, Sauron himself. But for the pleasure of talking up more people I like and respect than only the man that I married, here are my not-just-my-husband answers:
1. Some of my dearest lifelong friends came from my association with the Board. L'Afro, Whistler, Baked Alaska, Genuine, Uffish and I get together every five years, with much-welcomed cameos from Kicks & Giggles and Katya at the last reunion.
2. Katya gets a shout out here, too, of course. And I have quite a lot of respect for Hobbes, even more so now in our post-Board life.
3. Aaaand Katya again. With a salute to Optimistic., another old dear friend who I wish I could see more often.
Thanks for asking,
Waldorf (& Sauron)
Dear Rabble Rouser,
1. I will literally take any chance to hype up Auto Surf cause she is literally the best ever. I also will take any chance to remind the Board that she is my cousin cause how cool is that? I also talk quite a bit with Anathema, Ardilla Feroz, Guesthouse and guppy of doom and they are all fabulous. Honestly I wish I could hang out more with the other writers because they are so awesome!
2. Mad respect to all the current writers (Alta, Anathema, Ardilla Feroz, Babalugats, Frere Rubik, Guesthouse, guppy of doom, Luciana, Quixotic Kid, Sheebs, and Spectre) . I have no idea how any of our current writers have time to write for the Board. They are all awesome and fabulous people who amaze me with their ability to do so many things. I also have some serious respect to Anne Certainly, yayfulness, and Zedability for writing amazing, well thought out, detailed answers in their times as writers.
3. Ardilla Feroz hands down. He taught me how to make bread out of acorns. That is an automatic win every time.
1. How can you ask such a thing??? There are so many that I like. My best friends from the Board are Anne, Certainly and guppy of doom but I also love Auto Surf and Tally M. and greatly enjoy the company of all of the writers I have met in person, including yayfulness, Divya, Haleakalā, Mrs. O'Malley, M.O.D.A.Q., Ardilla Feroz, Frère Rubik, Vienna, Zedability, Dr. Occam, El Ahrairah, Entomophagist, Owlet, Van Goff, The Entropy Ninja, The Soulful Ginger, Maven, Tipperary, Concorde, Alta, Anathema, Sherpa Dave, and others.
2. The Black Sheep. Never met her personally but I listen to her podcast. I don't know if any other writer has made me see things so differently simply by telling their story. Also, she's incredibly funny.
3. Hmm... probably Anne, Certainly. I don't think I was a bad friend before becoming friends with her but she taught me a lot about being a good friend. Also, Anne happened to become my friend during the two most pivotal months in my life. She played a part in helping me feel that I am a likable person, which was a pretty important thing for me to learn. I don't think she knew that was what she was doing because really all we did was hang out a lot. But it made a difference and I'm very grateful.
1. Like most writers, I'm fondest of the people who I wrote with on the Board when I was still a student. But as an exception to this, I also follow Cognoscente and Marzipan on Instagram and think that they're pretty cool as well.
2. Sherpa Dave. I admire his vulnerability as well as his strength when going through tough things in life.
3. Auto Surf and Zedability.
Dear Boy George,
1. The Black Sheep. What can I say, I've been a fangirl of her since the beginning and am so glad to know her.
2. Probably Whistler or Eirene. They both super super impress me.
3. Rating Pending for sure.
-Mico, who had a hard time choosing and wants to hang out with everyone
1. It should be obvious from all these answers that The Black Sheep is the best.
I've also learned a ton from and deeply respect Marzipan, Rating Pending, Humble Master, Dragon Lady, Claudio, Man with a Mustache, yayfulness, Zedability, and both Waldorf and Sauron separately and collectively.
1) One of my biggest regrets from BYU is not getting to know my contemporary board writers. I know almost none of them personally. I so wish that I could go back and be less messed up socially so that I could get to know these amazing people. I was briefly penpals with Hypatia and she was delightful. But seriously, guys, this is one of my favorite groups of people. The one board party I went to was the most personality-diverse groups of people I've ever encountered. The writers are all over the place when it comes to personality types, preferences, hobbies, etc. No one fits in but everyone is accepted. I felt totally at home with them even though no one would guess that this group of people might get along based on stereotypes.
2) Laser Jock. He's such a great guy, he's second only to Katya in questions answered, we were physics majors together and I was always in awe of his abilities. He was always kind to me and reached out a few times just to complement my answers when I was a young and fledgling writer. Also, Curious Physics Minor, who is, I think, one of the most under-appreciated keepers of the board. I think he single-handedly kept the ones and zeros flowing for like a decade.
3) Black Sheep (how to deal with, talk about, and help others with mental illness). Waldorf (how to be immeasurably kind to literally everyone. We've met maaaybe once but even our very infrequent social media interactions have me convinced that I could knock on her door right now and she'd make time for me and make me feel valued. Seriously incredible person). Zed and guppy (how to look at the imperfect history of the Church and handle the discomfort).
It's great to write about a few writers who have made an impact on me, but the real list is pretty much as long as the people that I met through the Board. I realize that this post is hyperbolic, but joining the board and getting a taste of the respect and acceptance from the other writers was a huge thing for me at the time. I think it's why I keep coming back each year for this and why the Board has remained important to me even though I left so long ago.
The Man with a Mustache
Well George, hmmm. I'm wishy-washy on this whole thing because what does "respect" even mean, blah blah blah. Anyway.
Like the most? That'd be, in no particular order, The Smurfs, Latro, Ambrosia, and BAWB.
Respect the most? Uffish and Novel Concept.
Learn the most from? That depends on the kind of learning I think, but without further context, probably Pa Grape. I even read a book he recommended to me just this last week! Small world.
There are a lot of writers whose writing I admire, and a lot of writers who have played a particularly important part in my life on a personal level. I can't name every one of them and I'm not going to bother trying, but I want to highlight Zedability and Concealocanth as two of the best writers and best people that I know.