Tagged with " lists"
Dec 18, 2011 - Psychology    1 Comment

The Opposite of Raindrops on Roses: Reverb Broads 2011 #17

Reverb Broads 2011, December 17: Instead of a list of your favorite things, write a list of your least favorite things, e.g. Worst book you ever finished, the color you hate, bad songs, bad romances, bad recipes. (courtesy of Amy at http://2bperfectlyfrank.blogspot.com)

I almost didn’t do this one because, between this list and the pet peeves, I don’t want to seem only whiny and/or insane. So this’ll be a combination of the light and dark. And they’re just the ones I can think of right now — I know I’m going to think of better answers the minute I post this, so it might be worth looking back here in a day or two for updates.

Least favorite movie: The Elephant Man. Saw it when I was about 8, and it scared the bejeezus out of me.

Least favorite food: Either blue cheese or bananas

Least favorite song: “I’ve Got A Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas (though I’m none too fond of “Jingle Bells, Batman Smells” at the moment either)

Least favorite TV: Anything with Kardashians or Housewives of any kind

Least favorite surprise: Getting a mouthful of diet soda when it’s supposed to be regular, or plain carbonated water when it’s supposed to be Sprite

Least favorite chore: Scrubbing out the bathtub

Least favorite sound: Off-key singers or instruments

Least favorite book: The Catcher in the Rye. Holden Caulfield is a whiny, ingrateful, misanthropic little shit.

Least favorite pet: Ugly, yappy little dogs

Least favorite discussion: Anything that starts with the premise that Ayn Rand had it right

Least favorite sight: Myself in the mirror at the gym

Least favorite activity: Trying to get to sleep on a night when the temperature doesn’t get below 75

Least favorite sensation: Nausea

Least favorite form of humor: Rape jokes

Least favorite “fun” thing: Pretty much any video game that involves timing. I get anxiety attacks and muscle spasms with anything from Tetris to Mario Bros. to the LEGO games. About all I can handle are Spelltower and Hexic, but only when they’re not on timer mode.

Least favorite place: Wal-Mart

Least favorite people: Those who undermine the hard work of others, so the good folks have to take the damage and pick up the slack. I’m not fond of people who want all their rights and privileges, but are fine with restricting everyone else’s freedom, either.

Least favorite thing about myself: My temper, and my utterly inexplicable weight gain over the last year

Least favorite thing in my life right now: My youngest not being able to get through a week at school without multiple disciplinary problems (he’s not what you’d call “school-ready,” despite our best efforts)

Least favorite thing this holiday season: Not being able to find a Christmas tree, and knowing that our little one and all the ornaments are in a storage unit 6 hours away


Dec 6, 2011 - Psychology    3 Comments

No way, nuh-uh, not ever, never: Reverb Broads 2011 #6

Reverb Broads 2011, December 6: List 10 things you would never do (courtesy of Katrina at http://katrinatripled.blogspot.com)

So, I’m a Unitarian Universalist, and we’re not that good at absolutes. My first reaction was to go all moral relativist on this one — I can’t say I wouldn’t kill or steal, because there are circumstances in which I’d absolutely do those things to protect or provide for my loved ones, or even just a person in need.

Then I decided I needed to relax.

But I won’t ever say I won’t try something new, especially food, because if someone serves me something, and I try it and like it, then find out it was something like monkey, I wouldn’t spit it out and throw up — I’d say, “Huh. Who knew I liked monkey?” and I’d finish it, especially if hospitality was on the line.

So this list is far from perfect, and it’s all asterisked and footnoted and however else I can indicate that you just never know.

That being said…

1) I will never live south of the Mason-Dixon line. I love my seasons, I get sick from the heat, and my natural skin color is that of a freshly drowned corpse. I like to get things done at a reasonably brisk pace, and I prefer my politics liberal and secular. I may visit cities I adore, like Charlotte, Savannah, Charleston, and New Orleans, but I cannot be convinced to live Down South.

2) I will never try to like the foods I know I hate. This isn’t the same as the food thing I already mentioned. I already know I hate bananas, pretzels, cranberries, blue cheese, Vegemite, and anything with aspartame in it. Some of them are sensory issues; some are just the way I taste them. I’m pretty sure there are genetic markers for some tastes, and I just don’t have a few of them, no matter how adventurous my palate in other areas. I’ve tried these things repeatedly, and every time, I just facepalm and yell, “Blech! I really do HATE this!” No more.

3) I will never live apart from my husband again. We did the whole long-distance thing when we first met for long enough that it stopped being cute and romantic, and was just tiring, lonely, expensive, and annoying. Sure, the tech for staying in touch is vastly better than it was in 1996, but I’ll take a warm body over care packages any day.

4) I will never hold a snake. Spiders=fine. Frogs=so cool. Lizards=love ’em. And I know snakes aren’t slimy, but I just don’t care. If you hand it to me, I will drop it on the floor.

5) I will never blindly follow the voice of authority. Call me Mary Quite Contrary. I was raised to question the status quo, and my protesting boots fit me way too well to ever take them off. I don’t fight things just to fight them, but I refuse to accept the idea that the world can’t be changed for the better.

6) I will never run for fun. In point of fact, I will only run if something pointy or heavy is speeding toward a child, or I am being chased by a large man named Bubba.

7) I will never go back to Christianity. Before I abandoned it, I read extensively, and since then, I studied Christian theology and Church history sufficiently that two universities have hired me to teach it as a subject. I know the faith means so much to so many good people, and it’s been a force for good in the world in many ways. I also know it’s just not what rings the Bell of Truth deep in my soul.

8 ) I will never stop messing with my hair. I’ve learned some valuable lessons on this score (no more perms; if I want curls, there will have to be heated implements involved), but I believe my hair exists to amuse me, and it just happens to amuse me more when it’s colors not normally found on mammals in nature.

9) I will never be a good sleeper. I’ve been an insomniac since I was a kid, and the analyst at the sleep center told me I had some of the worst sleep architecture he’d ever seen. I’ve made myself (mostly) at peace with this, even though a bad stretch has disastrous effects on both my pain and my mood. I even like the dark, quiet hours sometimes.

10) I will never get through my Reading List. Never, ever, never gonna happen. For every one book I knock down, three more go on the Pile o’ Shame. It’s not that I’m being guilted into reading anything — it’s just that there are thousands of people writing wonderful, necessary things. And there’s only one of me to read them.

Oct 6, 2011 - Domestic Engineering    8 Comments

15 Amazing Things About My Marriage


Today is my 15th wedding anniversary, and I really wish there were something extravagant I could do to show everyone that I have the best husband since somebody invented them. But I don’t have access to a major newspaper, a Jumbotron, a biplane, or a parade permit. We’ve been so stressed out about money and everything, I didn’t even get him a card (I suppose I could’ve made him one with my ninja paper skills, but that takes time, which I’m currently using all of to work for more moneys).

But I do have a blog, so for the three of you who read it, please bear with me while I try to make up for the dorky, no-presents, no-cards, falls-on-a-Wednesday anniversary we’re having.

The 15 Most Amazing Things About Our Kick-Ass Marriage (in no particular order):

1)   We laugh all the time. Lots of people say this, but anyone who’s spent time with us knows that we make most couples look like Sad Clowns. We generally find each other hilarious, plus we’ve got almost two decades of inside jokes that make regular appearances in our conversations. When we first got married, I couldn’t even fold laundry in a normal amount of time, because he’d keep me paralyzed by laughter with his sock puppet theater. And even in the days leading up to my hospitalization for severe depression last summer, he could still make me laugh. People say that communication, or honesty, or some other thing is the key to a long, healthy marriage. I say, laughter tops them all.

2)   We have almost exactly the same taste in music and TV. Our Venn diagram of tastes is virtually concentric. I cannot overstate how much this makes life better, in a million little ways: radio on car trips, DVR management, where to spend our limited entertainment resources. Millions of little fights are averted. Peace reigns across the land. And for the stuff one likes and the other doesn’t, he goes to sleep later than I do, and I have occasional stretches of insomnia.

3)   We are equally matched for geekiness. It’s not the same geekiness, though we have many happy overlaps. And, like most geeks, we’re genuinely happy for the joy each of us finds in our geek wallows, and impressed at the skills the other displays in those territories.

4)   We really like each others’ families. Much like #2, it doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it sure does make life better in a lot of little ways, and we never take it for granted how lucky we are that we picked up good people for family by marriage. We hear about people who have to suffer through holidays and vacations and visits for the sake of grandkids, and just shudder and thank our stars. The only thing we’d change if we could is how often we see them. Florida is too far, and the distance to New Zealand is downright intolerable.

5)   We still find each other attractive. This is totally not a given. I can’t fit in my wedding dress, not by a long shot, and he’s neurotic about going white. He doesn’t get that I’m surprisingly enjoying the whole Reed Richards thing he’s got going, and I’m completely freaking mystified by his tolerance for the extra volume of wife he’s acquired over the years. Now, if we could just find the time to do something about it, we’d be golden.

6)   He weathers my crazy with amazing aplomb. And there ought to be a constantly changing meteorological map showing the patterns of freak rising and falling in my brain posted somewhere to give the guy a fighting change. But no. He just rolls with it, and makes the crooked places straight, the rough places smooth.

7)   We are each other’s best advocate. Neither of us has any skill for personal horn-tooting, but we are perfectly excellent at bragging on the other one. In fact, I find it to be great fun to go around and tell people at game conventions how outstanding he is, and why they should be paying attention to every word that drops from his lips. He can be mortified later when I tell him the names of people I talked to; I don’t know them from Adam, but he does, and now they know he’s awesome.

8)   We don’t fight. I’m sure there are therapists out there who would have a field day with this and #7 put together, but there it is: we just don’t fight. Neither of us like conflict, we’d rather put the other one first, and it’s really easy to make the other one happy. I hear some people like the making-up part, but I rather like the not-needing-to part, myself.

9)   We are an awesome parenting team. Heavens know, there’s absolutely no way either of us could survive it solo for very long. We tag in and out of the parenting cage match like we’ve been doing this for a million years — it’s honestly the one thing I think we’re best at. He’s patient when I’m bombastic, he talks things through with them after I have to lay down the hard line, he lets me take the lead on the skills that I feel like I’ve got to offer our kids.

10)   He fixes my messes. I’m a goob about computer things, and I run out of energy at weird times, and there are chores that are hard for me with my non-cooperative body. He saves me, routinely and without complaint, even when I get whiny about it.

11)   He would rather be at home. Guys say, “Oh, I’m such a homebody. I love my family. Blah blah blah,” but if work gives them an excuse to fly out to a different time zone and play games and drink and BS with friends, most of them are really glad to be there. Not Cam. He’s talking about home, thinking about home, wishing he were home. It’s kind of pathetic, really. But when the boys are crying and screaming, “We hate you! We miss Daddy!” and I’m crying and screaming, “I hate you too! I miss Daddy too!” at least we know he wishes he were with us as much as we do.

12)   We’re adventurous together. It’s a function of trust, I guess — we know we’re not out to screw each other over. If I ask him to try some weird new ethnic food, he’ll give it a go. If he thinks I’ll like a book or movie, I’ll try it out, even if I end up throwing it across the room. Sometimes I have to drag him places, and he always sounds so surprised when he has a good time, but he lets me drag him, and that’s the point.

13)   We value the same things: love, friendship, creativity, knowledge, justice, honesty, compassion, kindness, humor, perseverance, hard work, steadfastness. That’s guided almost all the decisions we’ve made together, and it’s how we can be happy together, even though our income isn’t commensurate with the work we put in.

14)   We are living our vows, every single day. You know that “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health” in every wedding service? I didn’t expect that to go into effect quite so literally, quite so immediately for the poor guy. 10 days before our wedding, I got hit by a woman who ran a red light. Nothing major, we thought, but it’s likely that the soft tissue damage from that accident precipitated the fibromyalgia with which I was diagnosed in 1999. So many times, I’ve told him that, if he wanted out because I wasn’t the person he’d signed on with, I couldn’t possibly blame him. But he says he’s in it for the long haul, more fool him. And I’m so very grateful.

15)   We are meant to be. Hang on a sec, I just threw up a little. But seriously, what are the odds? Boy in New Zealand meets girl in Kansas on the Internet through an online roleplaying game that each just happened to hear about through some convoluted channel or other. They fall in love. Just a few years earlier, the whole astronomically unlikely story becomes impossible. Just a few years later, the technology’s so different, who knows how it works out.

I don’t buy lottery tickets, or pray on airplanes, or rush for cover in bad weather. I’ve already had my one in a billion. He put a ring on my finger, 15 years ago today.

And this is just the start.