Monday, December 21, 2009

Everything you never wanted to know

After receiving a few comments, I went back an reread what I wrote. It sounds SUPER cranky. I don't know why because I don't feel cranky at all so I plead pregnancy, but I'm going to let the post stand because it took so long to write. However, please know, I wasn't directing these AT the person who asked the question. I guess I'm feeling a wee bit feisty today, so no one take these personally, okay? These were actually really fun to answer.

I didn't know when I said you could ask questions that they would be HARD questions. Sheesh. (Kidding.)

All right, since Christmas is a season of love and forgiveness, let's all go ahead and forgive me now for not doing links. If we had to wait for me to do that, we would be waiting for a long, long time and the links still wouldn't get done.

Also, I should be working on my manuscript right now instead of blogging. Grant just went down for his nap (yes, I realize I just used his real name) and my two hour window of peace and heavenly quiet just opened up for writing. The problem is that I'm at the climax of a scene where my main character is about to destroy her competition in a Dance Dance Revolution type of contest and I'm having a hard time playing it for the proper drama and humor given that my character is a Jimmy Choo wearing diva. And no, I'm not making that up. I mean yes, I'm making it up in the sense that I write fiction, but that is the actual scene I'm working through right now. But I don't wanna. So maybe blogging will get me on a writing streak and after I answer your questions, I'll feel inspired to keep going with the Dance Dance smackdown.

Deep breath . . . and moving on . . .

Steph and Diapers and Divinity wants to know my favorite place I've traveled. Until I was thirty I'd never been anywhere interesting. Since then, I've been to Egypt, Italy, France, Scotland, England, and New York. Honestly, I think my favorite is NYC. It's as alive as everyone says it is. I want to go back badly. But believe me, none of those other places was chopped liver. There was something I dug about each of them. As far as where I long to go: Africa. Costa Rica. London. Scandinavia.

Don C. wants to know what kind of tree I want to be. I think Josi Kilpack did an excellent job of answering this on her blog already, but I'll take a shot at it. The last time I was asked this question, it was a journal prompt in my 11th grade English class. I said a live oak. Part of it was that I was only two months into a move to California from Louisiana and I was a little homesick. Mostly it was because I love those trees. They represent deep roots and wisdom to me. So I'm still going to go with a live oak. They're my favorite.

Jami wants to know my favorite childhood memory involving food. Again, I grew up in Louisiana so this is a rich, rich file in  my memory banks, but I'm going to go with jambalaya. My Cajun great-grandfather, who remained vigorous until his passing when I was seventeen, would cook up a tasty jambalaya a few times a year in a Dutch oven over a fire outside. I learned not to ask what the meat was (after he answered "squirrel" one time and meant it) but usually it was chicken and sausage. I remember running around the yard, playing with my cousins, and thinking that I would die if the jambalaya wasn't ready soon. Like a Memphis man with his barbecue skills, a good jambalaya or gumbo is the mark of a great Cajun cook. Grandaddy's was the best.

Kristina P., I don't want to be an inanimate object because I like having a brain. But I'll pick anyway. The first thing that jumps to mind is a clock. Not the Hoff's underwear. Sorry!

Josi wants to know what goals I have outside of writing and family. Okay, this is going to sound obnoxiously earnest, but when my kids are grown and gone, I think I'd like to get involved with a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering underprivileged women, helping them develop job and parenting skills, etc. Slight less lofty and long-term, I'd really like to learn to sew. I've taken a couple of classes but I suck. This is mostly due to a total lack of manual dexterity or my fingers being possessed of the devil. I'm not sure. Also, it's possible an extreme lack of patience is a contributing factor. Possibly.

Wonder Woman wants to know why having a girl is freaking me out, though she asked it much more nicely. All right, I'll tell you but just know that I'm pretty cool with it now. The biggest reason is that I taught eighth grade language arts for five years and I hate the DRAMA. I think spending one day in a classroom with a parade of crazy teenage girls all day long is about the most effective form of birth control possible. WARNING: You could birth one of these! Sadly, there seems to be girl drama at every age. I'm so NOT into drama that I'm sure my poor daughter's efforts to share it with me will be met with eye rolls which will only incite MORE drama, so I'm trying to figure out how to prepare for that. Secondly, I didn't have a close relationship with my mother or sister growing up. There was a communication barrier with my mom (she was deaf and it's not as simple as knowing sign language; there are cultural experience gaps to bridge) and I was five years older than my sister. Those relationships improved greatly as an adult but I was already biased against having a girl by the time we worked stuff out. Lastly, I have two boys. That's what I know how to do. Like I said, though: I'm pretty excited now.

InkMom wants to know why I'm a raging liberal. Kidding! She wants to know if it's hard for me to sit a little to the left of most Mormons and how I came to my opinions on things. A most excellent question. I'm a registered Democrat right now because I wanted to vote in the California primary. However, I consider myself an independent and usually register that way. I vote conservatively on some issues and not on others, but the key is that I take it issue by issue and candidate by candidate. Let me go ahead and offend the majority of you by stating the following opinion: I think it's ignorant to vote party just because. Now, is it hard for me? No. My parents always voted, and always took us with them, but never indoctrinated me into their point of view. I was staunchly Republican through most of high school and didn't discover until much later that my parents typically voted Libertarian or Democrat. Huh.

Anyway, they let us think whatever we wanted and set an example more through their regular voting and keeping up with current events than by orating. You're absolutely right that I own what I believe, but I DO NOT engage in debates with people. I share my opinions when asked but the most publicly liberal I'll usually get is to espouse my devout hatred of Fox News. Otherwise, if someone wants to know what I think, they have to ask. I flatly refuse to argue about it. I'm a very good listener to other people's points-of-view. I'm not interested in changing anyone's mind. I resent people trying to change mine. I get my information from the BBC online, CNN and USA Today online, and NPR. And strangely, The Daily Show. And no, I'm not going to argue about or defend that, either. When I don't understand something, I ask people who know. I read. So no, it wasn't hard for me to reach my opinions on most issues. Some, yes. Some I still struggle with. But I don't shove my opinions down anyone else's throat and I'll shut down anyone who does it to me. I listen only when I can tell someone is well-informed whether I agree with them or not. Then it's just interesting instead of maddening. And in case anyone is wondering, I'm not liberal. I'm boringly moderate.

Whew! I'll go for an even ten and answer three more today.

Amber Lynae wants me to share my most embarrassing public bathroom story. Um, I used to have serious stomach issues that regularly turned me temporarily Catholic while I mumbled Hail Marys and raced to find a public restroom at all too frequent intervals. But the one that comes to mind is a Vegas weekend with my friend Colleen. We were driving through Old Town Las Vegas when I suddenly and desperately needed a bathroom. She raced to the nearest casino and I ran through wildly searching for a bathroom. When I finally found one, the only open stall was the handicap one. But I was desperate so I took it. Within a couple of minutes a little old black lady (and yes, her color matters because they chew you out SO much more effectively than little old white ladies do) starts banging on the door, demanding that I come out. She went on and on for several minutes because um, so did my stomach. When I finally came out at the earliest possible moment, she was super livid to discover that I was a youngster taking up the handicap stall, and let me know fifty different ways that I should be ashamed of myself. She even tattled on me to the bathroom attendant. So that was fun.

Sue wants to know if Kenny is the only guy I was ever engaged to and how he proposed. Well, he's the only guy I've ever been engaged to because he's the only guy I ever said yes to. I think he was about the fourth or fifth guy that wanted to marry me, but he's the only one I wanted to marry. Mind you, I was 32 when I got married, so my inherent awesomeness is only part of the reason for the other offers. Mostly it was just due to the law of averages. I went out with so many guys over time, every so often one of them got it in their heads that they might want to marry me. As for how he proposed, it was on one of the lifeguard towers on the beach at sunset. Apparently, that was Plan B, though. Plan A involved writing a song and a monkey riding a goat, and I'm not making that up. It's a long story or I'd tell it, but I really liked Plan B. It was actually more like dusk and when he opened the ring box, it had a light in it and it made the ring all shiny and awesome.

L.T. Elliot wants to know if I get pedicures or do it myself. Oh, I most certainly DO NOT do them myself. That would be an exercise in total frustration. Once a month (if I'm lucky), I go to the little place around the corner and sit in their lovely massage chair while they work on my poor, abused feet. I also usually get a French manicure that chips after a couple of weeks, so then I strip it off and have naked fingernails for two weeks until I can sneak away to indulge again. I figure I'm worth the $25 a month and so does Kenny, so it all works out.

Oh, man. I think that's quite enough for all of us today. Maybe I'll take on the other half tomorrow. Although, tomorrow is my anniversary. And Wednesday is a girl day with my friend. And Thursday my birthday and Christmas Eve....

Hm. I think tomorrow will work. In the mean time, don't hold your breath. This Christmas, I'm all about committing to as little as possible. It's been a fantastic holiday.


Migillicutty said...

Merry Birth-Versary!

Jami said...

Wowsa, you know how to pack the fun into a single week, dontcha.

Will you still love me if I tell you I am a food wimp and most Cajun food kills me? But that was indeed a rich memory.

Kristina P. said...

Wow, this was some post!

I too love NYC. But I've never really been anywhere else.

Merry Christmas!

L.T. Elliot said...

I didn't think this post was snarky or anything like that at all.
Your B-day is Christmas Eve? That means you had the dreaded birthmas gifting. I'm sorry. Happy Early Birthday!!!

Tracy said...

That's quite the week you've got going on - have fun!

Becca said...

You? Are a delight. I? Love reading you.

Josi said...

Try Glitter Toes (also called Twinkle Toes)They put a layer of acriylic or something on the top of your pedicure and it lasts for a loooong time. Julie and I got it in Newport and I still have it on, not a single chip.

What about the fact that live oaks have acidic leaves that kill anything that tries to grow underneath it? :-)

Fun answers, have a fun week!

Stephanie Faris said...

Good job. I have to say you're really brave for even attempting to answer questions. I wouldn't dare!

Like you, I should be working on my manuscript. It's hard to be motivated with so much else going on.

Aubrey said...

I really want to hear that Plan A story with the song and the monkey riding the goat one day, because that just sounds AWESOME. :)

InkMom said...

This is a fabulous idea. And your answers are no less stupendous. Be forewarned -- I'm going to steal the whole concept and use it on my own blog. Hope you don't mind -- imitation and flattery, yada, yada, yada, right? Promise to give a shout.

Also, we have all the same sources for news. Especially The Daily Show. I loves me some Jon Stewart.

One of these days, I would love to just talk it all over with you -- the politics, I mean. I would not classify myself as exactly "mainstream" Mormon politically, and I certainly don't vote straight down the party lines, either -- in fact, I think the concept of voting party lines insults my intelligence, and serves the purposes of the parties, not the people. But a really great and meaningful conversation about the merits of both sides of the issues? Killer.

My birthday is tomorrow, and my husband's is four days later, so I completely get the Merry Birthiversary minus the -versary. We would have been crazy to marry in December (not to mention, I wasn't waiting another 4 months -- let's be real. Lots of time, plus erosion of self-control doth not equal temple worthiness!), because my dad's is Dec. 9, so is his dad's, his sister's is Dec. 10, my brother's is Dec. 31, and his sister just had a baby Dec. 8, adding to our Month 'o Holidays. Enough, already! We can't afford to buy any more gifts!

Karen said...

I love NYC too. I spent a very great day there once that was supposed to have been an entire weekend.

And I understand where you're coming from on the political stuff. I lean conservative, but I don't push my views on anyone, I never just straight vote down the party line and I completely respect any well thought argument, whether I agree with it or not.

Great answers! Can't wait for the rest!

Luisa Perkins said...

You don't sound cranky. You sound awesome. Happy Everything!

charrette said...

This was a fun read. I feel like we kinda got to hang out for a minute.

I'm just stopping by to say hi and merry Christmas (because I've been so low-profile of late) and wanted you to know I was thinking of you.

Merry Birthiversary indeed!

wonder woman said...

Glad you're good with having a girl now. It makes more sense to me now, knowing about your relationship with your mom. My own relationship with my mom is one of the biggest reasons I've wanted a daughter, so I understand the effect that has.

Also, I'd rather deal with a weepy dramatic girl than a hormone crazed boy any day. ;o)

Merry Christmas! Happy Birthday! Happy Anniversary!

Nishant said...

you know how to pack the fun into a single week, dontcha.

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