February 7, 2012


So, my friend Heather tagged me in a litle blog game thing, and because a) I want Heather to be my BFF and b) I love talking about myself, here it is! Also I just want to remind you that Heather made me the most fucking awesome tiger pillow ever, so I owe her for life.

Here are the rules:
1. Post these rules
2. You must post 11 random things about yourself
3. Answer the questions set for you in their post
4. Are jokes about "there is no Fight Club" still funny?

11 random things about yourself:
Okay, first, I probably don't have 11 random things left about myself that you haven't already learned from the past three years on this blog. But I'll try.

1. A big chunk of my identity is tied to my glasses. I used to be almost cripplingly self-conscious about being seen without them. This is partially because I couldn't get contacts until I was in my twenties, and I've had glasses since I was seven. I still believe that people won't recognize me without glasses on my face. An eye doctor once commented that I would be a great candidate for Lasik, and I said, "no way -- my glasses are part of who I am." "You could wear non-prescription ones as an accessory," he said. No.

2. I used to want to be a foot model.

3. My hair is curly. Somehow the people I know really well, probably by virtue of having had short hair for so long, and because I often used to straighten it when it was long, are consistently surprised by this fact.

4. I love surprises, pretty much in any form. I like when people try to surprise me (with the exception of, like, jumping out from behind my living room curtains -- I don't like to be startled. but who does? also, I don't have living room curtains). I also like when people themselves are surprising; I love discovering that people have a hidden history, or a special, unknown talent, or a love of something I never would have guessed. this is tied closely to my love of secrets. I love to have secrets of my own, and in fact most of the big decisions of my life I have made without telling a soul: applying for my job at the opera, cutting off all my hair (from long to short; I had to tell everyone before I shaved it), getting a tattoo. my reasons for keeping such secrets are complex.

5. But maybe one of the biggest reasons I like surprises and secrets so much is that my entire life revolves around my profound love of stories and storytelling. Frankly, almost everything I do, think, say, etc. comes back to wanting to have stories, wanting to tell stories, wanting to be a part of a story. When I'm alone, I talk all the time -- in the car, at the barn, in my kitchen at home. What am I doing? Narrating. That is not even a little bit a joke. In fact, I think it's why I often have preferred solitude to company. You have to be good company; otherwise you're just keeping me from telling myself a story.

When I was a child I was obsessed with hearing the great tales my mom had of getting in trouble as a teen, of all the crazy things she and her friends used to do. I see this exact impulse in my kid sister, now fourteen, who laments that she doesn't have any good stories. My mom and I just tell her, give it time. You will.

6. Also, the reason I have kept many important moments in my life a secret is because I deeply and profoundly hate being told what to do. This isn't the same as hating being given direction or being asked to do something -- if I'm at work and somebody says, "I need you to do this," well, I don't have a problem with that at all. But I deeply dislike when my personal decisions are judged, or when someone treats me as if they know better than I do what I should do in a given situation. This is why, for example, when I was planning on running Eugene last year, I never once told Scott what my goal time was: I knew he would either tell me I couldn't hit it, or tell me all the ways I should be training differently to achieve it. Secrets keep my sacred things safe. Some things must be ours alone. Once I'd chopped off all my hair, nobody could say, "You shouldn't cut your beautiful long curls!" anymore. Which they did ALL THE FUCKING TIME if I ever brought it up in conversation.

7. #6 is probably my worst personality trait -- it essentially boils down to "cannot take criticism" -- but I've discovered that the people who mean the most to me in this world intuitively understand and know how to manage it. My mother never ever ever tells me her opinion about my life, sometimes not even if I ask. But when, on those incredibly rare occasions, she does? I listen. Because I know it is THAT important to her. My college clarinet professor figured out early on that the best way to get me to play some piece he wanted me to play was to say, "You know, I've never had anybody in the studio try this one before."

8. The benefit to my absolute intolerance of know-it-alls (this is how I think of it) is that I will always give you my opinion about something if I think you are awesome -- your hair looks beautiful, that dress is perfect on you, you really rocked that performance -- and I will almost never give it to you unsolicited if I disagree with your choices. I tend to think that people do things in their own way, in their own time and pace, and for reasons that we, on the outside, largely don't know.

I do make exceptions: when my best friend moved in with her boyfriend, she expressed some uncertainty, and I wasn't convinced it was the right decision. "Tell me just once that you really and truly love him," I said, "and I will never, ever say another word about it again." She wrote me a long email about all the things he did for her that she loved, and that was that. Whether or not I agreed with her choices after that was not the point. I trusted her judgment, and I had said my peace. We each knew where the other stood. We all learn our life lessons at our own paces, and no faster. We learn by bumping into our limits. Some of us can't just be told where the lines are and call it good. In my opinion, part of having compassion for our people is understanding this about them. This is ultimately the compassion I want my people to have for me.

9. God, this shit got long-winded. I can wiggle my ears.

10. And I can wiggle my nose like a rabbit, but I can't flare my nostrils.

11. I've never seen a single James Bond movie. I KNOW, OKAY. I know.

What is your #1 best memory – the one that will always make you smile?
The day I arrived to the beach about five years ago. I wrote about it here.

If you could do anything (career-wise), and money was no object, what would that be?
I'd be a spy. Or a sculptor. Or a groom at Churchill Downs.

What is the most awesome place you’ve ever visited?
In Buffalo, NY, there is a trail through the woods which runs parallel to a small tributary. You follow it for a mile or two, and then you come to a modest-looking waterfall. You wade through the water up to the foot of the waterfall, and there, nestled in the rock, in the middle of the water, is a flame. A FLAME! pure magic.

What is your go-to comfort food?
Fried eggs. Or grilled cheese & tomato soup. It has to be shitty American cheese. God, I can't remember the last time I had a grilled cheese.

What is your guilty pleasure (that you’re willing to admit to in a public forum?)
Saturday morning cartoons. Actually, kids' TV and movies in general. Also: CANDY. But you all know that.

Favorite way to relieve stress?
Oh god, running. Why do you think I was so insufferable last year?

Favorite book?
I'm really bad at favorites. I can't ever pick just one. Lolita, A Death in the Family, Angle of Repose, The Stone Diaries.

Favorite movie?
This is cliché, but I've watched Amelie so many times I almost have it memorized. It was my comfort movie back in college, when I'd just broken up with my very serious college boyfriend and moved into my first solo apartment. I watched it every single night to cheer myself up. I've seen the first half hour probably 100 times (and the last part of the movie probably only 20 times -- I used to fall asleep to it).

What are you good at that hardly ever gets recognized? (example, are you a masterful karaoke singer? do you play a mean harmonica? is your hidden talent hopscotch?)
I can jumprope like a motherfucker.

What did your 10-year-old self want to be when you grew up? Do you still want that? (Are you that?)
Things I wanted to be that I don't want to be anymore: A lawyer (because I liked to argue), first female president.

Things I wanted to be that I still want to be/am, in a way: a writer, a jockey.

What's holding you back?
Debt and lack of time. That's pretty much it, actually.

Fight Club: nope.

1 comment:

  1. I love this. We should hang out more and not tell each other what to do, because that makes me crazy too.