tags


Sometimes I meditate on the subject of what I would write on my postcard if I sent one to postsecret. Angela has tagged me for this 8 facts meme, and I’m ready. I’m going to try to remember all those “secrets” that I’ve been storing up for a rainy day. And I’m not saying I’m proud of all these. Most of them make me feel like a freak.

1. Every time I use a paper towel, I think about how I’m probably going to Hell. I hate being wasteful, but the convenience of grabbing a paper towel and then not having to wash it is too seductive. But I do save every single plastic bag I ever come in contact with. If I get one at the market, because I was dumb enough to leave the house without my canvas shopping bags or Mexican bolsas, and I have to get one of those crappy bags, I save it and use it as many times as I can. I reuse ziploc bags. I make Derek wash them. I save the bags from the bulk section and use them the next time I go shopping, and I don’t put veggies in any bag at all. Four zucchini? No bag. Dripping wet parsley? No bag. Twelve oranges? That’s what that canvas bag is for.

2. I wear my clothes until they’re visibly dirty. Don’t say ew. Americans have such a neurosis about being clean. Clothes last much longer if you don’t wash them every single time you wear them. So you use less water, put less soap into the water supply, use less energy for the dryer, spend less money on clothes, and have that nice, comfy feeling of not having to get into tight jeans every single time you dress.

3. I have to do everything myself. And then brag about it. I made a pie today from pumpkins that I baked. Next year, I’ll have pumpkins in the garden, so I’ll just run outside to get a pumpkin to make that pie. I made three and a half meals out of one tiny roasted chicken, including a great soup from the broth I made with the carcass. I made my kids their Halloween costumes. I’m knitting myself a scarf. I make our bread whenever I can. I’m planning on making all the Christmas presents this year.

4. I’m always deeply ashamed when I give people store-bought presents. Unless they’re from DI. Then they’re recycled, so it’s OK. I never send thank you cards, because I never get it together and actually make them.

5. I’m afraid of everyone. Even people I’ve known since I was 5. Even my own family. Even Derek. I’m always afraid they really know what a sham I am, or they’re just being nice.

6. Prepare yourself for this one. It will sound horrible, but read on. I think I’m smarter and more talented than almost everyone. Which is not to say that I necessarily know more, but that I have this inner demon that says, “I may not know that, but it’s only because I haven’t tried to learn it yet. It’s not like I can’t, I just haven’t had the time.” Don’t misunderstand me. I know this is a snobbery, and that it’s untrue, but my brain doesn’t want to change it’s mind. I was told at a very young age that I was very smart, by many people. Those things don’t just go away.

7. The people that I know are smarter than me make me the most terrified. Like they know I’m really just an idiot. I have to compensate for my feelings of inferiority by doing everything myself. Like somehow sewing puppy costumes makes up for my inability to even read the math Derek works on. Or speaking 9 languages makes up for my dismal lack of knowledge in pop culture. (It’s a total lie, I don’t really speak 9 languages. But for the record, I speak English as my native tongue. I lived in Mexico when I was 5, and learned fluent Spanish, which I lost in the years following, but regained in part when I went back to Mexico when I was 19.

I studied German for 5 years in High School, but I didn’t have my heart in it. I learned the vocab, but I never cared about the cases. Hmmm, how can you speak German without the cases?

I took Italian for 4 or 5 semesters in college, because when I was choosing my classes my first semester, all the Spanish classes were full. I went to Vienna, Austria for a semester abroad, and improved my German, then took 3 more semesters of it.

I went on a religious mission to the Philippines when I was 22, and learned Tagalog fluently. One of my native companions said that when she wasn’t looking at me while I was talking, she would forget that I was not a Filipina. I also studied Ilokano, a regional dialect, while I was there. I was never fluent in Ilokano, but I could talk about church and God pretty smoothly.

I stayed in Holland for a few weeks with a Dutch friend, and learned a bit of Dutch, after which I got some books in Dutch and studied it on my own. My friend once told me that it was funny hearing me speak Dutch, because instead of an American accent, I had a German accent.

I took a semester of French following my trip to Holland. Only one, but with the background in Spanish and Italian, all I had to do was learn the spelling and pronunciation idiosyncrasies.

After I met Derek, I took a semester of Russian. The teacher only let me in because I had the same last name as he did, but I turned out to be a crack shot at it, so he liked me all the more. Even when I skipped about two weeks… after getting engaged. Yes, I was one of those. Don’t make fun.

But since I’m afraid of everyone, I never speak any of the languages, so they pretty much don’t count anyway. Oh, I started learning Greek this summer. Yay for me.

8. I want to know everything. I honestly cannot think of a subject that I don’t want to know more about.

Are you sad you wasted your time on that?

I’m tagging Elizasmom, Kalli, my fantastic aunt Barbara, Sketchy, Honeyvine, Yardbird and that’s gonna have to be all! Because who else can I tag that hasn’t done this one or hasn’t decided to renounce all future tags?

To answer Compulsive Writer’s question, cliché, you ask? I think I can top anyone’s meeting-the-husband cliché, especially if you are Mormon. I am from Salt Lake City. I had already been on a mission, and was finishing up my bachelor’s degree at BYU. I had already spent a few too many years in school, and was about to start my Senior year. I met Derek in church. He is from Bountiful. Well, Woods Cross, to be exact, but to anyone who’s not from there, it’s the same thing. And yes, he came to BYU after his mission president told him to transfer to BYU from the University of Utah, in order to find himself a wife. He was 21, but looked like he was 16. He was adorable. When I saw him, I’m pretty sure I leaned to my roommate and said, “I think I need to marry that boy.” To finish the cliché contest, our ward, the BYU 95th ward, met in the Wilkinson Center, in the Cougareat. Right next to Subway. Derek was addressing the Relief Society (the women’s group), as a member of the Elder’s Quorum (the men’s group) presidency. He called us “The Sister’s Quorum.” It was too cute.

Oh wait, there’s more. We got engaged about 6 weeks after we started dating for real, and got married 4 months later. Derek wanted to propose at Stewart Falls, but got lost. He droves us back down to Bridal Veil falls, and proposed there. We reserved a the tower room of the Manti temple right after Christmas, but because Derek’s cousin and grandpa couldn’t climb the stairs and Derek’s mom thought it was too soon, we changed it to the Salt Lake temple right after Valentine’s day. So by the time we were married, we had know each other for 9 1/2 months. I know, I know. It sounds so foolish. And perhaps it was, for Derek. But if you know him, you know I was right to snatch him up before anyone else could get their hooks into him.

Since we got married just before Presidents day, we had a three day weekend for our honeymoon. We took another two days, and drove to Logan and stayed at a bed and breakfast, where Derek discovered spinach-bacon quiche. We got back to Provo in time for mid-terms.

I didn’t want a reception, a bouquet, or a cake, but our moms won out. Since it was the middle of February, we decorated with Valentine’s stuff. It was cute. We had three pink heart-shaped cakes, each a different size, that my brother NungNung decorated. My step-dad hired a harpist, and the reception was at the ballroom at David Gardner Hall, at the U of U.

It was all really wonderful. I still can’t believe my good fortune, finding someone as spectacular as Derek.

*If you want to do this meme, go to CW’s house and get the real questions. You know we all love to read each other’s love stories.

I tagged Derek and he thought that was cheating. Too bad. I made him do it any way. This is how he spent his time waiting for our delayed flight out of Oakland yesterday.

1. I love ice cream. And not just a little bit. When I was growing up, my brother and I would spend a few weeks every summer with my grandparents. My grandpa used to tell everyone, “There are small bowls of ice cream, large bowls, and Derek-size bowls.” Needless to say, things haven’t changed and a half gallon of ice cream really disappears fast in our house.

2. I can fix those cheap electronics toys that your kids love to get and then destroy. Unfortunately, mechanical toys (especially things with springs) give me trouble. Luckily I married Sarah 🙂

3. I’ve learned that for a sufficiently loose definition of “best” I can be the best at anything. For example, when Carrie proposed a contest for determining who the best husband is, I decided that if the definition of best was a combination of skill on Street Fighter 2 and number of papers published in the cooperative control area, that I should be the best in the world. You’d have to agree, it’s just as arbitrary as skill in an obstacle course.

4. I’ve always looked younger than I am. When I was serving a mission in Russia (age 19-21) people thought I was 16. Since attendance at BYU requires men to be clean shaven, I’ve never had the chance to look older by growing a wild beard.

5. My nightly routine involves reading stories and singing songs to my two boys. Sometimes they ask me to make up stories and songs and things get really crazy: I’ve created songs about bunk beds, Spiderman, ceilings, toys, dragons, fishing, and fans.

6. I once volunteered to take notes for a deaf student in an upper division psychology class and learned a bunch of interesting things about how the brain works.

7. The first time I tried sushi was with Sarah for my 22nd birthday. Now for every special occasion, getting sushi is near the top of the list of things to do.

8. As a teenager, I spent a few summers roofing with my uncle. It really made me want to go to college.

9. Growing up, I was very interested in space and the solar system and was determined to become an astronaut. Turns out that they don’t let just anybody become an astronaut and they definitely don’t let you if you are color blind.

10. Once, on a trip to LA, I learned that I wear the same size shoe as Tom Cruise. I used to use this fact as the “interesting fact” that you tell everyone along with your name in class. I have since realized that Tom Cruise is a weirdo and I shouldn’t try to associate myself with him.

Ten facts randomly chosen out of my brain. About myself. Thanks to the Lovely Helen, a woman of strong moral character whom I would love to meet someday.

1. I hate to be cold. I detest having cold hands and/or cold feet. My feet are cold all the time. I can’t stand it.

2. I love singing duets with my mom, but I also hate it. My mom is a vocal teacher, so I’m too self conscious, but I grew up singing duets and rounds with her and my brothers. I think I could be a professional singer if I took lessons and practiced. I think I could be as good as my mom, who, ironically, is nearly deaf.

3. I hate overeating. It makes me hurt, and it makes me feel immoral, but I do it all the time.

4. I speak fluent Tagalog.

5. I don’t think I can ever have a pet. I hate the smells, the hair/skin/slime; I would forget to feed anything that didn’t beg; I don’t like to touch animals that are mammals; they’re just too much work.

6. These are the pets my family has had: a couple of baby iguanas that died, Lightfoot and Quickfoot, an iguana that lived a long time and eventually had only about 5 toes total and a short stubby tail (you’ve heard that iguanas grow their tail back, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t always happen), Carlos, a Columbian Boa Constrictor, Jorge, a rat who died of cancer, Bubba, a mouse, Chicken Tonight (he was actually dinner for Jorge, but he was cute, so I kept him for a while), a bunch of tropical fish, a couple of goldfish, Jareth and Petunia. I can’t think of any others. Oh, yeah. My dad caught a rattlesnake once and kept it for a week or so. It wouldn’t eat, so he let it go.

7. I never leave the house without Burt’s Bees lip balm. Sometimes I have 3 or 4 on me.

8. I make really, really good bread. Sometimes I make pretty bad bread. I love to read about bread. I love to go to bakeries and look at bread. I like bread to be pretty. Derek thinks I’m obsessed with bread. I like bread. I like to smell it, and eat it. While I was pregnant, the smell of baking bread made me throw up. I made no bread while I was pregnant. Calvin likes to help me make bread, and sometimes he eats the raw dough. I think that’s yucky.

9. I’ve never had a perm.

10. I can pick things up with my toes. I can write with my toes. I cannot play the piano with my toes, although they are long enough that they look like I should be able to.

I’m tagging Liz (to give her incentive to write her first post), CW, Sketchy, Derek (yes, my Derek), and anyone else that wants some tagging action.

*randimity is a word my friends and I made up in high school, at the same time that we decided that the plural of cathedral was catharsis.

I got tagged again. First, let me tell you that although I can’t imagine people being interested in finding out these things about me, all the people I’m tagging are people I want to know weird stuff about. Three are relatives and two are not. Not that it makes a difference. If I could pick some relatives, I would pick C jane and Elizasmom.

INSTRUCTIONS: Remove the blog in the top spot from the following list and bump everyone up one place. Then add your blog to the bottom slot, like so.

1) Shelli’s Sentiments
2) CuriosityKiller
3) Doggy Mama
4) Eve
5) Sarah

Next select five people to tag: (if you haven’t done it already)
1)Shaopung
2)NungNung
3)C jane
4)Cousin Mike (again. C’mon Mike, get on it.)
5)Elizasmom

What were you doing 10 years ago? Let’s see. I was just about to turn 22… ah yes, that’s right. I was still recovering from jet-lag during my first week in the Philippines, on a mission for my church. I was pretending to speak Tagalog, marvelling at how humidity really, really changes the way you perceive heat, and trying to tame my hair, and calm my poor, abused skin. I had shoulder length, straight hair when I left Utah, but over the first few weeks in Echague, my hair started to frizz in a most alarming way. After about 3 months, I cut it to chin length and started using some gel, and suddenly I had movie-star perfect curly hair. When I came back to Utah, it frizzed again, then went flat like before. Now you know why I cut it all off.

My skin also took on this lovely swollen, blotchy look. And I got devoured by the mosquitoes from the knees down. My calves were covered with scabs for about a month. When I left my first area, one of the people I had met there told me, “You were very ugly when you came here, but now you are pretty!”

And the people in that area, whom I had know for 2 weeks, gave me a birthday party, complete with a birthday banner and fish wrapped in banana leaves and grilled in the fire.

What were you doing 1 year ago? Puking. I was 3 months pregnant, and my pregnancies are not pleasant. They only get worse for the whole 9 months. I was also trying to plant the garden, so I went out for about 2 hours every day to plant and weed. I planted 28 tomato plants, which, by the end of the summer, were totally overgrown with weeds, since I could no longer bend over to pull them.

Five snacks you enjoy:

  • Spiced nuts. I don’t keep these handy, because I eat them all.
  • Home-made whole wheat bread with butter and honey. This I love.
  • Chips and fresh salsa. A staple in my family since forever.
  • Popcorn. Especially Bon’s popcorn.
  • Candy. Any kind except hard candy. My favorites are jelly beans, swedish fish, M&Ms, black licorice, marshmallow peeps, orange marshmallow peanuts, caramels, tootsie rolls, laffy taffy, hot tamales, mike & ikes, bit-o-honey, there’s not much I don’t like. Again, I don’t keep these things in the house. I don’t have the OFF button that tells me to stop eating candy. I just eat it until it’s gone. (I blame my dad, the only person I know who can subsist on a diet of chips and salsa, wheat thins, Fresca, and candy, and still maintain his 140 pounds.) (He runs a lot.) (More than anyone else you know.)

Five songs that you know all the lyrics:

Uh oh, here my nerdiness shines through. I know all the lyrics to La Cucaracha, the Spongebob Squarepants song (this is recent), I’m gettin’ nuttin’ for Christmas (or, as my Dad once sang it, “I’m gettin’ Mutton for Christmas, cause I ain’t been nuttin’ but BA-AA-AAAAD”), There are no mirrors in my Nana’s house, lots of folk songs and rounds, and The Glory of Love (Peter Cetera). Gosh, it was hard to narrow it down to five.

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire:

  • Give lots of money to Oxfam
  • Start a bee farm.
  • Take Derek to Europe
  • Fund a renewable energy project
  • Eat lots of chocolate

Five bad habits:

  • Eating lots of chocolate
  • Not cleaning the house
  • Watching trash TV rented from Blockbuster for hours at a time
  • Piling all my earthly possessions on the piano instead of putting them away
  • Checking my email/blog comments at least twice an hour

Five things you like doing:

  • Running
  • Reading
  • Cooking
  • Knitting/crocheting
  • Talking

Five things you would never wear again:

  • Leg warmers
  • High heels
  • A nursing bra (OK, looking into the near future, here)
  • That pair of Wranglers from my Freshman year in college
  • A sweater-vest

Five favorite toys:

  • Derek
  • Calvin
  • Zeeb
  • Kiki
  • Sorry, I only have 4