Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Bloom Picayune

About a week ago or more or less or so, our darling Voyager did sort of an interview meme where you, the blogger, agree to answer 5 questions posed, interview style, by another blogger. It involves trust, as you agree to answer these questions (and who's to say that one of those questions might not be "What album of your youth are you most ashamed of buying/begging your parents to buy you for your birthday?" or "What was the most embarrassing event in your past that involved someone you had a crush on and the general public?"

Most of us in the blogging community like to spill our souls to the Internet, but really don't want to relive the repressed horrors of our mis-spent youths.

But Voyager is Canadian, and therefore not only genetically ingrained to be nice, but polite and considerate as well. Never would a Canadian with malice aforethought cause mental pain, woe or anguish, unlike we dreadful Yanks. Therefore, I decided that I would take her up on her offer, which also netted me her e-mail. Bonus, that.

(Actually, I may have had her e-mail before this, but let's just go with it, shall we?)

So, here are the questions she posed, sitting eagerly on the edge of her seat, fedora on her head, shorthand pad and pencil in hand, a press-pass around her neck:

(Feel free to imagine me 3" taller, 30 lbs lighter, and 50 shades darker, wearing the latest in faux tiger lounge wear, sipping a mai tai on the chaise lounge by the pool.)

1. What made you decide to become a physician? When did you decide? (That's not really 2 questions. O.K. it is. So I'm bending the rules.)

Good one! Actually, I started off life as most of us do, wanting to be a librarian, which sustained me in my girlish dreams until about the age of 11. Then I drifted for 3 long years, without goals or stars to point my way until my freshman year of high school, when, after class, I was walking down the hall to the locker room to change for track practice. My path coincided with my beloved coach (who also coached me in cross-country) and chemistry teacher, who we knew as The Green Booger due to his penchant for wearing the same kelly green sweats, day in and day out, when in coach mode. He was late 50s or early 60s, about the same height of the girls he coached and looking somewhat like a beardless elf. (One of Santa's minions, not the pretty Tolkien creatures.) He said that he knew I was interested science and wondered if I had considered teaching as a profession. As I was and am still a confirmed flee-er of any form of public speaking, I declined and then he asked, "How about being a doctor?" The planets aligned, the universe smiled, the sun broke from behind the ever-present cloud cover that is the Pacific Northwest from November through the first weekend of July, and my course was set. Sadly, that marked the end of my running success as I developed asthma and, while I continued to compete throughout the rest of my tenure as a pimply high schooler, his interest in me waned as my times flagged, but I still think on him with a smile on my face: The Green Booger.

(Incidentally, a few years after that, he married my 5th grade baton teacher, a vivacious, tiny creature meant to wear sequins and tiaras. I've never been able to reconcile the image of this union and have been rather thankful that I didn't ever run into them together as I might have required long therapy sessions undergoing extreme memory repression.)

2. If you had to spend a year on a deserted Island, (assume food and shelter is taken care of) and you were given a choice to bring only one of the following, which would it be?

(a) A person, but one you have never met and know nothing about, even gender.
(b) A collection of books.
(c) A solar powered i-pod.

Ah, a nice, easy question. As I am quite content with the pleasure of my own company and while I am fond of music, I can go for days without listening to it, it would have to be that collection of books. I am incapable of not reading. I would rather read than talk. I would rather read than watch things. I have had, since birth, some sort of reading memory quirk, where I can read something I've read for pleasure over and over and over and find it not only delightful, but truly fresh and new. Seriously. I've a collection of mysteries that I cycle through every few years because I don't recall who dunnit at all. Sadly, I also have difficulty retaining written information and therefore couldn't skive off classes in college or med school AT ALL. So, instead of reading the chapter under a tree, like my classmates, I had to read the chapter and then go to class and hear the damned chapter in order to get the knowledge-y goodness in my squash.

3. What is it about gardening that gives you such pleasure?

You know, I'm not sure if I can adequately express this (although you know I'll yammer on and on despite this). It's a totally visceral joy. Sort of like singing along loudly and vigorously with your favorite song when no one can hear you. Sort of like eating a really amazing meal, followed by chocolate. Sort of like having a patient come to you (YOU!) with a mess of symptoms and having you hit the diagnosis in one. It's part watching life flourish under your hand. (Sort of a demigod-hood.) It's part that you are a nut for flowers and food and growing your own, that you chose and adore is deeply, deeply satisfying. It's part really enjoying working with your hands and, at the end of your efforts, even if it's just 10 minutes, you can see the results of your labor. It's part creating intent out of chaos (note that I didn't say 'order out of chaos' as my gardens are more free form, at least in the flower areas). Nothing leaves me more satisfied at the end of the day than a day spent in great part in the garden.

4. What one quality in yourself are you most proud of?

Hm. Toughie. I'm going to say it's my ability to usually reach people, especially people who are really in pain or pissed off or scared or all of the above. I don't connect with everyone but I can connect with most. It's one of the few things I can say that I feel I am good at.

5. Is there one quality you would like to change?

Just one? If I were joking, I'd say that I'd like to sweat like a normal person and not a 500 lb hirsute man named Bubba. In reality? Really-really? I'd like to be more outgoing. I'd like to want to go to parties and get-togethers and all sorts of social things that most people like to do. In reality, such things are often torture. I don't enjoy crowds. I suck at small talk. I dislike community get-togethers. I am horribly awkward. In the words of Mary Bennett, sister of Elizabeth Bennett, while being forced to sit as a wallflower at a country dance, (from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice): I would much prefer a book. I like people and enjoy having people over, but in small numbers.

So, thus endeth the interview. Thank you, Voyager, for the opportunity for letting me yammer on about myself.

Now, who's up for some home-grown questions of their own? In honor of the occasion, I've finally set up an e-mail for this blog:


If you want to reach me, feel free to do so. It's not the Super Secret e-mail that many of you know and love and use, but it will serve for blogging use. An e-mail bridge, if you will.


I've always dreamed of wearing a fedora and press pass and will endeavor to make at least one of the questions a nice low-ball one. After all, I am married to a 1/2 Canuck and that has to rub off on me a bit.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

No, I will not "spill the beans" and tell what REALLY you are like. This what an adoring Dad would never do. But the term "Really Cool" comes to mind. The same would apply to your sister. Although, there are a few items in your "confession" that I thought were different, but that is just a demented old foggy.

The Ole RF-er

1:19 PM  
Blogger CarpeDM said...

I so love your answers! And Voyager's questions were fun as well. I like how you decided to become a doctor and how you explained about the gardening. Dang it. Now I want to know what you would ask me. Ask! I like the idea of having multiple posts for down the road or tacking on to a post about how horrible my "friend" is being right now.

2:32 PM  
Blogger Voyager said...

I love that a green booger inspired you to become a doctor!
Thank you for your honest, thoughtful answers. Your description of the joy of gardening is wonderful.

5:09 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Dad- Yes, it is your memory that must be faulty as I'd never embelish.

Dana Marie!- Why I'd be thrilled! Here goes: (ahem. whips out pen)

1. If you were a piece of candy, any candy, what would you be?

2. You seem to frequently be at war with your hair, or at least your hair seems to be at war with you. (Which makes for entertaining reading, let me say.) Is it that it whispers "cut me...dye me scarlet..." while you sleep or is all the experimental hair dressing to delight yourself and those of us who adore you?

3. Would you be an eagle or a dolphin and why?

4. You've been decreed to wed one of the characters on any TV show. Which one is the lucky one?

5. What is your favorite song to perform for karaoke? Would you perform it for a national audience?

Voyager- Thanks for doing these for me. I really had fun with it. (mwa! smooch!)

6:20 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Your answers are awesome, though I take issue with your 30lbs comment, because you would be an ethereal waif! ;)

I will try to think of some questions for you...

9:51 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Highly entertaining!!!! However, I seriously doubt you sweat like a 500 lb man named Bubba! Maybe a 400 lb man named Lonnie.


Anyway, I so enjoyed reading your answers that I'd like to ask you to don your fedora and interview me. (Although you're a tough act to follow.)

10:22 PM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

oh! oh! me! me! I want some questions! Please?

10:28 PM  
Blogger moegirl said...

Excellent post! I have more to add to my Diana knowledge- my RPHS memory is fading- more clues to the green booger! I avoided science and math like the plague, so I don't remember those teachers.

Is this sweating something new? I don't recall you sweating like 500lb Bubba, but only appropriate post-run sweat...

I enjoyed your post about your trip to New Orleans, too! So glad you're back.

You can send me a few questions too.

12:36 AM  
Blogger Dumdad said...

Great read. For someone who claims to be shy you don't seem too backward in coming forward! Certainly, braver than me who would answer no comment, maybe, no comment, sort of, possibly, um, no comment etc...

3:25 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ariella- You are so, so sweet, but I could easily drop 30 lbs from my belly and still have plenty to glare at on my thighs.

Rozanne- I'd put that weenie Lonnie guy to shame with my perspiratory performance. I'm thrilled to question you! Here goes:

1. In the blogosphere, you are known for several things, including your walk-abouts around Portland, Oregon. What other city would you choose to spend a day doing a walking exploration of?

2. You share with many enlightened ones of the Pacific Northwest an enjoyment of craft beers. Any current favorites? Which single one would you be stranded with on a deserted island?

3. You are self employed, doing freelance work instead of working for The Man. What has been the hardest part of this, aside from fretting about getting a steady flow of work?

4. Your mother and mine shared a horror of junk food. What chemically-laden, nutritionally devoid item that would make your poor mother scream, do you love to indulge in most?

5. Growing up in the Midwest, what were your your girlish dreams? How did you see your life unfolding?

Teri- With enormous pleasure!:

1) You have tantalized us over the years with your hints of professional ballroom dancing. What made you give it up and describe your favorite costume.

2) You are also known among us who adore you as having the occasional astoundingly prophetic dream. Do you have an inkling upon awaking that you've just seen the future or does it slap you in the face as reality happens that you've dreamed its occurance?

3) Oh, coffee guru, what is your most very favorite coffee drink? Do you cream or sugar? Should those who willingly drink instant be herded off to 'education camps' where they are shown the error of their ways and returned to the world better people?

4) You are cornered by a crazy, pissed off witch who will momentarily turn you into the insect of your choice. Which one will you live your life out as?

5) We all have guilty pleasures. What are yours?

Stace- Pull out your freshman year book and look at the girls cross country coach. First name "Jack" last name "McGoldrick" Hopefully there's a color picture there and you can see the sweats in their glory.

Questions for one of my oldest and dearest friends, the little sister my husband never wanted:

1) You have always had excellent taste in music. What are you listening to now? Still secretly adoring Bono or have the sunglasses dampened your feelings?

2) You have always had a strong need to do the right thing and help the downtrodden. You work for a non-profit helping people. What single thing would you change (magic wand allowed) to make the lives of those you strive to help better?

3) To those who know you, you are a famous history buff, with an emphasis on WWII. Which WWII participant would you wish to have a nice, leisurely dinner and a bottle of wine with? Who would you want to share pizza and beer with?

4) When we all worked in the movie theater together, there were many rude people we were forced to clandestinely retaliate against. Which was your favorite act of vengence?

5) Have you ever given serious thought to running for politics? If so, what office (and what's keeping you)?

(Hope J is continuing to mend.)

Dumdad- Ah, the glories of the anonymity of the internet. Those who know me already know this shit, those who don't, wouldn't know me to pass on the street. I can be as brave as I want here, behind the glowing screen. I am giggling over the freelance reporter giving an interview consisting solely of the words "no comment".

9:30 AM  
Blogger listmaker said...

Great answers. I so agree about gardening, although I confess to being terrible at it.

And, and email address! I'm so excited, not in a stalker-ish sort of way, but more in a direct line to the gardening goddess way.

10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

As if my memory is totally correct, Jack and Joan never really married--just practiced for a few years. In his obit there was mention of Joan as his long-time companion. You used to say that he acted like a "booger" everytime he had marital problems. I guess he figured out how to correct this.

The Ole RF-er

3:34 PM  
Blogger Rozanne said...

Thanks so much! Those are some great questions--I can't wait to answer them.

4:09 PM  
Anonymous Ariella said...

Omg! Ask me questions, too! I will then update my blog!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Diana said...

Listie- I confess, you are one of the main reasons I finally got around to attaching an e-mail to le blog. Look forward to lots of chats!

Ariella- Really? A promise to post? I'm all over it:

1. You are outside, manhandling the soon-to-be-redone front yard and you see two nice-looking guys entering your driveway in black suits with that glow of evangelicism in their eyes. What is your course of action?

2. While you have moved from the cultural mecca that is the East Coast to the Midwest (where, for some, an annual trip to Branson, Mo, is high fashion), you have seen that bands do tour here. What concert double billing would make you risk getting fired for standing in line for a week to get tickets to?

3. What has surprised you about your relocation to Madison (aside from the bleak, living hell that was your job search, of course)?

4. Now that you have a job in your field, what's your next personal Everest?

5. You've been chosen as Wisconsin's contestant in the Miss America pageant. What is your 'talent'? Flaming batons? A heart rending song? or....?

8:21 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

I'm almost afraid to ask what you'd ask me. Almost

And say!! Hows them cicadas??

Blech. I've got the willies just thinking about them. I'm sorry I even brought them up. Gah.

9:37 AM  
Blogger Sanjay said...

I simply loved your answers. Your are one heck of a person and am sure a very good doc too. :)

11:09 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Babs- Bwak! Bwak-bwak! You, my dear, would be a hoot to do. (Ew. You have cicadas now? I am so thankful we've none of those, with the massive numbers and the dying in piles on the sidewalks and the covering the windows. I'll just stay right here, thanks.)

Sanjay- Thanks for that. You say the nicest things.

8:53 PM  
Blogger Mother of Invention said...

I've actually done this so I won't ask you for more but I love how you have tailored your questions to fit each person and how Voyageur did that for you. WE do get to know a fair bit about people who blog.

I'd take the I-pod over the books. I do like social gatherings when I know people fairly well, but I can be shy and introverted a little too.

9:54 PM  
Blogger Babs said...

Noooooo we don't have any now. I just read that the mid-west was chock full of 'em at the mo. Our next Cicada humongo-brood isn't til 2013. I'll be in Fiji. Or underwater. I still remember the last one. Hell, I still remember the one from when I was in frist grade. What the HELL was Sister Elizabeth thinking taking us to the park?!?! Tsk.

Aw hell. I'm dying to see what you might ask. But shall mail the request!! A girls got to have some serets right?!?! And, of course, some secrets.

Oh hush. I was to lazy to backspace out that typo. It's only 6:30 AM. Sheesh.

6:35 AM  
Blogger Babs said...

Or next Sunday. Because The Advance isn't exactly accurate about bugs.

6:42 AM  
Blogger Diana said...

Ruth- I had joked with Dana (Green Duckies) that we should all just ask each other questions and not lack for a post for about 5-6 months as we round-robin this thing. It is one of my favorite memes.

Babs- Righty-ho! I'll send your super-secret questions via e-mail tuit suite! (I remember your post about the cicadas from, what? 2 years ago? Shudder. We're good, here. So far.)

7:14 AM  
Blogger Coffee-Drinking Woman said...

mmmm, I hate to tell you, but we're due for the 17-year cicadas any day now...

Apparently they're good eating(?)...

(some people really think so, I just said that to gross everyone out... I'm lovely that way.)

10:24 AM  
Blogger Jocelyn said...

Wherever I've read this meme, the questions and answers have had such quality. Yours does not disappoint. Terrific answers--and you do a good job of articulating the love of gardening, in particular.

But the Green Booger and the baton coach? Too much!

1:07 AM  
Blogger brooksba said...

What lovely answers and nice questions. I love it! I would ask you to interview me, but DM is going to ask me questions. Someday. (Hee hee.)

Your description of why you love gardening is so perfect. You nailed the feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction and pride and happiness so well.

You rock.

3:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

6:27 AM  

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