One Hundred Things About Me

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 — 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 — 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.


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.

8 Responses to One Hundred Things About Me

  1. Mama says:

    Categorical No to 23. The man might freak out, and his wife might whack him over the head with the hot frying pan before Jim would have a chance to explain the joke. Start a nice, comfortable conversation first, like, Man, your music rocks, and throw in the information about Eliza’s existence then. Tell her not to say “Faht”.

  2. Mama says:

    Oh, wow, just discovered that if you want your comment to be listed under Comments, you have to hit, well, ok, I am such a whatever, but you have to hit “Submit Comment”. I recommend it to any- and everyone who is equally baffled and challenged by the wonders of modern technology.

    And now I am going to hit that button, so I can start a new comment.

    Hey, now that I discovered commenting, I just love it!

  3. Mama says:

    I want to read Langston Hughes suicide note. Way back in English class in Germany (I admit, it is more than 40 years ago, but we were young nonetheless) I was totally in awe of him. Later, I read more of his work, but never any suicide notes. But if you like succinctness, try Haikus. They are great! As for suicide notes, my favorite one is George Eastman’s, the founder of Kodak: “The work is done, why wait?” Smart man! There should be a refrigerator magnet like that. On the other hand, it might be understood as an invitation to grab a beer after mowing the lawn. Life is funny in all its tragedy.

  4. Mama says:

    I would not have walked you down the aisle, except if your knees would have been wobbly. Ever since I read that Robert Kennedy’s daughter walked down the aisle all by herself, I decided that I would encourage my daughters to do the same, in honor of their father. And if it would not have been for that reason, I would have felt it humiliating to myself and to my daughter to “give her away” (Yikes, even the sound of it!!!) to a man that I know very little about. Instead, I watched her, at her most beautiful ever, (that smile!), stepping out onto the aisle and walking with such amazing confidence towards the man she had chosen to be her most beloved and best friend ever from here to eternity. (Even though that bumped me down several levels of affection and attention in my daughter’s life. But I still have the kitties and my Sudokus.)
    Loved the discovery of your 100 Things about You, Daughter.

    I now, I have to hit that Submit Comment button, or it will all be for naught!

  5. Melissa says:

    Just found this today and although I never heard that radio station, I love it too! Those were some of my favorite bands back in the day.

    P.S. Based on the above comments, I also love your mother.

  6. sarah k. says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never read this before! 59 made me laugh right out loud. Almost as much as 49. About the lesbian list, although I don’t have one, I now must compile one. I was telling Derek about an NYT article the other day about gays in Iran, and how if they’re found to have had gay sex, they will be executed. Noah came in and put his hand on my shoulder and asked in a very concerned tone, “Mom, are you gay?” I told him I wasn’t. “Is Daddy?” No. He went away relieved that we would not be killed. Then, yesterday when Derek read my comment about being secretly in love with Nathan Fillion and Wentworth Miller, he laughed out loud. Noah asked why he was laughing, and he told Noah it was about two people I was secretly in love with. Noah asked, “Are they boys, or girls?” So innocent and accepting, and unaware of societal stigmas.

  7. Sarah says:

    If I became a lesbian, you’d be on the list. I stumbled on your page a few days ago and I’ve been riveted ever since.

    I love your writing style, and I particularly like your lists.
    and…. Eliza is a beautiful girl!

  8. elizasmom says:

    haha! Hi (new) Sarah! Welcome! I’m so glad to have more people buy in to my if-I-became-a-lesbian concept!

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