READ: Dancing Barefoot

Unlike the latest Harry Potter installment, my latest read arrived in my mail slot with little fanfare, in a plain white envelope. At first, I thought it was junk mail – one of those packets of coupons for things I never want or need, until it's too late and then I wish I'd saved the coupon.


Eventually, of course, I realized what it really was: Dancing Barefoot by Wil Wheaton. I read it – all of it, as it's just a hair over 100 pages – while sitting at the dining room table eating leftover macaroni and cheese from last night, and enjoying the evening breeze. Of course, I was supposed to be on my way to the pool, but reading was just as relaxing, and didn't attract attention from my dogs, who follow me back and forth when I swim laps.

The content isn't anything you can't find on his website, which he pretty much states in the beginning, but it was a nice read, and I look forward to more of his writings.

If you have the opportunity, I recommend the book.

Name Meme

Yeah, so, I finally did it too. It's only the PINK I object to, really.

Magic Number 13
Job Computer Nerd
Personality Focussed And Driven
Temperament An Oft-Exploding Volcano
Sexual Gay
Likely To Win Nothing
Me – In A Word Belligerent
Brought to you by MemeJack


I have about 20 files left to process at work before I can consider myself “caught up.” If I get through at least twelve tomorrow, I can probably manage to be finished with work by two or three on Friday.

Those of you who have noticed my rather conspicuous lack of presence anywhere, please understand: by the time I get home, when I'm this busy, the last things I want to have to deal with are people (no matter how much I love them) or computers (no matter how cool they are).

No offense intended.
And, hey, ? You're still the best assistant in the world!

Questions from Nimiriel


1. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where is it, and why?

2. If you had to recommend three authors to someone who professed that they didn't like to read, which three would you recommend?

3. Some people say that the first character one creates on a MUSH (or for any roleplaying game) is an extension of self, that someone is playing themselves, though perhaps in a more idealistic fashion (better looking, smarter, etc). Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

4. You've mentioned a lot of fun places to shop in the past, do you have an absolute favorite among all of them? Where?

5. You asked this of me, so it doesn't seem fair to turn the question around, but I am genuinely curious. :) Why do you journal/LJ/blog?

1. Do you have a favorite vacation spot? If so, where is it, and why?
I'm such a city person, that my favorite vacation activity is to visit new cities, and explore. I loved the time we spent in France last Christmas for just this reason (we're hoping to make a trip to England within the next year, as well), but Portland is the city I loved – from the vintage hotel with live jazz and a tunnel to the symphony hall (formerly used for smuggling liquor during Prohibition), to Powell's and the Saturday Market, I completely fell in love with Portland, OR. Away from cities, I'm a beach person – so anyplace sunny and sandy is lovely. Pt. Reyes has some amazing b&b's, and I love the forests so close to the coastline. And where my parents live, near La Paz, BCS, Mexico, is amazing as well – and the water's WARM.

2. If you had to recommend three authors to someone who professed that they didn't like to read, which three would you recommend?
1) Stephen King, because his work has been translated into so many movies and miniseries that he'd be somewhat familiar. Also, I love the way he uses this homespun style to suck you into his stories, and then, once you've bought into the wonderful images of childhood or Americana or whatever, you open a door and face Death. Also, even though his books tend to be long, they're fast-paced.
2) Tom Clancy, for many similar reasons, and in addition, because he's a great storyteller – I mean, if someone like me can enjoy his books, anyone can.
3) Willa Cather (kidding, although I'm probably the only person around who read My Antonia because I wanted to, not because I had to.) Seriously, my third choice is Madeleine L'Engle – and not just because I remember reading A Wrinkle in Time when I was eight. Her straight fiction is every bit as compelling as her science fiction /fantasy, and her style is clean and neat. One of my favorite novels of hers is Certain Women, which is about fathers and daughters and theatre and the life of King David, as well. Great book. Her Crosswicks Journals are also interesting.

3. Some people say that the first character one creates on a MUSH (or for any roleplaying game) is an extension of self, that someone is playing themselves, though perhaps in a more idealistic fashion (better looking, smarter, etc). Would you agree or disagree with that statement?

I'd argue that, to some degree, all of our characters are extensions of ourselves, but some are closer than others. As to the first? My experience has been that this is fairly accurate, and it makes sense. Just as in writing classes they admonish you to “write what you know,” it's easiest to “play what you know,” and basically Pernize yourself, or at least your favorite aspects of yourself. Is this a bad thing? Not necessarily. Am I guilty of it? Probably, but neither Chaia nor Zai are my first characters. Chaia has my eyes, because I get so tired of all these blue-eyed blondes, but she's so patient, and basically nice, and I'm really NOT. Zai has my height, but she's bouncier than I'll ever be, and has no fear (and anything that seems like fear is strictly her player's). I find that I do find myself playing petite characters, because I'm so used to looking UP to meet people's eyes that playing TALL is hard for me. And then, for me, MUSH is acting not writing, so I guess I approach it differently than the people who see it as storytelling.

4. You've mentioned a lot of fun places to shop in the past, do you have an absolute favorite among all of them? Where?
Yes. My all-time favorite store in LIFE is in South Dakota: Zandbroz. It's an old-fashioned variety store, but upscale, with cedar floors, and a soda fountain/espresso bar, and a performance space in the back, and it saved SoDak for me. They sell everything from really nice pens to funky retro tin toys, and carry an eclectic selection of books, focussing on small press, bestsellers, and local authors. I've often fantasized about translating such a store to California (in fact, I'd love to buy the old Burbank theatre and turn that into a bistro/variety store/performing space) but I /so/ don't have that kind of cash, just the dreams of someone who comes from a long line of entrepreneurs.

My other favorite place to shop is Cost Plus, as you know if you've ever been in my house: My glasses (the tumblers, not the stemware), a lot of my placemats and napkins, candles, knickknacks, tea, chocolate, /stuff/ is from there.

And then, I haunt bookstores and stationery stores, as well. I'm anti-Wal-Mart, and K-Marts make me cringe, but I like Marshall's for Shoes, and Target because it's a good place to get that one small household thing you always need – lawn furniture, microwaves, a bagel-toaster, etc. Besides, Marshall's is related to Marshall Fields, and I believe Target is part of Dayton/Hudson, so it's not like they're not selling good stuff.

5. You asked this of me, so it doesn't seem fair to turn the question around, but I am genuinely curious. :) Why do you journal/LJ/blog?
I've started and given up on more paper journals than anyone can count, really, and while I love writing letters longhand, the act of keeping a paper diary doesn't really appeal to me. I think better at the keyboard (which is why I have wireless net access for my laptop, so I can drag it into bed, and sit and type), and it's easier to edit, though I don't. I got into online journalling because a friend of mine introduced me to Open Diary about a week before I created Zai, when I was taking time off work, and I was hooked instantly. I can babble to my heart's content, and people REACT. YAY. Maybe it's the surpressed performer in me, but I love that there's feedback, and I like commenting, but I've stopped doing that with LJ folk, because I'm never sure if comments are truly welcome.

My other reason, one I've ignored recently, is writing practice. I love words. I love stringing them together to form essays and observations. As with any other skill, if you don't keep doing it, you become rusty, so this gives me the impetus to not get rusty.

And then, there's the whole community thing. I'm basically very shy until I warm up to people – it takes me a while to do that, and while I know that a lot of it has to do with having attended something like ten different schools between kindergarten and the end of high school, and ALWAYS being the new kid. I learned how to be on the fringes of groups, without really being in the clique, but I lost the skill for making fast friends really quickly. The RL friends I've kept through various moves, are mostly male, also, and it's only since I began the OD/LJ/blog thing that I've really experienced being part of a community of other women my own age.

And finally, I began the personal blog site because it's ALWAYS up, and I control it, and when I want family or friends to read something, it's easier to do that, than to deal with them wading through LJ or OD where we have friend-locks and such.

And hey, sorry if these answers are totally nonsensical, but it's almost 4:30 in the morning. And on that note, I'm going back to bed :)

Ask Me More…

Questions are from , and again, are double posted to the blog.

1. What is your favourite food (and drink) to have at lunch?
The drink part is easy: my favorite cold beverage in life is unsweetened iced tea. I like the sweetened kind, as well, but only when made in a very specific fashion, and since there are only two people EVER who could make it that way, and one of them is now dead, it's easier to go with unsweetened. It has to be regular tea, too, and not raspberry or anything. Plain. Lipton. Brisk.

Food's harder. If I'm working, I'm happy with anything that isn't drippy or messy or can't be eaten with one hand. I love the Satay Chicken appetizer from Krung Thai – it comes with it's own salad, even, and toast – and I love the chicken ultimo burritos from Baja Fresh. And sushi's never a bad idea.

When I'm home for lunch, I resort to comfort food as taught to me by my mother: tuna salad with still-warm hard-boiled egg mixed in. In a bowl, with a fork. No onion or funky vegetables, just the tuna and mayo and egg, and some pepper and garlic powder. It sounds gross, but it's actually quite tasty.

2. Have you ever broken anything (ex: arm, leg, nose, toe)? If so, how did it happen? If not, what are your top three favourite shampoos? I've sprained my ankles numerous times, and sliced a nerve in my hand, and torn cartilage in my knee, but never broken anything, so I'm answering the shampoo question:

1) Aveda: Clove Shampoo. It's a warm honey brown color, and smells vaguely sweet. It's not thick or sticky, and it supposedly helps encourage highlights in brown hair.

2) Essential Elements: Rosemary & Mint Shampoo. I survived many many hot days in South Dakots because this stuff is so cool and tingly it's like a breath mint for your hair. I love mint scented things in general, but…oooh, this is just too good to describe. Sadly, it's difficult to find in my neigborhood.

3) Aussie Mega Shampoo. It's not horribly expensive, it smells nice, and it works on my insufferably thick hair. What's not to love?

3. You have one day to live. What do you do?First, I'd reformat my hard drive, so that if Fuzzy wanted to sell my computer, he could. Second, I'd make sure all the accounts were moved to his name only, because if you have a joint account and one half of the partnership dies, and they freeze the account, it's not good. I'd call all the people I love, and tell them so. And I'd spend the day surrounded by as many of them as possible, at the beach, with the dogs.

4. It is time for you to tell me the history of your hair. What major cuts happened to it? What colour is it, did you dye it, how has your daily 'hair routine' changed over the years, is there another colour you would dye it and why (or why not)? (For example, I would start off saying that when I was really really little, I had golden blonde hair that darkened to brown. I had a mushroom cut when I was maybe seven or eight, blah blah blah, shaved head, blah blah.)
For the first year of my life I was bald. Bald, bald, bald. They had to tape bows to the top of my head, and people kept asking if I was a boy. The nerve!
But my Sinead O'Conner days ended, and by the time I was two I had thick, but still babyish, strawberry blonde hair that gradually darkened to a decidedly wheaten color by the time I was six. It was long, until then, and I wore it staight, because my hair has NO curl. During the year I was in kindergarden, my friend Terrie and I used to try coordinate our hairstyles (via mental telepathy, so it wasn't always terribly effective) so we'd both have braids one day or pony tails the other. Stuff like that.

When I was seven, I got my first short haircut, a wedge a la Dorothy Hamil, who'd won the gold medal in '76. A pixie cut and no front teeth. Damn, I was adorable :)

By the time I was nine, my hair had grown out again and Mork and Mindy was a popular show. I had those rubberbands with the smilie faces on them, and would pull just the front sections on either side into “Mindy” style ponytails.

I cut my hair to a long bob when I was eleven, for the move from Colorado to California, then let it grow longer until I was 15. I got my first perm at 12- do you know how long it takes to perm hair this thick? It's scary.

I dyed my hair for the first time at fifteen – from medium light brown to ash blonde, but when it grew out, I didn't keep dying it, because by the end it was turning a bit too orange. When I turned eighteen, dyed it red for the first time, and it's been some color other than it's own ever since. (I turn 33 in a few months. You do the math).

The last week of my Freshman year of college, I dyed my hair BLACK. This is not a color that suited me. In order to get it UN BLACK I had to bleach it all the way out to almost clear. I kind of liked being a platinum blonde for 48 hours, really. Once I'd had the melted ends cut off, I stuck with nice coppery reds, and merely maintained the color, though every so often I'd go brighter, or darker, just for a slight change.

I had a twist-perm in SoDak, which was like long long spirally curls. Ouch. I had another spiral perm in CA in 98, and then again in 1999. I haven't permed it since, and won't.

In 2000 I cut it really really short, but I didn't keep it that way. Though I loved it – so /easy/ it required trips to the salon too often.

But I still kept it red until last July when I was in Minneapolis for a wedding, and went to Joot, and said, “Just, make it all one color.” They dyed it darker than my real color (which has darkened to a warm dark brown by now) to hide all the red, and it's taken most of the last year to get the red completely out. As to cuts, right now it's in a basic blunt-cut bob, just brushing my shoulders, with bangs just above my eyebrows, and the color's Aveda brown #3, which has some red and gold highlighting, but just enough for depth. I might perm it again, some day, because I miss curls, and I might not.

5. Do you have a favourite Muppet? If so, why? If not… why the heck not? While it's no secret that I'm anti-animation, and I generally avoid kids shows, I have a special place in my heart for Sesame Street, which was made moreso when I met Sonia (who plays Maria) a couple of years ago, while I was staying with her RL mother and sister. As a fan of the show, I'm therefore torn between all of the classic muppets, but I'd probably have to pick Kermit, because he's such a Zen little bit of felt, wrapped around Jim Henson's soul.

Questions from Dawning @ OD

1. Tell me five of your favorite websites, and explanations as to why they are your favorite to visit.
Aside from OD and LJ, and the blogs of individuals (all of which are available on my blogroll) the websites I frequent most, or at least are most prominent in my brain at this moment, are, in random order:

1) The Pern Forum – because even though I rarely post there, I find a lot of the ranting extremely entertaining, and I sometimes am inspired with new ideas.

2) Lessons Learned – Lisa writes about her life in a 24/7 TPE relationship with such candor that even if the concept of BDSM is totally revolting, her story is compelling. For me, the stuff about her kids, and her gardening and her taste in music and books and politics is made more interesting because of the juxtaposition with the rest of her life. (NOT work_ok, and NOT kid_safe)

3) Lori's Trek Fic – I admit that I'm a Trek Geek, and further that I like fanfic. One of Lori's series, “The Captain and the Counselor” involves Picard and Troi as a couple, and she writes the tale in a such a fashion that I can buy it as a possiblity.

4) Illusions of Motion: Babblings of a Beach Baby My own blog, which doesn't have anything that isn't here or on LJ, most of the time, but I love that it's MY space and even though it's technically MORE accessible to others, I feel less inhibited there. But I wish people would comment. Comments are good.

5) Fannie Mae Online I go here every day, a zillion times a day, because I'm paid to, and because there's nothing cooler than automated underwriting, and…oh, only sites for personal reasons? Well, then, my last pick is, DayDreaming on Paper A blog topic prompting site.

2. What constitutes a great friend to you?
I have to be able to disagree on individual items without the friendship ending. If I wanted friends without opinions, I'd have more dogs. Actually, even my dogs have opinions. I have to be able to contact friends at 4 in the morning, if need be. Not that I ever have, mind you, but, the ability to do that is crucial. I like friends who poke me when I get all reclusive, but I know that many of my friends also share my habit of doing so, or share some degree of shyness, so we're all kind of enabling each other. Other attributes: a sense of humor, some degree of honesty, reasonable use of language – these are my a-list. And while a penchant for wearing hats and drinking fancy coffee is appreciated, it is not actually required.

3. Have you written, or do you write, in a paper journal? If yes, do you ever doodle in the margins? If no, what would it take to get you to write in one?
I had one of those kid-diaries when I was little. You know, the leatherette books with the gilded pages and “My Diary” inscibed on the front in loopy gold lettering that peeled off when scratched, and a cute little silver key. But I was more interested, then, in getting responses to what I wrote, and I guess that's still true, because while I do noodle on paper, sometimes, and have had many other “blank books for writing,” and while I LOVE the feeling of writing in ink on paper, I just think better composing at the keyboard, and I censor less. With my hands bothering me as much as they are, also, the physical act of writing has become less than pleasurable, and my handwriting, which was once pretty, has completely degenerated. So, getting me to write in a paper journal again wouldn't be likely, right now. If I did start again, the truth is, I like college-ruled spiral notebooks, the really thick ones with the squared corners, and the slightly off-white paper with greenish (as opposed to bluish) lines. I do doodle, kind of, but I'm not an artist, so it's pretty embarrassing. And then, there's that feedback thing. I really LOVE feedback. (No, I'm not hinting. It's just a statement.) Also, I find that I write in a completely different voice at the keyboard and in ink. When I'm using a pen, I'm slower and more thoughtful and introspective. And DARKER.

4. Did you ever own any pets other than the current two? If yes, I want details: when, what, and how they came into your life.
Yes. In order: A poodle/terrier mix named Taffy who was a gift from my grandparents' neighbor when I was three. My best friend Alisa was given Taffy's littermate, but her grandmother took over care of that dog. Jody. (See my pool entry). When we moved to Colorado, Taffy came with us, howling the entire way on the plane. Poor dog. But she stayed behind when we left, and it took me a long time to forgive my mother for that. Once in California, I inherited a parakeet, Uh-oh, from a friend, and went through a string of Chinchilla del Rex bunnies for 4-H, and was given another puppy (Tawnie, a long-haired dachshund mix) but when Ira and my mother got married he forbid me to keep the dog, because “animals don't belong in the house”….I have Zorro because he agreed, once he bonded with Abigail, that it was a horrible thing for him to have done, and he OWED me a dog. Fuzzy and I never lived anywhere dog_ok in South Dakota, so we tried cats, a tiger kitten named Kotula and a calico named Sparkle, but again, we couldn't bring them to California, but they both ended up with good homes with trusted friends. And then Zorro came into my life as a rescued-from-the-streets stray, and we hand-picked Cleo two years later (she turned three this spring, and no longer pees on people's feet). There've been fish over the years, and box turtles and lizards as a kid in New Jersey, but you don't really bond with non-mammals.

5. Tell me something I don't know.
I own seven pairs of sneakers and they're all different models of the same brand, RYKA, which I found on the net. I love them. They're designed by women for women, so they fit differently, wider toe boxes, more arch support, and they give money to “Take Back the Night” type causes, which I also like. Empowerment's a good thing, I think.

Oh, and, I've become addicted to crepes.

If you want me to interview you–post a comment that simply says, 'Interview me.' I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn– in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.

More answers

Questions from the very talented

1 – What was it like growing up with your mother?It was never boring. At first, it was just us, and she used to make my clothes out of scraps of her own. When I was five, she married a man I now both hate and pity. He was abusive, the classic result of /being/ an abused child, and, in retrospect, I can see his horrible childhood in every action he ever took. Still, my mother made sure I was safe, and loved, and mostly happy. One Christmas she stayed up til dawn for weeks, sewing clothing for an entire wedding party of Barbie dolls (and, I'm told, cursing at the tiny darts), so that they'd be all in position under the tree. Another year, when 'stuff with your name on it' was really popular, I had sweatshirts, rulers, a wall-hanger for storing office supplies, all personalized with my name, and, something you might have seen in my house, a carved block of wood forming my name. She worked, of course, so I was a latchkey kid before the media coined the phrase “latchkey kid,” and one of our daily rituals was the Afternoon Phone Call, during which I'd check in so she knew I'd made it back from school, and she'd give me her ETA. When she was working retail, and there wasn't enough money for food, she'd skip meals so I wouldn't have to, something I never knew til a conversation with my aunt, just last year, and something my mother does NOT know I know (kudos if you figured out that sentence).

She managed to make every birthday, holiday, start of school, amazingly successful. She never missed a school performance, and, despite working full time, never failed to bake cupcakes or create a costume in ten minutes. When the open auditions for the orphans for the 1982 movie of Annie hit Denver, she spent hours helping me learn to sing “Tomorrow,” and took off three days of work because parents had to be there. When, on the third day of callbacks, I was cut because I'd never had formal voice lessons before, and had sung myself hoarse (because ten-year-olds with no training really should NOT belt) she took me out for ice cream, and we talked about boys.

As I got older, our relationship changed, of course. We started sharing tastes in reading material, and often she'd come home looking forward to the new issue of only to find her eleven-year-old already reading it. Our trips to the library would be intense, with each of us coming home with tote-bags overflowing. And on weekends, we went ice-skating together.

When we moved to California, and I moved toward being a teenager, we started to fight more, but I suppose that's really typical, but still, it was never boring. When she married Ira and I suddenly, after 12 years of being an only child had a stepbrother, who was just a year ahead of me in school, she made sure I still got my solo summers in New Jersey – I needed the space. And arguements at are house were never about name-calling but more like, “Mom! He made a sexist comment!”

We went to “ban the bomb” rallies and pro-choice marches all during my teen years, and she still never missed a school performance. When I was cast in I Remember Mama in another town, she drove me back and forth to rehearsals every night, after working a full day. When we moved to Mariposa, she'd break me out of school for shopping trips because we both hated the atmosphere there so much. When we moved to Fresno, and I started high school, I had less time, and so did she, but when, the same year, she went back to college to finish her degree, I helped edit her papers, and made her snacks on class nights. One of the proudest moments in my life was watching my mother get her degree, because no one has ever worked harder for such a thing.

It is true, that we had screaming fights, but they never lasted, and Ira was more affected by them than either of us. Neither of us holds grudges, we yell, we let it out, and it's over. It's true, that I hurt her deeply when I finally eloped, but we worked through it, and now, we're both finally old enough and past all the teen shit, and we can be friends, although, sometimes, I still feel seven when she's around.

2 – If you could get the answer to any one question in the world, what would that question be? What will rates be like tomorrow?

3 – Describe your perfect relxation spot. I do my best thinking and best writing from bed, so mental relaxation takes place there. I love being surrounded by soft, cool, cotton sheets, and propped by a gazillion fluffy pillows, with a mug of spearmint tea on the bedside table, and my dogs flanking me, while I noodle on my laptop or get lost in a good book. Even as a child, I did most of my homework sitting on my bed, not at my desk, and in college, my best paper ever was written while sitting cross-legged on the oriental rug in a friends room, while watching Dirty Dancing for the gazillionth time. Physical relaxation, though, requires water. Last week I bought a water hammock. It's a metal frame encased in an inflatable tube, with a web stretched across it, and an inflatable pillow section, and when you lie on it, you're suspended just enough so that you're half way in the water, but not completely covered, and it's like lying in a cradle, or on a ship, with the gentle motion of the water rocking you into bliss. When it's too cold for that, I relax in the bathtub, with lots of hot water and bubbles, and sometimes a book or a glass of wine. Or I go to the beach and just commune with the waves. But, either way, I'm totally a water baby.

4 – Who can take the sunlight, sprinkle it with dew, cover it with chocolate and a miracle or two?The candy man. The candy man can. The candy man can, 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. … I'm going to have that song running circles in my head for the rest of the day now. Curse you! :)

5 – What's your favorite joke?I'm not really joke-oriented. I prefer irony, whimsy, sarcasm, to out and out jokes, but I used to collect lightbulb jokes, and one of my favorites is:
-How many Californians does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
-Dude! You don't screw in a lightbulb. You screw in a hot tub!

If you want me to interview you–post a comment that simply says, 'Interview me.' I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn– in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.


I'm late getting involved with this interview thing, as most of my writing time was sucked up by computer issues at work. Anyway, the fabulous asked me some questions:

1. What is your earliest childhood memory?
I have a dim memory from the age of one or two, looking out the back door of my grandparents house at their dog, Misty, who died pretty soon after that. I remember bits and pieces of other things from when I was three or four – my grandfather making me organize a 'lumber yard' with Tinker Toys before actually building anything with them, the smell of Aunt Gladys's perfume when she hugged me, the way Aunt Molly's Chanel No. 5 perfume is tied up with the smell of rice pudding, my grandmother waving a wooden spoon and calling whichever mischievous child was around a 'miserable wretch' before resorting to much more colorful phrases in Italian, and making snow-angels on the beach at Sandy Hook. (To this day, I still LOVE the beach in winter.)

2. What was your favorite outfit you owned when you were in junior high school?You seriously want me to recall the fashions of the early eighties…in public? :) When I started jr. high school the unofficial uniform of my peers was Izod shirts and Guess jeans and topsiders. My mother had been to fashion design school, and had made all my clothes until I was about nine, and was opposed to buying things with trendy labels, so when she actually bought me the above, those were my favorite for a while, but I've never really been a follower of trends. At about the same time, she was prepping for eye surgery and having serious allergy issues, so she was driving to Berkeley from Modesto once a week, and, of course, there would be shopping. On one such trip she brought me back a denim jumpsuit with zippers and pink and black piping (this was before my Pink Trauma), and I loved that, and wore it till it fell apart, and then the last favorite item was a pair of turquoise overalls. I've always loved overalls.

3. Have you ever dumped a man to date someone else?Not exactly. Very shortly before my friendship with Fuzzy turned romantic I'd been heavily flirting with a guy, but I ended everything when I found out he was married. (Yes, we slept together first, yes, I was pretty stupid.)

4. What's the best present anyone ever gave you? My sense of style? :) I don't know. Most of the really cool tangible things that I own are either leftovers from my grandmother's house, or from when my parents moved to Mexico and we 'inherited' some of their furniture. So if you mean tangible, well, my wedding band belonged to my great grandmother. It's very thin rose-gold (which means it's not quite so shiny and has a pinkish hue) with a platinum inset that holds three microscopic diamond chips, and there are sheaves of wheat (for fertility) etched on the sides. My grandmother told the story: After their house in Hoboken burned down, my great-grandparents moved their family to the summer house in Atlantic Highlands, NJ, which didn't have heat. The first Christmas they lived there, my great-grandmother, Virgelia (“Delia”) called each of her children to her, and gave them a gift of money, and pointed out, “You've all suffered in this house that wasn't meant to be lived in year-round, and you've worked hard in the restaurant (my great-grandfather owned the food concessions for Fort Hancock) so this is yours, but if you put it all together, it would be enough to install a real furnace in the house.” Totally cheesey Hallmark Hall of Fame story, you know? The next year, the kids all got together and helped their father buy a new wedding band, to replace the plain gold band. When Delia died, my grandmother, who was her favorite, inherited both bands, because her older daughter was already married. The ring was passed down from her to my mother, when my mother married the first time, and from my mother to me, in truth, although, it was presented to us in October 1995, when we came home to have a committment ceremony in California after eloping in South Dakota in March. My grandmother, in one of her last lucid moments before she went into a care home, presented us with the ring (her engagement ring had been a Christmas present the year before and that's another story), and it was all very touching and sweet.

5. What is your favorite holiday and why?Halloween. There's no angst, and no stress, just happy haunted fun. As a child, I had homemade costumes courtesy of Mom every year – Pocahontas, when I was five, Laura Ingalls when I was six (our school required that Halloween costumes worn to school be characters from books), Batgirl when I was seven, with satin bat ears, etc, etc. I have no idea what happened to all of those costumes, but I suspect they were handed down to younger cousins who never fully appreciated them. Once we no longer lived in apartments, and once my mother was no longer working retail, Halloween became more fun, with ghosts on fishwire that would come up behind kids at the door, and recorded music and TONS of carved pumpkins. The one thing, in fact, that truly made this house feel like home, is that my mother came to be here for my first Halloween.

If you want me to interview you–post a comment that simply says, 'Interview me.' I'll respond with questions for you to take back to your own journal and answer as a post. Of course, they'll be different for each person since this is an interview and not a general survey. At the bottom of your post, after answering the Interviewer's questions, you ask if anyone wants to be interviewed. So it becomes your turn– in the comments, you ask them any questions you have for them to take back to their journals and answer. And so it becomes the circle.