Saturday, January 31, 2009

My interview

As we all know, I truly love talking about myself. Truly, unendingly, with every last fiber of my being (why yes, there IS a picture of me next to the word "narcissist" in the dictionary!)

And as he has provided me with another opportunity to do that, my new favorite blogger is Sir (well, he was always one of my favorites just because of his amazing writing skillz, but now he's at the top of the list). So, on to the interview!

Because I'm all about sharing the love, this enterprise involves you too, if you choose. Here are the rules:

1. Leave me a comment saying you want to be interviewed.
2. I’ll email you five questions of my choosing.
3. You update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. They will answer these questions. If they don’t, you can legally hunt them down and destroy them by the method of your choosing.

My interrogator:

1. 'Notes from the Bunker', eh? Is it really a bunker and, if so, is it constructed in preparation for the inevitable robot uprising or is there something else for which you're preparing?

Robots are SO 2008. Zombies, now, THOSE are the real threat. Bloodthirsty, brain-stealing zombies.

Actually, no, there's no uprising (that we know of) that we're preparing for. The Bunker is actually Phase One of the two phase process of building our geodesic dome. Yes, I said geodesic dome. You can see a picture of domes, both finished and in process, here.

But for now, yes, it does look remarkably like something you could hide out in to survive the coming robot onslaught. Or zombies. Whichever.

2. You mentioned having a paper published in a journal on clinical psychology. What was the topic (you don't have to give the title...I'm not going to PubMed you or anything).

The title of it was "Inhibition of eating behavior: Negative cognitive effects of dieting". It looked at the effects of inhibiting a behavior (in this case, eating) upon thoughts. As we suspected, we found that there was a change in obsessive thoughts when a behavior was inhibited, which has implications for anyone trying to change a behavior (such as smoking). It indicates that some sort of cognitive therapy could be helpful when one is planning some restriction of their behavior. Fascinating, I know.

3. Has having kids mellowed you or evened you out or has it instead hastened your departure to Crazytown?

Welcome to Crazytown! Make yourself comfortable!

Actually, I kid (mostly) - I'm not there yet. But it's done both; I find that I care less about stuff like mud getting tracked into the house, but I also find that when he does things like ride his tricycle off the front steps, I get one step closer on the path to C-town. Not a glowing recommendation for having kids, but I try to be honest on this blog, so there it is.

4. How would your husband describe you?

Am I in the room when he describes me? 'Cause that would definitely change his answer.

He would probably say I'm passionate, intelligent, opinionated, and a good wife and mom. Oh, and that I have excellent taste in men.

But that's if I'm in the room. If I wasn't around? Well, he'd probably say the same. He's pretty good that way.

5. What do you wish I had asked you, but didn't? And how would you have answered?

Hoo boy, lemme think about this one. Oh, I know! This is a good one. I wish you had asked me if I act any differently online/in my blog than I do in real life.

The answer to that would be, no. Although there are some facets of my personality that I might not broadcast every day, in every forum, I never act any differently in those forums than I would offline. So what you see on Facebook, on Twitter, and on my blog are all really, truly me. I don't know if that's a good thing, but it is the truth, and that must be worth something.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Meme #2

I guess word is catching on about me and how much I like to do memes. Because, you know, I'm all about the talking-about-myself. So onward...

Coyote Squirrel tagged me with one of those "Seven things" memes. You know, the kind that you list seven things you probably don't know about me. So how many of you know that:

1. I had a paper published in a clinical psychological journal when I was in college. I'd send you the link to it, but it has my real name on it and I have to keep that secret or else Chaos might figure out who I am and come after my mom. But I'll get a "sanitized" copy of it and post sometime soon.

2. Until I was about 13, I never listened to pop music. I listened to big band-type music, because that's what my parents listened to. I can still tell most singers from that era at 40 paces.

3. I am a big fan of the "comma and". You know, as in, "John, Mary, and Lisa...". I know that a lot of the time it's not necessary, but I like it. I think it makes things clearer, and clarity in writing is a noble pursuit.

4. When I was in high school, I was in serious love with sci-fi and fantasy novels (and still am, to some degree), and especially loved a certain series that I won't name, but which rhymes with FlagonPants. I won't go into more details, but I will tell you that I may have, once or twice, imagined myself as one of the characters. Yes, it's still embarrassing. No, I won't tell you which one (unless you ask nicely).

5. I cannot, can NOT stand the stand of balloons being rubbed. Cannot. Makes my ears bleed.

6. Other than my c-section, I have not had any serious major surgery. Still have my tonsils (which I can attest to every time I get an upper respiratory infection, thanks mom and dad!) and appendix. Had a cyst removed a couple years ago (for which I did get general anesthesia), but I don't count that 'cause I didn't get cut open.

7. I'm pretty brave. I also do stupid things (like climb down a cliff) just to prove myself. So if you ever want me to do anything, just imply that I'm a weak girl and can't do it. But I also don't freak out about spiders, rats, bats, snakes (heck, when I was 7 or 8 I held a HUGE python wrapped around me, just to prove I could. I even have the pics to prove it. The thing probably could have swallowed me in one bite, come to think of it), bugs (unless they're flying STRAIGHT AT MY HEAD, in which case I think you'd agree I have the right to shriek like a girl), mice, heights, dark places, clowns, riding motorcycles, getting tattooed, touching raw meat, eating raw oysters/sashimi (oh yum, yum!), various cooked weird body parts (sweetbreads, tasty!), bears, raccoons, vultures, dead things, or really anything that freaks most people out. My sister-in-law is freaked by spiders; her husband, by snakes; and my best friend by spiders as well (and she's a horticulturist. Go figure). Basically it's really hard to ick me out. I'm actually quite proud of that fact.

So there you go - 7 things about me you probably didn't know. I know, you're welcome. I'm supposed to tag people for this, but I've been smacked down in the past when I've tried to pass on memes, so I'll just open this up to whoever wants to do it. Feel free to link to it in the comments if you do!

Brief PSA

Hello, my dear readers. You probably know by now (if you're a regular reader) that I rarely, if ever, recommend other people's blogs. I have my blogroll, sure (which I finally realized had been deleted in the last redesign, oops! But it's back now), but that's about it.

So it's kind of odd that I'm sending a shout-out to Scott's Tips, but I happened across his blog after he left a comment on one of my posts, and he's so frikkin funny that I just had to say something. Just a warning though, you may very well pee yourself laughing. Or at the very least, get a weird look from your coworkers.

Go check it out. But don't say I didn't warn you.

A meme, a meme, everywhere a....oh, you know

So. Guess what we're going to do today? If you guessed "paint the bedroom", then I'm afraid you haven't been listening and will have to go to the back of the class until you begin paying better attention (do they even do that anymore in schools? I don't know, but if you ask me a little humiliation is sometimes a great motivator, and it doesn't leave a mark so hey! Bonus!).

No, today we're going to do a meme. I must admit, I'm torn on the topic of memes. I personally enjoy them, and have done (almost) every one I've ever been tagged to do (except for that one, over there, a while ago, but that was because I had already done the exact same one twice and instead of just explaining that, I got all paranoid and passive aggressive and HEY! What are you looking at? and then I just got too embarrassed because it had been a long time since the person asked me to do the meme and I forgot who tagged me anyway). Ahem.

This meme comes to us today from Joe Schmitt, who finally took my advice and started a blog, because he's milk-out-the-nose-funny. Now I just have to get him to follow some more advice and do a little design work on his blog, so it looks a little less like a monkey with a hangover made it (sorry Joe, but it really does).

The rules of the meme are thus: Answer the following questions, USING ONLY ONE WORD. It’s not as easy as you might think! Copy and change the answers to suit you and pass it on. Joe says I should tag some people, make them suffer with me, but the backlash I've experienced from doing that has been so profound that it's scarred my psyche permanently. So, feel free to do this one yourself, if you wish. Or not.

1. Where is your cell phone? charging

2. Your significant other? husband

3. Your hair? long

4. Your mother? alive

5. Your father? alive

6. Your favorite thing? sleep

7. Your dream last night? @feistycharlie

8. Your favorite drink? cocoa

9. Your dream/goal? happiness

10. What room you are in? livingroom

11. Your hobby? writing

12. Your fear? aloneness

13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? upstairs

14. Where were you last night? home

16. Muffins? chocolate

17. Wish list item? iPhone

18. Where you grew up? Queens

19. Last thing you did? dressed

20. What are you wearing? PJ's

21. Your TV? Wall-E

22. Your pets? cat

23. Friends? few

24. Your life? good

25. Your mood? hungry

26. Missing some one? always

27. Car? Escort

28. Something you’re not wearing? glasses

29. Your favorite store? candy

30. Your favorite color? emerald

31. [@joeschmitt had no 31]

32. [@joeschmitt had no 32]

33. When is the last time you laughed? earlier

34. Last time you cried? inauguration

35. Who will resend this? me

36. One place that I go to over and over? childhood

37. One person who emails me regularly? Spammers

38. My favorite place to eat? Jack's

39. Why you participated in this survey? @joeschmitt

40. What are you doing tonight? writing

Actually, that wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. I won't ruminate on what that means (here; but in my head I'm totally gnawing this bone for the next couple days), I'll just say, if you'd like to do this meme, have at it!

I still enjoy a good game of tag

In the past ten years of marriage, Bunker Hubby and I have had relatively few disagreements, and even fewer fights. I like to think this is because we are so compatible, but BH is a realist and knows that it is because, basically, he tolerates my shit (he's a romantic, that man!). When we do disagree, it's usually something to do with our basic, God-given differences; things like his love of the outdoors versus my loathing of cold temperatures, or my pathological need to have straight edges on the bed covers when I make the bed (or as I like to say, the fact that he makes the bed like an INSANE person). Recently, we had another disagreement, and as usual it had to do with a basic difference between us.

I know I share a lot of information on this blog about myself (a LOT), but I may not have shared the fact that I am what is commonly known as an "owl"; that is, I not only enjoy staying up late, but I am most productive and do my best work at night. My best friend Amy is the same way - she and would gladly stay up until 4am and then sleep till noon if the rest of the world wasn't so judgmental about it (haters).

Bunker Hubby is, as you've probably figured out by now, NOT an owl. He is what is known as a "lark"; he loves mornings (sick bastard) and is usually snoring on the couch by 9pm. Now, this causes a bit of a problem when it comes to coordinating schedules. As much as I like being able to go to bed when my husband does, usually I can stay up another three hours or so without a problem. When I wasn't working, this wasn't a problem - there was really nothing for me to stay up until 2am for. But now that I'm working with a friend on his consulting business, I enjoy those extra three hours between 11pm and 2am when I can just put my head down and work like crazy.

The other night we had a "come to Jesus meeting" about it; Bunker Hubs was not-so-happy that I was choosing staying up late to work rather than going to sleep with him, and I was feeling guilty for wanting to stay up. So we worked it out. The final agreement looks something like this: I will try to be a little less engrossed in work and online stuff in the evening, when he's awake, and he will be okay with me staying up until 2am or so, as long as I am able to wake up in the morning and see the kid off to school (what I do after that, until I have to pick up the boy at 4, is up to me and may include naps if I need one).

I think we have Obama to thank for this new found spirit of negotiation. Not because he really does have anything to do with it (after all, one person in this house didn't even vote for him, and although I'm not naming names it wasn't me or the kid, and the cat isn't registered to vote in this country. Yet.), but because it'll piss off Bunker Hubs. Heh heh heh.

Crap, I guess I'm not that grown-up. Oh well, pass the Pop Tarts.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Mysterious Monday

Well, it would appear that Mysterious Monday is destined to appear on Tuesday. I'm not sure why. Perhaps a name change...Tenebrific Tuesday? (and yes, I had to look that one up too).

Or perhaps that's the nature of Mysterious Monday - to appear on Tuesday. After all, who am I to question the nature of the Mystery?

Today's Mysterious Monday comes to you from my kitchen. Here's a picture:

So what's the mystery? Well, I'm a little embarrassed to say this, but I'm not sure what kind of bread that is. Pumpkin bread? Spice bread? Gingerbread? I don't know. I've even tasted it, and still don't know. Sad, I know.

If you have any ideas, feel free to jump in!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Mysterious Monday: The truth is out there - and it's LOUD

Well, it appears all those people who claim to have been abducted by aliens may just be right. Or they may just be crazy, but then what accounts for this?

Scary stuff, I tell ya. I'm just glad I live in a Bunker. Time to go check the canned goods...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New project

This morning I was told about a new project called "52 Stories". It's a Flickr group (find it here). The basic premise is that anyone can join this group, and the only requirement is that each week, you post a picture to the group and link to (or post) a story about it. It can be a story about anything, fiction or non-fiction.

So here's my inaugural story (one week late, but hey, nobody's perfect!). Hope you enjoy.

The picture:


The story:


One of my favorite memories about growing up in Queens, New York, has to do with winter. More specifically, it has to do with winter days when we went to school. Rather more specifically, it has to do with arriving home after school. I vividly remember walking through the door on a cold, dark winter afternoon, to the sound and smell of my mother cooking dinner. We would sit in our rooms, or maybe the dining room, doing our homework, waiting for our father to get home and for the evening to begin. Those dim, 4pm-afternoons were one of my favorite things about wintertime.

Now that I'm a mom, one of my strongest desires is to create for my child the same memories - walking into the warm house, the smell of dinner in the air, our home a safe harbor against the ever greyer and shorter days. Somewhere safe. Somewhere warm. Somewhere loved.