10 Random Facts About Me

My too smart for her own good, amazingly lovely co-founder of the Life List Club, and friend, Marcia Richards, just tagged me in the hot blog game of the season: Tell us 10 random things about yourself!  The rules are really complicated:  I have to tell you 10 random things about myself.  And then I select four people to tag and they have to do it too.  I like this so much better than chain letters, so in the spirit of a favorite film, Twister, “Tell us, why you are the way are.”

10.  I like to spend New Years alone.  It’s a tradition long developed now where I gather up a stack of my favorite guilty pleasure films and stay up late watching the movies I want to watch.  Last year, it was Anne of Green Gables, you can read an old post about it here.  I also journal and look back at the past year and use the time to reflect on what things I want to accomplish in the next year.  I love having this night to myself.

9.  When I was little, I played by myself a lot, not out of choice, really, I’m just a lot younger than my siblings.  So I got really good at speaking in different voices and having elaborate musicals, puppet shows, and plays with my stuffed animals.  I practiced this talent by quoting movies, and reading aloud switching accents every page-which helps grow your vocabulary!  In high school, our librarian noticed this talent and got me involved with Forensics, and not the CSI kind.  It was speech really, but a whole lot more.  My category was quickly decided as storytelling.  I had to know 5 stories that dealt with specific topics and be able to tell them on cue by a judge.  I did Irish legends of kings, kid’s pirate stories, lisping time machine inventors, gargly three-headed Greek sisters, and a whole rainforest of animals.  Because I could do all the voices and was very animated, I brought home several first place trophies over the three years I was involved.

8.  To coincide with my stories, I also learned by heart any number of musicals and performed these in dress on my neighbor’s porch to an audience of squirrels and sparrows.  (I liked to pretend I was Sleeping Beauty and Snow White a lot.)  I did entire song and dance numbers from Yankee Doodle Dandy, Guys and Dolls, South Pacific, Singing in the Rain, State Fair, Sound of Music, Kiss Me Kate, The King and I, and My Fair Lady.  I loved it.  And for those of you with kids who like to play dress up, my bag included: old nightgowns and slips (evening wear), poodle skirts (for twirling at parties), button up shirts with crazy prints on them (for playing school/work), and lots of costume jewelry and shoes.

7.  When I learn how to make something, I go a little overboard.  In third grade, we learned how to cross-stitch.  My entire family and penpal received Christmas gifts that were cross-stitched bookmarks, magnets, and wall hangings.  Then they all got friendship bracelets.  A few years later the bead babies became popular, and my whole family got keychains.  I had so many I started using them as diving toys in the pool for the kids I babysat years later.  Next was knitting.  I made so many scarves so quickly, I gave myself carpal tunnel, and had to wear a brace for several weeks.  Let’s hope the next binge I go on is just my writing one.

6.  The name of my first cabbage patch doll was Adele Patti, but I couldn’t pronounce or remember Adele, so I called her Patti.  She was a premie and I loved the way she smelled like baby powder.  Subsequently, the following Cabbage Patch Dolls that joined my family were Heather, Tay, Humphrey, Barney, Sara, Suzette, Keri Ann, and Sloane.

5.  My place of zen has always been by the water.  In high school I often walked down to the Rock River and read Wuthering Heights or wrote poetry.  My Anais Nin/Sylvia Plath obsession created a boho-confessional style of writing that, though extreme and indulgent, was full of passion, and for that, I love the girl I once was.  Now, I make my peace by the mighty Mississippi or far inside Myrick Marsh.

Photo courtesy arras-france.com

4.  One of the most mesmerizing things I’ve ever done is hike the rainforests of Guadaloupe and swim under the Chutes du Carbet waterfall on this Caribbean French Island.  I was 16 and had never left the country before.  I was invited on a rare opportunity to go on a cruise with my best friend’s family and we stopped at several caribbean ports.  Guadeloupe made the biggest impact on me with its thick rainforests, rich temples, and caribbean-french people.

3.  You know the scene in Eat, Pray, Love where Elizabeth Gilbert (Julia Roberts in the film version) eats pasta to Der Hölle Rache Kocht In Meinem Herzen by Amadeus Mozart?  That was me on my trip to Italy, with every dish of pasta I ate.  Orchestras played as I savored my mostaccoli.

2.  A year later I went to Ireland, and I wanted to make sure I remembered more than just the food I ate, like in Italy.  I remember sitting on the cliffs of the Aran Islands and journaling.  I told myself to remember this moment.  I stared at the water rolling below me and snapped a mental photograph.  It’s been seven years, and I still vividly remember that day and how the water looked below me.

1.  I have been every form of Jessi(e) imaginable.  I started as the most common Jessie.  Then I was convinced by my sister to spell it Jessy, and a year later changed it myself to Jessi, which I stayed with since second grade.  Cousins and siblings would try out grander adjustments like Jessiki.  But over the years, it’s become more and more evident that I am a Jess.  I never fit the full on Jessica, too high maintenance for me, but Jess is just right.  Jess is friendly, Jess swaps food with you at dinner, Jess loves coffee dates, Jess likes to blog.  🙂  Hence, it’s just Jess.  And it’s nice to meet you all.

Thanks for coming to my Happiness Project social hour!  I hereby tag these people to keep the game going:

Little Miss Vix     Tiffany White     Mark Petruska     The Good Greatsby

Everyone can play along!  What are some random facts about yourself that I might not know?  I’d love to learn more about all of you!

34 responses

  1. Ooh thanks for tagging me! I will def take aprt! I love the fact you spend NY alone, I hate NYE and usually stay in too!

    1. I like it that way! It’s a guaranteed night to myself in the house!!!

  2. Oooh I love this idea! I may have to hop on board! Great to learn more about you 🙂 I Googled the Aran Islands and I love Ireland, so I think this may have to be my next stop… it looks so beautiful.

    1. Such a beautiful place! If I could retire in my 20’s, this would be up there at the top of my list.

  3. Thanks for tagging me. I’ll try and ask my wife if she remembers ten random things about me that aren’t just memories I thought happened to me but really came from movies.

    1. Yah, I know that happens a lot. 😉

  4. I liked reading your 10 things. Totally with you on #8!

    1. Wanna wear poodle skirts to our movie marathon then? It’s that or big hats.

  5. Thank you for letting us get to know you better, Jess. I especially can relate to your wanting to be by the water. I have always and will probably always live by the coast. I feel claustrophobic if I’m inland. There’s something about being land-locked that I don’t like. The photo of the waterfall was gorgeous.

    1. It’s surreal when I think that I actually did that. Makes life now seem boring. LOL.

  6. That was fun! and random! Nice to know a little bit more about you.

    1. Me thinks you should do a similar post because of your fun made up stories you just shared!

  7. Fun facts! You’ve done some traveling, girl. I’m envious. The most exotic place I’ve been is Washington D.C. Kidding. Actually, it’s Galveston. 😉

    You know, I like Jessica. It’s a song by the Allman Brothers. You know, that first really cool fall day when the sky is a deep, deep blue? I always go for a drive on that day, and I play Jessica by the Allman Brothers because that song feels like a sunny fall day.

    Thanks for letting us get to know you a little better.

    1. Nope, just Jess. Won’t convince me otherwise, but Jessica is a good song.

  8. I’m with you on the water thing…it’s so zen. I used to go to the lake in my hometown (before moving to my current town) daily, just to reflect and feel the soothing vibrations of water and its wildlife.
    I love knowing more about you, my friend! Do you realize you’ve traveled more and farther in your life than I have in twice as many years? I need to catch up!

    1. And I feel like all my friends have gone more places than me!!! LOL. I love traveling, but it’s also why I have no money. That, and student loan payments. Send all loose change to: Happiness Project, 2012 Writerly Lane, Wisconsin.

  9. Very cool facts!! I want to travel- and even though I’m allergic to gluten I will be eating pasta in Italy when/if I ever go.

    1. UH, it’s a MUST! Besides, you won’t have a choice in the matter, it’s simply served BEFORE every meal. LOL. Not that I complained.

  10. I loved your list! I’m so jealous of your travels….

    Thanks for the tag. I will play! 🙂

    1. Yay! I’ll bet one of your randoms has something to do Vampires, TV, or snacks!

  11. I love my alone time too. Even if I’m just alone in my head. It’s a bit more challenging to find alone time w/ a couple of kiddos but it always recharges me when I do get it.

    1. I’m having a date with myself right now! We went to Starbucks, and I paid! Oh, ok, that’s not exciting, but I’m working on my LLC post!

  12. One more way we are alike – the water is where we both go for peace and zen! I seek out the Chesapeake Bay whenever I can : ). I loved reading this, and so many of yours showed what a creative spirit you are in all aspects of your life! I loved the image of you putting on those musicals : ). One of my cousin’s and I used to dress up in our grandmother’s and parents’ clothes and try to put on Hee-Haw style country concerts, but that’s about as far as our talent went. You went all the way : )!

    1. Water is definitely the place of peace. And who doesn’t love a good musical number?!

  13. Nice to know your quirks, Jess! We should go on either a crochet/knitting/writing binge some time. 🙂

    1. LOL. I’ll be in a cast! That much focus work would overdue me.

  14. […] Jess for tagging me in her random facts post. My mission is to tell you 10 random facts about me. This […]

  15. How fun! I love these sorts of interesting questions about people. Quirks set us apart and make us feel unique. 🙂

    1. Thanks for reading, Mindi, you’ll have to share some more quirks about yourself with us!

  16. I had no idea you were so well traveled! Does this mean that in France, you carried around a canteen filled with champagne instead of wine?!

    I’ve been out of circulation so I’ll respond to your tagging on my next post. I love learning random facts about people!

    1. I wasn’t of age on Guadeloupe, but if I ever get to France, that’s not a bad idea. I have mentioned we carried wine around Toronto in coffee cups, right?

      1. You did. I think I need to visit Canada!

  17. […] while ago, I was tagged by Jess Witkins to come up with 10 Random Facts about myself. Variations of this game have existed for years; in 2009 it was all the rage on […]

  18. […] 10 Random Facts About Me posts are a phenomenal way to get to know someone.  I like reading these […]

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