Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Proust Questionnaire

I first read Margaret Atwood’s Proust Questionnaire when an old roommate’s “Vanity Fair” was left at my apartment in Provo. I was intrigued by the questions, Atwood’s flair and verbal prowess, and how I would answer the questions. Some answers change all the time, but that is what I love about these questions. Without making this anymore dramatic, my Proust Questionnaire--

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?
-Laughing around the dinner table with my family

What is your greatest fear?
-Losing the people I love and not being able to have kids

Which living person do you most admire?
-So many people live extraordinary lives – at this minute, my hilarious and comforting Grandma Joan

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
-Mistreatment of others

What is your greatest extravagance?
-Books and iTunes

What is your favorite journey?
-The drive up to Sundance and though I’ve never done it, driving a country road in England

On what occasion do you lie?
-When revealing what I think will make me or the person asking the question vulnerable

Which living person do you most despise?
-I have only offered to run over one person in my life – only a few special souls know who that is

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
-“Random” “No worries” “It’s all good” “In what universe”

What is your greatest regret?
-Not telling people hard things

When and where were you happiest?
-You know, I cannot answer that question – there are some great moments in my life – the two hours holding Dylan the day after he was born, the moment I found out Jewels was coming to BYU, sitting next to Jenessa on beach chairs in Hawaii reading our books, standing in the sealing room of the Draper Temple, laughing with Tracy on a lazy Sunday morning, dinner with my fabulous Raintree girls at Cafe Pierpont in Salt Lake

What is your current state of mind?
-Tired, anxious, and blissful after spending an hour in the sunshine

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
-My snarky comments that are out of my mouth before I have thought about it

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
-Having strong relationships with my fabulous family and dear friends

What is your most treasured possession?
-My books – in their pages are friends created by fabulous writers, notes and mementos from living friends, and ideas that shaped who I am now

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
-Feeling helpless when others are struggling

Where would you like to live?
-Europe (calls my name even when I sleep)

What is your favorite occupation?
-Sitting deep in conversation with a good friend with a window open bringing in a cool breeze

What is your most marked characteristic?
-As defined by my freshman dorm floor, “Most likely to give someone a dollar for drugs.” Insult? I thought so initially. They meant I give people the benefit of the doubt and believe in the best that people have to offer.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
-Conversationally brilliant, honest, and good

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
-Funny, genuine, passionate, and kind

Who are your favorite writers?
-Marcus Zusak…Jonathan Safran Foer…Mitch Albom…Nicole Krauss…Kate Chopin…Victor Hugo…F. Scott Fitzgerald…Jodi Picoult…Arthur Miller…C.S. Lewis…Jane Austen…John Steinbeck…Jhumpa Lampiri…Khaled Hosseini

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
-I will never commit to having just one. That library that the Beast gives Belle in “Beauty and the Beast” is not enough to contain my fictional heroes.

What is it that you most dislike?
-People who speak with authority about things they know nothing about

How would you like to die?
-To quote the brilliant Margaret Atwood, “Of a painless disease, with a month’s warning, on a spring day, with some good news in hand.”

What is your motto?
-Love Life, Bring Joy

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Tinsel Town Adulation

I am sitting here enraptured by the Golden Globes. I love Kate Winslet - she won, by the way. Ricky Gervais is hilarious - spontaneous command of a crowd. He shushed a room and people laughed. How come my students don't laugh when I tell them to stop their incessant chatting? Kidding, I know why. A few hours ago, I had thought of half a dozen things to write about. Now I can't remember anything except the books and movies I want to read or watch and all the fabulous people I need to call (I really need to talk to some of you). I'm going to go so I don't ramble on about more globe moments--
ps. I stood in 70 degree sunshine today - it was absolutely divine and felt like a perfect spring day...and it's January!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Techless Life

I have been anti-technology lately which means blogging and commenting sessions are getting few and far between. I still love the blogworld. I just have rediscovered other things that are keeping me away. I also feel like I have less to write about. I have been so mellow lately, extreme highs and extreme lows don't exist (most writing for me happens in one of those frenzied extremes). I should probably check the side effects of the medication my doctor recently prescribed since I am supposedly on a low dose until February. As always, I hope your lives are happy and peaceful-- I hope too that you're warm. I'm off to go put on better socks.

ps. Happy birthday to my hilarious brother-in-law Brett - can't imagine the family without you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nostalgic Wonder

I disappeared mid-December. The reasons for the season were not completed. To do lists were left unfinished. And you know what, the world did not end, and I am the happier and more relaxed for it. Here are a few things that I have fallen in love with or rediscovered in the past couple weeks.

1. Disneyland's Main Street is the closest I'll ever get to living in a musical. I love it. Standing there looking at the 1910 era storefronts or gazing up at Sleeping Beauty's castle makes me feel like I am actually in one of the childhood stories I read or watched over and over again. Being in Disneyland with my family (none of whom are technically even kids anymore) was a Peter Pan experience - truly, part of each of us never grows up.

2. I redid my bookshelves with Tracy's help. Sounds bizarre to more people, but I love holding my books and looking at all the titles on my shelves. Over break, I have read a few - Elder Holland's "Broken Things to Mend" and "The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society" being the best. Jenessa called me out when we went to Tahoe for three days on having four different books with me. My defense was that one was a play, one was a novel, one was a non-fiction, and one was a young adult fiction. Who knows which type would fit my respective moods? I read pieces of all four and finished two of them while I was cozied up in the cabin.

3. "It's a Wonderful Life" makes every holiday season complete. I finished it today and cried again as the good people of Bedford Falls come to the aide of a dear friend. I love that movie and the hope it inspires. George and Mary Bailey are two of my favorite fictional characters and one of the best silver screen couples.

4. I love my Uggs - I know I railed against them to some of you as a Danville trend, but my feet are warm for the first time in years. I know they are not fashionable, but if I get to keep my toes through another winter, I am a happy woman. And no, I do not wear them on the outside of my jeans.

5. I found my American Girl dolls and an old stuffed puppy named Oliver Gavroche (strange name, I know - I was not a normal child. Gavroche, in case you are completely bewildered, is the name of the little boy in Les Miserables). Talk about blasts from the past holding Samantha and Molly.

6. Better than holding old dolls, I got to hold Mae after Brett and Jewels surprised us at the cabin. Every time we see her, Mae has more personality - more spunk or more beauty. Her thighs are a force to be reckoned with. She has eyelashes that Covergirl models dream about. Can't wait to see her again.
(This is Mae on i-chat on Christmas Day. She was watching a talking Hallmark ornament very intently--she loves her Linus!)

7. This break I got to see perfect sunshine, fog wrapping around every inch of the neighborhood, thrashing wind and rain, and snow. Love it all--

8. Last, but certainly least - I have gotten to spend a lot of time with friends and family. Life is wonderful, as Frank Capra's fabulous movie tells us.
(This is our picture from "Tower of Terror" - I look like I am smiling on a park bench, but the real star of the picture is my mom on the back row. She wins for best photo--)

2008 was a great year. Somehow, I think 2009 will be even better. I just feel it-- Hope you feel the same. Happy New Year!