11 Things (The Ann’s Running Commentary Version)

I have been blogging for some time now, and have done quite a few variations on the “tell us something about you” prompt. When two different bloggers I like and respect tagged me in the “11 Things” meme, I bit.

The “11 Things” post consists of a) writing 11 things about yourself b) answering 11 questions put to you by the person who tagged you c) writing 11 questions of your own and d) tagging 11 people to answer the questions you wrote in “c.” I argue that this is a “44 things” post in the long run but I suppose that is splitting hairs!

The first person to tag me was Teacher Girl. This is her “11 things” post. And this is what I wrote in response to her.

The second person to tag me was Ann of Ann’s Running Commentary. I had the incredible good fortune to actually meet Ann in real life this week!

June 14, 2012
Annapolis Harbor

For that reason, it seemed like the perfect week to publish the responses I wrote to her “11 things” post.

Before we get to those 11 (not-so) fascinating facts about me that I promised, here are the rules:

The Rules

You must post these rules.

Each person must post 11 things about themselves on their blog.

Answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and create 11 new questions for the people you tag to answer.

You have to choose 11 people to tag and link them on the post.

Go to their page and tell them you linked him or her.

No tag backs.

No stuff in the tagging section about “you are tagged if you are reading this.” You have to legitimately tag 11 people.

11 Things About Me

1.  If my Sag Harbor Jacket and Counterpart pants from Beall’s outlet (among other things) wouldn’t have made me the extreme outlier, I would have gone to the Tallahassee Drake Concert on February 24.

2.  Cool people I have met include former President Jimmy Carter.

3.  Great, memorable places I have been include:
a) ziplining over a former poultry farm turned into adventure course in Lula, Georgia
b) Lake Atitlan in Guatemala
c) Onstage as “part of the show” at Xanadu on Broadway

4.  The reason my “big” goal for 2012 (as it was in 2011, 2010, and 2009) is to run a 5K in less than 30 minutes is that in 1995, I ran a “novelty” run that was celebrating Florida’s sesquicentennial. The run was from somewhere in Central Florida to the Capitol, Tallahassee. Groups of runners had mile segments. I attested that I could run a 10-minute mile when I registered. Whatever the actual timing was, I know that the rest of my group was a lot faster than me and I held up traffic on Highway 41, with law enforcement trailing me, while I slogged in way behind them. That did not feel good.

5.  It may be a sign that instead of immediately worrying about whether Wayne Kevin is playing too much MW3, I thought, “where can I fit that into the blog?” when my son called these palm trees with protective barriers against the construction around them “C4 trees” because they look like they have C4 explosive attached to them.

6.  My Spanish is probably a little better than I give myself credit for but I have a very long way to go. I would love to do a Spanish immersion program.

7.  I lost the county spelling bee when I was in middle school by misspelling the word “yacht” (I spelled it yaght).

8.  I am pretty much endlessly amused/mystified by signs and explanations on packaging – misspellings, weird logic, you name it. For example, why does Weight Watchers feel the need to instruct the consumer to return the 2nd tray to the freezer?

I love dancing – closest I come these days is blasting the music station on Friday nights coming home from Skate World with my son and him Shazaming the lyrics. Fun but not the same.

10. I had braces …. finally …… when I was 41. Still glad I did it.

11. I don’t talk politics on Twitter.

My responses to Ann’s questions:
1. Who was your favorite teacher and why?

Mrs. Clark – she was my 3rd grade teacher, and although the reasons seem impossible to quantify, I think it is simply because she had a good heart. 

2. What were your sports of choice when you were younger?

Wow, I hated sports. Mostly because I was bad at every single one of them. I had this sad tennis ball contraption that I would put in the driveway and hit out in to the street – the ball was on an elastic tether so it would come back to me.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?

A doctor, a missionary, and a mom.

4. What profession did you ultimately end up in and why?

Administrator for a non profit. It’s not going to end here, though.

5. What is the single most important thing you think parents should teach their children?

To think for themselves, not to “go with the flow”. To stand up for what is right.

6. When you run, what is the one thing your mind turns to the most often?

Getting out of debt.

7. What is your favorite book and how many times have you read it?

Diary of Anne Frank. Once on paper, once on audio.

8. If you could only pick one movie to watch for the rest of your life what would it be?

I haven’t seen it in a while but I loved Beaches. Was obsessed with Top Gun. I’m not sounding very erudite here, am I?

9. Are you more comfortable in the city or the country?

Like ’em both but city.

10. If you had the option of having spending three months of the year in another place, where would you choose?

Manhattan, Manhattan, Manhattan – and here the Teacher Girl 11 things and Ann’s 11 things meet their perfect confluence!

11. What is your all time favorite museum to visit?

That’s a tough one. I have only been there once but I loved the Cloisters in Upper Manhattan.

My 11 questions.

1.  This Daily Good piece discusses selflessness, altruism, and perspective. As an example, it cites Tim Tebow’s generosity in inviting people in need to his games in Denver, and the ways in which he extends himself off the field. The post asks, “What is your privilege?” and encourages you to share it with someone who would benefit from it, who wouldn’t otherwise have access to it. What is your privilege?

2.  This Daily Good piece shares three parables that “give perspective.” What parable or story gives you perspective?

3.  This Harvard Business Review article talks about the challenge of reinventing yourself, using Margaret Thatcher’s career as an example. The author says, “Thatcher’s story is ours as well. We might see the need to evolve, but towards what? When the formula is working, how do we determine the shifting point? How do we come to value the polar opposite of everything by which we have defined ourselves? Have you faced a shifting point in your life? Any advice from that time?

4. Another great question from the HBR article referenced above is this: What is your dark side and do you like it?

5. This iJourney.org piece by David W. Hawkins says, “High power, like high voltage, must be handled with respect.” Have you seen high power abused? Had it and lost it? Tell me more.

6.  Yes, I do like Daily Good! You gotta go with what works. In this article, Richard Whittaker talks about his quest to interview architect Paolo Soleri, who reportedly did not do interviews anymore.
What was a time a door was closed to you but you decided to go for it anyway and hope “the way would open for you”? 
7.  I didn’t take all of my questions from Daily Good. This post from Raising Happiness talks about body image in relationship to advertising. What are your thoughts on body image and how far would you go to change your body?
8.  Another Daily Good post talks about how teamwork can foster creativity. Talk about a time that a group you were in “felt the flow” – especially if egos “blended.”
9. Some of my favorite food memories involve eating a common food in an uncommon place, such as the gyros that I ate with my niece and her friend when we were in Chicago. It was just a mall food court, and we had eaten other “nicer” places on the trip, but the conversation was so good that the gyros felt like fine cuisine. Do you have a similar memory?

10. Would you rather have someone recognize you fomally in public, or informally and in private?

11. Are tattoos right for you? If so, tell us about what you have/want to get?

My 11 Tags:

Jennifer at Run for the Boys

Arnebya at What Now and Why

Karen and Gerard at Right Where We Belong

Susan of Susan Fields

Velva of Tomatoes on the Vine

Robin of From the Ashes Yoga

Sara and Abe of Two in Tally

Amy of 365 Thru Amy’s Eyes

Liesl of Mama’s Log

Jessi of Breathe Easy

J from The Adventures of Boy Wonder

Five Things

A recent Mama Kat writing prompt asked four sets of “name five things about you” questions. I was captivated by this prompt, which turned out to be a heck of a lot more difficult than I anticipated. So many bloggers hit the ball out of the park with it (and so many of the “things you believe” answers can become deeply personal so quickly) that it is a little daunting to try.

For example, who can top the very first thing Teacher Girl listed among “things we don’t know about you”?:

I was once attacked by a rooster while on vacation in Nicaragua with my grandmother when I was three. My great-grandmother killed said rooster, and we ate him in a soup for dinner. (Read Teacher Girl’s entire “five things” post here.)

Photo Credit: Paytai

Five Things We Don’t Know About You

I am faceblind (meaning my ability to recognize faces is impaired). The official term for it is prosopagnosia and I am going to write about it someday beyond this post. For now, don’t be offended if we have talked a thousand times and I still give you a blank look. It’s not that you aren’t important. Not at all.

I played the piccolo in the marching band in high school. That worked out great until half of the piccolo (which was owned by the school) went missing … just vanished. Odd.

My fingers are double jointed.

I used to work for a company in New York that monitored the television news (and talk shows). I got paid to type what Howard Stern said.

I am registered with the National Marrow Donor Program.

Photo Credit: Arztsamui

Five Things You’re Knowledgeable About

I am knowledgeable about grammar. One of my favorite punctuation marks is the semi-colon; it is important that the words before it and the words after it could each compose their own standalone sentences.

Although I haven’t volunteered at Telephone Counseling and Referral Services in a long time, it would be a breeze to get back on a telephone and talk to someone in crisis. I understand short-term counseling; am a proficient reflective listener, and I think that agency (and others like it) serve a critical need.

I am pretty knowledgeable about cooking (not the “let’s throw some stuff together and see what we get” kind of cooking but the “measure exactly one cup of flour and level it off” kind of precise cooking).

I know a lot about contact center metrics. Occupancy,  Average Handle Time, Adherence, Erlang C. But I don’t work in a contact center content currently.

Having been privy to the infancy of Florida’s State Child Health Insurance program, I know a lot about the pieces and parts of a non profit program, and the transition to being a federally funded entity.

Photo Credit: Chaiwat

Five Things You Know Nothing About

Basketball offense formations. I can’t “see” a particular offense in action. I played basketball as a senior in high school. This should tell you all you need to know about the Union County High School Girls basketball team in 1981-1982.

Sports handicapping. Over under? The line? The spread? Winning straight up? I don’t get it. My spouse makes up in knowledge what I lack in ignorance.

Cleaning House. You can tell by looking at my house.

Running Pace. I can’t tell “my” paces apart, except that they’re all slow. So when people start talking about an “easy” nine minute pace compared to their 7:30 pace, I just don’t follow.

Constructing a web site. Redirecting my blog to my domain name. I will learn though.  

Photo Credit: Arvind Balaraman

Five Things You Believe

I believe that worshipping regularly is important because it may be the one time of the week when you really step outside of yourself (in the presence of others) and try to connect with something higher.

I believe in the several years I have been volunteering/acting with the FSU Film School and watching a lot of their projects, I have seen glimpses of genius, and that I will see some of these names on the big screen in decades to come.

I believe that when I as a parent choose to help my child out, that instead of griping about it (going back home for the forgotten book, etc.) if I have chosen to do what is asked, I should do it with love. I don’t always succeed at this goal.

I believe that many naysayers about yoga either had a first experience that wasn’t a good fit or haven’t tried it at all. I hope they’ll give it a chance.

I believe that it does not matter who you have chosen to love (gender/race/whatever) but that being physically intimate with someone isn’t that intimate if it’s just for fun and doesn’t engage your heart.

Ten on Tuesday (on Sunday)

Hello everyone! Here it is Sunday night and time to post. I am on deadline for an editing project, so I am going to take a shortcut and rely on someone else’s structure.

Every time Teacher Girl posts a “Ten on Tuesday from Chelsea at Roots and Rings,” I think “wow those are interesting questions!”. This week’s questions were centered around Thanksgiving (shocker), so I am going to answer the “Ten on Tuesday” even though it is Sunday. These questions were provided by Elizabeth at E is Random.

(Thanksgiving decorations by Jessica Oglesby)

1. What are you doing for Thanksgiving this year?

My 12 year old son and I ran the Turkey Trot! He ran the mile and I ran the 5K. Then we headed to Thomasville (Georgia) for the family get-together at my husband’s sister’s house.

2. What are you most thankful for this year?

I am thankful that Tenley and I had the opportunity to travel to Guatemala to meet our sponsored child Silvia, and to start sponsoring Estela. I am also thankful that my husband has a job through the end of the legislative session (March 2012). Never underestimate the effect on your morale of having somewhere to go every morning.

3. Do you have any traditions on Thanksgiving? The parade? Football? Long naps?

My son and I always run the Turkey Trot. Going to Mary’s house in Thomasville has been the tradition for a long time; she has a great house for entertaining. We all pitch in to make the mounds of food that end up being consumed.

4. Is it called stuffing or dressing? Is it in the bird or a separate dish?

I use the terms interchangeably, but it has always been a separate dish. Separate dish growing up; separate dish now at Mary’s. This is partially because the birds are now fried (can you stuff a fried bird?) and partially because I really don’t want salmonella.

5. Do you cook?

It’s a group effort. My brother-in-law fries the turkeys; my husband makes a killer pumpkin-shrimp bisque; I did the green bean casserole this year. The list goes on and on.
6. What is your favorite dish?

My favorite dish is the sweet potato casserole with all of the calorie-laden junk on top. It is one of the reasons I run 3.1 miles every Thanksgiving morning.7. What is your dessert preference?

I am an equal-opportunity dessert consumer. This year’s hit (to me) was the chocolate-pecan pie. I do like fruit pies such as apple. I am not a tremendous fan of pumpkin but it is a tasty seasonal treat sometimes. But it doesn’t have chocolate in it so pumpkin pie will remain in the “sometimes” category forevermore for me.

8. What is your favorite Thanksgiving memory?

I wrote about one favorite memory in last Wednesday’s post. For another favorite memory, I would have to say Thanksgiving in New York City with Wayne in 1990, watching the Macy’s Parade and eating at a Southern restaurant afterwards.

9. Do you plan to shop on Black Friday?

I did not shop on Black Friday. Although I am incredibly grateful that  Wayne has work (for now), clawing our way out of the financial effects of his job loss in August 2010 is going to take a while. Rampant consumerism is leaving me cold.

10. What are you most dreading about Thanksgiving this year?

I can’t say I really dreaded anything. I knew that my niece, Kris, and her family would be staying with us. I dreaded them seeing the house in less than optimal condition. But Kris, being her wonderful self, looked past the various pet stains on the carpet and my general clutter. Spending time with her, her husband, and her kids Allie and Griffin was so great. The house seems so quiet and idle now that they have gone home.