While you were busy living your life, these important podcasts were posted. In case you missed them, now’s the perfect opportunity to get to know these fabulous people!

nancypoloFive Questions with Nancy Polo In which Nancy discusses the isolation of making art; the diverse occupations of pastamaking, art and graphic design, and running a business; her newfound political activism; and the influence of her Italian heritage on her daily life.

Five Questions with Niraj Ray In which Niraj discusses his journey from growing up in New York to becoming an urban farmer in Washington, DC, the connectionniraj between his new farming techniques and his family’s farming history in India, why strawberries grown in a greenhouse have more flavor, how working on the roof of the Environmental Protection Agency changed his life, and more. Learn more about Niraj’s work at http://www.cultivatethecity.com.

Five Questions with Genevieve Hoffman In which Genevieve discusses the beautiful cold genevieveand quiet of snowshoeing, having an adundance of what she needs, raising chickens with her children, her unlikely decision to move cross country with someone she didn’t actually know very well, and working as a women’s health nurse or, in another universe, a historical landscaper.

Listen now to these exciting episodes of Five Questions that you might have missed!

Five Questions with Whitney Parnell In which Whitney talks about growing up on the whitneyEquator and smelling the outdoors, running half-marathons against her better judgment, what inspires her from civil rights movements then and now, feeling at home and spiritually connected in Ghana, her admiration for her parents and the faith they instilled in her, and the dinner party she’d like to have with Jesus, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Barack and Michelle Obama.

 

 

Five Questions with Paul Douglas Michnewicz In which Paul Douglas discusses the PDdrama of breeding Siamese fighting fish as a teenager, being schooled in Scrabble by his sisters, unexpectedly visiting a Venitian church with a storied musical history, why people need to listen more and talk less, the importance of his Southern roots, how he would like to direct Candide, stage managing A Streetcar Named Desire, how the experience of dual consciousness of seeing A Long Day’s Journey Into Night on stage inspired him to do theatre, and more.

 

Five Questions with Trinishia Samuels In which Trinishia discusses experiencing life as a Trinishianative Washingtonian, learning Spanish in Mexico, scuba diving, her aspirations to live and work in Francophone Africa, reading her husband’s mind, gentrification, her kids’ fluency in Mandarin, and more.

When you’re a writer and a blogger and a podcaster and a mom and a bunch of other stuff, you have a lot to keep up with. In case you missed them, you will definitely want to download and listen to these episodes of Five Questions.

Five Questions with Trina Ramsey In which Trina discusses the beautiful and goat-filled trinaisland of Anguila, her strong faith, her network of friends who are more like family, the surreality of election night 2016 and how it motivated her and her friends to launch Revolutionary Sisters of the Diaspora to create space for women of color, and more.

 

Five Questions with Betsy Thomassen In which Betsy talks about dancing with Fred Astaire; finding the silver lining; the legacy of craftiness, creativity, and courage from herBetsyT grandmother; replacing guns with musical instruments, and more. What do chocolate chip cookies, magic wands, paperback books, and flowers have in common? Find out from Betsy!

 

 

Five Questions with Wade Minter In which Wade talks about scoring a goal for the wadeCarolina Hurricanes, being listened to by thousands of people, answering an email that changed his life, the importance of encouraging your kids, trying something you’re not good at and doing it anyway, and discovering he wouldn’t always be a misfit.

Screen Shot 2018-03-10 at 10.53.41 PMWe are the broken branches,
splintered by the wind
We are the thousand twigs
scattered across the yard
We are the enormous, unshakeable oak
—apparently we are actually shakeable—
that boomed to the ground, just barely missing the house

Uprooted
leaving a chasm of earth
displacing those who depend on us to live
We are the bird that picks up those twigs to build a new nest
We are the squirrel that finds acorns revealed by the fallen oak

We are the ancient elm propelled by the storm onto a car
Shattering the windshield, crumpling the roof
(we are also the car)
We are the friends who came and cut up the tree
While we were working a weekend shift at our second job
We are the firewood shared with neighbors and the warmth it provides
We are slices of elm for playgrounds and pathways
We are the people who walk or jump across them

We are the wind
We are the calm after the wind subsides

Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso
March 10, 2018

This morning I was told we should look in the mirror and see the best self we can be.

In the middle of the night when I wake up to pee and I look in the mirror while I’m washing my hands

I am pretty sure Benicio del Toro smirks back at me.

In the morning when we’ve all overslept

which is so frequently that getting up on time feels miraculous

and I put on a baseball hat because I don’t have time to shower before I drive Zoe to school

I look in the mirror and see

Michael Moore looking disheveled but not too disheveled to ask pointed questions.

When we’ve been walking through the rain on the way to dinner downtown. I duck into the bathroom in the restaurant and see

Richard Simmons in my hair, without the tank top.

When the air is dry or I’ve combed out my wet hair after a late night soccer game, I wake up to Barry Gibb stayin’ alive in my mirror.

Why this odd assortment of male celebrities inhabits my crusty-eyed, rumpled reflections, I do not know.

Is my best self hidden among them? Best if I cultivate my authentic self away from mirrors, looking instead to another face.

Our friend Marie Sinclair died last week at the age of 94. Marie lived a few houses down from the house my family lived in when we first moved to Virginia from California, when I was a toddler. When I was a kid, she was like a surrogate grandmother. This is for her.

Curled up in the corner
behind Marie’s recliner
oblivious to the rising smoke, the laughter,
the roar of the small assembled crowd
sleeping through the Super Bowl
yet winning big because my mom
penciled my name in the right squares

Crawling under the table to hide
while they played poker in our dining room
I loved the names of the games
especially Dr. Pepper
I heard them say “bets” again and again
and wondered why they were talking about me

Coming to visit
“Gimme some sugar!” she exclaimed
holding out her arms and offering her cheek
before delighting me with her hospitality:
Cheez-its and Coke with ice cubes in amber glasses
generously poured
All of Forrest’s wind-up toys lined up
for me to make them march across the table
while the grown-ups talked
about grown-up things to which I listened hard but
only half understood

Climbing on the wooden two-stepped stool
under the phone in the kitchen
a Broyhill notepad and a pencil at the ready
for me to scribble important messages

Chicken chow mein for every special occasion
Coke cake for dessert
Macaroni salad delivered
in the big glass bowl every May
for my dad’s birthday
luckily, he shared some with us

Cheering for the Redskins
in the living room or at RFK
whether or not they won
Fight for Old DC!

Christmas after Christmas,
matching sweaters for my sister and me
knitted with love
if not always fitting quite right

Casablanca Court’s queen
on her La-Z-Boy throne
ensconced in sweatshirts, soft fuzzy socks, and blankets
while Forrest wore short sleeves and smiled

 

Betsy Rosenblatt Rosso
February 16, 2018

mcdavitt

In which David McDavitt, also known as my daughter’s architecture teacher, talks about getting in character, playing reggae and Afrofunk music, why he calls his students Jujubear, whittling down one’s dreams, and the historical surprise of his beard.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-3-five-questions-with-david-mcdavitt/

annedaily

In which Anne discusses the implications of her decision to attend law school, having a stroke at her office, her return to the stage after many years away, and the influence that Anne of Green Gables’ teacher had on her life.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-3-five-question-with-anne-dailey/

5questions_FINAL-purple

sumiIn which Sumi talks about life in New York City (where she moved almost by accident), having a teeny dog (#teammouse), providing a theme for each year of her life (#yearoflaughter), doing stand-up comedy, her relationship with Mindy Kaling, and oh so much more.

Listen here:

http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-2-five-questions-with-sumi-vatsa/

Screen Shot 2017-11-17 at 12.54.51 PMIn which my dad, Bob Rosenblatt, describes his exploits in Times Square in the middle of the night as a copy boy during college and his sunrise trips to take a nap on the beach.

Listen here: http://betsyrosso.podbean.com/e/season-2-episode-1-five-questions-with-bob-rosenblatt/

5questions_FINAL-purple

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