Welcome, sweetie! I have wanted to do this for a long time, and I am really glad that you finally agreed to do this.
I guess I'll jump right in and ask you some questions… feel free to answer at length if you like, but since this is a written medium, I'll have to ask you refrain from giving me looks in answer to my questions. Deal?
Absolutely—My face will remain carefully expressionless—just like when I’m looking at food I don’t want to eat! [Hahahahahahah]
1. Why don't we start with some biographical information. Tell the readers about yourself.
Well, just to refresh your memory, I’ve been married to you for almost 14 years and we have a 9-year-old daughter. I am a professional historian and I make educational films for one of the smarter government agencies, although I started out my career as a newspaper journalist. I love reading, type fonts, and my Amazon Kindle. I hate stupid people, beef, talking on the phone, and George W. Bush. Is that enough for a start?
2. Great... I have to ask this for the sake of the folks who only know you as Mrs Gunfighter. Considering that you kept your family name when we got married, does it bug you at all that I refer to you on my blog as Mrs Gunfighter? If it does, I'll be glad to call you something else.
No—that way I know you’re talking to me.
We had a child-free, soccer-free weekend, did you enjoy yourself?
Yes, I did, although I would have preferred a dry weekend so that I could do more planting.
3. It was your idea to go and see Iron Man (the second time, for me). To tell you the truth, I was surprised, pleasantly, mind you. What did you think of the movie?
I thought it was really good and since it only had cartoon violence, I didn’t even have to keep my eyes closed. Robert Downey Jr. was really good as Tony Stark—a first class performance. Gwyneth Paltrow didn’t offend me as much as I thought she would, but her really high heels were a constant source of irritation. Tony Stark’s house was beautifully furnished and had a really lovely waterfall/staircase. I liked it a lot!
4. You are very astute, politically, babe… in fact, you are the Chair of our local Democratic Committee. What do you think about the chances for Democrats in Congress this election cycle? Do you think that we will achieve a working majority in the House and Senate?
Yes—I’m very optimistic. Even the least politically aware (i.e., the stupid) in the United States have to have noticed that things aren’t going well and perhaps it’s time for a change. There’s a very good NY Times article from last week by Tom Friedman called “Who will tell the People.” I highly recommend it.
5. Since we both Support the candidacy of Senator Barack Obama, and since this is your husband's blog, why don't you tell the readers what you think of the Senator and why you believe that he will be the next President of these United States?
Well, I’ve done some speechwriting in my time, and I think a great speech is really a thing of beauty. Obama is the kind of orator we haven’t seen since Bobby Kennedy. What a nation believes about itself is extremely important (“We have nothing to fear except fear itself”) and unless we have a leader who make us realize that we can fix our problems, the country is done for. Diverse groups who haven’t been active before are starting to look around and see themselves as part of a movement. [As an aside, in a funny way, popular tv always reflects the state of the nation’s psyche. I think that shows like Idol and Dancing with the Stars are a reflection of a desire for story where someone rises above and succeeds. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that there are so many “reality” shows with this format.]
6. What do you think of the way Senator Clinton has run her campaign? Have your opinions about her changed at all from her husband's White House years to now?
I’m really going to try not to let my feelings based on my personal experience with her color this answer…or maybe not! I’m disgusted with her campaign. Honestly, before the campaign began, while I wasn’t about to crown her, I could see myself voting for her. Today—absolutely not. I was a Clinton supporter long before you were, and I’m so sad to see how far they’ve fallen. They have moved race front and center in their campaign—from the innuendo in South Carolina to openly discussing how “hardworking white voters” support her today. They’ve made that discourse acceptable and for that I can never forgive them--ever. As one commentator said last week, even Richard Nixon in his southern strategy never used the word “white.” The idea that she’s some sort of man of the people—while attending the same schools as Obama and having a career as a high priced lawyer—is such a joke. Someone should tell her that where I grew up, women didn’t do shots with beers…or should I say only skanky women did! Pathetic.
7. Enough about politics…. Tell the readers, if you would… how cool is it to be married to Gunfighter? I mean it has to be a major rush all of the time, right?
24/7. I don’t even have words to describe how thrilling it is to throw your dirty clothes in the hamper. Although you are a terrific cook and a pretty nice guy (for a trained killer)!
8. Thanks, babe... I think. I'll work on that clothes issue (I hope that you liked your dinner last night) Changing the subject… you have rather eclectic tastes in music. Care to tell everyone about the music that you like.
Well, my musical tastes aren’t static! At home I like to listen to jazz, blues, Frank Sinatra (fabulous!) and global fusion music. At work on my desk, I’ve got Pink, Jane Monheit, George Michael, and the sound track of “Man of La Mancha” because Richard Kiley is the best Broadway baritone ever. Having said that, when I’m in the car I always listen to XM’s 20 on 20, because I like new music. At the moment, I like Timbaland and Chris Brown. The new Madonna song (I never bother to learn their names, as you know) isn’t bad, but I can’t stand Mariah Carey’s new one. I just think her music is insipid and she doesn’t look very smart to me… My favorite song of all time is Bob Marley’s “Redemption Song.”
9. How about when I play my head-banger music… does that bother you? and tell the truth, Ozzy Osbourne has buckets of talent, doesn't he?
Yes, I hate screaming guitars and often choose to find something to do upstairs. Ozzy’s slow songs are lovely—he’s an interesting person.
10. Moving on… you are a prolific reader. What is your favorite genre of books?
That’s a tough question. I mostly read nonfiction. I feel in love with history when I was in elementary school. My favorite personage was Cleopatra because, well, she was one of the few women who got a starring role. I’m totally thrilled that—without prompting or any suggestion from me—Soccer Girl has checked out all of the Cleopatra books from her school library. Today, I mostly read whatever interests me at the moment. I’m currently in a major China phase.
11. Who is your favorite author?
I’ve got different ones: Dorothy Dunnett for her wonderful House of Niccolo and Lymond Chronicles, the best historical fiction written ever. While I prefer Nicholas, both series are fantastic. (That’s in case you have any Dunnett fans in your readership. We always have to state our allegiance up front.) I also love Wilton Barnhart’s “Gospel”, a modern day story about the ancient church—it’s actually much better than it sounds—and Lisa See’s “Peony in Love.”
In mystery, I enjoy Elizabeth George for her finely crafted Lynley series (the books not the tv series) and Lisa See’s detective series. As an aside, I spent a lot of time in the rather run down English seaside town that was the setting for one of George’s books, and she had the feel of the place absolutely perfectly.
In history, you can’t do better than “Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.” Seriously. Gibbon’s footnotes are very witty and a real treat. Okay, maybe’s it’s an acquired taste…
12. Now, I'm going to open the floor for a moment. You are quite the enthusiast on home design. As a matter of fact, you are in the middle of transforming our home into your new vision. Why don't you tell us about that?
I’m very visual and so the way that things look is important to me. I think your personal style has to reflect who you are (your junk), fit your lifestyle (easy to clean), and look good (lots of books). Our living room/dining room/kitchen is in the process of transformation into a global fusion style with Chinese accent pieces from my trip to Beijing. I think a totally Chinese room would look forced, but a bench, a canvas, and a Buddha are enough. I have a friend who did her living room Chinese (you know who I mean) and it didn’t work at all. Our new red kitchen is going to be fabulous. I decorate rooms the way they strike me—that’s why our bathroom is a salute to the French Fauvists, the downstairs bathroom pays homage to Britain, and our bedroom is going to be a sort of Danish modern salute to the 18th century. I can’t wait to put up the giant wall map of Rome! My mother hates every single room in our house!!!!!
13. "My mother hates every single room in our house!!!!!" Baaahahahahahahaha! She does, doesn't she? Well tough shit for her! That's what I say. Sorry... I had a moment. Tell everyone about your love of paint.
I adore paint and will happily spend hours and hours thinking about it!!!! I currently recommend Benjamin Moore’s new Aura line, which is possibly the best paint ever. We tried a sample on a wall that’s never been painted (except by the builder) and it covered perfectly on the first coat without being absorbed into the dry wall. Paint is fab! Fan decks are always thoughtful gifts.
14. If we can silly for just a moment, I'd like you to talk about some of your choices for television viewing. I mean, I get the design shows, both for home and clothing, but you also watch, with some intensity, Flavor of Love, Rock of Love, and that show with Tila Tequila…. What's that all about?
Can I be snobby for just a minute? I have a Ph.D. and I spend all day with a bunch of other Ph.D.s. I don’t watch tv to enhance the intellectual part of my resume. If I want intellectual, I’ll read a book not watch PBS. Basically, all tv is kind of crappy, but there’s nothing wrong with that. I love “Rock of Love” because I don’t know any people in the real world who think that prowess on the stripper pole should play a big part in the selection of a life partner! I also continue to watch because I want to know why someone can’t get Brett a better weave. Flav—an idiot, but every once in a while there’s a flash of a real human being. And Tila Tequila—well who didn’t think Danni was way too good for Tila and was secretly happy she chose that doofus instead? I just admit to watching what people really watch but are too weak to own up to!
15. Wow. Just… wow. Um, Ok… let's talk about your DVDs. You have quite a few, which is really an understatement. How are things working out now that you have those brand new DVD storage racks that I covered the wall of our office with?
Excellent! I just have to do some organization. I don’t even know how many I have. Maybe 500?
16. Tell everyone about your enjoyment of tabloid magazines. Do you have a favorite in the conflict between Lauren "LC" Conrad and Heidi Montag?
Even I won’t watch “The Hills” because it’s just too stupid. If I HAD to pick, I’d probably go with LC. Heidi is just such a shameless publicity whore. Wasn’t it ridiculous when John McCain said that he watched this show???? Tabloids are great for looking at all the clothes and, well, who doesn’t want a front row seat the next time Ms. Spears goes off her rocker?
17. Summer is coming, and we are planning to send Soccer Girl to a variety of day camps and sleep away camps. Do you want to talk about that? Tell us the benefit of a busy summer for a child in the suburbs.
Soccer Girl is very social and she loves to be outside—two things I hate, so even if I was a stay-at-home mom, I’d still send her to camp. She’s looking forward to “horse camp,” and I’m happy to let her explore her independence a little. I think there are two main benefits for us. When she goes to day camp she comes home super tired, so we don’t have to haul her to the pool every night. Secondly, we might be able to get our long postponed trip to Water Country in while she’s gone. Pinky swear not to tell!
18. So, we're going back to Georgia and Florida in August. I am sure you are looking forward to it as much as I am. Tell everyone what you like most about our summer vacations.
I actually enjoy the preparation most of all. When I was a kid, I loved the anticipation and I still do. Of course packing is my single greatest skill, so I’m always looking for ways to top my previous personal best!
19. Of course, Disney World is very much a central part of what we do when we are in Orlando… do you ever get tired of that place?
Never. When I was very small (maybe 5), I had the measles. I remember laying on the couch and trying to watch tv, which was very difficult because the light hurt my eyes. But I kept them open because I was watching a Mickey Mouse Club rerun about the opening of Disneyland. I was entranced and never stopped thinking about what an amazing place it must be. We went to Disney World the year is opened and that sealed the deal for me. I don’t really care about characters, but the dimensionality of the place continues to fascinate me. When Soccer Girl was very small and she would nap in her stroller, I never minded just walking around for hours.
20. I concur. I suppose I could get tired of that place, but don't expect that to happen before 2097... when I am 134 years old. We have covered a lot here, today, babe… I'm going to end here by opening up the floor for anything that you would like to say in closing, so take it away!
This was fun—I’ve enjoyed meeting all of you! Thanks for the ink/pixels.
There you have it, friends. An introduction to the best person that I have ever known. This wonderful woman who supports me fiercely, who loves me (and I'm not easy to love, if I'm going to be honest here). This perfectly complex, super-smart, unassuming woman, sexy woman, has been my best pal since our first date... you can see why I love her so much.
Thanks for sharing, babe.