Born in Buffalo, Be (aka Bebere) ended up in Boston thanks to some scholarship money and her favourite children's story, E.B. White's The Trumpet of the Swan. After numerous swan boat rides and a couple years' worth of schooling, she decided to up and move to France. Eventually, she returned to Boston to tie off loose ends and become the first in her family to get that all-important piece of paper. Currently, she spends her days in a cubicle in Cambridge to fund her rich life outside work. Graduate study and property ownership are two items included in her next five-year plan. Be blogs at Bebere.com.
Why do you blog? > Because there are things I have to get off my chest that people in my day-to-day life don't want to hear about.
What has been your best blogging experience? > The interaction with other people whose existence I'd never have dreamed of if it weren't for this medium.
What has been your worst blogging experience? > Balancing it with my day job.
What would be your main blogging advice to a novice blogger? > 'Follow your bliss' and don't get all caught up in traffic counts. Do it because it pleases you.
What are your favourite blogs? > Althouse, because I want to be her if I grow up; Lileks, because I love his aesthetic; Oliver Kamm, because he's just so well-versed in everything. His arrangement of words tickles me, too.
Who are your intellectual heroes? > Diderot and D'Alembert. They exemplify everything a good, liberal education should be.
What are you reading at the moment? > Le Manuscrit Trouvé à Saragosse (Saragossa Manuscript), by Jan Potocki.
Who are your cultural heroes? > The instigators of the Vienna Secession at the beginning of the 20th century.
What is the best novel you've ever read? > It's a tie between Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë and Le Rouge et le Noir by Stendhal.
What is your favourite poem? > 'Renascence' by Edna St Vincent Millay.
Who is your favourite composer? > Well, to sing, it's Palestrina. To play on the piano, it's a tie between Poulenc and Milhaud. Movies? Between Auric and Takemitsu. I could go on forever with this.
Who are your political heroes? > The Founding Fathers, as well as Beaumarchais for putting his money where France's mouth was at the time.
What is your favourite piece of political wisdom? > You don't have to be a political scientist (or even a political junkie) to make intelligent decisions about how things are run. Just keep yourself decently informed. Read. Ask questions.
What would you do with the UN? > Either totally overhaul it or scrap it. It seems to be doing more harm than good in its current state.
What do you consider to be the main threat to the future peace and security of the world? > The Sleep of Reason getting a hold of the Dreams of Reason.
Do you think the world (human civilization) has already passed its best point, or is that yet to come? > The best is yet to come. The worst is yet to come. I'm both optimistic and a bit frightened.
What would be your most important piece of advice about life? > Don't get hung up on Perfection, or you'll never accomplish anything. Pretty Darn Good is a more reasonable goal.
Do you think you could ever be married to, or in a long-term relationship with, someone with radically different political views from your own? > So long as we communicate in a civilized manner, I don't see a problem with it. Most of my friends don't share my political views, but that's only one facet of our relationships and we manage it pretty well.
What do you consider the most important personal quality? > Trustworthiness.
What personal fault do you most dislike? > All talk, no delivery.
What is your favourite proverb? > 'Qui me amat, amat et canem meam.'
What commonly enjoyed activities do you regard as a waste of time? > Nightclubbing.
Where would you most like to live (other than where you do)? > Where I came from (Buffalo, NY: as we like to say, 'If you're making fun of it, you've never visited'), Northern Maine or North Africa.
What would your ideal holiday be? > A month off the grid. Currently, I can only get two-week blocks of this.
What do you like doing in your spare time? > Knitting, reading, translating, watching movies, playing the piano, cooking, belly dancing, getting outdoors, chatting with my next door neighbour in really bad Italian.
What is your most treasured possession? > My friends. Without them, I'd not be alive today.
What talent would you most like to have? > Diplomacy.
What would be your ideal choice of alternative profession or job? > Governess (à la Jane Eyre). Or managing/owning a small music publishing company.
If you could have one (more or less realistic) wish come true, what would you wish for? > To order a Double Latte in Pashto at a Starbucks in Kabul.
If you could have any three guests, past or present, to dinner who would they be? > Toru Takemitsu, Oliver Kamm and Jared Diamond.