Monday, March 22, 2010

Why My 5-year-old will Someday Rule the World.

What follows is a reasonably accurate transcription of a conversation we had on the way home from school today. By way of background information, I truly do dislike Sponge Bob, to the point of refusing to purchase any Sponge Bob related merchandise for my children. They know this and know that I won't budge on it.

“Mama, I hope Santa brings you a Sponge Bob Wii game for Christmas.”

“But I hate Sponge Bob.”

“I still hope Santa brings you a Sponge Bob Wii for Christmas, then you could play it.”

“I hate Sponge Bob. If I hate Sponge Bob, why would I want to play a game about him?”

“But Mama, you might like it. How can you know you don’t like it unless you try it!”

“You like Sponge Bob. Why don’t you ask Santa to bring you a Sponge Bob Wii game?”

“No, I want him to bring it to you, so you can try it. After you try it, if you don’t like it you can give it to me.”

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Ivan the Awesome

As it turns out, the proper translation of the sobriquet of Ivan IV of Russia is not "terrible" but something closer to "awesome," as in awe inspiring. Knowing this makes me feel better about my result on the "What Horrible Monster of History Are You?" quiz.

As it turns out, Ivan and I do have some things in common. We are both of Russian heritage. We're both avid readers. We share an instinctive distrust of authority for authority's sake. In his case this lead him to reform government to reduce the influence of the hereditary aristocracy. In my case it leads me to sometimes get on the nerves of people in authority. Were he to take the "What kind of friend are you?" quiz, he, like me, would probably be told he was the "smart friend." The quizzes would also probably tell him, as they did me, that he was evil.

Ivan vastly expanded the borders of his country during his reign. He also advanced trade with other nations, especially England. I've been to England several times. I've traveled a lot. I've bought many foreign made products. That's almost the same, right?

He was a patron of artisans. He built St. Basil's Cathedral. He wrote political epistles. I decorate cakes. Maybe I ought to make a St. Basil's Cathedral cake. I blog occasionally.

Of course Ivan also had eight wives, beat his daughter-in-law, and then killed his oldest son in a fit of rage when he complained. He likely had syphilis, definitely suffered from high exposure to mercury, and may, in fact, have been poisoned to death by the disgruntled aristocracy. A lot of poisoning seemed to go on in Russia back in those days. I've only been married twice, my children are happy and healthy and can't remember having been in a rage ever so they're pretty safe from that. I'm quite sure I have neither syphilis nor high levels of mercury in my blood. As far as I know, nobody is trying to poison me, though I'm sure there are those who have thought about it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Why You Love Me

I do not have a Valentine. This does not bother me. I even went and took the “you+love=???” quiz, just in case you don’t want to take my word for it. My result was “care factor zero.”

Given this, you might expect me to be down on the concept of Valentine’s Day. In reality I’m OK with it. I may be ambivalent about my own relationship status, but I’m all for everyone else finding someone. I like listening to people talk about their sweethearts. It strengthens my faith in humanity. It makes me happy. Therefore, I am devoting this post to love.

Despite the extraordinary number of quizzes out there begging to tell me all about who I’m in love with, we’re going to skip over those, because we already know that I’m in love with my periodontist (XOX Dr B.!), and I’m not the sort of girl who can handle more than one love at a time. I’m kind of traditional that way.

Instead I’m going to focus on who loves me. With a score of 65 out of 100 on the “Do people love you?” quiz, I learned that “some people probably love you.” That’s reassuring.

What counts as some? According to the “How many people secretly love you?” quiz the answer is three. You know who you are, even if I don’t.

As for those whose love I’m aware of, that would include my children, who tell me every day, and my father, but sadly, according to the “Does your Mom love you?” quiz, my mother doesn’t love me very much. It might include the misguided attentions of my downstairs tenant, though I think he’s less about love and more about convenience and cultural misunderstanding. There is the occasional student who gets inappropriately personal, but I’ve gotten reasonably good at deflecting those. (Note to any students reading this: I do not care about your sex addiction, nor do I want to know how great you think I looked in that outfit I wore last Thursday.)

Why do all of these people love me? Clearly it’s not for my awesomeness or coolness. Maybe it’s because I’m smart. I sure hope it’s not because I’m evil. That would just weird me out. Is it because of my high camel value? Probably not.

So what is it really? My personality, of course, at least according to the quiz. “They love how you act towards others and how you feel about life. You are a bright bubbly person who everybody loves.” This bothers me, because, well, first of all it’s “whom.” The correct phrase is “whom everybody loves.” Seriously, quizmakers, get your grammar right, and secondly stop calling me bright and bubbly.

Happy Valentine’s Day, anyway.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Too Old to Count

According to the "What's your Real Age?"quiz, I'm too old to count. You could read that phrase two ways. Either way it's not flattering.

So imagine my surprise when I visited the periodontist, and, in the middle of explaining to me why my bad gums are not really my fault, he adds the phrase "because you're very young." I must have looked as shocked as I felt, because he followed that up with "certainly you're younger than me."

This is a man who has a diploma hanging on his wall that shows he graduated from university exactly one year before I did, so I suppose technically he's correct. Nevertheless I must have continued to look shocked, because at this point he opened my file and actually checked my age.

"Oh," he said.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Know Your Type(face)

The website will determine your type with four simple questions. By type I mean of course typeface, or font.

My type is universal (which, sadly, is not available on blogger). Universal was created by Bauhaus typographer Herbert Bayer. Although the quiz did not ask me anything about my artistic preferences, I love Bauhaus. Most German art is oppressive (the romantic realism of Nazi art and architecture), or depressing (expressionism, anyone), but Bauhaus is clean, it's cool, it's intellectual, and, even after 90 years, it remains modern. I love Bauhaus. It is everything I want to be. There could not be a better type for me.

The Bauhaus was an art school founded in Weimar, Germany, that operated from 1919 to 1933 when the Nazis shut it down. Bauhaus is about minimalism. It's about stripping away ornamentation. Its focus is on form, and form should follow function. It's about refusing to follow tradition simply for tradition's sake.

Universal is a sans serif font. It has no unnecessary ornaments. And it laughs at tradition. It is a typeface with no capital letters, created by a man whose language capitalizes all nouns. It was created in 1925, and yet with no caps it is the perfect font for the texting generation.

Universal: minimalist, untraditional, and ahead of its time. Perfect.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Colour of my Heart

I hear that some of you are a wee bit skeptical about my result on the “What Color is Your Heart?” quiz. For those who missed it, the color of my heart is yellow. “You are very energetic and like to be in the center of everything. Some may see you as slightly tiring, but they like to be around you because you make them feel alive. You see the bright side of things and get annoyed when others don’t.”

OK, maybe that’s not exactly me. Perhaps, although my heart is yellow, my aura could be getting in its way. I need to figure out what color my aura is, and the way to do that is, of course to take the quiz.

As it turns out, my aura is yellow. It “speaks of joy, freedom, non-attachment, freeing or releasing vital forces. People who glow yellow are full of inner joy, very generous and not attached to anything. Yellow halo around the head: high spiritual development. A signature of a spiritual teacher, “ and goes on to compare me to Buddha and Christ. Hmmm. Right.

Hey, you, yes you. I can hear that laughter from here. My kids are trying to sleep, so could you please keep it down? Thanks.

Now, where was I. Oh yes, it must be my personality that’s the problem, getting in the way of my intrinsic inner yellowness. So, which color best suits my personality? It’s..........wait for it.......... yellow. I am a “bright happy person” and I “just wish that everyone could be as simply joyful” as I am. I am the “optimist in the group.”

Maybe the quizzes are right. I was once described by a close friend as a “closet optimist” for secretly always seeing the best in people, yet keeping it very, very, very, very well hidden. That’s once in 40 years, by the way.

More likely my results have a simpler explanation, one that the crack team of quiz makers capitalized on. My favourite colour happens to be yellow.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Thanks, Jevon

Jevon is the son of a friend of mine. He is 10 years old. He has recently figured out how to create Facebook quizzes. I took one of his quizzes called "Are you Awesome enough to pass this test?"

Those of you who have been reading this blog for a while will recall that back in September I discovered that I am, in fact, only 70% awesome (and 78% cool). When I saw Jevon's quiz I was excited. Here, finally, was a chance to redeem myself and let my true awesomeness shine through.

Sadly, according to Jevon, I am only middle awesome.