Thursday, January 29, 2009

25 Random Things

This sort of thing looks a little self-absorbed, but I did it at the prompting of someone I care about. [I was 'tagged.'] Now that it is done, I might as well post it here, for whatever it is worth.

[Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.]

1. I have powerful mixed reactions to a task like this. I can anticipate all the tendencies that will slow me down, particularly the perfectionist part of me.

2. I analyze things to the n-th. In a task like this, I am likely to say one thing about myself and then note (at least mentally) all the supporting and contradicting evidence.

3. I am just about the world’s worst speller. Spellcheck has been my salvation. (Ah! My spellchecker doesn’t recognize the word ‘spellcheck’!)

4. As a toddler and pre-schooler, I lived in a tiny village and started school in a rural, two-room schoolhouse. (It would have been a one-room schoolhouse if I were just a year older.)

5. I always think of red as my favorite color … followed very closely by burnt orange. (Sorry, Sara.)

6. Truth is, I love interesting and unusual combinations of colors. I had a friend once who would get almost orgasmic when she saw pink combined with various shades of green. I completely understood what she was experiencing.

7. I am interested in and responsive to most human endeavors and activities, more so than I believe most people are.

8. Two exceptions to #7: spectator sports on TV (although I enjoy watching sporting events live) and TV sit. coms.

9. I love going to the movies. When the lights go down and the title comes up, every care and concern of my day-to-day life disappears.

10. Same thing when I teach! I mean, as soon as I begin the lesson, everything else in my life disappears.

11. I spent much of my childhood playing in forests and fields and I am completely at home in rural settings.

12. I’ve lived all of my adult life (since age 21) in and around cities. I am completely at home in urban settings.

13. I am really pleased that I’ve drafted half of these in about an hour. But I know I’ll need to take a break, refresh my coffee, maybe work-out and shower. And even when I get to 25, I’ll still have to type these into Word and spellcheck and proof about three times, after which I’ll post them, spot a typo. I missed, copy, delete, correct and repost.

14. I am promising myself, despite #13, I will finish this.

15. I see and understand a lot of things through the lens of economic theory and economic analogies. Case in point: a friend and I have been exploring the need for solitude and if I weren’t working on this list, I’d be writing about the marginal trade-offs involved in the needs for solitude and companionship.

16. I expected to give birth to daughters. (If you know me, you know I did not.)

17. At various points in my childhood, I planned to be 1) a ballerina (like just about every other little girl), 2) an acrobat and 3) the wife of a farmer. The third persisted the longest.

18. Like someone else whose ’25 list’ I read recently, I have a love-hate relationship with exercise.

19. My personal experience bears out this idea: the thing that most draws you to your mate is inseparable from the thing about him/her that most annoys you.

20. I was born on Easter Sunday and, due to a calendar process I’ve never completely figured out, my birthday seems to fall on Easter Sunday whenever the 2 digits in my age are the same (i.e. 11, 22, 33, etc.)

21. I love techie stuff and gadgets. In that, I take after my Dad.

22. I am drawn to things like time-and-motion studies, ‘therligs’, systems and methods. Both my Mom and my Dad were, too.

23. I do not have the normal complement of facial sinuses. I am missing a couple of them. (Can’t remember exactly which ones just now.)

24. Oh! I am left-handed.

25. I am amazed at how many more of these items are floating through my head. I don’t think I’ve even touched the ‘goal’ part. I guess those ‘100 random things’ lists aren’t as impossible as I’d imagined.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Environmental Damage, Gym-Style

In 'my' gym, you could walk on a treadmill while watching activity on the bayside of South Beach. The view consisted of palm trees wafting in the breeze, aqua and purple rippling water, docked pleasure boats and plowing work vessels, ivory and eggshell toned buildings in the distance backed by an endless baby blue sky.

Working out there was a lot like meditating.

But recently the gym got an upgrade. Now my view consists of a TV screen up close and personal. I can’t see around it, but I can set it to any channel I choose. I've picked the option of my face in a soft focus mirror; that is to say, I've turned the damn thing off.

Who said, "Take paradise, put up parking lot"?

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mustang Sally

Doing the annual Deco Walk on Saturday, I enjoyed the antique cars most. As usual. Something that might surprise my adult-acquired, urban-oriented friends: I grew up loving cars. Still do.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Someone Asked Me ...

Dianne, you originally asked something like how Lee (my husband) and I happen to travel around so much. We are largely retired and travel is Lee's big hobby. Lee was a sales representative for a NC textile mill for over 30 years. When he was working, traveling abroad was the only way he could really get a break. When we'd vacation in the states, he'd end up on the phone with partners and clients about half the day every day. He developed the skills to plan and organize international trips. I just get to go along for the ride.

Miami, on the other hand, has been our break from Chicago winters for a number of years now.

I'll get into the family and offspring stuff soon.


Ok, life story stuff -- After college, I moved to the Chicago area, where I've lived ever since. I married and divorced in my 20s without having any children.

I met Lee on my 31st birthday (although it was a few months before we started dating) and married him on my 33rd. He had a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, William, from a previous marriage. Together we have a son, John, now 28-years-old.

Lee's daughter lives in San Antonio, TX; she is married with two children.

Bill lives in Madison, WI and John in Washington, DC. Bill is a tennis pro and sports club manager. John is a political free lance writer. Bill has not married, at least not yet. John is currently separated. Neither one has children.

That's a sketch of the offspring part of my life story.


Dianne, you mentioned a brother and a sister. I also have one brother and one sister. Are you, like me, the oldest of three?

Both my brother and my sister returned to Joplin and settled there after living elsewhere for a few years. My brother John is a successful executive in human resources, now with Leggett and Platt. My sister, who is named Diane, has had a lot of struggles, although I assume that is not how she would tell her life story. Both of them and their children are significant in my life. Two of my brother's kids actually settled in Chicago, so I get to see them regularly.

My Dad passed away at the very end of 1994. Mom and Dad lived in Joplin until then. A few years later, my Mom re-connected with a Joplin high school classmate, was blessed with a new love, married and moved to a suburb of St. Louis with her new husband.

I was NOT bored by your story. Hope I am not boring you! If/when I write more, I should probably tell you a little about my own career.