7 Things About Me
My sweet and apparently extremely patient pal Lisa tagged me with this ages ago, but with all the house-hunting and of course now the new-house excitement, I did not get to it. I also tend to make things far more complicated than they need to be, so after a long day of packing, running about town, enjoying the first episode of this season's Feasting On Asphalt with Hubby (we're really big Alton fans), I will try to do this NOW. ;)

1. I am an INTJ on the Myers-Briggs personality test. It's one of the rarest personality types, which explains why I've always known I was an odd bird ("Statistically, there are more male INTJs than female. Not surprisingly, the INTJ female's independence, intellectual aloofness, and argumentative style may result in her feeling somewhat out of step with those attributes more traditionally associated with femininity. "). I consider my massive collection of books to be a collection of friends, not inanimate objects (!). Wild parties, nightclubs, and big events with lots of people - other than art fairs and the like - have never held any interest for me at all - in fact, I pretty much hate them. I've always been extremely quiet, which has often led to people calling me "stupid", "slow", "boring", or all three to my face (something IQ and other abilities tests wholly debunk but why bother saying so?). I have learned to internally roll my eyes and go back to whatever actual interesting thing I was thinking about.

It's kind of creepy how well that thing nails me, to tell the truth! Not perfectly, but pretty well. Too bad we didn't do the test when I was a kid, it would have saved me some bad career choices. ;)

BTW, one of my favourite authors, C.S. Lewis, was also an INTJ. This warms the cold cockles of my evil heart. And also makes me wonder if all the people whole told me I should write for a living, including my ridiculously smart father-in-law, are correct and it would be possible to make a real, legitimate, successful go at it.

It's nice to know I'm a bona-fide weirdo and this is borne out by a form of science. Hee.

2. I'm really, really excited about moving into our new house and can barely wait for our agent to call us and say, "Come pick up the keys!"

3. One of my biggest dreams - other than singing or writing professionally - is to be able to buy a gigantic farm where we can take in retired racehorses that are in danger, like Old Friends and other similar groups. Then I'd bring in kids who are disadvantaged, treated badly by life in general, and teach them how to care for the horses. It would probably keep them out of trouble, for one thing, but more importantly, it gives them a job skill they can take literally anywhere in the world - anywhere there are horses. US, England, Japan, Australia, the UAE (they adore Thoroughbred racing over there and spend gazillions of dollars on American horseflesh), France... Even if they didn't take up a career in horses, one learns a lot by working with such animals, especially Thoroughbreds, and especially Thoroughbreds that need special care. Working with animals, especially horses, is soothing to the heart and soul, too. It would just be the most wonderful thing if I could do that.

4. God and I overcame a pretty nasty battle with anorexia when I was in college. At 21, I weighed 68 pounds. Not a good look, but I still thought I was fat - still had a bit of a tummy despite the workouts and not eating, still wanted breast implants (never did that), still looked at the beautiful women in the fashion magazines and ads and movies and hated, HATED myself because it had to be attainable beauty, right? All I would "eat" was water with some lemon squeezed into it, or maybe one apple slice. A very small one.

Clearly it was not an attainable 'beauty', and of course as someone with a classic hourglass figure it would never work for me. My body is genetically predisposed to soft curves, some I want and some that I don't.

One day I was putting yet another coat of moisturizer over my whole body and saw this...fuzz. Strange, soft, downy fuzz growing on my arms. Of course, that is one of the body's final attempts to protect itself, when it grows this baby-duck like fur because it is incapable of keeping itself warm anymore.

My parents had been about to send me to a mental hospital where I could be helped, but we decided to send me to a psychologist and my pastor instead. It took a few years, but I finally came back to "normal". It would never have been possible without God's help and love and the support of family and friends.

Oddly, one of the major turning points for me was seeing the gorgeous Kate Winslet in "Titanic". I hate nudity in films, it's rarely necessary, but seeing such a gorgeous woman who was not skinny but curvaceous and soft - the way my body was supposed to look - just kind of flipped the final switch in my head. (That I was often stopped and had people tell me I looked like her as I began gaining weight back did not hurt - I really needed all the encouragement and "You're pretty"-type remarks I could get).

It's a monster that still tries to rear its head, frequently, but we manage to beat it back. Honest to goodness, I'd rather be 5 or 10 pounds overweight than be that thin again. The road back to health was too hard, too long, too scary...no thanks.

Also, I never read fashion magazines. Ever. (They usually strike me as a bit silly anyhow, as I'd rather be reading the Weekly Standard or Modern Age or something like that). And to be completely honest, I suggest you stay away from them as well. All they do is hurt the soul, denigrating us and the beauty God gave to us - with our permission! No thanks. There are other standards we can measure ourselves by. One PhotoShopped almost beyond recognition is not the way to go - our heads may say, "Oh, that's airbrushed", but our hearts...it's another wound. If I want semi-mindless brain candy i go for the terrific Real Simple! ;)

(That poster is from The Body Shop's infamous "Ruby" campaign. I had one hanging on the back of my bathroom door, but forgot to pack it when I moved to Pittsburgh. :( Too bad... )

5. Lisa mentioned this, so I have to as well - I'm another compulsive editor! Bad punctuation (like those flying apostrophes), poor sentence construction, bad spelling...Truly, I try to be polite about it.

Worst of all though, is when people confuse words like pore/pour, their/they're, rein/reign, genteel/Gentile (THAT one, and pour/pore, really, REALLY get my goat, let me tell ya). It drives me up the wall. I even caught National Review - founded by none other than linguistics king William F. Buckley, Jr. - mixing up pour with pour a few weeks ago. That almost gave me a conniption fit. National Review! What is this world coming to? Surely Mr. Buckley himself became queasy over that one.

6. Ohhhh, two more...um...I like British movies. I think their actors are usually better than ours. In fact, I have a really deep affection for England in general. I could write an essay about it, but I won't here...There are many Americans who feel this way. After all, our nation sprang in large part not just from English stock but English thought. After a scuffle in the 1770s, we warmed up to one another and enjoy that "special friendship", one that has endured through over 200 years. Most of my fellow Anglophiles seem to view the English as dear cousins of sorts, cousins with cool accents, affectations, and a really fascinating history.

By the way, not only are their actors generally better than ours, their movies are often funnier, too. Just saying. I should not lump Welsh and Irish actors into this category, but I will because Welsh and Irish are better actors than Americans too. They just are, at least now that the Golden Age of Hollywood is long, long gone.

Heck, since we are at it, I like Bollywood as well. We watched Lagaan a few months ago and it is fantastic. One of the best movies I have ever seen and now a favourite. It is highly, highly, HIGHLY recommended. My mild but healthy libertarian streak - indeed, that freedom-loving bit in each of us - loved it, every minute. A very inspiring film (the soundtrack is addictive as well). Bonus? Safe for the whole family.

Other than that, we watch a lot of TCM and classic flicks with Jimmy Stewart, Cary Grant, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn, Josephine Hall, Kate Hepburn, Bogey and Bacall, John Wayne, Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper, Jimmy Cagney, the Barrymore brothers, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera... *happy sigh* We have plenty of "modern" movies in our collection, but it's probably 50/50 classic and "newer".

7. So, Hubby and I were planning to hit Route 66 this September - you've got it, from Chicago to L.A., over 2,000 miles all the way, in my red Chevy. Two weeks on the Mother Road - what more could one ask? What a thrill! It's something I've always wanted to do, but Hubby was not too interested until Pixar's "Cars" came out last summer; then he began to think that yes, it might be fun. An innocent flurry of links to Route 66 websites from Yours Truly finally conviced Dearling that we ought to go. ;) I was really excited about it...and then we bought a house. Yes, I was torn. New House? Or Route 66? Hmmm...Such a strange woman I am.

As it is, we're planning to go next year instead. While greatly disappointed, this offers an opportunity to purchase a good lens for my camera before we head out and give us more time to really plan our trip. I'm still excited about it, looking forward to it, and spend a lot of time dreaming about it. I can hardly stand it! It's going to be so, so cool. And I just know that I'll return mentally restored and brimming with ideas, which I seem to be in desperate need of at this time.

~ ~ ~

So those are my 7 things. Maybe more than seven, because #6 went off-course in several ways.

I'm not tagging anyone because I'm pretty sure everyone who reads Pretty/Modest has already been tagged...but feel free to do so anyway if you like!

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