Friday, February 6, 2009

Twenty Five Random Things

I don’t know how random this will be, as I feel weirdly pressured to be clever, and may obsessively edit this before it is publicly consumed. Nah… I don’t have time to write it, as it is. Bring it, stream of consciousness!
1. I have been putting off starting a blog because I feel it is very self-indulgent.
2.On February 12th, my father will have been dead for 21 years. Next year, I will be the same age he was when he died. I have lived longer without him in my life than I did with him in my life, and just typing that still makes me feel like someone took a potato peeler to my insides.
3. I got my first ipod, (Generation – First. Style - Mini. Name - Pinky Tuscadero) several years ago, and every time I would listen to it in the first two months of owning it, I was possessed of a neurotic fear that I would publicly fart without my knowledge.
4. I absolutely loathe Las Vegas, Nevada.
5. When I was 5 or 6 years old, I asked the preacher at our local church (First Baptist, of Gardendale, Alabama) if Adam and Eve were cavemen, and if there had been dinosaurs in the Garden of Eden. He laughingly responded, “No. Cavemen and dinosaurs didn’t exist.” I didn’t buy this, having grown to deeply love the Flintstones, and when I pressed him on the issue of evolution, was told that there are many, many things that are beyond our feeble, human understanding, but that God gets. I have been suspicious of organized religion ever since.
6. I will no longer vacation anywhere that will not allow me to flush the papel in the bano.
7. When I was a freshman in high school, I had a twin-sized bed. One night, in the throes of sleep in said bed, I lay on my left arm for such an extended period of time that I rendered it numb to a degree of icy unfamiliarity. I shifted position in the night, and as I did so, my left hand brushed my cheek, feeling like a cold, dead thing. In my sleep-addled state, I became convinced that a horrible, zombie-like creature was attacking me, and responded by grabbing my wrist (which I believed to be zombie man’s) and beating my hand as hard as I could against the brass headboard of my daybed, all the while issuing panicked, startled shrieks. My mother, whose room was across the hall, was disturbed by this commotion, and came into my room, saying, “Brooke! What the hell are you do…” while she simultaneously flipped on the overhead light. The sudden illumination of my room froze her in mid-sentence, and me in mid-shriek, and left me staring straight into my mother’s startled face, while still clutching my left wrist in my right hand. I remember thinking, “At last! Help is here!” until a few seconds later, when that hand finally started to regain feeling. I was bruised for weeks.
8.I secretly read every book that Meg Cabot, creator of “The Princess Diaries” series, writes.
9.I have more nicknames than anyone I know (with the possible exception of my high school pal, Andrea Atchison Greenlee). My theory is that this is because both of my names (I have no middle name) each have only one unsatisfying syllable. A few of them are as follows:
Annette Benning
Bahama Mama
Bionic Monkey Girl
Brookie (Also, Brookie Cookie)
Bru Wu
Butt Lady
Facsimile Earl
Ginger Snap
Juseffa Schwartz
Mavis Bodacious
The Peach
Penny Slots
Sugar Pie
Miss Woodenberg
Mz. Wood
10.I often feel that I have spent every romantic relationship of my life waiting:
Waiting for them to call
Waiting for them to evolve
Waiting on them hand and foot
Waiting on them to come over
Waiting on them to catch up
Waiting on them to come through
I wonder, is there something encoded in the female DNA to make women wait, and something in the male DNA to be the waited for?
11.I often refer to my private area as my tuffet.
12.No matter how many mouse pads, umbrellas, and tote bags Van Gogh’s images have been silk-screened onto, seeing his actual paintings still makes me want to levitate.
13.I want to be a writer when I grow up. I also want to be madly in love for a long time.
14.When I was three years old, I cut my heel off.
In the Civil War, when I was a child, people didn’t wear seatbelts. Nor did they wear shoes when they were riding on tractors, in the backs of pickup trucks, or on bicycles. I have countless photos of my wee self, doing all of the above, (from the South, remember) completely unshod. I particularly remember a picture of myself (age 4-ish) standing in the middle of the front seat of my Godmother’s car (an old Impala with bench seats), while we sped obliviously down the road.
So, the heel: One day, my mom offered to take me for a ride on the back of her old, emerald green Schwinn. (I loved this bike, and remember licking it on the fender to see if tasted green.) I grabbed my tiny Raggedy Ann doll, and ran out of my granny’s house, shrieking with delight (I’m a shrieker, apparently), leaving the screen door banging in my wake.
A small, yellow, plastic bucket seat was attached over the rear wheel of the Schwinn, especially for me to ride in. There were two small metal rods that protruded from under the sides of the seat, and were intended to act as footrests for me. After we had ridden a mere few blocks from the house, I dropped Raggedy Ann onto the street, and bent to try to retrieve her. Somehow, my left foot slipped, and got caught in the spokes of the rear wheel. My mother, unaware, kept riding, while I quietly said, “Mother. Mother.” Finally, my foot was entangled to a degree that made it difficult for her to pedal, and she glanced back and saw what the problem was.
I remember every moment of this event vividly, but most vibrant is the image of my very white ankle bone sticking up like a little atoll in a sea of very red blood. A close second is my mother screaming like a banshee, dropping the bike on the ground, disentangling my foot, and holding me facedown across her arms while clamping what was left of my heel onto my foot. All the while, she was screaming at the top of her lungs, “IT’S OK, BABY! MAMA’S GONNA FIX IT!!!! MAMA’S GONNA FIX IT BABY! DON'T YOU WORRY!!!!!!”
They stitched my foot up like a baseball, and I was so discouraged with the Tiny Tim crutches they gave me, that I reverted to crawling around the house. I was also convinced that if we took the bandages off, part of my foot would be gone, and my mother indulged me in this. Due to not changing the dressing often enough, I had to have plastic surgery to reconstruct my heel. I still have a scar.
15. I feel that the adventuresome/ gypsy/ artist me is at constant war with the homebody/ security-craving/ domestic me.
16.I believe in love and magic and past lives and the Loch Ness Monster.
17. I wish I could get back all the time I have spent hating my body.
18.I am an anglophile, and if I could be anyone else, I would be Jennifer Saunders so I could have the pride and enjoyment of creating and performing the character of Edina Monsoon.
19.Fall is my favorite season and crème brulee’ is my favorite dessert.
20.I love to sing and do so often. I am also a whore for karaoke. However, alone in my home, two of my favorite songs to sing are “Amazing Grace”, and “Oh, Susanna,” the latter because my father did the most haunting rendition of that song I have ever heard. I have an old tape of him messing around in his studio one night, and on the same tape that he plays “Oh, Susanna”, he laughs. I made myself listen to it after he died, because I didn’t want to never be able to listen to it again.
21.I am constantly amazed at the amount of love and friendship in my life. It absolutely boggles me.
22.For reasons that are not quite clear to me, I have long been a magnet for predators, alcoholics, cowards, and manic-depressives.
23.Hearing live music feels to me the way I assume going to church feels to other people.
24.I like to make up my own words/expressions. One phrase that I have used for many, many years, and take full credit for is: “black up singer”. Recently, I coined the term, “appleanche” to describe what happens when one removes a load-bearing apple from a supermarket produce display.
25.I don’t believe in settling.

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