Thursday, August 2, 2007


So Riese decided I should play her little game, and I will joyfully comply, though I always refuse these things when they come by as chain-emails:
  1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
  2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  3. People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
  4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  5. Don't forget to leave them a comment telling them they're tagged, and to read your blog.
It is my understanding the facts should be more or less unknown to the general reader, no?

1. If I had less common sense and more physical space for living, I would be a crazy cat lady. Every cat I see, I want to take home. Last night we discovered this beautiful tuxedoed Maine Coon in the hallway of the building, and even though he eventually went home to his little Asian girl-mother, for a minute I wanted to take him home. I've been that way since I was a toddler. The only time I did not own a cat or two was in college, where I was too terrified of breaking the rules to have a kitten. However, I gave LK and her girlfriend at the time two kittens from my house, and visited them periodically.

2. I desperately try to be less preppy. I don't currently own any loafers, but that's only for lack of trying. Most of my wardrobe is black and white and brown, and I still own my high-school letter jacket.

3. I read more slowly in English than in Russian. It's a curse, because English is my primary language now. But in Russian I can scan a page and get all the information out of it, whereas in English I need to sound out the words in my head, making me constantly feel like I am in grammar school. Paradoxically, I type in English 10 times faster than in Russian.

4. I have trouble following orders and fulfilling requests. Like, ever. That's one of the reasons I don't understand the army. I need to understand the specific reason behind what I am being asked to do, and then I will do it, even if I don't agree with the request or the reason. This gets me in trouble at work sometimes. And in real life, too, just ask my family.

5. BUT, if I said I will do something for you, and give you a timeline, it will get done well and on time. I can't understand people who disregard deadlines. I am also NEVER late for appointments, unless there are factors way beyond my control (shitty public transport, anyone?) in which case I will call you and tell you exactly how late I will be. It has taken me YEARS to not be the first person to arrive at a party.

6. I was trained as a classical pianist for years. I hated it until I was 15, at which point it was too late to be serious about a career in music. I never had the drive, patience, or technique to become a concert pianist. I would have made a decent accompanist or a musicologist. Often I miss playing. Piano is not an instrument you can easily acquire and move around with you, like a guitar or a flute.

7. I've never done karaoke. I would LOVE to go to a karaoke bar. I don't have any serious desire for embarrassment, but I want to try it. I've been obsessed with this Griffin product for a while - it's a mike you plug into your iPod, and it supresses the vocal track - can you imagine the possibilities?

8. On the subject of music, and if I knew the last thing about guitars and playing rock music, I would love to have a Zemfira cover band. I guess we could cover Nochnye Snaipery too. No Russian pop, though. I could translate the songs and do some in English, some in Russian. There isn't much of a market in the US for that, I know, but it's cool to dream about.

So - no tags for me - but maybe those of you who read the blog and NEVER comment (you know who you are...) - write a note or two? You know, anonymous commenting is turned on now (it took me a month to realize only Gmail people could leave comments...) so write away...


riese said...

I'm just happy to be here, commenting on the post you wrote via my tag.

I took piano lessons for about three weeks, then I got kicked out for being obnoxious. Mostly because of "4" -- most of what she wanted me to do I just didn't understand the point of. It was some sort of special program for little kids who were really smart to try to learn the piano before the typical age at which one learns such things.

I am always late. I want this to change. I have not figured out how. But it is weird for me not to be late. I go through not-late phases.

I met a woman on the cruise who taught at a boarding school in vermont. It started with a "P." She was saying how everyone there was crazy. I was like, obvs. boarding school.

Anna said...

Hi there! Just saw your comment on my blog and wanted to virtually stop by and say hello.

Here are a few random things about me. I'm pretty OCD about trivial things. When I eat chocolate that is stamped into squares that you break off I first have to bite off the "seam" part and then eat the actual chocolate square.

If I had infinite money... and I guess infinite nails... I'd decorate my house Royal Academy-style, art just covering every available inch of every wall.

I compulsive read Wikipedia plot summaries of scary/suspenseful/twist ending movies that I would never see in real life and get angry when there arne't enough spoilers, or the description is too bare-bones.

Anonymous said...

Despite repeated efforts, Blogger will not let me sign on as my anonymous persona :( Ah well. Here goes anyway...

1. For years, I would never say goodbye on the telephone. It seemed awkward. It wasn’t like I would hang up on someone. We would come to the natural end of the conversation and they would say goodbye and I would hang up. This was pointed out to me, and so I started trying to say goodbye. Then I discovered that I had a talent for saying goodbye at exactly the same time as someone else. Which seems to necessitate saying something additional. God, I hate the phone.

2. I am blind by the end of every shower. I have such long eyelashes that when I get them wet, they kind of stick to the inside of my eyeball. Which is very uncomfortable. (This is why I don’t go underwater when I swim.) So I wait to wash my face until the shower is almost over, and then blindly step out and grope for the towel. When showering with someone, I often am blind for a portion of the shower, and thus at their mercy.

3. For a while when I was a kid, I thought I might go to seminary and join a monastic order. (This was before I got really pissed off the church for persecuting the mystics. Also before I discovered sex. And writing. And before I discovered that I have a small problem with authority. The list goes on and on.) See, I really like solitude (at least when I don’t have it), and it seemed attractive that I could also be close to (insert theistic approximation here) at the same time. This may seem strange to those who know me, as there isn’t any tidy terminology to describe my spiritual inclinations, but spiritual retreat is a kind of radicalism after all, no matter how sedate and ordered it seems from the outside.

4. Sometimes, when I’m watching a movie or television show, and there’s a situation where the protagonist is caught in an emotionally tense or publicly humiliating dilemma, I have to look away from the screen. But axe murders and scenes and violence or tentacled monsters--no problem. I also sometimes give a tiny little gasp when something shocking or clever plot twist is revealed. I am pretty vigilant about this, so it usually only happens when I’m alone and not paying attention.

5. I really like hymns. I like to sing them with great fervor in the shower. And gospel. (Old-timey, jubilee type stuff.) This may seem odd (like I’ve been co-opted institutionally by theological marketing) for someone who, from the age of 12 to 17, couldn’t help sneering whenever they walked past a church, but hey, Christianity did kind of gobble up a bunch of Europe’s best musicians and writers for a few hundred years, when the choice was priest, solder, or serf. I’ve never felt so close to (God, Buddha, Zoroaster, Shiva, etc.) in church as when I was singing a hymn there. As Frank Zappa said, “Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. Wisdom is not truth. Truth is not beauty and beauty is not love and love is not music. Music is the best.”

6. I have mild arachnophobia. I can still kill them, but my heart races dangerously, and sometimes, there is frenzied hopping involved as I whack them with a sneaker. It’s not so bad now that I live in the city. When I lived out in the woods (and in the basement, to boot), we used to get these 3-inch-long wolf spiders that moved like the wind. I could kill them, but I had to put myself in a samurai-style state of readiness, and decompression was necessary afterwards. And I’m not even going to talk about the hand-sized spiders of Florida. Totally outclassed there.

7. I am an inveterate fiddler. I bend and re-bend paperclips, spindle paper, fold wrappers in really low-rent origami configurations, and methodically shred leaves plucked from branches while walking. One of my significant others once bought me a koosh ball so that I would have something to occupy my hands with in the car while they were driving. One college semester, I took silly putty to class.

8. My favorite thing in the world is to walk in the woods after a snowfall. To be the very first one. This never happens now that I live in the city. The woods have always seemed holy to me (when I ran cross-country, it always felt like I could run forever in the woods), but with heavy snowfall, they’re a goddamned cathedral.