Monday, April 27, 2009

100th post: 100 random things about me

It seems to be a bloggy tradition to do a post with "100 things" about the blogger for the 100th post.

There are other traditions, too, involving pole dancing and/or excessive drinking, but for today, I'm sticking with the relatively tame list of 100 things. So freshen your coffee and grab a snack. This is a long one!

Note: If you have read my blog for a while, you will know some of these, and I'm sorry if you're bored by the repeats. For my new readers, I have included links to where I wrote about some of them in greater detail. (Because this post is long enough as it is.... )

Here they are:

1. I've been told I look like Sandra Bullock. (This is a blatant repeat. But since I want everyone to know I might possibly look like a movie star, I'm including it again.)

2. I played on the school basketball team in 7th and 8th grades, but by 9th grade I was too short.

3. I had an awesome "hook shot," sort of like the famous Dr. J, but obviously not as fantastic as his, since I did not end up becoming a WNBA star.

4. I played on the school soccer team in 8th and 9th grades.

5. When I was in 9th grade, our school soccer team took a trip to Tennessee to visit Sewanee ("The University of the South") and Vanderbilt and play exhibition games against their women's soccer teams. I can't remember which one, but we actually won one of them.

6. We also snuck out of our dorm and went drinking at a college bar near the campus (this was back when the drinking age was 18 and if you looked a day over 13 and produced any kind of ID card with a birthdate saying you were over 18 - even if it was for "Sam Malone" and you were a girl - you could get served in almost any bar). We then suffered hangovers the next day, and lost the second exhibition game.

7. I support legalizing gay marriage.

8. One of my ex-boyfriends recently announced he is gay and is divorcing his wife. I'm glad I'm not the wife. That would be a tough announcement to handle.

9. I love snow, as long as I am just visiting it. I would hate to have to shovel it regularly in the winter.

10. I love horses, as long as I am just visiting them. I don't like shoveling horse poop any more than I like shoveling snow.

11. I spent a summer in Colorado when I was 12. It was beautiful. I thought I wanted to live there, but my then-boyfriend, now-just-friend (the one who is now gay), talked me into moving to Arizona instead. He moved to San Francisco when we broke up. (But he waited until he moved back to Virginia to decide he was gay..... all I can do is shake my head and say, "huh?")

12. The first concert I ever went to was the Bee Gees in 1977. Don't laugh - they put on a good show!

13. The second was Peter Frampton in Colorado.

14. I also saw Pat Benatar, AC/DC, and Van Halen around the same time.

15. Sammy Hagar is a good musician, but I never liked him as much as David Lee Roth.

16. I love The Grateful Dead and I saw them every time they passed through Virginia, Washington DC, Maryland, or North Carolina between 1984 and 1988. I went as far as South Carolina one time. Then I moved to Arizona, and they didn't play in my neck of the woods as frequently. But I saw them in Las Vegas, several times in Phoenix, and several times in Oakland, California.

17. I also love Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, The Who, Pink Floyd, the Rolling Stones, Don McLean, Bob Dylan, Arlo Guthrie, Buddy Holly, Elvis, and the Talking Heads and Nirvana.... and more.

18. I like a lot of new music that I hear on the radio, too, but I just don't have time to keep up with who's who and what's what. When the kids are a little older, or maybe when I retire, I will have a good time catching up on all the music I am missing now.

19. I also love jazz and soul music.

20. I took piano lessons for about 5 years.

21. I quit taking piano lessons after 8th grade because my piano teacher's son went to my school and was an annoying prick and I was tired of having to be nice to him just because he was my piano teacher's son. After I quit taking piano lessons, I completely ignored him.

22. I love Brahms, Beethoven, and most especially Mozart. I learned to play Beethoven's "Ode to Joy," but I never learned to play anything by Mozart. As Valdieri said in the movie "Amadeus": "Too many notes!"

23. I have a scar on my right leg. For the story behind it, read the first item in this list. If you want to know five *more* things about fascinating me, read the rest of the items in the list.

24. I love to drive. I especially love to drive fast. This is why I love that I have been compared to Sandra Bullock, the star of the movie "Speed."

25. I have received several speeding tickets in my lifetime.

26. On my 17th birthday, I got a ticket for "driving too slowly." It was really a ticket for flipping off a police officer. Read the full story, here.

27. My favorite job ever was driving buses when I was a student at the University. This is another reason why I love that I have been compared to Sandra Bullock, the star of the movie "Speed."

28. I never drove too fast in the bus, partly because the buses would not go all that fast, even if you tried.

29. My belly button is an "outie." I hated that as a kid. The other kids made fun of it. Now I don't mind it so much.

30. I have sexy toes.

31. I hate to wear high heels, but I love low (2 inch) heels.

32. I love boots. Cute boots that you wear with skirts. Snow boots. Clunky boots with jeans. Short boots. Tall boots. Leather boots.... let's just stop before I get carried away.

33. I teach a class for students who are taking the LSAT (Law School Admissions Test). I like teaching. Perhaps I should have been a teacher instead of a lawyer.

34. I do not want to be a law professor because I don't want to have to write law journal articles that no one will ever read, just to impress my colleagues so I can get tenure. If I could be a law professor and just teach classes, I would love it.

35. I never liked dogs much. They generally don't smell very nice, and I hate when they try to lick me. But I love my dog. He is very sweet, and so patient with my kids. He is a Bassett Hound, and although he loves to lick the kids, he never tries to lick me. It's as if he just knows I don't like it. He is pretty stinky sometimes, but then we give him a bath and then it's all ok again for a while.

36. Somehow I have hit a mental block right here, about 1/3 of the way through. I think it is because I want to remain semi-anonymous, and so I am second-guessing everything I write, wondering if I am revealing too much information or, alternatively and just as bad or worse, writing only boring things that could be about anyone.

37. I got kicked out of a bar once because my friends and I were playing quarters and being too rowdy.

38. At one of my prior jobs, there was a "survey" circulating that gave a score based on how many "wild and crazy" things you had done in your life. There were questions about a range of activities, ranging from things I would have thought most everyone would have tried in high school or college ("Have you ever been to a rock concert?" and "Have you ever played a drinking game?") to some that are perhaps less commonly experienced but certainly well within the range of activities that adults in our society may have done at least once in their lives without making them necessarily "wild and crazy" people (questions like, "Have you ever been kicked out of a bar?" "Have you ever tried bondage?" "Have you ever tried oral sex?" and "Have you ever smoked pot?"), all the way up to a number of things that I thought were "out there" and/or way beyond anything I've ever done or would think to do (questions like, "Have you ever stolen a car to go joy riding?" "Have you ever manufactured drugs?" and "Have you ever dated a married person?"). I got the highest score out of all my co-workers who took the quiz. Until then, I had always thought I was pretty socially conservative. Certainly I am very tame compared to some of my friends. But I guess lawyers are a really prudish bunch because by comparison, I was a party animal. I just hope they didn't think, based on my score, that I was making drugs in the evenings with my married paramour and then going joy-riding with him in my neighbor's stolen car after getting kicked out of a bar for smoking pot. Because that never happened!

39. [TMI Warning: If you don't want to hear about labor pains, skip to number 40.] With my first child, I wanted to try "natural" childbirth... until the labor pains actually started. Either I am a wimp, or my pain really was worse than most. All I know is it felt as if someone took a red-hot fireplace poker straight out of the blacksmith's fire and stuck it up my v--- and was swirling and poking it all around inside my abdomen. It was a sharp, searing pain throughout. If that is TMI, well I tell you what, it was way TMP ("too much pain")!! All those breathing exercises, massages, counting, focusing, etc? Yeah, uh-huh, right.... so completely NOT helpful. So I demanded pain relief, and fast. The IV "pain relief" drugs didn't even touch the pain. No effect at all. The epidural, though, worked like a charm, and everything proceeded quickly and painlessly after that. The second time around, I went into it knowing I would get that epidural.

40. I hate roaches. Especially the giant ones that live in Florida.

41. I am good at spelling.

42. I went to Mardi Gras for the first time when I was 41. It was awesome.

43. I am only two weeks younger than my husband. But he somehow has absorbed at least 15 years' worth of "worldly" knowledge that I somehow missed.

44. For example, I did not know what a "camel toe" was until my husband told me last year.

45. I love the beach. I especially love sitting in the warm sand, watching the waves roll in. Boogie boarding is also fun.

46. I have never tried surfing.

47. I went snow skiing once, during my senior year of high school. I'll share that story some other time.

48. I went to a Catholic high school for two years in Alabama. It was there that I met many of my alcohol- and drug-abusing teen friends. Their parents had all sent them to the Catholic school to "straighten them out." It didn't work.

49. I missed 63 days of school my junior year of high school, while still pulling A's and B's in all my classes. It was the school record for absences because the very next year they made a rule that if you missed more than 20 days, you had to repeat the year. No one else ever missed that many days again.

50. They have since torn down that high school. I was sad when I drove by and saw that it was gone, even though I hated it when I was there. Does a school record still count if the school no longer exists?

51. I graduated from a public high school in Virginia that I attended for only one year. I have never been to a high school reunion. I keep in touch with two people from my graduating class that I care about and have lost track of the only other one I cared about - but I don't think he ever goes to the reunions, either.

52. I was on the "five year plan" in college and graduated a year later than most of my friends. I have never been to a college reunion because I never get invited to the one I'd be interested in attending -- the one all my friends would be attending, for the year before I actually graduated.

53. In college, I double-majored in psychology and religious studies. Fascinating stuff, and great for learning about what makes people "click" and for gaining insight into one's own actions and motivations.

54. Apparently, the only really useful thing I learned in college was how to drive buses. After I moved to Arizona, the highest paying job I was offered - with my college degree from a very good University with those majors - was driving the tram at Arizona State University. I soon decided law school was the ticket to a better salary.

55. I love to win arguments. And I'm good at it. This is a useful skill in the courtroom. Not so great for marital harmony.

56. I love wine, almost as much as Vodka Mom loves martinis... [Note: Just after I wrote this but before I published it, while I was working on numbers 80-100 below, Vodka Mom decided to take a hiatus from blogging, and dismantled her site. How's that for bad luck? She promises to return sometime, though, so I'm leaving the link, just in case.]

57. I love to plan birthday parties at home for my kids. I think it is much better for them to have a party at home and actually interact with their friends than to go to one of those "Chuck E Cheese" or "Amazing Jake's" type places. Those places are fun, but the kids get so caught up in the games and rides that they don't even play with each other. Inevitably, the birthday kid winds up hanging out with one or two kids, and the rest get shoved aside and ignored. Someone ends up all alone and sad, while others ignore all the other kids and just go crazy with the video games. What's the point?

58. It's not a kid birthday party without a pinata.

59. I saw "Star Wars" the first weekend it opened, when it was first released in 1977. My uncle quite literally dragged me to it. I thought it sounded like a war movie and would be awful. He promised I would love it and made me go see it. He was right (thanks, J!), and I dragged several friends to see it after that. They loved it, too.

60. Thirty-two years later, I still think Star Wars is one of the most fun and coolest movies ever made. My husband and kids love it, too. We own all of the Star Wars movies on DVD, and my husband just bought an R2D2 fish tank. Yes, you read that right. It was on sale and it was a good deal and we needed a new fish tank. It makes noises like R2D2 in the movie, and lights up. Very cool. Here is a photo:

That is a kid's meal toy (McDonald's or BK, can't remember which one) in there -- Luke Skywalker's giant head in his fighter plane / spaceship. Dumb toy; great fishtank decor, don't you think?

61. I like to make "to do" lists. Sometimes I write things on the list that I already did that day, just so I can cross them off and see all the things I accomplish in a day.

62. I used to be a waitress. As a result, I am a very good tipper if I receive good service (25 - 40%), a good tipper if my food eventually arrives and the waiter / waitress was reasonably friendly (20%), and I don't hesitate to stiff a waiter / waitress who has been snotty or rude to me. There is no excuse for being rude to me, as I am never rude to the waiter / waitress.

63. I traveled to England, Ireland, and Scotland in the early 1990's. I met some friends over there, but traveled to Ireland and Scotland by myself while they visited some relatives in the South of England. There is such a sense of history there. I visited castles that existed before Columbus allegedly "discovered" America. There are bars and restaurants there that are older than the U.S.A.... it is really an interesting perspective. The people were friendly and helpful, the castles were awesome, the scenery gorgeous.... and the Edinburgh zoo with the penguin parade was lots of fun, too. I would love to go back, and spend more time there.

64. I found that the German travelers were the nicest. I met several very kind German tourists. They always spoke English well, and the guys always offered to carry my suitcase, which I loved because it was heavy and there are a lot of hills there, particularly on the way to the hostels in which I was staying.

65. I hated the lack of ice in Great Britain. I asked for "iced tea" (an American thing, apparently), and those darn English waiters would dutifully bring me a piping hot pot of delicious English tea and a glass with two tiny ice cubes in it. I would ask for more ice, and would get two more cubes. Here in America, we like to drink our tea with a ton of ice in it, and very cold. It was a real culture shock for me. And I love hot tea, too -- but in the summer when it is hot out, I find iced tea much more refreshing! (You guys across the pond really ought to try it. It's quite nice.)

66. I have also traveled to Mexico. They have lots of ice there, but they advise Americans not to use it. Something about "Montezuma's revenge." I should have taken that advice.... but I really thought the alcohol in the margaritas would kill any germs.

67. I love seafood. Shrimp, scallops, crab, lobster, nearly any kind of fish, including shark, squid and octopus, which some folks find odd.... I especially love a good "seafood salad" here in the States -- with shrimp and crab and perhaps a bit of crunchy celery, some mayonnaise and spices.... I ordered a "seafood salad" in Edinburgh, and received a plate full of greens.... approximately 10 different varieties of sea plants -- kelp and such, I guess. It was not what I was expecting, although I had to admit it was a reasonable description of the dish. And after I got over the initial shock, it wasn't bad, really. Just not what I had wanted when I ordered. (And then I had to wonder -- were the waitstaff laughing in the back at another clueless American tourist? Does anyone else ever order this stuff?)

68. I think I am sounding a bit naive and uncultured, and I may be. But overall I enjoyed the food in England, Ireland, and Scotland. The variety and quality of "foreign food" restaurants (especially Indian food) was particularly impressive, and I also enjoyed the "traditional English foods" like shepherd's pie that many folks here disparage.

69. However, you should not - I repeat, NOT, under any circumstances, I don't care how hungry you think you are or how much you are trying to hurry - you must NOT purchase a hot dog from a sidewalk vendor in London. You will be appalled at just how awful these things are. And to top it off I am now worried about whether I will eventually come down with "Mad Cow Disease," since I was there during the time when the tainted meat was a problem in England, and ate beef hot dogs of very dubious quality and unknown origin....

70. I have met former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, at a party hosted by a mutual friend. She is very gracious and friendly.

71. I love sleeping when it is raining.

72. My favorite (and first) car ever was my 1965 Mustang.

73. I do not own a hair dryer. I don't need one here in Arizona - with essentially no humidity, my hair dries before I leave the house - and I'm too lazy to do more than brush it and let it be, anyway.

74. When I was a kid, I loved the high dive at the pool.

75. One time, I did an actual dive from the high dive and my bikini bottom fell off. And yes, everyone noticed.

76. Recently, I was at a public pool with my kids for a party, and they talked me into trying the high dive. I was wearing a one-piece suit, so I agreed to try it. (Warning to those who might think this is a good idea: It is much higher than you remember it being when you were a kid!) I am embarassed to admit that I chickened out, and had to climb back down the very long ladder while a whole gaggle of kids, along with the lifeguard(!), pointed and laughed. It was more embarassing than losing my bikini bottom 30 years ago.

77. I like hiking.

78. I don't like camping for more than one night. I like to have a warm shower and a flush toilet available at least once every 24 hours. I would not have been a good pioneer.

79. My favorite chocolate shop is called "The Chocolate Soldier" and is in Dana Point, California. They have the very best truffles in the world. They are huge and shaped sort of like boobies, which Dr. Zibbs would love, and filled with the most delicious light, creamy, flavorful concoctions -- not like the overly sweet and sticky insides of many chocolate candies. And the chocolate itself is perfectly textured and just the right amount of sweet, unlike typical American chocolate which is often grainy and too sweet.

80. I have a hard time buying the "global warming" hysteria. I am old enough to remember that in the 1970's, many scientists claimed that the carbon dioxide was causing global cooling and we were quickly heading for the next ice age if we didn't change our ways. There are other reasons, too, for my skepticism. I'll post more about it some other time.

81. In spite of my lack of faith in the global warming theory, I do think we should all do what we can to conserve energy and resources, because unpolluted skies and fewer power plants and strip mines make for a prettier world, and the less oil we use the less we enrich nations like Saudi Arabia and Iran, who seem not to have our best interests at heart.

82. I never had braces; my teeth are naturally straight.

83. I need to lose 20 pounds. Apparently, that doesn't stop my students, various waitresses, and wonderful flight attendants on Southwest Airlines from thinking I look like Sandra Bullock.

84. I gained 10 pounds in the last year. At least a couple of those were in my boobs. I know because I had to go buy some larger bras. This is good except that sadly, those two pounds will likely be the first ones I lose....

85. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut.

86. I also wanted to change my name to "butterfly." It's a good thing they don't let kids make those kinds of decisions. (Then again, some parents don't do a whole lot better naming their kids....)

87. Holy cow, 100 is a lot. I bet most of you lost interest around #15. I am starting to think I am a very boring person.

88. I love sailing, but I like to stay within sight of the shore. My husband says he would like to get a houseboat and sail around the world. I would be terrified of getting lost at sea or attacked by pirates or drowned in a storm. He will have to go alone or with someone else; I am not going to live that particular fantasy with him!

89. I hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon once. I will write about it some other time. Advice: Make sure you are in good physical condition before attempting this trek!

90. I don't have any tattoos.

91. I don't have anything pierced except my ears.

92. I like cats.

93. I have a collection of shot glasses from various places.

94. I think our country needs to invest more money in education for gifted kids.

95. I love M&M's. When I was a kid and my Dad used to travel for business, he would often bring me a pack of M&M's when he came home. I loved that.

96. I worked at the CIA for two summers during college. Then, during the school year, I worked as a waitress at a place that catered to groups of government executives who were on "retreats." One of my former bosses came for dinner (with lots of other government employees, during a "retreat"), but did not recognize me. I guess I was "out of context."

97. I was in Memphis when Elvis died. I was playing Monopoly with my friend, when her mom tearfully told us the news. I have driven past Graceland, but have never been inside.

98. I like to ride my bicycle. (Didn't Queen do a song about that?)

99. My Dad recently told me that when I was a kid in Florida, I was bitten by a brown recluse spider and nearly died. I don't remember that at all, but I do remember smashing my big toe pretty badly when I was about 8, and then a few weeks later my toenail fell off while I was swinging on the backyard swing and it got lost in the grass, and I was traumatized because I had wanted to keep it when it fell off (eeeewww) but I couldn't find it. It is funny what sticks and doesn't stick in your childhood memory....

100. When I was in high school, I thought I was in love with a guy and we hung out with the same group of friends and I spent inordinate amounts of time trying to get him to notice me. But he was obsessed with another gal in the group (who had a boyfriend....), to the point that one time, she trimmed her fingernails at his house and left them in a pile on his coffee table, and after she left, he put them into a small box so he could keep them as a mememto and reminder of her! So I guess we both had that same icky urge to save keratin from various body parts (although I am pretty sure I had outgrown my urges in that direction by the age of 12), but I have to say that was pretty over-the-top and I am glad that particular "love" went unrequited.



Peggy said...

I read them all and am so impressed. Now what I want to see is a picture of you, cause I just love Sandra Bullock!
Good Job!

Gaston Studio said...

Good on you as a lookalike for Sandra, I think she's wholesomely beautiful, if whosesomely is a word!

Very interesting insights and reveals.

I'm way away from posting 100 but wish I could get a little counter or something installed so I won't have to remember it!

SkylersDad said...

This is all very interesting, you did a great job with this!

Dr Zibbs said...

Never saw Framton and the Bee Gees. I'm jealous.

And we might have been to some Dead concerts together.

Jenners said...

OK Ms. Sandra Bullock ... you MUST reveal yourself some day!

And congrats on 100 posts!

And there were lots of things I related to on your list but I can't remember then now! : )

auntiegwen said...

Congratulations on your 100, what a great post for me to start reading you with. Lots of things I related to (I was so pleased you loved Scotland, I'm very proud of my country) I also write birthday blogs for my children too and I get very cross with primary (elementary?) school teachers who think I can knock up a costume in 10 minutes. How I would love to offload some stuff onto my students parents (I teach A level, so I think the equivilent is high school seniors, my students are 18)

Kim Ayres said...

So, why no video of you pole dancing?

When I did my 101 things about me (found on my sidebar), I found I started running out of things about 1/4 to 1/3 of the way through. But then it became more interesting as I had to find other aspects of me to talk about, rather than favourite colour and height etc. It took 2 or 3 weeks to complete.

Oh, and if you think you need to lose about 20lbs, you're probably at an ideal weight now as far as men are concerned :)

Nan said...

When you hiked into the Grand Canyon, did you stay at Phantom Ranch? I've always wanted to hike down from one side, stay at the ranch for a few days, and then hike up the other.

~E said...

I applaud you for coming up with 100 interesting things about yourself. I doubt I can come up with 10. Ok, maybe 10 but def not 50.

Congrats on your 100th!

Fancy Schmancy said...

Loved your post. I could never come up with 100. You and Zibbs and I should compare notes to see if we were ever at any Dead shows together!

John said...

I read all the way through. : ) Congrats on your 100, and your 100. : )

LOLA said...

How did you manage to get your bikini bottoms to come off when you flew from the high dive? Velcro on the sides that you quickly ripped open? You little attention grabber you.