Please click on the following links to read about why I have a blog and why it’s called The Not Me. If you want to know more than that about me (Francesca Milliken), scroll down for a list of other information.
I have always preferred to be called by my full name. All the truncated versions of Francesca are just bad. I have been told that my voice goes up a couple of octaves whenever I answer the phone. Telemarketers frequently ask me if they can speak to my mother. I have a hard time pronouncing the name Stuart. So, if I don’t want to slur the name into a one-syllable word, I really have to concentrate. I listen to NPR when I’m in the car, which is quite often as I spend a significant portion of my day chauffeuring my children around to their various commitments. My favorite shows are Fresh Air, This American Life, and–when it was still on the air–The State We’re In. I also listen to music, especially when I am drawing or skating, but I don’t know the names of most musicians and I can never remember the words to any of their songs. (Just to be clear, I am not skating or drawing while driving.)
I often think in images. My knowledge of geography, though, is woefully lacking and visualizing how to efficiently organize objects within confined spaces is not my forte (for example, loading the dishwasher can be sort of dicey). I am convinced that those last two faults are related. I hate having my picture taken and avoid it whenever possible. I have an unusually small head. Most adult-sized hats fall down over my eyes.
I rarely use charcoal or chalk pastels in my drawings because the feel of those materials being crushed on paper disturbs me. I have messy handwriting, even though, when I was in the 5th grade, my evil teacher used to make me stay inside during recess to practice it. I just read that you are supposed to hug people for at least six seconds to experience all the physiological benefits. That’s all well and good when you love or really like the hugger, but I have to say that six seconds—when you didn’t want the hug in the first place—can feel like a very long time.
I am macrosmatic, which means I have a strong sense of smell. Consequently, people who wear too much perfume or cologne give me headaches. Also, I think those stinky, cookie-cutter shaped, paper ornaments for your rearview mirror—sold at the carwash-—should be banned. But I love the smell of dried leaves, new books, rosewater, citrus peel, pine needles, and the grassy, popcorny smell of my dog’s paws.
I don’t eat mammals because I think furry domesticated animals are basically too cute to imagine chewing on their flesh. However, my feelings around this topic are not rational as I regularly wear leather shoes. I used to enjoy cooking, but the hassle of finding a meal that will satisfy my family’s varying tastes and dietary restrictions has dampened my affection for the time being. Peach pie is my favorite dessert and I think artichokes taste best when eaten raw.
I have depression. I am sure this colors my view, but, aside from my inability to think of more positive and appealing things about myself, everything on the list above is true.