So, I finally got pressured into doing the whole 25 random things about me meme on Facebook. And since I went to all the trouble to actually think of 25 things and write 'em up, I figure I might as well get double mileage out of them. (Those of you who also know me on Facebook can think of this as an encore, since I know you enjoyed these so much the first time!)
1. I grew up next door to a monastery -- in Michigan!
2. I carry a book (or two) with me everywhere I go, just in case. A notebook and pen, too.
3. Nicknames I have been called: Spaz, Sunshine, Mouse, Bunny, Wiggleworm, Raspberry Badass. (How can one person be nicknamed both Mouse and Spaz, I ask you?)
4. When I lived in Chicago, I was an extra for the Will Ferrell movie Stranger Than Fiction. You can't see me in the final cut, though. Also, another movie was filmed on my block that same summer, and John Goodman's trailer was set up in front of my living room window. He is a big, big man.
5. I am completely incapable of putting on make-up. Well, I can kind of do mascara. I've reached a point in my life where I'd love to actually learn how, but it's sort of embarrassing to admit that you are almost 33 and can't apply lipstick properly.
6. My favorite childhood stuffed animal, Doggy, is still on my bed now. He was given to me by my friend Bethany for my birthday in Kindergarten. And yes, I was an extremely uncreative stuffed animal namer at 5.
7. Speaking of stuffed animals, when I was a kid, I had a zillion of them. So many that they couldn't all fit in my bed at once. So I created a chart and checked off each time one of them shared my bed so that they would all get equal time and not feel left out.
8. I am much more a dog person than a cat person, but right now my only pet is a cat. Her name's Violet, and I've had her since just a couple months after I graduated from college.
9. Since college, I have lived in 13 different houses/apartments.
10. Over the past few years, I have learned several old-fashioned domestic skills that I never thought I would: sewing, knitting, making jam and other preserves, making homemade chicken stock, etc. This year, I gave handmade holiday gifts to nearly everyone on my list.
11. I am a major procrastinator. I get my best and fastest work done under pressure of an immediate deadline. In college, I once wrote 10 papers in a week at the end of a semester. I drank a lot of Mountain Dew and ate a lot of potato chips to make it through that week. I have NOT, however, ever pulled an all-nighter.
12. I really love hiking. The hike to the top of Half Dome from Yosemite Valley is my favorite ever -- it's 17 miles round trip, 10,000 feet total elevation change (5000 up and 5000 back down) and it took me 12 hours to do it -- pretty much from dawn till dusk. You also have to pull yourself up a sheer rock face on cables at the end of the hike. People die there every year. That part was really scary, but I can't wait to do it again.
13. I almost always name my pets after characters from books: Violet is named after Violet Beauregard from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (and also because she was very shy -- a shrinking violet -- when she was a kitten). I have also had pets named Holden, Scout, Duncan (from Macbeth -- this was a family pet and my mom wouldn't let me name him Macbeth), Rowsby Wolf (from Watership Down).
14. I was engaged once. We broke up a few months before the wedding, and the planning we did was such hell that I've pretty much decided that when I do get married, I'll elope and say my vows on the top of a mountain somewhere -- maybe at Taft Point in Yosemite. I still want to be dressed like a princess, though.
15. I ran a record store for 4 years after college, before returning to grad school. It's definitely not like Empire Records or High Fidelity, but I loved it. Also, the free CDs and concert tickets I got were great perks. Oh, and I secretly really enjoyed busting shoplifting teenagers and making them cry.
16. I arrange my books on my bookshelves by color -- all the red books together, then all the orange, etc. I just think they're prettier that way.
17. From 2002 to 2007, I lived in 5 different states -- Massachusetts, Michigan, Illinois, Maryland, and California. (7 if you include the two states I lived in for only a month each -- Texas and Pennsylvania.) I hated Maryland and liked Texas a lot more than I expected to. If I could live anywhere in the country other than where I live right now, it would be Austin.
18. Some of my favorite things I've ever eaten are: Blueberry-Thyme gelato from Capigiro Gelato in Philly (and the Pineapple-Cilantro was pretty amazing, too), Polenta from Volpi's in Petaluma, Pizza at the Point Reyes Station Cafe, the seared duck at The Girl and The Fig in Sonoma, the hamburger at Lovely Hula Hands in Portland. Also, wild strawberries, black raspberries, and mulberries from the woods by my parents' house.
19. I was supposed to be born on Groundhog Day in 1976. I was over 2 weeks late. I pretty much haven't been late in the 33 years since -- lateness is one of my biggest pet peeves.
20. I am completely non-functional on less than 7-9 hours of sleep a night. I can survive for one night with less, but after that, I get weepy and irrational and I am basically useless. Same thing happens if I don't eat at least every 3-4 hours.
21. As a kid, I wanted to be an astronaut. I have been to Space Camp. Twice.
22. I despise talking to strangers on the telephone. I'll do everything I can to avoid calling to make appointments, order carryout, or otherwise speak to someone I don't know on the phone. In fact, I chose both my dentist and my mechanic in large part because they allow me to make appointments online. I don't even really like calling people I KNOW on the phone, unless I'm super-comfortable with them.
23. I am much more of a morning person than a night owl, and I always have been. I have clear memories of going to sleep in the summer while it was still hours till sunset when I was a kid. Even after I was old enough to stay up much later. One of my favorite apartments was one in Boston where the morning sun would come in my window and wake me up at about 5am in the summer. Now, I am often in bed by 9:15 at night.
24. I believe that Las Vegas is the living incarnation of hell on earth. I spent a grand total of about 15 hours there last year and I couldn't wait to leave. I cannot understand why anyone would want to get married there.
25. Even though I love living in California, I really, really miss fall and spring in Michigan. Nothing can compare to brilliant leaves against deep blue skies in October and the apple-blossom orgy that is May in Michigan. And even though I don't miss the looooooong wait for spring, I do believe that it made me appreciate nice weather more than I do now, when I get it nearly all of the time.