I was nominated, once again (my cup runneth over!), for The Liebster Award from Dennis over at Weird Stuff Happens To Me. Since I was honored recently by Fat Lies and Fairytales for the same award and shared eleven things about myself, Dennis has kindly dispensed with that requirement, but I have agreed to answer his eleven questions. So, here goes!
If you could choose any career what would it be?
Talk show host. Not like Craig or Dave or Jay or even Ellen. More like Charlie Rose, but without all the boring intellectuals with accents. Although, a few intellectuals might be nice. (So long as they were funny and understandable— not too strident in their intellectualism!) And no band or DJ. Because once you have those, well, the rappers are likely to follow. And who needs rappers at 2 AM? (Because I cannot fathom that anyone but your average insomniac would tune in to hear me talking to, say, James Carville— actually, I cannot imagine talking to James Carville for any length of time— talk about your unintelligible accents!) Unless they are intellectual rappers (or wildly successful like Jay-Z). Intellectual rappers (sans rapping) would be welcome, of course. Or rappers who own their own sports teams (again, Jay-Z), they’d (he’d?) be okay, too. Really, what I’m saying is a Renaissance rapper would be fine. And this applies to white rappers as well as black rappers. I am an equal opportunity rap hater. Eminem holds no interest for me.
Having a show like this would surely eliminate having to be subjected to your average starlet plugging her latest project. Nor would I have to endure cooking segments.
And, thanks for your interest, but no. I do not want a studio audience. I’m no monologist. Just give me a comfortable chair. (Preferably one where I don’t sink into the cushions and look shorter than I already am. Also, a little back support would be nice— I’m not getting any younger!) And one for the guest. (If they’re weird and would rather stand, please book another guest— this one has control issues. Probably a rapper.) I would be one of those hosts who would actually have read/watched/listened to the interviewees body of work. I would ask appropriate questions. I would try to elicit honest responses. (People tell me all kinds of crazy things, so I know that I have skills in this area!) I’ll tell you this much, it’d probably be a better use of your time than watching Conan.
Where is your dream vacation spot?
Seriously. My nice, clean, organized house. That’s my goal this year. To get and stay organized. I’d like to spend my vacation fund redoing my living room. Then, we could go to or rent movies and order take-out or eat at restaurants during our actual vacation week. I’m going to have to sell it to the family, though. Wish me luck!
I am also trying to put away enough money to go to Paris in July, 2015. I want to spend my 50th birthday there. Because I understand that there’s some big hoopla on my birthday; it’s a little holiday they call Bastille Day.
What was the worst nightmare you’ve ever had?
Something about still being a waitress/bartender at 48. Oh, wait. That’s the nightmare I actually live.
I have had the same recurring nightmare for years (since childhood) in which My house is slowly surrounded by wild felines— lions, tigers, panthers, leopards… Maybe that’s why I’ve always had a cat. You know, to demonstrate to my stalkers that I am a friend to their kind. Of course, in real life, my cat would probably jump out the window in a show of solidarity with his brethren. Fucking cats. They really have no loyalty. None whatsoever.
What is your “signature” dish when you cook?
When I cook? When the hell aren’t I cooking? Oh, I know. When I’m sleeping, showering, or working.
I have two “signature” dishes. One is a version of Chicken Marsala, which my family calls “Chicken Jackie”; the other is a version of Chicken Tikka Masala, which my family, in a stroke of incredible originality, calls “Chicken Jackie Masala”. Here’s what you really need to know about these dishes: they take about one-fifth of the time and taste enough like the originals to fool almost anyone. That’s my kind of cookin’!
Tell us about something dumb you did in the last year, or so.
Since I’m limited to just the one thing, I’ll make it short and sweet: Believing my boss when she convinced me that taking on a supervisory position at work would help me to advance my career when, in actuality, what she really meant was that it would advance hers!
Who is your hero and why?
I have several heroines. In the interests of time and space I will simply tell you about why I have always been impressed by Margaret Sanger: She fought to make the lives of poor women better in the early 20th Century. She grew up poor, but found a way to secure an education. She became a nurse and married well. (Very well for a poor Irish girl from Corning, NY.) She could have used her social position and political connections to try to affect this change in many ways, but she chose to do so by disseminating birth control information and distributing contraceptives. As a result, she violated The Comstock Act and was jailed. Ultimately she had to flee to England to avoid spending more time in jail. (She faced five years in jail. Seems a little “cruel and unusual”, doesn’t it?) She was no saint. She left her children in the U.S. She had an affair while in Europe. (I like that she was flawed, actually.) She also educated legions of poor women and began the “birth control” (a term she coined) dialogue. She published pamphlets and a newspaper to this end. She founded what would become Planned Parenthood— in 1921! She worked her tail off and managed to either have overturned or render toothless the Comstock laws that, essentially, defined birth control information as obscene. She was directly responsible for securing the funding and shepherding the research for what would become the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, which hit the market in 1960. We take for granted today the idea that we can “choose” whether and when we want to become mothers. We have her to thank for that. Not just for providing the means, but for changing the mindset. Her goal was very simple. That “every child should be a wanted child”. I couldn’t agree more.
Name one person you’d punch if you saw them walking by.
Again with the one!!! There is someone who tops my current list, though.
I could actually lie in wait for this woman. I know where she works. Or, I could just walk into her office. Churches are public places. I have not, thus far, sought her out and administered the bitch-slapping she so richly deserves. And it’s not because she wears a collar. It’s because I have decided to take the high road. A higher road than she, the supposed religious person, chose to take, by the way. There were other players in this fiasco, to be sure, but she, in her position, should have set a better example. She didn’t. And she either influenced or turned a blind eye to some very unchristian behavior from her flock.
I’m not going to get into what all this woman did. Because it’s someone else’s story. But this pastor’s role in the events and how they unfolded could have and should have been very different. As much as I am not one for altercations of a physical nature, I could probably punch her in the face.
Who is your celebrity crush?
Timothy Olyphant. Preferably in a cowboy hat. And smirking. With one eyebrow raised. Shirtless. Holding a Swiffer.
What is the biggest fish you ever caught, if any?
I do not fish or hunt (except for compliments and bargains). I have a hard time killing most bugs. (I “shoo” flies out the window and push spiders out the door— I show no mercy where mosquitos and centipedes are concerned, however.)
What book are you currently reading?
“1831: Year of Eclipse’ by Louis P. Masur
It is a historical analysis of the year 1831. He makes the argument that the events of that year (including, but not limited to, Nat Turner’s slave rebellion, the publication of William Lloyd Garrison’s abolitionist newspaper, “The Liberator”, and the evangelical movement led by Charles Grandison Finney that began in upstate New York’s “burned over district”), led us directly and inevitability into The Civil War thirty years later.
I agree with his thesis. And this book is very good as secondary source material is concerned. The footnoting is not as comprehensive as I would like, but this may be a result of reading it in its electronic format. There is very little (if any) new information for those already familiar with the events of 1831. That being said, it’s a worthwhile read for anyone interested in this period of our history.
If you won the trip somehow, would you go to Mars knowing that it would take several years of your life? Why or why not?
Not in a million years. I hate to fly in a commercial plane. There is no chance I’d ever strap myself into a rocket for any amount of time, never mind the amount of time that trip would take. There wouldn’t be enough Valium in the world to make me a decent traveling companion. I’d probably be kicked out a pod bay door amidst the mutinous riot my anxiety-ridden behavior would, no doubt, cause in such a closed space.
I might do it for a million dollars, though. I’d give it some real consideration if that kind of remuneration was involved. Screw my rocket mates. They’d just have to adjust to the crazy.
photo credit: fineartamerica.com