Thursday, November 8, 2007


I currently curled up in bed in a pair of flannel PJs, trying desperately to fight the sick.
I fear the sick may be winning, which is especially loathsome on the eve of a long weekend.

However, in an attempt to squeeze out one last burst of creativity before I try to smother this evil cold bug by sleep, I bring to you another edition of eight princess factoids!

#33- I am neurotically petrified of the super gory slasher films that have been pumped out by Hollywood lately, like Saw, Hostel, etc. The notion of elaborate contraptions to slowly rip one's eyes out of their sockets gives me the heebies-jeebies, and I am a little perplexed at how people subject themselves to such grotesque scenarios in the name of entertainment.

While I'm sure that in and of itself does not make me especially weird... I am so frightened of these images, and of being at someone's house when they just pop, say, Saw 3, in the DVD player, that I try to innoculate myself by reading all of the vile plot details on Wikipedia. I know I never want to see a giant trap snap someone's head in two... but it feels a little more reassuring that I'll know that trap may be coming on my screen one day.

I'm sure that makes no sense whatsoever.

#34- I utterly lack athletic ability. I would have had straight As in high school if it weren't for gym class. It is not that I am out of shape (I can hold my own in, for example, a pilates class or on a treadmill), but more that I totally lack coordination.

I have awful images of PE in Grade 10, when the girls had to execute individual gymnastic routines while the guys learned wrestling.
Everyone else's routines? Elaborate concoctions of cartwheels, hand springs, and pole vaults.
Mine? Hopping on one foot, doing a somersault, hopping on the other foot, doing another somersault.

Because that was seriously ALL I COULD DO.

#35-These may or may not be my regular household footwear.

And I may or may not make them meow and purr at people.

#36- Growing up with neo-hippie parents, including a father who ran a recycling depot, imbued me with a neurotic sense of environmental conscience. I'm not just talking recycling my papers and bottles. I'm talking serious guilt over throwing a piece of note paper in the trash when there is no recycling around. It doesn't help that my dad will seriously rescue recyclables from the trash when he comes to visit if I dare to slip up.

This was especially problematic living in a city with no door-to-door recycling without a car in a one-bedroom apartment. The norms of cleanliness and environmental friendliness can be at odds at times. And they can also result in a homeless guy scaling up 6 feet to your balcony because of the bottle mecca it provides. (That was frightening!)

My parents even make me feel guilty over not having a compost bin, despite the fact I have never had a yard or a garden since I moved out. When they visit, they will actually start their own compost bin to bring home with them... and they live 8 hours away.

#37- Another consequence of environmentally friendly parents? Proud, public declarations of their support for the Green party.

Normally, not such a big deal, right?

It is when you are 16, and your parents let you borrow the wood-panelled minivan one day a week to drive to school. As though a wood-panelled minivan isn't enough of cool magnet at 16.... around election time, it was topped by a massive, wooden "Vote Green" sign.

Even though I would park as far away as possible, I couldn't escape the calls of "Hey, Princess! Vote Green!" throughout the halls.

#38- I woke up at around 4am one night at my old apartment building to the people in the apartment above me yelling, again. My first reaction was aggravation, at yet another late night argument seeping through the floorboards.

Until I heard the word fire.

I quickly shook awake my then-boyfriend, gasping "I think the apartment above us is on fire!"

He bolted up, ran to the balcony door, looked up, dashed back, and reported that there were indeed flames flickering above us.

Although, objectively, the situation rapidly degenerated into chaos, with him running about looking for his wallet, me trying to trap the cat in one room while doors were frantically tossed open, my mind settled into a strange state of clarity. I decided that we officially had until the heat sensor above our front door went off to gather up as much as we could. I started generating a checklist in my mind of what we needed. Wallet, check. Cat, check.

What next?

Oh yeah, photo albums, or so they say.

So as my boyfriend dashed about, I grabbed my biggest bag, and started stuffing photo albums into it, only pausing when I started realizing they all wouldn't fit.

It didn't even occur to me to get dressed.

And, as quickly as it all began, the discord above us suddenly ceased, and was replaced by expressions of relief. We later found out that some fire extinguisher heroics were pulled-- of which we were especially grateful, given that the fire was on the balcony above us, with a giant tree outstreched onto both our balconies, with its branches right by our propane tank for our BBQ. Yikes.

#39- I think one of the best skills I have gained in my 20s is becoming at ease with being alone.
I've always been a fairly social person. In my teens, this translated into a sense of desperation, of needing to escape when left for too long by myself, as if such a state would condemn me to eternal loserdom.

It was an incredible shock when, at 19, I moved to a big city with a boyfriend who worked out of town throughout the entire week. The emptiness of my suite seemed overwhelming at time, and I was unsure of how to fill it.

It's a long story of how that space has become filled, but the point is that I now love living alone. I do tend to fill my time up with being around others, which is what makes my own time and space that much more refreshing. Even more refreshing is the comfort at being alone outside of "my" realm. Over the past few years, I moved from sitting by myself at a coffee shop, to going to a movie or a concert on my own, to exploring different areas of the city solo, to hopping on a plane and travelling about a new city by myself. It's also shifted from doing these things only out of necessity (e.g., no one likes that particular band), to out of choice (e.g., booking a conference flight early so I can explore). Having confidence in the ability to do such things is both a relief and a source of pride.

#40- I, as many children did, had a bit of an entrepreneurial spirit about me. When I began to feel my allowance wasn't quite cutting it, I started pondering new ways to make some cash. However, being of the creative type, I wouldn't just settle for a lemonade stand or a paper route. I decided to put my talents to work and sell my drawings.

I somehow convinced some friends to join me, and we set out on a mass production spree, putting crayon to paper in the name of money, and pricing our photos from a nickel to fifty cents according to quality. Once we had a sufficient mass of art, we would first hit up our parents, who would invariably purchase the best of the bunch. We would then set off down my kilometer long driveway, art in hand, to stand at the foot of our driveway, along a desolate road, shouting "Art for sale! Will look great on your wall!" onto the empty pavement in front of us.

I'm afraid we never made a single sale outside of the family-- mostly due to the fact that we never saw another person while peddling our wares.

Although I did cross out the price on one of my better works, re-labelling it as "Free" in bold marker, and gave it to a family friend for her birthday.


Ant said...

33 - agreed. I stupidly ended up going to see House on the Haunted Hill with some friends and in the first five minutes of the blood-fest wondered what the hell I was doing there...

35 - I may or may not have a similar pair of pandas. They may or may not be called "Boo" and "Bam".

38 - cool under fire. Nice one.

39 - I hear you loud and clear. I derive so much strength from this and am similarly proud of it...

Miriam said...

See, I'm weird, I lOVE the gory movies. I feel like they're the Halloween and Friday the 13 of our generation :)

brookem said...

you are becomming one of my favorite reads, can i just start with that?!

i LOVE that you posted the picture of those slippers. i could not agree MORE about #33- i cannot even watch the previews on tv. and #39 also... being okay with being alone is so... key.
thanks for sharing these!

Sheila said...

I can relate to #33, #34 and #35! My daughter is like #40, she is always trying to find way of making money for herself or even charity. One idea was to sweep the neighbor's porches another was to rake leaves. Lately she has been making art/craft projects to sell for charity. The wheels are always turning in her brain!

Ashley said...

Were we seperated at birth? Because seriously? That is me. #33--hi can't even watch the previews. I hate hate hate gore. And Saw? Holy shit. My ex is real happy he spent 11 dollars for me to stare at the palms of my hands.

#34--horrible at anything athletic. I can't even do a somersault so you have me beat!

#35--I had a pair of nemo slippers that i used to scare my cat with.

#39--I'm finally getting to that point as well. Being alone does have its benefits and when i moved in with my boyfriend last year, i seriously started to itch for my own space.

#40--I also sold art. I don't think i made any money. However when I was 10 i had an art show through my art class and someone wanted to buy a painting of mine for $150. And my parents said no because my dad wanted it for his office. Ironically, it sat in a drawer and never made it to my dads. $150 is a lot when you are 10! Hell, i could use that now!

Sorry for totally manipulating your comment section. I figured since i haven't commented in a while i would just try to make it up here....ok thats lame. Sorry for pulling a disappearing act!

Macoosh said...

35- i have a pair of "happy feet" which are enormous and i LOOOOVE THEM."

38- i'm impressed with your panic mode stealthness.

39- agreed. agreed. agreed. i went to london and paris virtually on my own and it was the best vacation of my life.

...not to mention i moved to ireland on my own for a year as well..hahaha

blogging said...

i puff painted rocks as a child. the glitter puffpaint kind. and tried to sell them from my driveway.

and the water meter man bought one from me.

bless that waterheter man, wherever he may be.

All Mod Cons said...

Cool facts! Not entirely convinced about the slippers though...

Didn't I nominate you to start these 8 random facts about a million years ago? I can't believe you're still going! Good skills!

Beth said...

I love your royal factoids! Some of them crack me up, some I can certainly relate to.
I can read horror stories but can't watch the movies. Perhaps because while reading you can skim over the gory parts?
Glad to hear you have discovered the pleasures that can be found in solitude.
Hope the cold isn't too nasty and that it doesn't hang around too long.

Psychgrad said...

Oh good. The fire story you were talking about in an earlier comment. Glad to here it didn't get very serious. Any idea what started it?

eric1313 said...

33 is good for dates--albeit from a guys perspective. That is, unless they don't like cuddling or its benefits.

34--When my gym class was instructed to run laps all hour, I walked the entire time. I started alone and ended with half the class following me instead of the teacher.

35--that's just cute.

I would be terible in a fire! I'd have to save people, then my guitars and my amp, then my computer and flash drive, then my books and CDs.

I would probably die. But I would die trying.

And I hope you feel better, Princess. Eat, wrap up and sweat the illness out. That always works for me.

Ant said...

I've only just clocked the significance of the titles here... can I put in a request for serbo-croat, swahili, then test your HTML skills with mandarin for the next rounds? :-)

Hope said...

I have no coordination either. I'm the girl people make fun of in a yoga class.

Also, my eye-hand coordination just plain out does not exist. Which I hate because I love team sports that involve balls (Ha!) but no can do!

P.S Adoore you slippers.

Lisa said...

We had a fire at the first condo J and I lived in. It was at the basement, ironically by the fire escape which was outside our bedroom window. We ran out with the bunnies in office boxes, our wallets, and our cell phones. I was crying so hard because we didn't have time to get our photos, hard drive, letters, etc. but was also relieved that the four of us were together. Luckily, they managed to put out the fire before it consumed our place. Our windows cracked, our walls were dingy, and everything outside really just melted off, but our stuff were intact. Till now the smell of smoke still makes me go a little crazy.

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

35- well, Hmmm, no comment.

My flatmate has similar ones.

39, I'm still coming to terms with, because soon, I'll have to.

I'm glad we have a diffeent system, that PE (GYM and sports) isn't a complusory subject for GCSE. I'd have failed.

cdp said...

Dude. I can so totally picture the van, with the Vote Green sign. That's awesome.

I think I too would've totally been grabbing my photo albums. I don't know what I'd ever do if I lost all my pictures. I think I would like, die. For serious.

And I also love doing stuff alone. I don't do it very often, and I also agree with you that spending time with other people makes the alone time so much better. I haven't gone to a new city by myself, but I do the occasional movie/concert/etc. Good stuff. And you're right, it's totally about the confidence.

Airam said...

#33 - This is precisely why I refuse to watch movies like this. I think the last one I saw was the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre with Jessica Biel. I told myself that was the last time I'd see a movie like that.

#35 - Those are adorable. Please tell me you meow under your breath while you point your slipper at someone because that would be totally awesome!

Princess Extraordinaire said...

I am freakishly frightened of scary flicks and have to either see them in the daytime with company or not see them at all - I have awful nightmares and wake up next to my husband sweating and screaming - good times...

brandy said...

Lovely list! First of all, I'm with you on the scary movies. I don't understand why people subject themselves to having such images in their view. I watched "Silence of the Lambs" and then decided I was done. I don't like leaving a movie theatre feeling sick to my stomach. Also, your gymnastics routine? Made me giggle. I can picture it because it sounds exactly like something I would do. The other day I was teaching grade 2's gym and they had the mats out and were practicing cartwheels. They asked me to do one and I told them I could because I was wearing a skirt. The truth is, the idea of doing a cartwheel sounds about as hard as me splitting the atom. Impossible. (Note to self- wear skirts everytime you teach gym).

Eve said...

33 - I can't stand those movies! I like them while watching (from behind my hands) but then get terrified remembering them while alone in the country. Yikes.

WendyB said...

Whew, I'm glad that fire wasn't worse!

Jocelyn said...

You did NOT have to execute individual gymnastics routines...? OMG.

I think your composting parents are people I know. They can come over anytime, though, as we proudly--unlike you--do compost. We are, obviously, better people than you.

Feel better, honeygirl.

benjibopper said...

did you ever read The Great Brain books when you were a kid? or how about No Coins Please by Gordon Korman? classics on child entrepreneurship.