101 Things You Might Not (Want To) Know
This being the 101st entry of my diary, I thought I'd join the ranks of those who make lists, and rather than the usual 100, I'd do 101.
So here we go:
1. I was born 7 November, a Friday, in a hospital that no longer exists, in Southeastern Virginia, where lie all my roots and my upbringing.
2. Most people have no clue as to my provenance and often accuse me of being from Massachusetts, as I have almost no perceptible accent.
3. I was born by Caesarean section after 12+ hours of labour. When Mom's Ob/Gyn died, we learned that the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around my neck.
4. As a child, I preferred strange and whimsical spellings for words, e.g., "phart" and "krapp". (This tradition continues as I opt for Continental spellings. Thanks, Fi.)
5. I am a third (III), but I do not think there will be a fourth (IV), because of the emotional baggage I believe to be associated with the name.
6. Ideally, I would like to have three children, two boys and a girl, in that order, at least two years apart, with lovely Irish names. (This will not likely happen.)
7. My mother's family are largely sailors of some sort; my father's family are mostly farmers.
8. Due to severe and chronic asthma and allergies, I spent a significant portion of the first 5 years of my life in hospitals.
9. Initially, the asthma was so severe that I was diagnosed as having cystic fibrosis; luckily for me, the doctors revised their diagnosis, and I'm still here.
10. I hate needles (the injecting kind, not the sewing kind; I'm actually pretty good at sewing).
11. I don't like creatures which naturally have more than 4 or fewer than 2 legs, caterpillars, inchworms, and butterflies excepted.
12. I was told, as a child, that I'd have made a pretty girl. (We recently disproved this theory at a birthday party where everyone had to dress in drag; I was disastrous.)
13. I am disturbed by both clowns and drag queens, but mimes just make me sad.
14. I wanted to be a gymnast as a child, but my parents wouldn't let me take gymnastics, and I'm too tall now. (6-foot-tall gymnasts are few and far between.)
15. I was taught to handle firearms at a very young age, probably somewhere around 5 years old, and I was a pretty good shot.
16. I believe in the right to bear arms, but I also believe in their responsible use, as well as the necessity of background checks and bans on assault weapons.
17. I am, mostly, a pacifist, though I would have no qualms whatsoever about killing another human being, or many, if I believed it was necessary. (It usually isn't.)
18. I was raised a United Methodist in a largely Southern Baptist family.
19. My father initially opposed my confirmation into the Methodist church, but relented in the face of my insistence.
20. This was emblematic of my childhood; I am an only child, and my parents never really denied me anything.
21. As a child, I wanted to be a Roman Catholic; as a teenager, I realised I had problems with that; I am now an Anglican, though friends still regularly call me pagan.
22. I'm fond of saying that I'm the Devil (and playing Devil's Advocate). I tend to believe that we are all, in some measure, both Devil and Christ; we all have that potential.
23. I attended pre-school at the church where as a teenager, I'd be the pianist and assistant choir director.
24. I was educated entirely in private institutions; I did not so much as set foot in a public school until high-school, for regional band auditions (I got in every time).
25. I began teaching myself the piano very early; when I was 5, my grandmother finally convinced my parents to take me to a piano teacher.
26. Said piano teacher had been my grandmother's music teacher and accepted me as her youngest pupil ever. (Seven was her low-end age limit.)
27. In elementary school, there were as many as 24 or as few as 16 students in my grade.
28. I switched schools for eighth grade, and there were 80 students in my class, the largest the school had ever graduated.
29. At age twelve, I took up percussion, in order to play in my high-school band.
30. I was musical director of my first show, a musical in a local amateur theatre, at age 14.
31. Also at age fourteen, I took up French horn, because the percussion parts had ceased to challenge (begun to bore) me.
32. When I was a senior in high-school, USA Today named me one of the top 20 high-school students that year. (How disappointed they must be in me now!)
33. I went to college at Yale, where I was disillusioned, disappointed and disgruntled. It wasn't at all what I wanted it to be.
34. I took a college course in Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyphs (Middle Egyptian); I had to drop it to avoid failing; it was far more difficult and time-consuming than I expected.
35. My greatest regrets about college are that I did not row crew; I did not rush/pledge/join a fraternity; and I did not work very hard, so my grades sucked.
36. I smoked my first cigarette at age 18. It was a Djarum; I smoked cloves exclusively for awhile, then moved to regular cigarettes. I almost never smoke now.
37. I love the taste of the first toke from a joint or a bowl of good ganja, but of course, I only smoke that in Holland, where it's legal, Mr. Ashcroft. ;-)
38. I've performed for two American Presidents (Clinton and Bush I) and one Russian (Yeltsin).
39. I am fluent in English, French and Latin. I'd like to learn Irish Gaelic, Czech, German, Italian, Hebrew, Greek, and Russian.
40. I've lived for more than a month in London, Paris, southern Maine, New Hampshire, southwestern Georgia, southeastern Virginia and southwestern Connecticut.
41. My favourite place on Earth is the wall near the bottom of the boat launch at the west end of the Ile-St.-Louis in Paris.
42. I would like to live on a boat, as I enjoy travel, I love the sea, and I'm not fond of the concept of a fixed permanent address.
43. I do not enjoy flying, not because I fear death, but because I fear falling, and I have control issues; I'd probably be fine in the pilot's seat.
44. My fear of flying also does not stem from a fear of heights, as I quite enjoy climbing around in the upper reaches of buildings.
45. I often lounge around my apartment (on the top floor of a high-rise) in white dress shirts.
46. Most of my underwear are Calvin Klein button-fly boxer-briefs.
47. I have enough underwear to go for about a month wearing a clean pair every day without doing laundry. (I like underwear, but it's not a fetish.)
48. In general, I believe I may possess more clothing than any two women I know combined. (That statement, obviously, does not extend to shoes.)
49. I don't really have a favourite colour, but I wear quite a lot of blue and black.
50. I sometimes change my hair colour/style; once a year, it turns blond, red, or black. Sometimes, as a result, people fail to recognise me (most recently, my Dad).
51. My eyes are very much like my Mother's, an odd watery green, dark at the outer edges lightening toward the inside, with the tiniest ring of yellow around the pupil.
52. When I'm having allergy problems or my eyes are tired or bloodshot, they turn an even stranger colour, approximately the shade of blue-green dashboard lights.
53. I'm a total sucker for blue eyes, but I'm also quite content to stare into green or grey.
54. I'm also a total sucker for English/Scottish/Irish accents.
55. I have a thing for blonds and redheads.
56. I find facial hair silly and unattractive, almost without exception.
57. I think police and sailors' uniforms are extremely sexy, but only on people I'd find attractive in the first place.
58. I cannot tolerate hot weather. (Anything above 80 degrees Fahrenheit is unbearable.)
59. The only things I want to do in hot weather are swim, drink, fuck, and sleep.
60. Despite my drive to fuck, my favourite "sexual activity" is snuggling.
61. It is extremely difficult to make me achieve an orgasm through oral sex.
62. I don't understand men's desire to have anal sex with women (I much prefer the flip-side).
63. I do not enjoy being spanked. (Yes, we've tried this.)
64. I do not know with how many people I have had sex, and I certainly do not know all of their names. I am not proud of this.
65. My favourite euphemism for "having sex" is "knocking boots."
66. I don't fantasise much about sex with celebrities, but if I had to choose, I'd go with Matt Damon and Renee Zellweger.
67. I have around 1,000 CDs, and apparently, it's not enough, as I keep buying more. A fair number of them are irreplaceable.
68. I am enamoured of books -- the smell, the texture, the imprint of the ink on the page and its bleed into the fibres, the intricately-shaped letters, and the words...
69. I am also obsessed with words and language. (It just happens that I find books easier on the eyes than any other medium, like, say, the computer screen).
70. I also have a decent collection of vinyl records, some of which I wouldn't want to replace with CDs, and some of which I couldn't if I wanted to do.
71. I'm crazy about amusement parks, especially roller-coasters.
72. I do not, however, like carnivals; I find them creepy, and I'm not getting on any ride that folds up and goes in the back of a truck.
73. The sound of a train-whistle tugs at my heart and puts a flutter in the pit of my stomach and a knot in my throat -- the lure of the rails.
74. I cannot stand the sounds of microwave ovens beeping (I stop them at 1 second), electr(on)ic alarm clocks (mine has a bell), sirens and feedback (they hurt my ears).
75. I find the sound of a ringing phone terribly unsettling, and if I answer, it's as likely to make it stop as it is to talk to whoever is calling.
76. I hate having my name shouted at me. If you yell at me across a room, I'll usually either pretend I don't hear you, or that it isn't my name.
77. I have always been fascinated by vampires. It seems fitting, as I am terribly pale.
78. I used to be a very mopey Goth. You'd never think it to look at me now, but he's still there, just on the inside.
79. I loathe the fact that I have to shave.
80. I'm developing more body hair as I get older, which I find disconcerting, but perhaps I'll eventually find waxing pleasurable. ;-P
81. I have uncommonly good vision and can read small things from rather great distances. I also have extremely keen hearing.
82. I tout myself as a raving klutz, but in fact, I'm typically capable of a sort of grace.
83. I can probably sneak up on you with little or no effort; I'm pretty good at choosing when I get noticed.
84. I'm not usually inclined to dance, as I'm overly self-aware, but apparently, after a few drinks, I relax to a point that I'm pretty alright at it.
85. I love parties when I'm in the role of bartender, host, DJ, or some combination of those, but I'm not so great at just being a guest.
86. I like most any food, except pears, bananas, raisins, and Jell-O.
87. My favourite sandwich is either camembert on brioche with a thin layer of mayonnaise or cheddar and peanut butter on wheat with mayonnaise.
88. My favourite ice-cream, which I believe is no longer made, is Haagen-Dazs Midnight Cookies & Cream.
89. The only alcoholic beverage which I NEVER enjoy is Jagermeister.
90. I drive a carbon blue 2000 Toyota Celica GT-S, often quite fast, and curse loudly at other drivers. If another person hits my car, I will kill him/her slowly & painfully. (2 November 2004: The lease term is ended; the car has been returned to Toyota.)
91. I am nearly incapable of being punctual, especially to work.
92. When this was written, I was the technology guru for a design firm, with other gigs as a pianist, musical director, and singer. As of August, 2004, I live in New York City and am a professional musician who sometimes does other things for extra money.
93. In the past, I've been a convenience store clerk, singer/dancer/waiter, tech support peon, legal secretary, accounting grunt, and full-time musician.
94. Cerebral elitist that I am, I love to play croquet; I find the insane competition both exhilirating and relaxing. (I don't mean back-yard croquet, here.)
95. I also very much enjoy playing chess, but I'm not very good at it.
96. Favourite sports are hockey (wish I could play, but I can't skate), soccer (speed & grace), rugby (elegant violence), and college basketball (choreographed excitement).
97. I like the idea of fistfights, but I haven't really been in one in ages, and I'm not sure I'd fare so well, at this point.
98. I've been called "a walking paradox" and "an exhausting human being". I liked both, though neither was intended as a compliment.
99. I am never satisfied with anything I do. Occasionally, I'll go, "Wow, that was really pretty good," but it always comes as a surprise to me when I don't suck.
100. Despite the apparent self-loathing and erotomania, I was never abused in any way. I've just always been my own worst enemy. Better me than someone else. ;-)
101. It's been much more difficult to come up with 101 things about myself that I think might be vaguely interesting than I expected it to be.