The 29’er Meme
1. What bill do you hate paying the most?
This time of year, I dread seeing the electric bill because it seems that every summer it costs more to keep the air conditioner running.
2. Where was the last place you had a romantic dinner?
I can’t remember, other than to say that it wasn’t a recent event.
3. What do you really want to be doing right now?
I’m pretty content right now.
4. How many colleges did you attend?
I took classes at six colleges and graduated from three. Due to class scheduling issues, I picked up some extra classes on nearby campuses and transferred the units to the institution that actually conferred my degree.
5. Why did you choose the shirt that you have on right now?
It was the last clean shirt in the drawer.
6. What are your thoughts on gas prices?
They’re still too high, but at least we are in better shape than last year when the price per gallon approached $5.00 here and actually exceeded that amount in the San Francisco area.
7. First thought when the alarm went off this morning?
“Time for water aerobics!”
8. Last thought before going to sleep last night?
I don’t remember. I was watching something on television . . .
9. Do you miss being a child?
No, but I do miss my parents.
10. What errand/chore do you despise?
11. Get up early or sleep in?
Sleep in . . . especially on Sundays.
12. Have you found real love yet?
13. Favorite lunch meat?
14. What do you get every time you go into Wal-Mart?
Sam’s Choice black cherry flavored water.
15. Beach or lake?
16. Do you think marriage is an outdated ritual?
Completely — with unrealistic expectations.
17. Sopranos or Desperate Housewives?
Anyone who knows me is aware that I am the ultimate “Sopranos” fan.
18. What famous person would you like to have dinner with?
I wish I could have dinner one more time with my friend, Clint Ritchie.
19. Have you ever crashed your vehicle?
Luckily and thankfully, no.
20. Ever had to use a fire extinguisher for its intended purpose?
21. Ring tone?
My ring tones are customized according to who is calling me.
For intance, if it is #1Son, I hear “Real Time,” the theme for Bill Maher’s weekly show on HBO because we watch it together every week. I always know if one of my good friends with whom I grew up here in Lodi is calling because Credence Clearwater Revival sings “Lodi.” To other good friends’ numbers I have assigned “Heard it Through the Grapevine” or “Thank You for Being a Friend” sung by Andrew Gold (it was the theme song for “The Golden Girls”). One good friend is crazy about “Sex and the City,” so the theme from the movie, performed by Fergie, plays when she calls me.
My general/default ring tone? You guessed it: The theme from “The Sopranos.”
22. Strangest place you have ever brushed your teeth?
In the kitchen when we lived in a house with only one bathroom and it was occupied.
23. Somewhere in California you’ve never been and would like to go?
I can’t think of a part of the state that I haven’t visited . . . I would like to spend more time in the Santa Barbara area, though.
24. Do you go to church?
No. When I visited my former congregation on Christmas Eve, it was the first time I had been to church in nearly two years. I have not been back since that night . . . nor do I plan to attend any time soon.
25. At this point in your life would you rather start a new career or a new relationship?
Neither. But if I had to pick one, it would definitely be a new relationship. I am in the career for which I was destined.
26. How old are you?
27. Do you have a go to person?
I am very fortunate to have a few.
28. Are you where you want to be in life?
Very close. There are some changes afoot in my life right now . . . when complete, I will be extremely relieved and thankful.
29. Growing up, what were your favorite cartoons?
Top Cat, Huckleberry Hound, Rocky and Bullwinkle.
30. What about you do you think has changed the most?
I am pretty much the same person, but mellower.
31. Looking back at high school were they the best years of your life?
In terms of life lessons learned, definitely.
In terms of contentment, definitely not.
32. Are there times you still feel like a kid?
Frequently. I am often shocked when I learn that someone with whom I am interacting is younger than me because I don’t feel my age . . . and tend to forget how old I am.
33. Do you have a pager?
I never owned a pager.
34. Where was the hang out spot when you were a teenager?
On weeknights, we used to hang out at the old Lodi Library. We’d tell our parents that we had to check out books or perform research, but it was just an excuse to get the car and meet our friends there. After football and basketball games, we went to Pizza Garden or Straw Hat Pizza. We also hung out at Lodi Lake a lot.
35. Were you the type of kid you would want your children to hang out with?
For the most part. I was trustworthy and respectful of adults. The trouble we got into was extremely minor, usually involving nothing more than not getting home on time.
36. Who do you think impacted your life the most?
Too many people to list.
37. Was there a teacher or authority figure that stood out for you?
There were several, including Wylie “Cosmo McMoon” Moffatt, who was my chorus/choir director in school and at church; William Pisani, my piano teacher; and Wayne Field, our journalism adviser whom I credit with making me believe I could be a writer and helped me discover my “voice.”
38. Do you tell stories that start with “when I was your age”?
Only when I really want to annoy my children because that phrase generally sends them running from the room, rolling their eyes and groaning.
39. What was the first new car you purchased?
A 1979 Mercury Capri Ghia. The color? “Vaquero.”
40. What is the scariest thing that has happened to you as an adult?
That would be the moment when the doctor entered my hospital room and told me that I was being discharged but Mattie-Boo, who was just 24 hours old, was not because he needed to run tests to ascertain just what was wrong with him. Until that moment, I did not know anything was wrong. It was the one time in my life when my legs literally buckled and I had to grab the side of the bed to avoid falling down. Thankfully, he had aspiration pneumonia, rather than some of the other possibilities that the doctor listed that morning. He ended up remaining in the neonatal intensive care unit until he was six days old because he had to receive penicillin intravenously, but recovered completely.
41. What advice would you give to someone about to get married?
42. What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
Probably the living room because of the fireplace and all the memories. When I was growing up in this house, we did not have a family room, so this is where all family celebrations took place. I still put the Christmas tree in this room, just as my mother did for so many years.
43. What advice would you give someone starting their first job?
Focus on you: Perform your duties to the best of your ability, give your employer a full day’s work in exchange for a full day’s pay, don’t get involved in workplace politics, and never spread unsubstantiated rumors. In other words, if you always strive to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem, your employer will see your value. Lastly, remember the golden rule: Treat your peers and superiors the way you want them to treat you.
44. If you could go back and change one thing you did, what would it be?
If I could, I would change a lot of things I have done over the years. But I don’t believe in regret. I believe in moving on, wiser for the experience.
45. If you could go back and change one thing someone else did, what would it be?
We have no control over others’ actions. They are responsible for exercising their own free will and bearing the consequences of their own actions.