Friday, January 28, 2011


Thank you, Cloud of Secrets, for selecting me to receive The Stylish Blogger Award!
The rules of acceptance:

~Thank and link back to the person who awarded you
~Share 7 things about yourself
~Award 10 recently discovered great bloggers
~Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

1. My favorite hairstyle is second day curls; that is, I sleep with damp hair in sponge rollers and have a day of curls, then don't wash my hair, but might put it up for the night. The next day, when the curls are a little more relaxed, they still have body and make it look like I have more hair than I do. I like to pin it up and have curls at the back of my head, with curly tendrils falling artfully down. Like this:

2. For the longest time, my favorite Halloween costume ever was my Arabian princess, for which I wore silver press-on nails and one of my sister's dance costumes, with a veil and lots of rhinestones. But as an adult, my favorite was Terpsichore, muse of the dance, for which I made a simple blue toga edged in Greek key ribbon, and a pink shepherdess drape tied with ribbon and a bejeweled broach. I wore a flower circlet. I don't have a ready copy of a picture of it, but I modeled it on old art pieces like this work by Eustache Le Sueur.

3. My favorite instrument to listen to is probably the cello. I'm particularly fond of the violin also, but something about the cello gets inside me. I recently watched this video of Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic playing MJ's "Smooth Criminal" and I nearly drooled. Luka Sulic in particular is dreamy to me (the one with short hair and an impossibly alluring lower lip). I know nothing about these gentlemen except that they are award-winning cellists. And they give me goosebumps and shivers. The passion and thrill...I can hardly bear it. I've watched this over and over P.S. There should be more videos like this, classical instruments played with zest...and I love that it's a rock classic. I love my classics, but don't you think this would get kids interested in playing instruments?

4. I am almost pathologically independent. I find it very difficult to accept help from anyone for anything, with the exception of my family, and even their input is limited to some key areas like health, car care, and general advice. In the Shirley Temple version of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, she repeats the line, "I'm very self-reliant." That's pretty much me. And while people have said, "You deprive others of the joy of being helpful to you," I somehow can't get behind that sentiment. I don't know if it's because I don't like to be beholden to people, I don't like to feel like a helpless woman, or I feel like I was given enough by God that I should be able to survive with that, or what. I accept help when it's blindingly obvious I need it, but that is rare. I just seem to have a hard time letting people take care of me.

5. My favorite non-internet PC game is Where in Time Is Carmen Sandiego? Sure, I loved Blue Max and made it to the end, played hours of Tetris and its other versions, and Carmen Sandiego's other versions, too, and begged for Oregon Trail. But Where in Time was one of the first games we owned that had extras...there were the cases, but there were also places to go in HQ, like the coffee machine. There was also the chrono-thingy which had a pretty cool effect for a late 80s DOS game. And it came with a paperback encyclopedia.

6. I think the height of wealth would be having a house with a library so big you'd need a ladder on wheels to get at the high books. It should have a well-ventilated fireplace and comfortable, cozy chairs, and long windows with a view of a forest or a meadow or some such natural features. Not unlike this one, from the article "Super Home Libraries" over at Business Week. And if I can get one with a secret passageway, so much the better.

7. One of my most bizarre traits is chameleonism, most especially with my voice. I tend to pick up an accent and vocabulary quickly when I'm around people with a similar one (and drop them when the next group comes along), but I also do it while singing. I don't actually know what my natural singing voice sounds like, because I tend to imitate involuntarily, and I sing a song the way I've heard it. I remember driving in a car and singing along with The Cardigans' song "Lovefool" and my friend telling me I sound just like the lead. But I can do the same thing with many other artists. I am actually not very good at impressions of most people, but for some reason my singing voice is a total copycat. I notice it in church, too, after a soloist sings, or if someone good is near me...I sort of up the ante on my own voice. I don't know why it's like this, and I'm not always glad it's happening, because it doesn't make me trust my singing voice any, and I don't do it on purpose.

Who reads this blog? All of you are officially nominated :)


Terri said...

I read your blog! And if I count this one, I've been tagged four times. Guess it's about time to come up with 7 new revelations about myself.

Now, I'm off to watch that cello video. Cello music often "speaks" to me.

Carrie said...

Did you read that Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego is supposedly coming to Facebook? As is Oregon Trail. I hope they're cool.

I too want to have an elaborate library in my dream house. When I went over my bosses' house, she showed me the library they build when her husband got tenure. No floor to ceiling bookcases and not exactly my style, but I was still VERY jealous.

hadjare said...

I love second day curls too, though I never thought to call them that. My hair is so hard to convince to curl and then keep it...that wet sets are the only way to do it, and then it's always way too much the first day.

Abs said...

Terri, I can't wait to read your answers! I hope you enjoyed the cello...I made my Arts Village students watch it for their Art of the Day, and they were favorably impressed. Plus, I got to see it repeatedly. :)
Carrie, I did *not* read that and I am extremely intrigued. This might be the best thing since the not-Scrabble Scrabble game! I love hanging out with book people, because they totally get my obsession. If I can't live in a library, I'd like to have a giant one in my house! I wonder if we should all go in for a giant estate...three or four families, each with a wing, and we could have any number of fancy rooms and libraries. What do you think?
Hadjare, what type of hair do you actually have? Mine is very fine and drops curl quickly, so I do best with wet sets, too, but I have to be careful not to leave the curlers in too long or it will frizz out on me. I like my hot rollers for on-the-spot curls, but sponge rollers are my long term secret.

Cloud of Secrets said...

Great answers! I have learned to accept help and favors from time to time, because some offers really will help me maintain sanity. Dealing with two little kids has made me drop a lot of my self-reliant pride. I try to tip the balance back to rights over time, though -- offering to help back when I can, or sending big thanks and treat, that sort of thing. Because I am learning to accept help, but I never want to be considered a mooch.

I am fond of rich, dark cello, too. Who needs shrieky violins? I should make you a mix sometime with some pieces from my nice, moody "Jewish Cello" CD. I'll have to check out the other videos of Hauser and Sulic playing together, too. I almost think a more subdued piece and performance would be sexier, although the "Smooth Criminal" video was fun and unique.

Sometimes I look around the house and wonder where we could absolutely line the walls with bookcases. It's not going to happen while so much of the place is young child Toyland, though.

Abs said...

I tried to pick stuff about myself that you didn't already know, Mrs. Cloud of Secrets! That was tricky.
What's weird about not wanting help is that I'm generally totally ready to help others out, and often refuse any form of compensation other than thanks. I'm like a help guerilla. I don't think that's a terribly flattering trait either.
I will be interested to hear some Jewish cello pieces. I like my violins, as in Vivaldi and such, but's just a darker sound, as you say. You can say so much with it. I once saw a dancer's piece set to Bach's preludes, and it was intoxicating.
There is another good piece of Hauser and Sulic, but in a way it's a little too...overromantic. It doesn't have the same naturalness, even though it's actually a less staged performance. I watch the "Smooth Criminal" video every day. I would pay money to watch them play together live. I have to admit, it's partly the virility that keeps me going back.
I've seen some really interesting arrangements of books on high shelves, really about the height you'd put art pieces, or even higher, going all around people's walls. I kind of like that idea. hard to dust, maybe, and not good for really heavy books, but I have quite a few books that are fragile enough to be in smaller, more delicate units.
I'm also reminded of when I saw one of the apartments upstairs before I moved here, and the whole of one passage wall and part of a room contained bookshelves. I almost took that one because of it, tub.

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