Monthly Archives: November 2007

100 more things about me, part the second

51. I really hate having my hair in my face. That, along with my 3.5 head, is why I haven’t had bangs since age 6.
52. Another way to squick me out is to force me to stick my hands in dirty cold slimy dishwater. UGH!
53. I have only for a brief period of time ever lived in a place with a functional dishwasher (I’m not including the co-op here, which had an industrial dishwashing machine thingy).
54. Dark chocolate and red wine are two of my favorite things to consume together.
55. I’ve always liked the name Sam for a boy, but Dan doesn’t like that name. Sniff.
56. My sleep is generally restless if I wear socks to bed. Which is unfortunate, because my feet are nearly always cold.
57. Sometimes it is difficult for me to determine my opinion on a controversial or political issue because I have a hard time not seeing both sides.
58. A very small part of me would like to get a tattoo, but I’ve never been able to think of anything that I would be OK having on my body permanently.
59. I think it would be really cool to get mehendi (henna tattoos) for the wedding but I wouldn’t want anyone to feel like I was inappropriately co-opting someone else’s cultural tradition.
60. After a bad bout of stomach flu in high school, the first solid food I felt like eating after two weeks of being sick and drinking soup was a grilled cheese sandwich with pepperoni in it.
61. I didn’t like fish or most vegetables until college, when I had them prepared in different ways than my mom prepared them. Now, there are very few types of either that I dislike.
62. During the one taekwondo class I took in college, I advanced to yellow belt with green stripe.
63. Someday, I would love to pick and eat a ripe green fig again. I haven’t tasted one of those since I was 10 years old.
64. Once, in seventh grade, I fleetingly wished to be 5’10 and thin with gorgeous skin so I could be a model. I got over that pretty quickly.
65. Also in seventh grade, I had a pretty high bowling average.
66. There used to be four moles on my neck, but one disappeared so now there are only three.
67. My toes are somewhat prehensile.
68. In middle school I won the geography bee, beating out a mean-ol’ 8th grader. My prize was a globe. They gave me a test to see if I was good enough to compete on a more area-wide level, but I was not.
69. The next year, I lost the geography bee to a 6th grader. I am still somewhat ashamed.
70. Sometimes I wish I weren’t so practical. You know those people who buy things on a whim, spur of the moment, hang the budget? Yeah, not me.
71. “Fart” was considered a bad word in my family (meaning, we weren’t allowed to say it), and it’s probably the only “bad” word I use on a daily basis.
72. I used to eat wild oats off the stalk. It’s a lot of work for not very much food, but when they are ripe they’re really tasty.
73. I also used to eat raw oatmeal with milk, sugar and cinnamon. Kind of like one might eat a bowl of cereal, only it was rolled oats.
74. Mostly now I just eat steel-cut oats.
75. Another fond childhood food: eating apricots fresh and ripe and sunny off the tree. MMMM.
76. One year I wore these friendship anklets someone made me at camp until they rotted off. Shaving around them was kind of difficult.
77. If I had to classify my religious beliefs/tenets/etc. I would probably put myself somewhere between agnostic and secular humanist.
78. Sometimes I miss going to church, just a little bit, for the community aspects. Not the God stuff.
79. I don’t miss it enough to actually go.
80. The least sexy song (to me) is the Sesame Street theme song.
81. I used to meditate in high school, but I haven’t done it in a really long time.
82. Overall, I consider myself to be a pretty well-adjusted person (aside from a few specific issues)
83. If given the choice, I prefer even numbers to odd. If odd, they have to be easily divisible by 3 or 5.
84. I cannot imagine thinking in pictures. I am words all the way.
85. If presented with written material or music with lyrics I will read the writing or listen to the lyrics. I am that drawn to language. I can’t even study listening to music that has words I understand.
86. I dropped my little sister on her head when she was a baby. Yes, it was an accident. No, she doesn’t have any lingering issues. I don’t think.
87. Memorizing my times tables was probably the most difficult hurdle I had to overcome during my school career (not counting that awful chemistry class in college).
88. Someday, I would like to live in another country, even if just for a little while.
89. I skipped second grade, and while I don’t regret it now, sometimes I think it would have been a lot less stressful for everyone if I hadn’t. It took until I was about 16 or so to get past the social and emotional drama that created.
90. They say that having a lot of money can create more problems than it’s worth, but I say let me have the opportunity first and I’ll give you my opinion on that subject.
91. However, I’m really not interested in trying to become rich. If it happens, sweet. If not, oh well.
92. I really really wish I were more photogenic.
93. I also wish I had straight, white teeth.
94. My sister is both photogenic and has naturally straight, white teeth, but I don’t wish I were my sister.
95. My best dreams are the ones where I am flying.
96. Once I spent an entire March 17 looking for a four-leaf clover in our backyard. I didn’t find one.
97. I acquired a pen pal in high school by answering an ad in a Piers Anthony newsletter. We wrote letters for years but didn’t meet until 2004, ten years after we started writing to one another. He and his girlfriend are coming to the wedding!
98. Of saunas and steam rooms, I am not really a fan.
99. My favorite class in college was about the brain and drugs.
100. Though I like the smell, lavendar makes me sneezy and wheezy and itchy.

100 more things about me, part 1

Last year for NaBloPoMo I did a “100 things about me” for the last two posts of the month. I’m going to do the same thing this year. Because it’s my blog, and by definition kind of narcissistic.

1. I have a lot of scars, but I’ve never broken a bone.
2. I don’t have any tonsils or adenoids. They got removed when I was five.
3. In Advanced Biology in high school, we had to dissect cats. My lab partner and I named our cat “it.” I left the room when the jaw cracking part happened because I thought I might throw up.
4. Other than that, I liked all of the dissecting we did, both of cats and other critters.
5. The scariest movie I ever saw was the animated version of “The Hobbit.” I think I was three when I saw this, and I had nightmares about Gollum for most of my childhood.
6. I miss being able to climb trees.
7. I lost a shoe one time in the American River. I was a little heartbroken.
8. I didn’t learn anything from my high school physics/chemistry teacher.
9. I doubt anyone else did, either. He wasn’t a good teacher at all.
10. Another one of my high school teachers was well known for giving out higher grades to girls who wore short skirts and flirted with him.
11. My As in that class were all merit-based.
12. Most scented things (candles, inscence, air fresheners, perfume, body products) give me headaches.
13. I’m allergic to every product Bath and Body Works makes. I have had to give away every gift of B&BW merchandise I’ve received.
14. I used to write really bad poetry. But then, I bet most people did.
15. The most amusing thing I ever wrote was a radio play about Barney, the Irish Purple Monkey. I still have it.
16. I helped to start both the Fine Arts Club and the speech/debate club at my high school.
17. The only time I ever went to Las Vegas, I did not enjoy myself. It sucks to be 18 in Vegas and unable to do anything.
18. Two different boys have called me from airplane phones.
19. Two other boys have sent me roses for Valentine’s Day.
20. Our upstairs neighbors keep their money in a jar on a bookshelf, rather than in a bank. I feel this is unwise.
21. It really annoyed me when the boys with whom I was babysat could whip it out and pee on our walk home from the bus stop, but I couldn’t.
22. One year I got three different necklaces and a Hello Kitty jewelry box for Christmas, and it was pretty much the best Christmas ever.
23. I still have one of the necklaces. It’s an ivory pendant with a picture of a fawn painted on it.
24. In high school, I played a french maid, a girl who recites Shakespeare, a beauty shop assistant, and Puck in various productions. I did not play Wilbur the Pig, though I really wanted to.
25. Bad things happened to me on stage twice. Once, I cut my hand on a broken porcelain cat (one of the props for a play) and I bled all over the stage and had to clean it up during intermission. I still have a little scar. The other time, I got really sick during the run of the show and I lost my voice on stage.
26. I find genetics and reproductive technology to be fascinating subjects.
27. Somewhere in my mom’s house is the stuffed rabbit I got from Victor Davis’ Teddy Bear House in San Francisco.
28. I used to be allergic to citrus fruit and coconut/palm products, but I grew out of those allergies.
29. I am still allergic to eggplant.
30. There might be a flask strapped to my leg with a garter under my wedding dress.
31. Then again, there might not be. I haven’t decided yet.
32. I used to have all the lyrics to Ice Ice Baby memorized. Don’t even ask why.
33. In college, I discovered a really good dessert could be concocted in the dining commons by putting some marshmallows on top of a bowl of rice krispies (or similar puffed cereal), nuking it for 20 seconds, and stirring it around. Instant nonfat rice krispie treat! It wasn’t until later, when I made it at my co-op, that I realized what a bitch it was to clean up. Sorry, dining commons dishwasher people.
34. Sometimes I crave the chocolate Costco muffins, cut up into pieces, warmed in the microwave and spread with margarine. Yes, sometimes I ate this in high school. No, I haven’t eaten it since then.
35. I think brussels sprouts taste and smell like feet.
36. Two of my favorite words are bromadrosis and phantasmagoria.
37. Two of my least favorite words are moist and panties.
38. The highest fever I ever had (105.5F) was due to cutting 6-year molars.
39. My favorite kind of snow is the big ploofy kind.
40. If you want me to get grossed out and have chills down my spine, make me clean the scales off fish, or rub a bunch of cotton balls on my skin. Eeeegh!
41. I would love the challenge of being plunked down in a strange city where I didn’t know the language and be forced to navigate my way around. Kind of like that guy on Man vs. Wild, only it would be Girl vs. City.
42. Dan and I have talked about trying out for the Amazing Race, but we know we’re not pretty enough to get on TV.
43. Sometimes I’m still a little afraid of the dark. This is never the case when Dan is in the bed with me.
44. I had a huge crush on one boy for most of middle school. And maybe a little bit of high school. Then, the other girl with my name dated him so I completely lost interest.
45. Having not painted my toenails since September, I believe it is the longest I have gone without polish on them in at least seven years.
46. There aren’t any dimples on my face, but there are two on my lower back.
47. When I was 14 I figured that I would never find someone who loved me. Turns out I was wrong.
48. When I give blood, sometimes I try to imagine who might end up with my donation. I also wonder what it feels like to have someone else’s blood in your body.
49. My favorite gelato flavors are rose and tiramisu.
50. One of the things I am most looking forward to about our trip to Italy is eating gelato. Yes, even though it’s going to be cold outside. I don’t care!

Wednesday wedding day

Tomorrow it will be four months to the day until the wedding. On the one hand, I feel like we’ve already accomplished so much, and the rest is mostly details that will get figured out in time. On the other hand, part of me is completely freaking out that everything isn’t done already and I so do not want things to be last-minute. Then I think about the people who have planned their entire weddings, start to finish, in four months (or less!). Then I think about how glad I am that we’ve had a reasonably long engagement, because if we tried to plan everything in such a short period of time I might go insane.

One of the things I wanted to focus on, going into this wedding, was to make decisions with some meaning behind them. We’re going local as much as possible with food, doing a lot of things ourselves, and paying people to work so our friends/family don’t have to. The big crafty project I’m working on normally requires paper, lots and lots of paper. I’m attempting to complete the entire project using solely recycled material (namely, old calendars). That way, it will look a little different than similar projects done by other people, and also we won’t have killed any extra trees. As it is, weddings are pretty paper-heavy – we saved some paper by sending out save-the-dates via email, and I think our thank-you notes will be on recycled paper. Dan’s outfit is one he has been planning to wear for his wedding since long before he even met me. So yeah, a lot of the things we’re doing are meaningful to us – down to the wine and beer we’ll be serving.

I’ve blogged before about the place where we’re getting hitched, but I haven’t written much about why it’s a meaningful location for me. When we first got engaged I never imagined we’d be able to get married there because I had no idea there was such thing as “member sponsorship.” My best friend’s parents have been members of the place for the entire time they’ve known me, 26 years, and I spent many childhood days playing there. It was a little more rustic back then; the door to the men’s locker room was right behind the bar, and the bathrooms were just cement walls and floors. We’d spend hours swimming in the lake, and I have a memory of the first time I managed to swim out to the platform and how tired I was when I got there, staying on the platform until I felt like I could swim back. There’s a picture in an album somewhere of my sister in a bathing suit and orange life vest, about to go canoeing around the lake with some family friends. When friends had birthday parties, sometimes we’d head over to the club to play on the playground or build sand castles. Several of my friends in elementary school lived in the neighborhood, so we pretty much had free access to the place.

I don’t know if I can describe how happy I was when I found out my best friend’s parents would sponsor us, to allow us to have our wedding at the club – and not only that, but so much of the things we needed were included in the low member price. We don’t have to rent chairs or tables, glassware or plates or silverware. Our caterers don’t need to bring coffee urns. Not only are we supremely lucky that we get to use this place, not only is it beautiful (how could it not be, with a lake, and a beach, and a lawn, and the old trees, and the hills behind?), but it’s a place that has true meaning to me, something that makes me think of happy childhood days. After hearing about what difficulties my sister had in finding a venue for her wedding, and after tons of internet research to figure out if there was even a place in the county we could afford to have our wedding, I am just so amazingly grateful that our venue worked out the way it did.

Of course, not everything can be meaningful. We picked our photographer because he takes great pictures, we like him and he’s giving us a great deal. And our cake is going to be cake that tastes good and doesn’t cost $10/slice, because a) we can’t afford that, and b) who needs fancy cake? Still, I think we’ve done pretty well so far. Our officiant is a good friend, our rings will include a symbol that holds meaning for us both, and the playlist for the reception is comprised of great songs that we like, have meaning, and will be fun for dancin’. It may not all coordinate or match or be the same shade of mauve, but it’ll be fun and it’ll be ours.

Christmas TV shows kind of make me feel like a little kid

While I’m a little annoyed that they played it before it’s even December, I just got more than my fair share of enjoyment out of the Charlie Brown Christmas special. This year I got to see bits and pieces of both the Halloween and Thanksgiving specials as well. I’m not entirely sure why this makes me so happy, but it really does.

I also look forward to How the Grinch Stole Christmas (the animated one with Tony the Tiger singing the Grinch song), the Rankin-Bass specials (Rudoph, Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Frosty the Snowman etc.) and, of course, Ralphie shooting his eye out. Not having cable, there are definitely years where I don’t get to see these things. However, I take the opportunity whenever possible. I’ve still got fond childhood memories of all of these Christmas TV shows and I kind of wonder what adults have been thinking the last 20 years, because I can’t think of any good Christmas TV shows/movies that have come out since my childhood. The live-action Grinch movie (the Jim Carrey one) is OK (I know Dan will rend his garments with rage when even reading the name of the thing), and there are a few movies I associate with Christmas (like A Series of Unfortunate Events), but I can’t really think of any good TV specials or whatnot. Everything I’ve seen has been entirely too schmaltzy (and I haven’t seen Elf or Bad Santa). Kids these days, they’re missing out.

I’m not a huge fan of most Christmas music, but I own a copy of Vince Guaraldi’s Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack and it goes into regular rotation during the month of December. When the special is on TV, I get up and dance in my living room while the kids dance to “Linus and Lucy” and I totally dance just like they do. I don’t care who is watching.

Things that have amused me this week


Loki is now approximately twice Petra’s size, but he still tries to squish himself in to the space where she’s curled up. Sometiems when he does this he can convince her to give him a head bath; other times he’s just trying to annoy her so she’ll get up and he can have the space she was occupying. Petra has decided this is her Warm Spot; it’s cold out now and there’s a heating register on the other side of the door opposite this weird little corner. The heat goes under the door and ends up on Petra. She likes warm spots.

Loki just likes to be where Petra is.

At the grocery store yesterday, I found this alien living amongst the parsnips. I think it’s genetically similar to a squid, but obviously it lives just fine on land. It appears to be not entirely sure why it ended up living with root vegetables at the grocery store, but perhaps someone will buy it and take it home to make soup out of, and the alien can secretly creep into the person’s room in the night and eat her brains, then inhabit her body and she’ll be a Pod Parsnip Person. I will not become a Pod Parsnip Person, because I didn’t buy the alien.

a meme for Monday, eight-style

EEK tagged me, and since I’ve been knitting and crafting rather than reading much this week, I’m going to post said meme.

8 passions in my life

*Reading books that make me think, sigh in contentment, or both
*Eating tiramisu everywhere I travel (within logic, of course; I didn’t try to find tiramisu in China)
*Knitting things to keep people warm/things that are useful
*Dipping my toes in the ocean whenever I have the opportunity and contemplating the enormity of just our planet
*Baking things from scratch and having them turn out deliciously
*Travel
*Dancing at every appropriate occasion, without regard to who’s watching or whether anyone else is dancing

8 things to do before I die

*Visit all 50 states
*See the pyramids (both Egypt and Central/South America)
*learn to snowboard
*learn to take photographs I am proud to display
*own some land
*win a blue ribbon at a county fair for something I created
*marry my best friend
*accomplish something I can truly be proud of – not sure what that is yet

8 things I often say

*pants?
*meep
*mmmmmm (in response to eating a yummy dinner Dan has made me)
*I’m naked!
*That’s my ____ (insert part Dan has grabbed)
*Oh, the kitties
*Loki, stop!
*I like pie

8 books I read recently

The Blood of Flowers by Anita Amirrezvani
Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters by Courtney E Martin
Phantom by Susan Kay
Fledgling by Octavia Butler
Empire of Ivory by Naomi Novik
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch
Watchmen by Alan Moore
Enchantment by Orson Scott Card (reread)

(currently reading Gravedigger’s Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates and How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker)

8 songs that hold some meaning for me

“If I had $1,000,000” by the Barenaked Ladies
“What I got” by Sublime
“Over the Rainbow” from The Wizard of Oz
“No Rain” by Blind Melon
“Shiny Happy People” by REM
“In My Life” by the Beatles
“Bobcaygeon” by The Tragically Hip
“Superman” by Five for Fighting

8 qualities I look for in a friend

Intelligence
Sense of humor (quirky = good)
adventuresome
generous
empathetic
thoughtful
passionate about something
likes hugs/is ok with being hugged

8 people I’m tagging to go next

Abby
Sara
Leah
Cil
Will
Nina
Clink
You!

Sunday Reminiscin’ 3: Kitties I have loved

My family always had at least one cat while I was growing up. In fact, there’s been a cat where I lived most of the places I’ve lived in my life. It’s difficult to imagine life without Petra and Loki, or without having cats around in general.

My mom had a cat, long before I was born, who was her most favorite cat evar. The cat’s name was Ulysses until it turned out to be female (got knocked up) and then the name was changed to Lissa. Lissa was, apparently, the most amazing cat ever to walk the earth – she was potty trained, even (pee, not poop) and my mom loved her so much that years later she named a daughter after the cat. My mom acquired two cats while she was with my Dad before I was born – one named Felta after the school where she worked, and one named Tanka who I barely remember. Felta and Tanka didn’t want much to do with little kids, and I think they both died when I was pretty small. Then we got Tai. Tai was a gorgeous little cat, a very dark tortoiseshell who came to us from a family friend, already pregnant (though we didn’t know it at the time). When we figured it out, I was pretty excited because I loved kittens. Tai wasn’t very old to be having babies, but she figured out what to do when my mom fixed her up a nice bed in an old cardboard diaper box to have her babies in. Being a cat, she decided to have her babies in a place that SHE determined, and one night I woke up to squirming and weird sounds, discovering that Tai had birthed her kittens on my bed on top of my feet. I was six.

Tai’s litter wasn’t very big, only three babies, but we loved them all. There was a tortie (Pansy, named after the rust-colored spot on her head) and two brownish-gray tabbies (Tiger and Violet). Not long after the kittens were weaned, Tai ate some cat food that somehow some antifreeze had dripped on, and she died. I was very sad. But we still had three kitties to manhandle and love. Tiger didn’t stick around for very long, despite being neutered; it was about then that we got a new dog and he didn’t like her. So he took off. We were down to two kitties, which was fine. They were both excellent mousers and often left us presents of mice guts on the step outside our front door.

We moved to the next town over when I was ten, and both Pansy and Violet adjusted to a diminished range in which to roam. They also cleared out my mom’s yard of lizards and probably a few songbirds. I loved Pansy more than Violet, both because of personality and because Pansy was prettier, but I loved Violet as well. One night in college, I had a dream that Pansy and Violet died, and they spoke to me in the dream to tell me they were fine and happy now. The next day, my mom called to tell me Violet had died (she was 13; it was a respectable age for a mostly outdoor cat).

Pansy lived another three years. She was a Poor Old Kitty when she died, all bones and cold all the time. I loved her a lot and cried when she died. After all, she was born on my bed.

There weren’t any kitties in the dorms when I went to college, but my sophomore year I moved into a co-op. One of the people in my house had a kitty named Mia, a big fat gray cat that was probably a Russian Blue. I didn’t really love her, but I liked her and she hung out with me sometimes. She liked living in a house with lots of people, I think. When College Boyfriend and several of our friends moved into the Big House together, they got a cat, an orange tabby named Kitty who was probably one of my most favorite kitties ever. He was very special. I helped to raise him from a very small kitten, and he turned into a giant intelligent medium-haired orange tabby who resembled a lion. I kind of hope Leah and Simon’s cat Linus turns into another Kitty. Unfortunately, despite my misgivings, the guys who lived in the house thought nothing of letting Kitty come and go from the house. One day he didn’t come back. They looked for him for days, in shelters, put up posters, to no avail – either he got hit by a car, or someone else took him in to love him. I hope that second one. He was an awesome cat.

A few years later I moved in with QIR and another friend. QIR had Tasha, dowager princess, a tiny Russian Blue with tiny feet and a weird alien head. Tasha doesn’t really like people except QIR very much, but she liked me OK and I did have a dream about her once that led to her return home when she’d been gone for a few weeks. I think I wrote about that before. And then I moved to Denver, and waited about 8 months before getting Petra. She needed a friend, so we got Loki a year later.

My mom has two cats now, another gray-brown tabby (Merlin) and a tabby-tortie type (Ginger). I like them both OK, but since I’ve never lived with them I’ve never really developed much of an attachment to them. I’m definitely attached to the kitties we have, and they’ve been very cute the last few days, snuggling together and bathing each other in a warm spot because it’s been so cold out. But someday, I want another orange one. They’re awesome.