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A longtime reader of this blog, from Portland, Oregon, sent me one of those Q&As that are usually shared on social media platforms like Facebook. Some questions are benign, and others are more probing. Last night, I filled it out and sent it back to her (and she sent me hers). Then I got the idea to publish it here. Why not? Let’s get to know each other. Feel free to send me yours.
NICKNAME(S)? Indigo, Dinky, Dink, Little Boz
PLACE OF BIRTH? Bronx, New York – the garden spot of the world!
ETHNICITY? Greek, Sicilian, Middle Eastern, Irish, Spanish
SIBLINGS? Three big brothers, one of whom has died
RESIDENCE: Granby, Connecticut
COLLEGE? Yes, master’s in Comparative Lit, master’s in English Language and Lit, and bachelor’s in (double major) journalism and English lit. Currently studying Buddhism at the College of East Asian Studies at Wesleyan University.
PETS? Two dogs.
FAVORITE COLOR? I love colors, lots of them; the clear, bright orange of a Theravada Buddhist monk’s robe, the brilliant turquoise of a clean body of ocean water, and chocolate brown are a few of my favorites.
FAVORITE FOOD? Too many to list, and it changes, but I’ll go with cauliflower ‘wings’ (cauliflower baked then tossed in wing sauce), stuffed grape leaves (dolmades), vegan Caesar salad, homemade hummus, sun tea, orange, lemon, or mango sorbet, hot tea, green tea latte (hot or cold), hot cacao, Jamaican rice and peas, all fruit (especially organic bananas, mangoes, avocado, dragon fruit, watermelon, pineapple, strawberries), and root veggies. I better stop or this will go on for days.
FOOD YOU HATE? Hate is a strong word, but - any animal product, cilantro, and overcooked veggies. Also, I’m not crazy about raw kiwi.
PERSON THAT INSPIRES YOU? Thousands have inspired me – Siddhartha, Ghandi, Gloria Steinem, Barak Obama, Hannah Nydahl, Terence McKenna, my friend Sunny, and Yuttadhammo Bikkhu. And all animals, in their purity of heart and compassion, inspire me.
FAVORITE ACTOR/ACTRESS? I’ll go with Clint Eastwood.
SPORT? Football! I’m a Giants fan first and last, but lately I also dig the Patriots. Unless you mean sports that I do, then that would be swimming (I’m a certified lifeguard), kayaking, boating, bicycling, and lately, tubing.
MUSIC? That ebbs and flows, but my perennial favorites are sitar, guitar, chant, Santana, Boston, 90s grunge (Blind Melon is a favorite), and Credence.
BOOK? These are tough questions! Obviously, the Dharma teachings. But I’ll answer this one outside the realm of Buddhism by referring to the one author I return to over and over – James Joyce.
YOUR OCCUPATION? I’m a lifelong journalist (TV, radio, and print) who changed careers when I married and moved. Now, I work as a designer and developer of educational materials for the aviation industry. It’s uninspiring work, but it pays the bills and I’m grateful to have it. One day soon, I’d like to find work that feeds my spirit and my need for stimulation. Journalism paid poorly, and the hours were horrible, but there was never a dull moment. I may return to journalism, or move into something completely new and challenging. I’m also an activist who works onshore with Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. My dream job is to open a totally hip vegan café and tea shop where everyone can come and fellowship, network, and eat amazing food.
HOBBY? Guitar, gardening, earthing, making vegan food, reading, writing, blogging.
PLACES IN THE WORLD YOU’VE VISITED? Inside the U.S – California (L.A., San Fran, Oakland, Haight Ashbury, and my brother and I once drove from the northern tip to the southern tip of the state, along the coast; Aspen, Colorado, and environs; Chicago, Illinois, and environs; Dallas, Texas, and environs; Alaska; Las Vegas; Florida; Georgia; Carolinas, (pretty much all the Eastern states); and all of New England. Outside the U.S. - Montreal and Quebec, Canada; Jamaica; Ireland; England; Scotland; Paris and environs; South Korea; Hong Kong and environs; Barcelona and environs.
ONE PERSON YOU COULD HANG OUT WITH FOR A DAY? Terence McKenna or Hannah Nydahl.
BEST DAY OF YOUR LIFE? There’s been so many incredible days, so that’s a tough one. Contenders for the best one include the day I took refuge in the Buddha, Dharma, and Sangha; my wedding day; the day I brought home Daisy Sage as a puppy; and the first time I made love.
WORST DAY OF YOUR LIFE? That’s hard to quantify, but when my Daisy Sage died, I felt pain I never thought was possible. I hope I never feel that way again.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST AFRAID OF? After giving this some thought, my answer is going to be cilantro. I’m definitely afraid of cilantro. It's gross. A big spider anywhere near my body can also ruin my day. I used to be afraid of getting pregnant, but my husband had a vasectomy, so I don’t fear that. Yay for uninhibited sex!
FAVORITE PERSON? My husband for sure. And people of courage.
LEAST FAVORITE PERSON? The person who acts out of fear, which always manifests as anger and vengefulness. Life is a constant choice of fear or love. It’s just deciding which wolf to feed. Those who feed their own fears and hence strike out at others in anger are a terrible burden on the Earth and its inhabitants.
IF YOU COULD BE DOING ANYTHING RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD IT BE? Easy. I’d be enjoying the simplicity of standing with my bare feet on the Earth.
YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IN LIFE? To be of service.
AND FINALLY, WHAT’S ON YOUR BUCKET LIST?
Hike to the top of Huascarán Sur in Peru and bow down to the living Earth
Live in Vietnam for a year
Become great with the guitar
Open an awesome vegan café/gathering place/Buddhist hub
Visit Bali, Indonesia and Thailand, both during the same trip. I’d like to spend at least a few months at each
Vacation in Kuai
Travel through Tibet
Pilgrimage in Dharamshala
Ordain as a Buddhist monk (if I ever found myself widowed)
Visit the graves of James Joyce, Jerry Garcia, and Terence McKenna
Grow the world’s tallest sunflower (the current record is 30 feet and 1 inch!)