Kind of a Mess Interviews: Rachel of Bananas, continued

Rachel is my buddy and partner-in-crime; one day we will open up our “Cupcakes ‘n Tatas” topless bakery.  It will be amazing.  As will our boobies.  Rachel blogs at Bananas, Continued and is also ddayporter on APW.  Which I have to call her on a regular basis because if I call her “Rachel,” Meg and Lauren have no idea who I’m talking about.

Fun fact about Rachel you (and she) didn’t know: Rachel makes dance parties happen wherever she goes.  She once walked into a Starbucks, pointed at the barista and “In the Aeroplane Over the Sea” by neutral milk hotel started playing.  They then did a full-length pas de deux until the song ended, at which time Rachel stopped, grabbed someone’s frappucino and then walked out the door.

Those there later described it as the most important event in their life thus far.

What would you eat if it were your last meal?

For some reason my first reaction to this question was to wonder what got me onto death row.. Did I finally snap and go on a shooting rampage in the House Republican caucus?? (jk I would never do that. I’m pretty sure.) My last meal, assuming I wasn’t stricken with no appetite at the thought of dying shortly afterward: first course would be goat cheese flan and a jalapeno popper (in that order). A scoop of sorbet to clear my pallet (never had a fancy enough dinner to experience this but I’ve heard it’s nice). Main dish would be panang curry (with sea scallops and lobster, maybe some shrimps), with a side of perfectly roasted asparagus. I would of course be washing all of this down with champagne (I’m not overly concerned with proper wine pairings for my last meal. Just gimme da sparkler!). For dessert, cheesecake with fresh strawberries, with a dark chocolate fountain nearby for dipping.  And more champagne. And some bacon?? Gotta fit some bacon in there somewhere.

What is your dream job(s)?

Working from an office attached to my house, as a marriage and family therapist. Specializing in pre-marriage counseling, with mainly APW couples. Hee. My side job would be exercise motivation, maybe being a kickboxing instructor or a long-distance running coach (for beginners). My volunteer work would include being a mentor for teenage girls.

Describe your perfect day.

It is springtime. It’s a Sunday where it’s Zach’s turn to take the dog for a walk first thing, so I have about 30 minutes of quiet morning time. I start the coffee and bring in the paper. I wander around the apartment in my underwear, dancing to something awesome, maybe Psycho Killer by the Talking Heads. Qu’est-ce que C’EST!? Zach and Brady get back and we make epic pancakes and lots of bacon. Zach reads the paper while I go straight for Date Lab in Washington Post magazine, and then try to do some of the crossword. I fail, Zach tries to help. We fail. We realize it’s gorgeous outside, and I grudgingly agree to put on a bra.

We walk down to the farmer’s market and sample pickles and cheeses and salsas and coffee and smell soaps and gawk at the hunks of meat on display (and I feel no guilt for sampling with no intention of buying any of it, because this is the perfect day). Maybe we buy some asparagus. Brady is good and doesn’t jump on any little kids. We meander back through the neighborhoods to our apartment, maybe watch some goofy tv or take a nap.

In the afternoon we pack a lunch and some dog treats and head to Teddy Roosevelt Island, on the Potomac, and wander our old walking routes, find the bench where we got engaged, and just sit for a while. Brady gets bored and then sees a raccoon and freaks out. We eat lunch under the gigantic statue of Teddy Roosevelt, and laugh at Brady being afraid of the water fountains. We go home, watch some goofy tv, maybe nap. In the evening we leave Brady in our bedroom and walk up to grab drinks on the rooftop or patio of some bar, some friends meet us there. We walk home through neighborhoods filled with blooming things and glorious spring fragrances and point out the houses we’d like to own one day, and shake our heads at the ones we think are dead ugly. We get home in time to watch Bob’s Burgers. I take Brady out for his last walk of the day, he’s nice and poops somewhere well-lit, instead of the darkest stretch of scrub he can find. He is very well behaved and doesn’t jump on the lady who likes to lecture us about training our dog properly (meanwhile her dog is jumping around yapping its mean little face off and not listening to her while she sternly tells him to sit). We come back inside and Zach turns on Sweet Disposition by the Temper Trap, which played at our wedding, and we slow dance in the living room (I try not to tear up). Brady gets jealous and jumps on us. We exclaim at his cuteness, and go to bed.

What would be your dream trip?

There are a few different categories of trips I dream about: By myself/ with Zach only/with friends only/with family/other group. Within the “with Zach only” category, there are a couple different types: giving him a tour of my youth (we moved around a Lot)/ exploring new places together. Also my dreams change a lot (I’m easily swayed by pretty movies, is one reason). Currently I’m dreaming of a trip to the Mediterranean. I’m thinking a cruise, with extended stops in Morocco, Spain and France. I really want to get to Greece too but that’s probably another trip. I have no specific requirements for this trip, beyond drinking lots of wine and swimming naked in the Mediterranean (life list FTW).

What is your favorite piece of clothing?

My grey loungey pants I’ve had since 1998-ish. I was heavier back then so now they seem gigantic on me and it’s a nice reminder on days I feel like a whale, that I had worse days, and should be happy with my body. They are nearing their end (a few inexplicable holes along the butt seam.. maybe my gas really is that firey) and I don’t know how I’ll ever replace them. Second favorite: my salmon-colored sundress. Most comfortable dress evAR.

Tell me about a time when you surprised yourself.

I think finishing my first marathon was a pretty big surprise. Not like bam! Surprise! When something takes you 6 months of training and then 6 hours of doing, not going to come as much of a shock. But in a bigger picture way, for the me that was not much of a runner at all when she decided in May 2006 that yes she would join the AIDS Marathon fundraising/training program and run the Marine Corps Marathon. That me would be surprised that I followed through and did the damn thing (managing to raise like $2K might actually have been even more surprising). Of course, I probably never could have done it if my superawesome friend Amber hadn’t joined the program and followed through with me. Still. Bad surprise: when it was all over, I did not look like Joan Benoit circa 1984. What the crap.

What is the first thing you can remember wanting to be when you grew up?

Can’t remember which came first, actress or beautician. I think the first thing I wanted to be was a beautician, basically because I loved nail polish and my sisters let me paint their nails sometimes and it was awesome (I’m pretty sure I learned the word “beautician” by asking my mom how I could make a career out of painting peoples nails). And I LOVED playing dress-up and getting into my mom’s make-up. And then maybe I realized I was actually terrible at applying both nail polish and make-up, so I should be an actress and let other people do it for me.

What’s your favorite pizza topping(s)?

What ISN’T my favorite pizza topping(s)? Food questions are really hard for me, I just love so much of it. My go-to pizza-delivery type of pizza is hawaiian. Love me some hot pineapple. But when I make my own, I usually go for lots of veggies, maybe some grilled chicken, peppadews and goat cheese.

What is your biggest fear?

For some reason I feel a bit ridiculous for this but, my biggest fear (other than the sudden death of my husband, which I don’t count because I refuse to acknowledge it as a real possibility), is not being able to conceive. There are a whole host of reasons I tell myself that’s silly, but there it is. I rilly [sic] want to be pregnant, and have a little baby that grows up to look like a mash-up of its parents’ faces (yup just called a baby an it). There are other reasons I would like to have children, and those reasons are what I tell myself when I start thinking about this (I could list them but it’s not really the point). Adoption is a totally viable option, in the safe places in my brain and heart. But there’s still a corner that is afraid of being shattered by infertility. (and no I don’t have any known conditions that are sure to make conception difficult. I really have no compelling reason to fear this. It’s just there). I will say that within the last few months, I’ve felt less terrified by this, partly because of this community I’ve been able to feel a part of. I know women (mostly via the internets but whatever) who have struggled with this, and with miscarriages, so I know if it happens to us I’ll have wise women to turn to. That helps. I’m sure as soon as we do conceive or bring a child into our life in whatever way we end up doing it, my intense fear will shift to failing at being a parent. One thing at a time though.

If your home was featured on any show/blog, what would it be?

(If you say Cribs, you have to point out where the magic happens.) Umm Hoarders? Haha well not quite that bad. But is there a blog devoted to cluttery apartments that needed dusting weeks ago? That are almost entirely furnished with mismatching Good Will/craigslist finds, and badly in need of some freaking curtains? If so please send me the link.

If you could ask me (Alyssa) anything, what would it be?

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Or, (nerd alert) if you read the golden compass, which animal would you pick as your daemon?

Ooo.  Umm…if I could be any animal, it’d probably be a eagle or a dolphin.  Only because I think flying and swimming in the ocean all day would be pretty rad, and those animals are pretty high on the food chain so I wouldn’t get eaten my first day out.  (Plus, I wa a Lisa Frank fan as a tween, so I HAVE to think dolphins are amazing and are always leaping out of multi-colored water with hearts around their head and smiles on their faces.)

My daemon would probably be a dog.  Something with random bursts of energy and is easily distracted.  In fact, I’m nto sure that Maggie isn’t my daemon…we do both love cheese…

18 comments on “Kind of a Mess Interviews: Rachel of Bananas, continued

  1. andee
    June 21, 2011 at 12:31 pm #

    I completely relate to your fear about infertility; even though I have absolutely no reason to worry about it. It’s scary to want something but have no idea if it is even a possibility, and its not like you can really try and make sure everything is working before you’re ready for a baby : )

    • d-day
      June 21, 2011 at 12:54 pm #

      thank you! yeah I’ve been considering switching over to natural family planning sometime, and then it would be easier to assess fertility… it’s scary though because it seems more prone to human error..

      • kindofamess
        June 21, 2011 at 9:49 pm #

        The one thing that has made me less cuckoo for cocoa puffs over this whole birthin’ business is talking to my doctor and (oddly) reading up on pregnancy and such. Sure, I find out things I never thought of, but I also learn more and make it a little less magical and more practical.
        It’s like learning how a plane works makes you less scared to fly. Or is that just me?

  2. esposetta
    June 21, 2011 at 2:09 pm #

    A topless bakery? Am I the only one worried about scorched nipples?

    I love love love Date Lab. I’m glad they’ve gotten a few right lately because, for real, they were failing for a while. If I’d moved to DC a single gal, I may have signed up for it, but I don’t think my boyfriend would be too into that now.

    • kindofamess
      June 21, 2011 at 9:51 pm #

      Eh, we won’t tell him! Though it could end up like the Pina Colada Song and you get paired up with him…

  3. kelly
    June 21, 2011 at 2:48 pm #

    I’ve never read Rachel’s blog but I’m headed there now! She had me at the joke about the House Republican caucus. Also the Golden Compass question. Yes please.

  4. lizzie
    June 21, 2011 at 4:16 pm #

    oh man, her perfect day sounds…really perfect. excellent interview, alyssa.

  5. Ms. Bunny
    June 21, 2011 at 4:42 pm #

    Best part: “Just gimme da sparkler!” I totally concur.

  6. happysighs
    June 21, 2011 at 7:48 pm #

    i ONLY call dday, dday. nothing else works for me.

    and that infertility stuff is scary. babies are scary. people who aren’t pregnant are afraid they won’t get pregnant. people who are pregnant are afraid they won’t give birth. people who’ve given birth are afraid they’ll drop junior on his head as they walk down the stairs with him in their arms.

    i was told i was infertile and now, even while holding my little one, i am struck with the fear that i won’t have another.

    • kindofamess
      June 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm #

      Jethro and I had this conversation recently. He’s kind of freaked out about the possible outcomes and I had to explain that I am too, but not so much that I’ll let it stop us from trying. Although we have different fears; he’s worried they’ll have two heads, I’m worried they’ll turn out to be little assholes…

      And allow me to tell your lady parts that you HAVE to have another. Lil (not) Liz is too gorgeous to be an only child. (Is it weird that I still think of him as Lil Liz? Even though he’s obviously not? Ask him if he minds, I don’t want to give the boy a complex…)

  7. ElfPuddle
    June 22, 2011 at 10:29 am #

    Oh, the infertility fear. I have that. I have that so badly! I actually do have reasons for the fear, but that just gives me ways to focus it. Focused reality-based fear is always worse for me than general groundless fear.

    The perfect day sounds so good! Thank you for the images of that. I’ll put them in my brain-jar of happy thoughts.

  8. Jo
    June 23, 2011 at 6:46 am #

    I would really like to visit Cupcakes n Tatas, so jump on that please? 😉

    YAY Rachel!

  9. ddayporter
    June 23, 2011 at 8:31 am #

    heee thanks for the interview Alyssa! this was fun.

    also, fun fact: I actually HAVE been known to start a dance party here and there. most notably in a little bar in a little township (think shantytown) near cape town, south africa. walked in, started dancing to the awesome music in there, and got the whole place on their feet. mmk. so hold tight to your frappuccinos. 😉

    I love your answers to my question. Lisa Frank!! yes.

  10. silversandalled
    June 25, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    This was a blast to read – great questions and really fun answers!

    Can I tag along on your perfect day? ‘Cause it sounds kinda awesome. Also: had not heard of Date Lab and whoo-hoo! Now I want to go back and read the entire archive…

  11. Stella Taylor
    July 5, 2011 at 11:11 am #

    I also have the infertility fears. We spend our lives trying to not get pregnant and then comes a time when you’re terrified you won’t be able to. We had to do NFP for our Catholic marriage prep, and even though I am not Catholic and have no religious contraception hang-ups I liked it so much for finally having a real understanding of how your body is working that we have continued to chart. I’d be happy to talk to you (or anyone!) about it if you’re interested!

    • ddayporter
      July 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm #

      hey just saw this! next bookclub meet-up, I am picking your brain about NFP! 🙂


  1. well hello | Bananas, continued - June 21, 2011

    […] have been a bit lazy over here lately, BUT I’m excited to say, I am being interviewed over at Kind of a Mess today. AND that rhymed. […]

  2. perfect day? pretty darn close | Bananas, continued - June 30, 2011

    […] reading my description of my “perfect day” in Alyssa’s interview, we kinda wanted to, umm, live it out, this past Sunday. Didn’t make it to the farmer’s […]

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