Thursday, January 8, 2009

Accomplishment #24: Tell Someone Your Darkest Secret (#90)

Okay, swear to God and cross your heart and kiss your elbow you won't tell anyone my deepest, darkest secret?


Swear? Pinky swear?

Pfffft. Yeah, right. Like I'd tell the INTERNET my deepest, darkest secret. Except I don't really have one. I have a slight problem where if I know someone for 5 seconds I open my mouth and blather on and on, so I would make a terrible spy. I wish I could say that I did lead an exciting double life and I went on secret missions while wearing a leather cat suit and Shangri-La boots and a wig, but nope. My biggest secret was that once, in second grade, I used the Boys' Bathroom by mistake and Paul Phillips and some nasty fourth graders saw me and threatened to tell everyone about the disgraceful thing I had done unless I gave them the treat out of my lunch every day. I was so humiliated that I didn't confess to this until... well, I guess now, because I don't even remember at what point in my life I could think about it without blushing and feeling the shame. (I was probably about 30, though.) And it doesn't really come up in conversation, though I suspect those nasty former fourth graders are on facebook and I will be dumb enough to accept their requests and they will probably write, "KAREN PEED IN THE BOYS' BATHROOM" on my wall. (Well, better they write it on THAT wall instead of written it on the bathroom wall years ago.)

So since I don't have any real secrets (and if I do, I'm sure I'll tell you later anyway) I'll do the meme that's sweeping Flickr & the blogosphere: "16 Things You Don't Know About Me" or whatever. Problem is, you all DO know 16 things about me that might be vaguely interesting. I even asked Jon, the man with whom I have been living FOR YEARS, the man to whom I am ENGAGED TO MARRY, if he could think of anything interesting or mysterious about me, and he couldn't even come up with anything. "Ummm..." he said. "You like Queen and ELO?"

Thanks a lot. (That is true, though.)

So here goes:


1. I was born nearly 8 weeks premature. To paraphrase my favorite author, Dorothy Parker, "That was the last time I was early to anything." It's true, I am chronically late, and I attribute it to the fact that for every minute I was born early, I'm making up for it. But it's really because I am totally lame and probably have weird time/space continuum issues or a mental illness, which sounds more medical than being just flaky. I was also on 4 pounds at birth, and I have more than made up for that, too. Like by A LOT.

2. I am a total packrat and have too much STUFF. But every time I get rid of something, I find myself looking for it and then cursing myself for getting rid of it. I have a hard time throwing stuff away, because I become sentimentally attached. But I like being a packrat and keeping stuff -- I love my stuff. No one likes helping me move my stuff, though. Including me.

3. I had six wisdom teeth. I still have them, but just not in my mouth. (See? I have a hard time throwing stuff away.)

4. I worry incessantly. Now that the economy is so bad, I wonder what the hell I was worried about before, because things felt like a cakewalk then compared to now. But I've had worry lines in my forehead since 4th grade, which is why I've always had bangs. I have severe cowlicks -- two in front, and one in back. Which don't work so hot with the aforementioned bangs. I worry about that, too.

5. If I could have anything in the world, I would want magical powers like Samantha Stevens. I hate housework so if I could just twinkle my nose and abracadabra it's all done, my life would be fabulous.

6. I'm afraid that I am very shallow and immature. I was looking at a book catalog this morning, and there were all these books about history and current events, and like, totally smart and deep stuff? And the book that appealed to me most was a book about some girl going to college and losing her virginity or something. And then I read a celebrity blog and put on Cherry Jolly Rancher flavored Lip Smacker. I wonder what happened to me that my emotional and mental growth simply stunted at the age of 16. (And at 16, all I wanted to be was an adult. Go figure.)

7. I got the Beatles' autographs for Christmas from my sister. When she was little, the Beatles were in San Francisco for a concert around her birthday, and they were staying at the Fairmont Hotel. My dad was at a meeting at the Fairmont and knew the manager, and somehow he finagled getting their autographs for her (they brought up a card from the gift shop on a silver platter to their hotel room, complete with little fake Beatles on it) and brought them home, where she was having a Beatles themed birthday party. "I ran into some friends who wanted to give this to you," he said. She opened the card and screamed. The card was framed and hung in my room when I was growing up, but she took them back and I always joked with her to leave them for me in her will. But she gave them to me this Christmas, and I cried. I don't care how much they're worth; they're family history and therefore priceless. (Except I would TOTALLY go on Antiques Roadshow with them.)

8. I have a bachelor's degree in English and an MFA in creative writing, but I wouldn't know a dangling participle if it hit me in the face. My grammar is terrible, and my typing is even worse. But I am signing up for a grammar and copy editing class to remedy this, though I'm pretty much stuck with being a bad typist forever.

9. Despite my terrible grammar and lack of typing skills, I have written a novel. I did it during NaNoWriMo when I was unemployed a few years ago. It's a Young Adult Novel. It has a beginning, middle and end and chapters and everything. It's still on a zip disk and I'm too scared to submit it anywhere -- I took it to a workshop once, full of hope and sincerity. The first chapter was brutally massacred to the point where after I left that group of people, I sat in my car and sobbed for an hour before I could go home. It scares me to even think about looking at it or sending it anywhere, and makes me feel defeated and I can't shake it. So even though I have an MFA in CREATIVE WRITING, I still don't feel that I will ever be a writer. (And clearly I have a little, um, self esteem/ fear of failure or success issue going here. Sigh.)

10. I am a Universal Life Church minister. Thanks to a click of a mouse, I can marry my friends, and have performed six weddings, and I am happy to announce all the couples are still together (and legitimately married). I need to send away for my special parking placard. I am also available to do exorcisms.

11. I knew JT Leroy was a fraud before most people did. Just ask my friend Leslie, because I told her that ALL THE TIME. (Sorry, Leslie.)

12. I love my boyfriend, friends and family more than anything in the world. And Norman the cat, even though I didn't think I could love him after losing my sweet kitty BeBe in June.

13. I don't drink coffee, except on rare occasions I drink cinnamon dolce lattes from Starbucks. (I know, I know, Starbucks is bad and all that, but even though I tend to feel guilty about everything else on the planet, I'm not going to feel guilty for drinking a few coffees from Starbucks.) I think not drinking coffee also makes me feel more immature -- it's such an "adult beverage." Instead I drink Diet Coke for caffeine addiction.

14. Speaking of addiction, I am addicted to LOST. It is the best TV show EVER, and I am eagerly awaiting the premiere of the new season to start -- that and Mad Men, my other favorite show. (I love The Office, too.) And our friends Carlos and Irene got us hooked on Buffy and Angel, which also RULE.

15. I started my blog because I was feeling bogged down by inertia and laziness, and as I told you before, I'm a worrier. So I was worrying that I wasn't writing, that life was passing me by, and that I wasn't DOING anything so I started this blog. And it's been a really, really good thing. I've found myself actually doing things that I never would have done, and thinking and planning things to do. I haven't gone too far out of my comfort zone yet, but just these little things make me feel so good and so much more motivated than I've been lately. But I am out of my comfort zone -- I'm actually writing, and writing PUBLICLY. The terror and thrill and greatness of it makes me feel so good. If that feeling could be bottled, I'd be drunk with it. And all of you reading this -- I thank you from the deepest, darkest bottom of my heart. It means the world to me, and your comments make me feel like a million bucks. So my blog, Flickr, reuniting with old friends on Facebook, Norman and Drunk Yoda were the best things that happened to me in 2008. (And not getting any speeding tickets.) Actually, there were many good things that happened in 2008, even though it felt like a bad year. There are always good things that happen during every year, even when things seem simply AWFUL. I am a very lucky, and very blessed person and I know it, except when I get stuck in traffic.

16. Sixteen is my favorite number.

Okay, you guys, like don't tell anyone, 'k? Shhhhh!!!!

And yes, I have a sweater that matches my blog. Dork.

Twenty-four down, 73 to go.


The Sardonicist said...

3. I had six wisdom teeth. I still have them, but just not in my mouth. (See? I have a hard time throwing stuff away.)

BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! i am laughing so hard, i'm WEEPING at my desk!!!!!!! GOD LOVE YOU, SPARKLENEELY!!!

Unknown said...

your writing rocks submit your novel everyone at the writing workshop was just jealous...

Anonymous said...

Love you , Karen!

Thanks for marrying us. Totally knew THAT one.


Anonymous said...

This entry made my day. You SO rule!

I have no idea how to "sign off" below, so..

love ya ,

Anonymous said...

Oh, there's probably one or two more that I can think of that you didn't list here, but worry not! I'm not telling.

I don't understand the whole self esteem thing. You ROCK! And if you need someone anonymous to read your novel, I have a 14 year old daughter who is chewing up "young adult" novels right now. I'm sure I could slip it into her list and get some feedback for ya!

Keep it up, because I love reading the blog!

larajanepark said...

"...there were all these books about history and current events, and like, totally smart and deep stuff? And the book that appealed to me most was a book about some girl going to college and losing her virginity or something. And then I read a celebrity blog and put on Cherry Jolly Rancher flavored Lip Smacker."

Ah! THIS is the Karen I know and love! Great writing. You know what you need to do, so why dontcha just submit the novel?? Don't be chicken. YOU ARE FABULOUS!
Love Lara xoxox

ellyn said...

ah, karen, you and i were separated at birth, you know that, right?

i love your writing and i love your list and mostly, dollface, i love YOU!


Unknown said...

you're awesome... your cardigan matches your blog ... you're too much!

Megan said...

Great, great stuff. Yeah, what everyone else said. Just send that book out!

Maria said...

I didn't even know it was possible to have six wisdom teeth! Yikes! I have a non-secret that I don't care if anyone knows: Your blog is hands-down one of my absolute favorite ones on the whole of the internet! I don't comment as much as I should, but rest assured, I have read every one, and I have laughed and cried (and sometimes laughed so hard that I started crying). You're an absolute joy, and I wouldn't say it if I didn't mean it (because I pretty much never leave comments like this anywhere!)!

Lynn Peril said...

Re #9: Ahem. I happen to know that a certain agent in NYC asked you to submit either your NANORITMO or your thesis to her ... maybe in 2009 so we can all be reading Sparkleneeley in hardcover in 2010 or 11???

Blythism said...

I have absolutely no idea why you're stating that your grammar and your typing is terrible.

I usually stumble around blindly on the internet looking for something interesting, and quite often find blogs that seem interesting. I promise to myself that I will read them continually, at this point your blog is the only one I have read faithfully, in fact, I check it every couple of days, waiting excitedly for the next entry. It's "that" good.

Oh, and, I can never keep a blog, so I really admire that you can do this. Keep it up!

Sparkleneely said...

skorpeo -- awww, I love you. You were the best wedding date ever, because you actually think I'm FUNNY. So nice to see you on here, my friend!

Raphaella -- thanks, honey. I love that we are linked forever, because you gave me my first fake ID. (well, my only fake ID.) xoxo

Oh Olivia, I have no surprises from you. I'm jusr super happy to have a perfect track record. ;) Love you!!! xoxo

Karin -- I wish YOU were right. I still have your brilliant tomes from high school. Just knowing we're back in touch makes my day, every day. Seriously. xoxo

Scudder -- oh thank you, my dear friend. And yeah, I don't know, didn't you lecture me about this in college, too? Sigh. maybe it's all because Bill wasn't in love with me. We'll just blame it all on that. ;) But we'll talk about this "blind reading"... xoxo

Sparkleneely said...

Lara -- Sigh. Yeah, you know me. I'll work on it. xoxo

Ellyn -- I love YOU! We were totally separated at birth... but your prom dress way WAY better than mine. Thanks, honey pie!!! xoxo

GEMMA JONES. You get my knickers in a bunch, you know that??? THANK YOU. I AM going to make those. It's all part of this BLOG, you just watch! PLEASE come out here? the dollar's better and you can stay with me!!! xoxo

Megan -- if you say so! ;) thanks, lady! xoxo

maria -- I think all my wisdom were in those teeth. And here's a non-secret for you: I feel the same way about your blog. I love it, and marvel at your collection and your narrative. (What I wouldn't give to go to your house and see all your Calling All Girls magazines and TALK to you about them!) It's one of my favorites, and I'm bad at comments, but just know that your #1 fan is ME. You're the best!!! xoxo

Sparkleneely said...

Lynn -- this year just may be the year I send it off to Faye. And maybe the acquisition freeze is good -- it will give me a chance to buck up and edit it and give me time to do it right. I just read TERRIBLE YA novel with a pretty cover and I thought, "If THIS is getting published, maybe I'll have a chance." thanks, honey. xoxo

Blythism -- i hunt and peck. seriously. I am a fast hunter and pecker, but it's true -- I can't type. (So I don't text, either. it makes me sweat, like I'm in a game show and the jeopardy song is playing as I frantically try to text, "ok ill see you at 8." Awful. And i have intuition for grammar thanks to reading, but beyond knowing the basics for mad-libs, I know nothing. I picture a dangling particle to look like a sloth, so yeah, my grasp isn't so hot. But when i see a beautiful, well structured sentence with lovely words, I swoon.

And speaking of swooning, blythism, that's how I felt when I read your comment. Thank you so much. To know that someone out there is looking forward to reading my posts -- my god, isn't that a blogger's dream? You made my whole year. Thank you. xoxo

Ohhh you guys... you all rock my world.


Sharon said...


I LOVED reading these! You are fantastic and you ARE an interesting friend! Everything that is UNIQUE to you, is interesting and wonderful!

I laughed when I read about your wisdom teeth. I REMEMBER being at the dentist as a young woman, and he talked to me about taking out my wisdom teeth, even though they hadn't come in yet. I made a smart ass reply about people like that wanting to put a cast on a leg that isn't broken. Within months, the teeth began to come in, and immediately became impacted and infected, HA on me!

I love all of these things that are special to you! BIG HUG!

Dane said...

I too have an English degree, a cowlick, and a lifetime of wearing bangs behind me. We are so simpatico, and the more I learn about you, the more I adore you.

Elizabeth said...

Oh, the whole submission/rejection thing is SOOOO hard!

I didn't know you had written a YA novel. I have too. Maybe if you show me yours, I'll show you mine. Seriously! I'm a really kind but honest and constructive reader. In grad school people were always asking me to read their stuff ahead of class and give them feedback so they'd be prepared in a nice way for the rough stuff ahead.

Think about it, OK?

Unknown said...

Karen - you're the awesomest! lol I love your blog and I love this post so much.


Lydia said...

What a list! I loved this post. How cool to have the Beatles autograph!

He he I will have to tell my husband about you being a minister. He has joked about getting a license online...

Wilthomer said...

You have a Gonk! How cool is that!!

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