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100 Ways of a Wanderluster

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posted by alias Ar'alani on Thursday 27th of March 2008 04:11:47 PM

For those of you disinclined to reading novels at the present time, this is a self-portrait at Cascade Creek in Yosemite--one of the most beautiful waterfalls I've ever seen. A whole bunch of yellow-gold creeks come together and tumble over the mountain. Absolutely unbelievably beautiful. Here are 100 factoids: 1. I am most at peace when outside. Perhaps I’m horribly spoiled by living in Oregon, surrounded by some of the most beautiful places in the world. The only thing we don’t have here is San Francisco. 2. 4:00am is probably my favorite time of day. I usually wake up, look at the clock, realize I still have a few hours to sleep, roll over, get extremely comfy, and drift back to sleep. It’s great. It’s an odd sense of freedom. 3. I love to bake. It’s like a full-on recreational sport for me, involving tons of sticky, disgusting dishes piled everywhere. My favorite thing to bake is cinnamon rolls, which sometimes turn out perfect, and sometimes turn out as sugary little puddles. Oh well. Just need to bake more. 4. I know where Robin Williams and Nicolas Cage live in San Francisco. Robin has a pet dinosaur and Nick’s driveway gets blocked a lot. I want to go to a party on Robin’s back porch. 5. When I was less than five-years-old, I fell off a horse and landed in a pile of poo. It wasn’t my fault. The person leading me around wasn’t paying attention and a branch swept me right out of the saddle. I still remember looking at myself in the mirror back at the barn and bursting into tears because I had brown goo all over. 6. When I was 8-years-old, I had a dream about being a princess in a forest and having a prince named Eric arrive and play at swords with me. It’s still the most vivid dream I’ve ever had. 7. I have a savings account for a trip to New Zealand before I turn 30. I put money in every month. I intend to backpack, trek to the Milford Sound, stay in a bed and breakfast or two, and enjoy my freedom to the fullest. 8. When I was five, I asked my dad for a glass of water and he brought back a glass of white wine for himself along with my water. Not looking at anything in particular, I took a nice swig of the wine (most of which ended up across the room, on the floor, and probably in my sister's face). 9. I have a half sister. We are almost nothing alike. Beyond the superficial facts of me being seven inches taller and feeling like a gangly giant when around her, we seem to see the world in completely different lights. I wish we were closer. 10. I wear comfortable shoes. Always. I don’t own very many shoes, and believe they should last a long time. Why be uncomfortable in something so basic as walking? I like my Danskos a lot, and most of my hiking shoes are Montrails. 11. I have had three marriage proposals, though one barely counts since I was six and the ring was plastic. I’m not sure the others count overly much either, considering I was around the age of 16-19. 12. I cried when I found out my mom was the tooth fairy, but pretended I hadn't figured it out so I'd still get My Little Ponies. 13. I, at one time, owned 167 My Little Ponies. 14. I believe that the bottom of a waterfall is paradise. The top is great, but I feel like my insides are lit on fire (in a good way) when I stand, laughing, blasted with water and the sheer force of nature. I never seem to care how wet or cold I get--at least, not until I’m headed back to the car or camp and start to feel really, truly cold. Then I can get grumpy. 15. My three favorite waterfalls are Murhut Falls, Comet Falls and Lower Oneonta. This will probably change over the course of my life as I meet more of these beautiful ladies. 16. I once stole a thread bobbin and a button (of all things) from a store, just to see if I could do it. Turns out, I could. I also cried myself to sleep about a dozen times before I fessed up to my mother who laughed and made me take it back. 17. My most expensive piece of furniture is my couch. I have a huge love affair with my couch, probably because I have a huge love affair with pillows and the back is entirely loose pillows. 18. I run and bike as primary forms of exercise. I find them liberating, and will do them even on cold, wet nights with a head lamp if needed. I hate running in the heat, but only a little less than I hate "gerbiling" (running on a treadmill). Both tend to zap all the fun out of it. 19. I also do Pilates, and go to a kickboxing class almost every Saturday morning (my absolute favorite, though the fact that I like it at all seems to perplex people). Rock climbing is great, too. I would like to be really good at it. 20. One of my best friends and I have dated the same guy. Twice. Bear in mind that one guy lived in New York and the other in Wisconsin. And she lived in the Midwest and I lived here. Confusing, no? 21. I used to have a huge crush on Nick Carter, but I got over it once I discovered that we probably wouldn’t get along--at all. 22. Elijah Wood was right behind that. I’m over it. 23. Daniel Craig’s too old for me, sadly. 24. I look like my father. I remember growing up and going with my dad to his school, and all the other teachers would comment how much I looked like him. 25. When I was really young, I won a bunch of blue ribbons at horse shows. I rode Tennessee Walking Horses. I still crave the presence of horses in my life. We seem to understand each other. 26. I’d like to be an accomplished salsa, tango, flamenco or Irish step dancer. I’ve never gotten around to taking classes. I’m pretty good at Lyrical dance, which is both graceful and relaxing, and has a great element of making me feel very feminine. The only catch is that I’m grossly inflexible, so the ballet elements are hard. 27. I won a lot of poetry and art contests as a kid (one of my paintings hung in Sacks Fifth Avenue’s window, and two hung at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall). Photography took over the whole artistic front, but I always have to be meddling in something artsy. 28. Purple is my favorite color, and always has been. 29. I have a plant named Harold. He survived an ant invasion and a dark office in Palo Alto, and he has an IP address. Don’t ask. I’m a nerd. 30. I also have a plant named Severus. He’s a snake plant. Hawh. 31. Sometimes I don’t take criticism overly well, though sometimes I crave it because I feel like I have to be doing something wrong if no one is giving me any feedback. I take everything to heart, and I always feel upset if I’m letting someone down. So maybe I do take it well, I just personalize it too much. 32. I own a Gryffindor scarf. It’s really heavy and warm. 33. I love surprises. The totally unexpected makes me really happy, and I’m horrible about making sure that my Christmas gifts are surprises. It makes me cranky when people discover my surprises before they come to full fruition. 34. I love flowers. Roses and stargazer lilies especially. The Portland Rose Garden has always been paradise to me. 35. I despise stiletto shoes and too much makeup. 36. I will allow two people on this planet to call me "babe" without hitting them. 37. I’m not a huge fan of spicy food. Mild is spicy enough. 38. I like math and electronics engineering. I miss the days when I’d break my brain on problems, and feel brain connections being made once in awhile. College was an excellent experience for me. 39. Men are great. I like men. Creative ones are especially exciting. 40. I think meerkats are the cutest thing ever. 41. I have yelled at a co-worker, but only once. He was so surprised that he backed into a wall. Bastard. 42. I don’t find sexist comments endearing. 43. Ever since I was super-young (and before I could pronounce it), I’ve wanted to visit Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany. Despite the king bankrupting the country for it, it’s one of the prettiest things I’ve ever seen a picture of. Someday soon, I’ll see it in person. 44. I drink a lot of water--usually around 2 liters a day. 45. I used to wear my hair like Jennifer Connolly in Labyrinth and would get stopped on the street to be informed that I looked just like her. I had to watch the movie to figure out what they were talking about. 46. A very sweet guy in college used to write me huge letters. He was the best non-verbal communicator I ever met, and I got to name his kittens. Sadly I don’t get letters from him anymore. 47. I haven’t been truly bored in years. 48. I’m a sunset girl. Sunrises just don’t hold as much enchantment for me, and require getting up early. I don’t do early very often. 49. Dentist x-rays are tantamount to torture for me. 50. My earliest memories are of being pushed down to Lake Tahoe in a stroller, and falling head-first into the bathtub in my little green Ducks sweatsuit. In the latter case, I was reaching for an all-important toy and discovered that no matter how small you are, defying gravity seldom comes out in your favor. 51. I used to act in plays--mostly Shakespeare. I played Puck once, which was glorious fun. I also played Alice in Henry V, involving an entire scene in French. I miss it. 52. Along the same lines, I once knew a girl named Summer who played the lead lady in King Lear, and had a magnificent accident on stage. She performed a bordering-on-insane speech, turned to run offstage, then encountered and completely cleared a three-foot stool in her way (while wearing a really long poofy dress). It was a beautiful thing. All the other actors (including me) dissolved into the loudest communal fit of giggles I’ve ever heard. 53. My favorite tea is Tazo Zen. I drink it almost every day. 54. I don’t like coffee very much, so I stick to disgustingly-sweet mochas. Caffeine doesn’t wire me much, so I don’t drink it to wake up. Going outside takes care of that. 55. I love salad rolls. 56. I used to have an imaginary boyfriend. He kept me out of trouble. I still ask him for advice once in awhile. 57. Deep Space Nine is really the only Star Trek series I like. I’m a huge fan of Quark, and the actor who plays Morn once told me in person that I have a beautiful smile. That made me really happy. I stopped liking the series when they killed off Jadzia Dax. 58. I take multivitamins every day. 59. I marched in the 2007 Tournament of Roses Parade as a Storm Trooper. I was one of 200 members of the 501st Legion flown down to Pasadena by George Lucas to make the crazy dream come true. I spent four days learning how to march like a military girl, and consequently some of the best days of my life. I met people from all over the world, met George in person, and got a sense of surreality that I may never again experience. 60. A character in a Star Wars novel is named after me. She’s blue. And an Admiral. 61. Pink Martini and Emerald Rose are my two favorite live bands. I’ve been to several of Pink Martini’s concerts, and have cried a couple of times because of some crazy inner emotional crisis caused by the music. It’s odd, but very enjoyable. 62. I’m a firm believer that good things happen to good people. I see it happen all the time. 63. I voted for Ralph Nader. 64. Good communication and complete trust are the cornerstones of any happy relationship. 65. I hate most TV shows. I mean, really. How dumb do they think we are? 66. My family is dysfunctional on both sides. I don’t see very many of them. It’s a good thing. 67. I was propositioned for "favors" by a very, very old man once--the day I broke up with my ex-boyfriend. He said I probably needed cheering up. 68. I used to think being on a plane was heavenly. That was before business travel. Now I believe arriving somewhere is heavenly, AFTER I get off the plane. I travel a decent amount, and it comes in droves some months. Also, I loved planes before 9/11. I feel like the government has made it impossible to enjoy the airport anymore. It’s just a miserable process to be tolerated. Not to mention how my nose feels after a few hours of recirculated air. 69. I’m addicted to my space heater at work. 70. I used to have a Starfleet Academy sticker on the back of my car, despite not being a huge Star Trek fan. I’m trying to find a good sticker for my new car. 71. Very seldom will I have anything on my pizza but cheese and pineapple. 72. My dream car is a black or white 1990 Mercedes SL 500. Mmm. Sexy. 73. It’s sad that the fantasy novel I want to write features an evil villain by the name of Lord Aluminum. It wasn’t meant to be funny, and now he’ll never be anything but Lord Aluminum to me. Lord Allan won’t work. Lord Alfred. Lord Alum. Nope. Gosh darn it, I guess I won’t be a famous writer. 74. Around the age of two, I broke into the pantry and pulled out the can of Hershey’s chocolate powder, probably assuming it would be awesome like chocolate always was. Well, it didn’t taste like chocolate (nasty, really), and it proceeded to explode all over my clothes. I dropped the can and started bawling my head off. My mom found me in this state, and took a really funny picture of me. I still laugh whenever I see it. 75. I latch on to music. If there’s a song I like, I’ll listen to it and it alone until I’m SICK OF IT. 76. And then I’ll do it again. 77. I tend to strongly associate songs with the first time or place I heard them, or a particularly wonderful or bad moment that occurred while listening. For example, Elowah Falls has a song due to me listening to the Amelie soundtrack on the way to the Gorge on a snowy morning last year. Murhut Falls will forever be associated with the song I listened to all the way up one spring afternoon. A hill on San Francisco is where I first listened to "Hang on Little Tomato", and I think of the sunny day and peaceful place I found tucked up in the middle of the city. I think of Caribbean Blue whenever I go to Pacific City. I drove through the west hills of Portland one angry night when I found out what an inappropriate idiot an ex-boyfriend had been, and played the same song over and over--so it’s forever a memory of that night. And so on. 78. I like running with music. I like walking in silence. 79. I’m cursed with shin splints. I also have a condition called Reynaud’s disease in my hands (basically poor circulation, making them very susceptible to cold and heat). 80. I hate terrorism paranoia. It really gets on my nerves. Americans are destroying America faster than anyone else. 81. Most classical music is background noise to me, but there are a few pieces and composers that put goose bumps on my arms every time I listen to them (the Andalucia suite and Dance Macabre come to mind). I marvel at the ability of composers to think so multi-dimensionally with so many instruments. The best place I’ve ever listened to classical music is at one of my favorite places in the world--the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall in Portland. If you’ve never been there, you should go. It’s exquisite beyond expression. 82. I used to chew my nails. Now I think it’s disgusting. 83. My mom and I owned a business for about six years. 84. I have bad dreams about my hair being cut or burned off or dyed a hideous color. I’ve never more than trimmed it. 85. I go to the same science fiction convention in Atlanta every year, and have been going since the year 2000. I have bad dreams all the time about missing the plane to get there, not taking enough pictures, and being horribly injured. The worst that’s happened is booking my flight for the wrong day because of an AM/PM mis-read, and spraining my ankle on the first day of the convention. Other than that, I always have a wonderful time and don’t want to leave. 86. I hate people who treat me like a child. 87. I used to manage 22 people. I liked most of them. I miss them all. 88. I love to laugh until my stomach hurts. It’s not a very pretty sight, as I turn bright red and start crying. But it sure feels good. 89. I can down a whole box of Altoids in five minutes or less. And I’ll enjoy it. 90. I’ve fallen in love at first sight. Admittedly, the reason it worked was because we’d talked on the phone about work stuff a lot, and e-mailed a few times. It’s easier to be disposed to falling in love when you already know they’re a halfway decent person. I still think he’s the greatest. 91. During middle school, I played the oboe. Then I got braces, so I stopped. I sometimes regret that. Part of me wants to be one of those girls in a black dress on the symphony floor, but never enough to go through that initial foghorn stage again where nothing sounds good. 92. I also played the guitar and piano briefly. I could do a bang-up job of the Malaguena on my guitar, and could figure out almost any song on the piano as long as I put my mind to it. 93. I get a (very) grim, solid satisfaction out of cleaning the bathroom. I really hate scrubbing the toilet, and try not to think about little bacteria gremlins crawling up my hands. I hate pink mold. 94. I can’t hum and keep a tune very well, recently proven by an unfortunate Cranium question. I can usually keep a tune while singing, through sheer dogged determination. 95. My favorite poet is WB Yeats. Edward Abbey isn’t really a poet, but I like him too. 96. Cats and I get along really well. I love dogs, but I understand cats and they seem to understand me. I know the good scratching spots, and they seem to get that purring makes me happy. We both like to sleep in and eat good food. I miss my cat. One of these days, I’ll go find a new feline soul mate. 97. I learned to drive on a 1990 Jeep Cherokee which I finally traded in at 287,000 miles--original engine/transmission and all. I have always driven a manual transmission. 98. I can count to 100 in four languages. I hope to be fluent in French someday, and maybe Italian. Maybe German. I've dared myself to go to Europe and get a job there. 99. I’ve had braces, a retainer, and headgear. My teeth are much better now, thank you. I’ve also had my wisdom teeth pulled--a surprisingly easy experience. 100. I’m a Gemini. I can’t say it affects my behavior one way or the other. 1/8-second exposure, using a Canon 17-85mm IS lens and Hoya Moose polarizer/warming filter

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