Monday, May 21, 2007

10 random facts/habits

Here are the rules: Each player starts with 10 random facts/habits about themselves. People who are tagged need to write on their own blog about their ten things and add a copy of these rules. THEN, you need to choose 10 people to tag and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them that they have been tagged and to read your blog!

In my case, I'm just going to post these here. If you read this and you want to play the game, go for it!

In no particular order...

1. I've seen Def Leppard in concert 20 times. Yes, really! And yes, you can laugh if you want. I have tickets to see them three more times this fall too. I've been a fan since 1983. I've often said that everyone should have a frivolous yet thoroughly engaging hobby. For some people, it's a sports team. For others, it's playing a sport or collecting something. For me, it's Def Leppard.

2. I was a contestant on Jeopardy a few years ago (2001, to be precise). And I lost. Cue the Weird Al song... "I lost on Jeopardy... Baby." Though I had thought about it off and on for years, I never really thought I'd do it. I auditioned on a whim, and in fact it was a fluke that I even knew about the auditions. The show had been postponed due to one of the political conventions in late summer 2000. I was channel-surfing before bedtime and caught the end of the show, which I hardly ever got to watch in its normal time slot, because I had a 2-year-old who demanded all my attention in the early evening. At the end of the show, they put up an announcement that Jeopardy auditions would be held in Portland. So I said, "What the hell," and signed up. The audition was in two parts. The first part was a written test, 50 questions spanning every conceivable topic from European history to Britney Spears. Each question would display on a TV monitor for 7 seconds, then disappear. Of the 80 or so people who auditioned, 11 of us passed the written test and proceeded to the second part of the audition, a mock game. They told us they were looking for enthusiasm, so that's what I gave 'em. It seemed to go well, but I didn't hear anything for about a month and assumed I was out. Then the call came. I should have prepared more in the month or so between getting the call and taping the show, but I didn't. And really, I don't think it would have mattered. I was beaten--soundly--by a guy who went on to win 5 games and enter the Tournament of Champions (back when 5 games was the limit, before they changed the rules and gave us Ken Jennings). But the whole experience was a blast, even though I was more nervous than I've ever been in my life.

3. I grow carnivorous plants. That's what happens when horror fans grow up to be gardeners. I don't watch as much horror as I used to (heck, I don't watch as much of anything as I used to), but I do like my hungry little botanical specimens. I have Venus flytraps (of course), sundews, North American pitcher plants, and Asian pitcher plants, the latter in hanging baskets above my kitchen sink. A friend came over once and asked me about the weird-looking plants in my kitchen. When I told her they were carnivorous pitcher plants, she literally jumped back! No, Little Shop of Horrors is *not* a documentary. But Audrey was my favorite character. As long as we're on the subject, here's your random Carnivorous Plant Fact Of the Day: The Venus flytrap was named that, because someone thought the traps resembled a certain part of the female anatomy. Really! And I guess Venus Flytrap sounded better than Vagina Dentata :-)

4. For a little while I was a teacher. I did student teaching at at Tokay High in Lodi, CA, at the ripe old age of 20, and it was a miserable experience. I worked as a substitute teacher in Lodi annd then in Vancouver, WA, but I hustled off to graduate school at the first opportunity. I still love to teach, but I don't have the patience or stamina for all the BS that goes with being a public school teacher.

5. Along with the rest of my family, I'm a diehard Harry Potter fan. I read the first book on a cross-country flight in 2000 and was hooked. I convinced hubby to read it, and he bcame positively obsessed. Our son is into it too, having discovered Harry Potter through the wonderful audiobook versions ready by Jim Dale. I anticipate the last book with equal amounts of excitement and dread: I'm eager to see how Rowling ends the saga, and I hope she ties up most loose ends and brings everything together for a satisfying conclusion. At the same time, I know she's going to kill off at least one of my favorite characters. After finishing book 6, I was in a foul mood for days! Yes, I take my literature way too seriously.

6. I've been online since late 1991, when I got my first computer account at the University of Washington. I remember telnet and ftp from a Unix command line, and I remember when the web was text-only. You had to telnet to a server running the Lynx browser. I also remember the day I installed the first graphical browser, Mosaic, in 1994. I was so excited about what I saw that I ran next door to my boss' office and said, "You have to see this!" Within a year, URLs were showing up in advertising and on ESPN's sports broadcasts. Now it's hard to remember life before the web. We truly live in interesting times.

7. In 2001 I had a tumor removed from my thyroid gland, leaving me with a cool semicircular scar on my neck. When it was red and really prominent, I explained it by telling people I used to date OJ Simpson. Yep, I'm tacky.

8. When I was little, my favorite stuffed animal was a big green and brown snake. It was about 6 feet long and about 4 inches in diameter. Because I was such an original, creative kid, I named it, "Snaky."

9. My first car was a 1975 Ford Maverick, yellow-ish with a black vinyl top. It was seriously ugly, but it had a good stereo, and it ran. When you're 16, that's enough.

10. And finally, since this little game also mentions routines, here's a snapshot of my workday routine:

  • Up at 6-ish
  • Shower, hair, makeup, clothes, etc.
  • Out the door by 7
  • At work by 7:30
  • Email, meetings, more email, lunch, more meetings, more email
  • Out the door at 6-ish
  • Home a little before 7
  • Dinner
  • Chores, vegetation, recreation, etc.
  • Pre-bedtime hangout with hubby and son
  • TV, hang out with hubby, read, compute, or write
  • Bed at 10-ish

It's not much, but it's my life.

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