Posted by: malia | July 21, 2010

wednesday wickedness: ellen

Wednesday Wickedness: Ellen Degeneres

1. “I was coming home from kindergarten–well they told me it was kindergarten. I found out later I had been working in a factory for ten years. It’s good for a kid to know how to make gloves.” How old were you when you started working and what was your first job?

i was 16, and i worked at the airport’s security office. it was a great job, and to this day, i think i can make a pretty good secretary. just that i’m not pretty enough to be one.

2. “My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She’s ninety-seven now, and we don’t know where the hell she is.” Tell us about your grandparents.

my mom’s father passed away before i was born, so i’ve never met him, but i’ve always been rather close to my mom’s mom. i was the first granddaugther, after a whole bunch of grandsons, and my middle name is hers. we would go to her house every sunday, so i grew up with all my boy cousins, and would get into messes like they did, except i would always be in a dress. my grandma would also take me out to the back of the house where she had her many plants–she loves plants, and tends to many right now, even in her small little apartment–and she would pick flowers for me, since she knew i loved it. to this day, smelling a gardenia takes me back to my grandma’s instantly! she would let me dig for bugs to feed the chickens, and she’d pick me a pomegranate or a mango from her trees. that was a great house, but once the house’s owner passed away, and the property went to his son, the son jacked up the rent, and my grandma couldn’t afford to live there any more. now she has a small little apartment, which was down the street from the school i was doing my student teaching at. so every day after prepping for the next day, i’d go and spend time with her at her apartment. i’d take her on errands (she doesn’t drive), and i’d help my cousin whom she babysat with his homework, before going home. these days, i hardly see her. we don’t do the weekly visits any more, now that everyone has grown up. it’s usually just during the holidays, but hardly anyone likes coming because the parking is so atrocious near her complex. once i spent 40 minutes, driving around to find parking, before having to park about 6 blocks away! it’s horrible. unfortunately, it deters a lot of us to come visit as much as we should. my grandma is getting older–she’s moving much more slowly than she used to, and is always plagued with back pains or hurt knees. but she’s still as sharp as a tack. she grew up on maui among many different homes (her father was a fisherman, and would be out for long periods on the boats, so he’d just drop her off with different families every time) so she hardly went to school, and formally dropped out at 8th grade, but she is still so smart. she reads a LOT (probably why my mom and all her siblings are AVID readers, even the guys), and she knows so much. her favorite show is jeopardy, and she’ll sit there, and she’ll know the answers, and those that she doesn’t, she’ll say, “ah, really?” and then she’ll have it filed away for the next time it comes up. she remembers so much. and though she hardly showed affection to her kids or her grandkids (us)–typical for her ethnicity–she adores getting hugs from her great-grandkids. it’s something kinda new that i see with her. i don’t remember her being very huggy but she is now. she likes to come behind me and stroke my hair or pat me on the back. i don’t know if it’s because she figures she doesn’t have much time left, or if she just changed, having all these huggy great-grandchildren around. oh great, i’m going to cry now, but i just love her very much. she’s a great person, and i love that she’s my grandma.

oh gee! i went on there. my dad’s side won’t be as long, as i hardly saw them. my dad’s father was never in the picture, and his step-father was always very stern, but nothing broke my heart more than when he died when i was 15, and i had to attend his funeral. that was the first funeral i had attended of someone i saw regularly, and it broke me. it was so hard. and it was weird, since i wasn’t really that close to him. it made me realize, gosh, how would i be if it was someone i *really* loved? i just remember him doing the standard grandpa routine–“pull my finger” was among them, as well as making his teeth pop out, scaring us all. but he was very stand-offish, and never really warmed up to my dad (he refused to take him in after marrying my grandma, so my dad had to be raised by my great-grandparents), so i guess that uncomfortableness between them carried on to us. my grandma was a young grandma–she was a teen when she had my dad, and my dad was in his early 20s when we were born, so my grandma was a grandma before she was 40, which didn’t make her too happy. i don’t know if it was also because my dad was raised by his grandparents instead of her, or if it was influence from her husband, but she never really counted us as her grandchildren. she totally dotes on her other grandchildren (all born years after my youngest sister was born), and treats them as you’d expect a grandma to react with her grandkids–but with us? not so much, really. but she was well-to-do, and always gave us great, expensive presents. it was really like polar opposites, her and my other grandma. she had more money and gave us nice things, but my other grandma gave us more love. of course, when we were younger, we liked the money thing, but it was about that time when i was visiting my grandma daily after school that made me realize that wow, my grandma worked so hard, and got so little, but she just really cared for us and would do anything to make us happy, while my other grandma, whom i’d see maybe twice a year? we always had nice things, but we were like a nuisance to her. my mom’s mom didn’t really have nice things, but my dad’s mom was always so elegantly dressed, with lots of jewelry. one didn’t care about getting rugged and dirty, and the other was always well-coifed and put-together. one was always making sure we were fed and full, cooking up so many things, and the other always expected to be fed and went out to eat every night. it was so different!

anyway. my grandparents. yeah. 🙂

3. “Procrastination isn’t the problem, it’s the solution. So procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” Do you procrastinate or are you on top of the situations?

oh my gosh, i’m such the procrastinator. i always *start* early, believe it or not. but then i never follow through. i always find something else to work on or do. then it comes down to last day before i need it and ah! i wish i were more on top of situations. i envy that about some of my colleagues. i aspire to be like that one day. one day.

4. “Sometimes you can’t see yourself clearly until you see yourself through the eyes of others.” What would others say about you?

that i’m weird. i’m very quiet, so they think that’s weird right there. because i’m quiet, i don’t express things that may be bothering me or even helping out when i should, just because i think i’m not going to be much of a help anyway, and i don’t want to push myself on to other people. i see this with work a lot. it gets to the point where they don’t ask me my opinion on anything–they just forge through, and make their own decisions regarding all of us, without asking my input. it’s because they think i don’t have any opinion. or probably, that i don’t care. but it frustrates me. if they could at least *ask*. though i know my principal would tell me, it’s not up to them to *ask*, it’s up to *you* to contribute. yeah. i know. but it’s hard for me to do that. so i think that makes me weird because people don’t quite know what to make of me, or how to handle me. at least, it makes things very awkward.

5. “The only thing that scares me more than space aliens is the idea that there aren’t any space aliens. We can’t be the best that creation has to offer. I pray we’re not all there is. If so, we’re in big trouble” Do you believe in life on other planets?

i…i don’t know. i used to think, psh, how can there be other things out there? but then…i don’t know. my son is really into the universe now, and i’ve watched a few documentaries and went to a few lectures with him on planets and stuff and wow. you know, there probably are lots out there. how *can* we be the only ones? just one little fluke of everything being “just right,” out of the billions and billions of things out there creates us? i don’t think the odds stack up. there must be more out there. there must. yet. yet, that thought is uncomfortable with me, morally. i’m curious, on one hand, and on the other…it just can’t be. but…can it? i don’t know. it’s a great debate of mine right now.

6. “I’m a godmother, that’s a great thing to be, a godmother. She calls me god for short, that’s cute, I taught her that.” Do you have a godchild?

no, i don’t.

7. “I don’t understand the sizes anymore. There’s a size zero, which I didn’t even know that they had. It must stand for: ‘Ohhh my God, you’re thin.'” When was the last time that you were called too thin?

ha! probably when i was like 5 or so. 😳

8. “I have the worst memory ever so no matter who comes up to me – they’re just, like, ‘I can’t believe you don’t remember me!” I’m like, ‘Oh Dad I’m sorry!'” Who was the last person that you should have recognized but didn’t?

lots of people come up to me and say hi, and i have no idea who they are. i suspect they are kids from school, but like the last time i saw them, they were 6, and now they’re 20, and i’m like … ???? they look so different, all grown up! so i always feel ashamed to ask who they are, because they always look at me and ask, “don’t you remember me?” and i’d hate to say, “no!” when they ask it like that! so i pretend i do, when i really have no idea who they are. well, i kinda know, because if they call me “kumu” then i know it’s from school. if they address me by my first name, then it’s probably someone else. like two days ago, someone tapped me and said my name, and when i turned around, she said “do you remember me?” but because she used my first name, i knew it must’ve been someone from high school. and it was–luckily, her looks didn’t change at all, so i did recognize her. i was kinda surprised, because we never talked in high school, and here we were, catching up in the checkout line at the grocery store. funny. but anyway, that’s how i can kinda place where i might know the person from, by the way they address me. still, though…there are some where i know you must’ve been one of my students, but who the heck are you?!?!??! you’re not 6 any more! 😛

9. “I gotta work out. I keep saying it all the time. I keep saying I gotta start working out. It’s been about two months since I’ve worked out. And I just don’t have the time. Which uh..is odd. Because I have the time to go out to dinner. And uh..and watch tv. And get a bone density test. And uh.. try to figure out what my phone number spells in words.” Do you work out? Have you ever joined a gym and quit almost immediately?

heeheehee, that’s a funny quote. my doctor asked me that once, when i answered, “i just don’t have time.” “uh, you have time to do this and that?” uh. yeah. priorities, doctor. 😀 no, but, i started a workout routine this summer, and i’m so proud that i stuck with it. it’s not at a gym (no $$$ for that! i did look into curves, but i just don’t have the $ for that right now), but i have been consistent with keeping up for an hour or more a day. i just really don’t know how i’ll do it once work starts up again. i love my sleep! right now, after dropping my son off to school, i do my workout, but once i need to go back to school, i leave for *my* school after dropping him off! so i won’t be able to do it in the mornings unless i wake up an hour earlier, and like i said–i love my sleep! i’ll be one grouchy mama without my sleep. and i just don’t think i’ll have the energy after a whole day at work. i’m drained when i come home. *sigh* we’ll see.

10. ‘We use 10 percent of our brains. Imagine how much we could accomplish if we used the other 60 percent.” Do you feel that you utilize all your intelligence in every situation?

heeheehee. no, because i am stronger in one type of intelligence than the other, so that’s the one i always resort to. i wish i could learn to use *all* my intelligences. that would make things so much more easier.

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