Getting Personal is an email Q&A with a local personality. Here, Melissa Merli talks with Nate Kohn, director of Roger Ebert’s Film Festival. Getting Personal appears first in print, in Sunday's newspaper. In the May 6 newspaper, we'll have a chat with Jennifer Bechtel, a moviemaker, mother and educator.
What time do you get up?
About an hour after I wake up.
What do you do the first hour of the morning?
Try to remember my name.
What did you have for lunch today? Where? With whom?
Fried chicken at Weaver D's with someone who looked like Michael Stipe.
Best high school memory.
The Echo. (The student newspaper at Urbana High School.)
Tell me about your favorite pair of shoes.
I only have one pair: Mephisto sandals. I buy a new pair in France every May. One of the reasons I no longer spend winters in central Illinois.
What does a perfect Sunday afternoon include?
A nap, a dream, a walk, a movie.
Was there one book you read as a child that you still cherish? Own? Read?
"Remembrance of Things Past."
Where on earth are you dying to go? Why?
Kerala, India. I like to say it. Figure I'd like saying it even better when I'm there.
Tell me about your favorite pet.
Greta, a 15-year-old Lab mix. We walk at the same pace, pee at the same times, eat the same food and bark with equal ferocity at the cable guy.
Have you discovered as you matured that you are becoming like one of your parents? Which one and how?
No, I haven't. Maturity never came my way. Maturity is one of the truly big lies.
What would you order for your last meal?
Steak 'n Shake patty melt, fries, chocolate shake, Percocet.
What can you not live without?
Who do you have on your iPod?
My friends sit on it in rotation. Today, it's Tom's turn.
What's the happiest memory of your life?
8:30 this morning.
If you could host a dinner party with any three living people in the world, whom would you invite?
Any Tom, Dick and Harry.
What's the best advice you've ever been given?
Never take advice.
What's your best piece of advice?
Don't give advice.
What was your first job and how much did you make an hour?
Bookkeeper at Champaign Ace Hardware. Got paid in washers.
What was a pivotal decision in your career and how did you arrive at that decision?
Moving to Europe. Perceived threats on my life made it the only viable option.
Do you have a bad habit? What is it?
All habits are bad. I have many. One is watching "Jeopardy!" Another is trying to be funny.
How do you handle a stressful situation?
With unparalleled grace. Either that or move to Europe.