A much delayed interview from Heather:

1. You are on a train. Also on this train is a criminal being transported to another facility to join Death Row for the murder of a child. The train crashes and the two of you are the only survivors. He will also die if you do not help him out of the wreckage. Do you?
I think the urge for self-preservation would be the strongest, but if I could save him and not kill myself, I probably would.

2. What book has changed your life or way of thinking? If none, what book would you say you relate to – that you are “most like”?
Microserfs has remained with me for the last almost 10 years – I identify with something different each time I read it, and for me that’s a sign of a good book. Reading The Alchemist changes me every time – it’s so simple and wonderful. I identified with Little Miss Strange in a seriously big way the summer between high school and college – I haven’t read it since, but it was one of those that changed a lot for me. And the entire Tom Robbins oeuvre changed the way I looked at literature and writing, because I learned from him that writing didn’t have to be serious – that words could play jokes on themselves – that you could be erudite and have fun at the same time.

3. Which of these Simpsons character would you prefer to date? Homer, Marge, Moe, Mr. Smithers, Monty Burns, Barney, Ned Flanders, or Ms. Krabopple.
Probably Marge, though that blue hair is disconcerting.

4. You are on a desest island/in the desert/at the end of the world – whatever. You have an unlimited supply of food and drink, but only one selection each. What would you choose to drink forever? To eat forever?
Oh lord, that’s a tough one. Probably a good tea, and French bread. Tea is good iced or hot, and I could eat bread forever.

5. And because I had the most fun with this from petebeck: You are Queen For One Day and have total (mortal) control over the whole world. What do you do with your day?
First I would do all sorts of lovely humanitarian things like create world peace, though I know it would be tenuous, and resolve the nation’s healthcare problems. I know National Health is worlds away and totally antithetical to our insurance-and-lawsuits-driven society, but I would like to do my part. Like Heather, I would give everyone a day off work with pay. Oh, and I would get rid of The Chief and ensure that my grad school friends had good healthcare and a better income.
Then some fun things for me – I would establish myself with a few lovely big houses – one where I live now, another in some coastal town, and perhaps an international abode or two, as well as guarantee that I can live in these places rent/mortgage and tax free for the rest of my life. I would fill these houses with good food, good books, and all sorts of pretty things. Then I would do the same for my family and my dearest friends. In the morning I would meet with advisors from all over the world who would help me figure out my ideal job, and then in the afternoon I would make that job happen. Then I would go swimming. Jamie Oliver would cook me (and my royal consort) dinner. I’m assuming world travel is out because I only have one day, but I’d like to watch the sunset (perhaps in the above-mentioned coastal town) with a really good wine and my boy.

notice

I turned in my notice at work today. I’m terrified. My boss was really terrific – she knew it was coming and said “Oh no!” when I asked if she had a minute. I just sent out an email to the department and my other friends here letting them know – and everyone’s been great so far. It’s just scary, flinging myself at uncertainty. I know it will be beautiful though.

Questions from Sarah. At some point I’m going to STOP asking for interviews.
1. What is your favorite memory of me?
Wow. One of my favorite memories would have to be the many nights we spent playing hide and go seek with Jason and Dustin et al – lying in the grass in my front yard, staring at the stars, just being. And the morning before the wedding when I was so hung over and sick and you gave me a letter you’d written the night before, talking about how much you loved me, how much you admired my capacity to love – and I just cried. And our moves the last three months – helping you into your house with Hannah – you helping me pack, first for the house, then out of the house. I feel like we’re so much closer now than we were even three months ago. So no, I can’t pick just one.
2. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
If you’d asked me this question six months ago, my answer would’ve been dramatically different. I really don’t know. All of the things I thought I wanted in my life – that I thought I would have by that time – have now been brought into question. I would like to be living somewhere beautiful (urban/suburban/not quite rural) with a partner I adore and cats and books and laughter and lots of light. I would like to have found a career I love – an office of my own – again, books and light and laughter and fulfillment. Maybe I’ll have a child. I hope to be traveling and reading and cooking and writing and thinking and loving and laughing. I hope to bring joy to the people around me. I hope to be – happy.
3. If you could remind me of one thing you know I’ve forgotten from the last ten years, what would it be?
Oh Lord. So now I’m supposed to know you as well as I know myself – AND know what you’ve forgotten? Hmm. God, I don’t know. Remember the first time we went to Java Bean? Nothing in particular sticks out about that trip other than the feeling that we were exceptionally grown up and special because we went to a coffee shop on our own. What a nice feeling. I’m still discovering that.
4. Why do you want to come to grad school?
I want to come to grad school because I need to be engaged in intellectual pursuits. I want to come to grad school because I need to surround myself with people who think. I want to come to grad school because , while I’ve resisted it for two years, I really think academia is part of my calling. I want to come to grad school to wrestle out what that calling is and entails. I want to come to grad school because, really, I enjoy being overeducated (but not necessarily underpaid).
5. What fruit does chalk not write on?
Pears? What a strange question. I really have no idea. I give up.
6. Who is your favorite poet? (Justify if you feel the need)
I read so little poetry – I have read so little poetry – that answering this question seems a bit false. I’m going to have to say TS Eliot – though I really love this poem by Robert Herrick. Good question! I am a sad, sad English major.
7. What is your favorite moment from the last two months?
There have been so many. I would have to go with either Sunday afternoon, sitting around reading and drinking tea and talking and playing with the fuzzy lumpkins and just being – or the hour or two before the housewarming party, featuring three dips in three food processors simultaneously AND the lovefest. “Your hair looks so pretty!” “No, YOUR hair looks so pretty.” So happy. So silly. So us.
8. What’s the first thing you’re going to cook in your new apartment?
Either homemade tomato bisque and grilled cheese sandwiches – or a proper meal: roast chicken, Grandma’s fab mashed potatoes and a pie. I suppose that depends on if I’m cooking just for me – or for company.
9. What do you need from me?
Everything I need, I have. The depth of your love and support amazes me. You amaze me. I need you to need me – to love me – to do all the things that come naturally to you after all these years.

not a family birthday

An interview from the terrific James:
1. If you could have one of the following powers, which would you choose: the ability to play all musical instruments as soon as you pick them up OR the ability to speak all foreign languages at will.
You know, that’s a tough one. I would really, really like to be a musical prodigy – but I think being able to speak any foreign language at will would be a more practical power. So really, as I don’t seem to be destined for rock stardom, I’m going with the languages. At least that’ll increase the chances of getting laid. 🙂
2. What was the first song you ever remember slow dancing to?
Oh lord. I remember “Hotel California” being on right when we walked in to Homecoming my Junior year. It was my first real dance – the gym looked amazing – and I had a great time. I do not, however, remember slow dancing so much as I remember all of us standing in a circle with our arms around each other singing along with “American Pie.” There must’ve been slow dances then and at other dances – but the first one I really remember was dancing with Dustin to “Wonderful Tonight” at Prom my Senior year.
3. When was the last time you laughed for so long that your stomach or face hurt? What was so funny?
I never laugh as much as I do when I’m around Amanda. The night before the housewarming party she and I laughed until we nearly pissed ourselves – about everything. One highlight: at one point we discovered that this giant grasshopper had taken up residence in my office. We tried to kill it. I smacked it down off the ceiling, then it proceeded to hop/fly away. Some manic smacking ensued, at which point it appeared to be dead. I scooped it up and put it in the trash – only to glance over half an hour later and see the fucker climbing back out of the trash! Amanda put on my shoe and stomped the hell out of it – we decided that if it came back to life, we were going to worship it. It didn’t, but we laughed a lot.
4. Would you rather be able to speed read or read lips?
Speed read, definitely. I’m sure reading lips has its benefits – but if I can’t hear what people are saying, chances are I don’t need to.
5. If you could move to any other state in the union, where would you move to and why?
I would really like to live on both coasts, but haven’t settled on any particular state. I haven’t done enough traveling as an adult to really get a feel for places that would suit me. Unfortunate but true. Any recommendations?

Heidi has started a blog! Hoo-rah! Welcome to the blogging world, kid.

Today I am officially tired of being a girl. The things that go along with being a girl suck so much at times. I won’t go into the fun little biological details – just, I get sick of having a female body sometimes. Not that I’d want to be a boy – just, whatever.

Ursula linked to this article, which sums up quite a quandary in my life and the lives of many people around me – the blogging world, if you will. What is public and what should be kept private? Believe it or not, there are a lot of things I keep just for me – things that I’m dying to write about yet I know this isn’t the right forum. One thing I’ve definitely learned in my year and a half of blogging is to choose my words wisely. Again, you might not believe that given the length of entries these days – but I do. I’ve written about things that were wholly inappropriate – and that has hurt people. I’m sorry. I’m trying to find the boundary line, and sometimes I stray over it. Please let me know if I do.

Not much else to report today, I guess. I had an exciting trip to the grocery store last night – my first real visit to Woodman’s. I’m a grocery tourist. It’s true. I had been to the liquor department there but never the actual grocery store part. Wicked exciting. I read more of The Gunslinger after talking to Sarah and Shawn, then went to bed early. Exciting times, these.

happy birthday, mom

A nice weekend. Spent lots of time with Sarah and Shawn and Hannah – got to see Lucky, Mark, and Missy, however briefly. Mark’s house isn’t the hellhole he’s made it out to be – and Lucky’s hair is now orange. Hmm. I made Shawn watch The Hours – lost at Trivial Pursuit – was dragged along not unwillingly to an English department function – looked at apartments – fell in love with the Champaign Public Library despite some really weird organization things – bought some used books for cheap! – left late and arrived home exhausted but happy. I need more weekends like this. Being there and leaving just intensified my desire to be there all the time – to be able to do things like breakfast with friends and lunches out and wandering used bookstores and just being to the top of my bent. I’m tired in many ways but glad I went.

The apartment search has hopefully born fruit – I fell in love with an apartment on Church, just off this pretty little park, a block up from a Thai restaurant – within walking distance of just about everything, including the library. The bedroom has big windows and was full of sunlight in mid-afternoon – the living room and kitchen are cool – and the shower head does NOT stop at my shoulder. That’s a big plus. I could see being very happy there – really making the place my own. I’m hoping it works out. It would be too too miraculous.
One thing I didn’t accomplish this weekend was any reading – which in the grand scheme of things is alright. I picked up Lust by Susan Minot, Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto, a collected volume of the Chretien romances, The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa (recommended to me by Jason Watts last Septober 41st), and Charlotte Gray by Sebastian Faulks. In addition to those, I bought some books at the library for $1.00. AND Shawn lent me a new stack in addition to the existing stack. It’s so nice to have books flowing into my life again, though I’m getting desperately behind. Oh, and today Ylda returned my copy of The Hours. I heart books. They make me so happy.
Responses from Diva Kate, who has not started a blog:
1. What is the best thing about living in Tejas other
than your family?

i loved the idea of starting over completely in a new place where no one knew me for who i USED to be. since i’ve moved down here i have found a real sense of who i truly am (cheesy but true)
2. Describe the ultimate Diva Kate Punk Rock Show.
here’s what i’m thinking. live band in the upstairs of my house, with me dancing around in my underwear (duh) and waking up my ENTIRE family. oh, and it would be broadcast on mtv and in the middle of times square.
3. Why journalism instead of interior design?
because i need to write more than i need to breathe. and i hate details, being the big-picture kind of girl that i am. and let me tell you, interior design is ALL about details.
4. Why pirates?
well, why not? a good buccaneer has a creative vocabulary (including vast references to “booty”), colorful wardrobe, and the ability to make anyone who opposes me walk the plank.
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
in five years i should be either finishing up or finished with grad. school, residing on the east coast and doing MUCH overseas travel for my happening career as a magazine writer. i’ll definitely still be single. possibly even starting to work my way up to editor of a small indie mag?
Great answers. Rock. Back to work. It’d be nice to accomplish something.

yawn

I forgot that, oh yeah, everyone wants interview questions. A good thing to keep me busy. Enjoy, kids.
An interview for Kate, the most fabulous diva ever:
1. What is the best thing about living in Tejas other than your family?
2. Describe the ultimate Diva Kate Punk Rock Show.
3. Why journalism instead of interior design?
4. Why pirates?
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

An interview for The D, as published by Vinny the Fish:
1. Again, explain the difference between house and techno.
2. Why come back to Rockford after SIU? Why stay here?
3. How do you sleep? (As in, on your back, on your side, wearing pants, etc.)
4. If you were a Chuck Palahniuk character, who would you be? Really think about this one.
5. Who is more scandalous: you or Scandalous Pants? And why?

An interview for Heidi, the original Aussie PW, to inaugurate her to-be-announced blog:
1. I know you’re very proud to be an Aussie. Tell me five great things about being Australian.
2. What’s your favorite food memory of America?
3. Jeff Martin, Jeff Burrows, or Stuart Chatwood? and why?
4. You’ve been travelling intermittently since I met you. Where’s your favorite place and why?
5. Give me a good “Hello America” opener.

I fell down Jen’s stairs last night. That was exciting and now my ass is sore. Not so exciting.

Finished Lullaby last night, which was really fucking good. Not as messed up as Choke, which is good cos I don’t think I could handle much more of that particular brand of insanity. Can’t decide if Chuck is totally fucking insane – or really, really normal. I’m leaning towards the former. This total reading blitz has been nice – I’m almost done with Letters to a Young Poet and will probably start The Gold Bug Variations today.
I told my mom last night. I cried and cried and cried. I was so worried about disappointing them – I’ve always been worried about that – and I know that in doing what I’ve done, I’ve seriously let them down. I asked “Do you still love me?” Mom said “Yes, of course. Just because we’re disappointed doesn’t stop us from loving you. Or taking care of you. Or coming alongside our child when she’s hurting.” That was the answer I knew she’d give – but it was good to actually hear it. I told her I wanted them to take back the money they’d given us for the house – instead of it coming out of the remainder of my “college fund,” my dad had just given us the money outright. I know he wanted me to have the other money in case of an emergency – but I can’t feel right about that. I’m willing to take that loss. It’s not a pride thing – it’s a “my parents wasted a huge amount of money” thing. I don’t think I’ll recoup the down payment from Nate – I don’t really want to. I mean, it’d be nice to have the money, but I’m not that worried about it. It’s just one more hardship for him that I don’t want to inflict.
So today I’m feeling a little beat up emotionally and physically. Maybe it’s a good thing I’m going to therapy this afternoon.

an interview

An interview for Sarah, one for each year of our friendship:
1. What exactly is a shrinkle?
2. What does being Canadian mean to you?
3. We’ve talked about tattoos but I don’t think we’ve talked about piercings. If you were to get a body piercing, what would you get? (And no, you can’t just say “But I don’t want any!”)
4. What is your favorite memory of me? (a popular question)
5. We’ve talked about going on vacation together. Where would you like to go if money and time were no object?
6. What are the five best things about being in grad school?
7. In what ways do you feel you’ve grown the most in the last nine years?
8. Remember sitting at the Phish concert reciting the major publishers and their ISBN prefixes? Yup, we’re geeks. What’s the prefix for Chronicle?
9. What do you need most from me?

This site took my breath away. I don’t know anything about the author other than what she’s listed on her site – and the fact that she links to me. But please, go read. It’s incredible. And so is this, which I know I’ve linked before, but it still astonishes and moves me.
Not much else to say today. Feeling particularly homeless, despite my sister’s best intentions. Nate wants his keys back by week’s end – and has already started to work out the divorce. We’re trying to work out the details of who gets what.
I finished Choke, last night and am now halfway through Lullaby, after which I’m going to STOP reading Chuck and go back to the stack of books from Shawn that are taking up so much room in my bag.

at work

An interview for Ada:
1. How did you and D meet?
2. What is your favorite holiday cookie or treat? And yes, it can be any holiday and any kind of treat.
3. What is your personal philosophy?
4. How do you feel about pirates?
5. What do you wish you would’ve done before Franklin was born?

Good news: it has been approximately five days since I cried at work. Not so good news: I was off work for three of those days due to the weekend. So I suppose it’s been approximately two days since I cried at work. Really, that’s not so great.
Reading update: I’m almost done with Choke, which can’t be helping my mood. Choke, not being almost done.

galatea

Our housewarming party is tomorrow. I’m not sure I’m ready for the hubbub of lots of company – but I’m looking forward to seeing many many of my friends.
Galatea 2.2 is really, really wonderful. Shawn warned me that it would get under my skin, that it would get in my bones. I wasn’t sure what he meant at first – and then I started really reading. Some of it sounds so much like me – like my writing style – like the way I think – that I feel like I’ve been enveloped by the story, by the ideas. It’s strange to feel totally a part of yet detached from a story. I want to put everything on hold until I can finish; unfortunately that’s not an option.
A fortune: “Art is the accomplice of love.”
Five questions for Newman, who is as I type this on her way to mi casa:
1. What’s the difference between ‘theater’ and ‘theatre’?
2. Write a haiku about Tom Jones.
3. What’s your favorite memory of me?
4. Why do you act?
5. What do you want out of life?

An interview from Mary J. I’m an interview whore:
1. What is one thing you really, really wanted for bday/xmas that you never received?
I really, really wanted an American Girl doll but always thought they were too expensive, so I never asked for one. Yeah, I got over that.
2. If you had a vegetable garden, what would you plant and why?
I would like to plant tomatoes and peppers and lettuce and lots and lots of other things. Oh yeah, and garlic. Lots of garlic. I would really like to be much more self-sufficient, grocery-wise, than I am right now.
3. What teacher (from kindergarten – college) had the biggest impact on you?
Can I pick two? three? In high school, probably Mr. Rooney, my senior English teacher. He was one of the first teachers I had that really treated me like an equal – other teachers were my friend, but I felt like Mr. Rooney respected me as a peer as well as a student. I wonder whatever happened to him. Some of my fellow students suspected he was in the witness protection program. Maybe that’s true. In college, my biggest influence was Mr. Glass. There were several other teachers with whom I really connected – specifically Alan Hurst at Regents and Colleen Page at RC – but Mr. Glass has proved much more of a lasting influence.
4. Of all the people you’ve lost touch with over the years, who do you think about the most?
I’ve lost touch, in varying degrees, with a lot of people that I miss. I don’t have any major regrets in this matter – the people I’ve lost touch with have generally given up on their end of keeping in touch – or have drifted so far away and have changed so much that we have nothing in common. I suppose I miss Anne the most – we worked together long enough to cultivate a very interesting and challenging friendship, a friendship that I think could’ve been more were the circumstances different. She moved out to the west coast with her girlfriend to go to school – I hear from her on occasion. I wish she was still in my life cos I felt like she only brought good things.
5. What is the tallest building you’ve been in? What was the highest floor you went to?
I’ve been to the highest observation deck at the CN Tower in Toronto. I was scared to death and nearly threw up. Good times.
Aight. Back to work.

i don’t know

I’m – I’m a little fucked up today. Another night of lousy sleep – up sick and nearly crying in the middle of the night – made for a bluesy sort of morning. I need to snap out of it but somehow don’t know how to do it. Right now I want to have something I can lose myself in – a book, a movie, an activity of some sort – to take the focus off the aching inside. I’m trying not to be overly morose here – I don’t want to lose readers, after all – but some days I just can’t fight it.
Started Gilgamesh this morning – not sure how I missed that one in my academic reading. Again, it’s becoming increasingly evident how much I haven’t read. I haven’t made it to the text of the poems yet, but the introduction is really interesting. I guess I’m a little history/archaeology buff at heart. A prof at RC used to call me a “reluctant medievalist.” All this reading just feeds the fire of my desire to go back to school. That was a really bad rhyme. I’m sorry.
Now for something more fun….The Interview Game!
THE RULES
1. Leave a comment, saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I will respond; I’ll ask you five questions.
3. You’ll update your website with your five answers.
4. You’ll include this explanation.
5. You’ll in turn ask other people five questions when they want to be interviewed.

Marie was my interviewer – I’ll take a handful of interviewees. Just leave a comment, then check back in a day or two for questions.
1. Where were you born?
Marshfield, Wisconsin, US of A
2. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Does it cause any problems?
I used to be a night owl while I was in school; however now that I’m in the “real world,” I’m a morning person. That works out really well, except when I’m hungover or wanting to sleep in on the weekends.
3. How do you sleep? On your back, stomach, or side?
I sleep primarily on my side.
4. What is your favorite season? Spring, Summer, Autumn, Winter? Explain why.
I love the in between times – spring and autumn, though autumn is definitely my favorite. I love the cool air, the falling leaves, the fall food. Autumn is one of the big big reasons I love living in the Midwest.
5. If you could change something about yourself what would it be?
It’s a little dangerous to ask me that question right now – so I’m going to give a superficial answer and hope that suffices. I wish I could just be happy.
PS Shawn, thanks for the advice on kicking Photoshop. Somehow I don’t think that’ll be very good for the CD.
PPS My friend Adrienne has started a blog. Check it out!
PPPS Writing all these PSes reminds me of junior high. Not sure why that is.