Last week Marian of Classics Considered posted a survey which Sir Arthur Conan Doyle participated in — a Victorian meme, if you will. (He didn’t participate in her survey, because he’s dead, but — you know what I mean.) Its questions were much more interesting than the usual stuff, so I wanted to participate!
The 1899 Questionnaire
Your favourite virtue?
Your favourite qualities in man?
Courage, strength, sacrificial love
Your favourite qualities in woman?
Wisdom and compassion
Your favourite occupation?
Reading, writing, singing
Your chief characteristic?
Getting lost in my own head. I have a habit of zoning out in public when I’m not engaged in conversation. It’s a bit of a joke at work.
Your idea of happiness?
Friends sharing good conversation in comfortable environs, beverages at the ready. That, or a bike ride on a fine spring day.
Your idea of misery?
Your favourite colour and flower?
I’m most partial to navy blue, cardinal red, and hunter green.
If not yourself, who would you be?
I wonder if in another life, I’m not a monk…or a member of the Coast Guard.
Where would you like to live?
In a rugged cabin on a generous bit of land — far enough into the woods where I could see no neighbors or hear no highways.
Your favourite poets?
I have favorite poems but not favorite poets, alas. I most like “Invictus” and “The Tyger”. The latter was the first poem I ever memorized, and I first reached 100 WPM while typing it.
Your favourite painters and composers?
Painters: From modern painters, I like Jack Vettriano’s works (especially Back Where You Belong and Lazy Hazy Days), as well as Grant Wood’s rural-based pieces. He’s most famous for American Gothic, but my favorite is Spring in Town.
Composers: Mozart, Vivaldi, and Wagner. (I have to include Wagner just for the Tannhäuser overture!)
Your favourite heroes in real life?
Two men who I especially admire are Isaac Asimov and Robert Ingersoll, both of them extremely well-rounded men. Closer to home, two men worth honoring are Albert G. Parrish, a passionate citizen who made Selma the Queen City of the South in the early 20th century, and Goldsby King, a man who sank his family wealth into a private hospital with so many amenities that his peers chided him for constantly splurging on it. He replied that other rich men had their yachts; his hospital was his yacht.
Your favourite heroines in real life?
I don’t know if I have any female heroes as such, though there are many I admire – from Joan of Arc to Bessie Coleman.
Your favourite heroes in fiction?
Cap’n Mal, Firefly; Arthur Morgan, Red Dead Redemption 2; Jayber Crow from Jayber Crow. Jayber isn’t a hero-hero (his biggest deed is helping a woman and her father when the latter is dying), but I admire the heck out of him.
Your favourite heroines in fiction?
Kira Nerys, ST-DS9; Sadie Adler, RDR2. (….I feel bad for not including any book-women, but not that many come to mind presently.)
Your favourite food and drink?
Top three would be fried green tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and chili. You have not lived until you’ve experienced garden-grown tomatoes fresh from the skillet.
Your favourite names?
I strongly prefer traditional names like Elizabeth, Abigail, Constance, Christopher, Anthony, etc.
Your pet aversion?
Self-absorbed attention seekers, especially those who employ lawyers, politicians, or their facebook newsfeed.
What characters in history do you most dislike?
The ones who tried to spread ideology or religion by force.
What is your present state of mind?
Energized and accomplished, as I just returned from a 4-mile walk.
For what fault have you most toleration?
Not seeing beams in one’s own eye for the splinters in others. As I like to quote from Yoda: Dark Rendezvous…”It’s so easy to avoid other people’s vices, isn’t it?”
Your favourite motto?
“Live not by lies” – Alexander Solzhenitsyn