Saturday, May 10, 2008

100 Things Redux

It has been a year since I started this particular blog. I was looking at my 100 Things About Me list the other day and I realized that already in just a year a lot has changed, so I thought I'd revisit my list and update it. I've left the things that are still true and made changes where appropriate (either clarifying or just changing the item entirely). So here we go, 100 Things About Me: 2008 Edition:

1. Both my first and last name are very common, but my middle name is fairly unique so I sometimes use my full name to distinguish myself in personal situations.

2. Although I use my full name for a practical reason, I worry that this makes me seem pretentious. I worry a lot about seeming pretentious, even though I know this is a mostly irrational worry.

3. I have a rule for myself that I need to work out twenty days a month.

4. I have accomplished this goal every month since January of 2004, except for February and March of 2005, when I had a sprained ankle from falling down a stairwell in a parking garage.

5. Making rules about working out is good for me because I love food and don't think I could diet if I tried.

6. Luckily, I would rather eat hummus than Cheetos anyway.

7. Speaking of food, I watch far too much Food Network.

8. I also watch far too much HGTV. And a lot of Bravo and TLC, too.

9. My college roommate is now an interior designer. She taught me that the biggest decorating mistake people make is pushing all of their furniture up against the walls.

10. When I moved to University Land I finally got back into the habit of sleeping all night in my bed like a normal person.

11. I'm currently in a relationship with a guy I call Penn.

12. I have no idea how long this relationship is going to last (at this point, he has been my boyfriend for all of a week), but either way its the first committed relationship I have been in since, oh, 2003.

13. I used to be a big fan of open relationships. I still think there is a time and a place for them and that they're a smart option when you're young, but now I sort of feel like I've been there, done that.

14. I really hate the term "boyfriend." It makes me feel like I'm fifteen. But "significant other" sounds pretentious, "partner" is misleading (it generally seems to imply a homosexual relationship nowadays, no?), and "lover" just sounds ridiculous, plus it doesn't give any sense of commitment.

15. I really did stop dating a guy because the tobacco stain on his bottom tooth annoyed the hell out of me.

16. Tobacco Guy was the shortest relationship I have ever had. It lasted about three weeks.

17. I did have a quasi-one night stand once, but I don't count that as a relationship.

18. The longest relationship I have ever had lasted three years.

19. Up until very recently, I was still talking to Phil, my ex from that relationship, on an almost-daily basis. I made a very valiant effort to stay friendly with him through a lot of really confusing and tumultuous times for both of us. But it would appear that ultimately he is unable to maintain a friendship with me when I have a boyfriend. While I have to admit that I saw this coming, I thought if I tried hard enough we could establish a strong enough friendship that it could overcome any jealousy. But his jealousy is pretty intense, apparently, which makes me sad (more sad for him than for me, frankly). I suppose I'll always worry about him a bit. But I hope one day that he's happy, too, and that he'll come around again and we'll be able to just be friends.

2o. One of the main reasons that I couldn't be with Phil is that I saw marriage and kids in my future and he didn't.

21. Even if I don't ever get married, I plan to have a child somehow. I can't remember a time when I didn't want to be a mother, and being someone's mother is a goal that is very important to me.

23. Yes, I question the sanity of wanting to bring a child into this world. At the rate we're going, I don't think any of us will be here much longer, honestly.

24. I am a feminist.

25. I'm a spiritual person who has yet to find a belief system that works for me. Yes, it's frustrating.

26. My only real hobby is reading.

27. I am certified to teach high school, but I don't know that I ever actually will.

28. I never changed my major in college.

29. I decided I wanted to go on for my Ph.D. my sophomore year of college. I no longer remember how or why I made this decision, but now I'm on that road and not planning to exit any time soon.

30. Since I started college, I have never taken a break. I went straight from college into an MA program and then into a PhD program. Most people seem to think that's a crazy choice, but I don't understand why I should take time off if I already know what I want to do.

31. I think those must be my father's genes talking, since he got into the restaurant business when he was 20, managed his own place by the time he was 22 or 23, and owned his own restaurant before he was 30.

32. I have my father's drive but my mother's tendency to worry a lot and stress out when things aren't going according to plan. It makes for an interesting combination of wanting to take the big risks but being terrified to take them.

33. Of my three siblings, I'm the most likely to burst into tears.

34. Oddly, most people outside of my family don't consider me to be a very emotional person.

35. I had a friend ask me recently, "Is your dog more like your friend or like your baby?" and I thought that was a really interesting question. The answer: like my baby.

36. My cat, on the other hand, is more like my buddy than my baby. That's probably because my cat is extremely cool. Really, he is. I can't even tell you how many times people have said, "Wow, I've never met a cat like that before." He has a very sweet, chilled out, unique personality.

37. I've spent the past two years living alone with just the dog and the cat. I LOVE living alone.

38. When I'm living with other people, it's extremely important that I have a space somewhere that is mine and mine alone. Even when I'm sharing hotel rooms for short periods of time it's important to me to have my own space where I can organize my things, even if my "space" is just the side of my bed.

39. I am a neat freak, definitely a "place for everything and everything in its place" person.

40. I take really good notes. Really. In my MA program, everyone would make copies of my notebooks before tests to make sure they had all the information that I did.

41. Nobody here teases me for the words I use in conversations. They do, however, tease me for my propensity to wear heels in situations where everyone else is wearing sneakers.

42. I overuse the words "ridiculous", "literally", and the phrase "in theory."

43. But at least I use the word "literally" correctly. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people say "literally" when they're not talking about something that has LITERALLY happened, i.e. "I literally died laughing." Uh, no. You didn't.

44. My favorite city that I have visited so far is London. Paris, on the other hand, was a huge disappointment. I'm willing to give it a second chance one of these days, though.

45. I have been to England, Ireland, Northern Ireland, The Netherlands, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, Italy, and Mexico. I don't consider that to be nearly enough countries.

46. I love traveling. One of my goals in life is to visit every state in the U.S. and set foot on every continent, including Antarctica. And the more countries I can visit, the better.

47. I did finally pass the halfway mark on my goal of visiting every state in the U.S. and then some. I have now visited 29 states.

48. I have to force myself to take a shower most of the time because I find showering to be a horribly boring waste of 10-15 minutes of my life every day. I have to entice myself by always having what most people would consider an insane variety of shower gel.

49. I don't eat nearly as much frozen food as I used to. I actually cook meals using pots, skillets, and things other than the microwave several times a week now. True, this is more because I have to be more cautious with my grocery budget now and TV dinners are expensive than because of any conscious choice to stop eating so much frozen food, but still, go me!

50. I am very good at making change, but most math beyond that is completely baffling to me. (So hey, now you know what I don't study.)

51. My favorite parttime job was when I worked as a valet and bartender at a performance hall. I made very good money for doing an extremely easy job, and I got to drive some fun cars that I will never, ever be able to afford.

52. In general, though, I hate driving and like living in an area of the country that has somewhat reliable public transportation. Unfortunately, I'm still driving way more than I would like to be.

53. I love thunderstorms, provided I'm in the comfort of my own home and the power doesn't go out.

54. I have recurring nightmares about tornadoes, giving birth to a baby by myself, plane crashes and driving my car off an unfinished highway overpass.

55. I still take off my shoes and jewelry first thing when I get home. I don't generally take my pants off anymore because a) I lost a few pounds and my jeans are comfortable enough to lounge around in now and b) it's generally much chillier here than it was where I was living before.

56. I sleep slightly more normal hours now: bedtime is generally sometime between 12 and 2 (unless I'm out) and unless I have to be up early for work, I get up in the mornings between 9 and 11.

57. I wouldn't say I seek out wild and adventurous experiences, but when opportunities find me I don't generally turn them down. I will try any food, love going places I've never been, etc.

58. The only thing I can't imagine myself ever doing is sky diving. With that said, I almost feel like I need to make myself do it at some point just because I'm so incredibly scared of it.

59. My favorite colors to wear are brown, green, and purple. I can't wear yellow at all, it washes me out.

60. My grandfather is a gynecologist and gives me the free birth control pills he gets from drug reps at the hospital. I still have enough pills to last me until I'm about 32 which, hey, is maybe about the time I'll want to start having babies anyway!

61. My mom's parents are both still living, and I love them very much and am very close to them. They live in my hometown.

62. My dad's parents have both passed away. I was never as close to them. My grandfather had his moments when I could tell he really loved us, but he could be a very abrasive person. And my grandmother had Parkinson's disease, so by the time I was old enough to want to have conversations with her, she wasn't able to really talk to me. That makes me sad.

63. I feel equally close to both of my parents but for different reasons. I feel very lucky to have such a great relationship with them.

64. My sister is two years younger than me, and my brother is two years younger than her. They have more in common with each other than I do with either of them, but I have a good relationship with both of them, too. We generally have a lot of fun together.

65. I am addicted to text messaging. I send and receive between 10-20 messages a day. I'm really fast at texting, too.

66. I listen to NPR whenever I'm in my car. I find it more relaxing to listen to voices than music when I'm driving, even if the voices are talking about bombings in Iraq.

67. I am addicted to the internet and reading blogs (which is why I keep my own), and I don't even want to know how many hours of my life I have spent on the internet, because I know the general waste of time would just depress me.

68. My favorite indulgences are professional massages and meals at restaurants that are normally out of my budget.

69. I like clothes shopping but never do it unless I am on vacation or need something particular. I think this trait probably saves me a lot of money.

70. I'm not a big impulse buyer in general. I go grocery shopping with a detailed list, I generally think about products for several days before I actually go out to buy them, and if I'm tempted to make an impulse purchase I usually leave the store and then come back later if I still really want the item.

71. I generally feel good about my body and don't spend much time worrying about my weight/looks. I think we should all be concerned about whether or not we're healthy, but not whether or not we're thin. In all fairness, though, I guess I need to admit that I am pretty thin and always have been, mostly thanks to good genes and not anything virtuous that I do. I sometimes wonder whether or not I'd still have this healthy of a body image if I had a different body. I'd like to think I would, but who knows?

72. I really do believe health is more important than looks, though, and on that note, I think I would be more healthy if I boosted my cardio endurance and wore sunscreen more often. (I'm doing pretty good on the sunscreen thing, actually)

73. I have been in love once.

74. My favorite TV shows are Flight of the Conchords, The Sopranos, Big Love, Lost, and Grey's Anatomy (although I feel like Grey's has been going downhill lately, unfortunately). My favorite TV show ever was Sex and the City. I have all of the DVDs and have watched the entire series probably five times.

75. For the record, I identify most strongly with Miranda.

76. I don't think I'm a very romantic person, at least not in the traditional sense. If a guy ever tried to propose to me by taking me to an expensive restaurant and putting my ring in a glass of champagne, I would say no. Anything that seems like a cliche is a huge turn off to me. But I have recently made the surprising discovery that it is possible to do romantic things while still making them feel sincere. I'm not sure how this is possible, but it's one of my favorite things about Penn.

77. I don't like to have the overhead lights on in my apartment, so I have a lot of lamps.

78. I can't sleep soundly unless I am completely covered with a blanket, from ears to toes.

79. I have a freckled face and look younger than I actually am.

80. I have mostly Swiss, German, and Dutch ancestry.

81. I would rather wear silver than gold.

82. I am more of a saver than a spender and feel uneasy unless I have a certain amount of "just in case" money in the bank.

83. I watch Waiting for Guffman at least once very six months. It never stops being funny.

84. I'm allergic to cats and dogs but have built up an immunity to my own. I rarely get allergic in my own apartment unless I go too long without vaccuuming, but if I go anywhere else with animals I have allergy attacks.

85. My favorite types of food are Mexican, Italian, and Greek. But it has to be REAL Mexican food.

86. I am an animal lover, and if I hadn't chosen my current career path I wouldn't mind doing something animal-related. I used to think I wanted to be a marine biologist and work at Sea World, for example.

87. Once I got to swim with dolphins in Florida, and it was one of the most purely happy moments of my life.

88. I also wouldn't mind having a travel-related job. I still think if this Ph.D. thing doesn't work out I may apply for jobs as a tour guide taking groups of senior citizens on tours around the world. I'm dead serious about this, there are many companies that do it. The only downside would be I wouldn't be able to take my dog.

89. I don't like making phone calls. If it weren't for the internet, I would be terrible at keeping in touch with old friends.

90. I have a bit of OCD about shaving my legs and have to do it every single time I shower. If I don't shave my legs I still feel dirty even though I have just gotten out of the water.

91. I finally kicked my daily Coca Cola habit! Now I only have a few a week.

92. I have to read for a few minutes before going to bed every night, even if I'm exhausted or have been out drinking and am too drunk to actually know what I'm reading.

93. I used to be horribly disgusted by loose strands of hair. I have gotten better about it in the past couple of years, but I still think hair is one of the most disgusting things in the world. Interestingly enough, strands of animal hair don't bother me at all.

94. I sleep with socks on my hands most nights. I put lotion on and then put the socks on to keep in the moisture. I don't use gloves because I like my fingers to be able to touch each other. If someone comes across moisturizing mittens, let me know!

95. My family has a cabin in the Rocky Mountains and it is my favorite place on earth.

96. I am a lip gloss addict and have ten(!!!) different varieties on my dresser right now (really). I will admit that it is possible that this addiction is getting out of hand.

97. I wear Estee Lauder Beyond Paradise perfume most days, even though I have several different types I could use.

98. I started taking dance lessons when I was four and was on the dance team in high school. I really miss dancing.

99. It doesn't take very much to make me happy, and it takes a lot to make me sad.

100. I've been living here for nine months now and so far, it feels like moving to University Land was the best decision I ever made.

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