Monday, January 25, 2010

It's a Bull Roaring Monday!

It's time again for another round of answering your questions!
AND remember people, if you'd like me to answer your questions, throw a question at me (gently) through this link! Ask early and ask often. http://www.formspring.com/forms/?805682-tVpvj8P8KQ




What's the most embarrassing thing thats ever happened to you, and what's the worst thing you've ever done?


Wow, Ms. Walters. I see we're not pulling any punches this time. Two things immediately spring to mind, which I have to assume is for a reason, so I'll tell you about those. Neither are what others observing my life might call my "most embarrassing" and "worst" but they're not the ones who have to live in my head. So there.

The most embarrassing memory I have (although I took an active role in it "happening to me") that I can remember immediately was in an Acting Shakespeare class in college. My scene partner and I were doing a scene from A Midsummer Night's Dream in which Oberon and Titania are fighting. What I did wrong was this: I did all of my work on my own, alone, and only met with my scene partner once or twice (I think twice.) The day of the scene, my partner could not remember her lines. It was a debacle. We should have rehearsed together many many times, but she didn't really want to and I really didn't insist. I felt I could do my work just fine individually, but, turns out, theater is a group effort. The quality of the work showed. It was a tremendous life lesson (probably best learned in the classroom instead of out in the world), but also embarrassing.

I know that it may surprise some people to find me telling of such a seemingly innocent and harmless experience, people probably thought I would more likely have a long list of things from my pharmaceutical period, but there are reasons. The first is that it's a clear memory. The second is that I knew what I should have done and I didn't do it. And third, and most importantly, it was about my art which should never be half-assed. If something is worth doing, it's worth doing well.

I've done a lot of bad things in my past. More of my distant past now. But in thinking back, the thing that keeps springing to mind is a girl I loved once telling me about how she wanted to go to Calcutta to help people in some capacity, and I tried to talk her out of it because I didn't want her to leave me. I tried to talk her out of her dream. I apologized later, but in spite of all of the things that I've done, I think that may have been one of the worst.


What should I get my boyfriend for his birthday?

Well, that depends on what you think of him, how long you've been together, and what your intentions are for the future. Before I start sounding even more like a mother, here are a few suggestions at a few varying levels of boyfriendhood. If he's new to you, get him a book and some good wine. I know some would say that a book is an impersonal gift, but that's a lie from the pit of Hell. There's nothing more intensely personal and exciting than a book. I would recommend for a good boyfriend "Life of Pi," by Yann Martel, "Valis," by Philip K Dick, or something by Jonathan Carroll, Milan Kundera, Ray Bradbury or John Gardner.

If he's a keeper and you're both aware of it, get him something fun with form meeting function (this is on my own personal wish list) along with the wine and a book.

If he's new and you're not sure what you think about him yet, get him wine and a book that every human should read before they leave this Earth like, The Little Prince, or, Leaves of Grass, or something like that. Something great, but great in a general sense.

If he's been around a while and you're not sure if you want him to be around much longer, get him a book that you think would make him into a better person or teach him a lesson that you think he needs to learn. If he gets the lesson, score! If he doesn't, maybe he'll get all upset and leave you, in which case, score!

This is why books are the perfect gift. There is nothing books can't do.


What's the sickest you've ever been?


I think this last Spring, last April, I may have been the sickest I've ever been. We weren't diagnosed so we can't say for sure, but we think we had the swine 'flu. The symptoms sounded similar. I am hard pressed to remember being more sick than we were for those days which, immediately after, I 1) was laid off from my job and 2) developed and was diagnosed with asthma.

I've had a few rough patches in my life: stopped breathing once in my early 20s, had a "botched wisdom tooth surgery" horror story. But I think this last Spring was the worst.


What's the real story about the 1930s or so guest lodge on Mount Baldy once owned by the mother of the late aviator, Barnes?

Um, you may need to make these questions a little more personal.

Naturally, as you well know, I climbed Mount Baldy with my father. We did not, however, travel in time that day nor did we stay at the Lodge. I heard it was inhabited by spirits who possess people and release their dopplegangers into the real world in their place.

Actually, that's a lie. I heard no such thing.

This question could be referring to Pancho Barnes. She was an aviator as was her son. She was a contemporary of Amelia Earhart although in a rare instance in history Barnes is someone who actually became less famous by not disappearing.

I don't know if she ever lived near or owned land near Mount Baldy, but a few interesting facts about her are:
* she knew a young Buzz Aldrin
* she started the Happy Bottom Riding Club. I did not just make that up.
* when she died of a heart attack alone in her house, her body wasn't found for days and her dogs had partially eaten her. Every time I think of Pancho Barnes, I wonder what my dogs would do to us in a pinch, and remember that we are, and are also surrounded by, wild animals who can revert to basic animal instincts at a moment's notice.

In short, to answer your question, I have no idea.

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