Monday, November 03, 2008

Six Pseudorandom Facts about Me

I was tagged by Acmegirl to do this meme, so here goes. I hate tagging other people, though, so if you want to be tagged, consider yourself tagged; otherwise, don't worry about it.

The rules:
  1. Link to the person who tagged you.

  2. Post the rules on your blog.

  3. Write six random things about yourself.

  4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.

  5. Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.

  6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.
Okay so here goes.
  1. I am very allergic to (dog and cat) fleas. This is an important reason why we have no pets. The misery I experience when a flea bites me is really too much to bear. I first discovered my flea allergy when I was home the summer after my first year of college. I developed all these bright red welts with watery heads on them that itched beyond belief. My mom took me to the doctor, who immediately ruled out flea bites, since we had no pets. He then thought I must have some sort of micro parasite, and the only way to kill it was to cover my entire body (skin, scalp, soles of my feet, you name it!) with some kind of really stinky cream, and leave it on overnight. I did that, the itchy welts didn't go away -- in fact, I kept getting more and more! -- and boy was I annoyed. Then, a cousin who grew up on a farm with pets came for a visit, and she immediately found and captured a flea. My mom took it to the extension entomologist, who identified it as a dog-and-cat flea. We had the house flea-bombed while we were gone, and the problem was solved. To this day, my bout with the fleas adds an extra layer of discomfort to my interactions with other people's pets. The last thing I need in life is another round of flea bites.
  2. Every weekday morning, I eat yogurt with cereal on it and drink a tall glass of water. I liked the Dannon Lite-n-Fit kind, until they recently changed the recipe and I don't like their "improvements." Luckily my local grocery chain has a good store-brand-equivalent, and I eat that. I used to have a sprinkling of Rice Krispies (or their store-brand-equivalent) on my yogurt, but lately I have been enjoying Uncle Sam cereal on my yogurt. Uncle Sam is pretty vile stuff if you just eat it plain, but the sweetness of the yogurt counteracts its natural flavor. And Uncle Sam stays very crunchy through the course of breakfast, something that was an issue with Rice Krispies.
  3. When I was a kid and we would travel, we would eat fruit-flavored yogurt with sweet cereal (such as Alpha Bits) for breakfast just about every time we spent the night in a hotel. There weren't so many hotels that offered you a "complimentary" breakfast like there are nowadays. So we would have these yogurt cups and a box of cereal handy. My weekday breakfast is much lower in calories than those breakfasts of my childhood, but it does still evoke those memories.
  4. On those trips when I was a kid, I visited all the states in the continental United States, and a few Canadian provinces. Our summer vacations (not the whole time we were out of school; I mean the time we traveled in the summer) usually involved traveling to wherever my dad had a conference, and back. We had a big tan van and my parents drove that thing across the country I don't know how many times. Some of my favorite places we went were the Canadian Maritime provinces (okay, that may have actually been the Summer of the Fleas -- not exactly when I was a kid), the Southwestern U.S., and the Pacific Northwest.
  5. I do not have a diamond engagement ring. My engagement ring is a gold band that's a replica of a medieval French ring. On it, it says "Vous et nul autre" (You and none other). Then, I have a similarly wide gold wedding band, that is beveled but otherwise plain. The wedding bands were $60-70 each at Service Merchandise, a store that no longer exists, but was known at the time for its low jewelry prices. The lack-of-diamond was at my request, because first, I like the flat profile of my rings, making it much harder for me to snag my clothes, panty hose, or whatever; second, diamonds are overrated; and most importantly, with all the cruelty associated with the diamond industry, I could not with good conscience indulge in one.
  6. I am an avid proponent of the hyphen in writing. Not just because I have a hyphenated name -- it's because the hyphen is a very useful tool for communication. It can help clarify what word is modifying what. Take, for example, Bach's work "The Well-Tempered Clavier." The hyphen tells you that "well" modifies "tempered," not "clavier." When you say it, your vocal inflection and your pauses between the words is what gives you this clue, but in the written word, we rely instead upon the hyphen. So, if you were saying one of the terms I run into all the time, "high-performance computing," you would say "high performance (brief pause) computing." My colleagues joke with me that thanks to my dogmatism, their hyphen usage has increased by 2000%.


Madeleine said...

My Love and I were just reminiscing about Service Merchandise the other day. Ah, those were the days.

acmegirl said...

Fascinating! Thanks for playing along!

acmegirl said...

Hey! I, too, am allergic to fleas. The first time I was bitten, my doctor thought I was having a second chicken pox infection. So we were actually relieved that it was "only" flea bites.

Thanks for playing along!