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Because you and I both know there can never be too many questionnaires

Ganked from Miss Em.

  • What is your name? Do you have a nickname?
    My parents named me Heather Ann Aubrey. Ann was a popular middle name at the time! Now my name is Heather Aubrey Meadows. Hai calls me He-chan…and okay, I’ll go ahead and explain it. It’s pronounced “heh-chan”, and “he” means “fart” in Japanese. He’s not really calling me a fart, though. :P This all goes back to when I was in Japan in 2001. We had just learned the meaning of “he”, and we were out at karaoke with a bunch of businessmen. They asked me if I had a nickname, and one of them suggested “He-chan”, and then they all cracked up. I told this story to my Internet friends, and it stuck. Other Japanese-ish nicknames include Hea-chan and Heaza (it should be Hezaa, but who’s counting?). People used to call me COS back in the day. Brooke calls me Hea Hea or Hea, and it actually sort of bothers me if anyone else calls me that, because that nickname feels like a special thing between me and her.
  • What is your hair color? Eye color?
    My hair is blond. Its actual shade varies. If I get a lot of sun, it turns pale, especially in the front. Sometimes it is so dark my husband says I’m a brunette, but really it’s dirty blond ;P My eyes are blue, just like the eyes of all my family.
  • What kind of distinguishing facial features do you have?
    Gah, I don’t know. Glasses? A huge forehead? The refusal to show my teeth when I smile? When I was younger, a teacher told me she liked it when I smiled, because I had “such pretty dimples”. At the time this offended me because Anne of Green Gables didn’t have dimples. (Diana did, and Anne wanted to look like Diana, but I wanted to look like Anne.)
  • Do you have a birthmark? Where is it? What about scars? How did you get them?
    I don’t have any birthmarks. Now that I’m getting older I’ve started to enjoy skin tags, random little red dots, and stretch marks here and there. As far as scars, why yes, yes I do have some! They are all the result of my cancer treatment. The biggest is the one across my abdomen that makes it look like I’ve had a C-section. Then there’s the round one about the size of a dime nestled against the inside of my right breast; that’s where my catheter was implanted, for several months. There are a few tiny scars all around my chest and neck where they attempted to implant the catheter and failed. They’re really not all that noticeable though.
  • Who are your friends and family? Who do you surround yourself with? Who are the you are closest to? Who do you wish you were closest to?
    Brooke, Hai, Mom, and my brother AJ are the closest people to me, I think. I have many other friends I care deeply about and wish I was closer to; Mari, for example. A lot of my Internet friends seem to fall into and out of my life, like Dawn and Sam.
  • Where were you born? Where have you lived since then? Where do you call home?
    I was born in Lexington, Kentucky and grew up in Nicholasville. For nine months in 1996-1997 I lived in Huntsville, Alabama while attending UAH. For several months in 1997 and 1998 I lived at UK Hospital in Lexington. After that I lived in Nicholasville again until I finally moved here to Augusta in 2003. I still think of Nicholasville as my home. I also–and this is totally weird–have a kind of homesickness for Japan.
  • Where do you go when angry?
    Back at the apartment, I would go to the bedroom when I was mad. Or, if Sean was in there, I’d frump on the couch. Here, I don’t really have anywhere to go when I get mad, so I go online and blog.
  • What is your biggest fear? Who have you told this to? Who would you never tell this to? Why?
    I always say that my biggest fear is having my loved ones die. I’ve told this to my blog readers many times. I would probably tell anyone, if they asked. I guess I wouldn’t tell somebody who was trying to manipulate me, but they could probably guess it anyway.
  • Do you have a secret?
    The only “secrets” I have are the dark opinions about other people that I refuse to air anywhere, because I’ve seen what harm that can do :> I am really an open book, otherwise.
  • What makes you laugh out loud?
    Anything that makes me incredulous; clever puns; Magazine Man‘s funny stories (I was trying really hard not to plug him here, because I think his ego is starting to rival mine, but when I tried to think back to the times I’ve laughed out loud recently, the first thing I thought of was a quote from this post: “By jeezuz, you’re busier’n a one-legged man at an ass-kicking contest.”); Hai; jokes in anime; AJ; those times when Sean and I are teasing each other and we just sort of start staring and finally one of us disses the other and then we’re both cracking up.
  • When have you been in love? Had a broken heart?
    I first experienced what love might feel like in high school, when I had that all-encompassing crush. On the one hand, I felt helpless to control my emotions. On the other, I chose to feel them, because I was afraid of how bland my life would be without them. Love is kind of like that, but better. You do have to choose to stay in love, and there are some days when that choice is really hard. But then there are the times when you know you’ve made the right decision. I never had that until I met Sean. As far as a broken heart, I pretty much had that throughout high school :>
  • What is in your refrigerator right now? On your bedroom floor? On your nightstand? In your garbage can?
    Stuff that’s ours in Cheryl’s refrigerator: rice, Gatorade, lunch meat, Swiss cheese, Slim Fast, string cheese, yogurt, eggs for the big cookie baking extravaganza tomorrow
    Stuff on the floor here in the guest bedroom: Sean’s laptop backpack; Sean’s jacket; Sean’s headphones; more of Sean’s stuff; my shoes; the disassembled pieces of my laptop table (it’s kind of broken); my purse; a pile of newspapers and memos to myself; my laptop bag.
    Stuff that really shouldn’t be on the pretty table next to the bed: a box of Kleenex; an empty water bottle; Aidmheil; my cell phone; my latest Netflix offering, Akira Kurosawa’s Ran
  • Look at your feet. Describe what you see there. Do you wear dress shoes, gym shoes, or none at all? Are you in socks that are ratty and full of holes? Or are you wearing a pair of blue and gold slippers knitted by your grandmother?
    I’m barefoot. Gee, that was boring.
  • When you thinks of your childhood kitchen, what smell do you associate with it? Sauerkraut? Oatmeal cookies? Paint? Why is that smell so resonant for you?
    When me thinks of me childhood kitchen…hmm, I can’t really think of a smell. My biggest memories of the kitchen are: 1) washing the dishes and hating it and feeling like Cinderella; 2) toddling in (I think I was 2) and yelling, “Mama! Dada!”; 3) seeing a big dead mouse/rat on the floor and running out into the utility room. Nope, still can’t think of a smell.
  • You are doing intense spring cleaning. What is easy for you to throw out? What is difficult for you to part with? Why?
    Gah, questions like this suck. I’m not going to answer it based on stuff I used to own, because I’m tired of living in the past with these questions. Let’s just say I’m getting rid of some of the very few items I have amassed so far. It’s easy for me to get rid of clothes that don’t fit or are ugly, because I like to look nice. This wasn’t always the case. I used to want to keep everything, because that gave me hope I could fit into it again. I will not, on the other hand, part with books or DVDs, because I get bored easily and like having plenty of things around to distract me. I used to keep every card that was ever given to me, and I will continue to do that because I think it paints a nice picture of the people in my life. (I still remember that birthday card Mari and the guys got me with Death in the rearview mirror.)
  • It’s Saturday at noon. What are you doing? Give details. If you’re eating breakfast, what exactly do you eat? If you’re stretching out in your backyard to sun, what kind of blanket or towel do you lie on?
    Today I actually got up at noon. Some Saturdays I would still be asleep, snuggled under a sheet and four blankets, because this house is cold enough to bother me, and I’m from Kentucky. Some Saturdays I would be up and out, biking with friends or hanging out. Today I pretty much jumped straight into the shower, because we’re supposed to be doing Christmas today. (Of course, I have no idea when that’s going to occur, because nobody ever tells me anything, and I always forget to ask until everyone’s gone.)
  • What is one strong memory that has stuck with you from childhood? Why is it so powerful and lasting?
    Biting my tongue off. I remember it because it was so weird. My brothers and I and our next-door neighbor Robin were sitting on the fence separating our lots at the trailer park, and taking turns jumping down to show off. When I jumped, my knees buckled and I fell into a crouch, and one of my knees smashed into my chin, snapping my jaw closed. My tongue happened to be between my teeth at the time. I think I was more stunned by the pain of my knee hitting my chin. I ran into the house. My mouth felt funny, so I tried to rinse it out in the sink…only blood just kept coming out. I can still see the bright red blood flowing out of my mouth into the white basin of the sink. The tip of my tongue had been severed on both sides, but was miraculously still attached in the middle. I ended up having to keep a cold washrag in my mouth for two weeks while my tongue grew back together.
  • You is getting ready for a night out. Where are you going? What do you wear? Who will you be with?
    Oh, I is, is I? Well, I don’t do the clubbing thing like Mari or the bar thing like Brooke [edit: Brooke is not a barfly. I did not edit this post under duress. FREE TIBET!], so I am probably going out to dinner or shopping with Sean or a few friends. If we’re going to a nice restaurant I’ll probably wear slacks and a button down blouse; otherwise I’ll just wear jeans and a decent-looking shirt.
  • What do you consider your greatest achievement?
    This blog. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not. But I am very proud of the fact that I’ve been writing here consistently for so long, and that I’ve managed to archive so many things here. (This includes the photography I’ve put on smugmug.)
  • What is your idea of perfect happiness?
    Waking up in the morning excited to do the things that have been planned for the day.
  • What is your current state of mind?
    Annoyed, frustrated, nostalgic, and slightly headache-y
  • What is your favorite occupation?
    If I knew that, I’d have an easier time finding a job, I imagine. (I wonder if this question means what I think it means?) Coolest job in the world: astronaut. Most appealing job in the world: travel photographer and diarist. Thing I can’t stop doing, though it will probably never be my bread and butter: writing.
  • What is your most treasured possession?
    My archives. Those being this blog, and my chat logs, and my photos, and all the other records of everything I’ve ever done.
  • What or who is the greatest love of your life?
    I think hope is my greatest love. I am obsessed with it, obsessed with the promise of a better life for myself and for everyone I care about.
  • What is your favorite journey?
    The ones that start with a single step. Har, har. Taking this question literally: I love any journey where I get the chance to explore, and I hate trips with no direction or planning or time for doing my own thing.
  • What is your most marked characteristic?
    Self-deprecation, I imagine. It’s my way of trying to be humble, but it’s gotten me in trouble. I think I’ve unintentionally caused people to think little of me, which was never my intent. (My intent was to have people think, “Oh, she’s awesome! And so modest!”) Tied with this is probably my competitive streak, though in recent years I have managed to tone it down (yes, local friends, I used to be worse. Scary, isn’t it?).
  • When and where were you the happiest?
    During our honeymoon, when we were staying on Miyajima; specifically, mealtime, when we got to eat banquets of traditional Japanese food. Sean didn’t particularly care for a lot of it, but I was in absolute heaven. I’d go back there in a heartbeat.
  • What is it that you most dislike?
    Being ridiculed or underestimated. (Teasing is okay, though.)
  • What is your greatest fear?
    Wait, this question again? I guess the answer can change from day to day, can’t it? Well, aside from the fear I listed above, I am also terrified of the thought that I won’t be able to achieve my dreams: living in Japan, having something (writing or photographs) published.
  • What is your greatest extravagance?
    Right now, I probably spend too much money on distractions like books and DVDs. This is only because I am trying to escape my life :>
  • Which living person do you most despise?
    Right now I’m not feeling particularly hateful. I don’t want to give an assembly line answer to this sort of question. There are plenty of people out there worthy of hate…all the people who intentionally hurt other people, regardless of their reasoning. But if we intentionally hurt the people we hate because they intentionally hurt other people, then the cycle never ends, does it?
  • What is your greatest regret?
    Sometimes–and I hate myself for this–I feel like I should have waited to get married, and gone to live in Japan for a year as an English teacher first, so that now I wouldn’t keep thinking that I gave up my freedom too easily.
  • Which talent would you most like to have?
    A gift for time management and the elimination of procrastination. There are so many things I could do, if I would just do them.
  • Where would you like to live?
    Japan or Nicholasville, first and foremost. I’m really interested in living in any other country in the world, just to see what it’s like. I’d also like to try living in a big city, and I think it would be awesome to live in Washington State or Alaska.
  • What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
    Having minimal control of one’s life.
  • What is the quality you most like in a man?
    Intelligence
  • What is the quality you most like in a woman?
    Empathy (am I sexist or what? You’d think I’d like intelligent women, too. And I do…but I’m so competitive, I want to be the smart one.)
  • What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
    I really think my competitiveness holds me back, both in personal achievement and in relationships.
  • What is the trait you most deplore in others?
    The lack of tact. I mean, I am pretty blunt, but I can usually tell when I’ve crossed the line, and I apologize when I do. People who don’t know when to shut up are grossly irritating.
  • What do you most value in your friends?
    Their willingness to spend time with me
  • Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
    Shibuya Yuuri, from Kyou Kara Maou. (Hey, it didn’t say literary fiction, did it? …and technically there are Kyou Kara Maou novels…)
  • Whose are your heroes in real life?
    Whose wrote these questions? :P I wrote a pretty good hero thing for my MySpace, so I’ll just paste it here: Magazine Man, Jeff Laitila, Justin Klein, and Miklos Fejer, for living their dreams and for being damn good writers; Mike Krahulik and Jerry Holkins, for being gutsy and turning their hobby into a career; my brother AJ, who is one of the bravest, most intelligent people I know; and my mom, whose loving, generous, and strong personality epitomizes everything to which I aspire.
  • Which living person do you most admire?
    I guess all those people in the heroes list. Maybe the heroes were supposed to be dead people.
  • What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
    I’m not actually sure what the virtues are. A quick Google search for “is a virtue” turns up the following choices: happiness, persistence, paranoia, lust, patience, coercion, lying, gambling, skepticism, endurance, arguing, humility, cynicism, talking to patients, disclosure, competence, cruelty, scrutiny, restraint, selfishness, consistency (online), viscosity, baking, silence, virtual reality, laziness, impatience, hubris, optimism, reliability…okay, that’s ridiculous. Here’s a site that lists the following: Faith, Honesty, Gratitude, Perseverance, Forgiveness, Patience, Courage, Respect, Generosity, Discipline, Compassion, Humility. I don’t know, there can be too much of any of those, but across the board I think they are all pretty decent standards for living.
  • On what occasions do you lie?
    I hate lying. I’m pretty good at it, which scares me, so I try not to do it often. Rather than lie, I will simply omit information. Typically I only do this to save someone’s feelings, or because the situation is none of my business anyway and I don’t need to be commenting on it. I will also do this to avoid owning up to a failure, so long as I know I can fix the damage. If I can’t make things right, then I strive to be straightforward about it.
  • Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
    Internet abbreviations. I overuse them on purpose, to be clever. ROFL. See? I try to avoid repeated phrasings in my writing, but often find myself saying things the same way again and again. I used to say “I know how that is” way too much, but I broke myself of the habit because it felt like a lie to say that. Right now I’m trying to minimize my use of the nonquestioning question “Really“, because it sounds too gossipy.
  • If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
    I would somehow fix my attitude/time management skills so that I actually accomplish the things I want to do, like lose weight, travel, work, write something publishable, etc.
  • What are your favorite names?
    That’s interesting! I like slightly exotic names, or regular names spelled slightly differently (but not too overboard). I’ve always liked Abigail, for some reason. Biblical names are nice. I also like French and Japanese names.
  • How would you like to die?
    Either in my sleep at a very old age…or while accomplishing something meaningful. The former is more appealing to me because it would mean I would have the chance to do lots of things in my life, but I also like the idea of a noble sacrifice. At this point in my life I can’t think of an ideal that I would ever have the occasion (or motivation) to die for. However, I do know that I would die to save the life of someone I care about.
  • If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
    I don’t know. If we’re going with karma…I don’t know if I’ve done enough good in my life, or will do enough good, to merit an upgrade. But I don’t think I’ve necessarily been bad, so hopefully I wouldn’t end up coming back as a dung beetle. I really would prefer to come back as another person, or some other kind of thinking and feeling organism.
  • What is your motto?
    Life is what you make it.