1. What was the best dream you had recently, where you felt totally swept away in the dream world?
About two weeks ago, I woke up from a lucid dream. Usually you just know you’re dreaming and maybe can control the dream. But in this dream, I knew within the dream that lucid dreaming was the way that I could experience fully how past, present, future, and the differences we imagine are due to the limitations of our senses. I’ve been teaching and writing about dreams for 30 years, and this is VERY unlike me.
2. What was the last thing you ate or drank (be honest)?
Dry-fried eggplant; Tea-smoked duck; Bamboo flounder; Crazy beef w ghost chili (Peter Chang, Richmond)
3. Writer, artist, performer, whatever--when, why, and how did you know this was what you were going to do in life?
I wrote poetry in my teens but got serious about it in college, attending an open reading series in Washington DC called Mass Transit. I knew I was a pretty good writer and was sincere; reading week after week, I learned that I liked playing with words, and that I could get a lot of positive attention and even make friends by writing and sharing amusing, sometimes insightful stuff. I still find writing this combination of introverted pleasure in plumbing my mind and solving verbal puzzles, and the extraverted pleasure of making connections to people when the work becomes public.
4. Share a fun fact about yourself that folks might be surprised by.
I was on JEOPARDY!™ It’s a fact, and it was fun. (Only won one show -- $13,000; Alex doesn’t talk much to guests; it’s weird being on the set because you feel like you’re inside your television.)
5. What new hobby, practice, or philosophical belief have you recently taken on?
I’m learning to type.