(Banner stolen from San Diego Momma)
In case you're not familiar with PrompTuesday, it is the brainchild of one of my favorite bloggers (and a really, really good writer), Deb at San Diego Momma. I don't often take part because I have a tin ear for fiction, but I saw this prompt come up on Facebook yesterday and it got into my head.
This week's PrompTuesday was not based on any theme; rather, it was limited to 25 words or fewer. Now there's a limitation I can handle! I must have dreamed about it because when I woke up this morning, it was finished in my mind. At 27 words (ack -- editing time). Here's my effort.
Sorry it's kinda gross. (Also, all ten of my digits are attached and this is NOT a personal statement of any kind.) Go check out PrompTuesday and see what you come up with, then link it back to SanDiegoMomma.com!
This post is part of a new blog meme brought to us by my funny and talented blog friend Da Goddess, and a blogger who is new to me and seems equally delightful, Mannequin at Fractured Toy. Their meme is called Remember When: Skipping Down Memory Lane, and the idea is to capture bloggers' collective memories, threads of shared experiences.
Monday kicked off the series, and I, of course, missed it, due to being out until 10:30 Monday night, returning home to no internet service, and oh yes, being a LAME-O. So, because I always do things the hard way, I am FINALLY adding my name to Mr. Linky and creating a post inspired by the photo below. Pull up a cushion and a handful of horse tranquilizers and I'll tell you a story.
All this while wearing three-piece blue and white wool uniforms with big tall white fur hats. You envy me, I know.
And where was our band teacher? Making a spectacle of herself. At about six feet tall, she probably didn't need to stand high atop a ladder to be seen by her mortified band. And it makes my story that much better that she wore a purple and green plaid caftan, too short and apparently made of upholstery fabric, with hiking boots.
I'm still working on my write-up about our "Digital Detox" Retweet weekend stay at the Gaia Hotel, but in the meantime, look what our hosts gave us as a checking in gift? (I think they knew that some partaking in the Digital Detox ReTweet would have twitchy thumbs and would have NO idea what to do with their lost computer time.)
This cute little package is called TravelTopics To Go, and you can find them online at www.tabletopics.com (along with many other conversation starter kits).
Open the box, pick a card, read the question aloud, and get the conversation started. So, that's what I'm doing this morning. Your question is:
Oh, this is easy. 20 years ago my answer would have been Japan, or at least somewhere non-European. Then I went to Europe, and now my answer is France. Contrary to what you hear, I didn't meet ONE rude person in France. Everyone was friendly, polite, and some were downright charming. And that was in Paris! I want to live somewhere where I walk to work and the store every day. I want to learn a language to the degree that I dream in it. I want more of that bread.
Okay, Peeps, spill it. What do you say?
(Photo stolen from these guys)
Oh my GAHHHHHHHHH I did it again. I freaked you out, didn't I?
I'm sorry. I didn't mean to.
Gotten a few e-mails, IMs, even a phone call. I really do have stuff on my mind, but I'm fine. It's really more the frustration of not being able to say completely what I need to say, here, on my blog. PLEASE tell me you understand what I mean, so I don't think you think I'm suicidal?
I'm NOT suicidal. I'm totally fine and happy. Except for a face on fire, which is almost better, and which I'll explain soon, if I remember.
(You KNEW there was a "but," didn't you?)
my sudden onset of accidental morbidity got me thinking about death.* What if the worst should happen?
No, I don't meant that the Napa Valley burns to the ground and we are all forced to drink paint thinner . . . I mean, MORE paint thinner.
I mean, the worst in MY world, which would be that I tripped over one cat too many, hit my head and met my maker, who looks surprisingly a lot like RonCo in this bright white light . . . what if I died?
The blog would come to an end, but would Chas even know how to tell my on-line friends? Probably not. Would there be a funeral, or -- more my style -- a doughnut exchange?
I'M NOT DYING (as far as I know), but here is a challenge for you. Pick one of these three:
1. Foolery's inscription on the headstone and/or paper plate tacked above the sink hole
2. Foolery's eulogy, Twitter style (140 characters/spaces, max)
3. What song should be playing as Foolery's coffin (a refrigerator carton from behind Sears) is paraded through the street of Orland? Yes, I wrote street singular; it wasn't a mistake.
Pick one and run with it -- have fun! I may as well enjoy my own death before I die, right? Also, I'm not dying.
_ _ _ _ _
*I realized just as I finished this that I may also have picked up the whole "death as schtick" thing from a recent post by one of my favorite bloggers, Kathi at I Think We're All Bozos On This Bus. Yes, I know. That IS the single-best blog name in the history of the planet. And No, I didn't mean to steal her theme, but it must be a subliminal homage.
(Photo stolen from these guys)
Hello, I am the Senses Taker.* It's time to check your senses. Check your sensitivity at the door. Sense, not Sensibility. Y'know? You have five of 'em. Six, if you're a cop, a woman or Haley Joel Osment, who sees dead people, and somehow seeing is counted twice?
Ahem, pardon me. Back on track now. Get up and open a window or door, if you can.
What do you see?
What do you hear?
What do you smell?
What do you feel?
What do you taste?
Note the time and post it in the comments.
Consider your senses taken. Now why can't the government get it done this easily?
* * * * *
I don't see a lot, because the moon won't come up for hours. I see a few stars, but the humidity of the evening has blocked all but the gaudiest stars from sight.
I hear frogs and crickets. I heard cats fighting earlier, but that's no surprise.
I smell the pungent, sickly-sweet smell of irrigated fields. I smell orange blossoms from my old yard across the street when the breeze stirs a little.
I feel the last vestiges of cold spring nights. Soon we'll sweat all night long and dream of chilly April evenings.
I taste cheap red wine.
It is now 10:05 p.m. Your turn.
*I must acknowledge Norton Juster in his book The Phantom Tollbooth for the origin of the name of this character.
I am trying to put my cholesterol level through the roof and think
I might possibly succeed, since my refrigerator currently looks rather
like an incubator at a psychedelic chicken ranch. Mmmm, hard-boiled eggs.
So I have hardly touched the computer since Friday and have done no writing whatsoever. Here it is, Monday, and I am trying to come up with something interesting.
I did, however, come up with a topic that holds a great deal of interest for me:
When did you know you were a nerd? Or, more specifically, what is your earliest nerdly memory?
If you don't consider yourself a nerd, please disregard the question and go get me a Home Run Pie, thanks. We'll talk about you while you're out.
If you DO consider yourself a nerd, I'd love to hear about your earliest signs of Nerdism.
Here are mine.
First, it has been well-established that I was a Band Geek, all through high school and even my first year of college. Band Geekery actually began for me in the third or fourth grade, when I began learning the clarinet, the better to be more like Henry Cuesta. If you know who that is, give yourself a million points, fire up your pocket protector and go get me a Home Run Pie, thanks.
(Photo stolen from this site)
My first nerdly memory is of dissecting the bad grammar, poor sentence structure and limited vocabulary of popular songs. Yeah, I know -- I didn't say it was going to be easy reading this post. You may want to go get me a Home Run Pie instead. The words "ain't got no" in a song put me into a tailspin. Oh, if only my pre-adolescent self could see me now, starting sentences with "and," "but," and "or," or posting a No Punctuation Wednesday piece, or creating fragment sentences with gay abandon.
At about age 9 I committed to memory vast quantities of dated pop music lyrics from my mom's piano songbook. Here, for your listening pleasure, are some lyrics from the song "Alfie," which is very likely on page 2 of the songbook:
What's it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
What's it all about, when you sort it out, Alfie?
. . . if only fools are kind, Alfie
Then I guess it is wise to be cruel . . .
Okay that's just about enough of THAT. I didn't Google it so those lyrics may be all wrong, but I don't think so. See? Ask me another one. I am self-taught and it has NEVER paid off.
So, tell me your nerd story, here or on your own blog (leave a link). I'll be waiting with my inhaler and my pocket protector. By the way, I have no idea if I even LIKE Home Run Pies.
(Photo stolen from this site)
Well. I have been tagged for a meme by my dear friend Alias Liz Jones. It's been a while since I've done one, so let's have a look-see, hmmm?
1. What is your favorite quotable line from a movie?
I'll give you three, and see if anyone out there can name the movies. Hint: they're all OLD movies.
"Bring me four fried chickens and a Coke."
"E-MAIR-GENCY! E-MAIR-GENCY! EVERYONE TO GET FROM STREET!"
"Captain, it is I, Ensign Pulver, and I just threw your stinkin' palm tree overboard! Now what's all this crud about no movie tonight?"
(Photo stolen from these guys)
2. Who is the most famous person that you've talked to?
Well, I talk to Moriss Taylor on the phone occasionally for work. He tells me bad jokes, he refers to my boss Scott as "Gordy," for some reason, and he's the nicest man in (local) show business. And now that James Brown has passed on, Moriss is the New Hardest-Working Man In Show Business.
Maybe three or four a year. We're not too good at chips. We're GREAT at salted nuts, though! Does this help you?
4. What foreign food dish do you prepare from scratch and serve?
Wow, this question presumes a LOT. I do make a lot from scratch, but I can't think of anything foreign. Tell you what: next time I make meat loaf I'll put Tijuana Taxi and Kung Fu Fighting on iTunes, and we'll call it good. Okay?
5. What is your favorite section at the super market?
As always, the horn section.
6. What was your high school team's mascot and what were your school colors?
We do things a little differently here in California. We were the Spotted Owls for a while, but we kept getting our butts kicked in sports, and sometimes fans of the opposing team brought guns to the games, so we changed the name to the Meadow Foam. It made for some interesting cheers in the fourth quarter:
"Hey Meadow Foam! Go, fight, win! Or just lie there and someone will come build a fence around you!"
(Photo stolen from these guys)
Oh, and we were blue and white.
I want to see the following people do this meme (if you want to; if not, I'll have to come to your houses and hunt you down):
What is your name?
Favorite TV shows?
Musical performers you like?
What you had for breakfast?
Something you are wearing?
Favorite electronic items?
Something fun you did in the last three months?
How do you feel right now?
There are a lot of interesting memes out there, and this one is among the most thoughtful and lofty. So why on earth would darling Miss MommyPie think that I am up to the task? I am nothing if not a plebe. Still, I love to go on and on about myself . . . so here’s what I came up with.
1. List three books you’ve always meant to read, but haven’t gotten around to reading.
I'm kind of a Cat in the Hat person, so the pool of unread candidates I have to select from is breathtaking. The ones that stick out are Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, Siddhartha by Herman Hesse, and Henry David Thoreau's Walden. I have had the last two on my shelf for decades -- even took Siddhartha on a long plane trip. Nothing. Why? I'm shallow, lazy, and dim. Couldn't pull the trigger. Also, anything that comes highly recommended is likely to be a huge disappointment to me, which is mostly because of my own failings. I guess I just don't want to be that person, and slogging through such culturally cherished works would only solidify my standing as Dumbass #1.
2. Share the two books that changed your life.
Everything I read changes my life! Well, almost everything. Few things are as good as a well-written cereal box, but there are two that really stand up and shout, "Oooooh! Oooooh! Pick me! Pick me!" The first is Jane Eyre, but maybe not for the reasons that it's on most everyone else's list.
I was enjoying Jane Eyre. My grandmother had given me a boxed set of two Brontë sisters' books, the other being, of course, Wuthering Heights. Though my reading time in college was limited, I found the book compelling enough to get 2/3 through. And then my class schedule caught up with me, and the book, by necessity, was tabled for a while. For a few weeks. For the summer. Forever. It's not that I didn't like it, it's that I cannot go back to something I've tabled -- even my own writing. I've learned to get it out, get it all out, or I'll lose interest and it will be OVER before it's barely begun. Shallow? Of course. Know thyself. I do.
But my grandmother didn't. She would check in with me to find out how Jane Eyre was coming along. Stupidly, I told her. I may as well have admitted to burying Jimmy Hoffa in my back yard, because you can't believe the fuss she put up. "I just cannot imagine how you could put that book DOWN!" she'd snap. Laurie in her early 20s was all about placating Grandma and being honest while being positive. If I had it all to do over I'd lie through my teeth and say, "Well, I read half of it, but it kinda sucked, and now I want to start over and read it all the way through, annotating it in the margins exactly how and why it sucks." This would be a bold-faced lie, but it would have gotten her off my back. I did get my first insight into my grandmother's gifts that came with strings attached. Lesson learned the hard way.
The other book that changed my life was John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath. Because of his stark portrayal of a side of America that no one wanted to see? No. Because of Steinbeck's gift of painting a realistic and gritty portrait of his characters? No. It's because I couldn't wait to be done with the Joad family. Ugh. The whole lot of them. And what did the book teach me? That I will probably dislike whatever I'm supposed to like, and I take full responsibility. And that's okay. (As a comparison, I LOVED Of Mice And Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, and The Tortilla Curtain, and I HATED God's Little Acre.)
3. Recommend the one book you’ve been talking about since the very first day you’ve read it.
I'll give you two. The first one is the "grown-up" book: John Irving's The Water Method Man. While it is certainly outrageous and comedic, and not one of Irving's heralded works (it was one of his first novels, of which I've read almost all), there are many layers, and I always find something I had forgotten when I reread it. I can't count how many times I have read it. Boob loop!
The second is probably my favorite book of all time, even though it is a children's book: The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster. This treasured book slyly employs nearly archaic expressions, often manifested as people or places (the Island of Conclusions; it's very easy to get there -- you just jump! -- but it's very difficult to get back); it is also generally wise, witty and charming. This book is the single best example of mastery of the double entendre that I can name. I can't wait for my daughters to be old enough to read it. And the illustrations by artist Jules Feiffer have the rare dual qualities of being both spare and lush.
I could fill a book listing all the great books I have not read and probably never will, now that my little obsession with reading and writing blogs has laid claim to my dance card. Some day I will pick up the habit again, but for now, I have so much to do right here, I just don't know when I'll have the time.
(Because my real ones are WAY too scary. For me AND for you.)
Sarah at OK, Where Was I? tagged me the other day for a meme . . . this one's a confessional. I gave it a day or more to think it over. I eliminated all of the stuff that still wakes me up in the middle of the night in a cold sweat, and this is what I was left with.
By the way, if you want to read a good list of confessions, go check out Sarah's. Then, after you finish laughing until you cry, come back here to Foolery and be kind.
1. If I really, really want a good snack I buy a bag of Peanut M&Ms. Not the regular bag, the one that holds 22 M&Ms and I could put all of them in my mouth at once if I really wanted to but I don't . . . I'm talking about the Tear 'n Share size. I don't know who was the marketing genius who came up with this little moniker, but I can promise you that if I'm feeling piggy enough to buy THAT size there's NO WAY I'm sharing. And yes, for those of you who are tapping your feet and saying hmmmmmmm to yourselves, I have even bumped it up to the half-pound bag, but I didn't eat them all. At once.
(Wrapper photo stolen from this guy)
2. I invented a person when I was in high school. I was inspired by a friend's older brother, who, as a senior, got in line with the freshmen on picture day and had his picture taken. I think he gave the name John Brown, if I remember correctly. It made the yearbook photo gallery, even the index. Well, if he could invent a John Brown, so could I, by golly.
One of my best friends, Mike, and I were on both the yearbook staff and the newspaper staff during our senior year. While we didn't think fast enough to get a photo into the yearbook, we did both happen to be the Senior Will editors for the last issue of the paper, so we decided that that was where our invented person would debut. With all of the sensitivity of a rotten 17-year-old I named the girl Margarita Maria Gomez, because she would be less traceable among the many names of Mexican students we didn't know too well. I know, I know. But this is a confessional, get it?
In case your school didn't have senior wills, they were printed in the last paper of the school year. It was a chance for seniors to "bequeath" things to underclassmen, such as their locker combinations, their stinky gym socks, the hot girl's phone number, and other vaguely 1950s teenage crap (this was 1983, by the way). As will editors Mike and I (we were selected for our common sense and upright morals, presumably) were supposed to toss out inappropriate language or adult-themed entries, and we did. We also let old Margarita through, however. She had "been" to all of the best parties, knew a lot of stuff about people, and got in a few snotty digs about some girls' leg warmers. We were in heaven. Do I regret it? Not on your life. Do I think I went too far? A couple of times.
3. As a child I pooped in a lake once. That's about all there is to say about that.
4. When I was in college and lived alone I went through a phase where I got up at 6:00 to do TV aerobics with Gilad.
(Photo stolen from this site)
I know there's nothing particularly confessional about that . . . wait for it. For reasons unknown to me (and how I ever got started with this is beyond me) I went from doing the excercises in a t-shirt and sweats to a t-shirt and undies to just undies, until I finally just skipped with all pretense and did my aerobics as naked as a jay bird. Before you start making weird French ho-ho-HO! sounds, there was nothing sexual about it at all. Gilad totally creeped me out, then and now. I think it was just a matter of sweat, which I hate. Still, there are about 1000 of you (that's about 990 more readers than I actually have) who will unbookmark this site because of this little admission. I don't blame you, ho-ho-HO! I think I'm a weirdo, too.
5. I once made a terribly inappropriate joke, involving clowns and incest or something creepy, in the presence of my high school freshman class's prissiest person. She looked at me with her mouth hanging open, and said, "LAURIE LaGRONE!" I'm absolutely certain that if she'd known my middle name she would have said it, too. I felt like a child being scolded by someone else's grandmother. Yeah, it was an ill-considered gut reaction, a stupid joke and a rotten thing to say, but right at that moment I knew that I didn't want to hang out with the prissy crowd. And they knew that they didn't want me to, either.
6. I played a version of Shirley Temple in the school Christmas play when I was about ten. The character was called Miss Dimples, and guess why I got the part? I had to carry a HUGE lollipop as a prop. The plastic was loose at the very top of the lolly, and when no one was looking I sucked at the exposed candy. By the time the play rolled around there was an impressive divot that accommodated my nose, if I felt the need for a nose holder. It was very embarrassing on stage in front of the whole school. Just a notch more embarrassing than portraying Miss Dimples.
7. In a college graphic design class we had to illustrate a conversation between two people using only one word per person, back and forth, for a limited number of frames. For instance, someone serving a friend coffee might have been shown as:
but with drawings. We then put our finished work up on the wall and critiqued the resulting body of work. Being a natural born storyteller (ham, blowhard, loudmouth -- you pick) I was terribly interested in the story my drawings told, whereas the greater assignment was more about illustrating a moment.
Because this was college, someone in the class had chosen to illustrate a sexual encounter, and the conversation went a lot like
etc. but, being the nerd who never missed an opportunity to make herself look stupid, I said I thought the story was a bit abrupt, and needed some sort of establishing words, maybe. I think the professor was halfway in agreement, and he asked me to elaborate. So I said, "I dunno, maybe some words before all that, to set the scene . . ."
"Yeah, but like what?" the teacher persisted. I really hadn't thought it that far through, and was only trying to be one of The Cool Kids in this class of graphic designers, who were already terminally hip.
"Oh, maybe, like HELLO --"
and that was as far as I got before the whole classroom erupted in laughter. I tried to explain myself, even though I knew I had really put my foot in it, and no one could stop laughing long enough to hear my weak protests. Duhhhh. I kept my mouth shut mostly from that point on, my position cemented as offbeat outsider with a screw loose and no concept of acceptable college behavior.
And that's about where I am now!
I was tagged for a meme by The Mom Bomb. Seems I have to describe my life in six words. Well. I don't need to tell you how difficult a task this is. How will I ever flesh out six whole words?
Back in a while with my answer.
Two of the bloggers I read regularly -- Sarah at OK . . . Where Was I? and Hallie at The Wonderful World of Wieners -- posted risky columns this week. The subject was five people who could make you play for The Other Team.
Not sure it's really possible; in fact, it's not. I'm pretty happy with my team. Not that there's anything wrong with that . . .
I'll make a stab at it.
Here are five women, in no particular order, who could make me become a women's P.E. coach in old East Germany:
1. Gillian Anderson -- best known for walking around looking pissed off and yelling "MULDER!" every ten seconds. Moody is the new black.
2. Brooke Shields -- one of two women in the world whose eyebrows need even more deforestation than mine do (the other was Frida Kahlo).
3. Gabrielle Reece -- remember her? the 6'3" volleyball star? Try to imagine playing an intensely physical game in THAT little get-up. In sand. You DO realize I'm talking about volleyball, right?
4. Lauren Hutton -- the space between her teeth makes her seem human, which is difficult for super models. Even super models of a certain age.
5. Beyonce Knowles -- she can sing, she can dance, she can ac-- well, she can sing and dance! And she's bootylicious, because somebody has to be.
Okay, don't read too much into this. There are so many gorgeous women on TV that I can't help staring at. I just wish that I could have found a dentist, or judge, or diplomat, or author -- somebody with a career more important than dancing, singing, pouting, posing, or playing a game. But I don't suppose Jean Kirkpatrick or Gertrude Stein or Eleanor Roosevelt ever made anybody's short list.
. . . stand up, sit down, WRITE WRITE WRITE!
Here are the rules:
(1) Link to the person that tagged
(2) Post the rules on your blog.
(3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
(4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
(5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.
Sparky was tagged by my blogger friend JustJessie's adorable little boy Grant for a kid meme. To keep things even, Sparky and Smedley will each tell eight things about themselves. So
over cocktails at The Raw Bar I interviewed them for the meme. I mixed it up a bit by posing two questions each time and letting them pick which one to answer.
Foolery: What kinds of candy do you like OR what's your favorite cruciform vegetable?
Smedley: I like all the kinds of candy there are.
F: What makes you happy OR what is America's greatest accomplishment this decade?
Smedley: When Daddy doesn't come to school late to pick me up. Like he usually does. Like he did today.
F: What's your favorite song OR what are you giving Mommy for Valentines Day?
Smedley: "My Favorite Things"
Sparky: "Bad Day"
F: Tell me a joke OR the smartest thing you've ever heard on Live with Regis and Kelly.
Smedley: Why is driving like music? Answer: You will B flat if you don't C sharp.
Sparky: Why did the elephant get in the mud for nothing? Answer: Just to sit in the water and spin in the mud.
F: How did you dress for Halloween OR what were you in a former life?
Smedley: I was a witch.
Sparky: A fairy princess. But I lost my wings.
F: What is your favorite movie OR your favorite mode of travel?
Smedley: "The Polar Express."
Sparky: "The Tortoise and the Hare."
F: What is your favorite book OR your favorite truism?
Smedley: Mermaids Don't Run Track.
Sparky: The Gruffalo.
F: Last question. What do you want to be when you grow up OR who should be our next president?
Smedley: A teacher.
Sparky: A teenager.
Now you know.
Sparky: "Manxie, come look at my UNDERWEAR falling off!!"
(Photo stolen from YakShaving on Flickr)
I have been tagged by a friend to fill out this questionnaire. When bloggers do this it is called a meme. I'm going to be cool and let you think I really know what that word means.
1. What kind of soap is in your bathtub right now? SCUM. That'd be soap SCUM.
2. Do you have any watermelon in your refrigerator? God, I hope not.
3. What would you change about your living room? Is "knock it down" an option?
4. Are the dishes in your dishwasher clean or dirty? Never use it; Chas does, so DIRTY.
5. What is in your fridge? Four homemade pumpkin breads, beer, vegetables, and a stain that I SWEAR moves around.
6. White or wheat bread? Whole grains -- the more, the better.
7. What is on top of your refrigerator? My grandmother's copper bread box and my cookbooks.
8. What color or design is on your shower curtain? It's a hot pink hipster number with 60s beatnik chicks and French cats.
9. How many plants are in your home? Three -- a geranium, a hydrangea, and some tropical plant which, through neglect, I've rendered a bonsai.
10. Is your bed made right now? ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha oh stop you're killing me ha ha ha ha ha
11. Comet or Soft Scrub? COMET, BABY! I SWEAR I CAN RUB THIS HIDEOUS FINISH RIGHT OFF! GIMME THE BELT SANDER WHILE YER AT IT!
12. Is your closet organized? In the way that Middle East politics and alliances are organized: one false move and you're toast.
13. Can you describe your flashlight? I can, but then I'd have to kill you.
14. Do you drink out of glass or plastic more at home? Macramé.
15. Do you have iced tea made in a pitcher right now? No, I can't have too much caffeine. Well, I can, but then you'd have to kill me.
16. If you have garage, is it cluttered? Please see the Middle East closet question above. The closet and the garage have an alliance.
17. Curtains or blinds? Both. Neither are worth discussing.
18. How many pillows do you sleep with? One well-pounded ancient dust-mite-Heaven-of-a down pillow, **sigh**. I love it.
19. Do you sleep with any lights on at night? A night light outside our door for the kidlets to find their way in in the middle of the night.
20. How often do you vacuum? It's an insignificant statistic in the way that 10-year weather cycles are insignificant.
21. Standard toothbrush or electric? Standard. Read, FREE from my millionaire dentist, twice a year without fail.
22. What color is your toothbrush? This is fascinating stuff, really it is.
23. Do you have welcome mat on your front porch? Yes. It reads WIPE YOUR PAWS. Do you feel welcome?
24. What is in your oven right now? OH GOD, THE TURKEY!!!! just kidding
25. Is there anything under your bed? Wrapping paper in Tupperware. Probably Barbies, too, if I'm honest.
26. Chore you hate the most? Anything that gets me within inches of the toilet.
27. What retro items are in your home? If by retro you mean "wildly out-of-date," then pretty much everything. Yup.
28. Do you have a separate room you use an an office? No, we have a corner of my computer room we use as a living room.
29. How many mirrors are in your home? I think four. Gosh, I'd better go break a couple of those, shiver.
30. Do you have any hidden emergency money around your home? Yes, it's called Peanut M&Ms Money, and it's whatever is in my wallet.
31. What color are your walls? All of them are Old T-shirt White, except for one bathroom, which is Shield Your Eyes White.
32. What does your home smell like right now? Marinated baked pork cutlets. Slobber.
33. Favorite candle scent? I actually don't like candles. It's too hard to explain, but I feel claustrophobic from the smell. Heavy on PHOBIC.
34. What kind of pickles are in your refrigerator right now? Probably sweet baby gherkins and sweet pickle relish.
35. Ever been on your roof? Oh heavens no. Now that's funny. My heart is pounding and my palms are sweaty. Shudder.
36. Do you own a stereo? Coupla very old components that miraculously still sound better than anything else I've used.
37. How many TVs do you have? Two, plus the little black-and-white that Chas takes to work when the Lakers or the Rams are playing.
38. How many phones? Just one. It's a tiny house.
39. Do you have a housekeeper? Who'd want to break her neck getting the house clean enough for a housekeeper? They talk, you know.
40. What style do you decorate in? It's a blend of Early College Regretable, American Family Castoff and 20th Century Funeral Leftovers.
41. Do you like solid colors in furniture or prints? I like solid furniture. Anything else is gravy.
42. Is there a smoke detector in your home? Yes, and it likes to sing along with my cooking.