1. What’s one question you hate being asked? I hate the question “what do you do?” Americans usually mean this in the sense of what you do for a living. Even before I retired, this annoyed me because my life is far more multi-dimensional than work.
2. Has the media influenced your view on the world? Somewhat, but I curate my media consumption in accordance with my world view, so perhaps not as much as it does for others. I do admit that I love reading newspapers in other countries when I travel, assuming I can find local papers in English. I’m often fascinated by what stories they focus on, as well as by advertisements. I particularly recommend the matrimonial ads in Indian newspapers for cultural insight.
3. What could make other people angry about you? I speak my mind and don’t necessarily worry about offending other people.
4. Do you miss anything from your teenage years? Not really. I was a teenager in the 1970’s, an era of things like platform shoes and disco.
5. What about your current life situation makes you feel grateful? I have good friends and a comfortable financial situation.
6. What is distracting you? How much work it will take to declutter my condo.
7. What past failure actually proved to be a blessing? There was a job I didn’t get, which I probably would have taken had it been offered to me. In retrospect, I would have had more limited opportunities, both from the career and social aspects.
8. Do you often make impulsive purchases? Rarely. Certainly not for anything major. Small things, like a book or CD or some sort of fruit I’ve never seen before are a different story.
9. What makes you suspicious of other people? I suppose if somebody asks too many prying personal questions, I would get perturbed.
10. Do you enjoy dystopian future books/movies? Sometimes, but it depends on how good the writing is. For example, I think Brave New World was a brilliant book.
11. Do you have any recurring dreams? When I was a child, I had a recurring dream in which my bicycle grew wings like Pegasus. Nowadays, I don’t really have recurring dreams, but I do have recurring themes within dreams, often related to airplanes or bridges.
12. Do you like to be the center of attention? Sure. Otherwise I wouldn’t tell stories on stage.
13. What would you miss if you stopped using your smartphone for 48 hours? Exchanging texts with friends. Also, if I were going somewhere, I would definitely miss using map functions, since I have a terrible sense of direction.
14. Looking back over the last year what are you most grateful for? A comfortable home to isolate in and a stable financial situation.
15. What’s the biggest challenge in your life right now? Getting organized.
16. Think about a job you hated. What did you learn from it? I had various dull menial jobs when I was in college. They served to remind me I was in college so I wouldn’t have to spend the rest of my life answering phones, sorting mail, cleaning rooms, etc.
17. What’s your favorite way to spend a Friday night? Having a nice dinner with a glass of wine, followed by sitting in my rocking chair with a good book. Alternatively (in normal times) going out to dinner and the theatre with friends.
18. What’s your least favorite room in your house? I like all of my rooms, but my study is referred to as the Black Hole of Vienna for a reason and it will be a while before I am up to tackling the chaos there.
19. What life lessons are you most grateful for? I like to think I’ve made the best decisions I could knowing what I knew at the time, so there is no point in second guessing myself. I can move on from the choices I’ve made.
20. What’s your least favorite chore? Nature abhors a vacuum. And so do I.
21. Name someone you met through work. How is your life better for knowing them? There are so many people I could name, but let me go with Alex, who always made things just a little bit more surreal. Without him, I wouldn’t know the word “philippic,” nor would I know so much about the Egyptian god, Anubis, or about dehydrated unicorn tears.
22. What do you like about your neighborhood? It’s very convenient, being right across the street from the metro. And there is a very nice park a short walk away.
23. Who are the five people you spend the most time with? Probably the group of friends I play board games with several times a week.
24. How do you feel about getting old? I am mostly okay with it (better than the alternative, and so on). I love being retired. I do, however, wish I had gotten an extended warranty on various body parts.
25. What’s the best method of transportation where you live? A mixture of metro and shank’s mare, though a car is useful for things like grocery shopping.
26. What’s your favorite breakfast food? Noodle soup. Seriously, eating noodle soup for breakfast is one of the best things about traveling in Asia.
27. With what are you happy to be done doing? It’s between commuting during rush hour and menstruating.
28. If you could change a decision you made in your past, what would it be and how would it change your life? I’d have ended my “brief, meaningless fling” with Robert a lot sooner than 26 1/2 years. But I would probably have gotten into other dysfunctional relationships.
29. What was your favorite subject in school? Science, by far. Especially chemistry.
30. What websites did you visit most frequently this week? I do various puzzles (New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Ten Words) every day. I look at my email, LJ/DW, Facebook, and a few news sites daily. I binge on things on YouTube - currently watching documentaries by Peter Santenello.
31. What are your favorite things in general? In normal times, travel and theatre. In these days, books, crafting (with both yarn and paper), playing games, cooking, dancing, storytelling.
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