Friday, October 16, 2009

100 Things About Me, 2009 Version

I realized that there are once again a lot of things that needed to change on my 100 Things About Me list. I suppose I need to start updating this every year or so just because things change so often. One of these days I'll stop editing it and just write a new one entirely, but for now I think updates are enough. As with the last time I did this, I left the things that are still true and updated (or deleted entirely) where appropriate.

1. I still have a common first and last name and a more unusual middle name, but recently I had to make a real decision about how I want to use my name professionally. Prior to now it didn't really matter since I had no publications anyway, but as of this month I'm officially the assistant editor of a publication (which sounds a bit more fancy than it actually is) so I had to decide how I want my name to appear in print. I surprised myself by deciding to use just my first and last name, my thought process being that it's easier to tack a married name onto a simple first/last name as opposed to a first/middle/last name combination that could get really long and unwieldly. I doubted for a long time that I'd seriously have to consider things like that, but this appears to be where life is taking me.

2. I still worry a bit about seeming pretentious, but I've also realized that maybe sometimes I AM pretentious, and I'm reasonably okay with that.

3. I have a rule for myself that I need to workout 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 stairs 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. I have fully replaced my Food Network addiction with a TLC/Bravo/Netflix On-Demand addiction.

8. I still watch a lot of HGTV.

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

10. I am now quite used to sleeping all night in bed like a normal person. No more falling asleep on the couch and waking up in the middle of the night to move! It helps that I have someone to share the bed with.

11. I'm still in a relationship with a guy whose blog pseudonym is Penn. As you might have inferred from item #1, things are going well!

12. Penn and I have been together for a year and a half now. Since I last updated this 100 Things thing, we spent six months dating long distance and then he got a job in the city where I was living and now we've been happily living together for a year.

13. I used to be a big fan of open relationships. I still think there is a time and place for them and they're a smart option when you're young and not ready to be tied down and committed (in college, for example) but now I definitely 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, no?) and "lover" just sounds ridiculous, plus it doesn't give any sense of commitment.

15. I really did stop dating a guy because a tobacco stain on his bottom tooth annoyed the hell out of me. I don't know what I thought I was doing dating a smoker in the first place. That's a definite long-term NO for me.

16. Tobacco Guy was the shortest relationship I've ever had. It lasted three weeks (and do you want to know something really terrible? Off the top of my head I can't even remember his name! I'd have to look it up in my journal).

17. I did have a quasi-one night stand once, but I don't count that as a relationship, more just a silly thing that seemed like a good idea in college (a lot of things seemed like a good idea in college...which is not to say that they necessarily seem like a bad idea now, they're just not a good idea for ME now since I'm currently in another phase).

18. The longest relationship I have ever had lasted three years...but obviously I'm hoping to beat that record with my current relationship.

19. I tried for a while to stay friends with Phil, my ex from that relationship. Turns out he was incapable of being friends with me once I had a new boyfriend. I'd like to think he was too jealous to handle it, but I think that's too flattering to me. So I don't know what his deal is, but I tried to stay friendly. Nowadays we don't have any contact, by his choice, which I thought would make me really sad but it turns out the longer I go without speaking to him the more I reflect back on that relationship and realize how wrong I was to try to make it work for so long in the first place. Being with Penn has made me realize what it's like to have a boyfriend who actually respects me, so I don't miss Phil at all these days. I do hope he's doing well, though, since I have no reason to wish him ill.

20. One of the main reasons things have worked with Penn in a way that they never could have worked in my last relationship is that we have similar life goals. We both see marriage and kids in the future, something I either couldn't envision with other guys I dated in the past or that they couldn't envision doing with me.

21. I still really, really want to be a mother. The biological clock is ticking even more loudly now that I'm dating a man who I think would make a great father. With that said, I still envision at least a couple more child-free years, hopefully.

22. I just realized my old list was missing #22! So, here's a completely random fact: I tried salt water taffy for the first time when I was 26 years old and it's now one of my favorite types of candy.

23. Yes, I still question the sanity of wanting to bring a child into this over-crowded, mixed up world, but I guess people just keep doing it because of the hope that everything will get better, or at least not slide downhill precipitously from the way things are now.

24. I am a feminist.

25. I firmly believe in God and the idea of an afterlife, but I have yet to find an overall belief system that works for me. In theory I'm a Christian, although in reality I have so many issues with the teachings of so many Christian groups that I can only pick and choose the elements I believe in, like some sort of Religion Buffet. That seems to sort of defeat the purpose of faith, which in my mind involves believing in something enough to follow all of its tenets. I'm still trying to reconcile all of this, and I imagine it will be a lifelong struggle for me. Fully believing in Christian teaching seems to require turning off large portions of your brain and common sense, something I refuse to do and can't imagine God would want me to do. For now I'm treating my faith as an ongoing research project, looking at as many different angles as possible.

26. My only real hobby is reading.

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

28. I never changed my major in college.

29. I decided I wanted to go on for my PhD in 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 (as a dishwasher), managed his own business 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. Friends typically describe me as even-keeled. I can't think of many people who have seen me cry. I had a friend tell me recently that he's never seen me really stressed, which isn't entirely true, but that's sort of the reputation I have. Maybe I feel like I need to keep it together most of the time and it's only with family that I can really let down my guard.

35. I had a friend ask me recently, "Is your dog more like your friend or like your baby?" I thought it was an 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 spent a little over three years living completely alone, and I really did love it. I had absolutely no problem living by myself. Now I live with Penn, and I surprised myself by really loving living with him, too. I find that I have all the perks I had when living alone (we're so comfortable together I can literally do whatever I want/need to do in front of him), plus the added bonus of a warm body to cuddle up to at night.

38. When I'm living with other people it's very important that I have a space somewhere that is mine and mine alone. Even when I'm sharing hotel rooms for a short period 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" kind of person. (I imagine this will drive Penn nuts eventually. So far it just means I spend five minutes every night putting away the paper/credit cards/keys/electronics he has scattered around the house and he spends a few minutes every day asking where I put things. This arrangement seems to be working.)

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 at my current university 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. I'm the "fashion bug" of my department, which surprises me because I feel pretty low maintenance most of the time!

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 LITERALLY happened, i.e. "I literally died laughing." Uh, no. You didn't.

44. My favorite city that I have ever 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, Mexico, Canada, and Russia. 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 have now visited 33 states plus the District of Columbia. The problem now is that the states that are left are not places that I am particularly eager to visit (Iowa or Alabama, anyone?) But I'm determined to see them all, so I'll find a reason to get to all of them eventually. Even Nebraska.

48. I still have to force myself to take a shower because I still think it's really boring waste of fifteen minutes every day. Luckily, I'm a normal person who dislikes smelling bad, so I do shower I also still have a wide variety of shower gel (five, at the moment, which is actually low for me).

49. I now officially consider myself something of a cook. I managed to wean myself from frozen food and I now only have Lean Cuisines occasionally for lunch. I cook full meals (from recipes) 2-3 times a week now and cobble together soup/sandwich/wrap/crackers and dip meals the rest of the time. Penn and I are really good about not blowing our money on takeout (In the whole time we've been dating I think we've had fast food together less than a dozen times, and primarily just when we're traveling) and we limit restaurant meals to 1-2 a week. Turns out I'm much more enthusiastic about cooking when I'm cooking for someone other than just myself.

50. I am very good at making change, but most math beyond that is completely baffling to me.

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 generally reliable public transportation. Since the last time I updated this I sold my (broken) car and have now started taking the bus and subway or biking almost exclusively.

53. I love thunderstorms, provided I'm in the comfort of my own home and the power doesn't go out. (I should amend this to say I love desert thunderstorms. Thunderstorms here in the east are VERY unsatisfying. Nothing like the great thunder boomers out west. Here when it rains it's just drizzly and gray all day. Nothing exciting about that.

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 like a normal person now! Unless it's a Friday or Saturday and we're out with friends, Penn and I are usually in bed by 11 at the latest and I'm up between 8 and 9:30. Shockingly, I feel much better rested and more healthy than I used to when I was staying up until 3 AM on a regular basis.

57. I wouldn't say I seek out wild and adventurous experiences (in fact, my grandpa would probably tell you that I'm a "glass ass"), but when opportunities find me I don't often turn them down. I will try any food, I love going places I've never been before, etc.

58. The only thing I can't imagine myself ever doing is skydiving. 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 love most shades of yellow but I can't wear it at all because it washes me out.

60. My grandfather is a gynecologist and he gives me the free birth control samples he gets from drug reps at the hospital. I currently have enough pill to last until February of 2013. Seriously! I'll be 30 then, which seems like a good time to start a family if I haven't started trying already. So I think I'm set!

61. Speaking of my grandpa, 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 really 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 used to be addicted to text messaging. I don't do it quite as much now, but it's still the primary way I communicate with my family and some of my long-distance friends (Yes, my parents text! Even my grandpa texts!)

66. I listen to NPR whenever I'm driving a car or cleaning the apartment. I find it soothing to listen to voices talking, even when they're talking about sad news stories.

67. I am addicted to the internet and reading blogs (which is why I keep my own). When you find a blog written by a good writer, it's like reading a novel that never ends. I don't even want to know how many hours of my life I've 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 (and try to prevent Penn from throwing random items into the cart!), I generally think about products for several days before I 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 are 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'd still have the same body confidence, but who knows?

72. I really do believe health is more important than looks, though. On that note, I'm STILL trying to boost my cardio endurance (biking is helping; I may not be much of a jogger but I am willing to push myself on the bike) and after I had a scary-looking mole removed over the summer I'm now vigilant with my sunscreen.

73. I have been in love twice. It's amazing how different the two experiences have been, though. I'm not willing to discount the first time I was in love (I think that cheapens a relationship that I was devoted to for a long time, and I do believe it's possible to be in love more than once in life) but the first experience doesn't match the sort of love I feel for Penn now. The love I feel now has completely overshadowed and wiped out that first love. I now think back fondly on being in love for the first time, but it's hard--almost impossible--to remember what it really felt like when I compare it to the strong feeling of love and commitment I have now.

74. My favorite TV shows are 30 Rock, Flight of the Conchords, The Sopranos, and Big Love. I gave up on Lost and Grey's Anatomy because they both just got too absurd. My favorite TV show of all time is still 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. However, I have made the discovery that it's 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 (actually, the apartment we're currently living in doesn't even have overhead lights except for one chandelier in the dining room, so it's a good thing I had so many lamps!).

78. I can't sleep soundly unless I am completely covered with a blanket, from ears to toes. Also, I sleep most soundly if Penn's chest or upper arm is my pillow.

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 every 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 vacuuming, 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. I'll eat Tex Mex, but it's not the same.

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. The older and more settled I get (dog, boyfriend, eventually family) the less I can imagine a travel job actually fitting into my life, but I still think about how fun it would be to work for a travel website or show or lead world tours or something.

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 Coca-Cola habit! Now I only have a few a week. Sometimes not even that many! I pretty much drink just water and hot tea most days unless I'm on vacation. Then anything goes.

92. I used to like to read before I fell asleep every night. Now Penn has established a "no reading in bed" rule. In theory I agree with him. We don't have a TV in the bedroom, either, because we believe the bed should be for sleeping and/or sex and that's it. Still, I haven't been able to kick my relaxation ritual of reading before bed. Now I just read on the couch for a minute before going into the bedroom.

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 strands are one of the most disgusting things in the world. Interestingly enough, strands of animal hair don't bother me at all.

94. I used to sleep with socks on my hands most nights. Now that I sleep with another person, I only have sock-hands when my hands are really dry.

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

96. I am a lip gloss addict and I 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 a variety 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 still believe that moving to University Land was the best decision I ever made.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not sure where to post this but I wanted to ask if anyone has heard of National Clicks?

Can someone help me find it?

Overheard some co-workers talking about it all week but didn't have time to ask so I thought I would post it here to see if someone could help me out.

Seems to be getting alot of buzz right now.