Friday, February 8, 2008

100 Things About Kitty

I got the idea from Dixie Peach and Jaxie Fantastic. Because, you know, I don't have anything better (like German homework) to do this evening.

1. I don’t know how to spell my legal name. Neither does anyone else in my family. And neither does the US Government.
2. One of my nicknames is “Princess Naked Cowgirl”. No, I won’t publish the associated story on the internet!
3. I speak English and French fluently, I speak Spanish at an intermediate level, and I’m learning German. Whew!
4. I’m a picky eater. Get over it. It is rude to comment on other people’s eating habits.
5. I skipped 7th grade.
6. My dad and I used to sit out in the garage with the door wide open and polish his shoes on rainy afternoons.
7. I took ballet for six years, but I never was very good at it.
8. I lived through an earthquake in my church basement in the middle of the night during the spring of my freshman year in college.
9. I love to scrapbook, but I haven’t been able to get my supplies over to Geneva yet.
10. I have a mortal fear of dead bodies, but I like to photograph cemeteries. Go figure.
11. I have lived in two different states and three different countries: Texas and Vermont; the US, France, and Switzerland.
12. I am more ticklish than anybody I know. Including many friends who used to think that they were the most ticklish person they knew until they met me.
13. I started reading at the age of 18 months. By the time I was in kindergarten, I was reading at a middle school level.
14. In elementary school I took piano lessons, and in middle school and high school I played the viola.
15. I spelled down my entire school when I was 10 years old. I then went on to place in the city and regional spelling bees.
16. I can’t play softball to save my life. Or, at least, I couldn’t when I was 8 years old and I haven’t tried since.
17. I can’t ice skate to save my life, either. When I was seven, my skating teacher told my mom that she shouldn’t waste her money by signing me up for any more lessons. I’ve tried to go ice skating many times since then, but I’ve always wound up very sore and bruised.
18. I tied for valedictorian in high school.
19. When I was in 5th grade, I organized a group of neighborhood friends and put on an American Girl play in my backyard. To “pay” for admission, we had people bring a donation for our local animal shelter. We ended up collecting several bins full of donations, enough to get ourselves on TV.
20. I took Irish stepdancing lessons for two years in high school. And I was actually pretty good at it.
21. One day when I was really little (along the lines of 3-5 years old), my mom dressed me up in a pretty outfit and took me to the museum. A photographer saw me looking up at a dinosaur skeleton that was suspended from the ceiling, and the next day my picture was published in the Dallas Morning News.
22. When I was 10, I taught my best friend Pig Latin so we could have secret conversations at school. It drove all the other kids nuts because they could never figure out what we were saying!
23. From kindergarten through the last year of my M.A., I’ve gone to eleven different schools. No, my parents are neither oilmen nor members of the Armed Forces.
24. One sunny Saturday morning during my stay in France, I was awakened at 7:30 by a nun wearing a full habit who was trimming the little bushes in my courtyard with a chainsaw.
25. I’m an alto. I sang first soprano in choir and in musicals until I was 17, and then I switched to singing second soprano. But it turns out that I’m actually an alto, much to my surprise. (In case you're wondering, I can vocalize up to Bflat above the treble clef.)
26. I don’t own any cats. Never have. I’m allergic to them.
27. I grew an extra half inch during the first year of my M.A. – now I’m 6’1”.
28. My grandfather was a Cajun. He grew up speaking Cajun French and didn’t learn English until he went to school.
29. I never got picked to participate in any of my schools’ talent shows.
30. I am a prescriptive grammarian.
31. I had a very thick northeast Texas accent as a child.
32. Everybody is surprised when I tell them that I’m shy.
33. My stage name is The Yellow Rose of Texas. I’ll let you do the research to figure out why.
34. When I was little, I wanted to be a vet when I grew up. Despite the fact that I get weak at the sight of blood.
35. I broke my wrist in a horseback riding accident at the age of 12.
36. I sang in my college’s Russian choir. No, I don’t understand any Russian.
37. My first solo airplane trip came at age 12. And I didn’t use the unaccompanied minor service.
38. I have had several IQ tests performed on me, both as a child and as an adult. I tested as a genius then, and I still do now.
39. I used to have dreams about flying all the time when I was little. I miss them.
40. To pass the time spent in the car during my childhood vacations, I would count the number of oil pumps we passed on the way to our destination.
41. I am scared of helicopters, thanks to two escaped prisoners my senior year in high school who couldn’t read maps.
42. I used to lie about my age all the time when I was in elementary school, counting "girl scout birthdays" along with all my regular birthdays.
43. An employee of our local grocery store accidentally slammed my hand in the trunk of my mom’s car when I was 2.
44. Because I learned to read at such a young age, I saw many words before I had ever heard them in conversation. I still don't know how to properly pronounce some of the words I've read... and sometimes that can be pretty embarrassing!
45. One of my great-aunts used to refuse to pronounce the word "third" because with her French accent, it sounded rather like a dirty word.
46. Sometimes I sing in my sleep. It freaked my mom out a little when she heard me doing that for the first time.
47. One day at my old retail job, I had a woman who was formerly an officer in the Israeli Air Force come over to my counter, read the inscription on the necklace I was wearing, and proceed to tell me all about the pregnant women and children she was forced to shoot down during one of her campaigns. She finished up the speech by giving me an enormous hug and blessing me in Hebrew. She ranks as my #1 strangest customer ever.
48. I'm allergic to metal. Not just nickel, but also 24k gold, sterling silver, platinum, and surgical steel. Yes, you read that properly. I'm allergic to surgical steel. It is possible.
49. I once slammed my head in the back door. Purely by accident. I don't think I could recreate that if I tried.
50. I was very nearly stung by a scorpion during my first shower at my grandmother's house. It came up out of the drain... *shudder*
51. Tornado sirens still scare me, even though I moved away from Tornado Alley 12 years ago.
52. One of the nicest compliments I've ever received was "J'étais sur les fesses!" This was from my medieval history professor in France in reference to the exam I had written for her class.
53. In first grade, I was taller than all of my teachers.
54. I’m a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
55. One day as I was walking home from elementary school, one of the boys in my class kept running over my and my friend's heels on his bike. I asked him to stop, but he didn't. So I slugged him so hard that he fell off his bike. Oddly enough, he didn't bother us much after that!
56. I believe in jackalopes, even if nobody else does.
57. "Deep in the Heart of Texas" was one of my favorite songs to sing when I was little. Along with that Raffi song about the baby beluga in the deep blue sea.
58. I love being a translator!
59. I wish I were taller. They told my parents I'd grow up to be 6'2". I feel cheated out of that extra inch.
60. I learned at a very early age that the roads in Texas are much better than the roads in Louisiana. Seriously, you can use the cracks in Louisiana's roads as a steady beat and sing a song to them.
61. Having auburn hair is so much fun. This happens to me all the time: I tell people that my hair is red, they argue that no, it’s brown, and then they see me out in the sunshine on a random summer day and say, “Oh my goodness! You dyed your hair! It’s red!” No kidding. I’ve been telling you it’s red all along…
62. Someday I would love to be able to take a photography class. And get a fancy camera. And PhotoShop.
63. I weighed 9lb 10oz at birth. My poor mother. (No, she didn't have a Caesarean!)
64. My biggest pet peeve: people who lie. Don't ever try to lie to me. You will regret it for a long, long time.
65. My dad and I always went through the same bedtime routine when I was little... listen to a couple of country songs, always ending with "Borderline" by Alabama, and then tell a funny story.
66. I used to love watching the Miss America pageant every year. I wanted to grow up to be Miss America. I never ended up entering any pageants, but I have two friends who went on to be Miss Texas and Miss Vermont.
67. Nobody can figure out where I come from based on my accent. But it's fun watching people try.
68. The Numa Numa song (properly called "Dragostea Din Tei") will always hold a special, silly place in my heart because of the events of the last two weeks of my B.A. program.
69. I'm a speed reader in both English and French. Spanish... not so much.
70. When I was a toddler, I chased my father through a solid glass door. He was fine, but the door sure wasn't.
71. During a high school trip to Paris, one of my friends and I got lost. She'd had four years of French and I'd only had one. Guess who went into a store on the Champs Elysées, got permission to use their phone, called our hotel to get directions, and got us through the metro without a map? That's right, me. And once we were safe and back where we were supposed to be, I burst into tears, scaring the rest of my classmates to death.
72. I never go to the movies. Which is, in part, why everyone is surprised that I've seen the movie "Blade Runner." Now if only they'd listen to me when I tell them that the movie was based on the book "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" They invariably waste three and a half minutes of their lives trying to disprove me when I know I'm right.
73. It's scary how few books I've read for pleasure since beginning college. I used to read voraciously. So much so, in fact, that my mother's secret password for me was "bookworm". I guess I do still read all the time, only now it's for class.
74. As a teenager, I performed in several musicals with my local community theater. Annie, The Sound of Music, Grease, South Pacific, Kiss Me, Kate!, and many others.
75. I spent a week in the hospital with pneumonia when I was in kindergarten, during which time I used the "f" word in proper context, much to my mother's chagrin. I got out of the hospital on Christmas Eve, and when I went back to school in January, my classmates told me they thought I had died.
76. I used to drive my mother nuts, begging her to drive to the end of the rainbows I saw out the car window to see if there really were leprechauns and pots of gold there.
77. Looking back on my high school yearbook (the one from the private high school), I realize that I was a lot more popular and involved in student life than I thought I was at the time.
78. The sound I love most is rain on a tin roof.
79. I have seriously weird, psychedelic dreams on a regular basis. My grandmother says I should write a book.
80. My mom always practiced the piano every night right after I went to bed. To this day, I have a soft spot in my heart for piano music because of her.
81. On childhood visits to my grandmother's house, the first thing I'd do after arriving would be to flush the toilets to hear them hum. I've never heard another toilet hum since she moved.
82. I refuse to ever have children. No, you can't talk me into thinking that someday I may change my mind.
83. I get the letters "c" and "s" and the colors pink and green mixed up.
84. Aslan makes me cry. In a good way.
85. I love alliteration. Once I won an award for writing the best alliterations of anybody in my class.
86. I won awards in both mental math and spelling in UIL competitions in elementary school.
87. I really don't like to drive. In fact, I didn't get my license until I was 21.
88. One day when I was six, I stripped down to my underwear, collected a bunch of leaves from the shrubs in our front lawn, and scotch taped them to myself. Then I went and got my mother and forced her to take a picture of me "being a tree". She still has the picture.
89. There's nothing that I've really and truly wanted in life that I haven't gotten. Not because I get things handed to me on a silver platter, but because I put my mind to it and accomplish what I set out to achieve.
90. Within the 12-month period that spanned the end of my high school career and the beginning of my college career, I experienced temperatures of -40°F and 115°F -- and everything in between. Brutal.
91. I own the entire Harry Potter series in French. I read them in French first, and then I read the English originals. Except with the last book. I waited in line at 7am to pick up my reserved copy of the 7th book at the bookstore in downtown Geneva. I finished reading it at noon.
92. If my mother hadn't sent me off for two extra years of education at a private boarding school, I would have graduated from my public high school and received my diploma at age 15.
93. In 3rd grade, one of my friends convinced me that we could dig all the way to the Black Hole. Needless to say, we never made it even though we spent all of our recess time for a month digging.
94. I will never forget how to say "index cards" in Spanish. Fichas. That was my first experience needing to buy something that I didn't know how to say in a foreign country.
95. I was taught to write entire paragraphs in preschool, but it took me years to be able to write the number 8 correctly.
96. I have a really hard time telling people I know apart. It's also not at all uncommon for me to not recognize acquaintances when I pass them by in the street.
97. You know the big black E at the top of the vision chart in the eyedoctor's office? I can't see it without my glasses on. All I see is white. (And I've been wearing glasses since preschool.)
98. The most interesting experience I've ever had at the doctor's office was without a doubt my first physical in France. A friend and I wound up sitting next to each other in the waiting room, holding our respective cups of pee (with no tops!), reading the explicit sex ed poster plastered on the wall. Then we were called in separately to perform a series of exercises, including naked jumping jacks, before we were given a clean bill of health...
99. I memorized my social security number by making up a ditty about it in my head one afternoon while I was stuck in the bathroom.
100. I used to spend the entire car ride to preschool arguing with my mother over the correct pronunciation of "meadow". I insisted that it was pronounced meed-ow ("meed" because of the paper brand Mead, and the "ow" is pretty self-explanatory). I am happy to report that I now pronounce the word in the conventional manner.

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