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Jelly for Breakfast

1:05 pm

Two of Fluther’s finest recently met for breakfast in Washington, DC. Being the nosy (and lazy!) jellies we are, we asked them to take it a step further and interview one another. Being the lovely and generous jellies they are, they kindly obliged. Without further ado, we present:
Breakfast with marinelife and janbb: The Interview

Jan: What were your hopes/fears/expectations coming to meet me and how were they met?

Marina: Well, Jan, when you appeared I knew you at once. I found out that I had had no preconceived notions of how you would look. You just looked like you. (Maybe it was the little bit of penguin in your walk.~) I had hoped that we would find enough to talk about—no fears on that score. We talked together like old friends, and we both said afterward (in nearly the same words as we are wont to do) that we felt like we could have talked more!

M: Tell me about your life and family away from Fluther?

J: I’m a librarian at a community college in central New Jersey and I also develop and teach short session literature classes for their non-credit division. In my librarian role, I work at the reference desk and also do collection development (buy books) for the arts and communications division. I got my BA from Sarah Lawrence College and my MLS from Rutgers. Have lived in New Jersey most of my life and don’t get why it gets such a bad rap yet so many people come here! I met my Liverpudlian husband while studying in England and hitchhiking around on the weekends. (Beats online dating.) We have two sons; the older just moved back to the States with his family from Paris and the younger lives in DC. And if anyone on Fluther has been living in a cave for the past year and doesn’t already know, let me tell them I am now a proud Bubby of (not so) wee Jake who is 14 months old!

J: You named an astounding number of places you have lived in over the last several years. Tell me a bit more of your history.

M: I was a nomad growing up, because I was a military brat. As an adult, I lived most of my life in Seattle and Washington State with a 10-year digression to Philadelphia, and then the penultimate five years in Orlando, and this past year in Alexandria, VA. Those moves were following my husband’s journalism career. The latter is also why I am a free lance writer and editor. Since he works evenings and weekends, a M-F 9–5 job was not a good fit for me.

M: To what do you attribute your great sense of humor, often in evidence in the threads of Fluther?

J: Thanks, Marina. I grew up the middle child and only girl in a very literary, intellectual family. Reading and word games were an important part of my background. I was pretty shy as a child but made something of a place within the family as a jokester and punster. My northern English husband came to the marriage with his own brand of dry, sarcastic wit and I’ve added a layer of that onto my own. I once described it to then-Zen as “schmaltz on wry.”

J: How did you develop your writing and editing skills, and how do you get your clients?

M: Not as a member of Garrison Keillor’s Professional Organization of English Majors, alas. I went to work for TV Guide magazine right after college and learned editing on the job.

Getting clients is primarily a matter of the long length of time I have been around. Mostly it is referrals from people who know me. Most of my clients are on the West Coast. Anyone looking for a writer and editor in the DC area? (Call me.)

M: How did you find Fluther and what keeps you coming back?

J: Glad you asked that. My son was Ben’s roommate at Brown and a housemate of Andrew’s. He told me something about Fluther when it was still a gleam in its founders’ eyes. I started reading it from its inception when most of the contributors had suspiciously “finkel-ish” names. At one point, I was talking about how great it was and my daughter-in-law said, “It will be more fun for you if you join.” So I did, and it is. (I remember telling Colin about this really bright woman who was on – gailcalled – and him saying, “I think that’s Ben’s aunt.”)

I have many great friends in real life too, but I treasure the hearts, minds and wits of the many dear people I have met on Fluther. I have learned so much here.

J: How did you discover Jellyland?

M: I was on a marketing exercise for a Web site that I was working on, creating a presence on social networking sites. Fluther was on the list, and I got hooked immediately. I never looked at Gather or any of the others again!

I have stayed on Fluther for more than two years, because I love answering questions for one thing. And I love the people that I have met, young and old, male and female and non-gendered. I am hoping to meet more Jellies in real life in the coming months.

M: Do you have a favorite Fluther question?

J: Fluther questions are like my children, I love each of them in a different way. However, I do have a special fondness for the cake question.

And you?

M: It is tough to pick a favorite out of so many great threads. But my favorite that I ever asked was Brian May or Eric Clapton?, which set off a fabulous discussion of rock guitarists. My favorite asked by someone else was sndfreQ’s Care to share your Fluther haiku?.

M: Can you see yourself Fluthering on indefinitely?

J: As in a longstanding marriage, I fall in and out of lurve with Fluther. At any given time, I am more or less involved depending on the people who are active and the quality of the questions. I have a fair amount of free time so unless my life changes drastically, I am likely to still be on Fluther or comparable sites for the duration.

J: I told you about my children; now tell about yours, those lovely dogs. Who are they and how did they come to be part of your family?

M: Well, my main dog is Mackie (short for Macula Notare, latin for “Marked with a spot”). He is a half Dalmatian half English Setter, who is 10 years old now. We have had him since he was only a few weeks old. He is the single most loving dog we have ever had. He has a huge vocabulary and is very responsive to language, because I have always talked to him as if he was a person. Zippy, the back-up dog, is our rescued ex-racing greyhound, Kobe, who is an absolute goofball. Kobe’s one problem is his penchant for devouring small animals, which makes it tough to find a place for him to run off-leash. We usually sneak him into the off-leash area at our apartment after dark for his run.

Speaking of animals, it’s time we let these two jellies get back to answering other people’s questions. We thank janbb and marinelife for sharing their insights with us! Maybe next time, they’ll share some breakfast, too. They know we love us some pancakes. ~