The Foxiest Lady on WordPress, Ms Fox and I sat down to chit chat. She is a wonderful blogger and a wonderful person to talk with. She is intelligent, creative, sensitive, and compassionate, read this post if you don’t want to take my word for it. I wanted to collaborate with her because she is frankly awesome, and I am not saying that because she sometimes finds what I say funny.
Blogging reminds me of the blues. Each post put out is the call and the comments are of course the response. There is a rhythm, a melody that is at the heart of blogging. It’s that interchange that keeps me blogging. it’s redeeming. I sat down to talk with Ms. Fox and what ensued was a conversation between Dave and Amanda. That doesn’t happen much with blogging, which means that doing this was something special. I tried to keep the pictures to a minimum because the words were really important. A good conversation is like good sex lengthy and deep, so to that end I kept it unabridged. I hope in the future to continue the convo.
This Conversation was brought to you in part by International Women’s Month.
Hello MrMary. I’m so glad you invited me to visit your blog. In an attempt for us to get to know each other better, I thought I’d tell you a little more about myself.
I’m a pretty simple woman – I have three children, all are old enough to drive. That’s why my car is such a pigsty. I have a wonderful husband, who thinks he’s smarter than me. OK, he’s pretty darn smart, but let’s not get crazy. And yes, sometimes I talk shit, but I want you to know that I love my family more than words can express [sniff, sniff].
I am also perimenopausal, which means I occasionally get over-emotional – and violent. Please, don’t hold it against me. In addition to my husband and my children, I have four adorable cats. They are the light of my days, and the furriness that stirs my soul.
Do you like animals, MrMary? In the very least, are you kind to them, or should I start disliking you immensely now?
I love animals a lot. For a while I used to feed some stray cats by my old apartment and as a child my happiest memories were going to the pond across the street in prospect park to feed the ducks. I would save my bread and then plead with my parent to take me outside to the park
I live in beautiful Ottawa, Ontario. That’s in Canada. And contrary to popular belief, we don’t all know each other here. In fact, Canada is a big place. It would take me longer to fly from one side of the country to the other, than it would for me to fly to Cuba. And I love salsa dancing, so I’d go there in heartbeat, but whatever.
In Ottawa, the seasons change from “you can wear flip flops and t-shirts outside” to “you’d better put on your damn winter coat or run the risk of having your extremities amputated due to frostbite” in about two weeks flat. Our squirrels are some of the most adaptable creatures on earth.
Do you have squirrels where you live, MrMary? And have you ever had frostbite, or any other condition that has put you in the hospital?
I got called for a job interview but at the time I had no money and was living in a barren attic that was ridiculously cold in the winter and unbearable hot in the summer. It was in January I believe. I had no suit or suit or anything fancy of my own so I had to borrow my fathers fancy clothes which made me look a bit foppish. The place was in Long Island and I had to get up at 5 am to get top where I was going.
I was unfamiliar with the area and ended up though I studied the bus route and map a good couple of miles from my destination. I didn’t have a cell phone only a dollar and change. I called HR a few times but the machine took my money. So I walked all the way to the facility. It took me 3 hours. I had only my fathers leather coat, the only one which could fit me. It couldn’t close in the front and I was freezing cold. My hands started to get pins and needs in them. It was about 20 degrees outside and a windy NY day I had to walk through like the side of the highway. Eventually I got there and eventually got the job and it was a god awful job I quit 3 months into it. My hands never felt colder than they did that day
Also, we have the longest skating rink in the world in this lovely city. Thousands of people flock here every winter to try it out. I hate it though. In the twelve years that we’ve lived here, I’ve skated on it three times. I don’t like the cold. I want to move south.
Do you skate, MrMary? Or ski? Or snowmobile? What leisure activities do you enjoy?
I don’t like winter activity. The cold aggravates my sickle-cell and I get a lot of joint pain. For leisure I don’t have much to do. Maybe that’s why I find winter and the wintery landscapes beautiful because I cannot really take part in them. I read, write, workout, drink stuff the usual hanging with friends now and then. I like to travel every now and then but haven’t so in a while due to money restrictions. I like to spend time alone, and not in the young boy just discovered puberty and what somewhat gentle self-applied friction can do. But I like taking walks. Sometimes I just walk randomly through NYC, walk over bridges look at people’s faces, look at the sky with no stars or the sunlight bouncing off the skyscrapers without seeing the disk of the sun itself. I write a poem about it once Maybe ill share it will you if you want.
I grew up in a very liberal household. Both of my parents are retired teachers. As you can imagine, getting a good education has always been important in my family. After high school, I went to university to study fine art. I’m a bit of an art nerd – and quite adept at drawing animals. Unfortunately, my first studio teacher was a “Nasty Nelly” which is why I switched to a different program after my first year. Looking back, I realize that it was stupid for me to let someone influence my life choices that way, but I was young and vulnerable, and that’s what I did.
What were your life goals when you were growing up, MrMary? Has anything ever held you back from doing what you wanted to do? And what plans do you have for the future?
My life goals were simply to do something I love doing. I am a very passionate person and I want to be passionate about everything I do, whether it’s talking about a new idea, reading, write, lifting weights, being there for family and friends.
I have many small goals but I am not so attached to them you know what I mean. Like if I don’t get snorkel off the Great Barrier reef it will be alright. I think ultimately I am my only barrier to what I wanna do though – while that may not be 100% true like for instance the recession plays a role in how certain things are difficult for me, I like to imagine in my head that I live and die by my own hand. It keeps me motivated to keep pushing myself to go further and further. I’m trying a bit unsuccessfully to write consistently for some things I want to publish, work 2 jobs and perform all my responsibilities but some days it’s a hit and miss.
After switching out of fine art, I signed up to take both philosophy and anthropology, God knows why. Someone in the counselling office said I should, so I agreed. In philosophy, I enjoyed the ethics courses. I hated the theory courses – like “hated” hated, like “I never went to class” hated. To this day, I couldn’t tell you if Aristotle and Plato were the same person, or if they were lovers, or if they even lived at the same time. I know, pathetic.
In anthropology, it was the cultural side – not the “digging in the dirt” side – that interested me. On top of these two subjects, I took courses in women’s studies, writing, and even nutrition. What’s that saying – I know a little bit about everything, and a whole lot about nothing? Yeah, that’s me. MrMary, you seem to be a very philosophical-type of guy – more philosophical than I am, no doubt. From whence did this penchant of yours derive? (That’s about as good as it gets for me trying to sound smart, and it probably doesn’t even make sense.)
MrMary, you seem to be a very philosophical-type of guy – more philosophical than I am, no doubt. From whence did this penchant of yours derive?
Uhm I was always introspective but I think that being home a lot made it even more profound. Until I was in college I was always home. My parents were old school and ran a pretty strict house. They censored what I watch saw read , said , handwriting how I moved my lips when I spoke. There was no hanging out with friends after school. After school I had to take care of my lil sister do my homework and clean up a bit around the house. My only release from that silent nightmare was reading
During my second year of university, I got married. A year later, the babies started popping out – three in a row. I don’t remember much from that nightmarishly exhausting time. My husband and I went to class, studied, changed diapers, fed people, and cleaned our two-bedroom townhouse – a lot. I was in a fog for about ten years.
At some crazy point, after finishing my undergraduate degree – thank God – I applied to study architecture at a very art-based school. At the same time, my husband was starting his residency in orthopedic surgery. We were beyond busy. The kids were eating Cheerios for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. My house looked like something out of that show Hoarders. Eventually, I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I quit. My husband was the one making money. I wasn’t. It was a fairly easy decision – we needed to eat. It is also a decision that I hold over my husband’s head to this day. He is where he is because of me. That’s all you need to know.
After that, I stayed at home with the kids, and taught fitness. Exercising is something I’ve always enjoyed. It is still a big part of my life. You said recently that you were getting back into a regular workout routine.
How’s that going? Do you look like the old-school Arnold Schwarzenegger yet?
I doubt I will ever look like old school Arnie. When I was a kid i found a lot of inspiration iun his story. I aspire to reach the highest level of development for myself in all departments of my life. I dunno what the finished product would look like though. I am big fan of bodybuilding and well as powerlifting.
This is like my second life in the gym. After 5-6 years working out I took a 5 year hiatus and now I am back and decided for old times sake to try to get back to where I was in terms of strength and to have leaner physique while doing so. I am big on symmetry and aesthetics and over-healthy health. I want to be flexible and agile still while putting on more mass as I lean down. I’m currently at 229. In the last few months I’ve definitely packed on some muscle mass and leaned down. I was also influenced by Steve Reeves and his concept of a classic physique. Currently I estimate I need to go 15 more lbs and I’ll be shredded enough. I initially wanted to do like a series where I would post my workouts my nutritions and average weighs in, what program was I following etc but I don’t think anyone would be interested in seeing my that much shirtless and such
A few years ago – with my kids older and presumably more self-sufficient – I went back to school yet again. It was pretty much a “shoot me now” type of situation. Nine months of hell later – apparently my kids were NOT as self-sufficient as I’d hoped they’d be – I had a useless teaching degree. Score.
What is your impression of school, MrMary? Did you like it? Were you a good student? Or were you a brat like my husband? He got the strap many times in grade school. It’s a wonder they let him keep going for so long.
I hated school. I was always an A student it didn’t take me much effort really supposedly I am smart? I feel that school damage ones connection with themselves. It’s like an arena in many ways where for some innocence and the safety of childhood ends forever really. Outside every school there should be a plaque that says either:
Ave, Imperator, morituri te salutant” Hail Cesar those about to die salute you!
Per me si va ne la città dolente,
per me si va ne l’etterno dolore,
per me si va tra la perduta gente.
Giustizia mosse il mio alto fattore:
fecemi la divina podestate,
la somma sapienza e ‘l primo amore.
Dinanzi a me non fuor cose create
se non etterne, e io etterno duro.
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’entrate
Through me you go to the grief wracked city; Through me you go to everlasting pain; Through me you go a pass among lost souls. Justice inspired my exalted Creator: I am a creature of the Holiest Power, of Wisdom in the Highest and of Primal Love. Nothing till I was made was made, only eternal beings. And I endure eternally. Abandon all hope — Ye Who Enter Here
My teachers werent always nice to me, and my parents gave me the strap many times for senseless bullshit. Unfortunately I have to wait until my parents die I believe to talk talk about child punishment, and how beating someone kills their soul. The only difference between my life as I felt it during those elementary and high school years and prison was that there was no fear of being raped in the shower. everything else , the bullying the bland food, the beatings, the solitude was pretty much the same.
I read a lot because the only solace, company, and means to ease the pain I felt came through reading the words of people who were dead. So it was like Conan the Barbarian but with learning and knowledge, I didn’t have an opportunity to develop my body till college. I think the education system in the USA is a joke and rather it is a factory to produce feeble minded person incapable of independent thought.
Something else that you might find interesting is the fact that I live in a multi-racial household. I am white, of German/Ukrainian descent. My husband is a black Jamaican man. If you asked my children how they’d identify themselves, they’d say that they are “mixed” – neither black nor white. My oldest son would also say that he is a “genius”, but that’s because he’s a smart ass. Furthermore, he’d say that he likes being able to fit in anywhere, even in Mexico, since he kind of looks Mexican. He actually does. As you can see, we joke about race in our house. Then again, we joke about everything.
When I see my children – like when I look at them across the room – I just see THEM. I don’t see their colour. They are who they are – intelligent, precocious, and sometimes extremely difficult human beings.
I think the more people mix culturally, the better off this world is going to be. I feel sorry for people who are against this. Too bad for them, because it’s going to happen whether they like it or not. That’s just the way the world is these days. Knowing someone intimately (or even on a friendship level) makes barriers disappear. I think that terms like “black” and “white” will eventually disappear as well. Our language will change as our relationships do.
What do you think, MrMary? How would you describe yourself? And what do you think about interracial relationships?
If I had to describe myself hmm I dunno. I would say Cynical. I also brood a lot. I like to poke fun at things in a way that I can learn from them at least. I agree I feel as the human experience changes language much change with it and that more importantly we have to been stewards of that change so language does not ultimately become a tool for ideological propagation and the deadening of the human spirit.
There is a lot you can learn from a house cats. No matter what color they are they are cut and loveable. Also whenever they are in heat all that matters is that the parts fit. Black cats will get down with white cats , brown cats tabby cats. The load annoying sounds during sex are pretty much universal across the majority of species. I think the most unbiased thing on earth for me is an erection, sounds silly but it doesn’t care if the lady is white black Hispanic Asian, if she has what I like then …MAGIC.
I think inter-racial relationships are great, whether romantic or friendly etc. We get exposed to something new something unfamiliar. I have noticed that when I am in new places and uncomfortable that were I am forced to grow and leave behind my small mindedness.
And I know this has nothing to do with kids, cats, or racial issues, but one last thing I should tell you,is that I also write literary erotica. I know – wowzers. That could be a bit of a shock. Or maybe not. Depends on how sexually liberal you are.
Are you sexually liberal, MrMary? As crazy as people may think I am, I’m actually pretty conservative in that regard.
I don’t know. Hmm I don’t think the term sexually liberated would apply. For me I feel the closest analogy would be that of a snake in wild. I will wait awhile for something really nice to come along, something that really catches my eye, inspires me to stop doing what I’m doing. Then I go for it and if all works out then I take my time to gorge myself and overindulged. I have too many things I am trying to do to, I’d rather have someone to roll with for a little bit however long that is, then someone to send home every Sat morning by cab or bus as it is a recession . I have to know a chic before all the cool stuff happens. Then the descent into some Bacchanalian excess is all the more sweeter That’s just my personal preference though. That’s neither liberated or repressed I think.
Yes, I write about sex, but not in a “Playboy” sense, more in a “Henry Miller, Anais Nin or Paulo Coelho” sense. Sex is part of life, and I write about it as such. It all began when I was a young adult and I read Harlequin romances and other books of the genre. It got me to thinking – I could do this. And just so you know, we’ve come a long way since those “Harlequin Romance” days. There are some very talented writers out there, and I’m not talking Fifty Shades Of Grey either.
Anyway, amidst the rest of the madness in my life, I tried writing, and within a year, I had a few short stories published in some popular anthologies. With success came the desire to keep going, and I did. I quickly learned however, that writing erotica per se wasn’t really my thing. I found myself straying further and further from the topic to write more about life in general – if sex or sexuality happened to come into it, then fine. Presently, I enjoy blogging because it allows me the freedom to write about whatever I want.
They say that you should write what you know. I couldn’t do it any other way. Kids, cats, marriage, life, love, and sex – it’s who I am. I also find writing to be very cathartic.
Why do you write, MrMary? And what motivates you?
I feel that there is an ecstatic sense that comes from being alive. I think for each person it desperately tries to find an expression, I think writing and motivation the motivation to write both result from an experience of this “ecstasy” I think for me writing is something that happens and I haven’t tried to find out more about the why.
There are many faces of ecstasy and passion. It isn’t all rosy like the Nicholas Sparks books with the covers of people almost kissing. It over powering like a volcano or some sort of natural disaster. I remember some things Bukowski has said on writing two in particular:
- “Plumbers are better, used car salesmen are better; they are all more human than writers. Writers become human only when they sit at the typewriter. Then they can become good or even exceptional. Take them away from their typewriter and they become pricks.”
- “Take a writer away from his typewriter and all you have left is the sickness that started him writing in the first place.”
I consider myself a writer. I hope this year and I get all my stuff published or at least a decent fraction of what I’ve been cooking. Man I hope I answered that. If not I can give as an answer the following Zen Koan to make things even more obtuse and abstract:
The wild geese do not intend to cast their reflection, and the water has no mind to retain their image.
Well, thanks for having me. It’s been a blast! And I want to say a big hello to all your wonderful readers. The WordPress community is truly one of a kind.
Oh, and one more thing – please say that you don’t make counterfeit money. If you do, the Secret Service will come and get you. I’m watching a show about it right now. It’s not my choice of Sunday night entertainment, but then again, when do I ever get to pick? There are too many other greedy little hands grabbing for the flicker. That’s life, I guess.