Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sleepy and a Gnome

I was going to sit up and do an assignment I need to do (besides my MA essay) in order to graduate... but I. Am. So. Tired. So Fernando gets the computer yet again. He's asked me to add a section to the blog where Swis' exploits (that's his pink haired gnome warrior) can be celebrated.

The History of Me: Chapter 2

So I've sort of realized lately that my 30s seem to be about Trying New Things. Or, to be more precise, opening my mind up to things that I'd closed my mind to earlier in life.

Maybe this is a normal 30s thing, because in Sarah Kramer's intro to La Dolce Vegan cookbook she talks about trying out horror movies, after swearing them off as a child. Anyway, I think I can classify this as The History of Me Part II (despite my promise to write about loving the 1930s.)

Animal Movies: I am NOT going to change my mind and start watching animal movies. I went through enough evil Born Free, Fox and the Hound, Watership Down, and Bambi experiences as a child to last me a lifetime. I remember watching these things avidly because I loved animals, but at the same time being left with horrible torn feelings anytime an animal was hurt or even had (in the cartoon case) its feelings hurt. (Best friends hunting each other! Get OUT!) I can even remember watching a movie about a guy having to give up his seeing eye dog because he had an eye operation, and I was devastated to see them part, despite my parents trying to convince me that this was good ("The dog will now go help someone else!" "Screw you.") The other day I tried out Phillip Pullman's historical series [spoiler], which has been made into TV movies, and her dog and her boyfriend died within 30 minutes of each other!! I couldn't even watch the dog scene, I had to fastforward. (The boyfriend, meh, not so bad.)

Board Games: My husband complains that we never do anything like play board games. (Well really he wants me to play Warcraft.) So I'm going to try out a few... surely there's something we can both like? We tried Life--the library has a ton of games--but it was too much based on chance. Though I did win big.

Cooking: I hadn't exactly sworn this off, but I'd never believed myself to be "a good cook." (A good baker, however, yes.) So this new foray into cookbooks and constant homemade meals has been a blast. A delicious blast. Tonight I had homemade French bread, and homemade onion soup, and homemade mint chai latte, and homemade peanut butter fudge.

Math: Well I'm not lying when I say I'm bad at math, I think I have the numbers version of dyslexia--I get numbers confused, and can't remember them, and barely know my times tables, and have difficulty grasping concepts. But after taking the obligatory undergrad Methods course, I got the courage to take two non-obligatory grad level Methods courses. And while I'm still a stats fool, I'm less of a stats fool than the average Joe! Heh heh. Anyway, it just feels good to conquer something like that.

Language Learning: I took to French like a fish to water when I was 11 years old and was first learning. But somewhere in my 20s I became convinced that learning a new language was Scary and Hard (mostly bc of the memorization involved.) When I considered doing a PhD I had to face up to this fear, so I did two things. I started watching French miniseries with the French subtitles on, and rediscovered my love of language. And then I bought Arabic books and tapes and started learning that. In the end, I won't need to learn a new language, but it really taught me to stop putting things in the "I Am Bad At This" category of my brain. If being in academia teaches you ONE thing only, it's that you can do ANYthing at a low level of competence if you work hard enough at it. (I'm sure this applies to sports too, but I have no interest in finding out.)

School: I always knew I'd go back, but it didn't happen til my late 20s. (I'm 33 now, I went back in the fall of 2003.) The surprising bit was that I chose political science, instead of english lit.

Punctuality: I'm not a compulsively late person, but I'm compulsively Just On Time. I've been analyzing this lately. It seems to be attached to my Fear of Boredom. It's as though I want to spend the least amount of time possible sitting by the door, or waiting at the bus stop, so I leave at the last minute I can, within reason. Because it's within reason I'm usually on time, but I'm rushed. The classic case is me ON the bus. I read my book until the LAST second possible; but then it's a scramble to grab all my bags and get off. So I'm trying to Put the Book Away earlier than my instinct says. And Leave for the Bus, even if it means more time spent in the cold.

Sleep: I tried to make a vow a few weeks ago to never get less than 5 hours of sleep, at least not intentionally. (Insomnia I can't control, but bed time I can.) I've already broken it many times, and am breaking it now. I want to work up to 7 hours, but apparently I can't even handle 5. I did resist taking a nap, though, which must count for something.

And on that note, I'd better go to bed.

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