Interview with MerGryphon


Name: Jen Kuiper, Gryphon (Gryph), Beta (Consort to Alpha), Twinnie

Height: 6'2.5"

Birthdate: September 12, 1964...Year of the Dragon

Sun sign: Virgo

Rising sign: Saggitarius

Moon sign: Saggitarius

Occupation: Contract Network Engineer @ National Gallery of Art


How MerCritters were born:

Mergryphon is... sarcastic, flying and talon wielding....if you look at the two SCA devices side by side.. they are almost matching--Missy's is Green and Gold and Gryph's is Purple and Silver.

I wanted a mythical beast on my device.. and there was no way in heck the SCA was going to pass one more device with a Phoenix on it.. (which was my old handle. (from the x-men.. the Rachel Summers version) And well.. Missy's hopes of getting a regular wolf passed were even slimmer. Viola! We came across MER critters... pretty cool when you live on a penninsula, eh?

So the MerWolf was born. Now, you can't make a MerPhoenix.. it'd burn up all the water... so I had to find something else. I adopted another official mer mystical critter... the Gryphon. Who are actually sort of wise and majestic. Put three starfish on the top.. color them in.. and you have two simple devices that passed like a charm first time around. ;-) And that's the whole story of the sea beasts...


Tidbits about Gryph:

  • bribable

  • prefers "piggy wongs" to "piggy wonks"

  • doesn't mind light biting

  • Ralph Lauren (not Polo)

  • certified sewer puppy

  • does not do grits

  • odd addiction to Cap'n Crunch

  • coffee with sugar and half and half

  • will do anything for Tiggers

  • would take Cyane in a heartbeat

  • field and ice hockey in college (gotherelie position)

  • rapid SF/F reader with toooo many books for words


Gryph Tricks:

  • can say all of the books of the Old Testament really fast

  • has excellent balance when reclined

  • ...drinking Tabasco sauce....?


Gryph On!

  • On How She Manages to Stay Geek and Cool:

Wears Jeans.. plays games... Doc Martens in 5 different colors.. has stuffed IBM PII people and Cartman on their monitors. Stuff tigger head on the backpack. Acts as a magnet for every cool electronic toy in the immediant area. Has already dissected their furby and put it back together. Uses CD recordable drive to make private dance compilation CDs... Has tequila in the freezer and chocolate sauce on the nightstand... ;-)


On Teasing:

GRYPHON RULE ONE: The Gryphon is an equal opportunity tease.

GRYPHON RULE TWO: NO one is exempt.

GRYPHON RULE THREE: If you're not sure, assume I'm teasing.


On Dating:

Gryphon's Rules for dating. (copyright 2000)


RULE NUMBER TWO: No Flakes. (Corn, Wheat, Rice, or BRAIN)

RULE NUMBER THREE: No great sucking chest wounds of emotional need.

RULE NUMBER FOUR: No brain cell reducing chemical addictions.

*RULE NUMBER FIVE: No sexuality experiments, you are not a rat. :-)

RULE NUMBER SIX: No one hiding so far inside the closet that they believe they ARE paneling. (If they aren't honest with self and friends, they aren't going to be with you.)

RULE NUMBER SEVEN: No one who spends more time in Therapy and group sessions than they do sleeping.

RULE NUMBER EIGHT: No crunchy vegan political activists. (Especially the ones doing it for no apparent reason other than to BE stereotypical.)

RULE NUMBER NINE: There is no rule Number Nine.

RULE NUMBER TEN: No one who believes professional wrestling is REAL.

RULE NUMBER ELEVEN: No one who buys books because they SMELL good.

RULE NUMBER TWELVE: No one whose ideals are subject to change for personal gain.

RULE NUMBER THIRTEEN: No one under the age of 30. (without extensive proof of maturity. E-mail or make an appointment for testing... ;-)

*might consider overlooking for Jeri Ryan, Kate Mulgrew, ROC or Vicky Pratt


Basic Gryphonics

  • Where all have you lived?

Wyckoff, NJ; Grand Rapids, MI; North Miami Beach, FL; Poolesville and Gaithersburg, MD. In chronological order.

  • What is the Gryphon's natural environment?

Ocean... lakes... water... beaches. Temperate or Tropical, doesn't matter.

  • How did your geek-development take off?

1981, Senior year in high school, the school got it's first computers (TRS-80s) and I had to teach the teacher's how to use them, so they could teach classes. Classes which I still had to then TAKE.. :-) Hmmm.

  • What's on your shopping list?

Coffee, 1/2 and 1/2, lotsa pasta, rice, ramen noodles ( I do some amazing things with these and spam.. Missy calls it Ramen Suprise.. :-) , peanut butter, fixings for pesto sauce, a pork roast (with bacon and applesauce trimmings), Thai peanut curry chicken, jambalaya, kung pao chicken and lasagna. Ben and Jerry's Wavy Gravy, and I'm nuts about those chocolate covered Pretzel Flipz. Root Beer, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, assorted wine, some beer for friends (the good stuff, microbrew or imported), 12 year old scotch, Amaretto, Chambord, Cuervo 1800 and of course, nachos and salsa. :-)

  • Could you describe your couch?

Fabric, paint swashed green, blue, burgundy and white, in Maryland, with matching love seat.

One I picked for the house in Miami.... matching white leather sofa, love seat and recliner. Sofa and love seat are soft and cushy.. and both have two reclining sections. But, the double reclining love seat is the best. Of course, you have to be careful not to tip it over when two are on it... :-)

  • What sorts of things can you see from your couch? Is there a view?

TV, dining room... one side of living room's wall is glass with sliders.. can see grass and some sort of white flowering tree.

  • How did you end up at NGA?

Looooooooonnnnng story. :-) But once I was working for this company as a field consultant, I started getting sent to the Gallery to fix the Macintosh machines. Since the guy we had on site here wouldn't do them. Apparently he didn't do much, and wasn't there much. So when the gallery wanted to change on-site people, they requested me. (there is just a small 'family' connection to that as well, I think)

  • What do you remember most vividly about your time abroad?

An ambient sense of history that just doesn't exist here in the US. Almost like the place haven't had enough time to develop a soul. Being an amateur medieval historian, I gravitate for castles and cathedrals... although we did have a lot of fun in some caves near Maastrict in the Netherlands. And for sheer impressive majesty, there is nothing like the view from the top of a mountain in Switzerland, on skis alongside the impressive Jungfrau...

  • How was the Jungfrau impressive?

Young Women are always impressive.. :-) Majestic, serene, monolithic, inspiring...etc.. (Jung=young, frau=women)


Legends of the Gryph

  • What are you most passionate about?

Time with friends, books, movies, music, sports. 

  • What do you like to do when you're not perusing MerwolfPack mail?

Web surf :-), do work for the gay science fiction convention I'm helping to run in October, play and run white wolf role-playing games, watch SCI-fi on TV, read (4-5 books a week), dance, ride my bikes, play my guitars (classical), hang out with friends, swim, go to the beach.

  • Do you have a favorite SCA event-related story you can share?

Not that I can _share_ (knowing teasing grin). But sometimes I wonder if they realize we were volunteering to run events so we could have the air conditioned rooms, access to the kitchen in the morning and evening for coffee and a walk in refrigerator for my wine and beer (I think I still am the Brew Mistress of Trimaris) and to stand it when it got REALLY hot. Besides.. Missy does the best feasts. She knows people may like the fancy artsy authentic food, but it really tastes like crap.. give them meat and potatoes and you shall have squires to do the dishes all the time. ;-)

  • At what time in history would you like to have lived?

1183 - Age of Eleanor of Aquitaine (and the brood of Henry II) a particular historical favorite of mine. Also Hildegard of Bingen... just to prove that there could be women of power in the middle ages.

1590 - The reign of Queen Elizabeth I will go for another decade or so... England is at the height of its class and power... Sir Phillip Sydny... Christopher Marlow, Fulke Greville, the Dudley's.. etc... another favorite time period. And we are mostly past that nasty black plague thingie....

  • What kind of character do you like to play in RPGs?

Changeling Sidhe, Awakened Verbenna Mages, Black Fury Werewolves, and Ravnos medieval Vampires in White Wolf's World of Darkness.


Mythical Gryph

  • What is your favorite XWP scene?

It's a newer one now. From the episode where Xena flashes back to see the birth of Solon. The last scene of the episode, where Gabrielle is sort of snuggling Xena from behind. Before that, the hot tub scene, or just about anything from A Day in the Life, or Been There Done That.. :-)

  • How would Cyane describe you?

"TALL, born to be an amazon, extremely eager to learn anything I have to teach her."

  • What would your first decree be as Amazon queen?

Begin the Cyane-look-alike harem tryouts! :-)


Going There with Gryph

  • What's the most interesting in-flight story you've experienced?

Bunch of high school juniors going to France for two weeks with only ONE chaparone... who, being rather continental, thought we should adopt the french custom of drinking wine rather than soft drinks (which were way more expensive anyway) So.. we started on the 8 hour plane flight from Kennedy to Paris.... HIC. HIC.

  • What led to you to developing <the rules of dating>? Any experiences you can relate (as teaching tales of course)?

Ohhh. SCARY. That's all I have to say. All based on true experiences. Didn't know it was possible to suffocate in some circumstances. And I'll just leave the rest of that to all of your imaginations that have just gone there. :-)

  • Can you elaborate on your toaster oven collection? What's your favorite feature?

That I can make grilled cheese for a party of 30 in no time at all! (g). Actually.. I'm sort of over the toaster oven concept.. not being a lab rat... so I've moved on into blenders... Oooh Baby... pulverize me..... :-)

  • How was your well-developed taste for innuendo shaped?

Through much play and experience. Must be that Protestant religious upbringing.. so many things you don't want to say DIRECTLY, you come up with all sorts of other interesting ways to get the idea.. uh.. across. (smile)

  • What do you like best about your Gryphon-hood?

Having my feathers preened. ;-)


Consort to Alpha

  • When did you first meet Missy?

On-line, in Section 8 of the CompuServe SF&F forum. in late 1986 to early 1987. In person, at DragonCon 1989 in Atlanta, GA. Where we immediately bonded at our first convention. Did you know that there are SCARY people at regular conventions? :-) Safety comes in pods of normal people gathering together.

  • Did you really have 9 hour marathon chats? How did that work--were you echoing each other a lot?

Yes.. and I have a copy of a $1,720 phone bill to prove it! But I think it was only 8 hours. (ONLY, she says..) Sometimes.. we tended to echo each other more often in on-line chats. Which tended to be a bit spookier. But yes, we tend to agree on a lot.

  • Can you tell us something about your experiences at the Saugatuck Duck Festival?

Whew.. that was a long time ago. I seem to remember a lot of laughter while walking around shopping. The whole concept is kind of silly, you understand. And I remember driving back to Grand Rapids in my little red Volkswagen GTI with the sun roof open.. I seem to recall losing a pair of socks to the highway out the sun-roof.. at some point....

  • What was the best time you've had at a Con? Ok, second best time?

Oh.. that dragoncon was pretty fun. :-) Except the part when I got the piggy wongs scared out of me by Chantal.... but you'll have to get Missy to tell you that story.. she was watching my eyes pop out of my head.

  • If you were a Disney ride, which would you be?

Space Mountain!

  • What is the most amusing part of Merwolf fandom to you?

Heh. The whole thing! It's just... well... its just Missy! ;-)

  • What do you like most about Missy's writing?

Sense of humor.... switching with the seriousness.

  • What character in Missy's stories do you most identify with?

That should be obvious. <g>


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