1. What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?
Generally Gina is a bit difficult to shorten, but you can call me Gin. I prefer to be called Oz the Great and Powerful. (I am, of course, kidding. If you actually call me this, I might die laughing.)
Ugh, so many of them... Americanah by Chimamanda Adichie, a collection of Tenneyson's poems, several books about Shakespeare, All's Well That Ends Well, Trolious and Cressida, a book on Vincent Van Gogh that's taken me two months to read (I am determined to finish it this summer; only four hundred more pages to go!)
3. How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?
Not often, now that I'm not in school. When I do doodle, it's generally a lot of spirals and squiggly lines.
4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I generally toss and turn and make up stories in my head, hoping that will tire me out, but if it's really bad, I'll listen to music or read.
5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
That is a terrifying, interesting question. I have absolutely no idea. Probably not long. If I had some pen and paper, maybe I'd be okay, but just me, alone with my thoughts, with no human contact? No longer than a few days and I'd be sobbing for someone to let me out.
6. When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
Roost? Who am I, Hawkeye? No, I enter like Davide Bowie in Labyrinth, with strong gusts of wind and spiraling glitter. Honestly, I generally only go to small parties where I know most people and my entrance is immediately noted. I suppose at a larger party, I'd either go with someone I knew and interact with people as I can or, if I'm going solo, try to find someone I know or find some poor soul to try and introduce me to other people.
I used to think that there was a mirror-image world beneath our feet where everyone in human form was replicated in mouse-form. So there'd be a little mouse me going to kindergarten or a little mouse version of my class having story time. I also used to think that field trips would result in Scooby Doo-like mysteries or some grandiose adventure where all my wildest dreams would come true. I was always disappointed that field trips were never exciting as I'd hoped they'd be.
8. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know?
Ooh, that's a tough question. I know a lot of really kind people so I seriously can't answer that.
9. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections?
Randomly throughout the week. I read them all online, mostly the Minneapolis Star Tribune and The Guardian. Otherwise I scroll through Twitter for headlines and click on links.
10. Which animals scare you most? Why?
I hate wasps/hornets. I love bees. But wasps scare me a great deal. Also, I am terrified of velociraptors, but thankfully they are extinct.
11. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on?
Depends on the conflict, but usually avoid.
12. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savoured?
A customer at Target told me the other day he liked my hair when I had it braided and I really appreciated that. People rarely compliment me on my hair.
13. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will?
I worry endlessly about health/weight but I'm really not bad off on that. I probably wish I could me a little less stressed about things and more extroverted, less nervous about meeting new people.
14. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits?
The last time I went on a really long run. It's tough, working in retail and standing on my feet all of the time and trying to keep up a running routine. My legs are so physically exhausted that on my days off, I really prefer to sit around and read than running or exercising. So I'm trying to balance that out so I don't overdo it.
15. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others?
I have never seen this question asked this way. And honestly, I don't really know. I mean, I don't think of myself as an empire builder, but I also don't think I help people as much as I could. So I don't know. Both? Neither?
16. What’s a strange occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone?
One night when I was walking home from work last fall, a couple that had been fighting came up to me on the street. They were a man and a woman and the man explained to me that he had been down on his luck and that he'd been trying to turn his life around. He was struggling with communication with his girlfriend and felt that she was cutting him out. I don't remember the details now, but she had been a foster child growing up and had struggled with intimacy/closeness with people. He loved her deeply and didn't wan to let her go, but he also didn't want to cause himself pain. I don't remember what I told the both of them, but they came out of nowhere, asking me for advice, and because this isn't the first time people have done this, I wonder if there's something about my face, something about my presence that just gives people the feeling they can tell me anything. Regardless, I spent maybe fifteen minutes talking to them about how communication is a struggle and love is hard and other honest things I thought they should know. I don't remember what I said now, but it affected them and, in return, they affected me. I wished them a Happy Halloween (it was October 31st when this occurred) and the man told me he didn't believe in Halloween, didn't like the whole affair of it, but that Happy Thanksgiving was better, that family and support of that nature was more important. Somehow, I'd alluded to my own current unhappiness, being at a school I didn't like and missing my family and their support, and his thoughts on Thanksgiving struck a cord with me. Wishing him a Happy Thanksgiving, I went home, made some terrible mistakes in the days to follow, and decided to change what I was doing with my life. I don't know what happened to them and if things worked out, but I continue to wish them both the best, even though I no longer remember their names.
I don't have many out-of-town guests, but if I do, I'll insist on visiting the Guthrie Theater, going to the Wilde Roast Cafe, going to Nicollet Mall downtown and eating at Brit's Pub, and visiting the Sculpture Gardens near the Walker Arts Center (they are particularly gorgeous in the summer). Also, it's impossible to do any of this without seeing the Mississippi River, so there's a good lot of walking around that area. And Uptown is pretty sweet too. And Lake Calhoun. Man, there's actually a lot of things; how long are my out-of-town guests staying?
18. What’s your all-time favourite town or city? Why?
It's a terrible, complicated tie between Minneapolis and London. But I will also always have a soft spot in my heart for Columbus, Indiana, and Denver, Colorado. I am also really fond of Edinburgh, Glasgow, Fort William, and Aberdour, Scotland.
19. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new?
Discussing the same sorts of books/shows/films/music I like and saying something about them that either I agree with or hadn't thought of before, expressing some opinion or belief I find fascinating/compelling, and having an easy-going, open-minded, and outgoing personality.
20. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be?
If that garrulous, disconcerting voice of negativity and unreason could go away, I'd be a lot more carefree.
21. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be?
I don't know if I'd restore this relationship, but I really messed up with a friend of mine in high school and, while I feel my reactions were reasonable, I still have regrets about it and I wish that things had happened differently, that we could have at least remained acquaintances instead of losing our entire friendship.
22. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to?
I was obsessed with the name Catherine when I was younger because I inexplicably wanted to be called Cat. Now, however, I can hardly see myself with a different name, but if I had to choose one, I'm going with Wren (I toyed with the idea of using it as a pen name for a while but decided against it).
23. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for?
Uffda. That is an intense question. I'd like to think I do, but I don't really know. I'm pretty sure I'd die to protect love and friendship, and I'm pretty I'd die to defend basic human rights. But I don't really know, because I've never been in that situation. And while I'm not entirely terrified of death, I'm afraid of suffering and pain that leads to death. So if I knew I was going to be in an immense amount of pain or tortured or something, I don't know how I'd react.
Definitely the whole emotional-romantic-relationshippy realm. And yet at the same time, my thinking on it doesn't seem entirely immature, I just don't have a lot of personal experience/growth there. Also, I keep reverting towards interests of mine that I had when I was much younger and reacting like a rather over-excited eight year old. But I don't think this makes me immature either; I'm just a kid at heart. However, when it comes to financial planning and that sort of stuff, that I am entirely immature and inexperienced about and I can only hope that my current job searching will placate the judgement I've received on such matters.
25. When do you find yourself singing?
Anytime, all of the time, at really inopportune moments. I generally sing when no one's around because I rather think I sound like an owl being strangled, even though I also think I sound rather good. It's probably a mix of the two and I just sound pretty mediocre. But I always have music stuck in my head, so perhaps in some way, I'm always singing.