Tuesday, November 29, 2005

My 100 Things List

So, my favorite blogs have made it clear that after you've been blogging a while, it's customary to post a list of 100 things about yourself-- a little bit of random snapshots into your life to give the readers who don't know you in real life the chance to see a bit more of who you are and who you've been.

I've been blogging now for 3 years, and at this particular blog for almost 3 months, so here goes. My list:

1. My greatest strength in life, next to my God, is my family.

2. They are also my greatest joy, and the source of my inspiration.

3. After my family, my next greatest love is education.

4. I rarely ever read fiction, ‘cause non-fiction is so much more fun.

5. I have my belly button pierced.

6. I have a B.A. in Religious Studies.

7. I completed over 30 hours of graduate work in religion, but never finished my M.Div.

8. I have not always been a Christian, and did not grow up in a religious family.

9. I have been a Christian since 1996.

10. I first started attending church in 1995 when I found a church with beautiful stained glass windows while on a jog one day.

11. I attended church for a year without getting involved.

12. I would sit in a different pew every Sunday so that over the months, I could study every window.

13. The year before, I had taken a course and learned how to do stained glass.

14. I don’t know where all my stained glass tools are now, and have no idea where I lost them.

15. One day, when I have a house with a bit more space, I would love to do stained glass again.

16. I also enjoy singing and dancing.

17. My job throughout middle and high school was singing and dancing in country music shows in a coastal tourist town.

18. I miss performing.

19. Every now and then when I can get a babysitter and a party-mate, I like to go sing karaoke.

20. I once met Chubby Checker when he stayed at the hotel I worked at part-time when I was 16.

21. He got me 2 tickets to his concert, and my mom and I went to see him that night.

22. He recognized me from the hotel, and pulled me up on stage to sing “The Twist” with him.

23. Before we knew who he was, my mom and I watched my (soon-to-be) stepdad on “That’s Incredible” catching a bullet in his mouth.

24. I grew up with my mom, my stepdad, and their two children-- a sister and a brother.

25. It was a pretty crazy and unstructured upbringing.

26. Until fall of 2004, I had never lived near my dad, my stepmom, and their son, my brother.

27. I have never had a lot of money.

28. I don’t think anyone ever really taught me how to manage money well.

29. I am trying to learn now.

30. I met my husband while in school working toward my B.A.

31. He is a total cheapskate, and fairly quiet.

32. We balance each other out pretty well, as I am not as much of a cheapskate and way too talkative.

33. I have pretty much always had some major trust issues.

34. My husband broke through all of those with his piercing honesty and gentle spirit.

35. If I could put on a cape and be a superhero, the first people I would beat up and string up are people who abuse children.

36. I don't take myself too seriously; even when I'm on a crazy-woman rant, I am at least aware that I'm on a crazy-woman rant and find myself a little bit amusing.

37. I tend to be a very intense person, no matter the experience. When I’m silly I’m very silly, and when I’m joyful I’m exhilarated; when I’m sad, I’m crushed.

38. For some people, I think I may be an acquired taste.

39. Correction: I’m pretty sure I am.

40. My husband couldn’t even stand me when we first met.

41. He thought I would never shut up.

42. I only kept talking because he rarely said anything.

43. We met as co-founders of a student disability activist and education network on campus at our college.

44. I worked as a behavioral consultant for children with autism for 7 years.

45. My specialty was play therapy, and when I was 20 years old, parents would pay me insanely great money to come teach their children appropriate play skills so that they would have a better chance of being mainstreamed.

46. I spent a lot of time playing tag, cops and robbers, and hot wheels.

47. I also taught language skills to children who had formerly been mute.

48. One of the greatest feelings in my life was being there when a mom heard her 3-year-old say his first word-- “Mom.”

49. Motivated by a spin on a tire swing, you can get a kid to say anything.

50. I loved working with the kids, but burnt out on dealing with whiny parents.

51. At the time I quit in 2000, over half of the children I worked with had been successfully mainstreamed (with appropriate accomodations) into regular education classrooms.

52. I was a total band geek in high school

53. I was even the grand poobah of the band dorks, and spent two years as drum major of my high school marching band.

54. I was a music education major for two years.

55. Unfortunately, I spent most of those two years being an idiot, lost my scholarships, and dropped out of college in 1995.

56. The summer of 1994, I lived in an apartment with two gay guys who adored me and a very large lesbian who thought I was an annoying twit.

57. My heart broke last year when one of my old roommates from that apartment died of AIDS just shy of his 29th birthday.

58. I moved out of that apartment and into a suburban house with an acquaintance who was a single mom.

59. I thought it would be a more functional and normal environment.

60. I later found out she was a call girl and a porn star.

61. I moved out as soon as I could afford the move.

62. Nothing about the 2 months I spent in that house were normal.

63. In 1994, I met a guy.

64. In 1996, he became the father of my first child.

65. Keeping the kid and ditching the guy are two of the best things I’ve ever done.

66. Finding out I was pregnant forced some serious life evaluation.

67. It was the first time I realized how empty my life really was.

68. That was when I quit looking at the windows and started listening to the homilies.

69. Then a nice guy named James invited me to be a youth group sponsor.

70. I was like, “Whoa, dude-- ME! You would actually let ME around your teens?”

71. Volunteering with the youth group taught me more about life, about Christ, and about forgiveness than a lifetime without church.

72. From 1995 until I moved to Florida in 1997, I spent about a week or more out of every month at an Episcopal convent.

73. If I were ever alone and without family obligations again, I could definitely be a nun. I really like monastic life.

74. In the meantime, I’d like to become a social worker.

75. I plan to go back for my M.S.W. in fall semester of 2007.

76. I currently live in a smallish town.

77. It’s nice, but not my ideal.

78. The local college does not offer a M.S.W.

79. We plan to move near Columbia by the time I go back to school so that I can go to the University of South Carolina.

80. That was where I went the first time, when I goofed and dropped out.

81. I will do better this time. :-)

82. I am a very protective mother.

83. I homeschooled my children for several years.

84. I was a stay-at-home mom for a while.

85. I actually loved being a stay-at-home mom.

86. I think that natural attachment parenting is an ideal to follow as much as possible, depending on your family circumstances.

87. Very few ideals work out 100% in real life.

88. My husband and I have had to pick and choose which we can actually implement.

89. From December of 1999 until May of 2003, I was either pregnant, breastfeeding a baby, or both.

90. That’s 3 years and 5 months of wearing modified undergarments and/or toting a breast pump.

91. I was in college in Florida (on my 2nd try) for most of that 3 years and 5 months.

92. Somehow I juggled it all and had maintained a 3.95 GPA upon my graduation in 2002.

93. I thought Florida sucked.

94. I love the Deep South, in spite of its’ checkered history and occasional social shortcomings.

95. I love to write almost as much as I love to talk.

96. Oh yeah-- I also enjoy learning foreign languages and cultures.

97. I studied French for 6 years, German for 2 years, Spanish for 1 year, and took Biblical Hebrew at a synagogue one summer.

98. I cry easily, but hate crying in front of other people.

99. If someone takes the time to get through my tough guy, comedienne, not easily rattled act, they will find that I am a fiercely loyal friend.

100. I have a big heart and a lot of compassion, and care deeply for the people who come into my life, whether it is through work, school, church, my blog, or some other way.

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