100 Things

9:11 AM

I still don't have access to a camera. But--believe it or not--I did actually manage to stop whingeing long enough to e-mail Virgin Mobile concerning my inability to upload photos taken with my phone. Their response? It's probably something easy to fix, but I have to call them. Yes, they have 24/7 customer service, but......

So, until I can rebuild my energy level enough to pick up the phone and call them, I need to do something text-based. Many of the blogs I read feature this "100 Things" thing, so I'll jump on the bandwagon. What the hell. Seems a good enough way to introduce myself.

1. I am the oldest of three children.

2. My siblings and I were all born in hospitals that are no longer hospitals. The building where I was born is now City Hall. The former nursery is now the Mayor's office. The building where my siblings were born now houses a community technical college.

3. My parents are both professional musicians. My mother is the music director at the church we both attend, and she has taught music at all levels--from primary school through college. My father is the instrumental music teacher for a small school system in NH. He was a member of the Air Force Band for over twenty years and was the executive director of the NH Philharmonic before he returned to teaching....which is what he did before joining the military.

4. Everyone in my family sings. We joke about my dad's abilities, but he still does it. In fact, when my youngest sibling was born, my mother told people it was because she needed another voice part.

5. I have been paid to sing. It was the coolest thing, like, ever. I would love to sing in a paid choir someday. Or be hired as the cantor at a church.

6. I have sung in church choirs longer than I can remember. I will likely sing in church choirs until I die.

7. When I was in the fourth grade, I was cast in the children's chorus for a production of Evita. Also a member of that cast was the first boy I was ever in love with. I wasn't in love with him at the time--he was a nice boy and all, but I could take him or leave him.

8. I met him again years later when we were both working at the same grocery store over the summer. That's when I fell in love with him.

9. So I tried to set him up with my best friend. (Mature, eh?)

10. Later, we discovered that we had, in fact, lived on the same street as very small children--I think his family moved away when we were five or six.

11. My husband and I recently moved back to my hometown where we live four blocks away from this same guy and his wife. Fortunately we haven't run into him since we've been back, but our kids would all go to the same grammar school.

12. I think this is all a little bit weird and that it may "mean something" in a Close Encounters kind of way. Or it could be just a huge coincidence.

13. My husband and I live in my grandparents' house. I mean, it's our house, now--we bought it after my grandfather died. But it's the house my grandparents lived in my whole life.

14. It's pretty cool to think about raising my kids in a house that's "been in our family," even if only since the 1960s. Sometimes I feel like my grandparents are still around, keeping an eye on us--but not in a creepy way.

15. One wall of our living room is taken up with a built in bookshelf. It's filled to overflowing.

16. The shelving height, however, is irregular. This means I can't shelve things categorically or alphabetically by author, so it's very much a mish-mash. I pretend this doesn't bother me, but I often wake up in the middle of the night thinking about it.

17. No one in my family was surprised when I decided to become a librarian. Except for me.

18. My personal library is rather eclectic.

19. A college roommate once asked me if there was anything I didn't like to read. At the time, I said "math textbooks?" Since then, I've actually come across a couple of interesting ones, so I guess there really is nothing that I won't read.

20. My grandmother taught me how to knit about twenty years ago. But it didn't take. I picked up needles on my own when I was in high school, but, aside from producing a couple of sorry looking hats, didn't think much of it. Tried again maybe two or three years ago and haven't looked back! I guess that's what they mean about the third time being a charm.

21. My grandmother also taught me how to crochet. I did this pretty regularly during my childhood and early teen years, but don't enjoy it so much now. I only crochet if I feel like making potholders or adding borders to blankets or other knit objects. Although, someone recently sent me some links on amigurumi, so I may have to bring the hooks out of hiding....

22. I worked on my first political campaign when I was 13 years old. My first task? Being sent to buy $100 worth of doughnuts for the candidate's first stop the day he declared his candidacy.

23. I also spent that summer running around in a pink elephant costume on behalf of that candidate.

24. My parents brought me to the election night party the night of the congressional primary. I came directly from a cross-country meet. Between the physical exertion of the race and my nerves, I was sick for much of the evening. The election was so close that it resulted in an automatic recount. When I found out my candidate won, I cried. And went back to work for the election. Which he won.

25. My mother and I were invited to Washington, DC to see him sworn in. We got up at three in the morning, drove to Boston to take an early shuttle to DC, spent the day in the nation's capitol, got on a late plane back to Boston and came home around midnight. I went to school the next day.

26. Working that campaign was a fabulous experience. It taught me, at a very early age, that one person really can make a difference. In spite of all of my frustrations with the current administration, I still believe very deeply in "government of the people, by the people and for the people." (Thank you, Bill.)

27. I majored in Political Science in college.

28. The Beloved also majored in Political Science. At the same college. Nine years earlier. We had some of the same professors.

29. One of whom came to our wedding.

30. After graduation from college, I lived in Tokyo for over a year.

31. I taught conversational English for the Berlitz Language School. My hours were crazy, but I earned a good deal of money and learned a lot about myself in the process.

32. I also learned that I'm not really a city person. I love to visit the city, but it's nice to be able to leave it, as well. Tokyo was big and dirty and crowded and smelled bad. Plus, everything you've heard about packing trains and the roving hands of Japanese Salarymen is entirely true.

33. In spite of being big, dirty, crowded and smelly, Tokyo is pretty freakin' cool. I would love for the Beloved to see it someday.

34. I'd also like to see if my favorite restaurants are still there.

35. But I don't want to take the train at rush hour. Ever. Again.

36. I've taken the train from Seattle to Boston with stopovers in Chicago and Washington, DC. This was one of the best vacations ever.

37. I've stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Pentagon City. It was cheaper to stay there than at the Holiday Inn. They made fabulous crab cakes.

38. The Beloved and I met shortly after my return from Japan. My initial reaction was that he was an interesting guy, but not what I was looking for. It took a year before I agreed to go on a date with him.

39. On our first date, we went to the Spring Hill Tavern. I had intended to go only for drinks, but he bought dinner. I also insisted that it wasn't a date.

40. The bill from that non-date was something to behold. The Beloved always shakes his head and says, "you sure had balls" whenever we reminisce about that evening.

41. We've never been back to the Spring Hill Tavern.

42. For our second date, The Beloved invited me to his place where he made paella. We drank a lot of wine. And watched a movie. That one was actually a date.

43. I think I knew he was "the one" when he told me to bring my cat with me when I spent the night at his place. He didn't want her to get lonely in my apartment without me.

44. I think he knew I was "the one" somewhere around the first or second time we met.

45. This makes me feel just a little slow.

46. We were only together for four months when I agreed to marry him. Sometimes you just know. I think this surprised a lot of people.

47. I actually knew I wanted to marry him sooner than that. He bought me a ring the first time I met his mother and his sister. It's a lab-created opal set in sterling silver. The sales person at the jeweler called it a "Cinderella Ring"--because of all the detail work on the band, it can't be sized. It fit me perfectly, so The Beloved said I had to have it. In many ways, it's more important to me than my actual engagement ring, because I never would have accepted the gift if I didn't intend to "keep" him.

48. Our rehearsal dinner was at The Rosa. This was also the restaurant where my parents ate the night before I was born. My mother says that's why I like spaghetti so much.

49. For a long time, spaghetti was all I would cook.

50. My repertoire has broadened considerably. Being married to a guy who really likes to cook helps.

51. The first time I met The Beloved was at a dinner party he threw. A mutual friend invited me to even out the numbers. He made Peking Duck and Crab Rangoon. It was fabulous.

52. A couple of times a year, he'll make Peking Duck for me as a surprise.

53. I love jewelry. Rings, necklaces, earrings, whatever. If it's shiny, I want it.

54. I wonder if I was a raccoon in a past life?

55. My husband does not like jewelry and is baffled by my fascination with it.

56. I have my nostril pierced.

57. I have five piercings in my ears.

58. I have a tattoo of an ouroboros. I designed it myself--which is funny because I don't consider myself much of an artist. If I ever get another tattoo, I think I will be more comfortable in working with the tattoo artist in designing the artwork. With the first one, I really didn't know what I was doing, and didn't know that you should really trust your tattoo artist if you've found a reputable one. Nonetheless, I'm happy with it. It means a lot.

59. I got my tattoo on the same day I interviewed for a job. I showed up at the tattoo studio in a suit and heels with two of my girlfriends in tow. I got the job.

60. The Beloved was unimpressed. With the tattoo--he was happy about the job.

61. I had the nostril piercing done after I had worked for a year as director of a religious resource center. I was essentially a church librarian, and started to feel rather old and boring. I had contemplated the piercing for years, but was always rather wishy-washy about actually having it done. I love it. The Beloved was unimpressed.

62. It took him about two hours to notice it.

63. I once dyed my hair pink. It was different.

64. My hair is going prematurely gray. I now have a stripe like Rogue of X-Men fame.

65. I found my first gray hair when I was sixteen--on the night of my first date.

66. I find it extremely unfair that I have to worry about acne and gray hair.

67. After watching a documentary about the SuicideGirls, I wanted to be one. The Beloved thought that was cool, until he realized that other people would get to see me naked. He doesn't think it's that cool anymore.

68. I still think about it from time to time, though.

69. I love Lima Beans.

70. And Brussels Sprouts.

71. I think Tuna Noodle Casserole should be banned.

72. I love baseball, but prefer listening to it on the radio to watching it on TV. Going to the park is best of all.

73. I went to several professional baseball games when I lived in Tokyo. We saw the Nippon Ham Fighters play at the Tokyo Dome and we saw the Seibu Lions.

74. I saw Daisuke Matsuzaka pitch during his first season with the Lions.

75. I'm looking forward to watching him pitch for the Boston Red Sox.

76. The Beloved does not like baseball. He thinks it's boring.

77. He does, however, like musicals. And so do I.

78. I love opera.

79. I spent spring semester of my junior year in college in London. It was great.

80. I went to the British Museum almost every week during my stay. The Rosetta Stone is incredibly cool.

81. I was also a regular visitor to the National Gallery and the National Portrait Gallery.

82. I would go to museums every week if I could. Even now.

83. I lived in The Regent's Park and went running with friends every morning at 7:00. We called ourselves the Forrest Gump Running Club because "we just felt like running."

84. I've thought about pursuing an advanced degree at Oxford or Cambridge. It would be very difficult to uproot The Beloved like that, though.

85. If we could move to another country for a few years, I'd do it in a heartbeat.

86. But I wouldn't sell our house. I think our home will always be here.

87. I've never seen American Idol.

88. Or Survivor.

89. Or Grey's Anatomy.

90. Sometimes I think this means I'm horribly out of touch. But in all honesty, I'd rather read a book.

91. I'm a coffee drinker. Black. Occasionally, I'll buy some sort of specialty-mocha-latte-concoction, but generally speaking I prefer plain black coffee.

92. I won't go to Starbucks if I can help it. I'd rather visit an independent, locally owned coffee shop.

93. I also prefer independent bookstores. But sometimes Barnes & Noble is so convenient.

94. And I am a great fan of independently owned and operated restaurants.

95. My favorite color is yellow. But I can't wear it--it makes me look sickly.

96. I carried yellow roses at my wedding. My mother-in-law was appalled when I made this decision.

97. The flowers were beautiful--so what if they signify friendship? The Beloved is, after all, my best friend.

98. I am a card-carrying member of the ACLU. And of the ALA. The Beloved believes this will keep us on a watch list forever.

99. I can easily spend hours browsing around Wikipedia without getting bored.

100. If I could be anyone in the world, honestly, I would be me. It's taken a long time for me to be that comfortable with myself.

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