Wednesday, August 29, 2007

List redux

100 things about Sassy Molassy. Like all the cool people have on their blogpages.

1. I am a high school English teacher.
2. I'm past halfway between thirty and forty.
3. I procrastinate.
4. Brevity is not my strong suit.
5. I am self-conscious about the fact that I talk too much and am sometimes powerless to stop it, but I can control it better than I used to.
6. I sometimes leave meetings and gatherings fearing that I have just been obnoxious.
7. I used to be obsessed with the book Lolita.
8. I have read at least five books five times or more.
9. I read Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses and liked it.
10. I own a signed first edition of my favorite book.
11. I finally read Pride and Prejudice and thought it sucked.
12. I'm reluctantly reconsidering my low opinion of the movie "Lost in Translation."
13. I hate everything about winter except the holidays.
14. I spent a combined total of more than nine years breastfeeding my four kids. If I ever get breast cancer, I will be so pissed.
15. I don't wear black as much as I used to, but I still like to.
16. I think shopping is torturous.
17. I would love to be tall.
18. You will never get me to the second location.
19. I still sometimes feel shocked that I have four kids, and that one of them is 12 years old.
20. In my last pregnancy, my hair turned curly.
21. In my last pregnancy, I had euphoric fantasies about eating sand.
22. I wish I were at the beach every single day of my life.
23. I love to travel but have barely traveled at all.
24. I have never taken a sip of coffee or smoked a single cigarette, because I can't stand the smell of either.
25. I would classify my fear and dislike of certain foods as an actual phobia.
26. I would rather be punched in the face than eat cole slaw or tuna salad.
27. I order the same thing every time I get Chinese takeout.
28. Chicken Tikka Masala makes me hum with joy when I eat it.
29. I would like to take an Indian cooking class.
30. I would one day like to go back to school for a Masters in urban planning, but realistically I'm more likely to go back for an MFA in writing.
31. I won the Allen Tate Poetry Award my senior year at Rhodes College.
32. I have no idea who Allen Tate is or was.
33. I am least likely to like people who see themselves as weak or helpless, but I feel kind of bad about that.
34. I have never been in therapy but that's probably a mistake.
35. I am a poor judge of character when it comes to first impressions.
36. I trust people easily, but I suspect this is because I have low expectations.
37. I have mixed feelings about nihilism as a personal philosophy.
38. I once took meditation lessons from a Buddhist monk who spoke only Vietnamese.
39. As a child I went to a Seventh Day Adventist church with my grandmother.
40. I was raised Baptist.
41. I have been baptized twice.
42. I have a deep-seated aversion to religion and churches.
43. I can quote the Bible chapter and verse.
44. I will probably take my kids to a Unitarian church when they get older. I guess.
45. My husband and I were married by a judge but had an outdoor wedding.
46. I got married two weeks after graduating from college, and in the same location.
47. I married my high school sweetheart and the only man I could ever be married to.
48. I moved every year from the age of 17 to 23.
49. My husband and I dream of living on a boat after our kids leave home. My seasickness may interfere with this plan.
50. I left home at 17 and have never had to move back in with my parents (knock wood).
51. I have two tattoos and want at least one more.
52. I have an unfortunate tendency to want to tell people the entire plot of movies, books, and occasionally my dreams.
53. When I win the lottery, I'm buying a beach compound in Costa Rica.
54. Or the Virgin Islands.
55. I wish I spoke Spanish.
56. I was president of the French Club in high school, much to the French teacher's chagrin.
57. Whenever I make a statement that reflects the image I have of my own personality, my husband laughs derisively. I'm not sure why that is.
58. I love to dance and am good at it.
59. I love to sing, but I'm bad at it.
60. I read the Stephen Mitchell translation of the Tao te Ching every day for a year, and am still affected by it.
61. I wish I were a more patient parent.
62. I am a recovering sweet tea addict.
63. I may never be happy with my weight again.
64. I suffer the unfortunate fate of having liked my body before children.
65. I have hyper-flexible arches. That is a bad thing.
66. I suspect that I will lose the ability to walk in old age.
67. I'm very hot natured, but I can't stand the cold.
68. I have been told that I'm "a bundle of contradictions."
69. Maybe because I'm a Libra; it's actually balance masquerading as contrariness.
70. I find it annoying to be surrounded by people who agree with me about too many things.
71. I always root for the underdog.
72. I'm an optimist.
73. I'm married to a pessimist.
74. That works out well, actually.
75. I used to be a pack rat, but now I love to get rid of things.
76. I'd love to get rid of about half the crap in my house, especially in the kids' rooms.
77. I have successfully rid this house of pets of any kind, but I'd like a cat. In theory.
78. I find it ridiculous when people act like pet ownership is in any way similar to parenthood.
79. I had a lot of animals and a lot of plants before my four kids sucked every last ounce of nurturing from my pores.
80. My first job was building skateboards and selling clothes at Gadzooks.
81. I have worked continuously since I was 16.
82. I used to be a bartender.
83. And a waitress.
84. And a social worker/house arrest officer for juvenile delinquent boys.
85. I have taught at six different Memphis City Schools.
86. My worst job ever was telemarketing to collect money for MADD.
87. I walked out of most of the jobs I had in my teens and early twenties because someone told me to do something I didn't want to do, in a way that I didn't want to hear.
88. You're not the boss of me.
89. I struggle with what to teach my kids about respecting authority.
90. I'm a very open person, but I can keep a secret better than anyone suspects.

The last ten items on my list will be my responses to those actor's studio questions:
91. What is your favorite word? ephemeral
92. What is your least favorite word? slacks
93. What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally? being out in nature, especially near water
94. What turns you off? the phrase "turns you on" used in a non-sexual context
95. What is your favorite curse word? If you've heard me utter five words in a row, you can figure this one out. (Hint, it starts with "F")
96. What sound or noise do you love? ocean sounds
97. What sound or noise do you hate? my child crying
98. What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? urban planning
99. What profession would you not like to do? car sales
100. If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? "Remember when you said 'If there is a God who made me, and knows me, and loves me, then I'm pretty sure that God is not going to punish me eternally for a little thing like being wrong about his/her/its existence. I'm willing to bet that the religious authority figures who have emphasized belief over actions throughout history have done so because they were not doing good things and did not want to be questioned.'? That was so right on!"

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Smattering of Things

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's been a while.
I have been writing, though! You can read my August column in The Lamplighter here on page 13.

Some friends of mine recently made a pact to enter the Memphis Magazine short story contest this year. Like the oppositional defiant personality that I am, I declined to write my story, even though I knew what I wanted to write about, until two days after the deadline had passed. I'm actually pretty pleased with the way it turned out. Maybe once I finish tweaking it and polishing it up a bit, I'll look around for some other contest to send it to. I'll let you know how that goes.

Meanwhile, the kids have been back in school for two weeks now. They're adjusting remarkably well to being back in the routine, and Genevieve is doing great back with her sitter from last year. I had a harder time than usual going back to work for some reason, maybe because I had such a great summer. It would all be so much easier if I could wear tank tops and flip flops to work instead of having to look at least semi-professional in the 110 degree heat. So as much as I love summer, I'm finding myself longing for fall.

Other than that, I'm just trying to figure out what happened here at my house Friday night. As near as I can tell, a pack of drunk, evil elves broke in. I'm not sure what their purpose was, but while they were here they seem to have done their best to take every toy in the house and reposition it as far as possible from its proper place. They also played at least one round of Twister, used all the clean pillowcases as sleeping bags, and went exploring under the beds. As far as I can tell, their diet is comprised entirely of different kinds of dips, chips, crackers, and soggy lime wedges. However, this did not stop them from dirtying every dish in the house and then loading the dishwasher according to some bizarre pattern in which the objective is to fill the maximum space with the fewest pieces. This Friday I'm setting up the nanny cam.