Friday, March 02, 2012

A Meme from the Queen

(Note all the labels for this post. This one conveniently fulfills all my recently created blog categories for The New and Improved Telecommuter Talk, except for "music." Seems I must do a couple of posts on music, then, no?)

Remember back in the day when I was dubbed "The Queen o' Memes"? No? I don't blame you. I barely remember it myself, seeing how long it's been since I either responded to or created a meme. There have been quite a few that I've meant to respond to, but, well, we all know the difference between meaning to do something and actually doing it. I'm much better at the former, not always so good at the latter. In other words, if proverbs are to be believed, you don't have to look too hard to see the good intentions oozing out of the big truck paving my road to hell.

Luckily, I have Susan at You Can Never Have Too Many Books doing her best to save me from the fiery pits of hell. She tagged me for a meme that I just couldn't resist (and even emailed me to tell me she'd tagged me so that it wouldn't whizz by unnoticed, the way so many good blog posts seem to do these days, while I plod my way much more slowly around the blogosphere than I used to).

These are the rules for what I'm calling The Eleven Questions Meme:

1. Post the Rules.
2. Answer the eleven questions that were asked of you by the person who tagged you.
3. Make up eleven new questions and tag eleven new people to do the meme.
4. Let them know you tagged them.

And these are the questions Susan made up for those she tagged to answer, along with my answers to them:

1. What is your favourite place in the world?
I'm not sure. I absolutely love so many places and would move to any of them in a heartbeat (New York City; London; Edinburgh; Mt. Desert Island, ME; Portland, ME; Asheville, NC; etc.), but there are plenty of places in the world I've never been that I'm sure I would love just as much (Vienna, for instance. Rome for another). The world is just too big, and there's just too much to love.

2. Have you ever visited an author's home, and did the experience live up to your expectation?
When I was fifteen, I visited Beatrix Potter's home, and yes, it absolutely did live up to my expectations. It was the perfect place for the creator of Peter Rabbit, et al., and I loved discovering that she actually found dead animals and dissected them in order to be able to draw them as accurately as possible. I also, a couple of years ago, visited the home where Edgar Allan Poe lived during his Philadelphia years. There's a museum on the first floor, but the rest of the house is unfurnished, giving it a wonderfully eerie quality that just quietly whispers "Poe."

3. Do you read biographies of authors you like, or do you prefer to let their words speak for them?
I'd prefer to read biographies, and do, but not nearly as often as I'd like. I frequently find myself thinking, "Hmmm...I really ought to read a book about (Poe, say -- especially when touring his house)," but then I never do. Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't help when it comes to this. These days, I typically just refer to it and the links it provides when I want to know more about an author. When I do sit down with a biography (or autobiography or memoir), though, I always end up wishing I did so more often.

4. Do you have a comfort food?
I have tons of comfort foods: grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, hot dogs, meat loaf and mashed potatoes, chicken pot pie (real chicken pot pie, not the chicken stew people in Lancaster County call "chicken pot pie"), bagels with cream cheese and lox, shrimp cocktail, fried egg on toast, baked beans on toast (actually, just toast, period)... I'm making myself hungry, so I'm going to stop now.

5. Do you have a favourite classical author?
That's like having a favorite place in the world. Many, many spring to mind: Louisa May Alcott, Charlotte Brontë, Jane Austen, Leo Tolstoy, Mark Twain, Edgar Allan Poe (he's popping up all over the place in this meme), Aristophanes, and I could go on. I'm sure, though, that I have plenty of undiscovered authors who would fit the bill once I get around to reading them. Maybe in my next life?

6. Do you prefer to watch the movie first, or read the book first?
Unless I know it's going to be my next lifetime before I finally get around to reading the book, I prefer to read the book first. There's nothing I hate more than being told what a character looks like (via images on a screen) before I've created the character in my own mind. In fact, it can ruin a book for me. Sometimes I accidentally see a movie first, because I don't realize it's a book (The Descendants), but usually I read the book before seeing the movie.

7. Do you have enough bookshelves? (I know this question is a cheat, because really do any of us have enough bookshelves?)
I would if my husband didn't have so many books :-)!

8. Is there an author that you are planning to read this year for the first time?
Yes, Jack Vance (and I've already begun to read him and have fallen in love with him).

9. Do you have a favourite historical period, and why is it your favourite?
The 1920s. It's my favorite because I love the 1960s, too, and all the radical changes that shook up the world, and the 1920s were the same. People forget that because our memories are short, and no one studies history much anymore. The 1920s were the original radical decade of the twentieth century.

10. Name a book that you are anticipating reading that is being published this year.
Tana French's Broken Harbour. Can. Not. Wait.

and just because I [Susan, although Emily loves this question, too] like this question so much:

11. Name two of your favourite novels that you have reread more than once.
Norton Juster's The Phantom Tollbooth, which I recently wrote about here and Charlotte Brontë's Jane Eyre. Like The Phantom Tollbooth, I read it about once a decade or so.

These are my 11 questions (which will include some questions about music, so technically, I probably could label this post "music", as well, but I won't):

1. Have you ever liked a movie more than the book? If so, what movie(s)?
2. ________ opening for __________ would be a dream concert. Fill in the blanks. (You can fill them in with performers dead or alive.)
3. If you're making dinner and don't need to take into account anyone else's tastes but your own, what do you find yourself having over and over again?
4. You get to interview the author of the book you are reading right now. What's the first question you'd ask?
5. If the world becomes one in which all new novels are only published in digital format, what will you miss most?
6. If you had been gifted to play any musical instrument brilliantly, what would you choose to play? (Or maybe you are so-gifted. If so, what do you play?)
7. The "war between the sexes" has been around since the beginning of time. What do you think is the biggest problem between the sexes today?
8. If you could switch places with any celebrity for three months, with whom would you like to switch places?
9. You can eat at any restaurant in the world. Where would you eat?
10. What book do you wish you hadn't wasted your time reading last year?
11. Would you like me to answer all these questions myself?

I'm tagging the following 11 people (some of whom have been tagged in almost every single meme I've ever done, I think, which reminds me of the good old days when I used to spend so much time whizzing around the blogosphere):


Looking forward to hearing what everyone has to say!


litlove said...

Oh boy I haven't been tagged in a meme for ages. I think I've been in the blogosphere for so long that I'm invisible. Someone called me a matriarch the other day and I just felt... old. Anyway enough of my moaning - thank you! I will do this soon! xx

Emily Barton said...

It had been ages since I was tagged for a meme, too. How about instead of a matriarch, we call you the Queen of the Blogosphere?

Susan said...

Yaaay! thanks for doing this! I loved your answers,as I knew I would. YOu made me laugh - I too would have so many favourite foods, and favourite places, and favourite author (you already know about my difficulty picking one heroine!) So is Edgar Allen Poe someone you should be reading this year? he did pop up lots here!

I like how it was Beatrix Potter you went to! I forgot about the dissection....I have to read more about her. I used to love those books.

And always, I prefer to read the books first to seeing the movies. You put it in a most excellent way, to fix the character in your imagination first before seeing a real person.

And ooh to Tana French's new one!

I bow to the Queen of Memes, you are back! :-D

Stefanie said...

I received your command on FB and here. I shall obey :) Enjoyed your answers. Now I must think about your questions!

ZoesMom said...

My answers are finally posted! I enjoyed this. :-)

Bob said...

Emily, I think I'm supposed to post these on my blog but as you know my blog is all over the place and I don't do that kind of thing. So, I'm answering here and hope it's OK.....

1. I usually don't "do" the movie once I read the book, but made an exception with John Irving's The Cider House Rules. But Irving wrote the screenplay, and although he omitted some subplots, it's a certainly faithful to the spirit of the book. I can't say I "liked" it more than the book as you can't compare the two. I did love both.
2. Oscar Petersen (deceased, unfortunately) opening for Stacey Kent. (BTW, Kent makes a rare USA performance on June 11 at the Susquehanna Valley Country Club in Hummels Wharf, PA which shouldn't be that far from you).
3. This one is easy as when Ann is away for long periods, I have the same thing the same day of the week to keep things simple: Monday: a supermarket cooked chicken, frozen spinach, salad, Tues: grilled lean hamburger, frozen spinach, salad; Weds. See Monday. Thursday: Salmon, frozen spinach, salad; Friday: take out, shrimp fajitas, Sat: See Tues. Sunday: See Thursday. Repeat. I know, boring, boring, but don't care much about food.
4. I'm currently reading Sondheim's Look, I Made a Hat. I'm too intimidated by Sondheim to speak.
5. Warren's Patina paper, the aroma of a new book, deckled edges, folding back corners of pages I'd like to go back to.
6. I play the piano focusing on The Great American Songbook, performing concerts for some of the seniors here in FL (even though, gulp, I'm a senior myself).
7. Trust
8. Current celebrity: Sondheim (just to understand what it is to be a genius for three months). Past celebrity (and none of your readers have ever heard of him): Bobby Shantz because as a kid I wanted to pitch just like him.
9. Captain Charlie's Reef Grill in Juno Beach.
10. I put down books I feel are a waste of time after 50 pages, so no answer to this one.
11. Sure. How did I do?