Questions from darcydodo.
1. Do you follow any cultural superstitions (e.g., avoiding the number thirteen, picking up pennies)?
I pick up coins, but am more likely to pick them up if they are face up, depending on the denomination (if it’s a face-down penny I’ll pretty much definitely leave it, but if it’s a face-down quarter I’d think about it). But I like to walk under ladders. I like to walk under everything, really. And I don’t mind black cats. I think black cats are beautiful.
2. Do you have any personal superstitions (e.g. wearing a certain item of clothing to bring you luck)?
In high school, I took my Mulder and Scully action figures with me to my finals. I also took an owl in a graduation cap and gown that my aunt (smallest sister of my dad) gave me for graduating from… 8th grade. I think I brought my action figures to my finals for my first year of college, but I guess I grew out of that habit. After I’m finished with my daily goat sacrifice, I face southeast and kowtow three and a half times before I perform the usual bloodrinking ritual. That’s just something I developed on my own.
3. Did your parents have any superstitions? What were they? Do you believe in them?
My dad doesn’t have any superstitions. My mom has some, but they’re not superstitions as much as cultural differences. For example, don’t write your name in red ink because it means that you owe money. Don’t ever SIGN your name in red ink, like on a card or letter, becuase that means you owe money to the person you’re addressing. Don’t wear white, especially on your head, because white is the Chinese color of mourning. If you want to be lucky, wear red. If you ever talk about your own death (or dismemberment, or any such thing) say “pei pei pei!” with gusto (all fourth tone), pull your earlobe, or for the best results do both at the same time. You know, that kind of thing. We never had any “eat noodles on your birthday because long noodles mean a long life!” like I’ve heard other Chinese parents pass down (like Derek’s), but now that I think about it there were plenty of things that my mom said that I thought were just her being weird, but may have to do with being Chinese. She’s always very happy when she manages to peel an entire fruit (like and orange or apple) in one continuous peel, and so I always try to do that too (when I peel fruit, which is like once a year). I thought she was just bored and/or OCD but maybe it’s similar to the “long noodle = long life = plenty of luck = become rich” thing. And then there’s being Catholic. For the longest time, I carried around these weird padded cloth thingies inside a plastic bag because they were blessed by some monk and my mom told me to carry them around with me. I think I took them out after a while. Carrying little amulets of protection is really comforting, actually. I may take it up again. I used to carry a little blue-and-gold Mary face in my pocket but it broke–no, not the face, it just broke off its base. That’s not comforting at all.
4. Make up a new superstition and share it with us (who knows, maybe it will catch on!).
If you leave your external speakers on after you turn off your computer, they will contract the plague and wither.
5. Did you notice the date today? Does it affect you at all (e.g. make you nervous, make you happy)?
It’s something to say, like, “hey, how are you, happy friday the thirteenth, ha ha,” if I remember it. I don’t pay much attention to anything. But I do notice it because Kryiyistyiyin’s birthday is on the 11th and Cyindiyiy’s birthday is on the 13th.