1. What is your name?

My name is James Thomas Western. The honorable scrabblers among you without an anagrammer engine bookmarked may find it interesting to note that my full name is an anagram of "serjeants mews" - literally the rooftops of sergeants. As you can see, I went with the more darkly poetic homophone for my handle on Everything2: Serjeant's Muse - the inspiron of fatal decisions.

2. Tell us something about you, your background, and what you've been up to lately?

I appreciate experiences. Over the past decade I've: ran with the bulls of Pamplona, hiked the Inca trail to the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu, and became a certified scuba diver in Bali. They've all been pretty neat trips. Lately I've been on home soil a little bit more as I just recently completed (in May) my education at the University of Maryland's Smith School of Business, graduating with an MBA.

3. How did you discover Everything, and how did you become a noder?

I discovered Everything 2 via Here in the brilliant sun we jostle, a poem that was a nodeshell challenge. I read it in highschool on a now-defunt poetry board, and thought it was a truly brilliant piece of writing. In college, I tried to look it up again, and found it here on E2 (this was fall of 2001). Specicially this was late September 2001, and I was in a rather emotional state. I completed my undergrad studies in chemical engineering at Steven's Institute of Technology, situated directly on the Hudson River - I still own a picture of the second plane and inch away from impact into the south tower. The picture was taken by myself, from the lawn just outside my dormitory. The events of 9/11 had shaken me a bit (a sophomore on the cross country team was distributing iodine pills, and the team was preparing for a pedestrian evacuation to higher elevation until NYPD could confirm that neither plane contained a dirty bomb with poisonous radiation. This had not been in the prospectus) and I was mentally and emotionally adrift.

It was a month of fragile emotions.

When I discovered E2 shortly after these events, I was stunned by the eloquence of grief in many of the essays adorning the front page. If you're ever in need of a good cry, just go search for Jennifer's The Three Men I Admired Most: Manhattan, 9/11/01 or Adam Purcell by panamaus. The viceral feeling of "knowing" these authors, and their subjects, despite never having met them... that was what made me want to learn more about this community.

I visited the FAQ and the rest, as is said, is history.

(the answer to this question ends with the previous one liner, but, in the spirit of full disclosure, I must reveal that I noticed Adam was the first author for the pipe-linked essay on "community" - I had a misty-eyed moment...)

4. What are your favorite writeups -- both your own and from other noders?

Ten Favorites I've Written

Ten Favorites Y'all've Written

5. What are your favorite and least favorite memories from E2's history?

My favorite memory has to be organizing and hosting a quest here at E2. The year was 2007 and the quest was Raz de Equites: An E2 Proseproduction. I still have the messages in my inbox from the various category winners, all surprised by the award and gleeful over their participation in the flash-fiction contest.

My least favorite memories are shrouded with loss. Everything2 is a unique community which, as shown by Decaversal Studios, has a considerable "long timer" population. E2 is made of people, and when one sticks around long enough one must suffer the teflonic effect of fled authors: those who flee our website, and those who flee our lives. The loss is palpable for both subsets, and they have contributed to my least favorite memories here.

6. What keeps you coming back?


I love the annual Halloween contest.

I've contributed five times, 4 in the past 6 years, and it always brings me back to the site no matter how many nodeless months I've gone.

7. What do you hope for E2's future?

I would like to see, on a nightly basis, Your fellow users (183): and not instantly assume that the code has broken and stopped removing users who have signed off from the Other Users list.

8. What does E2 mean to you?


9. Who are your favorite noders? Which ones do you miss the most?

For outstanding fiction in the horror category - Jet-Poop
For outstanding fiction in the science fiction category - sam512
For outstanding fiction in the "are you kidding me with this? did this happen for real?" category - iceowl
For outstanding emotion in non-fiction and poetry - Junkill
For outstanding non-fiction factuals - 18thCandidate

The Gone, Growing in Number
/me misses sensei
/me misses Hermetic
/me misses stand/alone/bitch
/me misses Dem Bones
/me misses creases
/me misses JohnnyGoodYear

10. Who would play you in the Everything2 movie?

I've been told, with the right light, I could be confused for Casey Affleck. By multiple people, too.

11. Please fill in the blank: "E2 is to the Internet as ___ is to the world."

"that forest glade where you first kissed someone romantically"

12. Any questions that I didn't ask that I should've?

Q: What's the best compliment/feedback you've ever received from another noder?

A: 2005.05.21 at 02:50 olmanrvr says: you write so beautifully... sorry... it's the best word I can conjure to describe it...

I had just posted Three Dancers, my tenth submission of 2005 (matching my entire 2004 output), when olmanrvr promptly endorsed the writeup and sent me that reply after I had thanked him for the ching. I was floored by the compliment - not only because of the magnitude of it, but also the gentle embarassment conveyed by the ellipses. It's been a quote I've long kept published on my homenode, just below and in bigger font than my collection of "Noder Love": particularly specific feedback to phrases I've turned in writeups as well as a complete leaderboard of every endorsement I've collected here.

Everything2 Decaversary Interviews

If you have questions or comments, please contact Serjeant's Muse or Jet-Poop.

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