Thursday, May 10, 2007

Bloggers Playing Bawbwa Walters...

(okay...I had to change the title of this post.  Seems I had improperly used the term "paparazzi" in the title and was too tired last night [this morning?] to address the boo-boo..)

Sometime long ago in J-Land, we played this interview game. It seems to be making the rounds again…or maybe it never stopped, but it just took it this long to get back around to ME.

I became reacquainted with it at Judi’s place—"Talking to Myself…" I raised my hand to play…and she obliged me with these five questions. Read and learn, Grasshoppers…

1. Where were you born? List some of the places you’ve lived and/or traveled.

I was born in the northern suburbs of Chicago. When my parents first moved to the ‘burbs, my mother’s city-dwelling relatives all scratched their heads as to why anyone would want to leave the city to move out to the cornfields. Remember that song, "I was country before country was cool"? I was North Shore before the North Shore was…built.

I don’t feel particularly well-traveled, though I’ve visited three-quarters of the lower 48 states. But my road-trip days were so very long ago. Most of the decals stuck to my life’s suitcase were acquired between 1966 and 1984. That last being the year the husband and I packed as much of our lives as we could fit in a barely functional twelve-foot rental truck and hit the "Oregon Trail"—Interstate 80, straight (and I do meant straight) through the heartland, over the Continental Divide, take the north fork at Salt Lake City and continue on for about another 800 miles. I was twenty-nine years old.

And just now, writing this, I realized something: I was born in Illinois. I grew up in Oregon.


2. Name a truth you’ve learned in adulthood, e.g., an aha! moment, but one that you might not have believed as a kid or even as a young adult.

I’ve blogged about this, actually. One of the very early entries in "Coming to Terms…" that no one read. I could provide a link, but thanksto that long-extinct concept of the 2500-word limit, I can copy and paste that entire entry right here:

"For some reason, I maintain this fantasy that, growing up in the sixties, my family WAS ‘The Donna Reed Show’. And then somehow, as we grew up, all that fell apart and we became ‘The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’ When I really LOOK back at it, I realize we were never perfect; much like other families of the time that had young post-war couples raising large broods of baby-boom children. They were EXPECTED to marry, EXPECTED to raise families. Never mind that many of them weren't particularly suited to being parents.

"In your twenties, you spend a lot of emotional energy separating yourself from your family...trying your wings, as it were. In your thirties, you start to realize how your parents' parenting formed large portions of your personality. You start to blame them for your neuroses. Understand how their failures became your own. And resent them for it.

"When you hit forty, and the old man and old lady are shrinking before your eyes, and you realize they won't be around forever, you start to forgive. You come to the great epiphany that Mom and Dad didn't wake up every morning trying to think up ways to ruin your life. Most often, they did the best they could with what they had. And they made mistakes. They are human, after all.

"I suppose if I had children, these realizations would have come to me sooner, and through experience rather than contemplation. I have this sort of third party, standing back and observing point of view, as I see my contemporaries go through with their children what we went through with our parents, only from the other side of the generational fence. And, really, I don't think I have what it would have taken to be a good parent. If my children had rejected me, as they DO...I would have been hurt beyond endurance. For this reason, I'm glad I HAD the choice not to become a parent. Even though, when you reach this age childless, you start to wonder what you will be leaving behind when you go."

3. Name three favorite guilty pleasures - personally, I’ll admit to Egg McMuffins, Snoballs (those coconut covered cupcakes) and cotton candy...

I hope we’re not talking only food here. Since I joined Weight Watchers, I’ve tried to overcome the whole idea of feeling guilty about eating…

That said, number one on my list is the Astoria Presbyterian Church Ladies’ pecan pie. All the better if it’s the "dirty" variety (with chocolate chips…)

Number two would be that I love to drive. To just get in the car and go, to see what there is to see. I can spend hours behind the wheel, or in the passenger seat scanning the skies or horizon for birds, clouds, views, sunsets, trees or lovely gardens, beautiful homes, waterfalls or whitewater rivers. And, of course, the ocean...

Luckily, living in Oregon, I don’t have to burn up too much fuel to see all these things. Still, in these days of War for Oil and global climate change, one can hardly sneak off on a non-essential trip without feeling guilty.

And number three? Doing what I’m doing right now would probably qualify. Clickety-clacking away, when there are other things I should be doing. Like sleeping…

4. Where/when would you go if you could time travel? Who would you meet?

Card-carrying agnostic that I am, I think going back to the Judea of a couple of millennia ago and looking up a popular young rabbi would go a long way toward changing my mind about certain beliefs (or lack thereof0 I have cultivated over the past several years.

And if it turns out that, as some historians preach, there is no such actual person as the "Historical Jesus," I would opt for being a fly on the wall at any/every meeting of this country’s founding fathers. How fantastic would it be to learn firsthand what "the framers" had in mind when they laid the foundation of our blessed/accursed form of government?

5. What’s your greatest strength?

Good lord, this one gives me the willies… I’d have to use all my fingers and toes to count the times I’ve had to come up with the most calculatedly brilliant answer to this question, seated opposite some human being who seemed, at the time, to hold my fate in the very palm of his or her hand. I’ve touted my organizational skills, my work ethic, my management style and my high personal standards to people who, with one unconvinced blink, could turn my lifetime of accomplishments to a handful of crap.

Given all that, and the challenges I’ve faced in the past nine months of my new life as a gloriously clueless entrepreneur, I’d have to say my greatest strength is this: No matter what misfortunes befall me on any give day, I get out of bed next morning, get dressed and keep putting one foot in front of the other. It doesn’t sound like much, but sometimes that very simple act can take on the proportions of a try for the summit of Everest.

And now, the requisite "Rules of Engagement:" in Judi’s words (because it’s 1:00 am and I am too tired to come up with my own):

If you’d like to play, leave a comment asking me to interview you. I'll respond by asking you five questions: I get to pick the questions. You'll update your weblog with the answers to the questions, and you'll include this explanation with an offer to interview someone else in the same post. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you'll ask them five questions.


  1. Well, it seems I am pretty much !YOU! so the same questions probably won't do ... but go ahead and please, please interview me!

    I tend to enjoy this exercise.  Both the reading of and the writing of.

  2. OK, I'll give it a try again.

  3. morecowsthanpeepMay 10, 2007 at 5:34 AM

    I've been faithfully reading your blog for awhile, wanting to comment repeatedly, but never taking the time to set up an aol screenname.  I remedied that today because I want to tell you I value your reflections a great deal and if you want to interview me, a phantom reader, I'd be honored.

  4. If we could go  back and find that itinerant rabbi I suspect we'd find that he was nothing like the guy in the scriptures. And I think that would be a good thing.


  5. We've been reading each other's blogs since darn near the very beginning of each, and you know, I think I'm going to bite.  If you want to interview me, go for it.

  6. Wow, great answers, Lisa!  I especially like your reflections/insights on family.  As you know, I have 4 kids, and yet the realizations that you mention did not come to me sooner.  Maybe I'm just slow, but reading what you wrote ("in your your thirties..."), I felt so much better about some of the things I went through with my own parents.  

    And you are tenacious, and that's a terrific quality (although I know from reading what you write that you are abundant in admirable qualities).

    Thanks for playing.