Thursday, June 30, 2005

Back on the chain gang

No one, but no one passes up a nod from Dr. B. Least of all me. And it's a good way to ease back into the blogging life--which a series of near-tragic events, cataclysmic changes, and just plain too damn much to do has completely steamrolled. (There's something so wrong with that imagery. Sigh. It's summer; I'm gonna leave it).


1. What were three of the stupidest things you have done in your life?

Oh man. Where to begin?

Generally speaking: being afraid to follow my dreams. Academic, professional, personal. I've wasted a lot of minutes out of my precious life worrying about what other people might think, and only realized a short while ago that frankly, no one cares that much about what I do, because they are worrying about themselves. I know that's too vague to be useful or titillating.

Not traveling more. I haven't traveled nearly enough, and now I am way too encumbered with job, family, etc. I should have gone to Angkor Wat, Macchu Picchu, Cornwall, Ireland, and Iceland. Or at least to some of them. As a corollary, it was stupid not to study abroad in college.

The theme of both of the entries above is that I haven't done enough things that look stupid in retrospect. A life too cautious is a life unlived.

A certain instance of unprotected sex many years ago with someone who was totally not worth the risk I knew I was taking.

2. At the current moment, who has the most influence in your life?

My daughter.

My husband.

And, much as I hate to say it, that Ol' Bastard GWB, if only because so many of my days are spent worrying, obsessing, and grieving over what seems like an increasingly injust and hostile world. And he's my figurehead for "What's wrong with these people."

3. If you were given a time machine that functioned, and you were allowed to only pick up to five people to dine with, who would you pick?

The first two are constant choices; the others vary every time I consider this question.

My friend Chuck, who was a man of faith and great curiosity, and who died much too soon.
George Fox
Marie Antoinette, with whom I was obsessed as a girl. I want to know about her childhood.
Jane Austen. For the witty repartee, and to fill up the dead spots in the conversation when I feel shy.
Andrew Sullivan. How does one manage to be a conservative and a decent human being? I firmly believe it is possible, just not common. He seems potentially able to explain it to me, and I'll have Chuck and George Fox, at least, on my side.

I wanted to say Dorothy Parker. I always want Dorothy at every event I attend. But Dr. B got to her first, and one of the first rules of academia is "Never appear derivative."

4. If you had three wishes that were not supernatural, what would they be?

A cure for cancer. Really. I have good reasons.
To really learn photography, and discover that I have a marvelous talent for the visual image. (actually, that one might be supernatural, given my underdeveloped visual perception).
A piano.

5. Someone is visiting your hometown/place where you live at the moment. Name two things you regret your city not having, and two things people should avoid.

What we lack: a great, non-corporate used bookstore. A fabulous bakery with wonderful flaky savory pastry.

Two things to avoid: A certain scenic restaurant. It's awful. Anyplace surrounded entirely by a parking lot.

6. Name one event that has changed your life.

Getting married. Completely redefined not who I am, but how my life feels, how I think about myself, and what I believe is possible.

7. Who else to tag?
ABDMom, who is perhaps the only reader I have left after my abrupt, extended hiatus. I'd love to see what Aunt B. over at "tiny cat pants" has to say about just about any topic.