Thursday, November 5, 2009

Why my family is weird: Part 1

My mom (known to the rest of the world as Anne) had wondered why I referred to our family as "weird" in a prior post. This is not weird as a bad thing. I put up a poll on facebook (more on that later) and we determined that my family is weird but "in the best possible way." And, to be honest, a good number of these things are responsible for making me part of who I am today. Some simple reasons for my family being weird:
  • I have never owned a Barbie
  • My family never got more than 5 tv stations
  • The only video games system we ever owned was a Super Nintendo, but that wasn't until I was in college and my brother snuck one in the house somehow.
  • Pop music wasn't known in my house until my brother realized he was weird and set out to fix that
  • We got to watch a maximum of about one hour a day of tv to be selected from the following: Reading Rainbow, Wishbone, Sesame Street, Mr. Rogers, 3-2-1 Contact, Magic Schoolbus (all PBS shows)
  • I didn't realize that not all kids spent over an hour a week at the library and maxed out their library card every week. Our limit was 40 books. Yes, we both checked out 40 books at a time.
  • I started cooking around age 8. I started making dinner once a week around age 12. By 15 or so I was cooking dinner for the family 3 nights a week.
So that's a simple, small start. Here's more proof with pictures.
Most of our family pictures look something like this. Of particular amusement is my brother off to the side. He's making faces. If you scroll down, you might guess this is genetic. You might be right.

Dad's friend found a giant mushroom in his brother's backyard, rescued it and left it on my parents' porch. Dad immediately photographed it and called his brother to see if it was safe to eat. It was and I think dad said it was yummy.
Rosie is on the right and Rosette? is on the left. Rosie was given to me when I was 1 by a dear friend in Madison, WI. I've had her ever since which is why her face is yellow. I wasn't allowed to have cabbage patch dolls, but since Rosie wasn't a cabbage patch doll, she was allowed. Also, take note of the fact that she is wearing a native Alaskan winter fur-lined parka, made by my mom. The other doll, now I think she's called Rosie II (found at a thrift store), is wearing a Red Riding Hood Cape and pajamas made by my mom. Original Rosie is wearing a sleeper that I wore as a baby. Because my family has that stuff lying around. Because my mom and I kept it...

Another example of why my family is weird. I was going to say my brother. But that is mean, and I love him, so I won't say that. I'll say it's cause we sleep on mattresses on the floor. This is genetic and is not just a trait in my immediate family. (Anthony is solidly asleep in this picture though. Apparently he was comfortable.)

When we were little, this was the sort of thing we did to amuse ourselves instead of watching tv or playing with video games or Barbies. It wasn't Halloween. (Rory, in the middle, is unrelated and probably unaware of what she has gotten herself into.) There are also pictures of us playing with bins of flour. More typically we'd play with Legos and wooden blocks, but that's not as exciting and I don't have pictures.

Dad has started making everything from scratch including sausage. It's not anywhere near as gross as people make it out to be. But it's weird that he makes it. The sausage and cheese making started AFTER I left for grad school. I do not find that to be coincidental.

Dad also makes pizza. His two best pizzas are grilled pizzas and his pesto/cottage cheese/veggie pizza which you see pictured above. It is made even better with homemade pancetta.

To reassure myself that others also find my family weird, I asked people on facebook: " Fun late night survey time. If you know my family: are we weird or normal? Vote in the comments." I didn't get many respondents, but I did get three weird votes "but in the best possible way." Anecdotal evidence: "I always remember when we went trick-or-treating there and your parents gave us fresh baked sourdough bread. That was the bomb." "Her dad makes the best kaiser rolls ever."

I finish with a comment from my mom from this evening, proving yet again, that my family is not normal: "An idea for a short blog post - your dad's foray into making pancetta. We're completely out of it, but we have all the pieces parts - your dad just needs to find the time to put it together before your Thanksgiving visit. Let's see - only 21 days left, and he doesn't even have a timetable drawn up yet!"


Anne said...

FIRST!! Oops - I spelled that correctly - let's see if I can do better next time.

Simon said...

Your family and my family are weird in the same sorts of ways, although not specifically the same. For example, we played with a huge bin of rice instead of flour. To this day I think of rice first as fun! and then as food. I would definitely rather come from a "weird" family than a "normal" family. Way more fun.

Simon said...

P.S. Obviously the rice was not cooked.

Also, I just noticed this is only part one of why your family is weird. Meaning there are more parts. AWESOME.

Anonymous said...

If you base your definition of "weird" on owning a Barbie, having cable television, not cooking dinner, and not reading, then yes, your family is weird. But that's an okay kind of weird. Even, dare I say, a good kind of weird.

Katie said...

Mom - Yay! Reid can give you lessons on how to misspell first. He is getting good at it!

Simon - I'm not surprised to hear that. Weird families are great though. I think it would make for a better story if the rice had been cooked. Which reminds me of another blog post involving my family being weird.

Klarastan - It is a good kind of weird. And I think I've surrounded myself with friends who, for the most part, are also from "weird families" although perhaps in different ways. (This discussion is also going on in parallel over on my note on facebook.) But I think a "normal" family would be boring. I think that while as a child I envied the girls with Barbies, cable, and Nintendo (or, er two out of the three, as the girls with barbies usually didn't have nintendo) looking back I'm exceedingly glad that I wasn't those girls. And I think my life wouldn't be as rich and as interesting and challenging if I had done that. That's not to say that they aren't doing well for themselves and living good lives, but if I had done that I wouldn't be me, and I wouldn't be a computer & science geek living in the midwest working on a PhD. For now, that is such a huge part of my identity that to imagine myself without that is to imagine myself missing a piece of my soul. So I'm very very grateful to my parents for helping "little kt" as my friend Sarah put it become "grownup kt." Although I'm also grateful that my brother helped ease me into pop culture. But more on that later :)