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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Excerpt from My First Press Junket

Okay, it's not the Frost/Nixon interview. But there's the Interview Me thingy going around Bloglandia right now, and when I saw there was an opportunity to be questioned by my blog crush, julochka, I thought now's the time, especially being on the Staycation and all.

Below are julochka's questions and my answers, and then at the end are the rules if you'd like to be the next Barbara Walters' special via me.


julochka: if you could throw a shoe at anyone, who would it be and what kind of shoe would you throw?

You know, at first I thought this was going to be the easiest question to answer, and then I realized how many layers and options there might be. Also, I'm going to a Big Lebowski bowling birthday party soon, so bowling is on my mind right now, as well as what I'm going to wear. So I also keep thinking about rolling a bowling ball at someone. Anyway, back to your question.

First off, you have to decide what kind of shoe to use. Now I know in the past I mentioned a certain pair of stilletto heels that I would toss, but after really giving this some thought and thinking about the value and beauty of those shoes, I could never throw them. Anyone I would throw shoes at would merit an old pair of really stinky Keds that I had for a while that I wore without socks. They got pretty ripe. For extra impact, I'd probably load the Keds with some small rocks, and maybe even work a dog poo into the mix.

Then I would hire a baseball pitcher (I don't know jack about baseball, so I'd have to do some research) to actually throw the shoe. Because if I were granted an opportunity such as this, with the way I'm liable to throw, I certainly don't want to miss my target.

I know now I'm supposed to pick one person to throw my rock laden stinky Ked at, but choosing just one thing is never something I can do. Keeping the list under 10 is a challenge.

High on the list, depending on availability, are: Jerry Fallwell (I know he's dead but I still despise him), Rush Limbaugh, Anne Coulter, the two despotic cheerleaders from junior high school who were so incredibly cruel to me, and maybe Dick Cheney. I say maybe because I have this Big Lebowski scenario where at the end of the alley would be Cheney, The Shrub, Condoleeza, Rumsfeld, Gonzales-- who else am I forgetting here? How can I be drawing a total blank?-- and I'd get Jesus, the John Turturro character with his purple jumpsuit and his hairnet and his coke nail, to throw a perfect strike and nail all of those bastards. Whew, even in fantasy that feels good.

ps. If you want to throw a shoe at The Shrub (kind of old news now, but hey), you can do it virtually here at Sock and Awe. I am not very good yet, but I'll keep practicing.

julochka: you are a self-professed science girl...why didn't you study science-stuff and become a famous scientist?

This is an interesting question because I (again) have several answers. One being that when you're in college, you don't know what the hell you want to do. At least, I didn't for a couple of years. Luckily, I fell in love with printing and that gave me exposure to a variety of science courses that I was required to take, including materials sciences, physics, both kinds of chemistry, and biology. I think at the time I was so wanting to get out of college and start working that the thought of going for anything more than a BS was out of the question. I also gave myself short shrift... I'm a lot smarter than I gave myself credit for, and I just assumed that I couldn't handle the really hard classes. Or perhaps I didn't find the branch of science that really made me want to commit to it. Even today, I enjoy reading a book about quantum physics as much as I do about cell biology or even some of the social sciences.

That being said, there's a romance and a passion for scientific inquiry that anyone can have and I think that's what draws me to science because it is not only full of discovery and hard work and luck, but also training the mind to think and not live in a fairy tale. Science in its truest form is very democratic (I'm not talking about research institutes and the like), and for anyone to take an interest in the physical world around us should be applauded because there are certainly many more opportunities to live in fantasyland. I like to think of myself as a science appreciator, but back 100 years ago, it was not uncommon for many middle-class homes to own a microscope just for the fun of it. How many families today gather around a microscope after dinner, just to see what they might see?

Keep in mind that many people, not all classified as scientists, made amazing discoveries throughout their lives, including men like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, where science played a part of their naturally inquisitive minds. So perhaps there's hope for me yet.

julochka: what inspires you?

Ask me tomorrow. No, I'm kidding. But on any given day, the answer could be different. However, if I was to try to see a pattern in what I find inspiring, I think it's when a person can distill a feeling or experience into such a beautifully simple way that you're left in awe. For instance, there are sentences I've read by John Steinbeck, Anais Nin or Margaret Atwood that are so simply but perfectly crafted that I have to re-read them several times over because they amaze me with their truth.

Same thing with certain artists. Take for example Andy Goldsworthy. The things he can do with twigs or rocks or leaves are extraordinary. And you and I couldn't copy him in a million years.

I'm also very visual, so colors and visual textures make a big influence on me, and also the lack thereof. I am very influenced by certain kinds of music and instruments, especially the piano and the violin.

So I guess when I look back at my answer, it's Truth, Vision or Perception, and my eyes and ears. I'm sure there are more subtle influences I appreciate and find inspiration from, but this is what comes to mind today.

julochka: before you became tangobaby, had you had other dance lessons and so were, in general, coordinated enough to learn the tango?

I have to say that if it weren't for tango, I probably wouldn't be dancing at all. Keep in mind that just because you can do ballet, it doesn't mean you can tango. Tango is a partner dance (obviously) but being comfortable with someone in your very personal space is a uniquely different kind of partner dance, even amongst the other ballroom dances. When you watch people dance Argentine tango, like in my little video, keep in mind that it's completely improvised and all of your clues you read from your partner. With tango, you quite often never know what will happen next.

That being said, I am the world's worst bellydancer and the saddest looking ballerina you've ever seen. I am definitely all about dressing up, so it's hard not to fall in love with bellydancing because the costumes are so awesome and when you have a pile of coin belts and finger cymbals and veils draped about your bedroom, you feel like Bathsheba. And the music just makes you want to move. But the difficult part about bellydancing is that people will be watching you at some point. That was what killed me. I'll never be able to perform, and with bellydance, even if you are just dancing in class, there comes a time where it's just you and the mirror and someone else's eyes. I couldn't do it. Somehow the tango doesn't affect me that way. Or I just took to it so easily. I never had a really difficult time with tango.

And ballet is just plain hard. I'm a baby. So is flamenco. Wow! I'm really bad at a lot of dances.

The only other thing that I kind of sucked at but enjoyed a lot was fencing. I do hope to get back to fencing someday so I can live out some of my little Errol Flynn daydreams (except we'd be fighting Basil Rathbone together if I was Maid Marian). The fun part about fencing is that when your arms and thighs are covered with little dark perfectly round bruises, you can look in the mirror and say, Yeah, I got those in a duel. It just makes it hard to wear short-sleeved tops.

julochka: if you were going to run away to somewhere in the world, where would it be?

I think it's not so much as a matter of where, but where and when. For instance, I would give a major body part to have been able to travel the Orient Express in the years between the world wars. Or to have taken a steam ship from New York to Europe during the same time. Or to have traveled through Africa or Arabia with Sir Richard Burton. Or the Silk Road. I am very intrigued by places where the East and West intersect. That's why Venice was so incredible last year for me.

I would also have loved to see the Earthrise from an Apollo mission. I wouldn't have minded not getting to do the moon landing, but to see the earth from space has to be one of the most amazing trips a human being can take. *sigh*

As far as destinations today, it's tough. I think I'm such a dreamer that if given the opportunity, I'd probably give almost any place a shot. I always have my passport on me, just in case. ;-)

But Turkey (anywhere in the Baltics actually), Morocco, Russia, Spain, back to Italy... anyplace there's a gypsy encampment... see, here I go again. Maybe I should think about taking up bellydancing again.

Thanks, julochka! That was fun!


Here's "The Rules."

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.

Thanks, and I'll try to do my best Barbara Walters impression ever.


portrait of a Gypsy Woman by Nikolai Yaroshenko.
image of Earthrise from LIFE Magazine.


Char January 11, 2009 at 7:55 PM  

great and very interesting answers! I love how much thought you gave them...and the look into the background you gave on them.

a lot to live up to but, Interview me?

The Pink Cowboy January 11, 2009 at 9:13 PM  

I loved your answers specially the one involving shoe-throwing (I would choose exactly the same people). Even though I do not know how to tango I did take sevillanas classes for many years. I felt the fire in my belly when I danced, Spaniards call it the "duende" (the fairy) so I can very well relate to your experiences as a tango dancers. I enjoyed your answers very much.

julochka January 11, 2009 at 11:05 PM  

i knew you would be fantastic. :-)

and although i was already interviewed by willow, now i want to be interviewed by you because i know you'll ask me different questions. :-)

now i'm off to make husband invent a time machine so we can take the orient express with rebecca west in the interwar period...

nicole January 12, 2009 at 1:53 AM  

FUN! I have really enjoyed reading different interviews moving through blog land. Your answers were thoughtful and exotic, as expected. Thanks for the peek! so, Tangobaby, will you interview me?

mad_as_pantyhose January 12, 2009 at 2:33 AM  

Great post, loved the answers... oh, interview me!

A Cuban In London January 12, 2009 at 4:09 AM  

Excellent interview. I enjoyed your shoe-throwing thesis.

Greetings from London.

Victoria Rey January 12, 2009 at 5:16 AM  

Interview me? I love being faced with questions like this.

Victoria Rey January 12, 2009 at 5:17 AM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Just Jules January 12, 2009 at 5:39 AM  

That is so great! Your answers would have left Barbara speechless, really! I went to the movie "Yes Man" last night (laughed so hard!) so, I am in the "yes" mood... Therefor, yes, interview me! (Not that you know anything about me, or what to ask a stranger....) Hope you are enjoying your time off.

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 6:03 AM  

i love reading whatever you write but today was great! would you like to interview both kath and me?

Laura Doyle January 12, 2009 at 6:17 AM  

Oh, I just love the seamless fusion of Lebowski humor and Shrub rancor. I so needed a laugh this morning!

Your science question response brought this book to mind - A Sense of the Mysterious: Science and Human Spirit by Alan Lightman. It's one of my favorites.

I've already been interviewed by Willow and I'm not sure if there's some unspoken bloggy rule about a One-Interview-Limit but I'll go either way. If you you feel like it, I'll do it again. If not, I'll still like you. : )

I really enjoyed reading yours.

Cynthia Pittmann January 12, 2009 at 6:50 AM  

So enjoyed the entertaining trip through the tangobaby mind! I was interviewed this morning, and I'm afraid it was tough. I enjoyed your row of shoe onslaughts! Satisfying indeed.

Adan January 12, 2009 at 6:56 AM  

Loved it!!

You are a great interviewer!! Interview me! Interview me!

acgercak AT gmail DOT com

I hope my answers are as great as yours!!

iasa January 12, 2009 at 7:11 AM  

Me,me, me, me! Interview me please.

Red Shoes January 12, 2009 at 7:28 AM  

Oh, me, please!

PS If you get to go into space to watch the Earthrise, can I stow away in your suitcase?

Eternal Lizdom January 12, 2009 at 8:06 AM  

Interview me!

I've seen this on other blogs but hadn't yet seen it on a blog that I would want to be interviewed by!

Another point of "Why I could be in love with you" would be your mention of Margaret Atwood. I met my best friend because I was sitting outside of my college dorm re-reading "The Handmaid's Tale" for the dozenth time... and it was one of his faves as well. We started talking and the rest... history. He gave me a first edition copy of the book a few years ago. "The Edible Woman" would be a close second for an Atwood I can read over and over and over again.

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 8:26 AM  

OMG, TB!!! There are TWO kinds of chemistry????!!!!

You are SO smart.

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 9:06 AM  

okay i really want in on the big lebowski bowling. why didnt i think of that? what a great party idea. mental note: husbands bday.

ModernTanguera January 12, 2009 at 9:21 AM  

I love the where v. when distinction you made. I feel similarly - I would love to explore pretty much anywhere, but I get so excited to think about exploring anywhen. (Maybe that explains my childhood obsession with American Girls?)

Interview me? But you don't have to. Only do it if you have questions you'd really like to ask.

Sarah January 12, 2009 at 9:43 AM  

jesus in a purple jumpsuit...

food for thought (and laughter) on this mindless monday... =]


Alexandra January 12, 2009 at 11:14 AM  

Interview me. I love getting to know more about you and totally share your dreamy, dancing, wanderlust tendencies and am presumptuous enough to think you might like to get to know me a little better, too.

Alexandra January 12, 2009 at 11:17 AM  

oh, btw, my email is piano615 at gmail.com

~DokterKenny January 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM  

I don't know about Jesus in a puprple jump suit. If I may be so bold as to quote Cal Naughton Jr. ~
"like to think of Jesus as wearin' a Tuxedo T-shirt, 'cause it says, like, "I want to be formal, but I'm here to party too." I like to party, so I like my Jesus to party." :-)

After reading your answers I almost too intimidated to be interviewed, but if you would send me the questions I will give it a shot

Kim and David January 12, 2009 at 1:57 PM  

Great interview! Loved your responses. I'm glad Willow didn't ask me the "throwing the shoe" question that you got from julochka. I don't think there would be enough blog roll pages for me to answer that one. Kim

Blue Sky Dreaming January 12, 2009 at 3:05 PM  

Bravo Tangobaby! Yet more proof of your wonderful sense of humor dashed with one brilliant mind! It all works and I'm game for that silk road or gypsy encampment!

Anonymous January 12, 2009 at 7:00 PM  

Against my better judgment... interview me.

vicki archer January 13, 2009 at 5:42 AM  

Loved reading this - especially your answer in response to 'inspiration' - perfect, xv.

Barb January 13, 2009 at 8:11 AM  

Very interesting interview. I think Barbara Walters better beware. Barb

Mel January 15, 2009 at 7:06 AM  

Ooohhhh - so good to be back in the blogosphere again and as always love the creativity here. Love that you gave careful thought as to WHICH shoe to throw. If I'm not too late, send me the questions. mmm956 at tx.rr.com

Debbi January 15, 2009 at 8:38 AM  

Wow... so many requests! But I'd love to throw my hat in the circle... so.... interview me! I promise to use good vocabulary and spelling! ;o)

Elizabeth Brinton January 16, 2009 at 10:20 AM  

I am a little late here, but you could interview me. Pick me.