Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Beck: hard-hitting AND insightful

Yay, an interview with questions from Beck. I love this meme that's been doin' the rounds, the questions AND the answers, so here's my part (with many thanks to the lovely and funny Beck):

1. Who is the sexiest Canadian politician?

Well, since you didn't specify that the politician has to be current or alive, I'm gonna go with Trudeau, who was really before my time but seemed really sexy in that movie they made a few years ago. I liked that he said what he thought and believed in, which people turned out to like. It seems politicians today have it backwards. They say what they think voters want to hear.

2. If you were casting the movie of your life, which actress - living
or dead, from any era - would play you?

Ok, I've thought about this one before, but I'm still not really satisfied. Sugar Daddy thinks Laura Prepon from That 70's Show, Mad thinks Tilda Swinton from Orlando. And I keep coming back to Julia Roberts a la Pretty Woman, not so much for the call girl comes into windfall but for the moments when she is looked down on in stores and when she bursts into laughter when the escargot flies off her plate. And mostly because she has big curly red hair in the movie.

3. My yard's soil is sandy and dry and I live in a cold climate.
Which natural Canadian plants do you recommend I introduce?

Ok, I'm not good with these kind of questions but I'll try. From this badly designed but admirable website, I think many of the plants that grow down here grow where you are too. The trick is to find plants that are propagated from stock within 100 kms of you. That way, they're already adapted from hundreds/thousands of years of experience with your local climate conditions. That's where I can't help you (the closest source I can come up with is Wildflower Farm near Orillia, which I suspect isn't that close to you. However it does have a neat selection tool where you put in your specific moisture, soil type and sunlight conditions and it gives you plants that will grow there.

You don't say whether you're looking at sun or shade, so I will give you some of my favourites for both.

Full sun to part shade:

Foxglove Beardtongue (penstemon digitalis) - there are quite a few species in this family that are native to Ontario, but I love this one in particular. The blooms are white, the plant usually stands around 3 feet tall... I think it's pretty easy to grow too.

Cardinal Flower (lobelia cardinalis) - stunning bright red blooms, about 4 feet tall (just remembered it's the red flower in my profile pic). BUT (and it's a big one) It needs full sun and moist or wet conditions. I have two by my downspout, which is nearly full sun, and it does well there. But I tried one in slightly shadier, less wet conditions and it survived, but was never as big or as happy-looking as the one by the downspout. So last year I moved it to the downspout too and it's much happier though still a bit stunted compared to the other one.

Sweet Black-Eyed Susan (rudbeckia triloba) - smaller, later blooms with round petals on a much taller plant than the standard black-eyed susans (rudbeckia hirta)... It can take over a bit though but its blooms last well into October.

I could go on and on and on, but my taste may not be yours. I highly recommend checking out the Wildflower Farm's site. It has lots of pictures and they sell a lot of species.


Wild Geranium (geranium maculatum) - not at all related to the ubiquitous annual geraniums you see in hanging baskets everywhere all summer long. These are much lovelier, with pale pink strawberry blossom-like blooms, a nice rounded shape, and near-maple-leaf-shaped leaves. Love it!

Columbine (aquilegia canadensis) - these will do well in full sun too, I think, but I have it in shadier conditions. It's an airy plant, with its leaves near the ground, and whimsical blooms on 3-foot-tall stalks. The flowers have too strange a shape for me to describe. I think I've seen them described as jester's caps but it really doesn't do the plant justice. The leaves often get some borer insect that leaves a map of its activities until eventually the plant is completely defoliated. It doesn't seem to bother the plant particularly though, and it self-seeds readily and comes back next year for more.

There's a few ideas anyways...

4. How is your husband most like his parents?

Jeez, loaded question or what? Here goes...

He's intelligent and a good writer like both of them, although he mostly only writes emails these days. I keep asking him to guest-blog here but he can't decide what he wants to write about. Maybe one day. And he's quiet and gentle, with a tendency to withdraw from conflicts like his dad.

5. If you suddenly had a daughter, what would you call her?

Well, I can't say for sure because it took us nine months to come up with Swee'pea's name, and even then we couldn't decide until we saw him. But we did have a girl's name all worked out for him, which isn't completely off the table if a daughter came into our lives. That said, having two out of two kids whose names end with the ah sound is just a little too cute. Anyways, we would have named Swee'pea Khaya Mae Josephine if he'd been a girl. Khaya means home in Zulu, Mae because it was my Grandma Ruth's middle name and Josephine in honour of my Grandma Jo who died when I was 7 and had only just met her, and whose real name was Jocelyn but I don't really like Jocelyn and I always thought it was Josephine until just last year. My heart would be in the right place anyways even if the details aren't.

Now who wants to be interviewed by me?




Beck said...

Oh, I should have mentioned that my whole yard is at least partially shady, with most of it being full shade. Yes, I live in the gloomy shadow of a giant rock. It's true.
Good answers!

Mimi said...

Ok that's it: you're coming to do an Extreme Makeover of my yard. We call it 'the nature preserve' but the only nature being preserved is one very hardy bee balm that dates from the previous owner, and a whole lotta dandelions (hey, at least we're not pesticizing!)

Interesting answers. I love Julia Roberts' laugh in that scene from Pretty Woman: so spontaneous, so honest, so free. Ahhhhhh ....

cinnamon gurl said...

Mimi, maybe you missed it in my other plant post but I am NOT a good gardener. If you saw my backyard you would know this. I just read books and surf the web.

cinnamon gurl said...

Oh - and Beck, at first I thought it was such a disadvantage to have a shady front yard but now I've discovered all the different colours and textures of green... plants that do well in shade almost always have interesting and beautiful foliage.

NotSoSage said...

I'm seconding Mimi's call for you to come and landscape our front garden for us (as soon as we get our 81 cubic feet of soil into it).

I love this meme...I'd love to be interviewed, but you already know all my deep, dark secrets. Like the fact that I've invented Mme L just to get into the cool, mommyblogging club.

Mad Hatter said...

I love that name. You MUST have a girl now just so someone will have that name.

Aliki2006 said...

We have a shade-to-part shade front yard too and I'll be looking for some tips as well--I like the idea of wild geraniums!

Am I being obnoxious if I say I'd love to be a part of this meme? Only bear in mind that my mother-in-law reads my blog...

cinnamon gurl said...

Mad, yeah, I love it too. From very early on in my pregnancy I thought we were having a boy, but I kept hoping I was wrong just so we could use the girl's name that we both agreed on very early. I don't know... we'll see.

cinnamon gurl said...

Aliki2006 - of course you're not being obnoxious!

Kyla said...

These interviews are so fun!

sewfunky said...

me :)

Denguy said...

Your Grandma Ruth and my Grandma Annie have the same middle name and I used it for my daughter.

I could be interviewed. Only a few local moms read my blog and so does my mother and my wife.

gingajoy said...

Uhm. I'll have to just believe you on the Trudeau thing--I just googled him to remind myself of what he looked like. I guess there's a charisma thing there that makes him sexy, right? Not translatable in a thumbnail?

I've been thinking about gardening today, actually--considering getting a lot in our neighborhood for some of us to share and grow veg. It's a completely doomed project. You heard it here first.

Julie Pippert said...

Great answers!

I actually like Jocelyn and Josephine.

Laura Prepon in blonde now. I saw her on a commercial for a new show and kept trying to place the familiar actress, then it finally hit me!

That's intersting about Tilda Swinton. Some of us bloggers who know one another in real life did a "who does this person msot resemble." I got Tilda Swinton pretty much across the board. I'd hoped for Cate Blanchett, personally but understand the obvious reluctance to compeltely fib. LOL

When all is said and done, based on what you said (and no eprsonal knowledge), I'd say Julia Roberts.