Saturday, April 15, 2006

me me me

vania tagged me to post 6 unusual or little known things about myself.

1. reading vania's post, i realized that i had no idea how many things she and i have in common. i wrote a comment to her about one such commonality and realized that i don't think most people online know this about me. so for my first "thing about myself" i'm plagarizing myself from my comment to vania:

like vania, it is also my greatest dream in life to learn to surf. when i say "i love surfing", i don't mean it like other people say "i love chocolate" -- i mean it like "i love surfing so much that the worst day surfing to me is better than the best day doing any other possible activity". i love surfing so much that one of the greatest moments i had in 2005 was the one and only time i ever caught a wave on my own. i love surfing so much that it hurts my heart to watch others surfing on tv or in the movies, because my opportunities to surf are relatively few, not living near the ocean. also, i am going to get a surfing-related tattoo in the next couple of months, a pin-up style surfer girl riding a wave on my right calf.

i know i've written about some of my adventures in skateboarding, but i don't think i've ever mentioned online that i started skateboarding largely as a replacement for not being able to surf. it didn't really work. i like skateboarding, but it doesn't fill my heart with joy the way surfing does. plus, like vania, i'm much more afraid of skateboarding than i am of surfing. travis, on the other hand, is more afraid of surfing than of skateboarding. (crazy boy must not realize that cement is a lot harder than water.) but for me, i just love the ocean and i feel so comfortable there. it's not that i am unaware of the dangers of surfing, or that i don't have a healthy level of respect and fear for the ocean. but i feel so at home in the ocean that my fear is a constructive and manageable sense of caution, as opposed to the panic and anxiety that i often feel on my skateboard. of course, it's self-perpetuating, because my anxiety on a skateboard makes it harder for me to skate and therefore makes me more likely to get injured. my experience trying to learn to drop in on a ramp last summer is a perfect example of that.

so anyway, that's the first thing about me that y'all might not know.

2. even before i discovered surfing, i've always loved the ocean. i miss it living here. i also love sailing, snorkeling, scuba-diving, and just sitting and watching the waves roll in for hours on end. i'm even not above motorboating, although i feel guilty about how bad it is for the environment.

one of the happiest moments of my life was a particular afternoon of sailing in cancun with my friend landon, who i had met there at club med. we took two sails on two different small sunfish-type boats. first we took a mellow sail on a boat that was stable and easy to sail. it was wonderful and peaceful and we just hung out being at one with the ocean. i remember feeling more contented than i had ever felt in my life. then, landon thought he was an expert enough sailor that we should take out a small racing boat that was designed for speed and manuverability. well, he wasn't quite as expert at it as he had claimed, and it was a wild ride. i thought we were going to crash into the reef or else i'd be pitched overboard as the boat heeled dramatically. i spent the whole sail simultaneously laughing my ass off and screaming in genuine fear for my life. i had never felt more alive and yes, stoked, in my life.

afterwards, we sat and drank beers and watched the sunset and rehashed the afternoon's events. the contrast between our two sails made it plain to me -- there are two kinds of joy to be had in life, and life is about finding and appreciating them both wherever and whenever you can. and that's what my life has been about ever since.

landon and i only spent a few days together in total, and now we've fallen out of touch. he changed my life in so many ways, and i can confidently say that i would not have the happiness i now have in my life if not for him. i am grateful to him for that. but most of all i will always remember him for that afternoon, which was the first time in my life when i can remember ever being so completely, deliriously, joyfully happy. but definitely not the last time.

3. when i was a child, i really wanted to be a fighter pilot. i used to get that same heart-hurty feeling when i'd watch top gun that i now get watching surfing movies. seriously. this weekend we watched an imax movie about fighter pilots and it reminded me of this childhood dream. i still understand why i was so drawn to it. in a different world, i would be a fighter pilot. that probably suprises people, because in this world i became such a pacifist. but the differences between this world and that alternate world are really not so large; it really comes down to the vagaries of history and politics. and of course, there is my little problem with authority. sure, in hollywood, having a problem with authority only makes you a better fighter pilot, see, e.g., starbuck on battlestar galactica or maverick from top gun, but i suspect that in reality the armed forces don't look quite so kindly on loose cannon types.

4. i'm an only child, and i've always been happy about it. i think being an only child helped foster many of my positive qualities and did not contribute significantly to my negative qualities. i think that only children face a surprising amount of prejudice (people assume that we are spoiled, don't get along with others, etc.) and are often misunderstood (people assume that we were lonely as children, that we wish we had siblings, etc.), and it upsets me when people spread stereotypes and myths about us. for instance, i have heard people say that they are determined to have at least two children because they think it's unfair to a child to let him be an only child, and they don't want their child to grow up to be a self-centered loner. even when people aren't this upfront about it, it's clear that there is a pervasive cultural bias against only children considering how uncommon it is. i can't fathom any logical reason why only children are as rare as they are.

both my parents were only children as well. i have never heard of any other family in which both parents and their child were all only children.

5. most people think i'm a lot nicer than i really am. a few people think i'm a lot meaner than i really am. in actuality, for the most part i'm too lazy to bother being nice or mean. basically, i am a self-centered loner. if i'm this way because i'm an only child, that's fine with me, because i like being a self-centered loner. contrary to the only child stereotype, however, i can get along with people just fine when i want to. obviously i'm not that bad at getting along with people, because hardly anyone ever believes me that i'm a self-centered loner. most of you reading this right now aren't believing it. so see, potential parents, i'm living proof: you aren't condemning your child to the lonely life of a hermit by not providing her with the civilizing influence of siblings.

6. travis and i wear matching rings on our left "ring" fingers. they are platinum and titanium bands and each one has an inscription on the inside written by the other person. i never take mine off and i never wear any other rings. this is the only marriage-related tradition (including marriage itself) that we have adopted. for me, the primary significance is having a sentimental momento of travis and our bond that i carry with me all the time. i don't like getting sentimental gifts like jewelry and i don't like a lot of sentimental stuff cluttering the house. i'd rather just have my simple ring and that's it. also, in my view, the fact that we wear matching rings is a symbol of our commitment.

i hadn't thought of this when we bought the rings, but since then i've come to hope that the ring has a secondary benefit of helping to ward off come-ons from strange men when i'm out with my friends. i don't personally subscribe to the traditional concept that i'm "taken" or any such thing, but i'm not above exploiting that traditional notion to avoid the "meet market." similarly, i often tell men that "i can't" accept drinks or flowers from them, because of my boyfriend. which is actually bullshit and completely goes against my true beliefs on relationships. but i don't have anything to prove about how enlightened i am; if saying "i'm taken" gets me back to dancing with my friends faster, i'm all for it. indeed, this is just one example of my general technique of "having a policy" as a method of dealing with uncomfortable social situations. but since i've already listed 6 things about myself, the theory behind my brilliant "having a policy" method will have to wait for another day.

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Blogger jen said...

oh, i forgot, i'm supposed to tag 6 other people. i'll leave it up to everyone to consider themselves tagged if they want to participate. except mishka, because i am hoping she'll tell the story of why she calls her boy "the boy." so i'm officially tagging mishka and whoever else wants to be tagged.

also, those of you who don't have blogs can leave your 6 things here in the comments if you want.

Sun Apr 16, 04:56:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger vania said...

great six things - and of course, i learned we have more things in common - like i love and live for the ocean. i hope to move to a coast someday, because even though i love Toronto, the lake isn't the same thing. i also love that you wear matching rings. we weren't sure if we wanted to, but we're asking a friend to design ours and they'll be silver but most likely not matching. i love that yours are titanium and have inscriptions!
BTW, i don't know how you say Lasagne in Maryland, but i think to be safe, my name is pronounced like (Michael) Vaughn(nia)!

Sun Apr 16, 10:26:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger michelleknits said...

I loved this list, too. I always wondered whether I'd like surfing or other ocean activities if I tried them. They look so much fun and I like to be in the water though I've never tried (I'm mostly still doing sommersaults and headstands and loving every minute of it).

Sun Apr 16, 11:28:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger jen said...

that's where my confusion is - the way i speak, "lasagna" doesn't rhyme with "michael vaughn-ia." i guess with my US accent, i'll have to wait until i meet you in person to be 100% sure i'm pronouncing your name right.

speaking of michael vaughnia, that's another thing we have in common - being alias fans. i'm excited that the final new episodes begin airing this week, and i'm super excited that will is coming back before the series finale! i feel a little bad that i wished for actor bradley cooper's series "kitchen confidential" to fail so he'd come back to alias, but not so guilty that i'm not elated that my wishing worked!

Mon Apr 17, 08:22:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Liza said...

I decided that your comment meant that you tagged me. :)

Mon Apr 17, 06:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger krissy said...

hey, i'm an only child too! :)

Tue Apr 18, 09:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger vania said...

yea, Alias fan too! it was a great one last night, and i am in absolute denial that it's finishing soon.... i also wanted to say i love your latest stuff from Ratgirl - how sweet she sent you knitting things too! i tried to leave a comment on your latest post, and i didn't let me?

Thu Apr 20, 03:11:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Jean said...

Cool list! Some things I kind of knew about you but didn't know all the details so it's interesting to read. I should have read this before I posted my trivial gymratty ones but I don't think I'd care for the whole iV crowd to read about my details anyway.

Tue May 02, 01:03:00 PM GMT-5  

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