So, at the end of Vanity Fair magazine every month, they have a thing called the Proust Questionnaire, where a person of some import (a celebrity or a writer or whatever) will answer 20 questions based upon a longer series of questions Marcel Proust used to periodically ask of himself, in order to "check in," so to speak. The idea is to get a sense of yourself; to answer thoughtfully and honestly. Apparently this is floating around the internet right now and the versions I've seen don't really seem all that true to what I think Proust (and even Vanity Fair) was attempting to accomplish, e.g. a little bit of self-discovery. The intent isn't a flip, smart ass answer, nor is it ten paragraphs on each question. It's a few words in response to each. So, here's the plan: I'm going to answer, and I want the rest of you to do the same, but first copy it into an email and then send it to me along with your responses. I want to post them here one by one. Most of you are seriously lacking in the "Let's comment on Shannon's blog" gene, so just do this one thing for me. For fun. To humor me. Seriously.
Without further ado... (also I just noticed these are misnumbered, but I am too tired to correct them now, so please just live with it)...
1). What is your most marked characteristic? My sense of humor.
2). What is the quality you most like in a man? A sense of humor and handiness with tools.
3). What is the quality you most like in a woman? Friendship.
4). What do you most value in your friends? Loyalty; honesty; good grammar; the ability to laugh uproariously at the simplest of things. A healthy appreciation for Harry Potter and similar political viewpoint to my own doesn't hurt.
5). What is your principle defect? My impatience with those who are not as well-educated as me. My tendency to curse at others on the road.
6). What is your favorite occupation? Sitting alone on a Saturday afternoon reading a brand new book (preferably of the Harry Potter variety), sipping one diet Pepsi after another.
7). What is your idea of perfect happiness? Time spent with my son.
8 ). What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Never having loved anyone or anything.
9). Where would you like to live? Venice, Italy.
10). Who are your favorite writers? Douglas Coupland; Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni; JK Rowling; Tim Sandlin; Nick Hornby; Alexander McCall Smith.
12). Who is your favorite hero or heroine of fiction? It's a toss up between Harry Potter and Obi Wan Kenobi.
13). Who are your heroes in real life? Oprah Winfrey; Bono; Nelson Mandela; my parents.
14). What are your favorite names? Daniel; Mace Windu.
15). What is your greatest fear? Dying before my son is grown, or somehow not being able to take care of him myself.
16). Which historical figure do you most identify with? Erm... I'm not sure there really is one I actually identify with, per se.
17). If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? Someone's mother.
18). If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? An iPod.
19). When and where were you happiest? The day my son was born.
20). Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Like; whatever; "I'm all/she's all.."; "Daniel, I said NO!"
21). On what occasion do you lie? When customers want to speak to my boss but he's not taking calls.
22). What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Christianity.
23). What or who is the greatest love of your life? Daniel. U2 runs a close second.
24). What is your favorite journey? To the Denver Zoo with Daniel.
25). Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to channel ambition into action.
26). What is your greatest extravagance? Cut and color by Ric.
27). What is your most treasured possession? My iPod; my photo albums.
28). What is it that you most dislike? Bad, scary drivers.
29). If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? I plead the Fifth.
30). How would you like to die? I don't think I should like it very much at all.
31). What is your present state of mind? Content. Looking forward to summer.
32). Which living person do you most admire? Oprah Winfrey, at the risk of sounding redundant. I realize that she feels she has better ways to connect with people, but I really wish she'd run for President.
33). What is the trait you most deplore in others? Selfishness; narcissism.
34). What do you dislike most about your own appearance? My clothes.
35). What is your greatest regret? That I never learned how to play the guitar.
36). What do you consider your greatest achievement? Just the fact that I've made it this far.
37). What is your motto? "Everything will be all right."