AUTHOR: Beth TITLE: DATE: 9/20/2004 03:25:00 PM ----- BODY:

100 Things

This is something of a fad in the blog world of late--write 100 random things about yourself people probably don’t know. 1. I have never in my life eaten a Big Mac. 2. I hate bananas. 3. I am descended from, among others, a Buckingham Palace guard. 4. Great uncles from each side of my family were killed by inhaling boiling steam--one in a train wreck on the Wabash Railroad, and the other while fighting on a destroyer vessel in the Naval Battle of Guadalcanal. 5. I never liked coffee before the age of 20. 6. My best friend Kathleen is descended from, among others, a steerage survivor of the Titanic. 7. I type 84 words a minute. 8. Not counting this entry, I've written 1,624 posts on my blogs for a total of 665,350 words. 9. I am allergic to my favorite food. 10. At times I have theorized that I was Queen Elizabeth I in a past life. 11. I have walked out into traffic without looking like Helena Bonham Carter's character in Fight Club. 12. I have shaken hands with President Bill Clinton. 13. I have met Chuck Palahniuk twice. 14. Other than that, I have never met or even been in the room with any famous person. 15. Which is good, because I'm an immensely star-struck person. 16. I had a crush on a guy my freshman year in college and never talked to him, ever, despite his efforts to the contrary. 17. I did, however, run into a chair, a desk, a person and a doorframe while ogling him. 18. Once my roommate and I were fantasizing about different outfits for him (he was gorgeous), a little game we called "paper dolls." He was always very nattily dressed, so I imagined him in a black double-breasted suit, a white shirt with thin burgundy pinstripes, a burgundy tie with a small gold pattern and gold tie pin, and an ankle length black wool coat. The very next day he showed up wearing that precise outfit, down to the pinstripes and the gold tie pin. Someone remarked on the coat and he said, "Thanks, it's new. I just got it yesterday." 19. When I was in high school, four times I had the same weird feeling when I woke up in the morning, accompanied by a repeating thought that something bad was going to happen. The first time this happened, I found out the same afternoon that the father of a friend of mine had been diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor; the second time, when I got to school that morning I found out a French teacher had collapsed and died of a brain aneurysm right in front of my locker; the third time turned out to have come right around the moment my grandmother died of cancer; the fourth time someone I went to school with was killed in a car accident with a bus on his way to school. 20. I felt nothing whatsoever the morning of September 11. When I heard about it, I wasn't afraid that someone I knew had died because I hadn't felt anything. Turns out, no one I had ever even met died or was even near the attacks. I'm almost the only person I know where that's the case. 21. The morning of Sept. 11, I was sitting in English class after hearing the news trying to recover some sense of normalcy, but then my professor said callously, "Nothing we can do about it now," and started lecturing us about grammar. I decided right then that life was way too short not to be out covering the story for my college newspaper--which I did, and my story not only made the front page but was featured in the alumni magazine. This is how I officially decided to try to become a journalist. 22. One of my friends in high school became a neo-Nazi skinhead, and was expelled three months shy of graduation for wearing a spiked wristband to school. His picture was still in the yearbook that year. 23. I used to get migraine headaches. I got the first one when I was twelve, and had to be hospitalized while they ran tests to make sure I wasn't having a stroke. I got one once on a car trip through Pennsylvania, and then I got the last one when I was fifteen. I haven't had another one since. 24. I have an intermittent fear of flying. 25. I worship Trent Reznor. 26. I'm engaged, but still boy-crazy. 27. I'm not looking forward to thirty. 28. I hope I never live anywhere other than Massachusetts. 29. I sliced my hand open when I was at a summer seminar at Oxford University and had to get seven stitches in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. That’s the only time I have ever had to get stitches. 30. The only time I have ever been under general anesthesia was for oral surgery when I was about eleven or twelve. 31. I have never broken a bone (knock on wood). 32. I had almost all of my baby teeth extracted rather than losing them naturally; I had to wear braces for two years, the medeival headgear from hell and those horrible little elastics stretched between my jaws so I looked like that thing from the movie Relic, but I get to keep all of my wisdom teeth. 33. My grandparents live in North Dakota. My mother grew up there. I'm the only person I know (outside of my family, of course) who has ever been to North Dakota. It's so flat and square out there, that when I was little flying in on a plane I thought the straight checker-board highways were latitude and longitude marks. 34. I secretly like licking stamps. 35. I have Hashimoto's Disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the thyroid gland. 36. When I was four years old I skated in too-small roller skates for hours, and never noticed. Both of my big toenails turned black and fell off a few days later, and my mother says I never complained of pain. 37. When I was six, I was worrying at a loose tooth at the dinner table while my family and I were at Friendly's, and my father barked at me to "either yank that thing out or leave it alone." A few seconds and a loud crack! later, and my tooth clinked onto his plate. My mother nearly had a bird, but my father's rarely been that proud. 38. My father, my sister and I all went to the same high school. My father also taught there, for 22 years. I never walked into a classroom where my teacher didn’t already know me until I was in college. When I was eight, the high school football team, which my father coached, went to and won their division's Super Bowl. The star player, Kyle Kripps, picked me up and kissed me after the game. 39. I have fonder memories of high school than I do of college. 40. I've never gone on a trip on Spring Break. 41. I worked for the Boston Globe for two years as a student intern. I once covered a breaking story for them where a guy was holding his nephew hostage with a twelve-guage shotgun in the attic of a house. I rode along with a photographer who promptly disappeared to break through police barricades to get pictures, while I tried to get people to talk. One guy I tried to get a quote from was the wrong guy; he was a neighbor, but he started screaming at me that I was violating everyone's privacy. By that time, the photographer was back, covered in dirt and scratches from sneaking through underbrush. The angry neighbor proceeded to shove us both—two young women--back into the side of our car while his entire family pulled him away and screamed at him to shut up and told him he was a retard. On our way back to the paper to file the story and pictures, we were rear-ended by an SUV so hard it destroyed the back seat of the photographer's Volvo. I had to hitch a ride with a tow truck driver back to the paper, and at the last moment as I hopped in the truck the photographer tossed her film to me and told me to get it developed at the paper while she dealt with the car accident. The story made page 3. Of the Metro section. 42. I'm still angry that Homicide: Life on the Street was cancelled. 43. The most retarded movie I ever liked was What Dreams May Come starring Robin Williams. 44. The Neverending Story traumatized me when I was a child. 45. So did The Care Bears Movie. 46. My first memory is of knocking over the shelf in a bedroom of the house where I went to be babysat when I was about three years old. The shelf belonged to the older of the two kids belonging to the woman who watched me. The younger brother was with me at the time, but ran away to let me take the blame. I ran out of the house in embarrassment and was caught by the neighbor just before I ran out onto the street. All I remember of her is red toenail polish. 47. My friends and I used to love to play retarded pretend games when I was in elementary school. The most retarded one was "flavors." Each one of us was a super-heroine with magical powers corresponding to different candy flavorings like chocolate, strawberry, lemon, etc. I was Peppermint. Like I said, it was retarded. 48. I boycotted my own college graduation ceremony. 49. The worst job I ever had was working at a movie theater. I stood on my feet all day, picked up people's trash, worked until 1 and sometimes 3 am, was ostracized, for the most part, by my coworkers because I was white and from the suburbs, and made minimum wage. I was one of two childless females among the entire staff, despite being among the oldest. Since then, I have worked very hard never, ever to get angry or abusive with someone in a shit job like that. 50. The worst boss I ever had was when I worked at a bookstore. She's one of the only people I've ever truly hated. 51. My boyfriend now works at the same store, under a different boss. 52. I have never had a permanent residence outside of New England. 53. I don’t plan to change that. 54. I think fish tacos are a sign of the apocalypse. 55. I read infertility blogs, even though I've never tried to have kids. 56. I have never bought a lottery ticket. I have never had a credit card. These are my only secrets to financial success. 57. My mother put out an edict that I would not be allowed to trick-or-treat or go out on Halloween anymore when I turned twelve. I didn't take it seriously, but then as soon as I was twelve, I found out that she meant it. I fought her tooth and nail over it, and she never budged. To this day, I don't understand it. 58. I once got grounded because I ended up seeing an R rated movie with some friends who happened to show up after a date stood me up at the movie theater. This was before I could drive--or before I was allowed to see R-rated movies. I was appalled and outraged when I was punished for it despite the circumstances. 59. The angriest I ever saw my father was the day a friend of mine and I stuck Play-Doh in each others' hair in first grade. 60. The angriest I ever got was probably when K and I almost punched each other on the streets of Vienna, Austria. 61. I don't like whipped cream, mayonnaise, merengue, store-bought white cake frosting, or just about any white semi-solid food. Except cottage cheese. 62. I eat potato chips with ketchup. 63. My favorite book is an out-of-print travel-adventure guide called The Cool of the Wild. The author emailed me about a month ago and said I was probably the only person ever to actually read it. Including his immediate family. 64. My favorite movie is American Beauty, which offended both my parents to the point where we can't really discuss the movie at all. 65. My favorite band is Nine Inch Nails, though if things keep going the way they have been with their supposedly upcoming new release, I'm going to have to find a new favorite band. 66. I'm an amateur photographer, semi-pro writer, casual sportswriter, part-time newspaper reporter, former opera singer and professional worrier. 67. For most of college, I hung out with the band--the marching band. I never played a wind instrument, so I had to settle for being a band groupie. Yes, that is an "L" I have tattooed on my forehead. 68. Kellie and I once won the costume contest at a karaoke bar on Halloween. We were both shitfaced, which helped our costumes since we were supposed to be Eddie and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. Kellie wore a blonde bouffant wig and we actually got my hair to curl. Kellie was on crutches at the time, which also somehow worked to our advantage. Our prize was $50 to the bar. Just what we needed. 69. I would estimate I've spent at least 50% of my life since the age of 16 in the car; I've put about 60,000 miles on my latest car in just over 2 years. 70. I saw Ace Ventura: Pet Detective at least six times in the theater when I was in eighth grade. I thought it deserved the Oscar. 71. My favorite Red Sox when I was growing up were Roger Clemens and Wade Boggs. My favorite player up till recently was Nomar Garciaparra. Maybe I need to stop picking favorite players. 72. I'm superstitious: I have to wear my Tom Brady jersey during every Patriots game; I hold my breath when driving past a cemetery; I fling spilled salt over my left shoulder; last year I had to sit in the same chair and wear the same T-shirt while watching Sox playoff games (fat lot of good that did me in the ALCS); I semi-believe in the Sports Illustrated cover jinx; I used to think what side of the room I was facing when I woke up in the morning indicated whether I'd have a good or bad day; I pick out all the blue M & Ms and eat them last; I make a wish when the clock says 1:11, 2:22, etc., and also when it says 1:23, 2:34, etc., or when the clasp of a necklace falls into the charm. 73. I'm irrationally scared of the following: dying in a plane crash; a bridge collapsing while I'm driving over it, especially if it's over water; German Shepherds. 74. At this point in my life, I don't have a single friend I've known for less than a year. In fact, I don't think I have a single friend I've known for less than two years, and only one or two that I've known less than five. 75. I am the undisputed international heavyweight Champion of the World at Skee-Ball. 76. I have never lost a game of 25 Words or Less. 77. I have rarely lost a game of Scrabble. 78. I never owned a Nintendo; the best I did was Game Boy, and on that I mostly played Tetris. I am completely video-game impaired. But I love to watch other people play them. 79. I was the first person ever (according to him) to beat Andy at Trivial Pursuit. 80. I once got so drunk that I took off my pants while I was asleep on a couch in the living room of K's apartment while several male friends played poker about two feet away. The sad thing is that they never even noticed. 81. I played soccer as a kid and loved it until I got to the non-coed travelling league and all my teammates were total cunts. I stuck it out until I was going to be a freshman in high school, where I could've gone out for the team, but I decided I didn't want to spend any more time with these girls; that was the last athletic endeavor I participated in. 82. I did the musical every year in high school, and never had a single line. 83. I did, however, play the ugly hag the Evil Queen disguises herself as in a children's play production of Sleeping Beauty. Go me! 84. I never made Senior District, either on voice or violin. I never had any ear training at the elementary or secondary level. I still spent my freshman year at UMass as a (deeply unhappy) music major. Go figure. 85. I never made the UMass Chamber Choir. I did, however, play first violin in the orchestra--where I was the only undergraduate in the section the first year, and the only underclassman the second. Go figure. 86. When I was in fifth grade, my mother lost her job as a teacher and we had to deliver advertising circulars to earn extra money on the weekends. It was completely humiliating for me at the time. 87. I'd probably sooner go back to college than middle school. Middle school was complete hell. 88. I won the History Department Award in high school, even though I never went on to study history again. 89. I can still speak and understand Spanish even though I took my last class in Spanish in high school. 90. I taught myself to read, what little HTML I know, and Strauss' Tod und Verklarung on the violin. I'm fiercely proud of all of those things, but especially the last one. 91. I don't really believe in astrology, but I'm a Cancer, and my best friend as a kid was a Taurus, my best friend from eighth grade till now is a Virgo, my college roommate is a Cancer, another friend since eighth grade is a Virgo, my boyfriend is a Virgo, two of my other friends are Pisces. I have no friends or loved ones outside my family (who I don't count in this because I didn't choose them) in any of the following signs: Capricorn, Gemini, Sagittarius, Leo, Libra, Scorpio. 92. I can't stand the smell of lilies. 93. My third grade teacher, Mrs. Koltookian, made me a good student. Before that I was pretty clueless. 94. The best (tangible) gift I ever received was a Metro-Boston Road Atlas from my mother. It has saved my life, my job, and my night on more than one occasion. 95. I am a political moderate by default: I hate both ultra-conservatives and radicals equally. I do lean slightly to the left, and I loathe George W. Bush. 96. I sometimes believe the JFK assassination was a government conspiracy. 97. I can't stand it when mechanical things won't work, especially the car or the computer. 98. My biggest pet peeve is being talked down to. It makes me homicidal. 99. After that, my biggest pet peeve is people who drive slowly in the passing lane. Gets me worked up every time. 100. I can't stand to touch clean dishes from the dishwasher. You know that sound they make in that one Dawn commercial, the "squeaky clean" sound? That, and the feeling that accompanies making it, make my skin crawl. 101. I always write more than I'm supposed to.