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Meme Catch Up

May 3, 2008

I’m way behind on doing three memes, and since no one else seems particularly interested in biographies of UN officials (lol), I thought I’d take a break from reviews for you to learn more about Eva!

Six Random Things About Me (C.B. James just tagged me for this one)
1. When I was in ninth grade, we went on a family vacation to Egypt (we lived in England at the time). We spent three days in Cairo, and a week cruising the Nile, and it was amazing. I’d been obsessed with ancient Egypt since I had to do a report in fifth grade on King Tutankhamun (and yes, my mom and I went down into his tomb!!), but the experience of modern Egypt was what made me realise I wanted to get into international relations and become a diplomat (*fingers crossed*) so I could move around the world. Pretty much a formative experience.
2. I absolutely love toy dogs, and I won’t apologize for it at all. Toy dogs were bred to be companions, which is all that most people I know expect from their dogs. I think it makes a lot more sense to have, say, a Maltese as a pet than a German Shepherd. And I get really annoyed by big-dog owners who judge little dogs.
3. I played the violin for five years, and I have a beautiful eighteenth century French violin. Once I make enough money to afford lessons, I want to pick it back up.
4. I’m a natural blonde, but I’ve also been a brunette (for about a year and a half-I looved it) and a redhead (for about a month, lol). Now I’m back to my natural colour, which involved getting a pixie haircut. I loved that haircut, but now that I’m trying to grow it out, I curse it on an almost daily basis. (The picture of me is my natural hair colour, when I had a pixie cut)
5. I adore old movies; my favourite actresses are Audrey Hepburn (I secretly want to wake up one day looking just like her), Ingrid Bergman, and Bette Davis. My favourite actors are Cary Grant, Gregory Peck, and Humphrey Bogart.
6. My ideal temperature range is 75-85 degrees. I don’t worry too much about humidity (years in San Antonio will tend to acclimate a person) either: just as long as it’s that warm outside, I’m very, very happy.
I’m supposed to tag six people now…let’s see….Jeane (once she’s settled into her new house!), Eloise, Verbivore, Logophile, Poodlerat, and Lisa. Obviously, y’all can say no if you want, but where’s the fun in that? ;)

Seven Weird Facts About Me (Emily tagged me for this ages ago)
1. Two years ago, coffee started giving me horrible headaches. After about a week of that, I realised I couldn’t drink coffee anymore (not even in things like Iced Mochas). It was a tragic realisation, as a college student, but now I savour my morning cup of tea. And if it’s hot, I go for an iced chai! Fortunately I can handle the amount of espresso in a slice of Tiramisu: otherwise we’d have real problems.
2. I talk to movies and TV shows as if the characters can hear me. I have to work really, really hard to keep quiet for an entire movie (unless I’m in a theater-then my good manners take over); as a result, my sister hates watching movies with me. My friends don’t mind though. :)
3. I love cemetaries. I used to study in this gorgeous old cemetary (lots of pre-Civil War tombs) about a block from my college campus. I find them very soothing and peaceful!
4. On the other hand, I’m incredibly superstitious about some things. I frequently tell people to ‘knock on wood’ (or the Russian equivalent, if no wood is handy), because I’m afraid they’ll jinx something. I won’t walk under ladders, even if I have to cross the street to avoid it. When a mirror of mine fell and shattered in my dorm room freshman year, I almost had hysterics. (I find the number thirteen and black cats to be lucky, though).
5. My feet are almost always cold, I mean blocks of ice cold, even if the rest of me is normal or even hot (the only exception is if my feet are in direct sunlight). But I hate wearing socks-in fact, I can’t fall asleep if I’m wearing them. So sometimes I buy guys’ pajama pants, because they’re long and have the elastic bottoms, so I can pull them over my feet and fall asleep easier. (Hey-Emily said weird things!)
6. I hate whipped cream. I don’t like it in hot drinks, I don’t like it on pie, milkshakes, anything. Sometimes, when I ask for no whipped cream, people are like “You could stand to gain a couple pounds,” because they think I’m worried about the fat and I’m skinny. I used to try to explain that it had nothing to do with that, but now I just stare at them until they pipe down.
7. My mom thinks that this is weird (I asked for help coming up with this last one): I’m petrified of white water rafting, to the point that even the idea of it makes me want to run away screaming and jump into my bed to hide under the covers. However, I really want to skydive and would jump out of a plane tomorrow if it was free. I don’t think it’s weird at all: as a first-time skydiver, I’d do a tandem jump w/ someone who knew what they were doing, and there are parachutes strapped to me, there aren’t any rocks in the sky, and I’ll be surrounded by air, which I need to breathe to live. In a raft, I’m not attached to anyone, and the first big wave can rush me overboard, where I could drown, even if my life vest did work. And at the very least get banged up amongst rocks. See the difference? ;)
I’m not going to tag seven people for this, because it’s a bit old. But if you want to do it, go ahead and I’ll link it in comments!

Living Responsibly (Andi tagged me for this awhile back): the Five Most Important Causes/Issues to Me
1. The increasing gap between rich and poor, both in America and in the world. I know a lot of Americans will disagree with me on this one, but I think there’s something just fundamentally immoral about such an extreme difference in wealth. In America, between WWII and the Reagan years, the gap was shrinking; after eight year of Reaganomics, it’s been widening. This seriously bothers me: I think that societies have a responsibility to give everyone an equal start, and those born into extreme (relative) poverty certainly don’t have that. In the US, I think education and security are big issues, while internationally I’ve been researching microcredit.
2. International security. I wasn’t sure how to put this one: basically, I’m very concerned with issues like nation-building and peace-keeping, as well as the aftermath of genocides. I read books about the issues, and I considered going into the field, before those books convinced me that another young idealistic American was not what those crises needed. Also, and this is what I want to work for, I think the spread of weapons, both small arms and biological/chemical/nuclear ones, is disgraceful. I’d love to spend my life helping to eradicate them: it’d help people and the environment.
3. Women’s issues. I get very upset when people tell me that there’s no point to feminism, since men and women are equal now. First, if we look outside the developed world, there is no way to make an intelligent case that women in the developing world have an equal situation in life as men. Then, even within the US, issues ranging from treatment in the workplace to domestic violence to reproductive rights mean that women face different decisions than men, and often times they’re at a disadvantage. Then there are the psychological difficulties women face (and I’m in no way discounting men’s psychological issues here), from body image to trying to balance work and family to deciding whether to give up a job to follow their husband.
4. This kind of combines numbers two and three, but lately I’ve been reading more and more about human trafficking, and I’m trying to figure out what to do to help. For those who don’t know, human trafficking is modern-day slavery: it tends to affect children and women most. It’s essentially slavery: children may be sold as indentured servants, women may be forced into sexual slavery, etc.
5. Trying to break my consumerist, American habits. This stems from my concerns over the environment: I’m already a vegetarian, but I’m researching veganism and once I live on my own again, I intend to eat vegan at least 50% of the time. Other goals include: acquiring reusable bags for shopping/groceries, making sure I recycle everything possible and try to avoid buying things that aren’t, and cutting down my electricity/gas use (I have a normal car, but it gets 35 MPG, more on the highway). The biggest challenge for me will be trying to just not *buy* so much. I love clothes and beauty supplies, and while a tight budget keeps me in reign right now, I really want to change my mindset. Russians have maybe five to seven ‘outfits’ that they love, and they don’t worry about wearing the same things again and again. I really want to start valuing quality over quantity, which I think is difficult having grown up in a ‘disposable’ culture. But I’m working on it!
So there are five issues I care deeply about. :) I think this was a really interesting exercise, so I’m going to tag five people: C.B., since he tagged me, Chris, because I bet he’ll have some interesting psychology topics, Myrthe, for an international perspective, Debi, because she has kids, and I bet that changes your priorities (and because despite what she thinks, she always writes interesting and thoughtful posts), and Nik, even though she probably won’t get to this for awhile since her parents are visiting.

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24 Comments leave one →
  1. Christine permalink
    May 3, 2008 2:19 pm

    I judge all dogs, not just small ones. Does that count?

  2. May 3, 2008 2:32 pm

    I like small dogs better too. And my feet are almost always cold as well. Luckily socks don’t bother me or I’d have a lot more trouble sleeping in the winter. And I think its perfectly normal to talk to the TV. I am also not a popular person to see movies with based on that habit.

  3. May 3, 2008 3:47 pm

    Challenged again!!! I’ll have to give this one much more thought.

    Thanks for the heads up about the 1% challenge. Sounds fun. I’ve already signed up.

    Oh, we have two dogs. The Basset is technically a big dog, she’s just short. (51 pounds) The other is a small dog, a mostly cocker mix, who has forced me to reconsider all my views on small dogs. They are terrific after all.

  4. May 3, 2008 6:06 pm

    I like any dog…or cat…or mouse…
    I hate whipped cream too…yuck!
    No coffee…man, that sucks! But it sounds like you’ve adjusted well.

    I loved reading your answers on the issues meme. So wonderfully said! Might take me a few days to get my answers up…won’t be so hard coming up with what they are, but contrary to what you so sweetly said, I will struggle greatly to explain myself intelligibly!

  5. May 3, 2008 7:24 pm

    Christine, I’m totally cool with you judging all dogs. :)

    Kim L, hehe-turns out we have a lot in common! And Rusty is too adorable for words. :)

    C.B., awesome! We’re going to back a challenge addict out of you yet. My family has an English cocker (we had two, but one died), and she’s a lot of fun! She thinks she’s a lapdog, so she curls herself up as tight as possible to actually fit in our laps. :)

    Debi, yay for another whipped cream hater. :D I can’t wait to find out your main causes!

  6. May 3, 2008 8:44 pm

    I don’t hate any kind of dog be they small or big…I could most definitely be a “crazy dog man” like the “crazy cat lady”…I do however dislike cats only because I’m horribly allergic to them.

    No coffee??? That’s so sad :( I don’t know how I’d function. Though I do like tea too, it just doesn’t have the same effect. It calms me rather than wakes me up.

    Oh, and I’m a huge cemetery fan too! We have some of the best cemetery fans here in New Orleans and as odd as it may seem, I love to take a walk through them and look at the old graves sometimes. They’re really beautiful.

    I love how passionate you are about your causes Eva. It comes through in everything that you write and you inspire others through that :) I’ll probably have my answers up Monday night…I have a busy couple of days at work :/

  7. May 3, 2008 9:24 pm

    “I absolutely love toy dogs, and I won’t apologize for it at all. Toy dogs were bred to be companions, which is all that most people I know expect from their dogs. I think it makes a lot more sense to have, say, a Maltese as a pet than a German Shepherd. And I get really annoyed by big-dog owners who judge little dogs.”

    Hmmmmm…

    I’m trying to take this with a grain of salt and assume you didn’t really mean to imply big dog owners are inconsiderate jackasses…

    My dog, a 112 pound German Shepherd, is my companion. She is also my best friend, my confidante, my walking companion. But, most of all she is an intelligent, loving, loyal protector. I work shift work – there are nights when I am not home. She is. No one is going to break into my house with her there.

    Little dogs are cute and cuddly. I have no problem with them, nor do I have an attitude but, if you don’t mind, I’ll tell you a little story. I took my dog to the area where we walk one day. We got out of the car and my dog was on her leash. All of a sudden a Jack Russel came out of nowhere and charged my dog. The dog’s owner was trailing behind saying “Oh, it’s okay, he’s friendly”. Now, my question is simple – lady, how in the world do you know that MY dog is okay? Your dog is lunch for my dog.

    That’s where a lot of the ‘attitude’ comes from, Eva. Irresponsible owners of little dogs putting the owners of big dogs into situations that are untenable.

    But, I honestly do like most little dogs. They’re sweeties.

    cjh

  8. May 3, 2008 9:37 pm

    Chris, hehe-crazy dog man…that’s a great image! Yeah-I never thought I could replace coffee with tea until I had to, lol. I’m super-jealous of your New Orleans cemetaries…if I ever get to visit, I want to go to a different one every day! Can’t wait to see your answers. :)

    CJ, I definitely didn’t mean to imply anything about all big dog owners. The judging I’m talking about is when people say, “Oh, if it can fit in a shoebox, it’s not a dog,” or “All little dogs do is piss and yap.” Basically, people who think that ‘dogness’ is somehow tied to size, and that people who own little dogs aren’t ‘real’ dog owners. And you’re a perfect example of someone who actually needs a big dog: you wanted a companion who could protect you, and you chose a breed bred for protection. Our neighbours have a Great Dane and a really big white dog (I’m guessing it’s some kind of sheepdog, since it’s fluffy too). They never walk them, they keep them in a yard that’s about 15′ square, and the dogs spend all day barking at anything that moves (including me when I drive my car into my driveway). This frustrates me.

    That woman was definitely crazy and irresponsible! My family has an English cocker spaniel, and whenever I’m walking her (on a leash), I always get really nervous when we have to walk past a big dog. Fortunately, my dog knows she’s tiny, and doesn’t ever try anything stupid.

    Anyway, I didn’t mean to offend you! Maybe it’s just the communities I’ve been in, where little dogs are basically seen as equivalent to rats with furry tails. I hope we’re still friends. :)

  9. May 3, 2008 11:56 pm

    Eva –

    No offense taken. And you’re right about those people who don’t consider little dogs dogs. I mean, what are they, horses?

    As for your neighbors with the big dogs – they’re every bit as bad as the small dog owners who allow their little dogs to flirt with suicide by charging big dogs… I hate people who don’t take care of their pets. Dogs need to be walked! Big, medium, or little!

    Thought the rats with furry tails comment sorat fits… lol. Yes, of course we’re still friends!

    cjh

  10. May 4, 2008 5:45 am

    Thanks for responding to my tag, Eva, and I’m with you on all those things, too.
    As for dogs, I will admit a prejudice for big dogs – the bigger the better – but I do love Corgies and I just fell in love with the Havanese. So I’m changing.

  11. May 4, 2008 6:12 am

    Thanks for the tag and good luck with the veganism. I’ve been vegetarian for a long time and know I should take the step to go vegan. I think your idea of trying it half the time would be a good way to ease into it.

  12. Rebecca permalink
    May 4, 2008 7:36 am

    We share a lot of the same causes we’re concerned and passionate about.

    I live in supposedly one of the Most Progressive Cities in America (as determined by major publications) and my anti-consumerist practices and passionate mindsets on global and domestic issues are still seen as a bit “extreme”, so it’s always encouraging to read others who share the same ideals. It’s kind of puzzling to live in a so-called Progressive City and still have to meet people with the same perspective on the internet!

  13. May 4, 2008 12:36 pm

    Hey, Eva!

    I completely agree with you on the feminism and wealth gap issues, and also about the proliferation of weapons.

    Have you tried a heating pad of some kind for your feet? A little one at the bottom of the bed can keep them warm—I always use mine when I’m not feeling well (which is the only time having cold feet bothers me; usually I like them that way.)

  14. May 4, 2008 2:45 pm

    CJ, I’m glad you’re not offended!

    Andi, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with preferring big dogs! As long as you don’t mock me for liking the little ones. :D

    Eloise, I think doing it half the time will take away the “OMG, but what would I do without feta?!” mindset! I’ve had my eye on a couple vegan cookbooks to get me started. :D

    Rebecca, thanks for commenting! (If you have a blog it’s not linking) I’m moving to the West Coast in the fall, and I’m hoping it’ll be more progressive than the Rockies, hehe. Good for you for going against the mainstream for what you believe in.

    Poodlerat, I actually used a heating pad last night because my feet were so insanely cold (turns out, the house’s central heater had broken). It was quite nice. :)

  15. Myrthe permalink
    May 4, 2008 11:20 pm

    Thanks for tagging me, Eva! I have three other memes to work on, so I’ll just add yours. I’d seen this one around and I’d been thinking about what I would answer. Will let you know when my answer is up.

  16. May 5, 2008 4:50 am

    Yay for small dogs! And I especially loved reading about the six issues you’re concerned about. I’ve been reading more about human trafficking, too, and it’s so incredibly disturbing.

  17. May 5, 2008 9:51 am

    Golly, gee, everyone has tagged you for a meme! You’re definitely one of the Kool Kids!

    I love your answers to all the memes, especially the living responsibly one. I can tell you’ve been thinkin’ ’bout these important issues.

    Rock on!

  18. May 6, 2008 5:11 am

    Myrthe, great!

    Andi, isn’t it though?! There’s this great book, that I read excerpts of in class and I really want to read the whole thing called “The Natashas: Inside the New Global Sex Trade” by Victor Malarek.

    Chartroose, hehe-you always make me laugh! Feel free to do the important issues meme-I’d love to read about your issues.

  19. May 6, 2008 8:18 am

    Really enjoyed learning more about you. My husband dislikes whipped cream too (and bacon!) and I think he’s nuts.

  20. May 10, 2008 7:43 am

    You know, when you said “toy dogs,” I thought you meant “stuffed dogs.” LOL! I love all your favorite movies stars as well (although I am very movie ignorant on the whole). Can’t agree with you on whipped cream, though. I LOVE it!

  21. May 10, 2008 6:20 pm

    Tara, thanks! I don’t like bacon either-maybe the genes go together? :)

    Emily, lol at the dogs! My friends love that I don’t like whipped cream, because if we go out for ice cream they get all of mine too. :D

  22. Rebecca permalink
    November 24, 2010 11:12 pm

    Hi Eva,

    I just came across your blog/website…I know this is over 2 years old now, but I felt somewhat compelled to comment. It’s interesting that we share so many of the same causes/concerns about the world. I’m still trying to figure out what I can “do” about any of it…

    I also wanted to say that it’s a shame that being American is so closely associated with consumerism (you said as much in your 5th point). Although I am not American, I think that Americans (and others) should start looking at it from another perspective, one that reflects your proud heritage and some of the other things being “American” is associated with, like individual/human rights or whatever. This is especially important for someone like yourself, who is self-reflexive/conscious and aware of the problems in the world around you. I guess what I’m referring to is the rich man’s burden, but not quite.

    Iunno if I expressed this clearly, I’m really tired…and just thought if this, but I hope it makes sense. Anyway, it was nice “meeting” you. I hope you keep/kept it up!

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  1. Six Random Things About Me » But what these unobservant birds
  2. Weekly Geeks: a Social Issue « A Striped Armchair

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