I commented on sulien's post of this meme, saying "I can't imagine there are seven you need explained, but I'm game..."
and she replied:
You're right, it's more of a case of being curious as to how and why you got interested in some of these things. :-) Your interest list contains a lot of things I'm interested in, but just haven't listed on my own interests list.
I actually think this is, in some ways, a harder question than describing the interests. I understand that we all have things that interest us and things that don't, but I have never understood why some things that don't seem intuitive just throttle me at first sight and others that I think I ought to be interested in just never take hold.
I'm fascinated by explorers, oceans, cold weather, travel narratives, ice, dark, and isolation. I guess this interest was bound to happen. It started in college with a giant Sierra Club book with pictures of all that blue and green glacier ice.
Carcasonne (the city or the game?)
There's a game? (so there is!). The city, in my case, and this is one where I can actually tell you how it happened.
One of my buddies from the concert production group I was part of convinced me to take a roadtrip to Canada in 1993 for the express purpose of buying Canadian music. When we walked into the first store, there was a song playing that grabbed me by the brain and would not let go. I ran up to a clerk and did the "I'm so sorry, I don't speak French, what is this song" dance. It was HOPE by Stephan Eicher, from what was then his new album, Carcassonne. I bought every title they had on cd or cassette. There is no song called Carcassonne on the album, by the way, but as soon as I got home I started looking for info.
I've been fascinated by space since Sputnik. I was insanely jealous of Yuri Gagarin and Alan Shepherd, but I lost my heart when Titov said "I am Eagle!!" Over my desk there is a photo of Valentina Tereshkova with her adorable Vostok 6 smile, and a painting of Gagarin by leemoyer.
(see also answer 1 re: cold, dark, isolation...)
The Floating World
I'm not sure how this one happened. I was given a large book of world mythologies when I was about 5, and it seems to me that the cultures that interested me then have always remained in my interests. But why the Floating world? It's not the sexual connotations, but I think that sense of a place that was, although right there, also completely separate from its surroundings - as thought it wasn;t there at all, or was perhaps in a different phase. Also, the symbols, of water, isolation.... And I know it may sound strange but I often feel that same sense about Tolkien's elves.
I think this is because I was a biology major and have always loved puzzles. But perhaps we can just blame Sherlock Holmes.
Spice Trade (are you talking the Silk Road or Spice from the Dune series?)
Although I am quite fond of the first Dune book, this is another of my travel/geography/history/cultures interests. Also cooking, gardening, and trade.
That was pretty boring, so I will tell you my Dune anecdote: I have a friend who I knew through Science Fiction fandom and I was surprised to find out he had never read Dune. He explained that he had started it one day, on the train to work. The following day, when he tried to pick it up, he couldn't really remember what was happening, so he read backwards a few pages. The next day the same thing happened, and by Friday he had once again reached the begining of the book, so he stopped.
Yelling at the Olympics (okay, this one I need explained)
I am quite an Olympics junkie, but I am partial to the winter games. During the 1996 Summer Games, every time I called my friend Terry (dimassinocram) her husband would answer the phone and we would both yell "Kerry Strug Vaults!" at each other, because from the NBC coverage, you would think nothing else happened at those games. One day I ran into the family at our local Stewart's (hotdog drive-in) and I yelled out the car window and Steve jumped to his feet and did his Bella Carolly dance. It became a tradition to call each other and complain when the coverage was particularly inane (like buying cheap suits in Seoul).
Some time ago, I wrote a post where I bemoaned the fact that although I have a packed interest list, it is heavily weighted in a few directions and I asked for suggestions of things that I was missing. Terry immediately answered "Yelling at the Olympics."