1) If you could be instantly fluent in one other language that you currently do not read or speak, which would it be?
Arabic. If I hadn't left Israel so young, I'd have learned it in school. Every time I've visited the city of my birth since then, I haven't been able to read half the signs in downtown. And I need to rely on what memri.org translates if I want to follow what's going on in the Arab press, which generally doesn't have web sites in English.
I have some Swahili and Finnish in my head, from visits to those places where they're spoken, and I'm going to try to learn both. But I already have a start. Arabic is the one I want to come by magic.
2) If you could have the starring role in any film already made, what would it be?
I really don't know.
Some of my friends used to say I did have a starring role in The Dark Crystal :) That's one of my favorite movies ever, so I won't complain.
3) If you could receive one small package this very moment, who would it be from and what would be in it?
It would be from eirias and contain my Finnish grammar book and Finnish-English dictionary. Oh, wait, I might see her in a few weeks, nevermind. It would be from Powell's Books, on behalf of me, with something I want to read so much it'd push past the rest of my book queue.
4) If you could own one work of art from any collection in the world but were not able to sell it, which work of art would you select?
estheruth's mother's wood sculpture of snails and mushrooms.
Which she will neither give away nor sell, because she injured her hand while carving it, and is keeping it as a memory of that injury.
5) If you were instantly able to play one musical instrument perfectly that you never have played before, what would it be?
Piano/keyboards. The banjo is my favorite instrument to listen to, and runners up are upright bass, kora, bari sax, and bodhran... but it seems that most of the music in my head is of the keyboard sort.
6) If you could possess one supernatural ability, what would it be?
7) If you had to choose the most valuable thing you ever learned, what would it be?
Drive your own life, don't be driven by what other people will think.
8) If you could have only one piece of furniture in your house, what would it be?
Assuming mattresses on the floor and a refrigerator don't count as "furniture", I'd say bookshelves.
9) If you could read the private diary of someone you know personally, whose diary would it be?
That depends on who would want me to read their diary.
If I could choose who would want me to read their diary...
it'd be someone who already has let me see parts of hers.
10) If you could have one person you know as your slave for one month, who would it be?
I think... a parallel of my answer to the previous question ;)
11) If you could choose the way you will die, how would you want it to happen?
I would decline to choose, and leave it a mystery.
12) If you could wake up tomorrow to learn that the major newspaper headlines were about you, what would they say?
The hypothetical me wrote a political rant, probably something about how badly the US is botching rebuilding Afghanistan and how dangerous and wrong that is and how we need to pay more attention, and sent it to congresscritters and media, and it caught enough people's attention because it was so well written, as to actually have an effect and get reported on.
We actually did publish a sampler CD of WBRS live music, it got some critical acclaim, and some paper took this as an opportunity to write about the live music series at WBRS and their history.
13) If you won the lottery, what is the first thing you would do?
Based on my past experience of winning the NASDAQ lottery (and then losing it :) ... probably about the same thing as I'd have done if I didn't win it. One the one hand I feel kinda lame about not having paid more attention to the huge gobs of money I briefly had, doing more useful things with it, and preserving it better. On the other hand I'm rather glad to know that having huge gobs of money doesn't really affect my life or change me. I used to fear wealth, now I'm indifferent towards it.
14) If you could choose the music at your funeral, what would it be, and who would play it?
I don't want a funeral, I want a concert.
I want The Nields to sing I'll Meet You In The Sky at my funeral-concert.
And Molly Zenobia to make something up for it and play that.
15) If you could take away the vocal cords of any person, who would it be?
Do I get to replace them with more pleasant sounding vocal cords?
16) If you had to describe your idea of the perfect mate, how would you do it?
By reference to people I have loved, or am still with.
Several have them have been ideal, in their unique ways.
I expect to find more ideals in the future, and I don't know how to describe those because they'll be different than the ones I've known.
17) If you had to have a personal friend redecorate your house, who would you pick to do it?
18) If you had to choose the worst home you've ever lived in, which one was it?
Subletting with a bunch of Brandeis students on South Street in the summer of 1992, even though I'd never met several of them until a few days before taking the room and moving in.
19) If you could have prevented one thing from happening between you and a friend, what would it have been?
I would have resisted that compulsion for boys and girls to avoid each other, around 5th-6th grade, and not pushed away the girl who had been my best friend since second grade.