Tagged: Elevenses

Tagged by hostess of the humble bungalow, I will play! She has caught me in the mood on a snowy, all-alone night. And she said she "would like to know more about me"— this is cheaper than a ticket to the west coast, though I would love a cup of tea with her in the bungalow, Pepper nearby.

11 random things about me: I

1. No longer practice the religion, but live in a condo in a former Catholic church
2. Sold lingerie at JC Penney at 16 (Don't get a bra fitting from a 16 year old!)
3. Love magic, especially sleight of hand (I have Ricky Jay's king of hearts!)
4. Used to visit a family friend when I was a child, to pore over his autographed set of Rudyard Kipling
5. Was arrested twice for Vietnam war demonstrations (but not charged)
6. Named one son for the male character in the film "Diva" (Jules)
7. Started blogging as an antidote to writing entirely different material for a
8. Carry a tape measure in my bag at all times
9. Cannot stand picky eaters, especially if they are over age 10
10. Was the 8th grade spelling champion of my county
11. Was given the middle name Gertrude (ugh) because that was the name of my mother's two closest friends when I was born

The questions hostess asked:

1. What name would you choose for yourself if you could pick your own name?
Alison Palmer, the name yearningly uttered in "The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming" and the name of an old friend's daughter

2. Who would you most like to meet and spend an evening getting to know?
If it's an evening, June Callwood, but if it's a night, Marcello Mastrioanni!

3. What are your pet peeves?
Overpriced jewelers; the person who asks a restaurant to make something not on the menu; the person who starts sentences with "To tell you the truth..."; any designer who makes clothes only to size 8 or 10

4. If you could change one thing about your life what would it be?
I would not have married my ex-husbands. (Two: one very briefly and one for longer.) But that story had a happy ending!

5. If money were no object where would you like to live?
Where I live, with an open ticket to spend time in major cities, with periodic escapes to sunny isles and the Charlevoix region of Québec. No luggage, a small wardrobe in each place.

6. How would you describe your fashion style?
Quiet luxury interspersed with stealth bargains

7. Who influenced your life the most?
Towe Widstrand, a teacher

8. What is your favourite book?
The Maytrees, by Annie Dillard

9. What have you discovered about yourself that surprised you?
After many decades of intense work, I'm content living quietly and working lightly.

10. What is your favourite blog?
Don't have one, but am most grateful to deja pseu for hers, which started me blogging.

11. What 5 beauty products would you take if you were to go to a desert island?
1. Eight Hour Cream (Elizabeth Arden)
2. Rene Furterer After Sun Hair Masque
3. Sunblock
4. Assorted perfume samples, let's say everything L'Artisan Parfumeur has ever made, enough for the duration
5. Myers's Rum

You're it! 
I 'm tagging not only bloggers, but some women who comment here. If you're too busy, that's fine, but I'd love to hear from you if this appeals.
Anonymous "C."
lagatta à montréal
Sylvie (send me an e-mail and I'll paste it here)
and anyone else who would enjoy contributing!

If you would like to play, you can do so in my comments section or direct us to your site.

The request:
- 11 random things about you
- Please answer my questions, below
- Make up your own 11 questions and tag a few other people

My questions:

1. What is the best piece of advice you have received, and why?
2. What cause do you contribute to (in any way) to make the world better?
3. What is your most-enjoyed purchase in the last year or two?
4. Please describe a meal you love to eat
5. What does diddy-wah-diddy mean?
6.  If you could spend a perfect afternoon, what would you do?
7.  What three to five adjectives would a close friend use to describe you?
8. What seems unfair to you?
9.  Who or what makes you laugh deeply and wholly?
10. The entire world will sit up, be quiet and listen raptly to you for one minute. What might you say?
11. What work of art moves you deeply?


Love it when people are influenced by a great teacher!! Please come over to my site and register to win the clutch and necklace...one follower will win both!!
Anonymous said…
Ah I knew you were a feisty one!
Thank you for that, it was a great insight.
Anonymous said…
We used to do this in high school, only now it's way more interesting.
Susan said…
I love that you were involved in demonstrations against the Viet Nam War.
Merci Beaucoup Duchesse!

Myers Rum! that started my day with a laugh!
Interesting answers! I had a sneaky feeling that you were going to share a few surprises. Vietnam protest arrest for one.
Gretchen said…
When the Hostess launched this, I soooo hoped you'd play. I find you to be fascinating...I love the glimpses into your personality you share through your writing, and this piece confirmed that you are a real role model for me as I move towards my 50s and beyond. Think you, truly, for sharing. It was as much fun as Hostess' comments!
Susan Tiner said…
Your pet peeve "To tell you the truth..." reminds me of the mystery writer Donna Leon's pet peeve -- people who start sentences with the words "I'm one of those people who..."

I wouldn't have married my ex-husbands either.

Your favorite book is one I've not read, must check it out.
Duchesse said…
Pam: Am lucky to have had some extraordinary ones.

Tabitha: Would do it again.

kathy peck: So, will you play?

Susan: Thank you, my mother was not impressed.

hostess: Thank you for the invitation, was fun.

Gretchen: I sometimes need encouragement to reveal things, I'm shy.

Susan Tiner: Somewhere maybe there are some men saying that about *us*! So be it!

I have reviewed "The Maytrees" here: http://passagedesperles.blogspot.com/2009/04/maytrees-meditation-on-marriage-loss.html
Chicatanyage said…
Thanks for the invitation I would love to play. You have posed some very interesting challenging questions. We are off to the snowy north of england this week end to stay with some good friends so it will be an ideal time to reflect and get some valuable feedback.. Any deadline for this? ideally I will have some answers by the end of next week. It deserves some time and attention.
Duchesse said…
Chicatanyage: If someone gives me no deadline I don't do it, so say by the end of the month?
Joan said…
Doesn't diddy-wah-diddy speak to the pompatus of love?
Anonymous said…
Duchesse, I feel very honored to be asked!
So, then, 11 random facts about me:
1) I am half Greek, half Irish, and like to think that this gives me what horticulturists call "hybrid vigor."
2) I used to design and sew costumes for small theater companies.
3) I'm useless at sports, but very flexible and can walk for hours.
4) My father's family were chocolate makers, and believed that good chocolate is good for you.
5) I love birdwatching.
6) I am a born treasure hunter: whether foraging in the woods for edibles, or digging through thrift shops for antiques and designer clothes, it's being able to spy something of value that thrills me.
7) At 61, I have a 16-year-old daughter; for the past 7 years my husband and I have been raising his sister's orphaned child. (Our older daughter is 24.)
8)Facebook makes me uncomfortable.
9) Anything very old and hand-made holds magic for me.
10) I would be sad to live in a world without tea.
11) My shameful admission: Cars and traffic scare me. I never learned to drive, and probably never will.

And in answer to your questions:
1)A beautiful Canadian Sufi told me many years ago: "When you are worried about anything, ask yourself whether the outcome will matter to you 20 years from now." Quickly separates important concerns from everyday anxieties.
2)We give money to global organizations like Doctors Without Borders, Oxfam, and Amnesty International; I give my time locally. For years I served on the board of our local library, but now work on just one project: an annual poetry competition. This event pulls people together in a beautiful way. The prize winners (who have ranged in age from 6 to 90+) read their poems in the town hall.I get choked-up every time.
3) A recent thrift shop find is my favorite, of course: on a shelf of junk, I found an early 19th century hand-painted English pearlware dish, without a chip or scratch, for $2.00.
4) I had a memorable lunch with a friend yesterday: buckwheat crepes filled with smoked salmon, leeks, and creme fraiche; salad of arugula with a warm dressing of sauteed squash, chestnuts, dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds; a glass of delicious Sauvignon Blanc; and a cup of cappucino with coarse brown sugar for dessert.
5) Whatever one wants it to mean, of course--that's the beauty of it!
6) The perfect afternoon for me is always hours of talk with a good friend over plenty of tea or coffee.
7) Oh dear. I think a friend might offer, sweetly: artistic, clever, kind. My family would say: spacey and nerdy.
8) SO MUCH seems unfair--especially toward the not-yet- and no-longer- productive in this country. Children, elders, and other vulnerable people always seem to suffer most. In many parts of the world, meanwhile, the life of the least-fortunate American would seem like heaven. There is no fairness anywhere that I can see.
9) My two sisters. (My 96 year-old father says, "When you three girls are together, all I hear is laughing."
10) From my soapbox: I hope that you will cultivate imagination, in yourselves and your children, and look for it in your teachers, healers, politicians, and other leaders. Without imagination, we can have no source for empathy or compassion. I believe that all goodness, wisdom, and justice begins with the ability simply to imagine oneself in another's place.
11) One work that affected me profoundly is an odd one: Gavin Bryars' recording, Jesus' Blood Never Failed Me Yet. Beginning with the faintly audible singing of an elderly homeless Londoner, Bryars repeats the old man's simple hymn over and over, slowly building volume and adding orchestration. I found the humanity and incantatory power of it absolutely heartbreaking.

Anonymous said…

Can't come up with eleven new questions right now, but would love to see more readers' answers to yours, Duchesse. Thanks again for the thought-provoking invitation--

Anonymous said…
I too carry a measuring tape! And I must track down that Dillard book, I'd not heard of it.

As reluctant as I am to do these tags, on occasion we learn really fascinating things about one another.
LPC said…
It *is* nice to know more about you.
Chicatanyage said…

You are right and I will definitely respond before the end of the month, knowing me before that. Not sure what I will do with diddy-wah-diddy!!
materfamilias said…
Oh, you're even more fascinating than I already knew -- should have known you've been arrested. It's pretty obvious you can be dangerous ;-)
Share your irritation with picky eaters. And foisted a homely name on my daughter for similar reasons to your mother's -- mine has Elva, her paternal grandma's name, as her middle name. Her highschool friends were delighted!
Duchesse said…
Joan: And Maurice.

C.: Fascinating, thank you! An old friend of mine used to say, "I'm Greek and Irish, don't make me mad."

Terri: Yes, it was fun and wouldn't have done it on my own.

LPC: I think the questions say more about me than my answers :)

materfamilias: Is that the feminine form of Elvis? Oh, those middle names.
diverchic said…
11 Random Things about me:
•Sunny,cold, winter days when I can go out to play delight me.
•My light is firmly under the bushel. My greatest desire is to be recognized or seen.
•I love L'Occitane perfumes and cremes.
•I like big men. Oh, hell, I just like men.
•I learned I was beautiful when I was 55 and it was surprise.
•My most dangerous fault is vanity.
•My inner life is more vibrant and intricate than my life in the world.
•I have a separate drawer for scarves and it is overflowing - my colour eye candy.
•People think I am sweet. Yet I wonder why.
•I am telepathic.
•I adore my brother who is crusty and unbelievably kind.
1. What is the best piece of advice you have received, and why?
"Don't get involved in politics!" Small politics, gossip and manoevering, drain energy yet hold an almost irresistable attraction for me. Avoiding politics of all kinds is a sort of spiritual practice for me.

2. What cause do you contribute to to make the world better?
Externally, I support The Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust (www.hihtindia.org).

3. What is your most-enjoyed purchase in the last year or two?
Our 37 acre place with lake and fields and trees and beautiful house which has a great kitchen.

4. Please describe a meal you love to eat
A meal that has been prepared with love and care, salt and butter and doesn't include dead mammals.

5. What does diddy-wah-diddy mean?
I means "Oh, honey, you are so hot and I really want to get into your pants."

6. If you could spend a perfect afternoon, what would you do?
Find a Carribean island with sunshine on the water: dive for an hour in a spectacular coral sea; have a massage on the beach; make love in a big warm bed on clean soft white sheets with a gorgeous man; have a little nap; go for a walk and see a rare bird: hear a message of love whispered in my ear. Then meditate and be in harmony with the world.

7. What three to five adjectives would a close friend use to describe you?
Loyal, brave, funny, exciting, compassionate.

8. What seems unfair to you?
Not sharing.

9. Who or what makes you laugh deeply and wholly?
Almost everything.

10. The entire world will sit up, be quiet and listen raptly to you for one minute. What might you say?
You are loved. I have found it useful to examine myself for signs of negativity and to question what drives those. I make a practice of chosing a positive one from among the many and varied responses which come flooding in. All the responses may be true, so my effort is to pick one that is useful or doesn't hurt. Chosing positively becomes a habit. I try to give advice and observations objectively and kindly and to keep my mouth shut when I can't. Love one another.

11. What work of art moves you deeply?
Michelangelo's "David" and "Pieta".

These are the lists for today. Tomorrow may be different.
Duchesse said…
diverchic: This is so "you" and also so revealing. Thank you and see you soon but not, sorry to say, on a Caribbean island. My, that *is* a busy afternoon :)
barbara said…
conclusion: you're a woman with feminine charms and the attitude of an inner tomboy.
Anonymous said…
I've been walking around with Diverchic's evocative list in my head, especially "I learned I was beautiful when I was 55 and it was a surprise." A poem in one line, I think.


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