10 Things About Me

Note:  I want you to know that it is due to you wonderful readers, you intrepid few, that I got my dishes done tonight.  You’ll understand later as you read through my 10 Things list, as to why it is such a feat.  But for now, relish in the fact that you moved me to do something completely out of character (and for the greater good, I might add).

I’d recently read a blog that I’m enchanted with:  Jeez Louise.   I’d found Louise’s blog when looking for instructions on washing my wig.  Not only did she give me the information I didn’t know I needed about frizz and synthetic wigs, but she also had a list of 100 things about herself.  Louise is an entertaining writer, and I enjoyed reading her list, even though I don’t know her at all.

So as I sit here eating my sugar-free grape Popsicle (another reward for getting my dishes washed), I thought today’s post should be 10 Things About Me.  I’ve chosen only to give 10 things instead of 100, because it’s almost midnight and I need a good night’s sleep.  So I hope Louise doesn’t mind, but since I couldn’t find an “official” list of 100 things to talk about, I’m going to use part of her list as a sort of jump-start template.

10 Things About Me (*ahem* clears throat:  these things are in no particular order or importance; I wrote about them as they occurred to me or Louise’s list inspired me.)

1.  I’m American.  My family ancestry is a true melting pot, with a mixture of English, German, Portuguese, and Cherokee Indian.  Aside from the Indian, my great-great grandparents were all immigrants.

2.  I was born and raised in Central California.  I grew up in the small resort town of South Lake Tahoe, where I spent my summers at the lake and my winters sledding down the hill behind our house.  There was one winter that the snow was higher than the roof, and I literally slid down the house!  That was so exhilarating!

3.  I am the fourth strong-willed, first-born daughter for four generations on my mother’s side.  At one time, all four generations of firstborn women lived in the same house.  My poor grandfather… I don’t know how he survived it.

4.   I was the tallest girl in my class for most of my education.  I’m just shy of 5′ 8″, and had reached that height by the time I was 13.  I was very thin, with very long legs and arms.  My parents used to tease me that I looked like a Daddy Longlegs spider.

5.  I hate spiders.  Not because of the good-natured teasing I got about being rather spindly as a kid; but because I have an actual mild phobia of arachnids.  I don’t pass out or anything, but if even a very small spider gets on me, you will know about it.  From a mile away.  This fact is legend in my family, and over the last 25 years my sons have taken great delight, even as recently as this past week, to try and scare me with plastic spiders.  One of their favorite tricks is to place these artificial horrors where I will run across them… in the dishwasher, in my studio, in the clothes dryer.  And then they wait.  And wait.  Aaaaand wait.  When they hear the blood-curdling scream, they know their sniper target has hit it’s mark.  One of my sons, before he left for his military training, hid a half dozen of these accursed things around the house and asked his siblings to let him know when I found one of them.  I haven’t found them all yet; there are still two out there, lying in wait to catch me at my most unsuspecting moment.  They’re plotting, I know it.

6.  I’m allergic to dairy.  The lactose intolerance is bad enough that if milk residue is left on a utensil and I go to use that utensil, I will get horribly sick with symptoms of a really bad flu, within an hour of ingesting it.  I won’t describe the effects … let’s just say that you wouldn’t want to be in the same building with me when I am having a dairy reaction.  And you wouldn’t be able to return to it for the next two days, because FEMA will have sealed the building off as a natural disaster zone.

7.  I’m nearsighted.  I’ve been wearing glasses since I was 5.  Without them I would be well past the limits of legal blindness; I’m 20/450 in one eye, and 20/475 in the other.  I just got my first pair of progressive bifocals and I like them, though I find I have to take my glasses off to do delicate beading and to slice fimo nail art canes.  I’ve worn contact lenses in the past, but find them uncomfortable because of the extreme oval shape of my eyeball.  My opthamologist says that my vision has progressed past the stage where I could wear contact lenses anyway, which is kindof sad.  I had thought of getting laser correction for my vision, but the cost for the surgery is comparative to an entirely new wardrobe.  At this stage of my life and vanity, I’d rather have the wardrobe!

8.  About 15 years ago, I worked for an entertainment company.  I was the event coordinator and handled everything from booking service and talent for corporate parties of 400 employees, to working a birthday party at George Lucas’ ranch.  I was also one of the talent: a giant face-painting flower fairy (wings n’ all) named Petunia Flowerpot.  Yes, there are pictures of me in my hand-sewn costume.  No, you won’t get to see them.  Not without a court order.

9.    I’ve always been incredibly clumsy.  You don’t want me handling your china, your great-grandmother’s locket, or your teacup poodle.  Breakage is likely to result.  I can trip over thread on the floor.  If there’s no thread, my own two feet will do nicely.  I regularly run into countertops and tables.  I have never been without at least one bruise somewhere on my body, from falling over/bumping into/backing into/tripping over/turning around into/chairs, tables, counters, doors and walls, etc.  If you ask me how I got such-and-such a bruise, I will look at you with a confused expression and ask you what bruise, and then when you point it out to me, tell you that I don’t have the faintest idea.  Bumping into things is so second nature to me, that I don’t even notice when it happens anymore.

10.  I am a defeated perfectionist.  Now, that’s not as bad as it sounds.  What it basically means is that, being the perfectionist that I am, I have to be anal about everything I do and it has to be perfect the first time or it isn’t worth doing.  (This is an article that describes defeated perfectionism.  And I found this really neat and useful tip here.)  The entire house could be so cluttered that there are only pathways to walk through, and I could simply care less; there are things more important to do and I don’t want to take the time to de-clutter.  However – don’t mess with the organization of my refrigerator, or suffer my wrath.  Just ask my sons.  Same thing with the cupboard that holds the plates and cups.  I have no explanation for this phenomenon; I couldn’t tell you why the fridge and cupboard make that much difference to me, when the rest of the house doesn’t.  I just know that they do.  I could let the tasks on my desk pile up until I can barely read my computer screen; but I happily take the time to iron my clothes.  In fact, I find ironing rather restful.  I hate washing dishes.  All manners of hate.  But I enjoy vacuuming.  All this inconsistency drives my girlfriend Tracy absolutely crazy;  she can’t come over to my house without compulsively cleaning something.  I just love that about her.  But I don’t invite her over much, because my house would stress her out.  So we meet at neutral eateries.  Maybe next time we meet, I’ll ask her to share her 10 Things list with me.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Ivy Niles Koehn
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 01:12:43

    This is a great list! (Petunia Flowerpot… I love it!!!)
    It’s interesting… I can SO identify with #’s 7, 9, and 10; and those are all things that I relate to how/why my creativity is focused on small, detailed things. I wonder how many other polymer artists share these common threads.


    • Charlene
      Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:17:04

      I’m glad you liked it, Ivy! And you’re right, it is rather interesting that certain traits are so common among polymer artists. (One time I noticed that so many of us have cats as pets, as opposed to the number who have dogs.) Anyway, I’m glad you could relate to numbers 7, 9, and 10. Clumsies of the world, unite! 🙂


  2. Kelly
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 08:56:24

    Love this! And as long as I’ve known you… I didn’t know a single one of them. I like the article on perfectionism you directed us to. It might explain a lot about me… and why we get on so well together LOL

    Love ya bunches!


    • Charlene
      Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:18:49

      Hi Kels – so funny you didn’t know these things about me. Wonder what it was we talked about! Probably clay and craft-ness and writing. Yeah, wasn’t that article enough to make you tilt your head and go, “rrrrreally…..”??

      Love ya bunches right back, girlie. 🙂


  3. Trina
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 16:37:48

    Love what you said about height. I was just over 5’7″ (I shrunk when I had back surgery) but skinny enough to be called “string bean” (now I look more like a pear)which was better than “Trina the hyena from Pasadena”. Love South Lake Tahoe. Going there in Sept.


    • Charlene
      Aug 18, 2011 @ 09:22:07

      I had to laugh about your hyena comment! It’s no wonder that childhood cruelties like that stick with our memories for our whole lives. I’m with you about the pear shape, though! (In fact…. more on that particular shape in the next post, which I hope to get to before the weekend.)

      I’m glad you like Tahoe – it’s so picturesque, and just *smells so good*, with all that pine and crisp mountain air. Have a wonderful and restful trip next month, and if you’re visiting Stateline (our general term for the casinos, because they sit right at the line between California and Nevada, on the latter’s side), then I hope you win and win big.


  4. Rolanda Taylor Enroth
    Sep 18, 2011 @ 22:41:49

    Just found your blog while looking for more information regarding polymer clay.
    Love your writing style.
    I’m a former broadcast journalist, so writing has always been my thing.
    Now, I spend my days trying to make leaf canes that actually look like a leaf.LOL
    In addition to learning which is thick and thin settings on my pasta machine, I am a silversmith, I create and design home decor items, and I’m learning (sometimes) Spanish. Spanish!? My husband dragged me to the hot and humid climes that is the Republic of Panama. I left my boots, heavy coats, gloves and hats in the Upper Midwest. No, I don’t miss them.
    Thank you so much for answering my questions and giving me great suggestions.
    Oh, by the way, I too am a defeated perfectionist. But I’m still anal about somethings:-)


  5. Charlene
    Sep 19, 2011 @ 12:39:23

    Hi Rolanda!

    I’m absolutely delighted you made it here. Thanks for the compliments and thanks for telling me how much you relate to things in my blog. I’m very encouraged by that!

    I recall the struggle to make leaf canes look realistic… well, I still struggle with that, to be honest. I’d love to make oak and maple leaves. Some day… some day.

    Anyway, if you have a blog online would you leave us the link? With all the crafty things you do, I bet your blog would be of interest to the readers here. Many of us can relate to your successes (and failures) in jewelry, home decor, and polymer clay.


  6. Rolanda Taylor Enroth
    Sep 20, 2011 @ 13:19:19

    Hi Charlene…
    I thought about writing a blog. Then I came to my senses. Writing a blog takes commitment. And I’m already married. LOL Perhaps I’ll write one in the future. I keep you posted.
    But back to more serious matters, If I don’t get that leaf cane under my belt, I will buy one of yours. I mean it!


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