five question interview

sonrie has invited me to take part in a 5 Question Interview. If you would like to participate, follow these rules: 1. Leave me a comment saying, "interview me." 2. I will respond by emailing (or commenting) you five questions. I get to pick the questions. 3. You will update your blog with 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.

1. When you are in a coffee shop, what do you most often order?  What is your splurge or I-feel-really-good-today-and-I-can-get-what-I-want drink?

wow- this question makes me realize that i haven't been to a coffee shop in the longest of times.  well, i did go to this fabulous bakery last weekend, where we buy our weekly bread, and we treated ourselves to a delicious breakfast with coffee...but to an actual "coffee shop"--no...perhaps i will pay a visit to one this week.

i most often order a soy latte- the temperature of the drink is dependent mostly on the weather, but often times my mood, and the size is always small.

my splurge or or I-feel-really-good-today-and-I-can-get-what-I-want drink is a gingerbread latte.  i love the smell of winter and the complex spice of ginger that develops more as you sip away.  and, having it dolloped with some whip cream is a lovely little treat.

2. Do you or did you keep a paper (non-online or blog) journal at any point in your life?  What was it like? You can even share a page if you so desire.

i attempted several times throughout my life to keep a journal.  i remember the pink heart infused journals of my elementary school days that had that nifty lock with a heart-shaped key to allow you to lock all your secrets away.  i wrote a few times about different boys that i was crushing on, but that was the extent of it.

i did have success journaling during my college study abroad in florence.  i wrote every day and detailed my numerous travels and foreign adventures.  here's an excerpt:

sunday, 19 september-

"fair verona.  another early morning- breakfast at the hostel with the 100 other people who were staying there!  it seemed like we were eating in a soup kitchen- mass quantities of food.  after breakfast we set out for our self-led walking tour of verona.  we walked all over the city (with our packs)!  we saw the house of juliet, which was something that i was really looking forward to.  the balcony was really pretty and the entrance tunnel is covered with graffiti that looks cool.  i got a picture of myself while i grabbed her boob- good luck in love!  we saw a lot of old churches and old roman roads and arches.  we rode an elevator to the top of torre dei lamberti- we got a great view of verona.  i had a yummy lunch and then walked across the city to the basilica of san lorenzo.  it was amazing-probably the best thing about verona.  i really liked the "white madonna"- a fresco from the giotto school and a small pieta adorned with lit candles.  there were frecoes all over the wall- it was beautiful.  in the crypt, which was gorgeous, was the venerated body of s. zeno.  and, of course, the wooden altarpiece maesta della vergine by andre mantegna was wonderful to see.  we also saw the arena of verona in the piazza bra..."

my last attempt at a journal (before the launch of my blog) was a couples journal given by me to david for a valentine's present.  we wrote a few times about future house dreams, things we wanted to see, places we wanted to travel...but then the writing stopped.  the journal is still on our book shelf.  it's lovely with a great black and white picture of the two of us taken on a very snowy day next to the charles river in boston.  maybe we will pick it up again one day...

3. Describe a really wonderful meal (that you have eaten, would love to eat or love to prepare).

i have eaten many a good meal (rathbuns in atlanta and l'espalier in boston come to mind first) and i have a long list of places where i am yearning to dine (being a foodie, i think our lists of restaurants never ends), but i will make-believe for a moment that i am able to dine this week at the french laundry...what would i have the pleasure of eating???  since the french laundry creates two nine-course tasting menus daily- a chef's tasting and a tasting of vegetables- and no single ingredient is ever repeated throughout the meal, i will be feasting on many delicious and unique tastes and flavors.  here's a sample of what i would have if i dined there this time of the year:

"OYSTERS AND PEARLS" - "sabayon" of pearl tapioca with island creek oysters and white sturgeon caviar

SALAD OF MARINATED EGGPLANT CONFIT- beech mushrooms, shaved hearts of palm, and cilantro shoots

MOULARD DUCK "FOIE GRAS EN TERRINE"- sunchokes, apple-mustard seed relish, toasted brioche and dijon mustard

"ROUELLE" OF SAINT PETER’S FISH- tokyo turnips, marcona almonds, preserved meyer lemon and parsley coulis

JAPANESE SEA SCALLOP "TARTARE"- green grapes, belgian endive, hazelnuts, watercress, and black truffles

SWEET BUTTER-POACHED MAINE LOBSTER TAIL- melted collard greens, glazed garden carrots, and hobbs shore's bacon

"AIGUILLETTE" OF LIBERTY FARM PEKIN DUCK BREAST- crispy broccoli, crosnes and asain pear-ginger emulsion

"ÉPAULE DE LAPIN FARCIE AUX RIS DE VEAU"- musquee de provence pumpkin, carmelized cipollini onions, brussels sprouts and sauce epicee

SNAKE RIVER FARMS "CALOTTE DE BOEUF GRILLÉE"- yukon gold potato puree, roasted heart of romain lettuce, pommes maxim's and sauce bordelaise

ANDANTE DAIRY "CAVATINA"- garden heirloom beets, cutting celery, and royal blenheim apricot

RUBY RED GRAPEFRUIT SORBET- pistachio pain de genes and mascarpone

"MOUSSE AU CHOCOLAT AMEDEI"- gros michel banana ice cream, candied cashews and curry arlette

BRAISED GOLDEN PINEAPPLE- spices sweet rice beignet, dark raisin coulis, and long pepper sherbet

my mouth is watering...

4. What part of you do you hope survives into the future?

i hope that i remain hopelessly hopeful (as david claims that i am).  i think sometimes age can make you more jaded; i will strive to remain an advocate of hope and betterment as i grow and age.

5. If you were the President and legislation was as easy as snapping your fingers, what laws would you pass / repeal / change?

there are so many issues that i wish could be addressed.  i will focus my answer on three: gay marriage, the death penalty, and health care.

the gay marriage law i would pass is simple: allow it.  and, the law would state that gay marriage is equal to heterosexual marriage in all ways.

another simple law i would pass is to make the death penalty illegal.  period.

health care is a bit more complicated (and i thank david for his help with this answer)...i think the ideal vision for health care in the united states would not be government-run health care but government-insured, government-guaranteed and government-regulated health care.  as it stands, it is impossible to satisfy BOTH insurance company profits AND patients' best medical interests.  a government-centered system would hopefully eliminate for-profit behaviors that currently exist (such as dropping sick people from insurance plans and finding loop-holes in coverage to deny patients necessary but expensive procedures) and provide a HUGE bargaining entity for negotiating lower device, procedure, and drug prices.  any single insurance company may not be able to take on the risk of a patient with cancer that may end up costing millions of dollars if fully covered, but a single government plan that includes hundreds of millions of people (98% of whom are healthy at any given time) can easily spread money from the contributions of the healthy-whole to easily pay for those in a medical crisis.  this all comes down to the "is health-care a right or a privilege?" question.  personally, for a government that claims to provide for the security of its citizens in things like military conflicts, it is morally untenable to allow some of its citizens (a very small percentage at any one time) to be financially ruined because of an illness.  originally, this concept formed the basis for the concept of insurance: to protect themselves from an unforeseen crisis, everyone pays a little all the time, even when healthy, to cover those who become sick.  the profit motives of insurance companies in the context of ballooning health care cost has made this concept unreliable when administered by the private sector.

thanks for the interview sonrie!  post a comment to get your own set of interview questions from me.