Friday, November 14, 2008


Holy cow! It's my 100th post! Totally snuck up on me...

My husband assures me that it is Blogland Etiquette to blog 100 facts about yourself in celebration of one's 100th post. It seems overwhelming, and I'm sure dozens of writers I admire would do a far superior job. I'm sure they could write MY list better than I will. I feel intimidated...

OK, it's only cold when you first get in, right? So here we go:

1. I was born in Germany on a US military base, and spoke perfect German until I was 4. But only to Germans--to my mother, who also (and still) speaks fluent German, I refused and am told often gave a look that seemed to say, "I don't know who you're foolin' lady, but we're AMERICANS."

2. Speaking of "foolin'," my favorite band from 8th to 11th grade was totally Def Leppard. I had a huge crush on Joe Elliott. Beyond pathological, actually.

3. I attended Catholic school in junior high. My favorite nun was called Sister Marion Joseph. Awesome.

4.  As long as we're on the topic of schooling, I have a Master's degree in Archaeology.  For real.  And it's left me changed.

5.  My thesis?  ACORNS.  Like I could make that up.

6.  I started my PhD, but put it on hold after a year to run off and elope.  I still miss State College, though--go Nittany Lions!

7.  Compared to staying home with my children each day, I don't miss academia one little bit.

8.  But every once in a while, I think it might be nice to go back and finish that PhD.  Wouldn't mind being Dr. Pretty Jane, y'know?

9.  I attended Florida State for undergrad, but don't feel much loyalty to it.  Now that Bobby is clearly in his decline, it's hard for me to even root for the team.

10.  Shortly after moving to State College, I had a heartbreaking epiphany while visiting with friends from undergrad, and was forced to sever ties with almost everyone I knew and loved while I was there.  It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do, and I feel sad about it to this day.

11.  It was also one of the most necessary things I've ever had to do, and I am proud of myself for having the strength, almost every day.

12.  Growing up in Alabama, as I did, you are required to choose either Bama or Auburn to root for, regardless of whether anyone in your family has ever attended college.

13.  I chose FSU, as a safe neutral.

14.  But my step-dad was a Bama fan, for which I was astonishingly grateful when I met my mother-in-law and realized that when Bama plays, all three generations of her family who are alumni ROAR.  And that a daughter-in-law who didn't like the Tide would have a hard, hard road ahead of her.

15.  My hair is my natural color, but even hairdressers don't believe it.

16.  My initials are the same as my mother's, both before and after my marriage.  Weird, huh?

17.  When I get hot, I take off my socks and instantly cool down, like a pedo-thermostat.

18.  I always blow my nose after brushing my teeth, every single time.

19.  When I get hungry, my patience is astonishingly thin, as is well-known by anyone who has ever spent long periods of time with me.  If I say I'm hungry, it's not an observation, it's a warning.

20.  I'm a desperate procrastinator.

21.  In fact, I've known this post was coming for two months, and I only wrote three things down as notes to myself.  Oy.

22.  Reading novels is my Zone Activity, and when the fifth Harry Potter came out, I read it in a single sitting.  Seven hours, on the sofa, no breaks, no meals.

23.  Oh, and when I did that?  I had purchased the copy as a gift for our eldest on her birthday, which was two weeks after the book came out.  So I swapped the cover on the new one with the cover from the fourth so I could go ahead and read it before giving it to her.

24.  I got that idea from my grandmother, who used to send videos as gifts to my younger sister, and always watched them first.  My grandfather thought it was awful, but she never saw a problem with it.  I come down in the middle, hence the swapped covers.

25.  I adore Law and Order.  You think you've seen them all, but you never have.

26.  I can no longer watch Law and Order: SVU.  It made me paranoid and anxious.

27.  I have never watched all of Star Wars in one sitting.  And for someone my age, I might as well say I never learned to read.

28.  I learned to ride a bike over the summer visiting my father in Ohio.  He was holding the back and I called out, "Don't let go!"  I heard his voice from far, far behind me say, "I already did!"  I bobbled a teeny bit, evened out, and took off.

29.  I didn't just learn to ride a bike that day.  I learned that my parents trust me and believe in me, not because they say it but because they make decisions that demonstrate it.  A HUGE lesson to learn, and all in a split-second.

30.  Knowing that about them has changed my attitude about myself, and allowed me to accomplish all the things I have in my life.  I hope I can pass on half the faith and confidence to my own children.

31.  I've had orthodonture twice.  Once on my parents' dime, once on my own.  Guess which time I wore the retainers?

32.  I even had surgery on my jaw, in the ninth grade.  I have screws in my lower jaw now, and can feel the screw heads through the bone.

33.  When I taught eighth graders and their little hormones would take over and make them crazycakes, I would bribe them to calm down by telling them if they were good I would let them feel my screws.

34.  Worked every time.

35.  I am allergic to caffeine.  OK, maybe not medically allergic, but so sensitive to it that even a little bit makes me kinda nutso.

36.  Soda is also my all-time favorite treat, caffeine or no caffeine.

37.  When my Sweet Husband was deployed to Iraq for the third time, I gave up all soda until his return, as a sign of commiseration.

38.  I feel betrayed by coffee: such a beguiling scent, such a bitter flavor.

39.  I like to think of myself as more of a Rachel, but suspect I am largely a Monica.

40.  Someone once told me I look a little like Jennifer Anniston, and while I think they're insane, I walked on air the whole rest of the day.

41.  Every single time I've gotten pregnant, I weighed the exact same amount.  I consider it my Fertile Weight.

42.  This third time, taking that weight off is a little harder than before.  Considering what an easy time I tend to have of pregnancy, I think there are women out there secretly rejoicing.

43.  My husband and I talk about my muffin top in the third person.  It encourages me to not become complacent and to take care of myself rather than using the busyness of three kids to procrastinate and allow my health to take a backseat.

44.  It's the kind of thing about him that people on the outside of our relationship point to as insensitive--"What kind of a husband calls attention to a little extra weight after giving birth??" they say--but that I see as a sign of his deep love for me and his sincere commitment to a lifetime with me.  If I don't take care of my health, he has less time with me, muffin top or not.

45.  When we got married, I was barefoot.  We had enough time to either get me shoes or pick up the marriage license.  We hesitated, but chose the paperwork.

46.  The photos from our wedding turned out really dark, as they were taken with a disposable camera the minister's wife happened to have lying around.  In actuality, we were married at four in the afternoon, but because of the photos, we have to explain to people--often--that we didn't run off in the middle of the night.

47.  My best friend from the ninth grade, one of the few people with whom I have kept in touch, flew to visit Europe with her husband, three kids, her parents, her sister, her sister's husband, and her sister's five kids this past summer.  On the way back, her mom arranged for them to have a layover here so we could meet at the airport and visit.

48.  We hadn't seen each other in almost 16 years, and it was as though we were still those little babies, just in bigger, older bodies.

49.  Seeing her made me realize how influential our friends are, and when she told me that she bailed out of a 5k but made her husband drive her back to the race site the next day so she could finish, just because she said she would and she didn't want to break her word, it made me admire her more than ever and hope that I can be someone of that kind of character.

50.  It also made me want to surround myself with more friends like that, and I had to have a look-in-the-mirror moment: I am crap at keeping up with friends.

51.  And when I do, I am horribly guilty of hogging the conversation rather than listening to them.

52.  I was never very good at taking turns.

53.  Especially with my sister, who is the single most loving person God ever put on this planet.

54.  In fact, I owe her a phone call right now.

55.  When we were little, we shared a full-sized bed and she hated that I would kick under the covers.

56.  And I didn't keep my toenails trimmed adequately.

57.  I have, over the years, lost my taste for apple juice.  The kids are thrilled: more for them!

58.  The first time I spoke to my husband, he didn't like me.  The next time he spoke to me, I really didn't like him.  The third time we spoke, it wasn't quite love, but we were on our way.

59.  I always wanted 5 kids, even when I was but a lowly college student.

60.  We're 3/5 of the way there, but only 1/2 of us are sure 5 is such a great idea.

61.  Because, really, have you seen what college costs these days?  Imagine 20 years from now!  Who wants to saddle themselves with MORE future college students??

62.  I DO.

63.  When I was a college student, I was a member of a cover band called The Swiss Army Pickles.

64.  If I was well-behaved, they'd let me sing Indigo Girls tunes.  If I wasn't, well, they still let me sing, but they didn't order me a burger.

65.  We got paid $50 a night plus free food and free beer.  The two guys split the $50, I just got free food and beer.  And I still think I got a pretty good deal.  I woulda sung for free.

66.  One night, after a performance, I borrowed one of their cars to drive to the gas station and get cigarettes.  It was a stick, which I was crap at driving, and I didn't have a license.  Plus, I'd been drinking under age.  At the station, when I got back in the car to drive back to the bar, the car stalled over and over on this hill.  Turns out later the parking brake was on, but I didn't know that at the time.  So I asked someone at the station (yes, yes, I know--but it gets worse) to get the car up the hill for me so I could take over.  Fearful that if I got in the car WITH him he could take me who-knows-where and do God-knows-what, I stood off to the side.  He seemed to be taking a while getting moving, but eventually he came over and handed the car back to me, restoring my faith in humanity.  After returning to the bar (and being stopped by an officer who reminded me that my lights were off but didn't actually pull me over, thank heaven), my friend/bandmate noticed that his wallet was missing from the dashboard.  It was the day before the two of them drove to Vermont for the summer to teach at an arts camp, and his wallet had cash, license, contact info, you name it.  The window had been cracked and they all assumed that someone had reached in and taken the wallet from the dash.  I felt awful.

67.  I never told them the truth.  I still feel awful.

68.  But now, 15 years later, I can see the horrible humor in it.

69.  I once ran over a speed bump, knocked off a hub cap, and watched in my rearview as it rolled into oncoming traffic while I drove away, powerless.

70.  I've had five flat tires in the last calendar year.

71.  I am a horrible driver.

72.  I'm really lazy about shaving my legs.  But I always keep my toenails painted red, like Coco Chanel.

73.  I once watched the Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility four times back-to-back.

74.  Alan Rickman is one of my favorite actors, especially in Closetland, which I bet you haven't seen.

75.  As I write this, I am watching Legal Eagles with Robert Redford, a film you also have not seen, but that I have viewed no fewer than 26 times.  End credits: "Love Touch" by Rod Stewart.  Oh, yeah.

76.  I am insanely frugal.

77.  We keep our thermostat at 63 in winter and 78 in summer.

78.  I reuse aluminum foil and ziploc bags.

79.  Before my marriage, I didn't own a single piece of furniture that was purchased new--not one.

80.  I rarely pay full price for clothing, and often barter.

81.  Except at Target, because, really now.

82.  I have recently found a deep and abiding love for high heels, and wear them every chance I get.  Including sometimes on days when I know I won't be leaving the house.

83.  I saved up for two years to buy my PowerBook and third-gen iPod back in 2003, and dressed up in heels and sparklies to go to the Apple Store at the mall to make my purchase.

84.  My first car was a British racing green MG Midget drop top.  I stalled out learning to drive it on a hill at a busy intersection during rush hour on a Friday--my first time driving a stick at the age of 15--and swore I would never drive it again.  My parents sold it two weeks later.

85.  My next car was a 1968 Ford Falcon with a rebuilt engine and a dash covered in contact paper.  It had no air conditioning and no floor coverings.  I adored it.

86.  I got the Falcon on the condition that I get my driver's license.  I was 20 and seven months pregnant with my first child.  On the way to the driving test, I got rear-ended.

87.  See #71.

88.  I currently drive a nine-year-old station wagon and am ashamed to say that I am secretly lusting after the new VW minivan.  Well, not secretly anymore, as it turns out.

89.  Breastfeeding has rendered 90% of my wardrobe unwearable.  Something you'd think an experienced mommy like me would've anticipated and so NOT donated over half my wardrobe in the past year.  But I didn't.  So pickings are pretty slim when getting dressed each morning these days.

90.  I adore breastfeeding and none of my children has ever had a bottle, ever.  Not because of anything miraculous that I've done, but because I can't figure out why, if you have a choice, you'd ever make more dishes to wash ON PURPOSE.

91.  I have very specific plans for what I'd do with the money if I ever won the lottery.  Sometimes, when I'm bored, I make notes.

92.  I always throw them out after, just in case someone finds them and thinks I'm nuts.

93.  I have already chosen paint colors for the walls in my Lottery House.

94.  I wear a sweater every single day, all winter long.  And sometimes in summer.

95.  I have been blessed with really white, strong, beautiful fingernails.

96.  I don't spring out of bed in the morning, like my husband.  I have to warm up to it gradual-like.  And if I am awakened too quickly, or nagged to get up, it spoils my whole day.

97.  Every time someone comments on my blog, I visit their blog, too.

98.  I feel a little sad when I learn that someone has been reading my blog and NOT commenting.

99.  I feel sadder when my friends or family say, "Oh, are you blogging now?"

100.  I have never in my life been happier or more grateful than I am now every single day.

Huh.  That wasn't so hard.  Might've even been tougher for you than for me!!  

See you at Post 1000!


Blakely said...

I understand the growing up in Alabama and having to pick a team. I picked Penn State because my parents were from PA and my grandmother was a huge fan. But between Auburn and Alabama, it has to be Auburn. My husband is a huge Alabama fan and if they make it to the national championship game I get a surger. So all I have to say is ROLL TIDE!

Jennifer said...

Very cute! Just wanted to make a comment so that you know I read your blog.

Maria Rose said...

Wow, that was fun to read through! Thanks.

PS I am Phoebe.

erlthegirl said...

I know the paint colors on my Lottery house walls too! I've never thought of writing my Lottery lists down, but dreaming them up is one of the ways I put myself to sleep when my brain is being too busy.