You Asked for It: an Interview With Yours Truly

by | Jun 13, 2014 | Tierneys Unmasked | 32 comments

As you may recall, I recently did a series of interviews with the members of my family. In the comments, some of you requested that I let one of them interview ME. And, even though I kind of already interview myself (and all of you) every Sunday . . . I figured, why not? So, the husband was kind enough to play the part of interviewer.

You already mentioned the failed “Kenny” nickname in a blog post, but you’ve been noticeably silent about the name “Mink”.
That’s true, I have.

What do you want to say about that?
That I want to say? Um, not much. But, here goes: “Mink” was a name I used in high school to subscribe to magazines, mail-order CDs, and free makeup samples when I had already subscribed to those things under my real name. I had actually kind of forgotten about that.

I hadn’t.

It was never meant for anyone to call me that. Out loud.

What was the origin of the name?
I don’t know. I think I thought it sounded like a secret agent or someone mysterious who might listen to cool CDs and wear multi-colored eye shadow while flipping through fashion magazines.

What is your favorite sport to watch on TV? 
If by “watch” you mean “have on in the background while I sew or embroider or write blog posts” I would have to say football, but I do also have a fondness for World’s Strongest Man and what are those Lumberjack Shows called? The lumberjack shows. I like those. And I have recently discovered hockey on TV and I like that too. All the backwards skating is very impressive.

You like World’s Strongest Man on TV? When have you watched it? 
We used to watch it as newlyweds. We don’t watch it now, but I have a fondness for it. Don’t you remember all the Magnuses?

I remember most of them.

What is your favorite flavor of pudding? 
I don’t ever eat pudding. I’m trying to imagine being at a hospital and having to select a pudding. I guess butterscotch. That sounds like an okay pudding flavor, but I don’t think people with teeth need to eat pudding.
What actress would play you in the movie about you?

Okay, um… I don’t know, do you think I’m quirky enough to get Zoe Deschanel to play me? Or what’s the girl’s name from Les Mis? (iPad search) Maybe Anne Hathaway?

I don’t know who Zoe whatserface is, so I don’t know if you’re quirky enough for her to play you.
Do you want to see a picture? She’s got bangs, so maybe Anne Hathaway.

What do I do all day?
Ho-hoooo. Alright, so you are a boss. You boss people around for a living. But you have to do it pleasantly because unlike my charges, you can’t put yours in timeout.

Anything else? 
You seem to have a lot of conference calls and you drive around in the carpool lane in your electric car and have a lot of mandatory fun activities like going to the movies and rock climbing. So mostly talking on the phone, rock climbing, and bossing people around. Is that right at all?
I’m asking the questions. Do you think they pay people to do those things? 

I think they pay YOU to do those things. Oh, and you take doctors to fancy lunches and you have to have dessert so they won’t be offended and you have to play that video game with the parrot that makes sure you follow compliance rules.

All day? 
I don’t know, some of the day. Seems like that parrot is kind of in charge of the whole company from what I can tell.

So you think the parrot is my boss?

Mm-hmm. Well not your boss, but your boss’s boss.

What time do you go to bed at night?
Do you really not know?

Not any more.
I usually go to bed between midnight and 3am.

That’s a big window.
It just depends on how productive I’m being. Those loquats aren’t going to jam themselves.


You really like the movie “Joe vs. the Volcano,” which many experts find unwatchable. Why?
I guess the reason I like it is that I watched it a lot of times in high school and decided I liked it. But what’s special about Joe vs. the Volcano is that it really shows Meg Ryan’s range as an actress plus it introduces the concept of a “brain cloud”. Um . . . the soundtrack is really good. It’s an all-star cast.
It teaches the power of a positive attitude, self-sacrificing love, and really good luggage.
So you like the movie because “it really shows Meg Ryan’s range as an actress plus it introduces the concept of a brain cloud?” That’s why you like it?
She plays three different parts. And one is a brunette. It must have been quite a stretch.

Is that the high school you talking? 
I can’t think of the last time I saw it.

It was probably when we were engaged and you made me watch it.
Did you like it?

It’s just chock-full of Oscar-winning actors.

How good was your judgment in high school?
Oh, it was notoriously poor. In high school I supported things like perms and New Kids on the Block.

You supported perms? 

had them.

Is that different than supporting them? Did you encourage others to get them?
I don’t remember encouraging other people to get them. No wait, that’s not true. I actually gave my sister an Ogilvie home perm. Somehow I did not burn all of her hair off. It’s a miracle.

Stirrup pants. I supported those. 

What do you think of the term “blogress?” 

I am not familiar with it. Did you just make it up? I have seen “the bloggess”. She’s a big-time blogger, and she’s funny but she swears, so I don’t usually read her blog.

I’ve seen it used as a term for a woman who blogs.

I haven’t seen that, but it makes me think of “duress” and “egress”.

Okay that’s helpful.

I think I’ll stick with “blogger,” Like those actresses who insist upon being called “actors” so we can tell how serious they are. This is my craft. Blogging.

What’s something embarrassing that happened to you recently?

Oh, I know one. On the flight from LA to Toronto, the flight attendant was going by with the trash bag, and she passed me, and I had something to throw away, but she walked right by. I said, “Excuse me” and reached out. But she didn’t come back, or even look at me, she just held out her hand for the trash, and I reflexively handed her my item. But that item was a diaper. She was horrified. Extremely horrified. Like muttering to other passengers about it horrified. I hadn’t really thought about it because I handle diapers a lot. But I probably shouldn’t have handed her the diaper.

I was there. If you don’t want people to put trash in your hand, you shouldn’t put your hand out when you go by collecting trash.

Thank you. That’s very supportive.

What about you would surprise your readers?

I don’t know. I feel like I’m pretty open on the blog. Maybe the fact that I’m naturally pretty messy. I was a really, really messy kid and young adult. My living room is pretty messy right now. I may give off a “tidy living room” vibe, but . . . the dining room is kind of messy, too. And the kitchen. I should probably get on that. Do you think there’s something about me that would surprise my readers?

I was thinking of the clothes-piling-in-your-closet behavior, but that’s kind of like the messy living room.

Hey, clean and dirty piles is a valid system. I’m not naturally tidy, I just have systems for everything. I think I’m organized but messy.

Is that possible?

Yes. You’re looking at it.


  1. Anonymous

    "Organized but messy" is probably way better for functionality than "tidy but disorganized," which is my natural inclination. You're right to defend it.

  2. Amelia Bentrup

    Hey…I'm messy too. I totally related to the ORGANIZED piles. I am so the same way. I have a system, but no one else understands it.

  3. Molly I

    Hmmmm…organized but messy. That is me! Thank you for identifying that as a legitimate way of life.

  4. Erica Saint

    This is hilarious! I want to know more about high school Kendra. Ha! Are we about the same age? I can never remember. I graduated in 1994, and my curly hair kept me from needing a perm, but they were extremely popular. Did you have the double layer bangs to go with the perm? As in you had to curl one layer of bangs over your forehead and the other layer back, and then spray it all with a bunch of hairspray? Maybe it was an east coast thing…

    • Kendra

      Erica, we're exactly the same age! I graduated in 1994 too.

      And the double level bangs were definitely in style on the west coast. I eventually graduated to that style after the single level "rainbow" in junior high, evidence here.

      My dad had to make a rule that I could ONLY wear two pairs of socks at a time. Because I wanted to wear many more than that.

    • Erica Saint

      Aahh, love it! I could never have the feathered bangs because my hair is too course.

      Now you know you needed at least three pairs of slouchy socks to really be considered in style. Your dad really held you back! 😉

  5. Julie Hoover

    I love the diaper bit. On a flight recently our son used his portable potty…which basically you attache what looks like a grocery bag with an absorbent pad in the bottom to catch everything…he'd only peed…so I don't know what the deal was with the flight attendant when she walked by, first seeing him on the potty, and then secondly when I handed her a tied up plastic bag containing urine.

  6. Colleen

    Do you really go to bed that late? How do you even function the next day? I can't keep my eyes open past 9:30 most nights!!

    • Kendra

      I do. But then I take a nap in the afternoon to catch up. My ideal would be to sleep in three short chunks per day, like Da Vinci, but two seems to be working.

  7. Amanda

    I'm so curious. What does your husband actually do, with his parrot game and fancy lunches? (My husband also has fancy lunches, but no parrots are involved.)

    • Kendra

      He supervises a bunch of clinics for a dialysis provider called DaVita.

  8. Curt Dose

    If you ask your mother, she will verify from whom you inherited the clean and dirty piles technique – it was used in my bachelor pad, along the wall of the bedroom, during my Navy pilot years, including your Mom's early visits. I still feel it is the epitome of efficient clothes handling, offering immediate visual indication of when you need to go to the laundromat, and the chance to change your mind if something you need is not in the clean pile, but available in the dirty pile for one more use. I did however shamelessly exchange this method for hamper and drawer storage in exchange for additional visits by your Mom. Daddy

    • Kendra

      I'm my father's daughter. 🙂 And Jack is carrying the torch for a new generation!

  9. Anne Wharam Thomas

    I also love World's Strongest Man but haven't watched it since before kids. And I put the bumbo on the table right now too. Love the blog. Wish I had more time for comments!

  10. Nanacamille

    I do not like the clean and dirty pile system and it was not to follow us into our married life. Your dad with supervision has changed into a hamper and shelf man and is a much happier person for sure. At least I am.
    Love the old photos. Ahhh yes the perm era and I had one the looked like Buckwheat from the Little Rascals. Not my best look.
    Yes I am trying my best to retrain your kids to put their clothes in a hamper when dirty and closet when clean. Not an easy task but I don't give up easily.

  11. E

    Sorry about the stir-up pants, I wore or supported them, too. UGH.
    Great pic BTW!!

  12. Catie

    Did you support body suits in high school, too? You know, the adult sized onesies. I did. And I think Joe vs. The Volcano is cinema at its finest.

  13. Elise

    Loved this interview. And that picture of you in the FABULOUS green dress holding the chicken with your sweet little guy in his bowtie – just so great!

  14. Anne Wharam Thomas

    And I just read the other comments. DaVita Dialysis! We have one nearby on 8th Street NE in Washington DC! Am I the first person to be excited about this?

  15. R2P2

    Hilarious!! This made me laugh out loud a couple times. You two seem like a fun couple. 🙂 It's incredibly adorable to see other married couples who are just clearly also BFFs. I also agree with the other commenter who loves the green dress/chicken photo. It's just utterly fab, from the green dress to the baby bowtie to the chicken.

  16. Christine

    In high school, Meg Ryan was my favorite actress (and might still be, but I don't really think about those questions much these days). But Joe vs. The Volcano was the only movie of hers I just didn't like. But I watched it again, and again…and it really grew on me, and I came to appreciate how clever and sweet and wonderful it was. I showed it to my husband not long ago, and he thought it was dumb. Ah, well. I'll just have to show it to him five more times I guess 😛

    Loved the diaper story!

  17. Mia Jude

    Hey now, I think it was great judgement on your part to support New Kids! Gotta love em'! I still support them… And Backstreet Boys. The NKOTBSB concert Bonnie and I went to together a few years back was hands down the best concert ever. I love that they are all about 40 years old and still performing they are 18 years old. Ok I will stop now. I could talk about New Kids and BSB forever so I better just shut up now. Lovely post, Kendra!

  18. Joy

    This is great! Organized but messy is an apt description for me too.
    Love Joe versus the Volcano and still on occasion use the term 'soul-sick'.

  19. Anonymous

    This was fun to read. I miss you guys!

  20. Susan @

    It is totally possible to be organized and messy. I'm exactly the same. It's taken me virtually my whole life to figure this out because it seems like it should be an oxymoron, but it's not.
    You go. You and me both.

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Hi! I’m Kendra.

For twenty years now, I’ve been using food, prayer, and conversation based around the liturgical calendar to share the lives of the saints and the beautiful truths and traditions of our Catholic faith. My own ten children, our friends and neighbors, and people just like you have been on this journey with me.

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