Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Why spleen, where has your spleen been, and is your spleen reproducing? Your questions answered.

Reposted from Formspring (anonymous question site):

Where all has your spleen been?

Farthest-reaching places: London, Japan (Tokyo, Hiroshima, Kyoto, Osaka, Nikko), Ecuador (landed in Guayaquil and immediately took midnight bus for 8 hour ride up Andes mountains to capital city Quito), Hawaii (The Big Island, Oahu, Kauai) and Mexico (Baja California).

Also a bunch of states: East coast from Florida to Maine. Drove from Maryland to Arizona on central US route. Lived in Flagstaff, AZ for a summer. And visited California and Washington State (Puget Sound area, Whidbey Island) multiple times.

I love traveling! I definitely have wanderlust.

What is the best photo you've taken? Also, what is your favorite photo you've taken, if they are not the same?

My 3 favorite photos (sorry, I couldn't narrow it down to just one!):

1. Black & white composition, taken a few weeks ago from the bushes outside my house:


2. Dreamy African violets, taken from flowers my mom gave me:


3. And lastly, this yellow flower gleaming in Arizona sun:


How do did you get to be so charming and adorable? :) Okay, no, seriously, that's a mom question if ever there was one. Not that I'm your mom. ANYWAY, what was the last movie you saw that you loved?

Awww, love you too mom! hehe

Last movie I saw & loved? Persepolis. Cried while simultaneously enchanted by the people and art of the storyline presentation.

favorite tv show? favorite reality tv show?

I don't watch TV. I wish I did sometimes so I would understand what the heck the rest of the world is talking about sometimes.

When I do indulge, very rarely (like once every couple of months), I like House, Dirty Jobs, Family Guy, Simpsons, Monk.

What reality shows are out there? I don't think I've ever seen more than a few minutes of one before getting annoyed and moving on.

Why Spleen? where did you get the idea from?

I studied premed as an undergrad and just fell in love with the word "spleen."

I am enamored with medical terminology. I read medical texts for fun. Like, I love "uvulopalatopharyngoplasty" -- the name of the operation to remove the little hangy thing in the back of the throat -- but that makes a bad aliases. No one could spell it.

Spleens are popular. There's a whole underground fan base of spleens, identified by the early alt.spleen.faq usenet newsgroup (now Google Groups):


With questions like:

- How do I care for my spleen?
- Are the rumors of spleen violence true?
- How can I keep my spleen clean?
- Can I splendify my spleen by adding aluminum siding?
- When I die, should I convert my spleen to binary and post it to alt.spleen?
- Does trephination hurt your spleen?
- Did Andy Warhol really lose his spleen?
- What did Ricky say when Lucy came home with an extra spleen?
-Lately my spleen has been ordering pizzas and expects me to pay. Surely this is unfair as I have been a good host. Furthermore, how could my spleen be using the phone?

Did you know some people can have more than one spleen? And it's also possible to NOT have a spleen?

Do you wonder what the spleen does? It filters blood. It also plays some role in your immunity.

So I made up the word "Spleeness" -- it's my way of being rich with all things spleen. But one of the first woodburning cuts I ever made said, simply: "Spleen Me" (my polite version of F me or FML (see http://www.fmylife.com). It just sounded right. I don't know how else to describe it. Spleen lovers, unite!

Where would you want to live if you could live anywhere!?

I need to be near the ocean.

I grew up on the Jersey shore and spent all my time at the beach racing my bike down the boardwalk and finding comfort and solace in the sand and waves.

The NJ coast isn't as beautiful as the shores of the Pacific so I'd pick California as an ideal place but my desire to be near family mucks this up. California, though my heart sings when I visit it, is too far to live.

I also love cities; the nightlife, people, culture, museums, events.

Where I live now (near DC) is pretty cool. I just miss the beach.

What was the best meal you've ever eaten?

OMFG. The first time I tasted bruschetta a few months ago. YES, that the first time.

(I ate it with a spoon, I'm not into bread.) I was bowled over by the magnificence of properly vinegared tomatoes, basil & garlic. It was so good that I stopped at the supermarket on the way home from the restaurant, bought 10 tomatoes and made AND ATE a batch immediately upon walking in the door.

My homemade bruschetta needs work. But man, it was good!

There's also this one Chinese restaurant in Flagstaff, AZ (east side, near the mall) that makes the BEST. FREAKING. hot & sour soup I have EVER. EATEN. IN. MY. LIFE. I regularly drove 10 miles out of my way just to get this stuff.

Writing about it hurts since it's so far away and I can't have it. I might literally be able to eat nothing but else on a desert island for a month.

are you planning to have little spleenesses at some point?

A few questions came in asking if my spleen would reproduce so I'll just address them all here.

I always imagined I'd have kids someday. But I don't have them yet and don't feel ready right this minute, so it's very possible that I may never have them.

I went through this phase where I agonized over not being "ready." I actually went out and bought the book, "Maybe Baby" because that's what I do when I'm ambivalent. I research.

It was a fantastic read: individual stories of the journey into parentdom or childlessness.

What lesson did I learn?

That people are happy *as long as* they have what they want.

This makes sense. It applies to everything in life, really -- a job, love, food, housing, toys, time... not just parenting.

If I *did* have kids, I'm sure it would be a love I'd never known before. I get that. I'm a pretty affectionate & nurturing person and could imagine being a parent. I have such respect for the love & dedication parents give. (Although the exhaustion and resources required terrifies me, which is part of my ambivalence.)

The other part is that I feel, mentally, like I'm 22.

If the urge strikes, then I'll consider it. If not, I'm at peace with that. I wasn't expecting my kids to care for me in the nursing home anyway so plan B still applies. :)

How would you describe your personality?

Goodnatured, happy, intense. I genuinely care about people and enjoy going out of my way to help.

Have a question for me?

Monday, May 24, 2010

Tell me you do not see this EVERY DAY.

"I'm speeding down the freeway and I keep seeing this..."
-Josh Cooley (cartoon his own)

The guy who drew this series of cartoons of what goes down on the highway is BRILLIANT. See his full post, but I'm warning you, put down that glass of water now before you ruin your screen. --> onward!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The handsome young man at the post office

So I went the post office around 11pm to use the automated shipping machine. NO ONE was around, the place was absolutely desolate. I was quietly weighing items when I got the eerie feeling that someone was looking at me. Wait, not just looking. STARING. But the door hadn't opened since I entered; was someone already here and I just hadn't noticed?

I turned ever so slowly... and SHRIEKED, flinging mail like the mace I wished I had. Facing me was an eerily-grinning young man, violating the social rules that dictate please do not stare creepily at females in abandoned buildings close to the midnight hour. Every hair on the back of my neck stood straight up.

And then I realize:


Go me. Post office: 1, amygdala: 0

Friday, May 14, 2010

maybe we all just had the worst day

This morning I was standing in line to buy coffee, which I hate but I needed something bitter and caffeinated to pour bitterly into my bitter and exhausted self, wearing what I think is my "don't talk to me or I will CUT you" face, but is in actuality a "holy COW she has bags" face, when I overheard the cashier saying she didn't feel good.

But there she is, every morning, smiling at everyone, her greeting filled with warmth, asking genuinely how each of us is doing.

And I thought of lyrics in the Ani DiFranco song Be Nice:
maybe you don't like your job
maybe you didn't get enough sleep
well, nobody likes their job
nobody got enough sleep
maybe you just had
the worst day of your life
but, you know, there's no escape
and there's no excuse
so just suck up and be nice
And I thought, if she can smile, so can I.

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