Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Tagged! (I Know What You Memed Last Summer)

Presto from Growing Up Is for Quitters has tagged me (thank you!), so as a ragtag rapscallion, what must I do? Let's see...

To do list

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link to their blog. (DONE)
  2. Give your readers eleven random facts about yourself.
  3. Answer the eleven questions from the person who nominated you.
  4. Nominate eleven bloggers to receive this award.
  5. Invent eleven questions for your nominees.
Eleven random things about me

1. I make my morning coffee in a vintage harvest-gold percolator. It'll take years for the hipsters to catch up to this one, though not for lack of my taunting them.

2. My favorite food is oysters, which doesn't stop me from referring to them as "sea sewage."

3. I live in a casita smaller than many McMansions' master bedrooms. I'd sort of wanted to live in a guesthouse for years, and one day I got sick of the duplex I was renting, found a guesthouse for rent on Craig's List, and moved.
4. Sometimes I go to the airport just to ride the monorail that runs from the tram station to the main terminal.
5. My cat insists on having a napping box. Since I haven't bought boots in a while, the current napping box is two shoeboxes duct-taped together.

Yep, pimpin' the cat out for teh interwebz.

6. My approach to navigation is "I should see where that goes." Before the era of smartphones with Google Maps, I got lost a lot, including once somehow misplacing Pennsylvania.

7. At conferences, I sit at the back and use the venue's free wifi to fact-check the speakers' claims. It's amazing I get invited anywhere twice.

8. I was at least twenty-seven before I liked the color pink.
9. I defuse all political arguments by forcing a discussion of Dancing with the Stars.
10.  Ninety-five percent of the time, I'd rather go to a flea market than a high-end mall. (The other 5% of the time probably involves something like the basement food court at the downtown Minneapolis Macy's.)

11. All quirks are explained with "my markings make me hostile," a line stolen from a veterinarian's explanation of the temperament of this tortie cat my parents used to have.

Answer the questions put to me

1. What kinds of toys got you into collecting and customizing?
The answer depends on the threshold for "got you into" and the definition for "collecting," but I crammed both answers into one photo.

Where should we put the piano, Katie?
Katie and Hayden, my first two Liv dolls, are what sucked me into the doll-collecting world. (I still haven't really customized anything, though there are some faceless Barbies in the Body Farm awaiting their day with the colored pencils.)

The concept was to build Katie and Hayden a house, since it was dollhouses I was into. So they're posed with what's canonically my first dollhouse, built for me by my father. It's currently furnished mostly with Blue Box mid-century modern furniture (fake Tri-ang Spot On, in a smaller scale) and inhabited by big-headed yarn people.

2. What's the coolest way you've repurposed something to work on/with one of your projects?
Pretty much the only candidate is the Easter egg stools for Katie and Hayden's patio, here demonstrated by Hayden's cousin Hallie.

I thought we were having margaritas on the patio.
3. Sonic or Mario?
Eep. I've never played either. The question did get me to rediscover the primitive Atari game Adventure, which turns out to be really tedious by current standards. But it has dragons.

You can't kill the dragon with the key.
4. What do you do to find inspiration? 
I roam. Seriously. I go walk around and look at things, with breaks to ride around and look at things. An August like this past one, where it's painfully hot and humid (seriously -- 117 degrees and coming on to rain) puts a real damper on my creativity. 

5. What time period would you most like to live in, other than the modern one?
Assuming I can't skip forward and pick one in the future because I don't know what it'll be like, I'd go with the 1920s.

Phoenix in the 1920s was still considering the merits of paving.
Women were admitted to college and able to get reasonably responsible jobs (it took a certain eccentricity to get out of the secretarial pool, but it was more do-able than in the 1950s or early 1960s). Indoor plumbing existed, at least in cities. Trolleys existed (I like trolleys). Corsets were out of fashion. Cooking at the dining table with one's electric skillet and electric toaster was considered chic. On the whole, a good era.

Some of the events that came next were unpleasant, but this is a risk you take.

6. When has a project just made you give up? Why?
I just officially gave up on the Steampunk Orchid, as trimming it out was making me cranky and the rooms were seeming cramped. The dreadful truth is that I don't really like building dollhouses. I like furnishing spaces.

Let's all laugh nervously and change the subject.

7. What's the most versatile tool in your arsenal?
Behold the Easy Cutter! It cuts things, easily.

8. When has a project surpassed your wildest expectations? How?
Eep! I'm still more at the stage of "when has a project not gone utterly pear-shaped?" Among projects, though, I'm particularly pleased with the 3/8-scale outhouse, since I had to design it from scratch with no model or instructions.

9. What's your all-time favorite movie?
The Seven Percent Solution: Sherlock Holmes, Sigmund Freud, and a high-speed train chase. What's not to like?

10. What's a skill you want to learn someday? 
Photography... but I say that every single year, so with any luck, smartphone cameras will improve to the point that I don't have to learn anything.

11. If you could live in a fictional universe, which one would you pick? 
The one I'm working on for the novel I'm supposedly writing, which is a nice dystopia. I like dystopias in a genuinely affectionate way... as in, the protagonist isn't the Chosen One who's going to transform the dystopia to be more like our world, but my characters just live in the mess they're in and cope. I'm very much a "soooo... we've reached the end of history and civilization as we know it... let's see what's on the other side!" gal.

Nominate 11 people not already chosen
  1. What's the oldest item in your immediate environment (room, house, office, up to you)?
  2. When has a project exceeded your wildest expectations? How?
  3. Chocolate: white, dark, milk, or none at all?
  4. If you could have dinner with three fictional characters, who would they be?
  5. What's your all-time favorite movie?
  6. If you could choose a career other than your actual one(s), what would it be?
  7. How many cats is the optimum number?
  8. What is the most versatile tool in your arsenal?
  9. Winter person or summer person?
  10. What do you most wish you could organize properly?
  11. What do you do to find inspiration?
And there we go... Four Teresas from different time periods wish you luck!


  1. Thank you for nominating me :-). This post is great to read, thank you for sharing these fun facts about you! I love your percolator and would choose the 1920s too. Cool that you're writing a novel, is it your first?

    1. Thank you! I actually wrote a novel all the way to the end and got as far as soliciting agents, before I moved to Phoenix, but it never went anywhere. The second one's harder, as now I second-guess myself more.

      Looking forward to your answers...

  2. Thank you for nominating me, this one is a lot of fun!
    I loved your post, I agree the best era would be the 20's and your random details cracked me up. Your pick for best movie is interesting, it's a movie I try to see once a year!

    1. OMG, another 7% Solution fan! I wouldn't have guessed.

      Looking forward to reading your answers!

  3. Thanks for the nomination! I will post my answers later this week. I looooove perked coffee. It's so much better than any other. I have drip which is OK. Not a fan of the Keurig though. That outhouse is awesome.

    1. Aw, thanks! Perked coffee wakes a gal RIGHT UP.

      And see, I get to read what you answer. I am tricky that way.

  4. What an interesting individual you are! No wonder your posts are always so fun and adventurous.

    1. Oh maaaaaaannnnn... my major worry was coming across as extremely boring in an eccentric way that requires wearing gray and fussing a lot. (And I still might. But thank you!)

  5. Thank you for nominating me. And thank you for sharing so many interesting details about you. These are always very interesting. What I know after the last two surveys is that this is a pretty vibrant community!!!! Hmmm.....I'll have to think about those questions. My responses will go up after my next post. Coming up with 11 new people will be a bit of a challenge.

    1. Aw, thanks! Looking forward to your answers...

  6. Thank you for the nomination! <3
    Your cat is very adorable~ And I am totally on board with the number 10, flea markets are wonderful places. uwu
    I have been away a bit so it took me a long time to notice this, deeply sorry about that!

  7. Thank you for nominating me! It is about time I got around to answering this, so stay tuned!