1. One summer, I spent my weekends dressed as a panda at a photo booth at the zoo. Children (and the occasional gay couple) got their pictures taken sitting on my lap.
2. I once got bucked off a horse during a relay race in a rodeo at a camp where I was working as a counselor/wrangler. They carried me out of the corral on a board, and I remember regaining consciousness (at least I THINK I was unconscious) and staring up into the face of the rodeo clown. I got a bad case of the giggles, because I had this vision of having arrived in heaven only to discover that the angels sent to welcome me turned out to be clowns.
3. When in Rome, do as the Romans do. Or when on a beach in Greece, take off your top and go topless. I did.
4. I have met 2 Canadian Prime Ministers. I have a picture of myself shaking hands with the current one.
5. I once slept under the stars on a ship in the middle of the Mediterranean Ocean with my camera bag as my pillow.
6. The worst job of my life was as a chambermaid in Banff, Alberta. I particularly hated cleaning toilets.
7. I once had a 106 year old man flirt with me. I was in Regina at the time to present him with a war medal for his service during the First World War.
8. I’m stubborn. It’s one of the things I like and dislike about myself. My dad used to admire it in me, because it reminded him of himself. I remember holding onto a rope that was tied to a cow that desperately wanted to get away. That cow dragged me all over the yard, but I WOULDN’T let go. That was one of the stories dad loved to tell about me and it made me smile when I heard him tell it.
9. Another way in which I’m like my dad is that I usually pass out when I throw up. Dad used to do it too. The doctor can’t figure out why – it seems the action of throwing up cuts off the circulation to my brain. It scares my husband. When he hears me run to the bathroom when I’m sick, he comes to stand behind me to catch me.
10. I like to take pictures. I like the fact that I own an SLR camera and not just a “point and shoot”.
11. I like driving. Preferably alone. Sometimes I use that as an escape, when I’m stressed out. I leave the kids with my husband and I just drive until my head is cleared.
12. I like the colour turquoise. When I wear something turquoise, I almost ALWAYS have someone tell me I look good in the colour.
13. When I was young, I found a secret hideaway in the middle of a bramble-bush. There was a big rock to sit on, and you had to navigate your way carefully to avoid getting poked by the long spikes sticking out of the branches. The challenge of getting there was part of the appeal.
14. I like to read. I’m a bit of a literary snob. I don’t read pop culture stuff. Anything by Danielle Steele or Nicholas Sparks makes me want to gag.
15. When I sleep, I wrap the blankets tightly around me, right up to my chin. I don’t like too many air pockets and the blanket has to be touching the bed on all sides. I don’t want to risk any breezes sneaking in.
16. I always fall asleep lying on my left side, facing the outside of the bed. I don’t like anyone touching me while I fall asleep.
17. I like train rides. I wish they were more commonplace and affordable.
18. Sometimes I’m surprised how easily a service person can make or break my day. A friendly waitress can make me happy for hours. A grumpy bus driver can cloud my whole afternoon.
19. I love words, but I’m lousy at crossword puzzles.
20. Two of the first boys I ever had crushes on are dead. Grant and Robbie. They both died in accidents.
21. The first vehicle I ever owned was a little white Chevette. I bought it for $500 from my brother. I loved the independence of owning a car.
22. Some day I want to own a house with a verandah. That was one of my mom’s dreams too.
23. When I was in Grade 5 I did a school project on Brazil. Since then, I’ve always wanted to travel to Brazil.
24. I have been a bridesmaid for three brides. Of those three, the only one I still have contact with is my sister. I had three bridesmaids. Of those three, the only one I still have contact with is my sister.
25. I once took Hawaiian guitar lessons because my mom loved the Hawaiian guitar. I was never very musical though, so it didn’t last long.
26. My dad was killed in an accident when I was at 7-11 buying a Slurpee. It took me awhile before I could enjoy another Slurpee.
27. There have been 4 traumatic events in my life that have helped shape who I am. I was raped by a man who climbed in my window. My husband attempted suicide when I was pregnant with our first child. My third child – my only son – was stillborn. My dad was killed in a terrible farm accident.
28. I sweat a lot. When I exert myself, my fact turns red and I sweat all over. This has always been a source of embarrassment for me.
29. When I was in Grade 5, I once scored 99% on a spelling test. The only mark I lost was because I forgot to cross the T on my name at the top of the page. This still pisses me off.
30. When I was in Grade 9, I won $100 for getting top marks in my grade. I bought my first camera with the money.
31. When I was in Bible College, I was class vice president. I couldn’t be president because I was a woman. This still pisses me off.
32. When I was 6 years old, I walked over 20 miles in a walkathon. As I said in #8, I’m stubborn. Even back then, I was determined to prove I could do it, probably because no one else thought I could. I crossed the finish line with Mr. Paramour. There’s a picture of the two of us holding hands – the oldest and the youngest to finish the walkathon.
33. I like to watch deer jump over fences.
34. When I was growing up, I loved to ride horses. Once, when my brother Dwight and I were riding, the horse he was on, Prince, stumbled in the ditch, flipped head over heels, and died. Dwight was thrown into the ditch.
35. I’ve always wanted to be able to paint. And draw.
36. After my first daughter was born, I couldn’t pee for 2 weeks. I’d had a rough delivery and there was too much internal swelling. I had to catheterize myself at home. There’s nothing pleasant about self-catheterization.
37. I was in New York with my sister a month and a half after the World Trade Center was attacked. The smoke was still rising from the ashes.
38. Sometimes, people think I’m an airhead because I have momentary lapses in my memory that make me seem slightly vacuous.
39. I’m not an airhead, because I can use the word “vacuous” in a sentence.
40. I hate it when companies use bad grammar or misspelled words in signs or advertisements. It’s one of my pet peeves, and I would go out of my way not to give that company my business.
41. I’m very ticklish. My daughters love to have “tickle time” where they gang up on me and tickle me until I’m laughing uncontrollably.
42. I once scored 13 points serving in a volleyball game against Gladstone. I was proud of this for 2 reasons: I wasn’t a particularly strong volleyball player, and Gladstone was a much stronger team than ours and that was one of the only games we won against them.
43. I have been inside a Level 3 biosecurity lab. This is special because very few people who aren’t scientists or lab technicians have seen the inside of a Level 3 lab when it’s “hot” (in operation). I was escorting a journalist from California into the lab. You can’t wear any street clothes inside, and you have to shower on your way out.
44. The first thing I ever had published was a poem in my Grade 12 yearbook. The second thing was a poem in Zygote Magazine. I’ve had quite a few things published since then.
45. I don’t like it when websites have music that starts automatically when you open the page. I find it to be an assault on my senses.
46. I am sensitive to loud noises. I was once on a ship with my brother and sister and had to run inside every time they blew the fog horn.
47. I don’t like scary movies. I don’t mind suspense, but I don’t see the point in scariness just for the sake of scariness. When I was in high school, it was really popular to watch scary movies (like Halloween) at parties. I hated it, but I still wanted to be at the parties.
48. My best friend in high school was Leanne Chudley. We met because we were lab partners in Grade 10 science. I’ve only seen her twice since high school.
49. I hate games that make me feel stupid. Stock Ticker is a prime example. As long as I live and breath, I will NEVER play Stock Ticker again!
50. I have hiked to the top of a mountain – Sulphur Mountain. Fortunately, I could ride the gondola back down.
51. I am not a fast reader. I like to savour the words rather than skim over them. Mrs. Ranka, my third and fourth grade teacher, tried to teach us to speed read. We had to work through these coloured cards in a big box. That was stressful for me. I did alright, but once that was done, I went back to reading slowly.
52. I don’t like coffee. I like tea, but I’m not very fond of any tea that tastes like boiled grass.
53. I’m not very organized. This is especially apparent in my laundry room. I often have to scrounge through baskets of clean clothes to ensure my children have clean socks and underwear for school.
54. Sometimes I think I have a bit of a split personality. Some days, I want to be more cosmopolitan. Other days, I want to be more earthy/hippie.
55. I like speaking in front of big groups. It gives me positive energy.
56. I have never done any kind of drugs. Sometimes I feel like I’ve missed out by not trying anything. I’ve had opportunity, but I don’t like trying anything for the first time in front of other people. I’m afraid of losing control and losing face.
57. I got married August 7, 1993. I had a lot of fun at my wedding. One of the things that made it fun was that everyone in my family, except Dad, got up to dance. I didn’t expect that. Dad was sleeping in the car, because he really didn’t like crowds.
58. I once stuck my foot in a lawnmower by accident. I was trying to knock some tent worms out of a tree with a stick and wasn’t paying attention to where my foot was. The lawnmower stopped and I kicked my boot into the air. My mom said she heard the lawnmower stop with a thud, heard me scream, looked out the window and saw my boot flying through the trees.
59. I never went to Kindergarten. My mom didn’t want me to have to ride the bus for 2 hours a day when I was that little.
60. When I was a teenager, I had a crush on Leif Garrett.
61. One of my favourite moments with my husband was a short trip we took to Quebec City. We had so much fun wandering around the old city and eating crepes at a funky little restaurant. We don’t always have compatible interests when we travel together, but on that trip we did.
62. My favourite pair of shoes EVER was a pair of Punkt sandals I bought in Germany. They were like Birkenstocks, but more interesting because no one else in Canada had them (except my sister, who bought them on the same trip).
63. For awhile in elementary school, my nickname was Heifer. When I went through a tomboy phase, they called me “Mighty Heif”. I once kicked a boy, while Dale Patterson chanted “Mighty Heif is chewed. Mighty Heif is chewed.”
64. We once found a playboy magazine in the bush behind our school. It was a shocking moment when I realized there were men who liked to look at pictures of naked women.
65. I love Thai food. My second favourite ethnic food is Greek.
66. My favourite annual pilgrimage is to the Winnipeg Folk Festival every July with my sister. I’ve been there 17 years in a row. My three daughters have been there every year of their lives.
67. I used to make a lot of crafts. I hardly ever make crafts anymore. When I became a mom, I thought I would make lots of crafts with my kids, but I’ve discovered I don’t have much patience for that.
68. The first time I was on a plane was a trip to Edmonton to visit my brother when I was a teenager. I’ve been on lots of planes since then, and the novelty has never worn off. When I started taking business trips, other more seasoned business travelers said I’d get tired of it. They were wrong. Now that I’m a more seasoned business traveler, I NEVER tell people they’ll get tired of it.
69. When I was pregnant with my third child, the doctors discovered that I had developed an incompetent cervix. It had been competent through both of my previous pregnancies, but for some inexplicable reason, it stopped doing its job. My son Matthew died in utero after they broke my membrane trying to sew together my incompetent cervix.
70. Birthdays don’t usually stress me out, but the year I turned thirty was an exception. Three things happened that year – we bought our first house, we had our first child, and we bought a minivan. Suddenly, all that responsibility and ownership made me feel old and settled down.
71. I like the feeling of a sleeping child on my lap.
72. I have very little patience for stupidity or incompetence.
73. I once tried to help my dad pull a calf out of a cow. It got stuck and he hooked up the tractor to help him pull. The tractor pulled too hard and the calf got torn in half. The event traumatized me and I ran screaming into the house. My dad felt really bad that I’d seen it happen. Now that I know him better, I know it must have devastated him to see it too.
74. I have killed a lot of house plants. I keep trying, but they almost always end up dead. My mom, sister, and brother are all good with plants and my black thumb is a source of shame for me. I cringe when well-meaning people give me plants because I know the fate of the plants and I don’t want to disappoint the giver.
75. I love projects, but I have a short attention span so I don’t always get them done before I move on to the next one.
76. One of the reasons I was attracted to my husband was that he made me laugh. The first time I met him, after trying to dance to Ska music at the Pyramid, we sat at Country Kitchen and laughed and laughed over coffee and tea. Fourteen years later, he still makes me laugh.
77. I’m not a particularly kind person. It’s not that I’m unkind, just that kindness doesn’t always come naturally to me. My mom, on the other hand, exudes kindness from every pore.
78. My first job was taking care of kids at a day camp. I was sixteen and I was the oldest one of three people entrusted with a hoard of kids all day every day. Now that I look back at it, I’m amazed they trusted us with their kids. I’m not particularly good with kids and I don’t think the other 2 people were either.
79. I value intelligence. It doesn’t bother me much that I’m not beautiful, but I think it would bother me if I weren’t at least somewhat intelligent.
80. I am a Christian, but there are still days that I am not convinced of the existence or the significance of God. Deep down, I still believe that wavering faith is better than none.
81. I’ve written three plays that have been produced on stage.
82. I don’t like pets. I used to own horses, but I’ve never wanted to own a pet since then. I like to see animals in the great outdoors, but I don’t want them in my house.
83. I have issues with personal space. I start to feel claustrophobic if people are too close to me.
84. Before I die, I’d like to visit at least 20 more countries.
85. I’m not very musical. This used to bother me, but doesn’t any more.
86. I para-sailed in Mexico and loved the feeling of floating above the beach.
87. I like to be spontaneous, but I am also somewhat cautious.
88. I am cynical yet hopeful.
89. When I retire, I want to be a travel writer. That way I get to travel and make just enough money to keep going.
90. Being a mom is one of the most difficult and yet most rewarding things I’ve ever done.
91. The first year I was in university, my mom told her friends I was studying social work. I guess it didn’t make sense to her that I would spend three years of my life getting an English and Theatre degree.
92. I love to go for walks, but my feet usually hurt when I do. When I finally got fitted for orthotics, I discovered that it’s because I have high arches.
93. I’m not very affectionate, except with my children. I don’t like hugs from very many people.
94. I like attending theatrical productions. I wish I could go more often. I have been to plays in London and New York with my sister.
95. One of my most embarrassing moments was a Sunday afternoon when I dropped in on my parents and found them in bed together. They were even more embarrassed than I was, especially since I was with a Member of Parliament at the time. I was embarrassed but pleased to know that my parents still enjoyed a mid-afternoon romp in the hay.
96. I like roller coasters.
97. I like fishing. It’s not so much catching fish that I like, but rather the leisurely feeling of sitting in a boat on a pleasant afternoon waiting for your rod to wiggle.
98. I want to hang-glide some day.
99. I’m glad I have seen the Grand Canyon, the Eiffel Tower, Old Faithful, the Mediterranean Ocean, the Statue of Liberty, d’Orsay Museum, the Roman Coliseum, the Swiss Alps, the CN Tower, the Champs Elysée, canals in Venice, Stanley Park, and lots of other things.
100. I may not finish EVERY project (see #75), but I finished this one! I made it to 100!