the last (70) straw(s)

Ok, so the tricky part of this is to think of things that you could not know about me from reading my archives. Since if a thing is in there and you, my reader, has read them and still does not know a given thing, then for me to put it here and make it easy for you would be to encourage a lack of attention, something I definitely do not want to do. So, after thinking long and hard, here is the final installment.

  • 51) I came out to myself at the age of 20.
  • 52) Before that I had hoped that I was bi.
  • 53) I decided to get involved with a guy to see if I could.
  • 54) I couldn’t. I am pretty damn fucking gay.
  • 55) I told my parents when I was 22.
  • 56) Also when I was 22, I dyed my hair a dark blue.
  • 57) Despite what my parents think, these two facts are not related.
  • 58) I was too impatient to bother to bleach my hair out first, so the color came out an electric teal, and then within a few days turned a dark green. At the time, my hair was past my hips and had an old spiral perm growing out. So for a year (until I cut the last of it out) I looked like I had sea-weed hair.
  • 59) I thought this was pretty damn cool.
  • 60) When I was 23 I ran away from home.
  • 61) I abandoned my college degree with 2 classes left (besides the math that I was resolutely not going to take) and moved to Oregon to be a starving poet.
  • 62) The starving got to be pretty real, so I ended up taking a job at the Harry & David Bakery (factory).
  • 63) One of my first jobs was to squirt raspberry sauce on the cheesecakes. Lower down on the assembly line there was a person with a little stick who would swirl the sauce into the cheesecake batter. I was supposed to put the sauce down in a spiral, but I got bored with this and started drawing little pictures of reindeers and kittens and Christmas trees and whatever else I could think of. They weren’t very good pictures.
  • 64) I guess raspberry sauce and cheese are not my medium.
  • 65) My assembly-line mates thought this was very funny, the supervisors did not.
  • 66) I was moved to the galette machine. If you think that this sounds like a French torture/execution device, you would not be much wrong. No one told me to pretend to be bad at the machine so I wouldn’t have to stay there long, so I did a good job and got stuck at the thing (filling little shortbread sandwich cookies with jam – making certain that both sides of the shortbread were exactly the same size and shade of brown and that none of the colorful jam got on the sides of the cookies) until I got a feeling that I needed to move home to Utah immediately. ( I STILL love to eat those freaking cookies. They are so good they suck your soul away and you don't care about the back-breaking demoralizing work creating them)
  • 67) I packed up and left within a week. My brother flew out to keep me company on the drive. I picked him up at the Portland airport.
  • 68) On the drive I got extremely sick with mono and he had to finish driving me home. I hadn’t known that I was getting sick until I fell asleep while driving and nearly drove off the road. I didn’t hit anyone because this was a highway in the middle of rural Idaho. My brother grabbed the steering wheel and didn’t let me drive again.
  • 69) I could have died from the mono. If I hadn’t been home when the disease got bad, I would have died – they had to lance my tonsils and give me steroids so I could breathe. And I had no health insurance in Oregon, and my roommate there wouldn’t have cared enough to take my delirious, extremely sick person to the clinic.
  • 70) Let me backtrack here, I should let you know that I am extremely germ phobic.
  • 71) I will have sex with someone before I will let them take a taste of my drink.
  • 72) After I’ve had sex with someone I still don’t want to let them share a drink with me, but I have a difficult time justifying my refusal (considering all the dirty places on them my mouth has probably already been) but sometimes I manage to deny them anyway.
  • 73) I tried to get over my germ phobia by agreeing to share a piece of cake with a co-worker/friend at lunch one day.
  • 74) That’s how I got the mono.
  • 75) Yes, that’s really how I got mono – not by doing anything more interesting.
  • 76) My family thinks this is more disgusting than if I had gotten it by making out with someone. When my siblings and I were kids, we used to be able to claim food by licking it in front of them – kinda like dogs marking our territory. Too full to eat that piece of pizza now? Want to make sure your brothers don’t eat it in front of them? Lick it in front of them and they will leave it alone. After a while you didn’t even have to lick it, just say that you had and it was yours forever.
  • 77) I was a really mean older sister.
  • 78) This one time I noticed that my younger brother was snitching ice-cream from the carton. He was using a fork. I always used a spoon and very carefully just deepened the scoop marks that were already there so as not to be caught. After my parents caught my brother using a fork, I always used a fork, cause that way they wouldn’t even ask, they would just know that my brother had done it and he would get in trouble for it.
  • 79) Even if they hadn’t thought it was him, I probably could have coerced him into confessing to the crime – I was good at that.
  • 80) One time my brothers were chasing me around the house with a cupful of water to throw on me (one of our most favorite ways of torturing each other) and I locked myself in the bathroom (that my parents had just finished remodeling) and they were pushing and kicking on the door and yelling at me and I flung open the door really quick just as they were throwing themselves on it (they didn’t actually hit the door) and the doorknob punched a big hole in the wall and I went “aaaaaaaaaaahbabababa” (you know, in that annoying way that kids have) “you guys just put a hole in mom and dad’s wall. You are going to be in so much trouble.” And they started crying and I told them that they better confess right away so that mom and dad would be lenient on them, and that’s what they did (they never threw the water on me either) and they got in a lot of trouble.
  • 81) They still haven’t forgiven me for being such a shit.
  • 82) It's not like I've apologized, though.
  • 83) When I was 5 I decided to be an archaeologist.
  • 84) Not because of Indiana Jones. In fact, I despised his sloppy methodology and lack of respect for human remains.
  • 85) No, at the age of 5 I wanted to touch the past, make people come back to life, see how they lived and why.
  • 86) Also at the age of 5, my kindergarten teacher put me in the “special” group of kids.
  • 87) After a few weeks of this, my mother found out. She stormed in there and demanded to know why my teacher thought I was developmentally challenged. The teacher said that the assignments for the “normal” students were too difficult for me to comprehend, that I doodled all over them instead of completing them. She said that in addition to the assignment difficulty I always had a vacant look on my face while sucking my thumb and staring at the other kids. My mother looked at the stack of doodled-on assignments. Most of these involved drawing lines from words to the pictures they represent. They were indeed covered in swirly doodles. My mother took a pen and followed every squiggley line from where it started at a word and ended at the correct picture. She said to the teacher, “ My daughter’s not slow, she just thinks you’re boring.”
  • 88) They moved me to the gifted and talented program the next day.
  • 89) That’s why I have extreme concerns about the way children are categorized and shuffled into different educational “tracks”.
  • 90) I was reading and comprehending on a college level in the 3rd grade.
  • 91) I’ve gotten dumber since then.
  • 92) I worked single-mindedly on becoming the “Musical Archaeologist” all the way through my public education.
  • 93) When I got to the university, I took all the upper division Archaeology/Anthropology classes first.
  • 94) I thought they would let me challenge and test out of Anthropology 101 (a requirement for the degree)
  • 95) The undergraduate advisor was a shit and wouldn’t let me—so that’s when I dropped out of school and left for Oregon.
  • 96) I was starting to have ethical concerns over excavation anyway.
  • 97) I had decided to become an Archaeological In Situ conservator, but then found out that that required a degree in Chemistry and that was simply too much math to face (plus the Getty Institute is in the LA quagmire and I don’t think I could live there).
  • 98) After I recovered from Mono, I decided to go ahead and swallow my pride and finish my last semester.
  • 99) Though I registered for it, I still couldn’t bring myself actually to attend Anth 101
  • 100) I nearly failed because the final exam was based on specific student presentations that had been made in class. And though I did know about the cultured discussed, I wasn’t there to see which cultural artifacts had been brought in, so I couldn’t discuss their impact. I got a C – the lowest possible grade I could get and count towards graduation. Stupid class.

    And the missing 20 that certain people have asked for:
  • 1) To round out that final semester, I took a poetry workshop from Jacqueline Osherow. She convinced me that I should get an MFA and PhD in Poetry.
  • 2) Since I had never taken any English courses in college (tested out of them) I decided to delay graduation by one more semester in order to take the hardest undergraduate English Seminars I could find.
  • 3) I ended up taking Queer Theory taught by Kathryn Bond Stockton. She got me hooked on queer theory. And helped me get into the MFA program.
  • 4) I have a permanent horizontal crease in my right buttock from falling on our tile shower steps while rushing to get ready for a job interview. The bruise I received was the worst I ever had – and that includes the ones I got from the car accident I was in.
  • 5) I interviewed for my current position nearly out of my head from pain and shock and loratabs. It had been less than an hour since I had fallen.
  • 6) I once waited 6 months for my brother to finish restoring a jeep for me.
  • 7) For those 6 months I talked incessantly about how great my life would be once I got that jeep, all the great places I’d be able to go, all the muddy dogs I could haul around, all the thrift-shop finds I’d be able to buy.
  • 8) He finished with the jeep on Monday. I spent the day getting it registered.
  • 9) That night none of my friends were around to see the magnificence.
  • 10) The next day I picked up my little sister so we could spend a night primping for our roles as bridesmaids in my other brother’s wedding on Wednesday. On the way home from the store a woman in a minivan ran a stop sign right in front of me and I couldn’t stop in time. She had appeared from underneath an overpass so I couldn’t see that she wasn’t going to stop. I hit her head on. My jeep was totaled. And Kristin had to call my parents and inform them that their two daughters were being rushed to the hospital the night before my brother’s wedding. My brother (the mechanic) rushed to the hospital to find out how the accident had happened. He thought he must have overlooked some major mechanical problem. He hadn’t. My sister and I were fine – covered in bruises and bumps and I had severe whiplash, but mostly whole.
  • 11) I wore purple fluffy slippers under my long, pale pink, chiffon bridesmaid dress.
  • 12) I am deathly afraid of spiders.
  • 13) A spider once followed me around the house – it was too big for me to kill by myself.
  • 14) Once, when I was a kid, I found a wolf spider in my closet. I left it there and decided that it would probably stay there and not come hurt me if I appeased it and brought it presents.
  • 15) Every day I would bring it a dead fly.
  • 16) I didn’t understand that they wanted their prey live.
  • 17) After a week I decided to see how my plan was working. It wasn’t there.
  • 18) I didn’t sleep in my room for a week.
  • 19) I do think that cat-faced house spiders are cute.
  • 20) But only if they stay outside. If they come inside I will kill them and leave their carcasses where they fall as a deterrent to other trespassers. This is surprisingly effective.

And one bonus one because I am competitive:

  • 1) Despite my hatred of math, I DO regret not taking the AP Calculus class that my Analytic Trig teacher tried so hard to convince me to take.

Phew... Done. Digest.

Posted by Trista @ 12:09 PM

Read or Post a Comment

Spiders... so I guess that the second Harry Potter book and movie creeped you out?

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 1:00 PM #

I would really like to see a picture of you in a long, pale pink, chiffon bridesmaid dress.

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 1:57 PM #

That sounds creepier than I meant it too. I just meant that I can't picture you wearing that. Also, I'd like to see the seaweed hair:)

Posted by Anonymous Anonymous @ 2:00 PM #

Yay! Thanks for the 20! I love them. And the bonus one to boot.

Posted by Blogger Nik @ 3:24 PM #

One of my students raised his hand in class today and announced, "There's a really big spider over here." He was looking at it with mild interest. The people around him were doing the same. I said, "If you don't kill it right now I'm failing you."

Oh, and I was was stalked and attacked by a camelback jumping cricket. Swear.

Posted by Blogger hd @ 8:15 PM #

I was was? I ONCE was. Ahem.

Posted by Blogger hd @ 8:17 PM #

I am now entering my house via the front door rather than the carport door simply to avoid the most ginourmous spider ever.
I keep thinking the wind will blow it away.

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 2:48 PM #
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