The Friday Five!

Pretty good crop this week, at least no “what brand of egg do you drink” lameness.

1. What do you most want to be remembered for?

Man, that’s tough. If you caught me at about the age of six or so I was going to be an astronaut! I was going to go to the moon or even Mars! I was such the space freak kid. At age 10ish my ambitions became a little more earth bound and I wanted to be a heart surgeon and save people’s lives. Although I have no trouble watching the operation channel when they are elbow deep in guts (I kinda like playing “name that organ” when they start poking around and you get viscera cam going. Is that a spleen? Wait, no. Liver?) that first incision always gave me the glugs. I mean the willie glugs. Glahh. So I decided I might like to be a vet and work on people’s sick animals. Then I sat in on an operation and that first incision? Not any better on a dog. So medicine was out.

Sometime in my junior year of high school I decided I wanted to be one of the people who made movie magic happen so I set my sights on being a mechanical engineer and eventually working my way into ILM or somewhere like that. That’s all well and good but I don’t particularly like having to work with math. I love the weird stuff and lots of Calc is really cool but you can’t pick the math you want to use and I discovered that most of the math they teach I just don’t like. Plus, I have a really hard time getting simple math to come out right. I am the Meistro of forgetting to carry a number or having a brain burp and getting 3 by adding 1 and 1. There’s a lot of that simple math going on in engineering and I didn’t want to have to be responsible for stuff that people relied on given my propensity to miss target numbers as frequently as I do.

Tacoma Narrows anyone? THAT would so be one of my projects. No really! I’d be all blah blah blah engineering junk and 5+2=8 and all my peers would proof my work and go “Yup, blah blah blah engineering junk and it looks good to me.” and the bridge would be built and then it’d go all blooey and they would all go “Well, it was HER design” and I’d be all “But you guys proofed it! Come on, you know I can’t do simple math, why didn’t anyone catch that 5+2 thing?” and then I’d feel really guilty that my poor simple math skills killed a bunch of people. I know my luck, that would so happen. To avoid any potential disasters (and you can all thank me for that) I transferred out of engineering, got a lame degree from a good institution and got the heck outta college dodge.

Now that I’m older and I’m not going to be an astronaut or a surgeon or kill anyone with my bad math I don’t think I have to be remembered for anything but maybe just remembered fondly by people who knew me. You know, something like “That crazy boo. Ahhh what times we had!” and then the people would have a moment of happiness as they thought of the stuff we did. Maybe I’d live on in stories told by the next generation and they would get a chuckle whenever someone told the sledding story or talked about TheMan and I or what have you. I’m not sure if it’s an American Indian tradition or an Asian custom but I like the philosophy of “People never really die as long as you keep them alive in memory.”

The whole losing dreams thing may seem sad but I see it as really just growing up. I think every kid wants to be an astronaut or a movie star or whatever and the truth is that everyone can’t be astronauts (or heretics for that matter) so some dreams are just dreams. Then again, as life goes on you find that some dreams just take a while to develop. I’m glad I’m not anything that I wanted to be when I was a wee one because it’s given me a chance to mull things over and come up with a path that I think I am much better suited for: Teaching. It is going to take me a while but I’m going to be someone who shapes the thinking of the next generation. Heh, look out. I don’t have to be remembered for it, I’ll just be happy if I can reach my kids and make them understand that learning is cool and maybe even get them all fired up and excited about the things I have to tell them. It’d be a bonus if they remembered me as the teacher who helped them discover that Shakespeare is actually really cool but I’d be just happy if they carried the spark to learn and discover with them when they grew up and moved on.

2. What quotation best fits your outlook on life?

Well, I’ve always been partial to the lyrics to Jesus Jones’s Blissed

“Blissed, blissed. I’m going somewhere, going nowhere/Blissed, blissed/ I’m going nowhere, going somewhere”

which has been a pretty accurate mantra for my life. I find it a rather bitter sweet and somewhat hopeful little ditty (and I like the tune too) that basically says, to me at least, “Yeah, you are just spinning your wheels and nothing is happening which sorta bites. On the other hand, while it may seem like you are accomplishing nothing, you really might be doing something after all…although it probably isn’t exactly what you were aiming at.” I think it is important to look at things and see what happened rather than what didn’t. On the other hand, I’m a real firm believer in “What comes around goes around.” As a general principle.

BTW, today is day three of the Evil Karma Kampaign. Just sayin.

3. What single achievement are you most proud of in the past year?

Oi! Well, there is the whole being fiancéed to TheMan which is pretty awesomely cool, although I really didn’t do so much achieving as I did just saying “Yes”. I am really proud though that I took a long figurative look in my self’s eye and said “Self, we are not getting any younger and if I let you have your way we’d never settle down. Yes, I know you are terminally 14 years old, which is way too young to be getting married, but see here we love TheMan a lot and we think that being his wife is pretty darn wicked (and as an added bonus, he loves us too). If you haven’t noticed, TheMan is a fabulous catch and we can’t sit around waiting for you to think you have grown up enough to be married cuz we’d be here for the rest of our lives if we did and we have plans. So grow a pair already and settle down. TheMan’s totally worth it, you know.”

Yes, I really had that conversation in my head. I feel way to young to be married I mean, my parents were married and I’m not even half as grown up as they were! Geez! It seems though that lots of people feel like they are little kids inside (which is a good thing mostly, unless you are my dad and have to act like a little kid all the time. Temperance folks, temper the grown up with the little kid, don’t be the little kid. But I digress) and they don’t have all the answers and they are not all cool and collected all the time and they are not these bastions of strength, goodness and righteousness even though they seem like it to all the other people. I think that’s called normal.

So, yeah I am proud that I have taken the scary “can’t step back from this” leap into adulthood and that I’m going to be a fantastic guy’s wife and that we are going to be a whole new family. I’m growing up! I have made one of the hardest decisions in an adult life and I’m going to be responsible for someone else (and he me, it’s so cool! We got each other’s backs) and I said YES!

4. What about the past ten years?

Buhhhhh…that’s what…1993 to now? Yikes. I graduated from college in 1993 but eh. I broke up with the stupid ‘tard I had been dating for way too long in ’94, which was a good thing but still eh. I joined the dojo in, um, ’96 I think which was one of those big scary steps of “finding something all on my own and going there not knowing anyone at all” which I’m not so fond of doing but proud that I saw it through but still eh. I quit my job of seven years in ’99 which I’m pretty proud of because I am lazy enough to endure a lot of crap just so I don’t have to rock the boat and make waves in my established life but again, quitting a job? Eh. OH! I got the weirdoes in 95 and also in 95 I moved out on my very own for the first time ever and the weirdoes still love me (as much as cats can) and are not too demented which is a good thing. I appear to be a decent cat mom and I have at least lived on my own and know I can take care of myself so that’s a pretty big accomplishment.

Oh I don’t know, there isn’t one single thing that stands out in my mind as THE BEST ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE LAST 10 YEARS so I’ll just say there have been lots of little accomplishments and I am proud of having done all of them and I’m counting them as one unit of accomplishment that has shaped me into the person I am today (which I am pretty happy with). There. Next question.

5. If you were asked to give a child a single piece of advice to guide them through life, what would you say?

Brwahahahaha! My advice? Ignore the whole school scare tactics they are always harping on you about and just relax. When I was little and in kindergarten and it was new and sorta scary cuz, you were in school now they said “Yes, but it’s not like first grade. First grade is hard so we have to work on preparing you for first grade.” Then I got to first grade and they said that yes, first grade was tough and elementary school in general was going to be hard but nothing like middle school. Then in middle school we got the whole lecture about how what we thought was tough was nothing compared to high school and in high school everything was a snap cuz college was the hard part. In college they all were saying that it was hard but nothing like the real world and after all this prep scare the real world turned out to be nothing like college and quite a bit easier.

So just ignore the whole “The Next level is even harder!” because it’s not. There are just a few simple rules you have to live by and none of them involve polar coordinates in any form what so ever. Just learn what you can and use what you know. Simple as that.

Oh yeah, and learn to BS with style and sincerity. It’s the most valuable skill I came away with in college.

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