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25 Things I Did on My Summer Vacation, by spectralbovine - The Book of the Celestial Cow

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February 6th, 2009


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01:41 am - 25 Things I Did on My Summer Vacation, by spectralbovine
It's the "25 Things" meme that's taken Facebook by storm! I feel that I must share them with you as well because you know me better. Or do you even know me at all?

1. I was born in San Francisco. It almost feels predestined that I've ended up back in the Bay Area.

2. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a garbage truck driver. Because, come on, that truck was awesome.

3. In elementary school, I wrote and illustrated two books: The Disastrous Dino War and K.E.E.T. and the Invasion of the Insectoids. K.E.E.T. stood for Kids with the Entomology Expertise of Tomorrow. The night before the first book was due, I discovered that I had misspelled the key adjective "disasterous." I had to redo the cover and title page.

4. In sixth grade, I lost the school spelling bee to fifth grader Brianna LeGrand. The word I choked on was "translate." T-R-A-N-S-A-L-A... Later, I realized that if I had caught myself before the second A, I could have started over and swapped the letters to continue spelling the word correctly.

5. In eighth grade, I wrote a paper on the Battle of Britain. It had a lot of footnotes. I left out the period after each footnote citation. The teacher took off two points PER FOOTNOTE. My grammar score for the paper was something like a 27. My grade that six weeks was my first B.

6. My bedroom was filled with trophies and medals. Not for any sports but for math-science competitions, UIL Spelling/Vocabulary and Science, Academic Decathlon, and Indian folk dances.

7. My first time in New York was for FOGANA, a national Indian folk dance competition. I was in a raas (the one where you hit with two little sticks). I don't remember what place we came in. Let me check my records, a Word file called "Lotsa Immodest Stuff." (All it says is that I had participated since 1993. And there are about two pages' worth of awards and scholarships I had won.)

8. I did not go to my prom. Instead, I went to see my friend Anushka in Hello, Dolly! I think it was the first musical I ever saw.

9. I was salutatorian of my graduating class. The valedictorian's GPA was ahead of mine by the same amount that I was ahead of the girl who was #3. I got to make a speech at graduation in which I mostly just quoted Jack Handey's "Deep Thoughts." It was televised on a local access channel.

10. After we all graduated, Sue Alice, an acquaintance, came up to me. "Sunil," she said, "I loved your speech. A lot of people probably didn't get it, but it was so you." It remains one of my favorite things someone has said to me.

11. I find it strange to look back at high school. I envy the time when I was actually better at things than people, but I don't really envy who I was. I didn't really have any friends, just a lot of acquaintances. I like watching TV shows and movies about high school because they're so much more interesting than my high school experience.

12. I cannot even begin to conceive what my life would be like or who I would be if I hadn't gone to Rice. I still miss it.

13. My first semester at Rice, I got bitten by the theatre bug when I ran sound for Burn This. I made my acting debut the next semester in Goodnight Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet). The school paper said I was "purposefully flat (I hope)." The next year, I was in a ten-minute play. The school paper called my acting "weak." My senior year, I played Dr. Jason Posner in the Pulitzer Prize-winning play Wit. The school paper didn't even mention me.

14. Meanwhile, I was having the time of my life in the Gilbert and Sullivan shows The Butter Battle, The Mikado, and The Iolanthe. Okay, the first one is Gilbert, Sullivan, and barilosopher.

15. I am the Lord High Second Tenor.

16. My goatee is a result of a whim in response to laziness the summer after freshman year. I hadn't bothered to shave for a week, so I decided to try out a goatee. Now, I feel like it's a part of me I can't bear to part with.

17. I got three C+'s in a row at Rice: Evolution, Biochemistry, and Cell Biology. One of my majors was Biochemistry and Cell Biology. (The other was English.) It was awesome.

18. As part of Students Organized Against Rape, unless I'm misremembering, I helped inspire what has become an annual T-shirt campaign in which 60 or 70 students wear T-shirts to represent the number of men and women who would be sexually assaulted each year on a campus the size of Rice. I wore #57.

19. The first time I met Internet friends was in Canada.

20. In the vein of #12, I don't know what my life would be like if I hadn't gone to the University of Michigan for grad school. I know I'd be short one (1) best friend.

21. I have a shirt that reads, "I'm famous on the Internet." It's kind of true. But only kind of. And not really so much anymore.

22. My default favorite book is The Remains of the Day, and my default favorite movie is Groundhog Day. This has been true since high school, and I see no reason for anything to ever unseat them. I find that stability comforting.

23. Isn't that the kind of stuff you were expecting to learn from this meme? I'm sorry it unexpectedly turned into a life history. That's not #23, though. #23 is: I am almost pathologically change-averse. Habit and routine make my life possible.

24. I carry all my library cards in my wallet: Arlington Public Library, Ann Arbor District Library, Peninsula Library System, and Oakland Public Library. I've been meaning to get cards from San Francisco and Berkeley. I regret not getting a Houston library card when I was down there, but I never considered going off-campus for a library when there was a library on campus I could fall asleep in.

25. Some time ago, I discovered a piece of paper in my wallet that reads, "120 Down 1BaS." I have no idea how it got there or what it means. I keep it in my wallet in hopes that one day, its secret message will become clear to me.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
Current Music: Ladytron - This Is Our Sound

(29 memoirs | Describe me as "inscrutable")

Comments:


[User Picture]
From:shpyum
Date:February 6th, 2009 01:04 pm (UTC)
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I imagine #25 involving a "you will meet an annoying woman. Give her coffee and she will leave you alone" type story (I've horribly misquoted that, I think). Anyway, the love of your life is involved somehow. : )
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:February 6th, 2009 04:13 pm (UTC)
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I was thinking something to do with a very large crossword puzzle.
[User Picture]
From:ahtrap
Date:February 6th, 2009 06:47 pm (UTC)
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i concur...now all you have to do is go back through all the new york times sunday crosswords looking for a 120 down that matches...
[User Picture]
From:anoel
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:06 pm (UTC)
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I met my first internet friend in Canada too! It was awesome :)
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From:outoffashion
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:07 pm (UTC)
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lol, it the 25 things meme was mentioned on the last hour of the Today show yesterday. that was weird.
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From:electricmonk
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
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There's a thing on the TIME website about it.

Which I only saw because of a link on facebook.
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From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:56 pm (UTC)
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What the fuck? We were talking at dinner about the fact that it appears to be the first successful Facebook meme, but...it's worthy of TIME? Really?
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From:ahtrap
Date:February 6th, 2009 06:50 pm (UTC)
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Time was ripping on it, with the writer making a list of 25 things she wishes her friends didn't tell her...except it wasn't all her friends, it included friends of, nodding acquaintances, total strangers, etc. She also calculated how much work time was wasted in compiling this stuff, coming across as a complete fuddy duddy...
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:55 pm (UTC)
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Holy shit, seriously? Is there no other news to cover?
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
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I am not okay with this!

(But that one was kind of amusing.)
[User Picture]
From:electricmonk
Date:February 6th, 2009 03:44 pm (UTC)
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#24 - Me too! The Seattle Public Library card I still have occasion to use now and then, but the expired card for the fancy reading room in Prague, not so much. (Sadly, I lost my New York Public Library card with my wallet a couple years back.)
[User Picture]
From:incidentist
Date:February 6th, 2009 04:14 pm (UTC)
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If we ever start a bar or a cafe or something, we should call it "The Salutatorian".
[User Picture]
From:roxybisquaint
Date:February 6th, 2009 05:41 pm (UTC)
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5. I would still be bitter about that one. In a college philosophy class, I got an F- on a paper once. AN F-! How is that even possible? It was worse than fail?! I'm still bitter.

6. You and my sister (well, if you replace the Indian folk dancing awards with oratory awards).

8. How did I already know this about you? You must have written about it before.

22. I love Groundhog Day :)

23. Dude. Me too.

25. Out of all the items on your list, this is my favorite. You must tell us what it means if you ever find out.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 05:46 pm (UTC)
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5. I am totally still bitter. Obvs. Your F- is awesome, though. WORSE THAN FAIL.

8. I don't know! Stop sneaking around.

23. I am not alone!

25. Hee. I seriously don't know how it got there. I think it ended up there in Canada, maybe? I have no memory of it. It's such a bizarre piece of paper.
[User Picture]
From:latropita
Date:February 6th, 2009 05:47 pm (UTC)
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The teacher took off two points PER FOOTNOTE.
Haahahaha. Oh noooooes.

What is it about elementary school and illustrated books? I had a whole series about aliens that ended every single time with ".......OR DID THEY?!?!!?!?" So, really, I was destined to love The X-Files.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 05:53 pm (UTC)
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Haahahaha. Oh noooooes.
WHAT'S WRONG WITH A BLANKET -10? OR EVEN A -20? WHATEVER, EITHER ONE IS BETTER THAN TAKING OFF A BAZILLION POINTS FOR ONE MISTAKE. REPEATEDLY.

What is it about elementary school and illustrated books?
Well, there was a whole "Written and Illustrated By..." contest where they actually published some of the books.

I had a whole series about aliens that ended every single time with ".......OR DID THEY?!?!!?!?" So, really, I was destined to love The X-Files.
The Insectoids had a ray gun that turned you into an insect. In one part, they shot some guy's leg, and he got a fly leg. Or something like that.
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:01 pm (UTC)
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IN EIGHTH GRADE *I* WROTE A PAPER ON THE BATTLE OF BRITAIN!
WHAT A FREAKY COINCIDENCE! Was it for English class too? And did you write about the sinking of the Bismarck and how awesome U-boats were?
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:11 pm (UTC)
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Hee hee hee. Never forget, never forgive!
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From:punzerel
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:13 pm (UTC)
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I get so confused by the fact that what is basically an average LJ meme is taking over Facebook.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 09:20 pm (UTC)
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I know! THIS IS NOT NEWS, PEOPLE.
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From:mycenae
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:47 pm (UTC)
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I love this meme on Facebook. I'm learning all these things about people I only vaguely remember from high school or college.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 6th, 2009 10:59 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, it's been cool to learn some more about people. And then there are people you discover really are not that interesting.

Are we friends on Facebook? I forget.
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From:darlingviolenta
Date:February 7th, 2009 05:56 pm (UTC)
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Regarding kids wanting to be garbage truck drivers, have you ever read Someday, Angeline and Dogs Don't Tell Jokes, by Louis Sachar? Pivotal pieces of my own childhood, there.

And the first time I met internet friends, I was in Prague. The second was in Canada.
[User Picture]
From:spectralbovine
Date:February 7th, 2009 07:55 pm (UTC)
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I read Dogs Don't Tell Jokes! I remember nothing about it, though.
[User Picture]
From:beeker121
Date:February 8th, 2009 02:30 am (UTC)
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Re #24, when I was still moving around a lot I made it a point to get library cards everywhere I went. I don't carry them in my wallet, but I still have them all.
[User Picture]
From:idreamofpeace
Date:February 8th, 2009 11:44 pm (UTC)
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Ooh, I keep all my library cards, too! I say I'm collecting libraries;)

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