- I remember the phone numbers of all the boys I dated in high school. And all the phone numbers of all my high school friends. Nothing like living before speed dial or cell phones to imprint muscle memory.
- I went to Japan for two weeks during my junior year of high school, as part of a cultural exchange program. I made friends with a bunch of kids, turned up my nose at most of what was in the boxed lunches they gave us, and ate at McDonald’s pretty much every day. Now, I love sushi and look back in horror at my treatment of those boxed lunches. (I did eat all the vegetables, pickles, and tempura.) I also visited an amazing Shinto shrine in Kyoto, and traveled up into the mountains for a visit to a grove where they cut bamboo for building home shrines. The three-hour tea ceremony I attended at the monastery where they blessed the bamboo was perhaps the most mental quiet I’d have for the next 10 years. When I got home, my jet lag was so bad that I slept for three days. When I got back to school, I found out I was first in my class, because the guy I’d been neck-in-neck with got a D in his drafting class.
- I won several thousand dollars’ worth of savings bonds during elementary and junior high school, by winning city and state-wide essay contests. I cashed them out one summer in law school so I could pay my rent while I worked an unpaid internship at a civil rights organization.
- I’ve had a thick grey streak in my hair since I was eighteen years old, so I color my hair. Of all the colors it’s been, my husband’s favorite is the one called “Copper Penny.”
- I don’t like eggplant, I don’t drink milk, and I think squid/calamari is disgusting. I also don’t like smoked salmon, New England Clam Chowder, pepperoni, or anything with the words “Hickory Smoked.”
- Other random jobs I have held, besides the circus: Night manager at the KFC; jewelry retail clerk; information desk clerk; banquet waitress; dishwasher; cocktail waitress; potwasher; waitress at a private club; hostess at a pizza restaurant; data entry clerk at a Meals on Wheels program; mail room clerk; sales and marketing assistant; ball bearing and power transmission equipment sales; lifeguard; babysitter; party set-up assistant; book inventory clerk; retail store inventory clerk.
- I took piano lessons from fourth grade until ninth grade, when I discovered the joys of organized thuggery otherwise known as field hockey. I am tone deaf, and I could never learn any piece of music by heart—the whole process was painstaking. I don’t really miss playing the piano, but I wish I could carry a tune.
And a bonus fact, because I’m still too sick to be bothered with tagging anyone.
8. The Better Half and I were talking about living off the grid for some reason or another the other night, and I admitted that I’ve got Storey’s Basic Country Skills and a few other similar books in my Amazon wish list. It occurred to me that while I’m not a wild-eyed survivalist by any means, one of the reasons I hang on to my Little House on the Prairie books is because I’m convinced that the knowledge of how to root cellar and make soap conveyed in those books will be somehow detailed enough to let me figure out the rest of the end-of-the-world details out myself. The ultimate sign of an egghead—they think they can do anything, as long as they have the right book.