My "100 Things" Meme Contribution
"100 Things about Me" is an internet meme that many bloggers have been participating in for quite a few years now. According to scientist Richard Dawkins, who coined the word Meme in his book The Selfish Gene; a meme is a unit of intellectual or cultural information that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can pass from mind to mind. Dawkins goes on to say that examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propagate themselves in the gene pool by leading from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate themselves in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation. If a scientist hears, or reads about, a good idea, he passes it on to his colleagues and students. He mentions it in his articles and his lectures. If the idea catches on, it can be said to propagate itself, spreading from brain to brain.
Since I am invisible/unemployed anyway, I decided to play the internet meme game too ... besides, it'll be a challenge to see if I can think of 100 things to say about myself without looking like an idiot.
100 things about Hedwig the Owl
001. I was born and raised in a farming community outside of a small town in eastern Washington State. Now I live in one of the biggest cities in the world.
002. I am a natural blonde (still). I know for a fact that blondes do not "have more fun" unless they also have really big boobs.
003. I could hurdle a four-foot high bar when I was 12 years old but I could only back flip over a bar that was three-foot nine-inches tall.
004. As a kid, I could recite the pedigree back to three generations for any winner of the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes, or the Belmont Stakes races.
005. I won my first blue ribbon in the state fair when I was 7 years old. I won it for my drawing of a horse. I continued to win blue ribbons for my drawings and paintings until I was 14, when the judges told me to enter the professional category instead of the children's category (adults and professionals were merged). I guess they thought I wanted a challenge, but at that point in my life, all I really wanted were lots of blue ribbons. I looked at the professional pieces and decided I was not good enough to win any ribbons at all so I never entered my work in another art show again, although I have sold a few pieces.
006. The first concert I ever attended was Supertramp. They were magical, especially when they played Crime of the Century.
007. My first job was a groom at a racetrack. I took care of seven racehorses, including one who was a semi-celebrity because he won the Governor's Speed Handicap. This horse bore an uncanny resemblance to Secretariat.
008. I worked many odd jobs in my life, including; a raspberry picker (ouch!), a "fry chef" at Burger King where I watched flames shoot out of their hamburger-patty-cooker-thingamabob (that resembled a large toaster) after I pushed frozen meat patties into its rectangular mouth, a waitress where I learned the art of kissing ass in an attempt to earn a decent tip, a telemarketer, a phlebotomist in a hospital emergency room, a hospital microbiologist, a PCR primer synthesizer in a hospital research lab, a parrot chick handfeeder, a manager of a pet store, and a bird watching field guide.
009. I walked on to my junior high school cross-country team the day before their first meet, and won fourth place in my first race a day and a half later.
010. In junior high school, I enjoyed creating my own alphabets. My friends learned several of them and we used them to write notes that we passed to each other during class.
011. I read the entire bible (several times), the koran, and the book of mormon when I was a kid. There's a lot of sex in those books.
012. I am agnostic. But if god does exist, I am certain that she is appalled by our horrible behavior.
013. I don't know either side of my family, even though I grew up in the same area where they lived -- and (unknown to me at the time) my family lived within one mile of my father's parents for many years.
014. My parents are mentally ill. Bipolar. And children of alcoholics.
015. My mother spent a fair amount of my childhood in mental hospitals. This did not bother me very much because it gave me a chance to escape their craziness because I was farmed out for weeks to months each time to their friends who owned horses.
016. My parents always maintained that they never wanted me. They frequently practiced getting rid of me by throwing me out of their house.
017. If I had it all to do over again, I would choose to be born to different parents.
018. I briefly considered joining the Air Force so I could take advantage of their GI college benefits. But I did not sign up because they refused to train me to be a test pilot. They said this was because I was too tall (I think they really meant that women weren't acceptable).
019. I wish I could afford to get my pilot's license.
020. I legally changed my name three and a half years ago. Even when I was a kid, I knew I would do this, but I spent a lot of time thinking about which names I wanted to take as my own. I am happy with my name now, although I wish I had done this years ago.
021. I don't think that anyone's baby is cute and if I say it is, well, I am lying to save their feelings.
022. I don't want to have children.
023. I don't believe in marriage.
024. I have been in love several times, but no one has ever loved me (not even my family).
025. I went out on my first date when I was 22.
026. I have a terrible knack for falling in love with men whom I (later) discover are abusive or mentally ill.
027. I have a very difficult time trusting people.
028. I have never owned a television.
029. But I really like Law and Order and all its spin-offs.
030. My favorite television characters are Joyce Davenport, the idealistic lawyer from Hill Street Blues and Xena, Warrior Princess (also an idealist), whose spirit I channel from time to time, as you might have discovered in several of my blog entries.
031. I own one pair of jeans. They are Levi Strauss 560s (30W36L) -- kinda baggy, just the way I like 'em -- they are three years old and I have worn four holes in them that I need to patch. I'd sure like to buy another pair.
032. I am a good cook. My specialties are Thai and Indonesian cooking. I also prepare several Vietnamese and Philippine dishes.
033. My favorite fast food is Taco Bell.
034. I have never been on a diet.
035. I sometimes dream about extra-cheesy nachos with black olives and jalapenos and topped with lots of great salsa, sour cream and guacamole. Contrary to what happens to other people, I do not gain weight from these dreams. This is probably because I do not have any of these ingredients in my apartment.
036. I once ate whale meat when I was in Japan. I felt guilty after I learned what it was.
037. My favorite cuisines are Thai, Japanese and Mexican.
038. I don't particularly like Greek cuisine.
039. But I want to visit Greece someday.
040. I have only ever lived in three cities that didn't depress the hell out of me; Seattle (my adopted home), Tokyo and New York City (my second adopted home).
041. I stayed in a Buddhist temple when I lived in Tokyo.
042. After reading Alfred Russel Wallace's book, The Malay Archipelago when I was 9 years old, I decided I wanted to live in New Guinea. I later decided I also want to live in Fiji, Tahiti, and the Solomon Islands. Perhaps not coincidentally, all of these islands are where my research birds live.
043. I have always wanted to sail around the south Pacific islands on a catamaran with one or two companion parrots, similar to Thor Heyerdahl's adventures in Kon Tiki. Well, except for the scary parts.
044. I am investigating emigrating to Australia or Great Britain.
045. My favorite places to go bird watching are Umtanum Canyon (on the Yakima River), the Montlake Fill (Seattle), Rifle National Wildlife Refuge (near Vancouver, Canada), Yatsu Higata on Tokyo Bay (Japan) and Central Park (NYC).
046. My favorite time of the year is migration.
047. I remember animals' names much more easily than people's names. For this reason, I sometimes describe myself as a "name moron".
048. My close friends often remind me of particular bird species. I don't tell them this, though.
049. I remind myself of either a corvid or a parrot, depending upon the situation.
050. I suspect that domestic chickens are not real birds.
051. I have bred and raised many parrots and several passerine species in my lifetime.
052. I sold my entire flock of parrots so I could make a biiiig career move to NYC.
053. I miss my flock of parrots every day.
054. I met and shook hands with a president of the United States while he was still in office.
055. I once ate lunch with Arthur Schlessinger, who told me I was part of "this country's future". I wonder what he'd say if he could see me now.
056. My biggest fears are (listed in no particular order); homelessness, losing my pet parrots, possibly getting cancer or Alzheimer's disease, wasting my life in a dead-end, mind- and spirit-sucking job that I loathe, and that everyone will finally discover that I am a loser. I am working on developing more fears so I can continue entertaining my readers.
057. I love all sorts of music.
058. I wish I could play the piano and the saxophone. If I cloned myself, not only would I be famous and maybe become rich enough to pay my rent, but I could be 2/3rds of my own jazz trio. (I'll allow someone else to be the drummer).
059. I think astrology is a crock of shit.
060. I strongly dislike stupid people and religious zealots, and I've noticed that they often are one-in-the-same.
061. I want to own my own place someday so I can paint my walls any color but white!
062. My favorite stones are black opals and boulder opals. Opal is not my birthstone but I am willing to pretend that it is.
063. I am allergic to many things, including smoke, pollens and perfumes. Fortunately, I am not allergic to any animals. Yet.
064. I have gone into anaphylactic shock twice due to allergies and was hospitalized once due to allergy-induced anaphylaxis.
065. I think marijuana should be legal even though I cannot smoke it (damned allergies).
066. I have used illegal drugs in the past, but wasn't impressed by them, although I'd like to try LSD.
067. Even though I enjoy an alcohol "buzz", I hate losing control over myself (which also nixes my professed curiosity to try LSD). This has the added bonus that I have rarely suffered from a hangover. Like dwarf hamster therapy, moderate alcohol use is another method for staying silly enough to continue laughing at myself and at the world. But that said, I probably should invest in a few dwarf hamsters since they are lots cheaper than alcohol and they tend to live longer, too.
068. People are always surprised when they learn I have a tattoo. No, it's not on my ass, either.
069. I want to get more tattoos. No, not on my ass. Sheesh.
070. I have broken my wrist (twice), my collarbone and my foot (once each). A few years ago, one of my parrots bit my finger and broke that bone, too.
071. I have had one surgery (to place a titanium pin in my broken wrist). The doctors would not allow me to watch the surgery because the local anesthetic did not work properly so they had to give me a general anesthetic. Bummer.
072. I once had a photographic memory. The religious zealots at my schools told me I was sinning when I relied on my memory while taking a test. I lost my photographic memory when I failed at suicide.
073. But I can still see (in my mind's eye) some of those forbidden book pages from my youth.
074. The first book I read was John Steinbeck's The Red Pony. I read this book when I was in first grade. Yes, it did take me a little while to read it even though it is a thin book.
075. I have more than 100 favorite books.
076. I own copies of all of the Harry Potter books in three languages; English, Spanish and Indonesian. I have only finished reading the series in English.
077. I have earned several university degrees. These degrees are worse than useless because they do not help me get jobs in my field and they prevent me from getting jobs in other fields.
078. If I had my academic career to do over again, I would have gone to medical school instead of graduate school. If I had done that, I would always have a reasonably meaningful job that pays a living wage, and I would currently be in Indonesia, engaged in tsunami relief for Doctors Without Borders.
079. I aspire to be a scientist and a writer.
080. I have written stories since shortly before I started kindergarten, but I am always surprised when people say they think I am a good writer, or when I learn that people want to read what I have written.
081. If I could have a chip implanted into my brain such that I have constant internet access, I would do it.
082. I have designed, coded and maintained my own webpage since 1994. It won a bunch of awards, which I mostly ignore.
083. Perhaps surprising to you, this is my first blog.
084. I like teensy post-it notes. I use them for everything from bookmarks to daily reminders that I stick inside my cell phone.
085. I have a green thumb. When I moved to NYC, I left behind almost 100 tropical plants and ferns, most of which I had kept for 5 or more years. Now, I do not live with any plants.
086. I strongly dislike teaching, even though I am good at it.
087. I like roller coasters. They scare the shit out of me -- just as real life does.
088. I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches -- made my own special way with lots of crunchy peanut butter topped with lots of Smucker's grape jam or me-made raspberry jelly spread on a piece of lightly toasted wheat or pumpernickel bread.
089. I have a sarcastic sense of humor. My humor is often at my own expense because there are plenty of stupid things about me to laugh at.
090. I like to make people laugh. Some people say I should be a stand-up comic. I think I could succeed at this only if my audience were really really drunk.
091. I have only ever owned one car. It was a nearly mint condition (used) 1968 Ford Mustang. It was the last one in the world that was originally owned by a little old lady who only drove it two miles per week to grocery stores and church. According to its original sales receipt and registration, its birthday was 21 March 1968.
092. I hate telephones. But I only dislike cell phones.
093. I hate being photographed. Yes, as a matter of fact, it does steal my soul.
094. I don't believe that Sirius is really gone.
095. I love subways, trains and airplanes. They take me places. They bring people to me.
096. Spelling errors bug the hell out of me, especially mine, because I was the school spelling champion when I was 10 years old.
097. I get bored easily.
098. The only birthday party I ever (almost) had in my honor was cancelled because of a blizzard.
099. I love poetry and wish I was a poet. I sometimes think I have a poet trapped inside me, struggling to express herself.
100. I can hardly wait to read the latest installment in the Harry Potter series; Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince. In fact, this is the only thing that consistently keeps me going these days.
© 2004, 2005, 2006 by GrrlScientist