These habits of mine

I was just thinking about how my daily quirks rule me. I am mostly a creature of habit too. I am repetitive in the things I do because I find comfort in the repetition. I suspect everyone does the same to their own varying degrees. This Leaping Thought Wednesday is built out of my laundry list of quirks and habits.

1. I'm a food mixer. On my plate everything touches and I do not put a spoonful of anything into my mouth that does not at least contain a little bit of everything that I've served myself. This comes from my Latin American rice and beans mentality. Beans do not taste the same unless the rice is mixed in there. The taste of one enhances the other.

2. I cannot go a month without buying a new one of these small moleskin reporter notebooks to write in because I love how sturdy they are as well as the rubber band that helps me to keep loose notes and cards trapped inside. Over the years since I discovered them, I've unwittingly chronicled so much of what goes on with me on a daily basis into their pages that they almost read like a shorthand of my day to days.

3. If in the nut section of any grocery store, I always steal one whole almond without any feeling of guilt. Taking two however, is a different matter. Pilfering a second one makes me feel like a thief. Go figure the twisted mentality behind that particular rationale.

4. In the old days, I would never leave my house unless I was dressed to the nines. Since having my son, that attitude towards impeccability has changed considerably. I'm more relaxed about what I put on now. Jeans, an item of clothing which I hardly ever wore before (I know, it's bizarre), have become the survival staple of my closet. I own dozens of pairs whereas before, I had but two. One thing I still continue doing though is never to step out my door without some lipstick on. Somehow, a glossy color on my lips has become my condensed version of dressing to the nines. If I've got my lipstick on then I'm good to go.

5. Once I wake up, I rarely linger longer than five minutes in bed. My bed is a place for catching up with my zzzsss. Not a place for laying about. For that same reason, I am not a napping kind of person either. Every once in a while, if terribly tired, I might fall asleep during the day but otherwise, I only sleep at nighttime.

6. I'm fanatical about having clean hands. It is my Lady Macbeth complex. I wash and clean my hands so much that to prevent drying them out, I keep tubes of my favorite hand cream stashed all over the house. That way, I never have to go very far to moisturize. Otherwise, my hands might feel like sandpaper.

7. I take forever to return books to the library. That's because I cannot bear to let them go so, in order to delay the eventual parting, I renew and renew on-line until my renew button goes gray. That's a sign that the library troll has had his fill of letting me keep my newfound friends. I would like you to know that I do feel some measure of guilt for depriving others of what I am enjoying for longer than I should but, to be truthful, giving back books that do not belong to me, is something I do simply out of fear of getting into trouble. Were there no repercussions, I'd guess I'd be a book thief, a cookie monster of books.

8. Every morning, before my husband gets into his car and leaves for work, we repeat a daily mantra. It has no great length really, just a phrase I say and something M repeats back to me. I'm utterly convinced it keeps him safe and worry when for some reason we go without it. M plays along but he doesn't believe in it at all.

9. I dislike air turbulence. When in flight and the plane motion gets bad, I close my eyes and play a little word game my husband taught me to help take my mind off of the movements. In my head I juxtapose the letters in the names of states to deliberately mess them up. It goes something like this:

Massachusetts becomes Tamassuchetts
Vermont becomes Termonv
North Carolina becomes Corth Narolina

Most of the times I become so frightened that the names never end up the same but it doesn't matter, just having to concentrate on playing the mix up game gets me through the rough spots.

10. I read through several on-line newspapers every single morning. I always start with the BBC, then move on to the Telegraph and from there I progress to the LATimes and finally, to the Washington Post. The only paper newspaper that I peruse on a daily basis is my Wall Street Journal issue but usually, I read it sometime towards the end of my day. The journal is my closure paper not my starter one.

11. Speaking of closings, I will leave you now with an image of the green leaves and blue skies of Houston. It is lovely here today. A true springtime is what we are having. I'm aiming to enjoy every bit of it before the heat slams in and the humidity creeps back. From this Leaping Thought Wednesday to the next and in whatever little corner of the world you find yourself living in, may this same loveliness reign gracefully over your heads.


  1. In my corner there was loveliness today too...and long in coming it felt nothing short of monumental. It was car washing, baseball mitt, short sleeve shirt, Oh my God I need a pedicure kind of weather and I got nothing of substance done today and it felt damn good.
    And #5, me too. And lately I don't sleep at night either. So I'm cranky and my eyes are red rimmed and I wish I could make myself take a nap without feeling guilt.

  2. oh yes... i am big on a "little bit of this& little bit of that" all together in one bit! i'm big on food mixing!

    lipstick... a must! it is the one thing that can make one feel "put together"!

    i love your all your "leaping thoughts"... they're fun! :)

  3. Hi M,

    1) I'm a breakfast food mixer...eggs, potatoes, bacon, all together and piled on a bite of buttered english muffin. oh brother!

    2.) for your moleskine fetish, you might enjoy this very cool blog which is a tribute to all things moleskine:

    3) nuts, no. jellybeans...oh yea...

    4) btw, i'm going to be in houston in may!


  4. What a great picture. (It shouldn't work but it does. If I tried something like that I'm sure it would have all the compositional allure of a rock.) And, like you, I keep books from the library too long. I've decided that my late fees are a great way to donate to the library and keep the books a few extra days. But I like the library for a number of reasons - not the least of which is that they have more room to store books than I do. I think of it as my own private storage unit.

  5. Cce: I can tell the good weather is working its magic on you already. Noticing you need a pedicure IS the kind of female-y thing you should be worrying about now. I'm glad you did nothing of substance today. Thousands of miles away, I was copying you also. I know you don't sleep. Neither do I. We've got a problem with insomnia apparently you and I because when you comment on my blog in those early morning hours, I'm already awake and reading as you write. Always I think, WHAT is that girl doing being up at THIS HOUR?

    Carissa: In a way, you are a leaping thought soul too. I'm glad you like my jumping around. I have to confess that when most people go wordless on this particular day, I get a kick out of just taking my brain out for a stroll. It's fun. And see? I intrinsically knew from your artsy personality that you were a food mixer and lipstick girl extraordinaire. Unfortunately, I've got none of your artistic talents but hey, at least I come close to your heights on the other two.

    Suzanne: You know, until you actually applied the word fetish to my moleskin love affair, I hadn't really made the mental leap. It is just as you say however, a fetish through and through. I keep several in pristine condition just for the pleasure of knowing they are untouched and new. Lord knows why but it fits the fetish mindset.

    Now that breakfast sandwich you describe, that sounds yu-mmy. Brownie points for you in the mixing department.

    Will you be here for Noor's wedding?

    Ron: Thanks. I'm pleased you praised my photographic skills. I don't trot out that Master's degree in photography that I have often but when I do, it pleases me no end that someone with your discerning taste can see how I made plain sky and boring leaves look fantastically eye-popping and strategically focused so as to give it the kind of allure no rock could ever possess.

    Me too with regards to the books. I've been jokingly told that my library fines constitute a large chunk of their annual operating budget. Just my way of contributing I think. One would think they'd be somewhat more grateful and forgiving because of it though. Perhaps let me keep a little book here and there for gratitude's sake is all I'm saying...

  6. I also adore Moleskine notebooks. I use the exact one you mentioned for travel. Every place I go to gets a new notebook. I keep notes of where I've been, who I've met and save all stubs from train rides, art museums, etc. I don't know why I never thought to carry one with me on a normal day, though. I carry a huge notebook that ways a ton! I might have to rethink my system. Thanks for sharing...

  7. Melissa: Me too, me too! In the little back pocket I save the cards to restaurants and shops I've visited and metro stubs and museum entrance tickets. They've a great source of reference when I've gone back to a particular place. One time, I lost one of my better ones on a British Airways flight. I turned the BA desk in London upside down trying to track my lost moleskin. No luck. I still miss all the remembered info I had in that one.

  8. i'm dying of curiousity.
    what is the mantra?


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