Thursday, January 22, 2015

5 things about me

You read a person's blog and you think you know a them. Think again...

Today I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta aka Courtney, Cynthia, and Mar to share five oddball fun things about me. Maybe after reading this post, some more of the pieces of the Wendy puzzle will fall into place...

Yes, I'm a runner, but I have to admit that I am really uncoordinated. I've been known to trip over nothing when I'm out on a run. Heck, a few years ago, dashing across the parking lot into Target, I tripped over the curb, flew into the bike rack, and gave myself a concussion and needed 5 stitches in my face! I blamed the Keen's that I was wearing at the time. That giant rubber toe? And the curb was really high. I did get to ride in an ambulance to the emergency room, though. Anyways, somewhat related is my first fun fact: I can't dance. As a child, my mom enrolled me in dance lessons. I think I'm the only person on record whose dance instructor told her mother that she was ummm...lacking in any ability whatsoever. And this was at 5 years old! Never one to give up easily, my mom signed me up again at my most gawkiest--when I was 12. I was mortified. Have you ever seen that Seinfeld episode when Elaine tries to get everyone to dance with her at the office party?


Ok, maybe I'm not THAT bad. I usually just do the side to side, move to the beat, and call that dancing. You all know that I love music. It makes me want to move! But I'm the one at every party who has to be re-taught the Electric Slide. And who slides the wrong way...

I am a voracious reader. I always have been. As a girl growing up in a small town, our library didn't have enough books to keep me happy! So I re-read a lot of what I had, including books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. I even had my very own sunbonnet. Fun fact #2: I'm a Little House Groupie. I still have the entire set from my childhood. I've added a few books to the collection over the years, including some biographies and an excellent real life adventure titled The Wilder Years: My Adventures in the Lost Years of Little House on the Prarie. The author, Wendy McClure (same name? coincidence? I think not...) lived my dream and dragged her boyfriend traveled with her now husband to all the sites where the Ingalls family lived. The story about her night in the covered wagon was hilarious. I was able to attend a lecture given by McClure and have her autograph my book. I was at a loss for words when I met her, because I was in such awe of her pursuit of all things Laura. There's a new book out, Pioneer Girl, which I'm hoping to read soon. BTW, I wasn't a fan of the TV show. Michael Landon didn't fit the image that I had of Pa. And he took a lot of liberties with the storyline.



I've written about my love for music. I may even have mentioned that I played the oboe and the bassoon in the middle school and high school bands. But I also played the piano. I took lessons for almost 10 years. Besides band, I was the pianist for the choruses. Fun fact #3: I was a band geek. Not the quintessential going to band camp band geek. I wasn't THAT girl. But the majority of my day outside of classes was spent in the high school music room. This was in the 1970s and we had a youngish band director who played the trumpet. He loved the band Chicago, and our jazz band played a lot of their songs. Our school purchased a Moog synthesizer, which was relatively new technology at the time, and I got to have my way with it. The first Star Wars came out around that time, and the band played the theme song. I got to make space-like noises with the synthesizer. That was a lot of fun. I also was able to perform some piano solos, for example Barry Manilow's Could it be Magicwhich incorporates a classical piece: Chopin's Prelude in C Minor.  I didn't enjoy the spotlight so much, but I sure loved playing the piano! The "piece de resistance" was that my musical abilities also extended to playing the recorder and I was the roaming musician at our high school madrigal performance. You know, if only I'd stuck with music, specifically the bassoon,  I could be doing this:

Breaking Winds Bassoon Quartet. Even the name is right up my alley. The only issue, they're kind of dancing....

While I'm taking a trip down memory lane, I have to mention my first real job. Now, my first job was as a counter "girl" (again, it was the 1970s) in the local hospital coffee shop. We were part short order cook, part waitress and it was the worst job ever. There was a grill and we made sandwiches and steak-umms. One guy told me my hamburgers were like hockey pucks. Shortly after that, I quit. Eventually, I started working at a Fotomat wannabe called "Fast Foto". Fun fact #4: I was a photobooth attendant. This was THE BEST job ever. I went to the little booth in the middle of the shopping center parking lot, and people would drop off their film to be developed and pick up the pictures a couple of days later. I was by myself and I could listen to the radio and do my homework. We weren't allowed to talk on the phone in case the boss called, but other than that it was pretty unrestricted. My friends would come by and visit me. When I was bored, I'd look at the people's pictures. There were lots of baby pictures but sometimes there would be naked pictures of the parents thrown into the mix. Actually, I was surprised by how many naked pictures I came across. One time, the high school band director dropped off his film. He looked a little uneasy leaving it in my hands. Of course I looked at the pictures. They were pictures of him and the home economics teacher, mostly on dates. But there were a few--umm--questionable pictures. I never told anyone about this because I could lose my job and so could he. Until today, his secret has been safe with me. Working in a booth is a set up for funny situations. One time, I had just finished up with a customer, who seemed a little intoxicated. He was driving a Winnebago and told me he was dropping off film from his "Welcome Wagon" luncheon.  As he drove away, the booth started to shake. Film came flying off the shelves. After the mini-earthquake stopped,  he got out of his motor home. Apparently, the lights on the top of the camper didn't quite fit under the roof overhang and he shook it loose! Another time I pulled up to the booth for my shift, and the booth was listing to one side. A semi had driven through and caught the electrical wire, pulling the booth to the side. And yes, I still worked that shift.

Not THE booth, but similar to the one I worked in during my high school years.
It's no secret that I love the beach. Not for running. I've found that while running on the beach is a beautiful experience, it also causes injuries for me. The uneven surface of the sand did a number on me a few years ago. But I love to walk on the beach. I could walk along the water for hours, looking for shells. Fun fact #5: I love collecting seashells. The part of Florida where we spend spring break every year is known for sea shelling. Every day, I consult the tide tables to plan my walks around low tide. Some years are better than others. One year, right after a huge storm, I took my son Tom out with me. We were rewarded by a huge haul of all kinds of beautiful shells. We even found this:

The rare Junonia- a prized find for shell collectors in Florida! If you're staying on Sanibel Island and you find one, you get your picture in the paper. We weren't staying there, so no such luck from Tom and me!
We came home that year with a ton of new shells. We haven't been quite so lucky since. But any good shell is worth picking up. I have containers with my shells all over my house. You'd think that I have enough. But there is no better feeling than finding the prize! And as with everything else I do, I preach quality over quantity.  I'm looking forward to going back in March and getting back on the hunt.

So tell me an interesting fun fact about yourself! Tell me more than one! We have to be more than runners, right?

38 comments :

  1. OK, now the puzzle pieces are fitting. LOL Oh, the band. That takes me back. I played clarinet in Symphonic Band. In our Jazz Band (even geekier) I played the electric piano. I remember we did a lot of Stevie Wonder and Three Dog Night. I played percussion (bells and xylophone) in the marching band and later twirled a rifle as we didn't have majorettes. Uber geeky. Those were the days... I was also a fan of LHotP books. I did watch the TV show and thought Alfonzo was the bomb. Hee hee. The photo job sounds so cool. You had all the good intel.

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    1. LOl! I have a silver clarinet. My dad and I bought it at an auction. And I couldn't be in the marching band because I played a double reed instrument. I refused to do the flag thing...that whole coordination issue! LOL!

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  2. OMG. We MUST be related. I too grew up reading, LOVE the Ingalls clan, music, AND the beach. I do LOVE to dance though, although haven't been since my 30's...LOL!

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  3. That photo booth really DOES sound like an awesome job! Minimal actual interactions, doing your own thing, and making some monies? Sweet deal!

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  4. Oh my goodness I literally laughed out loud at the part about the home ec teacher and the band director! Too funny. Who knew that job would be so confidential. I went to pick up some photos at walmart yesterday and I though "this would be such an interesting job. You get to see everyone"s exciting moments ( and some of their secret ones too..lol). Have a good weekend. Thanks for the laughs! -M

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  5. photo booth attendant huh?! Fun! I love that Seinfeld clip. Miss that show. Have a great weekend

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    1. You too! I'm going to catch up on blogs this weekend...I'll be heading over your way!

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  6. I reference that "full body dry heave" scene all the time to my kids!! So funny! And even though I'm not a superfan by any means, I will have to go seek out that Wilder Life book, it sounds great. I love the way she signed it to you, that's very personalized and thoughtful!

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  7. OMG! You and I have so much in common! I loved the Laura Ingalls Wilder books as a child, too. As an adult, though, Harry Potter captured (and claimed) my heart for several years. Every time a new book came out, I re-read the entire series to refresh my memory...and every time I found new details (and numerous hints!) of what was to come. I SO miss those days when there was another Harry Potter book to look forward to! I also was a band geek (but never did the camp thing either), I played flute. Seinfeld was the best show, EVER. I'm not especially graceful, either, but I do OK dancing (preferably after a beverage or two). Seashells.....never had much luck finding those, but we did come across a washed-up jellyfish one time on Daytona beach. We need to have a face-to-face situation this year ;-)

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  8. Those are my favorite books too. Read them like crazy. All the time. And no, the TV show didn't do them justice. OMG Fotomat!!!! Totally forgot about those.

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    1. I bet I'm the only person you know who worked at one! LOL

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  9. I loved reading these fun facts about you! I am a band geek too - I am so envious that you played oboe and bassoon, I was fascinated by double reeded instruments (I play clarinet and sax). I didn't know being a "Little House Groupie" was a thing! I did read one of the books a long time ago.

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    1. I love all the closet band geeks that are coming out here! LOL!

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  10. I'm so jealous that you still have your Little House on the Prairie set; that's such a treasure! I loved all of those books, too. Oh, and don't feel bad...I can't dance, either. I think as I've gotten a little older, I don't care as much; I'll do it, just not with people who may be embarrassed - ha! Thanks so much for sharing all of this fun facts, Wendy! Hope you have a great weekend.

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  11. I am a shell collector too!!! Every time we go away I wander along the beach collecting shells. I will be doing just that when we go to the Dominican in two weeks!! :)

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  12. As an adult, I LOVE to read but when I was a child I didn't like it at all. Now I wish that I had read more growing up and I am so excited that my children have caught the reading bug. I find them with books all the time and it makes me happy. I loved reading your facts today! It's fun to get to know you a little better. :)

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    1. I'm glad you caught the reading bug too...better late than never!

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  13. I am an awful dancer. At least you do the Electric Slide. I love shells. I collect them at every beach I go to.

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    1. Well, I don't know if you'd call what I do the "Electric Slide"...lol

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  14. A photo booth attendant? I didn't even know those existed!

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  15. I was a band geek too--concert bells (marimba). Yeah, that happened. Also, I'm not the best dancer either, but sometimes I pretend I know what I'm doing. Such fun facts!

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    1. Totally. And maybe we don't look so bad on the dance floor. (Wishful thinking.)

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    2. As long as I keep it simple, I'm fine...I think...

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  16. lots of former band kids in our linkup this weekend - love it! and i think it's funny that you can't dance. my husband is a pretty bad dancer but thinks he's great. lol - he's wrong! :)

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  17. Oooh so neat that there use to be Photo Booth attendants!

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  18. Very cool facts. Yay for fellow band geeks!

    And the photo booth thing is a pretty cool fact / experience. Pretty crazy story about your band director though.

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