I've been tagged. I know, it took a long time for the game to find its way to me, but that is what happens when no one, like, reads your blog. The fact that I've been tagged is unduly exciting to me. Not only because I have so many random things about myself that I am dying to share (I do), but also because I was tagged by a real, honest-to-God, blogging cool kid. Kristy of She Just Walks Around With It is a fairly new addition to my list of blogs I simply must check out every week. I believe that my friend Sparkles of City Elf led me to SJWAWT. Kristy is funny and irreverent and more than just a little bit neurotic.*** And she is now an official employee of BlogHer.
Anyway, back to my story. Kristy was tagged a couple of weeks ago and she produced a fun, animal stories-filled list and then she opened up her comments section for any old yahoo off the street to request the tag from her. So this yahoo totally took her up on the offer. I'm not too proud or too cool to admit that she has basically no idea who I am (but she said I'm cute! and, in fact, I am cute)**** and the main reason she tagged me is because I asked her to (and complimented her), but I've been tagged by Kristy and I choose not to dwell on such minor details. So, without further ado, because you all are dying to know, here are 8 RANDOM THINGS ABOUT ME:
1. I know every word to every song on the Hair soundtrack and I have for at least 30 years. Some people's parents teach them about religion from an early age. Or focus on "good manners" or other such frivolity. Those parents sound a bit square to me, but whatever. My sister and I were shouting out the lyrics to such classics as Sodomy and Colored Spade right around the same time that I was enjoying Going For A Ride (see below). I hope you all will now recognize my aspiring-hippie-chick cred. (And by the way any other aspiring hippie chicks reading this should definitely go see Across the Universe. I'm fairly sure I need to go see it again while it is still in the theaters.)
(I love You Tube.)
2. My mom's cousin's husband has been Neil Diamond's piano player for the last 25 (likely more) years. Quite a brush with fame, I know. The more interesting tidbit is that I turned down front row tickets (and backstage passes) to see Neil Diamond on tour on more than one occasion when I was in high school, because Neil Diamond was totally not cool enough for me. What a dumbass I was. Moving on.
3. I willed myself to stop growing when I was 12 AND IT WORKED. Okay, I lack scientific proof, but here is what I do know: I loved gymnastics (sadly my enthusiasm far exceeded my talent) when I was a kid and I took lessons two days a week for years. Unfortunately I come from tall stock. So around the initial onset of puberty I was determined that I would not be taller than 5'5". I'm not sure why that was the magical cut-off height in my mind, but I'm not ready to delve that far into middle-school-me. I thought every day about staying short (-er). I concentrated. I willed. And for a couple of years in my early teens I was in the 5'5" range. Then I quit gymnastics (the lack of talent thing finally started getting to me) and within a year I grew 2". Explain that! I'm fortunate that no one opened my eyes to the wonders of growth-stunting through smoking during that period. My lungs are thankful.4. Since we've already gone there, my middle school best friend and I used to pretend we were Bob and Doug McKenzie. Take off, eh. I'm not sure exactly why we chose that particular skit to get so worked up over, but there it is. We had custom baseball shirts (yellow sleeves and printing on back, white torso) that said "Bob" and "Doug". I was Bob. We wore our baseball shirts***** to see Strange Brew. I could not make this up. It goes without saying, I'm sure, that we had their album and we could recite it line-by-line. "No, I'm Bob McKenzie."
5. I have an unhealthy fear/dislike of birds. Yes, the movie The Birds scared the bejesus out of me when I was a kid. Yes, I believed my mom when she told me that birds spread disease and I shouldn't pick up and bring home bird feathers that I find in the street. Yes, it creeped me out that my great aunt used to let her birds roam free in her house and poop wherever they liked. I've changed my mind. It is a healthy fear and dislike of birds.
And you know how animals can sense fear? Well I was swarmed by sea gulls on a beach in St. Petersburg (Florida, not Russia) a few years ago. Sure, they initially just wanted my crackers, but when they saw it was me, they wanted blood, I tell you!
6. My first job (babysitting doesn't count) was working at Friendly's as an ice cream scooper. Friendly's ice cream bought me a car (VW Rabbit, black) and far too many awful 80's outfits from The Limited (remember those huge, pastel cable-knit sweaters? and floral print jeans? egad). Aside: Is The Limited still in business? I've seen Express stores, but no Limited stores in about 15 years.
Back to ice cream scooping, it was a great job for the perks - eat all mistakes, etc. And I didn't even hate the blue-and-white checked polyester dresses that we had to wear. In fact, I much preferred them to the khaki/navy get-ups they use now. In the long run, it made me much less of an ice cream person. Maybe I got all the ice cream binging out of the way, because now I only like ice cream in sensible (read: small) portions.
7. I stayed in a hotel room in Tampa Bay with Spud Webb. I did not know Spud Webb before that weekend (Super Bowl XXXV weekend, the NY Giants lost miserably to the (fucking) Ravens). My friend and I flew to Tampa without any hotel reservations (the result of a late-night drunk decision to have a road trip) and without any Super Bowl tickets. We never did get Super Bowl tickets, and that was just as well, considering how NY played.
My friend, M, was friends with a minor soap actor (and later host of the Dallas edition of Cheaters, but I digress), who was friends with Spud Webb. M called this soap guy because he was talking about going to the SB. He ultimately decided not to go, but he left a message on her voicemail while we were mid-flight (yes, we flew there without any plans as to where we might stay) that his friend Spud Webb was going and had a room that we could stay in. M had met Spud before and thought he was a cool guy, so a plan was hatched. Overall it was a fun weekend and Spud was fairly hospitable. But by the end of the trip it had become reasonably clear to Spud that my friend wasn't planning to sleep with him and there were some hard feelings over that. I bet Wilt Chamberlain never had this sort of problem.
8. After my parents got divorced, my primary spend-time-with-dad activity was participating in a bowling league with him on Wednesday nights. The league was comprised of people from his office. They all loved me and treated me like I was much older than I actually was. I wasn't very good at bowling and I'm even worse today, but I had my own ball (turquoise and swirly, with my name engraved in it) and shoes. Another tidbit that was mortifying to high school Leila. Sometimes I'm surprised that my high school self made it out alive. Funny the things that matter to adolescent girls.
So there are my 8 random things. I'm not sure that I even know 8 bloggers who read my stuff to tag, so I'll just list the ones who come to mind: Ty, bnb, 10 lbs., New Diarist, City Elf, Transplanted Lawyer. Stina is exempt because I've read her 8 things already. Last two tags are open to whoever has read my ramblings and cares to take the challenge. Ready, set, go!
*When I did it a couple of years ago on MySpace, it was 6 Random Things. Apparently we have more to say about ourselves these days.
**For Kristy. If she's reading. Although technically that is not a jingle.
***I firmly believe that in order to have an interesting and entertaining blog, a person simply must be neurotic. All the best bloggers are at least a little bit neurotic. I defy anyone to prove me wrong on this one. See all these asterisks (and I haven't even gotten to the substance of this blog yet)??? Somewhat neurotic, right? I'm on the right track?
****Yes, I just used a link to my own blog to support my wild claim of cuteness. I see nothing wrong with this.
*****If we were clever, we would have bought personalized flannel shirts. Or better yet toques. We were not clever.