I have been very, very bad about my homework assignment. But I am really pleased to report that you have been very good about yours. Thank you for all of your questions – they were food for thought while I lay in bed sleepless this week.
Jen, a noble reader who dreams of Belize asks, One place, alone, for one year. Where? (And somehow, I knew she would.)
The first place that comes to mind is Istanbul. Istanbul is a city that makes me feel…deeply satisfied. The first time I visited, I saw a man on the street with a tiny sachet attached to a string. From time to time, he pulled it from behind his ear to allow its sweet smell to mask the odors from the street. It was a such a gorgeous, sensual gesture. I thought, “This is the place for me.”
Anon asks: K, question: if everyone exists on a continuum from red to purple, and also if everyone exists on a perpendicular axis from shiny to matte, and also, finally, if everyone exists on a perpendicular-to-both-other-axes (in other words, this is a 3-D thing) continuum from not knowing who Willard Scott is to wanting to have little Willard Scott babies with W.S. himself, what is the area created by the curve which graphs your position on these three axes over time? Just, like, approximately-like?
Miss Nick? Is that you? You’re the chair of the math department, right? You’re the one who told me I’d regret ditching calculus for ancient Greek in high school. Guess what? I never regretted it. Until now, I have never been called upon to graph my familiarity with Willard Scott (approaching zero) with my relative purpleness (I am fuschia) and matteness (mostly matte). I can’t plot this on a graph, but I can tell you all about Sappho. Oh, I forgot. You’re not interested in poetry, are you, because you’re all UP IN YOUR PROOFS, BITCH.
Fleur, a new voice on this blog, asks: What is one of your most haunting memories? Do you want to hold it or set it free?
That is a very, very difficult question.
I am in the most beautiful market I’ve ever seen, wandering the narrow alleys with my backpack. I admire the Ethiopian women and their swaddled babies. They spoon slushy mango juice into my mouth as I walk by; they smile and feed me from their plates. I stopped in this town on a whim and find myself in a paradise of vivid color and scent. As the rickshaw pulls me away, my heart nearly bursts with joy. I am exactly where I want to be, doing exactly what I want to do. It’s a memory of happiness and exhilaration that haunts me. I want to hold onto it for as long as I can.
The wicked smaht Dianamuse asks:
Favorite facial beauty product?
I am a drugstore junkie and love me some cheap beauty products. My enduring favorite is St. Ives Apricot Facial Scrub (in the pot, not the tube).
In what literary setting would you most like to live?
This is a toss-up between E.M Forester’s Edwardian England (purely for the fashion, mind you) and Virginia Wolff’s Bloomsbury (for the conversation, the intrigue, Vita Sackville-West’s gardens, and Vanessa Bell’s interiors)
Have you ever broken a bone?
No. I’m a sturdy wench, I am.
Astaire or Kelly?
Kelly – hands down. He is the epitome of charm.
What tops the list of (your) obsessive behaviors?
1. Gnawing my fingers to bloody stumps (currently on hiatus, but will most likely resume gnawing before the next deadline at work)
2. Worrying (practically a full-time job)
3. Agonizing (vying for second place)
4. Blog stalking (yes, that's me who checked your blog 47 times last week)
Which Scorsese films have you seen?
Cape Fear, Goodfellas, The Color of Money, Raging Bull, The Last Waltz, Taxi Driver (still scarred)
Do you call it the Pan Am or MetLife (shudder) Building?
Funny, I call it MetLife but when I close my eyes, I see the building with the Pan Am logo on it.
What is your earliest memory?
Eating Sicilian pizza in my high chair and giving my brothers the “Double Whammy” – a stern look of disapproval. I think I was three.
A fellow Persephone asks:
What I'd really like to know is why your blog takes so darn long to load.
This is a really good question that I can’t answer. I’ve tried to remove elements that might be slowing it down. Is anyone else having this problem with my blog?
She also asks, Why is Fauxhawk called Fauxhawk? Is it because he really isn't a hawk?
Right before our first date, Fauxhawk told me he was having some “hair issues” that he needed to resolve. At that point, he had a fauxhawk, which is a hairstyle that sticks up in the middle and is short on the sides. Now he has a very nice, slightly rocked-out hairdo that requires less product.
Things took a more serious turn when Persephone asked, I've never understood what the phrase "the ghost in the machine" means. Can you explain it? So that I can actually understand it?
So, Gilbert Ryle had this idea that the human brain in its highly evolved state still shows vestiges of its former, primitive state. When sophisticated functions such as logical thinking give way to destructive inclinations such as rage, the “ghost in the machine” – the specter of the unevolved brain - manifests itself.
Who? What? I don't understand it either.
Thank you for asking.