Saturday, May 26, 2007

first tag, seven random things, another dream, and rain





Well, unlike my friend, I actually like memes, but really the longer, more thoughtful ones as opposed to ones that ask you what time it is, what you are wearing right this minute, and what your favorite flavor of ice cream might be. The ones where we can explore character in surprising ways. Of course, she's a little more private and shy when it comes to internet ramblings, and as you can see, I am clearly not. So I have had my first official tag. :) Seven random things about myself, some of which you all know, some might be surprising.

1. I was a vegetarian for something like eight or nine years. I only this year started eating meat again, and I'm not sure why. I can somewhat tell you I quit eating meat because we lived next to so many packing plants in high school in Green Bay, so seeing those cows on their way to be slaughtered made me sad. I think being more conscious, finding a way to eat free range, these are things that are better. I have always loved the taste of meat. Some of my favorites: fried chicken (southern childhood), corned beef (Irish heritage), and salmon as well as many other forms of chicken, soft on the bone. My favorites are the drumsticks.

2. I was a smoker. This seems to surprise a lot of my colleagues. I smoked for four or five years, was a pack a day kind of gal. This distressed my mother to no end, but her yelling at me about it would never inspire me to quit. Instead, it was just before my father and I left to visit my grandparents in Michigan when she was silently crying at all the butts in my car but not yelling that caused me to quit. I had something like three cigarettes left and I smoked each of them on the way there, my last one in the cold of the porch at night in Hillsdale. Later, I was fiending, and I begged my father to take me to a gas station, and he reluctantly agreed, but we couldn't get the car door shut. It was winter and too cold and the stubborn thing refused to shut. He offered to get the keys to his parents' car, but I took this as a sign and never smoked another cigarette again. And though my anxiety attacks sometimes feel a little like wanting a cigarette, I think my first time quitting will always be the one that sticks. I wish losing the weight I gained after quitting were just as easy.

3. I love all kinds of cheese. This is my weakness and probably the culprit of many of those extra happy pounds. My absolute favorites are brie, blue, gorgonzola, fresh paremesan, and havarti. I remember the first time we went to France and went to a fromagerie and gathered all sorts of wheels of delicious cheeses. We were visiting our exchange student Monique for the first time. In a big cardboard box in the trunk, those cheeses melted in the hot summer sun in Provence. It smelled, but we were good natured about the loss. After all, it has made a good story to giggle about over fresh circles of brie and crusty bread these days and brings us right back to the lavender-scented air of those days in Monique's childhood home.

(Hmm, all these lead me to wonder if I have an oral fixation as I just dedicated my first three random things to relate to my mouth.)

4. I love my pets, but I think I have a strong affection for sheep and llamas. Perhaps this is why I love wool, alpaca, and cashmere so much. I prefer natural fibers to synthetic and like to knit with bamboo or wood over metal. I'd rather live organically then not, though these choices are not always as easy to make.

5. I love, love to travel. I think I caught this passion from my paternal grandmother. She has taken us to England, to Scotland, to France, and we have also been on cruises to Hawaii, to Mexico, to the Catalina Islands, to Jamaica, to the Bahamas. In the United States, I have had fond memories of trips to Massachusetts and New Hampshire, to Michigan and Ohio, to Tennessee and Florida, to Albuquerque, to Oregon and Lake Tahoe, a road trip from San Francisco to Los Angelos, to New York City and New Jersey, Colorado. K and my goal for the honeymoon is to pick somewhere neither of us have ever been. I am still hoping for Ireland, but we may go to Alaska too. It seems we should have decided on this already, but the idea of travel is very delicious. I look forward to my North Carolina trip this summer as well.

6. I have a weird thing about needing to shower every day, which would make any serious sort of camping difficult for me. (This is why I am easing myself into it, what with Frontenac being a bike ride away.) I also shave every day. And I've only just now discovered the joy of facials. I think Kelly and I are going to have to take our road trip out to a spa somewhere, perhaps out west. We have decided we need to go on a trip together, somewhere moderately random, and I'm rooting for anywhere that will slather stuff on my face and put hot towels on it. I'm also looking forward to yoga classes--I am afraid of all the pampering I am introducing to my life.

7. If I could be anything other than a teacher and if I could naturally have the talent to be these things (of which, many, I do not have, especially the ones that include graceful movement), I would: be a poet, be a professional student, be a part time but very passionate professor, be an artist, be a potter, be a winemaker, be a dancer, be a yoga instructor, work in the wellnesss field, be a scientist, be a botanist, be a gardener, be a seamstress, be an editor, be a travel guide writer, be a language instructor, be a cook or chef, be a farmer, be a printmaker, be a glassblower, be a brewery owner, be a small bookshop owner, be a vet, be a magazine columnist, be a photographer, be a landscaper, be a carpenter, be a metal worker, be a jewelry maker, be a woodcarver, be a boat captain, be a furniture builder, be a tapestry weaver, be a fiber artist, be a child development employee, be a psychologist, be a stay at home mother.

I tag Kelly, Angie, Chris (because I think she should take up real blogging), Michelle, Liz, Sam, and Katia, if you all are reading this. Or anyone who is reading this and hasn't done a meme recently! :)

K spotted Lanie after I gave her a huge brush down with this little brush/massager and he goofily said, "It looks like a cat exploded!"

I just woke up from a six hour long nap. (Does it really count as a nap when you sleep to an insane degree?) I'm in Green Bay, visiting my parents, and K and I each have one of the puppies. Penelope woke me less than six hours after we got into town, needing to go to the bathroom thankyouverymuch, and she woke me by licking me until I could stand no more. She's got a flappy tongue, that one.

In my nap, I had many dreams, one of which made me very sad: I was alone on the last day of school. The school in my dream looked nothing like This High School, but I had to pack anyway. Stuffed animals, strange reams of things, musty books in creaky tall bookcases, and our cubicles were so old and so personalized. Nothing like the sterility of what we have now (doesn't really encourage collaboration, if you ask me). Next to me was the same math teacher, only he was a choral teacher (ha!) and we were teaching them to dance down the hallway. He was mad at the boys who were goofing off. And then everyone was suddenly gone. A woman in the lobby was showing women from the district office how to use facial supplies, and I was fretfully trying to pack. Emily was gone, as was nearly everyone else. I couldn't even concentrate on packing one thing at once. There were so many strange things to throw out, things that don't even exist--a fan for a hope chest (like a computer's fan), odd objects that aren't true, don't have life outside my dream-mind. And I was so, so sad to be leaving. And leaving alone. I called my father and said Kelly couldn't help me because she was at a baseball game, so could he please come and help me move out? I didn't have boxes, so I was stealing them from hallways. The French teacher next door had cleared out, which is something she will do, since she is taking a year's leave of absence (in response to the budget cuts, there are a decent handful who are taking a leave in order to relieve some of the letting go's).

It's dark and rainy here. Penelope made it off her leash around the yard with my parents' dogs, both of whom are ancient, wizened retriever types with grey and white around their muzzles. There was a game of tug of war that surprised us between our arthritic collie/lab/husky/golden mix--a dog named Madison who does not enjoy the company of other dogs, and Lanie, a black lab with a white muzzle and a few potty training issues, allowed Penelope to play leap frog with her. It was a bit of a one sided leap frog, but still. No teeth bared and even some keep away with a bone.

I had forgotten how lovely a yard they have, in some ways. There are big, solid trees, including one my sister planted as a twig when she was younger. There is a corner that was once a garden and is now exploding with random plant life. There is a big tree with a bird bath and a popular birdfeeder; I celebrate this birdsong. They have two decks--an upper and a lower. I could imagine sitting at peace outside, but when I was a teenager, I just wanted to get as far away as I could. And as I write this, a chickadee that could fit into the palm of my hand sits on the railing, peer in at me. I could reach out and scoop him up. My breath caught at the quiet beauty.


eireann said...


nice things. i don't think taking care of yourself is pampering--not bad, anyway. yoga, facials, okay, luxuries. but it's good to say, hey! i want to do nice things just for me, too.

Liz said...

Well, okay, but only because I like you. 7 random facts about me:
1) I only do memes in other people's comments
2) I've moved 29 times in 42 years
3) I know all the words to all the songs from Hair
4) I didn't eat sushi until I was 30 years old. Now I could eat it every day.
5) My kids call me weird. That makes me proud.
6) My hair wasn't curly before I moved to Sweden and had kids.
7) My favorite joke is this: Why don't cannibals eat clowns? Because they TASTE FUNNY! hahahahaha!!

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