Friday, September 16, 2005

100 Things About Me, broken down into bite-sized pieces

Ten things I stink at

1. Math

2. Coloring inside the lines

3. Knowing what day it is

4. Telling a joke

5. Talking rationally to someone when I’m angry at them

6. Dealing with unexpected change

7. Staying out of poison ivy

8. Writing music

9. Telling the difference between blue and purple

10. Accepting a compliment

Ten things I’m more or less okay at

11. Skating

12. Kayaking

13. Writing stories

14. Proofreading

15. Working with kids, handicapped people, and animals

16. Trampoline tricks

17. Cutting a rug

18. Cooking

19. Folding origami flowers

20. Spackling

Ten Things About My Body

21. I’m short.

22. My hair is blonde, but sometimes I dye it unnatural colors, even though I should have grown out of that.

23. My eyes are blue.

24. My arms can each rotate 540 degrees. It’s gross to behold.

25. My BMI is 21.3. Find yours here.

26. I have asthma and scarring in my lungs from histoplasmosis.

27. I wear a size 8 shoe, and I’m left-foot dominant (but right-handed).

28. I can span an octave and a note on a piano with my hand. This is useful when playing Tori Amos songs.

29. I can’t run for shit, but I’m not a bad skater.

30. When I was in grade school, I won a contest for picking up marbles out of a bucket of water with my toes. I picked up 21 in one minute. I can also play the piano with my toes, but not well.

Ten Things About My Mind

31. It keeps me up very late at night.

32. I used to take antidepressants, but I don’t anymore, and I’d like to sue the pants off Pfizer for lying about the withdrawal symptoms of that shit.

33. I’m right-brained to a fault.

34. My IQ is somewhere in the 130s or so.

35. I type 89 words per minute with a 1% error margin. Sometimes when I’m typing very fast, and writing something original, my hands will type a synonym for the word I’m thinking of in my head, without my conscious mind thinking of the synonym. It’s very weird.

36. I’m synesthetic, and it’s enhanced when I’m in pain. For instance, when I had a terrible headache a couple months ago, I tasted the shape of the sound the door made when it bumped into its frame. I frequently see things when I hear sounds; the sound of my dog Kiva’s bark is shaped like the inside of a funnel, with stripes running through it. The sound of some ringing phones is a purple and yellow checkerboard.

37. I have a hard time maintaining superficial real-life friendships. Unless I fucking love your guts, I more or less can’t be bothered. I am friends with a number of people at work, but when they ask me to go drinking with them, I mostly decline. There are about three people outside my immediate family who I consider real friends, as in, I’d give them access to my bank account without asking twice if they needed it or put them up or fly across the country to counsel them through a breakdown.

38. I need to create stuff in order to stay sane. If you take away my ability to write, take photographs, draw, play music, all that, you might as well take away my will to live.

39. I wish I found the first tenet of Buddhism easier to accept. That suffering exists is a bitter, spiky pill to swallow. I can’t get it down. It hinders my compassion.

40. I am not patient.

Ten things I hate

41. Jackasses who lock their dogs in cars with the windows up in the summer

42. Jackasses who beat their dogs

43. Jackasses who train their dogs to fight

44. Jackasses who drive drunk

45. Jackasses who cover up for jackass clergymen who sexually abuse children

46. George Bush

47. Jackasses who think gays should burn in hell

48. Nuclear weapons

49. High humidity

50. Poison ivy

Ten favorites

51. My favorite color is anything that fades into another color well, right at the point where you can’t tell if it’s one color or the other.

52. My favorite food is saag paneer.

53. My favorite beers are Mackeson and Leinenkugel Creamy Dark.

54. My favorite animals are dogs and bugs. (link to flickr photosets) I like simians too.

55. My favorite movie is Ghost in the Shell.

56. My favorite authors are Martin Amis, Barbara Kingsolver, and Arundhati Roy, but I like a whole shitload of others a whole lot too.

57. My favorite musical artists are Moby, Modest Mouse, and anybody who can kick some good blues around like an old tin can in a dirty alley that leads straight to the afterlife.

58. My favorite spots on this earth that I’ve seen so far are Big Bend National Park in Texas (particularly the Chisos Basin, but all of it’ll do), that gorgeous pub with the hardwood tables and floors that I almost burned down playing with the candle on the table and a book of matches when I was really drunk in Galway, Ireland, and the ski slopes of Mt. Hood. I’m expecting the Badlands will make this list too; full report upon my return.

59. My favorite traits in another person are their humor, wit, intelligence, and compassion.

60. My favorite way to spend my free time is by creating something.

Ten things that make me laugh

61. Jon Stewart. He’s always good for a giggle.

62. Harold on Red Green.

63. That movie Super Troopers. It’s so stupid. But it’s funny every time.

64. This shirt M has that says “Nobody Knows I’m a Lesbian” in really big letters.

65. My brothers when they try to hit golf balls at the driving range. They suck real bad. Funny things frequently happen, such as the head flies off their golf club because they hit the ground instead of the ball, or they miraculously hit the ball but it ricochets and whacks the rent-a-cop.

66. SpongeBob.

67. My friend Nathan’s writing. The best unpublished I’ve ever read.

68. What Kiva does when you put a sweatshirt on her.

69. Monkey shitfights.

70. The word spackle.

Ten interesting things I’ve seen or done

71. I got stuck on a roller coaster once when a tornado ripped out the power to the amusement park. No one would come rescue us because they were afraid the tornado would kill them. We had to wait 37 very long minutes locked into our roller-coaster seats listening to the tornado but unable to see it behind the trees before anyone came.

72. Once when I was riding a horse the horse went under a branch and scraped me off, then stepped on my shirt and pinned me to the ground. I didn’t get hurt but how many people can say they’ve been clotheslined by a horse?

73. I got stung on the leg by a Portuguese man-o-war, which I hear is pretty rare. It left this sort of weird dotted tattoo halfway around my ankle that took six months to fade.

74. I once bartered a trunk full of clothes for a cockatiel.

75. I got knocked out at a homecoming dance in high school when one of the kids I was moshing with (to Spoonman by Soundgarden) slammed into me and sent me flying through the air. My head hit the gym floor and I woke up in an ambulance when they popped one of those nitrogen capsules in my nose (or whatever they are; they stink and burn).

76. I got fired from my first job.

77. I was stopped and waiting for traffic to pass so I could turn left onto my street when a sixteen-year-old kid in a Chevy rear-ended my car at about forty miles an hour. I didn’t realize I was wearing a backward, inside-out T-shirt and rainbow knee socks until after the tow truck hauled my ruined car away and I limped home and looked in the mirror to make sure my head was still attached to my body.

78. I know a lot more about BDSM than most people would ever suspect knowing me on a superficial level.

79. I’ve bungee-jumped and parasailed.

80. I snuck into a museum in Szeged, Hungary.

Ten injuries I have sustained

81. When I was very small my dad picked me up by the arms to spin me in a circle and my arm came out of the socket. It came out twice more before I was four years old.

82. When I was twelve I was skating down a hill in a campground on our first day of family vacation. I was wearing Umbros, per the style of the times. I fell and skidded about twenty feet down the asphalt on my ass. My shorts ripped and I left a bunch of ass-skin on the road. It hurt a lot. I also broke my hand and ripped a patch of skin off the inside of my elbow, somehow.

83. I fell off a swingset in my Grandma’s backyard when I was six. It left a three-inch gash just above my knee. It wasn’t a deep wound but it bled a lot and I still have a scar.

84. I took a faceplant while skiing down the side of a mountain in New York last year and dislocated my shoulder.

85. Some dude busted up my toes when we were doing jujitsu once. He pinned my naked toes to the mat with his knee as he was taking me down. I heard and felt them crunch.

86. I tried to dive off a ten-meter platform once and spun around in the air and hit the water pretty much flat on my back. It took three weeks for the bruises to stop blooming all down my legs. It looked gnarsty.

87. When I was about ten, I was fishing in my uncle’s creek, and my uncle’s girlfriend’s daughter tripped over a fishing pole that was right next to me and the lure on the fishing pole was one of those triple-hooked ones. I had my arm bent and one of the hooks hooked into my upper arm and one hooked into my forearm, so my arm was stuck bent shut. My dad took out the fish hooks with a pliers. I had to get a tetanus shot.

88. Also when I was ten I got such a raging case of poison ivy that both eyes swelled shut and my face oozed nastiness. I had to miss a lot of school and I couldn’t see anything. I went to the doctor to make sure it hadn’t gotten into my eyes. To test that, the doctor had to pry my eyes open and put some gunk into them that would show up under a black light, and then hold open my swollen eyes to look in there with the light. It didn’t really hurt, but it sure did itch like a motherfucker.

89. When the doctors were trying to discover what was growing in my lungs, they biopsied them, which meant they stuck a real big needle through my ribs and punctured my lung and schlepped out some of the offending mass (luckily I was out cold for that part). They told me the risk of lung collapse following the biopsy was low. My lung collapsed. That’s probably the most enduring pain I’ve been in. Other stuff has hurt more, but not stayed at a high level of “ow fuck” for a long time like that. It was only partially collapsed at first, so they sent me home and told me to come back to the hospital in the morning for an x-ray to see if it was still collapsed. In the morning, I could hardly draw in breath, I couldn’t sit up or lay down on my own. I could hardly walk. M took me back to the hospital and they put a chest tube in and reinflated my lung. It sucked a whole, whole lot.

90. When I was nineteen I was at the same campground where my brother broke his neck. I was on the swings at night, swinging next to some kid my family knew. It was one of those old-school swingsets, the tall metal ones with the heavy rubber swings that weigh about eight pounds and have the heavy chains that leave rust all over your hands. He jumped off his swing and it was flying wildly through the air. I shouted that he should grab it and he did, but then he flung it back up. It came down…right on my face. I felt the impact but not any real pain. I dragged my feet to stop myself and put my hand up to my mouth. In the darkness I couldn’t really see well, could just see that my hand was covered in something dark and wet that for some inexplicable reason I thought was oil from the swing. It took me a minute to realize it was blood. Lots of blood. I started to walk away from the swings and then I just sort of fell over. A park ranger showed up and shone a light in my face and said “Oh my God.” Then he shone it on the puddle of blood all over the ground in front of me. I mumbled something about my teeth, I couldn’t find my teeth. I could tell with my tongue that they were missing. After a while an ambulance showed up. One of the EMTs who put me in it was very young and he got very pale looking at me and said something like, “don’t even worry about plastic surgery yet, we’ll just get you to the hospital and clean you up.” I was all, oh great, I wasn’t worried about it until you said that…I did wind up needing plastic surgery. When we got to the hospital the doctor I saw was very brusque and acted like we were wasting his time. He gave me a wet cloth and told me to clean it myself because he didn’t want to hurt me, got the nurse to give me a tetanus shot and sent me on my way. When I was at the dentist a week and a half later getting my teeth reconstructed, the dentist asked what was inside my lip. I kind of moaned because we’d never found my teeth…I had to have surgery to get the teeth taken out of my lip. There was also a bunch of rust and dirt sealed in there with them. We went to a lawyer to see if we could sue the doctor who told me to clean it up myself at least for the cost of the surgery to get the teeth out, but we were told we didn’t have a case.

Ten sins I have committed, and why I don’t think I’ll go to hell for them

91. I squashed a caterpillar to death when I was about six. I don’t know if I knew what I was doing or not; it seems, in my memory, that I might have had the idea that it was bad to put a caterpillar in the bottom of a bucket, fill the bucket with dirt, and then squish the dirt down, but I’m not sure. It might be retrospective guilt.

Now, I rescue bugs. Inside my house, in swimming pools, in my car, wherever.

92. I cheated on a spelling test in the fifth grade.

It was the only test I ever cheated on. The class “bad boy” caught me at it and smiled and didn’t tell on me. I never cheated again.

93. I claim to despise television, but I watch “The Simpsons” and “Family Guy” every week.

The only other television I watch is the news, and I mute the commercials.

94. In my last year of college, I slept with a professor (not while I was taking her class), three marines, my best friend, his girlfriend, two creative writing majors, some dude from New Zealand who has the same last name as me, and a Filipino guy I met in marital arts class.

Since the minute I met M, there has been no one else, and there will be no one else. Only M.

95. I sometimes used to rush my dog through her morning walk when I was running late for work and may not have given her enough time to do all her business.

I made sure that when we could afford a house, I bought one with a really big yard for her and the other dogs to run in. She’s never rushed now.

96. Though I’m a vegetarian, I own leather items of clothing/accessories, such as belts, shoes, and backpacks.

I’ve made it a policy to never buy leather again. It’s difficult but I’m determined. I don’t want to be a vegetard.

97. I broke a boy’s heart. Bad.

I got my heart broken by someone else. What went around came around.

98. I went to Las Vegas for a funeral and had a great time.

I’ve felt guilty about the circumstances surrounding that funeral ever since.

99. I wished that the girl I loved for four years would be unhappy in South Carolina and come back home to Ohio and be with me.

She got married recently, and looks happy in the photos from her wedding, and I feel good about that. I want her to be happy.

100. I was too ashamed to tell the priest my real sins when I went to confession as a child, so I made some up.

Actually, I’m pretty sure I’m going to hell for that one.


At September 16, 2005 12:32 PM, Blogger Indigo said...

Excellent idea! FWIW, I like M's tshirt too. That's hilarious!

Bugs? You save bugs. Well, I must confess that I have my moments where I'll find a bug and take it outdoors and tell said bug 'it's his lucky day'. I hope the bug appreciates my effort.

May I borrow your 10x10 list please?

At September 16, 2005 2:28 PM, Blogger d.K. said...

Wow. I didn't know anyone outside of the greater Chippewa Falls/Eau Claire area knew anything about Leinenkugels... I'm impressed.
(I'm a cheesehead who grew up a few miles from the brewery). All re-interesante!

Safe trip!

At September 16, 2005 2:32 PM, Anonymous atpanda said...

J, I feel like I know you a smidge better now. You have very good stories for a short life thus far. You totally describe yourself physically to be completely opposite of what I pictured. ;-) I'm sure going to miss you while you're gone!

At September 16, 2005 3:01 PM, Blogger Mustang Bobby said...

Via A Silent Cacophony, happy birthday to you, too.

At September 16, 2005 3:09 PM, Blogger sidhe said...

Oh, that was wonderful! Laughed right up to 81-90 (except for some of your synesthesia experiences, sounds pretty unbearable), groaned and winced 81 through 90 and was actually laughing out loud again by #94. Your list reminded me of why a sense of humour is so necessary to survival.
(PS Before my kids went to school, I'd avoid colouring books amap and always say "colour outside the lines, girls, question everything". Of course this caused a few problems when they got to the school age; wonder what they'll be saying about their Mum in their blogs one day?)
Loved the list!

At September 16, 2005 3:21 PM, Blogger Spenceman said...

Hey man. I love Moby and Modest Mouse too. Happy Birthday (or as we say in Spain, Feliz Cumpleaños) as well. Hope you have a safe trip!

At September 16, 2005 6:39 PM, Blogger Greg said...

NIcely done! Very imaginative presentation, plus you have a great writing style. I could feel every single injury you listed.

At September 16, 2005 8:15 PM, Blogger suleyman said...

Mmm-hmmm. Great list. Long time in the works. It shows.

I too have moshed to "Spoonman" by Soundgarden.

This is the only thing that stands out. Yep. Out of that whole list. "Spoonman" by Soundgarden is the only thing of note.

Kim Thayil is just the man, though. That dude can play some serious guit.

Oh, and I'm in charge here now.

Peace out.


At September 16, 2005 10:31 PM, Anonymous Heather said...

Wow, all very interesting to know. My favorite is number 100 though. :)

Hope you are having a SUPER vacation right now, and can't wait to hear what you have to say when you get back (and please, stay away from the poison ivy)!

At September 16, 2005 11:33 PM, Anonymous em said...

too much to comment on- i didn't know we had so much in common-
saag paneer hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm-
my wonderful man has burned a lot of speeches given by arundhati roy for me- i don't know where he got them but i would mail you a disc if that is not too silly-
i am so hungry now


At September 17, 2005 10:16 AM, Blogger cmhl said...

very interesting. and I don't think any of your sins are hell-worthy..

At September 17, 2005 4:58 PM, Blogger Raehan said...

Great post. So much to comment on I'm overwhelmed.

2,3, 4,5, 8, 10, 15, 19, 23, 28, 29, 33, 40, 41-48, 61!, 64 (now that you mention it), 83 (except I was younger), 92 (on science test in 8th grade and got caught-first and only time cheating on test), 97100

These are al things I have in common with you.

And my goodness. I'm glad you are still alive, my dear.

At September 18, 2005 1:54 AM, Blogger D. Travers Scott said...

Synaesthetic? Wow! That's always fascinated me. What did you think of the book Man Who Tasted Shapes? That was thef irst place I learned about it...

At September 20, 2005 4:03 PM, Blogger Kelley Bell said...

Come on now...Truth...

Those are not your REAL sins, not the ones you worry about going to hell over.



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