So. Last month a reader suggested an idea. You guys send me questions and I attempt to answer each question in 25 words or less. The result is half haiku, half inadvertently vague, but I sure had a good time trying to do this.
So here are my best attempts at answer your questions in 25 words or less!
What's your least favorite country you've ever been to?
Bolivia! High altitude, bad food, dangerous drivers, lumpy beds, cold showers, bad weather. But I loved Carnivale, the salt flats, and our mule hiking adventure!
How'd you meet your boyfriend?
OkCupid! I wrote "You are adorable in a tall and manly way." He invited me to stand up comedy. We’ve been together ever since.
Tell us your best 'Clients From Hell' story!
Do Hollywood personal trainers and wedding photographers who don't pay their invoices count? (Resisting the delicious urge to link to their sites.)
Funniest travel experience, please.
Puking on a piece of poop on an Indian train, when I thought my kiwi dance teacher was saying c*nt + a million more.
What's currently on your wishlist?
For travel? Mongolia, St. Petersburg, Russia for Easter or Christmas, Mexico for Día de los Muertos, winter in Savanna or Charleston! Also: Dollywood.
What's the best gift you've ever received?
Right before she died, my Grandma Von Bargen gave each of the grandkids a photo album of our entire childhoods she'd put together.
How do you stay so darn positive and awesome all the time?
Oh you! When I feel non-awesome/negative I make a list, get outside, take a nap, or talk to my BFF/BF/cat. Also: dance.
Have you thought of writing a 'how to blog' kind of ebook? I would be interested in buying it!!! (finding content, avoiding copyright, using images, making things awesome, how to add your own style.... all the things you EXCEL at!)
Gosh, thanks! But you can find all that stuff for free here! Or here! Or here!
I'm curious about your family's adoption experience and what it was like to have a sibling that was adopted. and I'd love to hear from your sister about her experience. (If you don't know, my sister is adopted from Korea. This one was really hard to answer in 25 words!)
I was 6, she was 6 months. We liked the same stuff growing up (theater, music, speech.) Now we're different - but still awesome!
I'm curious about how you got your traveling bug - childhood experiences?
My parents both traveled a lot before kids + we spent every summer road tripping. Travel was just a normal, integrated part of life!
What's your best little known productivity tip?
List making + Pomodoro technique + Leechblock = totally unstoppable. You will not believe how much you can accomplish.
What's your favourite kind of lipstick?
Revlon Lip Butter in Candy Apple. Or in any color really. You'll never buy anything else!
You mentioned you were a dancer in high school, what was that experience like and what style of dance was it?
I was in danceline - jazz/funk-esque? I was not a 'typical' dancer but I loved every minute of it. I danced at the Citrusbowl!
How do you plan/organize your life, as in what sort of planning materials do you use?
A beautiful journal + fine tip Sharpie. Seriously. That's it. But it has to be a gorgeous journal! Otherwise I don't take it seriously.
What's your style trademark?
Fashion-wise? Probably scarves. My uniform is dresses + riding boots or skinny jeans + flats + t-shirt + scarf + big bracelet.
Why does your cat have such an awesome name?
Because I'm a dork for Russian history! His full name is Rasputin, but that's hard to yell so I call him Putin.
Are you ever scared when taking these awesome opportune moments, and if so, how do you deal with it?
Yes! I realize that even if I screw up this one thing, I still have tons of other great stuff in my life.
What were you like in high school?
The same! Smart, dressed ridiculously, did All The Activities, mostly friends with Arty Weirdos + some of the Popular Kids. HAD A PERM. (!!!)
What is the weirdest thing you've ever eaten?
I inadvertently ate congealed duck blood cubes in Taiwan. I'm a vegetarian!
What advice would you give to your 5 year old self?
Stop trying to dig holes to hell with John and trying to trick Mandy into falling in. It's mean and weird.
15 year old self?
Don't worry. You'll fill out. Also: STOP PERMING YOUR HAIR.
25 year old self?
Just because he's a great guy, doesn't mean that he's the right guy for you.
What is the most important thing all beginner bloggers should know?
Post consistently! Your readers want to know they can depend on you. Use that 'schedule' post button!
What's your skin care/makeup routine? Your face always looks so fresh!
Thanks so much! Fall = Olive oil + Boots No7 + Oil of Olay SPF 15. Makeup = Elf concealer/highlighter + Benetint + Revlon Lip Butter.
What's your least favorite part of blogging?Deleting spammy comments + fussing with formatting. But those are maybe 10% of the job!
How do you connect with people for your True Story posts?
I post about interviews on my Facebook or Twitter profiles, write a post, or people email me because they want to share their story.
Who watches your cat when you travel for long periods of time?
Really long time? Friends fostered him. 6 weeks? My subletters. Don't worry - I and only sublet to former cat owners!
Do you miss teaching?
Very, very much! I've actually been thinking about teaching a writing or internet-ery course at a local community college or university!
How do you get over being shy?
Fake it! Or give yourself a goal: "I have to talk to three people and then I can leave. I have to stay for an hour."
Now! It's my turn! In 25 words or less, tell me:
1. Your dream job
2. The last time you laughed till you cried/peed your pants/didn't make noise
3. Your pet/BFF