(A Vanity Fair Proust questionnaire I got via Paula, who answered far more tongue-in-cheek than I. No, I don't know what this has to do with Proust.)
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
- Believing it will remain perfect.
What is your greatest fear?
- Besides spiders, heights and cramped places? Not being missed.
What historical figure do you most identify with?
- Nixon. He screwed up the second time, and I tend(ed) to do that, too.
Which living person do you most admire?
- My boss. He's very kind and practical and supportive and has been very loyal to me.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What trait do you most deplore in others?
- Having a brain and refusing to use it, or having a heart and refusing to use it (often the two coincide).
What is your greatest extravagance?
- iTunes Store.
On what occasion do you lie?
- Never. I choose not to say anything if I can't say the truth.
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
- As Paula said, the whole aging deal.
What is your favorite journey?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
- Uhm, what are the virtues?
Which living person do you most despise?
- I don't actually despise anyone. The person who currently frustrates me the most is George W. Bush.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
- None that I know of.
What is your greatest regret?
- Getting sick this week.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
- Me. Not loving myself would mean I was wasting skin and air.
When and where were you happiest?
- Were? That past tense is a total bummer. I'm happiest anywhere and any time I find myself totally enjoying myself without a second thought.
Which talent would you most like to have?
What is your current state of mind?
- Not its usual due to being sick with a fever.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
- Fewer dead members.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what would it be?
If you could choose what or who to come back as, what would it be?
What do your consider your greatest achievement?
- Get back to me in 20 years.
What is your most treasured possession?
- This here computer and my internet access. And my memory.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
- Seeing a non-suicidal solution to your problem(s) just as you pass the point of no return in your suicide attempt.
What is your most marked characteristic?
- My name.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
- The same I like in a woman.
What is the quality you most admire in a woman?
- Awareness, self-respect, kindness and humor.
What do you most value in your friends?
- Humor, sympathy, good conversation.
Who are your favourite writers?
- Isaac Asimov, Agatha Christie, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell.
Who is your favourite hero of fiction?
- Jean Valjean.
Who are your heroes in real life?
- My boss and co-workers; they are all an inspiration in how to be happy, whole people. Also, anybody doing his or her best in Iraq.
What are your favourite names?
What is it that you most dislike?
How would you like to die?
- Paula said morphine overdose. Not a bad choice. My first one is "from drowning after going overboard from a cruiseship at age 92".
What is your motto?
- This too shall pass. It's the only cliché I've ever heard that gives me comfort.