100 Things

1. I hate ice in my soda, love it in my milk.
2. I read multiple books at one time; I am a book whore.
3. I never liked sour cream or cream cheese until about a year ago.
4. I grew up in a ridiculously small town in the upper peninsula of Michigan.
5. My favorite color is green.
6. I’ve bought my own shampoo since I was in middle school.
7. I don’t balance my checkbook.
8. I check my email incessantly.
9. I’ve known I was gay since I was ten.
10. I’m pretty sure a large percentage of my friends think my single status is due to low self-esteem; really, it’s more that I can’t conceptualize that there is someone out there who I would want to spend the rest of my life with.
11. I have a box of cards in the bottom drawer of my desk, collected over the course of a lot of years, in hopes I am proven wrong.
12. I like driving; I like driving at night even more.
13. I know an incredible amount of totally useless information, save for when playing Trivial Pursuit.
14. I’ve been in one form of school or another for twenty-one years.
15. Friends have described my iPod as “a mixture one would expect on a Rolling Stones critic on heavy doses of acid.”
16. I have wide feet. It makes shoe shopping slightly less wonderful than it should be.
17. I secretly judge people who display public signs with misspellings, feeling slightly superior in my spelling skills.
18. I was knocked out of the sixth grade spelling bee for spelling “”epiphany” in the plural. I spelled it correctly but, despite my grandmother yelling at the judges for five straight minutes, was still knocked out.
19. My eyes are border line; I don’t have to wear glasses but choose to. They offset my baldness.
20. The summer after I graduated from MSU, I lost fifty pounds. I blame the weight loss for the lack of hair on my head.
21. I can never figure out how to activate yeast, despite owning a thermometer and having spent several sessions in the kitchen making bread.
22. I am a chapstick snob; only Burt’s Bees for me, thank you.
23. I just learned to knit. Like two months ago.
24. I am also a computer snob; I tend to snub anything that is not an Apple, although will admit to having used a Toshiba while working at MSU.
25. I own three iPods: a Shuffle, an iPod regular, and an iPhone. Pathetic, I know, but each one serves a specific purpose.
26. I organize my books by topic but am toying with the idea of organizing them by spine color.
27. I worked in a flower shop in high school, allowing me to avoid the insanity of working in fast food.
28. I know both the common names and scientific nomenclature for the top 100 types of flowers sold in flower shops. At least those that were tops in 1999.
29. I have a strange fascination with Niagara Falls but have only been there once.
30. My friends tend to be older or younger than I am; why, I am unsure.
31. I have a marked distaste for overhead lighting, preferring lamps and other various forms of task lighting.
32. One night when I was three, while my parents played cards with my grandparents, I ran around sipping out of the adults’ beers. I ended the evening by crashing into my grandparents’ china cabinet and was slightly hung over the next day.
33. I am the first person in my family to buy a new car.
34. I am the first person in my family to graduate from a four-year university and attend graduate school.
35. I learned percentages by helping my mom calculate sale prices when she was shopping sales racks.
36. I am slightly obsessed with the Arts and Crafts era of American design and would love to own a bungalow someday.
37. I threw pottery for a while but haven’t found my way back to it yet.
38. I am a horrible packrat, especially when it comes to books, postcards, yarn, and writing utensils.
39. I can’t help but visit the stationary section of any store I’m in. If it’s an entire store devoted to stationary, I’m ecstatic.
40. When I visited Islands of Adventure, I brought back a set of Dr. Seuss glasses. I stowed them in my luggage and managed to get back to Michigan without a single one broken.
41. Soy milk and I do not get along. I want to like it, but I don’t.
42. I am a night person; however I became a teacher is beyond me.
43. The Wicked Witch of the West used to terrify me. I would hide behind the freezer until she was off screen again.
44. I used to kick my entire family out of the house on Thursday nights to clean. My mom would be at bowing league, my sister at her friend Kaurie’s, and my father would be working. I would manage to get the laundry done, clean all the living spaces, and get ready for the coming week in that time.
45. The summer after my grandmother died, I turned into something of a cleaning freak. I think it was a way of coping.
46. Sometimes I worry that my parents’ crappy handling of their divorce overloaded my emotional circuit breakers and I just haven’t figured out how to turn it back on.
47. Sometimes I worry that rather than evolving, I am devolving. This is, perhaps, the worry that keeps me awake at night the most.
48. I have a soft spot for GAP commercials, particularly from the Swing to SJP era.
49. My first car was a 1984 Chevrolet Cavalier. I bought it from my friend Sam when she went to college for $100. It died when I failed to realize that oil needed to be changed.
50. I have, since then, learned to change oil. I tend to pay others to do this for me, but could do it in a pinch.
51. I tend to be the last person to catch onto a trend or anything even remotely hip. Cargo pants, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Snood. I found all these things as they were on their way out.
52. I’m working on learning Italian. Not getting very far, but I’m working at it.
53. I thought I would be an architect growing up. I’m still trying to figure out what went on there.
54. I truly enjoy teaching.
55. I tend to favor photographs over paintings.
56. I remember faking sick to stay home from school the day before Thanksgiving break so that I could get the house ready for the holiday. It was the first year my mom was working full time and wasn’t balancing very well at all.
57. My mom, ultimately thought I was selfish. I moved away, I held certain standards, and I didn’t pull any punches. She told me so herself.
58. My mom and I had an insanely complex relationship. Even now I have trouble dissecting it for what it is.
59. I have close to no relationship with my father. After he and my mom divorced and he began dating a long line of really bad choices, he just kind of faded away. Sometimes I wish we were closer, but most of the time I am okay with the distance.
60. I still think Sarah McLachlan’s Fumbling Towards Ecstacy is one of the most amazing recordings ever made.
61. I’ve only become a coffee person since coming to graduate school; lots of sugar, lots of milk. I’m unsure if that even counts as coffee anymore.
62. I was in the Who’s Who Among American High School Students all four years. I still think it’s a crock but was sure to list it on my college applications.
63. I also went to the Hugh O’Brien Youth Leadership Conference. I was such a different person back then.
64. I’m told I’m one of those people who looks better as I age; after looking at my high school yearbook, I can only hope so.
65. I live and die by my datebook.
66. I have no desire to go to my ten-year reunion next year, but may just to see what everyone else has been up to.
67. I am very uncomfortable talking about myself. This list has been harder to write than I thought it would be.
68. Despite that, I tend to interview very well.
69. I was an RA for three years in undergrad and worked as an assistant hall manager to afford student teaching.
70. I went through a period where I was addicted to static clings, the kind you put on windows during the holdays. Except mine were quotidian: Winnie the Pooh, Toy Story, and Warner Brothers cartoons.
71. I have two stamps in my passport: one from Munich and the other from Frankfort. In my passport photo, I am much heavier and have much more hair.
72. I would rather be cold than warm – you an always put on more but there is a limit to how much you can take off.
73. When I read The Great Gatsby, Paul Rudd was Nicholas Carroway in my head. I was thrilled when A&E cast him in their own adaption. Nicholas Carroway is my literary crush.
74. I’ve been collecting Fiestaware since I was in college at Michigan State. My first pieces were two juniper-colored place settings and my latest piece is a vintage turquoise gravy boat. All in all, I now have over one hundred pieces and no idea what particular set of colors I am going for anymore.
75. I played trumpet in my school’s band but never once played at a concert. I had a sore throat during on and faked a sore throat during another. I really disliked our band director and slowly built a case for my quitting band to present to my parents. I won out in eighth grade and still have the trumpet.
76. I wish I knew how to play the trumpet better. (Ironic, no?)
77. When I was eight, I bought a turquoise typewriter during my hometown’s city-wide garage sale and proceeded to spend the summer typing out a 100-page story called The Newspaper Murders. It was horribly written, but I was so proud of each page. I still have the manuscript in a box in Craig’s basement. My mother was so happy when my ink ribbon ran out. Surprisingly, she never was able to find a replacement.
78. I keep a running balance of my checkbook in my head but rarely sit down and balance it out. I’ve only been off by more than two dollars twice.
79. My mother always ordered boring blue check personal checks. I’ve never had blue check personal checks. I have had tye-dyed, DC Comics superheroes, Marvel superheroes, Spongebob Squarepants, frogs, Muppets, and Wizard of Oz checks.
80. I am deathly afraid of snakes. My head knows that they are more scared of me than I am of them, but my mouth doesn’t know not to scream like a tornado warning siren upon sight of them. My grandmother shares my phobia.
81. I carry a tape measure with me when I visit antique shops as well as a list of possible furniture pieces that I want along with their ideal dimensions.
82. I was once in the front row at an Ani DiFranco concert and it was terrifying. Her fans are devoted. Insanely, obsessively devoted.
83. I used to only like large dogs until my aunt and uncle got a Boston Terrier and now think they are the most adorable dogs in the world.
84. When I was little, I used to save up my allowance to buy the plants that were on clearance at the grocery store, convinced that I could save them from being thrown away.
85. I once spent an entire winter reading The Chronicles of Narnia. My grandmother gave us $50 every Christmas and I blew the entire amount on the boxed set. It was a good winter.
86. My sister and I, growing up in the Upper Peninsula, used to have a snow dance we would do in out front yard on the nights we wanted a snow day in the morning. It wasn’t successful all that often but we continued to do it anyway.
87. I’ve been an Atheist since I was in sixth grade. Religion just stopped making sense anymore and it hasn’t since.
88. My mother took it as a personal affront that I was an Atheist, thinking it was something I was doing just to annoy her.
89. I loved 5th grade. It was, by far, my favorite year of school ever. Mrs. Witter was a witty, creative teacher who let me have lots of free range with my learning.
90. My handwriting looks strangely like my mom’s. After sixth grade, I don’t think she ever signed a permission slip.
91. I prefer hardwood floors over carpet.
92. I’ve never understood the idea of a best friend. There are friends who come into your life and stay a long time, there are some who stay only for mere moments. What makes any one friend better than the other? Doesn’t each function differently within this time frame and context?
93. I hate talking on the phone.
94. My favorite board game is Scrabble, followed closely by The Game of Life. So entertaining and fun!
95. I have a hard time being a literary monogamist. I tend to have a different book in each room, reading several at a time.
96. The older I get, the more I appreciate the handmade, the well-designed, and the downright clever. The older I get, the more I realize the majority of stuff marketed to people is neither handmade, well-designed, or downright clever. It’s cut down on my consumption greatly.
97. In elementary school, I had solos in three holiday concerts. I was terrified but my family was too excited to let on that I was.
98. There was nothing better when I was a kid than walking into my house in the winter and being greeted with the scent of my mother’s marinara sauce. It was deep and pungent smell and seemed so perfect.
99. One summer I read 209 books for the library’s summer reading program and took second place overall. The girl who won over me had read 210 books. I demanded a recount.
100. My favorite ice cream is chocolate chip cookie dough, preferably from Ben and Jerry’s but a store brand will do in a pinch.

(7/21/08)

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