My bloggy pal Splotchy's been doing interviews with people, sending them cool, penetrating questions and eliciting thoughtful, compelling answers. Following are the cool, penetrating questions he sent me, along with my answers--you can judge how thoughtful and compelling they are.
1. I see mention of a Mennonite grocery store down the road from you. What makes a grocery store a Mennonite grocery store? Any special products, or absence of products that I should be aware of? Would I be able to get beef jerky there?
The Mennonite grocery store down the road is staffed (mostly) and owned by Mennonites, hence the name. We’re talking ladies in their plain dresses, white aprons, and those little bonnets. It’s like watching Witness at the grocery store (kinda). The actual name of the store is Burkholder’s. I guess that’s a Mennonite name? What do I know, I’m from Texas. As for special products, they have the usual grocery store stuff, though I don’t know about the beef jerky. (I’m vegetarian so I never looked.) You can also buy these Amish-themed books there, like teen romances and stories about young Amish/Mennonite people; most of these books are written by someone named Beverly Lewis. I always wonder if she’s Amish, or just has a really good research assistant. Also, it’s the only grocery store I know of where you can’t buy cigarettes or any tobacco products. I once asked where the cigarettes were (my partner smokes), and the lady behind the counter gave me a look like I’d said, “I just had an abortion in Aisle 7; can you get someone with a mop?”
2. Please describe a favorite unexpected or unplanned bird-watching moment.
My favorite unplanned moments in bird-watching always occur when my partner Kat, who doesn’t like birds because they creep her out, is around. Usually, this happens in the backyard when I’m looking for birds on the marsh behind our house, because she NEVER comes birding with me. One time, I was sitting in the yard watching the birds at one of my feeders when she started screaming, “BIG WHITE BIRD! BIG WHITE BIRD FLYING AWAY!” After I recovered from the heart attack she caused, I turned in time to see a great egret pair – beautiful big white birds – taking flight together. That was nice. And her knowledgeable and poetic description really put a capper on the experience.
3. Are there any birds you see when watching, to whom you would just like to cry "MOVE ON! You are boring and are keeping me from seeing birds of more interest!"
I try not to be a snob to the more common birds, but it does happen sometimes, especially when there’s like 50 grackles hogging up all the birdseed at my feeders, and the little songbirds can’t get in there. It also happens a lot when I’m driving around in the countryside looking for birds, and I see something and slam on the brakes, thinking it’s some cool hawk or falcon, and it’s always a damned pigeon.
4. I really enjoy the many beautiful pictures of your garden, including the occasional pics of food. Which of your home-grown food do you savor the most?
Tomatoes, without a doubt. I’ve always loved tomatoes right off the vine. I rub ’em on my shirt for sanitary purposes, then I eat them – right outside. Eating something you’ve grown yourself, nurtured from the time it was a little seed, is magical to me. As a vegetarian and nature-lover, it just doesn’t get any better. At least until I can grow veggie egg rolls, fried up crispy and golden.
5. I see that your other blog, "Impeachment And Other Dreams" has been dormant for quite some time. Is impeachment no longer a possibility, even the dream of impeachment?
I’ve stopped believing it’s a possibility. I used to listen to news about the latest scandal or lie or crime connected to this administration and think, “okay, THIS is the tipping point! This is IT!” But that tipping point never came; it’s still never come. I just got too discouraged to keep writing about it; that’s when I started the birding blog. It’s easier to keep from throwing up all the time when I just write about birds and stuff. Besides, there are so many great liberal blogs and news sites out there; I just read those and throw up on a limited basis.
Now it's your turn: Here are Splotchy's Rules of Order:
1. If you want to be interviewed, leave me a comment saying "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
And so on, and so on, and so on....