The Proust Questionnaire is a famous questionnaire about one’s personality. Its name and modern popularity as a form of interview is owed to the responses once given by the French writer Marcel Proust. Ben’s Beer Blog has co-opted this format in order to provide a revealing look at people making beer and working in the beer industry in Ontario. As such, I’ve renamed it The Proost Questionnaire, since “proost” is the Dutch word for cheers. Clever right?
Christina Coady brews beer at Toronto’s Folly Brewpub and writes about homebrewing for Taps Magazine. She shares her frustrations about sexism, the lack of trains in Newfoundland, and the fact that no one has made a decent Batgirl movie.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
I find great happiness in a successful day, where I love the work and I meet the goals, then I come home to comfort. It’s simple, but it doesn’t always happen in life.
What is your greatest fear?
My parents are dearly important to me. I fear the day when I lose them.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Folly. It took a lot of work for us to get where we are today, and I am so excited for where we are headed.
What is your favorite occupation?
A long time ago, when I was just out of high school, I worked at the NFLD Rare Books Library at Memorial University. If I wasn’t brewing, I would love to be a librarian. Or work in a vineyard.
Which living person do you most admire?
My parents. They are some of the strongest people I know.
What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
I have terrible anxiety. And I’ve had it since I was a child. I have learned lots of great methods to recognize when I am about to have an anxiety attack, and ways to work through it. While I’m always working on dealing with it in positive ways, I still really hate having anxiety.
What is the trait you most deplore in others?
I’ve worked a lot of different jobs – ice cream stores, coffee shops, restaurants, market research/ marketing, brewing retail, and brewing. Sexism and objectification has been an issue in every one of these jobs. I felt like I would get used to it at some point, but as I get older I am getting more and more frustrated by it. It’s 2016, there’s zero excuse for this anymore. I don’t care where you’re from, how old you are, or if it’s a joke. When you say and do things that are sexists, or objectify others, you’re gross.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Cheese. I pass by two cheese stores on my walk home from Folly. Both stores have very different selections. It’s a huge struggle not to stop into both and buy cheese.
What is your favorite journey?
The first time I took a train (there are no more trains in Newfoundland!) was the Eurostar from London to Brussels. For my first train ride, it was a great experience and a special memory. I spent ten months studying philosophy in Leuven, Belgium and this train ride was my introduction to Europe. Since that experience, I try to take a train whenever I travel. If I could take rail to St. John’s instead of flying, I would.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
At Folly, it’s all Newfoundlanders in the brewhouse. Terms commonly found back home are constantly used. “B’y” is the Newfoundland version of “eh.” and is my personal favourite.
What is your greatest regret?
That I grew up in a place that is so far from where I would eventually call home.
What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Calvin and Hobbes. Growing up, we would read Calvin and Hobbes in the Newspaper and cut them out and paste each strip in a Hilroy notebook. It was coveted material. Mom had an independent children’s’ bookstore while I was growing up, so we always could order the official comic books right away. We even named our family dog “Calvin.” I had many stuffed tigers too. All called “Hobbes.”
When and where were you happiest?
Leuven, Belgium. During the my time in Belgium I realized that academia was not for me. I had beautiful lectures, and I was reading amazing material, but I was constantly distracted by beer. It was an exciting time as I was exposed to so much and it influences a lot of what I do now.
Which talent would you most like to have?
Singing. No one needs to hear my current rendition of Madonna’s Like A Prayer.
What is your current state of mind?
“Check the mash, count keg stocks, prep a brewday with over 20 women, write a Taps article, plan a yeast talk in Guelph, review cell counting method, plan a beer release, work through bottle filling, drink more coffee…” And on and on like that.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
That I could speak up more about things I disagree with. I’m working on it.
If you could change one thing about your family, what would it be?
That they were in Ontario instead of Newfoundland.
If you were to die and come back as a person or thing, what do you think it would be?
Some sort of worker bee.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be?
A well loved house cat. What a great life.
What is your most treasured possession?
Dad and I built this beautiful wine rack for my apartment. The wood is reclaimed from a boat. It’s been through four apartments, and I am so proud of it.
What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?
Not knowing what you want to be or do. I’ve been there a couple of times and it’s scary.
Where would you like to live?
Bonavista Bay, NFLD. Every time I get to travel through that area, I feel so calm.
What is your most marked characteristic?
I value wit and wordplay highly. I love that I can get into pun wars with friends and family.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Humour and determination.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Humour and determination! This is a great quality for everyone to have.
What do you most value in your friends?
The ability to pick up where we last left off.
Who are your favorite writers?
Vonnegut, Atwood, Borges.
Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Barbara Gordon. I watched and read a lot of Batman while growing up. Barbara was always my favourite Batgirl and her transition to Oracle was awesome. Why DC hasn’t done a Birds of Prey movie is beyond me.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Tina Fey and my parents.
What are your favorite names?
Christina. But I’m a narcissist!
How would you like to die?
What is your motto?
Brute Force and Ignorance.