Thursday, June 12, 2008


Usually I am the death knell for blog tags, chain mail, panty exchanges, friendship bread. You know, anything that involves my mandatory response. Remember roll call in school? Well, I would sit there all anxious about how to answer when my name was called. Here? Present? A coolly nonchalant yeah? What the eff is wrong with you? you're probably thinking. It's friggin' attendance!
But today Habitually Chic tagged me. And I am still heavy with the kindness of the blogging community. If you asked me for a kidney right now I think I'd ask you right or left? You called my name and I cannot slink down in my seat, your class is just too good. So here. Present. Yo. Tag, I'm it and here we go.
1. What did you do 10 years ago? Let's see, in 1998 I had just finished graduate school with a Master's degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. See how I didn't say I had just graduated graduate school? That's the kind of thing I learned. What I did not learn was how to get a job. Bryan was living in Florence for the year studying architecture so I hopped on a plane and joined him in Europe. For a few months we traveled together: Italy, France, Spain, Greece, Germany, the Czech Republic. It was all very Hemingway in that we drank a lot and acted affected, depressed and slightly put out. Here I am exiled on the isle of Elba:

Of course this was before the Euro and the devaluation of the dollar. The only thing I had to worry about, other than of course figuring out how to support myself once I got home, was Y2K, a buzz word quickly gaining momentum. That was the summer I was a total asshole, and very, very happy.
2. Five items on your to-do list today: Oh, lists make me feel like such a good person! Even if I planned to rob the Make-a-Wish foundation, if I put it on a list along with balancing my checkbook and buying fabric softener, I would feel good about myself. So here's what I have to accomplish today:
  • Buy Father's Day gifts for my dad and for Bryan

  • Buy my sister-in-law a graduation present (from high school! Bryan's mom was pregnant with her at OUR high school graduation!)

  • Get a job

  • Go to interview

  • Write thank you notes for past interviews

Hm. For the first time I do not feel like a good person after making a list. I feel like a boring person. I think I'd rather be an asshole on Elba trying to look blasé about sunbathing topless.

3. Snacks I enjoy: When I was little I thought a sweet tooth was real, like maybe a tooth turned brown way in the back of your mouth. Luckily I never did find a brown tooth but I most certainly lean toward sweets. And insalata caprese.

4. What would you do if you were a billionaire? This is one of my favorite daydreams, second only to the one where I am somewhere public (it used to be a club, now that I'm older it's usually a wedding) and a song comes on and I freaking get down. The crowd parts, cheering, as if I am Ponch on a very special disco episode of CHiPs; I am a golden god. Is it a Freudian slip that I just typed golden dog? Twice? Sometimes there is a twist in my daydream and I am also singing karaoke like a motherfucker, Blondie's "The Tide is High" all liquid sultry kick. Wait, I'm supposed to be a billionaire, right? Wrong daydream. Shoot. Okay, if suddenly I were a billionaire:

  • I would not work. I don't think I'm supposed to admit that, but there you go. I would write all day and if nobody liked my stuff I would buy a publishing house. In a way, writing a blog is the poor man's publishing house. So already I'm livin' the dream!

  • I would learn fluent Italian and Spanish.

  • I would buy a huge house here in Marin as a home base, a tropical casa down in Costa Rica for my husband to surf, and maybe a Mediterranean place on the Italian coast. And a colorful place somewhere in the Bahamas. Just because I like to swim in large turquoise water warm as a bath tub.

  • I would hire a live-in masseuse and tropical fruit smoothies every morning no matter the time of year.

  • I would have lots of animals: cats, a lemur, tropical fish, maybe a miniature elephant. I don't know if miniature elephants exist but this is my fantasy, and how cute would that be? A teeny tiny pachyderm in my backyard?

  • And yes, I would buy oodles of homes and stuff for my friends and family. Security. I highly doubt money buys security but I would try very, very hard to see if it does.

5. Places I would live: I think I answered that in my billionaire reply above. But places I would not live? Thank you for asking. Guantanamo Bay. Moradabad, India. Shenzhen, China. Fresno. No offense to locals of these locales. Just not for me.

6. Bloggers I am passing the challenge on to are:

  • This One's Just For You--because she hasn't posted in awhile and I miss her. She is a damn fine writer, that one.

  • Runs With Scissors--because she's been such a great support to me, seems like an incredibly nice person and because she has a kick ass blog title.

  • In(side) the Loop--because her childhood in Louisiana sounds like a novel, as does her retail experience in New York, just a very different type of book. I'd like to hear more.

  • YOU--If I did not call you out but you feel moved to respond to the tag, please do so. Either on your own blog or in a comment. In particular, I love the question about what you were doing ten years ago... Maybe you can add what you hope to be doing ten years from now? Jeez, I've been on too many interviews lately!

So there. I hope my voice did not crack when I answered. I am present and accounted for. No demerits for me, no sir, not today.

On second thought: I just re-read this post and it sounds as if I think I'm doing you a favor for responding to the tag. So maybe I'm still the asshole I was circa 1998? But with a hefty mortgage and a c-section scar? Oh dear. I hope not. I love all of you and don't think I am doing anybody any favors. But it's too late to re-do this post. You saw my to-do list! I need to get a job and some seasonally appropriate presents! So I'm hitting publish in the hopes that you will understand...


Anonymous said...

Nobody has asked me, *sniff* but with a few million I would buy the fields surrounding my house and put a high fence around it. Then I would build a COLLOSSAL building and hire people and veterinarians for a no kill shelter for all animals. Maybe I DO need that billion after all........

Unknown said...

Re: #2 - To do list for today

ONE - Buy your father an expensive, one-of-a-kind, handmade, handy but decorative something that he will treasure for ever.

TWO - Forget Bryan. He's not your father. Save him for Husband's Day.

THREE - Keep your shirt on, everywhere, Elba beach or no Elba beach.

Leah said...

Ohh I saw that beach picture and lit up. I'm going to Italy and then traveling around for a bit and I'm looking for the best beach (in any Westernish European country). Recommendations? And if you couldn't already tell, with half of my billion dollars I would travel everywhere. The other half... well, I'd figure it out after I returned from all of my fabulous trips.

i suwannee said...


do you want to do swapiness?

if so, will you post a little bit about it so maybe we can get some more peeps.

i'm glad you've recovered from deleting yourself.

darlabug said...

I love to talk about 10 years ago. It just so happens that ten years ago I met my husband at the New Year's party for 1998 (I actually met him a couple months before that but New Year's sounds better). I also turned 21 that year. My whole life changed for the better that year.

I ♥ You said...

that picture of you on the euro beach sunbathing topless is soooo glamourous looking!!! it could be a postcard! if you were an asshole back them let me just say, asshole becomes you! :)

Jessie said...

HA! Your Dad is funny.

Love the beach pic... SO jealous of that moment as I sit hear and listen to the tornado warnings that have practically been on repeat for the past few weeks.

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a past employee of Nancy's - and I'm also looking for a writing jobI've been shocked at the level of intense editing tests and assignments I've been going through - I'm happy to do them but boy is it challenging!! Best of luck to you.. I'll add you to my blogroll, because I enjoyed reading your posts :)

Jennifer said...

um, miniature elephants would be SO cute! I have a secret dream to have a miniture farm in the minature hills of Tennessee ... miniature horses, miniature donkeys, miniature cows, miniature labrador retrievers and such. and if I ever get a billion dollars, I'll invite you and your miniature elephant for a visit!

Project Ecoart said...

Your blog is most definitely the bright sunny spot of my day. At my birthday dinner last night I couldn't wait to tell my friend's of your "Breaking News".

I most certainly never thought 10 years ago that I would be married to my husband ( hated him ) and paying this gigantic mortgage in Malibu. Ahhh destiny....don't you love it?

Bearden 365 said...

10 years ago on June 19 I got married! Hard to believe...

Your daydreams are fanfreakintastic. I'm loving the visuals your words conjured up there!

kristin said...

i'm "here" on my blog...

JackeeG4glamorous said...

I usually don't like these either, because being tagged is like another imposed TO DO list....and to quote my darling husband, "nobody's the boss of me".
But, I will take your challenge, and THANK you for it, because I have been busy in real life, downtrodden with icky stuff, and stuck for a blog inspiration that didn't inspire the use of anti-depressants. I'll answer your questions soon!

dee said...

Your answers were awesome and so fun to read!! I'm so glad you did this:) My husband and I were high school prom dates, so I can relate. But I missed out on summering in Elba beach and being an asshole. I'd really like to do that now, and so I'm adding it to my to-do list.

Robin said...

I wish I could live your 1998 summer, even if you were an asshole :)

Jackee passed the baton to me so I will post after I finish catching up on my blog reading (I missed you!)