30 Things About Me

Go 30

This is one of those Twitter trending topics, like 50 things about me and 100 things about me, that clogs up my Twitter stream like an unfortunate accident on the log flume ride at Six Flags. And while I’m egotistical enough to want to share 30 things about myself, I’m conscientious enough not to cram it all on my Twitter timeline.

Besides, someone might miss one.

30 Things About Me

1. I still have my tonsils. Despite repeated bouts of strep throat and tonsillitis, I never had them out.

2. I can touch my tongue to my nose. It’s a family trait. My mom and my cousin can do it, too.

3. I broke my dad’s index finger pitching to him when I was a kid. I played little league fast pitch and Dad insisted that I pitch three or four times a week. When your kid can hit 60 on the gun and you don’t have a proper catchers mitt, you sometimes get your finger broken.

4. I also broke a window and put a few dents in the siding while pitching. Mom was surprisingly okay with the broken window, considering she was standing right next to it, doing the dishes, when I broke it.

5. I taught myself to write left-handed. I practice by writing things on my day planner with my left hand. Pretty soon, my writing will be just as legible left-handed as right-handed (in other words, not very).

6. I prefer things in three’s or multiples of three. I don’t know where or why this fascination started. I wear three rings, prefer to wear three bracelets, wear three earrings in each ear. I had three eyebrow rings at one point. I eat little things in multiples of three (example: I’ll eat nine crackers, three cookies, fifteen chips, etc.). It’s not a have-to, but it’s definitely a preference.

7. I wrote my first story at the age of six. I made it look like a book. I folded the paper in half, drew a picture on the cover, and wrote the story inside. The story didn’t get finished and the spelling wasn’t that great, though I’m pretty pleased at the number of big words I used. I still have it.

8. I gave serious consideration to being a meteorologist and a marine biologist when I was in junior high. I’m still fascinated by tornadoes and sharks (the two things I wanted to focus on in those careers). In high school, I also gave some consideration to pursuing acting.

9. I “majored” in English, sociology, and psychology the three times I went to community college.

10. I’m a natural shot. I was eleven the first time I ever shot a gun and I was scared to death. Once I realized that I hit eight out ten at seven yards, I wasn’t scared anymore. I’ve shot several different kinds of guns including an AR-15. My favorite gun to shoot is my dad’s Argentine Colt .45.

11. I fractured my ankle when I was seventeen. Despite having insurance, I refused to go to the hospital because I didn’t want to listen to my dad bitch about how much fixing it would cost. I wrapped it up and gimped around on it for the rest of the summer, including working at my cousin’s daycare.

12. I’m terrible at remembering anniversaries. Not just romantic ones (one boyfriend had to remind me of our anniversary date because I could never remember it), but all of them. When I started a job, when I quit smoking, when I joined Twitter, when I joined Livejournal, how long I’ve known someone, the date of my first Cubs game at Wrigley, none of it sticks well in my head.

13. My scream is broken. I seem to only be capable of screaming if I’m really terrified, and even then it doesn’t always work.

14. The first movie I saw in the theater was E.T. The first movie I remember seeing in the theater was Return of the Jedi.

15. I’ve been thanked in the liner notes of a CD and in the dedications of a book. I’ve also had my picture in the liner notes of a different CD.

16. I don’t like hot dogs. Despite repeated attempts to like hot dogs, they make me gag (mind out of the gutter, kids). The last time I was successfully ate a hot dog that wasn’t a corndog (for some reason, that’s the exception), I was a senior in high school and the hot dog in question had been burned over a campfire and dropped in the ashes. Not kidding.

17. The first horror movie I can remember watching was Poltergeist. I was probably about four or five at the time.

18. We didn’t get a CD player until I was in 7th or 8th grade. The first four CDs my sister and I owned were Janet Jackson, Salt n Peppa, The Cranberries, and Warrant.

19. When I was a kid I could do a pretty good impression of Ursula from The Little Mermaid, particularly while singing “Poor Unfortunate Souls”.

20. I started a correspondence course in creative writing the summer before my senior year in high school. I finished it not long after I graduated.

21. I won second place in a state in a poetry contest my sophomore year of high school. I’m still bitter that my teacher made me change one line of that poem so it would have more “devices” in it. The poem that won state and ended up winning 2nd in national? Written by the girl’s mother. I’m still a little bit bitter about that, too.

22. I drive left-handed. It just feels more comfortable to me. When I smoked, I did it left-handed as well. Smoking while driving got interesting.

23. I’ve got a scar on my right shoulder that I have no clue how I got.

24. I share a birthday with a great aunt on my dad’s side and a second cousin on my mom’s side. I also share it with Kirstie Alley, Rush Limbaugh, Howard Stern, Rob Zombie, Oliver Platt, and Marian Hossa. Yes, January 12th is a questionable date.

25. My high school graduation present was a 1974 American General mail Jeep. It was flat black, had sliding doors that locked open, no heat or A/C, and was right-hand drive. It cost my dad 200 bucks.

26. I’ve worn the same winter coat for over 15 years.

27. I once burned macaroni and cheese. Despite the vast improvements of my culinary skills, my sister (to whom cooking comes naturally) won’t let me forget it.

28. Kansas City, Missouri is the farthest west I’ve ever been.

29. I have a lot of trouble pronouncing some words. I can read them and can pronounce them in my head, but when I actually say them, they come out completely different and completely wrong.

30. I’m a fatalist. It’ll either kill me or it won’t and I don’t have much say in it no matter what I do.

It took a couple of hours to come up with 30 things. Thank goodness I didn’t pick 50.

Happy Birthday, Boobies!

Okay, today is not the day; it was the 13th (and I had to look it up because I couldn’t remember it, though I knew it was in August). And it’s not really a birthday, but an anniversary. But still, it’s cause for me to celebrate.

Nine years ago on August 13th, I had breast reduction surgery.

Why is this such a big deal? Allow me to illustrate. With words, of course.

Just like other areas of my life, I was a late bloomer when it came to getting boobs. It really didn’t start to happen much until I was in 8th grade. And once it started happening, it didn’t stop. By the time I was a senior in high school, a 44DDD, the largest bra I could find in the stores, was too small.

I begged my dad for a breast reduction because I was on his insurance at the time and it would cover the surgery. My dad said no. He told me to lose weight. I did. I lost 20 pounds. None of it came off of my chest. But when I gained it back, that’s where it went. He still refused. He didn’t understand how miserable it was.

It wasn’t until after high school that he finally got it. He came home one hot summer day, complaining about how hot his bullet proof vest made him and how it was getting worse every year. I looked at my dad and quite unsympathetically said, “At least you get to take yours off. I’ve got mine 24/7/365.”

I guess it’s hard for people to understand the concept of heat rash all year round. It’s hard for them to understand how uncomfortable a too-small, ill-fitting bra is. It’s hard for them to understand the WEIGHT.

People are used to seeing those fake boobs that stand up on their own and seem weightless. I don’t know if they are lighter, but I know real boobs aren’t. It’s fat and mammory glands and tissue. It’s heavy. Only in a weightless environment would my breasts be perky. Rocking what should have been an H or I cup (yes, they make those), I was that exaggerated droopy breast joke you see on those comical birthday cards in Spencer’s. When I took my bra off, I could sit down and my breasts would touch the tops of my thighs. That’s how big and how heavy they were.

Sexy, huh?

I had back trouble and spent most of my time hurting. I mentioned the heat rash. I also had trouble sleeping. It was hard to find a position that was comfortable because of all of that squishy weight on my chest, sliding around and getting in the way and smooshing me if I wasn’t smooshing them.

And then there was the toll it took on my self-esteem.

When I finally got the job that provided me with the insurance that would cover a breast reduction, I jumped at the chance. During the initial pre-surgery examination, the doctor said he would probably take off 15 pounds of tissue.

I’m going to repeat that. My breasts were large enough that the doctor felt taking off 15 pounds of tissue would still leave me with ample enough bosom for my build. That’s how big I was.

In the end, the doctor only took off 7 pounds of tissue total, but still for fun, get a couple of three pound weights and picture carrying that plus (because the doc did leave me some titties) on your chest. That was me.

I’m now at a much more comfortable size, rocking at a 38DD. Sure, it still sounds big, but the difference is a) the bra fits and b) this size works with my build so it’s not too big. And compared to what I was nine years ago, this is positively tiny.

I feel better. I don’t have nearly the back problems I used to have. The heat rash is gone. I’ve got one less problem sleeping. Have there been some drawbacks? Sure and I’ll discuss those at some point. But this is a celebration, so I’m sticking with the positive today.

Happy birthday, boobies. You deserve it.

Friday Five: Birthday Presents

My birthday is next Wednesday and I, like so many other people, love my birthday. It’s my special day even if I don’t do anything more out of the ordinary than going to McDonald’s for lunch to celebrate it. It’s my day because it’s the anniversary of my birth and therefore, it is automatically a fantastic day.

Also, I like free stuff and birthdays are great for free stuff.

Here are five presents I would love to get for my birthday this year:

1. Tickets to a Cubs game. It’s a sin that I’ve only been to Wrigley twice in my life. Maybe they’d actually win the game so I could hear “Go Cubs Go” in person.

2. Books. I’ve got a whole wishlist of them on Amazon and I am desperately low on new reading material.

3. iTunes gift cards. I love music. I’ve got lists of songs that I’d like to acquire. Some of it recorded after 2001, even.

4. Monkees Present and Changes CDs. Yes, downloadable music is where it’s at, but they’re the last two CDs I need for my collection of original Monkees music (I’m not counting Missing Links vol. 1 and 2; I need those, too, but they’re all outtakes and alternative takes). I’ve got a great collage of the cover art going and I need those two pieces to finish. Also, the music.

5. Donations to The Dempster Family Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, a local children’s hospital, or a local humane society or no-kill shelter. One of the biggest bummers to being broke is not being able to contribute as much as I’d like to charities. I think it’d be cool to have people do it for my birthday.

If you read my Christmas list, I bet you were expecting something just as wild and extravagant, huh?

Well, I’m a complex person. Get used to these sorts of surprises.

Five Gifts I Would Give (If I Could)

Last week I listed five gifts I wanted from Santa. As much as I like getting, I like giving, too.

Here are five gifts that I would give if I could afford to give them and if it were practical to do so. Don’t look for anything of substance here. You won’t find it. It’s not one of the things on the list.

1. I’d give the Pittsburgh Pirates a winning season. I’m not talking championship; I’m saying finishing things out above .500. I’m no Pirates fan, but it’s got to be miserable as a fan and a player to running on two decades of losing seasons. No one deserves to go through that (though there are some people I think should; doesn’t mean they deserve it, though).

2. I’d give everyone a white Christmas. The snow would only last a day and wouldn’t be on the roads so there’d be no travel problems. I think people in the warmer climates are missing out.

3. I’d give people a break from being self-righteous. I imagine it’s exhausting and they could use a vacation.

4. I’d give my old high school some windows so it wouldn’t look so much like a prison. Or I’d give it some razor wire so the prison look would be complete. Whichever would be better for the current students.

5. I’d give everyone an extra tomorrow so they could catch up on their sleep today. Sometimes you just have to pause and take a nap so you have the energy to keep up with life.

That’s my giving list. What’s on yours?