Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Things

There's a current phenom in the current phenom of Facebook which I'll call 25 Things. It involves setting up a list in which you detail 25 thing about yourself: facts, wishes, likes, characteristics....the list is your oyster kind of thing.
I came up with mine over the course of today (haven't done much editing) and if you have a spare half hour (or longer, as was my case), give it a go. It's an interesting, and introspective, exercise.

1. I have a signature song: Like a Prayer. Dancing to it at my wedding is probably one of the top 3 highlights of my life.
2. Having my son, Blake, is also in the top 3, and marrying Matt is the other one. I guess I would have to say that these two are tied for first-place!
3. At college I spent a lot of time in the computer center called Kiewit, where I would pull all-nighters trying to write papers and drink liters of whatever my favourite caffeinated drink of choice was at the time. I turned quite a few things in late with the excuse that I “needed a bit more time because I wanted to make sure what I was turning in was of a good-enough quality to merit the professor’s reading it.” It worked on far too many occasions.
4. Whenever I hear the question about who would you meet if you could meet anyone living or dead, I used to think it would be Madonna, but now I would probably choose to meet my dad’s parents or Matt’s father.
5. I often wonder if procrastination will ever be clinically classed as a disease; if so, I have it and would love to find out that there might be treatment.
6. I love writing notes: birthday cards, thank-you notes, greeting cards, anything really that involves putting a nice pen to nice paper and then sending that out into the world to hopefully make someone’s day. I have always longed to have a stationery business like my friend Lela, but sadly I can’t seem to find the energy, enthusiasm, or gumption to make it happen.
7. I have lived in London for the past 8 years. Sometimes when I think about it, it seems bizarre that I’ve ended up here; generally it feels perfectly natural.
8. I HATE shopping for clothes. I find it to be tiring, soul-destroying, and expensive, and I therefore do it as infrequently as possible. The problem is that this reluctance to shop means I generally don’t like my wardrobe very much because I don’t have enough of the right clothes. If anyone knows if there are ways to cure this phobia, please let me know.
9. I love devising an itinerary for a trip – researching the flights and trying to get the best deals, reading reviews on Trip Advisor to pick a hotel, clicking the “Reserve” button...I’m always a bit nervous that I’ve accidentally put in the wrong dates but it’s exciting too.
10. One of the worst things I’ve ever convinced my parents to buy for me was my first car, a grey Chrysler LeBaron. It was an absolute junker of a car but it was the best-looking one we saw that we could afford. There was a point during the summer after my freshman year of college where I was convinced the brakes weren’t working as I drove to work at the Holiday Inn (banquet staff: classy!). It was pretty scary.
11. The times when I’ve been most scared are when I was on a plane going from Washington DC to Boston (sometime after 9/11) and the plane was struck by lightning over Providence, Rhode Island. I did think that something had exploded within the plane and that we were going down. It was petrifying. Leaving Matt holding Blake after B was born while I was being whisked off to the operating room was, however, the scariest time of my life. The thought had never crossed my mind that either me or the baby wouldn’t be just fine.
12. I don’t understand people who can watch just whatever is on tv. I generally only watch tv if there is a specific series on that I follow (e.g. Desperate Housewives), or most any sporting competition.
13. I find writing letters of complaint deeply satisfying. One of the best ever was the letter that Amy Feldmann and I wrote to Rolling Rock our Senior year at Dartmouth; we drank the entire case of beer before we decided it wasn’t quite right. We loaded up the empty bottles in the cardboard case, took it to Foodstop and asked for our money back, but they told us we had to would have to complain directly to Rolling Rock. We did and got a coupon for free beer.
14. I played rugby for 4 years in college. I find this hard to believe now that I’m older, since I’m terrified of getting my teeth knocked out. I had a root canal done when I was living in France. The anesthesia didn’t really work so I felt it all.
15. There are a few songs which, when they come through the speakers, really set my heart alight: "Sweet Home Alabama", "Livin' on a Prayer" and "Country Roads" are the ones I can think of at the moment.
16. I’ve held a personal boycott of McDonald’s for several years now after reading the book Fast Food Nation. When I was little, I would only eat the hamburgers absolutely plain (only burger and bun), but now I don’t even allow myself that! As Nessa on my new favourite show Gavin and Stacey says, “I won’t lie to you..” but I’ve often longed for a Big Mac and fries and have somehow stayed strong and not succumbed to the urge.
17. I know it sounds corny, but if I could somehow do something so that every single person on the earth were happy, I would do it. Pain and suffering suck and I wish nobody had to go through life with anything but happiness.
18. I tore my anterior cruciate ligament in my right knee in autumn of 1996. I had surgery and now my “bad” knee is my “good” knee!
19. As you may have realized, I have a very verbose writing style. I find it hard to make edits.
20. I don’t know from whom I got it, but I am a stickler for good grammar.
21. I harbour a wish that someday I will write a novel. Given my tendency to procrastinate and my lack of A Story, it is kind of unlikely that this dream will ever become a reality.
22. When I think about losing any members of my family, I feel a physical pain in my chest. (whenever I read about someone “loosing” something or someone, I also feel slightly sick, but for a different reason – see # 20)
23. I hope my friends and family know that I would do anything – I repeat, anything – for them.
24. Growing up I absolutely loved with all my heart the following: Duran Duran, TeenBeat magazine, University of North Carolina basketball, Kirk Cameron, Christopher Atkins (Sue Ellen’s pool boy from the show Dallas – I’ve stood on that diving board!; and companion to Brooke Shields in The Blue Lagoon), my Executioner skateboard, Transformers, Air Jordan hightops (the black and red ones), Salisbury steak tv dinners. My parents gave me a wonderful childhood.
25. In the previous 24 items I have only mentioned Matt and Blake twice each, but my world revolves around them and I love them more than I can put into words.

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