2. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? Only if I'm calling directly to voice mail -- which I often do when I don't feel like talking to you directly -- and I know it might be listened to more than once.
3. What would constitute a “perfect” day for you? Doing nothing. No appointments to keep. No reason to look at my watch. Naturally, being able to watch my Cubs would be a nice addition.
4. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? This morning. I sang along with John Waite in the shower. (Not that John Waite was in the shower with me, except via my shower radio.) "There's a storm that's raging through my frozen heart tonight … I ain't missing you at all ..."
5. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? Mind. I want to retain my mental faculties. Losing them frightens me enormously.
6. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? It's not secret. If you read this blog regularly, you know I can see myself dying suddenly and violently in a plane crash. It's my most potent, least rational fear and I have to battle it every time I travel by air. It takes prayer, courage, and three carefully timed .25 mg doses of Xanax to get me into my seat. But I get there!
7. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? That I see humor in most things. I look at friends who have also battled depression and I know they consider me "stronger" than they are. I don't think that's it at all. I think it's a combination of my Christianity and my ability to laugh that has saved me when things have been darkest.
8. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? I wish that our household had spent more time with my dad's family than with my mother's. In retrospect, I can see that my mother's family was the one with the toxicity and the ugly secrets that had to be kept, no matter what the personal expense. My dad's family -- while not perfect -- offered a lot more love with many fewer strings attached. I think if we'd celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas, 4th of July, etc., with them, I wouldn't recoil at the notion of a family gathering.
9. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? I'd love to be able to sing.
10. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? How long will I keep this job.
11. What does friendship mean to you? Support, love, laughter.
12. What roles do love and affection play in your life? I know this is a daring stand to take, but I'm solidly, four-square in favor of love and affection.
13. When did you last laugh? Earlier today.
14. Are you a morning person or a night owl? Yes. I enjoy both late night and early morning.
15. Seen anything weird lately? This week on the el, I saw a woman of about 30 acting out the scenario of President George W. Bush in a Florida classroom, getting word about the 9/11 attacks, and then going on to read The Pet Goat to the children. She was doing this for the benefit of a girl in her teens who simply didn't believe that could possibly be how it happened. How these two knew each other, or how they happened upon the topic of Bush, 9/11 and The Pet Goat, I don't know. But the woman's performance was really rather good.