1. I keep a bubble duck in my purse at all times. It has proven useful more times than I can count, particularly in grocery store lines and at WorldCon.
2. What I like best about really little kids is that they are spending more time and energy determinedly learning stuff and figuring stuff out than anybody else in the world. Even the most curious of us can't keep up with the pace of learning set by a 9-month-old.
3. I also keep a Leatherman in my purse at all times (except when I'm traveling by air, harumph), as a holdover from when I was Marissa Lingen, Girl Physicist, and wires really did need to be stripped and cut on short notice.
4. markgritter's and my honeymoon consisted of driving a U-Haul from Nebraska to Concord, CA. On the way we hit a deer and had to switch U-Hauls. The movers who hauled our stuff into the new U-Haul (yay for U-Haul insurance) asked me if I thought my husband had a pocket knife around somewhere they could use to cut some of our twine. I pondered and said I didn't know if he did, but that mine might do. They were disproportionately impressed with my Leatherman.
5. I spend most summer days wearing short little skirts and dresses, and I take perverse pleasure in messing with people's preconceptions about what curvy girls in short skirts can do.
6. I really, really liked my differential equations class. It was my favorite class until I got to Modern. (Um, Modern Physics, that is.) When we spawn, they will probably end up thinking that diff equs is Girly Math, and boys like silly things like abstract algebra.
7. I was in grade school before I realized that some males were probably competent to handle plumbing. Plumbing was a girl job. See also: medicine.
8. I was in high school before I realized that they sell gravy in jars at the supermarket. Gravy! In jars! I still don't approve.
9. The biggest difference between my snotty teenage Libertarian politics and my current progressive-with-libertarian-leanings politics is that I have discovered that getting there from here is rather important. In fact, getting there from here is what politics is all about.
10. I'm currently wearing a ring I raided from my grandmother's jewelry box (with permission) when I was 8. It's gold with an enamel leaf on it, and it looked to my child self as though it had come from Lothlorien. (It still does.) My grandma had gotten fancy gemstone rings and wasn't wearing it any more (and hardly wore green to begin with, or costume jewelry), so when I said, "Oh, Grandma, this is your prettiest ring," she laughed and gave it to me. It beats out the sage-colored shorts from when I was 12 for longest standing thing I still wear.
11. The person on my friendslist I've known the longest is scottjames. We met in junior high math club and have been plaguing each other ever since. Fifteen years this month.
12. I think the people on my friendslist I most recently met in person were brithistorian and one_undone, though I may be forgetting something there.
13. The pants I'm wearing today got me compliments from such diverse people as my chiropractor's secretary, dd_b, and some random punk outside Updale. krittersjournal liked them when she saw them, too, just to round out the group. Moral of the story: giraffes make everybody happy. Everybody likes giraffes.
14. I have never dyed my hair. I know some people use their hair as a focal point if they feel they need a change. I start new short stories. Every once in awhile I have my mom or markgritter hack the split ends off mine, but I like it long, and I think the rest of my coloration would be hard to "match" with a different hair color. Also I don't like the smell of most hair chemicals, and hair dye is a lot of work to keep up.
15. Up until a year and a half or two years ago, I kept saying that if I had to pierce my ears again, I wouldn't do it. Then I met porphyrin and elisem, and now it seems worthwhile again, not being topologically intact. I still don't think I'd get anything else pierced, though.
16. The last thing I ordered on the internet was a birthday present for a friend. I ordered it from ThinkGeek.
17. I don't yet have my last birthday present for this year. I'm told to expect a package now that the weather isn't hot out, and I have a gift card to spend at Williams Sonoma. Don't know what I'm getting there.
18. If I can't eat anything else, I can eat Grape Nuts. (For non-Americans: this is a small, extremely crunchy cereal.) I also find Grape Nuts superior to granola as yogurt add-ins go. My family refers to Grape Nuts as mrissa Chow. I was always happiest at Sunday brunch in college if they served Grape Nuts.
19. Sunday brunch was the best thing, when I was in college. You could go in at 10:30 and not leave until they kicked you out at 2:00 and be talking to a rotating series of interesting people the entire time. This is kind of like a con except that entire meals took rather less effort, so you never had that moment of realizing you'd been standing there for four hours without sustenance, after an hour-long panel and an hour of wandering in the dealer's room and were about to pitch forward on your stupid little hypoglycemic nose. Also they often would have raisins -- Sunday brunch, I mean, although I'm sure some cons do, too. So then you could put them on your toast and it was all schmancy. On the other hand, friends you haven't seen in years or, y'know, ever didn't usually pop up at Sunday brunch. Not that I'm hinting that anyone should see if there are still memberships for World Fantasy, mind you.
20. One of the major advantages of growing up smack dab in the middle of the country was that we took lots of driving vacations. I've been to 49 of the US states, several Canadian provinces, and some European countries, although the latter in particular (and a few of the 49 states) were not car trips. What I remember about Rhode Island: we couldn't find ice cream for love nor money and ended up eating McDonald's soft-serve, which upset all of us (but not as much as going without ice cream would have, at the time; now is a different story). The people I know nearest RI now seem to go for good, real ice cream, which is heartening.
Tired. Disheartened about national news. Also tired. And perhaps a bit tired.