When I started this blog, I had no idea that it’d develop into something I enjoy doing so much.
When I started this blog, I had no idea that I’d write more than 1,000 posts.
When I started this blog, I had no idea that I’d make as many friends and read as many books as I have.
Then again, five years is a long time! And as I am feeling generous, and because I want to thank y’all for reading my blatherings over the last five years, I’m doing a a drawing for a $25 gift certificate to a book store of your choice on November 30th. To enter, leave a comment with your favorite book (from the pastfive years). I’ll give you an extra entry for tweeting the post, too (if Twitter is your thing…).
And, because it’s been a project of mine this year, I’m also going to give you a full 100 things about me. It’s mostly cobbled together from the posts I’ve done over the course of the year, but with 25 new things in there. Since, after five years, you really deserve to get to know me a little bit better.
1. I like to read.
2. Check that: I love to read.
3. I read on average four books a week.
4. Which breaks down to between 2 and 4 hours a day.
5. I don’t watch much TV anymore. (30 Rock is about it. Though sometimes I watch Glee.)
6. Though there’s a lot of TV I’d love to watch. (Mad Men, House, True Blood…)
7. I do watch So You Think You Can Dance pretty regularly now, thanks to Corinne.
8. I use the excuse that I love to watch dancing.
9. I do love to dance, too, though it embarrasses my girls.
10. And I took all forms of dance in college — folk, modern, ballet.
11. My favorite was ballroom dance, though.
12. The best part of ballroom dancing is the competitions. (I was even in one, once! Got 5th place.)
13. And, yes, I love Strictly Ballroom.
14. Though it’s not my favorite movie of all time.
15. That’s probably one of the Jane Austen adaptations, though don’t make me choose which one.
16. Because I love nearly all of them.
17. My opinion of the movies reflects my opinion of the books. Mansfield Park = bleh. The rest are good.
18. My favorites, if I had to choose, are the big two — Persuasion, Pride and Prejudice — and Emma.
19. Because I love the Austen Men: Colin Firth (Mr. Darcey), Jeremy Northam (Mr. Knightley) and Ciaran Hines (Captain Wentworth). And to a lesser extent Alan Rickman (Colonel Brandon… but he doesn’t count since I’ve liked him since the horrid Kevin Costner Robin Hood.)
20. I appreciate them like I appreciate art (or dance!). I admire them. I enjoy looking at them. Watching movies they are in make me happy.
21. I am not a stalker. (Yet?)
22. I pretty much watch everything the Austen Men are in, because I’m that sort of person. Which means I’ve watched some pretty bad movies. (And have thought to myself: hey, Ciaran Hines/Jeremy Northam is in that; I should see it!)
23. Colin Firth makes the best case for himself out of period clothes.
24. In other words: no matter how bad the movie is, I still like him. The others, I seem to only like in period dress.
25. I have liked other actors — most notably Viggo Mortenson (Aragorn), Orlando Bloom (Will Turner, not Legolas) or Richard Armitage (heck, I’ll take him as both Guy Gisborne and John Thornton) — but nowhere near as much as my Austen Men.
26. All this begs the question: what is it about dark-haired British men in period clothing?
27. Actually, if you REALLY want to make my day, what you need to do is get a dark-haired British actor to dress up in period clothing, have him drive me around in a minicooper (red, of course), and feed me cake.
28. Mmm… cake.
29. Love the stuff, but can’t make it terribly well. Which is probably for the best.
30. Frosting, on the other hand, I do quite well.
31. I love decorating cakes. My girls love that I do, too. Makes birthdays fun.
32. In fact, I’m looking forward to doing their wedding cakes (if they’ll let me).
33. I’m so taken with the whole period-clothing thing, that if I could go back and re-do my wedding, I’d make everyone wear period (preferably Regency, but I’d go for Renaissance, too) clothing.
34. Thankfully, I’m married to a guy who’d go for that. And who doesn’t mind my actor-obsessions.
35. He laughs at me a lot, though.
36. I don’t mind. I laugh at me a lot, too.
37. There is one exception to the British Rule: Brendan Fraser. He is dark-haired, but he’s not British. He’s not even a terribly brilliant actor. But he is imminently watchable, even in the really stupid movies he’s been in.
38. And I think he’s cute when he’s dirty and sweaty and smiles that goofy smile of his.
39. Sometimes, I wonder if I ought to act my age.
40. I think that, too, when I tell people I love reading books for children and young adults.
41. Especially since I don’t read them because I’m pre-screening them for my girls.
42. Or because I’m a children’s librarian or a bookseller (though I have aspirations in those directions).
43. I read them because I like stories and good storytelling.
44. And I think they’re fun to read.
45. I do read adult books, just not as many.
46. Mostly because I can’t find as many that I like.
47. And I’m always surprised when I find one that I do like.
48. I find I’m impatient with the writing.
49. I have a better track record with non-fiction, though. Especially travel and food books.
50. Travel books are best in January. I hate January.
51. Food books are best all the time.
52. Especially if they’re written so that you can almost taste or smell the food.
53. Because lately, my real passion (outside of books and blogging, of course) is food.
54. I’m not a gourmet or a foodie, and I’m no good at inventing recipes, but I love to cook.
55. I’m a weird that way: making dinner is one of my favorite things to do.
56. Maybe it’s because my first job was working in the kitchen of a bar/restaurant. I started as a dishwasher and worked my way up to line chef.
57. Whatever it is, I find something calming and creative in the throwing together of ingredients to create something delicious.
58. Bad mom moment: even though I need to teach them to cook, I actually DON’T like it when my kids want to help.
59. It throws me off my groove. Don’t mess with my groove.
60. My new hero is Julia Child. She totally rocks.
61. In fact, when I was in DC for KidlitCon, I made sure I I had time to go to the American History Smithsonian and see her kitchen. In a word: awesome.
62. General cooking is great, but what I really really love is baking.
63. Bread, rolls, cake, cookies, doughnuts, sweetbreads… if it goes in the oven, I’m SO there.
64. I used to say that there was no way I could do the Atkin’s diet because I. Live. For. Bread.
65. I bake bread every week for the family to use.
66. I started doing this because there’s high-fructose corn syrup in the store-bought loaves, and I’m anti-high-fructose-corn syrup as much as possible.
67. Which came about from reading a book.
68. But now I do it because I love baking bread.
69. Someday, I’ll even own a baking stone and learn how to bake artisan bread.
70. Until then, I’ll just keep frequenting Panera when I can.
71. I have had other hobbies: sewing (briefly), decorating (briefly), gardening (on and off), playing the piano (do it quite a bit still), and photography (not as good as I’d like to be).
72. And I did, once, fancy myself a writer of novels.
73. If I did write a book, it’d probably be some sort of travel book/memoir.
74. But that means I’d have to travel. Which we don’t. Not really.
75. We do go places — I do what my parents did: throw the kids in the car and drive to see stuff.
76. Mostly educational/historical stuff: I’ve never been to Disneyworld or Disneyland.
77. But my my childhood really was too ordinary to make a good memoir.
78. The most interesting thing I did was have a tumultuous teenage romance.
79. I’ve thought, in the years since it fell apart, that that relationship would probably make a good novel.
80. As an aside, the teenage romance is why I have problems with True Love and Love At First Sight and Pining After My True Love tropes in novels.
81. And it’s also why I’ll encourage my girls to make sure they marry someone who is a friend first. (Bah on Edward.)
82. Someone else will have to write that novel, though. (Someone probably has.)
83. The drafts I wrote are pretty painful to read, and not just because it’s my past on the page.
84. I’m just not that good at fiction. Even though I took a class and everything.
85. I do think I’m creative. It’s just that my creativity doesn’t run in that direction.
86. I really am much better at writing my opinions about what other people write.
87. Which is what I went to school for in the first place: Journalism, with an emphasis in arts critique.
88. Instead of a newspaper, my outlet is my blog.
89. Actually, I started the blog because I have a bad memory and can’t remember what I’ve read a week after I’ve read it.
90. I like to blame it on four pregnancies.
91. Though I think I’ve always been a bit scatterbrained.
92. Which is something my friends have teased me about over the years.
93. Maybe it’s the blond in me coming out?
94. I was pale blond as a kid — Scandinavian (Danish, mostly, with some Swedish and Norweigan) heritage (I have blue eyes, too). Though my hair is best described as “dishwater blond”.
95. It still is that color, when I haven’t dyed it some other color out of boredom.
96. Though I have an aversion to doing anything permanent to my body.
97. Hence, no tattoos, unless they’re henna.
98. I was offended at the guy who called my hair dishwater blond.
99. But, I don’t stay offended for very long. I’m actually a very forgiving person.
100. I find endings very difficult to write. So, sometimes, I just don’t.