You’ve been a member of FT since 2006. What drew you to the site, and what keeps you here after so long?
It's been so long since I joined that I don't remember exactly how I stumbled upon the site. I do remember that I played for a while as a "guest" before creating an account, and when I first joined I pretty much exclusively played Brain Teaser quizzes, so I probably got here through a google search for riddles.
I lost track of Funtrivia during my senior year of high school and my first couple years of college, so I haven't been here continuously since 2006. Junior year of college, I moved out of the dorms and into an apartment, with my own bedroom (!), and spent a lot of my free time lying in bed playing on my computer. It was then that I rediscovered Funtrivia, and I can't believe that I remembered my original password after not using the site for years! I played that year as a regular member, mostly just playing quizzes on subjects I enjoyed, and then decided to make the most of the site by "splurging" for a Gold Membership my senior year. I have pretty much been hooked ever since.
What really keeps me coming back now is my team. A lot has changed in my life over the past couple of years and I haven't played quizzes or games as much as I once did, but I still check in to my team's message board every day to read the conversations (even if I don't post anything that day myself) and I've connected with several of my fellow team members on Facebook as well to keep in contact with everyone. I truly have the best teammates!
Best FT decision I've made was joining the Llamas.MiraJane/looney_tunes
What is the significance of your user name? You told us that it was based on a character in your favorite book at the time, so who exactly was Prince Kaddar and what was so special about him?
Ha, I knew this question was going to come up! My username, for those who don't know, is pronounced "kah-DAHRz" girl. Like the question states, the "kaddar" part comes from a book I enjoyed as a teenager. Now for the long username backstory and the short novel synopsis...
You may be able to tell from my earliest quizzes on this site, that when I was a teenager my favorite author was Tamora Pierce. I was first introduced to her books in elementary school, a gift from one of my cousins, and have since read every single novel and short story that she has ever written (29 full novels and numerous short stories). I was obsessed with her books when I was younger, and they're really the books that sparked my love of reading. Tamora Pierce writes young adult fantasy novels with strong, independent, FEMALE, protagonists, and as a young girl they were so inspiring to read.
The "universe" in which the character Kaddar exists is set in a medieval world with knights, and kings... and mages (because: fantasy). The second series of books are focused on a young woman named Daine who has the power to communicate with, and heal, animals. In the third Daine-centered novel, she is summoned by an evil crazy emperor in order to heal his sick birds. While she's trapped in his desert of an empire, she meets the young prince, Kaddar, who is nothing like his emperor uncle. He's kind, and handsome, and an excellent gardener (I have a black thumb, so maybe I was jealous?).
Anyway, I don't know about the rest of you ladies, but as a teenage girl, sometimes you just have to crush on the fantasy guy because real teenage boys are jerks. So when I was 15 and first signed up for this site, wracking my brain trying to think of something unique to use as a username, I landed on the character I loved from my then-favorite book.
My username has sparked many "nicknames" on Funtrivia over the years, from "k'girl" to "kads" to simply "k", because who really wants to write out the full thing anyway? (I don't.) I know you didn't ask this, but if I could go back now, I'd change my username to "kaddie" - a nod to the character, but much less teenage-girl-in-love-with-imaginary-guy. "Kaddie" is the FT name I use for myself, and if you've ever written a message to me on here, you've probably received one back from me signed "kaddie". MiraJane
Where did you live as a child? How is that different from where you live now?
I grew up in a suburb in central Ohio, just outside of an historic neighborhood that we called "downtown", where everything was within walking distance. I live in a similar place now, still in Ohio, but farther north, near Cleveland. The only real difference between where I grew up and where I live now is that I'm now living right in the middle of the Snow Belt. I saw more snow this past winter than I had in my entire life. And apparently it was a mild winter by Cleveland standards... uh oh.MiraJane
Do you have any siblings? Do you see your family often, and does that involve a big get together?
I have one sibling, a brother who's almost 2.5 years younger, to the day, than I am. I see my immediate family all the time. I live about 2 hours from my parents, and 2.5 hours from my brother, but I go home to see my family at least once a month. When I was still in school, 2 hours in the other direction, I went home pretty much every other weekend. It doesn't usually involve a big get-together, and is usually spur of the moment, but I love spending time with them. Family is a big part of my life. I see my extended family less frequently as they're spread out all over the country and around the world from Minnesota to England to the UAE. There've been two weddings in the past two years where I've gotten to see my dad's side of the family, and we have a big family reunion with that side planned for 2020 in Tuscany to celebrate 100 years since my grandparents were born. I've very excited for that!SpanishLiz
Which one building in the world would you most like to see?
Liz, the one building I would most like to see is the Bird's Nest stadium in Beijing, China. I remember watching a documentary on its construction while I was in high school and thinking it was the coolest building. Every single piece of steel was custom made and meticulously placed. That building is partially responsible for my current career path... I dream of designing stadiums like the Bird's Nest.Shuehorn/FlopsyMopsy
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? I know you’ve visited several countries already. What’s next on the Kaddarsgirl bucket list?
If I could go anywhere in the world it would be Cairo, Egypt. I will probably never get there since it's not exactly the safest place in the world, and I'd probably die of some mosquito-borne illness (why do mosquitos love me so much?!). I'd love to see the pyramids at Giza and the Sphinx, but what I really want to see in Egypt is the Cairo Museum. I love museums and always make a point of stopping to see them on vacations; I've been to the Smithsonian, the British Museum, and the Louvre... but Cairo... I've heard the treasures there are unlike any other and I wish I could see them.
The next stop on my travel bucket list is Greece. There are so many sites there that I want to see: the Acropolis, Marathon, Mycenae, Sparta, Delphi, Thessaloniki, Corinth, Ephesus, Olympia, and on and on. I'd like to see some of the islands off the mainland as well, like Crete and Santorini. I studied Greek history in school and to finally see Greece in person will be amazing.MiraJane/FlopsyMopsy
What was your major at university? Have you found your dream job in your field yet? When you were at university, you said your dream was to design sports stadiums, so how close are you to fulfilling this ambition? Kaddarsgirl builds the LA Olympics maybe?
I have two Bachelor's degrees, the first in Architecture and the second in Architectural Engineering. I also have a minor in Psychology. I just celebrated my 1-year work anniversary at my first job post-grad, and I really enjoy what I'm doing. I'm working for a great structural engineering firm that really cares about its employees, designing quite a few different kinds of buildings. I do a bit of restoration and a bit of new design, and so far have worked on a few MLB stadiums, some brick college classroom buildings, a garage, a hospital, and a chemistry laboratory. My dream is still to design sports stadiums, and while I've done restoration on quite a few stadiums, I haven't done any new design yet. I would love to work on Olympic stadiums, anywhere in the world, but I'm a long way away from that! I'm currently working toward licensure, which requires passing two exams, and a minimum of 5 years of experience working under a licensed engineer after passing the first exam, which I hope to sit for this fall. I'm also hoping to get back to school in a year or so for a Master's in Structural Engineering. I just can't seem to get away from school...looney_tunes
You wanted to be an architect from a young age, but changed your mind just before graduation. What was the fascination, why did you change your mind and what do you do now to earn a crust?
I had wanted to be an architect since I was 11 years old. I used to design houses in my free time making mansions out of construction paper. I didn't really know what architecture was as a field until watching a documentary on Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in Washington, DC. We studied the memorial as part of Social Studies class in 6th grade, and I knew then that I wanted to be just like Maya Lin. I wanted to be an architect who went to Yale, just like her. Everything I did in school from that point on was done with the goal of going to Yale for Architecture. I did sway a bit in high school, and almost went into chemical engineering, but ended up going to school for Architecture, though not at Yale.
When I was applying to universities during my senior year of high school, the University of Cincinnati was the #1 ranked architecture school in the country. I was a legacy at UC and had been to the school a number of times as a child for homecoming, since my mother also went there for college. UC's DAAP (College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning) is an incredibly prestigious design school in the United States, with only 50 spots open in the freshman class in Architecture the year I applied. The application to DAAP was due two months before any of the other schools I looked at, which meant that I heard back from them before I needed to submit any other applications. Well, I got one of those coveted 50 spots, and who could pass up that opportunity, to study at the #1 school in the country?!
Architecture just turned out to not be what I expected. By the time senior year came around, I wasn't happy anymore. I loved designing buildings, but after interning at several design firms while in school, and working my way through the program, it was not longer what I wanted. I enjoy piecing buildings together, figuring out how to build it so it will last for decades, like a puzzle that has to be solved. That's much more an engineering way of thinking than an architecture one. So I took a year off after graduating, taught math to elementary school children, and then started a new career path, this time in structural engineering. As mentioned in my previous answer, I currently work as a structural engineer. My days mostly consist of reading design codes, creating computer analysis models of buildings, and running design scenarios. I design mostly steel and reinforced concrete structures, and do façade repairs on brick masonry buildings. During the summer months, which are big for construction, I spend about half of my time in the office, sitting in front of a computer screen with a pad of paper and my trusty graphing calculator, and half of my time out on construction sites, overseeing projects to make sure they're being built as designed.Eburge/Shuehorn
If you could work in any other field than the one you’re in now, what would it be? What is your dream job, and where would you like to do it?
In high school, when I was preparing to apply to college and traveling around the country looking at schools, half the schools I looked at were for architecture and half for chemical engineering. I absolutely loved chemistry in high school, so much so that I took two years of it (Advanced and AP Chem) and had a really tough decision to make about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. As it turned out, I ended up doing something completely different than either of my original plans, but I was almost a chemical engineer. I had the opportunity to spend a week at the Ohio State University College of Engineering when I was a high school junior and look at all of the different courses of study. I will never forget standing in the biomedical engineering lab watching a small piece of equipment spin synthetic skin. Had I not gone to architecture school, and were I not now a structural engineer, I imagine I would be working as a chemical/biomedical engineer creating synthetic skin to use as grafts for burn patients.
As I mentioned in an earlier question, my ultimate career goal is to design sports stadiums - to combine two things that I love, sports and design. Eventually, I want to end up in New York City. I can't afford to live in NYC at the moment, just starting my career, so for now I'm stuck in Ohio. I've been to New York City a few times, and the last time I was there, I never wanted to leave. I'd like to move to Brooklyn when I can actually afford more than a hole in the wall.FlopsyMopsy/looney_tunes/MiraJane
When you moved into your apartment, one of the first things you did was to persuade a cat to share it along with bags, boxes and all other cat-mod-cons (modern conveniences, in case you don’t know). The cat is ‘normal’ – a regular tabby. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but if you chose a more exotic breed, what would it be and why? Tell us more about the tabby? Name? Amusing habits and tricks?
The kitten I rescued at Christmas this past year is a brown tiger tabby with a few orange tabby spots. I'm not really into exotic breeds, but I'd probably go for a Himalayan. They're very fuzzy and I like the ones with the black faces and ears to go with the bright blue eyes. Minnie just had her first birthday at the end of March and is the best thing to enter my life in years. Her name is Minerva, though I mostly call her "Minnie" unless she's in trouble (which happens a lot). My mom is convinced that I named her after Professor McGonagall from the Harry Potter books, since her name is Minerva and she turns into a tabby cat herself, but that isn't the case. My kitten and McGonagall do have the same namesake, however, so it's not a total coincidence. As some of you know, I am a huge fan of Greek and Roman mythology (as is JK Rowling), and it's from mythology that I got Minerva's name. I went to the cat shelter (a no-kill cat-only shelter near my parents' house) looking for a black male kitten that I intended to call Achilles. Well, I didn't end up with a black cat, or a male cat, but I still wanted to go with a mythological name. I wracked my brain for a Greek/Latin name that would be fitting for a cat... I passed up Andromeda, Artemis, Athena, Juno, Persephone, etc, and landed on Minerva. For those who don't know, Minerva is that Latin (Roman) equivalent goddess to the Greek Athena, goddess of wisdom. I suspect it was the "wisdom" connection that JK Rowling jumped on when naming her character. I find it rather fitting for my girl.
Minnie almost gets into more trouble than she's worth. She's a climber, with incredible balance and jumping ability, and a propensity for feats of which Olympic gymnasts would be proud... I have found her on top of the headboard for the bed, on top of the mirror frame on my dresser, and balancing on top of the television, which is only about an inch wide at the top. She's a thief and master escape artist who can amazingly disappear with ease in my small 4-room apartment. She constantly talks to me and has the most pathetic little squeaky kitten cry that pulls the heartstrings. She hates when she can't find me or if she's locked out of a room that she knows has me on the other side. On days that I need a good night's sleep, I lock her out of the bedroom at night, and have a pretty consistent 6 o'clock kitten alarm clock that goes off outside the door in the morning. I had to remove the door stop because she used to reach her paws under the door to play with it when she was locked out. She still reaches her arms under, but now there's nothing attached to make noise in the middle of the night. She absolutely loves when I wash my hands in the kitchen sink and I always have a furry companion twining around my arms when I turn the water on. I've had to start locking her in the bedroom when I make meals at home, because she has the horrible habit of jumping on the counters and has stepped in dinner on more than one occasion on the way to the top of the fridge, a favorite perch.
She's also recently learned how to open doors, which is a nightmare. She figured out cabinets early on and there's one in particular that she tries to get into every single day (it's not even the one with the cat food in it!), so I've had to childproof all the cabinet doors in the apartment. I don't know how she learned that she could open doors, but I have collapsing closet doors on 4 closets in the apartment and I woke up one morning to find every single closet open. She apparently hooks her paws underneath the middle of the door and pulls it toward herself, which causes the door to fold, and then she just walks in through the opening on the side. I tried keeping her out by putting solid bricks in front of the doors (they're wrapped in fabric and padded), but she just hooked her front claws into the cloth and rolled the bricks away... so now there are chairs in front of the two main room closets, at least until I can pick everything up off of the floor inside so she can't climb up to the shelves and hurt herself.Eburge
We’ve collaborated on solving a few riddle-based badgelets in the past. Do you have an affinity for puzzles and the like, and do you have any favourites?
I absolutely love puzzles and riddles, and I've very much enjoyed collaborating on the FT challenges with you! My favorite type of puzzles are logic puzzles, and I have an old book called "Lady or the Tiger and Other Logic Puzzles" that I go to a lot when I'm bored. It's got a lot of very short puzzles in it, and I've yet to complete them all. On funtrivia, I particularly enjoy the puzzles we get at Halloween each year (do you think I can four-peat and snag next years' first? I doubt it...haha). I've completed the Riddle, Treasure Hunt, Conundrum... all of those types of things here and really enjoyed them. I'm not great at crossword puzzles, but I enjoy pretty much anything else that could even remotely be called a "puzzle".Shuehorn
If you could have dinner with three people from history, alive or dead, who would they be and what would you want to ask them?
For some reason this one is really difficult and I'm having a hard time coming up with three... let's see...
1- Not from history in the sense that I think you were asking, but I would have dinner with my great-grandmother (mother's mother's mother). She died when my grandmother was just two years old and we know very little about her and her side of the family. I know her name, Ana, and that she was from Czechoslovakia, and that's it. I would just ask her about her life and her family and her home. I love learning about my family, and she's just a huge mystery.
2- Shoeless Joe Jackson, because I am a huge baseball fan. I'd ask him if he really did throw the 1919 World Series. Not really complaining since the Cincinnati Reds won the World Series that year and they're my MLB team, but still, no one knows for sure if he did throw the series or not.
3- John Steinbeck. He's my favorite author and I would love to sit down with him and just talk about his books and what inspired him to write.looney_tunes
You were on my Masterclass writing team. What was it like for you as a participant? Is it something you would recommend for other authors if it runs again, or was it too stressful to be enjoyable? Do you think it helped you write more confidently – I notice that it’s a long time since I’ve seen a new quiz from you…
I loved being on your Masterclass team! I would definitely recommend it for other authors (if there's ever another one, I'd do it again). I wish that I had had more time to write at the beginning of each task to be able to get more constructive feedback on my writing, but the advice you gave me was very helpful. The Czechia quiz that I wrote during that challenge is my highest rated quiz, so something definitely worked! It HAS been a very long time since I've put a quiz out, but I've joined the newest FT Amazing Race 4, so you should be seeing new quizzes from me again shortly!Eburge
Which fictional character do you identify with the most?
The fictional character that I most identify with would probably be Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. She was a bushy-haired brunette bookworm, just like me. She spent her free time in the library reading everything she could get her hands on, just like me. She signed up for every class she could take to the point of overloading her schedule (I think we all remember the time-turner...) because she didn't want to miss out on learning anything, just like me. She didn't quite fit in, but still, she wasn't afraid to be herself and embrace her nerdy side, just like me. And her two closest friends were guys, just like me.
That being said, I'm a total klutz, which is very un-Hermione.FlopsyMopsy
One of the Joli Llamas used to be an official translator, from Russian into English (and vice versa), which is exotic enough given how difficult most of us think that language is. Then you reveal that you’re learning Welsh – for fun – which is not something a lot of Welsh people do, let alone Americans in Ohio. Why Welsh? Do they have a lot of weird road signs where you live? Eat a lot of leeks, perhaps?
Ah yes, the Welsh thing. First, there are two things you need to know about me: (1) I love languages, and (2) I love British TV.
Back in 2012, I was watching an episode of "Britain's Got Talent", which I watch instead of "America's Got Talent" because the British version has contestants from all over Europe. The show started with the standard mix of good, bad, and ridiculous acts and then there was a short piece about a group of young boys aged 13-19 from South Wales. The act started with two boys and a director on stage. One boy started singing, followed by the other, and then suddenly 130 more joined them on stage, surprising everyone in the audience. The song was in Welsh, and their rendition was one of the most beautiful things I have ever heard, and I didn't understand a single word! It was a hymn called "Calon Lân", which means "pure heart" (I've since learned all the words). They obviously made it past the audition and into the live shows. In the semi-final they sang another hymn, "Gwahoddiad", which was just as beautiful as their audition piece (I've since learned all the words to this one too). They ended up finishing 3rd, but still got themselves a record deal with Simon Cowell to create an album, which of course I bought.
At this point, I had all of these Welsh songs, that I knew all of the Welsh words to, but still had no idea what I was singing. I'd googled the lyrics to some of the songs (I'd learned them just by listening) and you would not believe all of the vowels! Apparently, there aren't a whole lot of consonants in Welsh. With the Welsh words next to the English translations, I started to learn what the words actually meant.
Now, Welsh is not the first foreign language I've studied. I studied French and Italian in school and I can speak/understand both of those to varying degrees of fluency. French and Italian are very similar, both being Romance languages, with the same basic word roots and sentence structure, and learning one made learning the other very easy. Welsh, in contrast, being a Celtic language, has a completely different sentence structure and word roots that are not at all similar to the other languages I know. I saw learning Welsh as a unique challenge, Welsh being so different from anything I'd seen before. I know simple words and phrases in more than twenty different languages, everything from Spanish to German to Korean to Armenian, but what really connected me to Welsh, moreso than all those other languages, is the music. I can sing the songs and speak the language and the words I'm learning have real meaning. Most of the Welsh I know now, I've learned through a course of online podcasts from a site called "Say Something in Welsh". What I speak is Southern Welsh, since that seemed most natural with the pronunciation of the songs I was singing along to, but I do know some Northern Welsh as well. In the span of a few months, I got to the point where I can carry on a basic conversation in Welsh about quite a few different topics. The best part of learning Welsh so far, though, has been being able to watch interviews with Ioan Gruffudd (a Welsh actor that I really like), conducted entirely in Welsh, and actually understanding what he's talking about! And if you don't know who Ioan Gruffudd is, just Youtube "Hornblower". You won't be disappointed...Shuehorn
What is your favorite leisure pastime?
Shuehorn, there's not much better than spending a summer afternoon at the ballpark. I am a huge, huge, huge baseball fan, and if I had the time or money I would have season tickets to see my local MLB team. I love sitting in a stadium, surrounded by like-minded sports fans, eating hotdogs, cheering on my team. A lot of people find baseball to be boring, sitting through innings where not much happens (it's certainly a lot different than football!), but the feeling you get when your team comes from being down 7 runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game on a walk off grand slam cannot be beat. I love the spectacular dives and catches, the unlikely stolen bases, the unassisted double- and triple-plays, the walk-offs... the miracles of baseball.
There's nothing like watching the tiny underdog centerfielder round the bases for an inside-the-park home run in less than 15 seconds, or seeing the shortstop put out three players in a single movement, or staring in shock as the runner from third slides into home before the pitcher can even get the ball to the plate. I was there, in the stadium, halfway down the first-base line, when the Cleveland Indians won their 22nd consecutive game to break the American League win-streak record. They're not my team, but just to be there and witness that historic moment in baseball was incredible.rossian
Your numbers have come up on the lottery, and you suddenly have a million dollars. The rules don’t allow you to do anything sensible, like buy a house/car or invest it. What frivolities would you spend it on?
I, honestly, would spend it all on traveling the world. There are so many amazing places that I have never been that I would love to see and so many cultures that I have yet to experience. If travel didn't eat up the entire million, I would spend the rest on first editions and rare books, enough to fill my own private library. When I was little, I wanted a library like the Beast had in "Beauty and the Beast". A library that size is obviously unrealistic, but having a room in my house with wall to wall, floor to ceiling books would be amazing.looney_tunes
I know you have a love of musicals. Which is your favorite of all time, and what makes it special?
Looney, it's so hard to pick just one musical; I love so many. I've seen, or heard a cast recording of, nearly 100 different musicals from Spamalot to Sweeney Todd and Hairspray to Hamilton, and while some of them were not worth watching, the vast majority are well worth seeing. If you're going to make me pick a singular "favorite" musical it has to be "Phantom of the Opera", for the simple reason that it was the very first musical I was ever exposed to as a kid. When I was 7 years old or so, I "permanently borrowed" my mom's original cast recording of "Phantom". Probably not the best musical to show a child, considering the murder and the stalking and whatnot, but I absolutely fell in love with the music. I used to listen to that CD non-stop and memorized the entire musical while still in elementary school. When the Gerard Butler movie version came out in 2004 and my freshman French class went to see it, I sat there in the movie theatre singing along the entire time (quietly of course). Then, during my junior year of architecture school, my design studio class took a trip to New York City for a few days, and while our days were booked solid with museums and tours, we had the evenings to ourselves. I had saved up the scraps of cash I had, typical poor college kid, and stood in line in Times Square for two hours to get a half-price ticket to see "Phantom of the Opera" on Broadway. The show was amazing live and I left with my very own copy of the cast recording (and finally returned my mom's to her... 12 years after borrowing it). There are quite a few other musicals that are close behind "Phantom" though, for various reasons. There are too many to list here, but if you ever want a show recommendation, I know plenty of good ones! Eburge
Pineapple on pizza – pleasing to the palate or a culinary crime against humanity?
Culinary crime against humanity.