I've been noticing really interesting lists on other blogs: "100 Things About Me."
I tried compiling a similar list, but foundered after about 30 things. I put the list away, brought it back out, tried again and added about a dozen more things. Rinse and repeat; I somehow got up to 72. It's the best I can do.
So here they are. And if these 72 things are as boring to you as they seem to me, this would be an excellent time for you to check your e-mail or take a bathroom break.
1. I was 3 ½ pounds when I was born, and spent the first month of my life in an incubator. (The last time in my life I was ever petite.) My anxious parents arranged for an emergency baptism at the hospital.
2. I never put off until tomorrow what I can put off indefinitely, especially if it’s really, really unpleasant.
3. I once had a pet turtle named Arnold, after Arnold the pig on “Green Acres”; Arnold was liberated in an irrigation ditch after he made a break from his tank in my playroom and wound up wedged inside the heat register.
4. I would rather mow the lawn than vacuum the floor.
5. I would rather spend $100 in a book/music store, or in a greenhouse, than $100 in a clothing store.
6. But I clean up well for the public.
7. Things that make me nervous: making pie crust; left-hand turns; babies; Excel spreadsheets; living in the most economically sad-ass state in the Union; multilane freeways; The Diane Rehm Show; malls.
8. Things that make me less nervous than most other people: snakes and spiders; thunderstorms (I kind of dig them); writing; dentists; public speaking; deadlines (structure is good).
9. One of my favorite things to do is knead bread.
10. I am a two-thirds vegan who loves and craves MEAT.
11. The strangest food I ever encountered at a potluck was barbecued beaver. (This was not a church potluck, by the way. And stop laughing. Think of the poor beaver.)
12. I am easily amused, but I am also easily bored.
13. 99 percent of the time I would rather read a book, listen to the radio or go online than watch television.
14. My favorite church tasks are lectoring and helping with the Eucharist. And bake sales – sign me up.
15. Church tasks I’m happy to leave to others: council (never again) and tending unhousebroken, pre-verbal children. (On the other hand, precocious older kids – kids who read Harry Potter, who know about dinosaurs, who are artistic, who are regularly tormented by non-precocious kids, who don’t get chosen for teams in gym – I will gladly be their Auntie LutheranChik.)
16. I have a veddy Victorian, fan-rustling sensibility when it comes to "rules of engagement." Which probably explains why I'm living with my octogenarian mother and a geriatric dog. (Maybe I'm paying attention to the wrong Victorians.)
17. My idea of a rilly hot date would be something like October leaf peeping up north in God's country, followed by a picnic lunch out in the woods. (Fill in the narrative blanks.)
18. I am an introvert who, in the right circumstances, can’t stop talking.
19. My top three vices are anger, followed by gluttony and sloth in a photo finish for second place, with pride coming in third. All depending on what day it is. But those are the general winners’ circle vices.
20. Thanks to my farm upbringing, I am quite talented at barnyard impersonations, including a very believable impersonation of a happy chicken. (Which sounds quite different than an unhappy chicken.)
21. I am an early riser whose energy level pretty much tanks around 3:00 p.m.
22. I studied Latin for four years in high school, but barely remember any of it.
23. I majored in advertising in college. I wonder if there’s a good penance for that.
24. I’ve always had more older friends than friends my own age. Which makes me wonder what’s going to happen when I’m, say, 95. (If they haven’t set me out on an ice floe to quietly and conveniently expire.)
25. I have gotten every good job I’ve ever gotten by answering a want ad. I have never gotten a good job doing the things all the job-hunting experts tell you to do.
26. I usually prefer nonfiction to fiction.
27. I usually prefer heirlooms to hybrids.
28. In school I loved geometry and hated algebra; but I think if I audited an algebra class as an adult, I might like it more.
29. My hairdressers have an alarming tendency to cut my hair in the style of the Three Stooges’ Moe. I carry a laminated photo of how I actually want my hair: “Make it look just like this.” They usually don’t.
30. I have an aversion to home repairs...I know I should be the kind of woman who spends Saturday mornings at Home Depot discussing gutter brackets and caulking and whatnot, but I'd really rather eat waffles, drink coffee and read the paper.
31. I often get overly stressed over unimportant things.
32. I have an aptitude for putting things together by following written instructions and schematics -- but there's usually some verbal obscenity involved in the process.
33. Actually, I swear like a sailor if I'm sufficiently provoked.
34. Like while listening to talk radio.
35. Things I'd be perfectly happy to never do again: attend elementary school; take driver's training; take an economics class; get passed-out drunk, and gut-puking hung-over the next day; undergo a uterine biopsy (said the doctor: "You may experience a brief, moderate amount of discomfort"...I think there are probably still fingernail marks gouged into that exam room ceiling); petition for legal guardianship of an elderly loved one with mental health issues and then have her involuntarily hospitalized -- sheriff's deputies, screaming and cursing, the whole schmeer.
36. I have a tendency to whine. (Especially to God.) Wait -- it's not whining; it's lamenting.
37. When I was a child I wanted to be either Robin Hood or Sherlock Holmes when I grew up. Or Mr. Spock. Or the dad on "Daktari." When I was very little I wanted to be the Queen of the Animals.
38. When I was in junior high I had a brief fascination with becoming a nun -- pretty hysterical for a good Lootern girl.
39. Then I wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore -- at least I wanted her job and her apartment. (How did that huge apartment fit into that old house?) I wanted such a fabulous life that I'd be tossing my beret in the air all the time, just like ol' Mare.
40. I actually do wear a beret in the wintertime, but I hardly ever toss it. And never on a street corner.
41. I would on a dare, though.
42. I won my 5th grade spelling bee.
43. I once owned 15 different varieties of English ivy. Then I purchased Number 16, which turned out to be infested with spider mites, and soon I had zero varieties of English ivy.
44. I am sports-indifferent until the Olympics roll around, at which point I get a little obsessive about them.
45. I once read a book, on purpose, about how to get attractive and unusual houseplants by planting seeds and pits of supermarket fruits and vegetables.
46. I have a thing about earrings.
47. If you are smart enough to make me think and funny enough to make me laugh, I want you in my posse.
48. I once had to stop trying to learn tai chi from a video designed for seniors because the instructor was going too fast for me.
49. I have dimensionality issues -- if I am sharing space with another solid object, there is a very good chance I'll run into it or fall over it.
50. I'd rather walk than ride a bike.
51. My worst cooking disaster was wholegrain bread containing buckwheat flour, back in my college days. It came out of the oven like cinderblock. I suspect that's what that loaf is being used for right now.
52. My favorite PMS, don't-give-a-damn, self-medicating snack: popcorn mixed with plain M&M's.
53. Favorite books of the Old Testament: Genesis for the stories; Psalms for the kvetching; Isaiah for the poetry and "vision thing"; Jonah for the grace thing.
54. Favorite books of the New Testament: The Gospels, especially John's.
55. Favorite Christian hero/ine of yore: Julian of Norwich.
56. Favorite contemporary Christian hero/ine: Jury's still out, but Bonhoeffer and Desmond Tutu are on the short list.
57. I love continuing education classes, on many different subjects.
58. Things I still want to learn before I pass from this mortal coil: how to swim; how to read music; how to sing with confidence; how to speak Spanish.
59. I agree with the bumper sticker that says "Life Without Art is Stupid."
60. I have a nosebleed-High Church soul, but I attend a do-the-limbo-Low church. Yet I keep going back. Go figure.
61. I find myself getting a little depressed if no one responds to my blog posts. ("Well...isn't that special?")
62. My favorite Beatles were George because he was deep, and John because he was a smartass.
63. I enjoy popular music from the 70's more now than I did in the 70's, when I was in mourning for the 60's.
64. The best slumming job I ever had: working in a bookstore.
65. The worst job I ever had: Working as an adminstrative assistant for a dean's office at a medium-sized state university. It was so awful that I gladly gave up its bodacious benefits, including tuition for full-time employees, and literally burned all my work-related documents after I quit. This job was worse than my gig doing janitorial work in college...and that includes cleaning toilets.
66. My coworkers give me the phone line when telemarketers call our agency because I am so...um...forceful in expressing our collective disinterest in purchasing their products.
67. I love my dog even though he's messy, and more or less psycho, and likes my mom better.
68. I have a peculiar aptitude for making friends with cats -- even battle-scarred, feral barnyard tomcats. (Hint: The secret is in the voice inflection.)
69. I actually enjoyed 8th grade catechism class, even though the pastor was kind of clueless. Maybe that's why I enjoyed it.
70.I can knit, but don't.
71. I need coffee. Lots and lots and lots of coffee.
72. If I ever join a gym, you'll know that hell has officially frozen over.