Mimi Takes The Proust Questionnaire

  1. What is your current state of mind?  A pint of grateful with a chaser of anxiety.
  2. What is your favorite journey? Any road that leads to my kids.  And I love Paris…and the beach…and the mountains.  I fear I’m going to struggle with this questionnaire, but I figure Proust would too.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? My family together, happy, healthy and belly laughing.
  4. What is your greatest fear? Anything happening to anyone I love
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? I have no clue, so I cheated.  Upon asking a few people who know me well..a friend said ‘kind’’; Andy said ‘you’re short’; my kids said ‘perceptive, empathic, entertaining, sincere and relatable’.  I love my kids.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? I apologize for everything – even the poop that’s not mine.  A former boss who later became a friend once told me that he had never met anyone who could advocate for others with the tenacity and passion that I did and he had never met anyone who was so awful at speaking up for themselves.  C’est moi.
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Refusal to own what’s theirs (or in the vernacular people who don’t ‘own their shit’.)  In the immortal words of Eric Clapton, ‘before you accuse me, take a look at yourself’.  Please understand this as a general statement, there is absolutely no one to whom I’m directing this statement.  
  8. What is your greatest extravagance?  Being able to even consider one’s greatest extravagance is an extravagance few people really get to consider. I am humbled by how spoiled I am
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Any virtue in excess is overrated and tiresome
  10. On what occasion do you lie? if I think my words would hurt someone deeply.  I will try to tell the truth, but I may wait until I’ve formulated the message and/or the person is better prepared to hear.
  11. Dislike most about your appearance? Seriously?  Most days the list is too long to write here.  Some days though I realize that I’m being superficial and stupid and embrace what is.
  12. Which living person do you most despise? I’ve got some pretty strong feelings about our current commander in chief, but the verb is too strong.  I despise some of the decisions he has made, some of the beliefs he touts and I may not look at an orange in the same way again, but I hesitate to say that i despise anyone.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Again, I deferred to those who speak with me the most…Andy offered up “I love you” a lot; Donna thinks I say ‘seriously?’; my kids think my most overused expressions are ‘will this matter to you in five years’, ‘who are you doing this for’, ‘everyone has to own their shit’ (see question 6)
  14. What is your greatest regret? Not getting my PhD or continuing with singing.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?  Andy, my kids and my grandkids
  16. When and where were you happiest?  Snuggling with my granddaughters and listening to whatever they have to say
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? I wish I could draw.  My sister is uber-talented and has the kind of artistic talent that my mom also had.  Me?  I can draw a mean stick figure…
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  I’d be physically healthier.
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?  I’d see them more (and I see them a lot).  My sister would live in closer proximity (like upstairs).
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Hands down growing up with my kids.  I realize that every parent says this and every parent means it.  But, is there anything one can achieve that parallels the enormity and magnificence of playing a part in someone else’s development as a human being?  And no joke, these men of mine are fabulous people. 
  21. What is your most treasured possession?  My wedding ring and my books
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?  Just thinking about anything unfortunate happening to those I love propels me to a place that is so dark and foreboding I have to quickly move away from this question.  I was truly miserable when I was sick, but I didn’t know how sick I was, so I don’t think it counts.
  23. Where would you like to live?  Wherever my family is of course…I’ve had the good fortune to travel to a slew of countries and have lived in many cities.  As trite as it sounds, wherever my heart is is where I want to live.
  24. What is your favorite occupation?  I know ‘mom’ isn’t an occupation, but it is the role I always wanted and exceeded my expectations when I became one.  I loved my career, even though it involved some plot twists I didn’t anticipate.  It might have been awesome to be on Broadway, but I didn’t have the ego (or the talent) for it.
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? Humor, sensitivity, the ability to be present.
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Humor, sensitivity, the ability to be present.
  27. What do you most value in your friends? Their ability to love me despite my flaws. My friends are trustworthy, smart, emotionally generous…and they like me.
  28. Who are your favorite writers? Seriously?  From which century?  Fiction or non-fiction?  Essayist or poet?  
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Again, there are too many coming to mind – Scout (To Kill A Mockingbird), Jo (Little Women), Charlotte (Charlotte’s Web), Max (Where The Wild Things Are), Ari (Exodus), any main character of Toni Morrison…I could go on…Holden Caulfield…
  30. What is it that you most dislike? Self-absorption
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? Greta Thornburg, Lizzo, John Lewis, Barack and Michelle Obama.  This is a pretty fluid list, and it changes with the day – right now the firefighters in Australia are coming to mind.
  32. How would you like to die? Very old, very healthy and happy while dreaming a delicious dream.
  33. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? If I were to come back – wait a minute, I’m not going anywhere.
  34. What is your motto? “Say yes – save your no’s for when you really need them”
  35. Bonus Question: How did you find my blog? Kismet, pal, kismet.  Years ago when I first signed up for WordPress, I found you the first day and I’ve been at your mercy ever since.
  36. Bonus Question: Why do you keep coming back to this Blog?I agree with everyone who has already responded to this – your posts incite and excite, they are intriguing and thoughtful and at core, you write damn well.  For me though the reason is really more personal and you’ll think I’m crazy.  I immediately felt that I knew you, your work life, your family.  Not in a creepy way – we both worked in professional services, my parents lived nearby,  I grew up on the trains you take everyday.  And you pushed me to say something.  In your insistence and encouragement, I found some words to string together albeit lamely.  I come back each day because your blog is diverse and amazing – and because it’s yours.  

 


Notes:

  • Mimi is a virtual friend and faithful follower and kindly agreed to share her responses to the Proust Questionnaire. She has been with me from the beginning and I consider her a critical inspiration in this blogging effort.  And as you can see from her responses, she is something Special.  You can find her website and bio here: Waiting for the Karma Truck.
  • See prior Proust Questionnaires.
  • The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)

Ray Takes The Proust Questionnaire

  1. What is your current state of mind?  Restless.
  2. What is your favorite journey? A 3-week mission trip to Tanzania in 2007. My favorite Journey song however is Wheel in the Sky.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? On the back porch with a book, a glass of bourbon, a cigar and a dog or two at my feet
  4. What is your greatest fear?  Something happening to our daughters and now granddaughter.
  5. What is your most marked characteristic?  Being comfortable in a room full of strangers.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Speaking before thinking
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Not following up after promising to do so.
  8. What is your greatest extravagance? Fountain pens.
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Tolerance. Relativism is helping destroy our society.
  10. On what occasion do you lie?  I have gotten better at telling the truth as I get older since I don’t get in trouble as much.
  11. Dislike most about your appearance? My three chins and four waists.
  12. Which living person do you most despise? I don’t hate/despise anyone, but would like to have a word or two in private with a few representatives from California.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse?  I polled my family and was advised: “Drive Gently”, “Swell”, “Roger that”.
  14. What is your greatest regret? At times, being selfish in my marriage.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife and daughters, but I think our granddaughter is positioning to take over.
  16. When and where were you happiest? Vacations at the beach.
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? To be able to sing in addition to playing the guitar. Played in a band for years, but can’t sing a note.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? See #6 above.
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? To go back in time and get a do-over at being a better husband/father.
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Helping raise three daughters into productive adulthood without getting pregnant or needing to be bailed out of jail.
  21. What is your most treasured possession? A photograph, taken on Memorial Day, 1976 of three men who had a profound impact on my understanding of life and real friendship. Background can be found here: A Difficult Task Indeed.
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Feeling worthless and unloved
  23. Where would you like to live? The beach. Any beach.
  24. What is your favorite occupation? As crazy as it may sound, I loved being a funeral director for the 30+ years I worked in that world.
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? My, isn’t that a bit personal?
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? I’ll defer to my wife of 33 years.
  27. What do you most value in your friends?  Rigorous Honesty. . . absence of any intent to deceive.
  28. Who are your favorite writers?  Michael D. O’Brien and NYTs Best Selling Author, Andra Watkins
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? John Galt
  30. What is it that you most dislike? People who pretend to like you, but sabotage you at every opportunity.
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? Don’t have any
  32. How would you like to die? In my sleep, after a great dinner out.
  33. If you were to die and come back, what do you think it would be? A dog living with one of our daughters.
  34. What is your motto? Life is short, dead is for a very long time.
  35. Bonus Question: How did you find my blog? I’m not sure how I found DK’s blog, but my WordPress stats page indicates that I began following it on April 22, 2012. 
  36. Bonus QuestionWhy do you keep coming back to this Blog? Dk’s blog is like a box of chocolates. You never know what to expect each morning (when I read blogs) and you are never disappointed.

Notes:

  • Photo of Ray Visotski and his beautiful Grandaughter Adeline Louise.
  • Ray is a virtual friend and faithful follower (as I am of his blog) and he kindly agreed to share his responses to the Proust Questionnaire.  Ray’s Blog can be found at Mitigating Chaos.
  • See prior Proust Questionnaires.
  • The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)

Lori Takes The Proust Questionnaire

  1. What is your current state of mind? Happy and a wee bit antsy.
  2. What is your favorite journey? Any that takes me to family and dear friends.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? An evening of good friends, fine wine, and lively conversation.
  4. What is your greatest fear? Hurting those I cherish.
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? The ability to giggle, sometimes at the most inopportune times.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My need to please.
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Callous indifference.
  8. What is your greatest extravagance? A gorgeous piece of art.
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Righteousness
  10. On what occasion do you lie? To protect another’s feelings.
  11. Dislike most about your appearance? My legs—I’ve always yearned for long, willowy gams.
  12. Which living person do you most despise? In this instance, I am Switzerland.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I need to let that percolate…
  14. What is your greatest regret? Not trusting my heart.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family—those by birth and those by blessing.
  16. When and where were you happiest? In the midst of a great conversation or a good belly laugh.
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? The ability to speak multiple languages fluently.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I’d be braver.
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? They’d be physically closer to me.
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? My education.
  21. What is your most treasured possession? My family, friends and dogs.
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Being bitter and alone.
  23. Where would you like to live? Anywhere that’s near to nature.
  24. What is your favorite occupation? Writing
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? Intelligence paired with a dry sense of humor
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Compassion
  27. What do you most value in your friends? Their ability to love me despite my flaws.
  28. Who are your favorite writers? Can’t choose just one…
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Never been into hero worship.
  30. What is it that you most dislike? Cruelty in any form.
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? Those who give their hearts & voices in service of the greater good.
  32. How would you like to die? In bed with a book on my chest.
  33. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? An owl.
  34. What is your motto? A good laugh makes everything better.
  35. Bonus Question: How did you find my blog? Can’t recall, but so grateful that I did.
  36. Bonus Question: Why do you keep coming back to this Blog? The community and camaraderie I’ve found here are a balm to my soul.

 


Notes:

  • Lori is a virtual friend and faithful follower and kindly agreed to share her responses to the Proust Questionnaire.  Lori is a professional writer. You can find her website and bio here: Lori Ferguson.
  • See prior Proust Questionnaires.
  • The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)

Kiki Takes The Proust Questionnaire

  1. What is your current state of mind? Believe me, NOBODY wants to know. I don’t even want to think about it! (yes, I’m THAT desperate right now)
  2. What is your favorite journey? Right now, looking forward to move back to Switzerland. Until then, managing to just get through every day.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting at the shore of a lake, the sea, let my mind meander, read a book, watch the peaceful surroundings, have a drink, think deeply in total peace and serenity…. It changes with the day, the season, the situation.
  4. What is your greatest fear? Astonishingly enough, I have no fear for myself. I have however great fear for the world, for future generations.
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? Gosh, you mustn’t ask me! That would depend on the person you’re asking. Hero Husband “(HH)” finds me, at the same time, the person with the most empathy in this world, and (I’m sure) the most irritating too. I might say I’m a Seeker of ‘all things’. Truth, understanding, compassion, but also intellectual & cultural hunger. But don’t know if ‘seeker’ is even a correct word.
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Impatience. I don’t want to lose a single minute with people who ‘should know better’ but I have great patience with those who ‘don’t know any better’. Those of whom we say: He wasn’t nearby when Einstein met Edison.
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Not accepting responsibility, stupidity/ignorance.
  8. What is your greatest extravagance? Being able to buy a book, a film, a gift without thinking about costs. Also being able to spoil somebody with a ‘little something’ (e.g. invite to a meal, bring a bunch of flowers, little things).
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Obedience, one should always consider a bit of rebellion.
  10. On what occasion do you lie? I am incapable of lying but do wish I could lie occasionally. Also, I think it’s too difficult to follow them up, as one lie is followed by another one. But it can be a hinderance (Just think passing through customs with too many bottles of wine; I have to pretend I’m in a deep slumber because an officer could see ‘problem’ in my terrified eyes). Is a lie out of kindness also a lie? Then, I do – for not blessing someone.
  11. What do you dislike most about your appearance?  How about at least 10cm taller and maybe 10kg lighter?
  12. Which living person do you most despise? Had to look this one up (again) as it was considered as a ‘very strong term’ several times in the past days (which in my understanding is by far not as strong as HATE). May I use dislike instead? People who wish to be superior, who are lording over others.
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Sugar/Mince (instead of Shit and Merde). Using ‘Bloody’ ‘Whatever’ and ‘Anyway’ when speaking in English.
  14. What is your greatest regret?  As it’s of no use whatsoever, I try not to. If my first marriage hadn’t provided me with a son, I might have regretted it. I have regretted stuff I didn’t have the power to change at the time.
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? Hero Husband, my mother, my son (not in any particular order). About the ‘what’ it would be my dogs.
  16. When and where were you happiest? I try to be happy every single day but as a period it was twice so far. My years in Torquay, Devon (UK), at the edge of the sea, and in Lutry, at the shore of Lac Léman (Switzerland). Hopefully my next LOOOONG happiness period will start sometime next year when we move back to Switzerland.
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? Speedreading – I’m insanely jealous of HH who does it.
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? See question 11 & being more patient – Apart from that, I made my peace with myself.
  19.  If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? Being less strict, more lenient. There are things I could have done better many years back; such as not marrying so young and divorcing much earlier.
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement?  Having brought up my son to be a wonderful, honest and kind man. Also, I’m still occasionally astonished that at the ripe age of 40+ – I’ve become the person I like to live with.
  21. What is your most treasured possession? Earthly: My cello. Spiritually: A sharp brain and a soft heart.
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Again, had to look the proper meaning up, but I have no answer. I’ve known several people, young and old, who killed themselves and I think they had a great dose of courage, because I wouldn’t.
  23. Where would you like to live? Somewhere near the water, preferably one of the Swiss lakes, in peace and serenity.
  24. What is your favorite occupation? Reading
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? Humility, honesty, kindness.
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Kindness, warmth. Honesty.
  27. What do you most value in your friends? Honesty, love and their enthusiasm to stand for what they believe in.
  28. Who are your favorite writers? Mostly women writers but I can’t list them all. There are so many, and sometimes it’s (just) one book which marks me deepest.
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? I have no fictional hero.
  30. What is it that you most dislike? Dishonesty, lying.
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? My parents, my 1st mother in law, the countless parents who manage to raise their children to decent human beings in this fu…d up world.
  32. How would you like to die? If I could choose, peacefully in my sleep. Anyway (there we go!): Is there a life before death?
  33. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? No idea; I believe in an afterlife but I’m not sure if I’d make a good butterfly, or a 2nd Mother Theresa. Oh stop!!!! How about ‘that’ Golden Retriever, a Labrador, a wonderful ‘Street Mix’ on four paws?! I think I’d like that. (I often, often said that I’d like to be MY dog…..)
  34. What is your motto? Try to be happy, every day. Smile often, be thankful.
  35. Bonus Question: How did you find my blog?  If only I knew! I thought it was via Dale, but it wasn’t.
  36. Bonus Question: Why do you keep coming back to this Blog?Because you get me every day, in a short, sweet, pensive, funny, unexpected (maybe except Wednesdays!) fashion. Because I’m hooked on your writing. Because you are YOU; David Kanigan, a little Everyday Hero with a Big Heart

Notes:

  • Selfie of Kiki which she’s titled “terrible selfie Kiki” with her additional commentary: “had to make it b&w, I have tons of curly hair, but it’s all white and I took the pic at near darkness….. Also my arm is not long enough to get a good distance and my hand not steady enough for a sharp take. Sorry! Told you so.…” (Don’t you just love her!)
  • Kiki is a virtual friend and faithful follower and kindly agreed to share her responses to the Proust Questionnaire.  Kiki Flickr photo blog site can be found here.
  • The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)

Dale Takes The Proust Questionnaire

  1.  What is your current state of mind? Fuzzy (but I’m sick so…)
  2. What is your favorite journey? The one I am taking right now. Being my own woman.
  3. What is your idea of perfect happiness? Being good with who I am
  4. What is your greatest fear? Being insignificant
  5. What is your most marked characteristic? My smile
  6. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? My sloppiness
  7. What is the trait you most deplore in others?  Insincerity
  8. What is your greatest extravagance? Getting my hair done
  9. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?  righteousness
  10. On what occasion do you lie? I To protect the person I am lying to (white lie)
  11. Dislike most about your appearance? My hands
  12. Which living person do you most despise? Despise is such a strong word…
  13. Which words or phrases do you most overuse? Right?
  14. What is your greatest regret? Regrets are a waste of time. BUT I wish I had dared more
  15. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family
  16. When and where were you happiest? Tuscany
  17. Which talent would you most like to have? Play a musical instrument, like the cello
  18. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? My lack of stick-to-it-iveness
  19. If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be? That I had taught them to be more aware
  20. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Everything I did for Austin
  21. What is your most treasured possession? I don’t have any
  22. What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? Having no esteem of one’s self
  23. Where would you like to live? Tuscany
  24. What is your favorite occupation? Anything that means I’m out there with people.
  25. What is the quality you most like in a man? Sense of humour
  26. What is the quality you most like in a woman? Sincerity
  27. What do you most value in your friends? Our camaraderie and sense of belonging
  28. Who are your favorite writers? Maeve Binchy, James A. Michener
  29. Who is your favorite hero of fiction? Don’t have one
  30. What is it that you most dislike? Someone who is so full of himself and only talks about the monetary value of things
  31. Who are your heroes in real life? My Grandmother.
  32. How would you like to die? I’d prefer not to, but since it is inevitable, in my sleep would be nice.
  33. If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be? An oak tree
  34. What is your motto? Live, Love, Laugh
  35. Bonus Question: Why do you keep coming back to this Blog? Because you constantly help me to grow.

 


Notes:

  • Dale is a friend and faithful follower and kindly agreed to share her responses to the Proust Questionnaire.  Dale’s WordPress blog can be found at: A Dalectable Life
  • The Proust Questionnaire has its origins in a parlor game popularized (though not devised) by Marcel Proust, the French essayist and novelist, who believed that, in answering these questions, an individual reveals his or her true nature.  (Source: Vanity Fair)
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