Thursday, July 19, 2007

Eight Random Factoids

My mother's and sister's connecting flight is delayed by several hours, so I have time to write a post (and maybe, afterwards, to answer some e-mail?).

A week ago, my friend Ken Houghton, evidently writing as a guest on a friend's blog, tagged me in this post to list eight random things that blog readers might not already know about me. Here goes:

1. I love Victorian novels, but can't stand most eighteenth-century ones. I have a prose allergy to the eighteenth century. Come to think of it, I'm not too crazy about eighteenth-century poetry, either. This is all pure personal taste, no more explicable than why I prefer the color red to the color pink.

2. My favorite colors are red and green, but not together.

3. I'm allergic to penicillin. We discovered this when I was a kid and broke out in hives after a dose of the stuff. To relieve the itching, my mother put me in a bathtub full of medicated oatmeal. I recently told this story to a little boy with hives at the hospital, who was fascinated by the oatmeal. His mother asked me, "How did your mother get all that oatmeal out of the tub?" and I realized that I had no idea. I'll have to ask her!

4. I've never been stung by a bee, wasp, or hornet, although I had entirely too close an encounter with a Man of War jellyfish in Puerto Rico when I was a kid. I tried to pick it up from underneath, and wound up with tentacles wrapped around my fingers and thumb. I was howling from the pain, of course. My father used sand and palm leaves to scrape off the tentacles -- he'd have gotten stung too, if he'd touched them -- and then poured two cans of beer over my hand to disinfect it. Within an hour, I was back to playing in the tidal pools, although my hand was swollen for a few days. I was very wary of jellyfish after that!

5. I have a birthmark on my neck at the base of my skull, although it's only visible when my hair's cut really short.

6. I've traveled to Canada, but never to Mexico; to the British Isles, but never to continental Europe. I hope to remedy these oversights before I die.

7. The first adult science-fiction novel I ever read, probably at age nine or ten, was a dreadful thing by Edmond Hamilton called The Star of Life, which I discovered while browsing through my father and stepmother's bookshelves. (I woke up earlier than they did on weekends, and often spent those quiet hours searching through the bookshelves for anything interesting: in later years, I acquired a lot of delicious and very misleading information about sex from various of their novels.) I didn't think the Hamilton novel was dreadful at the time. I was hooked.

8. I love avocado, shrimp, salmon, dark chocolate, and good coffee (not together!). I dislike broccoli, cauliflower, clams and oysters, and coconut.

There you go, Ken. Thanks for tagging me!

And I hereby tag anyone who's reading this, hasn't yet done this meme, and wants to be tagged.

You're it!


  1. Number two gave me a good giggle, as being slighlty color blind -those two colors are used when testing for color blindness and make my eyeballs feel like they're swimming.

    Number four is a good tip to keep back in the brain. Last weekend my son and I watched a marathon showing of Man vs the Wild; it's a Discovery show where this guy gets dropped into the middle of knowheres with only what he's wearing, a knife, and a waterbottle. We got hooked especially when he'd eat live froggies - eewwww.

  2. This was fun, Susan! Thanks for posting it.

    I love both red and pink; I'm starting to like coral but don't like orange. Other favorite colors are cool blues, rich greens, and soft purples. My wedding colors were light gray, dusty pink, and mauve.

    I wouldn't recognize a Victorian era to save my life. I do think I've read a few but can't recall what they were. It was during a period when I read so many books that they all ran together.

    I'm not allergic to much of anything, knock on wood! I like all the foods you listed including the ones you don't like. Heh, my mom thought I was a picky eater.

  3. Delurking to answer #3 - if you put the oatmeal in the cut-off feet of pantyhose and tye it closed it will still work in the bath without going down the drain.

    My mother did that for my brother and sister when they had chicken pox as babies.


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