Friday, August 08, 2008

A few things you might not know about me...

I have a mild phobia about lakes. Every time I'm "swimming" in a lake I feel sort of nervous because somwhere in the back of my mind I picture something coming up from the bottom and pulling me down. I read too many Stephen King novels. Oh, and the muck in the bottom is disgusting too. Standing in a lake up to your ankles in muck is gross. Who knows what's in there besides fish shit. Give me a nice clean clear pool any day. I like to see where my feet are.

Although I find lakes somewhat loathesome, I love being in the ocean. It doesn't bother me that I can't see my feet in the ocean. It just feels ever so much cleaner I guess. The ocean appeals to me in ways a lake never can.

I put swimming in quotation marks, because I never learned to swim properly. As a child I was in the water whenever I could. I loved it. Then I took a swimming class and flunked because I couldn't tread water long enough. The teacher (who was probably a 14 year old kid) humiliated me by saying "Well everyone passes except Jazz because she can't even tread water for a whole minute". I never took another swimming class. But I still love the water.

I love collage. With a passion. I lurk on several collage blogs like El Collage, Daily Collage Project, Papiers collés (this woman does incredible stuff), and Charles Farrell. I've tried making collages. They're really really bad. Seriously. I have no artistic talent whatsoever.

I don't really see the point to potted plants. Which is probably why they mostly die when they come into contact with me. I just killed one a couple of weeks ago. I had had it about a month. I haven't yet managed to kill the mutant Lucky Bamboo. It refuses to die. It just keeps getting bigger and bigger. It thrives on neglect. I've had to repot the thing twice so far. And these things usually never grow. Go figure.

I can't be bothered to find any illustrations to go with this post.

I am obsessed by writing instruments. I love pens, especially fountain pens. I own several.

Though I love to write, I never for an instant actually thought of writing a book. I love reading novels, but actually writing one doesn't appeal to me in the least. That Nanowri... whatever thing where you're supposed to write a whole novel in November never struck my fancy. Kudos to those who do it - I'm just too damn lazy.

I have a thing for Scandinavian crime fiction (remember when they were called detective noves or murder mysteries?). Henning Mankell, Stieg Larson, Karin Fossum, Jo Nesbo and some guy from Iceland called Arnaldur Indridason (or something like that). Scandinavians write kickass crime fiction. Maybe it's those dark winter months.

Many many years ago, when I was in university getting my degree in translation, I pictured myself translating novels in a house by the sea. I never really did much translation (other than freelance) because it bores me to tears. I have no idea where that fantasy came from, because had I actually become a translator, I would no doubt be working in a govenment office translating reports on the ins and outs of pig shit disposal.

It never ceases to amaze me how 26 little squiggles can be assembled in so many ways to end up as a seemingly infinite number of words and portray so many emotions. It's pretty awesome when you think about it.

I wonder if anyone has ever calculated the number of possible different combinations of the alphabet into words. I guess it would be pretty much impossible wouldn't it, seeing the variables, like how many letters per word, how many vowels you need per number of consonents, etc. Stil, it would be interesting.

Why do I think of these things?

I have a passion for crows and ravens. They are definitely my favourite birds.

I've pretty much developed a sort of radar that allows me to walk down the street while reading a book without walking into lampposts or other people. I kind of always figured it was the norm until people asked me how the hell I manage it. Unfortunately, that seems to be my only talent.

Mr. Jazz and I have been officially married for 20 years since Wednesday. Time flies. There was no frilly dress, there are maybe three snapshots, the idea behind the wedding was free travel for me. But still, 20 years. The mind boggles. JazzSis has been married almost 30 years and BB, well BB has been married forever (over 30 I think). We do longevity in our family.

I'm aiming for 20 more, which should be a piece of cake considering the past 20.

When I was a kid, for some reason I loved rainy Fridays. As an adult, not so much... she says as the rain falls yet again. I'm so sick of this summer. Had I wanted non-stop rain, I would be living inVancouver. That way at least I wouldn't have to deal with winter.


furiousBall said...

crows and ravens? hmm. would not have figured that. but this is why it's fun to read these

Urban Animal said...

Congrats to you and Mr. Jazz on 20 years of marriage, even though it was due to free travel :)

I feel the same about lakes and oceans. Give me the ocean any day over a lake, heck over a pool too. And I don't swim, not really. My father threw me in the pool as a swimming lesson. Yeah, nice way to learn...

Gnightgirl said...

I looooove fountain pens too, and own several.

As for reading and walking down the street, not me. I lately find myself walking right into things that are directly in my line of vision. Low beams, trees, cupboard doors...right there, and bam!

(I can't post under my screename, for some reason.)

Jazz said...

Fuball - I like hummingbirds too. Maybe it's time you did one!

UA - The ocean is great

Gnightgirl - Actually, I walk into things all the time. I've always got multiple bruises. The radar only seems to work when I'm reading unfortunately.

Dumdad said...

I love Henning Mankell's gloomy detective Wallander; I've read about 5 or 6 of his novels.

I haven't heard of those other authors but I'll look out for them now.

Mr. Jazz said...

I've walked into a few parking meters and those &^%$! cement things all along the sidewalks in Amsterdam. Still hurts....

I actually like the muck at the bottom of lakes: it feels like a mud bath and it's good for the skin.

I hate rainy Fridays and it's pouring right now.

20 years done, going on 50, that's what I say.

Rachel said...

Your mind works in mysterious ways....

Congrats on your long and happy marriage. :)

Jazz said...

Dumdad - Wallander is my favourite. Have you ever read Mankell's non crime fiction books?

Mr.Jazz - I'm willing to go for 50 if you are!

Rachel - well I've heard it works in sick ways, but not so much mysterious. Wait! does that mean I'm GOD?!?!?!?!

xup said...

Translation in a government office is now like not even having a job at all, but still getting paid. There are software programs to do all the hard work for you and the translators just scan through it to make sure it's not total gobbledy-gook. We get back the most inane stuff, so I guess they don't check too carefully. It always has to be corrected by someone when it comes back from translation. You might want to look into perhaps getting in with the government afterall -- I keep seeing postings for translators.

VioletSky said...

Congrats on 20 years of bliss. Or marriage.

I love collages and aren't they so much more difficult to do than you could ever imagine?

geewits said...

Congratulations! After meeting you both I can see how it lasted all this time. You guys have a nice rapport. Thanks for this post - you don't usually do many personal things and it was nice to get to know you better. As for the swimming, I also never learned real swimming but I can tread water forever. When I'm in deep water and have to get from point A to point B, I sort of dog paddle or something. People usually laugh at me.

That girl said...

I loved your post! Your fascination with ravens is indeed the first of such kind that I've heard of.

Funny that you mentioned NOT writing a book being part of your plan, as I just posted the complete opposite on my blog, lol.

And lastly, I'll have you know that one of the pre-requisites of being a Vancouverite, one must truly, honestly, (some might even say passionatly) love rain :-)

That girl said...

Oh ya, there's that small matter of the 20 year anniversary that I failed to mention. No small feat on that one, so Congrats! Your family clearly needs to be subjected to some very invasive tests so that we may all find out what gene is responsible for the longevity in your relationships.

Perhaps you can help set a vaccine into motion?

I'd appreciate it, that's all I'm sayin...

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

"Non-stop rain" is only a myth spread by Vancouverites to keep the tourists at bay. Really, it only rains 97% of the time.

I love ravens. Always have.

I have a thing for Scandinavian crime movies -- those people know how to create tension. I'll have to give their crime fiction a try.... 'crime fiction'.... no, for me, it will always be 'murder mystery'.

The endless combination of numbers = moments spent basking in awe of language.

Congrats on 20 years!

Jazz said...

XUP - Paid for doing nothing... sounds like a plan!

Violet - Yeah, collage is hard. Have you checked out those at Papiers collés? They are awesome.

Geewits - I have developed a sort of sidestrokey thing. It looks better than dog paddling, though it's no doubt less efficient.

TG - A vaccine... hmmmm and I could make lots of money and move somewhere warm and sunny. Hey, that's a thought.

Kimber - Ravens and crows are so totally misunderstood.

Guillaume said...

I love crows and ravens too, partially because they often have a sinister image.

As a child, I used to be irrationally scared in the family's swimming pool when I was alone, thinking about all those Jaws movies: I thought it was the perfect place for a shark to hide. I can see why you can be scared of lakes.

Ian Lidster said...

That's what you get for having watched 'Creature of the Black Lagoon' when you were seven.
Otherwise, you and Mr. Jazz are blessed in your marital longevity. I find that very impressive and enviable.

Anonymous said...

I'm trying hard to ignore the intriguing juxtaposition of talk of long marriages and images of monstrous lake creatures and ravens.

Seems I'm going to have to go with the marriage composite length like Ian does - if I can get 21 years in on the next one, then I'll have 40 years total in marriages.

Gwen Buchanan said...

Really great post... You are so entertaining Jazz!!

My favourite indoor plants are plants that thrive on neglect too... I notice when they are croaking w-a-t-e-r-...

17 years here .. i kind of forgot how long we were together... I have been too busy.. how did that happen?

My son and I were just talking about our favourite pens yesterday.. Gotta have a good pen!!!

I like how you think!!

Jazz said...

Guillaume - Too bad about the sinister image actually. Ravens and crows are pretty much (along with a few parrots) the most "intelligent" birds around.

Ian - The Creature of the Black Lagoon!! I haven't seen that in forever. I really should rent it sometime to see just how cheesy it actually is.

Citizen - Forty years is enviable, however you attain it.

Gwen - A good pen is key.

Guillaume said...

Crows and ravens didn't always have bad reputations: Vikings held ravens in high regard as they were Odin's messengers. I posted a comment on Gwen's blog about why they got a bad reputation. I do appreciate this bad reputation, in a way, as they are perfect to create atmosphere in scary stories.

I also vaguely remember the Creature of the Black Lagoon, it was a cool cheesy movie.