Monday, May 21, 2007

100 things

Yes, this is my bloggy coming-of-age 100th post. I've been working on it for awhile: an autobiography in 100 lines. (It's not like I didn't know it was coming!)

1. I'm a native Washingtonian.
2. So is my sister.
3. I guess that makes my brother Saipanese.
4. It's an open question whether he can ever be president.
5. What? Saipan. It’s on the map. Near Guam.
6. There was a lot of ocean there.
7. And not a lot of clothing.
8. My parents were working for Micronesian Legal Defense.
9. It was sort of like the Peace Corps for Justice Department lawyers.
10. I stepped on a rusty tin can right before we climbed a dormant volcano.
11. I was quarantined with chicken pox when we were visiting Palau. Or was it Ponape?
12. Pacific Islanders freak out about chicken pox.
13. As well they should.
14. It was very beautiful.
15. I didn't want to come home.
16. I was 3 when we left and 5 when we came back.
17. I had to start school.
18. My parents sent me to the local public school.
19. In kindergarten, I was strangled in the bathroom.
20. But they kept me there another year.
21. My first grade teacher was emotionally abusive.
22. Then I went to private school.
23. I loved it.
24. But it was awfully damn small to be there for 11 years.
25. I was a teenage francophile.
26. And also good at trig.
27. I spent my senior year in France.
28. Until my host family kicked me out because their daughter was crazy.
29. That pretty much cured me of my francophilia.
30. I arranged my own flight home.
31. When I arrived at JFK, English sounded like a foreign language.
32. When I came home, my friend's father was dying.
33. His death partly inspired my conversion to Judaism.
34. And the day of his funeral was also the first day I came out to myself.
35. Number 34 meant I put off number 33 until my senior year in college.
36. In college I was a Big Dyke on Campus.
37. I ran two queer organizations simultaneously and co-founded a radical feminist journal.
38. Not so much of that later on.
39. My immediate goal after college was to work in a bookstore.
40. And also apply to graduate school.
41. I thought the bookstore would be a diversion and grad school would start my career.
42. I seem to have gotten that backwards.
43. At least I hope so.
44. I moved to Philly for graduate school.
45. My mother's family has been in Philadelphia for over 150 years.
46. I have been in Philadelphia for less than 13.
47. I decided not to go into academia but I still finished my coursework.
48. Then I spent 3 months hiking the Appalachian Trail.
49. I tore some ligaments in my arches around mile 85.
50. Then I hiked another 915 miles or so.
51. Thruhikers are like that.
52. Forests calm me.
53. Even though I have a pretty good story about a near-miss and a bear.
54. I'll tell it to you some time.
55. When I could walk again, I looked for a job.
56. I thought I would teach high school.
57. I was more prepared for this than you might think.
58. I was very good at teaching high school.
59. I was very bad at grading on time.
60. I still thought I would finish my dissertation.
61. Until I took time off to do so.
62. Then I was so relieved not to have any grading.
63. And the PhD seemed pretty useless.
64. So I had an existential crisis.
65. Which I cured with lots of yarn and some swimming.
66. I have been knitting for almost 30 years.
67. I used to have only one project at a time.
68. Until I worked in a yarn store.
69. And then all hell broke loose.
70. I am a very, very good knitter.
71. This didn't used to sound like a brag.
72. It sounded like saying "I'm a very, very good tatter."
73. Maybe tatting will be the next craze.
74. If so, I'll probably sit it out.
75. I have two tattoos, however.
76. But I got them before I converted.
77. I am not Jewish because I met A.
78. I met A. because I am Jewish.
79. We met in shul.
80. Twice: the first time was premature.
81. A. and I rewrote our ketubbah in the feminine.
82. We were being feminist.
83. And also grammatical.
84. To win A.’s heart, I volunteered to live in Madison, WI for two years.
85. I understand what the big fuss over Madison is all about.
86. I liked the lakes, the co-ops, the crunchy culture.
87. And I learned what -20 degrees feels like.
88. For months on end. (See existential crisis, above.)
89. Nice yarn stores, though. (Ditto)
90. But not nicer than Rosie's. (See Philly blogroll, left.)
91. I decided to have a bookstore.
92. And open up a baby.
93. No, no, the other way around!
94. The bookstore is named for ... wait! oh, yeah, anonymity. I'll have to tell you at a meet-up.
95. Z. is named for 6 different foremothers.
96. Four of whom are packed into her second Hebrew name.
97. My hair is long enough to sit on.
98. I prefer to wear it braided.
99. I sometimes do not react graciously when it’s loose and I receive compliments from strangers.
100. I need to work on this.


Magpie said...

"It sounded like saying I'm a very, very good tatter...Maybe tatting will be the next craze...If so, I'll probably sit it out...I have two tattoos, however." - LOL

I used to have hair I could sit on. I finally cut it off when I was about 40. In some ways, it was easier than short hair.

Thanks for the more information - I thought you must have a bookstore, but I think this is the first time I saw you say so...

Thanks for your post, BTW. I am not a very good knitter, I think socks and toys are still beyond me!!

Phantom Scribbler said...

I am cracking up at the "Big Dyke on Campus" line. Must explain why we never met. I had this amazing talent for not meeting anybody who was a Big Anything on Campus.

Oddly, I have another college friend who was somewhat traumatized by a move from Oceania back to the U.S.

jo(e) said...

What a fascinating list! I had to come back and read it a second time to absorb it all ....

slouching mom said...

OK, wait. I need more information about you being strangled in the bathroom in kindergarten.

What's up with THAT?

S. said...

Magpie, I do mention the store explicitly from time to time, but I guess not as often as I think I do if you hadn't seen it!

Some toy patterns are very simple, technically, but they do require faith that it will all work out in the end.

Phantom, I still think we did meet somewhere along the way, if briefly. I ate too many meals in your dining hall for the statistics to go the other way.

Jo(e), thank you!

Slouching Mom, I think that may be one for its own post. The short version is an older kid was playing hooky and hiding in the stall I happened to choose.

Scrivener said...

What a great 100 things list. I need to do one of these someday. I've been blogging for three years now and still haven't gotten around to it...

niobe said...

Great list. It looks like you have plenty of material for your next 100 posts.

Btw, I'm pretty sure that (assuming both your parents are US citizens), your brother counts as a natural born citizen for purposes of the Constitution, making him eligible to be president. See 8 U.S.C. 1401(c).

S. said...

Scrivener, I'd love to read your list!

Niobe, you're right, but we try not to let a little thing like the Constitution mess with our family mythology.

liz said...

Excellent list and Niobe beat me to it. Someone in my household (not me) was born in Japan.

PPB said...

Wow. Your list is amazing.