"Well, now that we have seen each other, said the Unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you. Is that a bargain?"
Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass
Get a Life
Sometimes people see the extent of my web pages and assume that because I spend or have spent a lot of time and energy on cyberspace, I have no life. This isn't true. I downloaded and installed a very nice life recently. So far it's taking up a lot of system resources, and it's got a few bugs and the usual crashes, but it's working pretty well...
The truth is, I do have a life. A real life, in the real world, with real people in real situations. I work (freelance and part-time from home), I'm a full-time mother, I talk to people, I see movies, I go shopping. I exercise (mostly walking, but also swimming). I have a favorite coffee shop. I have friends, a family, a love life, kids, a cat, feelings, thoughts, ideas, plans, and dreams. It's a real life. And it's one I very much like and appreciate.
I also have hobbies and interests that have nothing to do with the internet or computers. For example, I make perfume and other scented things (hand creams, shampoo, conditioner, etc.), using essential oils, absolutes, and other botanical fragrance materials.
And, I really like to read. As far as fiction, I mostly read historical romance novels (Jude Devereaux, Jo Beverley, and Julie Garwood are some favorite authors) and the sci-fi/fantasy books of Terry Pratchett (and I'm a fan of the late Douglas Adams).
I like musty old reference books most people would consider boring (history particularly interests me, including biographies, and I like different kinds of theology). I also sometimes thumb through encyclopedias and dictionaries (honestly!), and I've read a great deal on the subject of abuse recovery and childbirth, and lately I've been into reading books on parenting.
When I shipped my household goods to Australia, it was interesting to note that about two thirds of the weight and/or volume were taken up by books (as opposed to clothes or other personal items). I'm a book junkie. A bibliophile.
I like to watch movies, but for years I watched almost no television (and I didn't have cable for the seven and a half years before I came to Melbourne, and had only two channels that I got clearly). When I got to Australia, I decided to check out the "local culture" by watching a bit of TV and what do I find? American television programs on just about every channel! Of course, we also have a nice selection of British programs and some Australian ones, but it strikes me as particularly ironic that I watched so little American TV because I found it mostly insipid and uninspiring, only to move to a foreign country on the opposite side of the globe and see that the same insipid and uninspiring stuff is on the airwaves in abundance. Small wonder other countries think Americans are dolts, if they use our popular TV shows as a means of judging the culture! Anyway, I still don't really watch TV very much, although I'll admit to liking The Simpsons, Cold Case, Being Erica, Dr Who, Torchwood, and possibly one or two others such as Seinfeld, which I still love, even though I've seen all the episodes at least once.
Let's see... I don't generally like clothes shopping, but find I sort of enjoy it when I go shopping out with my mother-in-law, probably because I enjoy the company. I enjoy wandering around the city of Melbourne and riding on trams, though I don't get the chance to do that much any more. I'm a good cook (I don't especially like to cook, at least not all the time, but I am good at it), I love to sing (contralto, and very well, thank you). I can be gregarious (bet that came as a shock), I still make the occasional floral design (did that professionally for a while), and I love listening to music (all kinds of stuff, from country to classical to rock to pop) and attending concerts. I like to go on outings with Andrew and the kids and my camera.
I also collect things. I don't ever set out to do so, really. I get one and then another and another, and pretty soon I've got a collection. So far I've got collections of unicorns, castles, magic wands (none are literally magical as far as I'm aware, but I keep hoping), teapots, minerals and crystals, dragons (both Asian and Western), books (as mentioned, I have an awful lot of them), Bible translations (about twelve or fourteen different English versions to date, and some in Greek and Hebrew), movie screenplays (a whole shelf full of them), and general clutter (I've got quite an enormous collection of that, actually).
I occasionally draw, and I'm quite a good calligrapher, but most of my artistic expression seems to take electronic form these days. In fact, when I was actively studying art and design, I found I was far more inclined to studying art history than actually doing the studio work (i.e., the hands-on art creation). At least, that was true until I discovered what you could do with a computer.
So, though I draw and paint acceptably well, I much prefer sitting in a dusty library looking for books full of obscure facts about obscure artists, and then taking all of those obscure facts and forming an intelligent thesis from them. Which is precisely what art historians spend a lot of their time doing (really, most of what we know of history is not from written documents and the like, but from the arts and crafts of previous civilizations, so there).
Or, lacking a dusty library full of books of obscure facts, I'm very happy to sit and stare at a monitor playing with subtle variations of pixel colors and experimenting with text placement and font styles (I admit that I am a fontaholic and an addicted pixel pusher).
So, you see I do have a life. That it happens to frequently involve computers doesn't mean it's not a real life.
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