Wednesday, January 28, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

I've been tagged a few times on Facebook, so I guess it's time to respond! This is a "reprint" of what I posted over there.

1. I love to sing. I started singing in my church choir (St. Thomas the Apostle!) when I was 10. Thanks, John Ferreira, for encouraging me!

2. I wanted to sing professionally, and even went to the Summer High School Music Institute at Northwestern, the summer between my junior and senior years of high school (1979). However, when it came time to perform my solo (Schubert’s Ave Maria), I chickened out because of my terrible stage fright. I have always wondered if I could have made it.

3. After that, I didn’t sing in public again until 1992, when I joined my current church choir. I loved it, and again entertained the idea of singing professionally, until I decided I wasn’t competitive enough for that.

4. I hate rejection. Really hate it. To the point that I have to talk myself out of trying to force people I really don’t like to like me.

5. I was painfully shy as a little kid, to the point where I wouldn’t even buy my own movie ticket. I was always afraid of being laughed at.

6. We moved, and I changed schools, when I was 10, going into 5th grade. In my new school, I became the kid everyone picked on. I hated it, and became a very angry 13-year-old by the beginning of 8th grade. Me getting angry (like, really, explosively, biologically Irish, swearing-like-a-sailor angry) shocked the other kids so much, they left me alone after that.

7. I was an exchange student to Germany with AFS from 1980 – 1981, and the experience literally changed my life. I got over my shyness, and figured out that I was valuable enough to be someone’s friend.

8. I love German food! Bratwurst, Schnitzel, Broetchen for breakfast, Schokolade Schnitten… just love it!

9. I lived in England from 1983 – 1987. I always say I missed the 80s – I was living in Europe most of the time! I didn’t want to leave, but I couldn’t get a residence visa. I’m still an Anglophile.

10. Along those lines, I really love a good cream tea! I haven’t found one over here. Guess I’ll have to take a vacation to London.

11. I had a very nasty divorce from my first husband, full of battles over custody. It always amazes me that my son emerged from that whole mess relatively unscathed. He is an astoundingly strong person.

12. I hate pepperoni on pizza. I think it’s because my ex-husband wouldn’t eat anything else on pizza. I’m not scarred by that experience at all, am I?

13. I am in awe of the wonderful person my son is turning out to be. I am always humbled when I see flashes of my family’s values showing in him. He’s also very much like my father, for which I’m very grateful. He has the same sense of the importance of family, and the same sense of personal honor.

14. I am absolutely addicted to Four Seas Ice Cream, made in a tiny shop in Centerville, MA. I have been since I was a kid, when we summered around the corner from there. I can only buy it on a cone, or in a pint that I share with someone else, or else I will eat it all in one sitting.

15. My second husband was a gift I never thought I’d get. He was my best friend, knew me better than anyone else, loved me completely and unconditionally, and I still find myself wanting to turn and tell him something about my day, even 2 years after he died. I still miss him every day.

16. I don’t expect I will get married again. I’ve had the worst and the best, and that’s enough for me. I’m enjoying living alone for now.

17. I love my family! I am good friends with my mother and sisters (which is a real gift), I really like my brothers-in-law, I think my niece and nephews are the greatest kids on earth (well, next to my son, of course), and my cousins are a weird and wonderful group of people. I have 20 first cousins on my father’s side – and only 3 uncles. Do the math. We’re a large and loud bunch, but we’re also lots of fun.

18. I grew up Catholic, but I now attend a Protestant church. The church is a federation of Universalist and Congregational, and suits me perfectly. My husband and I were quite active there, until his death. I have kind of backed off this past year. It’s really hard to be there without him.

19. I have two step-children who have become very good friends to me. We all made a commitment to remain close after their father died. That, too, is a gift.

20. I didn’t learn to type until 1991. Now I type up to 65 words a minute, when I’m warmed up. I like to amaze my students by touch typing while I’m looking at them, usually while they’re taking tests. Makes them freak out. My sort of fun.

21. I hate correcting papers. Absolutely hate it. I would be perfectly happy to just teach every day, and never have to correct. If you figure out how I can do that, let me know, ok?

22. I love to read romance novels, especially Regencys. I can go through one a day in the summer. I’m also really picky about what I read. Most “bestsellers” just don’t appeal to me.

23. I love to travel. I get itchy feet on a regular basis, and feel a desperate need to just get away from the Cape. Usually, these days, though, I’m content to go to Boston or Virginia, due to personal budget restrictions. Some day I hope to take a cruise around the world.

24. I am a planner. I currently have my classes “timed out” through the end of the year, I’m lost without my calendar, I use MS Money so I can plan out my budget, and I’m always looking ahead to the next month. I think this is because I can be very absent-minded, and this is my form of defense.

25. I have a very varied vocabulary, but I stink at Scrabble! I can just never think of words over 3 letters, without some prompting. However, if someone puts down “triskaidekaphobia”, I’ll know what it means. Of course, those of who grew up in the NY area pretty much all know what it means, don’t we? (Think PBS……)

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