Monday, April 16, 2012


I've been tagged!  Kayla at The Alluring World tagged me last month (Katie at NFP and Me did, too, since she tagged all of Cathsorority), while I was still in the thick of my 40 Things Lenten posts.  I already had the pleasure of doing one of these "Elevensies" posts (my term, affectionately borrowed from hobbits) a few months ago, so I'll be bending the rules a bit, but I figured I'd have a little more fun with it.

  1. The first rule is to post these rules. I almost didn't.
  2. Post a photo of yourself then write 11 things about you/your life. 'Kay.
  3. Answer the questions for you set in the original post. Yep, x2
  4. Create 11 new questions and tag people to answer them.  Nah, did that here.
  5. Go to their blog/twitter to tell them you have tagged them.  Nah.
At Sesame Street Live!  Not sure what Elise was checking out...
1. My husband's name is Colin, and it recently occurred to me that some of my readers might be pronouncing that wrong in their heads.  It's pronounced CALL-in, not COLE-in!  Most folks pronounce it his way; I think the few I've heard calling him "Colon" were influenced by Colin Powell's prominence.

2. I love learning about anthropology.  I currently have the Wikipedia article for "Cambrian explosion" open in another tab.

3. I thought I liked claymation until I saw the Bert and Ernie claymation segment on Sesame Street.  Blah.

4. It's really warm here today, 85 degrees!  Tomorrow's high is 66.  Spring in Pennsylvania, whoop whoop.

5. That last one wasn't really about me, but gosh, I'm boring.

6. I need some new recipe ideas and inspiration.  Does anyone have any good recipes to share?  Cooking is the only "creative" activity that I really enjoy -- I'm not a crafter, or a scrapbooker, or a photographer, or even a decent decorator, but I love food.

7. Last night I seriously exercised for the first time in weeks, and I felt soooo much better.  I am a total dolt for not exercising and then complaining about how lethargic I feel.

8. I'm planning on going to a talk at the PSU campus tonight given by a Catholic chastity advocate.  Apparently he's a former porn star.  Should be interesting!

9. My car is a total piece of crap.  It's a 2002 Mazda ProtegĂ©5 (hatchback) that I bought in 2006 after I totaled my first car, a lovely '99 Camry, in an idiotic one-car accident on an icy morning.  It has just under 100K miles on it, which makes it middle-aged in my family (and a senior citizen in my husband's).  It's needed all sorts of repairs over the years -- my favorite was last year when the alternator died and it just...stopped working, right after I got off a freeway ramp.  (Don't worry; it was walking distance from our house and Elise wasn't with me.)  Anyway, it's acting up again, and we're afraid it might be the transmission.  Boo.

10. I love red-winged blackbirds.
Don't know much about them, except that they're pretty and I used to see them on the bike trail near my parents' house.
11. My daughter just sat down on my lap and is now chanting, "Elmo? Elmo? Elmo?"  Because that's what the computer is for: Elmo YouTubes.

My Answers to Kayla's Questions:

1. What is one thing that you convinced yourself you couldn't do, only to find out that you could - and did!?  Hmm.  I can't think of anything that I convinced myself I couldn't do that I actually ended up doing. :P  BUT, for a time I had serious doubts that I would ever finish my master's thesis, once I started working full time. Then I got my act together and totally pwn'd that sucka.

2. What is your stupidest fear?  Bees?  Maybe not; they are weaponized, after all.  But it's probably stupider that I'm perpetually afraid that nobody likes me.

3. Are online games sporting events? Why or why not?  I don't consider them sporting events.  To me, a sport entails physical activity.  I think of online gaming as a hobby -- which isn't to say that it doesn't require and develop skills and strategy!

4. What is one food you've always wanted to try, but have never gotten the chance?  I don't think there is one in particular that I've been wanting to try for a long time, but recently I've developed a longing to try authentic southern barbecue.  I'd also like to try the Vietnamese dish pho (a new pho place just opened here).
5. 5 names you WISH you could name your kids - but because you love them, you can't.  This is a great question!  There are a lot of names I like that just wouldn't work for one reason or another.  For example, I love the name Thomas, but my father-in-law's name is Tom (just Tom!) so my husband and I feel like that would be a little weird.  I also love Dmitri and Javier, but neither would go with our last name (or our ethnic backgrounds).  Add Cesare (pronounced CHAY-zah-ray) to that list for the same reasons. (Well, I am 25% Italian, but still).  I think Kateri (like the soon-to-be canonized Kateri Tekakwitha) is a lovely name, but how do you pronounce it?  Internet wisdom tells me that the likely Mohawk pronunciation was Gah-dah-LEE, which I don't particularly love.  My preference would actually be Kah-teh-REE (entirely because of this song), but nobody would be able to figure that out by looking at it.  Thus the primary issue with this name!

6. Are you good at keeping (good) secrets?  I think so.  It's hard for me to keep them from my husband, though.

7. What is the item that has been on your "to do" list the longest?  Writing a story.  Long, short, doesn't matter: I've been wanting to since high school, and it's just never materialized.
8. Would you rather win a complete wardrobe makeover, or home makeover?  That's a toughie.  We are in desperate need of decorations and other items to make our place "homier," but (1) we're renting and won't be here forever and (2) that can be challenging with a toddler.  So I should probably go with the wardrobe makeover; heaven knows I'm desperate in that area, too!

9. Have you ever read the blog Hyperbole and a half before I linked to it just now?  Oh yes I have!  LOVE!!!

10. What is the one housekeeping task that you just cannot leave undone?  I can't stand leaving the bed unmade.  Occasionally I won't get to it before we go out for morning errands, and it drives me crazy to arrive back at the house around lunchtime and see the unmade bed.
11. What are you having for dinner tonight?  Leftover homemade pizza: half with pepperjack, jalapenos, and pineapple, and half with mozzarella, sauteed red peppers, and prosciutto.  YUM!

My Answers to Katie's Questions:

1. Weirdest class you've ever taken?  Probably my introductory course in graduate school.  The only work we did that we were actually graded on was keeping an annotated bibliography of all the course readings and presenting a single Power Point presentation on a book chapter.  Even so, the professor didn't have our grades posted until right before they all would have defaulted to F's because he was so late.  In retrospect, it served as a blueprint for the lameness that frustrated me throughout my two years of graduate school.  

2. If you could only eat 2 foods ever again what would they be?  Guacamole and sweet potato fries.  Because they're delicious.

3. What's your go-to belt it out in the car song?  Depends on my mood.  The last song I felt the urge to belt was Journey's "Ask the Lonely."

4. What's the most OCD thing you do? Obsessing over conversations and social situations after they've occurred, wondering what I might have done that was weird or offensive.

5. Favorite high school memory?  When my senior prom date leaned down as we were dancing and whispered, "I love you."  I love you too, husband!

6. Won't you share your opinion on camping? Love it or hate it?  Allow me to (hopefully accurately) quote my favorite stand-up comedian, Jim Gaffigan: "The only happy camper is the guy leaving the campsite.  He gets to take a shower!"  I've never gone camping; I have no desire to try it.  I enjoy the outdoors, but I don't want to sleep there.

7. Weirdest thing you've ever eaten?  I ate chocolate covered crickets.  They tasted like almonds.

8. E-reader or real book reader and why?  REAL BOOKS.  I have loved books my whole life, and it's just too hard for me to give up the pages, the binding, the much of my life has been migrated over to a screen.  Not my books.  Please.

9. Favorite TV show currently on?  Probably Downton Abbey.

10. What's your favorite award you've won?  I'm thrilled that I won a Phi Kappa Phi graduate scholarship, because when I accepted the award I gave a speech about my beloved undergraduate advisor, who passed away at the end of my junior year.

11. What's your claim to fame?  I asked my husband about this, and his response was, "you're my wife."  It is a rather notorious post.  Colin can be a pretty sardonic chap, especially among other young guys.  Early in his graduate school career, one of his fellow students (a great guy; they were and are friends) made the remark, "Who would want to marry Colin?  He's such an asshole."