Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Forty-Three Things About Me, Part One

I make a list like this every few years, whatever my age is at the time. I like looking back on the lists and seeing how I have changed or remained the same over time.

1) If you had told me when I wrote my first list of 100 Things About Me (2003) that I would watch lots of television shows, television shows with vampires (two especially awesome ones) , and television shows with vampires WITH my teenage daughter, I would have totally denied even the possibility.

2) I spend lots of time being generally introspective, but I think very little about my past. Even though a lot of things about my early life have screwed me up long term, I don't really have "regrets". I think that is because I believe that God uses real life to make real people out of us.

3) If I could change anything somewhat trivial about myself, I would suddenly be an adventurous eater and someone who likes to cook.

4) I have been doing some kind of mixed-media art for over 20 years, but I did not know that until about 3 years ago.

5) Despite not being a proponent of "low carbing", I have naturally started eating lots fewer carbs in the past year or so.

6) If I were single and childless, I would want to live in a flat right in the middle of a big cool city with excellent public transportation and lotsa non-corporate shops and restaurants.

7) I would get dreadlocks if I didn't have to shave my head to get rid of them.

8) Having no hair is one of my trivial, yet very scary, fears.

9) Almost all my angst and neurosis and guilt is intertwined with my relation to other people. If I have books and creative supplies, I can spend hours and days all by myself (well, just me and God) and not fall into a messy psychological pit.

10) One of my big dreams in life is to have a book published that combines the best of zines, art journaling and memoir, that is autobiographical, yet also instructional for others who want to chronicle their own lives, experiences and mental breakdowns.

11) One of these years I want to go the entire year without buying anything but necessities.

12) The writing style I most admire is hysterically funny and deeply profound, often in the same sentence.

13) My faith in God and my understanding of the Gospel has increased greatly as I have distanced myself from "lifestyle Christianity"...that pretty much means letting go of the idea that anything external is the "true mark" of a Christian. This means I totally affirm that you can be living a life that is pleasing to God while you are (for example): A working woman on the pill, married to a long-haired gun-control activist who wears black nail polish, with whom you have 2 planned children who go to public school, who dresses in men's style clothes, has 40 tattoos, a tongue piercing, super-short purple hair, and who simultaneously listens to Ozzy Osbourne, reads Harry Potter and switches between episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, which you watch while you read Sojourners magazine and post online about why you are voting for Obama. Again.

14) I spent years amassing books, and in fact wanted to eventually have enough to consider running a homeschool lending library. Instead, I am now slowly getting rid of books, either giving them away or cutting them up. I still have over 1000, though, and will probably always hover around that number.

15) I hate almost all board-type games, with the exception of Scrabble, Boggle, Yahtzee, Sequence and Taboo. Despite not hating these games, I would be perfectly happy if I never played any of them again. Except maybe Taboo.

16) I absolutely hate the heat, despite living in a state with some of the hottest, longest summers in the country. Hating the heat used to also equate with not getting cold when most other people did, but that has changed...not sure if it is my aging bones, but I now wear sweaters and socks when I would not have done so 3 years ago.

17) When I am going to sleep, if I start to drift off and am awakened from that twilight state, I almost always find myself in some kind of mild panic about death, just it's very existence, or my personal death or the possible deaths of anyone in my life, which of course could occur at any moment. I have always wondered why this happens almost exclusively at that time, and I would love to commission a psychological study to see if that is common...I figure that the most prevalent unconscious fear of human beings is death, so it makes sense that the fear might reside in that place that is the bridge between the conscious and unconscious.

18) I hate all soda, always have. Also all juice. I only drink water or strong unsweetened iced tea. I also chew lots and lots of ice.

19) I also hate cereal.

20) I like things to be neat (not that they always are) but am less concerned about clean.

21) About 20 years ago I had a series of Salons at my home. Each time, I mailed a list of potentially controversial questions to a bunch of friends with widely divergent opinions, and we met at my home one evening (over various snacks) to discuss our thoughts about the issues. I think I still have my original Salon invitation in the Important Papers of My Life Box. My favorite response was in answer to the question, "Do animals have rights?" Cool intelligent libertarian slowly stands up to his full height of 6'4" or so, and replies, "If animals have rights, let them petition for them." I don't remember how the ardent flower-child, vegetarian, animal lover responded to this.

22) If I could only grab one non-sentient thing in the event of a fire, the Important Papers of My Life Box would be it. It contains every letter I have written since I started writing on a computer, plus all my zines and blog writings, which all include pictures of me and my family over the years. There are also a few letters from others that are important to me. I would hope I could also grab my boxes and hard drives full of pictures, as well as my art journals, but if I couldn't, the Important Papers box would give me a little bit of everything. I hope my grandchildren will find it interesting after I have gone to Glory, but I also try to accept that it may just be some boring antiquated stuff that winds up in an attic or used as kindling. I revisit my past self a few times a year by going through this box.

23) One of the things I miss in this season of having lots of young children (besides regular periods of solitude and silence) is "the cultural things"...like Salons, museums, long philosophical discussions in coffeehouses over quadruple espressos. I know lots of people either find babysitters and do these things, or find ways they can do them WITH the kids, but neither option really works for me. Being able to easily participate in things like that will be some compensation when there are no more sweet, warm little babies around.

24) All of my favorite meals include chicken, and almost always have a fried component - not necessarily the chicken.

25) My Inner Hermit gets really stressed and nervous when I have any kind of plan to get together with people. Even my very favorite people. Even my very favorite activities with my very favorite people. I have to drag her, kicking and screaming, out of the cave, and she always tries to convince me I need to find a way out of every. single. social. engagement. Sometimes she wins.


  1. Love and completely relate to 2, 6, 9, 12, 13, 23, 25. Especially 25. Oh, and about 16...get thee to a doctor-y, like quick, and have your thyroid checked. That's a dead giveaway that your internal thermometer is not working correctly.