1. What do you like about your job and what do you dislike?
Well, you'd have to be talking about KLIV, which I don't really see as a "job," but it's the only form of "employment" I've got right now. I love working in radio. I love being a journalist. In a way, what I do amounts to being a reliable gossip. When I tell you something, you know it's true or at least who gave me my information, allowing you to determine whether it's real (as in "so-and-so says such-and-such"). I've always loved all aspects of doing that job.
What don't I like? The pay, because I can't live on what I make there. The usual occasional personality clashes you'll find at any workplace.
2. What are you currently reading?
My e-mail. I've been trying to finish up a book of short stories by Connie Willis a friend loaned me, only I haven't been up to reading much since I got my inner ear infection.
3. Who is/was the biggest influence in your life and why?
For better or for worse, my parents and grandparents. My parents exposed me to some things, yet restricted my access to others, thus forcing me to either have a limited outlook on life or spend a lot of time "making up for lost time." Anyone who knows me at all knows which one I've done.
My grandparents showed me aspects of life I didn't get to see through my parents. I saw two very different styles of marriage that worked for each couple. Dad's parents were the better-educated set, having both graduated HS. They also were more like a second set of parents for my first five years, especially since we lived with them till I was 3.5, and even after we moved out I was still taken "home" to their house and not "mine" after nursery school/kindergarten. For better or for worse, I think the "edginess" of my personality comes from that side of the family. They were the kind of folks people either loved or hated. Nanny was especially good at poker (I wish I was even half as good as she was!) to the point where she'd play to pick up spare money, and was often the only woman at a poker game filled with men. I am sure my boldness comes from her. I look like a gold-haired, blue-eyed version of her, modulo the creases she had from chain smoking cigarettes.
Mom's parents were both forced to quit school as children, so they had to learn on their own. Grandmom was into crossword puzzles and wordplay; Grandpop had a gentle sense of humor (albeit scatological at times) that I've tried hard to emulate. Warren's sense of humor is very similar to Grandpop's, which is one of the things that attracts me to him. He and Grandmom had both figured out I was musical from a very early age and encouraged this, even to the extent of having nothing but musical instruments and music books in the dresser drawers of the bedroom where they slept. I never knew where they put their clothes, but I knew where to find the ukulele, the harmonicas, and the sheet music books.
Grandpop had also tried teaching me to read music when I was a toddler. When I started taking piano lessons at age 7 and realized what it was he was trying to do, I devoured all that music theory stuff. Both he and Grandmom read music, had perfect pitch, and played instruments, as did my mother. Dad, OTOH, could only play the chord organ, and badly.
Mom played piano. As soon as they got their first place, The Piano went from Grandmom and Grandpop's place to ours. I can't remember not being able to pick out tunes by ear, even as a toddler. Grandpop would encourage artistic stuff while Dad was off at Dental School, and Dad would discourage artistic stuff when Grandpop wasn't around. Grandpop taught me how to deal with some of Dad's put-downs. Mom never could deal with them and eventually let me have The Piano. Just hearing Dad making fun of her (very good) playing in her head long after he'd died was enough to take the joy out of playing it for her.
Dad was into comedy. Comedy, comedy, comedy. I didn't see my first Disney movie till I was seven, and even then it was a cousin who took me and not my parents ("too boring"). Dad saw to it that I saw every Marx Brothers, Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, and Woody Allen movie that came out (this was years before Woody married his stepdaughter). On the drive home from the theatre he'd go over the funny parts with me (and later my brother as well), discussing what parts were funny and what made them funny. This has had a profound influence on my taste in stuff, as well as my songwriting and my pacing.
By trade, he was a dentist. He looked like someone you'd like to have put his hands in your mouth. In most areas I didn't trust him, but he was a very good dentist. When he was in Dental School he'd sit watching the TV, doing a running commentary on the dental work of the stars. "Eeeuw. How can she possibly go on national television with a set of crowns like that?" Because a later dentist did a shabby job on my front teeth, I am hyper-conscious of my smile. One of these days I'll plunk down the $2k+ it'll cost to get it fixed, preferably by someone who's not only a cosmetic dentist, but who understands the concept of "My father was a dentist." (If you ever want to see the difference you get in treatment, just try that phrase. The good ones will go into more detail, telling you exactly what they're doing and to which tooth, and will immediately know what you'd like done to your mouth if you had a million bucks.) As an unfortunate sideline, I have to push myself from staring when someone has really bad teeth, horrid dental work, or is missing some in critical places.
4. If you were given 3 wishes what would they be no asking for 3 more wishes either?
1. I'd want the world to be a place in which everyone can coexist in a respectful environment, having control of their own bodies, lives, careers, and futures, coming and going as they please between countries, working where they choose, marrying (and unmarrying) who they choose, and sharing cultures.
2. I'd want a perfect and healthy body. Perfect skin, perfect teeth, perfect figure, and most of all, no frigging allergies!!!
3. I want everyone to have enough money so they wouldn't have to worry about having a roof over their head, food on the table, and health expenses met.
5. What is your favorite song?
Probably "Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh." It has beautiful music (Ponchielli) combined with humor (Allan Sherman). What more could I want in a piece of music?