By Kimberly Nichols
1. I paint in dresses, my favorite are all the fancy ballgowns that I spend way too much money on and only wear once, and they go perfect with Edith Piaf and punk rock.
2. I collect zines and put them in plastic bags like scientific specimens. One day I hope to have the world's most varied collection.
3. At 35, I am sending a daughter to college and starting to feel the empty nest syndrome.
4. I plan on buying a barn in the south of France within the next few years, where I will eventually escape to paint in whenever I can and where artists can come to visit and share in the experience. I am looking forward to driving a Volkswagon bus into the village where I will befriend and drink scotch with crusty old men.
5. My daughter is my favorite person alive.
6. I am so "non-domestic" that sometimes I wish I had a wife. When my daughter brings her friends over and they see my paint studio house, she says "My mom's an artist" as if somehow excusing me from being lackadaisical with dishes and piles. She's been saying this since she was five.
7. I am an art-o-holic. I am always in the middle of paying some piece of work off. At the moment it is a big cinder block with neon around it. I will probably use it as a source of light in my studio.
8. I love Mexico-no shoes, homemade strawberry ice cream, apple soda, cheap chorizo and disappearing among the language barrier really make me happy.
9. Most of my bodily scars come from a childhood spent riding dirt bikes and falling down steep hills in the Arizona and California deserts. I once had a handlebar impression across my chest that only really faded in my twenties.
10. My three favorite American cities are San Francisco, Chicago and Boston-in that order.
11. I launched my writing career with a gig as editor for a French punk rock magazine owned by a professor at the Sorbonne.
12. I published my first book Mad Anatomy at age 29.
13. My backyard and my bougainvillea are my daily sources of peace, where at five a.m. I drink coffee and write in silence before starting the social day.
14. I could live on Indian food for the rest of my life, especially matar paneer.
15. If I weren't an artist and writer I would have been a dancer, even a band dancer like that guy in the suit who dances behind the Mighty Mighty Bosstones on stage. I regularly take a group of my gay boy friends out dancing with me so I can lengthen my boogie time by taking turns until I tire them all out. It makes the night last longer and I don't like leaving the floor until the music stops!
17. Red is my favorite color.
16. I still have all my cassette tapes from growing up and have the perpetual intention to transfer them all to DVD with one of those snazzy computer machines one day so that I can listen to Lay Lady Lay-the Duran Duran version, again, in all its scratchy glory.
17. I have a thing for boys in eyeliner.
18. I am a complete Scrabble and Crossword puzzle addict.
19. Although I have been all over the world, there's nothing like the sense of home that comes over me when I see the first windmill on the 1-10 freeway.
20. When I was a little girl I wanted to be a fashion designer. I still have a collection of one hundred dresses I designed from age ten to twenty one. Someday I will make a series of clothes based on all the dresses worn by the girls in my paintings.
21. I have a "to read" bookshelf with dozens of books and magazines but still can't stop buying more. I am going to be like the cat lady but with books when I am old. They will find me barely breathing under a pile. I buy these things like most women buy shoes.
22. I am a clutz, in the Lucille Ball fashion, or like Raggedy Anne in torn fishnets. I can not put on a pair of nylons ever without them running within the first ten minutes of wear.
23. I drink negronis after having fallen in love with bitter Campari in Italy. My friend Andy Linsky taught me how to make the perfect one and I have been addicted ever since.
24. I love to karaoke with my tribe but have been coined "B Flat Betty Back Up Singer". My sister is the one who got the amazing pipes!
25. I love life....have been truly blessed with all my dreams and look forward to the future. I am not afraid of dying.