The Longest EOTWQ Ever!! It’s the Proust Questionnaire!

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It’s very very long! But you don’t have to answer all of them. Even Proust didn’t answer all of them!

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
What is your greatest fear?
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Which living person do you most admire?
What is your greatest extravagance?
What is your current state of mind?
What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
On what occasion do you lie?
What do you most dislike about your appearance?
Which living person do you most despise?
What is the quality you most like in a man?
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
When and where were you happiest?
Which talent would you most like to have?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
Where would you most like to live?
What is your most treasured possession?
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
What is your favorite occupation?
What is your most marked characteristic?
What do you most value in your friends?
Who are your favorite writers?
Who is your hero of fiction?
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Who are your heroes in real life?
What are your favorite names?
What is it that you most dislike?
What is your greatest regret?
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?

48 thoughts on “The Longest EOTWQ Ever!! It’s the Proust Questionnaire!

  1. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being with the ones I love
    What is your greatest fear? The inevitable collapse of my body as I get old
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Laziness
    What is the trait you most deplore in others? Bigotry
    Which living person do you most admire? Not sure, no one really sets the world alight for me at the moment
    What is your greatest extravagance? Buying books
    What is your current state of mind? Elated after seeing King Crimson last night
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Holiness
    On what occasion do you lie? To avoid insignificant hurts to others
    What do you most dislike about your appearance? I am too fat
    Which living person do you most despise? Currently Nigel Farage, but it changes a lot
    What is the quality you most like in a man? Reliability
    What is the quality you most like in a woman? Reliability
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Bollocks
    What or who is the greatest love of your life? She knows
    When and where were you happiest? Many times, I cherish those moments
    Which talent would you most like to have? It would be nice if I could ride a bicycle
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d make myself thinner
    What do you consider your greatest achievement? Getting this far
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A West Highland White Terriery
    Where would you most like to live? Down in the Languedoc would be perfect
    What is your most treasured possession? My dogs, assuming that I really posess them
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Poverty and the degradation and despair that it brings those who suffer it
    What is your favorite occupation? Reading
    What is your most marked characteristic? Argumentativeness
    What do you most value in your friends? Honesty
    Who are your favorite writers? Kate Atkinson, Iain Banks (and Iain M Banks), Evelyn Waugh, Terry Pratchett, Sarah Waters, James Ellroy, er, loads more
    Who is your hero of fiction? Nancy Blackett
    Which historical figure do you most identify with? None really, we only see glimpses of the actual people
    Who are your heroes in real life? This is difficult. Heroes have a horrible tendency of being flawed, just like the rest of us, and let you down
    What are your favorite names? I’m not sure, the people attached to the names matter more
    What is it that you most dislike? Intolerance, narrow-mindedness, bigotry, racism, selfishness
    What is your greatest regret? I wish that I’d been a better student instead of being a party person
    How would you like to die? I don’t want to, nor do I want any of the people and animals I love to die either
    What is your motto? So It Goes

  2. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    – Sitting in my garden in the sun. Which I did today!
    What is your greatest fear?
    – Being unable to look after myself
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    – Laziness
    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    – People are different. I try to see the good…
    Which living person do you most admire?
    – RockingMitch
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    – Sasha dolls. There’s no need for me ever to buy another one and yet…
    What is your current state of mind?
    – I’m (as always) laid-back and optimistic
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    – Prudence
    On what occasion do you lie?
    – When someone would be upset if I told the truth
    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    – Too fat. Working on it though
    Which living person do you most despise?
    – There are a few people I don’t like very much but I wouldn’t say I despise them
    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    – Eccentricity
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    – Eccentricity
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    – I have no idea (I noticed this when my grandsons started saying it.)
    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    – I love my children and my grandsons most of all
    When and where were you happiest?
    – Right now, right here
    Which talent would you most like to have?
    – Playing the guitar
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    – The way I surround myself with stuff (I’d like less stuff.)
    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    – That I brought up three children who are delightful people who have partners and houses and lead happy lives
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    – Well, I’d quite like to be a rock star next time round. Or if not, probably a cat.
    Where would you most like to live?
    – Right here in wonderful Milton Keynes, just up the road from two of my grandsons.
    What is your most treasured possession?
    – My mother’s scrapbook
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    – Being so ill that I have to stay in bed (Although when that happens I always read my Arthur Ransome books, which cheers me up.)
    What is your favorite occupation? – Gardening
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    – Optimism. I’m sure I annoy people very much
    What do you most value in your friends?
    – Their quirkyness
    Who are your favorite writers?
    – Stephen King, Dorothy L Sayers, Dorothy Dunnett, Arthur Ransome; loads of others who aren’t the first ones I thought of
    Who is your hero of fiction?
    – Francis Crawford in Dorothy Dunnett’s Lymond saga
    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    – Lord Nelson
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    – People who go out and put things right
    What are your favorite names?
    – Well, my youngest grandson was given the name James Gabriel Rose so that he would have the same initials as me. I like that
    What is it that you most dislike?
    – That some people just don’t get it
    What is your greatest regret?
    – Not going to university when I was supposed to
    How would you like to die?
    – I wouldn’t
    What is your motto?
    – If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Smiles and laughter all round the tea table at the end of a good day.

    What is your greatest fear?
    That the dark side of life claims my kids.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Losing my temper with my wife and children.

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Pure selfish greed.

    Which living person do you most admire?
    Yeah, I like the nomination of Mitch. Donds.

    What is your greatest extravagance?
    Ever? Or generally? I don’t really do extravagant: it’s too close to selfish greed. It was probably our wedding.

    What is your current state of mind?
    Troubled … been shouting at DsMam and the kids much of the day.

    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    “Godliness”. I’ll take cleanliness any day. Anything that brings God and religion into the equation is making this world worse.

    On what occasion do you lie?
    To DsMam about how up-to-date I am with my paperwork!

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    My skin, which only looks good in the places that are constantly exposed to sunshine. The rest stinks, some of it occasionally literally. Sorry folks, TMI, I suppose.

    Which living person do you most despise?
    Oh too many to pick just one! From politics to business to sport; they’re everywhere. Most of ’em are richer than Croesus but morally bankrupt.

    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?

    Is there a reason why those answers would ever be different?
    Probably “fairness”.

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    “Basically”, “f@&k” (I swear WAY too much).

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    There are three of them, and I hope I never have to choose or lose any of them.

    When and where were you happiest?
    Hmmm! Quite possibly in the half-hour immediately after Jerzy Dudek saved Schevchenko’s penalty, but not just because of that!

    Which talent would you most like to have?
    To be able to make/fix things. I’m not a good “handyman” or mechanic.

    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    I’d like my left leg back matching the right one, please. Better health and fitness would naturally follow.

    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    My kids.

    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    By choice or by karma? All I hope is that by the end of this life, I’ve done well enough that there wouldn’t be much difference between those options!

    Where would you most like to live?
    I don’t feel the need to move from where we are right now.

    What is your most treasured possession?
    Almost certainly my wedding ring, for what it means rather than what it’s made of.

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    I don’t know, and I hope I never find out.

    What is your favorite occupation?
    I bloody LOVE both of my current jobs, and since I’m now too old/fat/untalented for Liverpool FC to ever give me a squad number, I’ll stick with what I have, thanks. (Though a 100% pay rise wouldn’t go amiss – not trying to be greedy, but I’ve sod-all pension and am unlikely to stay fit enough to work forever.)

    What is your most marked characteristic?
    Is that for me to say? Ask Gordon. His answer will be honest and accurate.

    What do you most value in your friends?
    Loyalty and honesty.

    Who are your favorite writers?
    Christopher Brookemyre, Michael Connolly, Willy Vlautin, Steve Earle.

    Who is your hero of fiction?
    Don’t have one. I have lots of favourite characters, but none achieve hero status.

    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    Who are your heroes in real life?

    The answer to both of those questions is the late, great Bill Shankly.

    What are your favorite names?
    Don’t you automatically bestow those on your children? Pretty obvious then! If we’d had a son, he would’ve been called Adam, fwiw.

    What is it that you most dislike?
    Brussels Sprouts.

    What is your greatest regret?
    Nope. Not sharing that one!

    How would you like to die?
    like to die“?! Sorry, does not compute.

    What is your motto?
    “How can I help?”

    • Your answers are perfect, just perfect. It’s funny, I was washing the dishes today, thinking about how I’d answer these, and thinking about how angry I’d been with the boys all day. I knew it would show up somewhere. We had a nice walk after dinner though, and it was like nothing had every happened. Family!!!!

      • Thanks, Claire.

        Though answers sadly not quite perfect: where did that extra middle ‘e’ come from in Brookmyre? I really DO know how to spell the name of my favourite author, you know!

    • No, you don’t bestow your favourite names on your children because you have to negotiate a compromise with the other parent who wants a ridiculous name which, if chosen, will have said children dying of embarrassment as soon as they reach school age.

  4. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Hugs, kisses, smiles and love
    What is your greatest fear? Suffering like my mother and father.
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Laziness
    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Lying for personal gain and not caring about the consequences it will have for others.
    Which living person do you most admire? ———–
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    Chocolate. A trip to London 18 to 20 Sept. 2015
    What is your current state of mind?
    Thoughtful, a touch of melancholy
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Piety
    On what occasion do you lie?
    In questionnaires
    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    It’s no longer athletic.
    Which living person do you most despise?
    Vladimir Putin.
    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Empathy
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Empathy
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    However,
    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    My children
    When and where were you happiest?
    The birth of my children
    Which talent would you most like to have?
    Musical talent
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    Hmmm! Is this asking if sometimes I wouldn’t want to be me?
    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    I’ve taught a lot of people some useful stuff and helped some people do some useful stuff.
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    Hmmmm! Is this asking if I would like to be placed in the grey matter of something else?
    Where would you most like to live?
    Never far from the sea.
    What is your most treasured possession?
    Memories and those things that set off memories.
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    You really don’t want me to go there.
    What is your favourite occupation?
    Helping others.
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    A question for others to answer.
    What do you most value in your friends?
    They listened without judging and shared and gave me good advice
    Who are your favourite writers?
    Flannery O’Connor, Iain +/-M Banks, Hannu Rajaniemi, Ernest Cline, . . .
    Who is your hero of fiction?
    Jean le Flambeur
    Which historical figure do you most identify with? ———-
    Who are your heroes in real life? ———
    What are your favourite names?
    The names that mean something; that describe.
    What is it that you most dislike?
    Lying for personal gain and not caring about the consequences it will have for others.
    What is your greatest regret? ———— Being too reasonable
    How would you like to die?
    As I want.
    What is your motto?
    Keep the mystery.

  5. It means I might pop my head through the door, look around, say, “Hello! Pleased to meet you. Have a CD.” and then disappear back to The British Museum or British Library. 😉

    Honestly. it is likely to be too many new people at once for me to be anywhere near comfortable . . . but I’ll be there.

    And I’ll ask again: Nostalgia 77 are playing in Bethnal Green on Friday. Does anybody want to go? Doesn’t seem too far from King’s Cross.

    • Wish I could come (to the gig on Friday) – but Friday and Saturday are the only days I get proper paid work – taking one off for the Saturday is the best I could do (I already skipped another during the summer to meet shoey).

      RR meetings are excellently funny – I believed I was the most dysfunctional person in social situations that the word ever created – I have always coped with those situations by masking it in a drunken haze. I sat in the pub the original RR book launch was going to be held, for long enough that other dysfunctional social misfits began turning up; I failed to sneak out before the gathering began….
      I looked at my feet, I slurred a lot, I talked too much to cover my fear, I needed up at the bar with GHE far too much – and then DarceysDad did the bit of making conversations flow between humans that don’t understand such things… and everything was sorted.

      • Oh no! No alcohol! I gave up booze when I went in the psych unit. (Must change my DJ name to The Psych Unit.) This has meant I now use Chris’s favourite words more than ever before. However, I suppose a couple of beers won’t bring the depression flooding back.

      • Chris’s favourite words….. which are?

        (I have similar fears of people-gatherings. I can do it for a reasonable amount of time if there are enough familiar faces that I can have little chats with different groups, and I can deal with a bunch of strangers if I have a role to fulfill (as host, address-giver, whatever), but an amorphous mass of semi-familiars is more daunting. I know RRers are good folk – on limited but credible empirical evidence – but…. And there’s the imaginary music-knowledge league table to deal with, where I sit in a sub-division.
        I’ve fallen out with alcohol in recent years because of the grotty, muzzy, headachey after-effects but I can’t deny its use as an aid in such situations – until the first stupid remark leaks out and you’re doomed.)

      • Ah, but when you’re like me, and BOUND to come out with [several] stupid remarks anyway, the alcohol works as both contemporary excuse and subsequent memory-fogger!
        I most certainly WILL be drinking!

        (Besides, I won’t go too mad, Gordon will have a DsMam report to submit!)

      • “Tosspot, twat and dickhead.” Oh that was favourite names, wasn’t it. Apologies. Anyway, I use them a lot more now that I don’t have a drink or two while DJing. I find drunks hard to deal with when sober.

      • Ha ha! I can just picture the whole scenario. It was DsD, after all, who got everyone talking on the blog in the first place! Now THAT’S a good quality to have…making everyone comfortable!

      • Also, it’s strange, but I seem to be developing a case of belated social anxiety. I used to be pretty comfortable at parties, etc, but lately…I get so anxious I give myself some sort of hangover/migraine, even if I don’t drink all that much. Sux.

  6. Threadjack!!!

    Re the Social – I don’t know who has copied-in whom on the email replies, but I’ve had YEA!s from:
    Toffee, Tatanka, Skippy, Gordon, AliM
    to add to the known:
    me, TFD, Fuel, tarxien, Shane, Abahachi
    and apologies from:
    Debby, Mainy, Beltway, Carole, Cauliflower, Llama, sourpus, GarethI, TracyK, DaddyPig.
    Fairly sure I’ve seen mention that these will be there, but can’t verify:
    bishbosh, Mnemonic
    and that these won’t, but can’t remember why:
    Beth, Zalamanda.

    Can anyone add definite names to any of those lists?

  7. I did Claire’s quiz on FB but here are my answers, for what it’s worth. Nice to see the EOTWQ back again!
    What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    *A walk with friends in good weather with the prospect of a couple of beers, good music and good conversation to come.
    What is your greatest fear?
    *Failing my son.
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    *Self-doubt.
    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    *Intolerance.
    Which living person do you most admire?
    *Rocking Mitch!!
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    *Having my hair done. (Too vain to be grey!!!!)
    What is your current state of mind?
    *Mellow.
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    *Chastity.
    On what occasion do you lie?
    *To spare someone’s feelings.
    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    *My skin.
    Which living person do you most despise?
    *Any despot, tyrant, cruel or bitter person.
    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    *Honesty.
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    *Honesty.
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    *Oh Shit.
    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    *My family and friends.
    When and where were you happiest?
    *January 31 2011 in North Yorkshire.
    Which talent would you most like to have?
    *Vivacity.
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    *Avoidance.
    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    *Huh, huh, huh, huh stayin’ alive …
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    *I want to be a tree …
    Where would you most like to live?
    *Near the sea or the water.
    What is your most treasured possession?
    *My lap-top!
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    *Loving someone who doesn’t reciprocate (aside from war, famine etc etc)
    What is your favourite occupation?
    *Listening to music.
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    *Stubborn independence.
    What do you most value in your friends?
    *Kindness.
    Who are your favourite writers?
    *At the moment, Hope Mirlees, Angela Carter, Philip Pullman.
    Who is your hero of fiction?
    *Aragorn, son of Arathorn!
    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    *Claudius. Keeping his head beneath the parapet.
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    *Anyone who works for the good of others, including animals and wildlife.
    What are your favourite names?
    *Alastair, Siobhan.
    What is it that you most dislike?
    *Ignorance and cruelty.
    What is your greatest regret?
    *Je ne regrette rien.
    How would you like to die?
    *Painlessly.
    What is your motto?
    That which doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.

  8. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    – Sex and drugs and rock’n’roll in the correct proportions
    What is your greatest fear?
    – Locked-in syndrome
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    – Intention not quite translating into action
    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    – Dishonesty
    Which living person do you most admire?
    – The Irish lady living next door who, although being almost blind and going in and out of hospital regularly, still looks after her scrote son as if he were an angel
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    – Sex and drugs and rock’n’roll
    What is your current state of mind?
    – Fairly laid-back (but sober)
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    – Propriety
    On what occasion do you lie?
    – In order not to offend
    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    – Clooney-deficiency
    Which living person do you most despise?
    – Anyone who abuses their power
    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    – Humility
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    – Sanity
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    – Fucking
    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    – My son
    When and where were you happiest?
    – In Withington Hospital, March 9th, 1977, when my son was born
    Which talent would you most like to have?
    – A more convincing singing voice
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    – I’d be able to chat comfortably
    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    – Not turning into the sensible Tory my Dad said I would become as I got older and instead turning him a little pinker (politically)
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    – A more charismatic version of me
    Where would you most like to live?
    – I’m quite happy where I am but I keep wondering if I could create a new life in India
    What is your most treasured possession?
    – I honestly don’t think I own anything I couldn’t live without or replace
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    – Rejection
    What is your favorite occupation?
    – Garcia & co taking me for a ride on the ocean in their rowboat
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    – Lack of conversation
    What do you most value in your friends?
    – Their tolerance and understanding
    Who are your favorite writers?
    – Peter Carey, Philip Roth, Dave Eggers, Dostoyevsky
    Who is your hero of fiction?
    – I’m not keen on heroes
    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    – The faithful and committed second-in-command
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    – People who behave in a consistent, empathetic and honest manner
    What are your favorite names?
    – Tosspot, twat and dickhead (you mean names to call other people, right?)
    What is it that you most dislike?
    – Greed, arrogance and selfishnesss
    What is your greatest regret?
    – Regret is obviously a huge waste of time and effort but I wonder how thing might have turned out if I’d taken a couple of different paths
    How would you like to die?
    – Quickly and painlessly
    What is your motto?
    – So it goes. Although that belongs to Kurt Vonnegut really

  9. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Peace and quiet, sound of the sea, gentle sunshine, scent of flowers.

    What is your greatest fear?
    That I’ve made a terrible mistake and it’s all going to go wrong.

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Fear and panic.

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Callousness

    Which living person do you most admire?
    Nobody’s perfect but I admire Tracy Harris a lot.

    What is your greatest extravagance?
    If you add up the amount I spent on wine over the years it would probably amount to a pretty high figure.

    What is your current state of mind?
    Mildly irritated.

    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Faith

    On what occasion do you lie?
    When I’m flying my space ship.

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    Where did this stomach bulge come from?

    Which living person do you most despise?
    Right now it’s the leaders of ISIS or whatever they’re called this week.

    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Empathy

    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Empathy (and huge biceps and a powerful forehand)

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Oh, for f***’s sake, will you keep the noise down up there?

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Name withheld on legal advice.

    When and where were you happiest?
    April 2001, Lixouri, Cephalonia.

    Which talent would you most like to have?
    I wish I could sing. And play the drums. Not necessarily at the same time.

    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    I’d quite like to grow a full head of hair back.

    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    None to speak of. I think I helped a few people at the library but it was my job.

    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    Juliette Binoche or a reasonable facsimile. Or a bush baby.

    Where would you most like to live?
    Cephalonia.

    What is your most treasured possession?
    Signed photo of Bette Davis

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Theocracy.

    What is your favourite occupation?
    Making a cup of tea.

    What is your most marked characteristic?
    Anxiety.

    What do you most value in your friends?
    Tolerance.

    Who are your favourite writers?
    Terry Pratchett, Iain Banks, Haruki Murakami, Helen Dunmore, Anthony Buckeridge…

    Who is your hero of fiction?
    Granny Weatherwax.

    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    Ethelred the Unready

    Who are your heroes in real life?
    Eddie Izzard, Venus Williams,

    What are your favourite names?
    Rachel, Ruth, Stephanie,…

    What is it that you most dislike?
    Setting aside really serious atrocities and sticking with personal dislikes I’d put tattoos pretty high on the list.

    What is your greatest regret?
    I want to go back and change almost every decision to see what would have happened.

    How would you like to die?
    In my sleep at the age of 150 after a long period of perfect health.

    What is your motto?
    “Will it be all right?”

    • “If you add up the amount I spent on wine over the years it would probably amount to a pretty high figure.”

      Oh yes! It is money well-spent, though.

  10. Let’s see then…

    What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    beer, a record and a good book – with the sound of Panthercub snoring peacefully in one ear and Mrs Panther clattering away at whatever she does in the evenings in the other

    What is your greatest fear?
    Going bald

    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Lack of assertiveness

    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Greed

    Which living person do you most admire?
    Hmm…

    What is your greatest extravagance?
    Records…but I’m pretty disciplined these days.

    What is your current state of mind?
    About as relaxed as a person can be. I writing this from up in the mountains in Japan. We are in a nice hotel, enveloped in mist and rain and I’m sitting down with a glass of local vino, wearing a hotel Yukata, after just having stepped out of a nice natural hot spring. It was Panthercub’s first hot spring and kind of an important father and son bonding moment (maybe not quite taking him for his first pint, but it’ll do for now!)

    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Honesty – it should be a given.

    On what occasion do you lie?
    Not quite a lie, but I may have been known to sneak a few suspicious 12″ square packages into the house under the unsuspecting nose of Mrs Panther!

    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    Too short

    Which living person do you most despise?
    Hmmm…

    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Femininity

    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Masculinity

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    “Brilliant”, “there you go”, “oi oi”

    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    Hmmm…

    When and where were you happiest?
    That’s a difficult one…

    Which talent would you most like to have?
    A musical ear

    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    Less indifference

    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    Yet to come…
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    Person

    Where would you most like to live?
    Somewhere nice

    What is your most treasured possession?
    Don’t have too many – just the rekkids, I suppose…

    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Losing interest in music

    What is your favorite occupation?
    Would love to be a writer…

    What is your most marked characteristic?
    Having a lack of marked characteristics

    What do you most value in your friends?
    Friendliness

    Who are your favorite writers?
    Mishima, Dazai, Tolstoy, Dovstoevsky, Satre etc

    Who is your hero of fiction?
    Danny’s dad in “Danny the Champion of the World”

    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    Hmm…

    Who are your heroes in real life?
    All musical I’m afraid…Kathleen Hanna, Ian Mckaye….more for their uncompromising attitude than for their music….oh and my Mum!

    What are your favorite names?
    There was a girl at school who had a completely pallindromic name, I think it was Fleur Hannah Ruelf…not sure I answered the question there…

    What is it that you most dislike?
    Coffee, Disney, racism, unfairness, classic rock…the usual

    What is your greatest regret?
    Not doing stuff I’m doing now ten years ago

    How would you like to die?
    Aware

    What is your motto?
    Nevermind

  11. I wasn’t going to bother with this, it seemed it would take too long, but as I read it I found myself answering each one, here’s what I said.

    What is your idea of perfect happiness?- I’m happy

    What is your greatest fear? – no fear
    
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? – I don’t have one
    
What is the trait you most deplore in others? I don’t have one of those either
    
Which living person do you most admire? – no one

    What is your greatest extravagance? I used to spend a lot on records and equipment
What is your current state of mind? – placid

    What do you consider the most overrated virtue? ecclesiastical superiority of any religion

    On what occasion do you lie? can’t think of one

    What do you most dislike about your appearance? I don’t obsess about my appearance

    Which living person do you most despise? none, can’t think of one specific

    What is the quality you most like in a man? – manliness
    What is the quality you most like in a woman? – femininity

    Which words or phrases do you most overuse? you’d have to ask someone else
    
What or who is the greatest love of your life? that was a long time ago
    
When and where were you happiest? I’ve been happy all my life wherever I was

    Which talent would you most like to have? I’d love to understand every aspect of musical theory, to play the piano at a world class level, to be totally immersed in music
    and make my living doing it.

    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? – can’t think of anything offhand

    What do you consider your greatest achievement? just being me
    
If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? a musician of course, perhaps Mahler
 or maybe Wagner.
    Where would you most like to live? maybe in Paris or on a Carribbean island

    What is your most treasured possession? I don’t have one, maybe my cat?
    
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? the grief endured by a parent losing his children, ie. the Syrian man who just lost his wife and 2 children in the Mediteranian. how can he bear that. If that were me I’d get a gun.

    What is your favorite occupation? Musician of course
    
What is your most marked characteristic? I don’t know
    
What do you most value in your friends? – their friendship
    
Who are your favorite writers? books not writers, Alexandria quartet, History of nearly everything, White Teeth

    Who is your hero of fiction? – none
    
Which historical figure do you most identify with? none

    Who are your heroes in real life? none
    
What are your favorite names? don’t have any

    What is it that you most dislike? Republicans – like Nixon and Reagon
    
What is your greatest regret? don’t have one
    
How would you like to die? In my sleep

    What is your motto? don’t have one of them either.

    Maybe it’s obvious why I was reluctant?

  12. I re-wrote mine as I have all the time in the world to do such things and found two answers the same as panthersan – you can see the original on faceblog thing – here’s another:

    What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Ice Cream
    What is your greatest fear?
    Frank Black Francis
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    Honesty/Lying
    What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    Lying/Honesty
    Which living person do you most admire?
    anyone who reads through my answers on questionnaires
    What is your greatest extravagance?
    Spending time answering questions.
    What is your current state of mind?
    Q \propto I^2 R
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    Auctoritas
    On what occasion do you lie?
    when I’m questioned
    What do you most dislike about your appearance?
    the outside, closely followed by the inside
    Which living person do you most despise?
    I’m shocked and saddened by what a lot of living people do – but being eaten up by despising others doesn’t really solve anything.
    What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Femininity
    What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Masculinity
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Fandango
    What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    1980’s 4AD
    When and where were you happiest?
    Pixies first ever gig on English soil
    Which talent would you most like to have?
    de-commisioning weapons at the click of my fingers
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    my t-shirt
    What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    surviving
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be?
    an orange monster
    Where would you most like to live?
    in my imagination
    What is your most treasured possession?
    obsessions
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    20 to 30 meters
    What is your most marked characteristic?
    my left arm
    What do you most value in your friends?
    Beer tokens
    Who are your favorite writers?
    Rupert Thomson, Robert Smith, Angela Carter.
    Who is your hero of fiction?
    The Cure… (other records were released on the Fiction label, but the Cure were my heroes)
    Which historical figure do you most identify with?
    Boudica.
    Who are your heroes in real life?
    Bryan Gunn, Ian Culverhouse, Spencer Prior, Ian Butterworth, Rob Newman, Ruel Fox, Ian Crook, Jeremy Goss, Mark Bowen, Mark Robins, Chris Sutton.
    What are your favorite names?
    Wolfgang Press, Pixies, The Cure, The Organ, Real Tuesday Weld, ballboy
    What is it that you most dislike?
    “keep calm and carry on” posters/t-shirts etc and any variation of such things.
    What is your greatest regret?
    regrets are never great… deep maybe, not great.
    How would you like to die?
    Just as Norwich win the premier leagueand I would die if that ever happened.
    What is your motto?
    “……………..”

  13. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Not sure there’s such a thing, but I have noticed feeling a real heart-swelling happiness when me, David, the boys, and sometimes the dog were floating together in ocean or creek.
    What is your greatest fear? Lord, I’m scared of so much. I’m scared to even tell you what my greatest fear is!
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Pettiness bred of insecurity.
    What is the trait you most deplore in others? bigotry, proud ignorance.
    Which living person do you most admire? So many possible answers! Some very personal. But I’m going to go with Barack Obama. I don’t agree with everything he’s done, but I can’t even imagine facing the hate and criticism he’s faced, and I think he’s done it with unprecedented humor and grace.
    What is your greatest extravagance? Wine with dinner EVERY night.
    What is your current state of mind? A little sleepy, a little distracted, a little down, a little hopeful.
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I’ve agreed with everyone else’s nominations of piety or chastity, but I think I’m going to go with patriotism, or school spirit, or any kind of unthinking support of a place or cause.
    On what occasion do you lie? In bed, at night, while I do dream things untrue.
    What do you most dislike about your appearance? Ugh. Don’t get me started. Aging is hard.
    Which living person do you most despise? Sarah mother plucking Palin. Also DIck Cheney, Donald Trump, anyone who works for Fox News, anyone who thinks people will like them better because they’re assholes.
    What is the quality you most like in a man? I can’t pick one, I like humor, kindness, intelligence, empathy, compassion, honesty, but by themselves they don’t mean much/
    What is the quality you most like in a woman? Same answer.
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Great meaning good rather than great. Also “Like” when I’m nervous.
    What or who is the greatest love of your life? My David! And the boys we made! And I’m crazy fond of Clio as well.
    When and where were you happiest? No one answer. It’s like a mountain range of highs and lows.
    Which talent would you most like to have? It doesn’t really matter what, but I’d like to be unbelievably good at something. Best in the world. Maybe not competitive eating, but soccer playing or guitar playing or writing.
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I would be a published and well-recieved author, instead of a person who has written a lot of words and gotten really discouraged.
    What do you consider your greatest achievement? Gotta be my boys. Making, raising. It’s so so so hard. (Well, not the exact moment of making, that’s pure pleasure, obviously) but everything since is a challenge.
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? a river otter, but not in a zoo, In a nice safe place somewhere with a big happy family.
    Where would you most like to live? Where I live now, but with easy, cheap, non-flying access to the rest of the world. A bridge or tunnel or short boat ride to England, France, etc etc etc.
    What is your most treasured possession? A blue-green pen with a whale on it that’s supposed to have ten years’ worth of ink.
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Not being able to help loved ones who are suffering.
    What is your favorite occupation? Writing, when I feel good about it. Drinking wine and cooking dinner, most days.
    What is your most marked characteristic? I have a lot of chicken-pox-scar-markings!
    What do you most value in your friends? Intelligent humor, wit. (Assuming they’re already my friends so kindness, compassion, etc etc, are, ahem, assumed.)
    Who are your favorite writers? Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Dickens, Baldwin, But I haven’t by far read everything they’ve written.
    Who is your hero of fiction? Probably some character in my head.
    Which historical figure do you most identify with? I’m going to think about this ALL NIGHT and get back.
    Who are your heroes in real life? Anybody who sacrifices their own comfort to help others.
    What are your favorite names? Malcolm, Isaac, Clio.
    What is it that you most dislike? Ignorance + prejudice + self-righteous anger.
    What is your greatest regret? Well, I’ve always believed that you can’t have regrets once you have children, and I have children.
    How would you like to die? A long time from now painlessly.
    What is your motto? Question everything.

    • School spirit – I work at a lot of different universities here, and occasionally some prep schools, and i’ve come to the conclusion that schools are like weird cults. Weird school songs, colors, etc – the goal of which is to bond you to them and suck money out of you for the rest of your life. State schools aren’t immune, but i am quintessentially a state and public school kind of girl, i think.

      • I am, too. And my boys go to public school. But from kindergarten they have pep rallies and spirit days and wear-your-school color days. I love the school, and I want them to love it, too, but boy is it hard not to by cynical about all of this!

      • Schools over here have become nauseatingly fond of ‘inspiring’ slogans lately, it seems. You go into the building and the damn things are everywhere…

      • I think it’s really good to be happy to be part of something, like the band or a school play. When someone asks you to unthinkingly support and be the same as…anything…it’s a slippery slope!

      • It can get really ludicrous here. I rarely work with students except for sometimes orientation and graduation, but during freshman orientation they start indoctrinating them in the school cheers and stupid songs. They do it at engineering schools, they do it at the hipster film school. One of the big universities has university songs, crests, colors and mottos, then for the individual colleges, and then for each of the dorms, ffs. I can’t bear to find out that the MIT geniuses or MassArt kids have to learn degrading school songs and cheers and the like.

    • My real favorite possession is a writing arm chair with three drawers. Green. I think I was imagining an “If you can take one thing on the lam” scenario. But I do love my pen!

  14. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Painting in the zone.
    What is your greatest fear? Succumbing to Alzhiemer’s or being trapped immobile in a nursing home before i’ve had the chance to off myself.
    What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I’m a bad communicator and negotiator.
    What is the trait you most deplore in others? High – maintainance
    Which living person do you most admire? Stephen Hawking
    What is your greatest extravagance? Time
    What is your current state of mind? Kinda zen, with underlying impatience.
    What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Playing by the rules.
    On what occasion do you lie? I’m a horrible liar. But an excellent deflector, so i do it a lot.
    What do you most dislike about your appearance? Aging.
    Which living person do you most despise? Well, since Reagan died, i would have said no one. But Hillary Clinton seems to be filling the bill.
    What is the quality you most like in a man? Creativity.
    What is the quality you most like in a woman? Rationality.
    Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Well, i swear a lot.
    What or who is the greatest love of your life? My parents, art, all fauna.
    When and where were you happiest? Now, tomorrow, next week, next year, next decade.
    Which talent would you most like to have? I would like to be able to sing.
    If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My aging process, my bank account.
    What do you consider your greatest achievement? Still here.
    If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A burst of photons propagating through the universe as my mass reverts back to energy. The tree that feeds off of my rotting corpse.
    Where would you most like to live? I’m kinda cool in Cambridge for now, but a small house with a studio would be nice.
    What is your most treasured possession? Hands and eyes, i guess. Without them, i’, screwed.
    What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Boredom, or feeling trapped.
    What is your favorite occupation? Artist
    What is your most marked characteristic? Irritability
    What do you most value in your friends? Space
    Who are your favorite writers? Post-war Japanese
    Who is your hero of fiction? Don’t think i have one.
    Which historical figure do you most identify with? None i can think of.
    Who are your heroes in real life? Animal rights workers and activists.
    What are your favorite names? For some reason, i’ve always loved the nam Michael, and Russian names too. These have no connection with any real person.
    What is it that you most dislike? Lack of control.
    What is your greatest regret? Student debt for a degree never earned.
    How would you like to die? Swiftly, but with foreknowledge.
    What is your motto? Liberté.

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