Monday, November 7, 2011

It's All About Me -- Not-So-Frequently-Asked-Questions

 11/7/11_birthday
Red is my color.  Don't you agree?

Since today is my birthday I believe I’ll be audacious enough to write about myself.  Yes, I know.  It’s a shock since this blog rarely delves into the personal, what with its dedicated mission to discuss the higher issues of the day and all.  But indulge me.  Today (as a service to all my new readers) I’ll finally tackle that long list of  not-so-frequently-asked-questions that I’m sure have occurred to someone somewhere.

1) How old are you today?
Why bless your heart.  Thanks so much for asking.  Next question.

2) Are you related to anyone famous?
My full name is Julie Margaret Farrar.  Margaret is my maternal grandmother’s name.  She was a Sappington.  That may not mean much to you, but in St. Louis it used to mean a lot.  We were neighbors to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant (unfortunately on the wrong side of the fence, Civil War speaking).  I drive around and see streets called Sutton/Sappington/Leffingwell.  We even have a cemetery with our name on it.  This morning I pointed to the sign for Sutton Ave. where the body shop where we took our car is located and said, “Hey, that’s me.  What kind of discount do I get for being so fabulously famous?”  He said “That and a thousand bucks will get your car repaired.”  Yes indeed, he did!  Just one of the perks of being so fabulously famous.  We even have a family homestead that is now a local museum.  However, after the Great Depression, our name didn’t mean much more than anybody else’s did, so I don’t get a discount at the museum café.

As for my surname, we have a whole town named after one of our ancestors in south Missouri.  As I heard it, they wanted a zip code and a post office real bad.  A Farrar was the only one in this rural region who actually lived in a “town” setting and could read to sort mail, so he offered to be the postmaster.  So the town called itself “Farrar, MO” because “Wherethehellarewe, MO” was too hard to spell.  It still exists.  Just barely.

Alas, I cannot claim kinship with the wonderfully talented Jay Farrar.

3) Why did you keep your own name when you married?

So my children-to-come would not have to admit they were related to me during our turbulent season of adolescence.  And now when I write anything embarrassing about them or me none of their friends will ever make the connection.

4) What have been your biggest regrets in life as you celebrate another birthday?

That curly perm I was rockin’ the year I met my husband and got married has to be up at the top of the list.

And not listening to my brilliant high school journalism teacher, Mr. Hall, when he begged me to continue on the newspaper instead of choosing to stick with orchestra when the schedules for the two classes came into conflict.  If I had listened to him you would be seeing my headshot on the Sunday New York Times opinion page instead of on this blog.  Not even practice, however, would have gotten me to Carnegie Hall.  When I made that realization one year into college, then I made an immediate course correction.  I quit music and started studying ancient Greek and medieval history.  Yes, really.  (Do you think I should add that to the regret column?)
 
Contemplating my future back on Avery Ct.
11/7/11_birthday2

6) Have you been published anywhere but on your own blog?
If you’re cruising the Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition (1996 edition), you’ve seen some of my best work.  And a friend at sewing group last week told me I write such wonderful thank you notes.  And I’ve actually been retweeted a few times.  With such a stellar publishing record I just don’t understand why no one’s beating down my door for my golden words.  Recently, however, as I’ve been connecting with more and more people online, I’ve read about this habit some “writers” have wherein they actually personally submit some of their golden words to people who work at magazines, literary journals, and book publishers.  And they don’t even include oatmeal chocolate chip cookies with the package.  Hmmmm.  Maybe I’ll try that technique before the year is over.  I’ll keep you posted.

7) What is your ultimate goal as a writer?
To have Meryl Streep portray me in the film adaptation of the memoir I’m working on (ok, well, not working today because it’s my birthday) about adopting and raising with my extremely brave husband our own two precious little Communists who will deny I’m their mother once it gets published (see question #3).

8) How many times have you tried to lose weight in the last five years?
Don’t be impertinent. 

9) What’s the best part about your birthday this year?
As always, the best part is sharing it with my daughter (yes, the exact same date).  Happy birthday, Sweetie (*waves*)!  It assures me that at least one person in the family will remember.  The next best part is that I went back to bed this morning (hence the extremely late posting today) because I was still in a coma from last night’s birthday dinner of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy, and Black Forest cake.

10)  What else should we know about you?
You tell me.  No, really.  Send me questions and I’ll answer them.  I’m sure you’re enthralled by my story up to now and are breathlessly awaiting a second installment.  As soon as I sort through the questions that I know will be pouring in I’ll post another FAQ page.

Send all your questions to the comments box.  Or answer for us one FAQ about yourself.

You can read other birthday posts here and here
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Today’s blog post was sponsored by the writing prompts at Mama Kat’s world famous writing workshop.
10/3/11-what I'd do3


17 comments:

Michael Ann said...

Happy Birthday, Julie! I enjoyed this post thoroughly! I liked your interview format :-) It's fun to know a bit more about you. I hope your day is a fabulous one!!

brenda said...

You are hysterical. I'm sorry if I wasn't suppose to laugh being that it's your birthday and all, but your answers were too good. And yes, have a wonderful birthday. If I have a reason to visit the midwest (which, you'be surprised to know isn't on my current list of things to do) I would insist we meet for a coffee or a glass of bubbly to celebrate your book.

Kat Ward said...

I AM waiting breathlessly for your next installment. Dang it (to put it rather more civilly than I normally do), you are funny and I did need to laugh out loud today. Bless you, birthday woman! & keep on strutting your stuff; it's rockin'

Candice said...

Bonsoir, Mon Amie! Et Bon Anniversaire! Au fait, si tu etais Canadienne, on te dirait "Bonne Fete!" (Puisque nous sommes, toutes les deux, des amies du site She Writes, j'ose te tutoyer -- cela te derange pas, j'espere....) En tout cas, j'adore ton blog et ce post est merveilleux et tout à fois hilairant! Il faut excuser mon clavier, il n'aime pas mettre les accents. Dommage, hein? Alors, mes questions:

1. Où te te cachais?! Il faut que le monde connait ton écriture!
2. Es-tu vraiment de chez vraiment rousse?
Et oui, je suis bien impertinente :)
3. Comme Kat, j'attends ton prochain post; c'est pour quand?

A tres bientot ... sans doute sur She Writes, j'y vais maintenant! Seeya :)

Candice said...

Ouf! Des erreurs. J'aurais du dire: "où TU te cachais? et "Il faut que le monde CONNAISSE ..." (j'aime pas le subjonctif).

En parlant d'aurais du, j'aurais du lire avant de poster lol.........

samantha stacia said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY! As always late to the party but here! Your post is entertaining and as usual makes me laugh once out loud, which is so hard for me to ever do!
You gave me that gift on YOUR birthday thank you!

monicastangledweb.com said...

Happy Birthday, Julie! Hope it was swell, but from the sound of the celebration the night before, sounds like you were off to a great start. I love how your family history is intertwined with St. Louis'. Lucky you to know so much of your family history. Loved your Q&A!

N.Scott said...

Happy Birthday! My question: What's your favourite book?

journeytoepiphany said...

Happy Birthday! This was delightful! Made me giggle!

Julie Farrar said...

What is my favorite book? Well, I longingly read Little Women because I wanted to be Meg. I cherish T.H. White's Once and Future King because I love all things King Arthur and he idealized the myth so wonderfully (anybody want to hear me recite the last page?) As an adult it's harder to say because I could make a list of best non-fiction, best memoir, best translation, best drama, best mystery, etc. But when I want to slip away into another world for a short bit I always grab something by Anne Lamott to make me both laugh and think, especially her essay "Samwheel."

Candice, give me time to translate. I'll get back to you. I might even answer in French.

Nadine Feldman said...

Love the blog! Happy birthday, too!

I know it's all about you today, but I noticed your Little Women comment. My first name is Beth, and my younger sister is Amy...and yet I seem to have turned into Jo!

Really funny today! Loved #6 in particular!

Anne B Wright said...

I think you could count as being published your work with Creative Caffeine, which is the highlight of my publishing career ...

Julie Farrar said...

I agree Anne. Creative Caffeine was definitely a challenge and I looked forward to seeing what Janis chose to publish on the site at the end of the week.

Tele said...

You're so funny, Julie! Writers who can do humor are some of those I most admire (and secretly envy), and you've got that one down. It was a delight to start the morning by getting to know you better; hope you have a fabulous birthday and that the coming year is full of goodness, laughter, and writing!

Julie Farrar said...

Goodness, laughter, and writing -- yep, that would make for a nice year. I'll work on it.

MuMuGB said...

Happy birthday, Julie! You see, i am fifteen in my head. I don't really celebrate my b'days any more...

Scrollwork said...

Happy birthday, Julie! Is there any more Black Forest cake left?

Couldn't help noticing that you're always sitting back and looking relaxed in your pictures. : ) At least in two of them you haven't put up a leg the way you did in your stroller.

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