Monday, August 31, 2009

Suddenly not Susan

Years ago I worked with a woman who claimed that everyone has a true name. She could tell, just from looking at someone, what their true name was. It may or may not be what their parents named them, but it was the name they were meant to have. Our colleague Adam, for example, was really supposed to be Brian, and I have to admit she was right. He was definitely more of a Brian.

Yesterday I set myself on a mission to discover whether anyone on Facebook has a similar talent. As it turns out, there are four who do. Eager to discover more about my real self, I took all of their quizzes. My true name, the one I was truly meant to have, is Andrea Gabby Bob Bella-Nicole. This is going to take some getting used to, both for myself and my friends. I’m thinking of asking my students to call me by my last name this year, just to save time.

And I need to talk to my old colleague. She never pegged me as having any of those names. She thought the one my parents gave me was right. I need to have a talk with myself too, as I’ve been secretly convinced since high school that my true name is Susan.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

My value, in Camels

I am worth 500 camels, no, really, it’s true. My pale skin and cooking skills make me a hot commodity among the camel-trading set. That’s what the Facebook quiz told me, and I believe it. It confirms what I already learned years ago in the Toronto airport when this Middle Eastern man asked my husband if he could buy me. True story.

I am also unwelcome in Russia, which does not bother me in the least. Russia booted my great grandparents out over 100 years ago for having the gall to be Jewish, so really, Russia? I’m not going to lose any sleep over you. Long winters, far too many potatoes, and borscht. Enough said. Good literature, though. I will give you that.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

In Which I Confess that I Don't Like Guinea Pigs

When you grow up with a zoo curator for a father, you learn a lot about animals, all kinds of animals. You name it, I probably know where it's from, what it eats, and how to care for it in captivity. So, when my younger son decided he needed a guinea pig (thank you G-Force), It wasn't a big deal to get one. We got a rabbit too, to placate my older son, because two guinea pigs living together have a way of creating many more.

The thing about guinea pigs is that they're scared, pretty much all the time, of pretty much everything. You probably would be too if you were considered a delicacy in Central and South America. Guinea pigs don't bite, and they don't fight. They display all the features of learned helplessness without having to actually learn it. They are gentle and accommodating, whether you dress them up in costumes, fly them around the room, or make them kiss your mother and brother goodnight. The other thing about guinea pigs is that when they're not scared, they tend to squeak. I'm not so big on squeaking.

Rabbits, on the other hand, despite having at least as much to worry about when it comes to predator-prey relations, are friendly, inquisitive, energetic, and tend to save the running and hiding for moments of actual danger. Although they are strict vegetarians they will occasionally taste you just in case you've become edible. If you push them too far rabbits may bite you, and if you try to make them kiss your brother they may decide instead to slam him full force with their hind feet. Rabbits know how to set limits. They are also silent. I like rabbits.

Maybe some day I'll come out as a rabbit on a quiz. I sure hope I'm never a guinea pig.

Friday, August 28, 2009

My life as a Facebook Quiz

According to the infallible quizzes of Facebook I'm a Bohemian, I'm an American, and I'm also a Nerd. Of course I'm also a Lion, Broccoli, Queen Aahhotep, Eeyore, an Art Freak/Hipster, Delicious Caulk, and in a horror film I'd be the first to die. I have always been a sucker for quizzes.

Why blog? I thought long and hard before deciding to try this, and in the end I'm still not sure why. My mother always wanted me to be a writer. Now I can tell her I'm a writer, sort of. Hi Mom!