Holy crapsicle! When Renee, today’s 20 Questions interviewee sent me her responses, she sent them in text code. TEXT CODE. I was proud of myself when I found the “font color” button, but text code?? But then, no one would ever accuse Renee of lacking motivation. The force behind the compelling and varied Teachers & Twits, she’s a funny, insightful writer, hoster of interesting guests, webcam dancer, and she also likes to win things. Seriously, she really likes winning things.
Hey, Renee from Teachers & Twits! Let’s play 20 questions!
1. What quality do you most admire in others?
Amazing abs. Seriously, you know those people who look you could pound them sixty-three times and they would never even flinch? I want those abs. Because I once had abs like that. Seriously. I did.
2. What trait do you most dislike in yourself?
I hate that I can’t just let things roll off my back. My husband will be all: “Hey, everyone parents differently. If the McCrappensteins want to smoke crack with their kids, that’s their deal.” Then he’ll take a nap. Meanwhile, I’ll be spinning in circles in my kitchen, getting all worked up about it. I have a strong sense of justice and my inability to let things go makes life harder for me. No doubt.
3. If you could come back in your next life as anything, what would it be?
I’d actually like to be a fabulous pair of shoes: the kind a woman might wear out dancing, the kind of shoes that would make her feel beautiful. I’d love to give her calves that little lift and put a little bounce in her step. I’d like to help her feel sexy for a little while. And I’d like to be comfortable so she could dance all night. So she could feel fearless and stand up on tables, completely sober, and just shake and shimmy.
4. You’re suddenly made the absolute ruler of your country. What is the first change you make?
No more Speedo bathing suits for men. I’m sorry, but they are just not for the general public. In my whole life of observing men in Speedos, I’ve come to realize there was only one person who could wear that thing. And he was a 17-year old boy. Miklos, wherever you are now, good for you. You had it going on. That garment was made for you. Every other man on the planet, throw them into the fire.
5. With which Peanuts character do you most identify?
I think I have always been Peppermint Patty-ishy. Okay, so she is confident, independent, and a little bossy. But she appreciates loyal friends and she means well. She’s not the smartest tool in the shed, but she knows what she wants and she goes after it. And even though she can never get Chuck to fall for her, it never seems to bring her down. Also, she’s in shape. Check it out.
6. What 3 songs do you think you’ve listened to more than any others in your life?
I can’t tell you specific songs, but I can tell you without a doubt Crosby Stills & Nash and Pink Floyd loop continuously in my head, as does anything Stevie Nicks sings.
7. If you could relive one day – either keeping it the same, or changing something – what would you choose?
I would have said no when he asked me to follow him back to that room. Because nothing good happened there, and everything was different after that.
8. What is your biggest fear?
That I will never finish my book. Or I will finish it and no one will read it.
9. What would you like the title of your biography to be?
I can’t imagine anyone wanting to write about me because I haven’t done anything that amazing. Yet.
10. What movie or book has had the biggest impact on you?
The Shawshank Redemption is my most favorite movie. It is about being in a situation where you have been wrongfully accused and knowing you can do nothing, and still finding a way to survive. And not just survive but thrive. Andy Dufresne actively works to make something he wants to happen, happen. It is about a person with a sharp mind making deep friendships while privately making plans that involve revenge and escape. It is a story of love and friendship and secrets. My husband and I honeymooned in Zihuatanejo, Mexico because we loved the movie so much. When we got there, we realized that last scene was probably not filmed on location. (Read: It ain’t paradise.)
11. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
Finishing a well-written post and pressing PUBLISH. Just kidding. Every blogger has said it though, right? The comments. I love reading everyone’s words and seeing how people react to mine. Comments are the delicious chocolates that I crave. I love this ever-expanding community of talented and supportive writers.
12. Least favorite thing about blogging?
That there is this ever-expanding community of great writers out there. I will finish writing a post, and then I’ll go check out what’s in my reader and I’ll be blown away by something authored by Julie C. Gardner or Nina Badzin or El Farris or Lisha Fink or Alexandra Rosas or Peg-O-Leg or Erin Margolin or YOU! And then I want to die. Because I know I will never be good enough. Luckily, I usually come out of that pretty quickly. I don’t really do despair for very long.
13. Which superpower would you choose if you could: the ability to fly, or to turn invisible at will?
First of all, I do have a superpower. I can cure people of their hiccups. Seriously, isn’t that enough?
14. What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I think I just experienced it during my son’s bar mitzvah. I’ve never experienced anything like it. Not at my own wedding, not when my child was born. But waking up on a blue-sky day, dressing up to go to temple to listen to my son chant Torah in front of 200 people, surrounded by our friends, family and congregation who all had such nice things to say about him. I was squeezing my husband’s hand and beaming like a dork. Too much joy for one heart.
15. Which of the 7 Deadly Sins are you most guilty?
I think lust. Not in the obvious sexual way (although there’s that, too), but I have this inner voice that says: “I want. I want.” I hear her. She is demanding, insatiable. She wants knowledge. She wants me to be a better at everything. She never lets me relax. She makes me take on projects because she wants me to get bigger-er. She wants me to stop answering these questions and work on my book. See how bitchy she is?
16. What public figure (past or present) are you just sure you’d be friends with, if you ever met?
Since 1984, I have been positive that Madge and I would be best friends, if only she knew I were alive. If we were deserted on an island together, I’d make Madonna a fancy corset out of shells and kelp. We would talk Kabbalah together under a shady palm tree, and we would dance in the sand whenever she broke into song. Which, I figure, would be all the time.
17. What public figure would you really like to sit down and give a good talking-to? To explain why they’re wrong, wrong, wrong.
Sarah Palin. I don’t want to talk to her though. I just want to take her over my knee and spank her.
18. If you could spend a year in any time and place, when and where would you choose?
I’m not sure. I might like to go to somewhere in the Middle East, like Afghanistan or Iran. I’d like to become fluent in their language; learn it from the bottom up – like a child. I’d like to really appreciate and understand their culture and traditions and embrace them. And then I’d like to understand where the hatred of the West and Israel comes in. How it gets introduced because it is so very dangerous.
19. If you could be any TV detective, who would you choose?
I would be a terrible detective, but I’d love to
make out with play mind games with Patrick Jane from The Mentalist. Also, we could sip tea from Fiesta Ware teacups. I know he has to have that turquoise one. Fine by me.
20. What do you think people will say about you after you’re gone?
She just wouldn’t shut up about that damn blog.