1) How did you choose your surname, and where does it come from?
My social surname is Maruch. When the OH and I decided that we might have children, we wanted the whole family to have the same last name, but we didn't want to use his last name or mine. So we decided to come up with our own last name. When we had moved in together, we had named our house "The Cat & Dragon." We decided to try to come up with a name referencing a cat and/or a dragon. We also had a romantic game of making animal noises (meows and hisses and so forth) at each other. So at one point we put together a sound that a cat makes (maru) and a sound that a dragon makes (cchhh) and decided that our name would be Maruch. Another point in its favor is that it sounds vaguely Hebrew and has bits of a Hebrew word for spirit or air. (The OH is Jewish.)
We decided not to have kids after all, but we kept the name for social purposes. Legally we haven't changed our names. I haven't wanted to bother (since I recently went through all the fuss to change my first name and didn't want to do another change so soon) and the OH likes making things difficult for bureaucrats by having only one name.
2) Where did you come across the poems of Rumi?
I first saw Rumi quotes I liked in people's .sig files on Usenet; nex0s in particular. I swiped them for my quote file. (The link gives you a random quote from the file, not necessarily a Rumi quote.) Then, during a time when I was madly in love with someone who didn't know I existed, I found in a bookstore The Essential Rumi translated by Coleman Barks, ISBN 078580871X. It really spoke to me - Barks's modern translations of Rumi are really good for that state of mind. I was able to come to a better acceptance of my obsession by associating it with love of deity channeled through a particular source.
3) Out of the places you have never been, where would you most like to visit?
Two of my fondest travel dreams are:
Go to Alaska and volunteer for the Iditarod.
Go to Japan and attend a sumo tournament.
4) If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be?
I find myself thinking less of what kind of tree I would be than of the environment I would like to be a tree in (since trees don't get to move if they aren't happy with where they are). I'd like to be near running water and somewhere I could feel the sun and rain on my branches and not have to worry about other trees crowding out my access. I'd like to have animals around and would be happy to nourish them and provide nesting sites if they didn't hurt me. I would hope not to be near a lot of pollution or industrial noises. I would want to be someplace that had weather and seasons.
5) If you could have one thing achieved, however impossible, but done by you, what would it be?
If "done by me" also allows for the participation of other people, I'll go with "convincing everyone in the world to implement peace; justice; and universal availability of food, shelter, clothing, health care, and education."
If "done by me" means "done entirely by me without the direct help of anyone else," then...well, I was going to say I want to create something that lots of people love, but of course to get that art in front of lots of people would require the help of others, so...
If anyone else wants to exchange questions/answers, let me know. Note that I have a rush work project so if I get a lot of requests, it might be a while before I get to them all.