February 15, 199
The Ultimate *You* Survey

God.  A bona fide day off from work!  How delightful! Suddenly the weekends feel like weekends again, now that I'm back to work. And days off feel like  ...  well, they feel like days off. (As opposed to just another day of me sitting around on my adorable butt, eating tangerines and listening to Mr. Costello.) 
I've spent most of the day puttering around The Castle ... hauling laundry back and forth across the apartment complex ... fiddling with the website, mostly behind-the-scenes *maintenance* stuff ... listening to the new CDs we picked up at the Virgin Records Megastore, over the weekend ...

... but mostly having some fun with an e-mail Daughter #1 sent me over the weekend. It's one of those "cyber surveys" that have been making the rounds lately  --  aimed mostly at adolescent cybergrrl types ("If you could get a tattoo anywhere, what would it be?"), but Daughter #1 managed to fill hers out with tons of humor and insight and typical Daughter #1 'tude.  She then asked me to fill one out ... which I am doing now, per her instructions, via the website:

*~* The Ultimate YOU Survey *~*

The You Side

Full Name:  SecraTerri. But feel free to call me Zeth Exderm, Imperial Praetor of the Quonsac Territories. Or *Lloyd.*  Either will be fine.

Birthdate: My birthday presents are usually wrapped in Santa Claus wrapping paper.

Age: 41.

Location: The kitchen.

Your zodiac sign: Is that an apple on your head, or are you just happy to see me?

Nicknames: I'm always overjoyed when pimply adolescent store clerks call me "Ma'am."

Height: I need a little help reaching the top shelf at the library (unless I'm wearing the ridiculous three-inch heels).

Eye Color: Green as mildew.

Hair Color: The box says "#609."

Are you a righty or a lefty or ambidextrous?: I'm righty as rainy.

Favorite TV shows: Japanese-language cooking competitions, preferably sans subtitles.  (And preferably involving ingredients that aren't still BREATHING, forcryingoutloud.)

Favorite movie you've seen: "Exploding Teenage Breasts of Vengeance"

What's your favorite flavor Snapple: Snapple is against the law in California. Did you know that? So we drink Yoo-Hoo instead.

Favorite board game: I consider myself a Scrabble champoin.

Favorite magazine: *~* Cool and Strange Music *~*

Favorite Author: Anne Lamott.

What's your favorite holiday: National Q-Tip Safety Awareness Day.  Of course.

What's your favorite color: Lately I find myself partial to pink. (Ugly Pink Stove: "Don't believe her!! She's just saying that to get on my good side!")

Favorite shampoo or conditioner:  As long as the bottle comes with operating instructions -- "Lather. Rinse. Repeat if necessary" -- I'm not picky.

Persons who know the most about you: Basically everyone on the planet, thanks to this website.

Loudest person you know: Our upstairs neighbor at 4:16:32 a.m.

Craziest or silliest person you know: Oh I don't know. That Henry Hyde is a real bucket o' giggles.

Favorite Friends to hang with: [clearing throat, preparing to sing The Official 'Grilla Anthem ...]

If you could meet one person in the world, who would it be?:  Ummm ... maybe the UPS guy, finally bringing me that much-ballyhooed box of See's Chocolates?

If you could meet any dead person, who?:Dead people generally aren't the world's greatest conversationalists, but it might be sorta fun to slap Roy Orbison around a little. ("Stop being dead THIS INSTANT! I mean it!")

The Nicest Guy you've ever met: I just finished folding his clean socks for him.

The Crush Side

Do you have a crush?: I am crushed that KFC is no longer serving Honey BBQ Chicken. Does that count?

Do you have a Boyfriend/Girlfriend?:  Well, somebody is leaving the toilet seat up. I assume it's my boyfriend.

If so who: He With Whom I Share Many Kitschy Pastel-Colored Kitchen Appliances.

If you could go out with anyone in the world, who?: I wouldn't mind a few minutes' worth of Steve *We Think You Have Been Idle For 47 Minutes So We're Gonna Throw Your Butt Offline Even If You're Right In The Middle of Something Critical* Case's time and attention.

When you meet a person of your preferred sex, you first notice what about them?: Hair. (I *prefer* that they HAVE some.)

Who was your first crush?:In the first grade, Larry Conway and I got married during lunch recess. We honeymooned on the monkey bars afterward. Our marriage lasted for three hours, until he picked Diana Higman to be "the cheese" during The Farmer In The Dell. Then I dropped him like a hot Tinker Toy.

Have you ever been in love?: Not until recently.

The Past Side

What do you remember most about this year?: So far? I remembered to take the towels out of the dryer this morning. I'd say I'm doing pretty well.

Memory (thing) you miss the most: I miss standing on the back porch, shooting one-handed hoops with The Tots.

What's the first thing you thought of when you woke up this morning:  "It's 5:40 a.m. and I have the day off ... so why the hell aren't I asleep right now?"

Were you "cool" 5 years ago?: *I* certainly thought so. My kids might tell you something different.

Does it make you sad to know that you can never go back in time?:  Who says I can't? (George Washington says "Hi," btw.)

If you could go back in time would you?:   Of course. There is a ton of stuff I would do differently. I wouldn't wear maroon knee-highs with a red dress on the first day of fourth grade, for one thing. I wouldn't mix sloe gin with rootbeer at the eleventh grade Tolo, for another thing. And I would have ended my marriage with a lot more finesse and sensitivity.

The Future Side

Where do you see yourself in 10 Years:  Published.

Future Son Grandson names : I sorta like "Sven."

Future Daughters Granddaughter names: "Mehitabel."

If you could have any occupation when you get older, what would it be?: I wouldn't mind being an elderly Japanese gentleman.

What is your dream car: A 1971 Plymouth Valiant would be nice. Preferably baby blue, with a black vinyl top, an enormous dent in the right rear fender, cranky brakes that only work when they *feel* like it and a tinny AM radio that plays nothing but Brewer & Shipley.

Where do you want to get married?: Pier 39 on Hallowe'en. Preferably dressed as a Teletubbie and carrying a magic bag.

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?: Only when we've had Papa Murphy's for dinner.

What do you wear to bed?: A smile.

Most romantic thing that ever happened to you: A wonderful man spent hours of his time (and ran up enormous phone bills in the process) helping me achieve sobriety last summer ... and then he fell in love with me. It doesn't get much more romantic than that.

If you could dye your hair one color:  Actually, I just did. (We refer you once again to the little box, #609.)

On a scale from 1-10 (1 lowest) how romantic are you?: Haven't read the archives, have you?

If you could have a tattoo, what and where would it be?: A Happy Panda Face, on virtually any visible body surface. (Preferably one without a lot of NERVE ENDINGS.)

Any piercings....where?: One in left ear, two in right ear. Just because.

What's on your walls in your room?: My latest *masterpiece* ... a sprawling collage of photos/postcards/Grilla memorabilia/kangaroo scrotum/Tot artwork, attached with ten metric ton's worth of masking tape to the closet door. I call it "The Shrine." David calls it "That Stuff Taped To The Closet Door."

What type of deodorant do you use: I never sweat. I *glow.*

Have you ever been skinnydiping:  ' Skinnydiping?' Nope. But I went skinnydipping once. And I have the photo to prove it.

Do you type with your fingers on the right keys?: I use two fingers on each hand ... and my nose, occasionally, when I'm blow-drying and typing at the same time.

Have you ever been convicted of a crime?: If The King County Library System had its way, I might be.

The Feelings Side

What do you feel about the Ouija board?: I've been spooked ever since the Ouija board told me I was about to have a massive carpal tunnel attack. How did it know??

Do you believe in yourself: Yes.

Worst feeling in the world: The Teeth Falling Out In My Hand Dream.

Best feeling in the world: Waking up from The Teeth Falling Out In My Hand Dream.

Do you have motion sickness: Let me spin around in my chair a few times and I'll let you know ...

Are you for world Peace?: Absolutely.

What religion are you?: I remember all the words to "I Have Decided To Follow Jesus."

One thing you want to change about yourself?: I would love to be able to bend spoons with the power of my mind.

Are you a health freak?: I've been sober for five months today. Health is more important to me now than at any other time in my life.

Left over CrAzY side

What's on your mouse pad?: My gum.

How many rings before you answer the phone?: Are you serious? I answer the phone a bazillion and a half times a day at work, forcryingoutloud. When I get home at night, that sucker goes straight to MACHINE.

Have you ever been attacked by a big dog?: Yes I have. Fortunately, he didn't know his Mount Olympia from his Mount Rainier, and I managed to escape.

Do you eat chicken with fingers or with a fork?: I use scissors.

What is the best number in the world?: 43,897,621. Or three. Either works for me.

Would you rather give or receive: It doesn't matter. In the words of the immortal Earl Peterson, Michigan's Singing Cowboy: "Everything I give to you comes back to me."

How many homes have you lived in?: I've had three different addresses in the past year, but only one of them truly feels like *home.*

How many schools have you gone to?: Four.

Do you play any instruments?: Hohner Melodica.

Words or phrases you overuse: Slap me every time I say "stuff," "sorta," "ackkk," "gackkk" or "prolly." I mean it. Slap me. Slap me hard.

Do you get along with your parents? Dad taught me to cartoon. Mom taught me to take chances. I love them both with all my heart.

Favorite town to chill in?: TicTac ... forever and always.

What's your bedtime?: Ideally? 4:30 p.m. But I think my new boss might *frown* on that. So I try to stay awake at least until get home.

Do you like to drive: I LOVE to sit behind the wheel of a car!  And I'm really really good at it, too. It's the actual driving part that I suck at.

Chocolate or vanilla cake?: The cake is optional. Just give me a tub of frosting.

Favorite commercial: I am absurdly fond of that Volkswagen commercial  --  the one where the man and woman are driving around (what appears to be) New Orleans, and the snarky music is in synch with everything going on around them on the street.

Favorite cereal: There is only one cereal. Alpha-Bits. P-E-R-I-O-D.

Favorite food: My grandmother used to make raspberry jam, using berries grown in our garden. I hated it. I was convinced that it was the most vile, worm-infested, god-awful substance ever invented. So of course now that she's been gone for almost ten years, I dream about her raspberry jam constantly.

Favorite ice cream: I'm lactose-intolerant. Give me an ice cream cone ... and thenrun for your life. (Or at least crack open a window.)

Favorite perfume/cologne: I used to wear Tabu ... but when the bottle was empty, I threw it away.

Favorite subject in school: Anything relating to words words words words words.

Least Favorite: I flunked Algebra two years in a row, and I still count on my fingers. You do the math.

Favorite thing to Drink: Caffeine, in all of its various and sundry forms.

Favorite thing to do on the weekend: Sight-seeing around the Bay Area with The Other 50% of The Castle's Population.

Best and Favorite advice or tips you could ever give someone:  "Leap, and the net will appear." (Or my #2 favorite: "First you need an electrode to spin around a nucleus ... in reverse. Then you take a paper bag and put it on your head and SCREAM LIKE A CHICKEN.")



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