What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I count this as one of my true felicities, that no more than once every eleven months (and often sooner when luck holds) I may find myself lounging before the turbulent Atlantic nestled in warm sand, a book (now, likely, my Kindle) in my hand and a drink at my side. And though so much has changed from then until now, I find it comforting that what as a lonely, embittered child was my only respite, is now a haven in my busy, bustling middle age.
What is your greatest fear?
From the first time I crouched along a darkened cinderblock wall, head tucked between my knees and fingers interlaced behind my neck, I have been (very reasonably, I might add) terrified of being sucked into the sky as Mother Nature's terrible wrath hopped-skipped-jumped through the town, destroying whatever the hell happened to be in the way. Fucking bitch.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Woodrow Wilson. As a professor at Princeton University he once became enormously overjoyed when he heard a rumor that his students had given him the nickname "Woody." When he found that this was not, in fact, true, he was crushed. Poor, poor Woodrow Wilson.
Which living person do you most admire?
I admire the "quiet" philanthropists, of course, those however-many billionaires who have pledged to bequeath the lion's share (traditional usage, not modern) of their billions to charitable organizations of one sort or the other. But being rather mouthy myself I can't help but most admire those who back their money with their mouths, people like Brad Pitt (who refuses to let a forgetful nation forget how we--as a nation--failed New Orleans) and Angelina Jolie (who refuses to let a forgetful world forget how we--as the human race--fail the world's refugees) and Heather Hogan (who refuses to let a forgetful Kat forget how I--as an individual--have failed to do all I can).
What is the trait you deplore most in yourself?
If there is an easy way out you can bet I'll be there, taking it.
What is the trait you deplore most in others?
Selfishness. Pure, unadulterated selfishness. (I'm looking at you, pops.)
What is your greatest extravagance?
As a child of poverty extravagance is relative, and until about a year ago I felt my greatest was a very cold, very dry Grey Goose martini with three olives. Today, it's a very cold, very dry Jewel of Russia Ultra (with hand-painted bottles!) martini with three olives.
On what occasion do you lie?
Actually, Heather's answer is really good. Thank Santa I no longer have to worry about such things.
What do you dislike most about your appearance?
No. Absolutely not. We'd be here until the atmosphere evaporates, the glaciers melt into the sea, and the oceans boil off into space. No.
When and where were you happiest?
This was a good one:
So was this:
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
If only I could be interested in and ask about the right questions, those Can I see the ring?-How goes the wedding planning?-What the fuck is up with your baby? questions, I think my boyfriend's life would be a whole lot easier.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
After ten-plus years that Seth has not yet run screaming for the hills is a monumental achievement I think.
If you died and came back as a person or thing what do you think it would be?
A plain old worker bee is what I'd likely be.
What is your most treasured possession?
The first thing I'd save from fire is Winston, of course, but can something with free will be considered a possession? He chooses to obey when I say, "no," just as he chooses to look me straight in the eye while he knocks a water glass off the counter. I feel I no more "possess" him than anyone possesses me. So, I don't know, this I guess:
What do you regard as the lowest depths of misery?
Loneliness. The less said about this the better.
Who are your heroes in real life?
I've never really thought about this question before now, but in the 37 seconds it will take to think about and type my answer, I'd say Jim Henson, Dr. Seuss, Heather Hogan, and, I don't know, Hillary Clinton.
What is it you most dislike?
Celery. Can't stand the shit.
How would you like to die?
This is a question I've long thought of, and my answer keeps coming out the same. Perhaps my mind is not well enough organized, but death, to me, is not just another adventure. When my time comes I'll need to warm up to it. Welcome it even. So a painful and protracted illness is the way for me to go.
What is your motto?
Ask not for whom the bone bones; it bones for thee.