The Lady Speaks

D-Day Interviews Me

I asked to be interviewed by D-Day of Liberally Mirth at the end of June, but then I forgot I was supposed to be on the lookout for his questions, and so I forgot to check the blog email for… well, a few days…. okay, okay – a lot of days.

So, after much delay, here’s the questions and my answers:

1) Describe your history as a political activist/blogger. What made you decide to do The Lady Speaks? Were you always active/interested in politics?

I originally started out thinking it would be a journal of sorts. I put up one post (about the joy of school starting again) and then came Hurricane Katrina. I was so infuriated, and I couldn’t stop talking about how angry I was, so I put it on the blog. After that, it was kind of hit and miss posting, until Jan 2006, when illness forced me to leave my job. I had lots of time on my hands – and a tendency to make long-winded comments at C&L. I started taking those comments and expanding on them. From there, it just kind of…happened.

As for politics, I wasn’t very interested with politics on a national level until El Chimpy came along. I knew from the beginning of his campaign that he was going to be trouble, but I felt like I was the only voice opposing him.

2) You do a regular feature called Jenn’s Sunday Sermon. While there isn’t usually any religious overtones to it, do you consider yourself religious and do those views affect how you write and view the world?

I’m not religious at all, but definitely spiritual. I believe there’s a force at work in the universe, but it goes by many names, many ideas. I once called my beliefs a “patchwork.” Little pieces of this or that religious view, that spiritual idea, that resonated within me when I found them. I believe we as humans are called to be good to one another, to help each other through the good and the bad, and that we’ve lived multiple lives in that goal. There is no Hell, just a continuing of life outside the Divine until we’re fit to join it.

I started calling it the “Sunday Sermon” to mock the Talibangelicals who sermonize and proselytize, but fail to live up to the basic tenets of their faith. Christ said nothing about abortion, nothing about homosexuality, nothing about stem-cell research. He did tell us to care for the sick and dying, the poor, the imprisoned.

What I believe definitely impacts what and how I write, and how I see the world. For example, I cannot find it in myself to hate someone because of their orientation or their color or even their politics. We’re all part of humanity, and to deny them is to deny a part of myself.

3) Time out for a little personal info about you. What’s your favorite music? Food? Color? Book and/or author? Movie? Why are they your favorites?

Favorite music: I love listening to late 70’s and 80’s rock. AC/DC, Queen, plus Foreigner, Bon Jovi, Metallica, Judas Priest. Why? I was a teen in the 80’s and grew up on it.

Favorite food: It’s hard to narrow it down, but if I could pick only one thing off the menu, it’d be Chicken and Biscuits. My mom used to make this, with homemade soda-biscuits.

Favorite color: Fire-engine red. I have no idea why, but I love it anyway.

Favorite book/author: Grapes of Wrath. Why? Steinbeck shows how the suffering of the people, yet also shows their strength. Your average middle-class family wouldn’t have endured what the Joads did. Being poor, for all the awfulness of it, teaches you to take nothing for granted, to waste nothing, to make something of nothing.

Favorite movie: It’s a toss-up between The Never-ending Story and The Princess Bride. Why? I think because they share the “movie within a book” theme, and the idea that books can transport you to amazing places populated with amazing people and creatures. Plus, they’re just fun.

“My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.”

4) Is there a defining moment or event in your childhood that has affected how you have become today? If so, How?

I thought about this for a long time. There was a lot of bad in my childhood that made me more sensitive to other people’s needs and fears, but it was something my grandmother did when I was 8 or 9 that made me more aware of the need to help others.

We lived in a tiny little “town” – more a collection of houses on one road – and there was an Amish community a few miles away. The older daughter and a couple of the younger sons of one Amish family sold baked goods at a little table near the store. One of my favorite “jobs” back then was walking the short distance to the store and picking up the mail and a few groceries for Gramma. She always said, “And don’t forget, tell me how much is on Dora’s table.”

I never understood this until the time I spent the weekend with her. That Saturday evening, Gramma put her walking shoes on, slipped her gigantic purse over her shoulder and walked down to the store – and bought as much as we could carry. A couple cakes, three dozen donuts, a pie, and three loaves of bread.

As we walked back, I asked her why, and she told me Dora would get in trouble with her father if she hadn’t sold enough. It wasn’t until I was much older that I found out Dora’s father would beat her if there was too much left unsold, but that was when I started to realize each of us is called to help each other, as best we can.

5) Please answer one of the two following: What is the square root of Pi? 🙂 OR when you look at your life so far, would you describe it as happy, partly happy or not very happy?

Acck! Math question! I’ll take happiness for $1000, Alex.

Looking at it so far, I’d say…. mostly happy. There have been bad times and hard times, but the good stands out. There’s always been love and laughter, even in the worst of times.

Now it’s your turn!

– – –

Do YOU want to be interviewed? Interview 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 a post containing your 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.


July 14, 2007 - Posted by | Blogging, Just For Fun


  1. I love you answers, PA. There is such sincerity when you talk about the issues of poverty and it shows a deepness in you that I very much admire.

    Comment by mirth | July 15, 2007 | Reply

  2. Hey PA! Been on the lookout for this. Great answers!
    I found being interviewed to be lots of fun because it made me think back on things I don’t often think about but coming up with the questions was hard! Five questions isn’t enough to really get to know someone and that’s the goal, to find out what makes a person tick.
    Btw, we share some taste in music. I came of age during that era too but could never get in to the new wave pop thing of those days…..Thank God!

    Hope you enjoyed doing that. I know I enjoyed learning more about you.

    Comment by D-day | July 15, 2007 | Reply

  3. I enjoy that ! Pa Lady is one amazing gal. Such a deep heart and spirit. Her sharing is often empowering to others. PA you are a gem ! Being a retired social worker , who would tell the more reluctant elderly clients “i was nosey for a living” Its always been my sincere interest in what other people’s views and lives are like and what has influenced them. Social workers at least the well educated ones are taught to always look at the person’s situation first, analyse the environmental forces and stresses..And only as a last resort , pathologize the person. We look at systems first. ( i can certainly relate to long winded comments, and wonder if i am constitutionally incapable of being succinct and pithy)

    Comment by proudprogressive | July 15, 2007 | Reply

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