Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Getting to know you . . .

Are you hearing Deborah Kerr right now? Because I can't hear those words without sashaying about the room looking for Yul Brynner as the King of Siam.

Anyway. Many of you know about my penchant for listmaking. The obsession continues as I present here, for your reading pleasure, some things I love and some things I hate, in varying combinations.

Nine Things I Hate to Hate

1. Pickles
. No offense intended to Elder Bednar, but I DON'T WANT TO BE A PICKLE. I would choose the crisp crunch of a fresh cucumber over a limp and sour pickle 100 times out of 100. If my husband has had pickles any time in the last 12 hours, even if he has brushed his teeth 7 times, I can still smell it on his breath. He thinks it's a magic trick. I always try to like them. I never do. I feel exactly the same way about olives, even the really expensive ones.
2. Walt Whitman. I know, I know, I'm literary. I'm supposed to LOVE him, to swoon when I hear his words. Mostly, I just wish I were reading Robert Frost or Emily Dickinson (my namesake. Oops. There goes the anonymity.) or Billy Collins or ANYONE else.
3. Canon in D, by Johann Pachelbel. No matter how highbrow you think it makes you seem, I guarantee that every time you ask for this to be played at your wedding, two things happen: all of the musicians immediately know you are not one, and the viola player instantly decides that you are in league with Satan because why else would you choose the most boring 4 measures ever written in the alto clef and require me to repeat them ad infinitum? I may even refuse to hold my instrument as anything other than a guitar, since the piece requires no bow and that much pizzicato could be performed by a monkey. A barely trained monkey. I also hate Ravel's Bolero for basically the same reasons, and I hate anything by Respighi because . . . it's just really awful.
4. Tulips. I think their foliage looks angry.
5. Country music. Yes, I know all the words to that auctioneer song that came out when I was in high school because MommyJ listened to it OVER and OVER again. (Hey, pretty lady won't you give me a sign, I'd give anything to make you mine all mine, I'll do your biddin' and be at your beck and caaaalll . . .) And I grew up listening to my grandparents singing bluegrass and old Gospel music (have you seen O Brother, Where Art Thou? You should, if you haven't. It's great. I knew all those songs before the movie came out.) And I have tried to enjoy country music. But I just can't.
6. Condiments. I don't do mayonnaise or mustard or ketchup. When I make a sandwich, it has butter on it, and maybe some cranberry chutney. My condiment of choice otherwise is the king of cheeses, Parmigiano-Regiano.
7. Legos. Please don't curse me. If my children could keep them out of the shag area rug in our living room, maybe I would stop swearing every time I step on one.
8. Summer. More specifically, any temperature above 80 degrees. Maybe I'm okay with 90 if it's dry. This is why I live in heaven: it has only topped 80 degrees a few times this summer. It's blissful. If you live in Vegas, I will only visit you in the winter.
9. Pets in the house. I know, I know! I'm horrible! I wish I could just tell you it's because I'm allergic to all things furry, but that's not the only reason. I really think that animals are built to live outside. And I am not built to deal with animal hair on my furniture. We had a Dalmatian when I was growing up (the world's dumbest dog) who could shoot her wiry white hair onto your black pants like a porcupine's quills. I don't have the patience or the time to deal with defurring everything I own, and I would be forever congested to boot. So there.

Ten Things I Love to Hate

1. Facebook.
There, I said it. I hate texting and Twitter, too, and I am absolutely unapologetic about it. I tell you what -- if I were single right now and a boy interested in me didn't have the cajones to ask me out in person, his absolutely inadequate substitute of a text message would not be dignified by a response. Except for a big, fat, wet raspberry right in his face the next time we met in person.
2. Huge baby headbands. Moms, what, exactly are you trying to cover up by plastering a gerber daisy as big as your child's head right over the cutest part of her? Little bows? Fine. Even little flowers are almost okay. When you notice the child as an afterthought, there's something wrong with the accessory.
3. Unintentional asymmetry. I couldn't live in the house across the street from ours because the three dormer windows of the upper story are not centered, or evenly spaced. I've been inside the house. It wouldn't have been hard to center the middle window over the door, or to space out the other two dormers. Instead the house just looks lopsided.
4. Protocol. Really? There's a way that's always the only right way to do things? I don't think so. I understand that sometimes you have to go through the "proper" channels to get things done. But sometimes you have to completely avoid them to get anything done. That's where I come in.
5. Duke University basketball. Mike Krzyzewski is the devil. Or, at least the 'Devil's coach. I cover my children's eyes so they can't lipread his bad language during Carolina games. I graduated from BYU, but my heart belongs to the Tarheels -- I've been indoctrinated to the superiority of Carolina blue since the womb.
6. Passive aggression and manipulative behavior. What's wrong with a little plain speaking? You can be forthright and diplomatic at the same time, believe it or not. And if what you want is so subversive that you have to manipulate to get your way, maybe you should reexamine your motives.
7. Nicholas Cage. They should just call every character he plays "Nicholas Cage" because they're all basically the same person anyway.
8. Poorly-designed parking lots. I have a friend who thinks parking lots are unnecessary anyway. He's a little kooky. But they should have a clearly established traffic pattern and adequately sized parking spaces with plenty of room in the aisles. Are you listening, Target?
9. Mispronunciations and misspellings. Have you actually looked at the word "nuclear"? Because there's only one "u" in it. And it ain't after the "c". And spell check, people. Spell check is a gift from God!
10. Debt. I attack it like a pit bull. And I can't wait until it's gone.

Ten Things I Hate to Love

1. Dirty Dancing.
I am compelled to stop and watch every single time I notice that it's on. It's sad, I know. I wasn't allowed to watch it when it came out, even though all of the extra dancers were from the studio where I took lessons. So, instead, I suggested that we watch it at every slumber party I went to until I graduated from high school. And now, I can quote it. And I can sing you every part of every song on the soundtrack. Sad, sad, sad.
2. American Idol. 'Nuff said.
3. The smell of coffee. And coffee ice cream.
4. Unbaked treats. Let me lick the bowl you've used to make brownie batter and I am in heaven. I might not even eat one that's been baked. Cookie dough, bread dough, cake batter . . . once in college, my roommates and I mixed up a yellow cake mix and dipped apple slices in the batter. Yum. And AWFUL for me.
5. France. I don't know why I hate to love France, but for some reason being a francophile in this country seems a little subversive. Not like in a socialist kind of way. I love the food, I've never had a problem with the people, I adore the countryside, and I speak the language. Or I used to. Haven't had much reason to use that skill lately.
6. My minivan. Respect the van, people. Respect the van. I'll drag race you any day and my Odyssey will take it to the bank.
7. Coca-Cola. I know it's bad for me. I know the carbonation leaches phosphorous from my bones or something crazy like that. I know it's bad for my teeth and contains tons of sugar. But I love it. And I'm not quitting.
8. Old Blue. CPod has this old sweatshirt he's had since he was twelve. That's 23 years and counting. It's the perfect fit for my pregnant belly, and I can't stand the sight of it, but nothing feels better.
9. 30 Rock. It's awesome in an "I just can't stop watching" kind of way. And the perfect punctuation to follow The Office.
10. Expensive clothes and shoes. (I'm not talking couture here. Just, you know, not Target. ) I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I just have to. Did you know the size of the clothes is inversely proportional to the cost of them? It helps make the purchases slightly less painful. And I swear, you pay for quality.

Twelve Things I Love to Love

1. Fresh produce.
Right now, it's peaches. If I had been Eve, peaches would have been the forbidden fruit, and that serpent wouldn't have had to do much to tempt me. I love to eat fruit that is still warm from the tree, and these are "sink peaches" -- you have to eat them over the sink to catch the juice running down your arms.
2. Masterpiece Mystery. See Jane Marple solve. Fantastic.
3. Books. The words! OH, the words!
4. Excellent tools. From my cilia forceps to my Global knives to the enzyme that untangles DNA strands when they're unzipping for replication, tools with high utility give me a great deal of pleasure and satisfaction.
5. Hydrangeas. Purple ones. In a bouquet with pink calla lilies.
6. Fabric. Lovely, colorful, 100% cotton, wonderful quilting fabric.
7. Fantastic bras. See this post for more on this one.
8. Wind chimes. In a summer storm, preferably.
9. Dishes and linens. This is when I know I belong to my grandmother.
10. Paul Hindemith, Ernest Bloch and the viola supremacy composers. There aren't many, and we have to love what we've got. Bach and Dvorak aren't half bad either.
11. Food. In my perfect world, the four food groups are fruit, bread, cheese, and chocolate. And I prefer to drink my chocolate. Every Christmas, we import hot chocolate mix from Switzerland. Once you've tried it, you can never go back. Remember, I am a confessed food snob, and it's a great way to be.
12. Lovely smells. Origins Peace of Mind vapor bath. Lepi de Provence lavender hand soap and foaming bath. My beloved L'eau d'Issey. I'm nearly comatose right now just imaging the relaxation that could be going on were I to draw a hot bath for myself right now . . . sigh.

And bless you if you made it all the way through this one!


  1. You KNOW I hear you on the hydrangeas but I'm also soooooo behind you on the passive aggression.

    You're a really good writer.

  2. There's a house in my neighborhood that's so unsymmetrical (is that a word?) that after 8 years of living here it still upsets me to look at it. What were they thinking???

    When I had my 2nd child I got a new cd to listen to in labor. It was called (no joking) Pachelbel's Greatest Hit. And contained 15 or so versions. It was very nice to listen to during labor, and I couldn't listen to it for years after!

    Dirty Dancing...sigh..actually, now that i think of it, the conception of that child had something to do with Dirty Dancing! ;)

  3. You are hilarious and one of a kind, Inkmom! Which is why I love you so much!

  4. Holy mackerel, woman! There's so much there, I don't even know what to respond to, but it was a great read, and a fun way to know you better.

    Don't like tulips? Really?

  5. Wow! Tulips are my favorite. You've almost made me want to change that though.
    I agree with most of your list.
    I'm so excited to buy a new good bra. Can't wait!

  6. This list was so entertaining!!!

    Love pickles - an no! it's not b.c I'm pregnant, I've always love them, even when I live in Chile. :)

    Oh Dirty Dancing - I know that movie like ... not sure what I could compare it too b.c I've seen it so many times and it never gets old. he he.

    I'm right with you on Passive Aggressive Behavior, unfortunately very common around these areas :) What's up with that? Can't we just talk about things like big boys and girls?? Oh well ... hate it with passion!

    I love your lists!!

  7. Wait, I didn't know your name was Robert!

  8. With you on Walt Whitman. Ditto Canon in D, Legos, summer (try Vegas summers, baby!), country music, cookie dough, and Facebook.

    If you were to visit the Skagit Valley in upstate Washington any given spring, you would see miles and miles of tulip fields, and it's breathtaking. It's a flower best enjoyed en masse and at a distance.

    Adore 30 Rock, and fabulous bras and shoes.

    You're my twin, I guess. Except I do enjoy me a good pickle and condiment laden cheeseburger.

  9. Good memories of the apple dipping session in Whitney Hall. :) Do you remember the burnt hand from swiping some brownie/cake batter from the oven? Guess I should have saved you a spoonful.

  10. I have the pleasure (if it can be called that) of actually getting to play the fun part on the Canon, but ew, I never want to play it again. I played it four bazillion times in High School and I now gently suggest other alternatives when people bring it up. Or maybe the sudden eye twitch starts to warn people. . .

    Love tulips. Love pickles. And I'm sorry but I never got in to Hindemith--although if I were a viola player I'd probably love him.

    Fresh peaches are God's gift to humanity, are they not?

  11. I was thinking as I read this that I should list in my comment all the things we have in common, but once I got to the end of the post I realized that might freak you out hugely.

    I hate the smell of coffee. Otherwise? Wow...

    I think I'll stalk you now...

  12. Just scrolling through some posts--and I have to say that knowing you hate Walt Whitman and Pachelbel's Canon were all I needed to hear to know I liked you. (Seriously, that poor alto part--the same 4 chords over and over again--the man must have been a sadist.)

    I'm crossing my fingers that you despise Faulkner as well. (I did an entire post about that even though I'm an English major and *should* like him). If you hate him too, we're truly bloggy kin!


Sock it to me!