The AtHome Pilgrim

Musings at a Slower Pace


Philly area, Pennsylvania, USA
"Nel mezzo del cammin di nostra vita," I find myself still asking some of the same questions I did when I was just a punk kid. The Big Things confuse me. Fortunately, though, many little things delight and amuse me, and some Big Things--my wife, our kids, our bird and bunny visitors, food, baseball--make me very, very happy. In my pilgrimage, I try to be guided by the wisdom of dear old Auntie Mame: "Life is a banquet!"


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MAY 16, 2010 10:13AM

GNS: Bernard Pivot’s Ten Questions Open Call (UPDATE)

Rate: 61 Flag

On Inside the Actors Studio, James Lipton concludes his always interesting interviews with actors by having them answer a list of questions originally posed by a French television host named Bernard Pivot.  

As the opening to my Blogiversary week, I submit this, my first Open Call. Here are the questions and my responses. 

1.   What is your favorite word? Joy (or Dinner) 

2.   What is your least favorite word? Hate 

3.   What turns you on? Sunrises and sunsets, woods and beaches, artful words and images, food and drink, bird song and music, flowers and trees, warm air and few clothes, family gatherings, and Mrs. P (yes, Scarlett, especially wearing one of my shirts). 

4.   What turns you off? Closed minds and closed hearts 

5.   What sound or noise do you love? Laughter 

6.   What sound or noise do you hate? Power mowers. Jesus God, but I detest power mowers. I hate them.

7.   What is your favorite curse word? Can’t beat fuck, except on those occasions when shitfuck is in order. 

8.   What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? This one is difficult. It might have been fun to be a major league ballplayer, but their careers are so short. It would be fun to be a baseball broadcaster, but I have to admit that I’m too much of a homebody to put with all the travel. Being a travel writer, like Lea, sounds appealing, but, again, I’m a home boy. I love cooking, but am too undisciplined to want to train to be a chef—and have lousy fine motor skills to boot.

            I think I’d like to be a gardener, to be able to devote my time to planning the balance of colors and textures, the science and the spirit; to executing the plan and watching my plants grow and flourish; and to living with the cycle of the seasons.

            Or musician. I’d love to be able to make music.

            But, really, I want to simply have the time to do what I want: read, write, walk, cook, think, take care of family. That’s the profession I would like to profess.  

9.   What profession would you not like to do? Another difficult decision, as there are so many. Soldier is a strong possibility. So is politician. But I think I’ll go with salesman. 

10. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? “You did alright. Oh, and it’s nochebuena every day here, and your mother and brother are already at the table, sitting next to each other and laughing. And Leo was right: great baseball, too.”* 

Join in! Post a link here. Tag your post “Pilgrim’s Open Call.” 

* Leo was our fish man back in Massachusetts. He told us a joke about two friends who loved baseball and wondered if there would be baseball in Heaven. They made a pact that whichever one died first would come back and let the other know the answer to that question. When one died, his spirit appeared to his friend that night. “I have good news and bad news,” he said. “The good news is there is baseball in Heaven, and it’s magnificent baseball—perfect baseball. The bad news is that, tomorrow, you’re pitching.” 


Responses to the call, which I believe covers all of them (nothing implied by the order):

Let me know if I've missed anyone!

Cyndi Baker

Ann Nichols


Kit Duncan 




L in the Southeast 

Pavanne Veltman 

LC Neal 

Nick Carraway 


femme forte  


Cranky Cuss


Dave Rickert

joan h. (sorry I didn't get this one in sooner, joan!)

Bernadine Spitzsnogel

Amanda G 


Lady Miko

Catherine Forsythe


caroline marie

vanessa seijo




Poor Woman

Stones Thoreau

The Wright Site

Emma Peel

Cindy Ross

Fay Paxton

Not-So Foolish Monkey

Natalie K. Munden


hyblaean- Julie

Diary of a Food Addict

Jonathan Jeffries



Razzle Dazzle

Divorce Bard (at his Sandbox)

patricia k

Kim Bentz 

Lucy Mercer

Lady Dove

Dorinda Fox 

Art James




Robert Kelley



Terry Wiezorek


Poppi Iceland


The Good Daughter


Reader Not Writer

Michelle Diehl

Kirsty Isitt

Geraint Isitt


Fred Hallmann



Kim Gamble



Aunt Mabel


Linda Seccaspina

Blue in TX

Kathy Riordan

Ric Caric

Elizabeth Stark

Matt Paust

Lisa Kuebler

Stacey Youdin (in his comments)

Little Kate

rachel libby

Max Lindenman 

Huge thank you's to ALL of you!


Words © 2010 AtHome Pilgrim.

All Rights Reserved. 

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Even though I've been too overwhelmed lately to write or even read much on OpenSalon, I truly enjoyed reading this post. Why? Learning about my favorite people here on OS is always fascinating to me. This post gave me more insight into who AtHomePilgrim is as a human being. I truly enjoy learning about others....especially the ones whom I'm enchanted with. Thank you for sharing yourself with us!
good call, pilgrim. i will work on it - thought i think you and i will agree on a couple.
This is such an excellent re-router from Spamrants. Thank you. I shall go interview myself now, imagining James Lipton's voice asking each question.
Great Open Call P. Great questions, great answers~
Great post, AHP! I enjoyed reading your answers - you're right - the answers help flesh out the "persona" - Thanks!
I would have loved this just for the story about Leo. I wouldn't rule out making music, not as a career, maybe, but for pleasure. If you haven't, you ought to read John Holt's "Never Too Late."

I'll have mine up tomorrow if I can wait that long.
Good call, No, Great call.
Jack bought a push mower this year and now we scoff at the neighbours with power mowers ... Ha!
Loved your answers!
I'm doing the OC, of course I will. Later on today or maybe tomorrow.
Happy blogiversary, too!!!
Love reading your answers to these questions. Love the thoughtfulness. Especially love the baseball reference from Leo. Most especially love the profession you would like to profess.
wonderful open call - loved your answers - many of mine are the same...
The ten questions was always my favorite part of the show. I have answered them mentally...hearing James Lipton voice in my head. I will work on this...but later. The sun is shining here and there are kids coming over to play.
I enjoyed this glimpse into you!
Done! That was fun! Off to read everyone else's answers :-)
Coming right up...
i like these when they're genuine, and this one fairly glows with pilgrimness. very nice GNS post.
Here's my link:
One of my favorite shows and my absolute favorite segment of James Lipton's interviews.

Thanks for the opportunity to respond. Great fun!
You started a landslide of self-revelation, bravo. Love your list, but #8, come on, you know you want to be a Phillie. :)
I love this open call! I LOVE your answers! I hate that I have no time during the work week to keep reading as they all come in. I will try hard to find some time today to get answers out in honor of your almost blogiversary!
patricia: Actually, I'm an orc.

diana: I knew you wanted to be a ballplayer!

greenie: Spamrants is a great word, though.

scanner: Thanks. Join in!

Kit: I have to have a persona, because I have no personality.

Ann: Leo was a dear. He really was. We bought fish from him every week, and we'd just ask what was best that day and he'd wrap it up. But you missed the part where I mention that I have no fine motor skills, I think. And I didn't even bring up my absence of rhythm . . .

Scarlett: We have a rechargeable electric. It hums. Once I was doing my lawn and my neighbor was doing his, and we were at opposite ends of our lawns, and his was still louder than mine!

vanessa: No rush! And gracias!

anna: Just want to be self-indulgent, is all.

Pavanne: I saw!

mime: Enjoy the sun!

mypsyche: A glimpse into my psyche?

L: Got it!

femme: Nah. They're all lies. I really like machine guns and screaming children.

RAR: Glad you joined in!

Sally: And get booed? Or tazed? Wouldn't have minded being Harry, though . . .

LL2: Good to hear. I'm trying to collect them all and will post that, so you can catch up.
Great open call AHP and great answers by you. I liked no. 10 especially.

fernsy: Glad you joined in. I would like #10 also . . .
OK, Mr. P, I've posted mine, including answers from the missus.
Thanks for a great open call. Put me on your list! I agree with most of yours.
What a great Open Call... I'm doing it now. I love that you mentioned her in one of your shirts.
I hate power motors too, ha.
Oh shoot, now I have to try be serious. :-) Will go to work at it now...
Great idea, perfect for my attention span this weekend.

Here's mine:
Great idea for another Open Call that's guaranteed to make me break my vow not to do any more Open Calls. This one should be easy, though, as at first blush it seems you have answered most of the questions the way I would. But I must ruminate a tad more. Maybe tomorrow mine will be ready to hatch.

Happy Blogiversary, Mr. P!
well done, Pilgrim - hope it brings people together a bit.
I'm working on it Pilgrim, these are tough questions!
Excellent open call. I love reading about you and everyone who has responded.
Cranky: You've doubled our pleasure!

Dave: You're on the list! Thanks for playing!

Amanda: Speaking truth here. Power mowers and leaf blowers are highly unpopular it seems. (Morticians, too.)

TME: Looking forward to it.

caroline: Saw it!

Matt: Tomorrow would be just fine. Ruminate, chew your cud. Whateer you need to do. ;) And thanks for the happy wishes!

Catherine: It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how.

Poppi: I'm looking forward to reading your answers!
Very, very nice. This is a terrific open call. _r
sophie: Join the fun!
joan: I'm glad you joined. Shitfuck! I missed putting in your link! Damnation! Off to fix!!!!!
You're going to make me post twice in a day, aren't you? =o) Great questions Pilgrim, I'll have to ruminate on my answers....and get through my work day before posting my replies.

I like your answers a lot.
This was the most fun to write and to read everyone's responses. I wasn't planning on posting anything today until I saw this. Couldn't resist. Good call! (pun intended)

I enjoyed this Open Call. Short and sweet.
Shiral: Because you're twice as special! Sorry about the workday part. :( Thanks for your kind words.

Densie: Glad you--and many others--joined in (up to 35 at this point, counting the original).

emma: Got it! Glad you liked it. Maybe I should have said the answers had to be in 101 words.

patricia: The perverted mock Elf evil creatures from Lord of the Rings. Far from human, you know.
Cindy: Guess it was time to can the spam. ;) And thank you for enjoying this list, for joining in, and for appreciating the comment.
I can tell you that on two of the professions you might want to try that you did find a good reason for them. I spent many years as a professional gardener and most of my life back to around eight or nine as a musician.

I knew a guy once who called himself The Avant Gardener. That was good !
me too :)
Pilgrim: I'm sorry I won't be able to respond to this one -- the day got away from me and I have to do tonight's every.

But I have to give you my favorite word, because I never, ever get to tell anyone: pantoufles.

It's French. She was wearing them.

Sadly, nothing happened.

(The word is on my mind today because I just learned the Spanish translation: pantuflas. Maybe one day she...)
sorry, correction: tonight's entry. (not every)
Sweet Jesus! What have you done??? Noooooooooooooooo
Pilgrim: my post went much quicker than expected tonight. So I responded to this after all. In my sandbox. (Also sent a PM).
AKA: Truth is, I'm too old and creaky to be a gardener. (Also, I have a black thumb . . . .) Thanks for joining in!

Julie: Got ya!

DB: Work pantouffles (or pantufles) into a poem! (Glad you found an elegant solution. Very Occam's razor-ish.)

candv: Sometimes, it's not about the writing. It's about goofing around. Sorry!
I couldn't resist jumping in. Of course I never tried to resist.
Hah! "Shitfuck" proves you've read Ball Four. Nice list, Pilgrim. Fun Open Call.
What a great idea, even though I'm a little late. Your responses fit perfectly with your writing, if that makes any sense. I suppose I mean that your voice shows through in your words on the page and your answers here bears that out. It's about getting to know someone through their words. R
Excellent words; excellent OC. Thanks Pilgrim!
Happy Blogiversary! This was a fun OC. Thanks or posting it!
Been to busy to do much on OS lately. Loved this though, thanks for posting. Got to read some of the responses and wow, some cool stuff. R.
I, too, have a soft spot for shitfuck. rated.
Did I actually not comment here before??? My goodness!
Thank you again, Pilgrim, for this chance to further express ourselves. It is a refreshing exercise you've chosen. ~R+~
Had to participate - it was a great way to spend my Monday morning!
Great Open Call. Rated.
I played!

Oh and I'm so with you on salesmen as a profession. I could never do that, it'd be hell on my pysche. You know what would be even worse? A traveling salesmen. Nobody wants to be Willie Lohman.
Okay I don't why my links always cut off whenever I try to post them in a comment. That is so irritating. It's on my blog though, it's tagged and everything. Blog post subject title is: James Lipton is a sexy Bitch (Athomepilgrim's OC)
You read my mind! I was going to write a column using this list soon...but now, when I do, I can just join the amazing people here answering your Open Call, and be in WAY cool company! Think I'll do that soon!
love it.
This is going to be like undressing in front of people ( some of whom ) I don't know very well but hey, here we all are, and I've seen yours ...
Here's mine and Clark's: Ten
This was lovely.
It's not the goofiness to which I object, it's the r...e...a...d...i...n...g! Two eyes, Pilgrim! I have two eyes and half a brain!
I love this, Pilgrim! I'm excited for this assignment.
Great fun, Pilgrim!

Here's mine:
If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?

"Heaven can wait..." :-)
Zul: Glad you joined in!

Frank: I didn’t remember that it came from that book.

Dear reader: Just shows I’m not clever enough to write fiction.

sparking: Thanks for saying so.

Natalie: Thanks, and you’re welcome!

Sheila: People gave some really great answers.

Caroline: Ah, now I know the way to your heart!

PW: Thank you, ma’am. (Though an excuse for expressing oneself is hardly needed around here. . . .)

Reader: Glad you did. Hope it gave you a good Monday!

Tink: Thanks!

Elizabeth: Glad you played, and as I said on your post, you won best title!

Keka: Look forward to reading it.

Kathy: Glad you played. Thanks for letting me know.

rachel: Got it. Ditto to my Kathy comment.

cominghome: You too!

Kim: Well, we’ve all got our knickers down here.

Matt/Clark: Shouldn’t you do 20? Isn’t your least favorite word “kryptonite”?

Lady Dove: Well, yours was.

candv: Half a brain puts you half a brain ahead of me . . .

Karin: Join in!

Little Kate: Loved yours!