This meme has been doing the rounds on Facebook, so here are 25 random things about me:
1. I was born and raised in San Rafael, California. In Marin Country there are many old 60’s musicians and other famous types who live there. Throughout my school years I attended school with some of their children, including the son of Peter Tork (The Monkees), daughter of Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), and son of Joe Eszterhas (screenwriter). If you’re curious, Jerry Garcia’s daughter was into hip-hop.
2. I have been a huge fan of Crowded House since I first watched them play a spring break concert in Daytona, FL on MTV in 1987. They were my first ever concert in 1989 when I was 14 years old. Throughout the years I have become friends with other fans as well as a few people who work for the band. This has allowed me to meet lead singer Neil Finn, who for some reason seems to think that I actually work for him. The last couple of times I chatted with him (which was a few years ago) he thanked me for all the work I do. If only I was on the payroll!
3. I love to bake yummy treats. I am especially good at baking cookies and pies. I still have not mastered recipes involving boiling sugar to specific temperatures like toffee, but that’s probably a good thing because I love English toffee and it would be very dangerous if I could successfully make it at home.
4. I was a primary school teacher for over 4 years in California. While I enjoyed the majority of my students, one thing that is rarely spoken about is the classroom selection process. If you are a new teacher at the school, you are guaranteed to have the worst class possible for your grade level because the other teachers will dump all the bad kids in your class. It happened to me twice.
5. The busiest year of my life was when I decided it would be a good idea to complete my master’s degree while teaching full time in a brand new school and grade level. I still don’t know how I managed to finish my thesis on time, teach, and maintain my sanity.
6. I’ve lived in Australia for over 3 years now and have not lost my American accent. When I studied at the University of Melbourne for a year abroad I had a bit of an Aussie accent on my return to the US that didn’t go away for a couple of months. Perhaps age is a factor with the adoption of accents, which really makes you question why Madonna has been sounding British for all these years.
7. I hate hot weather and absolutely dread summer. One of the great things about living in the San Francisco Bay Area was that you would never get more than three hot days in a row because the fog, nature’s air conditioning, would come in and cool things down. I also had access to my parents’ pool. No such luck in Melbourne.
8. My skin is very pale. It is absolutely impossible for me to tan as I just turn red and then peel. I’m ok with my white skin and feel no need to use self-tanners, although I think I’m starting to become a bit translucent.
9. I am a walking encyclopedia of useless knowledge. I know the most random pop culture questions and oddball facts. I chalk this up to the large amount of media I read and watch, especially late night talk shows.
10. Music is a huge part of my life. I own more CDs than I care to count and am grateful to have grown up in the days of alternative music. Back in the mid-80s and early-90s I would listen to radio station Live 105 and watch MTV’s 120 Minutes (remember Dave Kendall?). It was fantastic times in music: British bands, Aussie bands, College radio, Modern Rock, Britpop, and Grunge.
11. I love television and watch a lot of it. I remember when I was young viewing Dallas and Dynasty with my mom (why did she let me watch that when I was in elementary school?). I tend to like comedy talk shows, teen dramas, reality tv, news, and home improvement shows.
12. I’ve only been to three countries so far in my life: United States, Australia and New Zealand. It’s hard to believe, but I’ve never been to England, Europe or even Canada or Mexico. All I do is fly back and forth across the Pacific Ocean.
13. For senior prom in high school my date was a friend of a friend. By the end of the night I was looking to ditch him. We were in the parking lot of the hotel about to make our grand escape when just as we were getting in the car he spotted us and asked if we could give him a ride back to Marin. So close and yet so far.
14. I never really had any grandparents. My dad’s parents and mom’s father weren’t alive when I was born, and my mom’s mother died when I was a few years old.
15. Melbourne is the best city ever. It’s got a similar vibe to San Francisco and is full of culture. You will never be bored here or lack something to do on a given night. There is a thriving music scene, Australian Rules Football and other sports, various community festivals, Fashion Week, the International Comedy Festival, museums, galleries, theaters, etc. I love living here.
16. Slides, water and concrete don’t mix well together. I learned this lesson at day care when I was young. We thought it would be a good idea to put some water on a metal slide and go down it. When I slid down in a swimsuit on my stomach feet first I didn’t stop at the bottom but flew in the air and landed on the concrete, completely scraping up my hands, arms, knees and feet. The teachers carried me into the kitchen area to bandage me up and I remember leaving a pool of blood behind. When I got home to soak the rocks out of my skin in the pool my cousin Leilani was very upset by my injuries (see Lei, I do remember some things from childhood).
17. The first time I owned a mobile phone was when I moved to Melbourne in 2005.
18. I am a long time supporter of Apple. I played many games of Donkey Kong and Frogger on an old Apple IIe computer growing up. I am a bit ashamed to admit that I bought a PC once (it was when Apple was close to going out of business in the 90’s). Thankfully Steve Jobs came back to the company and I have been a loyal Apple customer ever since. I’ve had an iBook, currently own a PowerBook G4 and of course an iPod.
19. I don’t drink coffee. I prefer tea, hot chocolate, or chai lattes if having a hot beverage. However, I do like coffee ice cream. Go figure.
20. I am a fairly organised person. The clothes in my closet are grouped by type and color and my CDs are in alphabetical order. I have even been known to organise others’ food cupboards. People have mocked me for my clean desk at work over the years but I can’t function with clutter. White space is your friend.
21. Although I rarely drink soda I prefer Coca-Cola to Pepsi.
22. My parents never pick me up from the airport anymore. It all stems from one spring break trip home in college when the airline was asking for people to volunteer and get off the flight so they could lessen the weight of the plane and clear the parking structures next to the runway in San Diego. I went for one of the vouchers they were offering and got booked onto another flight. However, by the time I was able to call home and tell them what happened, my Dad and brother had already left for the airport. I don’t think they enjoyed the wait. I got a few free roundtrips, but from then on it was the Marin Airporter for me. However, my parents do now drive me to the airport when I fly back to Australia.
23. I’ve always been interested in photography. My mom studied photography when I was little, and my parents even have a potential dark room in their house (although it’s currently being used as storage). I took photography classes in high school and college and own multiple cameras (both film and digital). I tend to take mostly nature and architectural photos.
24. I have never had a pet in my life.
25. I do not own a car in Australia. As much as people like to complain about Melbourne’s public transportation system, I actually find it pretty good. I do live in the inner city, so I have access to buses, trams and trains. If I had a car I honestly don’t know when I would drive it. Everything I need is in walking distance or a quick ride away on the train or tram.