Monday, October 08, 2007


I guess I asked for it…
I’m taking a short break from my current series (of which I posted a new part to, just ahead of this one) to indulge a rather fun interaction that I’ve come to enjoy recently.

One of my favorite people in Blogland is also one of my oldest acquaintances. She goes by the initials ‘CCC’ (but I just call her ‘C’ for short). She was among my original core of readers who herself began blogging near the same time that a lot of us did, in May of 2004.

For nearly a solid year she was as consistent as the sunrise with her comments of support until sometime in early 2005 when she just seemed to disappear from her own blog as well as mine.

Well I’m happy to report that as of early this past February, I discovered that C was back — and quite busy, thank you! She made the decision to do a complete career change, and has devoted a whole new blog to it, called Leaving Corporate. In it, C chronicles how she decided to take the plunge, eschewing a dissatisfying, yet high-paying job in the corporate world, for something much less stressful, while figuring out where her true career calling lays.

Pretty brave, but that’s the kind of passion for life this lady possesses. She is without a doubt the most honest and ‘rubber-meets-the-road’ blogger I’ve ever encountered. She really lays it all out there. Every post exudes power, self-discovery and the wisdom that comes with being real to oneself and to others. She’s got a lot to say, and has developed a pretty nice following of readers who enjoy the vicarious thrill ride of witnessing her dealings with both the demons of her past and the hope that we all have for her future.

But what’s kinda fun for me is, C thinks this post is about me, but it’s actually about her. The fact is, I'm taking the opportunity now to complete some unfinished business from March of 2005, when I wrote a series of tributes to a few of my favorite bloggers who had for one reason or another temporarily curtailed or discontinued blogging altogether.

It was about that time (if memory serves) that C also began to slow down in the daily posting to her old blog. I had wanted to include her in my Bloggers of Extinction series much more than just the cursory mention I did make of her at the end of it, but at that point I really wasn’t sure exactly what she was going to do. I didn't realize that she’d actually left until sometime later, after I’d finished the series.

So I’m now taking this time to do now what I wanted to do then. Actually, I kinda tricked her with the help of new member of my blogroll, and fellow CCC admirer, Josie Two Shoes.

The Two Shoes Interviews
On her blog in late September, Josie continued a memetic exercise she had participated in with another blogger, who offered to ‘interview’ her readers. As the blogger from whom she got the idea had done, Josie would ask five random questions, which the interviewee would then answer and expound upon, on their own blog.

Interesting concept, no?

Well, as an avid reader of Josie’s site, C took the challenge and asked to be put on the spot. Her responses to Josie’s questions can be found here and here. Predictably they were thought provoking and honest, encompassing the wisdom of both C’s late Mom and the lessons in human nature that life continues to teach her, concepts from which we can all benefit.

Subsequently C offered to continue the string passed along to her by Josie, to interview her own readers. Naturally, I was intrigued at what kind of questions C’s fertile imagination would come up with for me, so I e-mailed her to offer myself as a potential victim.

As I said, my intent was twofold; sure I was curious about her interview questions, but short of that, I just wanted to take the opportunity to say how special she is, and how much I appreciate what she means to our Blogland community.

So there. I’ve accomplished one part of my mission, now onto the other.

Tripping the Dark Fantastic
One thing I have to admit that draws me to C’s work is the fact that she’s so different than I am in the way she looks at the world. For whatever reason she enjoys the darker side of things, although not excessively so.

I wouldn’t necessarily consider her ‘Goth,’ or someone who particularly dips her toes into the waters of the occult, but she definitely leans in that direction.

In her e-mail response to my, “Eh…maybe I’d like to be interviewed by someone…” come-on, she sort of stated the obvious (and again, she did not disappoint):

I would love to interview you! Although, I'm a different type of interviewer than josie.

Er…no duh, C!

On to the questions...

1) You have just died. Your Maker has informed your soul that it will return to earth to learn several valuable lessons which AJ did not learn in his former life. What will you return as (male/female/animal) and which lessons does AJ still need to learn in his new life?

Hmmm…I guess I could return as a female so I could be a helluva lot smarter, but then that might not really satisfy The Maker’s intentions for me to learn the stuff I couldn’t get through my thick skull the first time around.

So yeah, I think I’d give it another go as a guy, except this time I’d be at least eight inches taller so I could lose this Napoleon’s Syndrome thing I’ve had going on all my life. Yep, I admit it, I’m a little on the passive-aggressive side when it comes to my shortcomings (no pun intended). Thankfully I’m much better in that regard now than I was in my twenties, when success as an athlete and circumstances in my personal life pretty much convinced me that my shit smelled like roses. As Michelle will tell you, in no uncertain terms, I was a lot harder to live with then. I didn’t want to face up to my lack of initiative, my lack of trustworthiness, being on time, etc. When confronted, I bristled and assumed that the world was against me. “I’ll show ‘em,” I’d think to myself. But most of the time there was nothing to show.

The moral I learned, and am still learning, is that you never grow up, you never mature, you only progress; and that is yet an ongoing process. I didn’t really learn that until I well into my forties; that’s lots of wasted years in frustration that I’d like to have back.

2) Before your soul returns to earth, your Maker has asked you to describe your preferred a) parents (if any) b) lifestyle, c) spouse (if any) and d) children (if any). Your Maker also informs you that your choices cannot be the same (people/lifestyle) as in your former life. Describe what you want in your next life.

Wow, that’ a loaded question! Certainly I would like my Mom to still be alive, and since she wasn’t really a part of my life as it turned out, that option would still apply under your scenario. I would have liked the chance to learn from her. Every indication is that she was as universally loved and respected as a person could be, but unfortunately the family curse, Early-Onset Alzheimer’s disease robbed me of the opportunity to experience that part of her first-hand.

Obviously it’d be fun to be in a more financially well-off circumstance than the one in which I grew up, but not if it would serve to change my values, and the respect I have for the value of a hard-earned dollar. I mean, The Maker would want me to improve myself, not the other way around, right?

And finally, if you think I’m gonna entertain the thought of having a different spouse, you crazy, grrl! I know what’s good for me! But seriously, if I couldn’t have Michelle, then I guess the only thing I would wish for was someone just like her…but maybe like two inches shorter — or me being two inches taller. And you asked her, I know she’d agree. It’s not that big of an issue, it’d just be nicer that way is all.

3) Minutes before you died as AJ, both you and your wife were tied up and locked together in a closet by a robbery gone bad. How unfortunate. The robber is just outside the door and announces he will shoot the both of you shortly. At that moment, you look at your beautiful wife, knowing that you may never see her again -- should this robber succeed in his plan -- and you desire to tell her something you have NEVER told her before. What would you say/confess?

I would only say this if I was absolutely certain she’d believe me, otherwise I wouldn’t waste my breath on the possibility that she’d over-scrutinize or take it cynically. I’d only say it if I was sure she’d accept it at face value.

So with that condition met, I don’t consider it a confession as much as a declaration, and I need to preface it a little further here. No matter how much you love someone, no matter how well you know them, you cannot know their innermost thoughts and attitudes unless they want you to. I would like to think that I’ve communicated what I would say to her already, if not in so many words. But I don’t know if she believes me, because of my actions, which so often betray those words.

That being said, I would want her to know that I genuinely consider her to be the greatest gift that God could have ever given me, and it is her and her alone who makes me feel lucky to be who I am. Believe me, things could have turned out a lot worse for me. She is my pearl of great price, and I cherish her like nothing and no one else, regardless of whether or not my stupid self allows me to show it.

4) Your wife is staring at you, stunned at/ in awe of what you just told her (moments before you are about to die). What is the *one thing* you want her to say/confess/ or do to you before the robber opens fire on your ass?

Meh…something similar to what I just said to her would be nice. But it really wouldn’t matter either way.

5) All of us are going to die one day. Most of us hope we go peacefully in our sleep. And as we lay awake at night thinking of the way we are to die, there is this fear that hovers closer still -- the fear of how we *do not* want to die. Describe what method of death you most fear, and why?

Aww, ya saved the easiest question for last, eh? I sure as hell hope that by revealing it I’m not tempting the fates, but I’m scared shitless of drowning; drowning in water or suffocating in some type of semi-liquid material (like quicksand). I’ve had nightmares about it all my life and it gives me full-body shivers to dwell on it even for a moment.

I think the ‘why’ again emanates from my desire for control over my own existence, despite the fact I realize (and truly believe) that I really have none. Yeah I know, go figure.

Nope, when I go, I want it to be quick, in the daytime (I want to be awake and fully knowledgeable of what’s happening), and as relatively painless as possible. Think you can arrange that for me, C?

Passing it on
Thanks again to C, both for falling for my lil’ trick and also for posing such interesting questions. Hopefully I answered them to her satisfaction.

In keeping with the requirements of this meme, I now open it back up to my readers. If you would like to be interviewed by me, simply e-mail me (my addy can be found on my Blogger profile page), or leave me a comment to that effect. I will choose five questions that you will answer and post on your own blog. Then you can offer to extend this string a little further on down the line.

It’s a great way to get to know your neighbors better, and a lot of fun. Give it a try…I dare ya!

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