Usually these lists have 100 items. Fortunately, I am boring...
1. I was born in Flint, MI. This gives me, what the kids refer to as “street cred”. This means I know when to duck and I know when to run.
2. I was the eighth child to be born to an alcoholic mother. I was given up when I was 18 months old to a roving band of gypsies. Fun self test: which single word in that last sentence is an exaggeration? You’re right! Replace gypsies with social workers and you’ll be dead on.
3. I spent all of my pre-school years of coloring with crayons using only one color. Black. I would color all over everything with black. I don’t know if I used other colors but Black definitely was used to the nub all the time. My adoptive aunt used to tell this story as a humorous anecdote. If that were my child, I’d be locking up the sharp knives and calling the baby-shrink.
4. I love Kraft mac ‘n cheese. It always makes me feel like I’ve eaten a decaying whale corpse afterwards but I choose to live in the moment.
5. I’ve flown on an air ambulance both as a medic and as a patient. Being the medic wins hands down.
6. I sailed in the merchant marines where I met my husband. I stopped sailing in the merchant marines when I got pregnant, or, as I like to tactfully tell the ladies at the country club, “knocked up”.
7. My sister/cousin (adoptive aunt’s daughter) thinks my niece is a lot like me. I’m not sure if this is supposed to be a compliment to anyone involved.
8. Two of my favorite shows on tv are Eureka and Dead Like Me. My husband likes to point out how totally unrealistic they are. Like the news on CNN is any more realistic?
9. If I wanted realistic, I would watch a show about a frumpy woman that works in a dead end job who is surrounded by over priced consultants that expect her to kiss their ass. She can pay the bills but anything else in life is too expensive…oh wait! I’m already watching this show every fucking day of my life!
10. I would not hesitate to live in a cabin in the woods with no electricity. I might waiver on whether I would be sending out letter bombs or just spinning wool.
11. Michael Moore used to shop at the bookstore I worked at. You can see the mall where I worked in Fahrenheit 9-11. It is where the recruiters are recruiting.
12. I don’t have a long lasting temper but I can get really pissy in the moment. My ravings and ragings usually last about five minutes and then I’m calm and I go on with my life. This doesn’t happen too terribly often. Sometimes I wonder where the anger goes…I’m betting that I will simply self destruct when I’m 60. I’ll be walking along and SPLAT! I’ll just explode in a bloody hail of meat.
13. I like the phrase “Bloody hail of meat”.
14. I also like the phrase “Wizened Street Walker”
15. I never believed in ghosts until I met one.
16. I never believed my adoptive aunt loved me, but she made really good scalloped potatoes.
17. I never really understood what unconditional love meant until I had kids.
18. I don’t believe I got the children I asked for. I believe I got far better than I could have ever deserved.
19. I have an extremely contrary nature. I will say no to something even if I want it simply because if I say no, I will not be giving into something…what, I’ll never know.
This used to cause a lot of disputes in my marriage. Now, I’ll catch my husband using psychology on me and it just makes me smile. It also makes me more agreeable.
20. A movie has to give me a good reason to see it in the theater. Big special effects help.
21. I cannot sit through a movie that I feel is dreadful. I used to walk out on a lot of movies before I met my husband. Now, I just read a lot of reviews before I take the plunge, so I haven’t walked out on a movie in years. I can watch a lot of different genres of movies provided the plot is pleasing and the writing is good. I hate slasher flicks and stupid comedies, unless the writing is good. (Guess what? I haven’t seen many slasher flicks or stupid comedies).
22. My favorite writer is David Sedaris. I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall in their home when he was young.
23. My favorite poet is Billy Collins.
24. When meeting David Sedaris and Billy Collins in person, they were both incredibly kind to both myself and my kids.
25. I think my favorite thing about both Sedaris and Collins is their ability to take a seemingly funny or mundane situation and turn it over in their hands enough times to reveal how impossibly sad it really is.
26. I saw Brokeback Mountain. Yes, it was a big deal to have a gay love story. Did I think it deserved an Oscar? No. The only thing I wanted to do was to shake the main man (not Jake) and get a little emotion out of him. I realize that that was the point, that these big tough guys can be gay, but for me to actually give a damn I’d need a little bit more to go on than that.
27. It wasn’t until I read “The Secret Life of Bees” that I realized I had some serious maternal issues rolling around in my head.
28. I think the period of my life that I felt the most alive was when I went through survival training at the two maritime academies that I attended. I was either the only girl or one of the few girls and everything that I did was judged and torn apart and put together by all the guys that thought they knew better than me. It is a situation that will either make you incredibly strong or destroy you. I believe it was the one thing that helped me get my collective shit together.
29. I have always felt like an outsider no matter where I go. This was my biggest downfall in attempted military indoctrination at the above maritime academies. I am a member of the group but I am not “In” the group. This goes for uniformed service, the girl scouts, and all family units that I grew up in.
30. The only group I have ever felt “at home” with is my husband and kids. I s’pose when it all boils down, that’s all that matters.
31. As a medic, I have had my hands on people as they have died. Once, I could feel a patient as they left their body. We ran the code and resuscitated her. She told us everything we did during the code when, for all intents and purposes, she was dead.
32. Once, when I worked in a hospital, I put the thermometer in a patient’s ear and they keeled over dead. For a split second, before calling a code, I turned the ear probe over in my hand and stared at it. Had I just invented a really cool, really lethal weapon??? The answer was no…
33. I am just now learning to think of the consequences before I act. Not bad for pushing forty…
34. When I worked in a Level 1 Trauma Center I used to use the hour commute home to play music as loud as I could without breaking the radio or the windows. It was the only way to exorcise the demons. I think about that now that I’m becoming hard of hearing…do demons really need all that exercise?
35. Until about three months ago, I really felt a little guilty about not keeping in touch with my genetic family. Then I realized that the only time they want to talk is when it’s on their terms. Now, I don’t give a fuck and it’s made all the difference in the world!
36. I have a hard time connecting with my husband's family unit simply because I am so ingrained to be indifferent when it comes to familial matters. I am the poster child for "bad daughter-in-law".
37. Being a bad daughter-in-law doesn't keep me up at night.
38. When I was a child, I wanted to be the next Jacques Cousteau.
39. When Jacques Cousteau was a child, I wasn't alive.
40. At one point when I was studying to be a nurse, I considered becoming a neurosurgeon. Anyone who has watched me make mistakes in my knitting and then proceed to fudge the proper correction will be grateful for all humanity that I did not become a neurosurgeon.
41. I'm a great gardener for the first two weeks of the season. Then I look outside and it's October and the weeds are as tall as I am.
42. Tall weeds can be pretty.
43. The saddest day of my life was when I took my two cats to the vet to be put to sleep. Yes, I have gone through the death of my father, brother, and adoptive mother. The thing is, I didn't KILL them.
44. Once, I took out a year's subscription on classmates.com but after contacting people from my high school graduating class I realized they were just as despondant as I was. Waaaaay depressing!
45. I have been officially crazy twice in my life. Once when my dad died and once when my adoptive mom died. See? I'm not totally heartless! Killing my cats was incredibly sad but losing both parents before the age of 21? Crazy-making dude...
46. When my brother committed suicide, I didn't cry for a year. When I did cry, it was for about five minutes, only once. Man, maybe I am heartless!
47. However, I cannot listen to the song "In the arms of the angels" without totally losing my shit. It totally reminds me of my brother but for some reason, I can't cry for him without it.
48. I am personally related to people who have committed murder and rape. And to think, I spent the majority of my life feeling guilty for not being a better family member!
49. I was once engaged to a republican. Let me repeat that...a republican... He broke my heart, wasted my money, took advantage of me, and generally made my life a living hell. Yup! A republican through and through...Fortunately for me, this was during the time that my adoptive mother died so I was totally batshit insane at the time. I like to think that I made his life a living hell as well.
50. The house near the bus stop where I catch the bus every morning really needs to get better curtains in their bathroom window.
That’s all I have for now…