Sunday, August 16, 2009

Tagged, Sort Of

This is one of those Internet things. Or I bet it could also go through e-mail, like a chain letter. At any rate, my friend Jane received a “tag” and played along on her Flickr site, then, instead of naming ten new people to “tag,” she left it open for all her readers. She said, “If you want to participate, consider yourself tagged. If you’re not interested, consider yourself untagged.”

So it’s about self-disclosure. You’re supposed to provide a photo of yourself, and then list ten things about you that your readers may not know. So here’s my bit.

1. You can’t tell from this blog, but I’m pretty tall, 5 foot 10. Throughout elementary school, I was generally the tallest one in my grade. But instead, the other kids made fun of me because I had eye alignment problems.

2. The eye alignment problems are the next thing! I had two surgeries on my eyes as a real little kid (ca. 2 and 3 years old) to correct (first) crossed eyes, and (next) to fix my overresponse to the first surgery, when my eyes turned outward too much. Surgery 2 left me with eyes that didn’t stay in alignment no matter which eye I “used.” (I developed alternating vision, which I still have—no 3-D movies for me; bah, humbug!) Later, I had a third surgery to “fix” the alignment problem, a cosmetic correction just in time for puberty. The outcome, which still stands today: If I “look through” my right eye, the left one is aligned; if I “look through” my left, the right eye goes off on a tangent (up and to the right). So I basically always use my right eye, especially when I’m in public. My right eye always gets tired, and the left one never does.

3. As a kid I was a huge fan of the Carpenters. You know I can still sing right along with all the lyrics. Total memorization. I often wonder if steeping so much in those downer lyrics didn’t feed my tendency toward depression. I do think Karen had an incredible voice. I wish she had survived. I believe she would have eventually come around to jazz, or Broadway, or standards, or something like that. By now she’d be a beloved, classic entertainer. Oh well.

4. I went to graduate school to become an editor of books. Most recently I worked at a scholarly press for about thirteen years—then was laid off last October when the press’s worsening financial status was no longer tolerated by the powers-that-be. I was the most junior editor there, hence my layoff. Now I’m a freelancer, and now I spend my days doing things an editorial assistant can do. So at age 43, I’m looking at new careers.

5. In college I worked at a large, nice, independently owned pet store, Sunshine Pet Shop in Columbia (now defunct). By the time I graduated, I’d worked there four years and had become a manager. I specialized in fish and got a huge thrill when I could help my customers be so successful that they started getting more tank set-ups in order to acquire different kinds of fish, or start up a saltwater tank, etc. Even after graduate school, I worked at a pet store in Phoenix for a while, as a saltwater specialist. (I used to have a lot of aquariums!)

6. I’m a member of the Mid-Missouri Bonsai Society, but I don’t do bonsai myself. My sweetie, Sue, is currently a copresident of the group, and I’m a member mainly so I can help out at the shows and other events. Yes, in our backyard we have tons of bonsai trees in various stages of development. Sue is really, really good at this art form, and taking care of her trees really makes her happy.

7. Sue and I have been together since August of 1993, so this week it’s sixteen years for us. We’ve had our highs and lows, but at this point I think our relationship is stronger than it’s ever been. And it’s great to be able to say that.

8. I’m a huge Star Trek fan. When we were kids, my brother, Paul, and I used to play “Star Trek” in our backyard with the other kids on our block. For some reason I always wanted to be Dr. McCoy. I loved his drawl and his crusty and heartfelt comments.

9. I adore old cars—not the hot-rod kind, but the kind that look just how they did when they rolled off the assembly line in whatever year they were made. As a teenager, I built a ton of 1/24 and 1/25 scale models of old cars. I wanted to build a car model representing each year, through 1959—all Fords (you could definitely call us a “Ford family”—my mom’s brother-in-law in Detroit was big in the company). And yeah, my models were pretty good. I entered contests for a few years and my Duesenbergs and Packards took the first prize away from several annoyed boys and their street rods and monster trucks. Heh-heh-heh.

10. In second grade, my handwriting (printing) was so impressive that I was the first kid in my class to be selected to the “Cursive Club,” which was a desk in the back corner of the room with materials where I could start practicing making cursive letters, while the rest of the students worked on their printing. Pretty funny, today, since my handwriting is so nasty—it’s practically a code, that only I can read. Hah. And I can hardly write in cursive at all anymore; my signature looks like a cardiogram. Go figure!

So there you go. If you’ve read this, then consider yourself “tagged.” . . . Or not.



JaneL said...

Happy anniversary to you and Sue! Do you still have any of those model cars?

Jackie said...

OK am going to consider myself tagged but will post it on my blog ;0)

Just me said...

Sorry this is off topic, I just found Horse on spotify!!!! The sound quality is fab and a rare treat!! xx

Julie said...

Hi, Jane! Thanks for the wishes. I would have to check with my parents (ulp!) to see if they still have any of those in their basement! They were kind enough to pack them up for me when I was in college.

And Jackie: okay, I'll be looking at the Wee Butterfly to see what ten things you have to tell about yourself. That we might not already know! As for Spotify, apparently we can't use that here in the U.S.! So you'll have to tell me what you found there.

Just me said...

OK tag done!!