Proust Q 5.0 september 2009: Amy Buckland, librarianator

September 10, 2009

Welcome to this month’s profile Proust Questionnaire 5.0. (What’s this? See bottom of the page.)

I met Amy Buckland about 10 or so years ago, when she, haunting the newsroom that her dad had earlier worked in, was a copy clerk at The Gazette newspaper here in Montreal. I was kinda scared of her as she strode her rugby-playing self up to my desk with proofs of Arts pages that were riddled with my errors. In the end, I discovered she was gentle as a lamb and had a laugh like a truck driver, though not to all.

She told me a story about an encounter with an intern reporter, fresh from some highfalutin journalism class and full of images of the movie Front Page and dying to say, “Hi honey. Get me rewrite.” The one young fool saw Amy handing out newspapers from towering stacks on a trolley and, as she passed, he said, “I’ll have a coffee, cream and sugar.”

In truth, I don’t recall her reply (Amy? Can you enlighten in the comments here?), but in my mind, she just shot him with her laser-beam stare and he was forever corrected in his assumptions of all people.

Amy’s a librarian now at McGill University Library and there couldn’t be a better place for this knowledge-lovin’, social-media immersed young woman. She holds the distinction of being the only person to every Tweet me with a very satisfying message: “I’m drinking with Jordon. Join us.” And I did.

Now here are her answers to the Proust Questionnaire 5.0. Enjoy (and thanks Amy).

Denise Duguay

Since we are conducting this interview via email, the world is ours for the inventing. If, as I some day hope, money is no object, in what city and establishment would you like this interview to be taking place?
– beachside bar in tahiti.

Who and what would you be wearing?
– wearing? whatever is comfy.

And, most importantly, what would we be drinking?
– the table would be scattered with mini-umbrellas from the evening. the carcasses (carcassi?) of coconut-as-drinking-glasses too.

Okay then. What are the qualities you most admire in others?
– boldness, sympathy, i-don’t-give-a-fuckitude

Amy, scary-like

Amy, scary-like, in a photo altered "using picnik and some filters." via Facebook and Flickr

What do you like most about yourself?
– my curiosity. i like to have answers to things.

– my ability to procrastinate til the nth moment. i blame working in newspapers in my formative years – i work very best with a 6 hour deadline.

What is your greatest achievement?
– figuring out what i want to do career-wise.

What is your present state of mind?
– sated (for the moment).

Where and when are/were you happiest?
– as a kid, spending the entire day at the community pool. swim team, diving team, synchro, swimming lessons, free swim… i’d get there right after breakfast, run home for lunch & dinner, and get home for bedtime. so fun.

What is your first memory?
– when i was two our basement in Pierrefonds flooded. 2ft of water. my mother sat on the steps down to the basement while i donned my bathing suit and went swimming in the basement. i remember my toys floating in the water and thinking that everyone should be able to swim in their basement.

What, currently, do you most love doing?
– wow.

What was your worst job?
– working for an event planner who is litigious so we’ll just leave it at at that. me and the ritzy-set were not meant to hang out.

Your favourite colour?
– electric blue

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
– a bbq on the beach with my friends and good music.

Of misery?
– having a job i loathe.

If not yourself, who or what would you be?
– mermaid. those exist, right?

Where would you like to live?
– i would move to Barcelona in a heartbeat. i feel oddly at home there – despite the fact that my Catalan is *cough* rusty.

Whatever the destination, any journey is better in a Fleuvog shoe. Or so says Amy. They have much fancier stuff, but I could fit this onto the boot rack.

Whatever the destination, any journey is better in a Fluevog shoe. Or so says Amy. They have much fancier stuff, but I could fit this onto the boot rack. via fluevog.com

What is your favourite journey?
– omg this will sound so nerdy, but answering questions. every time i have to look up something new, solve the puzzle, i get giddy. hence become a librarian.

What is your favourite or most memorable meal and when is the last time you indulged?
– favourite: chalet bbq 1/4 chicken meal (disgustingly awesome). memorable: birthday dinner 2003 at a now-closed sushi resto on Commercial Drive in Vancouver. the chef made us all kinds of crazy sushi not on the menu. it was wonderful. (ed note: to those of you not lucky enough to live in Montreal, Chalet BBQ is one great local place to have chicken.)

Name the film/song/book/art that influenced you most and why?
– book: The Bone People.

Amys very own super hero: ya i know she doesnt have a book or a laptop or whatever other learning instrument we librarians love so much. she just kicks ass.

Tank Girl? Sure. But Amy's also got her very own super hero: "ya i know she doesn't have a book or a laptop or whatever other learning instrument we librarians love so much. she just kicks ass." via Flickr

Who is your favourite fictional hero?
– Tank Girl

What fault can you most easily forgive?
– unilingualism

What fault can you not forgive?
– closed-mindedness.

What is your motto?
– knowledge requires collaboration.

How would you hope to die?
– decapitated while doing a shot of tequila in some crazy dive bar somewhere they don’t speak english. or when i’m 110 and living in the ‘burbs. ya know, whatevs. i don’t really think about endings, just beginnings.

Any last words?
– you rock. (Oh Amy. I’ll have a coffee, just sugar thanks. And then get me rewrite, wouldya love?)


Admit it. You read those celebrity Q&As and you know you’re easily as worthy of being profiled. I know I do, but my friends are way more interesting. So, with nods to the “confession albums” of the late 1800s  made famous by the fabulous Marcel Proust’s answers, to French TV host Bernard Pivot who adapted the questionnaire, to Inside the Actors Studio host James Lipton who gave it another spin and to Vanity Fair, which uses its own elegantly spun version to anchor the magazine’s back pages, I submit for your entertainment and enlightenment, my own version of the Proust Questionnaire, re-retooled for a blog age.


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