1. I don't want to make you pick favorites, but, um, I guess I'm going to anyway. If your house were on fire, which critter would you grab first on your way out?
Screw 'em all--I'm grabbing the TV.
Oh, good lord, you have managed to tap into my single greatest fear, namely, how WOULD I manage to save all my animals in case of fire? This one can keep me up nights, for sure. Shudder. Okay, I couldn't possibly base this decision on the degree of affection for my animals, since I love ALL the little bastards. So let's proceed from a purely practical point of view. I'd get Pudge out of the way first, grabbing any cat I could on my way out with him, of course. Why? 'Cause Pudge is a needy, clingy thing at the best of times, and let me tell you, doing ANYthing efficiently with a clingy 86-pound dog in the house is a challenge. Once I had him safely outside, I'd dash back in and start saving cats. I have no idea how I'd actually go about doing that, of course, since they'd probably all be under the bed, and I'd likely die of smoke inhalation trying to crawl under there with them. But I'd kick out the windows and start throwing them out the best I could, I suppose.
I do actually have friends who faced this fear a few years ago. Their house caught on fire on New Year's Eve, and they happened to have, in addition to their own animals, several semi-wild kittens they were fostering and taming. The firemen kept bringing out animals and saying "Is that all?" "No." They weren't able to get all the fosters out, BUT (happy ending coming), after the fire was out they found them huddled together under a bed, scared out of their wits, but alive. I guess I will just hope for similar luck.
2. If you could do so and have no trouble paying the bills, would you sing and act full-time, or do you like the variety of having a day job? Do you know what your dream job is? (Do you know what mine is? Because I don't!) :-)
I would absolutely sing and act full-time. That would be my dream job; no day job required.
Your dream job? Hmmm....I'd like to see you travelling the world with a badge and a dictionary--the official Grammar Police, here to serve and protect! "You might want to pick up that dangling participle, sir, before I'm forced to write you a citation." Hee.
3. How long have you been a vegetarian? Why did you choose to go that route? (There are many, many good reasons, I realize. I'm curious which one was most important to you.)
I gave up red meat in the fall of 1994, poultry in the spring of 1995, and seafood in the spring of 1996. It seemed to be easier to me to go in stages--less risk of sabotaging the effort by trying too much change at once. And why? Well, I love animals, obviously, and I was increasingly bothered by the hypocrisy of letting someone do the killing I knew I would never be able to do myself. I started having trouble making that judgment between "food" animal and "pet" animal. Why are Americans so horrified at the thought of eating cats and dogs and horses, yet not bothered at all at the thought of eating pigs and cows and chickens? And the more I learned about the conditions of modern "factory" farming, the more horrified I was. If we still lived in the days when Bossie lived on the family farm, and frolicked in the fields until the day came for her to be hamburger, maybe that would be different. But those days are gone, and the animals used for food today often lead horrible lives from beginning to end, and that really, really bothers me. You can't convince me that a cow suffers any less than a dog or cat, and I certainly would never want my dogs or cats to suffer needlessly. Maybe I can't change the world, but I can change MY involvement in it, and so I did. I've never regretted it for a moment.4. What's your guiltiest pleasure?
Oh, boy. I am really, really ashamed of my fondness for VH1's Celebreality shows. I'm ashamed, and yet I watch. It could be worse, though--I could be watching Two and a Half Men, right? ;)
5. If you could pick one age to be for the rest of your life, which would it be and why?
Good question. Let's see if I can come up with an answer. The year I probably had the most sheer, unadulterated fun was 1985, particularly the summer, when I was not quite 23. But, fun aside, would I really want to be 23 forever? I don't think so. I probably looked my best from 1987-1989. Would I want to be 25, 26 or 27 forever? Again, probably not. Those weren't the best years for me emotionally. In some ways I think I've been at my best in my 40s--I think I sing better than I did when I was younger, I KNOW my acting is better--something about all those life experiences, I'm sure. I'm more myself, if that makes any sense. But do I hate that I'm starting to need reading glasses, and my hips are a bit creaky, and I can't drink much without getting a hangover? (And let's not even talk about "middle-aged spread.") Yeah, I do hate all that.
Can I have the lack of serious responsibility of my early 20s, the body of my mid 20s, and the talent and sense of self of my 40s, so far? I'll take that.
Okay, I'm done. Thanks, Stef! Good questions. If anyone else would like to take part in the challenge, just leave a comment to that effect, include your email address if I don't have it, and I'll think of some questions for you!