Gertrude’s 20 Questions

The inimitable Gertrude posted a “20 questions” quiz on her site. I love a good quiz, so here are my answers…

What is your superpower?

– Juggling my packed dayplanner. Surviving on almost no sleep at all.

 Who are you most like in life?

– BC, my dear ‘gay husband’. He and I are disturbingly alike in a lot of ways- mildly autistic when it comes to being touched by strangers, snarky and pop culture referencing, independent, and happiest lying on a blanket in the sun with a book.

 Do people ever tell you you look like a celebrity?

– Not often. Occasionally people tell me I look like Lauren Ambrose from Six Feet Under. I take it as a compliment.

Lauren Ambrose 

What are your views on weddings?

– In general, I think people spend a lot more money than they should to have a party they wouldn’t even want to go to. I’m a fan of tiny, quirky weddings where everyone knows everyone and enjoys a fun party. My favorite wedding took place in a backyard and involved a dance floor set up in the garage.

What was the last book you read?

– A Thousand Splendid Suns. Now I’m working my way through the Artist’s Way (again) and finally picked up Ahab’s Wife, which BC handed off to me a year ago.  Oh, and I read “Voodoo Dreams” on Sunday afternoon- a trashy fun novel about the heir to Marie Leveau’s  voodoo powers and her triumph over a murderous prostitution ring. It went well with spicy shrimp fajitas and a cold beer in a can.

Who is your hero?

I don’t do heroes very well. I have always admired Eleanor Roosevelt for her social policy work. I idol-worshipped a professor of mine who spoke five languages and had doctorates in medieval literature and calculus. My mom’s grace never ceases to amaze. And BC is a hero of sorts for constantly coming to my rescue when I get in a jam.

What are five songs that would be on the soundtrack of your life?

I don’t really do music…. see my 101 things about me list, but let’s see- 

– Polyester Bride, Liz Phair.
– School Night, Ani DiFranco.
– Summertime, Ella Fitzgerald.
– Baby Girl, Sugarland (I used to be an acquaintance of Jennifer Nettles, the singer, WAY back when).

– If I Wrote You, Dar Williams.

Have you ever been burned?

– Sure. I’ve definitely been burned in the kitchen once or twice. No memorable scars though.

What is your worst habit?

– Self-criticism. And that nasty cigarette smoking (I really am going to quit… it grosses even me out now).

 What is the best lesson your parents taught you?

 – My dad advised me in 5th grade that whatever I did reflected on the family name as well as my own. He followed that with “Don’t do anything to get your name in the paper,” when I got my Pentagon job. Both are good advice. My mom advised me to put on lipstick for photographs and that I could do whatever needed to be done- these have both helped in their own way as well.

What are three things that hang on your walls?

– A framed piece of tissue paper covered in Asian calligraphy that I found in an art supply store in DC (no one has been able to definitely state the language of origin), a collage of Virgin Mary prayer cards acquired throughout the years and a pink stone rosary on a nail, a postcard photo from the turn of the century showing some steel workers and kin on “Smoky City Beach” here in Pittsburgh .

Who do you think will actually WIN the presidency?  Will it be the right choice?

–Obama is the right choice. Whether he will win now that Hillary is turning the party into a bitter mudbath is anyone’s guess.

Is your bed made right now?

–No. I have nice sheets, so I don’t have to make it.

Where would you like to wake up in the morning if you could be anywhere?

– New Orleans at the Place d’Arms in time for free cafe’ au lait and croissants.

Do you do anything creative?

– I write, crochet, make collage-y journaly things, cook a fine cobbler, and now my true love, bellydancing.

What would you like to be doing in five years if there were no limits to who you could be?

– I would be working three jobs part-time as a college professor, a freelance journalist, and a work/life type career counselor. Somehow I would have quality health benefits, at least one healthy child who I actually got to spend some time with, and be working on my second novel which would be as well received as my first. BC and I would live down the street from eachother and sneak away from our significant others to have wacky adventures and laugh over reality t.v. whenever we liked. And I would spend one month out of the year in New Orleans in an apartment I could stumble from at any hour day or night to write, walk by the river, or meet interesting people.   

Why Craigslist?

– (Gertrude’s is an online dating quiz). I personally enjoy Craigslist for job hunting and “missed connections,” but haven’t made the leap to online dating.  

What is really the greatest thing about meeting someone new?

– Finding all of those odd connections- growing up in the same neighborhood, a mutual friend, a similar job, an odd story shared. All those coincidences that make us human.

If you didn’t have to work, would you?

– Absolutely not- at least at not at my current job. All of the things I like to do don’t come with big paychecks, but I could fill my time easily with theatre work, writing, being a museum docent, working with little ones, politicking, and volunteering for causes I believe in.

What are you doing to make less of an impact on the earth?

– Ever since I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I have been obsessed with local food. I am awaiting farmer’s market season with baited breath. I also shop locally-owned for anything and everything else when possible and recycle.



Filed under Daily Life, Family, Friends, Links, Lists, Soul Searching, Working for a Living

3 responses to “Gertrude’s 20 Questions

  1. Lauren Ambrose is gorgeous. I’d take that as a compliment too!

  2. You know I am a whore for quizzes, but I liked this post the most because I got to learn a ton about you. Maybe I need to do this too…

  3. hmks

    I’m actually trying to make an impact on the earth… 🙂 Just kidding.
    How fun – loved this quiz!
    ~Heidi from

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