Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flame of the uninspired

As usual, this can be blamed on Maria who says she found it in Vanity Fair. The same magazine that publishes Annie Liebovitz's work has published a meme.

God help us all in these trying times.

1. What is your idea of perfect happiness?

This week, it would be finding a charming little one bedroom apartment with hardwood floors, a working fireplace, a couple bay windows, and a washer and dryer in a charming little urban neighborhood peppered with bookstores, cafes, and an art gallery...all utilities included for $800 a month.

Thankfully, I think I can be perfectly happy with less than charming little perfect happiness. (Because, you know, I'm not finding that apartment.)

2. What is your greatest fear?

Sucking at my job. It's also my greatest motivator. I think it keeps me from sucking at my job.

3. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Lately, I have really crappy time management skills. (I know that time management skills are not really a trait. If it bothers you so much, bogart the damn meme and take it back to your blog where you can write whole essays on your own deplorableness.) I think it's because I have too much time on my hands right now. It's easier for me to manage when there's less of it.

4. What is the trait that you most deplore in others?

I can't stand people who don't tip well. In fact, when a few of the third year medical students asked me for residency interviewing advice, that was the sum total of it.

"When you're traveling, tip well. No matter what you believe in--Jesus, karma, or Oprah--tipping is essential. When you're making your match list later, you will pray for a job. Don't roll your eyes at me. You'll pray. There are no atheists $150,000 in debt with no other marketable skills in this shit economy. Rest assured (and I believe this with all my heart), your pleas will fall on Oprah's deaf ears if you've just spent the last three months hopping around the country, ripping off every waiter, doorman, and cab driver you meet. So tip like the classy, well paid doctor you hope to become."

5. What living person do you most admire?

You. (Maybe. Depending on who's reading this, of course.)

6. What is your greatest extravagance?

I asked Graci, "What's my greatest extravagance?"
She said, "Earrings."
I said, "It's been almost a year since I bought a pair of earrings."
She said, "Yeah well, it's a crappy extravagance...but it's all you've got."

7. What do you consider the most overrated virtue?


8. On what occasion do you lie?

When it might spare someone unnecessary pain. Listen, if you're asking, "Does this make me look fat?" the answer is probably, "Yes." But I'm likely to tell you that you look just fine. Horizontal stripes never really killed anyone.

9. What do you dislike most about your appearance?

Right hair. I need a trim. Earlier this week, the weather broke, the birds returned from Florida, and a few of them showed up on the back of my head, looking for a place to raise their young this spring. One of them may still be back there.

10. What living person do you most despise?

These "medical professionals." The doctors that the Red Cross talks about in its report on US torture in secret CIA prisons should be prosecuted, tried, and sent to jail. What the fuck were they thinking?

11. What words or phrases do you most overuse?

I probably say fuck too much.

12. What or who is the greatest love of your life?

I love my nieces more than I ever thought I could love someone else's children. I was never one of those people who loved babies. Back in my labor and delivery nurse's aide days, I dreaded getting floated to the nursery. Twelve hours of rocking and feeding and changing baby after baby after baby drug on. I worked with a couple women who couldn't get enough of it. One of them fell in love with every infant she touched. She used to say all the time, "Can you believe we get paid to snuggle them all day?" I would smile and nod as I checked the clock and counted down the minutes until I could get out of there and talk to an adult who wasn't cooing her verbs.

But these nieces of mine...

13. When and where were you happiest?

Just after I found out where I matched for residency, I went home for a night and all my siblings got together at my brother and sister-in-law's house to celebrate. My sister made stuffed shells and brownies. She wrote Congratulations T! on the brownies in squiggly letters (letters that were, perhaps, a bit more squiggly than she'd originally intended). We drank a couple bottles of red wine and had a great time hanging out.

This was also the first time I'd seen my brother's house. He and his wife moved in over a year ago. I just hadn't been there. (There's probably a little more to it than that... After losing my own little house two years ago, I wasn't real eager to go visit happy, young couples and their cute little houses while my mom walked me from room to room, talking all about how happy and young and cute it all was.) But, I loved being there that night and I wished I had seen it sooner. Honestly, I was very pleasantly surprised...not at how happy they were for me that night, but at how happy I was for them.

14. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I'm going to be superficial and name something physical here: I'd warm up my frigid hands. I have Raynaud's, and my hands are so cold that people jump when I touch them. I run them under warm water for a few minutes just before every physical exam, and still, patients complain. I tried a medication for this, but the side effects were unbearable. I'm now looking into a natural remedy that doctors in Europe have been giving their patients with Raynaud's. That's right, I'm going to be one of those people who buys natural shit from overseas. My hands are that fucking frozen.

15. What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I just got a really great job.

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

I'd probably be one of those zoo animals with warning signs wired to her cage. Things like, Small unattended children who climb the fence to pet the animal are more likely to be eaten than they are to be nuzzled as her own.

17. Where would you like to live?

We talked about this in question one.

18. What is your most treasured possession?

Photos. Dozens of family photos. Everything else could be replaced.

19. What is your favorite occupation?

I'll let you know as soon as I start getting paid to do something.

20. What is your most marked characteristic?

I'm devastatingly good looking. And completely full of shit.

21. What do you most value in your friends?


22. Who are your favorite writers?

Lately... Anne Lamott, David Sedaris.
And I just read a good book called Churched by Matthew Paul Turner. If you grew up with evangelical fundys, it's like a humorous, sometimes touching walk through your fucked up childhood.

23. Who is your favorite hero or heroine of fiction?

Atticus Finch. I may someday name a dog or a child after Atticus. (If it's a child, it will have to be a middle name, of course. One doesn't want to be unnecessarily cruel to children.)

24. Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Dorothy Parker.

25. What is it that you most dislike?

Lima beans.
Foot fungus.
Parents who show up in the ER in the middle of the night with a wheezing child and haven't 1) refilled the prescription for asthma medication and given it to the child as directed over and over and over again or 2) quit smoking in the house.

25. What is your greatest regret?

I'm not going to go there. What's the point?

26. How would you like to die?

Old and intact.

27. What is your motto?

When it comes to accessories, if you can take off more than three things, you're wearing too much.


Amanda said...

this was fantastic! I seriously don't know how you can come up with all of this.

.j.william. said...

the tipping speech: classic.

dive said...

Great meme, T!
And Graci rules. Hee hee.

Slimbolala said...

Now publish your own magazine with the same meme and pass it along to twenty-seven of your friends.

jenny said...

Chloe has reynauds too, its bad today, her hands and feet are purple and corpse like and frozen, she doesnt mind, she thinks it likens her to Edward Cullen (didnt know who he was till she made me watch it on dvd last night)

MmeBenaut said...

I love numbers 13 and 14. You're a real grown up now little one!

PS I think I'll send you some earrings for your birthday.