Elan Morgan is a writer and web designer who works from Elan.Works, a designer and editor at GenderAvenger, and a speaker who has spoken across North America. They believe in and work to grow both personal and professional quality, genuine community, and meaningful content online.

Seven Interviews Schmutzie

Neil of Citizen of the Month begat The Great Interview Experiment in which each commenter on that post was to be interviewed by the previous commenter and was to interview the following commenter. Everyone would get to feel famous!

I urge you to check out the other interviews and sign up to take part.

I, for one, decided that I could not pass up such an opportunity, and left my comment, so I am being interviewed by Seven, and I will be interviewing Karen Sugarpants. While I wait for Ms. Sugarpants to get back to me with some answers, here is Seven's interview of me.

SEVEN INTERVIEWS SCHMUTZIE

What's your favorite thing about living in Canada?

Before 2007, I would probably have answered this question differently, but now I have to say that my favourite thing about Canada is our universal health care system. The Palinode and I would have both been buried under an enormous amount of debt after my hysterectomy for cervical cancer in July and his back surgery in November. Because we live in Canada, all we had to pay for was part of the bill for our medications. Now we are healthy and do not have to contend with difficult money issues. I feel very lucky to be where I am right now.

What prompted you to get into blogging? Was it something you thought about for awhile, or just a whim?

The Palinode started blogging earlier in 2003, and he introduced me to a couple of weblogs that he read regularly. My creativity had felt bottled up for years, so I thought that it could not hurt to give blogging a try. While I had allowed most of my writing to fall by the wayside before, I found that maintaining a weblog managed to keep me to a writing schedule, and so it stuck.

I am shocked to realize that August 25, 2008 will mark the five-year anniversary of Milkmoney Or Not, Here I Come.

How long have you been taking pictures?

I had a little film camera when I was a kid for which I had to buy those snap-on flash cube towers that sometimes exploded, but after I was eleven or twelve, I did not take pictures again until the Palinode bought me a Canon Rebel 2000 SLR for Christmas in 2003. I fell in love with photography immediately, and now I also own a Polaroid Spirit, a Holga, a Polaroid back for the Holga, and a Lumix FZ20.

Do you have a favorite subject for pictures (nature, people, etc.) or do you generally just snap whatever catches your eye?

I like to photograph everything. Through the camera lens, all things become a series of lines and shades of light and dark to me, as though they are all pieces of a puzzle. If I like the way the pieces fit together, I shoot.

If you had to choose, would you rather your credit card was always denied on the first try, or have ABBA follow you around singing "Dancing Queen" everywhere you go? Things to consider: Restaurant bills, noise fatigue. Update: I just read in your archives that you don't own a credit card and never have. Can I change the question? If you had to choose between the ABBA thing or having to pay in pennies everywhere you went, no matter how high the amount, which would you choose, and why?

Yes, you can change the question!

At first, I thought that I would much prefer having to pay for everything in pennies over hearing "Dancing Queen" everywhere I went, but then I realized that you meant ABBA, the actual band, would be following me around. Things were further complicated by the all the possibilities, too. Like, would I be able to spend rolls of pennies instead of individual coins? And would I have a personal penny ferrier? And if I chose ABBA, would they be their younger 1970s selves? Or would I have a bunch of older Swedes following me around? And then I considered that hearing "Dancing Queen" on an unending loop might have the benefit of eventually throwing me into a zen-like state, or possibly catatonia, which would not be all that bad, really, but ABBA probably would not choose to live out their golden years shuffling through snow in Saskatchewan, taking public transit, and spending their days squeezed into my cubicle.

So, I am going with the pennies thing, because they are more quiet, and I would not have to feed them. I think keeping ABBA around would rack up quite a grocery bill.

What has been the greatest challenge in learning to "honor your identity"? Is it any easier to face it, or do you still tend to dance around it? If this is too personal a question, let me know and I won't include it.

I am fine with this question. I do not mention my gender identity much on this website, but that is because I am not sure what to say about it at this point in my life.

Ever since I was about two years old, I was aware that I did not identify as a girl, and by the time I was four or five years old, I was praying nightly for God to deliver me my well-deserved penis already. Since then, I have found that it is not that I want to be physiologically male. I think that was a simple way for me to understand my difference at the time. Now, I am comfortable with ambiguity. I do not identify strongly with either the male or the female gender and am perfectly alright living without a label right now.

I find that the best way to honour my identity, to let it breathe, is to simply be honest about it when I can rather than shuttering it away as though it is shameful. My friends know, because I told them about it, but my co-workers do not and neither does my family. It can be a difficult line to draw sometimes, but it is a flexible one I can deal with. There was a time when I thought I would never tell anyone, so I am happy with how far I have come.

What is the best thing about being 34?

I just turned 35 at the end of December, but the best thing about being 34 was that I got rid of that dastardly cancer.

What is was a hard thing about being 34?

I feel that I can safely say it sucked. I hated it. I was diagnosed with cancer and had a hysterectomy, and the Palinode lived through most of the year with a broken back. I am sure that our neighbours must think we are extra kinky, because at certain points, one or the other of us could be heard screaming in pain. It was delightful.

There were good things about 34, like how I am smarter and less worried about what others think and stuff, but honestly? I could have gone there without the cancer and a crippled partner.

I feel like I need to throw some honey into this mess of a negative answer. The honey: 34 is over and done with, never to return. Phew.

When you were growing up, what did you think your life would be like? Does your life resemble what you thought it would?

At first, I thought that I would grow up to be a man who wore a suit and shiny shoes, but when I figured out that that was not going to happen, I decided that I would be Farrah Fawcett. I was a bit of a dreamer. After that, I went through phases that included imagining about such stations in life as: religious prophet, novelist, pregnant teenager, bookstore owner, mortician, window washer, novelist, mail delivery person, and world-famous singer.

My life bears little resemblance to any of those things, thankfully. I am a writer, though, and a photographer and very happy with the place I have found myself in.

In your lifetime, what important lessons have you learned about life? Any wisdom to share?

Do not pour drain cleaner on your face. I did that once and have the scars to prove why it is not such a good idea.

Love is an action. The word without deed amounts to sweet nothing.

Do not catch wildlife, because it will die, and you will feel bad.

Drink lots and lots of water. It will cure what ails you.

Thanks for the interview, Seven!



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50x365 #129: Dr. P, The Optometrist

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