The Obvious

15 facts about me

Posted in me myself, meme, nablopomo by theobvious on November 27, 2009

Nothing like an old meme to fill an empty space.

1. I once erased my entire history for a year because someone had asked me not to advertise the music he’d given me and I didn’t know I could only delete the record for that one song.

2. I do a great many things on an impulse; later, I regret not having thought it through, especially when it comes to purchases.

3. I am almost always translating everything in my head or just speaking to myself in different languages.

4. Our stuffed toys make me feel guilty, but I am too sentimental to give them away.

5. When I’m alone, I’m a slob, but at the same time I clean the house compulsively.

6. Envy is something I detest in myself, but can’t get rid of.

7. I often wish I was born elsewhere. I wish I were musical. I wish I were younger; you get the gist.

8. I am cripplingly shy and compensate for it by being a loud, constantly talking upstart.

9. Memories of several very embarrassing moments will haunt me to the grave. I’d pay dearly to find out whether the other participants of those moments still remember them.

10. I can’t take criticism; I force myself to, and do okay most of the time. But it’s always difficult.

11. I have no will to talk of.

12. I am clever in a shallow way; I don’t think I’m actually very good at anything, but I do a reasonable job of disguising it.

13. Looking over these facts, it seems I do quite a lot of pretending. Yet I think of myself as pretty honest.

14. Sarcasm is my lifeline; this everyone knows I guess.

15. I need symmetry in everything, so I couldn’t have a list of 14 points. 15 is a better number, because it can be divided by five.

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some i-songs

Posted in meme, music, nablopomo by theobvious on November 14, 2009

This is a sort of a meme I came up with: I’m going to list all of the songs on my phone (man, this does sound much lamer than ‘my iPod’!) whose titles begin with the word ‘I’, to make up a sort of portrait of a fictional person created by the music I listen to. Or something. And so it looks as though I worked at least a bit over this, I’ll add links to YouTube videos of all of them so you can check them out if you like.

I ain’t afraid
I like Chinese
I need something
I think it’s going to rain today
I took it out on you
I’m not giving up yet
I’m Shady
I’m so worried
I’m yours
I’ve got two legs

Some of the videos are less than impressive, but that’s just YouTube for you (seriously, since when one photo imposed on a song is considered a video? Pull yourself together, providers of gratuitous video content for my blog!) – and for some reason, most of these are either by Newton Faulkner or Monty Python. It is up to you to work out which.

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Posted in me myself, meme, nablopomo by theobvious on November 5, 2009

There are several websites listing all the names of existing phobias. They make for remarkable reading. Of course, I couldn’t help but make a list of the titles corresponding with things I fear or dislike. Here it is.

Acrophobia. Fear of heights (since a nasty fall; still hoping it’ll pass)
Anthrophobia. Fear of people (including on the phone)
Arachnophobia. Fear of spiders (ew)
Ataxiophobia. Fear of disorder (in other words, obsessiveness)
Atelophobia. Fear of imperfection (in myself and everything I do)
Bathophobia. Fear of depth (think of the ocean)
Chaetophobia. Fear of hair (ew)
Climacophobia. Fear of falling down stairs (that one’s from experience)
Demophobia. Fear or dislike of crowds (and crowded situations)
Emetophobia. Fear of vomiting (too much information, I know, but this is an honest list)
Entomophobia. Fear of insects (and consequently, nature)
Eremophobia. Fear of being by oneself (I am not good company)
Gerascophobia. Fear of growing old (23 is old)
Harpaxophobia. Fear of robbers (every unfamiliar sound at home is made by a robber)
Helminthophobia. Fear of becoming infested with worms (since that horrible biology class in fifth grade)
Iatrophobia. Fear of going to the doctor (so I just don’t go)
Kakorhaphiophobia. Fear of failure or defeat (see imperfection)
Lygophobia. Fear of darkness or dark places (monsters live in the dark, and so do robbers)
Merinthophobia. Fear of being bound (there always needs to be an exit)
Ophidiophobia. Fear of snakes (it recently hit me that they are disgusting)
Poinephobia. Fear of many things (self-evident from this list)
Scopophobia. Fear of being looked at (and listened to, and noticed)
Spheksophobia. Fear of wasps (haven’t been stung; hope never to be)
Thaasophobia. Fear of boredom (I get bored much too easily)
Thanatophobia. Fear of death (mine and everyone else’s)

Good thing these are not all full-fledged phobias, because trying to bend my life around each and every one of those things would probably be quite time-consuming to say the least. What are yours?

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783 things you didn’t know about a. and me

Posted in a., love, meme by theobvious on February 19, 2009

Apparently, I am on a different Facebook* wavelength than most of the educated world, so this meme only came to my attention when Dooce posted it over on her blog. And for much the same reasons as her (because it concerns A. and the two of us as a couple, a topic that doesn’t get enough time in my disgustingly me-oriented spotlight), I hereby bring you the ‘Facts about our Marriage’ meme.

*Can you believe ‘Facebook’ is still not recognized by the WordPress** spell checker?
**Nor is ‘WordPress’.

What are your middle names? We don’t have any. In this part of the world, not many people do. I hear that A.’s Jewish name is Aryeh, but he never uses it.

How long have you been together? 1608 days (4 years, 4 months, and 25 days)

How long did you know each other before you started dating? 660 days (1 year, 9 months, and 21 day)

Who asked whom out? Nobody did. We moved in together the day we first kissed (that was his idea). After all, it was a close move for me from the master bedroom of our saintly friend’s house into her spare bedroom, A.’s residence at the time. We graced her home with our presence (and unseemly noises from our messy room) for another year, and if it weren’t for her, it might have taken us another stupidly unhappy year to finally realize we were meant for each other.

How old are each of you? We’re almost equally 22 (I am 12 days closer to 23 than A. is).

Whose siblings do you see the most? A. is an only child, so my brother.

Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple? Living in crowded spaces most of the time.

Did you go to the same school? We did, for a term. Then A. dropped out. A couple months later, so did I. The school we went to was  Moscow State University.

Are you from the same home town? We’re from different countries even.

Who is smarter? A. and no mistake. I know lots of tidbits, and am able to answer most of A.’s questions, but he is the one who keeps asking those questions, and with his incredible talent and diligence (and access to books as a bibliographer) he is growing a brain so large he’ll soon need to rent space for it in my head, where there’s plenty of room left over.

Who is the most sensitive? Is sensitive the same as petty? No? You sure? Then I have to say A. He reacts deeply to things and is capable of crying tears of compassion, which is rare and beautiful.

Where do you eat out most as a couple? A delightful salad and soup place downtown, called Mano Guru. Seeing as A. is a vegetarian on his way to becoming vegan, and I’m a predatory carnivore on my way to vegetarianism, the choice is not overwhelming, but we do love our soup.

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple? Probably Israel.

Who has the craziest exes? A. has none, and my only serious one acted batshit crazy at times, so I have to say me.

Who has the worst temper? Is this the point where pettiness counts? Me me me! Guilty as charged.

Who does the cooking? A. does. See previous post.

Who is the neat-freak? I am, but not to the point of actually cleaning. I am a bit OCD, so when we had our own space I cleaned in sudden deadly outbursts, leaving everything gleaming, but here I don’t know where to start and more importantly, where to end, and it kills me – and our room is a dump.

Who is more stubborn? I think we’d give each other a fair run for the money.

Who hogs the bed? Nobody does.

Who wakes up earlier? A., he is not such a hopeless night owl, and he has to go to work in the morning too.

Where was your first date? A. tried to take me to an amusement park, but it was early spring, and it was closed, and he was devastated. So we went to a mall instead and invented a game where we both got each other cute little gifts, and then we had ice-cream. Of course, that was six months after we got together.

Who is more jealous? Totally me. I ask him whether he likes a girl, make him say she’s okay, and then torture him for a week with accusations that he LIKES SOME OTHER GIRL OH NO DIVORCE BELLS ARE RINGING! Alas, I am as crazy as my ex (viz, batshit).

How long did it take to get serious? We were talking kids and joint rooms at nursing homes right away.

Who eats more? A. is capable of fitting more food into his stomach at a time. But as for actual eating, that’d be me. I go hungry all day (no breakfast and no time during class), and come home at 8-9 pm so hungry that I eat and chew and snack and munch all evening with very short breaks. A sad (fat) smiley face goes here.

Who does the laundry? A. does, and none of my clothes have been damaged yet.

Who’s better with the computer? Isn’t that the same as ‘smarter’? A. can fix almost anything (he thinks it’s actually anything, which is sometimes annoying), and his aforementioned diligence (=he is a nudnik) helped him teach himself everything he needs to know about software and hardware, more than can be said about many a computer repairman.

Who drives when you are together? My dad. A. can’t get a license because of his poor eyesight, and I failed my test (=am a loser), and have avoided retaking it ever since.

More to the point, this man is the one I love and intend to continue loving for some time. At least so long as he doesn’t grow that unsightly beard back and/or until he loses his gift for bedtime stories.


Posted in life, me myself, meme, new year, people by theobvious on January 2, 2009

It’s already 2009, who’d have thunk. Here’s my contribution to Sundry‘s ever-growing list of 2008 recaps.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Learn Danish, climb huge rocks, get a year ticket to the opera, travel alone for no reason.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year? I don’t remember making any last year, and I make resolutions every day anyway.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Yes! I’m now a happy aunt! (My cousin had a son a few days ago)

4. Did anyone close to you die? Unfortunately, yes.

5. What countries did you visit? Israel, Ukraine (first time), and Russia.

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? Patience, a hot bod, and a house in Jerusalem.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Probably the days of #3 and#4. And also the day A. gave me a very special gift.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Several months of daily workouts; shooting a vow renewal ceremony for my friend’s parents.

9. What was your biggest failure? The following several months of no workouts at all; the whole driving license fiasco.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? No.

11. What was the best thing you bought? My Nikon D40.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration? My family members.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed? My own?

14. Where did most of your money go? Take-out coffee and stupid stuff.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? My nephew, my camera, working out, seeing Bob Dylan and Katie Melua live.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Maybe February by Jesus Jones or Ghost Town by Katie Melua.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
About the same.
b) thinner or fatter? A tad thinner, I guess, but still fatter than I’d like.
c) richer or poorer? Potentially richer, if I get to work now.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Changing. Schoolwork.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Succumbing to my weaknesses, whining, and procrastinating.

20. How did you spend Christmas? A shift at the hotline and watching Grease on the eve, working the whole day Christmas day.

21. Did you fall in love in 2008? I’m married, this is obviously a trick question.

22. What was your favorite TV program? What, one? I watched and liked Scrubs, House MD, How I Met Your Mother, Whose Line Is It Anyway, Top Design, Project Runway, Californication, and Will&Grace.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? I don’t think so.

24. What was the best book you read? Lost in Translation by Eva Hoffman and maybe Don Quixote.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery? The Jews Brothers Band might not have been the greatest, but it’s the most recent.

26. What did you want and get? Beside various items, I got to go to Israel and the Crimea; I also made two friends in university, which I’d lost hope of doing a while ago; and I learned some Danish.

27. What did you want and not get? Myself together.

28. What was your favorite film of this year? Wall-E, Get Real and The Fall.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? I worked all day, argued a lot, and was hungry. I turned 22.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? More peace with myself and the world around.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Whatever fits?

32. What kept you sane? A. and the gym.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most? Stephen Fry – always.

34. What political issue stirred you the most? Maybe the U.S. presidential elections.

35. Who did you miss? Most of my friends – they all live far away.

36. Who was the best new person you met? My friend’s boyfriend S.?

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Always write down valuable lessons in case of an end-of-year quiz.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Is there a song about how I only remember the past two weeks? ‘I have been drinking heavily the whole time, lalala’?

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shallow consumerist meme

Posted in game, i don't know, meme, random, thoughts by theobvious on June 4, 2008

My camera lost its lens today. It just stopped working, and now I feel as if I’ve lost a limb. A very expensive limb, without which the rest of my body won’t function, and sewing it back on will cost me more than I can afford. Probably even more than a whole new limb (I can see my metaphor going weak here, but I stand by it. After all, what are prosthetic limbs for?).

So it got me thinking about material things that I’m attached to enough to let them define me as a person. The things that people identify me with and go ‘Oh, that girl who always carries that thing?’ in conversations. I’m pretty sure this meme exists already, but here goes anyway.

Things that I use (almost) every day

– my glasses
– Nikon D40
– sneakers
– coins
– Adidas shower gel (for the gym)
– Nokia 5200 (phone and music box combined)
– thrift store t-shirts
– lip balm
– Smints
– dorky messenger bags
– face wash
– herbal toothpaste
– different kinds of tea
– tiny elastic bands (for the braces)
– yellow legal pads
– black gel pens
– books
– Skype account (is that material?)
– student ID
– Visa card
– trolleybus pass

I think this is it, the rest is replaceable or interchangeable. How about you? What do you use every day? Which items define you for what you are? I’d be very curious to know.

look it’s the cd-cover meme

Posted in link, meme, music by theobvious on February 11, 2008

I’ve seen this all over the place (with slightly different rules). Actually sniped it from the blogoversally-famous Rachel at Feel free to snipe in turn.

cd cover
Picture by Ognen Bojkovski

The rules are simple: (1) The first article title on this random wiki page is the name of your band, (2) the last four words of the very last quote on this random quote page is the title of your album, and (3) the third picture here, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.

It’s all I can do to think about the quote. Restlessness is something I experience more often than anything else. Maybe it’s time to start viewing it differently?