a peek inside the fishbowl

19 Sep, 2008

My favourite N-things … a self-imposed meme

Posted by andrea tomkins in: Memes/blog awards etc

I saw this over at TurtleHead’s and decided that it would be a fun challenge.

Comment on this post and I’ll give you a letter. List ten things you LOVE which begin with that letter, then post this in your journal and give out some letters of your own.

Ha. Guess what? TurtleHead gave me the letter “N,” which is a notch better than X or Y, but still, a tough letter to work around. She got the letter A. A! Sheesh.

I shouldn’t even TELL YOU how brain dead I’ve been lately, but at first I couldn’t think of a single word that began with N. After a brief – uhhhhh – minute or two – uhhhhh – some words came to mind, sure, but they were completely irrelevant to me or my life.

I’m not kidding.


I don’t love any of those things.

But the brain is a funny thing. Give it a task and it’ll chug away at it, even when you’re not thinking about it. So without further ado here are ten “N” things I love. Take it or leave it.

Oh ho ho, I love notebooks. Love love love the notebooks. They notebooks are my siren song, my downfall, my weak-in-the-knees-here-is-my-money moment. I have a leather bound notebook I write in every night. I have spiral bound ones I buy at the dollar store that are just the right size for daily jottings AND I have a red suede sleeve for them too. There’s something about those crispy clean white pages. They are so full of promise. There is so much potential in all those straight lines. It lures me in every time.

If I don’t have a notebook on me at all times I might as well not be wearing pants…. that’s how much I need my notebooks. If you want to be guaranteed of my affection give me a pretty notebook and I’m yours forever.

I love to read, always have, always will, so Novels have to be on the list. I am a bit of a bibliophile. I love books VERY MUCH. I love the covers, and the paper (ha, do you see a trend?), and the crisp spines. Mark teases me because I don’t break the spines and all my books look like new. I like them that way, okay? I also never dog-ear the pages. NEVER. That would be a horrible crime and anyone who does this risks losing a limb due to infected paper-cuts because you may not know this but folding down the corners the pages makes The Gods of Books very very angry and THEY WILL SMITE THEE.

If I lend you a book it means I hold you in very high esteem and I trust you won’t dog ear my pages or read in the bathtub.

I read before I go to bed. It’s the only time I have to read (unless I’m reading a magazine or a newspaper). I am currently re-reading Larry’s Party by Carol Sheilds, but am looking for a new novel. Any suggestions?

I’m an expert napper. I can nap anywhere, anytime. This saved my sanity when Emma was a baby. When she napped, I napped, often going without showering. Hey, naps were more important.

My Nikon d70. Emma has oft mentioned that my camera is my bestest friend. I think she’s right.

This is a bit of a cop-out. I love nigiri but I love sushi even more. But I wasn’t assigned the letter S so it was nigiri or nothing.

Noodles, Asian
Noodles! I also love noodles, especially rice noodles in Vietnamese dishes. Oh, I’m getting hungry just thinking about that and …

Nacho chips
I like ’em all-dressed up with chicken and cheddar and guacamole and sour cream and jalapenos, but I am MORE THAN HAPPY just to eat processed cheese out of jar. That’s a rather bad bit of news, isn’t it? I know you’re wondering how processed cheese fits into the life of someone who likes sushi, and Indian food, and artisinal cheeses and breads. I know, it’s crazy. The stuff is liquid fat! I try not to imagine it going directly from my mouth down down down to my thighs where it just stops, and sticks, forever. But is it worth it, you ask? YES.

Nekkid bodies
… erm, of my children. Nekkid on nekkid, those are the best hugs, aren’t they?

I received a lovely necklace for my birthday. I am rather choosy about my jewlery. I don’t like a lot of the stuff that’s out there, but I loooove this one. It was a perfect choice for me, see?

 the necklace

 (Forgive the blurry photo, it is challenging to take photos of one’s own chest. Ahem.)

We’ve collected a few nests over the years. A couple of them are pictured in this post. I wonder how I can preserve them. Spray lacquer? Hmm.

So there you have it! Ten things I love that start with N. Phew. If you’d like to play along, let me know in the comments below and I’ll assign you a letter.

p.s. TurtleHead, bless her soul, also awarded me with a kick-ass blogger award which has hitherto gone unacknowledged. Thank you TurtleHead! I love you too.

12 Responses to "My favourite N-things … a self-imposed meme"

1 | Lynn

September 19th, 2008 at 10:30 am


I felt the same about my letter A — at first I couldn’t think of anything at all, but eventually the ideas came. And I feel totally the same way about notebooks — I am envious of your leather sleeve!

As for novels, I’d be interested to hear what you think of Larry’s Party. I really liked it, but several of my friends (who I recommended it to) didn’t like the way every chapter was written in a different style (which is one thing I actually really loved about it). I saw the musical stage version several years ago and loved that, too.

In the past year, here are the best novels I’ve read — I’ve loaned these out to all my girlfriends to rave reviews all around:

Special Topics in Calamity Physics by Marisha Pessl
Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood
The Time Traveler’s Wife (SO good) by Audrey Niffenegger
The History of Love by Nicole Krauss

I’m in the middle of The World To Come by Dara Horn and so far, it’s excellent too — it’s about Chagall, who is my favourite author, so it had a head start :).

2 | Mary Lynn

September 19th, 2008 at 10:45 am


Oooh! I love a good meme. Can I have a letter please?

I love naps, too. Used to love having a wee snooze during my mat leaves whenever the babies had their naps. I’ve always felt a bit sad for people who say they just can’t nap.

I’m a big novel reader, too, though I confess I’m a corner-turner-downer. Always have been. It’s a character flaw. LOVE Larry’s Party…actually any Carol Shields book. Here are a few books I enjoyed recently:

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
Consumption by Kevin Patterson
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks
The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

I have a ton of books I’ve bought but have not yet read. I’m a bit of a book addict, but I don’t find the time to read nearly as often as I used to.

3 | porter

September 19th, 2008 at 11:20 am


alright smack me down with a letter….if you give me z, y, or x i might be a little cranky with ya alright?

4 | Marla

September 19th, 2008 at 12:01 pm


How about Nighttime? I love nighttime. Dark, cooler, quieter, and I especially like snow better at night.

You probably won’t give me a letter, after how my cat answered your last meme.

5 | andrea

September 19th, 2008 at 12:11 pm


Thanks for your book recommendations so far!

Lynn – I love Carol Shields. She’s one of my favourite authors. And Larry was good the first time around but I’m just not feeling the love the second time around.

As for Water for Elephants… loved that one. I couldn’t put it down.

Okaaaay, so I guess I should dish out some letters?

Mary Lynn – you’re D.

Porter – you’re R.

Marla, I would love it if BooBoo would accept (with my humble thanks) the letter L.
And yes, nighttime could have been on my list too.

6 | Ryan

September 20th, 2008 at 11:47 pm


I hope I’m not too late to jump on the letter-receiving train.

Novels? Oh man do I love reading. I also loved Water for Elephants, Oryx and Crake (but Margaret Atwood is my secret girlfriend), and White Teeth. Here are some ones that I’ve really loved in the past while:

Jonathon Strange and Mr. Norell by Susanna Clarke
The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters by Gordon Dahlquist
Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald – a Canadian!)
The Amazing Adventures Of Kavalier & Clay – Michael Chabon
Gould’s Book of Fish by Robert Flanagan
The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

I didn’t want to finish any of these while reading them and felt sad when I did.

While it’s not fiction, if you haven’t read it already, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver would probably appeal to you.

Hope that helps… ;-)

7 | andrea

September 21st, 2008 at 11:40 am


Ryan – it does, thanks! And how about taking the letter T ?

8 | smothermother

September 22nd, 2008 at 7:10 am


Any chance for a letter? This is a great meme. Might take me a little while to get to it. please be gentle!

9 | andrea

September 22nd, 2008 at 7:46 am


Smother: how about B?

10 | Mar

September 22nd, 2008 at 8:27 am


Hi! I don’t comment often but lurk all the time! I would love a letter please :) I need to stimulate my sahm mommy brain!

11 | andrea

September 22nd, 2008 at 8:29 am


Mar: I am suffering from mommy brain too. You can take a letter P. :)

12 | Rose

September 23rd, 2008 at 10:07 pm


Hi, I think you would love “Belong to Me” by Marisa de los Santos. Even though in theory one should read “Love Walked in”–her first novel–before “Belong to Me” because that would be the way to understand how the characters came to be together in the second book, I am having a lot of fun doing it backwards. Marisa is a great writer, and is the most gentle yet real writer about life with a family, living and thriving in suburbia, without all of the chick-lit shtick that now dominates the shelves. The characters are quirky, smart, and complex. You would love them.

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