BethFish kindly offered to interview folks a few days ago, and I would like the record to reflect that I was one of the first 10 commenters so technically, though this has turned into a widely-used meme, I am being interviewed.  By declaring this, I hope to skip the whole “tagging” business (at which I suck).

Without further ado:

1.  Remember the movie Brewster’s Millions? That happens to you, except on a smaller scale.  You receive a million dollars that you must spend in 30 days.  However, you cannot have any assets to show for the money at the end of the month (and you can’t buy something and then destroy it), you cannot waste the money, you cannot give it away, and you cannot tell anyone what you are doing.  How do you ditch the dough in a month or less?

So I would do two main things:

First, I would buy the Alinea cookbook. I would rent out a huge tricked-out restaurant kitchen, invite some of my best friends (who happen to be excellent cooks) to cook through it with me, and we would throw the dinner party to end all dinner parties. We hire several prep chefs to help us set up, and several more dishwashers to spare us from the worst part of any dinner party. We would hire Grant Aschatz to spend the evening with us in the kitchen, so when we invariably hit some snags with his super-complicated recipes, we’d have help. We would buy all the crazy wacked-out ingredients (dehydrated caramel powder, anyone?), make the ridiculous foams and emulsions, serve it to 100 or so of our nearest and dearest (flown in from out of town if need be) and we would wash it all down with many many many bottles of excellent wine. We would rent a photo booth to put in the dining room so our nearest and dearest could take amusing pictures of themselves as the night progressed to have as souvenirs, and we would hire an army of cars to drive our friends there and home so everyone stayed safe.

Second, after recovering for a few days from my sweet dinner party, I would hop on a plane and fly, first class, to New Zealand. Then Australia. Then Indonesia, then Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand. I’d spend at least a week in India. I’d stay in comfortable but not ritzy accommodations, choosing instead to blow the cash on first class plane fares on flights that are at exactly the times I want (instead of contorting my travel schedule to accommodate the cheapest fare, as I usually do). On the way home, I’d swing through southern Africa, taking an eco-safari perhaps. I know it’s a lot- and I would like to spend more time at all of these places – but this is a once in a lifetime, short-term gig. I’ve got to take advantage.

2.  You are locked in a toy store overnight, with no way out until it reopens in the morning.  What do you play with all night?

Am I with other people? If so, we bust into the board games and play Scrabble, Boggle, Scattergories, Balderdash, etc all night. If not, I take this opportunity to actually finish building a complex Lego set for once in my life. I generally do not have the patience for such things, but if I’m stuck, might as well use that time to do something I’ve never done before.

3.  If you could have a dinner party with any three famous people, living or dead, you would be wasting your supernatural powers on hosting dinner parties.  What would you do instead?

Hey, don’t knock dinner parties (see answer 1). I suck at these questions, always wanting to look intellectual and impressive and failing, so I’m going to go for a combination of smart and funny, and take Alec Baldwin, Neil Patrick Harris and Rachel Maddow on a road trip through the Western U.S. I have to imagine there’d be a lot of whiskey involved.

4.  What’s the best thing since sliced bread?  Now, sliced bread ain’t all that impressive, so what’s the best mediocre, hum-drum improvement or advancement that has made modern life just ever so slightly more convenient for humanity, along the lines of saving yourself five seconds every time you want a piece of bread.

Automatic door lock clickers for cars. Especially in winter, when taking off gloves to fumble with keys is a pain in the ass.

5.  What’s your best quality?  The response to this question must be a simple declarative statement.  You may elaborate on that statement, provided that your elaboration does not include the words “but,” “however,” or “although,” or any other hedging, equivocating, back-sliding, gerrymandering (which is not at all appropriate in this context, but I think it should be, don’t you?) or any other type of backing down from the simple declarative statement with which you began your response.

I earnestly wish I could figure out a way to gerrymander a statement. But I can’t, so I’ll offer this:  I am compassionate.

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