07 February 2009

25 Random Things (Laziest Blog Update Ever!)

Well, since at least a few of my friends who might still check this blog are stubborn holdouts who refuse to get on facebook, I thought I'd publish my facebook 25 things list here as well. Consider yourself tagged if you're reading this! I resisted doing it for a while, kept getting tagged and I have to say, people make interesting lists and it is, in the end, kind of fun to find out short tidbits about people you know well and people you don't know that well. See the Salon article for the hipster consensus that 25 Things is Okay. I hope to be a better blogger soon and actually publish the top 25 things to do in Florida for a week.

25 things about me...

Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

1. I have an ongoing devotion to Paul Krugman's writings and think he should just run our economy since he's predicted most of what's happened.

2. When I was 18 I was a hostess at the Good Earth Restaurant in Portland, where I worked the morning shift, during which a flock of elderly people would come in for breakfast every day. They nicknamed me "Peaches" because I wore a necklace that spelled out the word "Peace."

3. I am terrible at replying to emails or returning phone calls or letters in a timely fashion. But then you probably knew that. I always have the best intentions, though.

4. When I first moved to the East Coast at 19 I owned approximately two pairs of shoes -- hiking boots and Tevas. My first few days working at a Nordstrom shoe department they put me in the stockroom, I assume because I wasn't fit for public view. Selling shoes permanently warped me, however, because I wouldn't really want to count how many I have now.

5. I also have way too many crafty hobbies, including: ceramics, metalsmithing, jewelrymaking, silkscreening, sewing, knitting, felting, Ukrainian easter egg decorating (pysanky making), cardmaking, baking, and gardening. I'm not saying I do any of them well, kind of the opposite, but I like doing them.

6. When I was a kid I always wished my name was Victoria or Samantha. I begged my mom to let me change it. Now I don't mind that I can't ever find one of those mini novelty license plates with my name on it, I like it.

7. Favorite movie endings include Karate Kid, A Few Good Men, and Some Like it Hot. "Nobody's perfect," indeed.

8. I can spend hours happily doing jigsaw puzzles. Or sudoku. Or crosswords. Or kakuro.

9. I think the smartest year of my life was when I worked as an accounting grunt at Time Cafe in NY, where I got a free gourmet spinach salad every day (boosting brainpower, no doubt), my coworker Nancy and I would spend every lunch hour doing the Times crossword and we listened to nonstop NPR in our office all day, every day. Also, I didn't own a TV and spent my free time talking seriously about arty movies and engaging in political activism. I am a shallow, superficial slacker compared to this now. Ironically, the job itself was pretty mindless compared to what I do today, but I think the perks made me a clever critter.

10. One of my favorite phrases is "efficiency bunny" -- my friend Saru and I came up with this in law school, though I don't remember how. It basically means to be efficient in all areas of work and productivity in the same way bunnies are super-efficient at creating more bunnies. Plus it makes drudging through lots of work and being really productive seem cuter somehow.

11. When I was in first grade I got suspended from school for fighting because I punched the second grade bully in the face. He was totally a foot taller than me, but he was stealing from the first graders and I had a redheaded temper and a lot of righteous fury on behalf of the disadvantaged. I got detention several times in middle school for fighting as well. Oddly, I would then invariably befriend the person I had been fighting with while we were stuck in detention together and we would be BFFs for six months.

12. Even when I was a vegan for years, I made a "freegan" exception for the free chocolates they give away at the See's candy stores.

13. I have a huge soft spot for the old Hayley Mills version of "The Parent Trap."

14. My cat's full name is "Paola solleva l'asino" which translates as "Paola likes to lift her bottom" in Italian. She was named after my wonderful Italian teacher Paola, and the rest is probably self-explanatory.

15. I am paranoid about staving off dementia in my old age, so I have accumulated a lot of random information about how to avoid it. Every time I eat something with turmeric in it (curry, mustard, or sometimes I just throw it into things) I feel virtuous and hopefully undemented. This also might bear some small degree of responsibility for #17.

16. While my grandmother had Alzheimer's, I actually blame the movie "Iris" for #15, since Iris Murdoch definitely used her brain plenty. All the crossword puzzles in the world wouldn't have mattered.

17. In school I played flute and piccolo for 8 years, and took piano lessons halfheartedly for a year or two. This last year I have taken on trying to reteach myself piano and learn guitar for what will undoubtedly be my one-woman band. My progress so far has been somewhat, ah, limited, but hopefully the activity is showing my brain I really do care and want it to remain relatively intact.

18. When I lived in Albania, I worked as a bartender on Friday nights in the nonprofit embassy/expat bar "The Bunker Club," named after the bunkers Enver Hoxha built all over the country. I still believe firmly that this gives me bartender cred and am confident in my ability to make a drink, even though 50% of the patrons just ordered beer and most people say my drinks are way too strong. They just don't understand that makes me a good bartender.

19. My friend Anna and I started a poetry translation and discussion group for the poems of Cesare Pavese when we lived in Florence, Italy during our study abroad. Despite flyers placed around town, we were the only members who showed up for the poetry discussions. Shocking, I know.

20. I missed winning the Oregon state spelling bee contest at the state fair in Salem because of the word "karat." I still maintain that this was classism at work, since what did a kid like me know about jewelry? Also, I stepped in a giant sloppy cow patty on the fairgrounds that day, so all in all not my best day. I still "spell along" when I watch movies about spelling bees or the National Spelling Bee on ESPN. Good times.

21. I read all of the Sweet Valley High books then published by the time I started high school, along with Anna Karenina, The Iliad and Odyssey and A Tale of Two Cities. I definitely remember Sweet Valley better, and I am sure it had a greater impact on my development.

22. I would be psyched to go see things like Lord of the Dance and the Annie musical, but everyone I know is too cool to go with me.

23. I love going to bed early and waking up early, which is the opposite of my college experience, in which I dropped a noon class as a freshman because I had never been able to wake up in time to attend it by the time they gave the midterm.

24. My older brother and I used to catch crawdads and mudsuckers in the creek behind our house. It was kind of a blood sport, we were little heathens -- we certainly weren't eating them.

25. Whenever Poison's "Every Rose Has Its Thorns" comes on the radio, I am compelled to sing (and dance) along.

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