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Blog love, or all I ever wanted was to be tagged

There are two unimportant things that I really want in life. (There are many, many more important things that I want in life, but that's for another post.)

One is for someone to throw me a surprise birthday party. I organized one for my older sister when I was 14 and she turned 16, and I sort of expected her to do the same for me when I turned 16, but she did not. She was 18 and I guess she had better things to do. (She was long ago forgiven for the oversight, but that doesn't mean that I don't still want my surprise party. This is also not to denigrate in any way the lovely not-surprise gatherings that friends have organized for my birthday, most notably, my party in the park last summer and my 22nd birthday dinner in Peabody Terrace.)

The second is for someone to tag me to do a meme. This terminology is so new in its application that I'm not sure I'm using it right, so please correct me if I am not.

Happily for me, StepIma tagged me to complete this meme, or replicate it, or whatever the correct verb is! (Now that this desire has been satisfied, no need to keep tagging me with memes. I would also be happy to only have one surprise birthday party in my life.) Now I am feeling the blog love, and that makes me very happy. StepIma also has a great blog, and you should read it if you don't already. I am basically in seventh heaven now. The only problem is that now people besides my parents, siblings, and aunts might start reading my blog, and then I will have to write better things. The pressure to be funny! Witty! Smart! Oh, well. Small price to pay for mass adoration, no?

Anyway, here goes. I hope I don't disappoint the masses. Because I believe in the flexibility of a transmitted tradition, I will take the liberty of changing the questions as I see fit.

Accent: I would say "none" but that doesn't make sense, so I will say "Northeastern American, light on the New Yorkiness." My father is from New York and my mother is from Northern California, so there were often disputes in my house over the correct pronounciation of "walk," "talk," and especially "orange." I think I pronounce "orange" differently depending on with whom I am speaking.

Booze: Just white wine, usually only on Shabbat. I would say that I like "girly drinks," but that term bothers me a smidge from a feminist perspective. I do like a nice mudslide (first drink I had after I turned 21), though it's harder to get one now that Kahlua is no longer considered kosher. I don't like beer, but can tolerate hard cider. Basically, unless it's white wine, it has to taste like something else for me to like it (mocha, apple juice, lemonade).

Chores I Hate: Washing the kitchen and bathroom floors. It's a lot of work, it smells, and it's never as clean as I want it to be. Ditto to cleaning out the bathtub or cleaning the grouting in the bathroom.

Dogs/Cats: Allergic to cats, so I guess dogs, although I'm not much of a pet person. I could see growing to adore the right dog, though.

Essential Electronics: Too dependent on. Cell phone. Palm TX. iPod Mini. iBook. In that order. Plus, my God, how could I forget washing machine and dryer?

Favorite City:

Gold/Silver: Silver.

Hometown: Small town, Massachusetts. One of the best places in the world to grow up. Great parks, libraries, community feeling, public transportation, sense of history, and, until recently, independent retailers. Within walking distance of Boston proper. Great schools, but I went to private schools so didn't really benefit from them.

Insomnia: Are you kidding? Rarely.

Job Title: Head List-maker and Chief Excel/Word Document Formatter.

Kids: None that I own, a few whom I adore, and one for whom I sometimes babysit.

Living Arrangements: Beautiful but somewhat run-down apartment with sometimes "funny" plumbing, shared with two and a half unrelated people (best roommates evah!), absurdly overpriced rent, great location.

Most Admired Trait: I don't know. You tell me!

Number of books owned: Several hundred. It surprises me every time I move. I had at least 20 boxes of books the last time I moved, and I'm sure I have more now.

Overnight Hospital Stays: None, thank God. I've had three trips to emergency rooms/clinics (two in Israel), and several outpatient procedures or tests, but am remarkably healthy.

Phobia: I used to be scared of everything (dogs, cats, the dark, water, insects, being kidnapped). My only remaining phobia is towards bodies of water larger than a bathtub. I never really learned to swim because of it (years and years of parental-required lessons notwithstanding). When I tried to go into a pool as an adult, I had a panic attack and couldn't breath. I don't mind being on boats (I wear a life jacket), but I don't like being in the water at all. I also have an extreme dislike of spiders and other insects, but I'm not sure that's a phobia and I certainly don't make any "Eeek!" noises when I see them. I have one particular quirk regarding food textures, but I don't think that's a phobia either. There are a lot of things that I'm strongly opposed to (people drinking and driving, cheating on taxes, making fun of other people, patriarchy), but those aren't phobias at all.

"The great essentials for happiness in this life are something to do,
something to love, and something to hope for."
--Joseph Addison, English poet and writer (1672-1719)
I would change "something to love" to "someone to love," but the basic idea of love stands.

Also, recently shared with me by my father:
"He who binds himself to a joy
Does the winged life destroy;
But he who kisses the joy as it flies
Lives in eternity's sunrise."
--William Blake, No. 1 from "Several Questions Answered," Poems from Blake's Notebook
I also really like:
"Of all the needs (there are none imaginary) a lonely child has, the one that must be satisfied, if there is going to be hope and a hope of wholeness, is the unshaken need for an unshakable God."
--Maya Angelou
Religion: Jewish, and since we're doing quotes now, I'll share one of the reasons that I'm glad that I'm Jewish:
"Blessed are You, Lord, our God, king of the world...who in wisdom opens gates...creates day and night, rolls light before darkness and darkness before light, passes day and brings night, and divides between day and night."
--blessing from the Arvit prayer
I love that Judaism makes a special point of acknowledging and thanking God for the darkness and well as the light. It's one of the reasons that I agree with my friend SDO, who says, "Judaism is the best religion for mental health." That is not to say that all Jewish practices are good for one's mental health, or that all Jews are mentally healthy (hah! that one is definitely not true!), only that the system as a whole is conducive to mental health, should that be your priority.

Siblings: Yes, and being grownups with them is one of the best things in my life. They give me the best advice in the world whether I want it or not, and they're usually nice to me even when it feels like no one else is. They know me as nobody else does. And who knew that all those years of petty squabbling could turn into something beautiful--witty squabbling as adults! But it's so much more fun when they are no longer years ahead of you or below you in school, and everyone knows words like "epidermis." It's equal-footed squabbling, which is the best kind.

Time I usually wake up: When my alarm clock goes off or anyone's guess.

Unusual Talent: I can write very quickly sometimes (I also type quickly, but that's another story). I didn't think that this was unusual, but it turns out that it is. I think I honed this talent through years of procrastination. Plus, I've always written copious amounts, and I think writing, like other things, becomes easier the more you do it. I can also wiggle my ears and make the edge of my tongue wavy.

Vegetable I refuse to eat: Brussel sprouts. Avocados. Tomatoes.

Worst Habit: Oh, that's easy! Procrastination, without a doubt. Also, being late and being a compulsive perfectionist in almost all things.

X-Rays: Once, in Israel, when I fractured my thumb.

Yummy Foods I make: Enormous, colorful vegetable salads, most famously. Not much else. I like to make things that require minimal or no cooking or bowls/pots/pans besides what the food ends up in. These include veggie burgers in the microwave, brown rice, hard-boiled eggs, and peanut butter sandwiches. I can make other things, like chicken or salmon or lasagna, but usually only under duress. I used to eat a lot of veggie stir fry with tofu or other plant-based protein, but got sick of it after awhile.

Zodiac Sign: Are you kidding? Does anyone reasonable actually believe in this stuff?

Hmmm... I would tag BZ over at Mah Rabu, but I think he doesn't do memes. If Ruby K, General Anna, or Shamir Power do memes, they are also hereby tagged.

Labels: ,

So "girly drinks" are out? How about "pro-feminine drinks"? or in the spirit of "womyn," perhaps "drynks"?


PS. you can get Kahlua from overseas such that it's considered kosher... (this is one of those "magic Rabbi powers" issues as far as I'm concerned - sort of like how certain scotches are only kosher if you're in the UK...)
Note that I said that girly drinks "bothers me a smidge," and no more. It's not totally out. It's only out if you're a man and you look at me with my girly drink and say with a disgusted sneer, "What are you drinking? A girly drink?" When it's not used pejoratively, it's fine. Drynks is a great suggestion, though! I like it! (It doesn't work in a dark bar, though, now does it?) (How much time do I spend in dark bars? Not much.)

I thought Kahlua from Mexico was still kosher, but the CRC website (I think that's what I linked to in this post) disagrees.
General Anna told me about the Kahlua debacle... seems they started using some grape product in it. (slapping forehead). When they start using ham or shrimp in it, i'll let you know. :-)
also, what the hell's a meme? i can't get the page to load.
I don't not do memes -- like you, I've just never been tagged before. Thanks!!!

This one is pretty long though, so I don't know if I have the zitzfleisch to get through it all. Maybe I'll work on it in pieces. The bigger issue may be that the categories are uninteresting (though your responses are interesting) and/or more personal than I am willing to get on my not-really-anonymous blog.
Ruby K,

A meme, according to the page I linked to, is:

noun. A meme is considered to be a discrete idea that replicates itself, with the connotation that memes replicate themselves and are propagated by people through social and technological networks, much like both real and computer viruses.
(Coined by Richard Dawkins)

Note: Although not strictly speaking a 'blog specific' term, meme is very widely used in the Blogosphere (qv).

There is some more information here, and examples of blog memes here. (Some are better than others.) Blog memes tend to be things like "list four places you'ved lived, four jobs you've had, your four favorite books, and your four favorite movies." My feeling is that the questions themselves are often boring or silly, but that the answers that people give can reveal a lot about them, or nothing about them, as they wish. It offers a platform for talking about other things in your blog. Like, otherwise, there is no way in hell that anyone would know about my phobia. Hmmmm...maybe I should take it down.
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