I am jumping someone else’s train today — May as Well Event and The $900 facebook pony both posted 30 things we didn’t know about them, and I really like learning random shit about people. At first I wasn’t sure that I could come up with 30 things, especially non-horsey things as Amanda did, because I like that version of it. And after reading The Everything Pony’s 30 things I think it’s interesting that many of us have much more in common than just horses.
1. I took tap & ballet as a kid. I sucked at it, so I quit. I could not do the turning without getting dizzy because I could not coordinate that whole “look at a focus point far away and don’t turn your head until you have to” thing. I am pretty sure I fell down a lot.
2. I took piano lessons as a kid. I sucked less at that, but didn’t practice and stopped going. Although not once did I fall off the bench!
3. I started riding lessons at 9. I sucked at this, too. I fell off a lot. This demonstrates I am not a quitter if I suck at something but love it.
4. What can you do with a BA in English? Go to grad school and graduate. Twice. Drop out of law school. Maybe get a decent job with okay benefits.
5. I worked at HEB. Went through the 2 weeks of training. I thought I’d just be bagging groceries but they put me on the 10-items-or-less line on a holiday weekend and one guy who didn’t speak English very well came through with a ton of exotic produce. I finished working my shift and never went back. Except to shop. Also … would it not be 10-items-or-fewer?
6. I have broken toes, my right elbow, and my left wrist. I have no idea why I haven’t broken more things. See 1. & 3. above.
7. I have waded in Lake Superior long enough to get a leech stuck on the bottom of my foot.
8. We had a beach condo in Port Aransas growing up and my mom always pointed out the different birds. I got really into this and still look for birds of any type everywhere I go. When I see one I haven’t seen before I thumb through a Peterson guide until I find it. I should probably start one of those birders’ “life lists.” Being in Texas, I see some birds that I take for granted, but apparently it is a very big deal to many birders to see a roadrunner. (Tangentially — can you imagine how terrifying and powerful birds would be if they were people-sized? But they are cute and fascinating because they are small. How wonderful this is.)
9. I love far West Texas. Well, not the gigantic, fast, terrifying scorpions there but everything else. I love Marfa. I love going to Star Parties at the McDonald Observatory. I have not seen the Marfa lights, though. Not for lack of trying.
10. I can get a little obsessive about “occult” stuff like cryptozoology and paranormal crap. I used to watch that type of show on tv a lot. Both the fictional and the reality/educational versions. Films, too. The entertainment value wears off after a while for some of it, but I think cryptozoology is actually a really cool way into learning about other cultures. I think of it as a facet of cultural anthropology. Think about what The Hound of the Baskervilles reveals about 19th century Britain. See?
11. You may have already gotten a sense of this, but I am a bit of an amateur naturalist.
12. Remember how I said I love far West Texas? I maybe haven’t been to Big Bend yet. Oops.
13. I am obsessed with the Victorian Era. Also the Age of Enlightenment, but not quite to the same degree.
14. I am obsessed with Gothic literature from the 18th and 19th centuries.
15. I took so much Russian history and art history in college that I could have double majored but there was extra paperwork and having to get permission and other bureaucratic shit that I didn’t bother. I don’t need a piece of paper to confirm my interests.
16. My favorite books are Frankenstein, Anna Karenina, The Master and Margarita, and Jane Eyre. And really any Gothic fiction. I’ll read it eventually. Working through Northanger Abbey‘s “horrid” novels right now. But Frankenstein will never not be genius. Much of what media I do enjoy relies heavily on Frankenstein, whether deliberately or inadvertently. I could say that last part about Faust, too. There’s some overlap in there. And while I am talking books, if you want to read Russian literature in translation, look for the pair of translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky.
17. I firmly believe you can never read “Ode on a Grecian Urn” too many times.
18. My favorite movies in color are Bladerunner, The Secret of NIMH, and Amadeus. Out of Africa is really good, too.
19. My favorite movies in b&w are The Hound of the Baskervilles, Laura, and The Thing from Another World.
20. I love absurdist humor. I think Will Ferrell is a genius. I also love whatever it is that David Lynch does.
21. “The good thing about science is that it’s true whether or not you believe in it.”
22. I am in an online quiz league and I love taking online quizzes. Maybe not math ones.
23. My side-hustle is horse-related, but I mention it because I do love to share my knowledge with those who find interest in similar things who are willing to share their knowledge. Sometimes teaching is a great way to learn.
24. I can’t really sit in movie theaters anymore without having a panic attack. This doesn’t bother me much, because of HD and a fully-stocked bar at my house.
25. I am not religious. While we are in the whole “protected class” area, my sexual orientation is no means no and my gender identity is horse chick.
26. I have lived in Central Texas my entire life and have no plans ever to leave.
27. Bananas taste like a swamp smells to me. I have no idea why this is, but it doesn’t matter. I hate them.
28. Employer-sponsored health insurance has a little too much influence over my life choices right now, but maybe eventually it won’t. Pre-existing conditions don’t have to be political.
29. Chronic laziness in people drives me insane to the point of rage.
30. I do not go camping.