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So, I’m getting interviewed by Thinking Girl. Here’s how it works: Anyone wanting to be interviewed leave me a comment saying, “Interview me.” I will respond by asking you five personalized questions, to be answered on your own blog. You have to include this explanation and an offer to interview other people. And so on. Depending on how much (or little) I know you, the question can be more or less intimate.
1. What drew you to linguistics? How many languages do you speak? Would you like to learn more? Which ones?
I don’t speak many languages (why is it that that is always the first question people ask?). Fluently, I speak two, French and English. I read Middle English (English from between the 11th and the 15th centuries), but have a harded time with Old English. I know some German, can understand some Spanish. I would like to actually speak those two (but am too lazy). I have also started learning Hungarian, which is a wonderful language (it’s not even Indo-European), with no similarities with words I’m use to; but the grammar is simple (except for the 20 odd declension cases), and prononciation is not much of a problem.
As for what drew me to linguistics, I’d have to say “vocation”. I’ve always been interested.
2. When you’ve done something brilliantly creative, how do you feel? Are you ever afraid you won’t be able to do it again? Or do it again as well? Are you exhausted by the process, or invigorated? How do you get past a creative block?
The words “intellectual orgasm” comes to mind. I don’t remember feeling I that would never be able to do it again. I actually feel invigorated, although sometimes, I feel like I need to do something else. For me there is a kind of boredom when I know I can do it; like the challende is gone. But there’s always new ways to do anything. How do I get past a creative block? Sometimes I wait it out (like now; I’ve got this children story I’m trying to write; I’ve pretty much figured out the overall ideas, but I know it would be forced if I did it now; I know I have to wait until it’s al dente). If I need a faster resolution: walk, shower, watching some sci-fi, or read things that have nothing to do with what I’m trying to create.
3. Do you think you’d like to have children one day? What kind of dad do you think you’d be?
I don’t know. Maybe. I have kept a strong childlike side; I’m guessing that will have an influence on my parenting. I would hope I would be not too strict or leniant. One thing is for sure, I would encourage curiosity and openness.
[Update: I would surely more stories…]
4. What is your favourite thing about living in Montreal? Least favourite?
I like that everything is walking distance: grocery store, bakery, heath-food store, park, best liquor store in the province, open-air market, video store, cycling path, subway, …
What I don’t like: nature (absence thereof), although there are lots of trees in my neighbourhood; people (too many).
5. Tell me your: favourite movie, favourite musician, favourite song, favourite book, favourite drink, favourite food, favourite colour, favourite painting, favourite joke, favourite riddle, favourite word, favourite time of year, favourite time of day, favourite memory.
My favourite movie is Les enfants du paradis (Children of Paradise), written by Prévert. Wonderful dialogs and actors. I also have a sweet spot for American films noirs. I’d have to say that my favourite musician is Paganini; but for singer-musician-songwriter, I’ll go with Nick Cave. Iron & Wine too these days. I can’t name a favourite song; it really depends on the mood I’m in. With books, I don’t play favourites.
Update: come to think of it, my favourite book is Les trois frères, which I wrote, illustrated and manufactured fow my nephew.
Drinks, that’s an interesting one. It’s the Ruby Special. Problem is, no one knows how to make one. I discovered it in a bar I used to hang out at, in Québec city. We spent the whole night ordering it. I later found out that it had been created by a former employee; and when the last of her co-worker also left, they took the recipe with them. So I fall back on vodka and cranberry juice.
Food: salmon pesto stir-fry.
Colour: my girlfriend’s eyes.
Painting: I’m more of a sculpture fan; but I’ve recently been interested in Sasha Pierce’s work, mostly because it actually looks like something else than paint.
My favourite joke is when Homer tells Apu that “Karma can only be portioned out by the cosmos.” So out of character. I don’t think I have a favourite riddle, although I’m partial to those of the Exeter Book. I think my favourite word is amouritié. It’s all in the context I guess.
Time of year: the end of August used to be good to me, but not in recent years. I’d have to say end of May. As for my favourite time of day: it’s around 11 a.m., when I’ve woken up early and have nothing planned. Having had time to do many things, but still have a whole day in front of me (I usually wake up late).
Memory: there’s this incredible kiss. And Steph taking my hand for the first time.