January 15, 2009

In which I become verbose, witty and find my sense of humor

So, I was interviewed by Tangobaby. You will see the five questions below. I will warn you, I apparently was bitten by the dissertation bug this morning and grew quite verbose in my answers. You can skim if you like - suffice to say, I was witty. Yes, yes...I promise.

Now, perhaps you would like to be interviewed by me? Come on, it's fun I tell you. Let's lay down some legalese on how that can happen:

1. 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 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. (there you go - ok, that will make sense later in the blog I assure you.)

********************************5 QUESTIONS****************************************

1. Tell us about the little sneakers in your icon. To me, and knowing you're a little Southern girl, I immediately picture you as a grown-up version of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird. Am I right on that one? What do those little shoes say about you?
The shoes – my chucks. I love them and would live in them if I could. I was for many years a shoe girl. Loving the high heels and all of that, even now I see pretty shoes and lust for them. But, I put on my first pair of chucks and knew I had met my sole (smile) mate. Currently I have three pairs but the brown pair are my favorite. I know, brown is not quite as edgy as black – but I’ve been known to break a mold once in a while. Now, as far as Scout – she’s one of my favorite characters…and it’s compliment to be compared to her. She’s fearless (but fearful when appropriate). She has an intense sense of right and wrong – that describes me to a tee. And she is what she is – a champion for the underdog, curious, southern and a boyish girl. I think Scout grew up to be quite a charmer.

2. For those of us who only know the South from what we see in the television and movies, share a little piece (or a big piece, your call) of what it means to live in the South and to have been raised there.

This is an interesting question. Almost the first thing that springs to mind is a defense of southern women in that we’re not all Scarlett, Blanche or any other stereotypical woman from the screen or books. But we are. Stereotypes arise for a reason, right? I would like to think that I take from each of them the good qualities but not the bad. But…I’m sure on my bad days a little bad may leak through. After all, isn’t Scarlett’s badness what made her so interesting instead of a minor character like her sister Suellen?

Alabama among the sister states is the cradle of the Confederacy. The place where George Wallace stood in the University doorway and declared it would not be integrated. I grew up in Montgomery, Alabama. Where all things about the South came to a head. It was the capital of the Confederacy. It was where Rosa Parks grew too tired to move to the back of the bus and it is where Dr. King preached. One of my favorite quotes is by Dr. King – “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Yes, we have rednecks that cannot accept the war of northern aggression never came. Yes, we have unemployment, illiteracy, poverty and all of the things that can oppress a nation. But I would argue you could find this in any state. You can find prejudice – hatred – self-involvement – fear – anger, anywhere. But, Dr. King also said something else, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

I’m proud of our state – it is beautiful and full of rich history. From Huntsville – a home of the space program, to Tuscaloosa – home of one of the greatest universities (Roll Tide baby), to Birmingham – where Bessemer steel was invented, to Montgomery – well, yeah, I’ve told you about that, to Mobile – home of the first Mardi Gras, to Gulf Shores – home of sugar white beaches.

I also love being able to say “there you go” and have people nod their head and understand what I meant.

3. Your photography, besides being very beautiful, is very simple and intimate, very Zen-like. What are you trying to share with us when we look at your photographs?
I think my photography is sort of all over the place. But I seem to be settling into a style that a friend of mine calls modern bohemian. I’m not sure what that means. I think some of it comes across as Zen-like because that is me in a lot of ways. I’m not a frou-frou fancy girl (hence the chucks). Yes, I love getting dressed up as much as the next girl – but, no ruffles or lacy stuff. I think my photography is the same way. I think my photography is feminine in that I like curves and soft lines. I like unusual colors in unusual places. I like a touch of whimsy. So, I guess what I’m trying to say is “see the unusual in the usual – look at the word through different eyes. You might be surprised what you see.”

4. Of your five senses, what makes the most impact on you in your perception of the world? What are things you crave to experience?
I’m a texture person – in eating, decorating, and all facets of my personality. I’m constantly reaching to touch something. But secondly, I remember things by smell. I can smell my mother’s perfume and remember her standing there spraying it on. I can remember the scent of freshly laundered sheets on the line and the scent of honeysuckle in the back yard.

I want to experience Provence when the lavender is blooming and I want to see Tuscany when the golden light hits the fields. I want to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and sip wine at midnight from a small café. I want to lie in a green field in Wales and I want to light a candle at the Vatican. I want to sit on my front porch at dawn, watching the pink and lavender fingers crawl across the horizons of the lowlands of North Carolina. Then I want to pick up my cup of coffee, softly call my dog inside and make breakfast for someone I love.

5. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you be? Give us as many details as you can.
I think I really just answered this didn’t I? I guess I learned a long time ago that I should read ahead. Remember that silly test where all you really had to do was sign your name and turn it in? It got me.

Right now….actually, my answer surprises me. Right now I wish I was at a job making an honest living. My current ambition is to be a nursing home administrator and I want to run the kind of home that you would want your mother to go to, if she had to live away from you. Both of my parents died of cancer. Mom nursed dad at home for three years before he passed and some of the indignities that they went through together, well, I wouldn’t want that for anyone. She loved him and gladly did it. But cancer changes a person and she suffered through a lot with his pain. My sister did a lot of the nursing for mom because I was not in town. That is a guilt (my sister says false guilt) that I will bear for a long time before I let it go. Anyway, neither here nor there as they say. I saw a home in Portland, Oregon actually that I would love to duplicate – I felt as if I was walking into a home instead of an institution.

Frivolously? Right now? I would love to be on a beach somewhere with a lovely cocktail, a handsome man and a fantastic book. And of course, with my camera. I may need a job, but I’m not dead. *grin*


  1. You wrote:
    I want to experience Provence when the lavender is blooming and I want to see Tuscany when the golden light hits the fields. I want to see Paris from the top of the Eiffel Tower and sip wine at midnight from a small café. I want to lie in a green field in Wales and I want to light a candle at the Vatican. I want to sit on my front porch at dawn, watching the pink and lavender fingers crawl across the horizons of the lowlands of North Carolina. Then I want to pick up my cup of coffee, softly call my dog inside and make breakfast for someone I love.

    I sighed. This is just perfect.


    P.S. Where is the home in Portland...curious, since I live here?

  2. I'm not sure exactly - it was out near Wilsonville as I remember. It was an assisted living.

  3. Char, this is lovely. Really wonderful stuff. Your description of the South and what it means to you is exactly what I wanted to read. And I love that texture is your favorite sense. It's all really wonderful, actually. I'm glad you and I were up so late last night.

    If I hop a plane and make it down to Alabama, something I've never thought of but now want to because of you, I'll only do it if you promise to give me your own personal tour. I'll even get myself a pair of chucks.

  4. You're on girlie!!! If you like, we can bedazzle those chucks.

  5. I'm totally serious, you know. About the visit AND the chucks. (I did give my Bedazzler away to my little 8-year old friend C, tho.)

  6. *sigh* Your writing is beautiful. I have writers envy. =]

    If it is painless I will let you interview me. Remember the word painless. =]

  7. Question and answer #4 was my favorite. I'm a texture person as well. I even buy books by the feel of them in my hands. Texture is most important to me in food, too, rather than flavor. Especially the smoosh factor. You know, when you take a bite of the perfect brownie or cookie and it has that 'smoosh' in your mouth. It's why I can't lose weight.

    One of my dreams is to see the lavender fields in Provence and the green fields of Wales.

    Your writing conjures up such beautiful images and I bow before the excellence of your photography.

  8. Roll Tide is right! I went to grad school in T-town! Been to the dogs at Greentrack, to Moundville, the original Dreamland, Ma Ciles Museum, to the shore, everywhere in between. I'm a California boy thru and thru, but the South gets under your skin (like the smell of flowers every spring), and it's part of me.

  9. #4, I went right there with you, so moving! Love your southernism's, the south is texture. You mentioned lowlands of NC, I live coastal NC, any specific area you are talking about? I've been seeing these interviews going around, they are fun to read & a good way to find other like souls.

  10. You hit home in so many different ways.. Being a southern girl myself. It was interesting to learn about Alabama, having never been there and it was also interesting to hear about your 'right now' places... loved it. You painted a lovely picture!

  11. Oh and I would love to be interviewed, but on one condition that I have at least a whole day to digest and respond.

  12. I promise to be painless. And I will allow you to take all the time you need.

  13. what a fantastic interview! i can relate to so many of your answers. i have a pair of brown chucks too. : )
    you description of where you'd like to be is so similar to mine - Provence is on the top of my list. I dream of it often.
    all of it - great stuff. glad to know you better.

  14. Maria - Just on the outer banks somewhere. I haven't researched it too much but I love NC and SC so much.

  15. Well, just happens the sunset was exeptional tonight & I had my camera, yeah, got some pics of it setting over the marshes of the intracoastal waterway. More oranges & yellows than pink & lavendar but hopefully I'll have time to post some this weekend, (took many so need to sort). The sunset is always gorgeous here.

  16. Such a fun idea!!! Loved reading this post!!! If you're ever bored, you can interview me.... can't believe I just said Ok to that!

  17. so, I count three interviews? :) I will work on the questions tomorrow and will e-mail them for you to mull over during the weekend.

    I'll promise fun, painless and whimsy.

  18. So great learning more about ya! If I'm not too boring, I'd love to be interviewed by you too :)

  19. I've been following your blogs since I found it..

    Reading your witty answers to the interview made me feel rather small because compared to the way you handled it, I would probably go tongue-tied...but
    I would tell this much: if ever I get to be interviewed, I'll try to be as witty as you. Then I'll be half witty (not half-wit), meaning, half as good. As you.

  20. Loved the interview, I hope that all you wished for in answer four comes true!

  21. thanks Deandean and Cynthia - I appreciate you dropping by.

  22. Ooh, I'd love to be interviewed and then interview someone else. And I love the answers you gave. I especially like your interpretation of your chucks :)

  23. Thanks for such a lovely interview. I loved the bit about the stereotypes in the south.

    Greetings from London.

  24. One thing I've learned about southern girls from movies is that they can say anything they want about anyone they want, no matter how catty, then follow it up with a sympathetic "bless her heart" which turns the comment from catty to concerned. Tell me, char, do some of you southern gals actually do that?

    Lovely interview. And yes, very witty. ; )

  25. yeah, we pretty much do that. see, we're taught be honest and then feel bad that we are honest and think we can make it up by that saying.

  26. I wonder if southern girl guilt is similar to catholic guilt. ; ) It would be nice to have that little 'bless her heart' to fall back on when something snippy slips out. I've tried it but I sound like a bad actress.

  27. I think its a combination of Catholic and Jewish guilt. One of my best friends was jewish and one was catholic...so I learned from the best. :)

  28. You are quick. I did not even get to tell you it was up. Thanks for including me.

  29. This was a fantastic read, and provided an interesting look into your personality. Thanks for sharing it.


i feel as if each comment was between us as we sat and sipped something warm....i love to hear what you're thinking.