Wednesday, July 20, 2005


100 Things About Me

1. I am blessed with several magical friendships that have lasted a quarter of a century.
2. I enjoy natural crunchy peanut butter. Yum. Now I like it with coconut oil in it.
3. I sleep better if a cat or dog is curled up next to me.
4. I'm passionate in many ways.
5. I love black and white photography. I love photos of parts of buildings.
6. I should have been an architect.
7. I'm addicted to regular Coca-Cola. The kind with cane sugar in it.
8. I talk aloud to animals. It makes some people uncomfortable, but it is the essence of who I am.
9. Being next to the ocean calms me.
10. I have kept a journal since 1972. It is a need more than a desire. I HAVE to write.
11. I wish my hair would grow long and thick and down to my butt. It is half-way down my back now, but it is starting to gray and is getting thinner. I call myself the "shed monster".
12. Someone once told me that I have luscious lips. That charms me still.
13. I wish I had pretty, straight toes. Sigh, that is not the case.
14. I have felt most at home, when I have traveled, in Boston and in London. I need to do more traveling. I would love to see Cuba. And Tahiti. And go back to Europe.... A man I dated went to Fiji, and when he explained to me the beauty, he actually cried. This was a man who stuffed emotion under the rug on a regular basis. I hope to see Fiji and Bora-Bora one day. I wish I could afford to take my mom on the Alaskan cruise she has always dreamed of. I would love to take a cooking tour of Italy (like Marianne Esposito's books talk about, or the lovely A Thousand Days in Venice, by Marlena De Blasi)
15. I like my coffee with chocolate, cinnamon, and banana-flavored syrup. I like tea, but only if it's hot.
16. It amazes me that I am over 40 yet still not married. I always wanted my own family, and I don't understand why the dream eludes me.
17. I am proud of the fact that my local college asked me to join their swim team just a few years ago. I opted for a sculpture class instead, which was also wonderful. I need to get back into swimming again.
18. Chocolate is something I need every day. I enjoy all forms: Mexican hot chocolate, cafe mocha, Dark, Milk Chocolate, all brands... I love chocolate-coated licorice
19. Memory crafts fascinate me.
20. I prefer dry heat over humidity, and sunshine over clouds. My moods are affected by the weather, and I get depressed in the wintertime.
21. I love the pretty soft downy fur that some long-haired cats have.
22. I don't know why so many Americans want bigger, newer homes, when smaller and older have so much more character. I would love to live in an Arts and Crafts bungalow. So many beautiful details--sun porches, carved woodwork, built in cabinets...
23. It's important for me to know my neighbor. The best is when I can go over there for coffee, share recipes, etc.
24. I can have a conversation with anyone. I ran into an old friend from high school (after more than twenty years), and he introduced me to his wife by saying, "This is Barb. She is so at home with conversation, that everyone in the room is a friend." That's about the nicest thing anyone has every said about me. I was astounded that he understood what I consider a gift, when I had only recently figured it out myself. He said, "just NOW?". He had seen it all along.
25. It's important to be polite to waiters and other people one encounters. Too many people ignore them, and I think that's rude.
26. I think that even broken seashells are God's treasures.
27. I loathe Miracle Whip, seafood of any kind, Fruit Loops cereal, and white chocolate.
28. I'm the type of person who will lay my heart and soul wide open. Nine times out of ten what I get in return is 110% more. Only once in awhile will I get slapped down, but I refuse to ever become jaded.
29. I'm near-sighted. My aunt is blind and my dad was blind (macular degeneration), so that scares me a bit. I am such a visual person.
30. I love the shape of banana leaves.
31. I collect several things--I get off on tangents. I have leaf-shaped dishes, most are metal. I just started collecting vintage needle cards with homemaker images or sewing images. Old homemaker books. Vintage aprons. Mermaid mugs. Tramp art pincushions. I have several Dietrich Varez prints. Currently I'm into vintage photos of seagulls.
32. I'm hoping to finish paying a local mural artist to do a painting of Bob Marley for me.
33. I love to continue learning, so I take classes all the time. I have taken sculpture, quilting, mosaics classes. I want to learn ceramics, jewelry-making, and more about collage. I may try painting (that's a huge step for me. Some bad experiences with instructors have turned me away from drawing). I just found out my local university offers a textile program--how did I not know that before? I never graduated. I flitted around major to major, but never found the perfect fit. Biology, Geography, Journalism, Interior Design....I think all along, art was probably the best place for me. That major is impacted though...hmmmm....
34. A huge treat to myself is having my eyebrows waxed and tinted. Eyebrows really do frame the face. If I go a step farther and have my lashes tinted and's as if I've undergone a transformation. It's wonderful. I wish I could afford to do it every month.
35. I adore June Bugs. Somewhere along the way, I got it into my head that June Bugs=good luck. I also cherish fuzzy black caterpillars, and big furry bumblebees. When I was a kid, I used to give dead bugs funeral services. I still take spiders outside, and think in terms of no-kill and absolutely no pesticides. I've considered writing a children's book with bug characters.
36. I've considered writing a children's book with a twist on Alice in Wonderland, where a black kitty falls down the water dish. I mentioned this to a friend, and she said water bowl reminded her of toilet now I say dish.
37. I vehemently abhor lab-testing on animals. I strive to buy cruelty-free cosmetics and cleaning supplies.
38. I can see myself career-wise doing something that involves Green Design. Sustainable Design/Architecture, Environmentally-Conscious Design/Architecture, or whatever you want to call it. It involves environmentally friendly materials and practices. When I attended Interior Design school, I started a Green Design section in our library, and was considered the resident expert. Sigh...too bad I never followed through. I am still seeking what it is I want to be when I grow up.
39. I get excited about an idea or project, but am easily swayed by criticism, boredom, name it. It's as if I can't see long term. See #38.
40. I have yo-yo'ed in my weight my entire life. I had to live with having a beautiful mother and comments like, "your mom was sooo don't look anything like her." Comments like that have made (or I have allowed them to make) too much of an impact on my self esteem.
41. I love the smell of freshly cut grass. And the leaves of tomato plants. And apricots. And freshly ground coffee beans. But other than that, I have a weak sense of smell, and no favorite perfume. I prefer body lotion to be non-scented versus all those fancy ones out there. Although I do like "Dream" from The Gap. And Fresh by Lychee sugar scents.
42. I love California poppies, Queen Anne's lace, calla lilies, and the heritage roses with the single petals (versus the traditional ones, that I could do without. I mean, they're okay, but more exotic flowers or wild flowers are more fun). And chartreuse-colored flowers and leaves.
43. I'm phobic of creepy crawlies in dark water. Any water actually. It's ironic that I'm an excellent swimmer, but if it's not in a pool, I'll hyperventilate. I guess Jaws did a number on me. Too bad too, because I never learned how to surf, and I feel like I missed out on something.
44. Speaking of missing out...I never went to the prom. No one asked. I casually dated older guys that didn't go to my school, and my best friend was a gay guy. I found out later that some guys thought he and I were dating. Bummer for me.
45. I used to dislike the color purple, but now I like it when it's mixed with red--like a fuchsia. And I love cranberry. And orange. The colors, and the fruits.
46. Sometimes I'm afraid of being alone in the dark.
47. I snore :(
48. I've never broken a bone.
49. I love ponape pepper, fresh out of the fields of Micronesia (I buy it online). I like my pepper so coarsely ground that I get chunks in my food. A little taste of Heaven.
50. My favorite pizza (why are so many of these comments food related?) is pesto with ricotta and thick crust. Other foods I love are Eggs Benedict where tomato and/or avocado is substituted for the ham, and homemade biscuits for the English muffin. I love the french fries sold on the street carts is Belgium drenched in homemade mayonnaise. I adore the cups of corn (elotes) from the street vendors in Mexico, slathered in chile, lime, cotija cheese, and mayonnaise. Funny, I don't even like mayonnaise, and I just named two things here with that ingredient. I love black beans with mango salsa and a side of fried bananas. A yummy snack is toasted raisin English muffin, with cream cheese, chunks of avocado, and pepper. Obviously, I'm all about bread. Oh!--and freshly baked pan chocolat (preferably freshly hot and purchased while shopping in a bakery in Paris).
51. I know how to read Tarot Cards (another class that I took).
52. I usually read at least one book each week. Non-fiction, novels, UK chick lit...all kinds.
53. I am a generous gift giver. I aim to give personal gifts that mean something. I spend time considering, thinking about the person, taking my time...If I love someone, I think about them all the time and tend to treat them with little gifts on a whim.
54. When I remember my dreams (not often enough), they are amazingly creative, and always in color.
55. My favorite gemstone is tourmaline.
56. I love thrift shops, ebay, and estate sales. I don't always have the stamina for garage sales, and the just never got into swap meets. The expensive antique stores and boutiques aren't as fun because everything is over-priced. But at thrift stores there is always buried treasure. Ah, I am ever the pack-rat in endless clutter. I am way too fond of spending money.
57. My best three girlfriends and I call ourselves "the pigs". It started with a game, became a collection, and now only the name remains. None of us collect pigs any longer, but we do still sometimes send pig-themed cards. We once pooled our stuff and won a blue ribbon at our local fair. My friend debs' daughter now has a group of friends, and they call themselves "the piglets", so the cycle continues...
58. I'm not a morning person. It takes me forever to wake up. I tend to get re-energized late at night.
59. I love it when the Sci Fi channel runs Twilight Zone marathons. I love old 'B' movies. I miss Mystery Science Theatre. I remember Moona Lisa, Sal U Lloyd, Doctor Demento, and Elvira. Son of Godzilla is one of my favorites.
60. I wish I wasn't afraid to sing in public. My voice is actually decent. My father had a beautiful voice. I can still hear him singing to Robert Goulet...I wish I had taped it.
61. Speaking of people I have loved, I miss my grandparents. My grandmother died in 1973, and not a day goes by that I don't think about her. I wish I had had more time with her. I hope angels are real. I hope she is with me. I think she is.
62. I love words. I love how the way a sentence is arranged will engender me to underline the passage in a book, or send me into another dimension. I love it when an author is so profound as to emboss my own words.
63. On one of the best days of my life to date, I was lying in a hammock, in a palapa without walls, on a far-away beach in Mexico. Not a tourist beach, but an obscure place. I will forever treasure that week. A man let me into his circle for a short time, and impacted me in more ways than he will ever know.
64. I can't whistle loud with my fingers--I can barely whistle at all.
65. I love true crime stuff--I can watch Court TV all day (or A&E, Discovery...whatever channel the shows are on). I would have been a great investigative reporter. Update: now it's ID Channel and HLN.  Who knew trials could be so interesting?!
66. I'm more comfortable driving on the freeway than side streets.
67. I love to, obviously, splice my writing with .... , -- , ( ). Teachers always hated my passive voice construction, but I have come to the realization that my writing style is less rule book and more 'me'.
68. I love being a Californian. I am a native San Diegan. I moved to Northern California once, and didn't fit in at all. Same state, different culture.
69. I love concerts. Live music events are one of my favorite activities.
70. I have never been married, partially by choice (I have had the opportunity twice, but it just didn't feel right). I have had several long-term relationships, however, three of which lasted over five years each. I would never have wanted to marry young. My mom was 17 when she married, and my dad was 21. My mom never finished high school, but is one of the smartest people I know.
71. I have three brothers, all older. 15, 13, and 11 years older. So basically I consider myself an only child.
72. I never graduated from college, but I do have an Associates Degree in general education. When I graduated, my anthropology teacher stood up in front of everyone and applauded.
73. When I was in 9th grade, my brother bought me a horse. Unfortunately, he was a young stallion, and a poor choice for a teen new to horses and riding. I found interest in friends instead, and my brother sold the horse. Had my brother given me a horse one or two years earlier, and a mare, would have been a better fit.
74. When I was a kid, I used to go to Disneyland every year. We would drive up through what used to be orange groves, and I would anxiously await my first tiny glimpse of the Matterhorn. My favorite ride was the Monsanto one, where you supposedly shrink into atoms...and at the end someone is looking at you through a microscope. Now, theme parks just don't excite me anymore.
75. My favorite Disney character is Tinkerbell.
76. I think the idea of genetically engineered food is really scary and really wrong (ironically, the Monsanto company backs some horrendous programs).
77. I'm passionate about recycling.
78. I love fairy tales, folklore, and all types of symbolism.
79. If I could go back in time, I'd want to explore the old jazz clubs of the 1930's. I'd want to feel the excitement. Or I'd want to be at Studio 54 in its hey day, in the 1970's.
80. If I could talk to anyone from history, I think it would be Bob Marley. That sounds fluff, but I don't think it would be.
81. I wish an old Italian woman would 'adopt' me right now, so I'd have a grandma again. I'd love it if she taught me old-style home cooking.
82. I like the idea of keeping tradition alive--quilting, knitting, cooking from scratch.
83. I prefer rum or vodka mixed with juice over other cocktails. I love bloody Marys.
84. I'm not into the desert. Maybe I would drive out for an afternoon and see wildflowers in the Spring, and to buy grapefruit....but no desert toys for me.
85. The think the tv show Survivor is disgusting.
86. I'm a hopeless romantic--I even cry at commercials.
87. The most I've ever spent on one ebay purchase was $132 for a woven tapestry in a geometric pattern and pink yarns. I adore it.
88. My most precious material possessions are all my photographs, and the track shoe charms (metal shoes on a necklace) my dad had in high school (1936) that now hang from my rear view mirror. And my grandmother's wedding ring that I need to have re-sized. One of my favorite gifts ever received was a vintage copy of Little Women from my friend Tracie.
89. I've got a kind heart.
90. There are (and were) too many alcoholics in my family, so consequently, I will never have a problem with that. It causes too much pain. And I am thankful that I do not have an addictive personality.
91. Amend that addicted part to include chocolate, coffee, and shopping.
92. I'm allergic to nickel, so I can't wear cheap jewelry, or it looks as if I've been burned. It's a common allergy. I didn't develop symptoms until I was 18.
93. I have worked at the same crappy retail job for over 20 years. It depletes me. I cannot fully express how much I hate it there. I consider myself a failure for having worked there, yet I still do not know how to escape. I have worked customer service for 28 years, and I am really really over it.
94. As much as I do enjoy the computer, I still need and thrive on books, and snail mail is the best thing ever.
95. I still write thank you cards the old-fashioned way, with pen, ink, stamp, and envelope. I think e-cards and phone calls should only supplement.
96. I have no problem not checking prices and over-spending, yet I don't like to gamble.
97. I'm just not hip on tattoos. The only one I ever liked surrounds the bone on one ankle of one of my co-workers. It's a souvenir of Tahiti, and it was given the old-fashioned way, with sort-of hammer and nail.
98. I'm schooled in grammar, but my spoken words tend to be filled with slang and profanity.
99. I don't do drugs. Seems really passe to me.
100. I tend to be late a lot.
101. When I get nervous, I talk too fast, and when I'm enthusiastic, my voice gets higher in pitch.
102. My friends and I can carry on several unfinished conversations at the same time, but I find that men think that's rude. Differences in experiences, I guess.
103. I'm not into sports (but when I have a boyfriend, I don't mind if he watches or attends events). But I love the Olympics. I do like to swim and to dance, but I never enjoyed playing softball or anything like that.
104. I love funky roadside architecture--you know, buildings shaped like giant tea cups, etc. It seems like small town America at its innocent best.
105. I am honest to a fault (as in trustworthy) and I'm proud of that. I do value my character in that respect.
106. Blue is my least favorite color.

Pet Peeves:
1. Watching people drink leftover cereal milk from the bowl, or even the thought of cereal milk.
2. People who eat in line at fast food places or ice cream counters, versus waiting a second to get to their seat or outside, or wherever the hell they SHOULD be eating it.
3. The sound of paper being folded and then someone's fingers running across the fold to crease it.
4. Ebay sellers who add sound to their auction pages.
5. People who aren't courteous with their cell phones.
6. When words with an 'i' are pronounced with an 'e'. 'Pellow' and 'melk" for pillow and milk. That drives me nuts.
7. People who bring boom boxes to the beach (or those places where most of us go to be in the quiet).


If I could live another life (lives), what would I do?

1. Have my own little store in a cottage, that sold kitchen wares and exceptional greeting cards.
2. Open a cage-free kennel.
3. Be a green-design architect and/or interior designer.
4. Travel the world, surfing.
5. Be a pastry chef.
6. Be a famous novelist.
7. Be a famous textile artist.
8. I would dabble in theatre and drama, starting as a child.
9. I would dance on Broadway.
10. I would have chosen other men and would be married with children.
11. I would have a rescue center for cats. Maybe lots of types of animals.

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