Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Five Things You May Not Know about My Time in School are:

1. My mother was the head cook of my high-school cafeteria. Therefore, throughout most of the 80s, what we ate for dinner at home was leftovers that Mom would bring home of high school cafeteria food. (Because my Dad had been laid off from his job in the late 70s -- he was the art director of the GE Aeronautical Division in their Philadelphia plant, a position that was clearly expendable -- and was a freelancer during the 80s; for which, read, "poorer than I realized at the time".)

2. I had a temper, and ended up in the principal's office for fighting a number of times in middle school. Once, in the 7th grade, I flipped out and attacked a boy who was teasing me. I tried to stab him with the wooden tray from a Scrabble set. Seriously. I mean, yeah, it wouldn't have *worked*, you can't stab somebody with one of those. But thank goodness we were playing Scrabble and not cutting out something with scissors.

3. In high school, I participated in an activity called "Scotts' Hi-Q", which was a sort of lame "College Bowl"/"Jeopardy" thing sponsored by the Scotts Tissue company. We would travel around to other schools and our braniacs would try to beat the snot out of the other schools' braniacs, in a cerebral way of course.

4. I got a Junior Varsity letter, for track. Even though I SUCKED at it, I put in my time, and got the damned letter. Once, at a meet, I had to run a sprint by myself, because I guess the other school's team didn't have anyone in that event. It's a lot harder to compete in a footrace by yourself than against someone, I think.

5. I got all of my college gym credits (of which a surprising number were required) by taking both volleyball, and fencing, over and over and over again.

Five Things You May Not Know about the Job (Jobs) I Have (or Had) are:

1. I spent three summers working at a miniature golf course at a shore resort in New Jersey. To this day, I have a burning hatred of wet-vacs. But I still love miniature golf. Our course had a pirate ship, but otherwise, was a sort of African Safari theme. Except for the hula dancer and the tiki masks; those were never adequately explained, either. So we had a sort of Caribbean/Polynesian/African thing going, I guess.

2. My first job, in seventh grade, was in our high-school library. (At the time, it was a 7-12 school.) I had a massive crush on the junior who worked there, Dave. I think this crush was mostly based on him also being a science fiction geek, and deigning to talk to me. It certainly wasn't really based on *looks*, because Dave was not hot, by any stretch of the imagination. When Dave went to college, he and I corresponded regularly for four years. My best friend went out with his younger brother. I went up with his family to visit him at college once (Susquehanna Univ.). But we were never officially going out or anything, at least, not that he ever said. In the spring of my senior year, as I was preparing to go to college, Dave wrote to me (let me repeat, WROTE to me), and said he wanted to marry me. Since to the best of my knowledge he'd never even said I was his girlfriend, this took me rather aback.

3. Once, for the Open House for Parents night at the high-school, I dressed up in a unicorn costume that I had made myself (big papier-mache head), and wore a sandwich-board that said, "Come and Visit the Library!"

4. I actually really, really enjoyed my job as a slide projectionist for art history classes at Bryn Mawr. I liked listening to the lectures, especially when there was no pressure of having to do the coursework or take tests or anything.

5. I credit being in the SCA with landing me the job at the Archaeological Exploration of Sardis. I had put the SCA on my resume (under "other interests" or whatever, you know, the junk category at the bottom), and there was a guy working as the Research Assistant in the office who was in the local SCA, and he was friends with the woman who was sorting through the resumes for the job, and he told her, "We have to interview this person."

Five Things You May Not Know about My Online Life are:

1. I'm an artist, and I participate in fandoms, and I've been online for a long time, and I am friends with a lot of people who know a lot about computers and stuff -- but I *STILL* have never had a personal website.

2. I have, however, designed a website, for the Folklore & Mythology department at Harvard. Yes, only the FINEST in 1999 design techniques.

3. I am resistent to new technology. It always takes me a period of wary circling before I'll give something new a try. This is true of many things, but especially of things related to computers and the internet. Which kind of explains the above.

4. While most of the time I am welded to the internet at the fingertips, I prefer, when I go on vacation, not to have the ability to get online or to get my email. Even though I don't like going for a day or an evening without being able to check email (or now, without being able to get on LJ), in the normal course of things, I find it easier to think of something as a vacation if I take myself out of that rut entirely.

5. I avoid MU*s, online gaming, computer games and platform games in general, not because I do not like them, but because I've always been afraid of how deeply into them I could get.

Five Things You May Not Know about Where I Live are:

1. I moved in a year ago, and I *STILL* do not have a bathroom window.

2. I lived in my last apartment for 11 years. I moved out a year after the drive-by shooting incident. (They shot up the house across the street from my building, not an actual *person*. But still.)

3. I lived for 13 years in buildings that did not have laundry facilities. The coin-op washer and dryer in the basement of my current place is like NIRVANA, despite the fact that they are spider-infested.

4. I own perfectly good dishes, but I am such a bachelor slob that I have taken to using paper plates for most meals.

5. I live a couple of blocks from an extensive pile of Victorian brickwork that is the old Waltham Watch Factory. In the 19th century, Waltham was the premiere place of manufacture of watches and clocks in the United States; the quality of Waltham watches was considered to rival that of Swiss watchmakers. Although no watch manufacturers remain in Waltham, it is still known as "Watch City". (The Watch Factory is, in my opinion, a gorgeous example of Victorian factory architecture; fortunately it was divided up into offices for other businesses, rather than being torn down. I wish some of it was condos, so I could live in it; but I couldn't afford them, even if it was.) Last year, I bought a lovely silver Waltham pocket-watch off of eBay. If I recall correctly, it dates from the 1880s.

Five Things You May Not Know about My Core Personality are:

1. I'm stubborn as all hell.

2. I tend to try to be in control of events. I have a really hard time just "going with the flow", unless it is a flow that I have put effort into setting up so that it flows in just a certain way.

3. I'm insecure about my looks, but I'm also really vain. Not a fun combination.

4. I'm honestly forgetful; it's not just a ploy. There are large chunks of events that just disappear from my brain. On rare occasions something will remind me of something that happened and I will suddenly remember it even though I hadn't thought about it for years. But there are other things that I know must have happened and no matter how hard I try, I can't remember them. I know this happens to everyone, more or less, but from comments my friends make, it seems to happen to me a lot more. I know that it drives raqs nuts.

5. I'm kind of paranoid, on a personal level. I have a horror of the idea of people talking about me or judging me. Possibly related to this, I don't open up to people or share personal things with others very much. I'm always afraid that if I reveal too much, people will think less of me for what I've revealed, and they'll mock me or reject me. I can't even quite believe that I'm doing this meme.

Five Things You May Not Know about My Home Life are:

1. Though I have been struggling against it since living alone, I am a slob. Oh wait; this was supposed to be things you *don't* know.

2. I am way more addicted to Slim Jims than I should be.

3. To the horror of telepresence, I leave the bathroom door open all the time when I'm there alone; I have to, so that the cats can come in and visit.

4. I really do not understand how my audio-visual/computer set-up works. I had help for setting up most of it (thank you, telepresence), and god help me, I had better draw detailed diagrams before I disassemble it prior to my next move.

5. I still haven't unpacked about 3/4ers of my stuff, since my move a year ago. Partly this is because I am in a very tiny apartment and wouldn't have room to unpack it all. Partly it is because I'm lazy and it's easier to leave it sit there in boxes than to get off my butt and go through those boxes, as I promised myself I would when I packed them. (HAH!) Partly it's because if something is out of sight, it's out of mind, for me. Apparently I don't need that much junk. So why do I keep it? Because I hate throwing things away. I might need/want it SOMEDAY.

Five Things You May Not Know That I Desperately Want are:

1. It would be silly to put "a Mini Cooper" here, wouldn't it? Because everybody already knows that I desperately want that.

2. For my vague, half-assed "career" plans to come to fruition, because it's the best that I can come up with at this point, when it looks pretty clear that none of the vague hope and dreams and expectations I had earlier in life are going to happen. (No, I'm not going into detail; for one thing, that would jinx it, and for another, this is a public post.)

3. To get rid of this feeling that my life is over and I will never accomplish anything meaningful or leave any legacy of myself, etc. I know that's silly, objectively, at age 36. Anything could still happen in my life. I just want to get rid of the *feeling* that nothing ever will.

4. Not to die young from cancer. My genetic legacy is against me, there, but I can hope. I'm not the greatest about taking care of my health, though.

5. While it's horribly twinkie, and objectively speaking probably a bad idea, I would like to go swimming with orcas. I would settle for going kayaking and having a close enounter with orcas (actually far more likely, from what I can tell, since while you are supposed to maintain a certain distance from marine life while you are boating, nobody has really gotten the marine life to agree to this).

Five Embarrassing Fannish Admissions I Have That You May Not Know are:

1. Oh god, where to BEGIN? In the obvious place: the first fanfic I ever wrote (without of course knowing that's what it was) was for Pern. My forwardness, at age 12, led me to send a long and meandering and question-filled letter to Anne McCaffrey, who sent me back a personalized postcard, which was responsible for introducing me to the concept of fandom (as in, "these people have started a fan group, go bug them"; and so I did.)

2. Think *that's* embarassing? No no. The fact that I am *STILL* in some way participating in some kind of Pern fandom -- now *that's* embarassing.

3. I believe I mentioned this earlier, but I am capable of being moved to tears by triumphant moments in sports -- even when those moments are from years in the past, and involve people or teams that I otherwise have no investment in.

4. I own tapes and DVDs of some truly wretched shows and movies, just because I really, really like an actor who's in them. *sigh*

5. While, most of the time, and like most people, I'm largely not serious about my fannish crush/obsessions, there have been certain cases over the years where I've known that, yeah, I'd sleep with the person, given the opportunity and the correct set of circumstances. I know it's not considered cool, fannishly; it starts to smack of an inability to make distinctions about fantasy/reality, or draw boundaries, or whatever. But you know, in a case of actual "to carpe diem, or not to carpe diem?" there's a short list of ones for whom the answer would actually be, "hell, yes".

Five Things You May Not Know about What I Do in a Typical Day are:

1. Hit the SNOOZE button on my alarm clock a minimum of three times.

2. Agonize about what to wear, because no matter how much I vow to do so, I am crap at remembering to decide on an outfit the night before.

3. Buy a honkin' big cup of coffee at Dunkin' Donuts (iced, in the summer).

4. Check email... about a billion times.

5. Vow that I am going to go to bed earlier, but fail to do so until it is after midnight, again.

Five Things You May Not Know That Are Really Important to My Character are:

1. The vanity thing really just masks deep insecurities about my body and my looks. Even during that period (the 90s, I think it was called) when people were telling me that they thought I was gorgeous -- I really thought they were insane and couldn't possibly mean it. I still tend to think that. Which leads me to have to apologize to those who have given me compliments and meant them sincerely. It's not that I actually think you're liars or anything. It's just something that's so deeply-rooted that it's impossible to address rationally. (And I have no idea where this could have come from, because I was given nothing but positive reinforcement as a child.)

2. I took up hula in part because it is neat, but also because I have always felt awkward about the way I move, and yet, harbored a secret desire to dance well. And because I was so jealous of raqs and sazabhadri for their middle eastern dancing. I would listen to music and imagine myself doing some lovely and spectacular dance routine. But that was THEIR thing, and I didn't feel like I could do it. So I decided that hula would be *my* thing. (Hula has the advantage that it is not extemporaneous at all. It's memorization and practice, practice, practice.)

3. To say that I hate insects (and spiders) would be to take the easy way out; it's more complicated than that. I hate the idea of their sneaking up on me, basically. I can deal with them okay, if I can see them at all times and know where they are and where they are going. It's when they dart and get to where I can't see them and might or might not be *ON ME* that I FREAK THE HECK OUT. In controlled circumstances? I can interact with them just fine. I think this means that I don't so much have a fear of insects, as that I have giant CONTROL ISSUES.

4. I have rejected organized religion, but I still derive satisfaction sometimes from the rituals and traditions that I experienced when young. Which means that, I'm no longer a Catholic or any kind of a Christian, but on rare occasions I might still attend mass or sign hymns at Christmas, and actually enjoy it. I'm not an atheist, and I don't think I'm an agnostic, either, though maybe that's closest. I feel like I'm a spiritual person, but I don't like pinning anything down.

5. I deeply dislike change, and loss. I spend a *lot* of time *NOT* thinking about loss; I often deal with it by avoidance. I am Inertia!Girl. I'd rather continue on in my little rut, than make a change, even if it's probably for the better. The idea of making great changes doesn't excite me; it's something to do only when you cannot avoid it (which explains, among other things, how I could stay in a job I liked but that didn't pay well for 10 years, and live in an increasingly hellish apartment for 11). raqs can attest, I once cried for six solid hours in distress at the idea of graduating from college. When I am dealing with death, it's even worse, because I am so afraid of allowing myself to be that distressed that I just shut down, and appear uncaring from the outside. It's probably back to CONTROL ISSUES again, but I really, really hate it, too, when things that I would have liked to keep the same are changed by decisions out of my control.



( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 8th, 2004 01:02 pm (UTC)
Oh man, I can totally relate to a lot of the things you said here. Particularly the aversion to change. The only change I'm currently looking forward to is moving out of Los Angeles, but the actual move will be so stressful that it's a mixed blessing. I don't plan to move ntil early next year, and already I'm having the stressful dreams of packing.
(Deleted comment)
Sep. 8th, 2004 05:49 pm (UTC)
Oy. Okay. Back in 1968, this writer named Anne McCaffrey, who started out as a romance-novels writer, wrote this science-fantasy novella about a world called Pern. Pern has two primary features. The most obvious is, dragons. At the time, in literature, the only dragons to be found were pretty much high fantasy, evil, Smaug-like monsters. McCaffrey decided to see if she could rehabilitate the idea of dragons. Her dragons were actually alien creatues that Earth colonists had thought looked like dragons; they were telepathic and had this pack-like or hive-like society. They would form telepathic bonds with individual humans, their riders, which to the riders was wonderful, and to the people who weren't riders, was kinda scary.

The other key feature of Pern was this parasite from space that fell on the planet, and if it landed, would cause devastation. Pern existed in a bummer of a solar system. This parasite was called Thread, because as it fell to the ground, it looked like long, worm-like filaments. There were only a few ways to kill it. The main one was by burning it. But you had to get it before it hit ground, or you know, devastation. And oh hey -- did we mention that the dragons could breathe fire?

Trust me, there's a rationale for everything, but basically that's the premise. These humans bonded with these dragons (and there's reasons why this is necessary) get together and fly up and destroy this thing in the air that otherwise would wreak havoc on the planet. The world was created as a sort of blend of sort-of-medieval-or-something society, but also basically, a futuristic society that had "fallen" into a more primitive state and was now struggling for survival. The humans were on the planet because their ancestors had been colonizers from Earth. (Which, in addition to the "threat from space" aspects, and the fact that the dragons were actually bio-engineered by the colonists out of a much smaller native alien species, accounts for why Pern is not considered to be complete fantasy, but rather a hybrid of scifi and fantasy.)

By the time I was 12, Pern consisted of two trilogies of books -- the first an expansion on the original novella (which was published in ANALOG in June 1968, the month I was born, incidentally), for adults; and the second a much shorter "young adult" series about a girl who wasn't a dragonrider at all, and which gave a different perspective on the world.

From the start, McCaffrey was fairly closely involved with her fandom. Lots of people wanted to write their own stories expanding on the world as seen in her books. She created certain rules for them to follow -- chiefly, you had to make up your own characters (you couldn't use hers from her books; which is the opposite of the way that most media fandoms are, in which the whole point is to write new stories about Kirk and Spock or who-have-you). So basically, most groups were like roleplaying in this world, but doing it by exchanging written stories, rather than live sessions.

There you have it.
Sep. 9th, 2004 07:34 am (UTC)
And that's the short answer, folks. (rimshot)

Seriously, enjoy the buffet. I'll be here all week.
Sep. 8th, 2004 07:32 pm (UTC)
the watch company building is beautiful ( grew up nearby). and i like what you said here: "4. I own tapes and DVDs of some truly wretched shows and movies, just because I really, really like an actor who's in them. *sigh* "

i can identify...i'll watch just about any old dren if it has someone i really like in it. heh.

i loved reading your meme, and really liked the idea of "inertia!girl". yup, change although constant is still a constant pain in the butt. argh.
Sep. 9th, 2004 06:34 pm (UTC)
hey, there was actually one thing in there i didn't know. see, life still holds surprises.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )