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8 Random Facts about VirusHead

8 Random Facts about VirusHead

Mama Christy tagged me for an 8 Random Things about me meme (I can refuse her nothing).

Here are the rules.

  1. Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
  2. People who are tagged need to write a post on their own blog (about their eight things) and post these rules.
  3. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
  4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

OK, on to the eight random things about VirusHead:

  1. I harbor a secret hope that sometime in my lifetime we will see a Pope named Hilarius II. Little things like that keep me going.
  2. I still don’t salute the flag, even though I haven’t been a Jehovah’s Witness for many, many years. It’s a creepy nationalistic ritual, and I think things are always very bad when flags become too important.
  3. I despise ants. When I was five, I climbed a fire-ant hill in Houston Texas and was swarmed. My wise mother bought me special ant-stomping shoes. They worked very, very well. Nowadays, I pick them up between my fingers and squish them until they die. I am now so sensitive to the toxin that I have a little sphere-shaped hole in my toe from when I was bitten in graduate school.
  4. I adore Chocolate Malted Ovaltine – hot or cold. When I was pregnant with Ben, it was the only real craving that I had. I drank quite a lot of it. Really. A lot of it. About a gallon a day.
  5. That reminds me.. I don’t eat or drink “diet” anything. I use butter and sugar and whole milk. If I can’t have whole milk, I’d rather just have something else than mess around with skim or even 2%. I don’t eat a lot, but what I eat has a minimum of chemicals (you know, unless I’ve just got to have some Funyons: moderation in all things). I am very suspicious of fat-free dairy products, sugar free cookies, diet soda, and so on. I’ve never seen anybody lose weight by eating or drinking any of this stuff.
  6. I can no longer hit E above C when I sing, unless it is in a Bee Gees falsetto. Wah.
  7. I’m not a joiner. I’m not a team player. I’m not with the program. I’m not progressing our goals. It would never occur to me to take prisoners in the first place. And I really detest sloppy, euphemistic language, no matter how guilty I might be of using it myself.
  8. I really, really wish that we had a good climbable maple tree in our yard, but we don’t. It’s oaks and more oaks, with old dry pines and one fig tree. I miss having a good perch in the trees.

Anyone that wants to participate is hereby invited. Here are some people that might have fun doing this, but no worries if you don’t feel like participating.

5 Questions about VirusHead

5 Questions about VirusHead

Lin at Telling It Like It Is has shot me right in the head with what she’s calling a 357 magnum meme. Assembled over at Home with Heather, this one asks some basic questions about blogging. Far be it from me to refuse such a sweet request from a fellow former JW… so…

1. How long have you been blogging?

I started blogging four years ago (November 2003). I actually had a couple of other blogs – one at Blogger and one somewhere else that I’ve forgotten – but this is really the only one that counts. My domain – woo-hoo!

2. What inspired you to start a blog and who are your mentors?

There wasn’t any one reason that I started blogging. I wanted to bookmark things that I enjoyed, mark life events, comment on politics and culture and so on. My first posts were a couple of poems, a celebration of the birth of my nephew, a collection of funny religion products like the Huggy Jesus, an ex-JW take on Michael Jackson, thoughts about Bush’s campaign discourse, and wondering if snipers had “nests” before Oswald. So it’s always been an eclectic blog.

Mentors? None, really, not for blogging. I’ve enjoyed many different kinds of blogs, but I just do my thang. Where I’ve needed the most help is for design and coding issues, and fortunately other bloggers are very generous with information and assistance – too many to name.

3. Are you trying to make money online, or just doing it for fun?

Neither. Once or twice a year, I get enough commission from Amazon to get myself a book. Not for the money, then. On the other hand, it’s not just for fun. There are a lot of different reasons that I blog. It’s a ritual that helps me stay grounded and in touch with myself and the worlds that I inhabit (and that surround me). It’s a personal journal – although somewhat censored – about important events and thoughts. It functions as outreach to other former JWs and people who are dealing with various issues having to do with Jehovah’ Witnesses – and that is very healing to me, too. It allows me to have the feeling of having some small voice with regard to what has happened and is happening in the United States, and to support activism, however small.

4. Tell me 3 things you LOVE about being online.

Three things? I love meeting and communicating with people I would never have known otherwise. There are at least a dozen people that I’ve met through this blog that I consider to be good friends, notwithstanding the fact that in most cases we never have met off-line.

I love reading other blogs, and I feel strongly that blogging has encouraged a wide variety of people to do more writing… and thinking. This encourages me and contributes to a feeling of hope about the future. Even when I vehemently disagree with someone’s thoughts, the very fact that they are writing means that they will do more writing. The more you write, the more you think, and the better you become at both.

I love the social aspect of the internet. I’m a little isolated these days, working part-time as a consultant, being a mom, and now without my own car again. One of my last close girlfriends here just moved out of state. Through the blog, Facebook, Care2, MySpace, and so on, I feel like I’m keeping up – at least a bit – with friends, old and new, and they each have extremely fun things to do beyond social networking. I digg Digg. I love to StumbleUpon things. I love to find things on YouTube (see Salvadore Dali on What’s Your Line – of course he’s an artist, but also an author, and according to him, an athlete too (hee-hee).


5. Tell me 3 things you STRUGGLE with in the online world.

The main thing I struggle with is having time to do all things I love to do. I sometimes have trouble with just playing around instead of writing something substantial in the blog.

I also get overwhelmed by how much information there really is – news items, blog posts, political actions, petitions, votes, bookmarking, weighing different viewpoints and perspectives. Sometimes I have trouble keeping up – even with just the things that really matter to me.

Last, as you may have seen in posts before, I struggle with being fair, ethical, compassionate, caring. It’s a high value for me, but it is sometimes very difficult to hold myself to my own high standards.

Ok, so that’s how it goes.

Now, as far as tagging five more bloggers, I’ve become a bit hesitant. On the one hand, a link from this blog to another blog is almost always a good thing – it gives you another little bit of reputation at Technorati and it might bring more readers to your blog to see all the other cool stuff you’re writing.

On the other hand, some people are tired of the memes, have too much else to write about, and so on.

So we’ll do a win-win. I’ll tag 10 people from 9 blogs – only people I’d really be interested in knowing more about and who haven’t already answered these kinds of questions as far as I can tell (that lets you out, Todd, and Jolly Roger, it’s up to you). “The tagged” are then completely free, with total diplomatic immunity, to participate or not. No worries.

Now, just because I haven’t named you doesn’t mean you can’t participate!

Visual Bookshelf on Facebook

Visual Bookshelf on Facebook

My friend Amanda innocently suggested that I join her in adding the visual bookshelf application to my Facebook page.

Little did she know that it’s just the sort of thing I would latch onto when I’m bummed out. I guess it’s better than some of the alternatives.

I’ve already listed well over a thousand books that I’ve already read, and more than a hundred that I want to read. It’s ridiculous, because that doesn’t even begin to really address the sheer number of books that could be listed. I still read about 5-6 books a week, and I’m not a kid.

I don’t think I quite realized until just this moment: I am – truly – a complete bookworm nerd.

What a strange collection it turns out to be.

I’m the Mom

I’m the Mom

So many of my friends emailed this to me that I had to think I’m either a kind of Mommy-archetype for my friends, or it had to be a very fun video. I think (I think) it’s the latter.

A woman condenses everything a mom would say in a typical 24-hour period into the framework of the William Tell Overture.

So, by viral selection, here it is:


Yup. That’s about it.

(Thanks to Barbara, and Jacque, and Troy, and….)

Anybody got the lyrics?

Virus of the Mind

Virus of the Mind

Oh, no… I completely missed this song by Heather Nova.

It would have been great to have had “Virus of the Mind” for the dissertation….


South 2001
Virus of The Mind

Well I was watching this talk show the other day
And on it there was this guy and he was saying
When you let other people tell you what’s right
When you leave your instinct and your own truth behind he said
That’s a virus of the mind. that’s a virus of the mind
I guess it’s kind of like losing your sight; for a
Second you think that they might be right, and it
Feeds the doubts you have inside, and it
Almost starts to feel like a crime
To follow your own rhythm and rhyme

Yeah I’m pretty happy living in my own sweet time I’m pretty happy
And I don’t need your virus of the mind

Well I went to this party thing last night
A lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time
And they wanted to know about my life,
But making me feel like it wasn’t quite right
Like where’s your kids and where’s your car?
I said I don’t have either but I have a guitar
And I ended up feeling like I was a freak
So I found some wine and something to eat
And I talked to a dog to pass the time
Told myself I’m doing fine,
It’s just a virus of the mind
It’s just a virus of the mind

Yeah I’m pretty happy living in my own sweet time I’m pretty happy
And I don’t need your virus of the mind

It’s in the deep of your soul
It’s on the tip of your tongue
It’s the feeling you get when you feel young
It’s in the sound of the beat
It’s in the base of your spine
It’s in your gut reaction, yeah every time
But they tell you what you should have,
They tell you who you should be
It’s in the pictures and ads and in the magazines
I’m kicking it off like a bug in the breeze
’cause is anyone out there inside me?
I said is anyone out there inside me?
I say is anyone?

Morgan’s Meme

Morgan’s Meme

Loz from Sunrays and Saturdays has tagged me for another meme. This is called “Morgan’s Meme” (who knows?)

So the instructions are:

1. Remove the link of the top blog and add your blog at the bottom.

2. Replace the last person’s answers to the questions with 5 of your own.

3. Pass this meme on to five fellow bloggers


What were you doing ten years ago? (Five things)

  • 1. Defending my dissertation proposal, avoiding writing
  • 2. Planning the wedding
  • 3. Reading a lot of Jean Baudrillard
  • 4. Spending a lot of time with my future husband
  • 5. Redefining personal boundaries

What were you doing one year ago? (Five things)

  • 1. Looking for an academic job
  • 2. Having heart palpitations over my student loans
  • 3. Blogging a lot
  • 4. Having a lot more political concerns than I had ten years ago
  • 5. Spending a lot of time with my son

Five snacks you enjoy.

  • 1. Chocolate malted Ovaltine and cookies
  • 2. Grilled cheese and pineapple sandwiches
  • 3. Triscuits with smoked gouda
  • 4. Raspberries with chocolate
  • 5. Fresh bread with crab and spinach dip

Five Songs you know the lyrics to…

  • 1. All for the Best – Godspell
  • 2. God – Tori Amos
  • 3. Free Man in Paris – Joni Mitchell
  • 4. Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen (yup, in the car too)
  • 5. Galileo – Indigo Girls

Five things you would do if you were a millionaire.

  • 1. Pay off my student loans
  • 2. Complete Makeover
  • 3. Load up the college fund for Ben
  • 4. Seriously consider the filmed FU tour
  • 5. Be good and decide to bank, invest – a million ain’t that much anymore.

Five Bad Habits.

  • 1. Smoking
  • 2. Impatience
  • 3. Irritability
  • 4. Giggling
  • 5. Holding myself up to impossible standards

Five things you like to do.

  • 1. Read
  • 2. Sing
  • 3. Make love
  • 4. Discuss life and problems and issues
  • 5. Get centered and balanced

Five things you would never wear again.

  • 1. Tutu
  • 2. Leg warmers
  • 3. High heels
  • 4. Mumu
  • 5. Egyptian ceremonial robe

Five favorite toys.

  • 1. The big spinning top with the plunger whachamacallit on top
  • 2. Spirograph
  • 3. Puppets
  • 4. Building discs of clear colored plastic (good for castles)
  • 5. Microscope

Five things you hate to do.

  • 1. Clean floors
  • 2. Acknowledge that I am completely mistaken
  • 3. Realize that I’ve done something of which to be ashamed
  • 4. Say no to my son when he’s looking at me with those sad eyes
  • 5. Feel rejected

Ok, here’s who I’m tagging. This is just a start. Participate if you’d like to, and if I don’t name you, that doesn’t mean you can’t play. I’m trying to avoid always tagging the same blogs.

If you don’t blog but you want to participate, you can post your answers in the comments.

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