Tuesday, November 11, 2003

2 Years blogging (as of yesterday), and finally . . .

100 things about me:

1. The most important thing about me is that there is no one most important thing about me. There are a bunch of more important things, but no one thing that really defines me as a person.

2. I have a few obsessions: yellow duckies, sparkly things, and They Might Be Giants. I also really dig Mary Prankster, and wish I'd seen her in concert more times.

3. I have five tattoos. I got them all between the ages of 18 and 21. They are all in locations that allow me to hide them pretty easily.

4. On the other hand, I couldn't find a wedding dress that hid all of them.

5. I would have more tattoos, but my father found out about all five at once and made me promise not to get more.

6. Even now that I am "older," I still stand by my decision to get each one: they all are meaningful to me and I think they're beautiful. This is infinitely more important than the opinions of anyone else.

7. I think my best feature is my eyes: they are green, though they were blue when I was younger, and went through a weird, constantly changing period during my adolescence.

8. My least favorite feature is my hair. My dad's side of the family is full of redheads, and I grew up envying the pretty, red curls they all had. In fact, I colored my hair red for several years.

9. Then I cut all of my hair off and dyed it black. And hated it. And have not permanently colored my hair since.

10. It took approximately two years for me to grow it all out.

11. My family is odd. Weird, emotionally tweaked, sometimes unstable, usually prone to anxiety, and odd. Did I mention odd? But on the whole they're good people, and I love them.

12. I love plants, but I can never remember to water them. I've killed so many plants that last time I suggested bringing something green and living home, I was promptly pointed in the direction of the "cactus arrangements" by my husband. Good call!

13. I hate cold weather. I am always colder than most people around me - combination of inherited poor circulation and low blood pressure - oh, and the fact that I smoke.

14. I hate being a smoker.

15. I was an adamant, one might even say obnoxious, non-smoker until I was 18. Then I rebelled, and consciously made the decision to start lighting dried leaves on fire and inhaling the highly addictive smoke to piss off members of my family. Brilliant, yes? (this was about the same time as the tattoos - see # 3 - and about the same time as the move - see # 18).

16. I have quit, or tried to quit, more times than I'd like to think about.

17. I'm going to try again soon, maybe new-year-ish.

18. About the same time as the rebellious tattoos and smoking began, I picked up and moved to New York City with my best friend, Lindsay (then age 17).

19. We arrived with no friends or connections in the city, with no job prospects, and with a grand total of nine bags (including bedroll-type things) between us.

20. While in New York, I went door-to-door as a canvasser (fundraiser) for Greenpeace. Greenpeace was the only place willing to hire an 18-year-old kid fresh out of high school with no appreciable skills.

21. I worked with a bunch of really cool people at Greenpeace in New York, D.C., and L.A. before freaking out about office politics and quitting. I was there, in total, almost a year.

22. I only lived in NYC for about six months, but it was one of the truly defining experiences in my life, and I know that, had Lindsay and I not gone through with the plan to move to Manhattan, I would be an entirely different person.

23. Along with moving to New York, the most influential event in my life was meeting my husband, Eric. I was 19 and he was 20 when we first met. We dated for just over four years before getting married. Pardon the sappiness, but he is the love of my life and my best friend, and after seven and a half years together, I feel I can say that with confidence.

24. I'm a bit of a "cause-head": not only did I work for Greenpeace for a year, but I also was involved with Amnesty International and a graduate student unionization movement. This summer I took another turn at canvassing, but for the Minnesota Public Interest Research Group.

25. I also recently volunteered at the MS Challenge Walk.

26. I volunteered for the walk because my mom was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when I was in elementary school.

27. She is also a breast cancer survivor.

28. Having a disabled parent makes for a weird growing-up.

29. Even weirder, I shared a bedroom with my mom when I was a senior in high school.

30. It wasn't as bad as you think!

31. I'm really good at putting more thought into things than necessary. Hence the type of list I've put together so far, and the reason why it took me months to actually complete this list.

32. I have really tiny bones: my ring finger is between a 4 and a 4 1/2. My pinky finger is small enough to fit into baby jewelry.

33. I have tall-person envy: I wish I could reach the top shelf of cupboards and change lightbulbs without needing a step-stool.

34. Alternately, I wouldn't mind being shorter than I am.

35. I am very forgetful. I have an organizer and a calendar to help me remember things, but I forget to use them.

36. I am also a procrastinator. Bad combination.

37. The mitigating factor is that I am a very hard worker, and have been known to work on projects for absolutely excessive lengths of time at a stretch.

38. Before I wanted to be a professor, I wanted to be a host of other, completely unrelated things: an actress, an appellate court attorney, and an occupational therapist or physical therapist, for example.

39. I am an absolute geek.

40. I own too many books. I've read most of them, but the "to read" pile is still pretty sizeable.

41. I am obsessed with technology.

42. I have a very bad habit of giving cats distinguished names. They then proceed to mature into undignified beasts. My next cat will be named something totally undignified.

43. I am definitely more of a cat person than a dog person.

44. I am not religious.

45. I am spiritual.

46. I don't see the two statements above as being at all contradictory.

47. I am a feminist, and proud of it.

48. I'm not sure how I emerged from such a conservative family with such liberal/progressive/radical (depending on the issue and point in my life we're talking about) views.

49. Eric and I are both children of men in law enforcement.

50. We're therefore not frightened by representatives of the law, but we are very polite to them.

51. I am an optimist about most things. I really believe that things will generally work out for the best.

52. I love Triscuits. A lot.

53. One of my least favorite words is "adventure."

54. This is because, as a kid, my mom always claimed that any challenge was an "adventure." To this day, it can still make my sister and me groan in unison.

55. One of my other least favorite words is the "c-word" that is common slang for a part of the female anatomy. Not for prudish reasons: I think it sounds harsh, grating, and ugly. It's not a word I embrace.

56. I have definite favorite and least favorite words. Probably because I love language, and read dictionaries as a kid.

57. I own the full version of the Oxford English Dictionary. It was the best gift I have ever received: my dad got it for me for a Christmas/birthday/graduation gift one year. It was on sale at a bookstore, and when I saw it, I realized that my lifelong goal of owning the OED before I died could occur sooner rather than later.

58. I love fairy tales and folk tales.

59. I don't like the tales of Hans Christian Andersen, and generally don't like the "adaptations" of fairy tales collected or written by Andrew Lang and Victorian era writers.

60. I think that Robin McKinley writes some of the best fairy tale adaptations. I love her female characters in all of her works.

61. I own a book called Grimm Tales Made Gay, by Guy Wentmore Carryl. It was published in 1902, and is generally highly amusing.

62. I wrote my undergraduate thesis on fairy tales.

63. I decided not to pursue further studies in the area of fairy tale and children's literature because, from what I understand, the job prospects are pretty abysmal.

64. I can play Magic the Gathering. Eric thought I should point this out. See reference to geekhood above.

65. I am on the phone with Eric right now. He's helping me with the list.

66. I also like a lot of other board and card games.

67. I LOVE Scrabble.

68. I enjoy taking long, aimless drives. They help me think.

69. I also enjoy long, scalding-hot showers. They, too, help me think.

70. Some of the best poetry I wrote was thought up while driving about aimlessly or while nearly burning the skin off of my back in the shower.

71. I don't write poetry anymore.

72. Most of my poetry was teen angst, and wasn't very good.

73. My car is awesome, to me, at least: a silver Hyundai Accent.

74. I drive stick. I love manual transmissions.

75. I learned to drive on my dad's manual transmission longbed Toyota truck.

76. He took me to the steepest hills he could find and made me start from a dead stop without rolling back at all. It was evil.

77. While taking my first driving lesson, I turned around a sharp curve and almost ran into a stone retaining wall – right in front of a cop.

78. I had no learner's permit at the time.

79. I speak Spanish – or more accurately, I read Spanish and understand when people speak slowly.

80. I have lived outside of the U.S. and traveled in continental Europe.

81. I enjoy the literature of the Spanish "generation of '98."

82. I have a B.A. in English and Spanish from University of Maryland.

83. I have a Master's Degree in English from Penn State.

84. I am working on a Ph.D. in Rhetoric at the University of Minnesota.

85. I smoke American Spirits cigarettes, because they have less bad things in them.

86. I am a coffeeholic, and have been since age 16.

87. I drink coffee black.

88. Some of my favorite moves are Dead Poets Society, Something About Mary, Abre los ojos (the Spanish film that was the basis for Vanilla Sky), and The Princess Bride.

89. Some of my favorite authors are David Sedaris, Isabel Allende, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Haruki Murakami, Barbara Kingsolver, and Pio Baroja.

90. I enjoy reading postmodern theory. I even convince myself that I really get it at times.

91. I love roses – they're beautiful, especially when slightly past peak.

92. I enjoy nice writing instruments. The Levenger catalog is a true temptation for me.

93. Even though I am a grad student, and therefore broke, I am trying to collect Levenger True Writer pens.

94. I lived in California in junior high and high school, and spent vacations there in elementary school, and yet, I never made it further south than San Diego.

95. I can make a mean cheese fondue.

96. This is because I worked at a Melting Pot fondue restaurant for two years.

97. I started out waiting tables there, but also hosted and bartended.

98. This means I can also make many mixed and blended/frozen drinks.

99. When I was two or three, my dad grabbed me off the slide at the park one day. I very seriously wagged my finger at him and somberly informed him, "that could be very dangerous." He thought it was hilarious.

100. I don't like soda or other sweetened drinks. I love unsweetened iced tea and fruit juices.

101. I have dissected two fetal pigs, one each semester in a high school anatomy and physiology class. The first semester pig was green.

102. I can be really sentimental, and cry at cheesy movies/TV shows frequently.

103. I came up with a list! And didn't succede in posting it when I said I would. It'ls late, but so am I, generally, so it's appropriate, I guess.

- posted by laurie @ 11/11/2003 10:54:00 PM
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