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I interviewed Dana at Southern Gal Goes North — check out her answers and get to know her a little bit better.

Here’s how this meme works:

Deb from Surviving NJ interviewed me. She lives in Hunterdon County, New Jersey and has been in that state her whole life, hence the name of her blog. In addition to her husband, she lives with her two teen-age sons, two dogs and a cat. I don’t know how, but she maintains six blogs!

Want to participate?

Leave a comment saying “Interview me.” Make sure you leave your blog address because I will visit, read some of your posts and your profile, and then interview you by e-mailing you five questions.

You then post the questions and your answers on your blog, including the instructions so that other folks can join in, as well as a link back to this post. When folks leave comments on your site indicating that they would like to be interviewed, you do the same thing: Visit their blog, draft five questions, get a link back to your post . . . and on it goes.

This is a great way to get acquainted with other bloggers and, hopefully, attract some new readers!

So . . . on to my interview.

1. What do you feel you’ve learned from blogging, that you didn’t already know?

Through this blog, I have gotten acquainted with some really wonderful folks who are intelligent, articulate, interesting and have great senses of humor. I wouldn’t recognize most of them if they rang my doorbell, because I have never met them! Sociologists, psychologists, et. al. will spend the next several centuries studying and dissecting this great social experiment that we are all participating in, I’m sure.

For me, blogging is a hobby, a fun diversion. But it is also therapeutic, as when I’ve written about my experiences litigating one case for six years or revisited and considered anew some of the other events in my life that I have written about. If just one of my posts touches one person’s heart, or makes a positive difference in his/her life or how he/she views the world, this will have been a worthwhile venture.

Through this blog, I stumbled onto Write Stuff and was lucky enough to become one of the weekly writers there which is great fun because it gives me another venue in which to write.

When I started this blog, I already knew how to build websites, but I’ve been hacking away at the template, adding and subtracting widgets, and just generally having a great time trying to figure out the code.

2. With the recent violence in Virginia, tell me something good that will come from the tragedy.

There will be increased security on many campuses in this country.

That’s about the only good thing that can come from this, but it is tragic that enhanced security is necessary.

Not only do we have the situation in Virginia to contend with, today was the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing, and the Columbine anniversary is tomorrow. 1 It is just too much to take in. Like 9/11, it all still seems so surreal, even though it is five-and-a-half years later and I have even been to Ground Zero.

I live in Lodi which is just 15 minutes north of Stockton, site of the 1989 Cleveland School shootings. We were living in North Stockton at the time, not far from the school. I remember being here in this house with my parents that day, glued to the television set in utter disbelief. I can still see my father staring at the screen silently, not moving, not reacting. He was just trying to take it in, process it. He survived the Depression and World War II, but could not believe he was seeing footage from a schoolyard where a madman had just gunned down five innocent children. I will never forget that day or his reaction. I wonder what he would say if he were here now, having lived to see these subsequent tragedies unfold.

Several of the Cleveland School victims are buried in Rural Cemetery in Stockton and when my mother-in-law was alive we would take her there frequently to put flowers on the graves of my father-in-law and her relatives so I have been to the graves of those children many times. And every time it is a jolting, unreal experience to see their pictures on the headstones . . . there are no words.

I have been listening to the debate today about whether or not NBC should have shown clips of the videos the murderer mailed to its News Division. I have very mixed feelings about NBC’s actions, but believe that they had to show a minor portion of the video so that America could see how psychotic and depraved the shooter was. Having never lost a loved one as a result of such senseless, vicious violence, I can’t imagine the families’ suffering but wonder if it would be comforting or torturous to receive confirmation of just how dark and twisted the murderer’s soul really was.

Either way, that’s enough. NBC should never show any portion of those tapes again. We all get the point and now the families should be left to bury their dead and grieve without having to turn on their televisions and be confronted with those images ever, ever again.

3. When you start your day, what is the one thing more than any other that you hope you can accomplish?

The first thing that goes through my mind when I open my eyes each day is, literally, “Oh, I can see! This is going to be a great day.” The retinal problems I have experienced pose a tangible ongoing threat to my sight. It could go at any moment. So when I wake up and realize that I can literally see another day stretching in front of me, I am thankful. It’s just that basic.

Next . . . I believe in the work that I do and look forward to doing it. One of my law school professors is very active in the struggle for equality for all persons and every time he sees me, he says, with a fabulous John Houseman-like tone, “Siess! Are you still doing God’s work?” I love being able to tell him, “I sure am!”

4. What television show do you watch as a guilty pleasure, that your friends would be surprised to know?

Workout on Bravo. It’s just a big, ol’ soap opera. But I find Jackie Warner very charismatic and I can’t take my eyes off the screen when the show is on. It’s kind of like a train wreck or car accident. You feel guilty looking, but can’t tear your eyes away.

I also watch The Girls Next Door on E! from time to time because Bridget Marquardt, one of Hugh Hefner’s paramours, is from Lodi. I know her whole family from church.

My viewing of it, too, is symptomatic of the train wreck phenomenon. I find it incredibly sad, frankly. The first time I saw her mother on that show, endorsing her daughter’s choices, I was shocked at who she was and what family she is from. Later, they showed Bridget practicing her strip tease that she was to perform at Hefner’s 80th birthday party — for her mother and stepfather. No joke. She stripped down to a g-string and pasties in front of them and her mother just smiled and laughed proudly, while her stepfather seemed very uncomfortable and tried to look away. I thought to myself, “This has no redeeming value. This is twisted. Why am I watching this?” But I couldn’t pull myself away because I was fascinated by the behaviors I was seeing, especially from Lodians. I guess that the desire for fame, notoriety and money truly does make people do anything. Unthinkable and unspeakable things . . . some of which they show on E!

5. Do you have any regrets? If so, what . . . (This is a question asked of everyone)

If I regret it long or hard enough, can I go back and change it? No? Then fuhgetaboutit.

Join the fun! Leave a comment saying “Interview me!” and I’ll send you your five questions!

  1. We performed “An American Elegy” by Frank Ticheli at Carnegie Hall. It was composed in tribute to the Columbine victims and survivors. []


  1. Christine

    I’m in. Sounds like a great idea. Interview Me, please and thanks!

  2. How about if we trade? I just started my first game of tag. It’s a bit different than any other I’ve seen. I’d like for you to interview me…I’ll move this project along and if you would be so kind pick up on my game of tag.

    I’ll look forward to hear from you.

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