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May 18, 2007

Meme Theme: an Archer Interview with Lisa

I think I've always wanted to sit in for Terry Gross.  So in keeping with the meme theme from last week, today I'll share my interview with Lisa at A Clear View to A New Life.

[First the news.]

1. I've often wondered about your blog title, "A Clear View to a New Life" and your Blogger subdomain, "eyebrow-raisingfolk". Care to comment a little on their origins? If you've written about these elsewhere in your blogs, feel free to just point us to the permalinks.

Lisa_d_2 When I first created this blog (this one being the first of the trilogy), I called it “eyebrow-raising folk.” I dreamed then of writing for a living (writing things other than legal documents, I mean) and wanted to force myself to write every day for practice. My thought was that I would write about interesting people and things I saw, get in the habit of observing and find something to do that was not law-related. I did not know enough about blogs at the time to understand that this was a title of which I would quickly tire, and one that would not fit what my blog would ultimately become. But there it is still.

I later realized I could change the title of my blog as it appeared on the page, and thus “A Clear View To A New Life” was born. I believe the idea for that title sprang from a night in an Oklahoma City hotel room, smack in the middle of a week of out-of-town depositions. I was talking on the phone with my friend Jay, who had only known me for a short time and who only had (at that point) met me online, but who was intuitive enough and understood me well enough to observe that my way of making a living is not aligned with my—well, soul. We kept talking about what I could do that would be in line with me and came to the inescapable conclusion that I needed to be working on civil rights issues. I returned to Dallas and literally cried tears of relief as I thought over what Jay and I had discussed while driving out to the country kennel to pick up my dogs. Suddenly, my life took a new direction, as I had a goal and a dream.

2. Speaking of your blogs, plural: how do you feel about having three personal blogs instead of one? If you could start over from scratch, would you have organized your digital world any differently? (In my own world, the excess of options drives me a little nuts.)

Other than the titles and occasional pangs of annoyance with Blogger and its quirks, I am actually quite content with my three blogs. The first one (this one) is the most heavily used, and is where my words go. The second (“Travels Through The Lens”) is where I store the tales of my travels . . . it is as much for me as for anyone who might visit. I love going back to it and reminding myself of a particular trip and feeling briefly transported back into that moment, though I want to do a better job of truly capturing the nuances of those experiences. The third one (“Portfolio of Hope”) was created rather recently, as I started working on a portfolio of my photography to show to the guy who selects artists for the wall at my local coffee shop. I planned to use that blog to see which pictures worked together and which didn’t, so I could assemble a nice collection on disc for him to review. As you can see, I have not gotten very far with that yet, due to a shortage of time and computer transition issues. I think if I had more time to cast about on the internet (meaning, beyond the crazy amount of time I already spend there), I might find more attractive options than this, but I’m committed to it, and contended.

3. You recently wrote about a wish to change, and the double role of fear. If you had a magic wish that you could use to either (a) dispel that particular fear and issue, or (b) gain a modest strength that you've often wanted for -- which would you pick?

Gosh, this is such a good question—it actually provoked me into using the word “gosh”! I would use it to gain a strength, though I am not sure it is a modest one. I would wish to gain the wisdom or finesse or magic or whatever was required so that my brother would speak to me again.

4(a).  Putting aside both stubbornness and modesty for a moment, what are ten things that your friends enjoy (like, appreciate, etc.) and/or respect (admire, envy, wish for themselves, etc.) about you?

Phil, I’m guessing that you wanted me to come up with ten things myself, but unfortunately, given my current frame of mind, I just couldn’t do it. I tried. But I could not conceive of a list of one thing, much less ten things. So I conducted a highly scientific survey of two of my dearest friends: Beth, whom I have known since we were 14 years old (we met when she poked me in the rear with a sharp pencil in a high school algebra class), and Jim, whom I have known for approximately 12 years (Jim and I have a great meeting story—I’ll have to share it with you sometime). So anyway, the following is a rough amalgam of Beth’s and Jim’s answers, which I was able to combine into a list of 12 . . . I found it interesting that they overlapped perfectly on two items (the “x2”):

1. good listener

2. caring x2

3. appreciates my quirkiness as much as i appreciate yours/ fun to be with

4. ambitious/ independent

5. not materialistic

6. dog lover

7. adventurous x2

8. loyalty

9. loves to laugh/ humorous/ wit / wisdom

10. someone who i am comfortable enough with to pee while we talk on the phone.

11. openness

12. sports lover- loves chicago sports but will be immersed into any sports game even if it was 8 year olds playing

4(b). Of the ten items above, which ones are you most delighted about (either openly or secretly), whether or not such feelings of delight might be considered a vice?

Of the items on the list above, the ones that leave me most delighted are:

1. good listener

2. caring

3. appreciates my quirkiness as much as i appreciate yours/ fun to be with

7. adventurous

8. loyalty

10. someone who i am comfortable enough with to pee while we talk on the phone

5. From your Blogger profile's list of favorite books and music, it seems you can't be pinned down to an easily labeled ideology (i.e., dyed-in-the-wool Ayn Rand Objectivists are not, in my estimate, heavy consumers of U2 and Indigo Girls politics). Any thoughts on that?

Feel free to answer this question in the context of an alternate and perhaps better question: whose baseball writing do you like better, George Will's or Frank DeFord's? No need to comment yet on Deford's new book, The Entitled. But feel free if you've already read it.

My ideology is somewhat eclectic. Politically, I consider myself more of a small “l” libertarian, in the sense that my ideal government is no more that is absolutely required and is “hands off” both socially and fiscally. I oppose the death penalty, without exception. I treasure the individual spirit and believe it should be permitted to thrive unimpeded, so long as others are not harmed by it. This is the Ayn Rand-loving part of me, I suspect. I only learned later, after falling in love with “The Fountainhead” and “Atlas Shrugged,” that Rand is thought of by many as hostile to the concept of helping others. If that’s true, it is the place where she and I diverge in our thinking, as I love people (the global “people”) too much to let them suffer when we are in a position to help them get back on their feet. This dichotomy is also reflected in my work and volunteer choices . . . at work, I defend employers being sued by their employees for alleged mistreatment, and am comfortable with doing so, in that I have no problem battling to defeat employees who were not treated unfairly and are trying to get something for nothing. When that isn’t the case, I work toward a result that is fair for all involved, while representing my client’s best interests, of course. In my volunteer work, I stand up for the rights of individuals against those who try to infringe upon such rights. I don’t know if this is the explanation you were looking for, but basically, you are right and it’s complicated! 

I really wanted to write about Will and DeFord, but I don’t read either of them. Though now I will.

How about you -- would you like an Archer Pelican interview?  Just ask!  (And check out Barry's answers at EnRevanche)

12:12 AM in Misc.Blog 2007 | Permalink