Saturday, January 17, 2009

My Interview with a tango-twist

My Interview -
Welcome to those here to see my interview....
To bring everyone else up to speed.... There is an Interview Me sort of thing going on in Blogatopia. I have been watching the questions and answers roll in on both julochka and tangobaby's blogs. I (with hesitation) threw my hat in as a possible interviewee. These questions come from tangobaby. (Advance to the next post to see the interview from julochka .) What follows are her 5 questions to me and my answers, at the end you will see the rules if you would like to have a go at this.

1) Tell us about where you live in MN (It looks very beautiful but also EXTREMELY freezing cold right now -- as a Californian, I am a little worried about you). The name of your town is very interesting...what does it mean? Did you grow up there?
I live in Bemidji MN (Now that you know where I am I would discourage any thought of a pilgrimage here to meet me, it's really cold right now! Wait until July when it is 80degrees) I was not born here, I was born in Detroit Lakes which is just to the south and west of Bemidji. There are a few things this town is known for
a) we are the home of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox. (due to our logging industry)
b) we are the first city on the Mississippi River
c) the headwaters of the Missippi River is about 40 miles (by road) from here.
d) the bronze medalists in curling for the winter 2006 Olympics are from Bemidji
e) there are 11,842 lakes in Minnesota (10 acres or larger in size) There are several major rivers too. 1 in every 6 person owns a boat and water skiing was invented here in 1922. (we are not lacking in water)
f) we make due in the winter by downhill skiing, ice fishing, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, dog sledding, snowmobiling, and seeking refuge at indoor water parks.

Bemidji - an Ojibwe term meaning "waters crossing waters". The mighty Mississippi crosses lake Bemidji and flows north before turning south and onward to communities to the East. Prior to 1880 a band of about fifty Leech Lake Indians lived along the south shore of a lake with their elder, Shaynowishkung. They called that lake Bemidjigumaug.
2) If you care to share a little bit of the past election season with us, what was the overall perception in your immediate part of the world to the last weeks of the election? Minnesota has had some interesting stuff going on, especially with the Senate election. Are people still engaged or are they over it?
Let me start by saying I am one of the least political people you will meet. I voted democratic, republican, and independent on the same ballot this last election. The only candidates I am concerned about are the ones that directly impact the schools. With that said: I think that people outside of Minnesota may be more interested in what is going on then us. Probably because they don't have to live with the results. I think closer to the twin cities (Minneapolis/St.Paul) it is a hotter topic then it is in "the Greater North".

I won't be happy with either candidate so I lost interest long ago. I do worry if Franken gets in, he gives me a very unsettled feeling. This is probably due to the trickle of problems we are still as a state dealing with from the in-famous Jesse Venture (what an idiot!) However, Coleman is a nimrod too! He is only in office because Paul Wellstone's plane crash (what a sad loss for our state). Minnesota is a leader in so many areas - health research (mayo clinic), College research (U of M), and educational advances... but we seem to pick the best of the worst when it comes to election time, and then we gripe about it for the years that follow (Very Minnesotan of us)!

3) My perception of the Midwest comes primarily from A Prairie Home Companion. How close is my perception to reality?

I love Prairie Home Companion - to me there is something so calming about Garrison Keillor's voice. But, to say that it is a reality is to say that Lucille Ball's show truly epitomized the 50's. It is more like an exaggeration of what is real with a lot of imagination thrown in. There are some things that ring very true (especially the way he talks...that is how people around here talk, not quite as strong of an accent as the movies portray it). To me it seems more like the days of the past, more of a perfect world than could ever be true... Again to survive here we have to be able to laugh at ourselves!

If I was to pay a visit to you where you live, what would we do first for fun?

That depends on your interest. If you are into shopping we have the Mall of America (4 hrs from here), but my favorite place in our great state is the "North Shore" It is the Eastern peninsula that runs along Lake Superior. I would take you here for it's beauty. You would have to bring extra camera memory and batteries. Waterfalls, wildlife, the lake, cargo ships, variations in geography, the artists, small fun towns, and original people are just some of the things you would run into. It has such a large array of attractions, restaurants, shops, and things to do both outdoors and in.

4) If you were a beloved house guest, what is the basic care and feeding of Ms Jules? What makes you purr?
I am so untraveled that to get away would be almost enough! I truly think I would need a day to settle down, acclimate, wind down enough to relax - just a day of sleeping in, quiet time, aimless wondering to center myself. THEN - I love to explore. I like to get an authentic feel for my locale -no big box stores and malls for me, I love little tucked away restaurants and shops, great company, a good dose of acting silly and very un-mom-like. I love coffee shops where you can sit outside and old book stores where you can find books long forgotten. I also find great comfort in being able to incorporate myself into my hosts life for the short visit (helping cook, kicking back and watching a DVD, wandering their yard and appreciating their "nest" if you will) These are things I have only been able to do a few times - once when I visited my friend Deb in Colorado (after I moved away), and when I visited your fine city SF- not the house part of course-but we did stay in a cool old hotel (the one with the red room bar)

5)Please tell us what that gorgeous photo is on the masthead of your blog?
That my dear is Mt.Sneffels. It is in SW Colorado. It is part of the San Juan Mountains. We could see this beautiful peak from the town we lived in for 2.5 years. We had the LaSalle Mts on one side of us and the SanJuan Mts. on the other side of us. The view on the masthead is the view we had when we traveled from our town of Nucla to Ridgeway or beyond. It is taken at the Dallas Divide scenic overlook right before the road takes a steady drop down the side of the mt. It is the view that I would chose if I had only one thing left to look at on this earth - it makes you believe in all that there is to believe in.


Alicia @ boylerpf said...

Hey Jules! How could I NOT notice all these delights from MN when I am a neighbor in ND! I remember growing up and visitng most of the things in your blog. Left for the East coast and decided to return 4 years ago for the sanity. Ok...sanity ISN'T all the snow and cold!! Great post!

Just Jules said...

Thanks neighbor (lived in Fargo for several years... met my dearest there) always lovely to have new friends popping by!

Char said...

in my old job I traveled a lot, including getting to visit Grand Rapids, MN. I loved the drive to there from Minneapolis and wished I had more time. Great interview.

tangobaby said...

What a wonderful interview, Jules! Now you make me want to come out for a real visit and see it your way. Thanks for the great answers to my questions.

Just Jules said...

Oh Tango - thank you it was fun to share.

Char - Grand Rapids? Interesting place to end up on business! Nice town... thanks for stopping by and commenting!

tangobaby said...

Jules, can you check your email? I keep emailing you to see if you get them and since there's no replies, it looks like you don't get any of my emails.

Let me know, okay?

Anonymous said...

Wow! how cool to see that you're thinking of me again, and on my 2nd visit to your blog. Lots of love, Deb