formerly Diane's Addled Ramblings... the ramblings are still addled, just like before, and the URL is still the same...
it's just the title at the top of the page that's new

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

With A Little Help From My Friends...

I save up meme tags from my lovely bloggy friends for when I'm brain-dead and can't think of anything to write on my own... which is how I feel today. Terri over at Reading, Writing, and Retirement came up with these interview questions for me a while ago...

1. Why do you blog? What's in it for you? What's in it for your readers?

I’ve answered this question in an interview before, so I’ll give you the condensed version… I blog because I love (and need) the connection and the community… and to hone my writing skills. I want my readers to be entertained… I hope my posts make them laugh or cry or think (even if what they think is that I’m nuts!).

2. Can you name your top five favorite books of all time? If you can't narrow it down, name more. What about them do you love?

I don’t know that I can… I’ve loved a million books in my life. I’ve loved them my whole life. I started reading on my own when I was 5 and I grew up reading constantly. The library was my favorite place on the planet and it was the first place I was ever allowed to venture alone. When we moved to Virginia, it took me just 6 months to read every book for my age-group in the small public library in town. Our front porch swing was my favorite reading perch and you’d find me there every afternoon and evening, until it got too cold to sit outside, and when it was cold, I’d be in front of the fire or all tucked up in bed (sometimes with a flashlight for my after-hours fix). In high school, I’d rush through (or forego) homework so I could delve into whatever story was on the agenda. I stopped reading for pleasure when I was in college because there was just too much required reading (and too much drinking) to do, but after, I re-discovered the first love of my life. And then came Barnes & Noble… and Borders… and Books-A-Million… and Waterstones when I’m in England… my versions of Heaven.

I started collecting books for Ryan long before I knew for sure there would even be a Ryan. Her personal library rivals that of a small school. She was the first in kindergarten to read on her own and now, in the 4th grade, she reads at a 10th grade level. I still read to her, partly because I love the selection of books available to kids now and I don’t want to miss out.

Books are the one thing I can’t say no to… they’re an addiction; an obsession; a need. I love the way they make me laugh, cry, think, imagine, desire, wish, hope. I love how the characters feel like friends and the places like home. I love how real they are... how alive.

So how can I possibly pick favorites from nearly 40 years worth?

3. What motivates you to get up in the morning? Or do you?

I get up because I have to, not (always) because I want to. I have to get my daughter off to school and the dog to the park. I get up for the same reasons everyone else does… because I have obligations and responsibilities. I’d like to say I get up and face each new day with joy and excited anticipation of what’s to come… but that would be a lie. It is my goal to feel that way, though… if that makes a difference.

4. In your best fantasies, what's your ideal home? Include the structure, location, community, furniture, library, separate house for the kid, plumbing that works. Whatever rocks your boat!

This one is easy. I love houses and design. I wanted to be an architect when I was young… until I found out they have to be good at math. Then I thought about being an interior designer… until I found out they have to give the clients what they like, which might not be what the designer likes. I’ve always thought the only thing I could possibly sell would be houses, because I have the ability to see past what’s actually there to what could be. For that reason, I’d love an older house… cottage-style architecture is my favorite and I’ve found perfect-for-me houses in the 1,000-1,500 square foot range. I like compact, uncluttered spaces with comfortable, casual furniture. I love pattern and texture and color, and though I wanted a red dining room for a long time, I’m now stuck on a muted blue palette with little pops of bright coral and yellow accents. A few things I really want in my dream house are a fireplace, wood floors, a white kitchen, a roomy bath with a big soaker tub, a sunroom (which I would use as my own office/reading/creative space), lots of bookshelves, lots of windows, a porch, and a decent-sized yard (where I want a garden, a greenhouse, entertaining space, and a fire-pit).

As for where it should be? That’s negotiable… on a tree-lined street in Virginia… or New England… or somewhere in the Pacific Northwest… near the sea or the mountains... in a little village in England… a little terrace house in London would be grand. I’m flexible. I want neighbors who care about each other and will hang out on a Friday or Saturday, just because they enjoy each others' company.

I just hope one day I’ll have the home I want… and that I’ll finally feel at home somewhere.

5. What's your most favorite food in the world? What's your least favorite that you think you need to eat anyway?

I love loads of food. I can’t imagine picking a favorite thing. If I have to narrow it down, though… I love fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado with olive oil and fresh basil… I love soups (butternut squash, tomato/basil, cream of spinach) and if they’re served in one of those yummy bread bowls? Perfect. I love lamb with mint sauce (which bothers me a lot, as I love sheep and lambs when they’re alive, too) and new potatoes. Last summer I found this amazing Greek yogurt and ate it every other day, topped with fresh blueberries and honey… yum. Dessert-wise, I prefer fruity dishes to heavy, rich, chocolatey things (though I do like chocolate bars… Galaxy is my favorite), and crème brulee (especially when it comes from my cousin David’s restaurant) is my all-time favorite dessert. Oh, and I love, love, LOVE the thick, brown, grainy bread you get in the UK… we don’t have any good loaf-bread here and I’ve considered trying to get Hovis to open a bakery in Pigsknuckle.

There is nothing I dislike that I feel a need to eat because it’s good for me. The only foods I really, truly dislike are olives, Vegemite/Marmite, and caviar, and none of them are particularly good for you (and two of them aren’t even widely available in the US). I like all vegetables and fruit, really. Oh, I’m not a fan of the yogurt we get here in the US and I should probably eat more of that, as it is pretty healthy in general. And water. I definitely don’t drink enough plain water.

And there you have it... yet a little more of me (are you snoring yet?), a la Terri. If you want some interview questions, let me know (and Heather, I just remembered I still have to send you yours!!! Sorry, darlin'... I'm such a slacker). On second thought... you guys might want to ask Terri ;).

21 comments:

Michelle said...

Nope no snoring here!!!

In fact, I was quite interested in what you had to say dear Diane!!!

Your food choices are perfecto!!!!

Love ya girlie!!!

Sometimes Sophia said...

I loved your paragraph about books and feelings that are so similar to my own. Near my parents' home there was a library housed in an old Victorian mansion, complete with rooms and rooms of armchairs, nooks and window seats. It was the best, best place to hide and spend whole afternoons reading. I lived there when I was a teenager.

A fascination with houses... ditto. No wonder I like you so much.

Heather said...

We have SO much in common. I want a house just like yours, right next to yours, if that's possible!! And creme brulee? YES, please!! And I can so relate to the book thing; even the "stopped reading for fun in college". I had way too many other things going on, but I am SO glad that I've reconnected with it since graduating.
And sheesh, Diane.. gimme my questions, ya dang slacker! :)

lisa said...

I really enjoy reading these types of posts because a regular blog post is only a snapshot of the moment. Now I know you a bit more intimately.

J Cosmo Newbery said...

"I love lamb with mint sauce (which bothers me a lot, as I love sheep and lambs when they’re alive, too)"

Oh, I see. No thought for the mint!

Lisa said...

nowe thats an idea for all those meme's- to stimulate the brain dead !!
i can so relate....
btw- your daughter is stunning xx

mo.stoneskin said...

With you on the books, we couldn't take books home from primary school (I don't think they trusted us 5-year-olds) so I used to get mum to drop me odd early so I could read. Why am I telling you this, sounding like a gimpgrandchild? Ah well.

Sadly I don't have enough shelving for my books so can only have favourites out.

And hey, we have borders over here now too!

Protege said...

I love when you post these kind of tags! Always interesting to get to know more about you.;)
I wonder what you would think of my house.;)
You know it is funny, as I LOVE olives and caviar.;)) And we have plenty of the bread you talk about in Denmark.;)

Maithri said...

And now I'm starving....

Reading about fresh mozerella and tomatoes and lamb with mint sauce...

Oh my god... I'm like pavlovs dog...

Much love my friend, M

Lee said...

"fresh mozzarella, tomato, and avocado with olive oil and fresh basil"

Yes! Yes! Yes!
I'll have what she's having!

Missy said...

Great questions! Great answers!

blueviolet said...

I got distracted because every one of your followers but one is a mystery person. That's bizarre! Maybe it's a blogger fluke right now but it's wacky.

I'm totally happy with a bread bowl soup too! In fact, I think I'm going to have to go to Panera tomorrow and have one.

blognut said...

We need to trace our family trees and figure out where our two trees merge. Meanwhile, get out of my head.

Jenners said...

I always love learning more about you! And I want to live in your dream house ... or right next door!
And you eat way better than I do! : )

Debbie Hannan said...

this was a fun post!! I love your passion for books..I share the same passion!! I am quite addicted to book stores...:)

Mel said...

Hey - remember when we were going to skip your bachelor/bachelorette party to go see Robert Fulghum talk at University of Richmond? Yeah, we should have done that. (This is in connection to the book thing, btw)

Coachdad said...

You definitely entertain us. We have a similar view on books. I do have a favorite though.

Julie said...

Nice!!!! We have a lot in common....

Jen L. said...

I hate olives, too!! Olive haters unite! My husband loves them. He also feeds them to our child. BLEH. Two stinky boys with olive breath. Too much to handle, I say.

Terri said...

Loved your answers Diane. Thanks!

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