Monday, February 23, 2009

100 Things About Me

Well, I have done it!  I have written 99 blog posts!  Like lots of other people with blogs before me, in honor of my 100th entry I have written what is probably a long, tedious list of things about me.
  1. My favorite book is Pride and Prejudice.
  2. My favorite movie is Casablanca.
  3. My favorite album is Lyle Lovett's Road to Ensenada.
  4. Or maybe the New Pornographers' Electric Version.
  5. Our dog Abbey has been with us for 6 of her 8 years. 
  6. I live in denial of the fact that her breed's average lifespan is 8-10 years.
  7. When Robert and I met in college, I was engaged to someone else.
  8. The subsequent collapse of that relationship was not related to Rob specifically, however.
  9. Our first date was an 8-hour-long marathon that started by having coffee in the afternoon and changed venues several times.
  10. We dated for just one semester before both leaving College Station and starting the long-distance relationship gig.
  11. We dated for 2 years, were engaged for about 4 and 1/2 months, and have been married for almost 7 years now.
  12. I grew up in a suburb of Fort Worth and have lived in Texas for all of my life, except for a 3-year stint in Connecticut during our residency/postdoc years.
  13. I had some very embarrassing phases in my middle school years when I did things like refuse to listen to anything but classical music, read lots of Tolstoy, and wear giant bows on the side of my head at an unflattering angle parallel to the ground.
  14. I had a whole Russian literary phase during my early teens, actually.  I got in to an argument during my senior year of high school with my Bible teacher (I went to a Christian school) about how Dostoyevsky was spelled.
  15. My classical-music-only period came to an end about the time my contemporaries stopped listening to New Kids on the Block and switched to U2, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana.
  16. If I am ever REALLY in the mood for truly cringe-worthy public self-abasement, I will post some of my "short stories" from that middle school era.  Or maybe some entries from my file of 3x5 notecards with ideas for stories jotted on them.
  17. I was a physics major as an undergrad, the only woman in a class of a dozen or so.
  18. I studied astronomy in grad school, in a statistical fluke of a class that was over half women.
  19. My primary education included a Montessori school, a Presbyterian Christian elementary school, six years of homeschooling, and then I graduated from a pentecostal Christian high school.
  20. We'll probably send Grace to our neighborhood public elementary school come kindergarten. (Sorry, Mom and Dad!)
  21. There were just over 30 people in my high school graduating class, and I went from there to a 40,000 student university where I went to 300-person classes.  It was a surprisingly easy transition.
  22. I have been pregnant or breastfeeding since my PhD graduation in May 2005. I am a procreative MACHINE.
  23. Yes, that means I nursed Grace until I got pregnant again, just past her 2nd birthday.
  24. I expect I'll nurse Violet for 2-ish years as well.
  25. We haven't tried to give Violet a bottle yet.  Trying to get Grace to take one was such a dreadful experience that I keep putting it off.
  26. Trying to work full-time after Grace was born was disastrous for me, but working part-time felt like a great balance.
  27. Not working at all is pretty nice too.
  28. I have one younger sister who recently moved to North Carolina and married her high-school sweetheart.
  29. I don't miss the day-to-day activities of being involved in astronomy research.
  30. Sometimes I miss the idea of being an astronomy researcher.
  31. I have been a children's Sunday School teacher, a Bible study leader, and a missionary for a summer in a Muslim country. I know-- I am a religious nut!
  32. But seriously, my faith defines who I am and is the most important factor in how I view myself and the world around me.
  33. In college, I was in an improv comedy troupe.
  34. In fact, drama and performing were a pretty big part of my life from junior high through my college years.
  35. Probably my weirdest role was wearing a fat suit to play the murder victim in an Agatha Christie play in high school.  I was killed right before intermission, if I remember correctly, and had to stay on stage dead for a good chunk of the rest of the play.
  36. Music has also been a big part of my life since childhood.  I studied piano from age 8 through high school and considered majoring in music in college.  I went with physics instead but did take lessons for a few semesters in college.
  37. I then went 5 years (i.e. grad school) without touching a piano and started up again playing piano at our church in New Haven.
  38. My sight-reading skills came back surprisingly well; in fact, I think I was better at the end of our 3 years at that church than I ever was back in high school.
  39. I both miss playing on Sunday mornings and am hugely relieved to not play anymore.
  40. I really loved grad school.
  41. I was pretty unhappy as a postdoc at Yale, though.  Good thing I quit!
  42. Living in the Northeast was a blast.
  43. I feel sort of ambivalent about being back in Texas.
  44. Things that make me feel happy to be here are seeing my parents frequently, eating really good Mexican food, seeing the delightfully low bill on our mortgage statement every month, and listening to Lyle Lovett.
  45. Things that make me feel not-so-happy about being here are the vibe of the city, all the SUVs driving around, the anti-intellectual I-don't-trust-science bias of the culture, and the extra effort it takes to find non-chain restaurants.
  46. I love to cook.
  47. I have fairly sophisticated gastronomical tastes, but my favorite food is pizza. Doughy, cheesy goodness!
  48. Despite my claim to urbane and adventurous taste in food, I don't like mushrooms or shrimp.
  49. We've been quasi-vegetarians for over a year now.
  50. Foods that we have a hard time keeping around the house because they get eaten up very quickly include baked goods (me) and kiwis and cherry tomatoes (Rob).  I leave it as an exercise for the reader to determine which one of us struggles with his/her weight.
  51. I have a deep and abiding love for science fiction, of both the cinematic and literary varieties.
  52. So say we all.
  53. I love wearing bright colors, black, prints, dresses, and skirts.
  54. And babies.  I love wearing babies.
  55. I don't like wearing earth tones, most neutrals, and pants.
  56. I REALLY dislike wearing shorts and jeans.
  57. All of the above are trumped by my great attachment to yoga (or other knit, stretchy-type) pants.
  58. Grace and I share a middle name with my maternal grandmother, great-grandmother, and a few other women further back in my family.
  59. We used all our first-string meaningful female family names on Grace and for Violet ended up looking at lists of names to find ones we liked.
  60. We almost gave Violet a family surname as a middle name but were in a jolly holiday mood when she was born so went with Noëlle.
  61. My first instinct is to assume all health problems are psychosomatic in nature and will go away if ignored.
  62. I don't really like my natural hair color and have jealousy issues toward redheads.
  63. I was a faux redhead for a good chunk of college.
  64. Other colors my hair (or parts of my hair) has been include blue, pink, purple, and bright unnatural red.
  65. My mom taught me to sew when I was about 10 and I have been doing it off and on ever since.
  66. My parents' college graduation gift to me was a really nice sewing machine.
  67. About half the clothes in my closet are sewn by me.  (Not that many of them fit right now...)
  68. When it comes to ready-to-wear, I tend to buy cheap clothes and more expensive shoes.
  69. In fact, an embarrassing percentage of my RTW clothes are from Target or Costco.  Perhaps I should start shopping in stores that don't also carry paper towels?
  70. I have at various times in my life been into knitting, cross-stitch, and needlepoint but I don't know how to crochet.
  71. I abhor clutter.  And tchotkes.  And anything "collectible".  This is the main reason I don't do needlepoint or cross-stitch anymore.  (Although sometimes these tempt me.)
  72. Actually, I am just generally very sensitive to my physical surroundings as far as mess, clutter, filth, etc.
  73. The more stressed out I am, the more sensitive to mess I get, which is not a really good combination.
  74. I do not build strong attachments to physical objects and have very little trouble getting rid of things.
  75. I always hope I'm not going overboard and getting rid of things I really will regret later; this feeling is seldom enough to keep me from sending the item in question to Goodwill/eBay/the trash.
  76. I cannot figure out those giant containers of laundry detergent-- you know, the 170 oz. kind you get from the bottom shelf with the spout and red button.  Every time I buy one, I end up with this drippy, sticky mess below the spout in my laundry room.
  77. I am a make-up wearer.  I sort of wish I weren't, but I am.  I wear make-up whenever I will see people.  If you do not live with me, the only time you might run into me bare-faced is at the pool or the gym.
  78. I always hope I will not run into anyone I know at the gym for that very reason.  In fact, I have avoided a friend at the gym, hoping she would not see me.  More than once.
  79. Part of me wants a big family but another part worries about the environmental impact of having more biological children on the one hand and the challenges of adoption on the other hand.
  80. There is irony to my last post because I don't really listen to the lyrics of songs very intently.  I probably would have failed to recognize about half of those songs from just their first lines, despite my claim that they are among my favorites.
  81. When I got to about #80 on this list, I ran out of steam and asked Rob for help to think of items for the list.
  82. I've only been to 6 countries on 3 continents and would like to make that list much longer.
  83. Since we got Tivo, we tend to record many episodes of a show and then watch them all at once in the span of a few days.  It's a sort of binge-y behavior but I kind of like watching them like that.
  84. My favorite TV shows include The X-Files, Gilmore Girls, Lost, and Battlestar Galactica.
  85. And cooking shows.  My favorite examples of the genre are Nigella Lawson's shows and Alton Brown.
  86. I claim to not like reality TV because I cannot bear the American-Idol-Survivor-Bachelor types of shows, but if I like cooking shows and Project Runway as much as I do, perhaps it is not accurate.
  87. I have spent between a semester and a few years studying Latin, ancient Greek, Spanish, French, and Russian.  I always picked them up pretty easily but never had the motivation/opportunity to really become fluent in any of them. I regret this.
  88. I love love love IKEA.  I think that our house is almost entirely furnished in hand-me-downs from family and things from IKEA.
  89. I have a tattoo and a navel ring.
  90. Although I have your run-of-the-mill doubts and struggles spiritually, I've never had an earth-shattering crisis of faith or rebellious period.
  91. Rob and I joke that sharing our faith with our children is what is going to do that to us; trying to explain to a very concrete thinker how God can be invisible but real or who Jesus is makes you realize how crazy it all sounds to human ears.
  92. I have a touch of wanderlust and really like to see new places and experience new cultures.
  93. If Rob came home one day and said he had just gotten a job in another country somewhere, I would be really happy.
  94. Being a mom is really rewarding, of course, but it also more just plain fun that I thought it would be.
  95. I think the best meal I've ever had was at La Boheme in Carmel, CA (which I am very sad to discover closed in 2005).  The most fun meal I've ever had may have been a date early in my relationship with Rob at Sardine's in Fort Worth.
  96. I need a lot of sleep to really function well and feel really lucky that I've managed to stay mostly caught up on sleep through 5 years of observing runs during grad school and two babies.
  97. When I hit about the 24-hour mark of no sleep, I pretty much fall apart.  During one observing run in grad school, I used a telescope in Hawaii remotely from my office in Austin.  Because of my schedule, I didn't have the chance to sleep the day before my run started and because of the time difference between Austin and Hawaii, I was observing until something like 10am the next day.  I managed to hold myself together through the actual observing but afterwards I was an absolute wreck, unable to decide whether or what to eat and bursting into tears because a stoplight turned red on my way home to sleep.
  98. I believe this is the biggest reason I could never be a physician.  I'm not sure I could physically handle the sleep deprivation of residency.
  99. My first car (which was only one year younger than me) had been sitting for several years with gasoline in the tank before being given to me in high school. Even after repairs to get rid of the glue-y gasoline grunge, a little bit would sometimes come loose somewhere and get stuck in the carburetor, stopping the car from being able to start. I had to remove the air filter and bang on the carburetor with a wrench that I kept in the car for just that purpose, knocking the bit of gooey stuff loose. I would then replace the air filter and start the car. I looked like I knew a LOT more about the interior workings of cars than I actually did (or do).
  100. I can't believe I thought of this many things to write and I would like to extend my thanks to you if you got this far!


Kiki@Seagulls in the Parking Lot said...

Engaged before Rob! Sounds scandelous, must learn more!

Loved the list and I learned a lot about you!

ashley said...

I learned lots of fun stuff about Julia. Thanks for sharing!

amydove said...

Congrats on your 100th post! I thought of lots of comments along the way, but then realized that my comments would be nearly as long as the original. So I agree with a lot of these, and learned some new things too!

Carleen said...

SO great! Learned lots about you. Very cool. Congratulationaries on your 100 mark!

Eva said...

I also thought of too many comments to write here, so i will join the rest on sending congratulations for the 100th post. You have given us many many hours of entertainment reading this blog.

angie.a said...

So say we all! I seriously love you now. :D

Tina said...

Great list!! It was really fun to read and I am so impressed you could think of 100 things.

And YES, about #76, what is UP with those things??? I thought there was something wrong with me.