All season, the publicity department has been graced with the presence of two wonderful interns, Hanna Oldsman and Alexandra McGinn. (I tried to do a photoshoot, but they ran and hid in the bookroom.) Hopefully this (incredibly witty and well-written) Q&A will show you just how lucky we are to have them.
Are you more of a Ke$ha or a GaGa?
Hanna: A GaGa. I have no $ to my name.
Alexandra: I used to spell my name like “@lex@ndr@” in my various AOL Instant Messenger profiles back in the day. I guess that sort of innate creativity makes me a Ke$ha?
If you were a short story, which one would you be?
Hanna: The Lottery by Shirley Jackson. Ha, no. My life’s neither tightly written nor horribly depressing, so that cancels out a lot of my favorites (The Dead, The Yellow Wallpaper—love them, wish I had written them, don’t want to be them). I recently discovered a collection of short stories by Virginia Woolf called Monday or Tuesday, though, that I like a lot. The stories feel wonderfully rough and unfinished, most of them meditations on writing and the creative process. What I love most is Woolf’s ability to surprise even herself, and the way in which she speeds along with the rapidly changing worlds she imagines—every word she adds, every stray thought she has, alters the story, so that a mere metaphor or conjecture can seem reality a paragraph later. Two that I especially enjoy are Monday or Tuesday and An Unfinished Novel.
Alexandra: I would want to be one by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings doesn’t have very many redemptive characters, but the imagery blows my mind. I would love to live in that world.
We’re announcing the NOAD Word of the Year next week. What do you think it should be?
Hanna: Tweet? Honestly, I don’t understand Twitter at all. But if it’s going to make Sarah Palin the next Shakespeare, it must be pretty magical?
Alexandra: Parkour, for all it signifies. I despise “going to the gym” so any alternative is okay with me, although my “parkour” would have to be far less extreme than traditional “parkour.” No scaling 6 foot tall walls for me.
What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
Hanna: A wasabi-flavored Kit Kat bar.
Alexandra: Scrapple. It’s a pan-fried semi-congealed loaf of pork scraps and cornmeal. My best friend is from Philadelphia where it’s very popular and she insisted I try some when I visited. Have I searched the streets of New York for a place where I can get some good, authentic scrapple? Absolutely not, but it’s actually not as gross as it may sound.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you love The Oxford Comment?
Hanna: As much as I love the Oxford comma. (Is that high enough praise?)
Alexandra: 10, duh. BEER? GEEKS? DRAMA? Wait, is it inspired by my life?
What’s the most embarrassing TV show you watch?
Hanna: A kids’ science fiction program on the BBC called Doctor Who. The villains look giant salt and pepper shakers, and their arms are made of metal whisks and toilet plungers. [Editor’s note: IT IS NOT A KIDS’ SHOW, HANNA! And Daleks are nothing to mess with!]
Do you own any Silly Bandz?
Alexandra: No, unfortunately. I think the only acceptable way to acquire them at my age is at raves and those aren’t really my scene/I am not cool enough for them.
What’s your favorite viral video?
Hanna: Sorry, but it’s so cute! [Surprised Kitty]
Alexandra: My mom’s a big fan of chain emails and has forwarded me the link to Christian the Lion on several occasions. It gets me every time.
If you had to pick a theme song to play every time you entered a room, what would it be?
Hanna: I just reread Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland this week, so I’m feeling about ten…“I Won’t Grow Up” from Peter Pan.
Alexandra: “Nothing But a Good Time”…how could I resist? I may or may not have seen Poison perform live…twice…which might also explain my answer to question 6.
Fill in the blank: I am psyched to be a publicity intern because _______.
Hanna: I get to read about Lewis Carroll and witches at work.
Alexandra: At Oxford? Free books! I don’t plan on spending a nickel on Christmas gifts. Just kidding…kind of. Because everyone is (seemingly) normal and definitely so nice! I think that’s relatively hard to come by in a big, scary city like Manhattan.