Tuesday, January 1, 2008

100 Random Things About Me

1. I am a wife of 40 years, a mother of two grown sons and grandmother of six.

2. I was born in central California during a time when native Californians were in the minority. Everyone else had come to California from somewhere else, including my parents and grandparents. Now, it’s just the opposite.

3. I have four sisters, but one is deceased. I am the oldest.

4. My childhood hero was Annette Funicello on the Mickey Mouse Club.

5. When a friend told me there was a rumor that Annette Funicello died, I went home and cried myself to sleep.

6. When I was about 10 years old, I had surgery on the inside of my left calf to remove a benign tumor that was caused from being hit hard by a ball. The doctor went through the back of my calf to remove the tumor and I still have a large scar to this day.

7. My favorite sport in elementary school was tether ball. I was the playground champion.

8. When I was in 5th grade, I lost the school spelling bee when I spelled “matron” incorrectly.

9. Now, Scrabble is my favorite board game and I kick butt.

10. I always hated elementary and high school because I never felt like I fit in anywhere.

11. I loved college, but I was older and more confident.

12. We lived in Fresno, California until I was13 years old, when we moved to Northern California.

13. I grieved for months and made my parents miserable, on one occasion screaming at them through sobs, “We have to go back home! We don’t belong here!”

14. At age 13, I was well on my way to becoming the drama queen I am today.

15. My dad taught me to float on my back with my toes sticking out of the water when I was about 10 years old. I’m still a really good floater.

16. I taught myself how to swim when I was 10 years old by wearing flippers to help push me along the water.

17. The most fun I ever had during my teens was camping and water skiing at Clear Lake.

18. I learned to ski slalom (single ski) at age 14 and never looked back.

19. I could take off from the dock, ski around Tule Island and ski right up next to the dock so I could sit down on it, without ever getting my bathing suit or my hair wet (what can I say, I was 17 at the time).

20. While camping one summer, I hung my bathing suit out on a clothesline my dad configured between two trees. In the morning, the bottom to my bathing suit was laying on the ground in some vines, which turned out to be poison oak. I got a nasty case of poison oak in my butt crack that took two weeks and two bottles of calamine lotion to heal.

21. During the camping trip, our friends the Simas’ cooked breakfast for both families one morning. It was the first time I had pancakes topped with peppery beans and linguisa sausage instead of syrup. I thought it was delicious.

22. I sang in my high school choir one year. When I found out the next year, we would have to audition individually, I was so scared I didn’t try out and never sang in a choir again until Tom and I joined a church in the 1990’s.

23. I used to watch American Bandstand everyday and dance along, using the fireplace mantel as a partner.

24. In high school, my friend, Russ Peterson, and I were dance partners, but never dated and were never boyfriend and girlfriend.

25. Russ and I would go to the school dances separately, but together enter the dance contests and we won every slow dance contest we entered for two years in a row.

26. I was the only teenager I knew who could dance the fox trot or the waltz because my parents took dance lessons and taught my sisters and me what they learned in dance class.

27. In high school, I was only asked to go to the prom once, but I declined because my mother refused to buy a dress for me to wear. She insisted that I wear one of her “dance” dresses.

28. I started smoking cigarettes at age 18. Although it took me three tries, I finally quit smoking when I was 35.

29. I wasn’t allowed to get my drivers license until I was 18 years old. I didn’t own a car until I married Tom when I was 23.

30. I have been married twice, but in love only once.

31. My lips are always chapped. I have a tube of Burt’s Bees chapstick in my purse, in both cars, in a kitchen drawer, in my bathroom and in my bedside table. I use them all the time.

32. I am seriously afraid of heights, but I love roller coasters.

33. I used to drive a red convertible Ford Mustang Cobra with a 5-speed. I loved that car, but I sold it after we moved to Incline Village in 2001 because of the snow. We moved back to Arkansas four months after I sold it.

34. I don’t play a musical instrument (unless you consider an iPod or CD player an instrument), but my oldest son plays the guitar and my youngest son plays the drums.

35. I’ve had several people tell me over my lifetime that I am a natural born teacher, but I’ve never wanted to be a teacher.

36. I hate math. In fact, I flunked high school Algebra and had to retake it to pass and graduate.

37. But I had a very successful career as a college and university financial aid administrator and director. I loved it. Go figure.

38. I love big purses and they are always full of stuff.

39. My favorite color is a pale lime green and I love to wear it with black.

40. When we lived in the country, I thought it would be fun to raise ducks and geese for fois gras (livers).

41. I later figured it would be a bad idea when gave all of our other animals names.

42. I love live theater. I think it’s better than a movie any day.

43. I have never been a picky eater. I grew up liking just about everything.

44. But I WILL NOT eat raw oysters. I eat raw tuna, salmon, sea urchin…you name it. But I just can’t bring myself to eat a raw oyster.

45. My grandmother taught me to knit and crochet.

46. My sister-in-law, Carol, taught me how to cross stitch.

47. I love to cook.

48. I love to try to recreate dishes I’ve had in restaurants, with some great successes.

49. I am a hopeless romantic. I love chick flicks. Luckily, so does Tom.

50. I didn’t pierce my ears until I was 32 and my girlfriend did it with a needle.

51. I always get depressed during the holidays and I have since I was a child. My depression sets in the day before Thanksgiving and doesn’t leave until after Christmas.

52. I could never have enough shoes or purses, but I mostly wear flip-flops.

53. I didn’t see a firefly until we moved to Arkansas. They are the only bugs I like.

54. I love the rain, but I hate driving in it.

55. I didn’t get my first tattoo until all my grandchildren were born. Now I have two.

56. I have dyed my hair since I was 18 years old. On my birthday, I went to Thrifty Drug and bought some hair bleach and became a blonde that afternoon.

57. I really didn’t know how gray my hair was until I was almost 60 and stopped tinting it.

58. I have never seen one full episode of “Friends.” I don’t get it.

59. Likewise with “Seinfeld.”

60. Tom makes me laugh every day.

61. I love having a job and working. I miss it.

62. I never understood people who use all of their vacation and sick leave as soon as they accumulate it.

63. I hit a deer once while driving to northern Arkansas to give a presentation. It went over the hood of my car, up over the roof and then ran off into woods. It left a dent in the side of my car that I never had fixed.

64. The worst boss I ever had at any job was at my last job at the nursing college. She was my deciding factor for resigning.

65. I carried a secret since childhood and finally told Tom about 3 years ago. He is the only one who knows.

66. When I was 12, I rode the bus by myself from Fresno to Los Angeles to visit my Aunt Rickey. My favorite thing about her apartment was her collection of stuffed animals.

67. When I turned 13, my Aunt Rickey sent me 4 of her small stuffed animals from her collection. My mom was so mad that she took 3 of them away from me and gave them to my sisters.

68. Regardless of what I wear, everything has to match, including my socks and shoes (or flip-flops).

69. My dad was a drafter and designed printed circuit boards for a living. He taught all of my sisters the profession. I refused to learn. It looked too boring.

70. My maiden name is Mostad. I was always told as a child that our family name was Johnson, but when our family migrated to the United States there were so many Johnsons that my great, great grandfather adopted the name of Mostad after the name of the village in Norway he migrated from.

71. I wasn’t able to locate Mostad, Norway until two years ago. God bless the internet!

72. I even found a book of fiction, For Love of Norway, translated from Norwegian and written about the people who lived in the village of Mostad. I cried when I got it in the mail.

73. I love NPR, but I HATE science Fridays. I didn’t know I hated science so much until I tried listening to science Friday.

74. In my early 20’s I would write short essays for magazines and send them in. I never told anyone about it.

75. I had lots of rejection letters from lots of magazines.

76. The first record album I ever bought as a teenager was by the Beach Boys. I wanted to meet Dennis Wilson, the drummer.

77. I have wanted to raise peacocks since I was a child. My family used to go to Roeding Park in Fresno, California. Peacocks were allowed to roam free. I loved them.

78. My first “date” with Tom was a foursome ~ Tom, my friend, Bill Brown, my sister, Kathy and me. I thought Tom liked my sister.

79. The people who graduated from my high school and attended our ten year high school reunion were so immature that they were still holding high school grudges. I vowed never to attend another one again.

80. I have voted a straight Democratic ticket since the 1972 Presidential election.

81. I miss my Grandma Tobey. Even when I was little, she talked to me like a grown-up.

82. I wrote a position paper for a Sociology class answering the question, “How best can we educate our children about the dangers of drugs?” suggesting that high school students be required to take “classes” working as aides in drug treatment centers.

83. I got an “A” on that paper and I still think it would be a good idea.

84. I am fascinated by the fact that if you reverse the last two numbers in my birth year, you get the year I graduated from high school.

85. When I was a teenager, I wanted to look like Sophia Loren.

86. My sister, Kathy, and I were back-up singers for a guy named Les. He wanted to be a famous singer and be on American Bandstand. We never went anywhere… obviously.

87. The only time I’ve ever been out of the country is when we went to Mexico while living in San Diego County. It’s just across the border.

88. One year, I stopped shaving the hair under my arms, but I kept shaving my legs. It was during my hippie-dippie phase.

89. I’ve had a heart murmur since I was a child, but it didn’t cause any concern until about 8 years ago when I developed high blood pressure.

90. I love to buy books, but I don’t spend enough time reading.

91. I used to volunteer for a Suicide and Crisis center as a phone counselor. The scariest call I ever had was when a guy stuck a knife in his thigh and hit an artery while he was on the phone with me. We traced the call and got a recue unit to him in time. It was hard to go back on the phones after that, but I did.

92. When I was the director of a Vo-Tech school, I once fired a teacher for carrying a knife on his belt and showing a video to his class called “Guns, Bullets & Babes,” showing women in bikinis shooting automatic rifles. He was a weird dude and scared the hell out of me.

93. My very vacation was the first time Tom and I visited Florida. We went to Long Boat Key. We vacationed in Florida every year after that for 15 years. We’ve been back once in the last 5 years. I miss it.

94. Watching my mother deteriorate mentally until her death was probably the hardest thing I have ever done.

95. I love it when it snows, but I love the summers more.

96. I have tons of make-up, but I rarely wear it, except maybe lip gloss (after the obligatory chapstick).

97. I love flowers. I love growing them. I would turn my whole backyard into a flower garden if I could.

98. Every time I get a telephone call from one of my grandkids, I love it. When I hang up, I cry.

99. I cry at the drop of a hat and it’s harder to control the older I get.

100. This list was harder than I thought. I guess I’m not really that interesting.