Friday, June 02, 2006

Friday Five in the House!

1. Have you ever purchased anything from a telemarketer? From an infomercial? From a spam email? From a pop-up ad?

No, and I never will. I think that telemarketing and its ilk are the lowest possible forms of communication and have no desire to make them seem viable business models. If no one ever bought any of it, the slimy jerks behind it would stop sending it out. And as for infomercials a) I have no television, and b)if something is, in fact, really cool, it will show up at Target or Linens-N-Things far cheaper and minus the shipping and handling charges.

2. When something is funny, do you usually laugh raucously, hiss, snort, chuckle quietly to yourself, or smile and nudge the person next to you?

My laugh tends to be very loud-- as in, people turn to see what's so funny. And if it's really, really funny? I snort.

3. If you had to go into a witness protection plan and start from scratch, what would you look like, do for a living, and where would you live?

Well, if the whole point of going into witness protection is to remove any trace of your existence, wouldn't they try to send you somewhere and make you someone with no connection to any of your real interests? That would probably land me in Iowa or something, with a job as, I don't know, a high school gym teacher or something.

But let's be in fantasyland for a moment:

If I have to stay in the US, I guess I'd want to live in a place like New York or D.C., where lots of people are from somewhere else, so your sudden appearance and lack of ties to the area would raise absolutely no suspicion, plus they'd be cool places to live. Having never been to New York, I'd lean toward D.C. I don't know what they'd do about changing my appearance, because my skin is too dark to go blonde and I look strange as a redhead, too (not that I've ever, ummmmm, experimented with hair dyes). Maybe I could get some sort of plastic surgery that would make me look more Asian or something that would match my coloring? And since the government would be taking care of my basic needs, I'd take a job working with books. In a secondhand bookstore. Or maybe I'd make them send me back to school, permanently. OOOO! That would be a great witness protection plan! I could just go from university to university, earning graduate degrees under different aliases. And there'd be no pressure to get a job afterward, so I could just, you know, enjoy the learning parts.

4. How comfortable are you with human contact? Hugs, kisses, PDA?

Very. I tend to touch other people when I talk, I hug everyone who acts like they'd hug me back, and PDA doesn't bother me-- though I wouldn't do anything that would make others uncomfortable or land me on COPS. Also, I cannot stand to be near Ash and not touching-- holding hands, shoulders brushing, snuggled up on the couch, limbs tangled in sleep, whatever.

5. What is one of your favorite souvenirs brought back from your travels? Where do you keep it?

I have lots of little things. The first time I went to Germany, I came home with a suitcase full of tourist crap because I totally got sucked into it and also because I kind of thought (snicker) that I'd never get to go back (hee hee). Over the years, I've refined my souvenir approach. I get little things that I will use in everyday life. It's the Erma Bombeck Theory of Souvenirs: if I can open the junk drawer, looking for a pencil, and find a bottle opener from Hawaii, complete with tacky hula girl on it, and it sparks a memory of a wonderful time, then it's worth it. So I have a Muumin thermometer on my refrigerator and a stack of Bierdeckel that I can use as coasters (if I were classy enough to use a coaster). I have a coffee mug with my on it that says "Lebensnotwendig: Nummer 1. Liebe, Nummer 2. Kaffee" and it makes me smile everytime I see it.

I also have a handful of big things, mostly gifts. For example, I have a gorgeous dirndl that belonged to my host mother when she was a teenager. I also have a license plate that my accountant host father (from a different host family) stole for me after I expressed a desire to have one for my wall at home (I was only fifteen at the time, shut up.). I have a string of pearls that my host parents (the same ones who gave me the dirndl) gave me when I lived with them again in college. I have a sweater that I bought at a flea market in Denmark from some kid who didn't speak English-- and lord knows I didn't and don't speak Danish-- so we dickered over the price using hand motions and my German-Danish dictionary.

The one thing that I get the most comments on is the Marimekko purse I bought in Finland*. I can't tell you how many people have stopped me in shops and on the street to ask where I got the purse. I always feel a little bit bad when I tell them I got it in Finland (though, technically, I bought it on the Ferry to Stockholm from Helsinki). I decided shortly after returning to the U.S. that I want Marimekko dishes-- because that's not at all impractical or insanely expensive for someone of my means.

*My purse is more of a satchel and it's in the red poppy design.



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