Monday, 8 July 2013

From the archives! 27 Random Things

This was written a million years ago (or at least, considering what has happened in the last 3 1/2 years, it feels like a million years ago, anyway).  There was this huge craze for writing "25 Random Things" and everyone on FB was doing it.  I just found mine while randomly browsing and kind of enjoyed reading it (maybe am terribly self-centred?? I swear I think it's readable!) so I'm posting it here.

**Note - as evidenced by the 1/2 completed story of the birth of my daughter, with the frequent references to my husband, I clearly wrote this long ago, before a child or a spouse was even remotely on my radar.  And okay, maybe he's not from Scotland - but he does have an accent, and speak more than one language, and he's terribly bossy and always supportive, so I guess I found my Jamie after all - and I didn't have to leave Canada :)

1. Twenty seven is my favorite number. For that reason, and NOT because I am overly verbose (although that's true) nor a closet-rebel (although that's also true) I kinda have to think of 27 things to write in this note. And I hope any subsequent tag-ees do as well, although how many of you there are in facebook-land who haven't already done the 25 is to be determined! It's good luck, I promise.

2. I am addicted to perfume. I have no money, not really, but I calculate that I have spent obscene amounts of what little funds I have on . . . things that make me smell pretty. And it's not just because they smell pretty. It's because their descriptions are so seductively gorgeous, and it's like reading a trashy magazine - you read the perfume box, and you're sucked in by all of these unlikely promises of how alluring the fragrance of magnolias can be and how the random sandalwood 'balances it out' and then you suddenly are $200 poorer . . . .

3. I think one of my feet is prettier than the other. So I put toe rings and anklets on the less pretty foot. Because I always cheer for the underdog, and ... that apparently includes my feet.

4. I have been in love with the idea of Louisiana for longer than I can remember, and the idea of moving to a green, humid place full of people who freely say "y'all" is about as close as I can get to my ideal of heaven. I have yet to visit it, but I'm obsessed with the idea.

5. I am a shameless romantic. Literally, shameless. You cannot embarrass me about it, no matter what lengths you may go to - nothing makes me happier than a great love story, real or fiction.

6. I was afraid of kids until I met my niece. Now I find that even though I've only seen her for a few days at a time, I am still dressing for her every day - bright colours! fun patterns! I go to work looking like a kindergarten teacher and I don't realize it until I'm at my computer wearing pink and purple at the same time, and feeling gleeful about it.

7. I didn't know that the Polkaroo was the 'other' host on that kid's show until I was ... well, pretty sure I was twelve. I was also embarrassed about that for years after I figured it out, about 7 years after everyone else did.

8. Up until I was eleven, I was reasonably sure that I was the Antichrist. I didn't have that longing for power or revenge, but ... as Jessica Christine, my name was suspect (hello mom and dad? Naming your child ... okay, here it is: "Jes" ... "Christ" ... if you chop of the last letters of my name it is just evil despot waiting to happen . . . . ) and I read too many books.

9. I've been late for virtually everything I've ever gone to in my whole life. And every time, I was late because I was reading a book. Since the age of 8, when I spent all of my evenings sitting in a snowbank reading books from the public library, I have played hooky with books. But until I was about twenty, and realized my friends lied to me about the start time of EVERYTHING by at least a half an hour, I thought I was punctual. I never clued in . . . .

10. I have never felt so at home as I did in Texas. Despite poor vacation planning on my part, once I met the cicadas and the humidity and the trees and the people and the sweet tea - it felt right, from the first second i walked out of the airport.

11. I think I'm single because I met Jamie Fraser (in a book) when I was eleven. And . . . nobody else could compare to him.

12. I'm planning a trip to Scotland someday soonish. As soon as I pay off all of my other adventures, and go to Germany, becuase I am dying to visit Katrin, and I can't wait to try the 'black bread' and the sauerkraut soup (mmmm!). But even that lacks the special appeal of Scotland - because there, I might meet . . . (see number 11!)

14. I'm not religious, and I fancy myself too smart to fall for superstition - but I remember every superstition I've ever read in my life, and avoid them like the plague. Like...the number 13.

15. I love roadtrips, and driving is the most cathartic thing I have ever done. I have trouble understanding people who don't drive, just because I instantly think: But how do you deal with anything hard or sad that happens in your life??? Every trauma or grief I've ever experienced has been dealt with in a car drive, music blaring, conversation optional . . . . Although I also love coffee, and early in the morning in a strange town on said roadtrip, that's difficult to find, but despite appearances at 7 am, I still love roadtrips.

16. I love my family more than it is reasonable to, I'm sure. I have so few close relatives that I keep everyone as close to me as I can, and the only thing that can distract me from a great romance novel is a phone call from a family member. Sometimes I'm so proud of my brother that just looking at him makes me want to cry - for lack of a better way to express extreme emotion. For a long time I thought this was weird, until one day my sister and I were sitting out in our driveway enjoying the end of a summer day, and he pulled up in his truck and walked up and made fun of us for something, and she looked at me and said "Do you ever just feel so proud that you think . . . you might just explode with it?"

17. Even though I have not accomplished very much in my life, I am disproportionately proud of my travelling experiences. I have little else to talk about in terms of crazy life experiences, but I am still proud of the fact that I have spent the night in a town called "dead man's flats" in a hotel room furnished with FOUR different shades of shag carpeting, with one working light, a hotel proprietor who answered the door in curlers at 8 pm, and two channels - and that was the PREMIUM room.

18. If I'm hungry, and I smell skunk, my stomach rumbles, audibly. I have always felt a little big cannibalistic about that.

19. Despite audible stomach rumblings, I have always wanted a pet skunk. I have been known (on several occasions I have yet to live down) to sometimes follow too closely behind baby skunks, ostensibly to just "make sure they get home okay" . . . granted, I'm usually tipsy at the time, but the impulse is always there (they're so cute!).

20. I tend to think that I can do anything. Not in an arrogant way, but just in a 'why buy that piece of furniture/bottle of wine/steel girder/truffle oil - I can MAKE it' kind of way. 

21. When I don't know how to do things, it irritates me to no end. And the number of things I feel inadequate for NOT being experienced/expert in is kind of ridiculous considering the scope: I feel very guilty, like I'm wasting my life, because I've never shot a semi- or fully-automatic weapon, taken up kung-fu, learned to be a stunt driver, become a musician, started a business, made a wrought-iron fence or screen, become a pastry chef, written a novel, or worked in another country in any capacity.

22. I can't wear corduoroy (wow, how DO you spell that word?) pants. Or touch/listen to someone touch/talk about/think too long on anything at all with parallel lines that are ridges. Once at my old job, I was getting the mail, and accidentally touched one of those 'holographic' ad inserts, and I screamed. Then I made the mistake of complaining about the trauma to a guy I worked with (thanks ERIC) who tormented me for the rest of the afternoon by sneaking up behind me with the ad (that I had to get an older gentleman to take OUT of the post office box for me) and scraping his fingers across it like it was one of those washboard instruments. I almost went home early.

23. On rare occasions, I like to read badly written books because it encourages me. Some of the crap I've seen from supposedly popular authors makes me feel like ... there is hope for me despite some of the drivel I've seen myself create. Also, it's often funny/hysterical, especially in the case of badly written romance novels . . . you girls who were at my birthday party remember - "because of the annoying lint this would create . . . . "

24. When I read a crappy book, no matter how encouraged I am as a writer, there is a point where I will throw it against a wall. I also do this with pens that die. I never thought that this was weird until I did it at work once. People will look at you strangely if you just randomly start hurling stationery supplies against walls - who knew? Also, when I moved from my aunt & uncle's place, I found about 14 books all crumpled and banged up in the corner. It occurred to me then that this is maybe not the most typical response to poor writing. Although the books deserved it. Trust me.

25. I love the summer, and the beach, and the feeling of being so warm your bones are almost sighing with happiness. I've also never complained about being 'too hot' before. Ever. And the more stifling, humid, and hot the day, the happier I am. When I was little my parents used to take us to the Science Centre. I'd go to the rainforest exhibit - and stay there, all day long.

26. It took me this long to come up with my response not because I couldn't think of anything, but because I had to edit myself down. Really - this is me trying to be a little LESS verbose.

27. When I was 17 I was talking to a friend online and he asked me to just tell him something random about myself - and I did, a few stupid things, but he seemed impressed if maybe confused, and I felt interesting and unique, and I think, ever since then, I have been compiling random things about myself for future reference, if I ever meet someone who understands me enough to ask that question again. So in a way, I guess, Facebook (and the soon to go-down-in-infamy instigator of 25 Random Things - whoever you are, no one will ever believe you if you say "You know, I was the one who started that ...") is kind of like that sensitive boyfriend I never met, and that explains why this is such a popular thing to complete now. Sometimes I think we are all the sum of our 25 (or 250) random things, and the invitation to spill some of them, however cavalierly offered, is something which everyone finds tempting.

(that wasn't me trying to be deep, it's just a fact - and I've enjoyed everyone else's 25 things tremendously . . . . we should all do this more often!)

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