10 Questions with Margaret Willison

June 20, 2016

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Librarian, culture expert, and newly-minted Opus Affair fangirl Margaret Willison isn't afraid to answer the tough questions. Specifically, ten of them, in our quick-take interview series, #10Questions!

What is your profession?
I am a librarian, full-time, and then part-time I am a freelance culture writer/commentator/tastemaker/genius.

Where do you live?
Lower Allston—the part historically known as Barry's Corner now trying (somewhat hilariously) to rebrand itself as "Allston Square."

What/when was your first Opus Affair?
My first Opus Affair was just this May! The inimitable Jason McCool (who tagged me in this endeavor) brought me to Opus's 8th Birthday Party at The Hawthorne and I fell in love immediately!

What's a cool project you're currently working on?
I'm going to name two, because I'm a jerk like that. Appointment Television, the television podcast I co-host, is just about to have its first birthday, which feels like a HUGE accomplishment. I am so proud of our high brow/low brow balance, typified nicely in our episode on the pleasures of rewatching TV and depicting history on television. And then, with my newsletter Two Bossy Dames (nearing its second birthday!), my co-editor and I have been doing more long-form writing, and I am really proud of a piece we just wrote about the complexities of expressing anger while female

What's your current favorite Boston bar or restaurant?
Green Street in Central Square is my forever favorite. Their 6-page long extended cocktail menu is everything and nothing hurts. Deep Ellum in Allston is a close second, though, because it's walking distance from my house AND instead of playing sports, their TVs play Turner Classic Movies on silent, which is a perfect choice.

Random fact about yourself?
Um, this year, I was one of 12 fictional librarians featured in a free calendar this small British e-journal company released. One of their subscribers nominated me because of my work with NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour, and—without asking my permission!!—they just took my picture off Twitter, put me in this calendar, and then notified me as the calendars were being released like it was some kind of delightful surprise? Everyone else in the calendar is an imaginary character, like Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer or Bunny Watson from The Desk Set and then... also me, a real person. It was mildly invasive but also incredibly hilarious and surreal. I made them send me a dozen copies to distribute to my friends. 

I am powered by/run on _________________?
PRAISE. I respond to compliments like a plant responds to the sun—without them I'd die, and I will contort myself into fantastical shapes to access them more completely. 

What would your fantasy superpower be and why?
Montaging—I'd think of a thing I wanted (a makeover, to fall in love, for my work day to end, to train for a marathon), pick out a song, and BAM, montage my way through whatever thing I'd picked. The song would have to be PERFECT for the trick to work, though, because a superpower without any caveats lacks dramatic tension.

What GIF best describes you?
This one is a pretty uncanny representation of how I spend most of my time:

Name the next three fascinating #bosarts people we should send these questions to next.
I can think of few people I'd want to hear more from than Christina Tucker and Kamille Washington of The Unfriendly Black Hotties podcast and freelance director/all around genius Adrienne Boris.

Follow Margaret to see which #bosarts events she's connected to