Fun, Narcissistic Questions & Crappy Day Present Stuff

Hey, hey, time for some fun questions! I recently joined the Crappy Day Present exchange organized by Doing My Best. Do you know about it? I’d seen it mentioned tons of times on Twitter and in blogs, and I just happened to see that it was time for people to register for another round of exchanges, so I jumped right in! If you don’t know, it’s a gift exchange where we are assigned a person to send a selection of fun little packages — the person keeps the packages around until she feels like opening one (or more), like, say, on a crappy day where she needs a little friendly pick-me-up. Isn’t this a wonderful idea? I think so. It’s too late to register for this round, but I’m sure there will be others in the future.

So, one thing to do to help out your exchange partner is to answer some getting to know you questions so she can figure out what kinds of little things might be good to send. The person I’m sending a package to has answered some of these questions herself, which is providing a some good ideas for me to plan her gifts. Here is my list from the registration post, plus some more questions I found that looked fun.

If you’re in the mood to answer questions about yourself for fun, even if you’re NOT taking part in the CDP exchange, why not play along? I love reading other people’s answers to these types of questions just as much as I love answering them myself! If you do any of these on your blog, would you leave me a link?

First, the questions from Doing My Best’s CDP Central:

1. What is your favorite color?

I love all types of blue and green, especially the aqua and teal family. Also navy, and pear green, and grass green. I wear a lot of grey, too. Blue with orange accents is also really nice, as my school colors (where I teach) are orange and blue.

2. What is your favorite season?

I love something about every season, but I think my favorites are winter (snow!) and fall.

3. What is your favorite treat?

I have … a lot. I love bourbon and french fries and cupcakes and champagne probably the most. Also candy: those Lindt dark chocolate and sea salt bars, the Lindor balls (any variety), Girardhelli squares, anything Reese’s, caramel, Swedish Fish, Skittles.

4. What is your favorite scent?

I love anything vanilla, citrus, or ginger. In terms of, like, lotions and candles and stuff, anything that smells like baked goods is a safe bet. I also really like fresh/green scents — remember Gap Grass? — anything herbal. I’m not too into florals, except lavender.

5. What is your favorite coping mechanism?

Running and biking (alone time + endorphins!), reading, blogging, snacking, drinking.

6. What do you like to do in your free time moments?

Reading (fiction), working on photography, learning the ukulele (new hobby!), hanging out with my dachshund Egon.

7. What do you not enjoy doing, and why, but have to do anyway?

I’m a college English lecturer, so I have come to dread grading papers. It’s the most tedious and often frustrating part of my job, but it’s also completely necessary.

8. If someone gave you money with the instruction that you had to spend it on something frivolous for yourself, what would you buy?

A new dress, earrings, bag, scarf, or shoes. Or nail polish. I never spend money on these things without feeling guilty!

9. Do you have any decorating themes in your home/office?

No real themes, but I try to keep things pretty clean and modern. I like simple designs and nothing too fussy. My “design aesthetic” is mostly…Ikea. I’m not fancy.

10. Is there something that you REALLY, REALLY like? (Burt’s Bees, horses, cats, fairies, unicorns, birds, patriotic stuff, babies, chocolate, Diet Coke, etc….)

Bicycles, dachshunds, anything Oregon-related (I lived there while in school and miss it terribly)

11. What is the VERY! BEST! present you have ever received and why was it the best? (The purpose of this question is to give people another idea of the sorts of things that make you happy.)

This is a hard one — Maybe my DSLR, which I picked out myself and my family gave me money toward buying it. This was a great one because I’d been wanting a nice camera forever, and it’s something I use all the time, it feeds my creativity, and it’s just plain fun. Maybe the fancy perfume my boyfriend gave me for Christmas (Arquiste L’Etrog), because it’s sort of indulgent and romantic and I’d never spend that much money on something for myself. Both of these are way out of CDP range, of course, but hopefully this gives some impression of what I’m into?

12. What are you passionate about?

Reading and writing, photography, running.

And now, some similar questions I found and answered just for fun (and to provide some extra info about me) (but mostly because I just love doing these things; what can I say?):

13. What was your favorite food when you were a child?

PBJs, probably. I was obsessed with them as a kid, and I’m not ashamed to say I still am now. My usual breakfast on work mornings is an English muffin with peanut butter and cherry preserves. If I am feeling healthy (and flush with cash for expensive groceries), I substitute organic almond butter. Also, I am Team Crunchy 4 Life.

14. What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Here are the top five:

Your Heart is an Empty Room – Death Cab for Cutie
This Tornado Loves You – Neko Case
Way I Are – Timbaland
Middle Cyclone – Neko Case
More Adventurous – Rilo Kiley

15. What’s your favorite indoor/outdoor activity?

Outdoor: running and hiking. These days I run all the time and hardly ever go hiking. I’ve been filling the hiking-shaped hole in my heart with this tumblr.

Indoor: TV, internet, reading.

16. What chore do you absolutely hate doing?

I actually like all sorts of domestic chores, including all sorts of cleaning. I sort of hate putting away laundry, but at least there is the satisfying element of having a full, organized closet when you’re done. As far as what I hate, though? Truly, absolutely hate? Mopping. I never ever mop my kitchen or bathroom floors. I will swiffer them a few times a year and then eventually move into a new apartment. Horrified? Sorry. There’s really more swiffer-able dirt than anything else, so I don’t feel like they really need mopping.

17. What is your favorite form of exercise?

Running, natürlich. Also biking and yoga.

18. What is your favorite time of day/day of the week/month of the year?

Time of day: Morning, with my COFFEE! Just me and my coffee and the quiet. Or the moment I walk in the door after work and can kick off my shoes, remove my pants, and flop down on the couch with a cocktail.

Day of the week: Friday, because I go to work (I like my job), but afterwards I’m done with work for the week and there’s the rewarding sense of finishing. I also get to start my weekend. Best of both worlds.

Month of the year: December, because it’s got my birthday AND Christmas AND New Year’s Eve AND a paid vacation. Plus, winter is my favorite season. No contest.

19. What sound do you love?

Coffee brewing in the morning while I lie in bed, bicycle wheels on pavement, my dog’s sleepy grumbling noises, my friends’ and boyfriend’s laughter. (I almost typed “boyfriends’ laughter.” Nope. Only one boyfriend over here.)

20. If you could throw any kind of party, what would it be like and what would it be for?

I’m not sure what it would be for, but I would love to get my friends to dress up and make fancy cocktails and eat a lot of food. Basically, any excuse to put on a pretty cocktail dress would work for me.

21. If you could paint a picture of any scenery you’ve seen before, what would you paint?

The mountains and lake at Kirkwood Lake in Northern California (near Tahoe), where my grandparents used to have a little cabin where we would spend several weeks in the summer. I miss that place a lot.

22. If you could learn to do anything, what would it be?

Sing really, really well. The kind of singing where you go do some karaoke and everyone in the bar is impressed into stunned and awed silence. Unfortunately, I cannot carry a tune no matter how hard I try. Off key, all day every day.

23. If you could be any fictional character, who would you choose?

As a literature teacher, I feel like I should have a great answer to this question, but the truth is, I never really want to be anyone other than myself. I like myself. The character I most often identify with, though, is awkward and bumbling professor Timofey Pnin of Vladimir Nabokov’s Pnin. I think the kind of novels I read aren’t exactly populated with the kinds of characters people fantasize about being. Now, television, on the other hand…. How about The Doctor? Veronica Mars? Sydney Bristow? Kara Thrace? Peggy Olson? Or movies: Maude from Harold and Maude, for sure.

24. Which celebrity do you get mistaken for?

I don’t get MISTAKEN for anyone, but if people have to come up with a celebrity who could, say, play me in the movie of my life, I hear it’s a little bit of January Jones, a little bit of Uma Thurman, and mix in a little Ellen Page — for attitude.

25. When you have 30 minutes of free-time, how do you pass the time?

If I only have 30 minutes, I like to peek in on Twitter and Google Reader (well, now I’m using feedly for RSS) and see if there’s anything new going on. Then I’d check Instagram and Facebook. Then probably repeat that sequence. If I’m home, I’ll give my dog some snuggles. Lately I’ve been practicing my ukulele, too.

26. What songs are included on the soundtrack to your life?

I really like this question and I really, really want to have a great answer for it, but the pressure, man, the pressure! I know I’m going to forget a bunch of really great songs and only think of mediocre ones. But here’s a try, anyway:

Ani Difranco: I would like to say “her entire catalogue,” but let’s say “Untouchable Face,” “Overlap,” “Anticipate,” “Shy,” and “Gravel.” And a million more, but definitely those.

Bob Dylan: “If not for You,” “Idiot Wind,” “Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright”

Simon and Garfunkel: “April, Come She Will,” “America”

Cat Stevens: “Trouble,” “On the Road to Find Out”

Death Cab for Cutie: The entire Plans album

Dinosaur Jr.: “Freak Scene,” “Not You Again”

Neko Case: “Middle Cyclone,” “I’m an Animal”

Rilo Kiley: “More Adventurous,” “The Absence of God”

Dolly Parton: “Jolene,” “Here You Come Again,” “Islands in the Stream” (shut up)

Taio Cruz: “Dynamite”

Kanye West: “Stronger,” “Touch the Sky”

OK, I could go on, but I’ll stop now.

27. When was the last time you were nervous?

I always get really nervous on the first day of a new semester, when I have to go speak to my new classes for the first time. Public speaking is not really my forte, but I’ve made myself accept it as part of my job, and, to a large extent, I’ve gotten over my fear of it. But that first day, some of the fear makes it’s way back in.

28. What was the last movie, TV show or book that made you cry or tear up?

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been re-watching Friends from the beginning, and I just saw the last episode last week or so. That one made me a little misty, for sure. Friday Night Lights always gets me, too. My boyfriend and I were re-watching it for a while, but we got out of the routine somewhere in the middle of the last season (we need to get back to it!), so it’s been a while there. The Parks and Rec episode with the wedding got me, too.

29. What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever done?

I want to say losing weight and finishing a full marathon, but once I got started those things just happened. There was enough momentum that actually getting there wasn’t that hard. That sounds awfully smug, but I suppose what I mean is that the hard part was setting things in motion. Getting started. That was rough.

30. What was the last experience that made you a stronger person?

Asking for help with Egon’s surgery. That was incredibly difficult, too, but it was one of those experiences where I was so filled with gratitude and amazement that I think I really learned from it. It’s okay to ask for help when you need it, even if asking horrifies and embarrasses you. Also, people are remarkably kind and generous.

31. What did you do growing up that got you into trouble?

My “fresh mouth” and sarcasm got me in trouble all the damned time. I know, it’s hard to imagine.


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