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100 things (or, The Narcissism Express)

Nearly every blog that I’ve discovered and immediately loved recently has had this feature, and, what can I say, I love to feel like I belong. I’m pretty sure that this will take me at least a week to get through, but I’m willing to suffer through it– all for the sake of my six (an optimistic number) readers!

1. When asked, I will tell you that I grew up in the SF Bay Area. This, to me, is mostly true, despite the fact that my first ten years were spent in the Central Valley. Formative years, however, including the ever-popular Surly Teenage Years, were spent in the good old Silicon Valley.

2. I can’t honestly say that I am either a Dog Person or a Cat Person, because I’m both. I am, however, not a fish, rodent, reptile, or amphibian person. I just don’t see the appeal. Dogs are cute. Cats are cute. Other animals, on a domestic level, are completely unappealing.

3. I find it hard to reconcile my disdain for much of celebrity culture and my adoration of gossip. Rarely do people like you or I grocery shop with such fanfare! I don’t know that that makes me envious or grateful to be “average.” See? Conflicted!

4. If I could be anything when I grow up (and money, skills, location, and education weren’t factors), I would be a pastry chef, a magazine editor, an architect, or an event planner. I will probably end up being a librarian (because that’s what my Master’s will be centered around…), and that’s ok with me, too.

5. When I was a child, I would make elaborate “blueprints” of my future home(s). I wish that I could find them, because I’m sure they were pretty great.

6. The second I started college, I began to get along better with my parents. Surly Teenage Years, indeed.

7. Although I didn’t give it much thought at the time, I am really glad that I went to a Division 1 university. Besides all that education business, I also finally learned to understand football (at the Rose Bowl, no less!), and to call the basketball players by their first names (something that I still manage to do, even though I don’t get to attend 2 games a week like I used to).

8. If you sit next to me while I’m watching a basketball game, you will think that I am a crazy person. You would not be wrong, as it’s probably not healthy to be as interested in college basketball as I am.

9. I only applied to colleges in California. Along with out-of-state tuition, I always figured that I’d go to grad school outside the state in which I grew up. Turns out I was wrong about that…

10. All my life, I have attended public schools, from kindergarten through when I complete my yet-to-be-started Master’s degree. However, I am conflicted about where I want my (hypothetical) children to go to school, given the state of California public education.

11. I love to paint my own fingernails. And, if I may say so, I do a fairly good job at it– I have very solid fine motor skills! However, I loathe painting my toenails. Totally worth the money to have someone else do it.

12. I have few qualms about most DIY beauty procedures. This alarms many, probably my mother most of all.

13. I adore board games, but can rarely find people willing to play with me. This may have something to do with the fact that I tend to be uber-competitive.

14. I hate to play Monopoly. I am always the one who “ruins” the game by wanting to quit after half an hour.

15. Speaking of competitive, the biggest competition in which I was ever involved was a state spelling bee. Had I not been nine years old at the time, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t have stumbled during “hypocrisy” (no self-correction allowed? What the hell.)

16. I can’t have a favorite color. I can’t make myself pick just one, not being past the age of fourteen. But, if clothing is any indication, I am partial to black…and whatever sort of blue my Jeans of the Day happen to be.

17. I played the violin for seven years, from fifth grade up until junior year of high school. Senior year and a new director got the best of me, but I can still read music like nobody’s business.

18. My senior year of high school, I participated in my school’s annual Improv Night. I must confess that I cheated at the “go to the other room offstage, then come back onstage and guess what the other people are pretending to be” game. How was I supposed to guess that she was an amorous unicorn?

19. I was raised to be a Democrat. Both of my parents are in unions, and I once made up a song (during an election year, when politics were the only thing on the tv at any given time) about how one should vote Democratic because they invented democracy. What? Dukakis was Greek. Poor guy.

20. I am envious of people that have distinct cultural heritage. My largest “fraction” is British, so I embrace that by drinking tea, being obsessed with manners, and generally acting disdainful. My husband, however, has very distinct heritages– Armenian and Italian– and I am content to glom on to those.

21. Sometimes I can’t remember what I did before DVR. And then I remember…Food and Style Networks, alllll the time. So, pretty much a less controlled version of what I watch now.

22. My brother and I speak a secret twin language that consists of terrible movie and old SNL quotes, despite the fact that we are not, in fact, twins.

23. My brother is about 6’4″, my mom is 5’10”, and my dad is 6′ tall. I, however, am (at most) 5’6″. On a Tall Day.

24. All of the kids in my family are perfectly spaced, with three years between each. I, being the eldest, generally get to be The Boss, and that’s ok with me.

25. I was in a sorority in college, something that no one, least of all me, saw coming.

26. I have numerous t-shirts to prove the above. I am, however, reluctant to wear most of them in public.

27. I haven’t had a landline phone for eight years. Whaaaat? It’s like I’m from the future!

28. I can’t bring myself to get rid of my 310 area code. It’s the thing that I’m least willing to get rid of from my college years.

29. I like puns more than I am generally willing to admit, and enjoy constructing/finding them where/whenever I can, much to the chagrin of my friends and loved ones.

30. I never used to cry in front of anyone, ever. Now, I cry at pet food commercials. What the hell, Pedigree?

31. Grammar and spelling are a big deal to me, probably inordinately so. Really, though, is it so hard not to end a sentence with “at”? Probably unfairly, I am quite willing to be dismissive of people who play fast and loose with these rules (as in, I want to punch anyone who talks about getting a “sneak peak” of something).

32. Out of all the punctuation marks, I’d have to say my favorite one is the comma. No pretense, like the semicolon, and not as abrupt as the period. Simply a graceful swoop, allowing the rambly writer to create unwieldy periodic sentences.

33. One of the reasons GP and I are together is because he was able to distinguish himself with both spelling and grammar.

34. If one were to check, at any given moment, there are at least six lip-related products in my purse. I don’t wear lipstick or anything regularly, but boy do I love to buy it!

35. If time, money, and work schedules were no object, I could easily spend nine months out of every year traveling.

36. I insist on being home for Christmas. Even though I’m not particularly religious or even traditional, the thought of waking up in a bed that isn’t mine on Christmas morning makes my skin crawl.

37. My favorite quote in the world is this: “We want to be rich, to be admired, to eat like a horse and be skinny as a snake, to have small children ask for our autographs, to be on terrific medications that make us calm and witty and sexy, to be able to give George Bush a piece of our minds, to sing Irving Berlin and Gershwin and Porter at the Oak Room and be described in the Times as “luminous,” but in the absence of all that, it’s enough to be loved.” -Garrison Keillor

38. I am good at opening champagne. I am very good at drinking champagne.

39. Words with “-aic” suffixes seem elegant to me, for some reason. Archaic, algebraic…these words seem, to me, like the linguistic equivalent of champagne flutes. I didn’t say it made sense.

40. Punctuality is a big deal for me, even though I am late sometimes/often.

41. One of my high school math teachers used to include “always/sometimes/never” sections on his tests. I like to think that there are many life situations in which I can apply these same rules– for instance, “Always have Splenda on hand,” “Sometimes restock the purse supply at Starbucks,” “Never take more than a fistful– that’s going too far.”

42. It is impossible for me to enjoy drinking cool/cold liquid from a mug. That sort of vessel/content dissonance does not sit well with me.

43. I can’t drive a stick shift.

44. I’m not sure that I want to learn how to do so.

45. I have been basically continuously employed since the age of 16. My longest stretch of unemployment was about 4 months in college, during which I strangely missed waking up at 4:30 to go to work.

46. During my senior year of college, I lived across the street from an enormous cemetery. Walking to my 5:00am shift was often more than a little creepy.

47. One of my greatest skills is appearing to be “on.” It came in handy when I worked in retail and during sorority recruitment, and when I was finally complimented on it, I was a little ashamed.

48. My first international trip was to England with my uncles when I was 12. It was then that I learned to “properly” wield a fork and knife and deal with public transportation, and I was in seventh heaven for the entire two weeks.

49. I wish that I had been able to go abroad during college. Instead, I chose not to live for a third year in my sorority house. I can’t say that I feel I made the wrong choice.

50. I am really good with names, sometimes in a way that creeps me out. Shouldn’t I be using my brain for more valuable things?

51. My first job out of college required the above skill. No joke, I had to take a test on all the names of the kids and the parents. I rocked the hell out of that thing.

52. My first job out of college helped me decide that I can never be a teacher. It also helped me decide that there are a lot of people that have kids, but really shouldn’t.

53. I will remember some of those kids and parents for the rest of my life.

54. I am most flattered when people call me “articulate.”

55. Even though it’s mostly because I use words that have no place in everyday conversation.

56. When I am a grownup, I will own a beagle named Samuel. He will be named after Coleridge, but will probably not be addicted to opium.

57. I giggle every time I read the word “pantisocracy.” I wish I had more opportunities to use it.

58. I like to cook. I love to bake.

59. GP likes most of what I bake. He loves most of what I cook.

60. I am generally nervous about swimming in the ocean, mostly because of all the creatures.

61. I love to go to aquariums. They do nothing to help me with my “swimming in the ocean” fear.

62. Living within less than an hour’s driving distance to the ocean makes me feel calm. Not because I love laying in the sun, or even because of the sound. It’s just nice to know that I’m so close to something that is so much bigger than I am.

63. It makes me nervous to even think of living in a state that does not have any ocean touching it.

64. I enjoy making awkward situations more awkward by commenting on the awkwardness. Sometimes, it’s a good strategy to defuse some of the tension. Other times, not so much.

65. Because of my Dad, I have the ability to talk to just about anyone. I am not yet old enough to be That Lady That Talks to You in the Grocery Store just yet, though.

66. My real-life superpower is that I can read really quickly. It was hell on my parents when I was a kid, before I was financially independent or could take myself to the library. Now, I am beginning to realize the value of keeping only the books I really love.

67. Among those books that I really love is The Norton Anthology of English Literature. I call it the NAEL.

68. Seriously. I will pass those volumes on to my grandchildren, marginalia and all.

69. One of my favorite poems is called Marginalia.

70. I am semi-fluent in Spanish, and can sometimes fake my way through reading or listening to French.

71. I wish that I had had the opportunity to take Latin in school.

72. I can speak both Mac and PC, but currently own a PC because I am a brokeass. Pretty costs money, you know…

73. I suffer from near-instantaneous road rage. It begins nearly the second I get behind the wheel. Wait, scratch that. It’s not so much a rage as it is a constant stream of sarcastic commentary about my fellow drivers.

74. “Oh yeah, do that. Do exactly that. Why would I want you to signal. No no, I like to be surprised by your big, idiot pickup truck turn, you moron!”

75. It’s a very attractive trait.

76. I would rather skydive than bungee jump.

77. I like to think that I have above-average map-reading skills and sense of direction.

78. I love surprises, but am too big of a self-surprise-ruiner to ever be truly surprised.

79. Congratulations if you understood the above sentence.

80. My lucky/favorite number is 22. I suppose I could have mentioned this earlier.

81. I often dream of losing one or both shoes. I’m sure that has some sort of “meaning,” but I’m satisfied thinking that it means that I value my shoes overabundantly.

82. My birthday is December 2. I was a month early. GP likes to say that it was the last time that I was ever early for anything. I like to tell him to shut it.

83. I love nearly all seasonal candy. Candy canes, Cadbury eggs, candy corn, even Peeps, which I will acknowledge are generally disgusting.

84. My most humiliating school moment was when I got a D on a paper I wrote for my History of Jazz class in college, about Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit.” I was appalled, mostly because the TA who graded it was a barely-literate banjo player. Not that I’m bitter or anything.

85. I refuse to abbreviate my speech in text or instant messages. You will read everything I have to say, in its entirety! And there will be no “ur”-ing. Maybe a “wtf,” but that’s because I’m trying to slow down on the cursing.

86. I am rarely without a hair elastic around one of my wrists.

87. I used to be scared of elevators. This might have had to do with the time that I got my hand caught in one. Not all fears are unfounded and/or irrational.

88. I feel like kind of a jackass writing things like “and/or.”

89. I feel like more of a jackass when I say things like “and/or.”

90. I cannot stand words that are intentionally misspelled. It’s not cute, friends.

91. I own three pairs of pink, high-heeled shoes. Each one kills my feet more than the last.

92. I once thought it would be a good idea to break in a pair of Frye boots on a trip to New York City. Turns out it wasn’t, and I ended up hobbling around in (fake) Uggs for the rest of my trip.

93. One of my favorite books as a kid was From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler. I loved the idea of living in a museum.

94. The first book that made me cry was Bridge to Terabithia. The book that made me cry most recently was A Thousand Splendid Suns.

95. I take inordinate pleasure in building Ikea furniture. This served me pretty well in a job, once, but it turns out that a job that entails a lot of Ikea-furniture-building is not actually my Dream Job.

96. I have never gotten a speeding ticket or a parking ticket.

97. Socks are rarely any match for the level of foot-freezing I manage to muster.

98. I become alliterative when I am tired, frustrated, or punchy from writing too much.

99. When I was in college, I went to DC with my Dad to participate in a pro-choice march. It was truly one of the most awe-inspiring things in which I’ve ever taken part, and it makes me extra-proud to say I did it with my Dad, who is probably a bigger feminist than I am. Also, because we hate babies.

100. I’m a little bummed that the list is over. I retain the right to come in here and edit the hell out of this.


One response »

  1. Pingback: Answers may vary « Tea and Cake Time

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