Fair & Just Questionnaire: Beth Fieger Falkenstein

Fair & Just Questionnaire: Beth Fieger Falkenstein

Growing up in Oak Park, Mich., Beth Fieger Falkenstein was often outshined by her outspoken older brothers, Geoffrey, and Doug. She learned early to speak up and fight for her share of the spotlight. Today, Beth is a television writer in L.A. for sitcoms like Mad About You, and manages her late brother Doug's music catalog, preserving the vast archives he recorded solo and with his bands, Sky and The Knack.
This has included making some music available digitally for the first time via his label, Zen Records.
"I am especially proud of releasing the two albums he recorded on RCA in 1970 with his first band, Sky," Beth says.
Here, Geoff's little sister reveals the sense of humor she cultivated "growing up in the shadow of giants."

What is your favorite color?
Olive Green. Any shade. Even "split pea."

What is your favorite song?
I have a strong affinity for "My Sharona." (But it's not even my favorite Knack song! Don't tell anyone.)

What is your favorite restaurant?
Dairy Queen. Blizzards rule!

Who is your favorite Detroit celebrity?
Other than my brothers? I think it's time Rita Bell got the recognition she deserved.

Where is your favorite place to be?
On Earth. Above ground.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Have you ever seen a cat sleeping in the sun? That.

Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Sarah Palin. I'm not qualified to be Vice President either.

Which living person do you most admire?
Kanye West, because he keeps telling me how admirable he is.

Which trait in yourself do you most deplore?
The need to be right.

What trait do you most deplore in others?
The refusal to admit when I am right.

What's your greatest extravagance?
Eating out. Not that I am a foodie, it just that I am also not a cookie.

What is your favorite journey?
Motherhood.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Low body fat.

On what occasion do you lie?
Whenever someone asks me "Are you lying?" (Did I just blow your mind?)

Which living person do you most dislike?
Anyone who denies humans are responsible for global warming; followed by Wayne LaPierre. If Wayne LaPierre is a climate science denier, then he moves to first place.

What is your greatest regret?
That I didn't have the idea for the Harry Potter series before JK Rowling did.

When & where were you the happiest?
That time over there.

Which talent would you most like to have?
To be able to accompany myself singing on the piano or guitar. Oh, and to be able to sing.

What is your current state of mind?
I'm the mother of a 16 year old girl, so, "wit's end" is probably apt.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My indecisiveness. No, wait...

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
That I haven't died yet. Really. Think about it. Once you die, no more achieving. Unless you are Jim Croce, and then you release, like, five more albums.

What is your most treasured possession?
My memories ... and my Jim Croce albums.

Where would you most like to live?
Someplace with mountains and trees and fresh air. And a Dairy Queen.

What is your most marked characteristic?
The intensity with which I express my feelings. (Sound familiar, Fieger fans?)

What do you most value in your friends?
A) Their ability to accept me as I am; and B) their memberships in the Wine-of-the-Month Club. (Those two qualities may be connected.)

Who are your favorite writers?
Lately I have enjoyed a few decisions written by Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals about voter ID laws and same sex marriage. Also, Mark Twain and Kurt Vonnegut.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction:
Charlotte. She of Web fame.

Who is your hero in real life:
My husband, Jim. No joke. "Wind Beneath My Wings," and all that.

How would you like to die?
Um ... Is that a question, or an offer?

If you were a speech part, what would you be?
A rejoinder.

If you were a car, what kind would you be?
Vintage. (That sounds better than "used.")

If you were food, what kind would you be?
Something not very exotic. A carbohydrate; easily converted into energy, but with nutritional value. I guess I am banana bread.

If you were an animal, what kind would you be?
I'd have to be a cat because that's what the rest of the Fiegers are.

If you were fine art, what form would you take?
Did Peter Max ever use glitter glue? That would be me.

What's your motto?
You have not converted a man because you have silenced him ... But if you make him laugh, you've got a shot.

What's your favorite quote about the law?
"Judgment for the Defendant." - The judge in a case brought against me in Small Claims Court.

Quote about growing up with Geoffrey:
"I am the shortest member of my family. I used to blame genetics, but now I know it's because I grew up in the shadow of a couple of giants."

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