General Information,  Opinion

Chain Letter Wannabe

My mother is a wonderful, near-perfect human being but there is one aspect of her personality that makes me wake up in a cold sweat: she has the tendency to send chain letters. Well, chain emails but it’s the same thing. Actually, chain emails are worse – I like getting mail that isn’t a bill but a chain email is one step above SPAM. One teeny, tiny, oft-abused step.

So when my cousin, Jellybean Mama (a.k.a. Cate) tagged me in what is essentially a blog chain letter I sighed dramatically and resigned myself to my fate. But I was secretly a little happy 1. for the excuse to blog and 2. ’cause I’m a terrible narcissist who loves to talk about herself (but I try not to let myself do it too often). So here goes nuthin’…

Rule #1: The tagged person must write their answers on their blog and replace any question they dislike with a new question formulated by themselves.

Rule #2: Tag 4 people to do this quiz; they cannot refuse (OK, so nothing bad will happen if you don’t participate but I would love to see your answers). The tagee must state who tagged them.

1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?
Hellz yeah! Ok, I may have been a little resistant to the idea that Dip (my cat) and I were a family initially, but then I realized she whines more than I do so she actually makes me look like a kind and peaceful soul! The truth is, while Dip would never show this in front of any other creature, she clearly adores me and I love her right back.

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
Find a partner. Like in everything. Someone who’s got my back whether it’s in Laser Tag or the civil war after the alien colonization. Fall in love, get married, travel. Figure out the rest as we go.

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I recently went to TEDxNCSU and saw a very convincing speaker who explained that while we know money doesn’t buy happiness we continually make decisions as if it does.

So what would I do if I really could make decisions without money being a consideration? I would quit my job. I’d travel around and try to check out all the latest and greatest technology and gadgets. I’d write about it and maybe guest lecture on stuff I learn here or there. I’d do a kewl podcast. I’d sponsor and plan my own conference for girls who like technology and sci-fi and other general geekiness. I’d definitely spend some time traveling and volunteering. Yeah, ok, I’d pay bills and flash some dough at my family and friends (everyone I know and like on a cruise!) And then I’d throw a bunch of money at Joss Whedon and Fox until they reboot ‘Firefly’ and let me marry Nathan Filion. I’d probably buy some shoes, too.

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
My family and friends. Getting out of the house. Retail therapy (damn it).

5. What is your bedtime routine?
Depending on what time it is I either watch an episode of Futurama (“Good news, everyone!”) or at least part of The Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson (“It’s a great day for America!”). Lately I’ve been trying to read just a bit before I turn off the light since that’s supposed to help me sleep more than the professor or Craig, but it’s hit or miss. Oh yeah, and I floss every night, I swear.

6. Name something that has surprised you this week about motherhood. Umm, motherhood would surprise me! Ok, new question…
6. If you could go back and do it again would you, and if so, when would you go back to?
Yes. I think I’d go back to high school – maybe junior year? A lot of big things happened that year and a lot of choices I made from that point on are ones I regret. No one ever told me I’d be more unhappy about the stuff I didn’t do more than the stuff I did.

7. What kind of books do you read?
In grad school so up until recently I only read books about rhetoric and communication theory. Lately though I’ve finished up most of my required reading and I’ve been able to get back to my old standards: mostly non-fiction, though I like the occasional science fiction novel or mystery.

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
I have absolutely no idea. Ten years older. I am not anything like what I thought I’d be at 31 so I don’t think I’m qualified to make guesses about 41. I hope I’m wiser and richer and happier. That’s all I got.

9. What’s your fear?
Dying alone. Losing my job or, possibly worse, getting stuck in a job I hate. Losing friends. Losing family. Losing my health. Clowns.

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
Can we define “junk food” first? And also what “see outer space” means, since I can “see” outer space right now. But if you’re asking would I give up Junior Mints and McDonald’s for a trip to Pluto (still a planet, yo) then yes, in a second.

11. What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
Hit the snooze button. x4. Then I turn off my alarm, read all the new Twitter posts since I went to sleep (what?! My alarm clock app shows me these things!), check the weather, my calendar and email and then get up.

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be? Or, if you’re single – if you could choose a significant other who looked like anyone in the world, who would it be?
A cross between Nathan Fillion, Chad LaRose, Pierce Brosnan and Hugh Jackman. Or just any one of those. I’m not picky.

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
I like Jen ok, although I do feel like it’s overused. My middle name is nice too and I kinda think I could be a “Meg”. Yes? No? “Maggie” maybe?

14. If you had to choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Sun. I can do the occasional emo rainy day thing, especially with a nice thunderstorm thrown in. But after a couple days I would go batshit crazy with nothing but rain.

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Mexican. Is that cheating? That’s cheating, isn’t it. Sushi. Still cheating? Ok… one thing. I guess it would probably be noodles, although the inevitable scurvy sure would suck.

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
It’s very cathartic. And you get to take your time and say what you really feel, although at the end of the day the only person who really cares about the minutia of your thoughts is you. I both love and hate going back through old posts. It’s embarrassing to see where you were, horrifying to see how slowly you’ve progressed and heart-warming to reread your experiences.

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet foods?
Salt and sweet together. That is a completely legitimate answer! FINE. If you still think I’m cheating… If I had a gun to my head I’d choose sweet. I think.

18. What items are in your purse right now?
Four pens, a permanent marker (orange, if you must know), my keys, my office id, my wallet, sunglasses, iPhone, and a mini-bottle of Advil.

19. If you had to choose between vacationing at the beach or in the mountains where would you go?
Mountains and beach together: a lake! But not a North Carolina lake, I prefer a northern lake with less alge and kid pee.

20. What do you watch on television that you know you shouldn’t?
Um, none. I would proudly own any show I watch. I think the closest thing I have to a guilty pleasure is ‘Bones’ and uh, hello? Have you seen David Boreanez? In fact, you can add him to number 12.

But now I get to tag so would love to hear from:

Sarah McKone – who will absolutely do this
John Martin – who will absolutely do this
Twanda Baker – who will probably do this but will talk about UNC in her post just to make me crazy and…
Jason Horne – who will almost certainly NOT do this, but whose answers would be entertaining and insightful

Don’t break the chain blog!


  • Sarah

    I’m at Matt’s office right now; we’re supposed to be working and I was SO HAPPY to see your blog post so that I could procrastinate for a while. When I started reading, I was like… hellz yea Jen better tag me in this. And you tagged me FIRST! Not that you did it in order or anything… but if you ain’t first, youuuu’re last, yea? …ok, you just knew I’d fill it out, didn’t you. I’ll take it.

    3 things that made me laugh really loud and gave it away to Matt that I wasn’t working: (1) surprising motherhood (amen), (2) multiple references to Firefly and that Nathan Fillwehfkldswhatever guy you always talk about and (3) retail therapy MADE IT!

    Fun post 🙂

  • Jellybean Mama

    I can’t believe you actually did this. I mean, wow, this is great!

    Thank you for calling me Cate. I would be such a cute Cate.

    Why does everyone want to be named after their families’ pets? Lucy… that was all I could think of. I will totally call you Mags henceforth, you’d better start practicing responding to it. Magnum would be such a great nickname for you.