1. I am allergic to cats. Sadly (or happily), allergic is not the same thing as averse: I like cats very much. Happily (definitely not sadly), I can spend short periods of time in most cat-endowed houses before my eyes start to itch and water, which is the first symptom.
2. Ista is my third dog. The first one, Ben, was a sweet mid-sized mutt my parents got before I was born. He was extremely even-tempered and had a white star-marking on his forehead (he was otherwise a pale caramel color). The second one, Booboo, was officially named Honey Bear (I named her when I was 8), but we never called her that, just Boo. She was an apricot toy poodle and smarter than the proverbial whip. markgritter told Ista she was the best dog he'd ever had. I will never be able to make that judgment. Ista is a good dog and Booboo was a good dog, and they are different, and the word does not need me to do a total ordering there. (Mark had never had a dog before Ista.)
3. I can rarely mimic cartoon-ish voices, and I rarely try, but sometimes I can totally nail mimicry of people I actually know. This does not count my mom, because me mimicking my mom is the fish inna barrel thing.
4. I have my dad's mother's toes. This is the sort of thing my family discusses.
5. My mom has fifty-four first cousins, but I only have one. When I refer to my cousins, mostly I mean my mom's cousins or else some people who are not actually related to me at all except in the ways that count.
6. I love M&Ms in wedding colors. They beat Jordan Almonds all hollow. Also I am the kind of sap who saves them and then thinks of the recently-wedded couple while eating one or two at a time. In fact, I think I'll do that right now. Mmmm, navy and cream M&Ms.
7. I wore my mom's wedding dress with extremely slight alterations. Because of this I am extremely careful of how I compliment people on their wedding day. I heard too many people telling me it was "so you," and in fact it was not so very me at all. But it was important to me that it was my mom's, and also that way I didn't have to go shopping.
8. I keep waffling between thinking I'm not a short story writer and thinking I'd better be if I want people to keep giving me money for them. Which apparently I do.
9. My shoulder pops pretty easily out of joint, but it doesn't hurt.
10. I once did a conclusive experiment to see if Ohio was part of the Midwest, when I was living in Ohio for the summer. I smiled at 38 strangers while I was walking to work. Three of them smiled back. One of them was Jordanian and visiting for the summer. One did a u-turn to walk with me and attempt to get my phone number. Conclusion: Ohio is definitely not part of the Midwest.
11. I have lived in Illinois, Nebraska, Kansas, Minnesota, Ohio, Oregon, and California. Those are places where I have had a mailing address. Illinois barely counts because it was for the first three weeks of my life only. On the other hand, I got a lot of stuff in the mail then. New babies tend to.
12. I speak English and French. I have some Japanese, a little German, a little Spanish, a few words of Finnish and Hungarian. I muddle around in Norwegian and, via Norwegian, Swedish and Danish and some less arcane bits of Icelandic if there is such a thing. For awhile I tried to tell people that you didn't actually have to learn Norwegian -- if you spoke English, you could mostly get by in Norwegian. I have since learned that this isn't true, but I don't understand why. It's just the same stuff kind of sideways.
13. My friend Jen The World's Best Lab Partner treated my ability to make fudge as though it was on a par with speaking Mandarin. She couldn't fathom that she hadn't known I had this fabulous skill. I've made fudge by myself in at least ten kitchens now. I was let be to make my own batch of fudge from the age of 7 or 8.
14. Jen and I did some single-photon experiments for our Advanced Lab project. I still get a little starry-eyed talking about that. It felt right. It was the first time in my life I was really a tinkerer. Some people approach physics via tinkering and others via math. I was definitely in the "via math" category.
15. Despite the math angle, I never considered a math major. In fact, once I was old enough to know how a college major was constituted, I never considered anything but a physics major. I thought of double-majoring in chemistry before I discovered that I don't much like chemistry. (You know the "if it stinks, it's chemistry" bit? That turned out to be rather important. Also, I wanted to keep poking it until it became physics anyway.) Even though I don't work as a physicist, I wouldn't have wanted any other major. I was interested in other stuff. But the other stuff I was interested in was never part of my identity the way "physics major" was (*cough* yeah, right, was), except for "writer," which is not the same thing as "English major" or even "creative writing major" at all. They can coexist in the same person, but not, I think, as the same thing.
16. I can't think of any time I wrote a story entirely sequentially. Not even a 400-word story. I always skip ahead and then go back.
17. I would like to have at least one kid, from my own body if possible, not soon. (I know of no reason it shouldn't be possible, but I also know enough people who have had unexpected difficulties that I don't take it for granted that my world will go just as I like.) I am willing to go so far as two without much qualm. Three is my absolute upper limit, like if #2 was twins. I think it's a good thing not to continue the Inverted Pyramid of Oldness we have going in my family. It's just that I don't really get this sibling thing. I used to eat popcorn and watch my cousins fight. Now I have more of an eye to the parents: how they heck are they doing this? Do they see that they have more than one spawn? How does that even go? (Please note that I am saying this about myself only: you may be well-suited to have no children or twenty children, for all I know. Well -- I do have some notions about some of you, but it's very rarely my business whether those notions match up with your own.)
18. I considered becoming a Quaker and then gave up the notion within an hour a few months ago. (Not a pacifist. Not even a little bit. Some folks just need killin'.) But I haven't come up with any other solutions to the problem for which becoming a Quaker was a proposed solution. This is frustrating. I have not gotten fed up enough to go make vegan lasagna for the UUs, but some days....
19. I am an alto. On good days I am a contralto. There are no days on which I am a mezzo-soprano. Alto is as high as it gets. This is not the only reason I like the Indigo Girls, but it makes the list: I can always sing with Amy. She never leaves my comfortable range. My brain has started processing that as a default, rather than always singing the melody as a default. It does this with the Mamas and the Papas, too: if I'm not thinking about it and just singing along, I sing what Cass is singing, even if someone else has melody. My voice changed when I was 12. No cracking or anything like that, but I lost the top six or seven notes on my range over a few months. No more kid soprano voice. I was fine with that, but one of my Kansas friends went into mourning when we visited and she had to take the top parts I used to take.
20. Scientific American had an article last year about maximizers vs. satisficers (I think). I was firmly in the latter camp: I don't have to have the absolute best possible whatever-thing. I just want to have a good possible whatever-thing. I think this fits rather well with living in Minnesota: we don't have to make absolutely sure that a lake is the biggest or the deepest or has the funniest frogs or whatever. We can just enjoy walking around the lake.
I think this is the positive phrasing of my aversion to total orderings. Or at least one version of it.