Tuesday, April 24, 2007

all you ever wanted to know about me

Ok, maybe not ALL. And maybe these aren't even things you ever wanted to know about me. But these are definitely things. About me.

Anyway, SoozieQ over at Veering Off Course was offering to send five unique interview questions to any blogger who asked. Any blogger! And all you had to do was ask! Well, you know how I love to answer questions, so how could I resist?

So here are my five questions and here are my five, exciting answers.

1) A person you don’t particularly like has food stuck between his teeth. Do you tell him?

This is quite a dilemma. If I REALLY didn't like him, I wouldn't tell him. Why? Not because I don't like him and I want him to go around with food in his teeth like a shmuck, but because there's something just slightly intimate about telling someone they have food between their teeth and if this was a person I REALLY didn't like, I wouldn't want to go there. I'd just ignore it.

2) What talent do you have that you think would surprise your readers?

I don't know if this would surprise anybody, but I'm really good at Mrs. Pacman, preferably the table variety. I can beat *anybody* except this one chick MaryAnne I used to know. She was just slightly better.

3) If you knew you could you try anything and not fail (and money was no object), what dream would you attempt?

I would try to write more seriously. If I suddenly won the lotto, for example, and I didn't have to work for a living, among many other things, I would probably try to focus on writing. I might also try living abroad. Oh, and I'd definitely go walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain, which I'd intended to be walking right about now, but decided against it while I was in the delirium of studying for the bar.

4) If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be?

I would like to wake up with a certain kind of almost aggressive confidence. The kind of confidence that you can trust to carry you through any situation, no matter how nerve-wracking. That would help in the job search, I believe.

5) Why did you start your blog and how (if at all) has it evolved since then?

I started this here blog in December of 2005, sitting in a coffeeshop, studying for exams and convincing myself to leave my partner at the time who was a terrible alcoholic. Through the two and a half year duration of our partnership (during which time we actually got married in Multnomah County because, for about a month, that kind of thing was legal), she had only been a mediocre drunk, but in those last few months, she'd gone on an incredible bender and had been making my life absolutely miserable.

I felt so crazy and alone during that time with her, the blog served as a great way to sort out my thoughts, make my plans, and have the sensation of having someone else to answer to. For example, if I declared in a post that I was going to handle something a particular way, I felt a sort of obligation outside myself to handle it that way, rather than letting the situation overwhelm me. It was really good.

I think I moved out of her house within a day or so of actually starting the blog, but the disentangling of our lives took a few months and I continued to blog about it prolifically. Until you've been intimately involved with an alcoholic, you have no idea how crazy-making and painful it is. Wow. It's pretty unreal. Thank god for the blog during that time.

Eventually, though, I blogged less and less about that stuff and more and more about life in general. At that point, I saw the blog as a writing exercise, a way to learn to write concise, self-contained pieces in one sitting with minimal editing. When I write for myself, I tend to labor too much over tiny details and slog myself up in self-doubt. The blog had such an immediacy, it was like a zen meditation exercise. I was able to stay really present with it because I knew I would press "publish" and then it would be available to the world, if anybody in the world was interested.

I loved it then and I still do, although as I have become more aware of a readership, I have felt slightly more constrained to write less for the sake of writing and more for the sake of entertaining people, even just mildly. I've also tried to be more aware of the differences between simple navel-gazing and sharing something that might actually be meaningful to someone about my own process. I think the first thing is annoying and the second thing is what I usually shoot for. And I try not to let the blog become my bitchfest-dumping-ground-of-everything-that-pisses-me-off. Thanks to SK, I at least TRY to take things one step further, to understand something a little better, to question myself and my reactions, rather than just lambasting everything that crosses my path. Because, really, look how far that gets us.

And I try not to sound too self-righteous.

THANKS SOOZIEQ!!! That was fun.

2 Comments:

Anonymous soozieq said...

I really enjoyed reading your answers to the questions! Thank you for asking to be interviewed.

I lived with a hardcore alcoholic for 5 years. To say it just about killed me, isn't an exaggeration.

I'm glad you found solace through your blog and I'm glad you don't need it for the same reasons anymore.

11:34 AM  
Blogger reasonably prudent poet said...

thanks for the feedback, soozie. and thanks for the questions!

11:58 AM  

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