-- Billie Holiday gets it. No matter what is happening in your life, she understands. Same with Nina Simone.
--I have two theme songs: "Runaway" by Del Shannon and “Desperado” by The Eagles. If I had a third, it would be “I Wanna Be Free” by the Monkees. Do you sense a theme here?
--My favorite music: The Raveonettes, Portishead, The Monkees, exotica music (like Martin Denny and Les Baxter), 1950s-early 1960s pop, and the Ultra Lounge series. If you ever pass someone in a little red Nissan blasting "Music to Be Murdered By" (the theme to Alfred Hitchcock Presents), it's probably me.
--My musical guilty pleasures include 80s pop, early Marilyn Manson, Def Leppard...among others.
--I occasionally enjoy driving to work listening to "Gay Spirits" by David Rose. There is something incredibly satisfying in commuting to space age pop music.
--My grandmother used to sing me the following songs: "Swingin' on a Star," "Shuffle Off to Buffalo" and "Mareseatoats and Doeseatoats". My mother used to sing me protest songs from the 1960s. I'm sure that this had an effect on my personality, though I'm not sure in what way.
--My childhood heroes include Cindy Lauper, Boy George, Michael Jackson (from his Thriller days), and Davy Jones. I think that this explains a lot.
--My favorite TV show is Mad Men. I am in love with Donald Draper. Then again, who isn’t? My favorite tv show of all time is Just the Ten of Us.
--I own the book Hard Boiled: Great Lines from Classic Noir Films. I have made attempts to memorize these quotes and use them in conversation, but have never succeeded. I’m still waiting for the opportunity to say, “Bourbon straight with a bourbon chaser.”
--My favorite movies include The English Patient, House of Fools, Streetcar Named Desire, Some Like It Hot, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, and O Brother Where Art Thou? The best movie I have ever seen is Miracle in the Rain. It has been my favorite movie since I watched it at my grandmother’s house 20 years ago, and it will always be my favorite. I have watched it countless times, and it still makes me ball uncontrollably.
--I have much love and respect for the films of Jean Luc Goddard, Ingmar Bergman, Alfred Hitchcock, and Mel Brooks. But no matter how much I try to like Woody Allen, I just can’t stand him. EXCEPT Midnight In Paris...one of the best movies I've ever seen.
--I will always watch certain movies when I see them on television. These include The Wizard of Oz, Jurassic Park, and Karate Kid.
--Though Zeppo was clearly the better looking one, I have a total crush on Groucho Marx. I suppose it's the old adage that humor really is the most important thing.
--I love love love Rocky Horror Picture Show.
--I also love classic animated disney movies. My favorite is Alice in Wonderland. I buy all the DVDs when they come out. It's really sad.
Food and Drink
--My favorite alcoholic drink is Red Death, mostly for literary reasons. My record is six in one night – well, it may have been more but I lost count. That did not turn out so well.
--I also enjoy Jameson on the rocks, and Old Fashioneds. No wussy drinks for me!
--My favorite beer is Elk Creek Copper Ale
--I hate most white wine. That statement is not meant to include champagne, which of course isn't technically white wine, but I wanted to be clear. I sometimes eat potato chips with champagne, a la The Seven Year Itch. I highly recommend it - both the movie and the potato chips.
--My favorite cuisine is Indian. This is followed by Moroccan, followed by Middle Eastern food. I am a huge fan of bastilla, falafel, and gulab jamun.
--My favorite Pennsylvania German eats include sauerkraut, chicken pot pie, chicken & waffles, shoe fly pie, and Montgomery pie. My family always made potato candy as well, but I don't know if that's Deitsch or not (no, I did not just mean Deutsch). I don't do scrapple though (or soupies).
--It would be impossible for me to describe something as tasting "too sweet." But potato candy gets close.
--Ketchup is my favorite condiment. I put it on macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes. My whole family does this. Though there is contention about the macaroni and cheese - do you put it off to the side, or on top? I'm with the side contingency. There really are arguments about this.
--One of my earliest memories is dancing around the living room to "Saturday's Child" by the Monkees. I thought that they had written it for me. I would not be who I am today without the Monkees.
--I have had a variety of nicknames throughout my life, including Smidget and Protoplasm. Don't ask.
--I was one of the fattest kids in 4th-7th grade. I weigh less now than I did when I was 10. I weighed less at 9 months pregnant than I did in 6th grade.
--When I was 12, I wanted to be a professor of comparative religion. I was already studying Buddhist and Hindu texts.
-- Growing up, I attended an evangelical/fundamentalist church. Rachel in the documentary Jesus Camp reminds me of how I was when I was a youngster. Very terrifying.
--My best friend from second grade on killed herself in 1997, when we were juniors in h.s. I still have the candle I was going to give her for xmas that year. My grandfather died 10 days later. I miss them both every day.
Places I’ve Been
--My favorite place in the world is a little bar in Pirates Alley, New Orleans next door to William Faulkner's old house. I drank absente there with two guys from Colorado that I met because I went to take picture of Faulkner's house (it's now a bookstore) and they invited me to sit with them and have a drink. That was a great night. We all went together to a little restaurant somewhere and ate alligator. Later on, I tried to get up the courage to ask a hot dog vendor on Bourbon Street if anyone ever called him Ignatius but I didn't. He looked a little scary.
--Though this may sound wimpy, I decided after my honeymoon in Quebec that I never want to travel to a non-English-speaking country, unless I am part of a tour group with a guide or with a native speaker, and maybe not even then. The feeling of isolation almost gave me a panic attack, even though I can speak/read French.
--My favorite philosophers are Albert Camus, Jean Paul Sartre, and Friedrich Nietzsche. I was born an existentialist. I have at times (both in high school and in college existentialism units/classes) wondered if my teachers were stealing my journals and using them as class notes - Dr. Hales are you reading this?! Seriously, sometimes it was almost word for word.
--In the last few years, I have become very interested in the theories and writings of Joseph Campbell. Love him.
--In case you couldn't tell, I'm such a nerd, and I'm proud of it :-)