I recently offered my readers a chance to ask me questions. Today’s post consists of the questions submitted, as well as my answers.
Let’s start off with an easy one, shall we?
Dave asked, Pot pie or pizza pie?
While I would not turn down pot pie freely given, my choice will always be pizza. I would choose pizza over most anything else, except maybe ice cream.
Here’s another easy one, from Mary. Do you work for the state or federal government?
Neither. Of course, I am not working at the moment, but when I am working, it’s not for any governmental agency.
Now onto a question with a longer answer. This is a fun one.
Muriel2pups asked, Blaize, What would you do if you won a million dollars?
Funny you should ask, as I do have a plan, although buying lottery tickets is not part of the plan. Not sure how I expect to win if I don’t play…
Over the summer I noticed sometimes my coworker and I would talk about the possibility of some event or reaction and then the thing we talked about happened. I decided we needed to turn this ability to manifest into a million dollars. My coworker and I agreed to share any money sent our way by the Universe. So, if I won a million dollars, half of it automatically belongs to my coworker.
I have a handful of friends and worthy causes to whom I would dole out somewhere between $200 to $5,000 each.
I would have my van repaired and overhauled in every way necessary.
I would visit Montana and Alaska.
Would I still have money left after that? I have no idea. I don’t have a clear concept of how much half a million dollars is. I guess I would probably do some socially responsible investing with whatever was left and try to live off that money while writing or making art.
Cindy had several questions. Let’s take them (and their answers) one at a time.
I am pretty interested in the life out on the Mesa outside of the bridge in Taos. Have you ever lived out there? What did you think of it and what was your experience if you did.
No, Cindy, I never lived out on the Mesa. I have a couple of friends who do, one I visited a few times and one I house and dog sat for several times.
Like many neighborhoods, the Mesa is a mixed bag. There are people out there living in huge, seemingly expensive, “nice” houses. There are people out there living in shacks, old school buses, and homes they built themselves, piece-by-piece, over time. There are people out there living in structures somewhere between a mansion and a shanty. Some people on the Mesa use solar power, and other people have no electricity at all. Many people on the Mesa have no running water and have to haul their water home.
Two women I knew have been murdered on the Mesa in less than three years. For me, these killings put a dark cloud over the area’s visually stunning landscape.
Do you keep your money in a bank at all?
Yes, Cindy, I do have a bank account. There was a time before I had a bank account when I kept my cash on me. Of course, I worried about getting robbed. During that time, I did not keep my money hidden in the van, in fear of the van getting stolen or towed.
Now I worry about a breakdown of the financial system which would leave me without access to my money. I suppose if the financial system breaks down, that paper’s not going to do me much good anyway.
Just a fun question. What is your favorite meal? Like if you could have anything to eat for dinner tonight what would it be? ..and your favorite dessert?
If I’m cooking for myself, my favorite meal is some variation of brown rice, tofu, and veggies. I particularly enjoy blanched broccoli.
If the Lady of the House is cooking dinner, I’ll take gumbo!
If any food in the whole world could magically appear in front of me, I would go for boudin.
As for dessert, I don’t know if I’ve ever met one I didn’t like. Any sort of concoction with brownies or cookies or cake and ice cream would make me happy.
Camilla said, I was wondering why you never post a photo of yourself anywhere on your blog.
My privacy and security are very important to me. I don’t necessarily want strangers to know what I look like, so I don’t post photos of myself. The same goes for my van. While I don’t think I would be mobbed by adoring fans, I feel safer without my face plastered all over the internet.
Besides, what I look like has no bearing on my writing, my photography, and my art. I would rather you judge me on how I behave and what I can create rather than on how I look.
Louise asked, Do you think this is something that you’ll be doing for as long as you can or do you think that you may choose a more stationary life? Maybe I’m asking when/how/if you would choose a more permanent (or semi-permanent) place to lay roots for a while.
In “Truckin,'”Robert Hunter best explains my life as a van dweller:
You’re sick of hangin’ around and you’d like to travel
Get tired of travelin’ and you want to settle down
When I’m stuck in one place, I want to hit the road. When I’m on the road, I think about the benefits of settling somewhere.
Don’t forget, I was mostly settled before I started my life on the road. I know what it’s all about.
But yes, I do think about settling down in some shitty little apartment, working some shitty little job, stuck in some city. I wouldn’t want to live in a city where I didn’t already have friends and a support network. Unfortunately, I can’t afford to live in most of the places where my good friends live. I’m not willing to work 8 hours a day, five days a week, 50 weeks a year at some job that’s not doing much good for the world so I can take a two week vacation to visit people I love.
Also, I wonder if I could even get a real job these days. I’m a middle age woman who’s been mostly out of the job force for seven years. Who’s going to hire me? It’s not like I have any specialized, marketable skills.
I do worry about getting older, about getting sick, about being injured. (I am very careful getting in and out of the shower these days.) However, I’m not willing to sacrifice my now for future unknowns. Maybe I will be able to work as a camp host until the day I die.
Sue asked a long and complicated question. I will try to condense it.
I’m sure you’ve thought about what you went through a LOT. And while you did think about them, did you isolate things he said and did, and then re-identify them from casual remarks into recognizable warning signs? In other words, have you learned to think about what people say and how they act so it will help you in future relationships?
One reason I don’t write much about my ex is because there are many aspects of both his and my life (and our life together) that would immediately reveal our identities to folks who knew us fairly well. I’m not interested in my ex finding me and contacting me, so I don’t share parts of our past that would lead him to me.
That said, during my relationship with him, I was mostly cognizant of what was going on. I don’t have to look back and say, Oh, that was a warning sign. I look back and remember how I knew at the time how some word or action was fucked-up shit.
So have I learned to think about what people say and how they act? I don’t know. What I can do now is identify fucked up men from a mile away and run in the other direction. (I could probably spot fucked up women too, but I don’t get as many opportunities.)
Brent asked, Blaize, I would like to know what you don’t have in your life that you would like to have.
While I have many close and wonderful friends, I spend most of my year far away from them. I’m lonely a lot. When I do visit, my friends have work, kids, relationships, a million obligations they can’t drop just to spend some deep quality time with me. I get it, but it’s difficult for me to feel fulfilled by friendship in passing. I wish I could spend more time with the people I love.
Laura-Marie asked me the following sweet question: how did u get so wonderful? i really mean that. what factors came together to form beautiful u?
But I don’t feel wonderful! I’m grumpy and short-tempered and pushy and annoying. Anything good you see if because I am working against my natural tendencies to talk too much and make stupid jokes. I’m working against feeling irritated and wanting to have everything my way.
I used to do nice things for people because I wanted people to like me. Now when I do nice things for people, it’s usually because it’s the right thing to do. I try to treat people as I would like to be treated. I try to act like the kind of friend I want to have.