Hank and Katherine’s Survey


For the past 11 years, my friends Hank and Katherine have sent out a survey to the people they care about, threatening stuff if you don’t respond to it, like, “your feet will literally turn into dachshund puppies…which is going to be really cute at first, until you realize that dachshunds only live like 15 years max.”

So, I always respond, because, yikes. And because I put time and energy into answering the questions, I might as well tell you about them, right?

THE QUESTIONS (and my responses):
1. What have you been up to?
You guys. In the past year, I’ve been super busy metamorphosing into a growed-ass woman.  A lot of my life is really fulfilling, some of it is complete bullshit. I’ve decided that’s okay.
2. Best acquisition of the year?
A 1963 Bear recurve bow and some arrows my friend Steve made me for my birthday. I got really into archery this year because the very best way to deal with bullshit is just to go out into the woods and shoot some shit up.
3. Favorite board game? 
I’m a Scrabble girl; always will be.  I also love Cards Against Humanity, but it’s not really as fun if not everybody you’re playing with thinks it’s hilarious. I’m looking at you, Bryan Nuse.

4. What will science never explain?
How you can make things happen with your mind.  Intention, friends, is a powerful thing.
5. Mr Rogers weighed exactly 143 pounds for the last thirty years of his life because it takes one letter to spell “I” four letters to spell “love” and three letters to spell “you.” How does that make you feel?
Awesome. It makes me feel awesome.
6. The majority of your time is currently being spent:
Writing, trying to teach Odessa to wipe her butt properly, spacing out.
7. Last time you screamed?
Today. I’m a screamer.
8. What kind of phone do you have? How do you feel about it?
iPhone 4. It’s hard to talk about my feelings about my phone–it’s the first smartphone I’ve ever had, and I routinely find myself both amazed and repulsed by how magical it is.
9. Best and worst teacher of your life?
I’ve had a lot of great teachers, but my worst one told told me I could go fuck myself. Ostensibly, he got paid to tell me that.
10. Last time you bled (not including shaving):
I pick at the skin around my thumb nails when I’m nervous.  I would bite my nails, I guess, but I believe nail biting is tantamount to a huge, flashing neon sign on your face that says, “I’M AFRAID.”  Instead, I have scabby thumb cuticles which I pick at behind my back while acting relaxed and charming. Sometimes I bleed.
11. The text of the most recent text you received?
It’s boring: “Thanks!”
12. What do you know the most about?
Well, the thing I think the most about is Love and how to live my life in the most loving, honest, compassionate way I can manage.  And though I think about that the most, I’d also say that’s probably the thing I know least about. I probably KNOW most about how to drive a car.
13. Is it OK for me to really really love McDonald’s country chicken sandwiches?
Sure. The heart wants what the heart wants.
14. What non-human mammal would you least want to eat?
If you haven’t read Becca Hall’s excellent blog, you should. There’s a post (which I can’t find right now) about trying to make homemade escargot from regular old garden snails, and her description is so hilarious and so revolting that I think about it almost every single day.
So, yeah.  That.
15. Your most-played song of the last year:
According to iTunes, it was Museum of Flight by Damien Jurado.  According to my memory, it was Dancing On My own by Robyn.
16. In this space, write your own question and answer it (but don’t delete the directions, otherwise, everyone gets confused.)
The question Gwyneth just asked me:
Q: Jesslyn, how do I reformat the text in Vertical Response?
A: I dunno.  I always just erase it and start over.

17. What did you do that you feel really good about?
Teaching Odessa to be more specific about how she’s feeling. Like the first time she told me, “Mom, I’m feeling so frustrated!” That was a good day.

18. What’s the picture on your desktop?
Odessa dressed like Wonder Woman.
19. OK, so you’re in the movie Groundhog Day, but you get to choose what day you keep repeating…which day do you choose?
Yesterday.  It was terrible and also sublime.  And also I wish I could do it over for a few different reasons.
20. Open your web browser, type an “b” into the URL bar…what does it auto-complete to?
But Does it Float.  It’s an art blog I like.
21. Tell me about the first memory you have of the most recent person to answered this survey.
THIS! This is why I chose to YOLO and procrastinate on something I’m really supposed to be doing in favor of filling out this survey and talking about the first time I ever met Catherine Meeks.
She was a prospective student visiting my graduate school program and I agreed to let her stay at our house even though we had never met.  I went to the Missoula airport to pick her up and she came out of the front doors grinning like crazy, carrying this huge white and blue tote bag. It was love at first sight. She’s pretty much the only person in the world I could live with in a space as small as a normal sized bathroom.  I might move to Tallahassee with her and do just that.

22. Suggest a book, movie, or TV show for us:
Oh god, well…I don’t actually watch or read anything anymore, other than Downton Abbey, veeeeerrrrry slowly. Right now I’m reading a book called Dr. Tatiana’s Sex Advice for All Creation right now for a project about animal sex I’m working on.  Sex is weird, you guys.

23. Weirdest video you’ve seen this year:
“Weird” is such a hard concept to pin down. The video that made me laugh the most was this one.  Also, I hated this.
24. Who would win in a fight…You, or 16 year-old you?
Me.  I’m 140% sure I would win.  I mean, one or the other of me.

25. What are you looking forward to?
Living on a commune with only people I love and respect and like being around.
26. What was the best moment of the year?
This year for my birthday, Bryan organized a scavenger hunt that led me all over town for an entire day, spending little bits of time doing little fun activities with people I love.  Each person gave me a clue that led me to the next person/activity.  I got to do yoga with Sarah, shoot bows and arrows with Steve and Dana, drink smoothies with Eleanor, have tea with Angie, go on a walk on the train tracks with Drew and Kerry and David. David made me an amazing puppet show, Franchesca made me my own MadLibs, lots of people ate my meals with me. It started at 7:30 AM and ended at 11:30 PM.  It was the greatest moment of my entire life.

27. If you were a mutt, what breeds would be in your blood?
Golden Retriever, Rottweiler, lion, skunk, otter, hawk, black rat snake, pony, this thing:


I think that’s about it.


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