Get to Know… Ruth!

Name: Ruth Anderson

Personality Type: INFJ – The last time I remember taking this test was in college, and I’m pretty sure I scored INFJ then as well. Perhaps this is confirmation of deeply entrenched consistency? 😉

Famous INFJs: Nathaniel Hawthorne, Fanny Crosby, Mother Teresa of Calcutta, Fred McMurray, Shirley Temple, Martin Luther King, Jr., Shirley MacLaine

What do you love most about yourself? This may sound incredibly silly, but I’m going to go with my height (I’m 6’2”). When I was younger I used to be pretty self conscious about it, but as time has gone on I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is, after all, incredibly handy almost always being able to reach that top shelf, or find someone or something in a crowd. 🙂

What would you most like to change about yourself? Honestly, I think too much. Comes with being SUCH an introvert – but over-thinking, over-analyzing – if I could, occasionally, turn “off” that aspect of my personality, I’ve often thought (ha!) that life would be easier!

Favorite Fictional Character & why: This is extraordinarily difficult, but I’m going to go with Hadassah, from A Voice in the Wind and its sequel, An Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers. Her patience, her faith in the face of overwhelming tragedy and persecution have never failed to inspire and challenge me as a Christian.

Name one possession that you absolutely love: I’m going to go for the nostalgia factor here – my old, scruffy brown teddy bear that was given to me shortly after I was born by my god-aunt. That bear (who to my memory has always been oddly nameless! shocking!) has been with me through a lot. 🙂

If you could meet one person, living or dead, who would it be and why? Ol’ Blue Eyes, Frank Sinatra. I can remember absolutely falling in love with him as a kid when I first saw glossy MGM musicals like Anchors Aweigh and Take Me Out to the Ball Game. He’s so skinny and well, almost nerdy compared to co-star Gene Kelly, but those eyes and that VOICE! I was a goner. But I didn’t fully appreciate the man and his musical capability until I purchased the compilation Classic Sinatra (released in 1998 – trust me, this is a very VIVID memory). From the opening notes of “I’ve Got the World on a String” I was hooked – that song changed my life. As weird as it may seem that was a defining moment, a pivot point that informed my musical taste and sensibilities from that point forward. I would love to have a conversation with Frank (yes, we’re on a first-name basis IN MY MIND), the opportunity to share with him just what his music and films, his art have meant to me, and to perhaps garner some first-hand insight into what exactly made that musical genius tick.

Tell us three of your “guilty pleasures”:

  1. Fairy tales – I’ve loved them ever since I was a child. The original stories, the Disney films, novel-length retellings, and most recently, the television shows Once Upon a Time and Grimm, all of which speak to the enduring power and popularity of these timeless stories.
  2. Blogging – This is the only form of “diary” keeping that I’ve ever managed to stick with, and it has been an addiction ever since I started. What first began as a way of documenting my reading, a method of sharing book recommendations with friends, has over the years grown into a love affair, if you will, with a vibrant community of readers, writers, and thinkers that I wouldn’t trade for the world!
  3. My DVD collection – it’s rather *ahem* extensive, but I love losing myself in a favorite world and spending time with well-drawn, memorable, and quirky characters.

Name one thing (book, song, movie, item) you wish you had thought up first: I’ll go with one of my all-time favorite books here – Vienna Prelude by Brock and Bodie Thoene. That book (and its sequels) is in no small way responsible for my love affair with historical fiction, particularly dealing with the World War II-era. It is a personal gold standard by which books and even films are measured, as for me it embodies the type of historical storytelling I love most – rich, meaty historicals peopled with compelling characters that bring the period to vibrant, Technicolor life. And – it is the mark I strive towards whenever I find the courage to type a few words of my own novel (sadly neglected at present).

Share several of your favorite quotes with us:
“Shake off all the fears of servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call on her tribunal for every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear.” (Thomas Jefferson)

“Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.” (Mark Twain)
“The way I see it, every life is a pile of good things and bad things. The good things don’t always soften the bad things, but vice-versa, the bad things don’t necessarily spoil the good things and make them unimportant.” (The Doctor/Matt Smith, “Vincent and the Doctor”)
“Far and away in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look and see the beauty, believe in them and try to follow where they lead.” (Louisa May Alcott)

“I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn’t be a staring contest.” (Frank Sinatra – Is it any wonder I love him? *wink*)

What memory is the most special to you and why? I don’t know that I can really say. More than specific memories of occurrences or people or places, I feel I most treasure impressions – the love of family and friends, memories of carefree childhood play, deep, meaningful discussions over coffee, worship time, surrounded by brothers and sisters in Christ.

Who is your favorite actor / actress? What was the first film you saw them in? This is another tough one to narrow down, so I’m going to go with one of my earliest film-related memories. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for Fred Astaire – yes, he may not rank highly with many in the traditional looks department, but he more than makes up for that with his effortless charm and on-screen charisma. For me, the man has always embodied class! I trace my appreciation of his work to my first viewing of The Easter Parade (one of my favorite musicals), and watching his character fall in love with Judy Garland’s melts me to this day. Astaire and this film are in large part responsible for my love affair with musicals from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

“I would never get tired of talking about…”? Doctor Who. I came to the show with the ninth Doctor and never looked back. And when you’re talking about a program, a veritable institution that has been around for fifty years, and is a master at reinventing itself – well the chance of discussion topics ever running dry is slim to none.

If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be? Oh this is easy – a cat, now and forever. My current apartment does not allow pets, so I enjoy this vicariously through the two cats who reside at my parents’ home – Pepper (18 years old) and Mr. K (age unknown).

One miniseries or television show everyone needs to try out at least once: Oh, another question that is nearly impossible to narrow down to one response! Let’s see, I’ll go with Inspector Lewis. If you’ve never seen this Masterpiece Mystery series, it is, to my thinking, an underrated gem. One could argue that the series is somewhat formulaic (but what procedural isn’t to some extent?), with occasional forays into soap opera, but what elevates this series is the partnership between the somewhat recalcitrant, occasionally grumpy Lewis and his partner, Detective Sergeant Hathaway, his opposite in every respect. Watching their initially prickly working relationship develop into a true partnership of friendship, respect, and appreciation for each other is a masterful example of well-drawn, thoughtful characterization.

21 thoughts on “Get to Know… Ruth!

Add yours

  1. Hi, Ruth, nice to meet you!

    I don’t blog as often as I should, but I could never give it up. I’ve met so many wonderful people and formed very strong friendships over the years. And I’ve grown through knowing them in ways I don’t think I would have otherwise.

    I love Doctor Who! I cannot wait to see the current season, but don’t look forward to losing Amy and Rory. I have loved each of his companions more and more, though, so I hope I fall head over heals with his current companion.

    I devoured Francine Rivers’s books when I was in college. I should give her another try.

    1. Hi bluiis, great to meet you! Stay strong for the current season of Doctor Who…while I hated to see the end of Amy and Rory’s time, it is perhaps one of the best companion farewells the show has ever done IMO. And the new companion? Based on the Christmas special, especially, I think I’m going to LOVE her!

      1. I couldn’t agree more. It was such a good and fitting farewell that it made actually saying farewell worth it.
        And also, yes, I think the new companion is going to be magnificent.

  2. Hi Ruth! Nice to meet you 🙂

    Yay for Doctor Who! I started watching the show a lot later than you (knew about new Who for years but never actually picked it up until I saw a clip from series 4 and my brother started checking it out) and for a good while I couldn’t stop talking about it ❤ (now I can't stop talking about everything Tolkien…again hahaha)

    I know what you mean about thinking too much, I do the same thing. Trying to work on it though…

    I used to keep a personal blog to stay in touch with friends but the blog I have right now on my site has been far more useful for things you've mentioned, like keeping track of what I'm reading and stuff. How long have you been blogging now?

    1. Hi Lianne! So glad to “meet” another Who fan! 🙂

      Let’s see, I have been blogging since 2005 or 2006…back in 2009 I switched from Xanga to Blogger, and transferred most of my book reviews to the current site.

  3. Oh my gosh! How did I NOT know that you liked Vienna Prelude?! I adore that series. In fact, it’s time for a re-read =)

    Frank Sinatra is awesome and I feel highly underrated as an actor. He’s great

  4. Nice to meet you Ruth – and another INFJ!
    “I like intelligent women. When you go out, it shouldn’t be a staring contest.” Frank Sinatra
    HA – this is GENIUS! What a quote, it’s gonna go up there with Mr. Knightley’s “Men of sense, whatever you may choose to say, do not want silly wives.”

    As for “Vienna Prelude” – one day I saw my brother reading this very girly-looking book with a chic playing violin on the front. At first I made fun of him, then decided to pick it up and peek at it. It was AMAZING!
    I find most “Christian Romantic” fiction at best, well, “meh.” It usually is so predictable and love-triangle oriented with little substance. On the other hand, Brock and Bodie Thoene’s works blow me away. It is actually offensive to me that Thoene’s works and the lastest HORRIBLY written Amish chick-lit shares the same shelves at the library.

    The same brother ended up getting me the series for Christmas a few years ago.

    Now I’ve got to find you on Charity’s links so I can read an INFJ blog =)

    1. Hi Camille, great to meet another INFJ as well! 🙂 I love that Knightley quote too! And I remember that Vienna Prelude cover! Oh it was classic early 1990s cover art, wasn’t it? 😉 Such a good series…and it is wonderful to meet another fan of those books! I hope you’ll stop by my blog when you get a chance!

  5. I am SO with you on your love for Frank Sinatra! I adore Ol’ Blue Eyes. 50% of the music on my player is his. I can never get enough of him, though (as revealed on my interview last week), I have been listening to a lot of Jason Aldean lately. Frank has taken a slight backseat in recent weeks, but given that I bought a new Sinatra CD just last week, I have been back to playing him a lot once more. His voice is like velvet!! Plus, I think he was a terrific actor. I know several people who think he couldn’t act, and I definitely beg to differ with them. He ought to have won an Oscar for his portrayal of Frankie Machine in “The Man with the Golden Arm.”

    We have a very extensive DVD collection as well…could probably go into the rental business! I know what you mean…when you love a film or TV show, you want to have it readily accessible so you can watch it whenever the mood strikes.

    I am highly, highly allergic to cats. Less than 10 minutes in a room with one, and I am wheezing, itching, struggling to breathe, and rubbing my eyes.

    What great quotes. I especially love Louisa’s.

    Thanks for sharing about yourself. It was fun to get to know you a bit better.

    1. Hi Patti! I am SO with you on Sinatra’s acting talents — I think he was just incredible in so many of his films. I love his swagger in Guys & Dolls, the unabashed romanticism in High Society, the raw determination he displays in Von Ryan’s Express…so many fantastic roles!! 🙂

  6. Hello, hello, Ruth! So glad you finally are *here*! 🙂

    Love your guilty pleasures. Fairy-tales = AWESOME. And I feel the same about my family’s DVD collection; we aren’t big “vacation” people nor do we go out to do extravagant activities so movies are kind of our “fun” thing. It’s a way to unwind and forget about life’s burdens for a time. Then, blogging? Yep, it’s way more fun and “addicting” than it has a right to be – but it’s also so rewarding.

    Great ‘Doctor Who’ quote.

  7. yay!!! RUTH ‘S TURN!!!!!!!!!! i love our shared love for Vienna Prelude. It was my first foray into historical fiction, too! ALSO, there is a monroe picture in this post!!!! so exciting. I loved learning about your teddy bear, ruth 🙂

    1. HI RACHEL!!! 🙂 I love the Monroe picture too, that made me very happy (great pick, Charity!). I also love that we share a passion for Vienna Prelude…that book is a gem and its impact on me cannot be measured!! (Also, thanks for mentioning teddy bear…I felt like such a dork admitting that but what can you do?) 😉

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