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.