Lists are on the brain lately. Here are 100 completely random things about me. Enjoy. Or not.
One Hundred Things about Me
1. My family and old family friends call me “Thomas.” I didn’t start going by “Tom” until I started grade school.
2. My first nickname was “Heimer.”
3. My mom had a brother and a sister whom I knew pretty well.
4. My mom’s other sister is mentally retarded and lives in a group home in Wisconsin. Her name is Jean Marie and she can’t speak.
5. I used to be 6”3 ½ but now I’m only 6’2” ½.
6. I was accused of being skinny until I was out of college. Then I grew overweight sometime in my early thirties. I had to have been a perfect weight somewhere in the middle, but I didn’t keep track and didn’t appreciate it at the time.
7. I love all animals, but have a very strong bond with cats for some reason.
8. I’ve had glasses since the third grade. I stopped wearing them in fifth grade, and didn’t start wearing them regularly again until I was in college. Now I can’t really function without them.
9. I’d tell you where I was born, but I’m afraid someone might use the information to steal my identity.
10. I lived in Minnesota for eight years.
11. I lived in France for only one year, but I still speak French.
12. I lived in Russia for four months. I don’t speak Russian very well.
13. I speak Norwegian fairly well.
14. I am currently studying Chinese.
15. I’ve never officially studied Spanish, but I can usually figure it out. Our answering machine operating instructions came only in Spanish, but I was able to figure them out.
16. My first and only dog was a basset hound named Amos.
17. I’ve owned seventeen cats over the years. Never more than four at a time, and that was only because my cat Annie had three kittens.
18. I have two brothers and a sister. My oldest brother became mentally ill when I was only eight.
19. I like Jerry Seinfeld and Rachael Ray. I don’t like Ray Romano or Emiril Legasse.
20. I am not legally married.
21. I thought I wanted to have children, but I feel like I waited too long and now it would be too expensive to send them to college.
22. There is almost no food I don’t like.
23. I get annoyed with picky eaters.
24. I get annoyed by a lot of things, which is one of the reasons I started a blog called Five Things I Hate.
25. My lower back goes out sometimes.
26. I enjoy being fit, but going to the gym is really boring to me.
27. I used to like to travel, but now I find it stressful.
28. The person in my family I had the most in common with died in Iraq.
29. I am ashamed of our country right now.
30. I was very religious for a few years as a child when my parents made me go to Sunday school. I grew up as a Lutheran.
31. When the Lutherans began to annoy me, I fell away from the church. I spent a number of years looking for a religion that really spoke to me.
32. I decided I was a Quaker at heart over ten years ago, but have never officially joined a Meeting because I don’t want to commit.
33. I like talking to people about their religious beliefs.
34. I don’t understand fanaticism about professional sports.
35. I’m very picky about the kind of people I like. But once I decide I like someone, it’s very rare for me to change my mind.
36. I don’t know many of my dad’s relatives very well, except for a few of my cousins and one aunt. The ones that I do know well, I really like.
37. I take after my parents in both positive and negative ways.
38. People tend to think I’m smarter than I am. It makes me uncomfortable. Some people think I’m borderline retarded. Sometimes they’re right.
39. I think my brain functions unlike anyone else’s, which makes it difficult for people to understand me.
40. I’m an introvert on the Meyers-Briggs scale.
41. I express myself better in writing than in speaking.
42. My mother-in-law hates me.
43. I’ve enjoyed watching cooking shows since I was a young child.
44. I barely watched TV at all during high school and college. Now I watch too much.
45. I play the piano pretty well, but regret not working harder at it as a child.
46. My favorite color is navy blue.
47. I like the Pacific better than the Atlantic. I like the West coast more than the East coast.
48. If I could live anywhere in the world I would choose Hawaii. Or maybe France.
49. I want another cat really bad, but I don’t want the responsibility of a pet right now.
50. I love Thanksgiving and Christmas.
51. I learned to knit when I was in college, but I thought it was really boring.
52. I’ve never understood why some people can’t read maps. I’ve always just pretended I was small enough to walk on the map I was looking at, and then it all makes sense.
53. My failure to understand why some people can't read maps is one reason why I would not be a good teacher.
54. I hate the Seinfeld episode where they get lost in the parking garage. I love the one where George and Elaine trade places, and the backwards episode.
55. I fell in love with musical theater when my parents took me to see “The Sound of Music” when I was seven. When we got home from the show, I listened to the album repeatedly and memorized the names of all the kids.
56. I’ve never liked the musical “Guys & Dolls” because this guy in my high school who used to be really mean to me sang “Luck be a Lady” in a school revue.
57. My high school was really, really homophobic.
58. I was really mean as a kid, sometimes.
59. Some close friends of our family died when their house burned down when I was eleven. I’ve been scared of fires ever since. Occasionally, during stressful periods of my life, I wake up in the middle of the night and think the house is burning down.
60. One time when I was twenty-five, there was a real fire in my apartment building in the middle of the night when I was sleeping. When I woke up to the smell of smoke and the sound of the alarms, I was so disoriented that I panicked and busted a living room window with my bare hands. Then I had to go to the emergency room. I still have small scars on my hands & wrists.
61. I once dated a guy who grew up on the Isle of Man. I called him my Manx, tailless boyfriend. He thought I was annoying.
62. I almost never forward mass emails, but I don’t mind getting them.
63. One of my best friends from high school became a Mormon and doesn’t really talk to me much any more.
64. I’ve never been arrested.
65. I think cheap Mexican food is best in California. All my Californian friends who have lived anywhere else agree with me on this.
66. I wish smoking weren’t unhealthy.
67. I’ve always thought life should be like a musical. At crucial moments, people should spontaneously burst into song with background music and everything.
68. I’m not really claustrophobic, but I’m terrified of escalators.
69. I really liked college.
70. I liked high school too, but less than college.
71. I wish I had thought harder about career choices when I was younger.
72. My favorite female prototypes from TV are Mary Tyler Moore and Samantha Stevens. I can’t think of any favorite male prototypes.
73. 2005 was the worst year of my life, seconded only by seventh grade.
74. I have never lost my sweet tooth.
75. I had my tonsils out when I was seven. I always wonder if I’m supposed to list that on medical questionnaires when they ask if you’ve ever had surgery. I usually do, but then feel stupid about it.
76. I try never to lie, partly because I think it’s wrong, and partly because I’m really bad at it.
77. I wholly subscribe to Miss Manners’ theories on modern etiquette.
78. I once had a professional job where I worked some days and some nights. I really liked that kind of schedule.
79. I once worked as a cocktail waiter. I liked that too because it was easy, paid fairly well, and allowed me to have my days free which was nice in the summer. And I never had to pay for alcohol.
80. Now when I drink I mainly do it at home because I prefer to make my own cocktails. And, I can’t stand paying $8.00 for something I can make for about twenty-five cents.
81. I like it when people look in our refrigerator without asking, just to see what we have.
82. I want to move somewhere once and for all, and then stay there.
83. I have about four people I could conceivably call a “best friend.” It would be nice if there were only one and then we could just be best friends, but then what would I say to the other three? Plus, all my “best friends” have people of their own vying for the title as well.
84. I believe we never really leave grade school. See above.
85. I’m not incredibly picky about restaurant service, but I do want my drink served before my meal. I have a policy of not ordering my food before I have my drink in hand, but sometimes I forget and often live to regret it.
86. I like to say “yes” whenever possible. I don’t like “no” people. But I also don’t like it when people say “yes” when they have no intention or ability to follow through.
87. I get mad but rarely hold a grudge.
88. I spend a lot of time regretting things from the past. I keep meaning to stop that.
89. Some people tell me I’m a nice guy, but I don’t always believe they really mean it. How could they, when I feel so mean inside sometimes?
90. I work better independently than as part of a team.
91. I’ve written about twenty pop songs in my life, most of which I’m not satisfied with.
92. I love going to the movies. I would go twice a week the rest of my life if I could manage it.
93. I want to live somewhere very rural, but am afraid I would not be accepted anywhere but in a large city.
94. George gave me tap dancing lessons as a gift once. It was one of my favorite gifts ever.
95. Not many people understand me, but the few who do really like me.
96. If I woke up as a female one morning, I would have no idea what to wear.
97. I used to work with this woman who was really giddy and hyper. I adored her, but everyone else thought she was annoying.
98. I think Cate Blanchett should have won the Best Actress Oscar for “Elizabeth.”
99. I once bleached my hair stark white and wore it that way for about six months. I really liked it, but no one else did.
100. My next list will be my top 100 favorite foods.