“Imagine others complexly.” -John Green

A recent interview between two of my favorite people reconfirmed something – I adore quizzes. Every variety of quiz, really, but especially those that let me get know myself (and others) better. With this in mind, I’m going to be answering an extended questionnaire and I’d love if you’d do it with me.

First up is Bernard Pivot’s questions that James Lipton now asks on Inside the Actor’s Studio.

What is your favorite word?
There are too many words I love, too many I haven’t discovered yet to pin it down to a single word. At the moment though, I feel particularly affectionate toward stupendous.
I can’t say it without feeling happier. To me, it sounds like the idea that it is trying to convey. Stupendous is an adjective we reserve for when we are truly amazed and you just can’t say stupendous without sounding full of wonder.
My favorite words tend to be the ones that convey their meaning. That notion of phenomimes and psychomimes are the pinnacle of language in my opinion and I wish we embraced the concept more readily.

What is your least favorite word?
Any slurs. They make me feel like I’m coated with grime.

What turns you on?
Rainy days – in every possible way. I’m more creative, I’m more tuned in, every sensation is heightened. I really need to move to Seattle.

What turns you off?
Willful ignorance. It’s one thing to not know, it’s another to know and disregard. It’s utterly contemptible.

What is your favorite curse word?
It has to be fuck. You have to love a word that can be used as each part of speech.

What sound or noise do you love?
My children making each other laugh.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Besides the obvious ones like nails on a chalkboard or other obnoxious screeches, I’d say the sound of a car crash. I’ve been in more that a few. The crunch and the nerve jarring that goes with it, even in a harmless fender bender – ugh. It sets me on edge just thinking about it.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Librarian. Just me and my books helping people find their books.

What profession would you not like to do?
Anything having to do with sewage.

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
“I know, I know. I’ve got a lot of explaining to do. Just give me a minute, you’ll be satisfied.”

The interview also included questions that I wasn’t familiar with, something having to do with Uncle Jesse. (Full House??) Anyhow, I liked them, so here are my answers:

A song/band/type of music you’d risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio?
Honestly, there isn’t any. If I’ve heard a song a hundred freaking times in the space of a week, I’ll change it. Other than that, I kind of like to enjoy music for what it is – whatever it is. If it’s too gospel-y or bigoted in some way, I’m likely to turn it off, but I don’t come across that a lot.

Favorite show on television?
*cracks knuckles*
Shows no longer on: Fringe, Firefly, Pushing Daisies, Boy Meets World, Roseanne, The Golden Girls, Weeds, Gilmore Girls, Fraiser (forgive me), The Office, Dexter, Luther 
Shows still on: Doctor Who, Downton Abbey, Sherlock, Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, Mad Men, House of Cards, Orange is the New Black
Sad thing is, I’m sure I’ve forgotten a few.

Favorite movie?
The Breakfast Club. I have no clue how many times I’ve watched it. Shawshank Redemption, American Beauty, Pride and Prejudice, and The Family Stone get honorable mentions, along with pretty much every musical ever.

What are you grateful for today?
Being at a time in my life where I am getting to enjoy my family and have ample time to write.

If you could have anything put on a t-shirt what would it be?
I’m not good at extreme brevity. Maybe just ‘read’. Best advice I can give anyone without needing to explain further.  I actually have a hoodie that says ‘Books turn muggles into wizards’.

Favorite meal?
I love food! 😀 My favorite has to be the classic duo of chips and salsa. Especially thinish, lightly salted white corn chips with a dip that’s acidic and somewhere between pico and salsa.

A talent you wish you had?
A great singing voice. I don’t want a music career or anything, but I love to sing and it’d be nice if my voice would cooperate. More practically, being a mathematics extraordinaire would be sublime.

Favorite song/band?
Another impossible question. I love too much. At the moment, Amanda Palmer has my heart and I don’t think she’s ever letting go. Song wise, Blackbird by The Beatles, hands down.

What’s on your nightstand? 
Notebook I’m currently writing in, a pen, earbuds to listen to music and podcasts (mostly Night Vale and a variety of NPR), my kindle (currently reading The Goldfinch), and my kid’s homework.

What’s something about you that would surprise us?
Even though I’m an extremely private person, I’ll answer any personal question I’m asked, if it’s asked sincerely.

Finally, a question from Smith Magazine’s Not Quite What I Was Planning:
What would your six-word memoir be?
Young mother that writes, learns, tries.


All right, that’s it. Are there any questions you would add?

I feel like favorite book is missing, so here is my Goodreads.

If you feel inclined to help me imagine you more complexly, I’d love for you to answer the questions in the comments. Or on your own blog, just leave a link. Or email them to me. Or just get to know yourself better by answering them privately.

I hope you’re having a lovely day.


14 thoughts on ““Imagine others complexly.” -John Green

  1. I’m lovin’ the new look here Madalyn.

    Loved this post, too. I’m rather amazed, but not surprised how much we have in common.

    Fuck, fuck, fuck

    Nearly my whole life I didn’t cuss, and that included the F-bomb — until relatively recently. My best friend from Denmark started giving me homework assignments. Yeah, I kid you not. It’s not that I say it a lot, but it’s a great word to release tension. Something about the upper teeth firming pressing down and over the lower lip as air rushes out. It’s also a sexy word.

    Fuck, fuck, fuck. 😀

  2. Have you ever seen The West Wing? (It’s on my list of things I need to watch; maybe it would be your kind of thing, especially if you’re into Mad Men and politics.) I’d agree with several things on your list, and for some reason I absolutely love Inside the Actors’ Studio. It’s fascinating.

    If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? Damn good answer. It’s similar to what I’d hope for, in some ways, though in others I think I’ve been atheist for so long that the thought of God actually existing all along – of having that much power over me – would be terrifying.

    I love the word fuck. I also think it’s difficult to use well, but in the right sentence, at the right time, it’s one of the most effective words out there. Very, very satisfying.

    What would your six-word memoir be?
    In my case: “What the hell happened there, then?”

    1. I knew I forgot a show or two! I’ve watched WW all the way through more run once and still watch an episode now and then thanks to Netflix. It’s brilliant, you’re guaranteed to love it.

      Yeah, the idea of God at this point seems like a ludicrous fantasy. Any kind us humans have imagined would certainly be terrifying.

      Your memoir made me burst out laughing. Thanks for that. 🙂

  3. “A song/band/type of music you’d risk wreck & injury to turn off when it comes on the radio?” I know it is cliche, but if I hear that Nickelback song “Look at this photograph, every time I do it makes me laugh.” I would probably sprint to turn it off. It’s the worst. The music video used to come on a lot, and I just couldn’t take it. Him standing there holding up the photograph at the beginning just fills me with hate.

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