09 February 2012

Me, in an alphabet

Here's a mid-February meme just to keep me writing blog posts...I'm on a roll, lately, and I really do want to keep up! I've also managed to write in my 5-year journal every day of the year so far, which I'm pretty proud of. However, we're flying to Barcelona this evening, and we're flying light: first time with no diaper bag, only a couple of changes of clothes, one computer (the Air), and so forth. Which means I'm not bringing the journal, which is a kind of heavy book full of mostly empty pages. Should I try to write the weekend down after the fact, or should I write on a different piece of paper and then transfer to the journal? Not sure. Anyway, here's an alphabet meme:

Age: 33. I will be 34 by the time the baby is born, which isn't a bad time to have a baby. Although sometimes I wish I were 24 and that much more energetic.

Bed size: European bed sizes, frustratingly, do not exactly match American bed sizes. We have a 160-cm-wide bed, which is just slightly too big for most of our American queen-sized sheets. Terribly annoying. I've taken to putting flat sheets on the bottom instead of fitted sheets, since we use a duvet and duvet cover instead of top sheets anyway. (Fortunately, those seem to be the same size.) Pillow sizes are yet another mismatch, so our pillows are often wedged into American pillowcases that don't quite fit them.

Chore you hate: Mopping. But I don't mind vacuuming or sweeping. So I sweep and M. mops: it's a good system. I also dislike washing dishes, but mostly because it hurts the eczema on my hands. So I usually cook, M. usually washes up, and one or the other of us puts dishes away out of the dishwasher. Similarly, I rather like doing laundry, but I never ever iron, so M. is the "iron man" of the family if he wants wrinkle-free shirts.

Dogs: We aren't exactly pet people. M's allergic, and neither of us can quite see how they're worth the expense and effort. The only time I wish I had a dog is when I am in a park watching dogs frolic with their owners.

Essential to start your day: Food, and plenty of it. Usually a banana, a big bowl of cereal, one or two slices of toast with butter and honey or jam, and sometimes orange juice or tea. The other day I only ate a banana and toast and I about passed out by lunchtime.

Favorite color: Recently, my bank in Indiana decided to redo their security system, so I had to establish new passwords (the annoying kind, with sixteen requirements) and new security questions. But the security questions were all impossible! Like, What is your favorite restaurant? What is your favorite food? Who is your favorite person? What are we, five years old? On any given day, the answers to the food questions might change, and even the favorite person might not be obvious. M? Gabriel? Anyway, favorite color was also on there, and although my favorite has historically been blue, any shade, my wardrobe consists of an awful lot of purple, a good share of gray, and lots of green. So I didn't choose that question, either.

Gold or silver: M. is definitely a silver kind of guy, so all the jewelry he's bought me over the years is silver or white gold, and my wedding and engagement rings are white gold. But I hold a soft spot in my heart for gold, too, so I have a few special items here and there. The necklace that I received from M's family that had belonged to iaia is gold, and I've been wearing it a lot recently. I particularly like the combination of gold with pearls.

Height: 5'11'' (and a half). I always wanted to be six feet tall, like my aunts, but never quite got there. Still, I love being tall, even though I'm taller than the Mister, and even though I was always taller than ALL the boys until about the 7th grade.

Instruments you play: The piano, badly: I took lessons for years, even in college, but was never serious enough about it. I wish I could sit down and play anything, but I'd say I never really got beyond "advanced intermediate." I do love playing the piano, though, and am pretty good at sight-reading pieces within my reach, or hymns and simple songs. I really long to have a piano again (for the original Brussels piano saga, see here), and we will want one for sure in the future so Gabriel can learn. Oh, I also play the organ a little bit after taking lessons for a few semesters in college, and of course, I sing.

Job title: Scholar, writer, translator, editor, poet, and hoping for a more official title someday. And always: mom, wife, daughter, sister, aunt, friend.

Kids: I'm a fan, generally speaking. We have two, our Gabriel and our yet-unnamed baby, a.k.a. Junebug.

Live: In Belgium, in a beautiful university town, in a little row house with a sweet little walled-in backyard.

Mother's name: Rhonda. I think it's a really nice name, but it's definitely a bit old-fashioned now, right? No one really names their kids Rhonda any more... I've always liked having the same initials as my mom. She also goes by Grandma a lot these days.

Nicknames: Rob. Really just family and a few close friends use that one. Some of the guys in high school used to call me Roe-bine, but it's a good thing that one died an early death.

Overnight hospital stays: Just the one, when Gabriel was born. I kind of liked it, and kind of didn't (mostly the part about people coming into the room all the time).

Pet peeves: Rattly wrappers, even my own, in an otherwise quiet environment. Price or information stickers on a brand-new item that won't come off and leave a gunky, sticky smear.

Quote from a movie: I'm not very much of a movie-quote person, but I can still throw quite a few Princess Bride lines at you. I recently watched it again (25 year anniversary!) and was surprised at how vividly I remembered it all. It was the first movie I saw in the theater, and my brother and I would run around the house yelling stuff about Inigo Montoya and inconceivable and dropping your sword and so forth.

Right or left handed: Righty.

Siblings: Four awesome younger siblings. They all lived in the Boston area, conveniently enough for us, until one moved away to Texas of all places! The three oldest have married equally awesome people, and the two oldest have produced even more awesome kids. And my in-laws on the Spanish side are fantastic too. Lucky, lucky me.

Underwear: Um, in favor of? I'll usually go for a hipster style. No, not that kind of hipster. Recently all of my underwear is getting too small, leaving red welts in my hips, and I'm going to have to switch over to my pregnancy and postpartum stash. Ugh.

Vegetable you hate: I can't think of one. Even veggies that aren't my personal favorites can be delicious when well prepared.

What makes you run late: Oh, everything. I always think I'll just sneak in one more task or wait just a few more minutes, because I dislike the idea of being early, but then I'm perpetually five to fifteen minutes late. Now that I have a child I have a built-in excuse for the lateness, but it's really not his fault (or at least it hasn't been since he was a little infant, when it really does seem a mountainous ordeal just to get out the door).

X-rays you've had: I suppose they would equal the number of broken or sprained bones I've had. There was the broken collar bone when I was about 2 (my mom says I charmed everyone by explaining that "I broke my clavicle"), the cracked wrist when I fell from a jungle gym in elementary school, and then mercifully nothing until the x-ray I got last winter when I slipped on the ice and sprained my wrist. Oh, I guess there are the usual dentist x-rays, too.

Yummy food that you make: Lots! I have a pretty decent repertoire of things I can make without a recipe and with whatever vegetables or grains I happen to have on hand: curries, stir-fries, burritos, pasta, and so forth. I am very proud of my vegetarian BLT (butternut, lettuce, and tomato): Slice butternut rounds and sprinkle them with some cumin, chili powder and salt. Fry them up until soft. Pile on toast with lettuce, tomato, and chipotle mayonnaise (made my mixing mayo with some chopped up chipotle and adobe sauce). YUM. Even the Mister doesn't miss the bacon.

Zoo animal: Zoos always leave me feeling mixed emotions, happy to have seen such amazing animals and sad that they're cooped up in a zoo. The last time we went was to the National Zoo in Washington, DC, and we were pretty taken with the pandas and that big chimpanzee who was sitting up against the glass.

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