Hey Renee From “Teacher & Twits”! Let’s Play 20 Questions!

August 9, 2012


She’s quite the introvert.

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.

You can also find her on Facebook, Twitter, or harassing me for not being on Twitter.  As I think you’ll see, she’s a fascinating woman.  But don’t take my word for it…

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.

Shoes like this? (figuratively speaking… or literally, whatever your bag is)

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.

Oh, I don’t know – the trees there behind the police and military vehicles are lovely.

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?


Well, sure, “Ray of Light” Madonna.  Who wouldn’t want to be friend with “Ray of Light” Madonna?  Or “Lucky Star” Madonna.  “Vogue” Madonna… maybe not so much.


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.

I explained all this to Jules, but I still didn’t win those cool ‘stache glasses.

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.

, , ,

About The Byronic Man

Recently voted "The Best Humor Site in America That I, Personally, Write," The Byronic Man is sometimes fiction, but sometimes autobiography. And sometimes cultural criticism. Oh, and occasionally reviews. Okay, it's all those different things, but always humorous. Except on the occasions that it's not. Ah, geez. Look, it's a lot of things, okay? You might like it, is the point.

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82 Comments on “Hey Renee From “Teacher & Twits”! Let’s Play 20 Questions!”

  1. 1pointperspective Says:

    I like to think of myself as something of an intellectual (Go ahead and laugh – I know you are). As brainy and sophisticated as I would like to believe I am, I read about Sarah Palin getting spanked over Renee’s knee and just couldn’t get past it. I tried to see humor, to think pure thoughts of humor and jocularity. That naughty, naughty Sarah.

    I need to leave now.


  2. Life With The Top Down Says:

    Renee your answers are great! We share a passion for righting wrongs and I think we are married to the same man. I don’t think its crazy to suggest laying down to stop a bulldozer from ruining our Open Space and something tells me you would be right next to me. We can’t even discuss the SP spanking, unless of course you let me pull her hair.


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Does your husband claim to golf? If so, it is possible my husband is living a double-life and that we are married to the same man.

      That said, please pull SP’s hair. And while you are holding her, make her look at a world map. 😉


  3. She's a Maineiac Says:

    This was fabulous. So, Renee, let me get this straight–you win everything, you’re an excellent writer (I will be reading your book one day) and now this? this interview had everything.

    My husband and I love The Shawshank Redemption so much we’ve seen it about 500 times.

    Love Peppermint Patty–that’s a take-charge woman right there. Hate Speedos.

    Reading about your experience at Tech’s bar mitzvah brought tears to my eyes.

    And the spanking Sarah Palin thing–oh my!


  4. Rivki Says:

    Ha! Banning speedos, indeed! Those things are hazardous. Very enjoyable interview, you two. Funny, thoughtful, scrumptious. And now I know who to call when I have a problem with the hiccups.


  5. speaker7 Says:

    I get the not being able to let something go. There are times I wish I could remove my brain from my head so I can get over something.


  6. on thehomefrontandbeyond Says:

    excellent questions – the most entertaining answers ever – I lol-ed a lot


  7. Go Jules Go Says:

    Oh, Renee. I love you. You know this. (You and Madge do need some ‘stache glasses.) I hope you consider yourself among those talented writers you mentioned. I can’t WAIT to read your book (it’s happening).

    All of your answers were amazing; I especially loved 14 and 15. And you honeymooned in Zihuatanejo!?

    And, um, where did you say Miklos is these days?


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Yes, leave it to me to juxtapose lust with my son’s bar mitzvah. Thank you for always being a source of joy for me. I think you would be the most fun to hang out with in real life, and I hope it happens one day.

      As far as Miklis goes. I have no idea where he is.


      After watching some of those Olympic swimmers, I might have to revise that answer.


  8. Dorothy Petrie Says:

    Renee, I’d follow you anywhere! Working on letting go of some things–but obviously not enough, according to husband, family and friends… And may I be the first to order the dancing shoes?!?! Ah, to dance again without blisters on the hammer toes, a screaming Morton’s neuroma, or an apparent heart-attack…um, pulled muscle, the one that runs around my diaphragm… Love you, Renee


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Hi Dorothy! You are a fabulous, devoted follower. I would tell you to check out Byro…but you might dump me. He’s really great. Seriously. Don’t look at anything else he’s written.

      Except you should.

      Because he is all that.

      And something tells me he could pull off the Speedo thing. 😉


  9. Lisha @ The Lucky Mom Says:

    Hey, I’ve been to Zihuatenejo, too. (We must’ve been separated at birth.)

    And OMG. Out of all the blogosphere, you included ME on your list! I’m all a-flutter!


  10. pegoleg Says:

    I listened to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young and Pink Floyd BOTH last night. Seriously – played through The Wall twice while sitting on my screen porch. I KNEW we were twin daughters of different mothers. Except that you’re all gorgeously buff and a lot younger and have mad writing skills and…and…well, at least we share a love of music.

    Reading about your son’s special day brought tears to my eyes, Renee. Joel, you’ll find out that’s the WORST/BEST thing about parenting. Your heart is just sitting out there, naked to every joy and every pain. It makes you so damn vulnerable


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Peg: I have been reading your blog for a long time. I don’t always moment because sometimes I am just in awe of you. I’m not saying that in a make-fun tongue-in-cheek kind of way. I just think you have tremendous range as a writer and feel so fortunate to be your younger twin. I’d LOVE to listen to tunes on your pitch and talk about writing and life and parenting.


  11. The Bumble Files Says:

    I always meet such top-notch quality bloggers this way. Thanks!


  12. susielindau Says:

    Love your answers Renee! Wow! To be picked by Byronic Man is super cool!


  13. Hippie Cahier Says:

    Whenever I happen upon Shawshank Redemption on television, I stop whatever I’m doing and watch. It’s a problem.

    You are on my list of bloggers to visit and after reading this, that must happen soon!


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Hi Hippie! Absolutely yes.

      Must stop everything and watch.

      “The first time I met Andy DuFresne…” and I’m hooked. It’s over. Like someone else has to cook dinner.

      And I have to check you out, too. We’re starting to circle each other at Peg’s and Darla’s and here! Nice to meet you! 😉


  14. Nina Badzin Says:

    Renee– you named every writer’s fear: “Or I will finish it and no one will read it.” Let me add my own twist on that fear: I will finish it. People WILL read it. But they won’t like it.

    And thanks for the mention!


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Omigosh! That’s like saying Voldemort! I knew that part; I just didn’t say it! And of course I mentioned you, silly? Because you rock! Thanks for following me to Byro’s page. Both of you should be reading each other.

      And it’s fine because you’re both married.

      And Byro, Nina has like 93 kids so she will be a big help when your progeny gets here.


  15. Wilma Says:

    Great answers, Renee! We could tag team Sarah Palin. I’m totally down for prepping her for you. I could shake her really hard before you spank her.


  16. mistyslaws Says:

    My gawd, this Renee chick is EVERYWHERE!! First, she wins Jules’ gift basket contest, denying me of that bounty, THEN she soundly whoops me in Peg’s new contest, just waiting until I was out of town to get her minions to vote her into all that fame and glory!! Jeesh! If she had not just recently comment bombed my site on all my most recent Weekly Whackeds and if she didn’t seem like just a lovely person (the love of my most favorite movie of all time helps), I think I would have to deeply despise her.

    Sigh. I guess instead I’m gonna have to go visit her blog. One more excellent, well-written and funny blog to add to the list? Damnit.


    • k8edid Says:

      I know – there I was IN THE HOSPITAL gasping for breath when Renee pulled victory from my clutches in Peg’s contest…I’ve added her to my list of brilliant bloggers whose work is keeping me from being brilliant myself…


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      First of all you THREE! Y’all keep me on my toes! You are some of the best keyboard tappers I’ve found to date, and I’m happy that we are all convening here on this most auspicious day. You are all too kind. For real.

      And as Joel noted in his intro, I’m really competitive. I do like to win. It’s obscene.

      Now I feel dirty.


  17. mj monaghan Says:

    Renee, I love your sense of fun, and the fact that your gravatar looks like a young Susan Saint James: http://www.newprophecy.net/Susan_Saint_James_3.jpg

    Great 20 questions from the B-Man, from a great subject.


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Hi MJ! You know all about my ridiculous competitive side. You know our recent repartee (was it at Peg’s) where I basically said, “Admit defeat now. Because I’ve got this.” How obnoxious is that? Seriously? How do I have friends in real life? 😉

      Seriously, you get the next one.

      Unless its really good. In which case, it’s mine.

      Unless you can somehow work it so I can meet Madonna. Then you can win everything. Forever.


      • mj monaghan Says:

        I thought it was super-obnoxious, but I kind of expected it from a teacher. Woops, did I say that out loud?? Shoot. 😉

        Madge says hi, but I’m keeping her to myself, now. hehe


        • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

          Madge Madigan? I’m dying to meet that woman. Apparently, she lives nearby. Or something. MJ, you are a hoot. I kind of wish you were in one of my classes, but I am simultaneously glad you never were.

          Ooops. Did I say that out loud? 😉


  18. julie gardner Says:

    When I heard you used to have abs that someone could punch, I thought two things immediately:

    A. She probably still does. DANG.
    B. I can’t like her anymore.

    Then, of course, I got over myself when you included Wonder Woman boots and compared yourself to Peppermint Patty. Because obviously.

    AND THEN. You threw my name out there to share and I remembered that I will always love you no matter how awesome your abs are.

    And I WILL read your book. And your biography. If you were ever to write one…

    Thank you my friend. For everything.
    And for still being here even when I’ve been gone…



  19. Dawn Says:

    You had me at “Madonna” and kept me with “Sarah Palin”.


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      Hi Dawn! *waving furiously* I wish I could have Madonna at Madonna. She has never even responded to any of my love letters. Can you imagine? 😉


      • Dawn Says:

        Whaaaatttt??? Does she not know how fabulous you are?? Seriously, you, me, and Madge for a delicious veggie lunch. Over cocktails (of which only you and I will partake, duh), we will discuss ALL the things wrong with SP and why that was such a gawdawful glitch in history for women. Can’t you just imagine the fun/excitement/insight? Oh, and we’ll also discuss clothes.


        • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

          Wait. I can only have ginger-ale and lime. That’s my signature drink. Is that okay? I’m pretty sure you are down with that. Madge can do whatever she wants. You know, because she’s Madge. But yes. She needs to know us!


  20. Stacie Chadwick Says:

    This has nothing to do with your post. Just wanted to let you know I ordered the Chi Running book you rec’d. Thanks!


  21. Stacie Chadwick Says:

    By the way, what, exactly, is a webcam dancer? =)


  22. Valentine Logar Says:

    You had me on shoes, I am now your dedicated and forever follower!


  23. Blogdramedy Says:

    I think all us funny, brilliant and sexy bloggers should go move onto an island somewhere and plot out our ploy for world domination. Because it’s so obvious that if we ruled the world, the world would be a better place. Hallelujah. Amen. Awomen. Aawesome post.


  24. Michelle Gillies Says:

    The banning of speedos definitely gets my vote. There are some things you just can’t un-see. The stuff nightmares are made of.


  25. Soma Mukherjee Says:

    Loved you answers Renee,amazing sense of humour 🙂


    • Renée A. Schuls-Jacobson Says:

      I can definitely be a goof. Strangely, I tend to be more straight-laced on my blog, so it’s nice to be able to cut loose at someone else’s house. Maybe I need to let out my naughty side a bit more. Because even the ladies can be hot for teacher, right? Nice to meet you!


  26. earthriderjudyberman Says:

    Great responses and humor, Renee. Your description of the “Shawshank Redemption” was excellent. I’d heard so much about it over the years that I finally sat down to watch it. Then I understood why all the fuss.



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