I’ve noticed that other bloggers will sometimes make lists of 100 facts about themselves either when prompted via meme or as part of their profiles. I enjoy reading these and decided early in my blogging days that my 100th post would be one of these lists.
1. I am of average height.
2. My shoe size used to be smaller than average, but my feet got bigger during each pregnancy.
3. My shoe size is now a half size larger the current national average.
4. My two younger sisters are much taller than I am. They are also much prettier.
5. I consider this rude and disrespectful, but I forgive them both because I love them and their feet are bigger than mine.
6. Patrick and I have five children; this is far above the national average of 1.8 children per family.
7. We’ve been married almost 17.5 years, another fact that bucks many trends.
8. We are two of the most happily married people we know.
9. I was born in Reno, Nevada.
10. But since I spent most of my childhood in the San Joaquin Valley, I tell anyone who asks me that I’m from California.
11. I do not endorse the current governor of California, but I like his wife’s family very much.
12. According to my parents, I taught myself to read using Scrabble tiles when I was two years old.
13. The first conversation I remember having about a book was an argument with my uncle over the plot of a Hardy Boys mystery. I was about four and a half.
14. That same weekend, I surreptitiously fed my unwanted green beans to my step-grandmother’s poodle, Mitzi.
15. Mitzi subsequently vomited the vegetables into the pool during an important grown-up cabana party. I got in huge trouble for embarrassing my grandfather.
16. I haven’t really trusted dogs since.
17. I taught my sister Angie to read the summer that she was four and I was eight.
18. In late August, when she could read random verses out of the Bible, I drew a diploma for her and we celebrated with cookies and bouquets of dandelions.
19. When I was in sixth grade, I took a peanut butter and mustard sandwich in my lunch every day.
20. I didn’t particularly care for peanut butter and mustard sandwiches.
21. But my desire to be unique was greater than my desire for food-derived pleasure.
22. I have since figured out ways to be unique without sacrificing my taste buds.
23. I love trying new foods, and eat as varied a diet as possible.
24. But I could eat toast made from homemade bread and spread with unsalted butter and raw honey three times a day and never tire of it.
25. Angie and I once discovered that Chips Ahoy! (normally an inferior brand of store-bought cookie) taste fantastic if you spread sour cream on top of them.
26. I played the flute all through junior high, high school, and college, but I would have preferred to learn the oboe or the cello.
27. My seventh-grade orchestra teacher gave me my flute when he learned that our family couldn’t afford to rent an instrument. It had belonged to his wife.
28. Though the flute is not my favorite instrument, I treasure mine and the memory of that thoughtful, generous teacher.
29. I have eight direct ancestors who were passengers on the Mayflower.
30. I have 28 direct ancestors who fought on the colonists' side of the Revolutionary War.
31. Patrick and I are fifth cousins.
32. I discovered facts #29-#31 when I became obsessed with genealogy about five years ago.
33. Working on genealogy is my second favorite thing to do on Sunday afternoons.
34. Napping comes in first.
35. When I was in high school and college, I got by for weeks at time on three hours of sleep per night.
36. My two favorite classes at BYU were “The Literature of C.S. Lewis” with Philip Flammer and “Pearl of Great Price” with Hugh Nibley.
37. While I was at BYU, I co-managed a short-lived but very cool restaurant/night club called The Backstage Café.
38. I also sang in a band; we performed frequently at the restaurant.
39. My two most requested numbers were “Pearly Dewdrops Drop” and “These Boots Were Made for Walkin.’”
40. My boyfriend Chris was the other lead singer.
41. When Chris and I broke up, I dropped out of college and moved to the East Coast.
42. Many people warned me that if I moved away from Utah, I’d never marry someone of my faith.
43. I met Patrick in New Jersey four months after moving.
44. My first job in New York City was at the Research Foundation for Mental Hygiene.
45. Many really smart neuropsychiatrists worked at RFMH: I learned a lot during my time there.
46. ‘Mental hygiene’ is a phrase rich in mockery fodder; it still makes me snicker like a sophomore.
47. When I was 22, I went on a mission for my church to Montreal, Canada.
48. It was the best thing I’d done spiritually in my life up to that point.
49. My French improved faster during the six months of my mission than it had for the 12 years I’d studied it in school.
50. I doubt, however, that I would have learned how to conjugate verbs in the conditional perfect tense while I was in Canada.
51. I have not kept up with my French, unless you count listening to Saint Privat and translating Tintin books for my kids.
52. I feel guilty and depressed when I contemplate #51. So I try not to.
53. My mission was cut short when I was diagnosed with severe Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
54. For a year and a half, I slept about 20 hours out of every 24.
55. I gradually got better and now do fine on about seven hours of sleep per night.
56. But napping remains high on my list of luxury activities.
57. When I was little, I wanted to be Irish-Catholic and live in Manhattan.
58. One third of that dream has come true: Patrick and I lived in New York City for the first eleven years we were married.
59. I loved living there; we probably would have stayed there forever if we had had only three kids.
60. I am thrilled to be living in the Hudson Highlands and plan never to move.
61. But I visit Manhattan at every opportunity.
62. Paul Newman, still gorgeous in his late 70s, once held the door open for me at a New York theater.
63. I smiled and whispered, “Thank you,” then walked in congratulating myself for not fainting.
64. I finished college through BYU’s Degrees by Independent Study Program.
65. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in 1999.
66. I was 32 and had three kids when I graduated.
67. My grandmother taught me to knit when I was 10.
68. When I was 18, I started knitting a sweater for my boyfriend Dennis.
69. Our relationship fell prey to the infamous ‘Sweater Curse,’ and I didn’t knit at all after that for 14 years.
70. My friend Carmen got me back into knitting eight years ago; I’ve been at it ever since. Dennis, meanwhile, is now a successful mortician. Thank you, Sweater Curse.
71. I am a huge Anglophile.
72. I am also a Francophile and a Celtophile.
73. And a turophile.
74. But not a coulrophile; I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that all clowns are evil.
75. I felt confirmed in this knowledge when I saw the movie Poltergeist.
76. The fiction I write is usually somewhat dark and scary.
77. When I was six and she was four, my sister Stephanie and I collaborated on several little homemade magazines. I wrote the stories and she illustrated them. We then sold the magazines to my mother.
78. I wrote my first book, Antoine and Colette, when I was 14; my Creative Writing teacher gave it a ‘B,’ complaining that it was somewhat derivative.
79. She was right; Antoine and Colette will never see the publishing light of day.
80. I consoled myself with Jung’s theories on archetypes and resolved to do better.
81. My first published novel, Shannon’s Mirror, came out in 1991.
82. After I wrote it, I stopped writing fiction so I could finish my college degree.
83. Once I graduated, I felt too overwhelmed by young motherhood to write at all for several years.
84. Now that I can no longer reasonably be called a ‘young mother,’ I am glad to be writing again.
85. I find blogging to be an excellent warm-up for my fiction writing.
86. I love Paris in the springtime.
87. I’ve actually only been there in February and in August.
88. Places I hope to visit someday include Florence, Machu Picchu, Kuala Lumpur, Pondicherry, The Isle of Skye, Istanbul (not Constantinople), St. Petersburg, Antarctica, and Graceland.
89. Having my appearance change as I age is much harder to deal with than I ever imagined it would be.
90. I have a goal to come to grips with both my vanity and my pride in this matter.
91. Patrick sometimes calls me ‘Grammar Fascista.’
92. This is because unintentional errors in spelling, grammar, and usage drive me crazy.
93. Believe me, it is a curse to be reduced to yelling at the television every five minutes when these unforgivable lapses on the part of advertising and programming writers occur.
94. Which is one of the reasons I tend to avoid TV.
95. Except for Mets games, Medium, and The Upside-Down Show.
96. And watching the Knicks back when Latrell Sprewell was playing for them.
97. And Firefly. That was the best TV show ever written.
98. Of course, grievous errors also occur constantly in the world of print. Sometimes I read with a red pencil in hand.
99. But not often, because even I realize how crazy and futile that is.
100. There is a book that I absolutely loved as a kid. Hiding marbles in the hollow trunk of a sycamore tree was key to the plot. I have forgotten both the title and the author of this book; if anyone out in the ethersphere knows what book I’m talking about, please contact me at once. I will be forever in your debt, and might even be able to come up with a reward for you.