Sunday, January 2, 2000

70 Things - A Play in 7 Acts

I noticed awhile ago, that while logging in to prattle on about some more nonsense, I was at post #70. While most wait until 100 posts to do their tell-all, I instead embraced my impatient side and proceeded to do it right away. I liken this to ripping off a band-aid - let's just git 'er done, people.

Ready? Here goes, in no particular order - save your applause/disappointment until the end, please:

Act 1: Getting to Know Me-e-e-e-e
70. I am currently a surburbanite homemaker. I have become the person that I used to mock in my oh-so-cool early 20's. In the past, I've been a bank teller, a retail clerk, a house cleaner, a modeling agency receptionist, an environmental lab tech, and a school science department assistant.

69. I love to sing. Anything. Pop, opera, ballads. Especially in my car, driving down the highway. Where I'm absolutely sure that no one is watching. If I were ever to take singing lessons, they'd have to conducted while I drove around.

68. I'm an only child that married into a large family.

67. I can amuse myself to no end, and really enjoy being alone.

66. I took acting lessons and did quite well, but decided I'm more of a "behind the scenes" person.

65. I had no pets growing up. Now we have a dog. I'm petitioning for a second, but don't think that's happening any time soon.

64. I'm a Scorpio, with all the astrological baggage that seems to come with it.

63. I have a life-long love of reading. Books, magazines, recipe books, product labels. Anything and almost everything. Not crazy about sci-fi or horror.

62. I have great reverence for movies. Again, I can find a redeeming quality in almost anything, and so have a long list of guilty pleasures. Some of these include: Zoolander, Malibu's Most Wanted, Orange County, Austin Powers.

61. While I'd like to think otherwise, I have no co-ordination skills or rhythm. Needless to say, I don't do exercise classes nor play team sports.

Act 2: Getting to Know Alllllllllll About Meeeeeeeeee
60. I skipped Grade 4, but took Grade 5 twice.

59. I love camping, although I'd never go alone.

58. I am a recovering perfectionist.

57. I'm a big fan of kitsch. Rubber chickens? Bring 'em on. Magnetic Marys for the dashboard? Oh, yeah.

56. The crooner I adore the most is Dean Martin. His voice is like balm to my soul. I had them play my favorite CD during my cancer surgery - I have to believe that he should take some credit for my speedy recovery.

55. In 2006, I was diagnosed with Stage II colon cancer. I've had radiation (got some pretty edgy-looking tats from that experience), surgery, and chemo. As of March 16, 2008 I've been NED (no evidence of disease) for one year. Five years is usually the all clear sign - four more to go!

54. I truly believe that there is a good element in everyone. It may be buried down pretty deep, but it's there.

53. Animals in commercials that are doing human things make me clutch and roll with laughter. Chimps in the ads? I seriously lose it.

52. I'm hooked on The Dog Whisperer. That Cesar is magic.

51. Most days, I think too much, and do too little. I've lived most of my life from my shoulders up (this could very well explain the unco-ordination).

Act 3: All Baroness, All the Time
50. My mom and dad were 40 and 43 years old when I was born. So, in essence, I was raised as a mini-adult.

49. I am extremely curious. About everything. Few things, in fact, escape my scrutiny.

48. While my sons seem to view me as some bohemian, time-challenged hippy chick, truth of the matter is that I look at everything pretty scientifically.

47. I love shoes! And have since I was 3 years old, and bitched at my mother for not buying me 2 pairs instead of just the one that I needed.

As I've gotten older and be-bunioned (kind of like bedazzled, but not so shiny), I'm starting to admire shoes from afar, and regard some of them simply as stunning works of art. Not the implements of torture that they probably are.

46. I am a muller. I, categorically, am absolutely useless at thinking on my feet (regardless of what loveliness they're clad in).

45. I'm tough , but I'm weak.

44. A former boss told me "Some people want to change the world. You want to redecorate it".

This statement is true. Sad, but true.

43. I am a control freak, and on a day-to-day basis have to curb my inclination to take over anything at least 37 times.

42. I'm a list maker (oh, the irony). Every morning, I make a list of the day's (I Don't Want) To Do's. It's usually long, with many sub-headings, and if I get halfway through, it's been a good day.

41. My favorite mystery authors include Faye and Jonathan Kellerman, Rick Mofina, Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, Tim Cockey, and Sarah Shankman.

40. I love the idea of small towns, but think that you have to be born and raised in one to fit in.

Act 4: We're at 50%
39. Totally undisciplined. I so admire the people who have routines, and really wish I was one. And I try. Instead, I spend a lot of time spinning in circles. Making lists help a lot.

38. I am a purist. With food, I do not want condiments. One can hide a pretty crappy hamburger in a mountain of relish, pickles and assorted goo. A good burger can stand on its own. Bun, burger. C'est tout. Same w/ hot dogs. Oh, and I like vanilla ice cream.

As for the constant tinkering w/Dr. Seuss books into movies? Don't get me started.

37. I love beautiful things. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that beautiful doesn't always have to equal expensive, and I've also begun to really look for beauty everywhere. And it's there, people. This lovely lady finds it every day.

36. For as much disdain as I have towards her, I must credit Ms. Winfrey with directing me towards my favorite parfumier ever - Jo Malone. I am currently rocking the French Lime Blossom. So divine.

35. I love dressing up. I have nowhere to really go dressed up, and have a closet full of clothes for a person that doesn't really live my life. Someday....

34. On the flip side of dressing up (well sorta), I'm also a comfort whore. Everything has to feel good on - even the shoes with sexy heels (yes, they are out there). Towels can't be scratchy, and bed linens must evoke an "ahh" when one pops between the covers. What happens after that is your business.

33. I am an eternal optimist. Hope should have been my middle name (it's Joy, for the record). I, in fact, believe that if I watch "House" enough, there will actually be a microsecond down the road where he shows a redeeming characteristic.

32. If I see a picture of something, chances are I can make it. I should clarify that I only use this skill for good. Never for evil. OK, almost never.

31. I LOVE power tools. I took a woodworking class a few years ago, and now want my garage tricked out with all these goodies. So far: Table saw, compound miter saw, jigsaw, router, multi-speed drill, Dremel. On the wish list: mini-generator and a brad nailer. Sigh. MY BIL's all find this highly amusing. My husband - not so much.

30. I think family traditions are the backbone of a generation. Holidays, day-to-day, whatever. I love to hear about what families do, and the reason why.

Act 5: 29 Bottles of Baroness on the Wall...
29. I'm an extremely fast talker. As is The Baron. When we get going, it's almost a foreign language. Woe be to the poor exchange students who stay with us - they aren't going to learn a damn thing here.

28. Favorite-ish season? Spring. Fall. Summer. Winter. Each has its own redeeming qualities, non? Spring for my garden babies, fall for scrunching around in other people's leaves, summer for long days without a coat or shoes, and winter for those crisp shiny days.

27. I am a selective Hello Kitty collector. Nothing too flashy or obvious; only subversive.

26. While I try very hard to be nice to everyone, I do not suffer fools gladly. Not even madly. They are idiots, and my contempt runs deep. Like my moats.

25. And the Baroness doth proclaim: Garlic is the new black.

24. To quote Miss kd lang, I am a big-boned girl from Southern Alberta. Yeah, you crazy Prairies.

23. I once fell down 3 stairs and nearly tore my patellar tendon (see WebMD) clean off. I do not recommend this.

22. I am absolutely crazy about my sons. They are smart, clever, kind, polite, and quite possibly funnier than me. OK, they are funnier than me. They make me guffaw at least once every day.

21. Not a morning person. Or a night owl. I hit my peak around 1:20 pm, and it's downhill from there.

20. The song "100 Years" by Five for Fighting makes me cry. Every time.

Act 6: Take Meeeee Out to the Baronnnnnnnnnnessssssssss...
19. Dream vacation #1 - Telluride Film Festival. Never hear of Telluride? It's kind of like the Sundance FF's older, drug-dabbling cousin. To be honest, I'm not really there to throw down with the celebrities, though a chat with Ralph Fiennes would be quite yummy. I just love that I could potentially walk around seeing underfunded yet wonderful movies dawn to dusk.

18. I am a award-winning grudge holder. I'm not too proud of this, and I've let go of quite a bit. But still...There's that whole Aunt Ruby thing.

17. I am an adult orphan, and have very little contact with whatever living relatives are left. My mom was the family liaison, and now that she's gone, I don't have the heart nor the stomach to pick up the reins.

16. When I am focussed on something, I am freakishly focussed. Possessed, even. Don't waste your breath asking me a question - I'm in another world, brother. I'll send you a postcard. Maybe.

15. Words can't sufficiently express how grateful I am for what I have: a fantastic husband, healthy kids, a home, amazing friends. I might not get mushy very much, but my gratitude has made me cry on more than one occasion.

14. Please take note. When I am tired, I am cranky. Not just your garden-variety cantankerousness. But foul. Nasty. Spiteful. Exorcist-esque. Just clear me a path to my bed and let me be. We'll talk in the morning. Trust me - you want to do this.

13. I'm not the best friend in the world, but I'm learning. And I have an unbelievable array of mentors, who each provide exquisite examples of what to do.

12. Call it survival, call it empathy, call it bat-shit loco. I have the ability to enter a room and sense what's going on - who's pissed off but think they're hiding it well, who's about to lose it, who's checked out and is a million miles away. All in about 3 seconds flat.

11. One of my favorite relatives was my Great Aunt Lexa. She was the epitome of a strapping Prairie Woman. She somehow managed to always be wearing dresses and, at the same time, the pants of the family. She was big, and tall, and loud, and funny as hell. She had a husband who was p-whipped to within an inch of his life, and he adored her. When she passed, my Great Uncle sent me a whole box of her jewelry that she wanted me to have. I love it to bits.

Act 7: This is The End, My Friend
10. I maintain a "3 Strike Rule" about almost everything. I'm pretty generous with the first two calls. After the 3rd that's it. We're done.

9. I know I've kind of covered this before, but it always, always, always bears repeating. I have the most amazing husband. He's the lox to my bagel, the yin to my yang. We really are partners, and he deserves 10,oo0 fabulous points for a) putting up with me, and b) making me laugh every damn day. I am blessed.

8. I do not like to ask for help. And if I should ask, no offense, but it's a last resort. I have exhausted all other possibilities first.

7. I am loyal to a fault.

6. Not many people really know me.

5. Dream vacation #2 - Scotland. I'm afraid if I go here, I might not come back. It's the land of my mom and her clan, and the pull to go there is extremely strong. Plus, I want to see my men in kilts. They could seriously rock the MacTartan.

4. I am not being in any way glib or superlative when I say I have been to hell, and stayed there for two and half very long days. Trust me when I say it is not for the weak, and it smells like pee and Dettol.

3. I have been known, on rare occasions, to be slightly sarcastic (see? I just did it right there). Yes, I know it's the lowest form of humour. Yes, I know it's petty. But it comes to me so easily. It's a gift. And a curse.

2. I love blogging. I know that it might not be the perfect venue for my style of writing, but it's immediate, and I'm impatient, and I can not begin to explain the glee I feel when I write something I consider amusing. Because I'm a tough audience.

And to the bitchy person who once asked if I ever took the time to read what I'd written prior to pressing the "Publish Post" button, I would answer an emphatic yes. I read them over and over.

1. I love my blends. Ya know, Bl(og) (Fri)ends (thanks to Miss Scarlett for coining such a great word). You are a fascinating group, and for your individual perspectives and the lives you choose to share, I thank you whole-heartedly. I don't believe in coincidence, and I'm so very thankful I stumbled upon your pathways. The learning is definitely in the journey.

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