The Proust Questionnaire Autumn 2010

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

A world at peace, people around who care, inspiration to write, time to accomplish the work and a celebration afterwards.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

I’m really struggling with this. Either I don’t know enough historical figures or my life really isn’t on an historic track!

Which living person do you most admire?

This is another toughie. I’m looking around at the people in the news and there’s not a lot. I guess Barack Obama is the closest, but even he has been having some difficulties lately and even though he still hasn’t gotten through half of his first term, I’m really concerned!

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

The ability to avoid the question.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Continuing to try to make a living as a writer.

What is your favorite journey?

Roller skating Broadway from Columbia University to Battery Park on a dry, sunny day with an iPod playlist designed for just that.

Walking from The Great Highway via Golden Gate Park to The Embarcadero without headphones.

On what occasion do you lie?

Usually when it doesn’t matter!

Which living person do you most despise?

Karl Rove and George W. Bush. I still feel they should be tried for treason based on all that they did (and did not do). I’m not saying they definitively were traitors to the USA, but I do think we should have a trial and determine if they were. Let all of the facts come out and examine!

What or who is the greatest love of your life?

Connecting with, talking with and listening to people. I really like interacting with people on all different levels, and I’m endlessly fascinated by the stories they tell, the experiences they have had and how that made them into who they are now. If I could find a job that paid me to interview other people, I would be all over it!

When and where were you happiest?

This is tricky because are we talking about a single moment of happiness or something extended? I was in Yankee Stadium in 1999 when the Yanks beat the Braves for that year’s World Series. Little did we know at the time, it was to be the final Championship won at The House That Ruth Built. When I was accepted to Clown College, I was ecstatic, since it meant I was going to leave Macy’s for what I thought would be forever! I loved my time as a nightclub DJ and would do that again, if there were any bar/nightclub managers in NYC that weren’t thieves or dirtbags.

Which talent would you most like to have?

The ability to play any song on any musical instrument like a virtuoso.

What is your current state of mind?

Focusing on writing. It’s all about the varied forms of writing I’m doing, whether it’s for , my personal projects or right here, what you’re reading! That’s where it’s at for me.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Making a film, writing a book, Being in charge of all the clowns for the Macy*s Parade.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

I’d like to come back as me, only with a few slight improvements. I don’t suppose that’s going to happen.

What is your most treasured possession?

My paper journals. Really, they are rather remarkable in helping me remember a lot of what happened in my life. For about 15 years, I wrote daily in them, all the great, the good, the bad and the boring stuff that occurred. It’s interesting because sometimes I’ll forget people and if I read along in the journal, their name will pop up and it’s all right there! I don’t know that online journals could ever have that kind of ability.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

No food, no shelter, no means of earning a living, the desperate feeling of “kill or be killed.”

What is your favorite occupation?

That I’ve attempted: Disc Jockey. That I’d like to attempt: playwright.

What is the quality you most like in a man?


What is the quality you most like in a woman?


Who are your favorite writers?

August Wilson. He nearly always hit it right on the head. Truth, humor, teaching, texture.  Joe Queenan. When he’s on a rant, there’s nothing I find funnier. I really miss the pieces he wrote for Movieline back when there was a magazine by that name. He was also paired with another writer there named Sandra Tsing-Loh, who I miss, for similar reasons. And I could list all of my writerly friends here, but does that count? Would they list me on their questionnaire?

What is your motto?

It was the motto for a carpet store in New Jersey, years ago, but I adopted it as my own:

“You can’t spell ‘Dependable’ without D-E-A-N!”

Check in with me again in a few years, to see what answers have changed!


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