25. My most recent favorite quote is [I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise - Margaret Atwood]
24. I have no favorite color, favorite movie or favorite song. Instead I have hundreds of each that I love, depending on the circumstance and my mood.
23. My brother once told me that if I were a flavor of ice cream, I’d be vanilla. He thinks our sister would be pistachio. I think this means I am a sensitive designer and can adapt to many circumstances. I told him I should be French vanilla bean at least.
22. The next place I want to visit when I travel: Argentina. After that: everywhere else I haven’t been. After that: everywhere else I have already been, to revisit it. And repeat.
21. When I was 10 years old, my parents had to wake me up to put together the tent when we arrived at a campsite late at night, because they couldn’t figure it out and I am mechanically inclined. We did a lot of camping during summers when I was young. It didn’t grow on me though. I prefer hotels.
20. My second-favorite place to be is on a sunny beach with a slight breeze, just before sunset, watching the waves.
19. My favorite flavor of gelato is fresh pear at Vivoli Gelateria in Firenze, Italia
18. I don’t think I will never be an infamously great artist because I don’t do enough drugs or have enough psychiatric problems to be sublimely amazing. Maybe my brother was right about the vanilla.
17. I listen to hip-hop when I work out. And I love to wear my ‘doughnuts are best for dinner’ t-shirt to they gym for the irony.
16. I don’t think New York/New Jersey coast counts as real beach. It’s more of a beach-like experience the way Velveeta is a cheese-like substance. The water’s too warm, too tame and crowded.
15. We used to spend our summer days at the local swimming pool when I was a kid. I remember getting freckles on my face for the first time when I was 6 after a really bad sunburn that blistered and peeled.
14. I used to collect stickers when I was little because I loved all the different designs, but we were so poor that I never wanted to use them because I never knew if I’d get more. So I had this book with pouch-pages full of unused stickers. As I got older and lost interest, my mom used the stickers as prizes in her classroom. Hopefully those kids enjoyed them and used them.
13. One of my favorite things about New York summers: fireflies. I still find them mesmerizing.
12. I learned to drive in a Ford Aerostar minivan. Then was given my parents old powder-blue mustang with a white vinyl hard top (not removable!) that was a 4-speed for my 16th birthday. I didn’t know how to drive it at the time. The Aerostar was an automatic. My friend Lauren taught me how to drive a manual transmission through the back roads of our town.
11. The soil on the mountain where I grew up was bright red from all the iron rust in it. We had to use “indoor clothes” and “outdoor clothes” because it stained everything. We had a great view of the whole Sacramento Valley from our livingroom. The rest of the house was horribly lacking. Missing things like insulation, drywall and doors. Dad built it himself. Between 12 packs, on the weekends. And somehow I still ended up an architect!
10. My tennis nickname is SilK (silent killer) though now it’s more like Wheeze, I haven’t played in quite a while.
9. I want to get a PhD in general thinking. It’s what I’m best at; pulling ideas from different unrelated sources. But you can’t specialize in that.
8. For some reason, street lights go dim in my presence more often than seems coincidental.
7. Rahul and I sometimes still can’t understand each others accents (and we both grew up speaking English!)
6. I don’t watch much tv, but when I do, it’s Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. I wish I could tag along in his suitcase.
5. When I play pool, I throw my hands up in the air, in celebration excitedly, when the cue ball hits the ball I was aiming for, regardless of whether it sinks in the pocket or not. It’s the small victories…
4. I can’t stand the saxophony singing voice of Aaron Neville. It’s nauseauting.
3. If you want to challenge your culinary skills, you should try cooking Thanksgiving dinner for 20 people in a Manhattan galley kitchen. It’s possible. Just barely.
2. Occasionally when I see people panhandling on the subways and in Penn Station, I think about setting up my own sign; “need money to pay off student loans, I got a graduate degree instead of a risky mortgage so I don’t qualify for a Federal bailout”.
1. There is no food quite as good as fresh-picked ripe wild blackberries. It’s like heaven. Just watch out for the thorns and snakes.