Inside the Bloggers’ Studio

Inside The Blogger's Studio

Since blogging itself seems like an exercise in ego (who on earth is ever going to want to read this stuff?), I figured I’d make my first post biographical and all about *me.*)


I really like the interview format that host James Lipton uses on “Inside the Actors Studio” (the Bravo cable TV show). But it’s vanishingly unlikely that I might ever be on that show, so, hey – I might as well interview myself. 


(No, really, Mr. Lipton. It’s not plagiarism- it’s homage… pure homage.)

 

What is your full name?

For the purposes of the internet, my name is “Evelyn Q. Gorfram.” It’s even “Doctor Evelyn Q. Gorfram, PhD.,” whenever I want to give myself more credit than I deserve. 

(And no, that’s not what my driver’s license has to say about me. I’m nuts, but I’m not *that* nuts.)

 

Where did your life begin?

In Berkeley, California. Some people say that explains my politics (I’m just ever-so-slightly left of center :).

 

What are your parents’ names?

Again for the purposes of the internet, my parents are named Ozzie and Harriet Gorfram. That’s me being ironic, because their marriage was very much the opposite of the “Ozzie and Harriet” archetype. 

On the internet I usually refer to my mother as “Mumsie.” That’s more irony in that it connotes exactly what she is not. She’s aged a bit now (she’s working her way up to octogenarian status) but she was always a very tall, strong woman; and I always believed could wrestle her weight in wildcats before breakfast, any day of the week. 

 

Your Mumsie must be quite a woman. What was her maiden name? Or else the name she wrestled those wildcats under?

[laugh] I said I believed that she *could* do that, not that she ever did… well, not to my knowledge, anyway.

And heck, since I’m making it up – for the purposes of the internet anyway, let’s say she was Harriet Evelyn MacClaine, distantly but directly descended from the MacClaines of Lochbuie.

See, that way I get to wear the MacClaine of Lochbuie tartan (albeit only for the purposes of the internet, which are not really very sartorial purposes :). It’s my favorite of all the traditional Scottish tartans, only and solely because I think it has nice pretty colors. 

(The only really proper way for me be able to wear it otherwise would be for me to get married to a MacClaine of Lochbuie, and that would hardly seem fair to the poor clansman in question.)

 

Is your ethnic background Scottish then?

Yes and no. My background includes Scots, English, French, German, Irish, and just about everyone else Western Europe had but didn’t want. 
But both my parents’ surnames are of Scots origin – Mumsie’s from a not-so-unnotable old family around Perth, and my father’s from an almost-infamous reaver clan from near the English border.

 

Do you have any siblings?

Three. A brother and two sisters.

“Bro” is a few years older than I am, and is an engineer for a computer chip manufacturing company in upstate New York. 

My older sister, whom I’ll call “SFSis,” lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and does something extremely managerial for a company that used to be Hewlett Packard, back before it got spun-off a time or two. 

“SeattleSis” is younger than I am, and lives in (surprise!) Seattle. She’s a fisheries biologist who helps try to figure out how to keep both fish and a fishing industry alive in the North Pacific.

 

What schools did you attend…? 

Oh, lots of ’em…

I went to public schools in California back when they were supposed to be the best in the nation, and the schools in the town we lived in were supposed to be among the best in the state. 

The real advantage to that was that we students were always being evaluated to see how well we were doing, and those standardized evaluation exams used the same complex format, with the “Do-Not-Write-In-Your-Test-Booklet” and the Scantron cards, as standardized college entrance exams. So by the time I got to the entrance exams, I was a veteran test-taker, and all I had to worry about was the thing about actually knowing the answers.

 

… I don’t think this question appears on the SAT’s very often, but what was your high school mascot?

Darned good thing it wasn’t on the SAT’s – I have no idea! 

…Um, let’s see… the Luther Burbank Senior High School… Titans?
…Or was it Spartans? …Vulcans? …Ninians?… Quotidians?… Arthropods? …uh, I think it was probably the Titans.

 

It was, and is, the “Titans;” the “Mighty Titans,” in fact. Apparently you got into college anyway: what was your college mascot?

The “Cal Aggies” (it was the University of California at Davis, and it had started off as an agricultural school).

But the only reason I remember that is because I especially liked the name of the UCD marching band: “Hell Yes, We’re The Cal Aggie Marching Band – Unh!”

 

“Unh?” …. You do that very well, by the way…. Was that really part of the official name of the band?

Hell Yes.

 

What did you study at UC Davis, and what is your profession?

I studied Metallurgical and Mechanical Engineering, and I was an engineer for about twenty years. I’ve worked examining broken airplane parts to figure out what made them break, on assembling semiconductor chips into usable electronic widgets, looking at gemstones and gold to see if they’re what they claim to be, and my last job was designing corrosion protection and deicing systems for highway bridges.

 

That’s quite a resume. But you’re not working as an engineer now?

Well, no… I came down with some really nasty health problems which forced me into early retirement. It’s Fibromyalgia/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (yes, Virginia, it can be completely disabling). While it’s not life-threatening or contagious, there isn’t any known cause or cure.

 

That’s really terribly unfortunate.

Yeah, it is. It’s pretty much thrown everything I ever planned for into a cocked hat; and I’m slowly figuring out how to cope with life as it is for me now. I can keep carrying on about it for hours, but there’s no need to subject you to all that.

Perhaps the one silver lining in that rather large & gloomy cloudbank is that it has given me more time to explore what I might be able to do as a writer. I’ve always dabbled around with writing, and people – even people who are not my mother – have told me I was good at it. 

I used to do a lot of technical writing for my engineering work, but now I’m able to work on anything that strikes my fancy. I have any numbers of projects in the works: mostly literary fiction, but some narrative non-fiction, memoir, the obligatory screenplay idea or two, and a fair bit of really bad poetry. They’re mostly unfinished, and all unpublished.

 

Could we ask you to recite some of this “bad poetry”?

Are you really *quite* sure? I should probably have everyone here sign a “hold-harmless” waiver or something…

 

Oh, for the love of Pete…

All right – a couple short ones might not be too painful:

“Here I am,
And here I be.
Were I elsewhere,
I’d not be me.”

[wince] Or there’s…

“If you think this is
Bad, wait ’til you see the rest of
My lousy haiku.”

 

Er, well…. right… thank you…. I think we’ll just be moving on now… Where is your home?

In Seattle, in the North End. I have a very nice studio* apartment in a subsidized housing complex.

(*So you see, we really are “inside the blogger’s studio.”)

 

And who lives there, normally?

Me, and a rather large “retired tom” cat named Bruno.

 

And is it paradise?

Didst Thou bring a Loaf of Bread and a Jug of Wine? [wink]

It’s a nice apartment, has a south-facing balcony big enough for my container gardening, allows cats, and has pretty much everything I want or need in a place to live. I’m very happy with it.

 

And now (at long last, our readers say), the famous questionnaire:

 

What is your favorite word? 

“Translucence.”

 

What is your least favorite word?

“Overdue.”

 

What turns you on?

Intelligence, emotional maturity… 
…and muscles.

 

What turns you off?

Lack of real internal fortitude, that quality sometimes described as “grit” or “sand.”

 

What sound or noise do you love?

Wind soughing in the tops of very tall evergreen trees, especially if there’s a nuthatch calling.

 

What sound or noise do you hate?

A child crying on and on without being comforted.

 

What profession other than yours would you like to attempt?

Superintelligent Shade of the Color Blue.

 

What profession other than yours would you not like to attempt?

Retail Accountancy, as at H&R Block.

 

What is your favorite curse word? 

“F***in’ A.” It’s so succinct, but it can say so very much.

 

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the pearly gates?

I would be vastly relieved to hear the words: “Please come in.”

 

(James Lipton image from TVRage.com; by fair use)

Advertisements

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

14 Responses to “Inside the Bloggers’ Studio”

  1. gentledove Says:

    You’re as daft as me, just more intelligent :)

  2. Evelyn Says:

    Aw, shucks Gentle…
    … Thanks. I’m deeply flattered on both counts. :)

  3. gentledove Says:

    Nice to meet you

  4. Evelyn Says:

    Likewise. :)

  5. gentledove Says:

    Evelyn just wot are you on [hello by the way :)] of course I did not mean Scarborough fair….I hope you are having a nice day :)…I meant Somewhere my love

  6. BabaliciouS Says:

    Fibromyalga IS such a BIG pain in the ASS, that’s for sure. And sorry to hear that it’s a disease you have to struggle with each and everyday from now on. I really am, Doctor.

    Btw, gentledove is a like-minded person as she herself stated it … only in a rather poetic way and which I enjoy the best.

    I think you should start writing a book, really. You have all those major qualities, Evelyn. And if you don’t want to, just don’t quit blogging at least. Keep it up!

  7. Evelyn Says:

    Nuthin’, gentle… my brain just does that kind of thing all on its own accord. (The doctors say it’s probably due to me having been dropped on my head as a child. :)
    (See why I need a blog to let it all out into?)

    Well, of course you meant Lara’s Theme (Somewhere My Love); that’s why you said Scarbourough Fair… :)
    I don’t know who sang it, but Wikipedia does: Ray Coniff. :)

  8. Evelyn Says:

    Thanks, Baba. :)
    Fibro really is a huge pain in the ass, and I’m still not quite over the way the huge changes it’s made in my life. But it feels very good to have your sympathy and understanding.

    And thanks for the compliments, too :)
    I have indeed started writing a book – in fact, I have about three or four that are truly “works in progress” (and eight or ten that are “an idea and a bunch of scribbled notes”).

    There are a couple short stories, too, one of of which is really very nearly almost done. (I have a terrible time finishing anything much longer than a haiku, although sometimes I can get all the way to the end of a limerick without too much of an uphill struggle. :)

    I’ve been thinking of taking advantage of (inter)National Novel-Writing MonthNaNoWriMo in November to get a good running into a novel that I’ve been planning and doing all sorts of research for over the last year or two. Not sure if I’m up to cranking out the 50,000 words that is the goal for the month, but it can’t hurt to give it a try.

    (I’ve had this other new book idea lately, though…
    It’s about this young man called Bob A. Lucius who discovers that he is really a Homo paleopleiesticohomonidinoniceguyino and goes off to live in the Javanese jungle, where he befriends Ojrak, a beautiful creature who flies over the city of Jakarta, noting all the pain and injustice there but also finding it full of of life and everyday kindnesses and little spots of joy. :)

    I do intend to keep blogging. I might slow down for a while, especially if I’m spending November concentrating on that book, and definitely in December when the Christmas/Holiday/family-onslaught hits, but I’ll be back…
    (January’s usually a great writing month. Weather’s crappy, rellies are sick of you, exchequer’s empty… … ya might as well be writing. :)

  9. Evelyn Says:

    (forgot to close my tag- Rats!)

  10. Evelyn Says:

    Double Rats!

  11. gentledove Says:

    I hope you keep blogging or at least hang out in the forums

  12. Evelyn Says:

    Thanks, gentle. :)

    I may not be around as much sometimes, but I’ll be around.

  13. Man of Roma Says:

    Interesting bio, really. Sorry for your health problems. We met at Cat’s blog. Btw, I liked:

    “Here I am,
    And here I be.
    Were I elsewhere,
    I’d not be me.”

    I love literature a lot, but I’m more a man-of-the-street philosopher. I mean, mine is rather a search of comprehension (cum + prehendere: put things together, link or unite them). It’s a hobby. I’m a retired computer engineer and arts teacher.

    It’s been a pleasure meeting you. Ciao

    Man of Roma

  14. Cat Says:

    Well done on completing NaNoWriMo! I am very proud and impressed!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: