"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Q & A (Illustrated & Animated)

I'm about to be insanely busy--3, count 'em 3 back-to-back meetings tomorrow, more company at the Big Lake this weekend, and whatever else comes along. So here's a big chunk of trivia to last as long as it takes me to return to blogging.

What's your favorite Dr. Seuss book? Because I'm a Pisces...

If you could live in any home on a television series, what would it be? Brideshead. No, wait--Pemberley!

What's the longest you've gone without sleep? About 40 hours. I was thirteen.

What's your favorite Barry Manilow song? While I don't have one, I developed a strange fondness for "Copacabana" because we sang a version of it often during our dog Lola's lifetime. "Her name is Lola/She is my Husky/When she doesn't bathe/She smells quite musky..."

Who's your favorite Muppet? I appreciate the wit and wisdom and essential greenness of Kermit yet cannot resist the extreme cuteness of Elmo--especially his voice.

(Notice how Miss Never Can Give Only One Answer squeezes two of them into some of her responses? It will happen again...)

What's the habit you're proudest of breaking? Giving up my daily dose of Nutella.

What's your favorite Web site? Google Books is positively dangerous--in a wonderful way--for a historian.

What's your favorite commercial? The British one, "Real Fire," with dog, cat, and mousie. Kissy kissy. Cue the sentimental tears.

What's your favorite school supply? Composition books. They come in all sizes and colours now. Love the teeny tiny miniature ones, they fit in any size purse.

Who's your favorite TV attorney? Caveman Lawyer as played by the late, great Phil Hartman. Well, okay, I'll 'fess up: I carried a torch for Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law.

What was your most recent trip of more than 50 miles? Brattleboro, Vermont.

What's the best bargain you've ever found at a garage sale or thrift store? A genuine vintage Louis Vuitton monogram handbag at a shop in London with orginal purchase receipt. Got it for a song. Could probably sell it for many, many times what I paid but for my obsessive need to keep my LV collection intact.

Where were you on September 11, 2001? All by myself in my forest home with my dogs. I was lying late in bed listening to the radio. The Chap had flown off on a business trip the day before. My parents were in Scotland. My brother was in Atlanta. Just before 9 a.m. I heard the first news bulletin and turned on the telly. It was the most alone I'd ever felt. Not until the end of that week did the Chap return from the Midwest--in a rental car. The airports were still closed.

What's your favorite tree? A New England sugar maple in October is hard to beat.

What's the most interesting biography you've read? I've read hundreds of them. Meredith Daneman's definitive biography of Margot Fonteyn is spectacular. Richard Ellmann's Pulitzer-winning life of Oscar Wilde demonstrates how magnificent literary biography can be.

What's the best costume you've ever worn? Lots of choices, as I spent 20 years of my life treading the boards.

I lived out the Cinderella fantasy in this. It was very pink.

In a Wendy Wasserstein play, I wore my very own Evan Piccone grey wool suit with a cream silk blouse. In some scenes I didn't wear the jacket, in others I did.

The only costume I seriously coveted--so much that I longed to permanently borrow it from the wardrobe room, was this 40's/50's navy blue white-dotted dress worn in an Agatha Christie play. Like nearly every character, I was a murder suspect. You can see why.

My favourite and most comfortable costume of all: period undergarments and a blue flannel robe. (Not unlike the one I'm currently wearing.) My character suffered from tuberculosis and sometimes didn't have the energy to dress. I didn't wear it in every scene--I only wish!

What do you order when you eat Chinese food? My old standby Mu Shu Pork has been superseded by General Tso's Chicken.

What's your least favorite word? Algebra.

If you had to be named after one of the 50 states, which would it be? Georgia. Some of my blog visitors will understand why.

Who's your favorite Care Bear? I'm not informed enough to answer this one.

Describe something that's happened to you for which you have no explanation. I can explain anything. Except perhaps, What did I ever do to deserve the Chap?

If you could travel anywhere in Africa, where would it be? Tanzania. Or Cameroon, because it comes recommended by the Chap.

What did you have for lunch yesterday? String cheese and celery sticks dipped in hummus.

Where do you go for advice? Sigh. Not so good about seeking advice. But I'd go to the Chap first. Then my mother.

Which do you use more often, the dictionary or the thesaurus? I rarely use either, but probably a thesaurus more.

Have you ever been snorkeling? Scuba diving? Never, and don't aspire to either.

Have you ever been stung by a bee? Oh, yes, because they always fascinated me and I spent my childhood doing catch-and-release in our back garden. Later my parents became beekeepers, so bees were a constant in my life.

What's the sickest you've ever been? Two years ago, the only time I really had the flu. I was in bed forever and it took a full month before I was myself again.

What's your favorite form of exercise? I'll refrain from giving the very first answer that came to mind. Walking round the lake, big or little. With the Chap. And the dogs.

What's your favorite Cyndi Lauper song? I want to say "Money Changes Everything" or "What's Goin' On?" except both are covers, the former originated with The Brains and the latter with Marvin Gaye. For a Cyndi original, "Heading West" from the album A Night to Remember, because once in my life I had to head way, way west--in a car--to reach the Chap.

What did you do for your 13th birthday? If I could remember, I'd tell all. Since I can't remember, I must've been extremely drunk. Possibly disorderly.

Are you afaid of heights? Terrified, but I love the view from high places.

Have you ever taken dance lessons? For a huge chunk of my life. Social dancing, ballet, tap. But not since grad school.

What's your favorite newspaper? I read lots of them. I rely on the London Gazette from 1685 to 1815. For more current news, I prefer the Washington Post. I could get into all the various reasons why but I won't.

What's your favorite Broadway musical? This is a most unfair question for a theatre person. I loved or learned to love every one I was in. But I'm choosing this one...

What's the most memorable class you've ever taken? History of Tudor and Stuart England. Life-altering.

What's your favorite knock-knock joke? Orange you glad I didn't say 'Banana'? Only one I remember.

If you could go to Disney World with any celebrity alive today, who would it be? Oh, please don't make me go back to Disney World! I've voluntarily and permamently banished myself from the Holy Rodent Empire. The only thing that might make it bearable is if I could take David Letterman with me.

Do you prefer baths or showers? Depends on my mood and available time and whether I want to be reading something. I take showers because they're quick.

Does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight? I gave up gum when I was 12. As I recall, it lost its flavour before going on the bedpost.

What's your favorite breakfast food? Eggs benedict. Do I ever eat it? Rarely.

Who's your favorite game show host? Steve Martin doing game show send-ups on SNL.

If you could have a super power, what would it be? The ability to fly, but I wouldn't go too high. (See the fear of heights question.)

Do you like guacamole? When it's made tableside at La Centenaria, or by the folks at La Carreta.

Have you ever been in a food fight? Indeed I have been. And that's all I'm sayin'.

Name five songs to which you know all the lyrics. (Better yet, sing them.) I could get through this one by naming almost any classic Broadway musical, every Cat Stevens or Dire Straits album, and not a few hymns. Trust me, I'm singing something. Even if you can't hear.

What's your favorite infomercial? Favourite and infomercial are not mutually compatible terms.

What's the longest you've ever waited in line? To get tickets for Dire Straits at Red Rocks amphitheatre in Morrison, Colorado, their Brothers in Arms tour. I went to the ticket place at Southwest Plaza shopping mall, not far from our home--and in sight of Columbine High School. I scored some fab seats and it was one of the best concerts ever. Not counting the last time we saw Knopfler in action. Or the next time!

What's on the cover of your address book or day planner? Photos of my husband and my dogs.

Have you ever taken a picture in one of those little booths? On several occasions. Not lately.

If you've got the time (!) and the inclination for some or all of it, feel free to try this questionnaire on your blog!

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