Icebreaker Questions and Answers

Icebreakers and I have a tempestuous relationship.
Despite being something of a hot seat devotee and a major fan of random and revealing questions, my first memory of icebreakers is on the traumatic side.

It was the first day of 3rd or 4th grade.  Our teacher (Probably Ms. Ellis in fourth grade, this seems like just her brand of sadism) told us we would be going on an impromptu camping trip, passed around a roll of toilet paper, and told us to take what we thought we would need for an overnight stay.
I was pretty sure something was up. I may have been eight years old but I was no fool.  They needed my parents’ signatures to bus me to the Science Museum for a few hours. But still part of me was completely appalled at the threat of being spirited away for a night. And having to reveal my toilet paper needs? It was the height of humiliation.
You may have played this game before- you have to share a fact about yourself for every sheet that you take. I don’t remember what I did- probably something middle of the road like 5.  Someone took one sheet and another boy (I think it was Pedro) took about half the roll.

So while I have no problem with sharing some level of personal information and even less of a problem listening to other people’s stories (when it doesn’t border on the TMI) I hate the enforced ‘getting-to-know-you’ of icebreakers, which are really only good for uniting a group against the irritating and condescending authority demanding how many bones you’ve broken.

Which is a long way of saying I found 25 fun icebreaker questions and I’m going tonsure some of them.
Please do not be inspired to use these for their purported purpose of ‘team building at work’.

  • What was your first job?
    My first paid job was as a barista at a Barnes & Noble Starbucks.
  • Have you ever met anyone famous?
    The most starstruck I have ever been was when I met one of the horses who played Shadowfax in Lord of the Rings.
  • If you could pick up a new skill in an instant what would it be?
    So many I can’t choose: a language, hunting with falcons, parkour, an instrument…
  • Seen any good movies lately you’d recommend?
    Good Time wasn’t my kind of movie but it is being criminally overlooked. It came out in 2017.
  • Been pleasantly surprised by anything lately?
    The only things coming directly to mind are both today: Clinique’s eyeliner is in fact easy and liquid, and it sounds like Black Panther is super intersectional and has strong female characters.
  • Favorite band ten years ago?
    I was twelve, which was about the time I got my iPod and started listening to music for the first time. Honestly it was probably Aly and AJ or Avril Lavigne. Embarrassing.
  • What’s your earliest memory?
    I remember sitting on the rug at preschool and thinking to myself, “I’m three”.
  • Been anywhere recently for the first time?
    Grasse and Nice!
  • What was the first thing you bought with your own money?
    The first big ticket item I bought with my own money was one of those felted cardboard cat condos. It was two floors. We still have it. It was $80 and I had saved for forever. I think I was in Elementary school. I was a high roller.
  • Any phobias you’d like to break?
    Nope, spiders and I are good with where our animosity is, thanks very much.
  • What’s your favorite breakfast cereal?
    I’m such an old person, I like raisin bran. But I remember being young and loving the Cap’n Crunch I had at my cousins’ beach house. When I came home and asked my parents if we could buy it they told me it wasn’t sold in our state. Ah, the lies our parents tell us.

Saturday Links (and an aside on pastry)


I am indeed more sane today! It’s amazing what a Chipotle burrito can do to pull back together the resolute American spirit.

And as goes my stress- I had my favorite pastry and a beautiful pear for breakfast today, went to the pastel exhibit at Petit Palais that I was looking forward to, bought a few things that I’ve been searching for (for years), and have a classic financier tucked in my desk for breakfast tomorrow (with a persimmon and maybe some chocolate (?).
So what is a classic financier I hear you ask? The almond one. My bakery had a pistachio-chocolate one (half and half), the almond, and a cherry one.  How does one choose?
Well, I like fruit in pastry, but I usually have fresh fruit with my breakfast (I stole an excellent pear from my landlords today) and didn’t want to be outfruitied.  And then I was considering pistachio, but when I got there realized I wasn’t feeling chocolate.  It’s always best to start with the classic anyway.

So life is good.

Here are my links

Links Actually on Friday 12/15



I’m so ready.

Here’s what’s happening:

Asking Hot Seat Questions

Have you ever played Hot Seat?

The idea of the game is exactly what it sounds like. You have a group of people and one person is in the ‘hot seat’. The other members ask them personal questions, which they then answer. The person in the hot seat changes, generally after some number of questions or a specific amount of time.

It’s one of the most stressful and also most eye-opening of ice breakers. And I usually hate ice breakers. This is maybe the one exception.

Well, this and the blanket/name game. And the one where you pass an apple between your chin and chest around a circle. Make it an orange for extra mess.

I’m in a new group of people (there are 20 of us, to be exact) and I’ve decided I love everyone.  Because I trust people pretty quickly (for better or worse) this means I want to know things about people and to share things about myself.

And my mind kind of naturally goes in the direction of introspection, lists, questions, and all that.

Some favorite hot seat questions:

  • Of this group, with which 3 (or some number) would you prefer to be stuck in an elevator?
  • What is your favorite thing about your personality?
  • What do you think is the worst facet of your personality?
  • What’s your favorite dream?
  • Can you remember the lowest moment of your life? What was it?
  • What is your deepest fear?
  • When was the last time you got in a fight with someone? What was it about?
  • If you could pick an age to die, what would it be?
  • What is the hardest thing you’ve ever done?
  • How many near death experiences have you had?
  • The worst time someone tried to hit on you?
  • What’s the best moment you’ve ever had in the rain?
  • Who is the most famous person you’ve met?
  • What is your greatest hope for your life?
  • How long does it take you to trust people?
  • What’s a bad habit you have?

I’m avoiding PG 13 + questions because I’ve decided that for today this blog is family-oriented.

Last Friday in America: 9/8


Fuck, that’s scary.

Lots of links, though! Continue reading “Last Friday in America: 9/8”

Favorite Fashion and Style Books


I’ve read a lot of style books over my time- they’re good for kicking back and relaxing when you’re trying to put off reading Henry James’ The Golden Bowl (which I’m currently happily but slowly wading through right now). At some point they all seem to blend together (the fashion book, not the Henry James’), but there remain some special ones that stand out- and a lot of other ones that are fun and worth reading, even if they’re not listed here.

Because I had to limit my number of French style books- there are so many that are worthwhile reads but differ from each other only slightly.

I also cut out my favorite minimalism books, because they deal with wardrobes an top of many other lifestyle changes.

And then there are books more based on images- which I’m not going to talk about. But style coffee table books are beautiful too. Continue reading “Favorite Fashion and Style Books”

Answering Unasked Questions: Inside the Wardrobe


So British Vogue’s youtube channel has a series where they visit the wardrobe of various fashion people/tastemakers/personalities- and I love it so much.

These are all people who are pretty passionate about style, and hearing someone talk about something that they’re passionate about is always kind of wonderful- especially when you share that interest. Continue reading “Answering Unasked Questions: Inside the Wardrobe”