Thursday, June 4, 2009

25 Things About Me

A lot has happened in the past month, which is why I haven't gotten around to blogging. Just to keep the blog alive here is a meme - 25 random things about me, in no particular order. I don't tag, but feel free to do this if you want.

1. I've always wished people would throw me a surprise party. When I turned 19, people planned one for me at my volunteer job, but it was a drop-in sort of job and I didn't come in that day. I still feel bad about that.

2. My favorite voice actors are Rob Paulsen, Charlie Adler, Eric Stuart and Hank Azaria.

3. I actually enjoy vacuuming, and the smell of carpet after it was just vacuumed. Unfortunately my house has no carpet and we don't own so much as a Dustbuster.

4. I don't want a "career". The idea of doing the same job for 40 years makes me almost physically ill. I'm pretty sure this is in my blood; my dad was a trucker, a security guard, a deliveryman, a roofer, a plumber, and lord only knows what else throughout his life. (He has not been part of my life consistently, so I'm sure I'm missing some stuff.)

5. I was raised Baptist and currently identify as Unitarian-Universalist, but my beliefs are something like a mix of Quaker, Jewish, Taoist, Buddhist and pagan, with a healthy dose of agnosticism (also known as "humility") thrown in. This makes it sound like my beliefs probably contradict themselves, but they're actually fairly cohesive.

6. I was a Girl Scout from the first time I heard about it until our town stopped having a troop. I took it more seriously than our troop leader did, and would read the manual on my own time. I learned more from that than I did from the meetings, which were mostly focused on things like weaving paper placemats and painting our nails.

7. I hate the smell of ketchup. I will eat the stuff, but if there's any left on the plate it's got to be cleared away from me right away or it will drive me crazy.

8. A major pet peeve of mine: When people say "We didn't learn that in school" as a reason why they don't know something. A simple "I never heard that before" would suffice, but if you put the entire burden of your knowledge on school then you expose yourself as someone who systematically avoids knowing anything that isn't spoon-fed to you. This is a trait I do not admire, to say the least.

9. When I was a little girl my grandpa, who had served (but not fought) in WWII, said something about not liking Japanese people. I pointed out that he couldn't say that unless he had met every single Japanese person ever, and he agreed I was right. This spurred me to be a little bit fascinated with Japan for awhile, thus making me an "otaku" without having been exposed to anime (unless you count things like the Noozles, but I had no idea those shows were Japanese anyway). This is also how I got into Babysitters Club books, because they had a Japanese-American character.

10. When I order Chinese food I invariably get General Tso's chicken.

11. I wonder a lot about what "good taste in music" is supposed to be. I like classical music, and the Beatles, and David Bowie, and Stevie Wonder... I also like a lot of stuff that would horrify music snobs, like Lemon Demon and Scissor Sisters and Weird Al and DDR music. I think it's just subjective and people make categories of "good taste" and "bad taste" as one more thing to bully people with. (I also think it's interesting that Michael Jackson is placed in both categories by a roughly equal number of people on each side.)

12. I am not fazed at all by spiders, roaches or mice, but if a moth gets near me I start screaming and flailing erratically.

13. When I am at home and no one is visiting, I always have a t-shirt and pajama pants on. I don't understand the point of being fully dressed at home, unless you have people drop in a lot.

14. I am not a materialistic person - I'd choose living in a cardboard box over working in a cubicle - but my "love language" is gifts. I take a lot of pride in giving gifts that show I truly know the recipient, and I treasure anything other people give to me, even if it's as small as a postcard or a drawing or a friendship bracelet. This makes me a bit of a packrat, but I consider organization less important than being surrounded by things that remind me I'm loved.

15. When I was about six or seven, something on TV (I don't recall what) made me really sad and angry about the way most adults treat kids, and I promised myself I would never forget what it's like to be a kid. So far I've always kept that promise, and I think that's an enormous part of what makes me who I am.

16. I learn by obsession, which is probably irritating for people I talk to a lot, but works extraordinarily well for me because I learn a ton in a short amount of time. A random sample of some things I've been obsessed with: The Wizard of Oz, skeletons, psychology, Tiny Toons, the band Queen, genetic disorders, feng shui, 19th century presidents, and currently Star Trek. I could probably write you a book on all the learning these various things have led to, but suffice it to say some of the apparently fluffy ones have led to profound, intellectual things. (The reverse is sometimes true too - a large portion of the president obsession, for example, involved speculating on which ones might have been gay. Even still I managed to learn more US history than any high school class would teach.)

17. I don't really get all the fuss over Stephen Colbert. He was always one of my least favorite people on the Daily Show (which I like a lot) and I just can't get into the Colbert Report.

18. Driving a long way relaxes me like almost nothing else can. It's very zen.

19. I could probably live off grains, vegetables, and cheese, but I would need a LOT of cheese. I can't afford that much cheese.

20. I love having a wide variety of friends, and I'm a little suspicious of people who live in a diverse area and yet their entire network of friends consists of people of a single race or religion. I think people who are open to diversity will attract diverse friends.

21. I have a coin collection that I love, but I've never made coin collecting much of a hobby besides saving state quarters and really old pennies. Most of my collection is inherited.

22. I qualify for the Daughters of the Confederacy - my great-great-grandfather fought in the Civil War on the Confederate side. The idea of joining such an organization, however, makes me want to spit.

23. I love songs that are really fast and difficult to sing - like "One Week", "Yakko's World", and "La Vie Boheme" - and will listen to them over and over until I can sing the whole song without a mistake.

24. You know how when you hear other languages you can often identify which ones they are by the sound and patterns of them? I've always wondered what English sounds like to people who don't speak it. The fact that I will never know is slightly maddening.

25. These lists are hard, because I sort of suspect that the most interesting things about me are things that are so mundane to me that I am totally blind to them, like an umeboshi on my back. Most people are probably this way.

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