Play Mistress For Me

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!


Zed said...

Great answers!

And it's a good thing you responded "wholly good recipes from every region of Italy" to question #3, Dale, or you would have been in deep $#&@ with me. Don't forget the home-made manicotti I owe you and CP. I can cancel your order like "that" (snapping fingers). :)

Splotchy said...

Hey, if'n you have any interview questions left laying about, I wouldn't object to being interviewed.

Mistress La Spliffe said...

Worth waiting for, of course. Next time I'm mad at God I'll imagine Her as a Botticelli and that should calm me right down. Or maybe as a plate of canoli.

Beth said...

The crush grows deeper as I learn more about you, Dale. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep and A Prayer for Owen Meany? You titillate my literary soul. God as by Botticelli? That sealed it.

I'm going to download your bee and stare at it lovingly all day long ...


Dale said...

I did it for you Zed. Well, I did it for me but there's no harm in pretending right? Snap!

I will mull over many questions Splotchy and get back to you.

God as canoli sounds a tasty vision Mistress!

You said titillate Beth! It's why I blog. Hope the buzz lasts at least all day.

anandamide said...

Have you read "In the Skin of a Lion" by Michael Ondaatje? A great read for a Torontonian as if focuses around the building of many local landmarks (including the Bloor St. Viaduct)

Beth said...

Anandamide, I just finished reading Michael Ondaatje's Divisidero and enjoyed it. I'll have to pick up In the Skin of a Lion.

katrocket said...


Bubs said...

Wonderful interview. God as a Botticelli figure, I like that.

julia said...

Check out The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster for a chuckle.

I moved to Toronto 20 years ago, lived there very happily for 13 years, but now have returned to the Maritimes to help look after my 92-year-old grandmother. How I miss the Big City! But the ocean's a comfort.

BeckEye said...

Beth and Dale sitting in a tree...

I love that the blog world keeps peeling your onion, Dale.

pistols at dawn said...

John Irving is totally boss. I like writers who shame me into not writing for a very long time.

At this stage, that's even those geniuses who write those hard-hitting fifth-grade-reading-level stories in USA Today.

Beth said...

Do you blame me, BeckEye? He's no Tilbrook, but Dale is striped with a belly full of honey.

pezda said...

This is the second time I've come across Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep in as many days (Doc did a concept of Kipple post over at Social Zymurgy). I just finished the copy I "borrowed" from Evil Genius. Good stuff.

I loved you reply to #3.

Chancelucky said...

Loved your God and the Seven Dwarves answer. I liked Prayer for Owen Meany as well. One of the odd things for me is that John Irving and I went to the same high school, so some of the lore he draws on for Owen Meany was still floating around when I was a student there.
I know that Irving hated the movie version, but I didn't think it was that bad. It was just that they took out almost all of the religious themes :}

Dale said...

I haven't read any of Michael Ondaatje's work Anandamide but it sounds worth checking out and safer than going outside!

I'd heard it was good as well Beth. Anandamide? Comments?

Then you're my kind of people Katrocket.

She's bringing sexy back Bubs, she's got to if she wants to keep the whole religion thing going!

Thanks for the link Julia, I'll check it out. I'd like it if the ocean moved just outside the city here myself. Maybe someday you'll be back!

It's an onion tree we're sitting in Beckeye and it's making us laugh and cry.

I like the danger of all that shame coming from a guy named Pistols at Dawn. I'm sorry USA Today has been rejecting your columns again.

Is that what that sticky stuff is Beth?

Interesting Pezda, Doc is clearly brilliant, I'll have to check his post. Glad you enjoyed.

Thanks Chancelucky, interesting background notes on Mr. Irving there. The film was okay but did leave out a lot of the book. I wonder who it would take to convincingly make the film J.I. and the rest of us would love?

anandamide said...

I haven't read it yet, but especially like ITSOAL because it's one of the few novels I've read that really brings Toronto to life (Cat's Eye by Margaret Atwood is another that springs to mind).

Dale said...

Sounds like it's worth reading Anandamide. I'll add it to my piles, sorry, the pile.

Coaster Punchman said...

And we're still waiting, Zed...

Dale, I was afraid God would have cursed you to eat that damned boxed pizza all your life.

Dale said...

Apparently Zed's mom is more important than us right now CP. Whatever! Tonight I had barbecued pizza, not of the Kraft variety. Is that better?