Friday, February 2, 2018

Turn ons, Turn offs, Favorites, and Nerd Test

Bass ~ Whisky ~ Ancient Greek ~ Fencing

True Confession: I played Dungeons and Dragons before it was cool.  Wait who am I kidding, AD&D will never be cool! I stopped playing shortly after the 2nd edition of AD&D was released. But really, what would the 1980s be without Heavy Metal, AD&D and certain parents (and other "old people who stare") freaking out about devil worship and cults? It was far more entertaining for us in this decade before the Internet, to feed their paranoia ;) Interestingly enough I have discovered that a great deal of us who were part of this underground Gen X cohort have now themselves become Professors of Medieval Studies - No longer the stereotype of Dr. Henry Jones, Sr. - the modern nerdy prof is the long-haired, bearded Heavy Metal aficionado.
Xenia age 11 (1981)

During my 2017 summer trek to the Sandhills of Northwestern Nebraska, I was visiting with my cousin the boot-builder in Cody (he's the son of my mother's oldest brother)-- ANYWAY  We got to talking about how all of these things that we naturally liked, which set us apart from other Gen X-ers -- heck our own family: Craft beer, good coffee, bacon, bluegrass, etc. have today become necessary accouterments of the Hipster crowd.  Furthermore, Kyle always sported the coolest waxed handlebar mustache long before many of these new hipsters were born.  But the question that distressed me was, "Now what are going to like now that what we truly like has become trendy?!?!" In his typical understated humorous response, he stated that he's not going to worry until they start building their own custom boots.

But I think its fair to state that, "All hipsters desire to be him!" 

[* FYI we had a recent phone conversation in which I laughed so f'n hard because, after I revealed my true identity in December, he started getting questions about me from friends and relatives. So let me set the record straight, No, I never revealed my trans identity to him ever. He found out the same time as the rest of you. Growing up we had so much fun doing other stuff that it was never something I needed to bring up. Below is an example of what Kyle and I typically did together. ] 

This whole conversation sparked another question I have gotten since my public announcement. Have I suddenly stopped liking "guy things" and started liking "girl things?" -- No. What I have always liked I have always liked.  Yes over time tastes change, there are 2 things I have discovered. Now that I am confident in presenting who I am, I can publicly state many of the things I had previously kept hidden, AND I am open to discovering new things. Turns out, I like guacamole  - Its no longer one of those things you either yell when you are on fire, or cannot remember the name of. ("Where's that little...guacamole I had around here?")

So taking a cue from those old fanzines from the 60s and 70s, Here is my rockstar list of favorites, turn ons and turn offs.

Xenia's Favorites

Star Sign: Aquarius
Myers-Briggs: ENTP
Lucky Number: 13
Talisman: Swan / Cygnus
Patron Saint: Geetz Romo

Turn-offs: Fads, trends, Willful stupidity, feigned ignorance, learned helplessness, propaganda, vague interpretations, thin-skinned defensiveness, those who blame others for controlling them, those who make no willing effort to learn beyond their own experience

Turn ons: Honesty, Authenticity, Nature, biodiversity, thoughtful actions, empathy, confidence and purpose, personal responsibility

Favorite Color: Burgundy, Burnt Orange (and Black, Forest Green, Midnight Blue)
Favorite pastimes: Bucking stereotypes, upsetting people's expectations, debunking superstitions....well that, and playing darts (cricket)
Favorite Drink(s)
: Black & Dark Caribou Coffee; tap water; 
Uisge Beatha, Whisky, Whiskey, Rye and Bourbon; Though if you really want my attention -- 18 year old Macallan (25 year old even better!)
Favorite Food: homemade pizza topped with whatever is nearing expiration date.
Favorite Singers: Krista Sandstrom, Erika Miklosa, Kathleen Battle, Ferruccio Furlanetto
Favorite Pop Singers: Rosemary Clooney, Aretha, Ian Gillan, James Brown, John Arch
Favorite Guitarists: Les Paul, Adrian Belew, Brian May, Sharon Isbin; Syd Barrett, Mark Knopfler
Favorite Bass Players:  Jaco, Esperanza Spalding, Tony Levin, Carol Kaye, Macca, Geddy
Favorite Drummers: Zakir Hussain, Max Roach, Ringo, Gene Krupa; Bill Ward
Favorite Keyboardists: Herbie Hancock; Gonzalo Rubalcaba; Bill Evans, Marc-Andre Hamelin
Favorite Bands: The Beatles; Queen, Jethro Tull, Indigo Girls, The Who (Live); BS&T

Favorite Composers: Bach, Bela Bartok, Franz Josef Haydn, Josquin, Ravel, Vincenzo Galilei
Favorite Works of Art: "Don Giovanni" (1787) opera by Mozart / da Ponte; the late String Quartets by Beethoven
Favorite Visual Artist: JMW Turner, da Vinci
Favorite Authors: Carl SaganPlatoJohn Dewey
Favorite Naturalists: Charles Darwin and Sir David Attenborough
Favorite Maritime Vessel: Boaty McBoatface

Favorite Movies: Captain Blood2001: A Space OdysseyApollo 13Young Frankenstein
Favorite TV Shows: Have Gun Will Travel; Trackdown; Star Trek, Hogan's Heroes; The Rifleman; Vera, Law and Order Criminal Intent
Favorite Radio Program: Pipe Dreams with Michael Barrone
Favorite Comic Book Characters: 
        DC- Wonder Woman; Marvel - Storm and Spiderman
What AD&D Character are you?  Neutral Good Half-Elf Ranger (1st Edition)
Favorite LOTR Character: Sam

Favorite Doctor: Tom Baker 
Kirk or Picard? hmmmm....thats a tough Paladin from HGWT!
Who would win a fight between Han Solo and Indiana Jones? It would be a draw, Han would shoot first, but Indy would be saved by some dumb luck, like a Gasan string drum falling over just in time to absorb the blaster fire.
Favorite Vikings: Alan Page #88; Joe Kapp #11
Microsoft or Apple? Linux
First Computer: 1983 Commodore 64 with a 300 bpm modem (it still works)
Favorite video gamesUltima IV; Sid Meier's Pirates.
First Stadium Concert: Iron Maiden, 7th Son 1988, Five Season Center, Cedar Rapids, IA.

Favorite Iron Maiden albumKillers

Favorite quote about Xenia: "She is the only person I know who can pull off being both laid back and uptight at the same time." - D.B. at Schmitt Music, Maplewood


Seek to Understand and Always Assume Positive Intent

Krista Lynn Sandstrom (1970-2017)

Convictions are more dangerous enemies to truth than lies

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

The Un-examined Life is not worth living

Socrates (c. 470 - c. 399 BCE)

Destruction is weakness ~ True Power is Creating

Xenia (1970-)

Critically Question your own beliefs everyday without Fear

Xenia (1970-)

And of course learn more at:


  1. This was interesting! Thanks for posting. Not only question ones beliefs but question (rather expand) ones own experiences in "likes and dislikes" I thought I hated Stravinsky until I took time to really study the Rite of Spring. I thought I disliked opera until I started going to the theater productions of the New York Met. WOW! what I didn't know!! and now appreciate how creative artists and musicians are in depicting the human struggle. When you have time - Stravinsky's Rite of Spring - that has become one of my favorites.
    I cannot find the whole thing on YouTube but here are three segments done by the Joffrey Ballet: 1. 2. 3.

    1. Thank you. I have taught Rite of Spring many times during my Stravinsky unit. And I am very familiar with the Joffrey Ballet recreation of Nijinsky's original choreography ;)