20 Things About Me – Helene
November 4, 2009 in 20 Things About Me
1. I grew up in the buckle of the bible belt and as a cynical insomniac, found great entertainment in televangelists. (Often the only network programming in the middle of the night other than infomercials.) They are equally terrifying and hilarious.
2. I’m the second of 6 kids in an (mostly) Irish-American (all) Catholic family. As oldest girl I was primary babysitter. This led to me never wanting kids of my own. I’m good with babies and kids, I like most of them, but I’d done my time by the time I was in my late teens. I’ve walked the floor and rocked them to sleep. I’ve read bedtime stories. I’ve helped with homework and driven carpool. I’ve stayed home with sick kids. I make a great PB&J, chocolate chip cookie and mac & cheese. I’m done. I’m also not Catholic anymore
3. I’m something like 50 pages away from finishing my Ph.D. dissertation. It’s been more than one decade since I started grad school, but less than two.
4. I am a world class procrastinator, able to justify at any given moment how the current activity is more necessary to my general productivity or mental health than what I am supposed to be doing.
5. I’m addicted to soap operas. I feel they fulfill a useful social function, like gossip.
6. I spend more on books than clothing in any fiscal period.
7. I’ve driven cross-country multiple times with family, friends, and alone.
8. I’ve lived on both coasts, in Texlahoma, eastern Europe, and South America.
9. Where I live now, summer gets called fire season. It doesn’t rain from May to October and by mid-summer I start to dream or hallucinate rain.
10. I miss thunderstorms.
11. I have experienced hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes. The river flooded one year when I was about ten, but the damage didn’t reach our house.
12. On planes, I take big, scary books, usually more than one, preferably Russian or German novels or history, something that will keep the salesman or tourist in the middle seat from trying to make small talk for 4 hours.
13. One time this backfired: I was reading in the laundromat when a woman asked me about the book. I don’t remember what it was, something about the Spanish civil war maybe, but when I said “It’s history,” she said “oh I love history, remind me what it’s about?” This was a hard conversation to get out of.
14. I hate being called shy. I’ll accept quiet, reticent, reserved, even socially inept, but I’m not afraid of you, I just don’t feel like talking.
15. I recently passed a major birthday and I’m at more of a crossroads than I’ve been at any of the previous big ones.
16. In applications for college and first jobs, whenever they asked for 3 words to define yourself, I always used “perseverance.” I don’t know what 18-year-old me thought she had persevered over or through. Now that I’ve actually been through some stuff and failed at some of it, that makes me laugh.
17. I claim to speak 5 languages other than English but can only carry off Spanish with any degree of fluency. I can find the library in all 5 though.
18. I always write first drafts on paper. I find the blank page less intimidating than the blank screen and blinking cursor. That little paperclip guy in MS Word can burn in hell.
19. My siblings and I are very similar and very different at the same time.
20. Teaching jobs got me past any fear of public speaking I ever had.
21. I’ve been lurking here and that other site a while now, figured it was time I introduced myself. (see #14)