Posts Tagged ‘five question friday’

Five Question Friday – “Most of the Snow Has Melted and I Refuse to Wear a Jacket With Sleeves” Edition

Friday, March 18th, 2011

I am starting to see the potential for spring here. For putting my boots away, and watching the bulbs in my front yard make their way up into the sun. It is good.

I am not going to write about my thoughts on Japan and what is happening there. My heart breaks for them. But it is one of those things that I cannot think too much about. Because my heart breaks for them. I am a big ball of empathy at the best of times, and there is a level of hurt that becomes so big that I begin to disengage and stop feeling it. I feel really guilty about that, and it’s an extremely hard thing for me to admit to. Because I am at heart a very compassionate person, and thus I feel like I should be hurting more, or focusing on it more. But I also know it’s just that really I’m hurting too much. If that makes any sense at all. I encourage everyone to donate, or help as much as they are able to (though I imagine if people weren’t going to, my prompting wouldn’t likely do much to change that), and I will leave it at that.

Yes, I just admitted to being overcome with guilt for not dwelling on someone else’s suffering at the risk of my own sanity. And we wonder why my sanity is in question in the first place. Yes we do.

Anyway, on to Five Question Friday, and I am going to try to suck myself out of the guilty hole and into…um…the happy hole? That sounds dirty. Are there other, non-sexual, non-negative holes out there? None come to mind. Okay, what’s the opposite of a hole? Something raised? I suppose I will suck myself onto a nice mound, then. A big mound of happiness.

Because that isn’t dirty at all.

As per normal, questions come originally from Mama M, were introduced to me via Spokeit, and require me to “clear formatting” when I copy and paste them or they come out FREAKING HUGE.

It’s like Five Question Friday in a way that could shake the earth when anyone reads it. Except maybe just in a metaphorical way. We’ve all had enough earth shaking for a while.

The Questions:
1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?
2. Do you still have your wedding dress?
3. Is there a special place you like to go when you’re happy, sad, stressed, etc.?
4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don’t have kids…will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?
5. Do you watch late night TV?

My Answers:

1. Have you ever testified in court? For what?

I’ve actually been on the stand twice, and both times before the age of twelve.

The first time was around age 7-9, and I testified because this crazy woman in our apartment building had a hate on for my mother (which is a whole other level of absurd if you knew my super-harmless, sweetest-person-on-the-planet mother). We used to have a cat that liked to open and close the cupboard doors, and it would make a banging sound. This woman lived below us and was convinced that my mom was banging on the floor on purpose. Which may be a testament to my mother’s poor cat-training skills, but no maliciousness. She did try to stop it from happening, and got all upset when he still managed. Crafty cat. Anyway, there were a few other specific incidents that I won’t go into detail about (partly, to be honest, because I don’t entirely know the truth about them and am not sure I want to), but sufficed to say this woman hated my mom. And one day as we were walking into the building, she jumped on her and started hitting her. No joke. I’ve never seen anything like that in my life. Thankfully she wasn’t a particularly effective combatant or anything, but it was still really freaking scary. I remember really clearly running down the hallway and banging on the superintendent’s door. Anyway, they put me on the stand as a witness and I had to tell them what happened, and answer a lot of questions to verify that I knew the difference between the truth and a lie, and then at the end they asked me whether my mom did drugs. I was horrified. Of course not! Drugs were evil things, and I grew up with the full force of Just Say No.

Good thing they didn’t ask me if my mom smoked “homemade cigarettes” because she did that often. I just didn’t know it was pot.

The second time I took the stand was during my parents’ divorce at around eleven. All I remember from that time was my father’s lawyer going to town with this contemptuous tone, asking me why I needed to take dance lessons, or go to a better school, or various other things. Even at the time, I thought that was really low, and kind of a sleazeball thing to do. He was filthy rich. But even if there were disagreements, what possessed him to put a child on the stand and grill them that way?

2. Do you still have your wedding dress?

Yup. It is pristinely stored in a big cardboard box in my basement. And by “pristinely,” I mean that I kind of tried to fold it up a little, though it still has the grass and dirt stains on the hemline from our photos outside, and it hasn’t been cleaned or treated or preserved at all.

I liked my dress a lot, and I couldn’t quite bring myself to part with it or trash it in a photo shoot (though I think those are really, really cool). But I also don’t see any use for it as a museum piece. I would like to wear it again someday, though. Not for a vow renewal or anything. Just, you know, like to the grocery store.

3. Is there a special place you like to go when you’re happy, sad, stressed, etc.?

Apparently to my happiness mounds.

Otherwise, not really, no. I like going anywhere and everywhere when I’m happy. When I’m sad or stressed, I usually end up on the couch eventually.

4. If you have kids, do they sleep with you? If you don’t have kids…will you let your kids sleep with you when/if you have them?

No kids. Despite what a softy I am in a lot of ways, I don’t envision myself co-sleeping much.  But I also acknowledge that I really have very little idea of what will or won’t be if/until I actually become a parent. I let and encouraged the cats to sleep with us, because cuddly cat body trumped any inconvenience, so maybe that’s telling for my future.  I didn’t plan on cat bodies ever needing to leave the bed, though, and we could still have sex while they were there.

5. Do you watch late night TV?

I sometimes watch TV late at night, but I don’t generally watch late night TV. Everything we watch is recorded anyway, so the original air time is pretty irrelevant.

Five Question Friday – “Goodbye Elimination Diet, Hello Chocolate!” Edition

Friday, March 11th, 2011

It’s that time again…

I have now given up trying to isolate the foods that I was still eating that were causing me difficulty, since pretty much every single food I tried (with the exception of maple syrup, apples, and rice cakes) seemed to set off my system.  So in lieu of eating nothing but maple syrup, apples and rice cakes for three weeks so that I can reintroduce the other foods and gauge my reaction to them properly, I’m falling off the wagon and just getting the expensive-and-not-as-conclusive-but-potentially-less-rice-cake-intensive food intolerance blood tests done.  Well, not so much “falling,” maybe, as “hurling myself bodily with and with enthusiasm.”  It was not a fun wagon.

We will eat well these next few weeks, despite the fact that my body may hate me a little for it.  They actually encourage you to be eating a variety of foods before doing the testing, so I can hardly protest, right?  ;)   I will eat chocolate for science.  And in the mean time, my doctor is testing the levels of some of my digestive enzymes and has ordered an abdominal ultrasound.  Sucks having to pay for the allergy test out of pocket, but there seems to be just WAY too much that’s a problem for me to figure out on my own.  Hopefully the results will help give me back more direction.

Though I have the sneaking suspicion that the test results are going to come back with nothing but giant font across the page that says “DO NOT EAT FOOD.”

Ah well.

On to the questions!  As per normal, questions come originally from Mama M, were introduced to me via the lovely Spokeit, and contain both consonants and vowels, including the sometimes y.  Also, your own answers or comments are most welcome.

The Questions:

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?

5. How did you meet your best friend?

My Answers:

1. Do you know what your REAL hair color is?

Yes.  It is currently on my head.  …At least the top few inches, anyway.  The rest has a tiny extra sheen of reddish dye to it still.  It is brown, with reddish undertones.  In the sunlight all the red really comes out vibrantly and it looks like somebody else’s hair entirely.  But in a good way.  I like it.

In the past couple of years, I’ve been inspired to colour my hair a few times with temporary colour just out of the need for something different.  I don’t do it often, though.

Just in the past few months, I have actually started to get gray hair, though.  Not the one or two white hairs that I have had for the years before, but an actual, sort-of-noticeable collection of them.  What’s that about??  Now I feel sort of like I should have kept and enjoyed my natural colour while I could.

2. Do you plan ahead for summer, or fly by the seat of your pants?

Fly, I guess?  Sort of?  What do people normally plan about their summers?  I think I’m missing something.

Of course, I tend to have a plan for pretty much everything anyway, so even missing the point of the question I may still qualify as having a plan.  :)

3. What is your favorite meal to cook?

I’m not a huge lover of cooking in general, so often my favourite meal is one I’m not cooking, but I guess I would choose stuffing, for Thanksgiving or Christmas.  I like being able to play with it, and experiment with different variations, and it’s fun to feel like I’ve created something really good.  It’s the one thing I cook that was an unequivocal hit.  …Provided it doesn’t instead turn into a pile of inedible mush like it randomly did that one time last year.

We won’t talk about that.

4. Do you get offended by not receiving thank yous?

I might be a bit offended if I went way out of my way for somebody and didn’t even get a verbal thank you.  As far as a more formal thank you goes, not in the least.  I find it a strange tradition that people feel obligated to send a little card with a thank you on it for certain things.  I dislike that people should feel forced to do that – it seems insincere to me.  If something I did actually sincerely inspired someone to be so overcome with gratitude that they wanted to write to tell me, that would be amazing.  But I wouldn’t expect it to happen often, and certainly not for picking out a mundane wedding gift for them.  And if they weren’t naturally inspired, it bothers me that I should still expect a note.  Not that I’m not pleased to receive a card from someone for that type of thing, it’s just that the fact that they felt obligated to send it bothers me on their behalf.  I would rather get fewer thank yous, but more meaningful ones.

5. How did you meet your best friend?

My best friend is my husband, who I met through a mutual group of acquaintances.  We were clearly meant to be best friends even if we had never become romantically involved.

Outside of him, I have a few different groups of friends that I see a lot of, but none of which really fills the role of a “best friend.”  I did not phone those people when my cat died or when I’ve gone through really hard times with my health.  They are the sort of people who I will fill in about some of it when I see them next.  The kind of people who I’m sure would help me if I asked for it, but whom I probably wouldn’t ask.  It probably doesn’t help that none of them live particularly close to me.  Sometimes I wonder how our relationships would be different if more of my friends were nearby.

Many of them I met in high school (mostly though the music department, or mutual friends.  One of them I dated), the rest during my University years (housemates and friends of friends).  Don’t think I’ve met anybody particularly noteworthy from other places.  I have acquaintances at work, but no real friends.

Of course, you all are a great source of friendship as well.  You crazy Internet People. ;)

Five Question Friday – This Edition is Sponsored by The Letter A (for apples!). …And maybe B for bowels too.

Friday, March 4th, 2011

Today’s plan was to wake up with a fresh, happy digestive tract as I generally do in the mornings and chow down on a crapload of apples to see if my system hates them. But I’m still rather sore, bloated, and generally unhappy from whatever it was I ate yesterday that disagreed with me, so now I’m just chowing down on a plate full of apples because… Why am I chowing down on a plate full of apples again?

I think my digestive tract, much like the rest of me, just needs to CALM THE HECK DOWN for the most part.  Perhaps, like my husband’s (and to be honest, the rest of my husband also, depending on how early in the morning it is and whether there is coffee involved), my Bowels are becoming a bit Irritable now.  Or irate, really.  I have Irate Bowel Syndrome.  I do not want irritable bowels.  I was my bowels to be calm and agreeable.  I want Zen Bowels.

Anyway, somehow it has managed to become Friday again, and that means there are questions!  And answers!  And assorted other excitements*!  As per usual, questions come originally from Mama M, were introduced to me via Spokeit (who is awesome, by the way – go check out her Five Question Friday too), and your commentary or answers are welcome as always.  Or you may instead leave me a sentence containing as many “z” words as you can think of.  I can currently only think of about 3 off the top of my head, and I am pretty sure that one of them isn’t really a word.

*Assorted other excitements not included

The Questions:

1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?
2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like…first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)
3. What’s your “silly” fear? (We’re not talking water and heights.)
4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?
5. Wood floors or carpet?

My Answers:
1. Have you ever forgotten your child in a store or at school?
I do not yet have any children.  Or perhaps alternately, I have a much more serious problem with this than I thought.

It is rare that I blank on places I’m supposed to be, and I have learned to take precautions when I am in danger of getting absorbed into my regular routine (I set an alarm clock for pretty much anything these days), so I might infer that I’ll be unlikely to abandon any future children for more than, you know, a day or two before I remember them.  I am also pretty good at mysteriously being able to locate pretty much any small item that my husband has misplaced without even searching for it, so if any babies get left on the bathroom counter or in his coat pockets, I can totally get around that.

2. Where did you go on your very first date? (Like…first first, not first with your spouse or current significant other!)
I don’t remember… My actual relationships in high school involved more of a gradual getting together and then at some point just instantly being a couple.  Not much formal dating involved.  I can only remember one actual date in which I was asked by someone I didn’t know well already to do something one-on-one for the purposes of gauging compatibility or romantic potential.  We went to a Jack Astor’s restaurant.  I got a Caesar salad and remember commenting at the time that Caesar salad filled with giant leaves covered in creamy dressing is not actually the best choice of foods for eating gracefully on a first date.  Then he took me to this dessert and coffee place.  The itinerary was okay.  The date was not so great on my end.  He seemed nice enough, but spent (kid you not) the entire night talking about the details of various medical problems and how dysfunctional some of his family is, and stuff like that.  And not in a funny way, or like a nice intimate conversation where we were both sharing stuff.  Just in a way that seemed like a really poor choice for a first impression.  He was really into me, though.  I felt really bad about it.  There was no second date.

This was the first of many times I figured I should “just go for it” and try dating somebody I didn’t already have a firm impression of and then quickly decided that was a terrible idea (until the memory faded and I tried the same thing again).  Why the hell do people advise you to do that anyway?  When searching for a house, I did not jump in the car and go see EVERY HOUSE THAT SAID IT WAS AVAILABLE.  I want to see some details first.  I want to know that the house I might be looking at does not have seven bathrooms in place of a kitchen, or a large shrine to Bea Arthur built into the middle of it.   I don’t buy the “too picky” thing when it comes to friends or relationships.  I’ve had mediocre friendships and relationships, and they both kind of suck.  Chemistry is important.  And if you’re anything like me, the odds of actual chemistry with somebody entirely random is probably less than one percent.

And dude, those odds suck.

Plus, now I have my husband, who is so beautifully suited to me it boggles my therapist every time something about us gets mentioned.  High standards for the win.  :)

3. What’s your “silly” fear? (We’re not talking water and heights.)
I’m not sure what I would classify as a silly fear.  I worry a lot about how I’m measuring up, and what people think of me.  That is unnecessary, and counter-productive, and seems needy, and I hate that I do it, but I’m not sure “silly” would be the proper word to describe it.  I probably wouldn’t giggle at core insecurities.

I find it silly that I wouldn’t want a spider or larvae crawling on me, even if I knew they couldn’t actually injure me.  I also find it inversely silly that ladybugs somehow become completely okay just because they are red and have spots.  Have you ever looked close up at a ladybug?  Would not be so special if it were black.

4. Confrontation: do you cause it, deal with is as it comes, or run far far away?
All of the above.

I hate confrontation.  My mother was supremely supportive (and a bit too indulgent, but that’s a whole other story).  I can remember her being mad at me maybe two or three times in my entire life, and each of those times was because I had done something that embarrassed her to others (and yes, I can see the connection there to what I answered to the previous question), and each of those times it was short-lived and never mentioned again.  Consequently, I never really learned to deal with conflict between people.  I can often handle it in terms of getting through it with sense and direction, but deep down it is still a big red warning sign to me.  I could be furious over something you’ve done, and you would never, ever know it.

And yet…

I am too opinionated and willful to always keep my mouth shut when that would avoid it.  If I feel strongly about something or feel that it is important, I will often speak up about it.  And if I am impassioned on someone else’s behalf, I will have a backbone of steel that doesn’t really get used for my own interests.

But that doesn’t mean I’m not putting myself out of my comfort zone when I do it.  And it doesn’t mean that secretly I won’t think that everyone involved hates me now.

And anything that does not reach the level of Very Very Important you better believe I will just let slide completely.  I am a particularly agreeable willow tree until it matters.  To my detriment.  I tend to let things go WAY too much to avoid any conflict surrounding them.  If I can take it, I will try.

The other side of this is that disliking conflict has over the years somehow shaped me to become a master mediator when it comes to other people in conflict.  I do not run the other way there.  I beeline right for it.  I want to get straight into the middle of it, and make all of the unhappiness go away. Because if people are unhappy with each other, it is a giant shard of SOMETHING WRONG in my side.  And because I just know that I could fix it if I had enough time to talk with them.  And I have a hard time restraining myself when I feel like I know how to fix things, because I am like that.  Often I restrain myself from getting too involved if I don’t feel it would be socially appropriate, but I almost always want to. Even with those random people fighting on the street.

5. Wood floors or carpet?
Wood floors are growing on me, and definitely win out overall.  They look nice, and feel right, and they are probably cleaner.  But I sit on the floor far more than most other adult people seem to, so sometimes it’s nice to have carpet around.

Five Question Friday – “Allergen-Free Haze” Edition

Friday, February 25th, 2011

So in an attempt to identify some of what is going on with my digestive issues, fatigue, etc., I’ve started an elimination diet.  …Which for those of you who haven’t ever been on one pretty much means that I’ve cut out all of the most common allergens (dairy, gluten, soy, eggs, nuts, sugar, yeast, corn, additives, etc.) as well as a few other things that can also cause problems (alcohol, caffeine, beef, citrus, etc.).  The goal is to eat like that for a while (in a very nutritionally balanced, well-researched, perfectly safe and healthy way, of course.  This is me after all.  Do you have any idea how many hours I’ve spent now trying to plan out this shit?  A lot, my friends.  A lot) until things calm down (at least 3 weeks) and then go crazy with a single food item for a day and see if react in ways that make me want to gnaw off my limbs.  No limb gnawing = probably okay.  Extreme limb gnawing = probably a food intolerance.  Moderately gnawed limbs are probably a bad sign too.

Though that last statement could probably be applied in general.

At any rate, I’ve been at this since the beginning of the week, and am currently feeling somewhat like Hell warmed over.  I am also beginning to think that maybe my only food problem is meat, and I am going through all of this for nothing, but that’s another story.  Anyway, the raging levels of fatigue and mental fogginess are making it difficult to get much of anything done these days (seriously, talking to me in person right now is probably HILARIOUS.  …And by hilarious, I mean very, very frustrating.  I can’t seem to speak to save my life.  On a completely unrelated side note, I am going to be haggling for a car tomorrow).  On the plus side, my back has finally started to get back to closer to normal in the last couple of days.  I think it just felt sorry for me.

Sucker.

So on to Five Question Friday!  As per usual, questions come originally from Mama M, were introduced to me via Spokeit, and contain various alphabet letters and punctuation marks.  Also, I would love to hear your answers.

The Questions:
1.  Can you drive a stick shift?
2. What are two foods you just can’t eat?
3.  Do you buy Girl Scout cookies?  What’s your favorite kind?
4.  How do you pamper yourself?
5.  What is your nickname and how did you get it?

My Answers:

1.  Can you drive a stick shift?
Nope.  My very first time trying to drive was with a stick shift, but it didn’t last long.  I did drive a tractor pulling hay rides for a summer, though, and it had a clutch.  Does that count?  I think hay ride tractor totally counts in the same class as sports car.

2. What are two foods you just can’t eat?
1) Ham (like the brown lump kind…you know what I mean?  I can tolerate thinly shaved lunch meat).  Hate ham.  Yuck, yuck, yuck.
2) Caviar (with fishy fish a close third).  I really like certain kinds of sushi roll, but if there’s even a single fish egg hiding on there somewhere, I can taste it, and it’s overwhelming.

Pretty much anything else I would eat just be polite if it was served to me, but I couldn’t choke those two down.  Thankfully no one has yet greeted me at the door with spam covered in fish eggs (that I’m aware of).

3.  Do you buy Girl Scout cookies?  What’s your favorite kind?
I don’t think I’ve ever actually had a Girl Scout come by to offer them… I used to love those plain white ones with the vanilla cream, shaped like shamrocks.  Yum!  …Not as big a fan of the new generation (mint ones and stuff).  And I haven’t actually purchased a bag of cookies like that in at least two years now (single cookies, now that’s another story).  If they are in the house, I will eat them.  All of them.  Probably at once.  I have learned this now.

I’m also becoming progressively more yucked out by all the nasty processing and preservatives and stuff in things like that.  I’m turning into a total food hippie.

4.  How do you pamper yourself?
This answer used to involve cat snuggles.  :(

A glass of wine and/or
Pedicure not done by me and/or
Yummy, yummy special food (usually either a treat, or something that feels classy) and/or
Temporary removal of pressure and expectations.

5.  What is your nickname and how did you get it?
Too many of my nicknames over the years have been related to my first name, which I try not to post here so that nobody reads this insanity who then has to look me in the eye on a regular basis (by the way, last week I had a raging yeast infection!).

The name that I go by is a nickname, I guess, though not a very original one since it’s just the first four letters of my full name.  Nobody calls me by my full name except health professionals and salespeople, though.

I had a friend in high school who to this day still calls me Cartel (like a drug cartel…because he connected drug cartels to a city that sounds like my name, not because I was a drug mule or anything.  That anyone has ever proven), which is amusing because I was a very straight-laced kid that way.  He also sometimes called/calls me Tical (which you have to say with a particular tone of voice), which was a Wu-Tang-Clan reference, I believe.  I also could not name you a single Wu-Tang-Clan song, by the way, although I’m sure I’ve heard some.

Other nicknames have been generally temporary (1-2 years or so, I would say), and person-specific, and have included:

  • Sunshine
  • Lil’ Sherman (after the tank)
  • C-Dawg (because it sounds like sea dog, and that’s fun)
  • Mouse (which is weird, because that is totally my mom’s lifelong nickname but the person didn’t know that)
  • Calligraphy
  • Assorted others I can’t think of at the moment

There is also a collection of terms of endearment from my husband (he calls me My Dove a lot), and some from my mother, though hers were mostly a collection of random vegetables (which I thought was TOTALLY NORMAL for most of my life).

Has anybody ever called you a vegetable name?

Egads, my back! Also, Five Question Friday

Friday, February 18th, 2011

Unfortunately did something to my back this week. Two massages, several Robax, moderate heat, and a lot of ice later, the pain is bearable, but still not particularly conducive to getting much done. At least much outside of lying on my right side. I’ve accomplished impressive amounts of that.

I have to say, having this particular upper back issue is a little more challenging than the lower back issues I’ve had in the past. …Mostly because the things that seem to hurt it most so far are

1) Sitting (in any position), and
2) Lying down (in any position)

…with slightly less pain if I lie just right on my right side. This means I’ve been doing a lot of standing for the last few days. A lot of standing. Just standing. Makes for some fascinating happenings, let me tell you. Lie down with book until it just hurts too much to continue. Get up and stand there. …Get bored. …Get more bored. …Get tired. …Decide that surely it couldn’t actually hurt that much if I lay down again. Lie down. Hurt. Stand up. Lather, rinse, repeat.

(except with somewhat less actual lathering than I might normally be doing, to be perfectly honest. Because dude, that hurts)

Since my ability to tolerate computer time is limited today, quickly on to Five Question Friday. Questions via Mama M.

1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?
If nobody who saw me the day before was going to see me? Absolutely. Also, dear lord, my back hurts.

2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?
Seriously…Ouch.

3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?
Eeeeeeeuuuuuuuungh.

4. What is your idea of “spring cleaning”?
Holy mother of… @$#%$!!

5. What is the best book you have ever read?
This book. This book I’m reading. On my right side. I promise, as soon as I type this sentence, I will lay back down on my right side.

Five Question Friday – Mourning Morning Edition

Friday, February 11th, 2011

I feel a little at a loss for what to write here these days.  I tentatively intended the next couple of posts to be a list of memories of my little guy, and maybe some pictures or video clips.  I don’t know whether anyone else would want to see them, but it’s sort of beside the point anyway.  I thought it might make me feel better just to put them out there.  But I’m not sure that I’m ready to delve into that.  And everything else just seems  a little trite right now.  And thus end up just avoiding the blog as a whole from time to time.

I am doing okay overall.  I know that I am still grieving.  I also know that I am blocking things out like a champion much of the time (which I am not entirely content with, but does make me seem more okay).  I almost feel sometimes like I am doing TOO well on the surface; like if I really loved him that much, I would seem more upset.  Which isn’t true.  And I am plenty upset as it is.  It’s just coming through in different ways now.  I try to make comments with some humour in them, but it’s like reflexive, going-through-the-motions humour.  It often doesn’t reach down all the way.

Anyway, I told myself I would try to do Five Question Friday, despite the fact that part of me reacted like someone with a monocle and top hat finding themselves in the middle of a NASCAR event.  Internally part of me is huffing with distain that I’m talking about things that seem so trivial.  But the other part thinks that’s silly, so I guess it balances out okay.

(Note:  I do not actually have any scientific evidence to back up my assumptions about what monocled people do at NASCAR events.  Clinical trials in which participants survived long enough for study seem to be limited)

As a really interesting side note, I went to read the Five Question Friday questions last week.  I was grieving actively and did not feel up to answering them at all, but I thought I would just look and see.  …And there weren’t any.  Instead there was a post about grief.  I am really sorry for her loss.  But something in that seemed profound.

Questions come via Mama M, and comments or answers of your own are welcome, as always.  Just to push me out of my comfort zone, I’m even going to include the blog hop bit this time around.  Assuming the page with the code stops hating me.  It seems to hate me.  So now for at least a while I just look like the douche who linked to the list without doing the courtesy of passing on the links of others.  Comfort zone pushed out.  Check.

The Questions:

1. Would you rather be on ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC’s What not to Wear?
2. Do you have any tattoos?
3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?
4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?
5. What’s your preference: chocolate or chips?

My Answers:

1. Would you rather be on ABC’s Extreme Home MakeOver or TLC’s What not to Wear?

Neither, I think.  …And that surprises me.  I would have jumped at the chance for either not so long ago.

As much as I would love some new clothes on someone else’s tab, I would be terrible for What not to Wear.  Not because I don’t desperately need it, but because they would try to make me throw out items of clothing that I love, but are old, or unflattering, or tacky.  And then I would hurt them.  And then it would not be a family show anymore.

As for the home makeover, I like my home mostly the way it is.  We have it to the point now that I think I would be happier this way than with a bunch of other people’s tastes coming into play.  We renovated the kitchen and bathroom, so they are exactly what we want them to be, within reason and budget, already.  We really need to get curtains someday to replace the cheap blinds that came with the house, which our contractors beat up and left giant footprints on (seriously), but Extreme Curtain Makeover might not be great for ratings.  Our couch is due for replacing, but I wouldn’t want just any plain old couch in its place.  I need a couch that is welcoming, and comfy, and that I can tuck my legs up onto.  The bedroom furniture is a bit of a hodge podge, so I guess that could be redone.  But I like our bed frame because I have vivid memories of how happy we were to get it when we moved in here.  And despite the fact that 99% of our furniture required an Allen key and pictorial instructions to put together, it is our furniture, and we bought it with our hard earned money, and there is meaning in that somehow.

The basement, though?  They can come on in and finish that for us any time they like.

2. Do you have any tattoos?

Nope.  I very much want one, and have for a really long time, but being me I have the drive to make perfect decision about most things.  Especially long-term things.  Important things.  Things that would be etched into my flesh.  You see where this is going…

3. Do you tell your kids about things you did growing up?

Don’t have kids, but if I did, I think I would answer any direct questions honestly for sure.  As for volunteered information, I imagine I might tell them about a good chunk of it, but only in a “teachable moment” sort of way.  That time that I came home late from a party and was in the grass beside my house with some guy who wanted to go down on me?  Yeah.  I may leave out that one.

My husband is the absolutely open and honest type.  He would tell them everything.

4. If the traffic signal turns yellow, do you stop or speed up?

I usually stop, even if it means stopping abruptly (unless there’s another car close behind me).  If it’s slippery, or the road is wet, then I just keep on going.  Sometimes even if I know the tail end of my car is unlikely to make it before the light turns red.  I skidded once trying to stop at a yellow light, and that was enough for me.

…Although every time that happens, I rehearse in my head how I would apologize and explain and politely accept my ticket if a police officer pulled me over for it.  So they would know the reasoning behind my anarchist ways, I guess.

5. What’s your preference: chocolate or chips?

Chocolate.

Although I would prefer it in the form of cake, cupcake, brownie, cookie, or high end ice cream/milkshake.

Change that to chocolate bar vs fries, though, and I may have to change my answer.

Five Question Friday – “Really?? It’s Friday again??” Edition

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Hey! As usual, questions come via Mama M, and your own take on them would be most welcome. I’m racing to get these typed up before the husband gets home (because I’m kind of hungry and we’ll probably eat and stuff when he gets in, not because, you know, he’ll beat me for using the computer or anything), so I’ll leave it at that this week.

The Questions:

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
3. What talent did you wish you had and why?
4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
5. What is your favorite “cocktail”? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the “Cosmo” kind?! Anything flies…doesn’t hafta be alcoholic!)

My Answers:

1. If you had $1,000 to donate to a charity, which would you choose?
I really don’t know. Options would be animal-related (because animals are inherently innocent and mistreated animals are heart-breaking), child-related (because children are inherently innocent and mistreated children are heart-breaking), or mental-health-related (because this hits close to home now, and I think both that the stigma surrounding it is unnecessary, and that we don’t have NEARLY enough answers about the physical details of this).

Alternately, if I was allowed to do that, I might just walk around handing hundred dollar bills to nice people.

2. Snow days: Do you welcome them happily or are they a pain in your butt?
Um…not much actually shuts down here when it snows. But there are those few times that things get bad enough to affect things at least a little. In my working life, how much I liked them has varied. For the first few years, I would spend an hour and a half doing my morning commute at a snail’s pace, with white knuckles and no snow tires (dumb), but it was a pretty light work day. Eventually I started learning to be selfish and stayed home, at which point I LOVED snow days since I had a break, but hadn’t been able to plan ahead enough to fill that time with other chores. It was like surprise permission to relax. And that was awesome.

Now that I’m home, it doesn’t really make a difference one way or the other most of the time. Except I’d rather not drive in the snow.

3. What talent did you wish you had and why?
Dancing. I would LOVE to be able to dance (like, professionally, not with a drink in my hand and a lot of hip gyration. I’ve got that second kind covered). I have serious So You Think You Can Dance envy. It’s the best combination of grace, and beauty, and emotion. I would dearly love to be able to do that.

I actually did a lot of dancing as a child, but had to stop before we got to any of the really fun stuff (the very next year I would have gotten pointe shoes!  Boo!). Maybe for the best since I turned out to be short and a little bit curvy.

4. Are you a news, politics or celebrity gossip junkie?
None of the above. I get my current events news through incidental radio listening in the car, via my husband (though he really only tends to supply tidbits related to either technology, gadgetry, or unusual animals/insects), or from a certain online community group that I’m a part of. I’m not a seeker of news.

Though I do enjoy hearing about the unusual animals/insects. Did you know there is apparently a variety of ant that cultivates a fungus in its colonies that’s no longer found in the wild (like, farms it there intentionally and takes a starter batch with them if they branch out anywhere new)? Well now you do. So do I.

5. What is your favorite “cocktail”? (Are you a beer person, a kiddie cocktail junkie, or perhaps your more the “Cosmo” kind?! Anything flies…doesn’t hafta be alcoholic!)
My standard bar shot was either vodka and lime, or vodka and cranberry. When I’m at some kind of event serving cocktails but with no menu to select from, I usually have a tough time coming up with anything I know the actual name of. Often I end up getting an odd mishmash of things just because I happen to know what they’re called.

I’m not at all a beer person. I drank a lot of beer in my University days, but more because that’s what everybody drank than because I actually liked it. Now that I’m old enough not to be cool even if I’m drinking the “right” things, I don’t bother with it. Mostly I drink wine (which I didn’t have a taste for when I was younger). I also like cider okay. Sometimes the odd mixed drink, mostly involving vodka. Sometimes things that involve a blender. Or anything made with Bailey’s and milk (Mmmmm…).

And now I’m desperately craving some Bailey’s and milk.

Five Question Friday – “Behavioural Change” Edition

Friday, January 21st, 2011

I stumbled upon this set of slides via Finding Optimism. Useful insight on how to change any behaviour more successfully, and backed by research.  Most of the ten are things that I knew already, but not all are things that I pay enough attention to. I think I rely way too much on motivation and willpower rather than changes to other things, and then feel badly when I don’t end up accomplishing my goals. Anyway, something to think about. Plus, the set of slides in the margins when I went to the site was about encouraging people to text about vegetables. Sweet.

On to the questions! As per usual, they come originally from Mama M‘s site, and your own responses are welcome in the comments. Sharing answers is even more fun than vegetable texting. Vexting, if you will. Anyway, it’s better.

The Questions:

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?
2. What is your favorite room in your house?
3. Can you wiggle your ears?
4. What is your evening ritual?
5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?

My Answers:

1. Where did you meet your spouse and did you instantly know it was love?
The first times I laid eyes on him were at a few social gatherings with very large groups of people (we were connected by the same extended group of acquaintances, but didn’t hang out in the same smaller circles). And to be honest, I was attracted to him and we interacted in a way that was kind of intoxicating, but I wouldn’t have guessed that years later we’d be a couple.

Once we started traveling in the same circles and I really got the chance to talk to him and get to know him, I knew that I was incredibly drawn to him, but it wasn’t entirely romantic at first. Within the first few months, I knew with disturbing certainty that I needed to be close to him, and would protect him at all cost, and connected with him like nobody else, and did not want to lose him as a part of my life. But we had ourselves sincerely convinced (in ways that seem highly amusing now) that we could just be very unusually close friends. I was in another relationship at the time, and somehow my brain just didn’t make the connection that if that relationship dissolved, maybe my now-hubby and I could get together. I distinctly remember having the thought that I might never actually be able to have a lasting romantic relationship in my life. Ever.  Because what man would understand that I needed to spend so much time with my now-husband? And that now-husband would need to live beside us. And sometimes I just needed to hold him for a while, fully clothed and in a platonic way. It sounds so incredibly deluded now, but at the time it was a sincerely scary thought. But I would have traded marriage or romantic relationships of any kind to have the depth of my friendship with him.  Really, the whole start of our relationship was intense, and odd, and kind of surreal.

So no, I knew it was a more powerful and all-encompassing love than I had felt before, but I didn’t know it was romantic love. …Although I probably damned well should have.

2. What is your favorite room in your house?

I like our kitchen best, I think. The bathroom is good too (the wall behind the tub is all stones). And the guest room, because it’s decorated all peaceful-like. And the high ceilings and big windows in the living room.  And the brightly-coloured lime fizz entry way.  Pretty much I just like our house. Which is great, because before we moved in, there were some CRAZY decorating choices going on.

Why, oh why, did they have to cover the entire house in wallpaper?? ...And if they did, why did it have to look like 1986 threw up on the walls?

And for some reason, they'd had the house on the market a while without being able to sell it at full price. ...Did I mention that the carpet in this room was a ragged dusty rose? No? Well it was.

3. Can you wiggle your ears?
Only with my hands.   But I can also wiggle other people’s ears, if I’m close enough.

4. What is your evening ritual?
Sometimes a TV show cuddled up with my husband on the couch, (then I grab my mouth guard and stuff, but you didn’t really want to know that, did you?), then get into bed, then some reading, then the boy-cat joins me and wants to be spooned, then sleep.

5. How many hours of sleep do you need to function?
To function well? At least 9, but I very rarely get that. I am passable with 8, moody with 7, dazed with 6, and very, very strange with 5 or lower.

Like…stranger than I usually am.

Five Question Friday – “Holy Crap This Was Actually Posted on Friday” Edition

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Howdy folks!

…No, I have no idea why I talk like that sometimes either.

This week has mostly centred around the themes of “Trying To Figure Out What Balance Of Work Vs Play Would Be Most Appropriate For Me Right Now And Best For My Overall Health Because I Know I’m Prone To Pushing Myself Too Hard But I Also Feel Crummy When I Don’t Accomplish Anything And It’s Hard To Tell How Much Of That Is That Any Productive Member Of Society Should Be Accomplishing Things And How Much Is Me Being Too Tied Up In That For My Self Worth And Needing To Learn To Be Okay With Just Relaxing,” and “What The Heck Am I Going To Do About Work Once I’m Well Enough To Do Something About Work Because Sometimes Now It Seems Like I Should Be Thinking About That But Also Sometimes I Get Milk In A Day And That Feels Like A Huge And Poignant Undertaking.” It’s important to have themes that are concise like that.

As per usual, the week’s questions come via Mama M, and I would love to hear your perspective on any or all of them in the comments.

The Questions:

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
2. What’s your biggest pet peeve right now?
3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
5. What is your one “splurge” item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?

My Answers:

1. What movie could you watch over and over again and not get tired of?
I’m not a big re-watcher of movies in general. Even when I really love a movie, something in me is too aware that there are other things out there that I have never experienced, and makes me want to explore them rather than going where I’ve already been. I’ve watched a few movies several times in theatres (Lord of the Rings), watched a couple several times when I was younger (The Little Mermaid and Aladdin and Beauty and the Beast and some other Disney stuff my sister watched 5000 times, The Princess Bride, Titanic, …and for some reason Face Off). I’m starting to get to a point where I’m ready to watch some of the things that I know were really good but I haven’t seen in a really long time, but if I still remember what happens, movies lose a lot for me. Too much craving for new experiences and the unexplored, I guess.

2. What’s your biggest pet peeve right now?
One of the cats threw up this morning. I know it. I heard it. …But I can’t find it (which is weird…They’re usually pretty much the opposite of stealthy when they do that. In fact I’m pretty sure I could limit the area I needed to clean in my home by planting an easy-to-wipe-down pedestal in the middle of my living room and draping it in gold ribbons and sparkly arrows).

Anyway, I know it’s out there. Somewhere.

Surely this counts.

3. If you had to describe your best friend in five words or less, what would you say?
Rebellious, ardent, intelligent, complex, husband.

(yes, gag gag, but it’s true)

4. If you did not have to worry about money or go to school what would you do for a living?
If I did not have to worry about money, I probably would go to school. Permanently. …Though only part-time.

I don’t think I’m one of those people who needs work of some kind for fulfillment. But if I had to choose something anyway, I guess I would be a psychological researcher, novelist, study coach, broadway star, who made funny videos for weddings and other special events. What’s the job title for that, I wonder?

5. What is your one “splurge” item, that you will always buy, no matter the cost?
House cleaning service. Hands down. I can’t believe I didn’t do this years ago.

Many of my splurges are for experiences rather than permanent items (occasional nice meals, activities, etc.). I like to make good memories. …Although I do also like a computer that is capable of doing what I want it to do.