Wednesday, November 18, 2009

On Betlgeuse, Donny Osmond and Vigilantes

So the uber fabulous Neil Kramer from Citizen of the Month came up with the brilliant interview experiment. Bloggers interview each other, and post the answers from the person they interviewed on their blog. Wanna read mine? The amazingly sweet and charming (AKA my new BFF) has posted it over at her place...

And I? Had the glorious pleasure of interviewing Tracy over at Tiny Mantras. Her blog, is absolutely fab, and manages to reach that glorious balance between being informative and entertaining.
Why don't you go check her out after reading what she had to say:

1. Can you tell me how exactly to find Betelgeuse? (I'm pretty sure I can find the big Dipper)

Most of what I know about Betelgeuse is that it’s a massive star, about 20 times bigger than our sun, because my son loves to watch videos on YouTube that compare all of the sizes of the planets, then the stars, then the galaxies. This is a great way to make a person feel extra teeny tiny. I also know that Betelgeuse may go supernova one day, and then become a black hole.

For some reason I know all of this (although I did not know it until I had a son who is nuts about space), and until your question, hadn’t thought about where to look for it in the sky. Now I find that I look at it all the time! It’s part of the constellation Orion the Hunter – after the big dipper, the three stars of Orion’s belt are usually among the easiest for me to find in the sky. Betelgeuse is Orion’s shoulder – technically his right shoulder (the bright star above the left of the belt as we look up). Thank you so much for asking this question! This info will give my son a huge thrill next time we’re out stargazing.

2. Your conscious eating post was really interesting - do you have any thoughts on vegetarianism vs veganism?

While I’m an animal lover, and I’ve lived with vegetarians and eaten as one for periods of my life, I don’t personally feel that animals shouldn’t be food for humans, or produce it. I respect anyone who has those beliefs, but I don’t necessarily share them. I go to a Tibetan Buddhist temple, so I do know a lot of people who have moral reasons they choose to live vegan, but there are lots of debates in the sangha (community) about whether or not a Buddhist has to be vegan.

My mantra in 2009 has been about holding the aspiration to live and eat more healthfully and responsibly instead of giving myself a diet ultimatum and thinking I can stick with it. If I went to what would be (for me) an extreme like veganism, I doubt that I would be able to sustain it. I’ve been trying to make different choices, though. I eat plant-based foods on my plate first, make more nutritionally complete vegetarian meals, have smaller portions of meat and dairy, buy local or at least try to buy foods from sources that have more ethical, humane and earth-sustaining practices. These smaller shifts have been quite manageable for me. My food life is different than it was a year ago in a lot of fundamental ways. Now my husband is reading Mark Bittman’s Food Matters and is starting to get on board with “less meatatarianism,” so hopefully, we’ll keep progressing.

3. You wrote a screenplay about a pregnant vigilante - what do you think ever came of the baby? Born in jail? Died with the mother in a rain of gunfire? Grew up to become a ninja?

Wow. I can’t believe you found that post in the archives! I did that for a contest where they gave you a genre and you had to write a screenplay in 24 hours. I wanted to see how I would do in the screenplay format and I find deadlines motivating. I had to write a thriller, so that character was developed in my head in one long afternoon, and never thought of again. Let’s just say that the baby lucked out with her adoptive parents and grew up to be an extremely well adjusted microbiologist who also makes cell-inspired fiber artwork.

4. Who do you love more: Josh Groban or Donny Osmond? Explain.

I’d have to say Donny Osmond, because his purple socks and “little bit rock and roll”-ness were part of my childhood. But I did have an epiphany at a Josh Groban concert, which is not someplace that I would have ever been by choice. I was reviewing the show for the local daily and no one I knew wanted to come with me. Somehow I had a blast being there all alone, taking in the absurd wholesomeness of the scene (he actually cracked jokes about eating Pixie Sticks) and coming up with lines in my notebook like “He is Donny Osmond Giovanni!” So naturally, they both have a special, vanilla wafer-sweet place in my heart.

5. How did you choose the name "Declan"?

My husband and I got started into parenthood a little later than our siblings and cousins, so most of the traditional family boy names had long been spoken for. My husband thought of it because it’s Irish (like my son and husband’s last name, which is different than mine) and not terribly common. We both liked the cadence of the way the two names sounded together. It means “full of goodness” and is also Elvis Costello’s real name - he was born Declan McManus. Because my husband and I have both worked in music (me as a music journalist, and him as the owner of an independent live music night club for many years), a lot of friends assume we named our son Declan for Elvis. It wasn’t the reason, but sharing a name with an illustrious songwriter certainly wasn’t a strike against it.

6. What is your favourite blog post? (link please in case I've missed it!)
I passed 500 posts not to long ago, so this is hard! I keep “The Story of My Son” on the top of my blog because it reminds me of some important things that it can be easy to forget in the day-to-day stuff of motherhood, like the importance of having some personal mythology, of infusing some magic into the way we consider our own possibilities and potential. I wrote it when my son was four months old:

I have written a lot of stuff that isn’t about motherhood, but the motherhood stuff probably is nearest and dearest to me. Declan turned four this year, and I love what I wrote him on his birthday:

If you want to see something non-mommy, maybe The Michael Jackson Memory Filter:

Thanks to both Abigail and Tracy for showing me such a great time!


TZT said...

Thanks so much for doing this! It was a lot of fun. I appreciate the time you took - clearly enough to surprise the heck out of me with a couple of questions.

Glad to meet you & looking forward to reading more of you!

Abigail Road said...

Great interview ladies!

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