1. Please link five journal entries of yours you consider the most biographically significant, and briefly explain your reasons for selecting them.
These are restricted entries, I do apologize for anyone reading that can't see them, but since I have a family, they are not just my own secrets, after all.
These two are from a long ago meme – I am counting them as one, because they are so short:
A few interview questions from the meme we’re on now – the last question is about my "biggest influences" and sheds some light on the experiences described above:
I selected these two entries because they talk about some of the things that I like best: family, music, food, nature:
This brief entry captures both my most serious and most goofy sides, and ties them up with a bit of hope:
2. Your home is on fire, and you have five minutes to rescue your belongings. What do you save? Why?
I am assuming my children don’t count as belongs, obviously they are first.
- The practical things – the lock box with our birth certificates, etc. purse, check books, financial records. (Although the lock box is supposedly fire proof I would still try to get it out.)
- The irreplaceable things – rare vinyl, photographs my husband took, some of the best pieces of the kid’s art, some of the penguin classics from the bookshelf, the box of antique jewelry from my grandparents.
- The kid’s Gameboys and my eldest’s Warhammer 40,000 collection. They’d be devastated without them.
- Comfort things – toiletries, underwear, food, water, blankets, teddy bears.
- Time's up!
3. An eccentric billionaire offers you US$50,000 and tells you to spend it within a week. Stipulations: you are not allowed to purchase investible instruments (stocks, bonds, gold bullion, etc.). Any money you do not spend will be gone by week's end. What do you buy?
Well, my first question would be, are paying off student and car loans and putting a down payment on a home considered "investible instruments?" What I mean is, are you looking for what is my heart’s desire away from practicality? Let’s say that those two things are not allowed, or that some other eccentric billionaire already has those covered.
First, it’s corny, but ten percent for charitable giving and five percent for PAC or campaign contributions. Both would be on the very local level – the charitable contribution would probably go primarily towards the San Francisco Free Clinic, which is a few blocks from my home, because it’s not good to have people sneezing all over the local produce stand, and because this particular one takes great care to be as non-intrusive to the neighborhood as possible – it’s very quiet and just looks like a nice big yellow house on the corner. The campaign contributions would go towards those running in local elections that I think are reasonable (there's I think a $500 cap per candidate, so maybe I'd have to look into a PAC or two). I also know a couple of people for whom just a little money could give them some breathing room and comfort and text books – I would include them in this.
Next, my flat needs help – I would refurbish it to maximize the living space and make it nice. Lots of bookshelves, cubbies, loft beds and wall dividers for our son’s room, frame the kid’s artwork, upgrade the AV equipment and computer, and buy more musical instruments - make it a true home that I could entertain in. We’ve always dreamt of having a regular salon night/open house and once our home is ready we could finally do that. Is it within the rules to pre-pay housekeeping and laundry services for a year or two? If so, then definitely that!
I could easily spend 42,500 on the flat, but let’s pretend there’s something left:
-Books, books and more books, particularly those to support homeschool curricula
-A nice new suit and a good, timeless vintage evening dress
-A trip to Harputs for some new trainers
-Airline tickets for a future visit to the East Coast, New York and DC – I’m dying to take the kids to the Smithsonians and I want to go to New York again.
-Take another couple out to Elizabeth Daniel for the prix fixe with wine pairing.
In all, things I am planning to spend money on in the near future anyway, but it sure would be nice to go hog wild with it!
4. You are granted access to a device like the one in The Matrix that allows you to upload skills/knowledge straight into your brain. You are told you are allowed to select five skills/abilities to be uploaded. What do you choose? Why?
- The ability to learn any language effortlessly just by hearing it spoken. If I could only pick one language then I think Spanish. I have a very hard time learning languages, I would love to be able to communicate would more people.
- Kung Fu!
- To be a really good driver. I don’t drive, I’ve never had a driver’s license, it would be a whole new world for me.
- Real musical talent, including perfect pitch. I would like be able to sing like an angel. I love to sing, but I don’t like to hurt people, so I never do it in public, and I’ve always wanted to play an instrument well, or maybe even two or three.
- Having complete control over my memory ability, to be able to remember perfectly the things I want to when I want to, to have a great route memory, which is so useful to technical ability. And to remember well the lessons of the painful things, while putting the actual unpleasant experiences into long term storage in order to move on from them.