1. I started university as a double major in violin performance and physics. (Ended up majoring in American Studies and studying French and Afrikaans on the side. Go figure.) I've played the violin since I was five years old and thought I would be a concert violinist until an overuse injury during high school slowed me down and made me re-evaluate that idea.
2. I've studied all sorts of dance: ballet, jazz, modern, ballroom, and Irish. I've also bought bellydance DVDs and I would love to take lessons. Some day when I live in a bigger city...our small town of 5,000 doesn't offer much.
3. I joined a fencing club during high school. When I was sparring with one of my friends, he broke a foil (a lightweight fencing sword, such as the one Eric--aka Zorro-is wielding below) on my chest. I thought it was pretty funny.
4. I've always liked to sew and am quite handy at making things without a pattern. My two most ambitious no-pattern creations were:
- A 1770's style dress, complete with undergarments, corset, quilted underskirt, and overdress. It makes a sweet Halloween costume. It took me about 100 hours to sew. I made it as a final project for an undergraduate humanities class. I could have just written a paper, but this was way more fun. Sorry I don't have a better picture of the dress. Maybe later I will dress up and take some new photos. I also made the Zorro costume for Eric. On my insisting, he sewed most of the cape. You know, teach a man to fish...
- My wedding dress. I fell in love with a gorgeous designer dress from Spain, but the $3,000 price tag was out of the question. My mom and I surreptitiously took measurements and sketches while we were in the dressing room. Then we went home and made a replica, with some minor changes. Total cost for materials (the entire dress was made of silk): $300.
5. My mother gave birth to me while hanging from her ankles. Her doctor had this theory that giving birth upside down would prevent hemorrhoids. My mom recalls that only her shoulder blades were touching the bed. She was yelling at him to let her down--she had never had hemorrhoids in her life--but he did not. I think I have the story right but I should cross-check the details with my mom.
6. I love power tools and fixing things. My husband and I renovated old houses while in graduate school. We've done plumbing, electricity, plastering, drywall, framing, cabinetmaking (well, technically we were helping an Amish cabinetmaker), paint stripping, tiling, hardwood floor refinishing, lap siding, painting, glazing, kitchen designing...
The kitchen I designed. We called it the "yuppie paradise" kitchen.