1) Do you think you’d be a good writer? What kind of writer would you like to be (fiction, children’s books, magazine, etc.)? Every two weeks, an ad agency puts money in my checking account in exchange for the words I write, so yeah, I guess I'm a good enough writer. If I wasn't in advertising, I think I'd be a good essayist. I love Nora Ephron's work at Esquire. I don't think I'd be that good, of course. But I think it would be fun to try.
2) I wish I had enough money to ________. Not worry about money.
3) If you had to enter a competition for the "Most Uselessly Unique Talent," what would your talent be? I can pronounce the alphabet as a word.
4) When it might hurt their feelings, how do you feel about telling your friends the truth? I hate it. I don't relish hurting anyone's feelings.
5) Peanut or plain? Peanut.
6) Is there someone you would like to take your place in life for one day? Who and why? I'd like to change places with my cat Reynaldo for a day. I think the experience would help us better understand one another and make us better roommates.
7) What do you think is the ugliest thing or event on Earth? The Holocaust. We should learn from it and always remember how easy it was for politicians to demonize "others," and convince us the different ones are the root of our problems.
8) What is your least favorite of your personality traits or quirks? My laziness.
9) I wish I could see ________ because _________. Heaven, I have questions for loved ones there.
10) Tell us your favorite children's story. When Ferdinand was a baby bull, he didn't want to rough house with the other bulls, he wanted to smell the flowers. It was kind of lonely, because the other young bulls were into play fighting and Ferdinand was the only one into flowers. But it made him happy, so his mother encouraged him. He grew up to be very big and very strong. When matadors came looking for bulls to fight, they saw Ferdinand in the pasture and were impressed by his size. He was smelling the flowers and just happened to be stung by a bee. This frightened and hurt him and made him mad so he started snorting and stamping and running around. The matadors took this to mean he was fierce and they took him into the city for a big bull fight. When he entered the ring, Ferdinand was delighted by the pre-fight ceremony because it includes pretty ladies with flowers. He dropped down, like he did in the pasture, and just enjoyed the flowers. The matadors realized Ferdinand was going to be a bust as a fighter and returned him to the pasture, where he lived happily ever after among the flowers.
11) What do you keep in the trunk of your car? I don't have a car.
12) Describe your perfect, rainy afternoon. Curled up on the sofa with a snack, watching the Cubs win on the road in another, sunnier city.
13) Tell us about your favorite way to get lost in a simple activity — running, chopping vegetables, folding laundry, whatever. What’s it like when you’re in "the zone?" It helps to have headphones with me.
14) What parts of nature do you like best? I like water. Whether it's an ocean, a lake or a puddle, it's seldom still. Watching it move is hypnotic. When it is smooth and still, it's pretty, too.
15) What's the kindest act you have ever seen done (either to/by you or another)? Oh, golly, this is hard. One of the kindest things anyone has done for me lately was when my friend Kathy drove me to/from my colonoscopy. First of all, no one wants to waste a day doing that. Secondly, when I told her I needed a ride somewhere, she said "yes," without waiting to hear when, where or what for. I appreciated her generosity so much!