December 16
I'm sure details will emerge as I write, but how does one encapsulate one's life in words? I consider myself a Michigan native, now misplaced in the southern MidWest. Friends and family have called me a story teller, which is possible. To anyone who reads my work, though, I offer this caution from Isabel Allende, as she describes herself: “If you ask me to tell you my life, I will try; but it will probably be a bag of lies, because I am inventing myself all the time. And at the same time, I am inventing fiction, and through this fiction, I am revealing myself.” Cast of Characters: The Raven = My Wife. To be clear, I'm also her wife. The Giant = Our Son. I haven't legally adopted him (though I would have), but after so many years, he knows I am his parent, AKA Tia.


Owl_Says_Who's Links

SEPTEMBER 21, 2010 7:58PM

Owl's 12 Things, 3 Open Calls, 1 Post

Rate: 67 Flag

And so, after more than a month of not posting anything, without further ado, I shall attempt to list 12 "Random" Things which span 3 Open Calls, all within 1 Post:

12.  Depending on the specific Myers-Briggs based testing mechanism used, I score as INTP, INFP, or INTJ . . . it could also depend on when I'm taking the test.  This seems to be pretty typical for all of my standardized test-taking as an adult . . . I also scored almost directly down the middle of the "gender scale" on the MMPI, which was a complete curiousity to the person who had administered the test, but not so much to me.  As far as I can tell, one of my "life challenges" is to be semi-classifiable as anything specific.

11.  Quite possibly related to the above, picking favorites is almost impossible for me.  I love music - playing it, listening to it, analyzing it - but I don't have a favorite genre, group, or song.  Same goes with food, movies, literature, entertainment.  I can tell you what I don't like more easily than what I love.  My favorite people are my wife Raven, and our kid the Giant . . . and even that is occasionally in question.

10.  That being said, here are some sensory memories that I hope never to forget the wonder of:

  Sight - Vistas in the Smokey Mountains, anything over water. 

  Sound - The Giant's operetta, spontaneously composed and performed at age 3, called "Super Tia" in which the hero's hideout was inside a toilet.   

  Scent - My Mom's whole wheat bread, baking; she wasn't a great cook, but her bread was magnificent. 

  Taste - Paella, cooked on an open wood fire in a cast iron pan, using chicken and sausage instead of seafood, just the right amount of saffron.  My Andalusian host family absolutely blew me away with this dish during the week I spent with them as part of a Spanish Club trip.

  Touch - The first time I kissed/touched a woman.  Everything suddenly made more sense in my world.  Everything changed.

  All Senses - Sitting on a tall dune overlooking Lake Michigan as a summer storm rolls in and engulfs the shore, beginning with heavy stillness and culminating in 15-foot waves crashing the beach, illuminated by lightening and pounded by thunder, washed over by a torrential downpour.  (OC #1 Complete). 

9.  The first story I remember writing was about frogs which took over the world.  It was in third grade.  It was a little like the frogs which rained down as a plague in Egypt, except it took place everywhere in the populated world at the same time, overwhelming and extinguishing humanity.  The frogs didn't miss us.  My teacher expressed concern over my chosen subject matter, so lightened up a little in my creative writing, after that.

8.  I am ridiculously hung up on formatting, especially on any document which appears in public.  This is generally a good thing in my job, except that it sometimes delays actual production of content.  It may explain my "form-phobia," in that I cannot count on my handwriting to be legible, or correct, and therefore have a terrible time even filling out a simple application.  Thank heaven for scanners and Adobe Acrobat Professional edition . . .

7.  I used to be terribly, persistently competitive.  I have always been sportsmanlike, win or lose, in a fairly played game.  But God help Dr. F, who cheated at Trivial Pursuit when I was allowed to play with the adults at an after-church gathering.  I was 12.  Mom was not amused at my very loud, angry accusations.

6.  I was forced to learn to sew, but became good enough at it to make a pair of jeans, complete with zipper and rivets.  Unfortunately, by the time I finished them, I'd outgrown them.  One of these days, I intend to pick it up again, because it's incredibly cool what you can do with scraps of cloth and thread.

5.  If I were a biological male, I would probably be Kevin James.  My wife agrees.  Think Kevin James in "Hitch," minus the asthma inhaler, or "Paul Blart, Mall Cop" minus the Segue.  And much shorter, with darker hair.  Yeah.  As much as I'd like to be someone super sexy, I'm Kevin James.  However, he does get the awesome babe in "Hitch," as have I, in real life. (That's OC #2).

4.  In 4th grade, I biked 63 miles in a bike-a-thon.  In 7th grade, I walked 19 miles in a walk-a-thon.  In both cases, I was sponsored by a number of people, most notably by Mrs. L. down the block.  I didn't realize it at the time, but part of the reason she was such a generous sponsor was that by 4pm, she was 2.5 sheets to the wind.  She also bought 10 tins of popcorn, which made me top sales person toward our 8th grade trip to Chicago.

3.  I've had the privilege of traveling in 12 countries:  Spain, Portugal, Gibralter, Andorra, Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, and a long layover in El Salvador.  Most of it was missionary work of one sort or another.  All of it changed my world view.  As a result, I am a terrible tourist, if that's all I'm doing - I always end up wondering what's happening on the other side of the tracks.

2.  As a kid, I was intent on being prepared.  In addition to survival plans for missing the rapture, I practiced being blind and deaf, just in case.  I also taught myself to write reasonably well with my left hand, which was helpful when I smashed my right thumb trying to bare-hand a foul tip as a catcher.  I tried to teach myself to write with my toes, but it was kind of a lost cause.

1.  I have attempted minor home surgery on myself, with mixed results.  Splinter extractions were not a problem.  Cutting out a wart on my left hand using a swiss army knife and tweezers was bloody, but ultimately successful.  Trying to remove an odd scar on my right shin proved to be beyond my skill set - apparently I should have used a butterfly bandage, rather than packing the incision; although it healed nicely, the doctor was not pleased with my handiwork, and I have given up anything beyond splinters.  Probably.



Open Call #3 Complete!



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I apologize in advance for the length, lack of editing, and general messiness of this . . . but seriously, I can only not write for so long before my brain wants to explode . . . but at least it might be fun, right?
My god woman.. are you a virgo???
You sound so organized..wow..
impressive. Frog writing and all..:)
rated with hugs
Interesting....kudos on number 4!
Hey, chickie! Way to be efficient!

BTW, paella with sausage and smoked oysters is fantastic.
You give "Home version of the game of Operation" a whole new meaning!
#2, that is so so funny
#1 that is just too scary
#1, 2 and 4 just make me know you are someone I would be friends with in real life. ~r
You are so efficient. What messiness?

Someday, please please please do a post detailing your survival plans for missing the rapture. This would be an EP for certain.
I approve of the home surgery. I recommend super glue for cuts that could require stitches -- but nothing too big or in too obvious a place.
Owl, I think I've sat on one of those dunes. And if Dr. F hadn't been a cheater, he wouldn't have had to be called out in front of everyone. Stinkin' cheaters! :-)
Linda - Yeah, no . . . I'm a Sagittarius. I'm not very organized most of the time . . . except in theory and in writing!

rjheart - I should have qualified the home surgeries - no internal surgeries, and ONLY on myself. I'd probably pass out trying to cut into anyone else.

Just Thinking - I think it had something to do with the competitive thing.

Safe_Bet's Amy - Me and seafood just don't mix . . . the oysters would taint the whole dish for me.

O'Really - LOL. Yeah, I only practice on myself. It would be unfair to subject anyone else to my attempts.

vanessa - Welcome to inside my head . . . often funny AND scary.

Joan - I can totally see us as friends; however, I'm not nearly as driven as I used to be, nor as organized as I seem to appear here.

greenheron - LOL . . . I must be faking organization well today! I actually did write a post about it, sort of . . . it's (Almost) Left Behind.

Nick - Super Glue . . . excellent . . .

librarienne - Could very well be, those dunes are outstanding. And I maintain to this day that Dr. F. cheated - otherwise, I wouldn't have called him out!

Kateasley – Nice to know I’m not alone on that. I’m not as picky on stuff produced by others – just whatever’s in my control.
I just saw the time. I hate to post and run, but tonight I'm supposed to come up with dinner, and I'm obviously running ate!
I echo greenheron's sentiment. Do, please, consider sharing that story with us.
Fascinating stuff! And not a drop of blood spilled!
Just saw your answer to her query! Sorry!
Great list, Owl!!!!!
I like # 9 :). Better frogs than human selfishness, though I'm hoping for neither. Do you still have the story?
3 OC's in one after a one-month hiatus? I hate over-achievers! Just kidding. R
Well aren't you the overachiever!! Maybe that competitive thing, coming back? Your "touch" statement really got to me, how it was such a revelation for you. As a heterosexual woman, I can't remember a moment like that -- and I wish I had one!
The first time I tasted paella, everything suddenly made more sense in my world. Everything changed. -R-
"4pm, she was 2.5 sheets to the wind. She also bought 10 tins of popcorn, which made me top sales person toward our 8th grade trip to Chicago."

That's how I sold things in my school days!! That and a big stick!! Teeheehee!! In case they weren't drunk!! ;D

Lovely post dearest Owl!!

~wanders off to eat some popcorn~
Owl, until I read this I had NO IDEA you were planning to miss the rapture. I have a hunch a lot of us on OS are gonna miss that wingding, voluntarily or no. We probly oughta plan a party.
Whoaaah! You posted.

Now I have to go back and read it :-)
multitasker! and what a funny kid you were, makes for a funny adult too I see. Oper-Ashun!
Owl, until I read this post I had no idea that you were a female owl. I am also hung up formatting. I like to justify all the margins in my posts like you have done, and I didn't see anything messy here. I have a very nice handwriting, because I like calligraphy. Great post, nice to get to know you better.
Interesting... Interesting...Hmmmm... didn't know these things but I did know things things if that makes sense..
Can you make me some jeans?
Interest Stuff. I think you got ripped off on the frog story, someone made a B-Movie about it!
I've known from the start I liked you, and now I have specific reasons why! That paella description made me drool. The home surgery? ::runs away::
#10 is absolutely sublime.
Fay! Get a grip on yourself, girl!
Ummm, surgery on self??? Whoa. R
frogs taking over the world? you should post that story. i would totally read that!
A three for one deal from Owl - well worth the wait.
I soooo relate to #1 & #2 and soooo wish for #3. Love getting to know you more.
#3 tells me you're cool
The whole thing tells me you're efficient
OK, dang it, I had a bunch of witty replies to several of your items and then I read the last one and now I must sit here with those images... Thanks...

(OK, but I loved a lot of them, including not choosing favorites, being competitive - formerly, and the being prepared - I also practiced writing with my other hand, my toes, and my mouth. Just in case. Thank god I wasn't the only one.)
a most excellent list! i can relate to your Touch part:) and #8? we would get along well...
"INFPs never seem to lose their sense of wonder. One might say they see life through rose-colored glasses. It's as though they live at the edge of a looking-glass world where mundane objects come to life, where flora and fauna take on near-human qualities. "

Rose colored glasses? Rose colored glasses? I wonder wonder wonder who! Who, who wrote the book of love?

I love, love, love rose colored glasses. And I love "Who wrote the book of love"

It's strange! When I was a manager of a large department in health care, I was the absolute opposite of my true self (until of course, when I was on my own time). I suppose the "times" require the mind to behave accordingly.

But I must disagree with one thing - paella without seafood? Uhh? Uhh? What???? :-)

So good to see you writing again Owl.
Excellent list. I definitely want to know more about your survival plans for the rapture.
I love it! I absolutley agree with your touch sensory memory and you gave me chills with your all senses one.


sigh... thank you....
My very favorite is "being prepared." That's like a trait you'd give a character in a novel. Practicing writing with the toes, pretending to be "blind and deaf, just in case." I wish I'd known you when I was a kid, we could've prepared our rapture survival plans together...
I liked the sewing one: I learned to cross stitch and then got distracted and didn't finish a project and never picked up again. The same situation with a sewing machine that I spent $2000 on. It sits next to the dining table waiting for me to get inspiration.
Happy Blogging,
I kept checking your blogs to see if something new was submitted. I'm glad to see a new one.
Best Wishes,
I almost jumped when I saw that the Owl had posted something! I want you to update the frog story, please. You have more than a little adventure and spark in your soul. Yeah, Owl.
It was fun alright. Love 10. Especially the all senses entry. I want to be there and see/hear/smell/feel that.
Owl posts! Woo-hoo!

I'm a total INFP, Owl. Close to an INTP, though.
You wrote!!! I'm so happy it's ridiculous! Not only did you write, but it's interesting, and good, and vivid, and I have also sat on dunes looking over the Lake, many times, although never when there was a storm. Kevin James always gets a babe - and he's funny and adorable. You could do worse. I would, however, like you to stop performing surgery on yourself. I admire your MacGyverness and all, but maybe if you took up sewing again you would feel less compelled to do craft projects on your person and risking infection?!
I shouldn't be here from work but read this and had to comment..Loved it all of it how you pulled it all together, your descriptions of you little, the cheater gettting called out. This just makes me love you even more!
God Bless Mrs. L!!
Very funny and cool stuff, Owler. You are such an enigma. I love learning more about you.
These lists are awesome. I love yours.

So glad to see you and learn more about you. No. 8 ... yeah ... I know the feeling. Especially on OS, which doesn't offer much in the way of formatting tools, like runarounds on photos.

And that tall dune overlooking Lake Michigan? Been there ... except it was Lake Erie.
The more I know you, the more I heart you. And I heart Mrs. L. for being generously drunk.
Fabulous way to get all caught up here!
Elisa - LOL . . . thanks.

Poor Woman and kitd - Thanks for coming by!

heidibeth - I don't. I only vaguely remember the plot lines and the response, and the picture which sparked the story.

Trudge - I have to say I am a bonafide underacheiver in many ways . . . this was just trying to make up for lost time.

LCNeal - Sad . . . I mean, it's nice to think I might be smart, but you aren't a slouch in the brains department either!

Bellwether - Sometimes, I wish I were still competitive in something . . . other times, I'm really glad that pressure has lessened. Whenever I kissed guys, it was like sparklers, and I kept thinking "people describe fireworks, but maybe they meant sparklers." Then there were fireworks, and I understood the meaning of chemistry.

David - I've heard it can have that effect!

Tink - She was a very sweet older lady . . . and she was always happy to pay for what she'd signed up for.

Matt - It wasn't so much of a plan as a "just in case." And at least I'll be in good company with OSers.

Gabby - I have my moments.

FusunA - LOL. You're not the first person to wonder . . . sometimes even in "real life." And since computers, my handwriting has gotten progressively worse - I have a healthy respect for calligraphers!

rita - That actually does make sense . . . there's a certain amount of intuition involved, I'm sure. Also, misc. comments sometimes give away bits and pieces. As for the jeans . . . it probably shouldn't be my comeback project.

scanner - Just figures. No one tells a kid to copyright their work.

mypsyche - No lasting damage, and I refuse to have witnesses to my carnage.

Fay - Thanks . . .

Sheila - Well, it's not like there are any other volunteers . . .

Lorianne - If I had it, I'd post it. As it is, I'm not sure I could re-create it.

littlewillie - Not like I gave anyone a choice about the wait . . . but thank you for coming by!
Mimetalker - I'm wishing for more of #3 also.

Cranky - I suppose, when I'm "switched on" I can be efficient. Otherwise . . . not so much.

Outside Myself - Sorry about that last bit . . . in retrospect, perhaps I should have at least rearranged them a bit. I'm glad I'm not alone, either . . . several people I've known have thought that the over-prep was pretty strange. Surprisingly, I hadn't thought about learning to write using my mouth.

lemonpulp - I suspect a lot of us late-coming-outers remember a similar awakening . . .

Boomer Bob - A friend of mine once said, of both of us, that we had "the uncanny mutantability to get along with anyone," which requires a certain amount of flexibility. The paella . . . it's totally about my distaste for seafood.

froggy - In my reply to greenheron, I posted a link to the post which talks a bit about my rapture prep.

Zul - I'm so glad it gave you GOOD shivers!

Lainey - LOL. I also love carpentry and all forms of working with wood.

suzie - No doubt! I didn't realize, at the time, that I wasn't the only one making plans!

Heather - That's part of why I haven't invested in any serious equipment - too much shooting myself in the foot.

Blittie - I'm always happiest when I'm writing something . . .

Dr. Spud - LOL, me too. I'm trying to re-capture the adventure and spark . . . I've missed it for too long.

Moana - It's good stuff, even in memory.

Ken - Totally complimentary personalities, I think!

Ann - I'm afraid if I took up sewing again, it might renew my interest in home surgery. Just kidding. I'm probably retired from anything but splinters. I never really had problems with infection, except with major abrasions.

dharma - So good to see you! Enigma isn't too bad. I can live with that. :~)

Boanerges - The formatting on OS has made me really work for anything resembling a document. I just haven't taken the time to really tinker with HTML, and so haven't mastered what OS might be capable of. The Great Lakes are truly magnificent . . . all of them.

aim - Thanks, my friend. Mrs. L. was quite a character.
You made JEANS?!?!? I'm impressed.
sweetfeet - Thanks. I was pleased with the result, even if I had to give them away.
Wow I hurt my thumb too once catching a softball barehanded.
Algis - Isn't it amazing how much we need our thumbs? Until I injured mine, I had never thought about it.
a vivid, beautiful list--exactly what I would expect from the likes of you:)
Caroline - That is a huge compliment. I hope to live up to it. :~)
I didn't read the whole of the last one. I sort of want that one to be a mystery. hahahahaha~

I love it when you write, Ms. Owl. Love it. Humor, selfless to the point of vulnerability and so beautifully authentic, is your calling card.
1IM/Annie - I can't say as I blame you. After I wrote #1, it occured to me that it might be a little TMI for some people. As for the rest . . . well . . . thanks (with a bit of aww shucks foot-shuffling).
I loved your frog story...Owl, that is so befitting of a young you. I'd love to read it. And the youthful preparedness...I could easily see that as well.

I too am a big fan of home surgery! Can't tell you how many things I've fixed (including a broken bone a long time ago - questionable results there). Apple cider vinegar will slowly erode at any wart or even some scar tissue. As a matter of fact, ACV fixes tons of stuff.
The super glue fix is sketchy. It's not the same as the hospitals and can cause tissue damage. It also depends on the wound type.

Hope you are well and I feel out of touch with you - you haven't been posting much, neither have I.

(Thanks to you, I changed the tags of my piece. I wasn't fond of them either.)
Beth Mann - Always good to see you! I wish I had the frog story . . . it was lost, along with a great number of other things, in a self-storage incident. I've even thought about trying to re-create it, but I can't recapture any of the details, and as an adult, I'm having trouble suspending my own disbelief.

Would love to hear the broken bone story, as well as more uses for ACV . . . I know of a couple, but can always use more. I'm more inclined toward home-made butterfly bandages than superglue, I think. Duct tape is suprisingly effective, actually.
Random and fun! And I couldn't agree more with sitting along Lake Michigan. Truly stunning.
I'm like your mom. I'm not the best cook on the planet but I bake a mean peasant loaf. Love the home surgery bit. My ex husband used to give himself stitched. Love your list!
I guess I'm what the Realists call "painfully au courant" about now. It's the difference between inner-directed and other-directed through which I find myself reading reams of subtext into these open call cum double dog dares. (There has been a slew lately.)

Our editors seek quality work through "open calls" and users write from the heart, regardless.
You certainly do have a rich, full life!
No apologies needed for the editing. This was a tour de force nailing all the Open Calls at once.

Paella is to die for. The idea of cooking it over an open fire is intriguing.
aaroncynic - Good to see you here! Lake Michigan is one of my favorite things on the planet, so far.

Katy B. - LOL. I need to get your recipe.

Stacey - I find that if I'm not writing from the heart, I am missing a vital element . . . no matter what I'm writing.

Hawley - It ain't bad . . . just challenging sometimes.

Brassawe - I honestly think the paella is even better over the open fire . . . something about the smoke, maybe. And the cast iron pan they were using.
Owler I knew it-you are awesome!
Good to see you writing : )
I will try and follow your lead.
#10 & 11 were my favorites.
Rock on Sistah!
Damn it, Owl! How could you do that to poor Mrs. L?
I enjoyed this grab-bag.
ladyfarmerjed - Aw, thanks! Let me know when you do yours . . .

john - I know . . . I feel a little guilty about that, to this day.

Faith - Thanks! This was a cool excercise.
I love the imagination ans skill of your incredible wit!
this was a pleasure to read!
Gary - Aww, shucks . . . tweren't much.
Wow, zipper and rivets. I'm impressed.
Sheba - Thanks. I was a little impressed with myself, frankly . . . just pissed that I couldn't wear them, after all that!
That Paella make my mouth water.....The wart story reminds me of when I had two in the same place on both thumbs. What a life you have had.
Algis - It's not that I've had that exciting a life, except when I line up some parts of it . . . in fact, when I write about it, I find myself missing some of the adventure . . .
This was an opus open call conglomeration and I loved it. A life well lived with more excitement to come - I'm sure. Really enjoyed these reflections! Rated.
I’m an INFJ (probably the only IN combination that you didn’t mention)

Your description of Giant’s music resonates so much right now. Our family just sat in the dark, with my 6-yr-old’s disco ball night light turning and flashing across the room, experiencing a concert for which he was preparing all day.
It was an experience only a parent could love, complete with flute, guitar, hand drum, and vocals.

You had me laughing so hard throughout: Kevin James, surgery on yourself, deciding to lighten up when you were such a YOUNG child, preparing for survival (I have to admit that I do that too – I learned about what my ancestor’s knew so I can live when someone shuts off all of our electricity)

…omigosh funny as can be. I am so glad to read you again!! I've missed your writing Owl.
Rita V. - Thanks . . . I hope to live life well, with or without excitement, so if my writing reflects that, then I must be doing something right.
Y Heron - One of the things which is so priceless about so many kids is their utter lack of self-consciousness, no? And I'm glad it got you laughing - this was fun to write . . .
I did not realize that it has been almost exactly one year between posts to my blog here. A lot has happened during that year. i could probably write a great deal more now about mydaily experiences, but I am resolved to stop putting so much of my life on the World Wide Web. Meanwhile I have genuinely missed my Open Salon Friends... like you. I can't say if I am going to resume writing with the frequency I once enjoyed... but writing the recent piece was therapeutic. See you around lady.
I love the smell of home made bread when I used to come home and when my mother was alive. Now I have neither and this memory haunts me wonderfully. Thanks for sharing these nice things with us.
Oh pealla over the fire sounds so good. These are all very wonderful.
I guess I am just hungry. Thanks for sharing.