100 Things About Me
1. The only radio station I ever loved was WBER 90.5FM in Rochester, NY.
2. I owe my musical taste to this station.
3. Except for the bubblegum pop and occasional hair band binges. No one should be held accountable for that except me.
4. And my 50% German parentage.
5. It is a genetic fact that Germans of my generation love the bubblegum pop and the hair bands.
6. The other half is Belgian, which explains the Jacques Brel.
7. Thanks to WBER I discovered: U2, Nick Cave, Peter Gabriel (the early, weirder, pre-So stuff, that is) Depeche Mode, Erasure, the Cure, The Smiths, The Sisters of Mercy, the Mission UK, Echo and the Bunnymen, Sinead O’Connor, and many others, many of whom I listen to, to this day.
8. Even though I left Rochester years ago, I still credit the musical education I received by listening to WBER with my ability to understand and love PJ Harvey, Arcade Fire, Fiona Apple, Damien Rice, and many others.
9. Including my husband.
10. I always liked boys who were into obscure music, even if I didn’t like the music myself. They just seemed more interesting than the Top 40/Classic Rock guys.
11. I once agreed with my crush du jour that yes, he should call up The Lightning Seeds’ record company and convince them to press him a special copy of an out-of-print release for $100. I have no idea what he was talking about.
12. Shortly after I met Jim, he said he had tickets to go see Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth, play a solo show.
13. My fateful words, spoken in tones of astonished envy: “You got tickets to see Thurston Moore?!”
14. I was unsure, at the time, which one Thurston Moore was. He could’ve been the girl for all I knew.
15. But Jim totally went for it, invited me along, and that was our first date that we didn’t admit was a date.
16. We kidded ourselves that we were just friends for 3 months.
17. Then we went to see Shallow Grave together and afterward, Jim announced that we should just admit we were going out.
18. I have had a soft spot ever since for everyone involved in that movie, which means I have seen more than my share of gory, disturbing imagery and Ewan Macgregor’s dangly bits.
19. I also have a soft spot for Sonic Youth, whom I have since gone on to see, in configurations of varying loudness, 3 times.
20. Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon and their daughter Coco live the next town over from us, and once, at the local indie cinema, Jim was in the bathroom with Thurston Moore.
21. He felt awkward about starting up a conversation under the circumstances.
22. He sees them all the time in town and because he loves their music, he really wants to say something but doesn’t know what.
23. I tell him he should show them Eliza and tell them we owe her existence to them, which is a much better opening gambit than “Dude, your music rocks!”
24. People whose music rocks for me: U2, Nick Cave, Bruce Springsteen. Don’t mock until you see him live, people!
25. When Achtung Baby came out, I loved it so much that I still can’t quantify it.
26. It became the soundtrack for everything I did for 3 years.
27. It helped me deal with my father’s death.
28. Because helping decide to turn off life-support machines on one of your parents? Not a good day.
29. Part of the reason I walked up the aisle alone on my wedding day was because I wanted to acknowledge that someone was missing.
30. And also I’m a damn feminist who wasn’t up for being transferred from parents to husband like a piece of property.
31. Feel free to roll your eyes.
32. Eliza is named after my dad â€” it’s the Anglicized version of his middle name.
33. It was important to me to acknowledge him with her name, since she will not have his last name.
34. Her middle name is Irish, after one of Jim’s relatives.
35. We met this relative in 2003 when we went to Ireland.
36. It’s my favorite trip we took together, and that even includes our totally awesome honeymoon to Greece.
37. We were going to go to Paris, but then Jim suddenly got on this Ireland kick.
38. As I suspected, he had found out Bruce was playing there during the time we’d set aside for the trip.
39. It was a GREAT concert.
40. The rest of the trip was wonderful too.
41. The road that takes you over the top of the mountain on Dingle Peninsula is the most harrowing and gorgeous drive I have ever taken.
42. Celtic Christianity fascinates me.
43. I loved Thomas Cahill’s How the Irish Saved Civilization.
44. I agree with him that Paul has probably been misinterpreted as regards his stance on women and sexuality.
45. I wish the central premise of Da Vinci Code were true.
46. If I had gobs of money I would quit my job and go study comparative religion.
47. I am jealous of Karen Amstrong’s career, although I would never trade my family for the chance to write amazing books on religious history.
48. Although I am mesmerized by it, I think religion is as often a source of evil as it is a source of good.
49. I am looking at YOU, Idiot Boy King!
50. I stole that name from a Steven Colbert commentary on the Daily Show during the 2000 Republican Convention (I think).
51. I met one of the Daily Show correspondents because of work once and try to work this into conversations when I meet new people.
52. I own the entire run of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD.
53. When Willow magicks the scythe-thingie during the last episode and makes all the Potentials into Slayers, I bawled.
54. In fact, I’m tearing up right now thinking about it.
55. I haven’t seen anything on TV before or since that even comes close, although Alias, when it was in full stride, had its moments.
56. And, um, La Femme Nikita *blush*.
57. Completing my trifecta of the most important art in my life (along with Buffy and U2) is Robin McKinley’s The Hero and the Crown.
58. I read this book as a teenager and have reread it at least once a year ever since.
59. I love it so much that if you read it and didn’t like it, I would have to break up with you as a friend.
60. Aerin was on the baby name shortlist for a long time.
61. My two favorite books for the last few years were Life of Pi and The Kite Runner.
62. I read the Kite Runner in one sitting because it was so gripping and depressing â€” I kept waiting for something happy to happen so I could put it down.
63. I don’t like the coda of Life of Pi so I pretend it doesn’t exist.
64. A lot of books and movies fall apart at the ending.
65. Like the film version of Devil Wears Prada, UGH THE NUMBERS 65-68 WERE ABOUT A TERRIBLE BOSS BUT HE DIED SO I WON’T SPEAK ILL OF THE DEAD.
69. I always wear underpants when I get massages.
70. I just feel weird about resting my naked butt on someone else’s table, you know?
71. I love getting make-overs, even if they make me look awful.
72. I am considered daring by my friends when it comes to hair cuts and colors.
73. I just figure, hey, it grows out, what’s the big deal?
74. I have had many awful haircuts as a result.
75. I was painfully shy as a child.
76. So was Jim. We have no idea how we created the social butterfly child we ended up with.
77. We talk about how Eliza is the cutest baby EVER a lot.
78. We are dimly aware that this makes us insufferable.
79. I did karate for 9 years, was an instructor, did bo and sai, and held the rank of second-degree black belt.
80. If I hadn’t gotten pregnant, I would probably be a third-degree black belt by now.
81. However, I am currently on hiatus. I never do karate on my own. If I did, I would start to miss it too much.
82. I did it until I was 7 1/2 months pregnant, though, and I went back for 6 months after Eliza was born.
83. I owe my recovery from post-partum depression to karate.
84. But don’t tell Tom Cruise, I don’t want to give him any ammunition.
85. I have never been a jock before, and I was surprised to discover that I really enjoyed having this be part of my identity.
86. I will go back once Eliza is old enough to start taking classes.
87. Because pre-schoolers in karate outfits? SO CUTE!
88. I was for a time the only straight woman living in a house, and hearing the others discuss who was hot and who was not made me realize what it’s like for lesbians and gays to be surrounded by straight sexuality all the time.
89. Perhaps that’s why I made my “If I Become a Lesbian” list.
90. Shirley Manson, PJ Harvey, and Juliette Binoche are on it.
91. What?! You don’t have one of these?!
92. I guess I just like to be prepared.
93. It should also be obvious by now that I like lists.
94. I thought that in many ways he verged on the schmucky, but regarding lists, I completely related to the main character in High Fidelity.
95. I am, for example, seriously bummed that I accidentally deleted my list detailing all the Bruce songs I have heard live, and what versions (electric, acoustic, piano, guitar, etc.)
96. This may explain why my favorite poem is Michael Ondaatje’s Elimination Dance.
97. I also like Langston Hughes’ Suicide’s Note for its succinct power.
98. I think many writers, myself included, often use too many words.
99. This does not pertain, of course, to you! Especially if you are planning to comment on my wittiness.
100. I should probably stop now.