1. Name someone with the same birthday as you.
Nostradamus. Aphra Behn. Spike Jones. Bill Buckner. (But to offset that last one, may I just point out that The Clash also released London Calling on my birthday?)
2. Where was your first kiss?
Euuuuw. In the back room of the Avon High School Library, while I was shelving Shakespeare. By a person who had read about French kissing in a book somewhere – thereby giving me my first concrete experience with the difference between theory and praxis. Memorable, but not in a good way.
3. Have you ever seriously vandalized someone else's property?
Probably. But I’ve also served as one-half of an impromptu hate-poster removal crew, getting rid of anti-Semitic crap that some skinheads had plastered up on walls in a neighborhood I liked to walk through.
4. Have you ever hit someone of the opposite sex?
Yes, but why dwell on long-distant unpleasantness?
5. Have you ever sung in front of a large number of people?
All the time. National Cathedral, St. Patrick’s in NY, etc. On TV. On the radio. I have more extensive experience in choral groups than in solo recital, but my favorite was Bach’s Magnificat that I toured around on one Advent season. I also used to make beer money singing as a soloist at weddings.
6. What's the first thing you notice about the preferred sex?
The intellect, as it manifests itself in the quickness of humor.
7. What really turns you on?
Strong arms, good smell, body warmth.
8. What do you order at Starbucks?
I only go to Starbucks when desperate for coffee after a long weak-end at my Mom’s. Then it’s café mocha. But usually I make regular coffee at home, with organic milk. It’s cheaper and I can make it as strong as I like.
9. What is your biggest mistake?
Taking over a decade to complete my dissertation, which helped get me in debt, which in turn limited our household’s economic flexibility and led us to make some difficult choices.
10. Have you ever hurt yourself on purpose?
Yes. But again, why dwell on long-past unpleasantness?
11. Say something totally random about yourself.
I like triple-thick cherry milkshakes.
12. Has anyone ever said you looked like a celebrity?
Yes. Someone thought I looked like Billie Burke when I was in college.
13. Do you still watch kiddy movies or tv shows?
I have a kid. Ergo, I watch kid shows.
14. Did you have braces?
Yes, though I didn’t finish with them – my bottom teeth are still sort of crooked. (Family ran out of money, I ran out of patience.)
15. Are you comfortable with your height?
I’m average and that’s ok.
16. What is the most romantic thing someone of the opposite sex has done for you?
I don’t really require romantic gestures, though I’ve been lucky enough to be loved well by a number of different people.
17. When do you know it's love?
18. Do you speak any other languages?
French, un peu. Spanish, also not much. German -- if I'm reading it out of a book. I can sing like
a bird in any of those languages, but like to sing in Italian better (all those open vowels!).
I have what academics call reading competence in all of the languages above.
19. Have you ever been to a tanning salon?
No. I poke fun at people who do, though.
20. What magazines do you read?
New Yorker. Better Homes and Gardens. Esquire. Chronicle of Higher Ed. Smithsonian. A lot of professional journals.
21. Have you ever ridden in a limo?
Yes, several times. Most recently, got the rockstar treatment as a visiting scholar when a school with a ridiculous endowment sent a car to pick me up at the airport and squire me to campus, complete with sparkling water. Hilarious, considering my general lowly station in the world of academe.
22. Has anyone you were really close to passed away?
My dad. My grandmother. My husband’s grandfather and grandmother.
23. Do you watch MTV?
Not anymore. I used to watch “120 minutes” during the height of
Grunge. I also loved MTV in the mid-80s.
24. What's something that really annoys you?
25. What's something you really like?
Candlelight and red wine.
26. What celebrity do you admire?
I don’t really follow celeb culture enough to say. Maybe Bono, for his pragmatic and committed approach to big problem-solving. But maybe also the rest of the band for putting up with him.
27. Can you dance?
Yes. Love to dance. Recently sold my tap shoes, though.
28. What's the latest you have ever stayed up?
Hmmm…a better question might be the longest period of prolonged sleep-deprivation. Kid didn’t sleep through the night until she was
15 months old and I was a full-contact breastfeeder, so those were some very fatiguing times. And the month right before turning in my dissertation, I survived on a couple hours of sleep a night.
29. Ever lied to your parents as an adult?
More misled than lied. We omitted to tell them that we were living together before we got married and for one reason or another, they never came to visit that year. They probably knew and just kept their silence.
30. Have you ever been rushed by an ambulance into the emergency room?
No, but I have driven a number of people to the emergency room at top speed, including someone who had put their arm through a plate glass window (and then took it back out, which was the bigger problem) and someone whose heartbeat was down to 20 bpm by the time I got him through the doors. I love ER staffers.
31. Do you actually read these when other people fill them out?
Of course. And I reciprocate!