Ten Questions Tagged, Times Two

So there was this meme going around and I was tagged a couple of times to participate. We’ll call it “Ten Questions.” I am very pleased to participate! I am placing Ten Questions of my own at the bottom of this post, and I am tagging YOU. Yes, you, the person reading this. If you like the questions, and want to answer, consider yourself tagged, and pass it on! 🙂 Feel free to post your answers in comments or in a blog of your own. If you chose to post them, do me a favor and put your link to your post in the comments here so I can go and check it out. Thank you! Onward to the questions…

The first person to tag me was Travelling Amber here at her post “Tagged.”

1. If you weren’t in France, where would you be?

I am pretty sure I would still be in Colorado, doing what I did there: teaching, living the Mile High Life in Denver… I’d like to think I might be someplace else, but I don’t know. Colorado is a pretty cool place.

Photo by my sister, Amy, and taken from her Facebook page: Saint Mary’s Glacier, Colorado

2. You’re on a deserted island with one book. What is it?

Oh maaaaan, the desert island question. Just one?!? That’s a tortuous question to a bibliophile.

I’m going to add a twist to this one. I am actually going to list a book I have never read before. I think that if I were on a desert island, I would want to take one of these with me: Wikipedia- List of Longest Novels

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Cover from the Amazon.com page for the book.

Funny. I actually tried to get through Vikram Seth’s book A Suitable Boy (which is on the list) and even owned it for many years. I don’t know if it is one I eventually donated someplace, or maybe I even still have it in storage, but I never did finish it. I’d hoped to read it, though, and maybe one of these days I will. I really think I would want something long and epic, something that I have been intending to read like Les Misérables or the work(s) by Alexandre Dumas mentioned on the Wikipedia list. It would be a book I would learn to love while I was on that desert island, trying to survive and pondering the meaning of life simply because it would be the only book I had. The book would be a bit like Tom Hanks and that volleyball of his, Wilson, in the movie “Castaway.”

I bet I would even start reading it aloud to the palm trees, just to pretend someone was there with me.

3. Oh crap, my car broke down and I’m on the side of the road hitch hiking. Would you pick me up?

LOL. Funny what turns up on image searches…

Photo from Motivated Photos (dot) com

Of course, I would pick YOU up, Amber! You’d be standing there, pregnant and all, sticking that thumb out, and I would not want some whack-o picking you up.

A stranger? Okay, if she were female and looked in true distress, I probably would. Especially if it were raining or snowing. For anyone else, I would make a cell call to a non-emergency police line and alert highway patrol. This is all presuming we live in the United States when this happens as A) there is no way I could handle the linguistic task I outline here if I were in France, and B) I have no car here, so this question is moot, anyway.

4. You’ve got the power to wipe one food off the face of the earth forever. Which do you choose?

Twinkie Stonehenge

Photo from The Bluegrass Special (dot) com

None. All genuine foods are here for a reason, I think, and everyone has the freedom to eat that which he or she wishes. Almost all things can be used as food, so if we wipe out one, I’m sure we, being the humans we are, would add another one its place anyway. Or someone would synthetically re-create the extinct food.

Speaking of synthetic foods, though, I guess if I could, I might wipe out all junk foods, all non-foods, as I really think processed and fake foods are some of the things that have damaged my body and a lot of other people’s bodies, too, so much so that we can no longer tolerate real and healthy foods, even. I think we are harming ourselves with all the non-food “foods” out there. They are a kind of poison with which we are killing ourselves slowly.

I know. It freaks me out that I am even writing this, too. I never thought I would be one of “those people.” But after seeing the harm that gluten and other foods have done to my system, I am on that health food bandwagon, for sure. Funny how a good dose of feeling like shit can make a person change her tune, eh?

5. What were you most afraid of as a child?

Bees and spiders and, especially, the monster under the bed.

Monsters Under the Bed

This wonderful illustration is by Scott Hallet, and can be found at his website here.

Here is another wonderful image by artist Jessica Hillis. Her illustrations are very amusing!

The Monster Under the Bed

6. Where do you think you’ll be in five years?

Five years ago, if someone would have told me I would be divorced from my second husband and living in Paris, I would have laughed so hard, I’d have peed myself and had a stomach aneurysm. I have learned so far that in my life, unbelievable things happen to me every few years. So in all honesty, I have no idea. I have learned not to have preconcieved notions about where I will be in the future, because more than likely, they will be completely wrong.

Hee hee hee hee!

Photo from Psychology Today Blogger Victoria Maxwell’s “Depression: No Laughing Matter — Or Is It?

Where do I WANT to be in five years? Honestly, I do not know. I just know I want to be happy and healthy, and experiencing good things.

Like this cat here.

He’s enjoying life!

Photo from this link.

7. You can spend one day in your partner’s body, able to read all his thoughts, etc. Would you do it?

Sure. I think I could really use the insight. Yes, I imagine some of the truths I might discover would be painful and difficult, but also, if I could really know how he is feeling and have more empathy about how he perceives life, it would be worth it all.

Being Jon Malkovich

Photo from 1000films.wordpress.com

‘Course then again, I did see “Being John Malkovich” and know from that movie it would probably be a bad idea.

8. You’ve got a round trip ticket to anywhere in the world. Where are you headed?

I would do it like Michael Palin and either do his journey Around the World in 80 days, or go pole-to-pole because I would really like to see the southern tip of South America (Tierra del Fuego, the end of the world).

Tierra del Fuego

Photo from Travel Blogger Nacho Libre at TravelBlog.

9. What do you think about hyphenated or double last names for children?

Eh, whatever floats one’s boat. Hyphenate away.

The Hyphen

Photo from a really fun blog read at crackdmuskegonnewz.blogspot.com: “Hyphen-Nation.”

10. A plane crashes. It’s full of people you think the world would be a better place without. Who’s on it?

This is a great question! It is so evil! Hee hee! Okay, here’s the thing, though. I see humanity as a kind of karmic ecosystem, and I also don’t think it is my place to decide who should stay or who should go.

To understand more of what I mean, Google or read these accounts on a Chinese fable:

Bad News May Really Be Good News

The Chinese Farmer

Chinese Fable on Perspective

I think “good” and “bad” are subject to perspective. Who is to say that in the greater perspective of life, the universe, and everything that who I think is “bad” is not also someone who is needed to be the balance in the Force. Right?

That was the nice, spiritual, Zen, higher-thinking part of myself. My ego is clearly tugging at my sleeve, and selfishly shreiking at me, “Ex number two! EX NUMBER TWO!” I am trying to shut her up, though, knowing that perhaps it is he who is bringing balance to the Force.


Thank you, Amber, for such great questions!

Next up there is Tanya at Tanya in Transition who tagged me with her ten.

1. What is your favourite flavour of ice cream?

Before I had to stop eating dairy products, it was chocolate, or pretty much any flavor of Ben and Jerry’s, especially Phish Food.

Phish Food. Yum.

Photo from a Self.com blog.

2. If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your 24-year-old self?

Yes You Can by Jennifer McKnight-Trontz

Photo from Chronicle Books.

Oh good heavens, even if I *could* go back and give myself advice, I know myself enough to know that I probably would not listen! 😀 One thing I would probably try to convince myself of, though, would be to try to find higher-paying jobs and wait even longer to have kids than I did (I was 28 with the first one).

3. What’s your favourite aisle at the grocery store?


Photo by Me

The aisle that actually has food I can eat. 🙂 Probably the fruit and vegetable aisle, therefore.

4. What’s the best thing you’ve learned about yourself since living in France?

What a great question! I have learned that I am strong and resourceful.

Like this chick:


Photo from here.

Or this one:

The Bride

Photo from the Wiki link up above.

5. If you could interview a famous French actor/actress who would you choose?

Jean Reno, for an actor (photo)

Jean Reno

and Julie Delpy for an actress. (photo)

Julie Delpy

Runners up would be Juliette Binoche (photo)

Juliette Binoche

and François Cluzet (photo)

François Cluzet

I really like all of them in their films.

6. Grey’s Anatomy or House?

House, House, House. I have to have me some Gregory House in the house.

Dr. House

7. Besides France, if you could choose one country in which to live, what country would you choose?

Wow. Good question. I think that Spain would be an interesting place to live, as well as Argentina — like Buenos Aires. I totally want to see India and Thailand, and can imagine living for a time in those places for kicks. I would even like to try giving life in China another try. I lived in the UK for a short time in high school, and can imagine life there, too.

East Asia

Photo from University of TX online map library

It’s true, though, that I think I do love “home” best, and I would likely choose the States again, because I know it well and love aspects of the US very much.

8. What was your first major purchase after moving to France?

My most major purchase since coming to France has been clothes at H&M, I think, hahaha. Not really major, huh. I/we have cash-flow issues (see previous blog). I hope that in the future I am able to make some major purchases. On a SUPER major scale, like if I suddenly became a billionaire, I’d buy a home and property on the Côte d’Azur, for sure.

9. Who was your best friend growing up and do you still keep in touch with him/her?

If we can count high school as “growing up” and friends from that period of time, then my best friend Janet is it — it’s her. We talk to each other on the phone almost every single day.


Photo by Me – Janet’s house in Antibes

10. If you could choose a theme song for your life what would it be?

I’ve had a question like this before, and it is always this one: Once in a Lifetime

Thank you so much, Tanya, for asking me to participate!

Wanna Play? Here are Questions for you…

1. What is happiness for you?

2. What is your favorite memory of childhood?

3. Do you like the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert? Why or why not? (If you have not read it, would you? Why or why not?)

4. What do you think is the worst social problem facing the country in which you are living now? (i.e., if you are an expat, what is the worst social problem in your host country? How about your home country?)

5. If you like pizza, what are your favorite toppings? If you don’t like it, why the heck not?

6.  What’s your favorite holiday? Why?

7. Who is the most annoying celebrity? Why?

8. Is it better to be physically attractive or intelligent?

9.  City or countryside? ‘Splain.

10.  What do you really think about memes like these?

Thanks to this site for helping me to come up with a few of these.

While looking up help for thinking on these questions, I ran into this hilarious page: Crazy Thoughts. Good questions, some of those!

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23 thoughts on “Ten Questions Tagged, Times Two

  1. Amber’s ten

    1) Ah, you know my heaven is Santa Cruz, Ca (I’m hoping that it doesn’t get ruined by politicians before I can return)

    2)LOL, when you went for length, the first book that popped into my head (and I do have on my shelf) is the illuminati trilogy, but then the idea of a nut one had to crack and could be read over and over changed that to another on my shelf, Finnagan’s Wake. In the end, I’m way too practical and would want one that, sadly, I seemed to have lost over the years, The Boy Scout Handbook (plant/animal id, first aid and survival techniques, just an over all handy book no matter what you think of the organization)

    3) Multiple peircings, possable ink? Oh yeah, just a sweet lil’ girl in a bit of a jam. Having known you, I might stop to check if “one of your kids took over the bus”. (LOL, in an instant, you hottie).

    4) Beets (I’m sorry, I know they are a favorite of yours, but they are my arch nemisis)

    5) Same thing that scares the hell out of me today, paralysis.

    6) Realistically, the same sad place I am today. I’ve been hinking about this lately, because before recent changes, in about five year I’d have to start seriously planning my retirement, but that has been pushed back ten years (not that this is going to help in this economic climate. It just delays the inevitable).

    7) Oh hell no and this is for a couple of reasons. First and formost, it would only add to the myth/fallacy that I could change/fix them. Seeing problems through their eyes does not give one a clearer picture of the answers. Second, there goes years of discovery and wonder about the other person. I will have distroyed any illussions I may have had, eliminated the mysteries and learned the “dirty little truths”. Any Jungian knows and embraces our “shadowself” and knows this is and must be a person of the shadows to keep ourselves sane.

    8) Paris sound fun as I have both friend and relitives there that would give the trip purpose. One can find beauty and history everywhere in the world, so making a choice on that would be denying it elsewhere and as we have already explored, it is the sharing of the expirience that makes it lasting and special.

    9) why complicate they complicated little lives any more. I’m all about simplicity.

    10) I’m kinda with you about the karmic ecosystem. Without a “supervillian”, is a “superhero” anything other than an oridnary person? Without those we despise, would we admire others as much? I’ll pass on this one.

    Tanya’s ten

    1) I’m partial to Ben and Jerry’s Chubby Hubby.

    2) Go back to school, NOW.

    3) pasteries

    4) I’m going to alter this to where ever you presently live as I too am where I am, not by choise, but because this is where life has taken me and this is true os many places I have lived. I really have a choise of focusing on what the area offers or what it doesn’t and that really colors how you view life and living there, from being depressed about your life to feeling really blessed. While in the ugliest of places that I’ve lived, it has often just been where I have slept and kept my possesions, choosing to spend my days elsewhere, when I’ve had to be home, there was always something to learn and share. California is what America says it aspires to be, a melting pot and as such, is a place where we can learn so much from each other as diverse cultures and as people with different background, dreams and expiriences.

    What have I learned from living here? To be creative about getting what I need to make my life richer.

    5) Catherine Deneuve/Gérard Depardieu

    6) House (probibly because I’ve never watched Grey’s)

    7) The US just because there is a sence of familiarity in culture, language and such. If the question is another country other than the one you live I guess that I would choose France (ok maybe Madigascar).

    8) Boy these are really aimed at your expirience of France as an ex-pat. If I moved to France, my first major purchace would probibly be a futon (so I could stop sleeping on the floor and I always build my life out from the couch/bed).

    9) I was never able to keep friends for very long growing up and I think this has been a serious impediment to my ability to do so as an adult. I seriously never had a close friend until I was in my early twenties.

    10) Debussey’s Clair De Lune. There are no words for my life. It has been a quiet, sometimes sad, but often beautiful contemplation of itself.

    Karin’s ten

    1) being able to appreciate and share the beauty of my surroundings and life.

    2) Getting lost on the way back from the old saw mill on my great grandfathers property in arkansas.

    3) haven’t read it, but might.

    4) there are two that are very much tied together. I worry about the direction and focus of the youth and I worry about the growing problem of gang life.

    5) love me some feta with black olives and garlic

    6) I like christmas for its tradition of bringing people together, its nastalgic focus and its hope for the future

    7) Gilbert Gottfried. That voice and for a while it was everywhere from movies to TV shows, comercials and cartoons.

    8) Intelligent. I used to work in a place that was filled with beautiful sales women and my shipper would always be remarking on them and asking which ones I’d like to take home. Some of the most appealing to him were the airheads and I’d always ask what he’d talk about after and he’d always return the typical, “who needs to talk?’. Well the fact is, I need to. I need companionship and find my patience wains a bit with those I have to constantly explain life to.

    9) sub-urban? Rural! The impersonality of cities make me nervous, but I like the convinience of not having to travel for my nessesities. To be in that inbeteeen place that is near to both deep nature and city attractions is my ideal (although I don’t know that I can stand those pre-fab communities where every house looks the same as its neighbor). I’m a Mayberry RFD (and what does RFD stand for anyway?) type of guy (in so many ways).

    10) they are only as fun as their participation. So many really don’t examine the question and give quick, pat answers, but others do a little self examination and give creative, reviling answers that make even the simplest ten q’s fun.

    • I love how the 8’s turned into these: 8)

      Hee hee!

      Wow! You did them ALL! That was comprehensive! I’m glad that you did.

      This one made me laugh out loud: “I guess that I would choose France (ok maybe Madigascar).” That seems kind of non-sequitur, and it gave me the giggles.

      I am also fixated on your pizza toppings, which sound so delicious! I think it is because I have not eaten a decent meal yet today, just fruit and some peanuts and raisins. Pizza sounds so good right now that my mouth is watering, even if it is verboten for me.

      PIZZA. (said like Homer Simpson)

      Thanks for your participation, Ken!

  2. Chunky Monkey for me. The rest are hard to answer as I have more than one answer for most of them.

    • Hi Linda!

      Ohhhh yes, Chunky Monkey is an old favorite, too! I love the banana flavor and the walnuts. Thinking about that makes me hungry. 🙂

      Hope you have a good weekend, Linda. Thanks for stopping by.

    • Let’s see, what were all the comments that I had in my head as I read through this?

      – I totally wouldn’t want to be in Jeff’s body if it meant knowing his entire mind. I think there’s a good reason humans can’t read other people’s thoughts. I’d try it if I could just feel what it was like to physically be him, though, especially if we could both switch and then have a little snuggle time. Am I the only weirdo who had this thought?

      – Eowyn… I hated that actress that played her in the movie. She was supposed to be all bad ass and then the moment when she was facing down those flying things, she looked like she could barely hold the sword. Do some pushups for crist’s sake and look tough. Seriously, every time I watch that movie, I have to skip that part. Uma Thurman, though… totally kick ass, especially when she was punching her way out of that coffin.

      • Not sure why it put my reply there. I feel sure it’s my fault, somehow. Though I did want to say that in addition to the lady who played Eowyn, I also hate chunky monkey. I had a boyfriend in high/school and college who could never remember what flavor of Ben and Jerry’s I liked. He always returned from the store with chunky monkey, which was the only flavor of theirs that I didn’t like. Bananas in ice cream. Blech.

        Also, I love all the pictures you found to go with these!

      • I don’t know why it is here, either, lol!! I was looking for it, and then found it up here. 🙂

        Nope — you are not the only one who has had the switching bodies wonder. I have often wondered that! I think it is a very natural thing to wonder. 🙂

        On Eowyn — I see what you mean. I was thinking of her more in the context of the book/story, and her strength there.

        Poor lame dude who could only buy Chunky Monkey. I guess that’s one of the reasons you didn’t stick with him, eh? LOL. 😉 I like bananas in ice cream as I like banana splits! Or I used to, anyways. *sigh* Someday maybe dairy and refined sugar and I will get along somewhat again so I can eat it.

        Thanks for the props on the pictures. I had a lot of fun searching and finding what is out there that fit the post! The Interwebz sure can be a fun place, eh?

        Be well, Wendy and thanks for reading and giving your feedback!

  3. Ten from The Armchair Parisian

    1. What is happiness for you?

    Long uninterrupted hours reading. Long uninterrupted hours in my studio. Relaxed vacations with just my hubby. My cat laying on my chest in the mornings. Picking up smooth rocks out of a mountain river. My morning bike rides especially when there is a hint of crispness in the air. Seeing something I’ve never seen before. A really good cup of coffee. Being warm.

    2. What is your favorite memory of childhood?

    The smell of fresh mowed grass. It always makes me think of my grandfather.

    3. Do you like the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert? Why or why not? (If you have not read it, would you? Why or why not?)

    It is on my “to-be-read” list. Along with 13 thousand other books.

    4. What do you think is the worst social problem facing the country in which you are living now? (i.e., if you are an expat, what is the worst social problem in your host country? How about your home country?)

    Actually, I think this is a global issue. I don’t think people know how to communicate anymore. That sounds silly given all the social networking, but really, it is because of that that people don’t know how to communicate on a personal level anymore. I don’t think people are as respectful to other people as they should be anymore and what the heck ever happened to customer service ~ like looking somebody in the eye and saying thank you and meaning it (instead of talking on their cell phone while they hold out their hand for your money). I think our children are being desensitized to violence and developing less and less of a conscious. I think greed is far to prevalent on many levels. And really, apathy (in the US, anyway). I mean, I am thinking that a 100+ years ago there might have been a revolt over some things that have happened in recent history. But it seems everyone is complacent and happy to shop at WalMart (don’t get me started on them), play video games, talk about nothing on cell phones and eat junk food. Stepping off the soap box now…

    5. If you like pizza, what are your favorite toppings? If you don’t like it, why the heck not?

    How can anybody *not* like pizza? It is the perfect food as far as I am concerned. 🙂 And my favorite way is plain old cheese with a nice sprinkle of oregano and some of those red pepper flakes. However, I sometimes add onions & green peppers. Never meat. I have nothing against meat per sey, but I just don’t think it has a place on my pizza.

    6.  What’s your favorite holiday? Why?

    Halloween. I don’t dress up or go nuts decorating, but I love that it is a fun holiday that doesn’t have the pressure and stress of presents or family involved. We have a little get together on the front lawn each year to give out candy. I have some little fabric ghosts that I hang in the trees and I collect jars all year (like mayo, pickles, etc) and spread them all over the yard-scape with tealights in them. It is always fun. Love the little kids in the costumes. But isn’t Halloween so contrary to what people tell kids? Like: Don’t talk to stranger or take candy from them?

    7. Who is the most annoying celebrity? Why?

    Those Gosselin people. Go take care of your kids and quit exploiting them.

    8. Is it better to be physically attractive or intelligent?

    Can’t I have both? LOL While being attractive does have perks and does professionally elevate some people over equally intelligent, but less attractive people, I believe that intelligence is more important and will get you through a lot more in life than just being a pretty face.

    9.  City or countryside? ‘Splain.

    Hmmm. I would say countryside as I tend to enjoy the quiet and I love nature. The less people around the better. That being said, I love a busy visit to a big city to enjoy museums, shops & restaurants. But it doesn’t take long before I want to go back to the quiet. I really don’t think I could live in a city.

    10.  What do you really think about memes like these?

    They’re a fun distraction that can be thought-provoking. But now, I should get back to work!

    • They’re a fun distraction that can be thought-provoking. But now, I should get back to work!

      No kidding. 🙂 I thought this one was good because the questions changed from person to person, and also they were really ones that required a thoughtful response.

      Speaking of, I really enjoyed getting to know you better from your answers! I loved your “happiness” list, and your childhood memory was so vivid! I remember the smell of cut grass, too, and the sound of sprinklers watering the grass in summertime when I was lying in bed in Madison, Wisconsin. It was always light until about 9 pm and our bedtime when we were small was 8. It was hard to get to sleep as sometimes older kids were still out playing. The sound of the sprinklers was soothing, though. Your memory really activated my own. Thank you.

      Your social issue of concern really made me think, too — I think you have something with it, BJ. It’s true, what you write. It makes me wonder what the results/consequences will be down the line.

      Thank you so much for participating. And now back to work with you!!! 😀

  4. Really liked doing this meme! But by reading through all the answers I clearly noticed I am not a native English speaker (Dutch it is). The holiday questions was misunderstood. 🙂

    My favorite holiday is definitely: Sinterklaas!
    Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sinterklaas

    • Hello, Miss M! I’m so glad you did the meme. And hey, I respect anyone that can use more than one language competently! For sure. I’m going to go and read your meme now. 🙂 Oh and also — I have some other Dutch friends and know about Sinterklaas already! It sounds like a fun holiday — the definite spirit of Christmastime, but with some cool twists to how it is celebrated.

      Thanks, too, for commenting and letting me know you read. See you here again soon, I hope!
      Be well!

  5. “I am pretty sure I would still be in Colorado, doing what I did there: teaching,”

    Were you a general ed teacher or did you have a specialty? I recently had (and will continue to have twice a week all summer) about 8 6th graders and it was all I could do to keep them from going completely primal. If I get the chance, I am definitely going to take some classes in beginning teaching just to learn the tricks to keeping their attention.

    “You’re on a deserted island with one book. What is it?”

    actually, I think this would be the excellent time to finally write. no chance of distractions (well that is not true for me at least, because I can get completely absorbed in observing the habitat around me, but I would try and journal (can I use that as a verb?) what I found)

    “and, especially, the monster under the bed.”

    I do not remember ever having seen any tv shows or hearing any storys about such, but do remember a dream or two when I was very young about a monster under my bed. I must have been exposed to this idea somewhere or do you think that we have a universal inbred fear of a malenevolent supernatural force that is bent on our destruction? Dreams of being chased or having to fight such have stayed with me to this day (had a zombie dream just a couple of nights ago)

    “What do you think about hyphenated or double last names for children?”

    actually, what has always fascinated me (as does most things that are culturally alien to me) was the practice of some families to give their children a list of five to ten names (latino and european cultures?) I had never used and at around seven had to be reminded of my middle name and I’ve wondered at the reason for that tradition.

    “A plane crashes. It’s full of people you think the world would be a better place without. Who’s on it?”

    Mildly temped to answer “I dunno who else would be ON the plane, but I’d probably be the pilot.

    I have ten:

    1. what is the most important lesson life has taught you so far?

    I think that is was best explained in the Gita when Krshna explained that he had made all of existance from the fabric of his very being, so there was a piece of Krshna in everything and everyone. So when we meet presidents or beggars in the street we must treat them all with the respect we would god, because there is a little bit of god within them.

    2. If there was one book you could make required reading for everyone, what would that be?

    Although the story is fairly local to the area I live, I wuld recomend Ecolopia by Ernest Callenbach, because the principals it teaches are universal.

    3. Is there a fictional character that you wish had been an actual person and why?

    Ishmael from the book of the same name by Daniel Quinn for a couple of reasons. First, A highly intellegent, talking gorilla would sooo mess with the heads of anti-evolutionaries. The other is that this creature who devoted itself to learning deep truths chose knowledge of social signifigance over knowledge of technological advancement or personal power over others and having gained enlightenment, seeks to pass it on. This unselfish and compassionate attitude is sorely needed amongst the knoledgable these days.

    4. If you had a choice in reincarnation, what would you choose?

    A tree. I have seen much of nature and it is basically the same struggles and suffering from species to species. Although as any other creature, I am sure that it would simply kill me to have to remain still, the lesson I probably need to learn is to simply stand still and “be”, to live for the sake of living and to appreciate that for what it is.

    5. What defines man as a higher species (and if you disagree that man is a higher species, which species would you suggest and why?)?

    This is tricky. Many would say man for the technological advancement he has made, but if the current headlines (since the time print was invented) are any indication, man seems to invent quicker than he understands his inventions and their implications. I do not veiw this as “higher”, because of the lack of understanding and reason. Others would say man also, but because his ability to create and appreciate art, but isn’t this an arrogant supposition that other species do not create art or have an appreciation of it? I’ve not seen proof of that.

    There are some that would point to any of the other “higher” mammals such as apes, dolphins or whales, simply because thay have not damaged their environment they way man has, but I would ask if you are sure they would not if they developed the ability. While they are capable of problems solving and emotional attachments, I’ve not seen that a societies, they are without the same failings we have.

    So maybe higher is reliance on pure instinct rather than what we ascribe as deep thought? Ants, bees, plants and the such seem to have blessed with perfect programing to live out their existances in harmony, but lack the ability (execpt via long term evolutionary adaption) to deal with changes in their environment.

    My answer would be the species man is capable of becoming. Man supposedly has the gift of reason. If he, as a whole species, connects with that gift, heals his suicidal tendencies for self-gradification and instead embraces the deeper instict of survival, there is potential for us to become that “higher species”.

    6. What does “birthday” mean to you?

    Socially, it is a series of milestone events that are thrust upon me by society. The day I am allowed to drink, drive, have sex, get a big discount in my auto insurance, retire and collect social security. Personally, I believe that everyone reaches different stages of maturaty at completely diverse rates depending on life-expiriences and the way they digest them and in this sense, “birthday” is just another day.

    7. Are you a “nationalist” and is national pride a good or bad thing?

    I am going to surprise myself by saying yes, I am a nationalist, but not too the point of being exclutionary. This could be a product of indoctrination, a lifetime of being told I must be proud of my country and why, but my reasons for pride is more for the potential of what we could be. Many of the things we do and have done are a deep source of personal shame, but I believe in the original purpose and the potential of its achievement.

    8. I’ve been elected president and I’m going to have a small celebatory dinner and you are invited. Few people refuse such an event, so what other 8 people would you like me to invite?

    1. Guy Kawasaki
    2. John Stewart
    3. Tenzin Gyatso (and because he might actually refuse, Deepak Chopra)
    4. Richard Branson
    5. Darryl Hannah
    6. Madeleine Albright
    7. Neil Gaiman
    8. Bill Nye

    9. If you wrote one great work, what type of book would it be?

    I think because I so relate to fantasy, that I could write an epic fantasy (something in the vein of John Crowley’s Littlebig – my favorite)

    10. Do you believe in predestination?

    somewhat, I believe that events will happen. How we prepare and/or react to them is something we own entirely.

    • That was way misspelled. for a spell-checked version see http://kenr61.multiply.com/journal/item/490/Something_I_posted_on_Karins_blog

    • Wow! That was really comprehensive, Ken! You are into this tagging and listing stuff, huh.

      Were you a general ed teacher or did you have a specialty?

      My Master’s degree (1995) is in Curriculum and Instruction with a focus on teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL). I have taught English and ESOL to people from the ages of 5-65 in the past 20 years. I started my ESOL career teaching English in PR China, and continued in various educational settings in the past 20 years, with most of my experience teaching in what is usually called an “intensive English program”, a program at the college and university level which is designed to help foreign students bring up the level of their academic English so that they can attend regular classes in a college/university.

      It’s too bad I don’t yet have working papers in France…

      So should people go to your blog if they want to answer your questions?

  6. Hey Karin! It’s great you did both of these and that you’ve given your readers more insight, its lovely getting to know you after reading your blog 🙂

    I’m a chunky monkey girl although I’m angry with ben & jerry’s as they have replaced the huge chunks of choccy that you used to get with choccy shaped bananas… just not the same, sorry.

    I’m just back so catching up but will be back here soon. Take care.

    • Hiya Piglet! Welcome back. 🙂

      Oh no!! No more chocolate chunks in Chunky Monkey?!? Choccy-shaped BANANAS? That just sounds wrong!!

      I agree: long before a lot of the other flavors, when Cherry Garcia and Chunky Monkey were two of the only kinds available, Chunky Monkey was delicious. I don’t think I could eat it without those square-shaped chucks of yummy chocolate. I really did like the walnuts in it, too.

      Thanks for catching up here, Piglet and see you around! 🙂

  7. Hi Karin,

    I really enjoyed this post. Great questions and fun too. I loved reading your responses. If you weren’t in Paris you’d be in Colorado, and if I wasn’t in Colorado, I ‘d be in Paris…hee hee.
    I always make a 5 year plan and usually only 1 out of the 10 items I write down come to fruition. Life has a way of twisting and turning, but we grow and move forward and make another unrealistic 5 year list.

    Have a great weekend and thanks for all of your support. You have helped me be stronger through my hiccup this past month by sharing yours. Merci!

    • Thank you Corine! It is good to see you here. 🙂 I hope you are feeling better and that life is treating you well. It’s true! We have a kind of vice-versa thing going on with our living places, huh.

      Life does have a way of twisting and turning, huh. I think I have a tendency to ride life like a whitewater rafting experience — I just go with that flow and where it takes me. Sometimes it leads to some scary rapids, but other times there are peaceful parts, too.

      Hang in there kiddo, and I will stop by “your place” very soon to see what’s up. 🙂

  8. OK, I know I’m really late, but have only just gotten around to this. Here’s my best shot!


  9. Dmarie

    1. What is happiness for you? reading a good book, eating good food…doing anything fun

    2. What is your favorite memory of childhood? one of my favorites is visiting Mammoth Cave when they turn out all the lights and you can’t even see your hand in front of your face. yikes!

    3. Do you like the book Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert? Why or why not? (If you have not read it, would you? Why or why not?) never read it…because of the word “pray” thought it’d be preachy. rethinking that now that I’ve seen the movie trailer!

    4. What do you think is the worst social problem facing the country in which you are living now? (i.e., if you are an expat, what is the worst social problem in your host country? How about your home country?) lack of awareness/concern for the environment

    5. If you like pizza, what are your favorite toppings? If you don’t like it, why the heck not? great tomato sauce!

    6. What’s your favorite holiday? Why? ok, not a holiday: I love Friday nights. they begin the weekend and the possibilities COULD be endless

    7. Who is the most annoying celebrity? Why? Rush Limbaugh. Need I say more?

    8. Is it better to be physically attractive or intelligent? intelligent. oh, how I would wish to be brilliant

    9. City or countryside? ‘Splain. city during week; country on weekends. thrills, chills and excitement, then a breath of fresh air

    10. What do you really think about memes like these? clearly, I am ok with them. who doesn’t like to give their two cents?

    • Hi Dmarie!

      Sorry it took me a bit to reply to your answers, but Paul is on vacation this week and next and we have been out and about doing lots of things together. It’s been fun. 🙂

      Yeah, Eat, Pray, Love is not the preachy kind of “pray,” per se, it is more about the author’s personal spiritual journey. It’s going to be interesting to see how it is adapted into a movie!

      I am so glad you left your two cents here and that I could know you better. Thank you! 🙂

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