Each month this is the last page of Vanity Fair magazine. I think that it is also used at the end of Inside the Actor’s Studio hosted by James Lipton. Since I should be getting laundry done, exercising, cleaning my kitchen, and a few other tasks, I decided to devote my time to this instead. Of course, I always wish that my answers had come from Mort Sahl, with whom I have great affinity. Alas, I must be authentic and create my own answers.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Hanging with my boys (Taed and Keb) and not feeling like I need to be doing anything else.
What is your greatest fear?
Failure — being a mediocre teacher. Bad is at least SOMETHING, mediocre is ugh… Unfortunately, I feel this way a lot. I have a lot of anxiety about my job.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Mother Teresa. I, too, want to uplift those with very little. I believe in the power of moving people out of poverty. Yet, I question whether this is really a goal for most of society. I also have a huge crisis of faith about doing so. I have trouble focusing my goals.
Which living person do you most admire?
President Obama. I can’t imagine being the first minority or woman to enter the presidency after the last Bush Administration. Talk about setting yourself up to be the next Jimmy Carter. That he had the audacity to do it and to want something better or more, to bring his Christian ideals with him. Damn, that man has some huevos.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Sloth and laziness. I’m very easily distracted.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Unfounded arrogance and entitlement. Very rarely is someone THAT great, and I believe Ms. Staples is giving you your “come to Jesus” moment. “You walk around acting like the world owes you something ’cause you’re here…”
What is your greatest extravagance?
Not being worried about money. Not through any good quality of my own, but by recognizing quality in another.
What is your favorite journey?
The one that led me to Taed. It was the most honest journey of my life, yet I found myself wanting to jump of the precipice when faced with the need to commit. It was hard, and not easy for me (I don’t trust easily AT ALL), but it’s been worth it. Aside from that, the road that leads home each and every night.
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being “good” when it comes to food. Really?
On what occasion do you lie?
When I feel like it really is the very best path, which is rarely. I’ll try to spin the truth first before I out-and-out lie. I prefer evasion.
Which living person do you most despise?
Christian Republicans who fight tooth and nail for a capitalistic society with precious little business oversight or regulation. The sick, overwhelming push for money is heartbreaking and horrific. Seriously, what WOULD Jesus do?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Taed and then Keb. In that order. I’ve also come to really appreciate my mom’s journey. It’s been hard on her. I’m proud of the person she’s become.
When and where were you happiest?
Hanging out, pretty much any where, with my friends and family. Location is of no importance to me ever.
Which talent would you most like to have?
The ability to captivate an audience of adults with my stories so I could be a successful stand-up comedian (which means I’d need to learn to love to travel. I don’t.)
What is your current state of mind?
I need to get things done. I’m feeling discouraged at the state of the homestead and our eating habits.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
It would be bigger with more people immediately closer to us. I’d like to have big family meals and game nights. I want people to cook with.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Growing up, going to San Jose State University, and getting my teaching credential.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Regular, run of the mill person
If you could choose to come back as, what would it be?
World famous baker
Where would you like to live?
I would love it if Taed and I had a really lovely Victorian by the sea in the Monterey Area. However, our house is good.
What is your favorite occupation?
Baking, comedy and teaching
What is your most marked characteristic?
I can find the absurd or funny in almost any situation
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Fierce intelligence and wicked sense of humor
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Empathy and companionship
What do you most value in your friends?
Their ability to relate to me, focus me, and be honest with me. Like my husband, they make me a better person, ALWAYS.
Who are your favorite writers?
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
I don’t have one
Who are your heroes in real life?
My mom, my friends, my students, anyone who faces adversity and meets it rather than expecting people to solve their problems. Anybody in education who accepts sub-par wages simply because those positions need filled. Volunteers because they do AMAZING things for the world.
Who are your favorite names?
Taed, Keb? I don’t know.
What is it that you most dislike?
People who know better who go along with the lie. That always, always, always pisses me off. I dislike people who fold up and slink away. Life is a contact sport. Live it!
How would you like to die?
Massive heart-attack the minute I’ve cleaned up all my personal effects so that no one has to sort through 100 years of STUFF and secrets.
What is your motto?
Do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do.
Suck it up, man.