Julia tagged me for the “10 Things You Don’t Know about Me” meme the other day, and although I did such a thing yesterday, I decided not to push this one off for weeks like tend to do. So here goes.
1. Josh and I have been having a personal Soviet fairytale movie marathon in our living room. I recommend A Tale of Time Lost and Sadko, but not Ilya Muromets. The first is about elderly evil sorcerers who steal children’s wasted time to make themselves young again. The second is about a man’s quest to bring happiness to the people of Novgorod (a city in Russia situated between Moscow and St. Petersburg). All three are available via Netflix. I heartily recommend them.
The three films are directed by Aleksandr Ptushko, whose grave you should see to the right. It’s in Moscow at the Novodevichi cemetery among those of Raisa Gorbachev, Kruschev, the filmmaker Eisenstein, and Gogol.
Continuing the Soviet film theme, my favorite movie is Tarkovsky’s Solyaris, something you should definitely see if you liked the George Clooney remake (another film I like).
2. I live with the world’s best jumping cat. We’ve never actually entered him in a contest but I believe it’s true.
3. I ate at a vegetarian buffet, during my honeymoon in Stockholm, called Örtagården and known for having once hosted the world’s longest buffet. It was so good, and actually not that expensive, unlike the rest of Sweden.
4. I built and programmed a robotic Trojan horse out of Legos for a contest in college and got second place. I don’t remember the prize.
5. I used to think I liked to cook but then I married somebody much better at it than me, so now I don’t care for it anymore. I also never have to take out the garbage. Nor do I do the laundry. I fold and put away but I don’t have to carry it up and down two flights of stairs. I’ll probably have to start after the baby’s born, when I’ll finally be less fragile.
6. I don’t like cars. I barely ever speed, use my turn signal and always signal well enough in advance, and I also never fail to make a full and complete stop at a stop sign.
7. When I first met Josh, I immediately thought, “huh, this guy’s going to be very important to me,” which I guess could be the cautious woman’s approach to love at first sight.
8. The afternoon I arrived in Israel and called my parents, my dad asked me what it looked like where I was (a kibbutz near the Kinneret) and I told him, “uh, Iowa, kind of.” Which was true, actually. Just a couple of months later, during the rainiest weeks, my roommate got stuck in the mud, and when I went over to help her, I got stuck too. Good land, up there.
9. My first job in high school was in a cookie store at a mall. The boss would smoke in the back while making the cookies, dropping ashes all over and just genuinely disgusting the other employees. I ate very few cookies and only worked there for a couple of months before leaving to work at the local newspaper, where I typed in ad text for a month or so. Then I was promoted and became responsible for physically locating and making sure all the ads were in place before we went to print at 11pm. It being the mid-nineties, the paper was not formatted using software, but instead was all hand laid-out and photographed. So if an ad was missing, it meant I would have to search for it. I’d find them at the salesperson’s desk, under the desk, in the wrong place in the paper, in the garbage can, and once I even found it stuck to the formatter’s pants. Fun times. It was a great job for a 16-17-18 year old, paid more than twice minimum wage, and I even got vacation time.
10. Oiy, I’m running out of things to tell you. How about that I will gladly admit when I’m wrong? For example, I was mortified to learn a few years ago that my undergraduate college planned to build a parking garage on the campus — over an already existing parking lot and right next to the main entrance of the school. More familiar with the ugliness in design displayed by parking garages at the university I attend now, I thought for sure it would be an ugly disaster. I was wrong. It is what it is, and not bad, considering. In any case, it looks better than the parking lot that preceded it. I’ve put two photos of it below.