old (2008), Uncategorized

thirty-two things (almost) no one knows about me

1. It’s nearly impossible for me to sleep either wearing socks or with my feet covered by blankets. The only exception to this seems to be when I am sleeping in a bed (usually in a hotel setting) outfitted with a thick down comforter, at which point I love just stretching out and relishing its light yet thick presence from head to toe.

2. I’ve always wanted an old Bronco like the one Salma Hayek has in Fools Rush In, except I want mine to be lemon yellow and have a roll-bar from which I can hang the Gadsden flag. I’d get a slight lift and 32″ tires and go off-roading in the Indiana Dunes in July every year and have fun being a tomboy like I was when I was thirteen.

3. Even though I was kicked out of tennis lessons when I was eleven years old for a distinct lack of talent, I kinda want to try to play again. This summer looks good.

4. Until I was a freshman in high school, I was a good little ol’ country girl. I listened to Randy Travis and George Strait and old-school country music and almost constantly wore a pair of teal Justin ropers I’d begged for around Christmas. This all changed when I started listening to the Sunday Night Six Pack on this radio station out of San Antonio that would almost always only come through in crackles on my little AM/FM cassette radio — starting in the evening and going almost all night, they’d play six albums “in their entirety” and I’d stay up, cassette tapes at the ready, recording them all. In retrospect, it wasn’t that exciting, but it was definitely different than Willie Nelson and Kenny Rogers and Alabama: UFO, ZZ Top, Killer Dwarves, The Who (Live at Leeds), Supertramp, Genesis, .32 Special, ELO, Boston, Fleetwood Mac, Jethro Tull, etc. This laid the groundwork for hearing Led Zeppelin in the spring of my freshman year, which pretty much sealed the deal.

5. I don’t like my feet, specifically my toes, and (aside from my parents and siblings and children) there are only, I think, four people in the world whom I’ve allowed to see them up close.

6. From 1991 until Jerry died, I toured with the Dead around the Midwest selling jewelry in the parking lots of shows. Nonetheless, I consider myself neither a tourhead nor a Deadhead… it was pretty much just something I did for a boy, who actually became my husband only a few months after our summer touring, but that doesn’t change the story.

7. Despite having more masculine than feminine tastes about movies, music, and popular culture, I have an intense dislike for pretty much any film Bill Murray made before Lost in Translation, with the exception of Rushmore, Groundhog Day, Tootsie, and (maybe) Ghostbusters. In other words, I hate both Stripes and Caddyshack.

8. My favorite weather in both Texas and Chicago is right after it rains in the springtime. There’s something about the smell and the way the air feels on my skin, both of which someone once told me was due to acid rain or air pollution or both, but I don’t care.

9. I still have the same illusions I’ve had since I was fourteen: that someone important or rich or famous will someday happen upon me and realize I’m super wonderful and rescue me from obscurity. On a daily basis, this fantasy is growing smaller in the rear-view mirror.

10. Given the choice between shooting myself in the foot and going back to live in Naperville, I would glad shoot myself in my foot. Twice. It is this aversion which has me itching to watch Real Housewives of New York City on Bravo, since a commercial for the show included this New York socialite making the most amazingly accurate and hilarious face about the way I feel about living in the suburbs.

11. When I was in kindergarten, I wrote a book, and it won first place among all kindergartners in the state of Illinois in some contest. I have no clue what happened to it. I just know the story.

12. I have a deviated septum, and I would jump at the chance for a free nose job if it wasn’t major surgery. After living through a brain tumor and craniotomy, undergoing cosmetic procedures that involve significant risk of, uh, dying plus a traumatic recovery isn’t so appealing anymore. I think I’ll learn how to live with my bumpy nose.

13. Kissing with my lip rings is about a bazillion times more pleasurable than kissing without them, which makes the painstaking healing process totally worth it.

14. Even though I’ve only played golf once, I was really quite good at it. Maybe I’ll do it again. Maybe not.

15. I’ve never been a big fan of marijuana, even when I was still drinking. In fact, it would make me sick to my stomach. Guess I’m screwed if I ever get cancer and have to take chemo, eh?

16. When I was fourteen, I was bit by a pit bull, a bite that went down to the bone. I showed my dad and he said, Oh, it’s just a scratch. The next day, it was still bleeding-oozing, and I had to carry paper towels around school to clean up after myself. I finally called my mother, she took me to the ER, and no one could give me stitches because gangrene had already set in. Despite all that, it was one of the coolest things ever to see them digging around in my leg after they numbed it all.

17. For a while, when I was a teen-ager, I developed this allergy to my contact lenses, and I got these weird bumps under my upper eyelids that were so bizarre no one could really figure out why there were there. I stopped wearing contacts for a few years, then started again, and the problem was gone. Huh.

18. My appendix burst in January 1991 while I was at the hospital waiting for them to prep me for surgery. Someone else needing an appendectomy was taken into surgery before I was, since she was at higher risk for bursting. When they opened me up, I had a raging infection all through my abdominal cavity. Never once, though, did I feel any pain — just a super-high fever, delirium, and distinct feeling that something wasn’t quite right.

19. Even though I know skin cancer sucks, I still prefer the way I look tanned than non-tanned, and this causes no small degree of consternation.

20. I love traveling, but I hate being a tourist. As a result, I’d rather sublet someone’s apartment for a week and spend that week inhabiting a neighborhood than go to a resort on a fancy vacation.

21. Breakfast is a difficult meal with which to please me. I like waffles but not pancakes, bagels but not English muffins, (veggie) sausage patties but not links, and oatmeal but not with raisins. And, as with all of my meals, it’s imperative that none of the individual portions of food are touching each other. I also eat things in order from “things I like least” to “things I like most,” as to maximize my eating enjoyment.

22. I’m fascinated by Rob Zombie and actually really like his music (for the most part), but can’t understand the whole Marilyn Manson thing.

23. I first suspected I had a drinking problem when I was prescribed antibiotics that would make me deathly ill if combined with alcohol and I postponed taking them for a full six weeks.

24. My nickname, when growing up, was Goosey. My father came up with this when I had a tonsillectomy and my parents visited me in the hospital and asked how I was doing and I said, I feel goofy, except what they heard was, I feel goosey (I suppose, at age three, I had trouble with my labiodental fricatives?), and the name was born. Over the years, this was expanded to Goosey Lucy Moosey Papoosey, which, of course, was a wonderful thing for my friends to find out about…

25. For a time, in the mid-90s, I weighed 198 pounds, up from my previous low of 120 pounds. I wish I could get back to the latter and never again see the former.

26. I have a huge crush on Vincent D’Onofrio. Or at least on the character he plays on Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Although, not really, since I think that character is pretty much a hyperbolic distillation of The Philosopher’s personality, so it would likely be about four seconds into the first date that I’d want to strangle him. The character, that is. Not Vincent D’Onofrio.

27. One of the biggest mysteries of pop culture is, for me, why David Caruso can’t seem to act without cocking his head to the side. And to think I actually thought he was attractive on NYPD Blue!

28. I’m one of the best drivers you will ever encounter, though I do have a propensity for swearing while operating a motor vehicle.

29. One of my favorite TV shows ever is I’ll Fly Away. I was sad when PBS canceled the series.

30. Every year since 1990, I’ve seen a movie on Christmas Day. The one I remember most, for some reason, is Hoffa.

31. The first time I saw Caligula — at a midnight showing at the now-closed Village Theatre on the Gold Coast — I was so nauseated by the fisting scene that I ran and threw up all over the bathroom.

32. The five movies that best encapsulate my feelings about relationships, the meaning of life, and happiness are I Heart Huckabees, Shopgirl, Stranger Than Fiction, All the Real Girls, and The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada.

I am sure there are plenty more, but that’s all for now. I’m tired and I’ve got an early flight tomorrow. Ah, well.


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