Dianne Sylvan did a random 30 Things About Me meme, and I’ve decided to join in. Why the hell not?

1) I’m not actually sure what color my eyes are. I usually say blue, as that is the most popular consensus, but I’ve heard green, grey, and combinations of all of those before. I like to think they’re teal.

2) I love dinosaurs and have since the first grade, when our teacher helped the class make a life-size Protoceratops out of paper maché; up until the 6th grade, I pretended to be a raptor. Utahraptors are my favorite dinosaurs.

3) Snakes are my favorite animal, followed by spotted hyenas as a close second.

4) I grew up reading Conan the Barbarian novels, which may explain a lot about my worldview. (Never messed with the comics; hate the movies.)

5) I took five years of French through school, and while my vocabulary has decayed to a rusty skeleton at this point, I still can’t pronounce the Americanized versions of French words; I have to ask J how to say them like everyone else. (Crêpes are not crapes. Aaaugh.)

6) One of my birthday traditions is to mark down what song is playing on the exact minute (7h58 AM) of my birth as a light-hearted indicator as to how the year will go.

7) L’impossible by Jules Laforgue is my favorite poem. It had such an impact on me when I first read it that l’impossible is an entire metaphor/concept in my paradigm.

8) I really, really want a hedgehog. This is due to a summer babysitting my high school’s bio lab’s hedgehog. I named her Riyan.

9) I am infamous among my friends for crazy roadtrips; the longest one so far was Nevada to West Virginia and back again with J, a 40-hour drive each way with no stops to sleep.

10) I had a pony as a child. Her name was Ginger, and she was an ex-carnie pony. The kids down the street had her and poked one of her eyes out with a stick, so my mom went up to the parents and told them, very firmly, that she was taking the pony. “But she’s not for sale–” “Yes. She. Is.” And so I got a very patient, very mild-mannered brown pony when I was… 7 or 8. I used to take running leaps onto her to ride bareback, and she never tried to kill me. :D There was also one time, trotting down my dirt-and-gravel road, the saddle started to slide because I hadn’t tightened the straps enough; I wound up underneath the pony in a loud thud. Ginger looked between her forelegs at me, snorted, and waited for me to pick myself up before she moved.

11) I helped my parents build our new five-bedroom, three-bathroom house when I was 10-11. It was just us. We didn’t hire any contractors or have much help; Dad designed the floorplans, and we built it over the course of a couple years on an acre of land. (Yes, I actually helped. I painted, put up insulation, wired outlets, nailed boards and drywall…) I later colonized the two rooms that encompassed the entire second story, as well as its little bathroom, as my own. (I also had a bedroom downstairs with a benchless bay window.)

12) I hate having to wear socks, slippers, and/or shoes in a home. I greatly prefer the feel of my own feet on the carpet/flooring, and when it’s cold enough to demand I wear socks, I resent the necessity.

13) While I was growing up (all the way through adolescence, too), my biggest preoccupation with my physical appearance was how easily I could pass as the other sex if I wanted/needed to.

14) Before I was 16 or 17, I refused to swear at all, despite its social prevalence everywhere I went, including my own home. In high school, I scolded a health teacher for swearing in class when there was no need for it. Now, I cuss in about six different languages/dialects at various times.

15) I’m synesthetic; I see sounds. Everything I perceive has a color, a texture, usually a shape, sometimes motion, and sometimes a temperature (which is usually color-linked). This makes listening to music an awesome experience.

16) I’m not a movie or TV person; I haven’t had TV for years, and I like it that way. I have favorite movies that I will rewatch to the point of memorization, but it’s damnably hard to get me to watch new things, barring the occasional ooh, shiny movie.

17) I’m ADD and have never taken medication for it; I often refer to it as spidermind. It makes some things easier and some things harder, and while I don’t consider it a Bad Thing overall, it does make for a very different way of processing the world.

18) I regularly write on my hand in Kalash, one of my conlangs. See? I’ve used this script since high school and recently extrapolated it into a rune set.

19) I feed sashimi to a brown shoulder-dragon quite often. Occasionally minced chicken or steak is added to the menu.

20) My favorite part about living in Colorado was how absolutely, magically beautiful the sky was every single day.

21) I’ve lived in the mountains all my life. I was born and raised in the Appalachians, moved to the Rockies as a young adult, and then transferred to the Sierra Nevada range to be with my partner.

22) I love scribbling doodles on post-its or half-sized notebooks. Trying to draw on a full-sized sheet of paper normally kills the natural flow of my sketch, and I have to work a lot harder to make it look okay. This is why I have a 6″ sketchbook to replace my old full-size.

23) I love math (said the writer). I love putting my brain into gear and sitting back to watch it work through a problem; it’s like observing a computer from the inside. That said, I’m also mildly dyscalculic and can really struggle with keeping the numbers straight. I’m much better at algebraic mathematics than I am at base arithmetic, simply because the former has more letters and is easier to keep straight than a bunch of raw numbers.

24) I draw Korats on the office whiteboard. The current one has been there for months; it’s bright green with red stripes and a red mane. I also write Kalash (see #18) in the corner for good mojo.

25) I abhor most types of bottled water. Aquafina in particular has such a revolting taste that I can barely drink it without literally gagging, and will only do so when it’s the sole alternative to dehydration. Arrowhead is the only bottled water that doesn’t make me cringe to any extent; I drink unfiltered tap water in most places.

26) If I were rich and/or famous, I would revive and fund the Atlas Lion Project. (It was an effort to determine Barbary lion genetics in captive lions and start a breeding program in hopes of reintroducing Barbaries to the Atlas Mountains in northern Africa, where they once went extinct in the wild, but it ran out of funds a while ago and never got off the ground.)

27) I recently fell in love with Avatar: The Last Airbender. Through it, I discovered baguazhang, which I would now love to study (for its own sake, not for its link to the series).

28) If I were unable to wear contacts or glasses, I would be legally blind. However, I do wear contacts now and have worn glasses as a kid; my terrible eyesight means I grew up as non-sight-based as a human can. This makes my visual synesthesia kind of unexpected, and my pixel-perfect graphic design judgment amusing in its irony.

29) If I could choose a super-power/mutant ability, it would be shapeshifting.

30) I am a water person. Not astrologically – my astrology is about as non-me as it could possibly be, except for the ‘fickle’ and ‘stubborn’ bits – but in every sense of the word, symbolically and motion-ly and spiritually, I am a water person. And I like being this way.