As part of recognizing some spectacular fellow bloggers, I had the opportunity to pose them 11 questions. It only seemed fair that I answer them myself. So here are my own answers to the questions I asked my Liebster nominees. (One was a repeat of a question I had answered myself, so I only have 10 here.)
If you could be any animal, what would it be? I would be a cat. One reason I choose the regal feline is that I see the life of luxury my favored felines live. Who wouldn’t want to sleep at will, have household servants, and snacks on demand? They are also just so elegant and contained. My cat Isabel can fall off the table and still manage to look like it’s what she intended to do. I have to admit to admiring their ability to put anyone and everyone in their places with a single haughty glance. I’ve worked on it, but no one can master it like a cat. That’s my cat Xena in the picture, and she is the uncontested master of the household. Seriously, would you argue with that face? The picture at the top of the page is another of my kitties, Boomer, showing just how great the life of a cat can be!
What is your earliest memory? The clearest memory I have is of playing with some giant cardboard blocks in kindergarten. I loved those things! We had to almost sign up for a turn. They were the most popular toy there. In fact, I remembered them so fondly that I got a set for my nephew a few years ago for Christmas. I’m glad to say that today’s children still love them. My nephew has made castles, submarines, roads, and monsters out of his giant blocks!
What accomplishment are you most pleased about? This one is tough. Even as I posed it, I thought, “What would I choose?” Well, I narrowed it down to two biggies. I’m the first member of my family to graduate from college, so that was a great accomplishment. It’s tied to my next one. Winning the Stephen Sondheim/ Kennedy Center Inspirational Teacher Award was mind-blowing! It’s wonderful to look back and realize that what I do really does touch people.
Do you prefer nighttime or daytime and why? I’m a creature of the night. The first reason is practical; I have Migraine disorder, and am hypersensitive to bright light, so sunny days are right out. But even without that, I like the mystery of the night. I’ve always loved looking at city lights by night. Night shows us what we want to see and hides the ugly. Night is glamor. Day is harsh reality.
What season do you prefer and why? Winter! I hate being hot! Again, the sun is just too much; it’s garish. I feel like a prisoner in my house in the summer months. I can bundle up and go out in cold weather, but hot is always miserable! I love the stillness of a snowy night. I love the clean, pure look of a fresh snow. I like seeing my breath for the first time of the winter season.
What modern convenience could you simply not do without? You could probably guess this one based on the answer to the last one: Air conditioning. I can’t imagine live without my thermostat set at 67. But, and I want to make this absolutely clear, I hate fans! I think they’re the Devil’s cruel invention whereby he, serpent-like, has lured many into believing that running this incessant engine, blowing around hot, humid air will cool them down, thus making the world louder and no less cool! I seriously loathe, detest, and abhor the sound of fans! Hot air is hot air even when it’s moving, and the sound of a fan is undoubtedly part of the torture of the damned, with that endless droning, going on and on and on, the hot air doing nothing but drying out their eyeballs.
What is your favorite holiday? Halloween. Does that make me weird? I like Halloween because it’s just about fun. I love Christmas and Thanksgiving, but they are so stressful. I love that Halloween comes just as the weather starts to cool down. I love watching It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. I love seeing children dressing up, and I have great memories of trick-or-treating as a child. I live near Gatlinburg, Tennessee, a tourist town, with tons of small shops, including several candy shops. My trick-or-treat days were in the halcyon days when unwrapped candy wasn’t seen as a potential threat, and we got candied apples, homemade fudge, and freshly made taffy. Wow, I’m hungry now!
If you could meet any historical figure, who would it be? This again, is tough. I thought of composers, artists, writers, but decided I knew a fair amount about them through their work. In the end I chose Hatshepsut, possibly the first female Pharoah of Egypt. First, I love ancient Egypt; then we don’t have the same sorts of first-hand reports of life in those days that we do about many cultures, so I’d like to know how accurately we have put things together. Then, she was such a powerful woman in a mostly patriarchal society, I’d have a lot to ask about that. I waver a bit, though, I might also choose Einstein. I’d like to get it straight from his lips that he did not fail in school to clear up that urban myth once and for all. I don’t know why people are so excited about believing this, but Time magazine reports, “In 1935, a rabbi in Princeton showed him a clipping of the Ripley’s column with the headline ‘Greatest living mathematician failed in mathematics.’ Einstein laughed. ‘I never failed in mathematics,’ he replied.” Now, beyond that, I’d simply like to meet a true genius and legend. As a teacher, I would also like to ask him about how to best meet the needs of students who are ahead in their studies.
Who is your secret celebrity crush? I’ve never been one to go crazy for celebrities, even as a teenager, I seemed fairly immune. (Although, I did always have a soft spot for Bill Bixby in The Incredible Hulk.) But when George Clooney got a little bit of age on him, hubba hubba! He. Is. So. Hot! He wears a suit so well! (Which is not to say he wasn’t hot in O Brother Where Art Thou?) To me, he is the perfect successor to Cary Grant. They were both handsome men who were great in comedies. I can totally see my George in a remake of The Awful Truth, and Intolerable Cruelty has the feel of an old screwball comedy. Cary Grant once said about his image, “We all wish we were Cary Grant. Sometimes I wish I was Cary Grant.” George Clooney has that same WOW factor that I just don’t think many stars today have. Like Cary Grant, he’s a movie star.
What talent do you wish you had? I wish I could draw or paint or basically had any kind of talent in the visual arts. I love Art! I was in heaven when My husband and I went to the state museum in Raleigh , North Carolina. If you’re ever in those parts, I recommend it! Alas, an observer is all I will ever be when it comes to the visual arts. I have tried, really I have! I think I have a good eye for color, and I could draw Tippy the Turtle, but that’s about all I have.