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Useless factoids


One of the nicest bloggers in the blogosphere and a prolific gardener  Water Roots tagged me to share dirty secrets some random facts about myself and since I never do memes on Facebook with the people who actually know me, I thought I’d throw it out there on the internets and share random things about me with total strangers instead.


1)      I’ve got some rather unique family members including: a great-great-great-great grandfather who was the financial controller of Russia in the times of the czars, and whose signature appears on old bills; an aunt who worked for the CIA and who passed away before I got a chance to learn all her secrets; a grandfather who worked as a rickshaw driver in China where he lived for 25 years and became a respected surgeon.  Many of them also drink a great deal, and one of my grandmothers calls vodka her elixir of youth.


2)      I am not a morning person. At all. Well, after ten hours of sleep I COULD be persuaded to wake up for a gorgeous sunrise, but it better also involve copious amounts of coffee. I was also this way as a baby. My mother tells me that she fought the battle of Waterloo with me every single morning, with tears and recriminations, and the only way she could get me up at the tender age of two was to play a rockabilly LP at top volume. Over the years it hasn’t gotten much easier although through copious self-therapy I am proudly at the stage where I no longer want to murder chipper, joyful, annoying, bouncy morning people.


3)      I was born in Siberia and live in Calgary but am a disgrace to my heritage. My heart lies firmly in warmer climes and I rather resent the length and strength of winters that we are subjected to here. When I was a child my family spent three years living in Cuba which was still under Russian patronage, and my body adapted to the tropics so successfully that I’ve never gotten used to the deep freeze again.  Even after the most brutal winter, I acclimatize to heat exceedingly well, and can handle any heat within a week of arrival. The only thing that compensates for the winters here is the abundance of skiing in the Rockies, and even that is likely not enough to keep me from migrating some day.


4)      I am a mean crocodile when I’m tired or hungry. When I’m both, even I can’t stand myself.


5)      I’m endlessly curious, and my deepest wish is to time travel. I want to see all the historical events and personalities for myself, and find out what really happened and what it all looked like. From the primordial soup that was our planet four billion years ago to the extinction of dinosaurs, to early humanoids, to life in ancient Greece, to the larger-than-life people that earned a place in history books, I want to see it all.  My second biggest wish is to learn the truth about all the mysteries that are current today, many of them silly – what is the actual deal with aliens/ufo’s? What is the deal with the Voynich manuscript?  What is the origin of The Bloop? And many more.


6)      I’m a huge animal lover, remaining skeptical about our own species, and think cruelty to animals is among the worst crimes. I also happen to think the majority of people agree with me, and still nothing is done about the currently weak and pathetic laws, which leads me to believe we live under taxation without representation. Ha.


7)       I have far too many interests and hobbies, and am awful at starting projects and not finishing most of them. The most useful book I’ve ever read on the subject has been Barbara Sher’s excellent  Refuse To Choose. Of course I need to re-read it now, since like most helpful (even life-changing) advice it slid by the way-side a few months after I finished it. I self-sabotage a good deal of my own hobbies with OCD-like tendencies to do it right or not do it all, which translates into buying a whole schwack of stuff for a new project/hobby/interest, taking too long to jump in and get started and eventually getting bored and abandoning it. I used to feel really bad about that, now I don’t.


Useless factoid – this post took forever to write for some reason. I kept thinking of insanely weird things to write about, like the time when we lived in Cuba, we had a frog living in our toilet bowl, right under the rim, and every time you flushed his tiny legs would scramble to stay where he was. I have no idea what he ate…


I’d like to tag a few bloggers myself, taking a page from the ever courteous Water Roots by not contacting these people directly. That way they can also pretend they never saw this post. J


Brown-Eyed Girl – a fellow Calgarian with an incredible joie de vivre permeating her writing.

Tatyana – a guru gardener that I aspire to be like someday, an adventurer through life.

Meadowwood Garden – a gardener with experience, a good climate and a gorgeous dog.

Teena in Toronto – a prolific poster and a fella bookworm.

Elle – a horticulturalist and freelancer.

The inadvertent farmer – a great photographer and storyteller.

Kim – a new blogger who just made a leap many of us don’t dare, packed up her kids and moved to Malta.

5 comments to Useless factoids

  • Very interesting. Another russki. What a colorful family history. I lived for 3 years in Moscow in the 1990s and grew very close to the Russian people and culture. My favorite novels are Russian.

  • Tatiana, it was VERY interesting to learn more about you! I had a post “Ten things about me” some time ago. Does it count? You got it easy – seven instead of ten! Таня, ну очень интересно! Особенно про предков из России. Прапрапра…дедушка был фин.инспектором? Где? Ну очень любопытно. И что-то есть в выражении “водка – эликсир молодости”! А пост про себя я спрятала, он очень личным получился. Если ты не читала, я для тебя специально на некоторое время его опять вывешу.

  • Jean

    Those are definitely not USELESS facts at all! Very interesting and I’m sure I can work some of that data into some blackmail or bribery or something. But speaking of tasks started but not necessarily finished, I was reminded of your canning phase. How did that ever turn out anyway? Did you ever even try?

    And as a side note, I’d love to read more on Russian history. I too have a partially russian heritage on my paternal side and have heard a few stories that are very fascinating. Have you ever read anything “readable” on this topic?

  • admin

    @ Mary Delle – well thanks! It is a colorful family history, I wish I knew more about it. Many of my fave writers are russian also, including Bulgakov. Have you been back to visit since?

    @ Tatyana – I’m so sorry I don’t have the Russian font at work to reply! And yes, your old post certainly counts. 🙂 I know that these memes go around from time to time, so anyone who’s been blogging for a while has been through this already.
    I have not yet researched my financial ancestor, I just learned this fact this year, all know is he was the State Comptroller sometime during 1894-1917, and the only mention I can find of him on the internet is rather dry historical texts like this:

    So more research is required, because I’m very interested too, of course.
    My grandmother also uses ‘vodka – elixir of life’ which is just as poetic, but seems to have served her well as she’s 84 this year. 🙂

    @ Jean – blackmail away! I don’t embarrass easy, so I can’t imagine what you’d do with it, but interesting stuff nonetheless. On canning phase, see fact number 7. All equipment bought, no canning done. 🙂 Part of it is the fact that I’m simply not harvesting enough tomatoes to can, and part of it is that I haven’t gone to a pick-your farm yet this year. I am the queen of procrastination.

  • Wow, Tatiana, what an awesome post! Useless facts? No way. Amazing facts is what they are.

    What an incredible heritage you have, especially with some interesting people in your ancestry. I’d like to think that I may have some interesting ancestors in my Greek history as well, like, oh I don’t know, Socrates for example or Alexander the great or Plato or Aristotle or Archimedes or something like that. And why not? Since my roots begin with one of the oldest civilizations, anything’s possible, right? Wishful (but optimistic) thinking?

    Anyway, just wanted to say that I loved all the information you added about yourself; it’s very interesting! And I wanted to thank you for participating. Since I’ve only done it once myself, I found it to be fun. After doing it a few times, I would imagine it gets tiresome.

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