1. I sang in hootenannies for remote Nike sites in Alaska when I was a teenager. I wasn’t that good a musician but I was easy on the eyes—especially for servicemen who hadn’t seen any non-Eskimo female for several months.
2. When I was 27, my older and younger brothers were both killed while flying drugs up from South America across San Diego. While my mother told friends they had died on a camping accident (“THIS was no boating accident!”), my father was stalking the lawyer who financed the drug trip; he was packing heat and fully intended to kill him.
3. I have a little rose tattoo on my shoulder that involved a lunch with my best friend in Santa Barbara many years ago where too much alcohol was consumed. By the time we had sobered up, it was a fait accompli. Upon returning home, with my tail between my legs, I confessed the deed, showed it to Paul, who wisely mused, “Well…I guess I have to change my opinion of women who have tattoos now!”
4. In 1971, I drifted over to the “Celebration of Life” rock festival near the Atchafalaya River near Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and ingested enough pills to kill an elephant, with the express purpose of finding out, one and for all, if there was life after death. That experiment ended in a 3-day sleep and my best girlfriend spiriting me away to California for “counseling.” (Yeah, ya THINK???)
5. I was molested for some time between 6 and 7 years of age (Debbie Downer…waa-waa…).
6. My first car (1970; I was 19) was a 1965 VW Bug. Car insurance was something very rich people had. I held up lace and spray painted the car in egg shell blue. The engine caught fire late one night when Chad was a baby. Damn, I loved that car!
7. During the early 70s, when the cost of an airline ticket was out of the question, I would drive my Bug 1800 miles straight to Louisiana (parents) because I couldn’t afford to stop at a motel. During that long 800-mile stretch across west Texas, I had some pretty interesting hallucinations.
8. I used to clean up and bandage the bloodied welts my father sliced into my sister’s back during one if “razor strap” rages (waa-waa…).
9. Except for a few years off when the kids were little, I have worked since age 15. My first job was maid service at a cheap motel in Fairbanks, and involved a game called “How quietly can I sneak around so that the lecherous manager doesn’t know which room I’m making up right now?” Between 15 and 24, I worked in just about every entry level job a female can hold.
10. Venice is the most romantic city I’ve ever been to. I could sit outside with a drink and some smokes and watch people for hours and hours.
11. I was attacked once (age 19) when I was alone in a Laundromat. I beat the snot out of him with a pillowcase, screaming at decibel levels I didn’t know I had in my repertoire. I am woman; hear me roar.
12. My father was a B24 pilot in WWII who was one of the few who came back during the Ploesti raids. Later he and his crew were shot down over Germany, where he spent the last 18 months of the war in a POW camp.
13. I was born in Biloxi, Mississippi but lived in Fairbanks, Alaska from ages 3 to 16. Yes, I experienced the great Alaskan earthquake. Ask me about it sometime.
14. I attended 3 different high schools and 7 different colleges & universities.
15. I stayed up all night during John Glenn’s 1962 historic trio of earth orbits, and passionately wanted to become an astronaut from that moment forward. But girls weren’t allowed to be astronauts, so I never even dreamed of pursuing that dream. I DO, however, still have a life goal of going up in a shuttle before I’m senile. I figure this will pretty much screw up my kids’ inheritance (he he he).
16. A few years ago I started writing a sci fi novel.
17. I was the third of five kids. I was my dad’s favorite. I’m the only kid who escaped the wrath of the almighty razor strap.
18. It’s all about Kaluha Sours.
19. My first public appearance was age 5 for a Christmas show at Fairbanks, Alaska’s one and only cracker box theater. I sang that most ancient and beloved of all Christmas carols, “You Better Watch Out.”
20. I went by my real name “Teresa” until age 16.
21. I have a pretty serious crush on my granddaughter, Ella.
22. I love working for myself and by myself. Early in life I vowed I would somehow position myself to never, ever, ever again have to work in an office full of women.
23. When the Beatles came on the Ed Sullivan Show, my father turned the TV off midway through their first song. I don’t think I ever hated my father as much as I did in that cruel moment. I was 13.
24. My kids don’t understand how I could have gone through the 60s and 70s counterculture, know every song TUNE, but not the lyrics. I used to think I just had a bad memory. But I think it’s because I was just plain stoned the whole time and never listened to the words in the first place.
25. It’s hard to come up with 100 things. How did those other people do it???
26. My grandson, Zion, is a complete and utter character. He makes me laugh out loud. He is so…all boy…compared to Ella!
27. I have a book fetish. I don’t know how not to order a book from Amazon.com once I get it into my head that I must possess it.
28. When my…sainted mother moved in with us 3 years ago, I ordered every Nebula Award winning sci-fi from 1950 to the present. It was cheaper than street vicodin.
29. My mommy dearest has now happily moved back to Louisiana. It’s like I’ve been released from prison. I am euphoric 99.4% of the time nowadays. I tried. I tried really, really hard to give her one more chance to love me, and it failed. I sure thought I had buried this issue years ago in therapy!
30. Since my mother’s departure in January, I have been getting a weekly massage and adjustment.
31. I really and truly don’t get why people find it hard to talk about sex or God. These are two issues that I love to discuss because I am endlessly fascinated by what people think about these two topics.
32. My daughter is rapidly becoming my best friend. It’s freakish how easy it is to talk to her. She actually gets me.
33. I have finally, at the ripe old age of 55, figured out the basics. I am ready to roll, now!
34. I am not easily shocked.
35. No, really.
36. Paul and I have been married 32 years this June, and the only time we’ve ever had an empty nest was the first 12 months of marriage, at which time Chad was born. I don’t know why, but we’ve always felt really good about having visitors who stay for 6-24 months.
37. Ah, Paul…
39. I never succeeded teaching my son the difference between “than” and “then.” Sigh.
40. My biggest terror is the thought of no life of any kind after death. If I let myself think in that direction for any length of time, I can induce a full-scale panic attack. I’m amazed that people can create whole new denominations over doctrine. As long as I continue to exist, I’ll deal! I can’t believe I’m even writing this.
41. Paul and I earned $14,000 during the spring weekends of 1982 singing and dancing in Amway shows that played in really huge venues. No kidding—I had Bob Mackie gowns made for me!
42. I spent the first 8 years of my marriage waiting for Paul to find out what a fraud I really was and then leave me. I was so sure this was inevitable that I hardened myself to him, preparing for the day he would unmask me.
44. When he gave up on trying to fix me, he just held me and waited. And then lovingly prescribed Prozac.
45. I am continuously blown away by how incredibly well Chad & Erica have conducted their first eight years. Where/how did they learn to do that???
46. My favorite philosopher is Kierkegaard.
47. For two years now, I stop by Starbuck’s every day before work and get a tall mocha frappachino and a sandwich for later. I justify it by telling myself it’s healthier than cigarettes.
48. My guilty television pleasures: Idol, Survivor, House.
49. We flew with Keith Green in the airplane he went down in…one week prior to the fatal accident.
50. I acted with Amanda Bynes in a local production of “To Kill a Mockingbird” when she was a young adolescent. She was a cutie pie.
51. I watched Al Gore’s documentary, and I am truly shaken. Why didn’t he sound this smart when he was running for President??? He would’ve been the first Democrat I’d ever voted for. Actually there may be a few democrats in my future…
52. Sometimes when I watch my son in action, I can hardly believe I get to claim “mom status” with him. I’m pretty much in awe. I wish I could take all the credit for how he turned out, but I have to unhesitatingly and gratefully give Erica full and grateful kudos. Not to mention the work he’s done on his very own. I did a lot of things wrong raising my kids, but I am proud that I raised them to identify, articulate and defend their feelings. Okay…so maybe I did this job a little too well with Chad, but I’d rather have a child who is a thinking, passionate, alive human being than someone who never had an independent thought. So there.
53. Paul was my Pygmalion. He chiseled me out of a block of rough stone, then loved me until I became real. We belong to each other. He is my safe harbor. I can only be fully in exhale mode when I am with him.
54. Change is inevitable; growth is optional. Don’t wait till you’re 50 to figure this out.
Okay, it’s 2 a.m…enough already!