Category Archives: Questions

Tag! I’m it.

A week ago, rthepotter at Minutiae picked me as one of the players in a tagging game – like most, the rules are to answer some questions and send the game on to others.

I’m (finally) answering the questions, but at the moment I’m not feeling aggressive enough to tag anyone else. If anyone wants to pick up this particular ball, feel free to answer rthepotter’s three questions (below) and pass the game along to bloggers of your choice.

1. Who is the most annoying character in literature?
I put more thought into this than it probably deserved. So many books have annoying characters. Who to pick?

Maybe Lovelace from Clarissa? But he’s not exactly annoying; actually, his letters are entertaining. It takes a while to realize that he’s a totally selfish charmer whose only pleasure is spinning elaborate plots to destroy other people.

Mr. Sleary – excuse me, Thleary – from Dickens’ Hard Times? Reading his lisping dialog sets my teeth on edge – but should we blame the poor man because his author gave him a speech impediment?

No, neither of them. How about a much more obscure figure – Dittany Henbit from the tooth-achingly sweet Grub-and-Stakers series of cozy mysteries by Alisa Craig / Charlotte MacLeod? For some reason, I found these books bearable several decades ago. Now? The only good thing I can say about Dittany and her friends is that they showed me what “twee” means.

2. What is the most pointless or weirdest object you can’t bear to throw away, even though you know it is silly to keep it?
Somewhere around 1990, we held a Christmas party in the department where I worked at the time, and a friend made fancy headbands for all the women. I still have mine. (That’s a paper fan and some lace pinned to the right side of the headband. And artificial poinsettias on top and down to the left, and long arching sprays of trembling silver stars.)

3. Can you tell us about an unusual weather event you have experienced?
I was working late one afternoon, alone in the office, when I looked out the window and saw that the sky had turned green. Not a pretty emerald green; this was an ugly medium olive. The clouds developed a scattering of udder-like bulges. I never saw anything quite like it before or since, but it was no surprise – actually, it was a relief – when after a breathless five minutes or so, a strong wind bent the trees sideways and heavy rain swept past. The green clouds looked unnatural and unearthly while they lasted.

11 Question Tag

Yesterday, Gilly Gee the Lucid Gypsy invited anyone who feels like it to join her for a game of “Tag – you’re it!” –

The rules:
You must post these rules.
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Each person must post 11 things about him/herself on their blog.
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Answer the questions the “tagger” listed for you in their post,
(And create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer, if you can).
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Choose 11 people to tag and link to them in the post.
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Let each blogger know that you have tagged them.

(But I’m going to do it Gilly’s way. Do you feel like answering some questions? Great! If you’d rather not, that’s great too. No pressure around here.)

1. Is there an item that you never leave home without, if so what is it?
My front door key! If I can lock the door behind me when I leave, I know I can let myself in again. But actually I take the key even to go as far as my front yard, even if I’m not going to close the door.

2. If you were given a free holiday is there a destination you would refuse to go to?
I love to travel. There are places I’m more eager to see than others, but even countries where I felt uneasy were interesting.

3. Did you have a school uniform? describe it!
When I was in school, only religious schools in the US used uniforms – not public schools like the one I went to. (These days, there is a small trend toward uniforms.) I did wear a uniform for marching band – red pants, red jacket with a triangular white overlay front and back, red cap with a small white plume. Our school colors were – did you guess? – red and white.

4. Do you still have friends from your school days?
No – maybe they remember those band uniforms! The friend I’ve known longest is a woman who started working where I did almost thirty years ago.

5. Have you ever tried any extreme sports/
No – too much of a klutz. I’d probably manage to break every bone I have.

6. Whats the longest you have slept in one go?
About ten hours, I think – I was sick at the time and not really paying attention to details like that.

7. From what you know about me is there a book you would recommend?
Tough one! I don’t want to pick a subject you have no interest in, but I also don’t want to suggest a beginner’s book about something you’re an expert on. I’ll make two suggestions: Inside the Victorian Home by Judith Flanders (how things really got done behind the facade of ladylike idleness), and Women’s Work: the First 20,000 Years by Elizabeth Wayland Barber (a surprisingly fascinating history of spinning and weaving). At the moment, I’m also spellbound by A Forest of Kings by Schele and Freidel (a history of the Maya) – but it’s a 419 page book plus 120 pages of notes and index, and I’m only 80 pages into it. It could get boring later.

8. Could you ride a skateboard for a hundred metres without falling off?
Not hardly! That’s more than the length of a football field (American) – one of the lengths I know by instinct thanks to marching band – and I could probably manage to fall off a hundred times or so in that distance.

9. Favourite breakfast?
Well – usual breakfast is black coffee. But I think the best breakfast I ever had, in a restaurant some years ago, was blackberry pancakes, with blackberries incorporated in the batter and blackberry sauce over the pancakes. Mmm.

10. Can you navigate on a journey to a strange town a few hundred miles away?
Sure! Just let me study a map first and make a few notes to myself about the route I want to follow.

11. Is there something you cook really well?
Last night, my husband told me I make really good pizza – so I’ll go with that. (That time it was white pizza with broccoli and garlic.)

* * *

And then there’s the enormous challenge of coming up with 11 new questions. Let’s see:

1. If you could do exactly what you want for the next six months, what would you choose? (You have all the money and good health you need, and no responsibilities at all.)

2. I’ve never met anyone who likes both cooking and cleaning. Which do you hate?

3. Are you a cat person, dog person, all kinds of pet person, or someone who prefers animals at a distance?

4. How far do you live now from the place where you grew up?

5. How old were you when you learned to swim?

6. What’s your favorite sport?

7. Do you prefer hot weather or cold weather?

8. What’s your favorite city? Or would you rather be in a rural area?

9. Do you enjoy gardening?

10. Are you the oldest child in your family, middle, youngest, or only?

11. What period of history interests you the most?

(If you do answer these questions, I’d appreciate a pingback or a message so I can see your answers!)