Thursday, June 14, 2007


My dear Jen has tagged me to do a meme, which I'd never heard of before she told me to do one... now, because I'm lazy, I'm downright stealing the definition of what a meme is from her blog post where she "meme"d:

Meme's appear to be like chain letters for blogs. You pass them onto people and they pass them on again... and again... You get the idea.

Meme's are like the blog version of those emails you get that ask you (among other useless questions):

"do you like sunsets or sunrises?"

"if you could meet anyone living or dead who would it be?"

"shampoo or 2-in-1?"

"paper or plastic?"

Here is the meme I was tagged to do...

Rules:1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.

3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Now, I'm one of these ppl who rarely forwards forwards, but these emails are pretty much the only kind I do enjoy forwarding along... The problem, of course, is that most of my fellow bloggers have either been tagged by Jen already (she stole Hadeel!!! I wanted to tag Hadeel!) or don't really blog on their blogs (that's M, who only posts pictures); so while I'm participating, I doubt I'll find 8 players to tag. Maybe 2 or 3...

Here are my 8 random things that I'm willing to disclose:

  1. I love punctuation. Like LOVE. With capital letters. As a writer, I think punctuation is the greatest gift in language, and I constantly use it for creative license in a completely-ungrammatically-correct way (see previous use of hyphens, (and current use of parentheses)). To anyone reading my writing, it may look like my misuse of punctuation is completely random, but I assure you, 90% of the time, I know I'm making a "mistake" and I just don't care. I'm using a system I've devised and I'm bury brackets within brackets, or over-use hyphens, or constantly toss in ellipses ... It's probably because I almost always write the way I talk, and I'm a very long-winded talker... but rest assured: there is method to my madness. Not all of my punctuation is deliberately misused. For one thing, I am quite proud of my use of the comma. If a comma can go there, I'll put it there. Every time. When editing papers/essays for my sisters, or articles/books for my parents, my correct use of the comma has resulted in my family nicknaming me the "comma queen". It's dorky, but it's also VERY appropriate. And I like my crowning title.

  2. I think of myself as a tomboy. Currently, and at this stage of my life, this makes little-to-no-sense: 45% of my wardrobe is pink (as I write this, I'm wearing a white and pink striped button up, and a pink wrap-around scarf); I'm a notorious movie cryer; I am the perfect example for the "women can't shut up" argument... but I'm still certain that I'm a tomboy. I think this is because, a) no matter how fashionable I try to become, my comfort-freakness wins out, and b) I love watching sports, especially hockey

  3. I also think of myself as a writer, despite the fact that I've never formally published anything outside of school papers, this blog, and my section of my parents' "Meet our Family" chapter in their "Parenting in the West" book, when I was 13. I've been writing silly poetry since I was 8. I went to a special arts school for creative writing during high school and the sheer number of hours I spent writing stories/character profiles/plot lines/poems/common place pieces/articles instilled in me a sense of 'writer'ness so great that I can't shake it, even seven years later. And I'll be honest: I like being a writer, even if I don't actually write as much as I wish I did. It's releasing; it's expressive; it's intense and relaxing at the same time. I was taught during my 3+ years in the writing program to carry around a writer's notebook in which I could scrawl anything any time I got an idea or saw/heard a great line that might later inspire me. I still carry a book around. This is part of the reason I always carry a massive purse. It has to fit my notebook, the novel I'm reading, and all my other junk.
    In my attempts to remain "writerly", I've started 4 stories/novels, none of which I've finished. These "novels" have filled multiple notebooks, and I'd read them to my poor younger sister as I wrote, using her as my audience to see if my story was interesting/follow-able... my problem was always with plot... Either I'd spend too much time on the character development that I'd never get a plot started and the story would just run out... or when I managed to come up with a plot intensive story, I'd reach the literary equivalent of critical mass where I'd be three notebooks of scribbles in, right around the climax, and needing to bring it all together when I wouldn't be able to remember all the pieces I had to tie up, and the writing that came so easily would need to be replaced by reading through what I'd written to refresh my memory... all of this would be easier to do if a) I had typed up my stories, and thus could search for the necessary information more quickly, or b) I had more time to dedicate to the writing... as it is, I have a full-time job which has nothing to do with writing, and do most of it on my commute to and from work, into notebooks, so when the going gets tough, the writing stops... My poor younger sister still nags me at intervals to finish the stories so she can get her necessary resolution. This both guilts me and comforts me. At least it means she was interested.

  4. I can be incredibly silly with kids. My sisters and nieces and nephews know this first hand. If you're leaving kids with me, be prepared for the fact that I will talk to them using made-up words, silly animal sounds, and swing them round and round until we're both exhausted (usually starting with me)... Don't worry though, I will respect your wishes not to feed them chocolate or sugar...

  5. I am actually enjoying wedding planning. This comes as a big shock to me because as I mentioned in 2, I think of myself as a tomboy, and I've never really enjoyed party-planning. I guess there's something special about a person's own wedding though... This is incredibly cliche, but I actually spend time thinking about table linens and colours...

  6. When I'm reading fiction, my writing tends to take the tone and style of the author whose book I'm reading (except nowhere near as polished). This becomes especially obvious is in long pieces (such as my unfinished novels) or pieces that I start while reading one book, and finish while reading another... When I was writing one of my doomed novels, I went through Timothy Findlay, Margaret Atwood, a Michael Connelly mystery, and some chick lit all at the same time. No wonder the novel was doomed, right? Can you imagine all of those mixed together???

  7. In an attempt to waste less time and learn more, I'm trying to read more non-fiction. In the last few months, I have started about 6 different books. I haven't been moved to finish any of them, but baby-steps, right? Besides, I'm learning that with non-fiction, unlike fiction, you can take quite a bit away from each bit you read. You don't necessarily need the whole thing to "get it"... Or maybe I'm just making excuses?

  8. I love corny jokes. Anything with puns is like chocolate for me. Long after Don Cherry had started getting on my nerves, I continued to watch Coach's Corner on Hockey Night in Canada just so I could hear the pun Ron MacLean would make at the end. The worse the joke, the harder I laugh. I firmly believe in the "so bad, it's good" concept when it comes to corny jokes... some of my favourites:
    -"Doctor! Doctor! I feel like a pair of curtains"
    -"Well pull yourself together then!"
    Two hydrogen atoms meet. One says, "I've lost my electron." The other says, "Are you sure?" The first replies "Yes, I'm positive."
    Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced an impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little, which made him rather frail and, with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him (Oh, man, this is so bad, it's good) a super calloused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis

So who am I tagging? Well, I'm going to ask Sajda to do this... I think she'd have fun with it, and Majdi too... and K, I'm going to challenge you to post something more personal and less intellectual on your blog (I LOVE reading your stuff, although it sometimes hurts my head, but I would just like to see what you'd say for this)...


sajda said...

I accept...but I also have a question for you regarding modern punctuation usage, oh Comma Queen:

When one is doing the the smiley face :) at the end of a bracketed sentence, what to do if it ends up like looking like a double chin? See example below. Please answer with a punctuation fatwa.

(I'm looking forward to the ruling :))

noha said...

In my humble opinion, you end up with a double chin, a la :))
but remember, this is not in any dictionary or punctuation guide, and I follow my "GUT" (I'm sounding like Steven Colbert here :D) for these things, so I prefer double chins to the possibility of someone thinking you're being unsmiley...

noha said...

not to mention my expertise are in the Comma domain, and this is the emoticon-as-a-form-of-punctuation domain.

- K said...

Hey Noha,

Thanks for the "tag." I actually wrote a comment here this morning to tell you that I got it, but it seems that blogger ate that comment up.
Anyway, the point is that I'll be "meme-ing" too, soon enough. :)

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for said unresolved novel endings.

Jen said...

noha! i've been meaning to thank you for completing the meme!! i knew i would enjoy what you had to say... :) I have a book recommendation for you, sister, it's called Bird By Bird by Anne Lamott. i just finished it, if i see you before I go inshallah I will lend it to you. :)

~ salaam ~

noha said...

Thanks Jen! I'm looking for a good book to read now. I'll check if I can find it at the library too.

Majdi Haroun said...

oh QUEEN, I am game... watch out "Memers" (:O)) ... big-eye-browed-double-chinned Majdi