Tuesday, January 8, 2008

One hundred long winded things.

Taking a cue from other blogs, I thought I would see if I could come up with 100 factoids about myself to help you while away part of your work day.

1. I am very happily married to a man I met on Yahoo Personals. Not even Match, mind you, but Yahoo.

2. We were engaged after having known each other 2 months, married after 6, and had a baby after being married only for a year. Commitmentphobes have to move this quickly or it will never happen.

3. I am 38 years old and sometimes feel like I am starting to look it. Other times I look in the mirror and I think I still look like a teenager. Then I blink.

4. I am an in-house lawyer for a large company. It’s like working in heaven compared to working in private practice, which I did for 6 years before this.

5. I’ve lived a combined total of 7 years in Europe, comprised of 2 years in Paris in junior high, my college junior year abroad in Rome and Paris, 2 years in London after college and 2 years in London with a U.S. law firm. I hope I can provide that kind of opportunity for my own child.

6. My parents divorced when I was 3, which only seems right to me. I can’t even slightly imagine them together, as my mom is an international lawyer who has traveled all over the world and exposed me to that kind of lifestyle, and my father is a total homebody who lives happily in Florida with his wife and dogs and only went to Italy last year because it was a church-sponsored trip.

7. I have a large and quite nice collection of green early 20th century kitchen glass, consisting mostly of Depression glass but also including a fair amount of Fire-King (Jadite) and some California pottery.

8. I am originally from Georgia and even though I haven’t lived there since I was 10 years old, I still think of myself as a Southerner. Without the cultural baggage.

9. I think my meatloaf is better than any other meatloaf I have ever tasted.

10. Even though my husband is ridiculously good-looking, what I love the very most about him is how smart he is. He knows something about anything I would ever want to talk about, and not in an annoying way.

11. When I lived in Paris as a kid, my mother and I would make frequent weekend trips to W.H. Smith, the English bookstore, where I was allowed to buy whatever books I wanted. Then we’d have tea in the tearoom upstairs and each look through our books.

12. I own two electric guitars and haven’t touched them since I got pregnant. Before that, I was really bad but I also really loved playing.

13. I used to write music reviews for an online music magazine. That too, has fallen by the wayside since getting pregnant. Apparently to grow life inside you requires killing off parts of yourself.

14. I started smoking when I was 13 and only quit for good a year and a half ago when my husband was hospitalized with blood clots in his lungs. We both quit that day.

15. I had really, really loved smoking even though I knew how bad it was for me. Also, I gained 15 pounds when I quit, which seems really unfair to me.

16. Tucker Carlson was in my class in college and my boyfriend was his fraternity brother. That fraternity was packed to the gills with the rich taste of right wing entitlement.

17. The last time I lived in London, after breaking up with my then-boyfriend I spent the last few months alone in the big house we had lived in together. Some weekends I didn’t open my mouth to speak to anyone except my cat, Thomas. London can be like that.

18. I can see the Rocky Mountains from my office.

19. Some people would rather be hot than cold, or vice versa, but I can’t bear either.

20. I originally came to Denver on a 6-month secondment from my office in London, loved it and never left.

21. I say that if I could be anything I wanted I would be a writer, and then I never do what it takes to be one. I am my own worst enemy.

22. Historically, I have criticized myself mercilessly. I would never be as cruel to another person as I have been to myself. I am trying very hard to break that pattern now, at a time when I might as well accept that nobody is young, thin and lovely forever, and it is getting easier all the time.

23. I love all the places I have lived, and visit them regularly in my mind.

24. My current favorite TV show, or at least it was before the writers’ strike, is Brothers & Sisters.

25. As a teenager, I had mild Goth tendencies. I dressed pretty normally during the day, but when I went with my friends to underage, underground clubs at night, I tarted myself up like Robert Smith from the Cure with teased hair, white face makeup, the works. That was the music I listened to, as well, from New Order to Siouxsie and the Banshees.

26. My hair was every shade of red in high school from orange to eggplant, but my mother never permitted me to have the white or black hair I wanted, and for some reason I listened to her.

27. All the really great, classic books I have read on my own time, I read in high school lying on my twin bed. I could easily while away an entire Saturday with Ayn Rand. I think law school beat my desire to spend that kind of time reading out of me.

28. Until I was in college, I kept a jar of M&Ms or some other chocolate candy next to my bed and would grab a handful as soon as I woke up in the morning. Now, if there is anything sweet out on the kitchen counter, I will shove it mindlessly in my mouth before contemplating breakfast.

29. I have too many friends that I don’t talk to anymore because of some perceived slight that nobody wants to get over.

30. I will only go to early movies because I prefer to go out to eat afterwards instead of before. If I eat before, I feel rushed about getting to the movie on time, which is not relaxing. To me, dinner out is about relaxed conversation and, of course, wine.

31. I’ve wanted to be a TV news anchor since I was about 14. I’ve watched the local news religiously for as long as I can remember.

32. I’m too shy to be a TV news anchor. In college I interned at the local CBS station and would ride around with the reporters. One night, the reporter I was with offered to let me make my own version of the story he was reporting and we could go over it together back at the station. I was too much of a chicken and I can still remember how painfully frustrated I felt that the crushing weight of my shyness had won the battle against my desire to try something new.

33. I like to do my clothes shopping at the high street stores in London but I fear that right now (a) the dollar is too weak to make it worth it, and (b) I’m too big to fit into any of their tiny little fashions. London girls only eat chardonnay.

34. My first drink on my 21st birthday, which occurred during my semester in Paris, was a Malibu rum and pineapple juice.

35. When I spent my semester in Rome, I didn’t like wine yet and would only drink Nastro Azzurro beer. We would sit out on “Nun Beach,” which is what we called the terrace of the convent where my college program was housed, and everyone else would drink Chianti and smoke cigarettes while I quaffed the Italian equivalent of Pabst Blue Ribbon and smoked cigarettes.

36. Much to my husband’s chagrin, the summer before I met him I had a crush on a singer/songwriter who is also one of the members of the Raconteurs. After a show he played in Denver, he and a bandmate came over to my house with a friend of mine and we all sat in my back yard and talked until the wee hours of the morning.

37. I adopted my cat, Thomas, from the Battersea Dog’s Home in London. When I went into the small room where they kept the cats, another girl was playing with him. I couldn’t see his face, but I could see a paw poking out of a cage and batting at whatever the girl was holding out for him. As soon as she stood up to look at the other cats, presumably to reassure herself she had made the right choice with Thomas, I moved in. I crouched down by his cage, interacted with him for a few seconds, and knew he was the one. I asked the attendant when I could take him home, and she said right then. We left together, he in a cardboard box and meowing for dear life as we took the train back to my neck of Battersea.

38. Once when I was a young lawyer in Washington, a guy chatting me up at a bar asked me what I did for a living. I asked him to guess. He told me that was easy; I was a teacher. I asked him how he knew that, and he said because I had that “hungry” look about me. Of course, he was a lawyer himself.

39. I am a pretty pedestrian cook, even though I enjoy it. I envy people who can throw together simple, delicious meals and make it look easy.

40. We eat more frozen food in our house than we should.

41. I’m fine with having my baby in school until about 3 pm, when I start to feel frantic about wanting to pick him up.

42. I’ve only voted for one Republican in my life, and it was for Lowell Weicker as a senator for Connecticut. He was more liberal than the Democratic nominee at the time. Now, I could never bring myself to vote for a Republican even if I liked him or her, because I can’t support the agenda of the party as a whole. Sad, but that’s how it goes for me.

43. My first job in high school was at a bakery across the street from my school. On weekends, I would get in at 6:30 to bake the croissants. Sometimes on weekdays my boss would ask me to come in at lunch to help make sandwiches for the lunchtime rush. I would find excuses whenever I could because I hated the idea of my classmates ordering sandwiches from me.

44. I used to love raw oysters but have gotten food poisoning from them so many times that now I get queasy thinking about them. I developed a love for smoked oysters in high school that I maintain until today.

45. I was a master snacker in high school, easily polishing off a big bag of Ruffles with onion or clam dip in front of the TV. When I lived in Paris, where something like onion dip would be against the law, I made my own dip out of mayonnaise, mustard and paprika.

46. It bothers me that I am talking about high school so much on this list – shouldn’t I be able to think of 100 current things about myself?

47. I started a blog over two years ago as an outlet for my snarkier alter ego. With my new blog, I’m trying to keep it as something I wouldn’t be embarrassed for anyone to know about me.

48. My first and best stuffed animals were Ted Bear and Bun Rab.

49. I love that my son is starting to hold his stuffed animals, even if the ears and tails quickly end up in his toothless little mouth.

50. I never knew that all the revolting baby fluids I so dreaded would be such not a big deal. Sure, they’re warm and they smell bad, but whatever.

51. Wow, am I only halfway? There are not 100 things about me at all.

52. My favorite social activity is to go out to dinner. I love, love, love nice restaurants.

53. Whenever I visit my mom, we always drive up to San Francisco one night to try some great new restaurant. I wonder what will happen with that now that I have a baby.

54. I am a white-knuckled flyer, and only get through it with booze.

55. I am worried about how I am going to fly with the baby when I can’t get drunk.

56. I don’t ever want to fly with my child because I know that karma is a bitch and so he is destined to be the most rotten child ever.

57. My husband and I are going by ourselves to Paris and London in May and even while I am looking forward to it I am also dreading being away from my baby for so long.

58. My husband is the most complicated, fascinating person I know.

59. I have a thing for Hello Kitty and have some of her helpful office supplies in my office.

60. I really, really like my family; at least on my mother’s side. My father’s siblings, though nice, have always seemed a little harsh to me.

61. My mother and her sister are best friends, so I grew up with the best of both worlds: an only child with cousins almost as close as siblings but not so close that they were always trying to take my stuff.

62. I have no desire whatsoever to travel to Tibet or Nepal.

63. I can’t remember when I started to distrust organized religion, it has been so long.

64. I love politics, but I’m a fairly rabid partisan. I’m not proud of that, by the way.

65. I do not like to debate issues because during college and law school, my formative years of critical thinking, I was always surrounded by people who thought they were smarter than everyone else and would take any opportunity to debate to try to squash other opinions like a bug. I got tired of it and now I clam up when in the presence of people who try to antagonize me into defending my opinions.

66. I drive an Audi wagon that is perfect for Colorado driving.

67. I want to lose the last 15 pounds of my pregnancy weight. It seems to have settled in the strangest places, none of which are my boobs.

68. Gym locker rooms gross me out, mostly because it seems that a lot of women are exhibitionists. Maybe you do dry your hair at home dressed only in your thong underwear, but I don’t want to see you standing there with your bare boobs, flipping your hair around. And I REALLY don’t want you to walk that close to me when you are naked.

69. I have an addiction to celebrity gossip.

70. My favorite color is green.

71. Most nights I fall asleep while reading or watching the news and my husband has to take off my glasses.

72. My tipple of choice is chardonnay, passé though it may be. My current favorite is Sanford.

73. I drank a glass of wine two or three nights a week after the first trimester of my pregnancy.

74. Nothing pleases me more than to make people laugh, which is weird because I don’t think that in general I am a particularly funny person. In work meetings, I keep making jokes until I think I’ve gone too far and then I won’t open my mouth again for the rest of the meeting, even to talk about work stuff.

75. At an office surprise party to celebrate my engagement, when I was put on the spot to say a few words, I told a story about how when I told one of my colleagues I was getting married he had expressed surprise because he thought I would never settle down because I enjoyed playing the field. Before I could stop myself, I said, “Basically, he thought I was a slut.” That colleague is now my boss, so we’ll see how reviews go this year.

76. I have rosacea, and sometimes I blush uncontrollably.

77. I am a diehard feminist.

78. When I would ask who I looked more like, my mother or my father, my grandma always told me I was a lovely combination of both.

79. Sometimes when my mom and I talk to each other we refer to each other as “Charlene” and “Mama” from the Greater Tuna plays, complete with cornpone accents.

80. I hate when I am walking down the street and some man says, “Smile! It can’t be that bad!” How the hell do they know whether or not it is that bad? The one time I decided to take some schmuck’s advice and actually lift my chin and smile as I walked, I tripped on the curb and fell onto the sidewalk.

81. I’m scared that my son won’t love me.

82. I wonder sometimes if all the surprises of my life’s path are through; if I will have the same job and live in the same town for the rest of my life, never experiencing much that’s new except on annual vacations.

83. My family has spent our summer vacations in Hilton Head since I was a kid.

84. I got married in a town square in Savannah.

85. When I dream of dying, it’s most often in a plane crash, but sometimes in a nuclear explosion.

86. I have had panic attacks since I was 19. I have them largely under control but sometimes they still manage to make it through my mental barriers. They’re scary.

87. I spend too much money.

88. I think I have good taste in interior decoration, but most people probably think that about themselves.

89. It surprises me how much I love visiting my son at school and seeing all the babies in his class. I go most days at lunch, and it’s always the highlight of my day to greet them all by name and have them smile back at me. I never knew I would be such a sucker for babies when before Eeyore was born I thought babies were gross. Now I could almost quit my job and hang out with babies all day.

90. One of the things I miss most about my life before having a baby (besides sleep) is settling into my couch on Saturday mornings with a cup of coffee and a stack of cookbooks. I like reading them even when I have no plan to make anything out of them. I own a lot of cookbooks.

91. I also own an inordinate number of diet books. You name it, it’s probably sitting on the bookshelf in my basement. From The Martini Diet to the Fat Fallacy to Volumetrics, they’re all there. I’ve never followed one of them.

92. One of the reasons my husband knows so much is he reads the New Yorker religiously, which is something about him that I find very attractive. When he recently tore out an article for me that he thought I might enjoy, I got halfway through it before tossing it in the trash. If all the writing is like that, I don’t know how he makes it from cover to cover every week. I will continue to admire his intellect from afar.

93. One of my favorite things to do in other countries is go to grocery stores, and I always stock up on items I can’t get back home. I’d give a lot for Marks and Spencer to open a branch here.

94. I hope I live in London again before I die.

95. I have to sing Jimi Hendrix’s “Waterfall” in my head to be able to pee in public bathrooms.

96. I only bite into a Tootsie Roll pop after most of the tootsie roll center is exposed.

97. I’ve never had a dog, and in fact I’ve been scared of them ever since a dachshund named Pup bit a chunk out of my leg when I was a kid. My husband wants to get a dog for our son when he gets a little older, and I’m not happy about it.

98. I never pictured that at age 38, married with a child, I’d still be living in a 2 bedroom house nowhere near as nice as the houses in which I lived growing up. I don’t understand what’s happened when a lawyer and an architect can’t afford to live in a big, old house in the nicest part of town. Who the hell IS living there?

99. While I write this my husband is down in his office working on a house he’s designing for a client, one of my cats is curled up on the couch next to me while the other is sleeping on my bed, and I keep hitting the button on my baby monitor to watch my beautiful baby asleep in the next room. I can see his bald spot.

100. I’ve been dealt a pretty fabulous hand in this life.


Mel said...

what a fun list; better than those verbose articles from the nyer.

and i always do the foreign country grocery store thing too. i'd love a m & s here, but would simply settle for someone importing berocca.

Anonymous said...

I feel the same way about the whole "smile, it's not that bad" thing. I always think not nice thoughts back and keep on going.

Anonymous said...

oh my goodness, this was fantastic!
You are good as ever, by the way - your blog rocks!

Arethusa said...

This is a great post!. I'm glad you're back. I lurked at your other blog. I shall lurk no more!

Sherry said...

Brilliant. I'm stealing it.