50 Shades of Me

This meme’s been circulating amongst the bipolar/neuro-other community.  The challenge is to find 50 odd facts about myself that (a) I haven’t already blabbed to the world in 919 posts and (b) are remotely interesting.  I’m willing to give it a whirl.  If all else fails, I’ll fabricate.


1. I hate chickens.  Nightmares that involve chickens rank right under nightmares about clowns.

2. I introduced myself to Senator Paul Wellstone (deceased, sadly) while we stood in line for our Thai take-out orders.  He got curry.  I got flustered.

3. Pam Donelson and I used to make up skits at recess and perform them for our third grade class after lunch.  I think Mrs. Halverson gave us free rein just so she could doze off in the back.  Come to think of it, Pam turned out to be bipolar, too…

4. A pony bit me when I was little.  Now I admire horses from afar.

Elephant-national-geographic-6902086-369-5505.  I’m not sure which I want more: to see elephants in their natural habitat or to make sure people leave them alone.

6. When I was twelve, my granny and I flew to California to visit cousins.  Years later, I realized she took me because I was despondent about my other grandmother, who had died a few months earlier.  That made her gift even more precious.

7. For a farm girl, it took me a long time to figure out how to pee outside without soaking something.

8. I saw Superman (with Christopher Reeve) in the theater 19 times.  That’s still my record.

9. I went to the first cheerleading practice in 8th grade and decided to be co-president of my junior high school instead.

10. I hate practical jokes and have been known to bloody the noses of those who prank me.  “Poor Sport!”  “Jack-ass!”

11. I joined Speech Club because I was hot for my eleventh grade English teacher (who coached us).  I won State my senior year.  Inspiration takes all forms.


12.  I don’t drink much now, but my current alcoholic beverage of choice is Angry Orchard.

13.  I hate rollercoasters.  Probably because I hate to puke.  But I did ride the Matterhorn at Disney World with my ex and had fun.  That’s what I tell people anyway.

14.  I love gladioli.  Whenever I see them, I think of Gramma and her garden.

15.  On our farm growing up, the hog lot was south of the house.  Whenever a southern breeze blew through the open windows, Dad would say, “That’s the smell of money.”  And I wonder why I have a twisted sense of finance.

16.  I buy myself flowers, especially white roses.  Because I love them.  In the absence of a Valentine, be your own.

17.  I have the same attitude about children and dogs—I’m happy to pet you, just don’t slobber on me.

Hello18.  I took three years of Russian in high school and college.  Now I wish I’d taken Spanish.

19.  I played piano and saxophone, and I taught myself a teeny bit of guitar.  All past tense.  I still sing, though.  And every once in a while, someone sitting in front of me at church will turn around and tell me what a nice voice I have.  It fuels my fantasies of being a background vocalist for Sting.

20.  I dated a fireman.  He made me a latch-hook rug.

21.  In Chicago, I got locked out of my hotel room.  Security took me to the lobby because they thought I was a prostitute.

22.  I taught children in Viet Nam to sing “Old MacDonald” so they would quit staring at me.

cvlogosig-horz25323.  I’m a second-degree Reiki practitioner, learned Sacred Sound from teachers in Colorado and Boston, and had my own healing touch practice for a time.  I can “Om” the shit out of you.  Literally.

24.  In an elevator at the 1994 World Fantasy Convention, Harlan Ellison told me the short story I’d published was “beautiful writing.”  Watershed moment.

Redford25.  Farts are hilarious.  I come from a hilarious family.  My dad could never fart without a comment.  My favorite was, “Catch THAT and paint it red.”

26.  When I was a senior in high school, my best friend and I went to Iowa City to hear Robert Redford talk about the bald eagles.  At least I think that’s what he talked about.  We weren’t really listening.

27. At the height of Star Trek: The Next Generation’s popularity, Brent Spiner (Data) made a personal appearance in a small Minneapolis hotel.  My friend and I got front row seats to hear him answer questions and dish trash on the rest of the cast.  His Patrick Stewart impersonation was spot-on, but the guy was kind of a dick.

glads28.  I don’t think of myself as particularly girlie, but I tend to wear a lot of pink and coral.  They make me feel like a gladiola (see #14).

29. One of the highest compliments I ever received was at a mostly-lesbian birthday party.  A young woman said, “You’re straight?  Nah.  You’re in denial.”  I laughed.  “No.  Really.  I like men.”  She handed me a beer.  “Well, you’d make a great dyke.”

30. I don’t have a favorite color, song, movie, book, food, or celebrity.  All those joys change constantly (not counting Richard Armitage, since he’s my pretend boyfriend—not a celebrity).

31.  The first farm kitty I named was Pussywillow, a sweet little calico.

32. I love Jimmy Carter.  He’s the first president I ever voted for, so I always felt responsible for him.

33.  When I was little, I used to drag my puppy, Rebel, out to our gravel drive and make him write his name in the soft dirt.  He didn’t like school as much as I did.

redwoods34.  Forests rather than Oceans.  I will get to the Redwoods in 2016.

35.  I taught myself to wake up out of nightmares by screaming.  It’s more of a tornado siren, starting down in the lower register and ramping up into a full screech.  My ex-husband did not appreciate this extraordinary skill, but my cats do and often join in.

36.  I flunked Art in high school.

37.  I don’t have a single piercing or tattoo.  To be fancy, in my youth, I would wear clip-on earrings, but I’m too much into comfort for those anymore.  Ditto for pantyhose and heels.  I don’t own a dress or nail polish, though I do have a little box of make-up that’s probably all past its due date.  What’s left of my jewelry is a tangled mess in an old pot.  Like I said—not girlie.

38.  I love my hair.  It’s coming in silver, not gray, and in a streaky pattern that other people pay big bucks for at salons.

shark39.  I will never go on a cruise.  One word: Jaws.

40.  My speaking voice is my best feature.  Other people comment on it from time to time.  All that speech training, I guess (see #11 & 23).  I think I’d make a great audio book talent.

41.  I have been told I’m a good driver.  I never get lost.  Taking a wrong exit or missing a street sign doesn’t constitute “lost” in my book.  I always get where I’m going and don’t get flustered in traffic.  I do tend to get tickets for not wearing my seatbelt, though.  Ironic, considering #43.

Bride Full 8042.  I loved my wedding dress.  It made me feel gorgeous (So, okay, maybe a little girlie).

43.  A drunk driver hit me one morning on the way to work.  My face went through the windshield (This was in pre-historic times before seatbelt laws).  When the plastic surgeon came to the ER (because, you know, face), I said, “Oh, good. Maybe you can do something about my chins while you’re at it.”  No reaction from the guy sewing my forehead together.  I figured flat-on-my-back comedy was maybe not my forté.

44.  First concert:  Elton John at the Ames Coliseum, 1973.

SaScDad 8545.  My brother is 6’7″.  Based on my growth as a kid, old Doc Sinning predicted I’d top out at 6’2″.  My brother also describes himself as “somewhat OCD” (lots of neuro-endocrine booby prizes in our family).  Even though I stalled at 5’5″ in fifth grade, I still found other ways to sit on our genetic joy buzzer.

46.  I’ve got mad drywall skills.  My taping and mudding rival the professionals.

Cowboys47.  When I woke up from the drunk driver accident (#43), my knees were pinned on either side of the steering wheel, and I couldn’t see because of the blood and glass.  Before panic set in, my door opened and a smooth, Texas drawl said, “Are you all right, ma’am?”  “I don’t know—do I still have my teeth?” I tried to grin in the voice’s direction.  “You look just fine,” he said.  Considering what the surgeon did later, I was probably on the nightmare side of fine.  A warm hand grabbed mine.  “I called the police.  Help’s comin’ so just hold on.  I ain’t goin’ nowhere.”  He disappeared once the ambulance came, but I still have a fondness for cowboys.

Bride&Tyler 8048.  My nephew was born a week before my wedding.  This is my favorite picture of us.  It’s a conversation-starter with people who don’t know our family.

49.  When people see my handwriting, they think I’m left-handed.  I love this because my sister, who is left-handed, taught me how to write.  It’s like I carry her around with me—sorta like a tattoo, but not.

50.  I love crossword puzzles—the harder, the better.  I do them in pen.  And while it’s fun to actually finish one, I love the feeling of leaving a bunch of blank spaces and just jumping to the next puzzle in the book.  Because fun shouldn’t be programmed for failure.


Ugh.  I’m all sticky with narcissism and over-sharing.  Wait, that’s one of the definitions of blogging, right?

Happy long-weekend.  You all deserve it.

24 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Belladonna Took
    Sep 04, 2015 @ 23:42:31

    I usually quit lists before I’m halfway through them, but this was fun. Glad to get to know you a little better… 🙂


  2. Leslie
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 04:37:40

    Awesome list. It’s cool to learn a little something about the person behind the keyboard


  3. Dee Silbaugh
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 11:39:06

    Happy Weekend to you as well. Your writings make me smile.


  4. Penny
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 17:39:30

    Ahhhh, this was fun! Reminders of what makes you so uniquely lovable!


  5. David Kanigan
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 17:52:52

    Loved this post. I took 6 years of Russian language!!!! We have much in common


  6. Littlesundog
    Sep 05, 2015 @ 19:49:05

    Just when I thought I knew you fairly well! This was a lot of fun… I’ll bet you were worn out halfway through!! Thank you for sharing, Sandy. 🙂


  7. Val Boyko
    Sep 07, 2015 @ 19:32:10

    You are fascinating and endearing Sandy Sue! Thanks for the insight … and smiles!


  8. pegoleg
    Sep 08, 2015 @ 10:23:19

    How fun! Thanks for sharing all of this YOU. I don’t think I could come up with 50 things about myself – that would call for way too much introspection.


  9. Catherine Cheng, MD
    Sep 09, 2015 @ 00:39:57

    Thanks, Sandy Sue! This was so much fun to read, I was sad when it ended! Forests over oceans for sure, and what was the pattern on the latch hook rug your fireman boyfriend made for you? 🙂 What did you end up doing with it?


  10. Lyn
    Sep 15, 2015 @ 00:05:14

    Wow, you made me think about a lot of things I’d forgotten about my own life — or at least hadn’t dredged up for many years. The two of us are alike in more than looks (I still have the photo from my senior recital where the two of us look like a mirror image in profile). Blood will out, I suppose, even as second cousins. Remember when the kids at my church camp said they knew someone just like me, and it turned out to be you?


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 15, 2015 @ 13:12:42

      Wow. I’ve forgotten all of that. Electroshock, baby, it’s the ultimate hard-drive wipe. If you still have that picture of us, I’d sure love a copy of it.


  11. Alice
    Sep 18, 2015 @ 09:58:50


    My own record for in-theater movie viewings is 17. (The Dark Crystal was the only thing playing at the Dollar Cinema that summer. Also: Fizzgig.)

    A latch-hooking fireman sounds like a keeper!

    I think I, too, make a great dyke, at least some of the time. Though I’m actually trying.


    • Sandy Sue
      Sep 19, 2015 @ 07:52:04

      Fizzgig. Now there’s one I’ve never heard before!
      The fireman was a sweetheart. He was ready to get married after the second date, which made me run in the other direction. Sigh.
      The more invisible my demographic, the more successful I feel.


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