- What’s the closest you’ve come to having a hangout where everybody knows your name? My cousins grew up across the street from a bar, and the older get the more I realize that the location of the bar was kind of weird because it was really in the middle of a rural-ish residential area. But of course, when we were of age (and, uh, sometimes when we weren’t), we spent a lot of time there. The owner knew my cousins’ family already from doing business across the street for years, but she came to know the rest of us, too. These days, the owners of a coffee shop in town recognize my husband and I–he went in by himself to get me something one morning and told her some news, and she mentioned it to me when I was in by myself a week or so later.
- Where do you go when you want to be around people but don’t want to talk to anyone or be recognized? Probably the library. Someone is always there, but it’s quiet.
- Where can you go if you need a little bit of sleep but home is unavailable? My mom’s. It’s almost an hour-log drive, but if I had to, I could.
- Where do you dine out when you’ve got very little to spend? The easiest answer is Taco Bell, but aside from that, local chains Eat ‘N’ Park or Primanti’s. We can–and have–eaten full meals at both for about 25 bucks for both of us, and we could get that even cheaper if we had to.
- What TV show’s characters’ hangout spot do you most wish were right around the corner? I don’t know! Most of them don’t sound super appealing, but I think it’s because I wouldn’t want to run into those particular characters.
- Among people you know, who’s got the softest shoulder? My husband, which is probably obvious. He’s supportive and sympathetic, and I can talk to him about anything, of course. He’s the one I go to first.
- Among people you know, who’s got the stoutest heart? It was probably my dad, and frankly, most of the time, it manifested in bad ways–he wasn’t always empathetic, and I think sometimes he could come off as callous without intending to. I think what he saw as strength and pragmatism sometimes came off as being cold and uncaring, mostly because of poor word choice and a bad sense of timing. But he didn’t care what people thought of him, and he’d give pretty blunt advice.
- Among people you know, who’s got the most soul? Ooh, I don’t know. I’m gonna go with my six-month-old niece, Eliana, who loves life right now.
- Among people you know, who’s got the biggest mouth? My best friend, Terra. Now, she’s shy, so generally, no, but if she gets pissed off enough, she’s not holding back. She’s certainly pissed off a few exes, and I know what you’re thinking–that’s how they ended up exes, but nope.
- Among people you know, who’s got the toughest liver? Oof, my friend Marion. The amount I’ve alcohol I’ve seen consumed…although my brother and I can hold our own, too. Not necessarily in such mass quantities, but neither of us really gets hungover, and it’s certainly not because we’ve never been drunk enough.
- What are you most likely to reach for when you stress-eat? I’m not really a stress eater at all, but if I happen to be hungry and angry or burned out, pasta. It’s my favorite food overall anyway.
- When were you last disappointed by a meal? Speaking of pasta, we went out to see Rocky Horror as usual and ate out before, and I ordered this pasta that wasn’t bad or anything, but it wasn’t as good as I’d hoped. The sauce had a flavor to it I wasn’t too thrilled with.
- What food are you sad you can’t get anymore? All of my grandma’s cooking. My aunt has nailed down her apricot cookies and poppyseed cake and I’m confident we do a good job with her potato salad, but we also never got it quite right. And her cottage cheese and dumplings–that’s a super easy one that’s not, like, a recipe unique to her or anything and could be duplicated just fine, it’s just that I’ve never tried. I should.
- For what food will you make an exception to a personal rule? Speaking of Grandma’s food, my mom makes her soups on occasion, which are of course made with meat, and I’m a vegetarian. I’ll also still eat her rigatoni, even though that has meat in the sauce. I avoid it as much as possible. Shrimp is also still a weakness of mine, although I successfully avoid it almost all of the time, and good, fresh crab tempts me anytime I’m at the beach.
- What’s something you really like but would never order while dining out because you have it at home all the time? It’s not necessarily because I have it at home a lot, but any Polish food that’s common in the family at holidays and such, I think in part because the family does it the best, of course, and it just feels pointless. Now, if there’s a restaurant that has a reputation for that cuisine or a specific food, I’ll try it–I did that with this Hungarian place we went to with Marissa and Meri where I got pierogis. And for a while, I stopped eating eggplant parmesan when I went out because I preferred how I make it at home. I haven’t made it in a while, though, and I should get back into that.
As always, from Friday 5.
- What’s the best striped food? Fudge Stripe cookies, which sound delicious right now.
- What’s the best spotted food? Huh, I can’t think of any. Or at least not any that I eat.
- What’s the best layered food? Lasagna. Sure, it’s the most obvious answer, but pasta is my favorite thing, and layers of pasta and cheese smothered in sauce? Yes. I make a pretty good eggplant lasagna, too, when I think about doing it.
- What’s the best swirly food? Cinnamon buns, especially hot and fresh, even if the cinnamon and frosting get stuck under my long fingernails.
- What’s the best black-and-white food? Sushi, duh.
As always, from Friday 5.
- What does your favorite mug look like? My favorites are the ones I used to get at the Renaissance festival–hand-blown glass, with these multi-colored rainbow patterns. They’re so pretty. But I also have an impressive collection of novelty mugs, and those frontrunners are one with a cat giving the finger, one with an alien that says, “I believe in you,” and, of course, one with the Pizza Hut logo that says, “Pizza Slut.”
- With a typical dinner out, how many glasses of water do you drink? Man, like one? I usually drink iced tea, first of all, but even then, I never hit more than two. My husband, on the other hand, probably hits three or four at a minimum.
- What’s something for which you recently used a paper cup, other than to hold a beverage? I have a habit of using them to hold other trash, like food wrappers or napkins. Or other cups.
- How confidently do you pour a drink into a tumbler with your non-dominant hand? I almost never do it so it wouldn’t be great, but I don’t think it would be horrible, either.
- What’s going to be your holy grail for this weekend? Seeing my niece and sleeping in.
- What were you recently sure of, but are now having doubts about? My job. Sort of. So the thing is I always knew automation would eliminate my job one day. We’re not at that point yet because although technology has improved, it’s not good enough to totally replace humans, but it does mean that the nature of my job may change soon. If I’m right, it’ll go in a direction I don’t really want to. It was never my dream job to begin with, and maybe if I was a new hire and not eight years in I’d feel differently, but it may end up that my daily tasks end up being things I don’t enjoy as much. Essentially, I’d like to start looking for other opportunities so I can bail before it gets to that point.
- What’s something you’d like to see this weekend but probably won’t? There are a couple movies out I’d like to see, but so would my mom and brother. He had drill for the weekend, so we’re holding out until he’s free.
- When were your doubts pleasantly verified? In January, my husband was told the company is moving his site to Mexico. At the time, it looked like that was gonna pan out within a couple of months, but every week or so, he comes home with updates for how horribly the relocation is going that have had us both doubting it would happen on time. Sure enough, there’s chatter they need to remain open for another year. We know for sure it’ll be around into early 2020.
- When were your doubts pleasantly disproven? My best friend always jokes that her exes come crawling back, and it’s true–after almost every breakup she’s ever had, they’ve gotten back together. The last dude she dumped was a dick, and I doubted the breakup would stick, as usual. I was wrong. Hallelujah.
- What’s something you have absolutely no doubts about? My marriage. My own determination. My current crop of friends. That everything does work out, it just might take a long, long time.
From Friday 5.
- What’s something (besides an electronic device) for which you spent extra money on a protective case? I don’t think I have. I mean, I have a case for my contact lenses that’s a unicorn, but that was a small part of my birthday present from my mom.
- What product’s packaging do you find excessive or inadequate? I had an online order through Sephora semi-recently that came in a cardboard box that was kind of big for what was in it–it was mostly small things like lipsticks or eyeliner that have small, skinny packaging and could honestly be shipped in a large padded envelope, probably, instead of a box Come to think of it, I think Sephora, when it comes to small orders, is bad with wasteful packaging. Similarly, one of the brands they carry put out a vegan mascara people were really excited about, but it came in this huge package that was definitely for aesthetics and a lot of people weren’t happy about it.
- What are your preferences for food storage containers? We have these nice glass dishes with lids that seal tight that we really like. I also bought covers like these that just fit over our regular bowls, and we use the tiny one for the cats’ canned food.
- This coming week, what would you like to be shielded from? Annoying assignments at work.
- What’s something interesting you’re keeping in a plastic storage box in your home? Woof, whatever is lurking in boxes we haven’t touched since we moved in last year. There’s one with my old scrapbooks and other photos somewhere and one that I think is housing books still. There’s one with Christmas decorations. And two small ones with just silica powder that I used to preserve my wedding bouquet.
From Friday 5.
- When did you last make an adjustment to your daily getting-ready routine? This week and last month–I usually work from home, but we have an in-house rotation that’s a month long and comes up about once a year. Mine was in September, so I had to go to bed earlier so I could get up earlier so I could get ready for work and then make the drive in. The schedule changes on the first Monday of the month, which also happened to be the start of my weekend rotation, so I got Monday off, and for the rest of the week and the foreseeable future, I’m back to getting up about a half-hour before I’m due to start my shift. I have anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes back every day, too. It’s really nice. It’s kind of amazing what you can do with an extra hour every day
- When did you last try a new personal hygiene product? I bought one within the last couple weeks ago to try. It’s a toner that’s supposed to help control oil and minimize the look of your pores, and so far, it does seem to be working.
- What food or drink item have you most recently added to your regular consumption? When I was in the office, I was back to taking a lunch, so I was taking some sort of entree item and a few little side things like yogurt and other little snack items. I’m back to a smaller, simpler lunch since I can just grab something if I’m still hungry.
- What’s a brand-named product you recently abandoned your loyalty to? I can’t think of any in particular, and I say that as someone who does take things like politics and social issues into account when I buy things. I don’t think anything’s gotten the axe recently.
- What item in your wardrobe have you recently moved out of the regular rotation? I have this long purple skirt I was wearing to the office about once a week, and I was wearing a plain, darker purple shirt with it. Near the end of the month, I discovered it had a small hole in the shoulder that started to get bigger, so that’s been moved out of rotation and into a bag designated for clothing recycling.
From Friday 5.
- Where did you go the first time you drove by yourself? Almost definitely my cousins’ house.
- Who was the first non-family non-instructor you drove anywhere, and where did you go? It would’ve had to have been friends, but I don’t remember. I was a late bloomer driving-wise and most of the friends I hung out with didn’t live super close, so it’s really unlikely that I was picking people up to go anywhere.
- What’s the dumbest thing you’ve done behind the wheel? Driven with alcohol in my system. Not enough that I was a danger–I’m not that dumb and I know my limits–but enough that it was still dumb and that if I would’ve been pulled over, I would’ve at least been nervous.
- What’s the nicest drive you’ve ever taken? The drive up to the mountains has some nice parts. You’d think the whole thing would be nice because of the mountains, but the drive up isn’t very impressive, at least depending on which way you go–there’s not much of a view, and when you get up there, most of what you see is hotels and stores, or if you go up the way we do, houses, which are really nice but still don’t give you a great view. It’s when you start heading towards the river and waterfalls that you get the nice nature views. There was also a drive I took once I think to State College that took the back way and not the highways that was really nice.
- Who’s the worst driver you know? I’ve had some friends who we all thought we pretty bad, but I haven’t been a passenger with them in years, so who’s to say now? My dad was always bad–kind of careless and a dick. He used to say that the government trusted him to drive a tank so he couldn’t be that bad, and we’d say that was just proof that the government is stupid. But as much as I hate to say this publicly…my husband is. He used to be fine when he drove his parents’ massive 12-passenger van when we were dating, but when he bought a crossover that’s obviously much smaller, he got terrible. I don’t know if it’s a confidence thing or what, but he’s not always attentive, his speed is really inconsistent, he’s overconfident in the snow…I’m amazed he’s never been in an accident.
As always, from Friday 5.
- What’s a good song with a time of day in its title? “12:51” by The Strokes and “10:15 Saturday Night” by The Cure.
- What’s a good song with a day of the week in its title? “Monday” by Black English, “I Don’t Like Mondays” by the Boomtown Rats, obviously, “Tuesday’s Dead” by Cat Stevens, “On a Friday” by Blaqk Audio, and another obvious one, “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure.
- What’s a good song with a month in its title? “Forget December” by Something Corporate.
- What’s a good song with a year in its title? “1952 Vincent Black Lightning,” and I’m partial to Amanda Palmer’s version she did with her dad. And, of course, “December, 1963 (Oh, What a Night) y the Four Seasons. And I’m gonna through in the “1812 Overture” by Tchaikovksy, my favorite composer. It’s looking like my second favorite is gonna be Camille Saint-Saens.
- What’s a good song with the word “time” in its title? “Foreplay/Long Time” by Boston, “Time and Confusion” by Anberlin, “The Times They Are A Changin'” by Bob Dylan, “Too Much Time on My Hands” by Styx, and, of course, “Time” by Pink Floyd.
Imagine if my full collection was on iTunes and therefore searchable…
As always, from Friday 5.