1. Favorite smell? Spices, mostly hippie-ish spices like cinnamon, frankincense, patchouli. Though I dearly love the smell of a good pot roast too. My house smells wonderful when I make pot roast.
2. Last time you cried? Today. I cry like other people breathe- constantly.
3. Favorite pizza? Plain. NY-style which means long skinny slices folded in half, eaten with a good sprinkle of garlic powder.
4. Favorite flower? I honestly don’t know if I have a favorite. I like all kinds. The idea of a showy, gorgeously scented display which facilitates reproduction? I’m there.
5. Did you go to college? Yes, but I do not have a degree. Unfortunately I like learning for its own sake and spent too much time screwing around trying on different disciplines. I simply like knowing stuff. Then I had children…’nuff said.
6. Untie your shoes when taking them off? No, not usually. I am fat and have VERY large breasts. Bending over is problematic, an unhappy thing when doing my job, but mostly my boobs get in the way of everything. Especially breathing. So, any activity which requires me to bend at the waist is going to suck.
7. Roller coasters? I appreciate the idea over the actuality. In real life I end up squeezed, bashed, thumped, and bruised. Not fun.
8. Favorite ice cream? Honestly? Ice cream isn’t a biggie for me. I like, maybe, two cones a summer from the ice cream stand and a solace pint of Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia somewhere around Mother’s Day. Other than that? Meh.
9. Favorite past time? Daydreaming.
10. Shorts or jeans? Jeans, but my true love is a skirt. Flowy, elastic waist, ankle length. Material: cotton- denim, gauze, twill, but even challis if wool is my only option.
11. What are you listening to? In the car it’s Sirius radio. My pre-sets range from Delta blues in scratchy monotone to ‘Pop Rocks’- my most recent favorite station. I like happy, easy, fun music that isn’t pretentious or obscure. Life is HARD, y’all, music shouldn’t have to be.
12. Favorite Color? For what? Clothing? Black. Interior walls? Grey or yellow. Cars? Greige. Flowers? Carnation pink. Lipstick? Maybelline ‘Wine With Everything’. Candy? Red. Furniture, carpets, curtains? Navy blue. Overall favorite color? Garnet red.
13. Tattoos? Nope. Never have, never will. I’m not really a rebel for rebellion’s sake anymore, but I am rather enjoying my inkless bod and the ‘not on the tat bandwagon’ status implied therein.
14. Piercing? Currently? Ears. Three holes in each lobe. Formerly I had a septum piercing but it made my nose run the whole 3 months I had it. And it was about 25 years too early for public (employable) acceptance. A septum bullring in 1983 was too weird for words. Punk as all hell though and went with my lavender tufty something wicked.
15. Color of hair? I’m not coloring my hair at the moment. Feh. No time, money, or energy. Currently it’s too long, shapeless, and bowel movement brown with an unsatisfying small smattering of silver.
16. Color of eyes? Green. Dark green without any kind of showy beauty or freaky pigmentation. Unlike Sebastian’s which are a to-die-for sea green/pearly grey.
17. Favorite food to eat? WTF? This is a HARD question. Breakfast? At the diner- eggs over medium, sausage, white toast with jam, coffee. Lunch? Egg salad sandwiches and dill pickle spears. Dinner? Pasta, red sauce, mushrooms. Garlic bread. Green salad.
18. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving. Actually it used to be my favorite. I loved the ritual and purity of it. For me it was THE No Bullshit holiday. I loved getting up in the creaking dawn to put the bird into the oven. And with my first cup of coffee making a chocolate cream pie and then cheerfully cursing at my overly full fridge and finding a place to put the pie to set. I loved pulling out the good dishes and the big stupid turkey platter which spent the other 363 days living on top of the china cabinet (it got used on Christmas too) and scrubbing up all the serving spoons and forks, and plotting out all the bowls and baskets, and gravy and sauce boats. Thanksgiving combined two favorite things- cooking for company and fussing with tableware. Then around midday a bunch of friends and family showed up and we parked ourselves at the table and ate and told stories and ate more and told more stories and eventually made coffee and had some pie. Now? Now there’s nobody to come. Sebastian goes to his aunt’s and I don’t have any friends. So. Favorite holiday? Arbor Day. At least planting trees still makes sense.
19. Beer or wine? Beer. Lager. Preferably on tap. Not picky as to brand or pedigree.
20. Night owl or morning person? For most of my life I was the hootiest of night owls. Now I’m a day dweller. Not a “My! Look at this glorious sunrise! So glad I knocked down all my chores first so I can relax and watch the sun come up without guilt!” Spare me. But I can and do enjoy the fresh part of the morning and get to my job at 9:00 am without pain or needing an espresso enema.
21. Favorite day of the week? Thursday. It’s my scheduled day off. My other regular day off is Sunday, which is devoted to family. Thursday is mine own. Plus on Thursday nights the Travel Channel runs ‘Mysteries at the Museum’ so after a peaceful day sans brassiere and shoes I trundle off to bed early and get my fill of esoteric trivia and delightfully cheesy historical reenactments.
22. Do you have a Nickname? Growing up my family called me ‘Leelee’. A few of my co-workers call me ‘Lah’ as in the music note instead of pronouncing my chosen moniker as ‘El-Ayy’, but whatever. Honestly? The majority of people I interact with attract my attention with either ‘Mom’ or “Excuse me, do you work here?”
23. Pictures on your wall? Almost entirely personal. Paintings, photographs, drawings, limited edition lithos – all done by friends. The enclosed front porch is a Hil Gallery with additions by several local artists who’ve done chalks and water colors of places I know and love. In the living room there’s a series of temple rubbings from Thailand done by my ex-MIL, plus many prints of photographs taken and developed by me and the ex in our darkroom at the old house. My office is a shrine to my artist cadre with everything from multi-media collages to stained glass spiders to found objects stolen just for me by pals and boyfriends past. Not one thing, including the many, many mirrors, on the walls and display shelves in this house is without personal provenance and a story. As good art should be.
24. What makes you most proud? Aside from not having any tats? I dunno. Recently I watched ‘Last Word’ with Shirley MacLaine and in the movie there’s a scene where she meets up with her estranged daughter. The daughter is stiff and angry with a mouthful of accusations and recriminations as to the lousy job Shirley MacLaine did as a mother. She asks the daughter (who’s a pediatric neurosurgeon and married and mother of two) if she (the daughter) is happy? Yes. Very. So Shirley starts bellowing with laughter. Utterly DELIGHTED! She’d obviously been a GREAT MOM! Her supposedly poorly served daughter had grown up to be successful, happily married, and enjoying motherhood. What the hell else was she (Shirley) supposed to provide? Her daughter was doing wonderfully well! Is that not the definition of good parenting? That your kid has the tools and sense to make a good life for his/her self? I paused the movie and cried for 20 minutes. YES! What the hell else can be fairly asked of a mom? BOTH of my kids are fine. Sebastian had his first cavity but otherwise my children are all kinds of good. Alex has a post graduate degree. A happy marriage. Owns real estate. Has marketable skills. Seb is employed. Has a new car. Is working on a degree. Has gorgeous head shots and contacts in the film industry. He has an ‘in’ on doing voice work for a start-up video game company. He recently met the head of production for Martin Scorsese’s production company as well as submitting an intern application with Story Horse Productions. (Hello, owned and overseen by Mary Stuart Masterson.) Am I supposed to cop to being a monster? Some kind of abusive selfish drug-addled cow? Nope. Despite the horrors of my actually abusive, deprived, fucked up childhood I did MORE than okay by my sons. Alex and Sebastian are fine, happy, emotionally stable, intellectually curious, morally sound, feminist, gainfully employed men. Was I supposed to do otherwise? Shit, they even put the seat down.
So fuck off if you think I owe the world, you, or my children more.
Tired of taking the heat for others’ misconceptions, ~LA