Princess Strokenham (fiveandfour) wrote,
Princess Strokenham

At Last I'm Back

I've been having difficulties with posting, so it's taken me awhile to get back in here for this. I had these questions all answered, then accidentally deleted what I'd wrote. And when given an opportunity to bring back the draft, did I bring it back?  No.  I then accidentally clicked No. Those agonized sobs you heard a few days ago were me, just to let you know.

So...on to the answers I owe...

What was I doing 10 years ago?
Pretty much what I'm doing now. Same husband. Same child. Same job, more or less. I lived in a different place and the issues of raising my daughter were different (back then we were dealing with things like how she loved to write on walls and other inappropriate surfaces, such as the couch and herself, with permanent markers. Now we're dealing with preadolescence. And boys).

Five snacks I enjoy in a perfect, non weight-gaining world:
  • Popcorn (light salt, no butter)
  • Angel Food Cake (my favorite!), German Chocolate Cake, White Cake with a good lemon or raspberry filling. Pretty much I love most cakes. I don't love most frostings.
  • Cheese & crackers or peanut butter & crackers. The cheese can be either the good stuff (e.g. Tillamook smoky cheddar) or the processed stuff (e.g. Kaukauna) so long as it's on the cheddar-y side of the spectrum. The crackers can be most anything, so long as they don't include rye (blech).
  • Cheetos. Puffy. Crunchy. Jalapeno Cheddar flavored. I don't care, just bring on the orange menace!
  • Onion rings. From Ringside or Burgerville.  Homemade with beer batter (darker ales stand up well to onions and pair especially well to local Walla Walla sweets*). Even Burger King's rings will do in a pinch. Eating tuna melts with home made onion rings and beer have become a little family tradition on the day of the Civil War game. Go Beavs!
  • And bonus #6: My mom's fried potatoes and onions which, sadly, I'll never have again and which no one else - including me - has been able to match
*I've had the Maui sweet onions while in Hawaii and must say they weren't a hit with me. I don't know if it's because of conditioning due to what I grew up with or if I wouldn't like them regardless. But to me: too sweet!

Five snacks I enjoy in the real world:
All of the above, just in much smaller quantities than may be my wont.  I've spoken before about my stance on food denial: Either eat it or don't. Just own up to it if you do eat it, and don't make others feel bad if they want to indulge more than you do.

Five things I would do if I were a billionaire:
If I ever win the lottery, I've got a quote ready for what I'll say when asked, "What are you going to do with the money?" I'm going to say, "The
same thing everyone does with money: I'm going to spend some, save some and give some away.
  • As for "spending some" I'd have a house built *exactly* to my preferences. It may not be over-large, but I suspect it would be expensive since I'd want to incorporate things like solar panels and non-off-gassing flooring, a system to re-use water, plus include spots for indoor and outdoor recreation.
  • Travel.
  • "Save some" kind of speaks for itself.
  • I'd also like to invest in things that are a bit off-key, but that interest me and which seem to have potential. Things related to finding reliable alternative fuel sources or ways that technology can help people live easier lives.
  • As for "give some away" I have ideas for charities for things like getting homes to those who deserve them but can't afford them, clean water to those who aren't blessed with it coming out of a tap, information and support for those who want to live a different/better life but don't have the tools to find their own way.
Five jobs that I have had:
I've been with my current employer quite awhile and didn't have many jobs before this one, so answering this one is a squeaker for me:
  • First job: waitress and cashier at a small, family owned diner. It was terrific. I worked with close friends after school and on Saturday mornings. At the time, the place was in the industrial section of Portland so the clientele was mostly regulars who wandered in from nearby offices. There were the late-afternoon office workers who came in for a cup of coffee and a snack on week-days. Then on Saturdays, there were the runners who stopped in for breakfast before heading home, the people who drove in week-in and week-out for pancakes and the best omelettes in Portland (seriously. THE. BEST.) The small families with the young children you could see developing week by week. And just about best of all: it was located a couple of blocks from Powell's. So I had regular influxes of cash from tips and worked very close to Powell's. You can do the math on where most of my tip money went.
  • Second job: managing an on campus location of a student-run pizza and ice cream snack shop. It was used by the School of Business students as a way to put business theories into action. It was used by every other student as a place to get something to eat or drink once the cafeterias were closed. It was amazing fun since my friends would come visit me and fill me in on that night's gossip when I was at work, plus I could take the leftovers with me for late night eating if further studying was to be done that night.
  • Third job: Receptionist at a hair salon. I could study during slow times, I got excellent advice on hair care, I was a favorite salon pet because I had long hair and I'd let them experiment from time to time, Iearned a lot about people, and I worked with the first person I knew who later died of AIDS. (Ace. He was flamboyantly gay and used to really get under the skin of the quietly gay guy who also worked there. It was my first exposure in being around a few different people who were all openly gay, and of course I learned quickly that there are as many kinds of gay people as there are straight people.)
  • Fourth job: Food server and cashier for an in-house cafeteria. My company had locations inside banks and insurance companies, that kind of thing. I moved around to a few different places while working for the same company, so that was interesting. And learned, among other things, that I'm pretty clueless when a lesbian is coming on to me (stories for another day).
  • Fifth job: The one leading into what I do now: receptionist, filer, faxer, and all-around dogsbody while taking classes on insurance. When I started, there were two of us answering phones (no voice mail...can you imagine?), typing people's letters (I was constantly fixing grammar and spelling because I couldn't stand not to). I still marvel about the fact that the person I worked with could be working 5 floors away and yet make it back to her desk every single time - TO THE MINUTE - to announce she was leaving for her morning, lunch or afternoon break. Then be gone TO THE MINUTE the exact amount of time we were allotted for such breaks. As I'm a person who gets into things and can lose track of time when my mind is engaged, this was a source of endless fascination to me. She had to constantly remind me to take breaks because I would forget to take them. She later left to do a secretarial kind of job for a government agency and I daresay she was perfect for that kind of thing: she would give no more and no less to the job than what she thought it deserved and would be scrupulous about never under or over working the clock on any given day.

Five of my habits:
  • I take a book nearly everywhere I go. It makes the bus a million times more pleasant than driving (who *wants* to be conscious about how slow and aggravating traffic can be?) and it makes a wait in line a chance to read a few more pages instead of a time of frustration at noticing how slow and aggravating other people can be.
  • I shower in the same order every time: wash face, rinse, wash hair, rinse, condition hair, shave while conditioner does its thing, rinse, wash body, rinse. Meanwhile, thoughts of staggeringly simple genius come to me, and I forget most of them by the time I'm dried off.
  • I eat the same thing for breakfast nearly every day at work: a toasted bagel with tea, plus I take my medications.
  • I hang my keys up on a rack every time I go in the door at home. I never have to ask myself or my family later where my keys are, unlike some people I live with ::cough:: husband ::cough::, ::cough:: daughter ::cough::.
  • Before getting dressed, I like to check the day's weather forecast. Even when I checked the prediction just before I went to bed the night before and nothing much will have changed.

Five places I have lived:
I've lived in the same general geography (Willamette Valley in Oregon) my whole life, so this one is also a squeaker for me. It amazes me when I think about it given how much I want to live in other places. But my life is currently arranged in a way that doesn't involve frequent moves, so I'm here for the foreseeable future. (Unless McCain wins. In which case I suspect my husband will be so horrified that he'll consider even France as a place to flee to.  I guess you have to know my husband and his view on the French to get the full import of that one. Anyway...) For myself, I can see going to some small town in Hawaii, working 5 jobs to make the rent, but leaving plenty of time for things like swimming in the ocean.  Anyway, five places...
  • My birth mother was convinced by a good friend to give me over to her care when I was born. I lived the first few years of my life with this friend and was pretty happy there from what I can recall.
  • My mother got married and decided she wanted me after all, so she came and took my back. I lived with her and her husband for the year or so that they were married.
  • When that marriage broke up, I didn't go back to the friend (despite her legal efforts to get me), but instead into the foster care system. After some bad foster care experiences, I ended up with the family that later adopted me.
  • I lived there until going away to college. I loved loved loved going away to college. Like for many people, it was a time when I broke free of the person I felt obligated to be and started to become the person I felt I wanted to be.
  • After dorm living, I lived in my first apartment with a roommate who was very close friend. LOVED LOVED LOVED that experience even more. We had a terrific time living together and we influenced one another in ways we're still discovering.

What interesting things did you do this summer?
Pretty much nothing. Summer went by too damned fast. I was immersed in one work project (days, evenings and week-ends) until mid-July. Then immersed in another project until early August. Then catching up on things until vacation in mid-August. And the next thing I knew I was
taking my daughter to her first day of school. ::Cries:: Where did the time go? We wanted to go hiking at Multnomah Falls, and drive north to
the outdoor water slides, and go to Hood River to get cherries direct from a grower then eat them all the way home, do a little something on the water. Gah! I can't believe I missed out on doing all of that.
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