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The Proust Questionnaire

So my friends Gae and Jen did this and I thought maybe I would do it, too.

What is your idea of perfect happiness? I’m pretty basic, so me, my couch and a book I’ve been excited to read and an afternoon I have completely open.

What is your greatest fear? People I love dying. I’m also really not good with snakes.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m really indecisive. It’s not great. Also (and I discuss this more in a few answers) I’m not very disciplined.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? I don’t like people who don’t care about things. You don’t need to care about the stuff I love, but you should care about something.

Which living person do you most admire? Hillary Clinton. She’s been mocked and vilified since I was 12 years old, and she continues to work to make the country a better place. If I had even a tiny amount of that hatred thrown at me, I would’ve gone to live somewhere else a long time ago. But she keeps going and I admire her so much.

What is your greatest extravagance? Books and movies. I don’t really like a lot of expensive things (if I win the lottery, I won’t be buying houses or cars. I would probably get one house and put a movie theater and a library in it. And then I would never leave it).

What is your current state of mind? Things are fine with me personally but I also feel like things are just seriously falling apart since the election. I read an article around the time A Star is Born came out that said that the writer’s inner monologue was just Lady Gaga howling in that part in “Shallow.” And honestly? Yes and same.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I don’t know that I would call it a virtue per se, but “going along to get along.” We’re in an unusual time and I personally don’t want to be one of those people who only cares about things that directly involve them. In World War II in Germany, there were people who actively helped the Nazis and people who actively resisted.

On what occasion do you lie? I try not to; if I do, it’s to keep other people from being hurt. (“Yes, you look amazing!”)

Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I overuse “amazing,” “awesome” and “I mean.” I think I use all three of them at least 50 times a day. I’m a work in progress.

Besides writing, which talent would you most like to have? I’m not a writer, and I don’t have the discipline for it. But I think discipline in general would serve me well. (I enjoy procrastinating and I also am not particularly good at waiting for things.)

What do you consider your greatest achievement? I don’t know that I’ve had one. Unless you count “not giving up” as an achievement. If you do, then it’s that.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? I joke that I was a turtle in a past life (I feel most happy when I am with my stuff, so being able to cart it all with me sounds pretty good for my next one).

What is your most treasured possession? I have a box with cards and letters and things from my dad and my grandmother and my cousin, all of whom are dead now.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Life in 2019. We are in an age where Klansmen are marching without hoods and literal Nazis are marching in the streets. But at the same time, I’m seeing people who weren’t political before speaking up and calling elected officials and making sure none of this goes unchecked. It’s not a fun time to be alive, but I’m proud that we’re not giving up either. But…I still wish I could be in the timeline with President Hillary Clinton. It would be a lot more boring and that sounds so nice.

What do you most value in your friends? I’ve made a deliberate choice to find people who know more about things than I do. Then I shut up and pay attention and learn. My friends make me better and I feel very grateful for it.

Who are your favorite writers? I have about three billion favorites. I’m afraid to list because I would forget people.

Who is your hero of fiction?  In novels, obviously V.I. Warshawski. She fights to make the world better, and I love her the most. If we can include movies or TV, probably Leslie Knope. Passionate people are the best.

Which historical figure do you most identify with? I don’t think there are any. But I wish I had Anne Frank’s optimism and Martin Luther King’s power with words and Rosa Parks’ bravery. I wish I had Michelle Obama’s poise (or her ability to go high, because I hold grudges).

What is your motto? There’s a story in Bossypants where Tina Fey tells how she and Amy Poehler were talking and Amy said something and Jimmy Fallon said “Oh, I don’t like that” and Amy turns to him and says, “I DON’T FUCKING CARE IF YOU LIKE IT.” I’m a recovering people-pleaser, but I’m getting to the point where I don’t fucking care if you like it. I don’t want to hurt people’s feelings but I also have to live with myself every day. And if my political talk bores or annoys you? Well, I don’t fucking care.

Adventures in Streaming

Oh, guys, I’ve watched so much TV this week. SO MUCH.


I watched the pilots of Prodigal Son (a bit of a letdown but I’ll watch one more) and Emergence (I liked it), plus Stumptown (good, but it’s the first one I’ll drop because I don’t love it) and Sunnyside (I didn’t love it but it’s Mike Schur and I’m going to keep going because I’m not going to do the thing I do where I stop watching early and then end up having to binge it because I tried again and loved it the second time. I also enjoyed the returns of 911, This is Us, The Good Place and Grey’s Anatomy. AND I finished Game of Thrones. I loved the last season (I know that’s an unpopular opinion) and especially the finale. I’m going to miss that show and plan to rewatch.


I watched some more of The Crown. I hope to be caught up when the third season comes out in November, but we’ll see.


I watched the new Why Women Kill and started watching Evil (OK so far; I’ll watch another episode) and tried All Rise (didn’t get far) and The Unicorn (I don’t think I’ll keep going). I also watched a few more episodes of The Good Fight, which I love.


I stayed caught up on American Horror Story: 1984 and also watched a few more episodes of A Million Little Things. I hope to be caught up in another few weeks, but we’ll see because I am watching so much stuff.

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: Slay by Brittney Morris. It’s so good so far! I can’t wait to see what happens next. Next up is Violet by Scott Thomas and that sounds amazing.

What I’m watching: SO MANY THINGS. And a lot of them aired last night (the return of The Good Place and Grey’s Anatomy, and I want to watch Sunnyside, Evil, The Unicorn and Perfect Harmony). I should also be finishing Game of Thrones this weekend. (Such an amazing show!)

Adventures in Streaming

So many shows, and this week will be worse because my shows are back.


I’m almost done with season six of Game of Thrones! Also, Ramsay Bolton has died; it was the second best day of my life.


More of The Crown, though I was tempted to watch Marianne instead.


I watched the new Why Women Kill and more of The Good Fight. CBS All Access has become a must-have.


I watched more of A Million Little Things and also watched the pilot of the new season of American Horror Story (1984). I loved it and I hope this will be the season I keep watching (last one I saw all the way through was Coven, so it’s been a while).

I also rewatched Halloween and saw Haunt for the first time. It’s by the people who did A Quiet Place. The two are very different but I did enjoy Haunt.

Weekend Update

What I’m reading: Red at the Bone by Jacqueline Woodson. I’ve barely started and honestly? I don’t even know what it’s about (I have an egalley) but she wrote it and so I snagged it. She’s a treasure and her books are all brilliant.

What I’m watching: still Game of Thrones, The Crown, The Good Fight, Why Women Kill and A Million Little Things. I’m starting the new season of American Horror Story this weekend and all my shows come back starting Monday!

Adventures in Streaming

I didn’t watch much last week but I more than made up for it this one.

HULU: I finished BH90210 (please renew!) and am on season six of Game of Thrones. I’m now hoping Ramsay Bolton dies soon, because he’s the second worst. (I don’t miss Joffrey.)

NETFLIX: I finished Mindhunter and started The Crown. I’d heard great things and so far, they’re all true.

PRIME: I caught up on Why Women Kill (SO GREAT) and started The Good Fight. I had planned to go with Tell Me a Story, but switched at the last second, and I’m so glad I did. I’m surprised at how much I love this show. It’s fantastic. (I gave up on The Good Wife pretty early on, but I love Christine Baranski and Rose Leslie, so I think this’ll stick.)

VUDU: I finished Younger and started A Million Little Things. I like it so far, and will catch up in time to join the second season somewhere in progress.

Weekend Update

What I’m Reading: The new Stephen King (The Institute). It’s good but I’ve barely started. Next up, I’m rereading Miracle Creek for book club.

What I’m Listening To: Basically nothing but Lizzo. She is a treasure and we don’t deserve her.

What I’m Watching: Tonight, I’m going to watch the finale of BH90210. This weekend, I’m going to start three new shows (The Crown, for sure, but I don’t know what the other two will be—The Good Fight or Tell Me a Story? Escape at Dannemora or Dirty John or You or maybe Pitch?). Feel free to weigh in.

Adventures in Streaming

This week wasn’t particularly great, streaming-wise, but I’ll get there.

HULU: Stayed caught up on Four Weddings and a Funeral, BH90210 and Spin the Wheel (latter show now over). I finished the fourth season of Game of Thrones, so I am half done with the series.

NETFLIX: I’ve only got two episodes left in Mindhunter! I hope to finish this week and start The Crown.

PRIME: Liza was in town (so was my mom!) so Philip and I didn’t watch Why Women Kill. We’ll watch last week’s episode and this one this weekend. I also haven’t started a new series after finishing the new Twilight Zone.

VUDU: I finished the sixth season of Younger but haven’t started a new show yet.

Best Weekend

So my friend Liza made an impromptu trip to visit me! We spent three days together, laughing and talking and eating. I introduced her to The Good Place, because I am the best person.

Now she’s on her way to New York but I am very grateful to see her for the first time in three and a half years. 💗

Weekend Update

What I’m Reading: Permanent Record by Mary HK Choi. It’s excellent so far. Next up is Pumpkinheads by Rainbow Rowell.

What I’m watching: I’m almost done with season 4 of Game of Thrones. I don’t know how much TV I’ll really get to watch because my mom is coming to visit.

What I’m listening to: I am currently obsessed with How Did This Get Made?