Green Kitchen tagged me with this topic.
I have a bit of a problem, in that I really don't think there is much about me that would be surprising to anyone who knows me well. A stranger would also find nothing surprising about me, because he or she wouldn't really care. Weird, maybe; surprising, no. Therefore, I imagine that the ostensible audience of a post concerning "six surprising things" about me is people who sort of know me a bit. Since I think that the people who read my BLARG either know me well or are strangers, I guess my only real audience is futuregirl, who doesn't know me well (yet), but is not a stranger, and who reads my BLARG (Q.E.D.). So, to Alice: Enjoy!
1. When my first boyfriend dumped me and I had my first nervous breakdown, I used to call his house at all hours (which isn't that surprising) and then play "I - feel - feel like - I am - in a burning building - and I gotta go. Cause I - I feel - feel like - I am - in a burning building - and I gotta go" from "Let X=X" on Laurie Anderson's Big Science Then I would hang up. And do it again. And again.
2. I have been known (though not lately) to go every week to the local Spooky Dance (i.e. goth night) wearing all black with platform boots and, once there, throw myself about to loud music, casting out demons. Becky says I dance like a broken doll.
3. One of the chapters in my never-completed dissertation analyzed the media accounts of the execution of Timothy McVeigh vis-à-vis Elizabethan and Jacobean revenge drama and sixteenth- and seventeenth-century public execution.
4. I have handled a document signed by Queen Elizabeth I. It was in English, not Latin, but was still in secretary hand, which made it hard to read even in English. Luckily, I had been trained to read that kind of handwriting, a skill that actually still comes in handy when deciphering doctors' handwriting. This document was at the Folger Shakespeare Library, where I was doing research and taking a course on secretary hand. The manuscript archivist didn't know about this particular document, which I found in a box with other not-very-well-catalogued items.
5. Although my mother denies it, I know for a fact that I only took a bath once a week when I was a kid. I may have changed underwear slightly more frequently, but not that much more frequently. The reason I know this is that my well-meaning (but, in this case, cruel) third grade teacher, Mrs. McClenndon, had us go around a circle and say how often we changed our underwear. I, luckily, was not first and, as the others revealed their underpants truth, I realized that "once a week" was Not a Good Answer. So I said every other day, because I wasn't so much a liar as to say every day, which seemed to be the preferred answer. Or maybe I did say every day, after Jeff Sidler was chided for every-other-day panty rotation. Whatever. I didn't feel personally bad about my infrequent bathing and underpants changing; I was prepubescent, and my outer clothes were clean, so it's not like I smelled. I was just embarrassed to have to talk about it in front of others whose standards were clearly different.
6. I like riding around in the car with Michelle because she has been listening to the same Best of Billy Joel album for at least a year, and her older son sings along now. He appears to be undamaged by the experience.