When not busy giving me valuable advice (never settle for a pre-war castle - the plumbing's generally faulty), Mistress La Spliffe is busy running her blog and circles around the European countryside.
During the last round of interviews with bloggers, she graced me with a gift of questions. How great she art.
1. I get the impression you moved good and far away from some elements of your upbringing. Why did you stop at Toronto? Or did you? Why are you there now, at any rate?
When it was time for me to spread my tiny wings and fly away, I headed for magical and mysterious Toronto. Several of my siblings had settled here and I used them as a safety net while I learned to make my way in the world. Now nestled in the suburbs, it seems perfect, I'm close enough to enjoy the city but can also take refuge from the rat-raciness of it all. Keeping me in one place is my job and the fact that I'm less spontaneous a creature than I like to admit. For now, I'm content to let others forge ahead into bold adventures while I cash the cheques and complain.
2. I see you've been reading Christopher Hitchens' book about religion so let me ask -- God: Sleepy, Happy, Bashful, Grumpy, Dopey, Sneezy, or Doc?
To my mother's chagrin, I'd have to describe God as Bashful, Sleepy and Absent considering that he never seems to show up when he really should.
As I mentioned to X. Dell in a comment recently, one of my favourite non-fiction books is called In God's Name by David Yallop. It provides fascinating and convincing evidence that Pope John Paul 1 was murdered and details the workings of the Vatican bank and how it funnels vast amounts of mob money. After reading it, I asked my mother what she'd thought and she said that the priest told her it was fiction but she liked it. If only any one of her children had such influence on her.
3. Speaking of, if God cursed you so that you could only eat one kind of cuisine for the rest of your life - and She actually had the superpowers to make it stick - what would it be? And how would you compensate?
For this answer, I picture God in all Her glory as a Botticelli babe, someone with a little meat on her bones, robust, with long flowing hair and a maybe just a little whiter than the current God, Oprah. I'd want Her to be armed with wholly good recipes from every region of Italy. Compensate? Nah, I'd honour her with my body, a burgeoning temple.
4. Favoritism aside, what book have you loved with the most constancy through your literate years, and how has that love changed?
--Some time after graduating from reading cereal boxes and repeated readings of Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, I found A Prayer For Owen Meany by John Irving. It was the first book I remember really savouring. It made me laugh, think, cry and long for more. Mr. Irving hasn't always been able to give me more but now and then, I've managed a thrill or two. Dare I read it again to see how my love measures up to the memory?
Over the last few years, new relationships have been forged with many but two that will linger on will be Ann-Marie MacDonald for her searing Fall On Your Knees and Rohinton Mistry's astonishing A Fine Balance. Both remind me just how powerful the written word is and that I have a heart that beats.
5. If we assume for a moment that there is, indeed, nothing new under the sun, what was the Nintendo Wii when you first got enough disposable income to blow on it?
--I've never had a problem disposing with income at any point in my life. Long before my Wii obsession, there was music. Happily, there still is.
My first big-ish purchase was a Sony stereo system with a 5 CD changer. I wore it out eventually and replaced it but now I'm a nearly full fledged mp3 addict.
Thanks for playing along MLS and sorry for the delay in answering!