Monday, August 10, 2009

Monday: Pop Quiz

Even Proust liked quizzes! Who knew?
Click to learn more and see Proust's questions & answers!

I like the observation by editor Henry-Jean Servat that even when the questions were simply of the yes / no variety, Proust's answers were not: "The stupid answers in the album would have required conclusive answers, too uncouth to be exact. But a master with words like Proust knew how to get out of a trap like this. And he escapes either by remaining silent and not answering, or by doing the opposite and producing long lists or general ideas."

I tried to do the same, though I never realized when I was doing these a few years back with a few friends and relatives, that we were following in the footsteps of Proust!

Thanks to my friend Leonard Orr for bringing my attention to
The Proust Questionnaire!

Not the Proust questions, but same idea:

A PERFECT DAY IS: Swimming, reading, writing, drinking tea, the kitchen clean, maybe baking, the windows open. Ger home on vacation.

MY LOVE LIFE IN A WORD OR TWO: I am the luckiest.

WORST EVER BLOW TO MY PRIDE: Some scholarships I failed to receive in grad school.

YOU MIGHT BE SURPRISED TO KNOW: That I like Sudoku better than Crossword Puzzles.

NO ONE KNOWS (well, now they will): That I have given up sorting the laundry. I just toss it all in together & hope for the best

MY SIMPLEST PLEASURE: Playing with stickers.

MY GUILTIEST PLEASURE: Spending a lot of money to have my nails done.

MY STATED HOBBY: Writing cards & letters.

MY SECRET HOBBY: Rewriting history.

MY HIDDEN TALENT: I'm surprisingly good at parallel parking, considering my general dislike of driving & my lack of spatial skills.

IN MY FRIDGE YOU'LL ALWAYS FIND: Milk for my kids' cereal. Oops! Except when we run out!


WHAT I'D SAY TO MY TWENTY-SOMETHING SELF: No need to get married just yet.

IF I COULD HAVE A DO-OVER I WOULD: Major in Accounting instead of English. Go figure!



I'D LOVE TO BE A FLY ON THE WALL OF: Shakespeare & Jesus, so that we could have comprehensive biographies of these two guys.

IF I COULD WIGGLE MY NOSE LIKE IN BEWITCHED, I WOULD: Pop in to visit all my faraway friends & relatives.

ALWAYS MAKES ME LAUGH: Reading Dave Barry, Bill Bryson, Roz Chast, Jack Handey, Anne Lamott, David Sedaris, Sarah Vowell; listening to Stephen Colbert; watching Christmas Vacation.

MY MOTHER / FATHER WAS RIGHT ABOUT: Learn to drive a standard before an automatic!

ECO-FRIENDLY CHANGES IN MY LIFE: No more Plastic "Glad" Wrap, instead I save the wax paper cereal bags to reuse for food storage; always running the dishwasher on "Light" and doing most of the laundry on "Delicate" -- so far, everything still comes out clean (see sorting tip, above).

MY LIFE WOULD BE SIMPLER IF: I would stop being so fretful.

I WOULD STOP BEING SO FRETFUL IF: Only I knew how to stop being so fretful. (See righthand column!)


SOME MOVIES THAT I LIKE IN SPITE OF MYSELF: Talladega Nights, The Terminator (#1 only, the others -- no), Zoolander

ON MY "NOT TO DO" LIST: Coloring my hair & polishing the ceiling (our phrase for excessive housecleaning)


If you'd like to read what a few others have said . . .

Here's another one I did with my family; probably needs updating, some answers not current, but for now, I'll post as is: Family Fun, Peg's Quiz


  1. By all means, feedback! I love your list. How did you come up the prompts? And I am most curious about why you hated swimming and now love it. What changed? I have been advised to take up swimming because running has become too hard on my joints. But I HATE swimming.

  2. Ha,ha. I hate swimming too and remembered yesterday a time that you and I and the boys and probably Beth and Drew and Graham were at the pool in West Philly and you told me about swimming under the sky. Your laps are pretty darn impressive. The next time someone related to you says, "Ah mom, nobody reads your blog" say to him, "yeah and you don't swim laps."
    About your list on the right: "I'd rather be happy then right" has been mine but you know me, sometimes just a good "You are an asshole" helps too!

  3. I found your blog randomly (hitting "next blog" which usually does not hit a gold mine) and love it. The quotes were the first thing that caught my eye. Then your story about "it's not on my radar." That did it for me...I love anything that keeps me out of judgment mode. Your list is great...I have a spiral pad of heavy card stock (about 4 x 7?) and on each one I write a quote or saying or whatever. Lyrics. Etc. So the one I have up these days is "Save the drama for your mama." I love it. I've bookmarked your blog and hope you add to it every day.

  4. Is there really a world without books and cats? How sad. Love "its not on my radar" I have a grandaughter and grandson to impress with sage life lessons. Your blog is great. Will check back.

  5. Jane, Thanks for your kind words and for signing up to follow my blog. You'll notice that today's entry (26 August) features "Grandmotherly Advice." I hope you like it and that it will come in handy with your grandchildren! All the best, Kitti

  6. Lani, Thanks so much for finding my blog and for your enthusiasm in sticking with it. Please sign up as a Follower! I thought you might like the Ruskin for your spiral pad, and also the advice from Pam & Peggy's grandmother. I think yours -- "Save the drama for you mama" -- goes right along with "My childhood is over!" Thanks for bookmarking, Kitti