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Fiberjinx tagged me for the seven things meme. Since I never get tagged for things I thought I should play along, although I have a hard time thinking of seven things.

1. Ever since reading Margaret Mahy’s “The Catalog of the Universe” (a book I still love), I’ve always thought it would be cool to give my children a normal first name and a really unique middle name. Knowing my persnickety husband, however, that will never fly.

2. I love art, especially art with fish in/on it. Evan gave me a sculpture from Frank Russell a couple of years ago and it is my favorite. If I had more money I would definitely have more art.

3. I really enjoy doing favors or making things for other people, especially if I have the opportunity to do something nice without being asked. If someone needs a ride to the airport at 4 in the morning, I am happy to do it.

4. I love a bargain, but I hate it when people try and take advantage of someone else’s generosity. Like, when a person is giving out free pens and someone takes twenty or fills up a doggy bag for themselves at a potluck.

5. I am generally very good at board and card games, especially Boggle. My brother-in-law refuses to play boggle with me anymore.

6. When I go to bed, I have to have the top edge of the top sheet folded over the duvet or I can’t sleep. Whenever Evan tries to flip the sheet up on his side, I fold it over and tell him, “You know the rules.” I will also contort myself into whatever shape is required to accommodate sleeping with a cat. If they want the whole bed or the top sheet folded up, I allow it. Poor Evan.

7. My favorite outfit as a child was a pale blue, pleated wool skirt paired with a Rodney Dangerfield “Back-to-School” t-shirt. The funny thing was, I don’t think I’d necessarily seen the movie at the time.

I know I am supposed to tag seven people, but I don’t like to assume that anyone is actually reading my blog.  If someone want to do this one, go for it and leave me a note in the comments.

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Nicole over at Sitting Still was kind enough to interview me for her old skool meme.  I’ve actually been reading her blog for quite awhile, but nearly never comment.  Google reader, my great new love, makes me a very lazy commenter these days.

1) Your “About” page states that you are not a cat sweatshirt person.  What kind of sweatshirt person are you?
Hmmm…I am not a sweatshirt person in general.  From childhood, I have always under dressed for the weather.  When I was six or seven I nearly froze to death walking to school in a snowstorm wearing a dress.  (I always wore a dress in early elementary school.  If you wore a dress, you got to be the mom when you played house.  If you wore pants, you had to be the baby.  Since, even then, I liked to boss people, I always wore a dress.)  On our trip to Point Reyes last weekend I wore shorts and a t-shirt, while Evan and Rob wore long pants and long sleeves.  Evan brought along a sweatshirt thing because he knew I would be cold, but wouldn’t bring my own coat.  He’s good that way.  Sooo, I guess I would say that I’m an Evan’s sweatshirt sort of person.
2) You knit. A LOT.  My goodness, my fingers are tired just looking at your project list.  What advice would you give to someone (ahem, me) who has never knitted but is curious about it?
Probably the easiest way to learn is to find a knitter willing to teach you.  From what I know, most knitters love teaching other people to knit.  We’re sort of like drug addicts in that way.  If you don’t know anyone that knits, there is a good website with lots of videos called knitting helpMy other piece of advice would be to start on a small project other than a scarf.  Scarves, unless they have a fun pattern, are soooo boring to knit.  It’s the same thing over and over again and they take forever.  I keep offering to knit for friends and they always want a scarf.  Bah.  Another thing to do is to find a local yarn store.  They are often full of people that are willing to answer beginner questions (if they aren’t…find another yarn store), they often offer classes, and host informal knitting gatherings, where you can meet more people that can help you with your knitting.
One of the things I like most about knitting is that is an activity that is very portable.  You can knit while you wait at the doctors office, on a car trip, or wherever.  Plus I probably watch way too much television, so as long as I am knitting while I watch I’m doing something somewhat productive.  The other thing about knitting is that you are making a one-of-a-kind item.  I really love giving gifts to people.  For the people in my life, it is an opportunity for me to make something for them that they know I put a lot of time and care into and it is a unique item just for them.  This is why I do so much knitting for other people.  I find it very relaxing as well and a nice contrast to the sciency things I think about all day.
3) You say that you are a scientist.  Would you call yourself a “geek”?  Why or why not?
I wouldn’t call myself a geek, but I just called my husband (he’s visiting a friend in Texas for the weekend) and he tells me that I am a geek.  We’ll see if I actually pick him up at the airport tomorrow.

4) Name five ‘luxury’ items that you could not live without.
My DVR, sock yarn,  ice cream, my wedding/engagement rings, a library card.  What’s that you say?  A library card isn’t a luxury item?  Well, if things continue to go the way they have been going, it soon will be.  
5) Thong, bikini, brief, girdle, commando, or other?  Explain.

I have been a bikini wearer since childhood.  In kindergarten, I actually brought my days of the week Garfield bikini underpants for show and tell (the whole package, I didn’t show underpants I was actually wearing).  My mom had really horrible morning sickness around this time, so she had a neighbor take me to school in the morning.  She was often mortified with what I was wearing when she came to pick me up at the end of the day like my pink bathing suit with a red skirt from my cheerleader Halloween costume, brown knee socks and about a bazillion barrettes in my hair.  That is how I got away with bring my underpants to school.

Want to play? Here’s how it works:

  • Leave me a comment requesting an interview.

  • I will email you five questions. I get to pick the questions. BWAHAHAHAHA.

  • You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

  • You will include this explanation (or a reasonable variation) and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

  • When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

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Right before the holidays, jenn tagged me with this meme. I didn’t get a chance to do it then, so I’m doing it now.

THE RULES: Each player of this game starts with the 6 weird things about you. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says you are tagged in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

  1. I have an extreme phobia about hills, especially driving up them. I always imagine that the car is going to flip backwards and topple end over end back down the hill. One time we were driving around the hills near downtown Portland and I was so scared that I was sobbing. I wouldn’t have been embarassed if it had just been Evan in the car, but his brother was in the car. This was before Evan and I were married and I was sure that my future brother-in-law was going to return home and tell his family that Evan was dating a crazy.
  2. One of my main motivations for jogging is that I get to see all of the neighborhood cats and dogs out in their yards. One time I saw a bunny and I always, always have to jog down that street now.
  3. I’m not much of a meat eater in general, but I truly hate seafood. I’ve tried to like sushi, but it makes me gag.
  4. When I was growing up, despite never living in a rough neighborhood, I was perpetually convinced that someone was going to break into my room through my window and murder me. I spent alot of time figuring out contorted sleeping positions that wouldn’t make it look like my bed was just a jumble of blankets, so the murderer wouldn’t be tempted to break in because he wouldn’t see me.
  5. I’m completely and utterly tone deaf. This made it very hard to play the violin.
  6. In the middle of the night, I wake up, gasp, and smack Evan. I have no memory of this, but Evan says that it happens regularly. Maybe is stems from number 4?

Most of the blogs I’ve read have already done this meme, but if you haven’t and you want to, leave me a comment so I can read your responses. If you don’t have a blog, feel free to leave your answers in the comments.

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Book Meme

Elise tagged me and I am happy to comply.

1. One book that changed your life: It is sort of a weird choice, but I would have to say Malcolm Gladwell’s book “Blink.” One chapter talks about the indicators of successful versus failing marriages. It all comes down to contempt. Since reading the book, Evan and I in a moderately joking way are quick to point out if the other is speaking in a contemptful way. I think about how I speak to people a lot more (especially in times of conflict) after reading this book. The book also made me think about my own inherent biases and how I can correct them. If you want to have some fun or horrify yourself, take some of the implicit association tests that Gladwell talks about in the book.

2. One book that you’ve read more than once: As a child, I was constantly re-reading books. Two books by Margaret Mahy were favorites when I was a middle schooler, “The Changeover” and “The Catalogue of the Universe.” I’ve re-read them in recent years and still enjoyed them. As an adult, I don’t typically re-read books, unless it is a truly beloved book. Okay, that is not entirely true, as I often forget if I’ve read a book and end up re-reading the whole thing because once I’ve figured our I’ve read it, I still can’t remember the end. This is the reason I end up watching episodes of Law and Order over and over again.

3. One book you’d want on a desert island: There is a bunch of Russian literature that I never got around to reading during my Russian literature kick at Reed (despite being a chemistry major, I took four Russian literature classes in college). Would “The Complete Works of Dostoevsky” be cheating?

4. One book that made you laugh: The funniest book I have ever read is “Naked” by David Sedaris. I bought this book in college, and started reading it on the bus home from Powell’s. Despite being in a very public setting, I was laughing to the point of tears. Evan was horrified and I have yet to get him to actually read a David Sedaris book. A recent book that I read that had me laughing a lot was “The Commitment” by Dan Savage.

5. One book that made you cry: When I was in middle school, I read pretty much every book by Lurlene McDaniel. Why I wanted to read about lovely teenage girls dying of terminal diseases over and over again, I have no idea. A book that I read recently that made me cry was “The Girls” by Lori Lansens. I just randomly picked this up in the new books section of the library and really enjoyed it. I am particularly partial to books that deal with the conflict between the claustrophobia of and longing for normal relationships, both family and romantic. Other books along this theme that I have particularly enjoyed include “I Know This Much is True” by Wally Lamb, “The Little Friend” by Donna Tartt, and pretty much everything by John Irving.

6. One book you wish had been written: I have to go with Elise here and say another Owen Meany book. I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical of this book when my religious high school boyfriend recommended it as his favorite book (we broke up shortly after he told me that his Jewish friend Joe and I were both going to go to hell since we didn’t go to his church). I love this book, not only because it is a great story, but because it opened me up to the whole world of John Irving books. I even bought sneak preview tickets for the movie “Simon Birch,” despite predicting that it was going to be horrid, because I wanted just a little bit more of the Owen Meany story.

7. One book you wish had never been written: This may anger some people, but I truly hate the book “Into the Wild” by John Krakauer. I think that the book is way too supportive of early twenties, macho-man stupidity. When I first read the book, I thought that people would read the book as a warning against this lame-o behavior, but after discussing the book with many individuals, too many people seemed to find the story of Chris McCandless inspirational. Now it looks like they are even making this book into a movie. Bleck. Whenever I see a copy of this book, I get riled up. If I could unwrite this book, I totally would.

8. One book you’re currently reading: I just finished “Fun Home” by Alison Bechdel, and I am also reading “Maybe Baby,” a collection of writings put together by salon.com that discuss why or why not the various authors chose to have children. I have finished the no’s, and the maybe’s, and I am currently partway through the yes’s. The overall tone of the book is very melancholy as no one (so far) seems especially content with their choice. I may return the book to the library unfinished.

9. One book you’ve been meaning to read: I have two books that I bought before I moved to California, but have yet to read, “Assassination Vacation” by Sarah Vowell, which Evan stole out of my hands immediately after she signed it for me, and “Bait and Switch” by Barbara Ehrenreich.

I will tag Jenn, since I know that she reads a ton and she periodically checks this blog. Since this blog is young and I don’t know if I even have regular readers yet (other than Jeff with his delicious cooking blog), consider yourself tagged if you’re reading this. Also, leave a comment so I can read your responses. I’m always looking for good books.

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Dear all (three or so) of my blog readers, 

If you would be so kind, please leave a one-word comment that you think best describes me — it can only be one word long. Then copy and paste this into your blog so that I may leave a word to describe you.  If you haven't left a comment before, this is the perfect opportunity.

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