amanda_lodden: (manga with glasses)
My grandmother taught me to sew when I was about six or seven. Truth be told, she probably did it to keep me out of her way while she sewed, because the best way to keep me from playing with YOUR project is to give me one of my own. It worked.

My mother was never big on sewing machines, but she did a lot of hand-crafting. She taught me to crochet and to embroider. She probably taught me to knit too, but she wasn't a big fan of having to knit, so I didn't have the same impulse to pick up some knitting when she did.

Over time, I developed my own tastes. I don't mind embroidery, but I prefer counted cross stitch, and I prefer video games to both. I made two knit scarves, which was enough for me to learn that I'm not that big of a fan of knitting either. I never cared that much for crocheting, honestly. Someday I want to give tatting a try, just to see what it's like. Sewing's okay, though I'm not a huge fan of cutting fabric from patterns, and that severely limits my choices in what to sew. (I'm not good enough to sew clothing without a pattern, at least in most cases.)

But loss is a funny thing. Grandma died in 1999, and since then I've had a pretty consistent urge to sew something about once a year. Oddly, this urge usually comes in the late summer or fall, which does not coincide with any grandmotherly anniversary. It's pretty convenient for making Halloween costumes, though. Every time I do sit down and sew a project, I think "This is fun, I should really do this more regularly." And then I finish that project and move on to something else, and time moves on, and it's the next late summer or fall before I start having the urge to sew again.

Mom died in 2008. I wasn't struck with an immediate desire to crochet, the way I was with Grandma and sewing. It wasn't until several years later, when an afghan Mom made for me started to unravel and I realized that I couldn't just take it back to her and ask her to fix it. When I was done crying, I went and dug out my crochet hooks from the bottom of the craft clutter. I also started poking around for other things to crochet besides afghans, because there are only so many blanket-type coverings one household needs, and between the afghans Mom made for me, the afghans Mom made for herself (which I inherited), and the afghans Mom made for her own mother and grandmother (which I inherited)... I've really got enough. I found a crocheted Discworld and I was fascinated, both by the crocheted Discworld and by the concept of amigurumi. I've only experimented a tiny bit with it, but it's much more my style than afghans.

About six weeks ago, H asked me if I would make a costume for her for her horse show. (Thankfully, she withdrew from the first show due to the heat, and I got a reprieve on the first deadline.) I finished it last night. It was a particularly hard project, not so much because of the pattern (which wasn't THAT bad, but has some fiddly bits to it), but because I couldn't sit down at the sewing machine without thinking about my grandmother, and I couldn't pick up a needle and hand-sew without thinking about my mother... and the project required a fair amount of both. (Pictures should be forthcoming soonish; I'm going over there today to drop it off and make sure it fits properly.)
amanda_lodden: (geek girl)
I have a rule of thumb about reading books that have been turned into movies, that I will see the movie first and THEN read the book.

I realize a lot of people consider this to be backwards, but I've found that if I see the movie and then read the book, I pretty much always enjoy both, whereas if I've read the book then I'll nitpick the movie quite a bit more.

I first actively noticed this when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, and the group of people I went to the theater with split up to watch different movies. Only two of us opted for Fellowship of the Ring. Due to the lengths of the movies and the difference in starting times, I had to endure almost an hour of him whining about how horrible it was that they left out Tom Bombadil and how important that segment was to the overall story. Except, that if you didn't know the overall story, Tom Bombadil wasn't very important at all. (Admittedly, a single line about how only the Numenorian weapons can hurt the ring-wraiths might have been nice.) I had tried to read the series, but it was ungodly dry and I didn't get past the first chapter, so I was unfamiliar with the story. (I've been told by fans of the series that on the first run-through it's best to skip the first chapter, and someday I might get around to trying the series again.) Another friend repeatedly confirms my view by complaining about scenes from the movie that weren't "right". I, on the other hand, absolutely love the entire trilogy.

I noticed it again with the Harry Potter series. The later books are significantly longer than the early ones, so it stands to reason that subplots would have to be removed for the movie, but I hadn't really thought about it until a friend of mine expressed his disappointment over Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because they left so much out. By then, I'd already decided not to read the books yet; I'd come late enough to the Harry Potter party that the movies had already started coming out before I'd read the first book, Rowling had already announced that there would be seven books, and the movies had had so much success that I was sure there would be seven movies as well. And, having not read the bit about the house elves and the other aspects of the book that were cut, I thought the movie was quite good.

However, after watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I had a lot of questions. I enjoyed the movie, but I was utterly certain that I'd missed things. A second screening of the movie told me that far far more had been cut out of the movie-- among other things, a modicum of background about who The Half-Blood Prince was. (It turns out that book isn't much better, but at least there's a sentence or two about where it originated from, which is more than the one line that the movie gave.) So, I started reading the series.

And now I have a conundrum, because I'm up to the last book. I'd really like to know what happens, and the book is sitting right there on the nightstand where John left it after he read it. It would be so easy... but then it's a good bet that I would not like the next two movies as much, because many of the subplots cut out of the last three movies have built on each other. Waiting for the movies, however, means waiting a long time-- part one is due in 2010, part two in 2011. On the other hand, the fact that they've split the last book into two movies indicates that they'll probably spend more time with it, and cut out less of it.
amanda_lodden: (geek girl)
I have a rule of thumb about reading books that have been turned into movies, that I will see the movie first and THEN read the book.

I realize a lot of people consider this to be backwards, but I've found that if I see the movie and then read the book, I pretty much always enjoy both, whereas if I've read the book then I'll nitpick the movie quite a bit more.

I first actively noticed this when the first Lord of the Rings movie came out, and the group of people I went to the theater with split up to watch different movies. Only two of us opted for Fellowship of the Ring. Due to the lengths of the movies and the difference in starting times, I had to endure almost an hour of him whining about how horrible it was that they left out Tom Bombadil and how important that segment was to the overall story. Except, that if you didn't know the overall story, Tom Bombadil wasn't very important at all. (Admittedly, a single line about how only the Numenorian weapons can hurt the ring-wraiths might have been nice.) I had tried to read the series, but it was ungodly dry and I didn't get past the first chapter, so I was unfamiliar with the story. (I've been told by fans of the series that on the first run-through it's best to skip the first chapter, and someday I might get around to trying the series again.) Another friend repeatedly confirms my view by complaining about scenes from the movie that weren't "right". I, on the other hand, absolutely love the entire trilogy.

I noticed it again with the Harry Potter series. The later books are significantly longer than the early ones, so it stands to reason that subplots would have to be removed for the movie, but I hadn't really thought about it until a friend of mine expressed his disappointment over Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire because they left so much out. By then, I'd already decided not to read the books yet; I'd come late enough to the Harry Potter party that the movies had already started coming out before I'd read the first book, Rowling had already announced that there would be seven books, and the movies had had so much success that I was sure there would be seven movies as well. And, having not read the bit about the house elves and the other aspects of the book that were cut, I thought the movie was quite good.

However, after watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, I had a lot of questions. I enjoyed the movie, but I was utterly certain that I'd missed things. A second screening of the movie told me that far far more had been cut out of the movie-- among other things, a modicum of background about who The Half-Blood Prince was. (It turns out that book isn't much better, but at least there's a sentence or two about where it originated from, which is more than the one line that the movie gave.) So, I started reading the series.

And now I have a conundrum, because I'm up to the last book. I'd really like to know what happens, and the book is sitting right there on the nightstand where John left it after he read it. It would be so easy... but then it's a good bet that I would not like the next two movies as much, because many of the subplots cut out of the last three movies have built on each other. Waiting for the movies, however, means waiting a long time-- part one is due in 2010, part two in 2011. On the other hand, the fact that they've split the last book into two movies indicates that they'll probably spend more time with it, and cut out less of it.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
For a while, I had several dozen stuffed animals and/or plush dolls-- John had a habit of getting me one for every birthday, Valentine's Day and anniversary, and they added up fast. Eventually I got fed up with tripping over them, finding places for them, brushing the dust off of them now and then, etc. I gave most of them away, and kept only the ones that I really really liked.

Recently*, I noticed a trend in my stuffed animals. If you take away the ones that were kept for sentimental reasons, there's four plushies left:



Pinky and the Brain



Chtulhu, dressed in beach gear (I used to have a normal Chtulhu, without the beach outfit, but it seems to have disappeared)



Richard

So, let's see... two lab mice who are trying to take over the world, an elder god who has already taken over the world, and a mage who would gleefully take over the world on a whim.

I'm sensing a trend.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
For a while, I had several dozen stuffed animals and/or plush dolls-- John had a habit of getting me one for every birthday, Valentine's Day and anniversary, and they added up fast. Eventually I got fed up with tripping over them, finding places for them, brushing the dust off of them now and then, etc. I gave most of them away, and kept only the ones that I really really liked.

Recently*, I noticed a trend in my stuffed animals. If you take away the ones that were kept for sentimental reasons, there's four plushies left:



Pinky and the Brain



Chtulhu, dressed in beach gear (I used to have a normal Chtulhu, without the beach outfit, but it seems to have disappeared)



Richard

So, let's see... two lab mice who are trying to take over the world, an elder god who has already taken over the world, and a mage who would gleefully take over the world on a whim.

I'm sensing a trend.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been sort of sitting on this particular post, because I have a picture that I took of my Girl Scout sash that I'd like to put in here. Unfortunately, what with the myriad of photos and documents sitting in a hundred different places courtesy of the "scan it and get rid of it!" project, I can not actually locate that particular photo. (We all know that because I've opted to post this without the picture, it'll turn up tomorrow in the least-expected place, right?)

I loooooooove badges, achievements, etc. It doesn't matter what they're for, They Must Be Mine!

When I was nine, that meant Girl Scout badges. I remember poring over the manual, figuring out which ones I could obtain easily, and how to go about getting the other ones with the minimum amount of work. It wasn't about doing something well, it was about maximizing the number of little round patches to be sewn onto my sash, which bytheway just happened to count towards the sewing badge.

In my teenage years, I didn't have anything to collect, really. The flood of "your kid achieved something!" certificates died out somewhere in middle school, and was never satisfactorily replaced. Until video games, that is.

I'm terrified to play the XBox 360, because as it is my life gets sucked into video games that feature collecting things. I can't fathom the amount of time I would waste just trying to get that elusive "you rescued the princess (you know, the one that required 50+ hours to get to)" achievement. I prefer to play my little flash-based browser games on kongregate.com, not because it's inherently better but because they give out badges (which give you points, and points give you levels! Granted, levels give you absolutely nothing, but dammit, I've made it all the way up to level 15 already), and I've often clicked on a game that looked kinda fun and then gone on to something else when I saw that it had no badges to earn.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been sort of sitting on this particular post, because I have a picture that I took of my Girl Scout sash that I'd like to put in here. Unfortunately, what with the myriad of photos and documents sitting in a hundred different places courtesy of the "scan it and get rid of it!" project, I can not actually locate that particular photo. (We all know that because I've opted to post this without the picture, it'll turn up tomorrow in the least-expected place, right?)

I loooooooove badges, achievements, etc. It doesn't matter what they're for, They Must Be Mine!

When I was nine, that meant Girl Scout badges. I remember poring over the manual, figuring out which ones I could obtain easily, and how to go about getting the other ones with the minimum amount of work. It wasn't about doing something well, it was about maximizing the number of little round patches to be sewn onto my sash, which bytheway just happened to count towards the sewing badge.

In my teenage years, I didn't have anything to collect, really. The flood of "your kid achieved something!" certificates died out somewhere in middle school, and was never satisfactorily replaced. Until video games, that is.

I'm terrified to play the XBox 360, because as it is my life gets sucked into video games that feature collecting things. I can't fathom the amount of time I would waste just trying to get that elusive "you rescued the princess (you know, the one that required 50+ hours to get to)" achievement. I prefer to play my little flash-based browser games on kongregate.com, not because it's inherently better but because they give out badges (which give you points, and points give you levels! Granted, levels give you absolutely nothing, but dammit, I've made it all the way up to level 15 already), and I've often clicked on a game that looked kinda fun and then gone on to something else when I saw that it had no badges to earn.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
A billion years ago (okay, thirty), I took offense at the nickname people were using for me, and I defiantly stated "My name's not Peanut, it's Mandy!"

A little over twenty years ago, I started to feel that Mandy didn't really fit me any more. I'd just started high school in a new school district, and I tried going by Amanda. Only I slipped up with one teacher and used Mandy in her class, so that some people were calling me Mandy and some were calling me Amanda and I got confused about which people knew me by which name. Plus, a new school full of new people was a little overwhelming, and the old nickname became a comfortable shawl, a link to an old life in the middle of a new one. I stuck with Mandy during high school, and shoved the nagging feeling that it really didn't suit me off into a dark corner of my brain.

The clincher came in college, when I discovered email. "Mandy" just looked weird when I typed it out. It was okay if it was referring to someone else, but that string of letters didn't apply to me. "Amanda" looked right.

Not being five anymore, I opted to politely request that people call me "Amanda", rather than sticking my hands on my hips and demanding to be called something else like I did when I adopted "Mandy" as a moniker. That worked in some circles, and not so much in others. Notably, I can't seem to convince my family to use the right name. Some of them will try, in response to Yet Another Politely-Phrased Request, but then someone else will use "Mandy" and they all instantly revert. For a long time, I shrugged it off. I was fighting over a decade of habit, what're you going to do?

And then my grandmother got sick. Or, more accurately, we realized just how bad her Alzheimer's actually was. For a complicated set of reasons that often boil down to "I didn't realize just how bad it would end up being", she and Grandpa moved in with us.

I'd like to take a moment to point out that as a kid, I spent as much time with my grandparents as I did with my mother, and that I was exceptionally close to them. If you can't connect emotionally to how difficult it is to watch your grandparents deteriorate, go ahead and swap in "mother" for "grandmother", "father" for "grandfather". I won't be offended.

There was no chance at all of getting Grandma to use a name other than "Mandy". So, for the better part of the darkest year of my life, that's what I was called. She'd stand at the bottom of the stairs and screech "Mandy, it's time to get up!" at 6am. Or 3am. Or 4:30pm. Any time she got out of bed, even if it was just after a nap, it was a Brand New Day for her. That lasted right up until she forgot my name.

From then on, my name was whatever popped out of her mouth. It started with "Mary" and "Mary Beth", my grandfather's first wife and his daughter, respectively. I could handle being confused with someone else. When she started sliding to different versions of "Mary", that got harder... "Mary Lou", "Mary Ann", "Mary Sue" showed up and disappeared again. Then it became "Nancy" and my personal favorite, "Gwendolyn". The dislike of hearing "Mandy, it's time to get up!" paled in comparison to the hatred of hearing "Gwendolyn, it's time to get up!" I started to hate nicknames in general. I've been called enough of them for one lifetime.

Grandpa never called me by other names (except "Beth" once in a while, when he'd get me mixed up with his daughter). But one of his quirks throughout his life is that he never pronounced "Mandy" with the "a" sound. It always came out sounding like "Mendy". Eventually, after Grandma was gone and Grandpa was on the tail end of his slide down, he'd have to ask me what my name was, and every time I said "Grandpa, my name is Mandy" he'd always nod and say "That's right, Mendy" and then he'd be okay for another few minutes until he'd have to ask me what my name was again.

Until one day, when he asked me what my name was, and I told him it was Mandy, and he repeated "Mandy" instead of his usual pronunciation. There was no light of recognition in his eyes at all. The light was never there again. Mandy is no longer just a nickname that I outgrew years ago, it's a small stab in the heart where someone I loved finally slid far enough into an abyss to forget who I was.

And it kills me every time my family blithely calls me "Mandy". Which is every goddamned time I talk to them.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
A billion years ago (okay, thirty), I took offense at the nickname people were using for me, and I defiantly stated "My name's not Peanut, it's Mandy!"

A little over twenty years ago, I started to feel that Mandy didn't really fit me any more. I'd just started high school in a new school district, and I tried going by Amanda. Only I slipped up with one teacher and used Mandy in her class, so that some people were calling me Mandy and some were calling me Amanda and I got confused about which people knew me by which name. Plus, a new school full of new people was a little overwhelming, and the old nickname became a comfortable shawl, a link to an old life in the middle of a new one. I stuck with Mandy during high school, and shoved the nagging feeling that it really didn't suit me off into a dark corner of my brain.

The clincher came in college, when I discovered email. "Mandy" just looked weird when I typed it out. It was okay if it was referring to someone else, but that string of letters didn't apply to me. "Amanda" looked right.

Not being five anymore, I opted to politely request that people call me "Amanda", rather than sticking my hands on my hips and demanding to be called something else like I did when I adopted "Mandy" as a moniker. That worked in some circles, and not so much in others. Notably, I can't seem to convince my family to use the right name. Some of them will try, in response to Yet Another Politely-Phrased Request, but then someone else will use "Mandy" and they all instantly revert. For a long time, I shrugged it off. I was fighting over a decade of habit, what're you going to do?

And then my grandmother got sick. Or, more accurately, we realized just how bad her Alzheimer's actually was. For a complicated set of reasons that often boil down to "I didn't realize just how bad it would end up being", she and Grandpa moved in with us.

I'd like to take a moment to point out that as a kid, I spent as much time with my grandparents as I did with my mother, and that I was exceptionally close to them. If you can't connect emotionally to how difficult it is to watch your grandparents deteriorate, go ahead and swap in "mother" for "grandmother", "father" for "grandfather". I won't be offended.

There was no chance at all of getting Grandma to use a name other than "Mandy". So, for the better part of the darkest year of my life, that's what I was called. She'd stand at the bottom of the stairs and screech "Mandy, it's time to get up!" at 6am. Or 3am. Or 4:30pm. Any time she got out of bed, even if it was just after a nap, it was a Brand New Day for her. That lasted right up until she forgot my name.

From then on, my name was whatever popped out of her mouth. It started with "Mary" and "Mary Beth", my grandfather's first wife and his daughter, respectively. I could handle being confused with someone else. When she started sliding to different versions of "Mary", that got harder... "Mary Lou", "Mary Ann", "Mary Sue" showed up and disappeared again. Then it became "Nancy" and my personal favorite, "Gwendolyn". The dislike of hearing "Mandy, it's time to get up!" paled in comparison to the hatred of hearing "Gwendolyn, it's time to get up!" I started to hate nicknames in general. I've been called enough of them for one lifetime.

Grandpa never called me by other names (except "Beth" once in a while, when he'd get me mixed up with his daughter). But one of his quirks throughout his life is that he never pronounced "Mandy" with the "a" sound. It always came out sounding like "Mendy". Eventually, after Grandma was gone and Grandpa was on the tail end of his slide down, he'd have to ask me what my name was, and every time I said "Grandpa, my name is Mandy" he'd always nod and say "That's right, Mendy" and then he'd be okay for another few minutes until he'd have to ask me what my name was again.

Until one day, when he asked me what my name was, and I told him it was Mandy, and he repeated "Mandy" instead of his usual pronunciation. There was no light of recognition in his eyes at all. The light was never there again. Mandy is no longer just a nickname that I outgrew years ago, it's a small stab in the heart where someone I loved finally slid far enough into an abyss to forget who I was.

And it kills me every time my family blithely calls me "Mandy". Which is every goddamned time I talk to them.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been tagged in another meme, when I still haven't finished up the last one. To kill two birds with one stone, I'm calling this one of the 25 Things. This one is:

"This can be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose."

Never one to play by the rules, I refuse to tag anyone. Also, I don't see any point in a list that doesn't include at least a brief description of why you liked a book.

1. A Wrinkle In Time
1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

I do not honestly remember which of these was my "introduction to fantasy", as I'd read both of them at a very young age. I particularly remember being enthralled by the idea of folding space in A Wrinkle In Time. I read the first three books in L'Engle's series, but got bored with the fourth and stopped. I read all seven of the Narnia series. Narnia is still on my bookshelf to this day, in a nice hardcover set that was a gift from Brian (minus one of the books, which Brian swears up and down was in the box when he gave it to us, but wasn't.)


3. Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
4. Restaurant At The End Of The Universe
5. Life, The Universe, And Everything
6. So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

When I was 12, my best friend Sue and I were in our school library, musing over books. She picked up HHGTTG and said "This is the *best* book, you *have* to read it." While I love the entire series, my absolute favorite part is still a throwaway line in the setup of the first book: "And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change..."

You may note that Lewis and L'Engle only get one entry on the list for their entire series, while Adams gets four. That's because, while I enjoyed all of the series, I could not immediately name the titles of other books from Lewis or L'Engle without looking them up, and if you named a particular scene out of the Lewis or L'Engle series, I'm not entirely certain that I could tell you which book it came from. Not so with HHGTTG. Also, I'm aware that Adams wrote a fifth book in this series. He shouldn't have.

Hitchhiker's Guide is the book I loan out to people most often. It's also the book I get back least often. I've taken to just buying a new copy immediately upon loaning it out.


7. I Want To Go Home

This is the first book I ever read that I actually had to put down because I was laughing too hard to continue reading. It's geared towards pre-teens, and I'm sad to say that re-reads as an adult have not elicited the same fits of giggles that I used to have as a kid reading it.

Korman has several other books, including an entire series about a boarding school, and they're all pretty funny, but this book was the best of the bunch.

I still someday want to hold a scavenger hunt like the one in this book, and see what people come up with.


8. The Family Nobody Wanted

The true story of a minister and his wife who adopted twelve children, most of whom were considered unadoptable. I first read this when I was about ten, and for the longest time afterward I dreamed of a large family of adopted children.


9. Castle Perilous

Have you ever read a book, or a series, and then when you'd finished with everything the author wrote, you made up more in your head? This is that series for me.

The series itself is only okay. It's light fantasy, in a world with gates to thousands of other worlds. It suffers from being able to do anything it wants, so oftentimes it feels like the characters are tumbleweeds rolling around in a world too big for them. But something about the dynamics of the ruling family lit up ideas in my head, and I was off and running.


10. Elf Defense

I was standing in the library's sci-fi/fantasy section one day, picking up books, reading the back cover, and putting them back on shelf, unable to find something that sparked my interest. Another woman came over, picked out a couple of books for herself, and then handed me Elf Defense and said "have you read this one?" When I said no, she said "Try it. It's one of my favorites."

Now it's one of mine, too. Friesner is my absolute favorite author, and I wish she'd stop editing short story anthologies and go back to writing novels. Even though most of them are geared toward teenagers (Harlot's Ruse being a big exception), I still love her work. Except the Star Trek novels.


11. Pyramids

By rights, Pratchett ought to have a lot more slots in this list; I gave Adams four, and Pratchett is right up there with him. But honestly, by the time I got this far into the list, I was tired of picking out which books should qualify out of any given series.

Pyramids made the list because it was how I finally got into Discworld. Years before I read this book (which is #5 or 6 in the series), Steve had raved about The Colour of Magic, and on his recommendation I had picked up the first three books in the series from the library... and HATED them. There was too much going on, too many characters, too many aspects of the world, too many annoying characteristics of the main character. I couldn't wrap my head around it, and I strongly suspected that the author couldn't either. (In Once More With Footnotes, Pratchett admits that he doesn't like the main character of the first two books very much either, and that his only purpose in life is to run into other people who are much more interesting than he is.) When I bitched about the books to Jim, he said "Oh, no, don't start with the first book. Here, try this one" and handed me Pyramids. It's slow, by Discworld standards, but it takes place in a small corner of the world and is heavily based on Egyptian themes-- which meant that Pratchett didn't have to take three chapters to explain the culture. Once I got the hang of that small corner of the world, it was easier to expand outward, and I did eventually make it back to the first couple of books, which made more sense by then.


12. The Bromeliad series (Truckers, Diggers, Wings)

Well, I did say Pratchett ought to have more than one slot. I chose a different series, in part because it irks me that no one realizes he wrote more than just Discworld, and in part because it's a really good series.

The series is about small creatures who are forced to move out of their home when a department store closes and their resources dry up. I remember very little about the details of what they do, because the part of the story that stuck with me was how their society threatened to splinter when change was forced upon them (some resisted change so strongly that they would prefer to stay and starve), and how the challenges of rebuilding sparked new advancements. But what I remember most strongly about the books is the frog. The series is named for a flower, in which tiny frogs live their entire lives, and are used as a metaphor throughout the books. One of the frogs starts to wonder what's outside the flower, a concept that is so foreign to other frogs that they can't comprehend the concept of "outside", much less something in "outside". At the very end, the frog finally makes it to the edge of his flower, and looks out into the vast "outside"... which is a sea of other flowers, each of which has a colony of tiny frogs in it.


13. On A Pale Horse
14. For Love Of Evil

If you've encountered Anthony via his Xanth series, you may be inclined to run screaming from any of his work (though I would point out that the first half-dozen or so of Xanth aren't all that bad, and then Man From Mundania was good. It's just the other 20 or 30 books in the series that are terrible.) This series is easily his best work. The first book will make you look at the Grim Reaper in a whole new light. The sixth will make you look at the Devil in a whole new light. The central idea that certain mythological personas are actually titles of office that get passed from person to person was an eye-opener for me (these were high-school reads for me the first time through). Don't read them in order, though-- the second book is about Time, and is highly confusing. It makes much more sense to skip over Time and come back to it after you've read the fifth book. Knowing who all the other people in the series are helps tremendously in figuring out what the heck is going on in Bearing An Hourglass.


15. Organizing From The Inside Out

The only non-fiction book to make the list. I'm a natural-born clutterbug, with a desire to live in a clean and organized house. This has prompted me to read all manner of organizational books, and I can assure that most of them suck. This one skips over most (though not all) of the So F'ing Obvious It's Ridiculous Bits (Get rid of stuff you don't use! Put everything away in the same place every time! No, really?) in favor of a kindergarten philosophy-- namely, that kindergartens work, and work well, because they keep things together that get used together. Most of the book is about stepping back and figuring out how you really use items, and then creating work and storage spaces centered around activities. It's surprisingly effective.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I've been tagged in another meme, when I still haven't finished up the last one. To kill two birds with one stone, I'm calling this one of the 25 Things. This one is:

"This can be a quick one. Don't take too long to think about it. Fifteen books you've read that will always stick with you. First fifteen you can recall in no more than 15 minutes. Tag 15 friends, including me because I'm interested in seeing what books my friends choose."

Never one to play by the rules, I refuse to tag anyone. Also, I don't see any point in a list that doesn't include at least a brief description of why you liked a book.

1. A Wrinkle In Time
1. The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe

I do not honestly remember which of these was my "introduction to fantasy", as I'd read both of them at a very young age. I particularly remember being enthralled by the idea of folding space in A Wrinkle In Time. I read the first three books in L'Engle's series, but got bored with the fourth and stopped. I read all seven of the Narnia series. Narnia is still on my bookshelf to this day, in a nice hardcover set that was a gift from Brian (minus one of the books, which Brian swears up and down was in the box when he gave it to us, but wasn't.)


3. Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy
4. Restaurant At The End Of The Universe
5. Life, The Universe, And Everything
6. So Long And Thanks For All The Fish

When I was 12, my best friend Sue and I were in our school library, musing over books. She picked up HHGTTG and said "This is the *best* book, you *have* to read it." While I love the entire series, my absolute favorite part is still a throwaway line in the setup of the first book: "And then, one Thursday, nearly two thousand years after one man had been nailed to a tree for saying how great it would be to be nice to people for a change..."

You may note that Lewis and L'Engle only get one entry on the list for their entire series, while Adams gets four. That's because, while I enjoyed all of the series, I could not immediately name the titles of other books from Lewis or L'Engle without looking them up, and if you named a particular scene out of the Lewis or L'Engle series, I'm not entirely certain that I could tell you which book it came from. Not so with HHGTTG. Also, I'm aware that Adams wrote a fifth book in this series. He shouldn't have.

Hitchhiker's Guide is the book I loan out to people most often. It's also the book I get back least often. I've taken to just buying a new copy immediately upon loaning it out.


7. I Want To Go Home

This is the first book I ever read that I actually had to put down because I was laughing too hard to continue reading. It's geared towards pre-teens, and I'm sad to say that re-reads as an adult have not elicited the same fits of giggles that I used to have as a kid reading it.

Korman has several other books, including an entire series about a boarding school, and they're all pretty funny, but this book was the best of the bunch.

I still someday want to hold a scavenger hunt like the one in this book, and see what people come up with.


8. The Family Nobody Wanted

The true story of a minister and his wife who adopted twelve children, most of whom were considered unadoptable. I first read this when I was about ten, and for the longest time afterward I dreamed of a large family of adopted children.


9. Castle Perilous

Have you ever read a book, or a series, and then when you'd finished with everything the author wrote, you made up more in your head? This is that series for me.

The series itself is only okay. It's light fantasy, in a world with gates to thousands of other worlds. It suffers from being able to do anything it wants, so oftentimes it feels like the characters are tumbleweeds rolling around in a world too big for them. But something about the dynamics of the ruling family lit up ideas in my head, and I was off and running.


10. Elf Defense

I was standing in the library's sci-fi/fantasy section one day, picking up books, reading the back cover, and putting them back on shelf, unable to find something that sparked my interest. Another woman came over, picked out a couple of books for herself, and then handed me Elf Defense and said "have you read this one?" When I said no, she said "Try it. It's one of my favorites."

Now it's one of mine, too. Friesner is my absolute favorite author, and I wish she'd stop editing short story anthologies and go back to writing novels. Even though most of them are geared toward teenagers (Harlot's Ruse being a big exception), I still love her work. Except the Star Trek novels.


11. Pyramids

By rights, Pratchett ought to have a lot more slots in this list; I gave Adams four, and Pratchett is right up there with him. But honestly, by the time I got this far into the list, I was tired of picking out which books should qualify out of any given series.

Pyramids made the list because it was how I finally got into Discworld. Years before I read this book (which is #5 or 6 in the series), Steve had raved about The Colour of Magic, and on his recommendation I had picked up the first three books in the series from the library... and HATED them. There was too much going on, too many characters, too many aspects of the world, too many annoying characteristics of the main character. I couldn't wrap my head around it, and I strongly suspected that the author couldn't either. (In Once More With Footnotes, Pratchett admits that he doesn't like the main character of the first two books very much either, and that his only purpose in life is to run into other people who are much more interesting than he is.) When I bitched about the books to Jim, he said "Oh, no, don't start with the first book. Here, try this one" and handed me Pyramids. It's slow, by Discworld standards, but it takes place in a small corner of the world and is heavily based on Egyptian themes-- which meant that Pratchett didn't have to take three chapters to explain the culture. Once I got the hang of that small corner of the world, it was easier to expand outward, and I did eventually make it back to the first couple of books, which made more sense by then.


12. The Bromeliad series (Truckers, Diggers, Wings)

Well, I did say Pratchett ought to have more than one slot. I chose a different series, in part because it irks me that no one realizes he wrote more than just Discworld, and in part because it's a really good series.

The series is about small creatures who are forced to move out of their home when a department store closes and their resources dry up. I remember very little about the details of what they do, because the part of the story that stuck with me was how their society threatened to splinter when change was forced upon them (some resisted change so strongly that they would prefer to stay and starve), and how the challenges of rebuilding sparked new advancements. But what I remember most strongly about the books is the frog. The series is named for a flower, in which tiny frogs live their entire lives, and are used as a metaphor throughout the books. One of the frogs starts to wonder what's outside the flower, a concept that is so foreign to other frogs that they can't comprehend the concept of "outside", much less something in "outside". At the very end, the frog finally makes it to the edge of his flower, and looks out into the vast "outside"... which is a sea of other flowers, each of which has a colony of tiny frogs in it.


13. On A Pale Horse
14. For Love Of Evil

If you've encountered Anthony via his Xanth series, you may be inclined to run screaming from any of his work (though I would point out that the first half-dozen or so of Xanth aren't all that bad, and then Man From Mundania was good. It's just the other 20 or 30 books in the series that are terrible.) This series is easily his best work. The first book will make you look at the Grim Reaper in a whole new light. The sixth will make you look at the Devil in a whole new light. The central idea that certain mythological personas are actually titles of office that get passed from person to person was an eye-opener for me (these were high-school reads for me the first time through). Don't read them in order, though-- the second book is about Time, and is highly confusing. It makes much more sense to skip over Time and come back to it after you've read the fifth book. Knowing who all the other people in the series are helps tremendously in figuring out what the heck is going on in Bearing An Hourglass.


15. Organizing From The Inside Out

The only non-fiction book to make the list. I'm a natural-born clutterbug, with a desire to live in a clean and organized house. This has prompted me to read all manner of organizational books, and I can assure that most of them suck. This one skips over most (though not all) of the So F'ing Obvious It's Ridiculous Bits (Get rid of stuff you don't use! Put everything away in the same place every time! No, really?) in favor of a kindergarten philosophy-- namely, that kindergartens work, and work well, because they keep things together that get used together. Most of the book is about stepping back and figuring out how you really use items, and then creating work and storage spaces centered around activities. It's surprisingly effective.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
#3: I am a fast learner.

I pick up on things fairly quickly. Coupled with the last post about not realizing I shouldn't be able to do something, this means that I can wing my way through a new endeavor well enough that casual acquaintances often don't realize that I had no idea what I was doing last week. It usually only takes me one or two iterations through a set of instructions to understand the deeper Hows and Whys of the steps.

This, too, leads to some frustration when it comes to interacting with others, because there are certain times when I know what I'm doing, but I don't know the Right Words to explain it to someone who does it professionally. This most often comes up with accountants, though I suspect that might be because they're one of the few groups that I am forced to deal with. I can talk for hours on end about the expenses we incur that are directly attributable to providing service to customers and still get puzzled looks, but if I invoke the Magic Incantation of "Cost of Goods Sold" then all is clear in their world. I have a long-standing rant about people who don't know their own job functions well enough to recognize them in the wild, and also a deep and abiding respect for people who can explain the same thing in three different ways (because those are the people that I'm absolutely certain understand what they're explaining, instead of just bullshitting their way through it).

But yet another reason why I dislike short bullet-point lists of trivia about me is that so much of my life is a study in contradictions. Which brings us to

#4: I am a slow learner

Sometimes, I Just. Don't. Get. It. The best example I have is to explain why I sometimes wear an ankle brace.

I clog. It's a high-impact form of dancing, a lot like a cross-between line dancing and tap, only with more noise and more bouncing. We used to have a twice-a-year dance night at a particular park's recreation hall. The floor, as typical of park recreation halls, was vinyl laid over poured concrete, but the concrete hadn't been leveled properly, so there were subtle dips in the floor. They were all off to the side and near pillars, so it didn't really impact our dancing. The janitor there also used some sort of floor wax that made rubber-soled shoes stick to the floor, which meant that those of us who usually danced in tennis shoes for comfort very unhappy because it was like trying to dance in glue. However, the wax was extremely slippery if you were wearing leather-soled shoes, which is what clogging shoes are generally made of. The upshot was that most of us wore our leather-soled taps and danced very carefully and learned how to recover from a slide and also learned not to try to catch ourselves when we inevitably fell (your butt can recover from hitting the floor, but wrists break easily).

While at that hall, I was returning from the bathroom when I slipped on the floor. It wasn't enough to cause me to fall, and it wouldn't have caused any damage at all, except that I caught the edge of one of the dips in the floor, and my foot turned under so that I my weight was entirely on the side of my foot. And then I continued sliding. You know how painful it is when you accidentally step wrong and step on the side of your foot but shift your weight immediately? It's like that, only without the part where you recover quickly.

Oddly, my foot didn't hurt afterward. I was too young and naive to realize that when something like that doesn't hurt at all, it means that you've done enough damage to interfere with the nerve signals. I *was* bright enough to sit out the next couple dances, which I didn't like anyway, on the grounds that I should probably let my ankle rest from the slide (I never actually fell, thanks to a well-placed pillar that I caught on the way down). I slid off my shoe without untying it, a bad habit that I still have to this day, and put my foot up on the chair next to mine to let it rest. While I was sitting there, I came to the conclusion that while the near-fall hadn't done any damage (so I thought), it certainly had to have weakened my ankle, and that if I continued dancing that night I was risking doing some real damage to it. I packed up my things and put my shoe back on. The shoe was tight, but because of the habit of sliding them on and off I'd also developed a habit of waiting until the laces got loose enough to annoy me and then tying them extra-tight so that they had further to go to get back to the annoyingly-loose stage. I remember thinking "Huh, I don't remember re-tying the laces recently" but not thinking hard enough to realize what it meant. Mom and I had driven separately, but she was the worrying sort, so I figured that I'd go over and tell her I was leaving so that she didn't panic when she realized that I was gone. Mom was about 50 feet to my right, and the door was about 25 feet to my left. I stood up to go over to where she was, and made it exactly one step, because as soon as I put weight on my left foot it felt like someone had stabbed me in the ankle. Fortunately the beginning of the path was a line of chairs. I fell into the one next to where I had been sitting.

After I caught my breath and blinked back the tears, I decided that Mom would figure it out for herself, because that 50 feet suddenly looked like it was 500 miles. I hobbled my way to the door, leaning on furniture and vending machines on the way, never once thinking to ask for some help, because I am both that stubborn and that stupid. I had to sit and rest on the front porch of the hall, and I'm fairly certain that I crawled part of the way through the parking lot (if not, it was the driveway at home that I crawled on). Fortunately it was my left ankle and I drove a car with an automatic transmission, because until I had gotten into the car I had not considered the possibility that I might not be able to drive myself. I drove home, limped into the house, grabbed an ice pack from the freezer (which was mercifully close to the garage door that I entered through), flopped onto the couch and cried for a good long time.

X-rays at the doctor's office the next morning showed that nothing was broken, just strained. The doctor gave me some pills for the pain, some more pills to keep the swelling down, and told me to stay off of my ankle "for a while". He did not define what he meant by "for a while" and it did not occur to me to ask. At that moment, I had a hard time envisioning ever putting weight on that ankle again.

But, of course, the worst of the pain died down, and after two weeks I felt fine, so I went to my normal clogging class again. I figured I'd just dance until it started to hurt again and then stop. Did I mention that clogging is high impact? Did I mention that I was still taking the pain pills? I re-injured my ankle five times before I realized that if I was going to go but "only dance until it starts to hurt" that I should not be on any medication that stopped it from hurting right away. I re-injured it another three times before I realized that if I danced until it hurt, I'd already done the damage-- I needed to stop BEFORE it started to hurt again. It took two more tries before it finally sunk in that I did not have the self-control necessary to stop before I did damage, and six months after I should have taken a break from clogging, I finally did.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
#3: I am a fast learner.

I pick up on things fairly quickly. Coupled with the last post about not realizing I shouldn't be able to do something, this means that I can wing my way through a new endeavor well enough that casual acquaintances often don't realize that I had no idea what I was doing last week. It usually only takes me one or two iterations through a set of instructions to understand the deeper Hows and Whys of the steps.

This, too, leads to some frustration when it comes to interacting with others, because there are certain times when I know what I'm doing, but I don't know the Right Words to explain it to someone who does it professionally. This most often comes up with accountants, though I suspect that might be because they're one of the few groups that I am forced to deal with. I can talk for hours on end about the expenses we incur that are directly attributable to providing service to customers and still get puzzled looks, but if I invoke the Magic Incantation of "Cost of Goods Sold" then all is clear in their world. I have a long-standing rant about people who don't know their own job functions well enough to recognize them in the wild, and also a deep and abiding respect for people who can explain the same thing in three different ways (because those are the people that I'm absolutely certain understand what they're explaining, instead of just bullshitting their way through it).

But yet another reason why I dislike short bullet-point lists of trivia about me is that so much of my life is a study in contradictions. Which brings us to

#4: I am a slow learner

Sometimes, I Just. Don't. Get. It. The best example I have is to explain why I sometimes wear an ankle brace.

I clog. It's a high-impact form of dancing, a lot like a cross-between line dancing and tap, only with more noise and more bouncing. We used to have a twice-a-year dance night at a particular park's recreation hall. The floor, as typical of park recreation halls, was vinyl laid over poured concrete, but the concrete hadn't been leveled properly, so there were subtle dips in the floor. They were all off to the side and near pillars, so it didn't really impact our dancing. The janitor there also used some sort of floor wax that made rubber-soled shoes stick to the floor, which meant that those of us who usually danced in tennis shoes for comfort very unhappy because it was like trying to dance in glue. However, the wax was extremely slippery if you were wearing leather-soled shoes, which is what clogging shoes are generally made of. The upshot was that most of us wore our leather-soled taps and danced very carefully and learned how to recover from a slide and also learned not to try to catch ourselves when we inevitably fell (your butt can recover from hitting the floor, but wrists break easily).

While at that hall, I was returning from the bathroom when I slipped on the floor. It wasn't enough to cause me to fall, and it wouldn't have caused any damage at all, except that I caught the edge of one of the dips in the floor, and my foot turned under so that I my weight was entirely on the side of my foot. And then I continued sliding. You know how painful it is when you accidentally step wrong and step on the side of your foot but shift your weight immediately? It's like that, only without the part where you recover quickly.

Oddly, my foot didn't hurt afterward. I was too young and naive to realize that when something like that doesn't hurt at all, it means that you've done enough damage to interfere with the nerve signals. I *was* bright enough to sit out the next couple dances, which I didn't like anyway, on the grounds that I should probably let my ankle rest from the slide (I never actually fell, thanks to a well-placed pillar that I caught on the way down). I slid off my shoe without untying it, a bad habit that I still have to this day, and put my foot up on the chair next to mine to let it rest. While I was sitting there, I came to the conclusion that while the near-fall hadn't done any damage (so I thought), it certainly had to have weakened my ankle, and that if I continued dancing that night I was risking doing some real damage to it. I packed up my things and put my shoe back on. The shoe was tight, but because of the habit of sliding them on and off I'd also developed a habit of waiting until the laces got loose enough to annoy me and then tying them extra-tight so that they had further to go to get back to the annoyingly-loose stage. I remember thinking "Huh, I don't remember re-tying the laces recently" but not thinking hard enough to realize what it meant. Mom and I had driven separately, but she was the worrying sort, so I figured that I'd go over and tell her I was leaving so that she didn't panic when she realized that I was gone. Mom was about 50 feet to my right, and the door was about 25 feet to my left. I stood up to go over to where she was, and made it exactly one step, because as soon as I put weight on my left foot it felt like someone had stabbed me in the ankle. Fortunately the beginning of the path was a line of chairs. I fell into the one next to where I had been sitting.

After I caught my breath and blinked back the tears, I decided that Mom would figure it out for herself, because that 50 feet suddenly looked like it was 500 miles. I hobbled my way to the door, leaning on furniture and vending machines on the way, never once thinking to ask for some help, because I am both that stubborn and that stupid. I had to sit and rest on the front porch of the hall, and I'm fairly certain that I crawled part of the way through the parking lot (if not, it was the driveway at home that I crawled on). Fortunately it was my left ankle and I drove a car with an automatic transmission, because until I had gotten into the car I had not considered the possibility that I might not be able to drive myself. I drove home, limped into the house, grabbed an ice pack from the freezer (which was mercifully close to the garage door that I entered through), flopped onto the couch and cried for a good long time.

X-rays at the doctor's office the next morning showed that nothing was broken, just strained. The doctor gave me some pills for the pain, some more pills to keep the swelling down, and told me to stay off of my ankle "for a while". He did not define what he meant by "for a while" and it did not occur to me to ask. At that moment, I had a hard time envisioning ever putting weight on that ankle again.

But, of course, the worst of the pain died down, and after two weeks I felt fine, so I went to my normal clogging class again. I figured I'd just dance until it started to hurt again and then stop. Did I mention that clogging is high impact? Did I mention that I was still taking the pain pills? I re-injured my ankle five times before I realized that if I was going to go but "only dance until it starts to hurt" that I should not be on any medication that stopped it from hurting right away. I re-injured it another three times before I realized that if I danced until it hurt, I'd already done the damage-- I needed to stop BEFORE it started to hurt again. It took two more tries before it finally sunk in that I did not have the self-control necessary to stop before I did damage, and six months after I should have taken a break from clogging, I finally did.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The single guiding principle in my life has been "No one ever told me I couldn't." I mean that in the sense that no one discouraged me early on, though I am also a master of the concept of "better to ask forgiveness than permission."

I attribute this to my maternal line, which consisted of a woman scorned who spent most of the rest of her life trying to prove that she didn't need a man, a woman largely ignored in her own childhood because of a disabled younger sister, and a woman who was an alcoholic for thirty years until the day she quit cold turkey. None of them ever told me that anything was too hard for me, even when it very clearly was. When I whined that something was hard, their knee-jerk reaction was to show me what I was doing wrong rather than let me use it as an excuse to stop, and by the time I was old enough to use it as an excuse myself, I had already developed the habit of saying "What am I doing wrong?" rather than "It's too haaaaaaard."

I also suspect that my grandmother had some words with a few people at my school-- I never had very many teachers with negative attitudes, but the few that I did went away rather abruptly. I was too young at the time to question it though, and with age it's possible that those memories have been bent to match my later perceptions.

The plus side of that sort of upbringing is that I'm pretty willing to jump into a new situation feet-first and learn by doing. The minus is that because I'm the one most willing to jump into a task that I don't know how to do, I also tend to be the one who gets stuck with the more annoying tasks. (This is particularly irritating right now, since the bookkeeping for our company is one of those annoying tasks that I ended up doing because I didn't know enough to say "not in a million years". January through "whenever I manage to get all the numbers to line up enough to do taxes" is my least-favorite time of year.)

The other minus is that I sometimes (*cough* frequently *cough*) bite off a bit more than I can chew. Not only did I not learn that I can't do something, I didn't manage to fully learn that I can't do everything. This is how I end up with lists of projects that span five pages of lined notepaper. It's also how I end up deciding to write 25 long journal entries instead of one journal entry with 25 bullet points. I'm *trying* to learn the concept of finishing one project before starting another, and it's definitely getting better than it has been in the past, but my project list is still 3 pages long right now.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
The single guiding principle in my life has been "No one ever told me I couldn't." I mean that in the sense that no one discouraged me early on, though I am also a master of the concept of "better to ask forgiveness than permission."

I attribute this to my maternal line, which consisted of a woman scorned who spent most of the rest of her life trying to prove that she didn't need a man, a woman largely ignored in her own childhood because of a disabled younger sister, and a woman who was an alcoholic for thirty years until the day she quit cold turkey. None of them ever told me that anything was too hard for me, even when it very clearly was. When I whined that something was hard, their knee-jerk reaction was to show me what I was doing wrong rather than let me use it as an excuse to stop, and by the time I was old enough to use it as an excuse myself, I had already developed the habit of saying "What am I doing wrong?" rather than "It's too haaaaaaard."

I also suspect that my grandmother had some words with a few people at my school-- I never had very many teachers with negative attitudes, but the few that I did went away rather abruptly. I was too young at the time to question it though, and with age it's possible that those memories have been bent to match my later perceptions.

The plus side of that sort of upbringing is that I'm pretty willing to jump into a new situation feet-first and learn by doing. The minus is that because I'm the one most willing to jump into a task that I don't know how to do, I also tend to be the one who gets stuck with the more annoying tasks. (This is particularly irritating right now, since the bookkeeping for our company is one of those annoying tasks that I ended up doing because I didn't know enough to say "not in a million years". January through "whenever I manage to get all the numbers to line up enough to do taxes" is my least-favorite time of year.)

The other minus is that I sometimes (*cough* frequently *cough*) bite off a bit more than I can chew. Not only did I not learn that I can't do something, I didn't manage to fully learn that I can't do everything. This is how I end up with lists of projects that span five pages of lined notepaper. It's also how I end up deciding to write 25 long journal entries instead of one journal entry with 25 bullet points. I'm *trying* to learn the concept of finishing one project before starting another, and it's definitely getting better than it has been in the past, but my project list is still 3 pages long right now.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'd managed to avoid the whole "post 25 random facts about you" thing largely by only having friends on LiveJournal who refuse to tag other people (and I love each and every one of you for it). Along came Facebook, where I got tagged by two different people.

For the most part, I hate the whole "random facts about me" (mind you, I'm fine with it if you want to post random facts about YOU, just leave me out of it). Do you really care what my favorite color is? It's hardly a defining part of my personality. Plus, it changes based on what the situation is-- colors I like for painting walls are quite different from colors I like to see in my garden, for example.

In a more general sense, I dislike the fake-knowledge that "random facts" feeds. I can rattle off trivial things about dozens of people, but I don't know what their deeply held beliefs are. In some cases, I don't even know what their real name is, because they are people who I interact with online and we both use aliases. (If your first reaction was "*Oh*, online gaming and aliases don't count", I'd like you to tell me what my last name is. If you said "Lodden" you're wrong, and I'd advise you to reconsider what qualifies as an alias.)

For exactly the same reason, I hate wearing nametags at functions. I'm perfectly fine with being called "Hey, you" because of it (and I've been known to write "Hey, you" on my nametag if there's no Nametag Nazi in charge of the tags and pens), but if you want to know what my name is, please come up to me and say "Hi, I'm Tom, and you are?" In other words, have a REAL conversation with me, instead of starting off as though we already know each other.

However, every so often I get one of those "answer these questions about yourself" memes at a time when I'm bored, and it has been known to spark a question from someone about one of my answers. So I opened a new entry in Google notebook and started jotting down things, trying to see if I could come up with 25 of them.

It took about 20 seconds to realize that I was going to have a problem, because of the first 12 things I wrote down, I immediately wanted to expound at length on 9 of them.

So, instead I'm going to 25 posts about things about me. In the interest of not flooding people's friends pages, I plan to spread them out over many days, and I may take week-long or month-long breaks in between. I may quit after getting to #3, if I get bored or sick of it or I run out of things to talk about (Hah! Unlikely) or I get slammed with other things to do.

I'm also going to flatly refuse to tag people and make them write anything, neither a single post of 25 one-line items nor 25 posts. If you think it's fabulous idea and want to do it yourself, do it. Blame me for it, even-- everyone can consider themselves tagged if they want to.
amanda_lodden: (Default)
I'd managed to avoid the whole "post 25 random facts about you" thing largely by only having friends on LiveJournal who refuse to tag other people (and I love each and every one of you for it). Along came Facebook, where I got tagged by two different people.

For the most part, I hate the whole "random facts about me" (mind you, I'm fine with it if you want to post random facts about YOU, just leave me out of it). Do you really care what my favorite color is? It's hardly a defining part of my personality. Plus, it changes based on what the situation is-- colors I like for painting walls are quite different from colors I like to see in my garden, for example.

In a more general sense, I dislike the fake-knowledge that "random facts" feeds. I can rattle off trivial things about dozens of people, but I don't know what their deeply held beliefs are. In some cases, I don't even know what their real name is, because they are people who I interact with online and we both use aliases. (If your first reaction was "*Oh*, online gaming and aliases don't count", I'd like you to tell me what my last name is. If you said "Lodden" you're wrong, and I'd advise you to reconsider what qualifies as an alias.)

For exactly the same reason, I hate wearing nametags at functions. I'm perfectly fine with being called "Hey, you" because of it (and I've been known to write "Hey, you" on my nametag if there's no Nametag Nazi in charge of the tags and pens), but if you want to know what my name is, please come up to me and say "Hi, I'm Tom, and you are?" In other words, have a REAL conversation with me, instead of starting off as though we already know each other.

However, every so often I get one of those "answer these questions about yourself" memes at a time when I'm bored, and it has been known to spark a question from someone about one of my answers. So I opened a new entry in Google notebook and started jotting down things, trying to see if I could come up with 25 of them.

It took about 20 seconds to realize that I was going to have a problem, because of the first 12 things I wrote down, I immediately wanted to expound at length on 9 of them.

So, instead I'm going to 25 posts about things about me. In the interest of not flooding people's friends pages, I plan to spread them out over many days, and I may take week-long or month-long breaks in between. I may quit after getting to #3, if I get bored or sick of it or I run out of things to talk about (Hah! Unlikely) or I get slammed with other things to do.

I'm also going to flatly refuse to tag people and make them write anything, neither a single post of 25 one-line items nor 25 posts. If you think it's fabulous idea and want to do it yourself, do it. Blame me for it, even-- everyone can consider themselves tagged if they want to.

Profile

amanda_lodden: (Default)
amanda_lodden

January 2015

S M T W T F S
    123
45678 910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Jul. 22nd, 2017 06:34 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios