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4:48 p.m. - 2013-04-01
Sunday Stealing on a Monday

I haven't done a meme since forever and this one stolen from Mary (who stole it from someone else) seems to fit my determinedly lighthearted refusing-to-talk-about-weighty-stuff mood. Any day which includes time with my lawyer, ex-husband, and attending a wake (my beloved Steph lost her grandmother), oy, I think such a day deserves a bit of time spent talking about frivol.

1: Who is your favorite Musical Artist from when you were a teenager?
Elton John! He was at his zany zenith in the mid/late 1970s and his concert get-ups delighted me, but it was the music that held me in thrall. 'Caribou' was the first non-greatest hits album I ever bought. Followed hard by 'Yellow Brick Road' and 'Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy'. There's hardly a cut off any of those which doesn't have a very place and time specific memory attached. I was lucky enough to see Elton John in concert at Eisenhower Hall in 1979. It was a mellow acoustic concert, just him and a piano with Nigel Olsson on the drums playing softly in the background. Sheer bliss. Such was his outrageous costuming at the time that what he wore that night seemed positively sedate. (A hot pink satin tuxedo and a pair of plain black owlish round glasses, though his outfit was still a smack in the eye when sitting in that awful stark angled Hitlerian concert hall amid a sea of grey-clad West Point cadets.)

2: Who is your favorite game show host?
Alex Trebek is a sweetie and a longtime celebrity crush, and Dick Clark on 'Pyramid' was great, but my all-time favorite game show host is Gene Rayburn. He hosted 'Match Game'. If you're too young to remember that show, I'm sorry for you, it was a hoot! Anyway, Gene Rayburn with his stooped shoulders and big false teeth always seemed to be a kindly uncle. An uncle with a wicked sense of humor. I spent many, many years watching 'Match Game' and enjoying the double entendres suggested by the questions, the chafing and good-natured insults going on with the celebrity panel, and watching 'Uncle' Gene keep everything from devolving into utterly filthy hilarious chaos.

3: Who is your Favorite Blog hosting service?
Diaryland, of course! I am a D-land loyalist. While I do understand why others jumped ship and went off to Diary X, Blogger, Typepad, BlogHer, HuffPo, and their own domains, I have a special relationship with Andrew. For one thing he always answers my emails. For another, D-land is where I found my voice. It's where I went through six years of very public psycho-therapy. I've been here for 12 years and I ain't budging. Nowadays D-land is a net backwater and that's okay with me. The train wreck-y, avidly read by lurkers for the sheer thrilling disaster that was my life, the 10,000 hits a day times are long over. I'm fine as paint to stay here with my few loyal pals parking my mostly happy smug-married stuff. If you do me a solid when I am lost, hurting, or otherwise fucked up and do NOT add to my misery because I am vulnerable then I will be your friend forever. Andrew and his poky left-behind blog posting site have been there for me and as long as he hosts I will be there for him. Paying my yearly dues, speaking of him kindly and keep on keeping on with something as old school as blogging.

4: If you could meet anyone again from your childhood, who would it be?
No question, Mrs B the Story Lady. No one from my childhood has had such a lasting positive impact on me as an adult as Mrs B. Kind, merry, fearless, and funnier than all hell, Mrs B's influence is still part of my everyday life. She died of brain cancer in 1988 and if I could I'd love to show her the 2013 version of me. Yeah, she might twit me, as my darling Dominick would have, about marrying an Irishman instead of a nice Italian boy, but to sit her at my dining room table with a cup of coffee and a piece of cake and tell her how much I love her and how much good she'd given me not only with her kindness to me personally but by example with her dignified and casually non-apologetic attitude about living with a chronic illness (she was a Type-1 diabetic), her no-nonsense approach to everything from public service to child-rearing, and most of all- her skill at telling a hilarious story , oh man, to be able to thank her and tell her a few stories of my own would be the best thing evah!

5: Where did you want to live when you were growing up?
Funnily enough I didn't have a specific destination. However from 4th-7th grade I lived just over the hill in Teensytown and can say with certainty I rode my bike past the house I live in now at least 100 times. And not once did I get a flash of precognitive recognition. The current Casa Sage was just a house on a road I pedaled madly down on my way to somewhere else. Odd, eh?

6: What is the most interesting piece of Trivia that you know?
Hoo boy! I've been wracking my mind for a sublime, startling answer to this one. Truth is, as a polymath I know a little about just about everything, but am an expert in nothing. I will so kick your ass at Trivial Pursuit! Yet to try to tap just one thing to dazzle you with? I'm hamstrung. I feel this enormous messy traffic jam of the brain. Sorry.

7: If you could live in any point of history when would it be and why?
I could quote Joy Behar and say I want to live in the Fat Century. You know, the one when Rubens was painting and being fat was where it's at. But I luuuuuurve the internet. I like my smart phone. It makes me happy to go into my local doinky Shoprite and find everything from faboo fresh flour tortillas to authentic fish sauce. Modern medicine- punishing payments and draconian anti-woman policies enacted by GOP assholes aside- today's healthcare is amazing. If I could afford it I'd buy a hybrid car. I'm relieved my son's autism is finally recognized and he has a wealth of educational and behavioral therapy options. I like it here just fine. There's no supposedly idyllic past I'd want to go back to.

8: What is the most interesting job you have ever had?
Interesting to whom? I was a child model. At age 4 I began a career that continued through my late teens. I saw myself as a product and in a weird way that mindset allowed me to get through the horror of sexual abuse from ages 7-9 almost unscathed. My body was a thing. Something that belonged to others and only was allowed to be for its value in servicing their needs. I learned the most about dealing with the public as a diner waitress. It was a hoot and a half to sell cars. Nobody ever expected to be sold a car by a dead honest Barbie. I learned the most about personal power and decision making as the proprietor of my own retail store. I felt the most pride in providing for my family when I worked the swing and graveyard shifts at an X-rated bookstore and was able to be there with Baby Alex during the day, keep my house clean, do the marketing, cooking, and the laundry and see to it my husband earned his bachelor's degree from Texas A&M. I worked against gender stereotype as a landscaper when I was in high school. And during that same timeframe I began my love affair with cooking while I did my 25 hours a week at a pizza place that also made fabulous Italian gourmet fare for special customers. I honed my mother craft babysitting. I also became my mother's 'wife' at age 8 and took over almost all the domestic responsibilities and did everything from the nightly dinner prep to making sure my younger sister had her shots. I've yet to have a job, paid or unpaid, which hasn't been a learning experience and served me well with the next thing I've turned my hand to.

9. Please share one middle school memory. It can be good, bad, ugly, funny. Pictures or words, I don't care, just share.
Grades 6 and 7 were spent at Cow Town Jr High. The majority of students came from the wee bitty villages and surrounding farm country of the time. Cow Town Jr High was bucolic, boring, and backward. Kids still rode bikes, segregated by sex, flipped baseball cards and knew nothing of the larger adult world. Crash cut to 8th grade when I was transferred to Hometown Jr High. Much closer to NYC, the kids who went there were all about the sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll. Dorky, overgrown physically and lagging socially and emotionally, Hometown Jr High was a severe culture shock. Martians landing on Earth could not have felt stranger and less equipped to deal than I did. BUT...during that time I came into my own as a fully-developed female. 5'11'', sporting a 22" waist, a 30" hip and a 38DD chest measurement, I cut off my babyish long hair, bleached it white-blonde, started working as a model again and loathed every awkward minute at Hometown Jr High. I hated it there. However back at Cow Town the one and only dance held at the school was coming. The 8th Grade Dance. I'd done two years there and felt entitled to attend despite the abrupt transfer to Hometown. I went to that dance and WOW! The boys I'd crushed on back in the day and had ignored my dork-a-rific self were queuing up for dances. The girls who'd been utter bitches to me during 6th and 7th grade when I was in flux and scared by my constantly changing bod and tentatively emerging personality were suddenly all my best-est friends! Coming from that sophisticated place, Hometown, I wore THE latest fashions, had learned in the crucible of Hometown's brutal social hierarchy how to be cool, I was The Shit at Cow Town Jr High's one and only dance. I had a joint tucked into the side-leg pocket of my white carpenter pants and an attitude of exclusionary bitch-i-tude I never, ever wore again. I cringe a little to remember what an utter twat I was at that dance, but my 14 year old self needed it. Going back and conquering the jr high where I'd been such a loser was a terrific tonic. It enabled me to enter high school relatively in possession of my morals and sense of self.

10. What's your favorite Beatles song?
I have two. My trouble song is 'Let It be' and my happy song is 'Paperback Writer'. Obvious reasons for both.

11. If I asked you to describe your most comfortable outfit, what would it be?
My most comfortable psychic outfit is jeans, a t-shirt, high heeled black boots, a well-cut black blazer and a swashy scarf. My most comfortable physical outfit is my zip-front terrycloth bathrobe and bare feet.

12. Would you rather host a party or be a guest?
Oooo! Toughie! I adore parties! As a hostess I love setting out food I've made and making my home as welcoming as possible. It's like giving all my friends a big hug. But I also like being a guest. I mingle and chat and make others laugh. I love finding out about people and their stuff. Be you a taxidermist or an insurance actuary or a retiree, everybody has a story and your story is wonderful to me. I've yet to meet anyone who didn't have something amazing and cool to say.

13. Do you think we will move completely from traditional books to digital ones, and if we do, are you OK with that?
Nope. Painters haven't stopped painting just because we've invented photography and digital imaging. So it is with eBooks. It's a new way to enjoy stories, but it will never completely supplant bound books. The world of art grows but it never completely abandons the old ways.

14. Do you learn best by reading, listening or experiencing?
For many, many years I relied on an audiographic memory. If I heard it I remembered it. But I've come to understand I take in knowledge by seeing and doing too. Especially now that my hearing is so minimalized and what I think I hear isn't what was actually said. Partial deafness isn't all bad.

15. If you are (or when you were) single, what is the kiss of death for you concerning the opposite sex? (That is, what is one trait or behavior or habit or anything at all that immediately turns you off from considering that person a potential match for you?)
OMG! Hands down it's bullying. Whether a guy was a bully-talker or he pressed too hard for an answer from me or he didn't have the inner calm to deal with a longish wait or some other obstruction and he resorted to pushing ahead by any means possible, if he was a bully he got the heave-ho from this Zen girlie.

16. Snacks. Salty or sweet?
This ticks me off. All the way back in high school I was taking crap for dipping my fries in my chocolate shake or dredging pretzel sticks in fudge sauce. I've been doing the sweet and salty thing since ever.

17. Look around you in a four foot radius. What object is around you that you didn't realize was there or forgot was there? How long has it been there?
Gads, my running shoes. It's been a long winter.

18. What is your favorite Tom Cruise movie?
'Risky Business'. 'Sometimes you have to say, "What the fuck!"' Besides, I have a pash for Curtis Armstrong.

19. You buy a bottle of shampoo and discover that you don't like what it does to your hair at all. What do you do with that full bottle?
Oddly enough this has never happened to me. My water is too hard and my hair is too short to make shampoo much of a consideration. I use VO-5 and Suave almost exclusively. Scrubbing the super-glue I use to make my coif pointy needs big time detergent.

20. Your favorite spring comfort food? (Last week it was beverage.)
It might actually be an outlier of summer's bounty but I love, love, love baby spinach! Always in the raw. Gads I eat it until it comes out of my ears. I think I get my entire year's worth of iron during baby spinach season. I eat it in salads. I put spinach leaves on my burgers and sandwiches. I grab a handful every time I pass the fridge. Baby spinach rocks!

And so does Mary for passing along the meme.

Be well, my darlings! ~LA

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