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I’ve been reading Vanity Fair’s Proust Questionnaire. It’s a collection of all the questionnaires that appear on the last page of the magazine. You know … the only part of the magazine you always read?

It’s quite interesting. The questionnaire is a late-19th century parlor game, and the book is all sorts of famous folks’ answers. Some of them are hilarious, some overwrought, others just the right amount of thoughtful.

I thought I’d take a pass.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I’m pretty sure it involves a beach.

What is your greatest fear?
Not being good enough.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
Difficulty letting people in.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?
Ingratitude.

What is your favorite journey?
I’m going to steal Sandra Bernhard’s answer: Steve Perry

On what occasion do you lie?
When good manners dictate it.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
Cool, great, and fuck. Not typically together, though.

Which living person do you most despise?
People who are cruel to the helpless – especially when those helpless are children or animals.

What is your greatest regret?
I don’t really have that kind of time.

Which talent would you most like to have?
I’d like to be the go-to singer who always hits the high notes.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I’d like to harness my critical eye for good only. Right now, it occasionally takes me to some dark places.

What is it that you most dislike?
This is a tie between pickles and mustard.

What is your most treasured possession?
Lots of folks answered this question with some variation of “my family.” This heebs me out because people aren’t possessions. I’m going to go with the few small baubles that belonged to my grandmothers and bring me such joy.

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

What is your most marked characteristic?
Surviving … and flourishing.

What is the quality you most like in a man?
Integrity … and a sense of humor.

What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Kindness … and a sense of humor.

What do you most value in your friends?
Compassion.

How would you like to die?
Comfortably, in my bed, at a very old age, after a life well-lived.

What is your motto?
Get busy living or get busy dying.

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