[I'm tidying up some blog details, including this 100 things about me post, which I originally did in my first blog. No need to wade through it all. We're all busy people. Move along.]
1. I'm a woman.
2. I'm a mother.
3. I'm a mother of three kids.
4. My sons are the eldest and the youngest.
5. My daughter, while the middle child, can at least claim to be the only daughter.
6. I cannot make that claim myself.
7. I'm on my final marriage.
8. After having been married once before, I swore off marriage. I did not, however, swear off procreation. In the end, Pete and I nullified our great tax dodge (of both claiming head-of-household status with one child each) when I broke my vow to not marry again when Child #2 was 13 months old.
9. My official wedding picture of the ceremony shows me in my wedding outfit (khaki pants and white button-down shirt, both borrowed from my mom) with the daughter on my back in the pack and holding eldest's hand. Eldest, in turn, his holding Pete's hand. One big happy family.
10. We were done with two. And then came the youngest, whom we always refer to as our last child, adding, while making a wry face, "He'd have been our last child whether he was first or third.
11. At 4.5 years old now, youngest's behavior has improved quite a bit.
12. Or my good humor has.
13. I once made the mistake of referring to him as "Lukifer" in church. If looks could kill!
14. I am a God-believing soul. I am raising my children to believe as well. I have convinced my husband to not discuss religion around our children until they are of a more mature age.
15. I am a recovering Catholic. I now go to a wonderful Episcopalian church run by a very cool priest, Fr. Phil.
16. Fr. Phil is also my eldest son's guitar teacher. I leave eldest alone with him for an hour each week.
17. This does not concern me because, as I noted above, I'm no longer a Catholic; ergo, Fr. Phil is not a Catholic priest.
18. Ever the indulgent parents, we also have youngest taking drum lessons. And daughter does her dance and acting classes.
19. I never had any formal lessons as a child. I do not feel I was deprived in that department.
20. I was on the swim team. I also played softball until I was in 10th grade. I was a Brownie for two years.
21. I was very much into theatre (that's with an "r-e" not an "e-r") when in high school.
22. The primary theatre teacher was a gent by the name of Virgil Carrington "Pat" Jones, Jr. I'm assuming he is deceased so there is no problem pointing out that he was clearly in the realm of child molester. He adored getting backrubs from the girls.
23. I was not one of those girls. I could never be one of those girls. I was not one of his pets. I did not have the looks nor did I have the need that those girls clearly had.
24. My older brother -- by two years -- tried to drown me when I was 9. I was saved by a surfer.
25. I believe that surfer was actually my guardian angel. I primarily believe this for two reasons. One, he did not have a surfboard with him. Two, when my father tried to find him to reward him for saving me, he had disappeared.
26. Only when typing #25 did it occur to me: How weird is it that my father was going to offer him money? Only now, many, many, many years later, does it seem rather strange to me.
27. My mother left my father when I was 15 1/2. Up until they separated, I had no idea that my mother was unhappy with her life.
28. Or that my father was so implausibly oblivious to her unhappiness.
29. My father went absolutely overboard crazy when my mother asked for a divorce. If I were to cite chapter and verse the things he did, my blog would fall into the Jerry Springer realm.
30. Suffice it to say, my whole family was put through the wringer.
31. I talked my younger brother, then nearly 14, into going to live with my father in Ohio because I feared my father would otherwise commit suicide.
32. I am not to blame for the fact that my younger brother, now 43, has not achieved greatness.
33. At least he is happy, by all accounts.
34. And I have not achieved greatness either.
35. Except for the fact that, having been saved by a guardian angel, there must clearly be a purpose that I am here. So that means either my children are headed for greatness or their children are.
36. All kidding aside about my demonic youngest, I know in my heart that none of my children is the Antichrist nor could they produce him.
37. I was a military brat.
38. My father was in the Air Force, ultimately achieving the rank of colonel.
39. Although destined to be a general, he never made it. Because of his own actions. Which necessitated my mother contacting his commanding officer.
40. Military careers have surely been lost for less than that.
41. Before I reached adulthood, I lived in Nebraska, Massachusetts, Northern Virginia (twice), and Hawaii.
42. I lucked out on the military brat scale of things as I managed to go to the same high school for all four years. (Thanks to my parents' divorce.)
43. I chose an obscure college in New Jersey because I was in love with my high school beau -- who had broken up with me months before -- who attended art school in New York.
44. From time to time, I Google his name. He didn't amount to much, either.
45. In college, I fell in love with a man who, when I first encountered him, I figured must be gay. He wore clogs, after all. But it turned out he was just a hippie-like man. And quite the ladies' man, too, according to everyone on campus.
46. In truth? My first instinct was correct. He was gay. Only very closeted. At the time. And I was his naive beard.
47. Upon finding out the truth, after he had graduated but while I was still in college, I told everyone. I was very bitter.
48. I'm more understanding now. But still a tad bitter about the whole mess. Primarily because I thought my inability to lose my virginity to him was because I was unattractive and not so sexy. And those self-perceptions -- which I know now were outright misperceptions -- stayed with me long after I knew the real reason for his lack of interest.
49. I ended up in Northern California because I met a man on a Greyhound bus when I changed buses in Chicago. I followed him first to San Diego, then to Boston, and then to the Bay Area.
50. And why did he fall for me? Because, upon first meeting me, he told me he was going home for the summer from college, having just finished his junior year at Harvard. He was impressed that I did not seem impressed. In fact, the bus was quite loud, he spoke quite softly, and I didn't really hear where he said he went to school.
51. When he admitted what flamed his initial interest in me, I did not confess to the reality of the introduction.
52. He turned out to be such a jerk that I'm glad I never let on that I might very well have been impressed. If I had heard what he had said.
53. It's amazing to me how much chance plays into everything in our lives.
54. Until July of 2006, I worked since I was 16, not counting the three very brief maternity leaves I took.
55. I worked at The San Francisco Chronicle for 10 years, starting there when I was 4.5 months pregnant with my first child. I had all three children while I worked at The Chronicle.
56. The cost of my first pregnancy, thanks to a variety of complications during the last 48 hours of pregnancy? More than $25,000. I had to pay $250.57. Ain't health coverage grand?
58. I am 5'2", and my pre-child weight was 113. I won't say what my post-three-children weight is, but it dipped below 120 when I got food poisoning at the highly rated Rubicon restaurant in San Francisco.
59. My first-born weighed 9 lb. 4 oz. When the doctor pulled him out (finally), she said, "Oh my gosh, what a moose!"
60. My second-born was the tiny one, weighing in at just 7 lb. 12 oz.
61. My last-born was the all-time weight champion, weighing in at 9 lb. 14.8 oz. As he peed three times on various doctors and nurses prior to being weighed, we called him an even 10.
62. Not only should I have drowned when I was 9, I should have died in the field with my first-born, who was finally pulled to safety from me 16 days late. I'm telling you, destiny calls me.
63. But what does it call me?
64. For what seems like a lifetime, I smoked. Sometimes I smoked very little. Sometimes I smoked very much. Once I had a kid, I went underground with my smoking. Only my good friends or fellow smokers knew I partook.
65. Every so often, the need to step outside and inhale the smoke from a Salem Light is all-consuming. But I don't do it. Or at least I don't do it today.
66. But maybe I'll do it tomorrow.
67. So when I say I hope I don't become a reformed-working-mother like one of those reformed-smokers, I, at least, know what the hell I'm talking about.