1. I am terrified of falling from heights, not necessarily the heights themselves. This means that I am scared to death of open ledges while hiking, bridges and ski slopes / chairlifts /gondolas but am perfectly fine in tall buildings and love to fly. When I am put into a “heights situation”, I have a paralyzing fear and cannot move. Also, I don’t want people to touch me, so helping me out of the situation becomes problematic.
2. I love giving presents, but receiving them makes me very uncomfortable (there being one notable exception mentioned below). My favorite type of presents to give is the completely-out-of-the-blue, for no good reason type. I send so many care packages that the folks at the post office know my first name.
3. Over the years between the end of grad school and the summer of 2006, I gained 70 pounds, topping off at 230 pounds on my scarcely 5’4” frame. On August 15, 2005, I had an “ah ha!’ moment. One year later to the day, I was 76 pounds lighter (and still weigh that much, give a pound or two). While 155 pounds at 5’4” isn’t thin, I am happily ‘average’. This is my most meaningful personal achievement.
4. I remember everything. You really only have to mention something to me once and I will remember it forever. Examples: I have inadvertently memorized the zip codes from most large cities in the US, know that my brother-in-law’s brother likes Hamburger Helper (he lives in Germany; they don’t have HH there) and remember that there was a caterpillar in the stairwell of the hotel we stayed in Acapulco when I was six. Ben says that I need to F-disk my brain.
5. I love flowers… giving them (see #2) and receiving them (that being the exception in #2 as well)… photographing them… growing them. A while ago, I was having a horrible day and I was chatting online with Jean, who was sitting at the Edinburgh Airport and she called a florist about a block away from where I live. They delivered the flowers while I was still chatting with Jean (like within 15 minutes). I was stunned and my bad day completely disappeared.
6. I absolutely hate using the telephone, and yet, have six telephone numbers where I can be reached at, and forward all six of those to my mobile phone when I leave the house. I will email you the story of my life, but likely never call to catch up. I will look up all pertinent information (i.e. restaurant locations and opening times) on the internet, but will I will likely never call to get the same info.
7. Yes, Princess Buttercup, I can recite all of The Princess Bride. Verbatim. No joking.
8. When I eat a banana, I take the peel all the way off before biting it. I have this very vivid memory of when Elizabeth Genco and Shawneric Hachey and I were traveling through Europe, saying to her “I’m not the drape the banana peel over the hand type of girl”. I still think of Elizabeth whenever I eat a banana.
9. My grandmother used to call me Schneckennudel. Loosely translated, this means “raisin danish” or “cinnamon swirl”. Maybe it was a premonition, but I still love raisin danishes.
10. The sentences “The driveway curves.” and “I like your Christmas Lights.”, both sentences that I said often between my mid-teen to mid-20s, (a) have deep sentimental meaning to me, (b) mean the same thing and (c) don’t mean what the actual words in the sentence.
11. I love Starbuck’s Grande non-fat, low-foam 160-degree Chais and medium Dunkin Donuts coffee, regular (‘regular’ in New England means 2 sugars and about a half a cup of cream). I figure my high-maintenance foo-foo drink from Starbucks gets evened out my Joe-Sixpack order at DD.
12. My favorite colors are three shades of green: RGB 698B22, RGB 9ACD32 and RGB 6E8B3D. Yes, I have very specific taste in green.
13. I am a very good driver (just the right amounts of masshole, seattle complacency and german autobahn) and love road trips. In grad school, my housemates were pissing me off so much one weekend while I was writing my thesis that I got in my car and drove to Denver (I lived in St. Louis at the time). When I drove from Seattle to Boston, the length of Interstate 90 from Safeco Field to Logan Airport, I took a picture every three seconds from a camera mounted on the dash, then compressed it into a 12 minute video. I cannot, however, drive a manual transmission car.
14. I passionately hate Rachel Ray.