Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The white glove test

When you're having people over — say for a party, or a houseguest — and you need to clean up but are short on time, what do you feel is the most important thing you can do to make your space welcoming?

This week's theme is important things.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Important things

Think of all the things that are new in the world — inventions, people, organization, TV shows, commercial products, or traditions that have existed for less than one year. What is one newly-arrived thing that plays an important role in your life?

This week's theme is important things.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Tell us a story: fire drill!

Tell us about one time when your day was disrupted by a fire drill, a false alarm, or some other anticlimactic emergency. When did you experience a big interruption by something that turned out to be a big "never mind"?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

The bright spot

Which room in your home has the best feel, the brightest energy? Which room is the most comfortable and welcoming?

Friday, August 27, 2010


Polite manners seem to require lying when you turn down an invitation. Do you agree that lying is sometimes better than hurting someone's feelings?

This week's theme is lying.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The truth fairy, delayed

Was there a time in your childhood when your parents kept the truth from you about something? Did they think you couldn't handle the truth, or were they trying to make something easier on themselves?

This week's theme is lying.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Means to an end

What's one time that you lied — or stretched the truth — in order to gain a tangible benefit (such as a job, a higher salary, free food, entry into an event, etc.)? Was the benefit worth the lie, or did you agonize over it for a long time afterward?

This week's theme is lying.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Pants on fire

What is one lie you told recently? Who were you trying to deceive? Did they suspect that you weren’t telling the truth?

This week's theme is lying.

Monday, August 23, 2010


Are you a good liar? When necessary, can you convincingly say something that isn't true?

Now, what about the flip side? Can you usually sense it when someone else isn't telling you the truth?

This week's theme is lying.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tell us a story: that thing about my mother

Tell us a story about why and how your mother came to have some trait or characteristic you associate with her. You may know this information from stories you heard (or read) secondhand, but don't worry too much whether your answer is fact or conjecture. What do you think happened in her younger years that helped shape her personality or world view?

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Keeping secrets

Do you enjoy hearing people's secrets? Is it easy, or difficult, for you to keep secrets?

Friday, August 20, 2010

A whole lotta wastin' goin on

Suppose you had a whole week to kill, and you weren't allowed to do anything remotely productive. What would you do?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Er, I wasn't napping just now

If someone catches you wasting time, are you ashamed or defensive? Do you rush to explain how much work you got done earlier, or that you aren't doing what you seem to be doing?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Instead of

When you have something unexciting to do — say, balancing your checkbook or cleaning the cat litter — do you waste time to avoid getting to the tedious task? What kinds of ways do you waste time to avoid things like that?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

On the schedule

Do you allot yourself specific time for wasting each day, or each week? For example, do you read in bed for a half an hour each night before turning out the light, or play Sudoku online during your lunch hour on Wednesdays? Or is your wasted time more spontaneous, happening only when you feel like you have some breathing room?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wasting time

How do you like to waste time? What activity do you usually gravitate to when you have time to be completely unproductive?

This week's theme is wasting time.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tell us a story: out of uniform

What was one occasion when you showed up and found that you were dressed differently from everyone else there? What happened?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Halfway point

Think back to when you were half your current age. What were your main concerns, issues and problems then? Which of those have been completely resolved in the intervening years? Which ones are still a part of your life all these years later?

Friday, August 13, 2010

Astronomical odds

Your house could get hit by a meteorite. It's extremely unlikely, but not entirely impossible. You probably don't spend much time worrying about this possible calamity -- but what is another extremely unlikely risk that you do sometimes worry about?

This week's theme is risks.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The chance you didn't take

What was one big opportunity that slipped away because you weren't ready at the time to take the risk that was required?

This week's theme is risks.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Against the odds

What is something that's a valued part of your life now, something that's there only because you took a risk at some time in the past to make it happen?

This week's theme is risks.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Comfort zone

There are many kinds of risk, for example, physical danger, health risks, financial risks, and risk of public embarrassment. What are some categories of risk (or specific examples of risks) that you are comfortable with and don't mind taking?

What are some risks that make you uneasy, risks that you go to some effort to avoid?

This week's theme is risks.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Worth the risk

What is one thing that you would set out to do if you knew for certain that your efforts would be successful?

What if you were almost certain of success — would you still go ahead? How much uncertainty is enough to stop you from doing something?

This week's theme is risks.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tell us a story: time traveler

If you could send a message back in time to your younger self, what advice would help the younger you the most? What might happen differently in your life as a result?

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Okay, you can take me out to the ball game

What form or genre of entertainment do you resolutely steer clear of? Was there ever a time that someone convinced you to partake in it anyway? How did they persuade you to go against your usual preferences?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Yeah, I could do that

What is the loftiest job that you think you'd be good at, even though you might not have any formal training or official qualifications for the job?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Luring you away

What's one thing — other than a salary bump or a bonus — an employer could offer you that would get you to leave your current job for a similar position?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


What is one interesting non-financial advantage of your current job situation?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

You'd make a great bartender

What is the career that other people seem to think would be a good fit for you? Did any of the standard school aptitude tests turn up anything strange or interesting as a possible career for you?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Your livelihood

What do you do for a living? How close is it to what you imagined, as a child, you would do when you grew up? How close is it to what you imagined when you were in high school and either choosing a college or preparing to go out into the world and work? How close it is to what you studied for in college?

This week's theme is your livelihood.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Tell us a story: mistaken identity

Have you ever been mistaken for someone else? Most of us aren't celebrity lookalikes, but perhaps you were waiting somewhere in a suit and were mistaken for an important executive, or a doctor, or someone in charge of something. Or maybe you appeared particularly competent in a shop and someone asked for your help in finding an item in their size. When you were mistaken for someone — or something — that you weren't, did you have a moment where you wished you were that other person?