1. I’ve never hailed a taxi.
2. I love picking out my son’s clothes in the morning as well as putting his little meals together and serving them up. I never get tired of that. (update 12/16: I’m tired of it now that he’s almost a teen)
3. I’m afraid of globes. Something about them just creeps me out. I think it’s my only quirky fear.
4. I call my 82-year-old grandma at least three times a day to make sure she’s OK. (update 12/16: My gram died in May 2016 so I can’t call her anymore. Here’s the obituary I wrote)
5. My husband, Tom, and I took a five-week cross-country trip the summer after I graduated from college in 1994. We figured we’d be forever tied down by jobs/money and might never get another chance. That has proven to be true. It was an incredible trip. Most of it was camping. Albuquerque was our favorite, with Cooperstown a close second. When our kid was 4 years old, we told him about this trip and said it was the most fun we’d had, and he said, “Well, that was before I came to life.”
6. Of all the grammar and punctuation mistakes I see in the world, the one that bugs me the most is the missing hyphen in compound modifiers.
7. When I was a pre-teen I sent away $2 for three samples of my name as a signature. I still write my A’s in the style of one of the samples. I write my D’s like my favorite singer, Dion, does.
8. I’ll drive up to two blocks out of my way to avoid parallel parking. Any farther than that and I just bite the bullet. It often takes me more than one try, though. I also hate to pump gas and would rather not drive at all if I could get away with it.
9. All of my cats have had middle names.
10. Our cat, Jody, lived to age 19. In 1995, she went to a specialist in L.A. for surgery to treat a bacterial infection and in 2003 to Sacramento for radioactive iodine therapy (for hyperthyroidism). It bugs me a little when people ask how much this cost. (update 12/16: Now we have two wonderful striped cats named Oliver and Sophia.)
11. I can consume caffeine any time of the day or night with no noticeable ill effects. I also have a very high tolerance for alcohol, which is probably why I rarely drink: too much trouble and expense. I also don’t like the taste of beer or wine.
12. I once had a story published in True Confessions, but I made it up. That’s the only time in my adult life I’ve written fiction or been intentionally misleading in print.
13. My husband and I “lived in sin” (har har) for 10 years before we got married.
14. I can hold a grudge forever. But I can also completely forget that someone once wronged me. I have waited years to be proven right on things or to see someone get their comeuppance, but it happens more often than one might think. All this may be petty or unhealthy, but I don’t really care.
15. I breezed through college (Humboldt State University) in four years with a double-emphasis major and a minor. I felt some misguided sense of duty to get off the grants (I did have jobs, but only 24 hours a week) and become a productive member of the workforce. Now I’m not as idealistic and wish I’d taken more time to get through school.
16. I love state and local history and graduated two classes shy of a second minor in California studies.
17. I find no joy in gardening or cooking.
18. I still love my first SLR camera, the Pentax K1000, and when I bought a digital SLR I bought a Pentax in part so I could use my old K mount lenses. Also, I miss film developing and the smell of fixer makes me happy. (Hey, I married a photojournalist!)
19. I was once clocked typing at a corrected rate of 95 words per minute. My keyboarding speed is a quirk/skill I trace back to high school when I got a doctor’s note to get out of P.E. and got to take an extra elective. Now I do a little transcription work on the side.
20. I got out of P.E. because, at age 13, on the first day of a family vacation, I was so excited to get dressed for the beach that I fell down putting on my pants and dislocated my knee. Ambulance followed by full-leg cast followed by physical therapy.
21. We’re only having one kid, by choice.
22. I think my son Alec is the cutest, sweetest, funniest child on earth. (Whose isn’t?) This week’s gem: “When I’m 12 years old I’ll have a big skeleton.” (update 12/16: Now he IS 12 and claims to remember this.)
23. I love my job and my life, but I will always miss being a journalist. I’m still a reporter at heart and check Poynter and other media news sites daily. I bristle when people make broad generalizations about “the media” or its supposed agenda. I can’t wrap my head around how people could perceive a conspiracy, or ill intent on the part of most reporters. Also, “citizen journalism” annoys me—not because I’m jealous, but because of inaccuracy and lack of accountability.
24. Our son’s middle name is Merced, after the Merced River in Yosemite Park where my husband’s family has camped every year for 50-plus years.
25. The older I get, the less I care what people think of me. That’s a good thing.