Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Three sets of eight

Being new to this blogging thing (only started late last spring, which I know seems like an endless amount of time to those of you kind enough to read these ramblings, but is really quite short in geological terms), I have checked out the blogs of others to see what it is that one does on New Year's Day as a blogger. Because you know me, always concerned with doing What Is Done. And it appears that the done thing to do is to be somewhat retrospective and somewhat prospective. So, I hereby present you with three lists of eight (three because it seems like a nicely balanced number, representing past, present, and future, or some such thing, and eight because it is now 2008; there is always a method to my madness).

List One: Odd and Quirky Things About Me That You May Not Know, And That You May Be Glad You Don't Know, But Now You Will Know Them
1. I sometimes dream in text. As in, I read my dreams (character descriptions, dialogue in quotes, the whole nine yards).
2. (probably related to #1) I have a great deal of trouble getting puns. Particularly if they're written. Because I have this completely unconscious habit of linking words to their written representation, if two words are spelled differently, they're different words, even if they sound entirely alike. For example, I used to eat at wonderful bagel shop in Berkeley, where the motto was, "Protect your bagel, put lox on it." You're all laughing now, but for years, I imagined that I should protect my bagel by putting a condom-like layer of thin smoked fish on it, rather than that I should lock it up. Rick finds this utterly amusing, and now makes me read puns out loud to ensure that I really get them, and that I'm not just laughing to keep from being mocked.
3. While I will try almost anything once, there is a certain class of foods that I prefer not to eat unless I have to, based entirely on texture. This includes: pudding, flan, creme brulee, tapioca, etc. Congealed snail snot, all of it. Except the tapioca, which is congealed snail snot with eyeballs in it.
4. I am tremendously shy and introverted. While I very much enjoy the company of people I know, walking into a room full of strangers is a painful experience. This makes the first week of classes every semester difficult at best.
5. My very first job, at the age of 16, was as a piano teacher. Who knew?
6. I am left-handed.
7. I am terrified -- truly, weak-kneed terrified -- of exposed heights.
8. I can drive anything with four wheels, under almost any conditions, and do a pretty good job of it (this falls under the category of Strange, Undeserved and Unworked-at Talents). This includes driving on the left-hand side of the road on one-land roads inhabited by sheep, as well as on the left-hand side of the road in London, and it includes driving on the right-hand side of the car on the right-hand side of the road, which let me tell you makes passing large trucks quite hair-raising.

List Two: Things That I Am Fairly Proud of Accomplishing In This Past Year, Or That I Am Glad That I Tried
1. Tenure (fooled them)
2. Kauni (a whole adult-sized sweater, with steeks)
3. Test-knitting a pattern
4. Going back to yoga after having back surgery. And doing a back bend without a) crying from sheer terror, or b) having titanium pop out of my back.
5. Really starting to work on figuring out what it is that I want in a given situation, and how to keep my eye on that. This has meant learning to try to say "no" a whole lot more often to things that I do not want.
6. Knitting a sweater without a pattern.
7. Taking the leap into the whole spinning thing.
8. Starting a blog. For me, this was a scary, putting-myself-out-there thing, but I'm so very glad that I did it. I never would have met some folks whom I now consider to be good friends, and that would have been a real loss.

List Three: Things That I Didn't Get to Do This Year That I Wish I Had, Or That I Would Like To Try To Do In The New Year
1. Sea kayaking in the Pacific;
2. Surfing;
3. Try spinning on a wheel;
4. Move my body, preferably outdoors, at least a little every day;
5. Keep writing regularly on the blog;
6. Work more on that "no" thing;
7. Spend less time doing things just to fill time, and more time either doing what I really want to do, or in just paying attention to where and when I am;
8. Be grateful for the abundance in my life, and try to find a way to share that abundance in little ways each day.

I truly am grateful to and for all of you, for the abundance of friendship and support and laughter I have received from you this year. Thank you! And welcome to 2008 -- it's going to be a good year.


Tracy at woollies.wordpress.com said...

You are certainly very clear-headed to come up with such coherent lists on this first day of 2008! I had a real laugh over your comment about the puddings--I don't share your aversions, but I certainly understand the "congealed snail snot with eyeballs in it" comment!

For me, blogging has been really good and therapeutic (I started not long before you did, in the fall of 2006). I'm still uncertain about the balance between what I'd like to say versus what can/should be said publicly, but overall, it's been a good experience. I look forward to reading more of your blog in the coming year!

Anne said...

Three sets of eight is a good way indeed to begin '08; while I don't share that food aversion (it's clear viscuous foods I can't tolerate, starting with runny eggs), in the continuing series of odd connections, I too can drive anything with 4 wheels (despite what you might think from the vicissitudes of this year). I am very glad you took the leap into blog-land and look forward to sharing our adventures across the miles. Happy New Year to you and your family (and felines/canine as well!)

Bea said...

I like the lists and you didn't say anything to scary. I'm glad that you started blogging and even though I only met you a couple of months I've enjoyed getting to know you through your blog. All the best in 2008 and lots of great knitting projects!!

Helen said...

Good for you. You will have noticed that I avoided all the looking back over the year. I still feel extraordinarily shy and self-conscious about the blogging thing. The day I got a hundred visitors (from my friend http://www.jeanmiles.blogspot.com/) I nearly deleted it completely. Now I get thousand a day from that jigsaw site but I expect they'll drop off soon. They worry me quite a lot because I'm not sure what they want, but they stay around to read the posts so I must be doing something right. And nobody's left any venomously nasty comments yet, like some people get, so that's a relief. But it's lovely when someone takes the time to respond and I think it's worth all the nerve-wracking, in the end. Quite a lot of my friends don't know about it, and the one I'm knitting the Mavis sweater for won't read it. I point out to her that people all over the world have a better idea than she has of the progress of her sweater but she still doesn't click on the link. Strange, but then maybe it isn't as strange as me taking photographs of my knitting and turning them into jigsaws :) I don't think I find it therapeutic, as some people say, but I enjoy it, and I look forward to taking photos and planning little commentaries on them, and that will do for the moment. It's interesting that I'm putting all this in a comment and not on my blog, isn't it? Happy New Year again.

Stell said...

I love the 3 lists (In an i wish i had thought of that way), driving is your thing? who would have known? the word thing is odd, but is that where the interest in linguistics came from? Seeking to understand why others used words that way?

Happy - new year (again), Stella

Rachael said...

Ohhh, those are good lists! I consider myself shy and introverted as well, though maybe now it's more of an 'I used to be' thing - but really, I enjoy a day home alone more than almost anything. If I have a random holiday, sometimes I get annoyed when my husband decides to take a day off & spend it with me (but don't tell him that!!!).

That's not the point. The point was that I'm TERRIFIED of speaking in public, I used to black out - not faint - but remember standing up and then remember sitting down and NOTHING inbetween when I had to do presentations in class. Needless to say I never got the best grades on those...

But since I started teaching - and here's the funny part - I'm not at all scared of getting up in front of my students!

It turns out that what I'm terrified of is being called out - like by a teacher who tells me I've got it all wrong, or at work if someone were to question my presentation at a meeting...but my students? I KNOW I know WAY more than they do about the subject, so...no fear. Bizarre. And now that I know the source of the fear, it's much easier to address it.

Also given that nobody I know has ever ACTUALLY started pointed an laughing while I was up there speaking...that helps too.

Oooh, I rambled!

Anyway, good lists!

Ms. P said...

Great lists, and I love the categories. (3 sets of 8 made me randomly think of the approaching summer Olympiad for a moment.)

Blogging has been a highlight of the year for me as well. It really is an amazing community we are able to reach with our "analog" pointy sticks via this technology. I've enjoyed reading along with your explorations.

Have an inspiring New Year!


I have been reading you for a few months and have posted your link on my blog. It was the linguist thing that drove me to you, as I coulda-shoulda-woulda become-became-have been a linguist if my life had taken a different turn.

I find your text dreaming fascinating. Me, I often dream in movies. Do you think you have a touch of Asburger's? (sp?)

Courtney said...

Isn't it wonderful to share your quirks with the world? I find that my shyness sometimes gets in the way of my blogging, mainly because I think the minutia of what I'm doing would be boring, even though that's what I love to read from others.

Anyway, I've recently started reading your blog, and I must say I enjoy it. Keep it up in '08!



Marianne said...

wow... no pudding for you... heh.
Fish Eye Pudding! although I don't eat much pudding, due more to a lactose thing... I loves me some fisheyepudding! Bobby will eat all the pudding I make, doesn't phase him a bit.

I'm intrigued with your dreaming in text... I love to read but when 'reading in a dream'.. the written language will not be still, and it keeps changing or blurs out or a number of things, this has always boggled my conscious mind.
We have quite a bit of other things in common...

These were great lists.

Carrie K said...

I think in texts myself. Doesn't everyone? And I didn't get the lox pun until you spelled it out, while marveling that you didn't get puns in print. Duh.

Happy New Year! Your endless blue blob will someday end. Pinky swear.

D. MacIsaac said...

Oooo, I totally get you on the food aversion thing. All of those sound gross to me also. Your description is perfect.
I'm also a teacher and introverted (the shyness disappeared because of so many moves) and my problem tends to be exhaustion at the end just from being "on" all the time. I cried towards the end of a 10 day trip that I was chaperoning because I was so exhausted and needed time for myself. It was eye-opening.