2007-06-04: 7 Random Things

Argh! I've been tagged!

Hmm... so Lara wants me to spill 7 random things about myself. Little does she know that I would never be so careless as to choose random things! These have all been market-tested by focus groups:

  1. When I started losing my baby teeth, I was obsessed with my teeth falling out and often wanted to pull out the danglers myself. One time my parents found me with a string with tied around one loose tooth and the other end around the spout of the kitchen sink. With a quick jerk back of my head, that sucker came right out! Score 25¢ from the tooth fairy! I'm not sure if she still has them, but my mum used to keep my baby teeth in her jewellery box.
  2. I was exceedingly conservative as a child. I think maybe it was my only form of rebellion against my parents (who were then and still are exceedingly and unrelentingly liberal, yay). I remember listening to George Michael's I Want Your Sex on the car radio when I was eleven or so and harping on about how that song would cause teenage pregnancy. Ha! I think my 29-year-old self would utterly scandalise my 11-year-old self. Good thing she's not around anymore, the stuffy ol' square.
  3. As I have mentioned elsewhere, I spent a significant portion of my childhood living on a sailboat. My parents moved aboard Katherine when I was two and we moved into a trailer and became gypsies for about 3 months when I was seven, after which we settled down for a year in the small town in Oklahoma where my grandmother was born. Those years were some of the best in my life, and I still hope someday to move back aboard a sailboat, even for a little while. Except for one year, I have always lived near the sea and feel myself inextricably bonded with the ocean. I also love travelling and visiting new places, thanks to my parents' wanderlust.
  4. Although James is a pretty common last name, family apocrypha has it that I am indeed related to those notorious American train robbers Frank & Jesse James. My dad says that his Uncle Ward pulled out a family photo one time showing his grandfather with Jesse & Frank, who were his cousins. Also apocryphal is that my Great-Grandma Bessie was either half or quarter Blackfoot Indian. We don't have any proof of either, but it's cool to have family legends anyway. I am always interested in my family heritage.
  5. The year before I was born my Grandma Roceal died of cancer in our house, because she didn't want to die in a hospital. According to my mom & my granny, her ghost haunted our house until Great-Grandma Bessie died. When Granny stayed over, she said the door opened & closed by itself all night. When my crib was moved into the room where she died, I kept getting ear infections because the room was too cold and the heating could never keep it warm enough. On the night she died, the bushes around the house were waving wildly like there was a huge windstorm, but when my parents went outside, there was no wind and everything was still. My middle name is Roceal, just like her, although she went by Roceal instead of Gladys. I can understand why.
  6. I am now and almost always have been quite the tomboy. I usually like things that only men or boys are supposed to like (movies with explosions, video games, comic books, playing sports & outdoorsy stuff). I usually don't like things that women are typically supposed to like (makeup, shopping, celebrity gossip). Of course I think gendered distinctions like that are all rubbish anyway. My dad likes to cook and do housework, my mom is the one with the tertiary degree and was for a long time the main breadwinner in our family (my dad really was Mr Mom the year we lived in OK— he couldn't find a job, so he was a house dad). When I lived in Washington, I went on a camping trip to a place called Ft Flagler with the youth group I hung out with at the time. It was an old defense fort from WWII to protect Puget Sound, and there are big bunkers you can go into that are completely pitch black because there are no lights. We were playing sardines, and someone hadn't turned up, so I went into one of the bunkers without a flashlight to try and find them. When I came out, two of the boys said, "Andrea, you have big ovaries! I wouldn't go in there...".
  7. Every 5 years or so, I tend to make a big life change, whether it's starting something new (like university) or moving (like from the US to Australia). I've just started my 5th year living in Sydney, and I'm feeling itchy. Something big is going to happen fairly soon, I suspect.

I now tag anyone else who wants to play along!

Fascinating :) I love that you had such a "whacky" childhood! Gives me hope that becomming a parent doesn't immediately turn you into a brain dead consumer drone.

Lara rhubarbandcustard@mac.com 04 Jun 2007

There is hope, Lara. As a baby I hated strollers and dummies (refused to ride in the former and instantly spat the latter out consistently) and while we lived on the boat my parents would often grind up their meals in a hand-cranked food grinder instead of feeding me baby food. DON'T BELIEVE THE MARKETING. ;-)

ARJ roceal@jngm.net 05 Jun 2007