Q&A

Because I’m still waiting on my Chanels (damn you transatlantic mail!) and because I want to write something on Hermà¨s but am running low on energy juice, I’m going to save both of those things for a later date. I’m afraid we’re (almost) skipping scent today. Sorry, addicts. Instead, I’ve copied the Guardian newspaper’s Q&A interview format and am gonna do that instead. Bear with me: I’m never going to be famous (at least I hope I’m not) even if I get published in the future (I see myself as a Salinger/Pynchon type…); I like the Guardian; I’m a show-off. Yes, there are inherent contradictions in what I’ve just written, but we all have ’em. So, as I’m fairly new to the wonderful world of PerfumePosse I thought this would be a ‘getting to know me, getting to know all about me’ session. Please, please, please answer at least two of the questions yourself in your comments. And they’re supposed to be pithy – I’ll try (and fail) to lead by example. Come on now – don’t be coy… I read your sins yesterday, after all.

When were you happiest?
This morning. Matt did something daft and silly and rude when I was momentarily out of the room. I returned to much merriment.

What is your greatest fear?
Losing my mental faculties and having moments of clarity where I’m fully aware it’s happening.

What is your earliest memory?
Falling onto a radiator edge and gashing open my head. But my mum tells me it wasn’t a radiator; it was a park bench. What does she know? I was one and a little bit.

Which living person do you most admire, and why?
Lots of people – those who get on quietly with their own apparently unremarkable lives, but who seem to touch others in exceptionally powerful ways. We all know simple human wonders like these.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Approval seeking.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Intellectual laziness (though deplore’s a bit harsh – see what I mean about approval seeking?).

Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
A car. I wanted to lie, but it’s often best to be prosaic.

What are your most treasured possessions?
My perfumes. And some rare plants in my garden.

Where would you like to live?
Some days Mendocino CA as it was a decade ago, some days the Costa de la Luz in southern Spain, but generally I’m content right here, right now.

What makes you depressed?
More things than there’s room to list here, if we mean a little bit grumpy. I’m easily begloomed. Properly depressed? I’ve never got to the bottom of it.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
In the past, as a child, my moles: once, on holiday, a small boy standing behind me in an ice cream queue asked his mum why I had brown dots all over me. He had revulsion in his voice (or so I thought). Nowadays the hard skin I battle with on my feet.

What is your most unappealing habit?
Finding farts immensely entertaining and using them as musical arrangements.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Matt – undoubtedly.

What does love feel like?
It’s ineffable. And never twee.

Who would play you in the film of your life?
I hope it could be William Shatner.

What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
People have always been very kind to my face.

What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
Pyjamas.

Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?
Of course – especially to a bottle of perfume.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
‘The key thing is…’

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Trevor Jones. I ruined his new felt tip pens when I was 10 – on purpose. And a boy called Robert – I’m too embarrassed to explain why. I was a bully.

Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
All the Perfumeposse team and the lovely commenters. Seriously. We’d also have eye-candy waiters. Why not?

What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
Drilling minute holes into the interior plastic frames of car doors so that their material coating wouldn’t bubble when it was applied. I broke a drill bit for every other hole I drilled. And there was a £1 000 000 machine that was supposed to do it anyway. Soul sucking servitude.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Most perfume releases. However, one or two make up for it, and then some.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Nothing. I tend not to think like that – there lies madness. I’ve done some dodgy and risky stuff I’m not proud of though. I was lucky.

How often do you have sex?
Nobody’s interested in this question, surely.

What is the closest you’ve come to death?
Pneumonia and pleurisy, September 05. It was touch and go for a short while.

What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
An energy injection every morning.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
“I’ve Never Been to Me” by Charlene (joke).

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone who smelled better alive than dead.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Nice guys and gals don’t often finish first but they jolly well ought to.

Where would you most like to be right now?
Guerlain, Champs-à‰lysées, Paris.

Tell us a joke.
What do you call a man with a rabbit up his bum? Warren (apologies to Patty’s DH).

(Shatner c/o http://kotaku.com)

  • Dusan says:

    A bit late for the interview…
    When were you happiest?
    I’m always happy hanging out here at PP, but the happiest moment was when I got accepted into college.

    What is your greatest fear?
    What you said, Lee. And the inexplicably overpowering fear of heights.

    What is your earliest memory?
    Stripping naked and jumping off the top bunk bed, over and over. An exhilarating experience. I was three, I think.

    Which living person do you most admire, and why?
    All the people who are not afraid to live life to the fullest. Kind-hearted people, selfless people.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Lack of determination, laziness.

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Blatant and heinous dishonesty. ;))

    Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
    A stereo.

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    Perfumes, books, CDs and a watch I got as a birthday gift from my girlfriend.

    Where would you like to live?
    By the ocean, in a cottage somewhere in the British countryside, in a city where I could lose myself – it keeps changing every day, depending on my mood.

    What makes you depressed?
    The weather, the things about myself I know I should change, but haven’t got enough willpower to.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    My boyish physique. Having people tell you you look 6 years younger should be a complement, I know.

    What is your most unappealing habit?
    Hello fellow farter and burper. Shall we organize a farting’n’burping contest? Do you rate your farts? :-”

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Jelena, my GF and Meda, my high-pawed Peke.

    What does love feel like?
    Lovely.

    Who would play you in the film of your life?
    Daniel Day-Lewis if it were up to me, but I fear Leo de Caprio might be a more obvious choice.

    What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
    That I can’t sing.

    What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
    A toga.

    Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?
    Much to my shame, yes.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    “so”, and I tend to be long-winded.

    To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
    To a guy I thought was hitting on me.

    Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
    All the perfume bloggers and commenters! And Judi Dench. And Geoffrey Palmer. 😡

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    Nothing so far I’ve done was excruciating.

    What has been your biggest disappointment?
    Rene Zelwegger winning an Oscar. =))

    If you could edit your past, what would you change?
    Nothing.

    How often do you have sex?
    Tom beat me to it, I was going to say “with myself or my girlfriend?”. Damn you, Tom! :-w

    What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    Life has been good to me so far.

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
    Anti-depressants.

    What song would you like played at your funeral?
    One that comes to mind is “Let go” by FrouFrou.

    How would you like to be remembered?
    With laughter or a smile.

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
    I’m still learning

    Where would you most like to be right now?
    Having a swim, by myself, in the cool, clear sea.

  • Lee says:

    Cheezwiz – I wish I had more photos of the past. I have a brilliant one of my family right by me now – I’m five, all flared up, and giving my mum a lokk as if to say: ‘I’m going to eat your entrails for telling me off.’ It never ceases to make me smile. Poor old ma.

  • Cheezwiz says:

    I’ll play!

    When were you happiest?
    Anytime I’ve been travelling somewhere new; being absorbed in artwork; spending time with animals

    What is your greatest fear?
    Being too hesitant to lead a full life, and having a lingering painful death.

    What is your earliest memory?
    Standing in my crib peering out my bedroom window. I could see the sunset beyond our backyard, and hear a train in the distance.

    Which living person do you most admire, and why?
    Can’t say – there are so many admirable people out there!

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Complacency.

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Underhandedness

    Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
    An antique diamond ring dating back to the 1920’s. I’m normally not much of a jewelry person, but when I saw this ring I absolutely had to have it (it actually wasn’t that costly either). For me it was an extravagance I’ve never regretted. I wear and enjoy it every day.

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    Family photos that have been passed down from grandparents, my favorite books.

    Where would you like to live?
    I would love to live in my current neighborhood which is full of heritage homes. I’d love to inhabit a craftsman style cottage with a pretty garden in the back.

    What makes you depressed?
    Inactivity. Gloomy weather.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    My skin – probably not so noticable to others, I have battled acne since puberty. I dream of what it would be like to have smooth unblemished skin.

    What is your most unappealing habit?
    Untidiness. I tend to drop stuff everywhere and not pick up after myself – to the point of ridiculousnous.

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Well, I’m afraid he hasn’t shown up yet!

    What does love feel like?
    Pure giddyness and delight. PINK!

    Who would play you in the film of your life?
    Well I’m a big Cate Blanchett fan, but she looks nothing like me. Janeane Garolfolo or Drew Barrymore would be a closer match.

    What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
    I’m know people have said awful things to me, but I can’t remember a specific instance.

    What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
    ballgown and tiara!

    Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?
    No. This is a phrase I have trouble with even when I DO mean it.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    No problem.

    To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
    My grandparents – wish I had spent more time with them when they were alive.

    Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
    I’d love to meet all my fellow perfume nuts!

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    I once worked as an order picker in a craft supply warehouse. My job was to fill orders, so I had to wheel a cart around a massive warehouse and pull things off of shelves (usually very high up or low down)These were things such as tiny beads, glue-on eyes and doll hats. It was cold and dimly lit, and totally mind-numbing.

    What has been your biggest disappointment?
    Having to cut my first trip to Europe short due to illness.

    If you could edit your past, what would you change?
    Very little. If anything, perhaps a bit less dithering, and more time pursuing the things I really love.

    How often do you have sex?
    Moving on. Nothing to see here (seriously).

    What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    Twice: choking on a candy as a child, and having an infected gallblader in my early 20’s (see ruined Europe trip above).

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
    More energy, and perhaps more cash!

    What song would you like played at your funeral?
    Loveshack – B52’s

    How would you like to be remembered?
    Fondly, I hope!

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
    Live in the moment! Stop worrying about what might happen, or things that happened in the past. Enjoy the here and now.

    Where would you most like to be right now?
    On a plane to a new travel destination!

    Tell us a joke.
    Celine Dion walks into a bar. Bartender says “Celine,why the long face?”
    I know it’s terrible. Apologies to Celine Dion fans.
    (:|

  • Amarie says:

    What a thought provoking post Leo.
    Thank-you for letting me share a little of yourselves.

    When have I been happiest? When I can lose myself in my artwork and time and self no longer exist. Greatest fear: losing love, lives and the ability to be creative.

    Deplorable traits? You guys some them up so well that I I’ll just go with the flow. Maybe I don’t have long feet but boy do I make up for that by being eeeextra wiiiiide and fla….t.

    I don’t have a most treasured anything- i’m too much a collector of widely diverse things so it could be anything from the latest iris I’ve hybridised to the tiny bird bone I spent a week beach combing for last time we went camping.Oops, I should really say my partner and numerous offspring(this is not an afterthought truly).

    Best place to be is where I am right now.A beautiful island with a wild side, a gentle side and lots of interesting areas in between with people that I love.

  • Teri says:

    What fun is this! It reminds me of my early days as an internet user when everyone you’d meet would send around get-to-know-one-another questionnaires. I always enjoyed learning about people this way.

    When were you happiest?
    In the ’80s when my son was little, my husband was alive and healthy, and the whole world was spread out in front of me — endless time, endless possibilities.

    What is your greatest fear?
    Going blind.

    What is your earliest memory?
    The scent of violets from the perfume-doused hankie my Grandmother always kept in her apron pocket. The pocket was just at ‘nose level’ when I was a toddler, pulling on my Grand’s apron in order to stand up. I was a tiny perfumista even then.

    Which living person do you most admire, and why?
    A friend of mine, Jim, who knows how to help people in trouble in a way that makes it so easy for them to accept that help. It’s a rare skill that I admire tremendously and so wish I possessed.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Being silent when I know I should speak out.

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Lack of a sense of humor.

    Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
    A piece of art.

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    My grandmother’s handwritten recipe book – one of the few things she was able to bring with her when she came to the United States as a young bride.

    Where would you like to live?
    On the ocean, somewhere warm. I get such strong longings for warmth and open water living here landlocked in the mountains.

    What makes you depressed?
    When important things are outside my control, when someone is unkind to me, long stretches of inclement weather — lots of things.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    My gigantic size 11AA feet.

    What is your most unappealing habit?
    Being incredibly indecisive sometimes.

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    My one and only son. I began our ‘love affair’ when he was still a peanut growing inside me, and it has never changed, never varied, as constant as the day is long for all these many years since.

    What does love feel like?
    At its best, it’s as warm and soft as a favorite down blanket. When it’s gone wrong, or is unrequited, it feels like a cold knife to the gut.

    Who would play you in the film of your life?
    I’d hold out for Cate Blanchett.

    What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
    That I was overly aloof and self-involved.

    What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
    Something classically simply with a dramatic slit up the side or back.

    Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?
    Oh yes. There have been times when someone I was with wanted so badly to hear it that I couldn’t bring myself not to say it.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    I have found, in the past…. (oh and I’m a ‘just’er, too eek)

    To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
    Chet, the first man I dated after my husband died. He genuinely cared for me and I ruthlessly used him as a ‘practice guy’ to figure out the dating process again after so many years off the market. Chet, you deserved so very much better from me. I hope all is well in your world.

    Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
    I can’t imagine a better party than with this wonderful group of cognescenti. All of you are intelligent, educated, witty and wise. Who could want more?

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    Title clerk for a chain of auto dealers. I was all alone in a windowless room doing nothing but type titles and licensing documents all day. It was absolute death for a people person like me. And my boss was a mean, spiteful, petty woman.

    What has been your biggest disappointment?
    That my only child’s wife is unable to bear children. Being myself the only child of only children who married an orphan, our bloodline will die out with my son.

    If you could edit your past, what would you change?
    I feel that everything happens for a reason, so I’d change nothing. I’d be far too worried about the tears any changes might cause in the fabric of the present.

    How often do you have sex?
    Every time I count, right after I have five.

    What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    I was in a grave auto accident in 2000 that killed my husband and the man driving the other car. I survived, but it was dicey for a while.

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
    Becoming independently wealthy. I have such wonderful plans for how to make my world and the world around me a better place if only I had the funds to do it.

    What song would you like played at your funeral?
    Bach’s 2nd Brandenburg Concerto, because there is celebration in passing as well as sorrow. I want to make a joyful noise when I meet my maker.

    How would you like to be remembered?
    As someone who loved well and loved often

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
    That kindness in any form is never wasted. It may not come back to you in your lifetime, but the energy a kind act generates shines on for a long time to come.

    Where would you most like to be right now?
    On a Caribbean beach, umbrella drink in hand, cabana boy at the ready to do my every bidding.

    Tell us a joke.
    What do you call a guy who’s born in Columbus, grows up in Cleveland, and then dies in Cincinnati?

    Dead.
    (yes, I KNOW that was a groaner lol)

    • pitbull friend says:

      Teri, I didn’t know much about you before this, but you really are great at cutting to the heart of things. Very evocative answers, and I am so sorry for your loss.
      –Ellen (who has size 10 feet and is only 5’5″ — perhaps Daisy Duck should play me in the film?)

      • Teri says:

        Thank you so much, sweetie, that was really nice of you to say.

        Daisy would be proud to play you, and I can definitely see her as a perfumista.

        We need to start a Society for the Promotion of the Large of Feet and Great of Heart. :d

        I envy you your four-footed confidantes. I live in an apartment now which doesn’t allow pets. My son has given my big fuzzy Samoyed a happy home, but I miss his hairy self something fierce.

    • Maria B. says:

      Teri, your answers are very powerful. You’ve suffered a terrible loss, but no experience in your life has been wasted.

      I should tell you that I have now shrunk to 5’2″ (from 5′ 3 3/4″) and I wear 9AA shoes. The feet haven’t done any shrinking, drat!

    • Lee says:

      Teri – wonderful heart-rending answers: humane, spare, true. Thank you so much.

  • Lee says:

    Family blog? Have you seen those stilletos?

  • BitterGrace says:

    Leo, are you absolutely sure you don’t want John Cusack to play you in the movie of your life? ‘Cause he’s a hot brunette, and let’s face it, he’s smarter. I love Captain Kirk, but all his brains are in his phaser.

    I’ll just answer one question: What song do I want played at my funeral? Paradoxically, it’s “To Live is to Fly” by the Cowboy Junkies.

    • Lee says:

      BG – you’re right: looks wise (and brain wise, natch) Cusack is a lot closer to me than Shatner. But the idea of Shatner playing me is too too entertaining.

      And I love love love the Cowboy Junkies. Wonderful song choice.:x

  • Sariah says:

    What is your earliest memory?
    Very similar to Leo – falling off the bed and hitting my head on a hardwood floor.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Sloth

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Hypocrisy

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    Piano. Photographs. Fumes.

    Where would you like to live?
    Vancouver in the summer, Utah in the winter (skiing!).

    What is your most unappealing habit?
    Nail biter

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Ian (DH), the one and only.

    Who would play you in the film of your life?
    Bridget Fonda, Helen Hunt.

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    Fast Food.

    How often do you have sex?
    I thought this was a family blog?

    What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    Almost fell off a cliff that had very loose flaky stone.

  • Robin says:

    I would have answered two questions if I had not read the song you wanted for your funeral. Now the earworm is preventing me from thinking clearly. Must go bang head on wall to see if I can get it out. Wish me luck.

  • tmp00 says:

    Worst Job?

    Read the first few posts in my blog.

    Where would you like to live?

    About 3 blocks North of where I live now, with enough dough to comfortably afford it.

    Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

    My car. Dull, yes?

    How often do you have sex?

    You mean with someone else?

    Which also covers the joke part.. :d

  • IrisLA says:

    When were you happiest?
    When my daughter was born.

    What song would you like played at your funeral?
    Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    Summer job of opening mortgage payment envelopes at a bank. Almost died from boredom.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Basically, I use “basically” all the time.

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    Teddy bears, jewelry from my mother and ‘fumes

    Tell us a joke.
    (Apologies to blondes) Upon seeing a thermos at the store, the Blond asked what they’re for. She was told they keep cold things cold and hot things hot. The next day, the Blond has a thermos on her desk. Her co-worker asked what’s in it. The Blond replied, “coffee and a popsicle.”

  • Donanicola says:

    Such generous responses to what could be seen as searching questions!
    Most over used word – “clearly” – I am guilty.
    Earliest memory – our blue aga. I was born the back end of 1962 and in England that was a very cold winter. my parents didn’t have central heating and were terrified they’d lose me to the cold so I slept as close to the aga as was safe. I’d love an aga.
    Admired person – my mother – works with homeless persons with great sensitivity and is quietly a big support to the whole family.
    Song at funeral – “There she Goes” the La’s
    Greatest fear – I really don’t like spiders…. but even bigger than that would be the fear of violent death of those closest to me – sorry that’s a bit morbid isn’t it.
    Joke – where did Napoleon keep his armies? In his sleevsies.
    Where do I want to be right now? – on a beautiful beach in warm sunshine…

  • Ina says:

    What an awesome post, Leo!
    I’ve picked random questions:

    What is your earliest memory?
    Being lifted above the crib by my father to show me my new (and only) sibling who just got home from being born in the hospital (obviously). I was rather sceptical.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    I’m bossy. Sigh.

    What makes you depressed?
    Being so far away from home. The above mentioned sibling (brother) lives in Chicago now but the rest of my family is over there. I just miss the Baltic air!

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    “For real”, “technically”.

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
    Being able to take frequent vacations to Europe and all over.

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
    Many. But one that I’m still learning is that you have to let go, especially of the past – good things and bad things. You’re not fair to the present if you hold on to the past.

    And on that note, I must get ready for work!
    Fun post! Keep them coming, Leo-pie! :d:d

    • Lee says:

      Sibling scepticism – I’ve felt that too…

      And here’s to letting go… I have to say goodbye to this house in which I live. I know of nowhere more beautiful…:-<

  • Patty says:

    Earliest memory — I was the youngest, and all my brothers and sisters were outside waiting for the bus on the first day of school, and I wasn’t old enough to go yet. I was trying to get my pyjama (there’s a pajama theme here today) top off so I could get dressed and go with them, and it was those old cotton pajamas, and it got stuck midway off still on my arms and on my head, half pulled over, and I just cried and cried and cried, begging them to help me get my pajamas off so I could get dressed and go with them. Traumatic… right.

    Biggest regret — anyone I have ever been intentionally unkind to. I have lots of unintentionaly unkindnessed, but that’s just because I am obtuse and lack a finer appreciation of sensibilities — in other words, emotional bull in a china shop.

    Song at funeral — “Free Bird!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

    Way I would like to be remembered — with laughter. Not just little laughing, but the way I remember my dad, with big belly laughs and not being able to finish the story because I’m laughing so hard. And then crying because I miss having him around to laugh with.

  • Lee says:

    I don’t know how you disappoint yourself M – but I’m happy to say you don’t do that to me…^:)^

    Love your full answers – perhaps we should blogtag these or whatever you technonerds call it…

    And plants ahoy! in the future…

    Btw, can I fight you for that blue eyed beautiful voiced boy wonder?

  • Marina says:

    What do you mean, “Sorry, addicts”? Can.t …deal…Have…withdrawal … Seriously though, I love the questions and your answers. I’d love to see you write a post about the rare plants in your garden.

    When were you happiest?
    in 1995

    What is your greatest fear?
    surviving people I love

    What is your earliest memory?
    Reading Uncle Remus

    Which living person do you most admire, and why?
    My mum, who is a gentle person with incredible inner strength

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Compulsive worrying

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Self-righteousness

    Aside from a property, what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
    not sure

    What are your most treasured possessions?
    My perfumes. And my daughter. I realize these should be in reverse order.

    Where would you like to live?
    South of France

    What makes you depressed?
    Financial worries, being so far from my parents, not being able to turn back time, mortality.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    Nothing really. I am not especially fond of my chin, my nose and my hair, but I learned to live with them.

    What is your most unappealing habit?
    You have to ask mr. C about that…on a second thought, please don’t! 🙂

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    P.

    What does love feel like?
    It hurts. And it is the only thing that makes life worth living.

    Who would play you in the film of your life?
    Patricia Kaas. Or Grace Kelly. Miraculously.

    What is the worst thing anyone’s ever said to you?
    Too painful to remember.

    What is your fancy-dress costume of choice?
    Masculine suit, top hat, a cigarette in a long holder, a la Marlene Dietrich

    Have you ever said ‘I love you’ without meaning it?
    Yes

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Not sure, what is the phrase of the moment, but I do go through phases of over0using certain words and expressions

    To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
    Oh god, where do I start…

    Who would you invite to your dream dinner party?
    All us bloggers and commenters. Plus a couple of choice perfumers and creators of perfume lines. Oh and Wentworth Miller.

    What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
    Tutoring silly little girls

    What has been your biggest disappointment?
    Myself

    If you could edit your past, what would you change?
    Knowing the reasons of why some things happened, I would go back and try to save someone’s life.

    How often do you have sex?
    :d

    What is the closest you’ve come to death?
    I was teetering on the edge several times

    What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
    Winning the lottery

    What song would you like played at your funeral?
    Non je ne regrette rien

    How would you like to be remembered?
    With love.

    What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
    That it is absurd

    Where would you most like to be right now?
    Home

    Tell us a joke.
    After all the soul-wrenching questions, you want me to think of a joke? 🙂 OK, a New Russian joke: “Daddy, all my schoolmates are riding the bus, and I am the black sheep in this 600th Mers.” / “No worries, son. I’ll buy you a bus, and you’ll ride like everyone else!” (thanks, Wikipedia)

  • Judith says:

    Worst job: sitting in a samall room with two people who didn’t speak English and having to file rejected loan application alphabetically. On the first day, I tried to work very fast (but that got me nowhere; there were always more applications). On the second day, I tried to amuse myself by reading the applications, and finding out why they were rejected (but it was always for the same reason: not enough money). On the third day, I quit.

    Most overused word: Actually, I think it’s “actually.”
    Most overused (and misused) word in my students’ papers: “Blatantly.”

    Who would play you in the film of your life: At the moment, I think it’s Catherine Keener. With a permanent.

    Love of my life: Stu, AKA BP, AKA Mr. Lily.:x

    Joke: What did the mirror say? “It’s all done with people.”
    Oh, you wanted a FUNNY joke. Sorry.

    I deplore the same qualities, in myself and others, as you do–and I really enjoyed your post!

    • Lee says:

      Blatantly and also heinous – they’re overused horrendously in student conversation down my way too…

      J – loving you for your similarities to me (it’d be wrong not to).

    • Maria B. says:

      At the college where I recently worked the most overused word was “hegemony.” It’s amazing how many things one can stick that into. And I wished they had.

      (I was a writing center instructor.)

      • evilpeony says:

        oops! i used to be guilty of that, maria b! (i took 4 sems of humanities classes.) yes, there are an astonishing number of places you can stick that word to. hehehe

  • pitbull friend says:

    Oh, Lee, great self-interviews! How did you get such a reclusive subject to warm up to you like that? :&#62;) And, as to your most unappealing habit, well — you’re still a guy!

    My earliest memory is of being on a sailboat with my mom & siblings & waving to my dad on a bridge, which we figured out happened when I was 2. An aside: my mom swore that I was conceived the weekend JFK was shot. Yes, my birthdate doesn’t disprove that, but how did she know it was that exact weekend? Don’t answer that! My first public memory (age 4)was a memorial service at the local park for Martin Luther King. Sad decade.

    I’m with Maria on “most treasured possession,” if we’re allowed living things. I especially find myself marveling at my Akita mix (a charming but manipulative princess) and my pitbull mix (the handyman of dogs, he’s always offering to help).

    Most afraid of the fact that people are not taking global warming seriously enough. (Have changed many of my habits but find most folks I know haven’t.)

    What do you call a man lying on the floor? Matt
    What do you call a man with wildflowers sticking out of him? Lee!
    –Ellen

    • Lee says:

      Love the jokes! Thank you.

      I tell you E, it’s was DAMNED HARD WORK getting Mr. ‘I’m all shy and retiring’ to deliver the goods.

      And I’m actually very guyish. I couldn’t burp (as bizarre as this sounds) until I had my tonsils out at 14, and I still delight in talk burping every once in a while. Aah, the witty repartee…

      I’m with you on global warming, woofer love, and life in general. There is something both sad and marvellous about the 1960s…

  • Elle says:

    Perfect post! Like Maria, am very glad you made it through those illnesses in ’05. What happened w/ the bare patches in your beard? Hope it’s been resolved.
    Could I bring Claude Marchal to that dinner party? DH would be shockingly bored and boring at a party like that.
    What makes me depressed is that w/ my perfume and travel addictions, the love of my life is neither an oligarch nor a successful mafioso. Oh, and I share your love of rare plants – well, adore beautiful plants of any sort (Queen Anne’s lace is a summer fav). Crushed my heart when we left our last house w/ a garden chock full of rare (and appallingly expensive) woodland plants that I’d put in and arranged w/ great love and thought. Making it worse, DH refused to quiz potential buyers about whether or not they appreciated zen gardens, my plants or the vast amounts of excellent soil I’d worked in myself to get rid of the hopeless pure potter’s clay that was initially there. The philistine sold it to the people willing to pay the most. Hmph! It was a house very near the center of campus and the batards have rented it to students. Yes, the garden’s gone to hell in a handbasket. We still live near enough that I can go buy and mourn on a regular basis. Sorry…this is a perfume blog, but I just got carried away w/ my plant grief. 🙂
    Hope your Chanels arrive soon!

    • March says:

      Um … sticking my nose in … assuming you bought another house, can you move your plants over there? Tell the students you’ll replace with something more “low maintenance” (like mulch:-&#34;)

      Yeah, I have actually moved plants from home to home. I told my husband to write it in the sales contract if we needed to, along with two chandeliers … they are mine, and I’m taking them!

      • Elle says:

        Oh, trust me – I wanted to. I moved a few, but our current house has much more sun. That was a full, deep shade garden and the plants just wouldn’t survive here. We have woods at the bottom of our garden here, but I’m leaving that area wild out of respect for the deer and rabbits who hang out there and view them as prime feeding ground. I’ve switched my focus to roses here (which, I’m afraid the deer also quite appreciate).

    • Lee says:

      I’m about to start the move process all over again and I’m most definitely taking plants with me. I promise a plant related post sometime – early spring’d be good, and it will relate to perfume.

      You made me LAUGH LOUDLY Elle – I’m just like you when it comes to the garden… I can spot your irony, but hell, Matt should be quizzing the buyers too about whether they’re gonna care for the stuff I’m going to leave behind…

      Claude is more than welcome!

      And my Chanels have arrived (though I’m keeping it quiet for now).

    • Maria B. says:

      Oh, Elle, I feel for you about your plants. We just moved, but we were able to bring our precious plants with us. The were all in pots, and they needed the sun they’ll have here. But to leave a beautiful woodland garden behind, oh…:((

    • evilpeony says:

      hi elle! sorry to hear about the plants. my mom had a beautiful garden all designed and landscaped from stratch; full of palms and artfully sculpted bushes and a fishpond with a fountain… sigh… anyway, she rented it to a bunch of bastards who could not care less about anything green that was not on a bowl. oh well… thank god i had some pictures, for posterity’s sake.

  • March says:

    PS Most overused word: “just.” Seriously. It just drives me crazy.:d

    I’ve taken to running my posts through spellcheck just looking for it, so I can exterminate it.

    • Elle says:

      Oh, God. It scares me when I reread my morning blog comments (which, like an idiot, I usually post before checking) and see “just” in every single sentence. An editing feature is desperately needed for blog commenters. I apologize for all my past (and potential future) overuse sins. Not to mention typos and serious abuse of exclamation points and question marks (this is a reflection of my need to speak w/ my hands in real life).

      • March says:

        Hah hah! Grammar twin!/:) What is the allure of “just,” anyway?

        It crops up like dandelions in everything I write. :-w

    • Lee says:

      I blame Nike.

  • March says:

    Lee — there is all sorts of information in there I didn’t know, and thanks!

    Worst job I’ve ever done: “hi, can I take your order?” (counter girl at fast food joint) The great thing about jobs like that is, no matter how much subsequent jobs blow, you can always look back on that one and think, well, at least I’m not drilling rivets or whatever…

    PS I was in love with Kirk AND Spock, but I think they were in love with each other.

    • Lee says:

      Hell March, I’m full of information – just prod me.

      Kirk and Spock ARE certainly in love with each other in all that female authored slash fiction. I’ve even seen prony drawings where Spock has ridges on his doodah.

      Hey, you can help me with this one… how do I know which estate agent to sell my house with? Gut feeling?

  • Maria B. says:

    Oh, and the dream dinner party: Well, of course the Perfume Posse and commenters. And we would smell marvelous!

    Worst job: Selling janitorial supplies. I kid you not.

  • Maria B. says:

    Lee, I am so very glad you survived your lung illnesses. The world would have been much poorer without you.

    People I admire most: The same group of people you admire the most. People constantly amaze me.

    Love of my life: The love of my life is Kurt–absolutely. I also refer to him as my DH (just so there’s no misunderstanding). Lee, we’re so fortunate to live with our love.

    My most treasured possessions: This is a tough one. Do dogs count? If they do, then Norbu, the little critter curled up into a ball in his fleecy bed, is it. Does sanity count? Then that one too.

    My greatest fear is much like yours. Maybe we *are* related in some mysterious way. My mother died at 89 last May. She spent the last year of her life with severe senile dementia. I still haven’t processed adequately the horror of that year. I feel nauseated when I think about it. I used to think living a long life was a good thing. Now I’m convinced that the quality of one’s life is much more important than its length. That’s why I dared move to “earthquake followed by tsunami” territory. It’s the place I most wanted to be, and if a tsunami gets me, so be it. Hey, I just answered another of your questions.

    Person I would like to play me in a movie: Madeleine Stowe.

    Worst thing anyone has ever called me to my face: Among many candidates, I’ll choose “a good Nazi,” a wounding, totally uncalled for insult by a co-worker who was angry with me and didn’t want to admit he was insulting me because he was angry with me.

    Song for my funeral: “Ombra mai fu” from Handel’s *Serse.*

    What is it about the British and pyjamas?? I once informed a geranium-pelargonium round robin that I had bought a pair of pajamas (as we spell them) made out of material with a beautiful print of blue-red pelargoniums, and a member of the British Pelargonium and Geranium Society asked me ***months later*** if I had actually worn the “pyjamas” to a club meeting, as I had threatened (jokingly) to do. Hmmm. I wonder if this means pajamas are my form of fancy dress too.

    • Lee says:

      ((hugs)) Maria. Dementia’s so very tough on those involved.

      I want a cuddle with Norbu.

      Maria, I don’t know about the British and pjs (though it might be some daft colonial thing), but there’s something very comfoting about a suit for bed (not that I wear pjs to bed – they’re my standard indoors outfit though) – they even have lapels, often. I hate those that suffer from the uncontrollable gaping fly though – for obvious reasons.