It’s not exactly a meme, but I think it’s turning into one. An audience-participation meme? Sort of, I guess. Anyway, here’s the thing.
What I’d love is if you leave me about 5 random words/phrases/events/actions, etc., in the comments. I’ll answer with what I associate these things with. If you do it, I will return the favor by leaving YOU 5 random things to do the same thing with on your blog, if you want to do it.
Fraulein N gave me a random list of five words/phrases, and I will write what I associate with them. (In fact, I think I’m just going to borrow Fraulein N’s method of handling this because it seems to work pretty well.) If, say, you would like me to give you a list of five random words/phrases for you to write about, then leave me a list in the comments, I will update this post with my responses, and reply to your comment (here on this page, not via email) with a list for you to take over to your own blog. Sound fair? Okay then.
From Fraulein N:
1. naturally: I think of spam, mainly that of the penis-enlargement variety. I get a lot of it, because spammers seem to be laboring under the misapprehension that I have a penis. (Ha, like they care about who may see/read this crap.) Anyway, according to the subject lines, whatever product they’re selling is the way to enlarge a penis safely, effectively, and naturally. Thank you for ruining that word for me, spam. I appreciate it.
2. intimidated: Heh. My theme! When I was a kid, I was a total ham and spent a lot of time seeking out any possible limelight I could find, but by the time I reached those awkward preteen years I had withdrawn a lot, was seriously lacking in self-confidence, and was so terrified of times in school when I would have to do any sort of public speaking that I would get sick and my entire body would tremble with anxiety. So when the opportunity presented itself, I did what any logical person terrified at even the prospect of public speaking would do: I forced myself to take a performing arts class during my freshman year of high school. It was the first time I told myself that I had to do something I was scared to do because it was the only way I could move forward. And now when I am intimidated by something, I remember back to 14-year-old me on the first day of 9th grade, standing up in front of that class. If I could do that without falling over dead from sheer terror, I can do anything. I should remind myself of this more often.
3. alfresco: Eating outside. Which makes me think of Italy. Which makes me think of Venice, and Bar Salus in Campo Santa Margherita and ordering those little cheese-tomato sandwiches without the tomato and Mirella always thought I was insane, but I like things the way I like them. Sitting at one of those tables under the awning outside the bar, writing bullshit in my journal or going over Italian grammar before class. Being so impossibly young and bright-eyed. Living in ITALY. Damn, I miss that place.
4. limited-time offer: I immediately think of those television commercials for things I’d never ever buy, things that Billy Mays would scream excitedly at me about, and if I call within the next five minutes, I will get double the offer, plus some extra crap to go along with it, and it’s really worth like $100, but I can get it at the introductory low price of $19.99 (plus shipping & handling) and I’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee, so I’d better CALL NOW WHILE OPERATORS ARE STANDING BY!!!!! Exactly.
5. batteries not included: I make no specific association; I just get a general sense of disappointment and delayed gratification. I am such a cheery girl.
1. Freedom: My main association with this word has nothing to do with the concept of freedom itself, but rather I think of the George Michael song “Freedom ’90″ and the accompanying music video (directed by David Fincher) with all the supermodels. It’s one of those definitive pop culture things from my youth, back in the long-ago era when MTV played videos. So, freedom is a burning leather jacket?
2. Wardrobe: I think of theater costumes, specifically quick changes between scenes. There’s really nothing that can erase one’s sense of modesty faster than having 90 seconds to change clothes. Is it weird that this is the first thing I thought about? Don’t answer that.
3. Percolate: Coffee. Or perhaps rage.
4. Distracted: You know when you’re just aimlessly surfing the web, clicking links, going from page to page to page, and you’re doing this in multiple browser tabs? It’s kind of like that in my head all the time (yay, ADD) and I don’t think I’m ever not distracted, really.
5. Shrunken: Wool sweater laundry disaster, and “Wow, I really should have had that dry cleaned.” Either that or the end of Beetlejuice with the shrunken heads.
From All the Wine:
1. Truth: I think of Stephen Colbert and truthiness. Have I mentioned that I love Stephen Colbert? Because I do. I totally do.
2. Pancakes: I love pancakes. I rarely have them anymore but they just mean lazy weekend mornings to me and what’s not to love about lazy weekend mornings? Even if my pancake-eating process is a bit involved. Well, not the eating part, but the getting ready part. Because I have to heat the syrup and then poke holes in the pancakes and pour the syrup directly into the holes, because I’m weird, but that’s the correct way to eat pancakes, and anyone who disagrees is a heathen.
3. Divine: I’m sort of embarrassed about how crazy this is going to seem, but this word tastes like grapes. I told you. I can’t even explain myself. Let’s move on.
4. Crush: Ah. Of course this makes me think about crushes. I develop crushes pretty easily, but I un-develop them pretty easily too, so it works, I suppose. All it takes really is noticing at least one tiny, impossibly hot detail about another person, and it could be anything, because, after all, what’s impossibly hot to me may not be impossibly hot to you. And then recognizing that one tiny, impossibly hot detail makes other details — things you never thought about noticing before — seem painfully obvious. And even if a crush goes nowhere, even if it bubbles to the surface and fizzes out in no time, there’s something incredible about it. Delicious, even. Noticing something wonderful about another human being. I know that the dad in Sixteen Candles (why do I keep making references to this movie?) says “That’s why they call them crushes. If they were easy, they’d call them something else.” And while I know the hurt of dashed expectations, I think this line is untrue. (Me? Disagreeing with a movie line? Get out.) I think they’re called crushes because how else do you describe that surge of everything all at once? All those feelings — the excitement, the nervousness, the being turned on, the fear, the happiness, the anxiety — jump out and come back at you so fast that they can knock the wind out of you, crush it right out of your lungs, leaving you breathless and dizzy and wondering what the hell just happened, every single time you see that person. It’s awful and so great all at the same time. You can’t live that way all the time without your head exploding (probably), but man, when it happens. Yum.
5. Hamhock: Beans and cornbread.