Sunday, February 6, 2011

Day One: Ten

I've noticed several folks on FB doing a "30 Day Photo Challenge." While I feel the word "challenge" is used rather loosely, I thought I'd give it a whirl on here since I need to blog and currently have writer's block (actually that's a lie--I am actually restricting myself from certain topics at the moment which in turn has locked my brain down from thinking of different topics).

So the first assignment is to write ten facts about myself and post a picture. I feel like I've done this to death between my "100 Things About Me" blog a couple of years ago and my up-to-the-minute status updates on FB. But Day One clearly states, "List 10 facts." I suppose the challenge then is to come up with ten facts that very few people know about me or to elaborate on things people do know. *sigh* I'm already regretting this...

1. Most of you know about my knee. It's been jacked up since 6th grade. Basically, it "jumps out" and my knee cap ends up dang near the back of my leg. It's excruciatingly painful. Seriously. It ranks right up there with labor. I need to get it fixed and have put it off forever. What people don't know, though, is how much I obsess about my knee. I can just think about dislocating it and it completely shuts me down for a few moments. Sometimes I will have a passing thought about my knee and do a full out body shudder. I honestly think about it a least a dozen times a day. This is why I get so freaked out when I see anything about a broken bone. One time, a friend thought it would be funny to show me a snapped leg. I almost passed out. Then I threw up and came close to a full-on anxiety attack. So if you ever seen my hand fly to my knee or I draw my leg up suddenly and wince, please pay me no mind. I just had a passing thought of my knee and will return to my (semi) normal self in a moment.

2. I can memorize a song extremely fast, especially if it's a song I like. If I hear a song on the radio once, I usually know the chorus by the end of the song and sometimes even part of the verses. I've always liked songs that challenge me. If it's a song with a lot of lyrics, I will listen to it over and over until I learn it, which usually takes about half the time it would someone else. I guess it started with "We Didn't Start the Fire" and the McDonald's commercial from the late 80s that sang the whole menu (I can still sing it). When "Semi-Charmed Life" came out in college, I learned it in one afternoon, including the verse that the radio usually leaves off. The added bonus is I can learn pretty much anything set to music. For example, when I was in college, I SUCKED at French. My answer to everything was je ne sais pas. The only reason I passed was because my professor had mercy on me. The weird thing is that for our final she required us to memorize a French Christmas carol. I learned mine in about two days and sang it perfectly, even my pronunciation was correct. She just couldn't believe it when I performed it. (Side note: Years later I saw her around the holidays and sang to her.) Maybe I would have been better in Chemistry if the teacher had presented his lessons as show tunes.

3. With the exception of a couple of things, I don't eat green. No, I'm not referring to being environmentally friendly. I don't eat the color green, mainly things that are leafy or look like small trees. I've tried over and over, but I swear it tastes like I'm chewing on dirt. I used to be embarrassed, especially when I'd go out and would be the only one with an uneaten salad sitting in front of me (I finally learned to order soup). Now I've just accepted it. It's not that I'm being picky. Green food just doesn't taste like food to me. I do eat zucchini and I like cucumbers (though only their skins are green). I will also eat spinach in a dip or casserole as long as it's not the dominant ingredient. Some people think this is why I hate pickles so much, but that's not the reason. I hate pickles because they are soaked in vinegar. I'd rather eat something soaked in gasoline than vinegar. Vinegar actually triggers my gag reflex. But that's another topic.

4. Vinegar actually triggers my gag reflex. When I was a kid and my mother and grandmother would make relish (or anything else involving vinegar), it would make me physically ill. One time I walked in Kroger and my eyes instantly started watering and I gagged a little. Someone had dropped a bottle of vinegar somewhere in the store. I had to leave and drive across town. I'm that sensitive. Pickles are disgusting because they take a perfectly good cucumber and soak it in vinegar, turning it into a crinkled, foul-smelling booger type creation. Pickles are not food to me. When I see people about to eat one, I have to resist the urge to slap it out of their hand to save them. I can't even stand to touch them because the smell gets on me and I smell it for DAYS. When I worked at Chick-fil-a, I would actually offer to clean the bathrooms to avoid being sent to the "pickle vat" to fill up the jar. Anything soaked in vinegar is vile. I don't care if it's a cucumber or a beet or a puppy. It's not natural.

5. I hate body hair. Not on other people, mind you, just myself (though I would make John shave his back if he looked like a Wookie). If I had the money, I would have electrolysis on my entire body with the exception of my head and eyebrows. But since I can't afford such a procedure (and I'm a total poon who would probably cry while they did it), I'm forced to shave and wax--arms included. It's more than a little time consuming, but a necessary evil, even when I was pregnant. Kind of hard to shave your legs when you can't see over your giant belly, but I managed. I should have recorded myself and put it on You Tube. I could be on Tosh.0 right now.

6. Growing up, I had tics. I didn't even know what a tic was, only that I couldn't control these jerking movements in my neck and jaw. I wasn't really self-conscious about them until my mother told me to stop (I don't think she realized they were tics either). After that, I became very aware of them and worked extremely hard to stop them. Over the years they went away mostly, though they still creep up when I get anxious. Other tic-like motions have taken their place over the years, though. For example, I pop my thumb joints all the time, especially when I'm typing--or bored. I crack my jaws CONSTANTLY, too, but I'm not sure if that's a tic. Popping my jaw helps relieve pressure from my TMJ, but it's also become quite a habit. I'm not sure what all this stems from,, though I suppose it's related to the general anxiety I've battled for years.

7. Speaking of anxiety, I'm proud to say that I've been medication free for almost 15 months. Even though my pregnancy was relatively smooth, I was still very scared and anxious. I made a conscious effort to stay calm, though, since I'd read so much about mothers with high stress levels affecting their babies (and possibly even the baby's "wiring"). This was a challenge since I couldn't take my anti-anxiety meds during my pregnancy. Once I had Amelia, I pretty much assumed that I'd need them more than ever. Turns out, I can't remember the last time I felt so in control of my life. Since I gave birth in August, I have only taken medication twice--once when I had to spend the night away from Amelia and was feeling very sad and once when Amelia started sleeping in her own room and I was nervous. I've never been ashamed that I take medication, but I'm very glad that I currently don't need it.

8. I don't like raw meat, especially chicken. I don't like the way it feels and I hate the way it smells. Even "fresh" chicken tastes rotten to me. My poor neighbors have finally gotten used to me walking across the street and asking them to smell my chicken. To be honest, I really wish I could become a vegetarian. When I bite into a hamburger or turkey leg, I force myself not to think about what I'm eating. I love animals and really do hate the thought of eating something that had a face. There are two problems, though: meat tastes really, really good and I would probably die of malnutrition if I were limited to vegetables (especially since the ones I really like aren't exactly healthy). I did go an entire year without red meat when I was younger, but I don't think I could cut it out entirely. I feel like a giant hypocrite sometimes.

9.  I would much rather watch a Quentin Tarantino movie than a romantic comedy and I'm slightly turned on by Fight Club.  In fact, with a few exceptions, most of the stuff I like to watch is geared more toward guys than girls.  I especially like anything that involves people beating the crap out of each other, even if it's totally ridiculous (bonus points if it involves Jason Statham).    If you flip through the season passes on my DVR, there's a fair share of violent programming.  On the other hand, I also watch Glee.  And 16 and Pregnant.  I won't even try to figure that one out.  I baffle myself sometimes. 

10.  I've always loved kissing.  Even in elementary school, I got into trouble for kissing boys--lots of boys.  I was kind of a kissing slut.  Things didn't get much better as I got older.  I had a total "kiss 'em if you got 'em" kind of mentality that got me into hot water more than a couple of times.   Even though I've been quite liberal with my kisses in the past, it's not because I don't take it seriously.  A kiss can be more intimate than any other physical act (remember Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman?) and I have had some very powerful, very memorable kisses in my life.   I've just always enjoyed kissing so much that I had a hard time turning down an opportunity to, um, sample the goods, so to speak.  And there are few experiences in this world that beat the thrill of  first kiss. The first time John kissed me (or I kissed him--we disagree on the specifics), I had no idea that it would be my last first kiss. In fact, it was a pretty big deal when I got married.  When they told John to "kiss the bride," there was a little voice in my head that said, "This is it, toots.  You'd better be happy kissing this guy for the next 80 years."  It kind of freaked me out, but it turns out I'm totally okay with it. 

There's my ten.  Truly hope it isn't as agonizing to read as it was to write.  Thank Xenu I get to move on to a different topic tomorrow. 

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