10 things you never knew about erica,* part 3
1. I have very explosive sneezes.
2. When I was about 7 years old, I tried to do a "trick" on my bike: riding it with my eyes closed. The tricked ended with me running into the mailbox.
3. I have a secret love of the Click and Clack, the Car Talk guys.
4. The only time I ever really got in big trouble in school was in second grade; I was kicking too many boys in the balls on the playground. I was only kicking the boys I liked, so it was really a compliment, right?
5. I once translated the first chapter of the Diary of Anne Frank from French to English - for fun during high school summer vacation. I'd bought the French copy at the WWII museum in Calais, France. I still have never read an English copy of the diary.
6. For three summers in middle/high school I volunteered as a Junior Zookeeper for the local Sunset Zoo in Manhattan. One of my duties was scooping goat shit out of the petting zoo.
7. I'm not really a lipstick-wearer. When I do wear lipstick, I usually end up licking it off within the hour. I guess you could say I wear "lickstick."
8. My left eyeball has a freckle.
9. I am developing a great interest in the Phoenix Suns. This is notable because for the most part, I've shunned professional sports in the past. Now though, I can't get enough of Steve Nash and his greasy hair.
10. I make fantastic guac. FANTASTIC guac.

A Leaky Cauldron, of Sorts does not garantee that these will be news for everyone.


I haven't been as regular with my blogging lately, and that's partly because I've taken to going on walks during lunch rather than sitting at my desk. The weather is perfect right now and I know it won't last long, so I eat my lunch while working, then tie on the grubby pair of sneakers I stash in a desk drawer and head to the park. I've gotten to know the park regulars by sight now. There are the young professionals who lunch at the picnic tables, the retired couple to play tennis, the two UPS drivers who rest in their trucks and talk between cabs, the children who chase each other on roller skates up the slope and down the slope, the older birdwatching couple - he with his Cardinals (football) cap on and each with their binoculars around their neck - who take the same walking path as I. With an hour at my disposal, I usually go for a half-hour walk and then find a sunny spot on a park bench and read for a half and hour.

There's a riding stable next to the park, and Thursday three young kids were resting their horses at the picnic table where the young professionals usually lunch. The eldest girl was probably around 16 and the two younger kids (a brother and sister?) were somewhere between 7 and 11 years old. And the horses, oh they were beautiful. The 16-year-old had her hair in pigtails and I longed to be able to go up to her and say, "Hello there. I almost wore pigtails today too. Mind if I pet your horse?" as if our similar hairstyle would have forged an equestrian kinship. Later, while I was on my walk, the two horses and their riders came galloping through the park. The older girl was riding bareback (bareback!) and the two young kids were sharing the saddle of the second horse. And for a moment as they passed me, I was the girl with the pigtails, galloping through the park on a sunny Arizona day.

Instead, I turned around, sought out a park bench, jumped into the waters of the Atlantic and emerged in London, circa 1990 as I opened White Theeth and started reading.

really very ordinary
About three weeks ago, my mom and I went to a book reading at a local bookstore. The program was called "Wine and Words," and for it, the store brought together three first-time authors to read from their memoirs while the group of us sipped wine and ate yummy finger foods. One of the authors was Amy Krouse Rosenthal, her book is titled, Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life, and it's fantastic.* The whole thing is alphabetical snippets of her life. Take, for example, BROTHER: "My brother, who grew up with three sisters, was I won't say how many years old when he finally realized that he didn't have to wrap the towel around his chest when he came out of the shower." Ha! The book is personal and personable. She lets you into her life in chunks, much like the way you get to know a friend. A friend doesn't divulge her life's secrets in narrative, but rather you learn about her in bits of conversation and asides. Rosenthal's style is really akin to blogging, and maybe that's why it is so comfortable to me. Each alphabetical excerpt is like a blog entry, an entire book of "10 things you didn't know about Amy Rosenthal."

Morning Edition interviewed Rosenthal today, and I felt I had to share her with others as well. Check out her Web site (linked to above and on the right) and then go get the book. Do it.

quiz show
I'm thinking about tearing a page out of Clark's blog and creating a quiz for my readers to answer. Look for than in a few weeks.

*Yes, I'm double-booked right now. If you don't know that reference, you need to read So Many Books, So Little Time.


today is good
Not only is it the end of my working week (Good Friday is made better by having the day off), but Radio Paradise is playing "Come Downstairs and Say Hello." (Favorite Guster song.) And earlier today they played "Clark Gable." (Favorite Postal Service song.) It is a good station that plays good songs by good bands, not just their hit tunes.

This weekend will bring you a real post. I promise.


back inaction
...at least for the moment. The first magazine issue designed and assembled entirely by me was finished this Friday. Whew. Sorry to disappear without warning. I'll give notice next time.

I have three weeks to design a 132-page travel magazine and one week of editing/production on said magazine before I leave the country. I might mention that my editor/publisher will be out for two of those weeks. Plus, our travel editor is moving to Orlando April 1 and will be working from the other side of the country. If the book actually gets finished on April 15 like it's supposed to, that will be the greatest birthday present. Ever.

red, white and tempe
I realized this morning why the choir director/organist at our church looks so familiar. He reminds me of Corky St. Clair. How fantastic is that?! Who wouldn't want Christopher Guest performing every Sunday?


blast from the past
In honor of former roommate Erin's birthday today:

Me and E2 at the Alpha Chi formal last year. Posted by Hello


heat wave
I think summer has arrived.

Last night I saw Ray at the $2 theater. As I was driving home, I got off the 101 at my exit, Ray Rd., and thought, "Well, isn't that appropriate?"

I have the feeling I'll be coming back in to work this weekend. I could totally use an intern right now.

I've stopped listening to all the songs I downloaded onto my Mac at work, preferring to flip through the eclectic stations on iTunes. Right now I'm listening to Radio Paradise: "DJ-mixed modern and classic rock, world beat and more." I've totally been diggin ragae lately.


blast from the past
In honor of Jason's visit to the Valley of the Sun, I present to you the Chixie Dicks.

Rob, Jason and Dan shock FARC with their rendition of "Sin Wagon" the first week of freshman year. *whistle* Remind us again, whose bras are you guys wearing? Posted by Hello

hooray, hoorah
The Tigers pull one out against kU. 'Attaboys. Jason and I enjoyed the game with some fabulous t.rav. at the local Mizzou alum club watch party, and I had a slight whistful longing for CDS.