Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About a Mutant
But Were Afraid to Ask
- Yes, I am a mutant. Part of my 22nd chromosome disappeared. This means I’m terrible at math and have been from birth. What’s your excuse?
- As a matter of fact, I am related to Roy Orbison. 1st cousin twice removed on Dad’s side. I can’t sing like him though, because I have TMJ and a paralyzed left hemidiaphragm. I’m oxygen dependent.
- My spiffy sunglasses are actually for light sensitivity and not for looks. The flickering of fluorescents trigger really terrible migraines. So does the weather. I can’t control weather, but I can control light.
- I got a metal slinky for Christmas in my stocking this year. As soon as I took it out of the box and began to bounce it up and down, letting it go all the way down to the ground and back up again. Dad and I had this conversation:Dad: “Don’t bounce it like that.”
Me: “The point of a slinky is to bounce it.”
Dad: “If you bounce it like that you’ll tear it up.”I put it back in the box and resolved to play with it however I wanted at home. It’s on my office shelf sitting underneath my collectible dragons. I bounce it when I need ideas and just for fun.
FYI, it still hasn’t torn up.
- My friend Lori gives me a rock from every camping trip she goes on. This is a tradition we started because in the Jedi Apprentice series, Qui-Gon Jinn gave Obi-Wan a rock for his birthday present. I didn’t particularly care for the series much but I do love the character Qui-Gon, one of the only characters that made the Star Wars prequels worth watching. The first rock is rough around the edges so I call it my “rough draft” rock. The second one was much smoother. That one is my “editing” rock.
- My favorite type of pen is a weighty Pierre Cardin ballpoint with a padded grip. Unfortunately they don’t make them anymore in the style I prefer, so I have to buy them off eBay whenever I can. At least they still make the refills.
- My friend Jackie has given me most of my collectible dragons. I also spent several years writing fanfiction with her. We did everything mostly through trial and error. Our later drafts got better as we went along, but if I could go back and tell the old me something about writing it would be “Outline BEFORE you start, that way you won’t have to write the same story over and over again.”
- My friend Pamela has given me my other collectible dragons. 😀 She’s awesome.
- My friend Vanessa, from Germany, gave me a magnetic zebra she named Zoticus. He’s on our fridge door. She also made me a mug to keep pens and pencils in.
- I love to color because it’s the only form of art I’m actually semi-decent at. I use Prismacolor pencils.
- I crochet. My favorite hooks are my bamboo ones I got from China. My favorite size to work with is 5.0 mm. Mrs. Blanche Moody and Mrs. Joan Pressnell from church taught me.
- I love Legos. If the apartment had more space and a table I could actually put them on where the cats wouldn’t knock everything off, I’d probably use them a lot more.
- I love to play pretend. My younger sister grew up before I did and stopped playing pretend early. I found plenty of other kids who loved to play pretend, most of whom were younger than me, but I didn’t care. It was years and years later before I discovered adults played pretend to. We just call it other names. Writing, RPG, cosplay, etc.
- My favorite games are Settlers of Catan and Lords of Waterdeep. For card games I prefer Hearts over Spades. I also play Dominoes.
- I hate tea. Tea and I got off on the wrong foot when I was a kid. I was at my grandparents house and I saw what I thought was a glass of coke. It was a hot day, my cousins and I had been playing outside and I was thirsty. I took a swig and spat it out. Turned out it was unsweet tea. To this day, I still won’t touch it.
- Another gross food related incident happened in my youth regarding sweet potatoes. I loathed them. So did my brother and sister. My parents told us we had to eat what was on our plates before we could get up and go play. I managed to choke down mine. My sister puked. After she threw hers up, my folks decided to give up on the idea and my brother didn’t have to finish his. To this day, I’m still miffed about it.
- My sister was so shy when she was a kid she wouldn’t even go order her meals at fast food places. I had to do it for her. And she hated onions so much that if McDonald’s got even a sliver of one on her burger, she’d find it and make me (or someone) go take it back.
- We lived in a cul-de-sac neighborhood in Meridianville, AL for many years. There was so little traffic that during the summer, we used to sit outside in the middle of the road and play board games with other kids in the neighborhood.
- My sister used to say it was always my turn to turn the light off in our shared bedroom. Even if I’d turned it off every night for the last week. Somehow it was always my turn. And when we were driving, we fought over the radio the same way. I liked classical movie music. She loathed it. If she was driving, the rule was the driver got to pick the music. If she was the passenger, the rule was the passenger got to pick. It’s a miracle we made it to and from school without ever getting in a wreck.
- In high school, due to my disabilities, I was able to get an internship with NASA through a program called F.A.S.T., which stood for Future Assets Student Talent. I have some very fond memories of working in the file room with Patricia Caraway. It was at NASA that I first learned how to use a typewriter. I worked there for three summers in a row.
- Mrs. Lana Pirtle tutored me for the math portion of the ACT when I was in high school, to no avail. I still made an 18 on that section. Sorry, sweet lady! You did your best!
- I cheated on a final exam in college at Calhoun. The class was Music Appreciation. I’d been expecting a music teacher like Mr. Holland from Mr. Holland’s Opus. I have always loved classical music and had been looking forward to the class. Instead, the class was one of the most boring ones I’ve ever taken and a big disappointment. I put my notes on the floor and looked at them. I also lied and told the staff person in charge of computer labs that I wasn’t using the Internet for personal use even when I was. I’ve always felt guilty, even though it’s been well over ten years now. These definitely weren’t my better moments.
- I met my husband, Tim Thompson, online at churchofchristsingles.com before Facebook was around. I’ve never been able to change my relationship status from “single” to “engaged” to “married.” Maybe I should change it to, “it’s complicated.”
- At my wedding, both sets of my grandparents were still living and took part in the proceedings. My grandfather, Jack Orbison, began the ceremony while Dad walked me down the aisle. My other grandfather, Daniel Osburn, prepared the food for the wedding.
- At our wedding, our receiving line was so long that Tim and I didn’t have time to eat but the single bite of cake from when we cut it. We were both starving, so we ordered Papa John’s and they delivered it to our hotel. For our first anniversary we ate Papa John’s pizza on our china. We also ate the top of our freezer-burned wedding cake. Well, Tim ate it. I refused to eat it since it had been in the freezer that long.
- Both sets of my grandparents were present when I had my most recent operation in March 2004. While the rest of the family went to eat, the nurses came in to put in the IV. I’m petrified of needles. We didn’t think that they were going to put the IV in so soon or my mother would have stayed behind. My grandmother, Tola Orbison, held my hand through the whole thing, even though I was screaming like a little kid.I have since gotten better about my fear of needles, to where I don’t freak out and scream like a baby. But I’ll do whatever I can to avoid one. This memory of my grandmother patiently talking to me through my fears is now a precious one, since she has passed now.
- That operation was early in the morning March 17, 2004. I remember the whole family (my brother, sister, grandparents, aunts, and cousins that could make it came, too) gathered in my hospital room and the prayer my Daddy led for me.
- I’ve always hoped that with the number of x-rays I’ve had to have, the radiation would eventually give me superpowers since I’m a mutant. So far, no luck.