Thursday, April 3, 2008

100 Things About Me

My niece did the "100 things about me" list in her blog and, for some reason, it inspired me, so I decided to do it too. I really don’t have time to do this but when inspiration strikes, one must answer, so here goes.

1. I am an animal lover. (I know you couldn’t tell this by the header on my blog)

2. My first dog was a fox terrier named Penny

3. Next dog was a German Shepherd named Rex.

4. Next was a boxer named Champ. (Don’t you love the original names?)

5. Next was a dachshund named Heidi. Heidi was the start of something big for then there was Fritz, her husband, and then Gretchen and Hans, their kids, etc. etc. I still love weenie dogs.

6. After the little guys, I went large and furry and had Norwegian Elkhounds. The first was Misty. Her husband was Ricky and their daughter was Twinkle. Much loved but extremely hairy dogs. I decided the next time around I was going with short hair.

7. So then I got a Golden Retriever mix, Samantha. What happened to the short hair plan? I’m not sure. Along with Samantha we had Gracie, a black Lab mix and Terri, a terrier mix. Those were the mixed breed, rescue dog years.

8. Then one day I saw a Chocolate Lab puppy that belonged to someone else. And I thought, that is the cutest puppy I have ever seen in my entire life. When I have an opening at my house, I’m gonna get one.

9. And so I did. Her name was Bess. The most beautiful Chocolata girl you can imagine. We lost her at age 6 to cancer. It broke my heart.

10. When Bess was two years old we got Lucy, her niece. When we learned we were going to lose Bess, for Lucy’s sake, we got another chocolate girl. Bess and Lucy had been bonded at the hip. Bess’ death hit Lucy really hard. The new pup’s name was Meggie and she is a precious little girl. She drug Lucy out of her depression and sadness and, over time, they have become best friends.

11. Today we have our two Chocolate Girls and they are the sweetest babies in the world. I now know that I am a Lab woman. This is my breed. Best dogs in the world. I will always have Labs for the rest of my life.

12. Since I am an animal lover, as I said above, through the years we’ve also had numerous cats and a few birds. Current feline resident is Alice, a Siamese mix who is 14 years old. No more birds.

13. I am a college professor and I love it. However, I am a teacher by default. I didn’t choose this profession, it chose me.

14. For many years I worked in healthcare. I went back to college, got all kinds of fancy degrees and then planned to return to healthcare, but they didn’t want me. Too old. Of course, they couldn’t say that, but that was the reason. So through a friend, I started teaching. Best thing that ever happened to me. I love my job.

15. I don’t make much money. Thank God for my hard working, money making partner. She keeps us in the style to which we have both become very accustomed.

16. I love to travel. I’ve been in most of the 50 states and a few different countries as well.

17. My last trip was to Europe. We went on a Mediterranean cruise.

18. I love cruising. Anytime, anywhere, anyplace, just put me on a cruise ship.

19. However, I freely admit that I am spoiled. I must have my suite on the ship with lots of room. The days of a cabin where I can stand in the middle of the room and touch both walls are not happening.

20. I love my computer.

21. I don’t much like exercise but I’m doing it. It’s extremely annoying to realize that after I do something that I don’t like, I feel better.

22. I’m a Weight Watcher. It’s chronic. Don’t know if I’ll ever be able to be a normal eater. I just like eating way too much.

23. I have three siblings and they are all very dear to me. I’m the oldest and was always the babysitter when we were little. I was occasionally mean as hell to them. I’m surprised they forgave me. Teenagers really can be horrible.

24. I love to read. Read regular books and audio books constantly. Always have 2 or 3 going at the same time.

25. I recently bought an Amazon Kindle. I now carry dozens of books around with me all the time.

26. I love to gamble. We’re heading to Las Vegas this coming weekend. Wa-Hoo!!

27. I’m a golfer. I play regularly. It’s one of the joys of my life.

28. I was a jock when I was young. Unlike my niece and my sister, I played sports from the time I was old enough to grasp the concept. Softball and basketball mostly. I was a star on the softball field and I’ve got the old clippings to prove it. MVP, pitched a no hitter, home run champ, etc. etc. I was not so spectacular at basketball, just average.

29. I have learned that you pay for the athletic sins of your youth when you get older.

30. I have arthritis and it’s a pain. Particularly in my knees.

31. I may need knee replacement surgery one day, but I hope not.

32. I had a doctor botch a surgery once and I ended up with a ruptured Achilles tendon. He almost crippled me. I was in a wheelchair for a while. You never really appreciate how hard that is until you’re in that position. Fortunately, I’m a very good healer. I sued him and lost. You rarely win a lawsuit against a doctor in the State of California. Just doesn’t happen.

33. I lived in China for two years when I was an adolescent. Not on the mainland, but on the island of Formosa, today known as Taiwan.

34. My Dad was a career Marine. We lost him about 1½ years ago. I believe I will always miss him until the end of my life.

35. I look so much like my Mom that it’s ridiculous. We even have the same ailments.

36. I drive a Dodge Grand Caravan. No kids, but my dogs like all that space.

37. I once had a daughter named Gina. She died tragically at the age of 28. Drugs.

38. I liked being a parent and am sad that I’ll never be a grandparent.

39. I’m very close to several of my nieces and enjoy being a great aunt.

40. I was an only child for 7½ years. It was a bit of a shock to suddenly start sharing my parents with the newcomer.

41. I was a teenager when my youngest brother was born. He seemed more like my child than my sibling. I loved the little devil greatly and still do.

42. My Mom is one of my best friends.

43. Once upon a time, in another life, I was in the Army for about 6 months. They kicked me out because I had no sense and no discretion. At age 18 I was truly an idiot of the first magnitude. Why do teenagers think they know so much when they are, in reality, so incredibly stupid??

44. I moved to California when I was 19 years old and have been here ever since. A long, long, long time. Well, maybe not that long, but a good while.

45. Three of us came to California together and when we arrived, we had $19 between us. We also had Heidi the dachshund and all our worldly belongings in a U-Haul trailer.

46. I shop lifted food after we arrived. That $19 didn’t go very far. It was okay for me to go hungry, but God Forbid my dog should suffer. I stole dog food.

47. My first job in California paid $1.25 per hour. It was a good salary.

48. When I arrived in California gasoline cost about .30 cents a gallon.

49. We did our week’s grocery shopping for about $25.00. I once found a $5 bill in the parking lot of the grocery store and it meant we had steaks that week.

50. Our rent on our first house was $97.50 per month. In hindsight, I wonder, why the 50 cents?

51. One of our threesome bought and drove a brand new Chevrolet to California. It cost $3000.

52. I am so dating myself with this information.

53. I tried skiing once. Not my sport. I caught my ski on the ground as the lift was leaving and snapped it in two. I had to ride all the way up and all the way down with my broken, dangling ski. Everybody at the resort knew I was an idiot.

54. On the same ski trip, Gina put on her first pair of skis, took a lesson and within 30 minutes she was zooming down the mountain. It definitely made me feel my age.

55. I worked at the same job for 25 years. We had no pension plan. Not the smartest move I ever made. Who thinks about retirement when you’re 30 years old? Now I know. I should have thought about it when I was 20 years old and never stopped thinking about it. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Too bad we can’t go back and get a do-over.

56. I once bought a ring off someone on the street and I TOTALLY believed it was a diamond. It was, of course, a piece of glass. It is truly amazing how gullible one can be.

57. I don’t have many friends, but the ones I have are close and true. One of the gals I came to California with almost 45 years ago is still a dear friend. After that many years, she is like another sister.

58. I am very lucky in that some of my very best friends are family members. We’ll always be together.

59. I have an “if I’m paralyzed-nose picking pact” with those same dear, close, family members/friends. It doesn’t get any closer than that.

60. One of my very closest, dearest friends is a guy. I never thought that could happen, but it can.

61. I’m very handy with tools and pretty good at fixing things.

62. I’m working on writing a book. Don’t know if I’ll make it to the finish line, but I’m trying.

63. I’m taking writing classes online. I’m learning a lot.

64. I’ve learned that the majority of the general public are not very bright.

65. I’ve also learned that I’m really quite intelligent. This sounds conceited, but it’s true. I’m a smart cookie.

66. I always wanted to be a veterinarian. Unfortunately, that’s one of those dreams that it’s hard to capture after a certain age.

67. I graduated from college #1 in my class.

68. I’m quite a cynic. Buy enough glass rings and you get that way.

69. I’ve learned that most people can’t add and subtract. Take away their computer at the take out window or the fast food counter and those kids will have absolutely no clue how much change to give you.

70. I can add really fast, hence, I’m a very good blackjack player. I do love me some “21”.

71. I’ve recently gotten hooked on Keno machines. It’s the only game in the casino that for $1 you can win $7000. The odds are high but I keep winning the smaller stuff repeatedly. One of these days…………

72. I cook for my dogs. I cook a huge quantity and freeze it. I don’t trust dog food manufacturers since they killed thousands of our pets last year. Chemicals, preservatives, crap food……not for my babies.

73. I’m going to teach summer school this year. I’m sharing the chore with another teacher and between the sharing, online work, and a short semester, I only have to show up at school 6 times and I will have worked the entire semester. This is a cool way to earn extra money.

74. I handle the money at my house. I’m good at budgeting.

75. I’m a good cook and I like to cook. Hence, Weight Watchers.

76. I’m a strong swimmer. I used to work as a lifeguard.

77. I was a brownie and a girl scout. I earned “thousands” of patches. Such an overachiever.

78. I’m a lousy housekeeper. I’m perfectly capable and can do a good job when I want to, but I’d much rather go play golf. I hire a house keeper.

79. I’m an E-bay seller who hasn’t sold on E-bay in a very long time. Not sure why. I have tons of merchandise in my garage. It’s stupid not to be selling.

80. I’m going on vacation to Pensacola, Florida this year with my family. We have rented a house at the beach, right on the water. Can’t wait.

81. I love chocolate.

82. I make a mean pot of spaghetti.

83. I can’t sing, sad to say. I do it anyway, but it’s not a pretty thing.

84. I’m an excellent driver. Never had a wreck that was MY fault. I’ve been rear-ended and had people turn right smack into the path of my car. If I should die in a car wreck, I guarantee you that someone else will have caused it. I think about these kinds of things since I drive the wild and crazy freeways of L.A. on a regular basis.

85. I get lost very easily. I learned to read a map when I was 18 and I have developed a sense of direction over the years, but I still get lost. I love MapQuest, except when they screw up the directions.

86. I’ve had a lot of different jobs before arriving at my current profession. Among other things I sold linens in a department store, worked for the Air Pollution Control people here in L.A.County, worked as a veterinary assistant, worked as a temp clerk, worked as a waitress, worked in a factory making Travel-Go-Lightly travel cases, worked for an insurance company, worked as a clerk typist for numerous people, worked for a trucking company, and then one day, I got a job at Kaiser Hospital. I had, via a long and circuitous route, arrived at healthcare and I never left. Now I teach it.

87. My favorite movie is Gone With The Wind. Saw it the first time at age 12. Classic.

88. I love to shop online. You can find anything if you’re persistent enough.

89. I like country music.

90. I watch way too much television.

91. Thanks to my sister, I am now hooked on Gilmore Girls. Netflix is my new best friend.

92. We are also watching Six Feet Under. Never saw it when it was actually on TV, so we are now loving it via Netflix. I can’t believe Lisa died. I was horror struck.

93. We are huge American Idol fans. Great group this time around. I just love that David Archuleta kid. (as does the rest of America) He is just so incredibly cute and unbelievably talented. So many of them are so good. Not sure who I want to win.

94. I can’t wait until July when The Closer starts up their new season. I love that show. Thank God for DVRs.

95. Speaking of which, I LOVE my DVR. It has to be the best invention since television.

96. I am SO glad that the writer’s strike is over. We seriously missed our TV shows.

97. I’m not sure who I want to win the presidential election. I have issues with all of them.

98. When I was a kid my Mom seriously limited my Oreos consumption. She wouldn’t let me be a pig. Good Mom. When I was an adult, I ate an entire bag by myself and got sick. Mom was right.

99. I'm still working to master portion control. When I like it, I want a LOT of it.

100. We got our first television set in 1953. My sister was born in 1953. I’m not sure which was the bigger event to me.

So there you have it. My "100 things about me" post. Not sure who will be remotely interested, but it was fun to write. Enjoy!