About Ara Rubyan

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OK, unlike the Proust Questionnaire, this is not going to be published on the last page of Vanity Fair. But I thought I’d share this with you, regardless:

Ara Rubyan

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

I remember standing on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan at sunset one summer evening thinking, “This must be what heaven is like.”

What is your greatest fear?

Letting down the ones I love.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?

Mohandas K. Gandhi? Richard Feynman? John Adams? Got me.

Which living person do you most admire?

I try not to put too much hope or admiration into any single individual. That way I figure I won’t be disappointed. That said, Barack Obama is pretty cool.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

I cannot seem to eat just one Oreo cookie.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Can I combine three traits in one? Willfully arrogant shallowness.

What is your greatest extravagance?

The overhead I pay to support my blogs.

What is your favorite journey?

Driving away from the airport car rental desk on the way to my hotel. Double extra-super bonus points if I’ve never been in that city before.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?

The strong silent type.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?

My gut is a bit too large for my liking.

What living person do you most despise?

I don’t hate anyone. It’s like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. That said, I occasionally want to slap Dick Cheney upside the head.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“Listen to me.” Also, “Can I tell you something?”

What is your greatest regret?

That I didn’t pay closer attention in college.

Which talent would you most like to have?

To accompany myself on the piano while singing.

If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?

That my children would avoid making the same mistakes I did.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

I successfully ran the gauntlet of turn-of-the-century IT certifications.

If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?

If possible, I’d like to come back as Pete Townshend of The Who.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

Unrequited love.

What is your most marked characteristic?

I’m loud.

What do you value most in your friends?

I love it when we can laugh at the same things.

Who are your favorite writers?

Larry McMurtry, Anne Lamott, David McCullough, James Thurber, Bob Dylan, Gore Vidal, Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, Doris Goodwin, to name a few off the top of my head.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?

Captain Augustus McCrae, co-owner of the Hat Creek Cattle Company and Livery Emporium of Lonesome Dove, Texas.

What are your favorite names?

Strega Nona, Bambalona, Condaleeza, and Jambalaya.

What is it that you most dislike?

Lima beans. Lima bean puree.

How would you like to die?

Now you see me, now you don’t.

What is your motto?

“It’s not how hard you fall, it’s how high you bounce.”