It’s not that he’s the writer of several of my favorite shows, but that he’s smart, cute and seems rather balanced. To learn more about JJ Abrams, see his profile in this week’s outstanding NY Times Magazine. (Love this issue. So many interesting things to learn about. Even the letters are amusing, as usual.)

Speaking of writing, do you ever fantasize about your future? Where you’ll be in 10 years? What you’ll be doing for a living? Where you’ll be living? I do. I know I’ll be writing, in one way or the other. I’d like to be living in northern California part time and Arizona part time. I was reading JJ’s profile and thinking, “What would I say if this were me being interviewed?”

brick wall portrait

Personal hero: Paul Farmer. A doctor who has revolutionized HIV/AIDS care, prevention and treatment in Haiti. He’s doing amazing work in other areas of the world too. He is the brains behind Partners in Health.

What’s always by her bed: My Nalgene bottle full of water, the remote, the latest issues of MSL, Shape and Real Simple and my knitting.

Her retreat: This used to be Young, Arizona. One of my best friends grew up in this tiny town and I’d escape a couple weekends a year to rest, relax and write on her parent’s porch. Today, I’d say my parent’s porch in San Antonio. I love being outside.

Her greatest hits: Uh, to date? I’m the editor of a couple of cool magazines. Otherwise, I’m an unpublished author of a nearly finished first novel. The editing continues.

Morning routine: I wake up at 4:30, am at the gym at 5 am, in the car on my way downtown by 7 am, sitting at the bagel shop eating breakfast until 7:51 am and at work by 8.

Greatest strength as a writer: My background in journalism.

Greatest weakness as writer: I am sensitive to criticism.

What’s always in the refrigerator: Skim milk, water, white wine, Yoplait yogurt, pickles, oranges, unsalted butter, eggs.

Favorite food: Right now? The potato curry pizza at Pita Jungle.

Collections: Books, art supplies, African masks.

Best thing about African masks: They are distinct to the culture. And each one I own comes with some sort of strange travel story.

Best travel memento: A cross from Israel I keep in my camera bag.

What she’s always asked at parties: Did you bake this? (Okay, I wish. I can’t think of anything consistent.)

Always with her: My lucky giraffe.

Favorite place in house: The bathtub.

Hobbies: Writing, photography, crafts, gardening, cooking with an emphasis on baking, swimming and running.

Obsession: Honestly? Trying to balance my cravings with good nutrition. I am prone to inhale tortilla chips and salsa and have eater’s regret 10 minutes later.

Best recent gift: New cookie cutters from the Slackman’s and new baking molds from Rebs.

Fitness routine: Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 1 hour run (5-6 miles) and 30 minutes of weights and abs. Tuesday, Thursday: 1 hour swim. (2 miles)

Talent she covets: I wish I were a better athlete. (I’ll keep his.)

Evening routine: Go home around 5 p.m., figure out what I’m going to eat for dinner, or meet friends for dinner. Unpack gym bag, repack gym bag. Pack lunch. Watch a bit of TV while knitting. Check email. Asleep by 9.

Greatest misconception about her life: That I don’t struggle with how to balance my lust for expensive American luxuries and my desire to help the world’s poor. It’s a pathetically honest answer. I love my designer jeans and new handbags and try not to feel terribly guilty about them when working abroad.

Movie she’s seen most: “Pretty Woman.” “I cried so much I almost pissed my pants! What did she say? She liked it almost as much as Pirates of Penzance.”

Book she’s read most: I’ll say authors instead: Gabrielle Garcia Marquez and Barbara Kingsolver. My two all-time faves.

Household chore he’s most fastidious about: No dirty dishes in the sink. Put them in the dishwasher already.

Obsolete item she won’t part with: My only TV — an 18″ color Emerson my parents gave me in 1993. It still works!

Travel routine: For international travel, I only pack items I’m willing to lose. My camera is the one exception. I like to give everything away and fill my bag with items from the local markets — especially fabric and masks.

Travel nightmare: Missing my flight to Phoenix when I was coming home from the Peace Corps. I had to spend an additional 4 hours in Chicago after already traveling two days. I ventured to the food court with a lunch voucher and nearly got sick by all the options. In true American spirit, I bought a Happy Meal. Welcome home.

Superstition: I read my horoscope. And that lucky giraffe.

Procrastination technique: Because I love doing so much stuff ‚Äî blogging, photography, crafting ‚Äî there’s always something I can do instead of work. Basically, I don’t write unless I’m on deadline.

Biggest self-indulgence/guilty pleasure: Luxury handbags.

Gadget she can’t live without: Pam Baking spray. Not really a gadget, but I’m not a gadget person.

Prized possession: I have three: My mother’s first quilt. She gave it to me in 1995 and I love it. A letter my dad gave me when I left for the PC. And my grandfather’s pocket watch.

What she drives: A Honda Civic. Love it. I’ve had it for ages and am keeping it for ages more.

Next big purchase: A road bike so I can start doing triathlons.

Historical figure she’d like to meet: Ruth, of the Book of Ruth.