I've been thinking, really I should properly introduce myself to the world of the blogosphere, and how best to do that. Thus far, no clear solution has presented itself, so I thought I'd just go ahead and share a bit of Where I Come From, and some random stories from my childhood/growing up.
I was born at home, and lived in the same house until I was about 14. At which point my family (Mom, Dad, two little sisters) moved all the way around the corner. We lived in the same small, southern California beach "village" or "hamlet" -whatever cute term you'd like to use - all my life. I'm used to a sort of modern-day Andy of Mayberry existence, in which everyone knows EVERYTHING about everyone else, and that can be both wonderful (ie. I went to school K-12 with some of the same people, so we are still friends) and really invasive and incestous-feeling. Case in point: I could never really go out with any of my friends that were guys - I'd known them so long they felt (feel!) like my brothers. Not that my (very strict!) parents would ever have allowed me to casually date anyone to begin with.
I guess you could say I'm sort of a lapsed beach bum. What I mean is, as someone who's parents took me to the beach and put me in the ocean when I was three days old (in late November! They say it was really warm and nice out), the beach feels like part of me, not a nice area of the town I live in. However, in the interest of time (busy!) and people to go with (no one! they are all busy, or have moved away) and not wanting to look like a catcher's mitt when I'm 35, I don't really go that often anymore. Swimming in the cool Pacific ocean is more natural to me than walking. Here's what I used to look like, basically year-round: (note: I'm the one in the bikini)
Nowadays when I go to the beach, its SPF 30 or more, re-apply every couple of hours and try to avoid peak hours. You know, because the idea of getting BOTULISM injected into my face...not so much something I look forward to with relish. Or ketchup. Or any other condiment. So more like this: (Note the pale pasty-ness that is my skin. Icky, but oh well)
I've always had a great love for animals (cockroaches and possums excepted) and a passion for traveling, art, and music. I'm married to S, who is a great friend of mine as well as being my husband. I'll tell that story some other time, its' too long for now. He shares most of my interests (not so much with the beach thing, but that is ok by me) and plays guitar. Which is good, because I have Absolutely No Musical Talent Whatsoever and also because he really has broadened my taste in music the last five and a half years or so. He's twelve years older than I am, and I mention that only because it is relevant in some of my rants (ie the kid/no kid decision) and also because he seems younger than that to me. He collects knives and watches and boy/man type "toys" and gadgety things and loves more Baroque art than I do. We talk about art and creative mediums often, and are working on a small but good collection of modern artists. His family is small but they drive me crazy (batty old uncle, b**chy manipulative sister) and I'll probably talk more about that at some point. Or not. Here is an ultra-dorky picture of us in downtown Helsinki a couple years ago. Because I am embarassed, I'd like to point out that I've lost weight since than, thank goodness!
We have one kitty, Fynn, who you will see a ton of pictures of (like you haven't already). He is very, very spoiled (see entry titled "Kitten of Dubai") and we plan for him to remain that way. My wedding "present" was our poor, dearly departed kitty, Moss, who was feral and untameable and REFUSED to stay inside, and sadly was recently hit and killed. No, I don't want to get into the whole indoor/outdoor cat debacle. I've had cats literally all my life, and the great majority of them were indoor/outdoor. Sometimes it really is about quality (read: not going crazy in the house) of life, and not quantity. About animals: I've also had/cared for the following animals at various times in my life: Dogs (dying to get one now) Angora rabbits, kept and raised for their fur (you COMB it out, not rip it from their poor little lifeless bodies, FYI) chickens (seriously fresh eggs) Mallard ducks (Donald and Daisy, natch) and the usual run of mice, mini-hamsters and fish that most kids have at one time or another. I'm aware that this picture is not a mallard - seriously when am I going to have a chance to post it?
So... a story about growing up...hmmmm... Ok. See the picture of me, circa 1992 or 93? The girl to the right of me is my girl Dani who could tell you some stories about us. Some of which I cannot share with.. anyone because blogs have a way of gettiing to The Wrong People and I really charish our little inside jokes. The girl to the left of me is our friend Courtney (moved to Oregon, was back for a summer visit) and the gal to the far right is our friend Joleen, who shortly after this picture was taken moved to Texas. Any rate, the house I grew up in had two stories and the stairway was one of the ones that go down seven steps, have two large square landings, and wrap back around the other way going down. I'm sure there is a concise way to explain that, but it is eluding me at present. I love chocolate (that is relavant, trust me) and the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was/is one of my favorite movies. One day, since I lived convienently close to a 7-11 growing up (sounds great till you factor in my health-food crazed mom who could seriously SMELL when we were chewing Hubba-Bubba.) Dani, Courtney and I decided we would beg my mom to go to 7-11 and get chocolate, and than watch the movie. All went well till it was over, and we were possibly a little high on sugar and also just being Crazy Girls, as my mom would say.
Being the late 80's/early 90's, I had a lovely pink-glitter filled baton (which I could never twirl more than two times without hitting myself in the head with). The three of us decided to "play Willy Wonka", obviously as a direct result of the crack, erm, chocolate we'd ingested and it being Summertime. Now, you have to have seen this movie for the following to make ANY sense at all, but here goes: You know the part where W.W. is bringing all the kids down the stairs and into the Chocolate Room? And he takes two steps forward and one step back and goes WHACK! with his cane when one of the kids (I believe it was Mike Teevee) tries to go past him? Yeah - that was the particular scene we decided to act out. I played W.W. and Dani and Courtney were the "kids". So down the stairs we went and WHACK! down came my pink baton. Dani stopped so suddenly that she flipped HEAD OVER HEELS and LANDED ON HER BACK, looking up at us, stunned.
My life as The Girl Who Crippled her Friend and was Hated Forever By Everyone flashed before my eyes. I could see it all - my family trying to pay the medical bills, me visiting her in the hospital, the looks of recrimination, the whole thing. And just than, I heard the greatest sound in the world:
Laughter. Hysterical, wonderful, laughter. Not hurt a bit, Dani was just lying on the (thankfully large) landing, cracking up.
To this day, all I have to say is "Willy Wonka" and no matter when/where we are, we can crack the hell up.