A bunch of people have asked me to repost this to my blog, so I thought I would put it up, since I have been too preoccupied to post much recently and this will keep some people entertained!
1. I was born in Toronto, am half French Canadian and half Macedonian, so my education, culture and mentality are very hybrid. My parents always spoke both French and Macedonian at home. It is a very rich mixture to be a blend of Gallic and Macedonian. I am 100% Canadian, though and that’s a fact that has brought me comfort and pride many, many times.
2. I am quite athletic. I was captain of the York U and U of Toronto varsity sabre teams. I also fenced for the Racing Club de France’s Division III team when I lived in Paris. Now I lift weights and swim quite a bit. I want to start fencing competitively again, but find it hard to free up enough nights to train properly.
3. I love cats, even though I hate cleaning their litter and the fact that they like to scratch furniture, walls and drapes. I could never declaw them, though. I have one cat: the glamourous and rubenesque Gigi, a brown tabby with giant owl-like green eyes. Very striking.
4. I am 36 and single, although I would really like to meet my life partner and have a family. I would like to share a creative life of art, music, learning, passion, love and fun. Maybe even children. I would like built a home with a partner that will be a warm, comforting oasis in our mad world. I haven’t felt ready to commit to a woman until this year – now I look forward to that commitment. So if you dig me, now’s the time to tell me.
5. I travel an awful lot, for academic and political reasons as well as pleasure. I have been to, 20 US states, 9 Caribbean islands, 2 Latin American countries, China, Hong Kong and every Western European country except Holland, Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg, Lichtenstein and Ireland. I have never been to the Middle East, Africa or Oceania. I would love to do this.
6. I love movies, the opera and ballet. I will drive hundreds of kilometers for a film festival or for an opening at an art house cinema. I go to the 0pera and the ballet whenever I get the opportunity.
7. Favourite cities: Paris is my haven and my escape; NYC energizes me; Rome makes me dream, Washington D.C. holds some of my best recent memories!
8. I am very close to my parents and I thank them for always pushing me to be as independent of them as possible – both in mind and money.
9. My grandmother was the single greatest female influence on me when I was a kid. She lived with us and she raised me at home while my mother built a stellar university career. My grandmother has always been ahead of her time. She is terribly ill now and almost blind – it hurts me deeply to see someone who was so strong for me become so weak and vulnerable.
10. I love politics and news on all media – I spend way too much time keeping way too well-informed.
11. I am a member of the Liberal Party of Canada because I love its fundamental values – universal services and striving for social justice, egalitarianism and the individual’s freedom to realise him/herself. I don’t serve on any political board right now, however.
12. I am allergic to food preservatives, food colour and pillow feathers. This has meant that I often brought my own pillow to people’s houses for sleepovers and said “I can’t eat that” a lot to other people’s parents when I was a kid.
13. I love to cook. I cook almost every day, for obvious reasons (see #12). I have lots of cookbooks and love the Food Network. I think Giada de Laurentiis and Laura Calder are sexy.
14. I am very young at heart, even though I often first come off as serious and intense. This means that I don’t always fit in with people my age. Younger people love my youthful demeanor, boundless energy and optimism. Older people are taken by my maturity. This has made dating tricky.
15. I love art and art history. When I was 16, I went to live in the South of France (Montpellier) for a bunch of months for French language and civilization classes. I ended up skipping all the language ones and attended classes about the art history of the Languedoc-Roussillon, the Catalans and the Cathars. I also hitch-hiked to Toulouse with Bernhardt Kögelschatz (who became a life-long friend) and hiked to the Pic de Gavarnie in the Pyrénées. It was an awesome spring/summer. I miss those long summer days in the Roman ruins.
16. I am not a materialistic person but I have always dreamed of owning three things: a baby grand piano, a sports car (maybe a Porsche or a Lotus or a Mercedes-Benz SLK), and an apartment in Europe (France or Italy). I have the piano, but am still working on the other two.
17. I backpacked all around Romania on a whim, for 6 weeks in the summer of 1993. It was a life-changing trip.
18. If you ask me to go an art gallery with you, I will probably cancel appointments to join you. This applies to opera, ballet and live piano, as well.
19. I have been director of communications for two politicians, both of whom are people whom I respect deeply and admire greatly: Judy Marsales and Gerard Kennedy. We won both elections, both times taking the seat away from the NDP.
20. I am always sad when one progressive politician defeats another in elections. I don’t regret having helped it happen twice.
21. I love TV. Bring a season of your fave show on dvd or blu-ray to my place and you’ll probably settle into a pleasant day/evening of my cooking and some wine.
22. My most pleasant personal vacation was when I drove all over Northern Italy, staying with a friend at his family’s home in the hills in Tuscany and later spending three magical days walking around Venice – I ate at chic restaurants, saw incredible art galleries and went to gorgeous concerts in ancient Venetian churches and cathedrals at night.
23. I co-wrote a dictionary of Mi’kmaq with two of the most original people in the world. One of them, Manny Metallic, died tragically last year – I will miss his passion for preserving his culture and its words. The other, Danielle Cyr, still inspires me with her passion for language and culture.
24. I am Roman Catholic. I had a moment in my twenties when I thought that scientific materialism could explain everything and that God had died, but then I realized how much this was limiting my dreams, sense of wonder and potential happiness. So I came back to the Church and have felt myself grow deeper, calmer, more creative and more loving ever since.
25. Jean Vanier is my hero. Reading his Massey Lectures on “Becoming Human” brought me back to faith. He made me realise that admitting weakness is the truest strength.