Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Encyclopedia of Me - L (Stacy)

Neville Longbottom & Luna Lovegood - They are my favorite characters in the Harry Potter series (note: I like them as individuals. I do not like how they contrived a supposed romance with them in the final movie -- what was that?!?). I can't help but smile at just about anything Luna says and her whimsical, dreamy nature is something I find refreshing. And Neville . . . well, to me, he's one of the biggest heroes in the series. Over and over and over again. He is not particularly athletic or organized or brave, yet when it comes down to it, he is more courageous than most anyone else. I love Neville and cry every time he rallies for what he believes to be right. One of my favorite lines from Harry Potter is when Dumbledore says, "It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr Neville Longbottom."

Ladybugs - I don't know what it is about them, but when I see one, I feel happy. They're cute and it's always fun to find one in our house. Also, my mom says there is a Portuguese folkloric belief that when a ladybug is in your house, it means good luck related to money. They're great for gardening, because they naturally eat aphids. We've learned at several wildlife lectures that the true name of a ladybug is actually "Ladybird Beetle." They are everywhere in the autumn here (another lovely "L" thing -- leaves! We live in a great place for fall beauty). I love catching them as a family and then letting them go. The picture above is from a time our family played in the beautiful autumn leaves our 2nd year here and we found all those ladybugs in a tree. It was so neat! (Less neat was how my engagement ring flew off my cold fingers and into said leaves - after MANY tears, we rented a metal detector and found it, thankfully! Now my ring has a "guard" on it that I can adjust for when it's cold).

Life -I value life. I know that might sound like a simplistic statement, but it's something that I've recognized about myself in the past several years -- that so many of the decisions I make and the things I believe and the principles that drive me stem from that simple tenet. It's part of why I don't fit neatly into any political category. I don't quite understand how someone can be against abortion and for the death penalty or against the death penalty and pro-war. I often think that if everyone shared this one principle, that there would be more peace and harmony in the world. I value life -- the here, the now. I don't even squash bugs if I can help it -- I take them outside when they're in the house (spiders, stinkbugs, etc.). Even flies (oh, I can't stand flies!) -- I try to get them to fly outside if I can. I think this is part of why I love birthdays so much -- it's not a celebration of an achievement or promotion or accomplishment. Birthdays celebrate someone because they ARE, because they EXIST. And isn't that amazing and worth honoring? I think so!

Love - I'm a romantic. I cry when I see something touching. I love how love FEELS. I love the relationships that stem from love. I feel things very deeply. So much so, that it's almost scary sometimes. I love love. I love that it's an accepted convention that marriage is based on love, instead of a dowry or some kind of business deal. I love that I am married to someone I love and who loves me. I love being a mother and I love my children. I love my friends. I love feeling loved by others. I love simple things like take out and watching something funny as a family and everyday celebrations and music and good food. I love love.

Lisbon -I've said it before, I think you can fall in love with a city. I fell in love with Lisbon 17 years go. What an amazing city! So beautiful -- modern in spots, but so old world in others. The cobblestone streets are lined with shops and homes and breathtakingly gorgeous cathedrals and bakeries that fill the air with the warm, comfortable, mouthwatering smell of freshly baked bread. The food is incredible, both savory and sweet. When you ferry across the river that runs through the city, there is a street merchant there that sells the most decadent, dark-chocolate-covered Belgian waffles. Oh, are they ever good! There is a section of Lisbon called "Belem" and they are known for the most amazing pastries. Google them. Delicious! There are a variety of landscapes to see -- gorgeous ocean coasts, green plains and rustic villages, old city charm. The people there dress to run any errand, the gentlemen tip their hats and wish you "bom dia" as you pass, they host you like you are the ultimate guest of honor. One of my favorite things to do there is to visit the castles. I'm not much of a hiker or an outdoorsy person, but if I had castles to explore, I'd quickly become one. Lisbon is an amazing city. If we were ever to live outside the U.S., Lisbon would definitely rank as a place to live.

I Love Lucy -This is my all-time favorite television show. This show was like a friend to me as a child. I remember being so sad when I heard that she had died. I can so easily get sucked into any old episode that's on. I love Lucille Ball in that role -- her antics, her crazy scheming, her expressiveness. I love how far she'll go to get what she wants. I love how excited she gets to try anything, no matter how nuts it sounds. I think I can sort of relate to her in some ways. I love the relationship the Ricardos have with the Mertzes. I love the old black and white nature of the show. We own every season of this show on DVD and can watch them again and again. Happily. I used to say, growing up, that I wanted "I Love Lucy" playing in the hospital room whenever I was in labor, so that I could laugh and relax. That's how I feel when I watch it. I know all kinds of crazy trivia about the show and the characters and actors. As I write this, I am wearing my "I Love Lucy" lounge pants, I kid you not. Back in 2004, our family visited Jamestown, NY, birthplace of Lucille Ball, and I had a perpetual grin on my face the whole time. We visited the museum, took pictures outside the house where she was born and the house where she grew up, found every Lucy mural in that town, visited her grave, visited the park named after her, and visited her favorite bakery and bought the rye bread that she loved so much, she had it mailed to her in Hollywood. It was delicious. That was a very memorable trip and it was like a dream come true to see all of it.

I almost put "loquacious" as one of my L words, because I'm a talker, but I think the post speaks for itself. :P

Also, in honor of this letter, I include this famous toast. Stupid video won't embed, so you have to click over to see it. Just be sure to come back and comment! :)


Siths and Jedis said...

L-O-V-E it did you know get rid of E you can make VOL as in volume. :E

Dr. Mark said...

One of the best things about these encyclopedia posts is that even though I know you SO well I have yet to guess all the things you'll put on the list. Every one of the things on this list are "of course she picked this" kinds of things.

One of the things I love about you is how you love so many things, even simple things. How fitting that love, and a toast from "Friends," made the list.

Emily Foley said...

I love Neville and Luna too! I love how they evolved as characters by the end, how he tried to steal the sword from Snape's office in the last book, and kept Dumbledore's Army going. You know I'm listening to book 1 on CD and I've cried 3 times so far, just listening, and the third time was today when Dumbledore said those very words to Neville. How in the world did she write that many great characters???

I love everything you said about life, but I have no qualms about killing bugs in the house. Except spiders. I do NOT kill them. But I make Dave do it. There was a tarantula outside our house--OUTSIDE--this past fall and I made Dave kill it. I see no value in the life of spiders. :)

Zelia said...

You have an uncle that has a house in Lisbon. He said you and family are welcome to visit and stay at his house.

Boquinha said...

Clever, Thing 2.

Thanks, Mark. I love your comment. :)

Oh wow, Emily! How cool that I posted this today and that you heard it today! I cry all the time when I listen to the audio. They are just wonderful (and they only get better!). As for bugs, I admit that sometimes flies get squashed, because I worry about the germs they carry (yuck!), but spiders don't bother me. A tarantula, on the other hand, would totally freak me out. They're hairy!

Also, Emily, I want to thank you for turning us on to this idea (Encyclopedia of Me). We love it! We roll our Scattegories Die to get our letter. Where did you get the idea?

Mom, that would be great! Someday. It's gotten so expensive to travel. Bleh.