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Vanity Fair Questionnaire

February 7, 2011

I have a weakness for random questionnaires. I can’t resist them. Tammie posted this one and I haven’t done one in awhile, so here you go!

Quickly name a unique item you have in your house.

Terri’s copy of Jung’s Red Book. A special present for her on her last birthday. Also, my paintings, which I am alternately proud of and embarrassed about. I need to put a few up. (we have no pictures on the walls, still…)

What are your two favorite names?
Only two? I like Spencer and Sophia, but I love elaborate girl names like Persephone and Anastasia and Seraphina. Maybe we’ll use some of those fancy names for our hens, whenever we get them…

What do you consider a necessary luxury?
Peet’s tea, and Peet’s decaf coffee. I get a different Trader Joe’s coffee every time I buy regular caffeinated coffee, but for decaf, you need to get the good stuff to make it worth drinking (neither of us can tolerate very much caffeine but sometimes you need a cup of coffee in the afternoon). Also: very infrequent purchases of nice perfume, good chocolate, and heavy-duty hand cream. I love drugstore makeup and use cheap natural shampoo, etc., but lately I have been wanting some better-quality eye shadow to see if it ‘sticks’ longer.

What type of car would you like to drive?
I really don’t care. I kind of hate cars. I guess if I had to choose and I were being totally selfish, I’d love a fancy old bottle-green Jaguar. Or maybe a big luxury pickup (we need a pickup or a van. Sorry Buddy, you will someday be transformed into something more practical). For my commute, I’d totally love a Prius. But that’s the practical side talking again.

What is your favorite color and has it changed over the years?
Green is my favorite. I’m also partial to yellow, red, and some purples, depending on the situation. Yellow is my lucky color, but I will always love every shade of green. Although I am also a big fan of robin’s egg blue.

What quality do you most admire in a man?
Well, I don’t care if it’s a man or a woman, my favorite quality is always a good sense of humor and not taking one’s self too seriously.

In a woman?
Oh. Well, see above. I don’t really care if someone is a man or a woman or somewhere in between. A good sense of humor is essential.

What is something you long for?
I already got the thing I wanted most: our house (still pinching myself!). I already have a fantastic partner and sweet pets and a great job and various talents that I don’t make enough use of. So I guess right now the thing I’m longing for most would be a supportive local community. We need some local friends, stat. Working on that one. Also I would like to be physically stronger. There is a lot of heavy lifting involved in doing things DIY, you know? Maybe I need to pull out the weights.

If money were no object what would you buy yourself?
A beatup pickup for house-type stuff. Also a really fancy camping van or RV van so we could travel. For someone who hates cars, I seem to be kind of focused on them, don’t I? I would also like a really great pair of boots, hardwood floors and someone else to install them, and all the stuff we need for the living room. The nice thing is, all these things are sort of within reach if we plan for them. I don’t really want anything too crazy. We got the house. My heart is content.

What charity would you donate a million dollars to?
Probably a great animal rescue organization. Can I split half for the animals, and half for a local homeless-outreach organization? I can’t stand seeing people standing in the cold, begging, when we all have so much. My new personal charity this year is to offer to buy people who seem hungry sandwiches and coffee.

What book have you just finished reading?
Just Kids, by Patti Smith. Oh my god, I loved this book so much. The last pages are literally stained with my tears (sorry, library!). I kind of want to own this book, even though I really try not to buy non-reference books anymore.

Name one book that made an impact and why?
Uh, this is the hardest question on here. Um. Let’s see. Made an impact… well, this might be weird, but the children’s Bible my grandma gave me was a serious influence on me. I totally ignored all the hellfire (which was pretty tame in the children’s version) and loved the other stories so much. Although I would not consider myself Christian or even religious (although I do have my own strong sense of spirituality) I really took in the lessons from Jesus about being kind, looking after those who are less fortunate than I am, having faith that things will eventually turn out the way they should, even if the journey is difficult. I really loved that book, it was full of great stories and illustrations. I was kind of horrified when I finally picked up a real Bible and read all the stuff that it was based upon. The real Bible and I don’t get along very well.

Name one liquid always in your fridge?
Hmm. There’s always some milk in there, although I don’t drink it (it’s for Terri). Uh… well, there’s always a bottle of sparkling apple cider, except it’s the same bottle that’s been in there for years and we haven’t opened it yet (yes, we moved it to this house. I don’t know why). I’m not big on cold drinks from the fridge. Water or tea is fine for me.

Name one food item always in your fridge?
Wow, the food questions are stumping me. Um… mustard? We don’t eat much and I try to keep the fridge fairly cleaned-out since things go bad because we don’t eat them. We always have ketchup and mustard, I know that. And usually some miso, although I have a feeling it’s going bad by now. Also we always have Everett & Jones BBQ sauce, because we love it on sweet potato fries.

What could you eat everyday?
I have to agree with Tammie on this one: Cheese. I don’t, but I would if I could. Also: avocados, potatoes (although I did eat potatoes almost every day in Finland and got pretty tired of them), cashews, and I could definitely eat stout black rye bread every day, although I wouldn’t fit into my pants if I ate as much of that as I would like (with cheese!).

Everyday I drink…
At least one (but not more than two) glass of tea (we use big sturdy glasses for tea, not mugs). And water. But not enough water.

TV Guilty Pleasure:
Oh no, do I have to be honest here? Um, well, we somehow got into watching The Bachelor/ette, which is a totally and completely STUPID show. But it’s kind of fun to yell at the girls (or guys) and marvel at the utter lack of charisma of the stud/ette of the season. They are so whitebread, insipid, generic and boring that we just laugh and laugh at the ridiculousness of it. I don’t know why we watch it, except that it’s just sort of pretty and we have a good time rolling our eyes.

TV Show I Don’t Miss:
We like Criminal Minds. Lately I’ve been feeling like I could totally do without TV, but I do like that show. I like food/adventure series but I really don’t care that much about TV. Although when Mad Men comes back on, I will not miss that show, you can count on that.

Name a favorite fictional character from a book.
I love Jo March, Flavia de Luce, Aloysius Pendergast, and Jilly Coppercorn. And Gandalf (NERD.)

From a movie:
Han Solo?

What phrase or motto do you over use?
“Well, whatever.” This sort of sums up my basic attitude towards most anything.

I own a lot of:
Art supplies. I collect art supplies. I like to know that I can make whatever I want at a moment’s notice. I also own a lot of lipsticks.

I collect:
Well, art supplies, obviously. I am starting a small collection of bird things. And antique beaded purses.

I try to avoid:
Being hypocritical, being too judgmental, and spelling errors.

One thing I know:
I can do pretty much anything I really put my mind to. Also: creative problem-solving is a strength of mine. Also: a good book is almost always the answer to a bad mood. Wait, that’s three.

Everyday I:
Read. Tell Terri I love her. Those two things keep me on the right path.

The last time I wrote a letter and mailed it was:
I sent thank-you cards recently! I wrote a letter to my pen-pal Stef a couple of months ago — time for another.

Dog or cat?
I have to say cat, although I do love (some) dogs too. But really I’m a sucker for pretty much any animal.

By the time you read this, I”ll be having my ear procedure. Think good thoughts for me!

18 Comments leave one →
  1. February 7, 2011 10:17 am


    I was actually thinking of copying out VF’s Proust Questionnaire and answering it too! I read the collected VF questionnaires at Anthropologie which I now treat as a bookstore since I can’t kick the habit of going there even though I have stopped shopping there.

    I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that someone is doing this, but I am.

    Oh! Also, I saw Jung’s original Red Book. It was in a museum in New York that I was so excited to go to (especially with paying only $1 for a student ticket) but it didn’t occur to me that not only did he write it in some fancy Gothic script, he also wrote it in German. Still enjoyed the museum and the exhibit though.

    I hope your ear procedure goes successfully!

    • February 8, 2011 1:08 pm

      Ear procedure is all done! I love quizzes like this. Jung’s book is amazing — I haven’t even looked at it that closely, but I love that we have it in the house.

  2. February 7, 2011 5:36 pm

    im glad the ear thing is now over. and im so glad you did this. i love learning all these fun little randomy things.

    and tracys comment made me chuckle because everytime i go in anthropologie i usually go right to the books too. i think its because i can pretty much estimate how much books are going to cost without seeing the price and realizing that its drastically out of my budget. it sucks to go into that store, find a dress or something and looking at the price and realizing its $300. poo!

    • February 8, 2011 1:09 pm

      I love random quizzes so much.
      I can’t remember the last time I was in Anthopologie. I find that store depressing and inspiring all at the same time.

      • February 12, 2011 10:34 am

        I have similarly mixed feelings about Anthropologie as well. Instinctively (habitually?) I find their displays beautiful, but after a few minutes everything feels so contrived and soulless. And what’s up with renaming products that already have product names?! It’s an annoyingly effective method of hindering online comparative shopping.

    • February 12, 2011 10:49 am

      Haha, it’s a peculiar idea sitting alongside men who get dragged by women to Anthropologie especially in contrast to me who willingly brought myself.

      I agree, Anthropologie is a great place for sticker shock, not because they sell $4,000 purses, but because you really can’t tell a $20 dress from a $600 one until you look at the price tag.

  3. Lara Starr permalink
    February 7, 2011 10:54 pm

    I’m such a sucker for these things too. Loved reading yours!

  4. February 8, 2011 11:42 am

    I hope your ear procedure went well!

    It was fun to read your answers and for a brief moment I thought you said you had sent me a letter. Soon maybe, when you feel better.

  5. February 8, 2011 1:07 pm

    Oh Stef, I have one written in my head but I can’t find your letter that you wrote to me (I’m hoping it’s in the pile of mail we cleared off the table a few weeks ago) — but soon! Yes! I wanted to ‘answer’ your letter but am ashamed that I can’t locate it!

  6. February 8, 2011 6:11 pm

    Those are pretty fancy-schmancy names for hens. I hope the ear procedure went well and I’m glad the house purchase is still rating up there.

    • February 9, 2011 7:53 am

      Home purchase was Best Thing Ever (next to being born and meeting my sweetie, of course).

      Hens will probably also be named Henny Penny and Henrietta (of course).

  7. February 8, 2011 7:44 pm

    Goodbye ear procedure!!!! Whew.

    I’d give money to animal rescue as well. Those commercials on TV are killer!

    Really want to read that book.

    • February 9, 2011 7:54 am

      You must read the book! I’m preaching this book to the heavens. I loved it. Must write review this week. Sooooo behind on writing reviews.

  8. February 9, 2011 6:30 pm

    i donte licke speling erors eether.

  9. February 10, 2011 3:44 pm

    You don’t have to apologize to the library on this library patron’s account. I would never mind seeing that someone had cried over a book I was reading. I would like it, it would make me feel all “aww.” And I don’t mind small stains from chocolate crumbs or a little hot beverage juggling. Books and chocolate just go too well together. It’s the fruit punch and mustard and tomato sauce and electric orange Dorito/Cheeto scuz stains that gross me out–but just a little.

    • February 10, 2011 4:45 pm

      I know, right? I like well-loved books. As long as there aren’t any pages missing. Or orange stains. Those are gross.

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