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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Getting to Know Me(me)

Mr. Lady tagged me for my very first meme ev-ah. I feel like I should add a “yo” to the end of that sentence, in her honor; at the very least, I should use a semi-colon—her new favorite punctuation. So, thanks, Mr. Lady, for pulling me onto the meme train! This has been an excellent procrastination tool to help me avoid grading the projects I really should be working on. I appreciate the love. And the distraction.

Name one thing you do every day:
Write. Comments on student papers, reams of emails, chapters or articles based on my own research, occasional children’s fiction (never yet published), book reviews, to-do lists, blog posts, or dictations from my budding-writer Son. I write a lot. I've been known to say there's too much paper in my life. But honestly? I don't think I could live or breathe if I didn't write.

Name 2 things you wish you could learn:
1. To ice skate well enough to win an Olympic medal. I’m not picky; it doesn’t have to be a gold medal.

2. To sing well enough that I don’t feel the need to murmur my way through “Happy Birthday” out of sheer mortification.

Name 3 things that remind you of your childhood:
1. Peppermint ice cream. Please do not confuse with mint chocolate chip. I mean the intensely pink mint ice cream studded with tiny bits of red and green peppermint candy. For years and years, I ate this every single Saturday – after consuming vast quantities of crispy crust Canadian bacon pizza with my sisters, dad, and step-mother.

2. The smell inside my mother’s sewing machine cabinet drawers. A bit spicy, somewhat dry, like an exotic wood that’s been warmed in the sun. I can still smell the excitement of creativity that I tried to imbibe by sitting behind her on the same chair as she sewed. (How annoying must that have been?!) And since I now have the cabinet, I get a reminder of all those happy afternoons every time I search out a needle or thread for any reason.

3. An old wicker trunk that I now use to store wrapping paper. Every year, my sisters and I took over our mother’s decorative wicker trunk in the weeks before Christmas and slowly stockpiled our wrapped offerings inside. Unwritten rule was that no one else was allowed to look inside the trunk. On Christmas Eve, we would choose one sister’s room and all sleep together on the floor, and then wake up at something like 5am to sneak out and add our stash to the pile under the tree. “Santa” had already visited, the tree lights were left lit all night, and the presents from the three of us doubled the pile – so there was always a surprising treat for the rest of the household (brother, mom, stepdad, grandparents) when they woke up too. Then we’d go back to our sleeping bags, whisper and giggle for a while, and fall asleep again until it was really time to get up. We felt like fairies. It was magical.

Name 4 things you love to eat but rarely do:
1. Timbale. This is a fabulous Italian dome-shaped dish that requires making a huge sheet of homemade pasta and lining your largest metal mixing bowl with it, and then spending the next four hours frying up homemade sausage meat balls, making marinara sauce with fresh minced vegetables and fresh tomatoes, boiling pasta, hardboiling eggs, and layering all this and about 10 other ingredients inside the pasta sheet before you seal it all up and bake it for three hours. It feeds about a dozen people and takes two good cooks all day to make and clean up after. So you know why I rarely eat it. Even though it tastes totally incredible.

2. Boiled artichokes with tons of garlic butter to dip the leaves in. Fantastic. Simple. Delicious. But who needs to eat ½ a stick of butter on a regular basis? Really.

3. Fresh lobster, eaten at a picnic table on the dock in Maine – a dock where lobster boats unload their haul into the lobster pound’s tanks, and then you choose a lobster, and they cook it up before your eyes. I live 850 miles from the coast of Maine. Otherwise, I’d eat this every night.

4. Almond Roca. If you’ve ever been in California, you must know what this is. If you haven’t: it’s hard, buttery toffee, covered in chocolate and rolled in chopped almonds…aka little bites of heaven wrapped in gold foil and sold in charmingly garish pink tubs. I live 2200 miles from California, so I don’t get this too often. If you’re there sometime soon, would you buy me a tub? Pretty pleeeeaaase.

Name 5 things/people that make you feel good:
1. What my dear friend Rebecca has named the Big Salon Hair Cut. One that lasts an hour and a half, costs more than you’ll admit to your husband, includes Product (always with a capital P) that smells heavenly, and makes you wish you had some Event to attend that night with lots of strangers and a few old college snobs to impress.

2. A toddler who greets me at the door running full-tilt and hollering “mama!” at the top of her enormous voice.

3. A student who, out of the blue, sends me a note to say how much she enjoyed my class last semester.

4. When Husband reaches over in the middle of a movie and starts giving me a foot rub even before I suggest it

5. Flashing a tricky 5.9. It’s not as dirty as it sounds. Well, not that kind of dirty. If you’ve never gone rock climbing, here’s the translation: you read the number as “five nine,” and everyone just knows there’s a decimal there; flashing means you’ve never climbed the route before, and you make it all the way to the top without a fall or glitch; a 5.9 is hard enough that I couldn’t do one at all now that I haven’t been climbing for a few years but not so hard that I couldn’t work up to it again. If you wonder why rock climbing makes me feel good, here’s a photo that pretty much sums it up (yes, that's the ocean at the bottom of the cliffs; this particular climb was not actually not very hard, but it's a pretty incredible feeling to be out in nature like this):

In the spirit of memeosity, I am tagging PB&J in a Bowl, Kim at Jogging in Circles, and McMommy at The McMommy Chronicles, all of whom I’d like to get to know better. If they're already all memed out, I understand -- but being that this is my first chance to pass one on, I'm not blase enough to refuse.


MIQuilter said...

Amazing - even I can learn something about my sister!

MCmommy said...

Ohh!! I'm a meme virgin too!! Oh I'm excited! Naptime can't get here soon enough so I can start on my new project!

lattemommy said...

Wow, you're a rock climber? I never would have guessed. No climbing rocks for me - I have a total fear of heights. Oh well...

I'm intrigued by timbale. I've never heard of it, but I seriously think I ought to have. Sounds amazing.

Glad you enjoyed your first meme experience!

Saundra said...

I just happened onto your blog, and am enjoying reading it.
I live in Calif, and you are right... Almond Roca is great.

I will return to read you more.

Mr Lady said...

Oh, lordy, so many things, yo.

1. Thanks for letting me love you. Also known as Thanks for not filing a restraining order just yet.

2. I need to eat a 1/2 of butter a day, that's who.

3. I had totally forgotten about Pistachio ice cream until I read that. Yumma Nummy. Not the same, I know, but it made me think of it.

4. For me it was fresh crab. I am just a tad bit far away from the Chesapeake now. We can fix your lobster craving this summer, LM and I can.

5. Rock Climbing? Yeah, you may want to consider filing for that restraining order now.

6. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I got to be your first (meme) There are SO many directions I could go with this; I'll let you figure them all out.

foolery said...

This was a terrific meme! I am so jealous right now of you and your sisters, I could just spit. Sounds like you have a wonderful life-long relationship. I could make timbale! Now I want to try. I just need that second cook, who has the recipe, and a bottle of wine . . .

OHmommy said...

Wow.... incredible answers. I just love getting to know more about my favorite bloggers!

And rock climbing. I would have never guessed. I can't wait for all of this snow to melt and sun to hit, I am dying to get outside!

angie said...


Timbale is amazing, especially mommytime's...i have had it and i still dream about it a year later. mmmmmm.....

Huckdoll said...

I just loooove artichoke in warm garlic butter AND Almond Roca! To die for.

MommyTime said...

MIQ, somethin' new every day, huh?

McMommy, I look forward to reading it.

LatteMommy, I love me some rock climbing. Nothing better than feeling all strong and powerful and figuring out the tricky bits.

Saundra, thanks so much for visiting and commenting! Hope to see you around more.

mmmm....Almond Roca....so many votes for Almond Roca....

MommyTime said...

LatteM and Follery, I'll send you the timbale recipe. It takes forever, but it's totally worth it!

OHMommy, you could rock climb too. Only not in stilettos. :)

Mr. Lady, oh yes, lobster. Or a group effort timable perhaps? I'm going to ponder all the firsts in private now...

Sandy C. said...

Goodness! My knees are knockin' just looking at the pic! I love your writing and loved reading your answers :) All this talk about ice cream and lobster is making me hungry :)

amanda said...

I love the martini glass on your blog. It's fabulous!

BusyDad said...

Ok, lemme let you in on something. For some odd reason Chinese people love Almond Roca. When I was a youngster, I actually thought it was a Chinese candy. If you have a Chinese market in your city, go there. I promise you will find it. Ha, and I thought I loved it because of my genetics.

BusyDad said...

Oh... and rock climbing? Holy Badass Batman!

MommyTime said...

Yes, BusyDad, and now you know my secret superpower. I can scale (rocky) buildings. As for the Almond Roca, I will try -- but I'm pretty sure it's never reared its pretty little head in Michigan. However, I do have a CA connection who offered to send me some, so I think my fix might be on its way at some point soon, for which I will be forever grateful. It's one of those things you just shouldn't go more than three years without, ya know?

MommyTime said...

Amanda -- thanks! And thanks for leaving a comment too.

Kimmylyn said...

thanks for tagging me!! I was the one that passed this to Mr. Lady!! Thanks for thinking of me though.. I would love another shot at another meme if you come across any others!! :)

And I loved reading your list! However, I am now craving lobster and it is 9:30 at night!!

pb&j in a bowl said...

I totally don't mind being tagged. I'll get around to it, sooner or later. I've come to absolutely love this blog!


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