13 January 2006

10 by 10, second installment

11. One of the things that really bothered me about blogging technology was that I couldn't figure out how to do expandable posts, even though I am generally pretty good at learning technology.
But now, I can do it! (all thanks to Julie and her most excellent post and book. So I am happy, happy, happy about my blogging technology now (at least for the moment. Boomerific just moved from blogspot to wordpress and I am a little tempted myself. The interface looks a little easier. But once I finish Julie's book, blogger secrets will all be revealed.)

12. I'm a funny combination of technology-seeking and technology-avoidant. I typed my papers almost all the way through college, and then felt supremely cutting edge when I used the mainframe computer to produce my senior thesis. I loved going into the basement of the computer/math building to get my copies from the daisy wheel printers, looking at all the computer scientists coding, running into humanities friends who thought I was so out there for using the text editor on the mainframe. The next year, working in a writing center, I had one of the first Apples and my love of using computers for writing really took off. My first year in graduate school I learned to do e-mail (I remember saying to my housemate, "why would I want to send a computer message to people I see every day?") and quickly became a fan of that. Yet I don't want an iPod. Or at least I didn't want an iPod, until I used Politica's iPod in the car during our last big road trip. Now I sort of want one.

13. I always want shoes, but I am trying to reform and not buy many. I go in shoe-buying spurts and then wear the same two or three pairs constantly until Politica despairs that my shoes will ever look good again. I still have my first pair of Birkenstocks, a birthday gift in 1988 or 89, and I have spent more to resole them twice than I would to buy a new pair. But no other shoe is so comfortable.

14. I write long sentences. Usually. But you already knew that if you read my blog.

15. If there were a contest for the most embarassing reason for becoming a vegetarian, I would probably win.

16. I love birthdays, especially my own. This could be a really irritating personality trait except for the fact that I love other people's birthdays almost as much as I love my own.

17. I love Broadway show music. Once Politica and I had to keep Curious Girl relatively still for a medical test and we sang every show tune we could think of to keep her relatively entertained. When we left, the family in the room across the hall thanked us for entertaining them, too.

18. I love music and make up songs about practically everything. CG used to sing a song when going up or down stairs because I had a going-down-the-stairs song.

19. I have a love-hate relationship with clutter. I identify too much with things, in some respects, and I don't like to part with them. Sometimes I think that if I trusted in relationships more, I wouldn't need things to make me feel like relationships were stable. And sometimes I think if I were less thrifty, or less inclined to think "but surely I could use that in a craft with CG someday," I would get rid of more things. But at other times and in some places, I crave simplicity and order. So I'm going to end this and go back to clearing out the kitchen. Because all those blog posts (like this one) about cleaning offices or this one about organizing have made me want to declutter, badly.

20. I liked the first ten things about me better than these ten things, I think because the first ten were a little more narrative. But there's always tomorrow to try it a little differently.


Anonymous said...

So... why *did* you become a vegetarian??

Anonymous said...

good job!

Anonymous said...

Yes yes! We want to know why you became a vegetarian. Really, your reasons can't be any worse than mine.

And I'm so, so with you on #19.

susan said...

Ok, I guess that phrasing really did beg for comments, didn't it?

I became a vegetarian because I was a wimp. As a lesbian feminist who passionately hopes her parenting will help CG sustain and use a strong voice and strong sense of self, I feel rather sheepish to admit that I couldn't stand up to a controlling college boyfriend. So I became a vegetarian.

Controlling bf really took a lot of steps to isolate me/us from other folks (which is sort of creepy to contemplate in retrospect), one of which was to persuade me to go off the campus meal plan and cook with him in a dorm. So we did that, and promptly spent lots of time arguing about what to eat. I wasn't a vegetarian, nor was I really a particularly skilled cook, but I liked a range of foods, and our tastes didn't match up. And Controlling bf's idea of compromise was to say "fine, but cook something else for me." (not, you'll note, "I'll cook something else for me.")

Then he went on a study abroad program for a term, and I ate by myself. And enjoyed picking my own meals, without conflict. And dreaded his return.

My 43-year-old self looks back on these memories and wants to yell across time, "Dump him! He was bad for you! A creep! You deserved better!" But I didn't do any of that (at least not then. We broke up 6 months later.) Instead, I figured out a way to solve the meal conflicts: I became a vegetarian. That gave me a principle to hold onto, a decision-rule that let me say what I was willing to eat, thus side-stepping the arguments about whether or not to have steak on Thursday in light of the fact that we'd had meat on Tuesday, too, or were planning to have a roast on the weekend so wouldn't some soup be nice tonight?

I have all kinds of reasons why I've stayed a vegetarian, but really pretty lousy ones for the initial decision. I really wish I had liked myself better then. A lot of other years of my life would have been easier.

Anonymous said...

In re: 19, Me too! Me too!!

But not just "Me too!" I also want to say thank you for, in one relatively simple sentence making me see something about myself that makes utter and complete sense but that I had never understood. My grandparents were total packrats, because they had gone through poverty during the Depression they said, and I am a pack-rat too (and I totally do the "I can use that in a crafts project someday" line) and would say it had something to do with having been poor when I was a kid. But that never made all that much sense to me, to be honest.

I read "Sometimes I think that if I trusted in relationships more, I wouldn't need things to make me feel like relationships were stable," though, and was like: whoa that is right.

So lookit that, a dumb little meme and I think it's the most insightful thing I've seen today. Thanks.