a peek inside the fishbowl

25 Feb, 2009

Toughest meme ever

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Memes/blog awards etc

BeachMama, local blogger/mom/photographer/awesome lady posted the answers to a Q&A-style meme on her blog recently. At the end of her post I took her up on her offer to have her ask me some questions too.

BeachMama came up with some great questions. Tough ones! Click to read on.

1. Knowing how much writing has meant to you, if you had the opportunity to go back and start your Secondary Education over again, would you still follow the same path in Journalism that you did or would you go a different route?

I’m a born writer! I do other things professionally but I have a compulsive need to write. I’ve been excited by language and the art of the perfect word ever since I can remember. (I should really dig out some of my second grade compositions, and the illustrated romance I wrote in third grade!) Fiction aside, if I had the chance to do it again I would absolutely follow the same educational path.

The high school I attended in Brampton was an unusual one. They offered some really different kinds of classes, many of which aren’t commonly offered at most high schools. We had an aviation program (special math and science classes for anyone who wanted to be a pilot), French immersion, desktop publishing and creative media classes. This is where I was first introduced to a Mac with a mouse. It had such an impact I still remember the day I was shown how to use it. I was also introduced to the power of great graphic design. A teacher set me on my path by giving me the opportunity to take a co-op position at a local newspaper. After that it was a natural progression to journalism school. I applied to Ryerson, Carleton and U of T. I got into all three but decided to move to Ottawa into the journalism program. There I focused on magazine writing and documentary film production … something I could still see myself doing.

Writing, for me, is something I am truly passionate about. I can’t go a single day without reading or writing something. I wouldn’t change a thing about how I got here!

2. Your artwork and craftiness has always amazed me, have you ever considered opening up a shop on Etsy or otherwise?

Aw, you’re so sweet. I have considered opening an Etsy store. I always have some kind of idea swirling around in my head but I don’t see myself actually following through and opening a store. (1) There are not enough hours in the day for me to devote any serious time to an Etsy storefront. (2) I am the epitome of an A.D.D. crafter. I move from one project to the next faster than you can say “where’s the glue gun.”

3. You take a lot of awesome photos, did you take Photography in school or has it just evolved naturally for you?

You flatter me BeachMama! I was introduced to photography back in high school. (See #1. We had our own darkroom!) The art of photography really captured my heart. In my journalism school days I also spent a lot of time in the darkroom with stinky chemicals. The idea of owning an image, a moment in time which was truly my own thrilled me to no end. (It still does!) A photograph of mine graced the front page of Centretown News in third year. It was a big deal to me. I love sharing my perspective in this way.

BUT, I wasn’t a very good photographer back then. I look at photos from days gone by and wonder what I was thinking. It’s taken me a long time to learn the ropes and develop my own style.

After Emma was born I was looking for something to do with myself (that is, AWAY FROM HOME) and started taking classes at Algonquin, fine art photography and printing etc. I got partway through my photography techniques certificate and only recently (after making inquiries about coming back) found out those credits no longer apply. *sigh*

It has taken me a long time to get to the point where I can take a reliably good photo. I like to think I keep getting better and better. Like anything, practice makes perfect. I am (like you, BeachMama!) wanting to get into family portraits. But I need a to hone a couple skills first.

4. You are always looking for healthier choices. Did you always eat this way growing up or have your eating habits changed since having children? And do you support the arenas on the Quebec side wanting to remove Poutine from their menus?

Is that two questions? :)  I think I eat a lot better than I did as a kid. My parents are Czech, so I grew up eating meat, heavy carbs and gravy, all year long. (Guess what, I haven’t had a dumpling in about 15 years.) What they did give me was a love for bread… rustic brown loaves rich in flavour. This is what inspired me to start baking my own bread. I could never live without it!

I hadn’t heard folks are thinking of removing poutine from Quebec menus … is this in restaurants? Roadside Casse Croutes? Unless the food is being served in schools or hospital cafeterias I think that people (a.k.a The Customer) have a right to make their own choices about the foods they eat. Why take it off the menu entirely? Why not print menus with calorie counts as well as prices and let the people decide?

I love poutine by the way, but I eat it about once a year.

5. And I am going to give you a question that I also gave to Chichimama. Knowing that you try hard to do your part for the environment, if the Government offered you an opportunity to convert your house to solar power, would you accept? And what hesitations would you have?

I would love for someone to come along and convert my house to solar power. Heck, I would let them dig up my yard and install geothermal heating. I would have no hesitations whatsoever. I would love to live off the grid! If we had the $$$ I would do it all: solar power, green roof, get a cistern, plant a butterfly garden, even convert to gray water and and get rid of the driveway. (Don’t tell Mark about those last ones.)


So there you have it. That was exhausting. I am officially tired of talking about myself! Let’s make it about you now. Who’d like some interview questions? Let me know if you want a turn with this meme.

11 Responses to "Toughest meme ever"

1 | BeachMama

February 25th, 2009 at 9:34 am


Great answers Andrea! Thank you so much for playing along. It is so great learning more about your favourite Bloggers.

p.s.I added the poutine question as it had been on the news for a few days. They were wanting to ban it in hockey arenas in Quebec, but so much backlash made them keep it for now ;).

2 | Chantal

February 25th, 2009 at 11:33 am


Get rid of Poutine – NOOOOOO LOL. I love the stuff even if I only eat it a few times a year.

That was a great interview. Thanks to both of you!

3 | Lynn

February 25th, 2009 at 11:38 am


I’ve been creatively stumped on my blog lately, so I’ll take some questions!

4 | LO

February 25th, 2009 at 12:21 pm


tell me more about your bread
i want to make bread but it can’t be too complicated!lo

5 | Ginger

February 25th, 2009 at 2:17 pm


I would love for you to ask me some interview questions! I need some good brain stimulation!

6 | Soire

February 25th, 2009 at 2:31 pm


I would enjoy some questions – I’ve been having blog fodder issues ;) I like this meme!

7 | andrea

February 26th, 2009 at 8:32 am


Alright! Questions coming!

8 | andrea

February 26th, 2009 at 8:33 am


LO: I will write more about my bread experiments soon!

9 | Loukia

February 26th, 2009 at 9:23 am


I would LOVE some questions, please!

10 | DaniGirl

February 26th, 2009 at 2:37 pm


Love the questions and the answers!! I so wish the gov’t would solarize my house — wouldn’t that be great? And I’ve always been curious about your path to J-skool. Interesting!!

Okay, I was going to ask Beach Mama to give me some questions, and then I chickened out. But now I’m waffling again. Would you like to toss me a few? I played this once before, and Bub and Pie asked me some terrific questions — but it was tough!!

11 | Shan

February 28th, 2009 at 8:57 am


I would totally convert to solar. We already have the cistern and we recycle what water we can.

Great questions and I enjoyed reading the answers. I’ll throw my hat in the ring for some.

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My name is Andrea and I live in the Westboro area of Ottawa with my husband Mark and our dog Piper who is kind of a big deal on Instagram. We also have two human daughters: Emma (20) and Sarah (18). During the day I work as a writer at The Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. I am a longtime Ottawa blogger and I've occupied this little corner of the WWW since 1999. The Fishbowl is my whiteboard, water cooler, and journal, all rolled into one. I'm passionate about healthy living, arts and culture, family travel, great gear, good food, and sharing the best of Ottawa for families. I also love vegetables, photography, gadgets, and great design.

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