A reader has questions for me…

When did you get married and for how long have you been married? Were you married before T?

A little more than twenty years ago. Nope. First marriage for both of us.

You probably knew it would be a question…what is your current profession/career? Is it a love or hate relationship, or a little of both and why?

Not answering. I love my work. I always have loved my work. This is my third or fourth career, depending on how you count. I’ve been doing this one for about six or eight or thirty years, depending on how you count. Anything you love, you also hate, so there’s at least a trace of hate there. But it’s pretty hard to find, and it’s pretty limited. This surely is my final job/career, though with lots of change and development still ahead of me. And it is the best job I can imagine for me.

What is the easiest way to make you smile/laugh most often, and the last thing that made you smile, and the last thing that made you gut bust laugh until you were in laugh tears?

I have a weekly group of friends who have been Zoom-ing since the pandemic (truly the best feature of COVID for me – I hope to write more about them soon). They make me laugh/smile for 60-90 minutes every Friday, and have done since April. It’s rare that I don’t achieve “laugh tears” with this group. Surefire path to laugh tears? When I make others laugh hard. Then? I lose it. A little narcissistic vulnerability there….

Besides English, do you speak any other languages even if only “Spanglish” like? And how often do you use this skill?

I speak subway Spanish (“Aviso – la via del tren subterraneo is peligrosa.”).

I understand Puerto Rican Spanish pretty well. Dominican Spanish less well. Castilian Spanish ok. Most South American Spanish ok. I get to speak Spanish badly often, and my Spanish is impervious to practice or improvement. I have a great vocabulary, but can’t conjugate to save my life.I have been fluent in French. I’m not today, but I do ok. Can have a good political conversation with a North or West African or Arab or Haitian cab driver, for sure. I read Hebrew and Arabic passably – at a grade school level. I pick up Dutch (as in, I can understand it, but not speak it) if I’m in the Netherlands or among Dutch people for any stretch of time. (My father spoke Dutch with his family.) I can engage in protracted greeting rituals (but no more) in Wolof and Jola. I’m fluent in a bastardized dialect of Ubby Dubby, which I speak often with my family. And with other fans of Zoom who often protest I speak it wrong.

What keeps you physically fit other than your hot trainers, and mentally fit aside from news/current events?

I’m not particularly physically fit right now. I walk a lot. I bike a bit. I do pushups and planks, but not enough. My back is a fucking clusterfuck, and I never really recovered from a horrific but essential surgery nearly four years ago. You can date the decline in my sexual adventures on this blog to that surgery.Mentally fit? I am privileged to be surrounded in every corner of my life with thoughtful, interesting, challenging, intelligent people. The current political situation has done a real number on my mental fitness, though. Here’s hoping Jan 20th ushers in a new day.

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