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Archive for December, 2005

Fifteen Things About Me and Books

1. I don’t do public libraries. The highest fine I’ve ever had to pay was in the neighborhood of $150. It would have been higher, but I talked them into waiving some fees. When one considers all the library fines I’ve paid in my life, I still come out ahead by buying books instead of checking them out. I don’t understand my mother, who manages to go to the library, check out books, and return them on time.

2. When I was in 5th grade, I fell in love with a book in the YA section at our little public library in Albany, Georgia. Much to my regret, I recall neither the title nor the author. It was set in Scotland, and there was a character named Kelpie who had the “sight.” There were two brothers, one who hated her and one who loved her, and of course she ended up with the brother who hated her. I probably paid for that book five times over with all the fines. I should have just kept it!

3. Another favorite book when I was a kid was Adopted Jane. When I was living in Anaheim, I was delighted to come across it at the enormous public library in Orange County, and was highly tempted to forget to return it. My honesty won out, and later I was lucky enough to run across a battered paperback copy at a used book store.

4. When I was 8 or 9, I bitterly resented being sent to bed when I wanted to keep reading. I’m not quite sure why it never dawned on me to sneak a flashlight under the covers. I would place my lamp on the floor, cover it up with my blanket, and hide under the blanket and read. That worked for a while, until the blanket drooped a little bit. The hot light bulb burned a neat hole in the blanket, and I got busted.

5. When I was in 4th grade, we had some silent reading time. Being an exceptionally fast reader, I finished very quickly. I went to the teacher to find out what she wanted me to do next. She didn’t believe that I had read the whole story, and asked me some very obscure question from the text. When I couldn’t answer it, she told me to go back to my seat, read the story, and don’t tell any more lies. I hated that teacher.

6. I began a love affair with Jane Eyre that has lasted until this day. I never know when the urge to read it will hit me, but I must have a copy available at all times. That’s why I have it on my e-book reader as well as on my bookshelf at home. An acquaintance introduced me to Wide Sargasso Sea, which tells the story of Bertha, Rochester’s mad wife. Wow!

7. My 9th grade English teacher opened up our class period one day by telling us that we had to read A Tale of Two Cities. It was a horrible book, she said, and terribly boring and we were going to hate it. She told us that we were not to complain to her under any circumstances, because she hated it as well. I went home that night and read the book. I went to school the next day and told her she was crazy. And no, I’m afraid that she wasn’t using reverse psychology; she genuinely seemed to loathe the book.

8. We lived for a year or so in a rented red brick house in Albany, Georgia. There were huge pecan trees in the backyard. Whenever my mother kicked me out of my chair and told me to “go outside and play,” I took a book and climbed one of the trees and sat hidden amongst the leaves and read, and thought how terribly romantic it was, to be reading while in a treetop.

9. I went through a brief pseudo-intellectual phase when I was in my 20s. The bookcases in my living room were full of the books that showed off how erudite I was, and everything else was hidden in my bedroom. Fortunately, I got over that phase in relatively short order; I’ve read every book that is in my house and in my storage unit, and many more besides.

10. I had to have my tonsils out when I was in the 7th grade. The only thing that reconciled me to having the surgery performed was my mother promising to take me to the used bookstore where I could buy a whole bagful of books to read while I was recovering from the surgery. My mother rocks!

11. I hate Vanity Fair. Had it been required for me to graduate, I’d have been in serious trouble. I tried multiple times to wade through it, and got bogged down in Thackeray’s interminable prose. After watching the movie with Reese Witherspoon, and liking it, I tried once more. Didn’t happen. Ain’t gonna happen. And I hope to heavens I never have to teach that damn book!

12. Because I read so rapidly, I run out of reading material quickly when I’m traveling. My husband used to find it amusing to see me pack three or four paperbacks into my backpack whenever we flew to Buffalo, until he had to buy me another set of paperbacks in Chicago on layover or else at Buffalo before we flew back home. And the time our plane had a three or four hour delay, I nearly went crazy for something to read. Now I have an e-book reader, I can carry around a hundred or more books in the space of a paperback, so we don’t have to worry about that little problem anymore.

13. I have an irrational prejudice against people who turn to the last few pages of the book and read the ending before they read the book. I think they’re cheating themselves, and being unfaithful to the writer. I remember once reading a P.D. James novel, and just dying to find out how it ended. I read faster and faster until I got to the end; my roommate was watching me with a bemused look on her face. She never knew anyone could read that fast.

14. I stole my mother’s copy of The Unwilling Vestal when I was around 13 or 14. She found it at my house a few years ago, politely borrowed it long enough to scan it for Project Gutenberg, and then sent it back to me. Did I mention that my mother rocks?

15. Like Chicory, I want a job where I get to sit around and read books. Oh, wait–I already have one. It’s the job I have right now, where I run out of work between 10-11 most days, and get to sit around and read books at Project Gutenberg or Blackmask all afternoon.

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The Keys to My Heart

The Keys to Your Heart
You are attracted to good manners and elegance.
In love, you feel the most alive when your lover is creative and never lets you feel bored.
You’d like to your lover to think you are loyal and faithful… that you’ll never change.
You would be forced to break up with someone who was emotional, moody, and difficult to please.
Your ideal relationship is lasting. You want a relationship that looks to the future… one you can grow with.
Your risk of cheating is zero. You care about society and morality. You would never break a commitment.
You think of marriage as something precious. You’ll treasure marriage and treat it as sacred.
In this moment, you think of love as something you thirst for. You’ll do anything for love, but you won’t fall for it easily.

That’s pretty much it!

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Suckage–Major Suckage

Last night I had trouble sleeping because every muscle in my body was aching, thanks to Billy Blankety-blanks and his dang Boot Camp. I made it 15 minutes into the Basic Training DVD before collapsing in sheer physical exhaustion. Yesterday I was sore. Last night I didn’t sleep well. This morning I can hardly move. Liz doesn’t want me to do this DVD again. I disagree. I think that if I do another 15 minutes tonight that will help get the muscles loosened up a little bit. I’m not going to do it every day until I can make it every other day through the whole workout , but I am going to do as much as I can every other day. I am not going to spend the rest of my life being a miserable, fat, unhealthy woman. I’d rather be a miserable, slim, unhealthy woman! The clothes are cuter, and cheaper, and they look better.

I think the events of yesterday also contributed to my difficulty in sleeping. Here’s what happened yesterday:

I was working away when the HR person called. “Faith, do you own a white Rodeo?”

“Yes.”

“There are two men here who want to see you.”

Oh-kay, so what’s going on? I couldn’t remember running any red lights, and doubted anyone would track me down at work just for that anyway. So I go across the hall where I am met by two police officers from the Bedford PD. It turns out that there was a hit-and-run accident that allegedly happened in my work parking lot, and the police officer was asking how I got the damage to my car. I explained that I was backing out of my driveway at home and accidentally hit my husband’s work van. He asked when it happened, what color the van was, etc., and then said that the car that was hit has white paint on it, and my bumper has maroon paint. Could I explain that? Well, no, but I can promise you that I did not commit a hit and run. I would NEVER do such a thing.

By the time they left, I was shaking and just a nervous wreck. I called Joe, who exploded. He got in said work van and drove up to my office and walked around the parking lot to see if he could identify the car to see if the damage matched my bumper.

I have to stop here and point out that I work for a non-prime auto finance company, and they do a lot of repos. It was break time when Joe got here. Back to the narrative.

Joe was talking to me on the cell phone and I heard one of my co-workers approach to ask if he needed any help. To my horror, I heard Joe say that it was none of his business. Then I heard Joe get a little more belligerent. I was practically yelling into the phone for him to chill out, but he didn’t hear me. I hung up and sat at my desk and sobbed. In less than an hour, I’d had the police show up to ask me about an accident that I didn’t cause and had my husband show up in the parking lot and make a scene.

A few minutes later, Joe called me back and said that he was going to go talk to the police, and that everything was cool with him and the guys in the parking lot. He said they knew who I am and they like me and think I’m hysterically funny (huh?). He called back in another half hour to say that the police had looked at his van and agreed that the damage on my car was caused exactly the way I said it was, and that they had known all along that I didn’t cause the damage to the other car. Why they didn’t tell me that to begin with I can only chalk up to acute sadism.

The two guys that Joe got ugly with in the parking lot wandered into my office at various times, and I got to apologize to each of them. Fortunately they both have a good sense of humor, and can also appreciate that Joe is fiercely protective of me, so no harm was done.

My day was shot to hell and back, though, I have to say. I tried to get Liz to meet me for lunch, but our monster (a term of endearment, I promise) had to get her car serviced and had already snared Liz’s services. So Liz and I made plans to meet up at my place at 7 p.m.

When I got home from work, Joe and I went to Olive Garden for dinner. I hate Olive Garden. Yes, the food is good enough, but it’s overpriced, and it’s just not my favorite place to go. But I got a good smoked mozzarella fondue and ate some salad, so it was fine. All Joe wanted to do, though, was rehash the events of the day. He insisted on showing me in great detail why I couldn’t have caused the damage to the other car, even though I obviously knew I hadn’t.

Liz and I went out for some retail therapy. I didn’t have the best karma in the world, but did end up coming home with one outfit and some junk jewelry. I then came home, finished the edits on a book, and e-mailed it to Live Oak House, who is publishing it as an e-book. It’s an LDS novel aimed at girls aged about 12-15. It has been unceremoniously rejected by every publisher I’ve sent it to on the grounds that they don’t think the market for that age group would substantiate the publishing of the book. I think they’re full of beans. Every girl of that age who has read the book has totally loved it and asked for more. I did have one publisher want me to pay something like $3K and they would publish it. I chose not to do that, if for no other reason than that I don’t have $3K to throw away. So it will be an e-book.

I’m not going to write any more novels for the LDS market. It’s too small a market, too competitive, and I think it’s too limiting. I will finish up the infertility book I’ve started if for no other reason than that being an infertile woman in the LDS culture is like living in a unique hell. It’s bad enough if you’re able to otherwise fit into the culture. But if you’re a complete misfit, as I am, it’s just insanely unbearable. I used to hate going to church because of the stupid things people would say to me. I hate going to church now, but for different reasons.

One of my sisters came to live with me and Joe for 6 months a few years ago. She allegedly learned she was pregnant just before I flew out to Utah to drive back with her, and told me that she was going to let us adopt the child. Then she told me that she was going to keep the child. Then she told me that she was going to place him with LDS Family Services. Then she told me she didn’t know what she was going to do. Through all of that, I was supportive of her and told her that she needed to do what was best for her child and her family. She moved back to Salt Lake a few months before the baby was born and I didn’t hear anything more from her. On Father’s Day 2004, I called my stepfather in SLC and was greeted with the news that (a) Alicia had given birth a few days previously and (b) placed him for adoption with a couple IN MY WARD!!!!!!! That was the most thoughtless and insensitive thing that she could possibly have done. To add injury to injury, the baby’s new father was mine and Joe’s home teacher, who knew that we had, at one time, been hoping to adopt the baby. I’ve made my peace with the situation to a larger extent than I had originally ever thought would be possible, but it still just kills me to go to church on Sunday and see this child who’s not my nephew, not my son, not any relation to me. I wish they would move to another stake so I’d never have to see them again. I realize that’s a selfish thought on my part. So I’m selfish. At least I’m honest about how I’m feeling. I hope that I can learn to deal with it better in the future, but for right now it’s raw and painful.

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51. When I was 3, I was kicked out of Sunday School for calling my teacher a bitch. In my defense, I was the daughter of a sailor. I knew what to say when I was mad at someone!

52. Along the same lines, when I’m angry, the first words out of my mouth are usually “dammit sonuvabitch!”

53. If I’m really angry or am having a truly heinous day, the preceding phrase will be repeated ad infinitum.

54. Like today, when the police came to see me at work making accusations of a hit and run accident in my work parking lot. Today I said “dammit sonuvabitch” about 20 times. And cried a lot.

55. Fortunately, it was proven that the accident could not have been caused by me, so I feel better.

56. I love Reese’s peanut butter cups, peanut butter Hershey kisses, and peanut butter. Oh, yeah, and did I mention peanut butter?

57. I also love Starbucks caramel steamers.

58. I hate it when people pronounce “caramel” as “carmel.” Aarrgh!

59. I like typing aarrgh!

60. When I was doing in-vitro fertilization, the day of the embryo transfer I was instructed to arrive at the doctor’s office with a full bladder. I drank two bottles of water before getting there. They then had me drink another 3 bottles of water, before my doctor finally decided my bladder couldn’t get any more full. After the embryo transfer, I had to wait 10 minutes before I could pee. That was a long 10 minutes.

61. My mother’s original due date, when she was pregnant with me, was October 8th, 1963.

62. I was born on December 8th, 1963.

63. I might have been born on December 7th, 1963, but my mother was praying that I wouldn’t be born on Pearl Harbor Day. I think my mother’s crazy. After two extra months, I think she’d have done anything to get me out of there!

64. My car’s name is Buffy. Yes, after that Buffy. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is blonde and kicks major booty. My car is white (blonde) and kicks major booty. But my car does not do hit-and-run accidents in the parking lot, or anywhere else.

65. My next car will be named Spike if it’s white or Angel if it’s black. I don’t know what its name will be if it’s a different color.

66. Joss Whedon is my master now.

67. I tried to do the Basic Training DVD last night from Billy’s Boot Camp (Billy Blanks, of Tae-Bo fame). I made it 15 minutes, which basically got me through the warm-up.

68. Today my hamstrings are tender. So are my abs.

69. Whenever I see a grammatical, spelling, or punctuation error on signs, it is agonizingly difficult for me not to correct it.

70. Sometimes I don’t succeed, and fix the error.

71. I don’t understand why people can’t understand the difference between its and it’s. It’s not that hard!

72. I once wrote “wash me” in the dust on a white Jaguar. That was fun!

73. One night after a play, I had a hot fudge sundae for dinner. That night I deservedly got a very bad case of heartburn, and woke my husband up while I was searching for the Tums. The next morning he told me he dreamed that I told him I had heartburn because I ate a hot fudge sundae for dinner. I told him that it wasn’t a dream, and apologized for waking him up.

74. I think the most beautiful name in the English language is Sylvia.

75. When I was doing the in-vitro, I told my best friend’s daughter that if I had 4 sons, I would name them John, Paul, George and Ringo. I told her if I had 3 sons, I would name them Larry, Moe, and Curly. She believed me.

76. I wouldn’t have named them Larry, Moe, and Curly, but I might well have named them John, Paul, George, and Ringo.

77. My best friend loves me so much that during one portion of the IVF, when I had to have a daily shot in the butt, she came over to my house every day to give me the shot. And she even washed my dishes for me!

78. The worst meal to take someone recovering from surgery is sausage pizza. I appreciated the thought, but couldn’t eat it. My husband enjoyed it, though.

79. The best meal for someone recovering from surgery is this yummy concoction a former friend made. She made some rice; a mild white sauce with shredded Swiss cheese; chicken breast; and mixed vegetables. It was easy on the stomach and tasted great. So now when I take a meal to someone recovering from surgery, that’s what I always take.

80. Before my breast reduction surgery, I wore a DDD cup.

81. When I woke up in the recovery room after the breast reduction surgery, I told the nurse that it oughta be illegal for anything to hurt that badly. She gave me some more morphine, and I was out in seconds flat.

82. Now I wear a C cup.

83. During the first few months with my new perky little (for me) boobs, I used to flash my sister at work because I was so excited to have perky little (for me) boobs.

84. The caramel steamer at QT gas stations is cheaper than the caramel steamer at Starbucks, and it tastes better.

85. When I go grocery shopping, I dance to the music in the store and don’t notice I’m doing it until someone gives me a strange look or else comments on it.

86. When my sister Liz goes to the movies with me, she prefers to have an empty seat between us because I fidget like crazy during the movie. If there’s not room for an empty seat between us, she grabs my leg to make me stop fidgeting.

87. When she grabs my leg, it makes me fidget more.

88. I have a Picasso print hanging in my bathroom.

89. I have a Dali print in my hall.

90. I want a Kandinsky print for my home office.

91. My vision is at the point that I have to wear bifocals. But I have an astigmatism in each eye, which means I have to wear toric contact lenses. They don’t make bifocal toric contacts. So when I wear glasses, I wear bifocals. When I wear contacts, I have to use reading glasses to see up close.

92. That makes me feel old.

93. I love Irish folk music. In my dream the night before last, I was singing “Cruiskeen Lawn” at the top of my lungs. I don’t recall why, although it seemed perfectly logical in the dream.

94. Whatever song I hear when I first wake up, or the last song I sing/hear in my dreams, will stay in my head all morning. I type in rhythm to the song. That means that yesterday morning, I mentally sang “Cruiskeen Lawn” for 3 or 4 hours.

95. My favorite Irish folk song is “Shule Aroon.” I don’t know why I wasn’t singing it instead of “Cruiskeen Lawn” in my dream.

96. I have the coolest sister in the world. She was born 8 years and 3 days after I was, and we have been the best of friends since she was born. Hey, Liz!

97. When I was 11 or 12, I hated washing dishes. And we didn’t have an electric dishwasher, so I had to wash a lot of dishes. One day I got the bright idea to shove the particularly dirty dishes under the couch. Little by little I kept stuffing dishes under the couch. One night my father was playing with the cat, and flung his hand back and whacked it against something. He pulled out a dirty crusty saucepan from under the couch. Puzzled, he lifted up the flap and pulled out a few more dishes. I tried to creep out of the room, but it was too late. He moved the sofa, and revealed virtually every dish in the house in its unwashed, moldy, nasty, disgusting glory. I got my butt warmed thoroughly, and was then forced to wash every one of those damn dishes!

98. When I was in the process of being pottie trained, we had a Siamese cat named John-John. John-John knew how to use the toilet. My parents didn’t know that, and thought it was I who was leaving little presents in the toilet. After a few spankings, I began running into the house and flushing the toilet. My parents couldn’t figure that out until one morning my mother was home alone. She was in the bathroom brushing her teeth and heard someone going to the bathroom. Knowing that she was alone, she was very puzzled until she looked over to see John-John using the toilet.

99. My dad thinks that story is so funny that he tells it frequently.

100. I love puns. My all-time favorite joke has this for the punchline: “Well, dear, I hated to pith in it, but you know how you hate dry grapefruit.” I tried to tell that joke a million times during my teen years, but could never get the punchline out without laughing so hard that I couldn’t breathe. When my family finally heard the punchline, they agreed in unison that it wasn’t nearly as funny as my hysterical laughter.

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Game of Sevens

Seven things I want to do before I die:
–Go to Egypt
–Write a best-seller
–Go see every play on Broadway
–Go on my self-created American Literature tour
–Make a positive difference in the world
–Go to the Louvre and spend as much time as it takes to see everything!
–See a Shakespeare play in the Globe Theatre.

Seven things I cannot do:
–Cartwheels
–Sew
–Math
–Draw a straight line
–Crochet
–Calligraphy
–Write good poetry
–Count (teehee)

Seven things I can do:
–Parallel park
–Bake excellent bread
–Write bad poetry
–Play the piano
–Sing offkey (I can even sing on key, occasionally)
–Read super fast (e.g. I got the last Harry Potter book at midnight, and had finished reading it by about 4 a.m.)
–Speak in public

Seven things I say often:
–And, yeah.
–Does that make sense?
–Know what I mean?
–Mmmmmm . . . Chocolatey goodness
–Woohoo!
–Squee!
–Bored now.

Seven of my favorite writers:
–Geoffrey Chaucer
–William Shakespeare
–Dante
–Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz
–J.K. Rowling
–Jane Austen
–Terry Brooks

Seven of my favorite books:
–The Canterbury Tales
–The Divine Comedy
–Ammie Come Home
–Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
–Jane Eyre
–Pride and Prejudice
–Northanger Abbey

Seven of my favorite movies:
–Harry Potter (go ahead and count them all as one, or else this list would get boring)
–The Other Side of Heaven
–The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
–The Lord of the Rings (see Harry Potter, above, and also note that we’re talking about the extended versions)
–Romy & Michelle’s High School Reunion
–Serenity
–Heavenly Creatures

Seven things I was going to be when I grew up:
–A mother (nope)
–An archaeologist (nope)
–An anthropologist (nope)
–A psychiatrist (nope)
–A teacher (that one still may happen)
–A writer (yep)
–A dancer (well, if you count in my bedroom by myself, yep)

Seven of my favorite poems:
–“The Suicide” by Edna St. Vincent Millay
–“The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot
–“Pied Beauty” by Gerard Manley Hopkins
— “The Chariot” by Emily Dickinson
— “Phenomenal Woman” by Maya Angelou
— “Dream Variations” by Langston Hughes
–“Goblin Market” by Christina Rossetti

Seven of my favorite plays:
–“The Great God Brown” by Eugene O’Neill
–“Long Day’s Journey Into Night” ditto
–“Sylvia” by A.R. Gurney
–“M. Butterfly” by Henry David Hwang
–“The Women” by Clare Booth Luce
–“The Tempest” by William Shakespeare
–“Wit” by Margaret Edson

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I always say that I steal a good idea when I see it. I noticed Chicory’s list, and thought it was a cool idea. So here goes:

1. My very first memory involves me and a childhood friend standing at the side of a large, deep hole in the ground. I used to think it was a dream until I saw a photograph of the two of us standing by a large, deep hole in the ground. I have no idea what the holes were there for, or why we were standing there, but there you have it!

2. Once I mixed up a batch of mud-water in an old milk jug, and told my brother it was chocolate milk. He drank it, and got sick (of course). I was too young to understand about germs, so I didn’t realize that the bacteria in the dirty old milk jug was what made him sick. I insisted then, and still insist, that the first swallow was my fault. If he was too dumb to realize that it wasn’t chocolate milk after one swig, then he deserved to be sick.

3. Along similar lines, I gave my husband a handful of Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Beans one day. He didn’t suspect anything, because I am a fiend for Jelly Bellies. The look on his face as he asked me what the hell he was eating was classic.

4. I’m sorry for that now, though, because on Christmas Day I ate a soap-flavoured Bertie Bott bean, and was sick for two hours.

5. As a kid, I was an incredible liar. I lied all the time, even when there was no need to. The truth was too boring.

6. Maybe that’s why I started writing, so that I could tell the lies on paper and tell the truth in person.

7. Didn’t work, though. I still tell lies every now and then, just for the sheer fun of it.

8. When my sister Izzybella was a baby, she had platinum blonde hair. I used to love brushing it, and would sit there and brush her hair until she got bored and wanted to do something else.

9. When I was 11 or 12, I had some friends who dared me to shoplift some lip gloss. I did.

10. I also shoplifted cigarettes. I thought it was cool to smoke. The only reason I’m not a smoker to this day is because someone told me that it wasn’t enough to just pull in some smoke and then puff it back out. She told me that I had to pull in some smoke, take a deep breath, and then puff it back out. I did so one time, puked violently, and was nauseated for two days. I never smoked again.

11. During the brief interval that I was a smoker, I was afraid to light matches. So I used to light my cigarettes on the burner of our gas stove. One day when I turned on the burner, it took slightly longer to ignite, there was a puff and I burned off my eyelashes.

12. After that I switched to a lighter. My brother found it and set my carpet on fire. I got grounded for a month.

13. I’m glad all that stuff happened; otherwise, I’d smell like an ashtray and have lung cancer.

14. The thing I regret the most: when I was in 9th grade, I went through an extremely brief spurt of popularity with at my small school. I wasn’t popular with the cool kids, but I was popular with everyone else. I let it go to my head, and someone asked me what I thought of a certain girl. I didn’t even know her, but airily replied that she was a bitch. Her boyfriend, who had been a friend of mine, never talked to me again. I wish I could go back to that moment, and unsay those words. I wish I could tell her now how sorry I am that I did that.

15. When I was 10 or 11, my parents bought a chest freezer stocked with all kinds of food. My favorite snack at the time was to take a can of orange juice concentrate and eat a spoonful of the frozen concentrate.

16. My other favorite snack was boiled peanuts. If you’ve never had boiled peanuts, oh my gosh, you are so missing out!!! My mother sealed them in plastic bags and stored them in the freezer. I would come home from school, boil a pot of water, and put the freezer bag in until the peanuts were steamy.

17. I moved to Minnesota on a whim when I was 18. I hated it.

18. When I moved back to Texas from Minnesota, I stopped my car on the side of the road as soon as I crossed the border back into Texas. I got out of the car and did a little dance, vowing never to leave Texas again.

19. I lied. I did leave Texas. I lived in Salt Lake City and Anaheim.

20. It’s a good thing I did live in Salt Lake City, since that’s where I met my husband, Joe.

21. When I first saw Joe, I thought he was the biggest geek in the world.

22. He is.

23. But I love him anyway.

24. I’ve watched every Harry Potter movie so many times that I can recite along with the dialogue.

25. I have now seen Goblet of Fire six times, and am planning to go again this weekend. I *really* wish it would hurry up and come out on DVD.

26. I have read each Harry Potter book over and over and over.

27. I can make an argument for Severus Snape being on the side of the good guys.

28. Using the same points for the previous argument, I can make an argument for Severus Snape being on the side of the bad guys. J.K. Rowling is a brilliant writer. I wish she’d hurry up and write book 7, so I can read it!!

29. When I was 11, I read Gone With the Wind and thought it was the best book ever.

30. I hate Gone With the Wind.

31. I took some Metabolife this morning, and I have got such a buzz on! Wow!

32. My all-time favorite word is borborygmus. It means the rumbly noise in your gut when you’re digesting food or have gas. I found it one day when I was reading the dictionary for fun.

33. I read the dictionary for fun.

34. Every morning when I get up, I sit at my computer and read my personal e-mail and talk myself out of going to work.

35. Every morning at the last possible minute, I get ready and go to work.

36. I don’t like talking on the phone. I prefer talking in person or writing letters or e-mails.

37. Every now and then, my mother’s voice comes out of my mouth. It’s always a freaky thing.

38. I sing a song to my dog every morning. “Good morning, good morning. You slept the whole night through. Good morning, good morning, to you. Good morning, good morning. It’s great to see your face. Good morning, good morning. I love you. Boop-boop-a-doo.” And we snuggle and kiss each other while I sing it to her.

39. All of my dogs get the same middle name: Stinkbutt.

40. Mine and Joe’s first dog was named Stanislaus Stinkbutt.

41. The dog we have now is named Molly Stinkbutt.

42. I also call Molly Sugarlips, Sugarbooger, Mollypop, and Mollypopsicle Girl.

43. I call Joe Sugarbooger and Sugarlips too.

44. I am deathly afraid of roaches. And we have an older house and get those huge monster ginormous cockroaches from hell. Whenever I see one, I scream, and make Joe kill it. He wants to know why I don’t just kill it myself, and I tell him that killing cockroaches is the man’s job.

45. My all-time favorite meal is cheese enchiladas, rice, and refried beans.

46. My all-time favorite home-cooked meal is porcupine meatballs, Joe’s mashed potatoes, spinach salad, and lazy daisy cake.

47. I can curl my tongue.

48. I can whistle, but only with the “pucker up your lips and blow” technique. I don’t know how to do those loud piercing shrill whistles that are so cool.

49. I can burp on demand, but they’re usually pretty lame little burps.

50. The last time Izzybella and I went to the movies, I forced a burp right after the cute little polar bear cub slugs down some Coke. She laughed. I wish I could burp louder, so that everyone in the theatre could have heard me. Yeah, I’m pretty crass sometimes.

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Creation

I spent a good bit of time last night pondering my motivations in blogging. Do I honestly think there’s anyone out there who is really reading this? Who really cares about what I have to say? No, not particularly. Am I leaving this for the benefit of my posterity? Well, since I have no posterity, the answer to that would have to be another big fat no.

I do benefit from this myself, in that I can express my thoughts and feelings on a topic and then let it go as I move on to the next thing that’s on my mind.

I think, though, that there is a desire to create that is inherent in each person. There are as many different ways to create as there are different people. Denied the opportunity to be a co-creator with God, by bringing children to this earth, the best way I can find for myself to be a creator is to write. And write I do.

I have created characters who are more alive in my mind than some people I’ve met on this earth. I can tell you what they had for breakfast, who they went to their high school prom with, who their 3rd grade teacher was. If I’m walking through a store or looking through a catalog, I can tell you what clothes they would or would not wear.

When I was a little girl, I was firmly convinced that Anne of Green Gables was alive, and that I would get to meet her someday. When I was still in the infertility maze, I was surprised to find myself bitterly jealous of Deanna Patterson, a character in my favorite comic strip, as she easily got pregnant not long after she got married.

I care passionately about people. I think that’s one of the reasons that I failed as a child welfare worker. I did not know how to put that passion aside and do the job without letting it affect every aspect of my life. I wanted to inspire that drug mother to quit cooking meth, and live up to the potential within her. I wanted to believe the liars. I couldn’t understand how people could put trivialities, like cigarettes, beer, and drugs, ahead of their children. None of it made sense to me. Every child I interviewed loved his or her parents desperately, no matter how bad the abuse was. It was gut-wrenching on every level. I got to where I woke up every night between 1 and 1:30, thinking about my families, and couldn’t get back to sleep until 3:30 or 4 a.m. It tormented me to realize that I couldn’t give them anything. All I had the power to do was to assess whether or not abuse was taking place, and–with the permission of two supervisors–remove children from their homes when it was absolutely necessary for their safety. But even then I couldn’t always do that; there is one child in particular who still haunts me, and I could not get permission to remove her despite her desperate need to be out of that home.

So I left the world of child welfare behind me, and am taking a breather in an extremely tedious, boring secretarial job, before starting teacher certification training this summer (assuming, of course, that I manage to get a job in the May job fair).

In the meantime, I write, and write, and write, and write. I put words into people’s mouths. I tell lies to make truths apparent. I create worlds. Someday people will read what I’ve written, and perhaps someday the characters who are so real to me will be real to others, at which point I truly will be a creator.

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