1. I don’t know how to drive and have never had a driving lesson. Hell, I’ve never even sat in the driver’s seat, though I pumped gas for someone once in about 1987.
2. My accent—a mixture of broad Lancashire, education, and 18 years in the United States—confuses people. The most frequent guess is “Scottish?”
3. I was the first member of my extended family to stay on at school after the age of 15.
4. I’m still the only member of my family to have attended university (unless you count a step-cousin from South Africa who I've never met).
5. I learned to type from a computer program in the late ‘80s.
6. I swear like a docker, though I’ve finally managed to stop beginning sentences, “Fuckin’ …”
7. The track that I never erase from my MP3 player is Talvin Singh’s “Traveler.” (I like the version I downloaded it from an MP3 site much better than the version on OK
8. I have two passports: a purple Great Britain/European Union one and a blue U.S. version.
9. I can’t swim; hate water.
10. R and I have been together since May 1997.
11. I have a degree in American Studies from Nottingham University.
12. I do not now nor have I ever owned a mobile phone.
13. In 2001 (the last full year for which statistics are available) I saw 93 movies in the cinema.
14. Although I own both a VCR and a DVD, I don’t much care for watching movies on the small screen.
15. I have implants—dental not breastal.
16. I see four dentists on a regular basis: a general dentist, an orthodontist, an endodontist, and a periodontist/implantologist.
17. Over the course of the last six years, I have had braces, a gum graft, two dental implants, and two other periodontic surgeries, as well as multiple root canals and at least six new crowns. (And there’s still a long way to go before my picture is removed from The Big Book of British Smiles
18. I’m a recovering TV addict. Before I met R, I regularly watched six hours per night. Now I’m down to about 10 hours per week, pretty much always the same shows: Coronation Street
, The Sopranos
, Six Feet Under
, Sex and the City
, Iron Chef
, and CSI
, plus whatever Law and Order
, and Friends
reruns I come across. (Yes, it adds up to more than 10 hours, but not by much; the HBO shows alternate, and the reruns are few and far between.)
19. I’ve been watching Coronation Street
for as long as I can remember, (though there were gaps when I lived in cities where it couldn't be seen). It would be very hard to leave Seattle, unless it was to move to another city that picks up Canadian television.
20. When I taught English in Spain, during role-playing exercises I would always give students the names of Coronation Street
characters. (“Chhhello, theees ees Betty Tooorpin, cooold I speak to Meeester Mike Baaldween, plees?")
21. Recently, I had my first run-in with reality TV, getting completely addicted to Big Brother 3
. (Live feeds, the works. It won’t happen again.)
22. I am an only child. (R has 10 siblings.)
23. I went to a direct grant school.
24. I grew up in a house without indoor plumbing (my folks still live in the same house, but as of 1982 it boasts a dysfunctional but definitely indoor bathroom).
25. I subscribe to way more magazines than I can possibly read: The New Yorker
, The Economist
, The Atlantic Monthly
, Foreign Affairs
, Film Comment
, and Tennis Week
(and probably more that I’m not remembering).
26. In 1980 I attended three-quarters of tennis’s grand slam (I missed the Australian Open), as well as about 10 other tournaments.
27. I never had any interest in actually playing tennis.
28. I was a radio DJ for six years—one year at the college station in Newark, Del., five years on WPFW
in Washington, D.C.
29. Starbucks is dead to me (a barista was rude, but the real sin was that the manager of the coffee shop I’d been visiting almost daily for at least three years stood by and watched). Now I drink at Victrola
, which is better anyway, even if they are a bit slow in the mornings.
30. I’m a happy homosexual.
31. I’ve been a season-ticket holder at the Seattle Opera for about six years. I go with my friend Susan
32. I was born in the year of the ox.
33. I was born in 1961.
34. I recently installed a wireless network in our apartment.
35. When I speak Spanish, I’m often mistaken for a Spaniard—until the third sentence. I have a great accent, but my grammar sucks.
36. I speak French poorly, but I read it pretty well.
37. I’ve taken an evening class in Japanese (though all I can really say is “Good morning,” “Good evening,” "It's snowing," and “The language of film is universal”).
38. I am taking Russian lessons.
39. I went to graduate school at the University of Delaware, but I don’t have a graduate degree.
40. I love libraries.
41. I once worked as a researcher for an encyclopedia.
42. I have lived in three capital cities.
43. I’ve never visited Africa, Australia, Asia, or South America (that afternoon in Tijuana doesn’t count).
44. I go to art camp
45. I’m a sucker for sports; just flipping through Sports Illustrated
makes me cry.
46. Though I regularly cry at the movies or while watching sports on television, I very rarely cry in real life.
47. I love my job.
48. I hate talking on the telephone.
49. My mom calls me almost every day, but we rarely speak for more than one minute.
50. I’m not a good housekeeper, and the house is too messy to hire a cleaner.
51. I like to listen to sports radio.
52. I have no sense of direction, and maps are absolutely meaningless to me.
53. The weirdest holiday I ever went on was a meandering coach trip from Madrid to Oslo with 40 people from the Spanish village of Colmenar Viejo.
54. Because I ended up spending my holiday as an amateur interpreter, the Colmenareños surprised me with a fabulous Nordic sweater when I left them in Bergen, Norway.
55. I love bullfighting.
56. I’ve never seen anyone seriously injured in the ring.
57. The best bullfight I ever saw involved Cristina Sanchez. I threw my hat into the ring when she was awarded two ears; she threw it back. (That’s normal!)
58. I have at least 10 items of clothing that bear my employer’s logo.
59. I'm a Cancer (though there's some cusp action going on).
60. I’ve been a full-series pass holder for the Seattle International Film Festival
for the last six years.
61. My favorite day of the year is when the SIFF schedule is released.
62. I’ve worn glasses since I was 6.
63. Before I got glasses I was always walking into furniture and falling over things.
64. The first concert I went to was Black Sabbath at Manchester’s Free Trade Hall.
65. The first single I ever bought was “Banner Man,” by Blue Mink.
66. I love to dance, though I haven’t been on a club dance floor in at least 18 months.
67. I can’t stop myself from buying notebooks and pens.
68. A week rarely passes without my buying at least one book.
69. In the first nine months of 2002 I read 33 books.
70. I love my girlfriend very much.
71. I’m very susceptible to headaches.
72. Other than dental surgery, the only operation I’ve had was laser eye surgery (not corrective—my eyes are too bad for LASIK surgery).
73. I’m a member of a cult—the ChaCha vanpool.
74. I try not to set my alarm clock for a time that, when summed, is divisible by three.
75. I love my first name.
76. I dislike my second name and thought of changing it to “Milhous” when I became a U.S. citizen. (My middle name is the same as this
blogger’s, and I felt the same discomfort.)
77. I love Spanish movies.
78. Julio Medem is my favorite director.
79. I hate my local public TV station
and never watch it, much less give them money.
80. All four of my grandparents lived within a half-mile radius of my childhood home.
81. One set of parents lived across from the village school, which was a polling place on Election Day. My ambition in life was to be a “runner fert Labour.”
82. I’ve never voted in an English election.
83. I’ve never voted for a winning U.S. presidential candidate.
84. I’ve been on two feminist collectives.
85. I’ve worked at three monthly magazines and one daily Webzine.
86. I worked in publishing for eight years.
87. My favorite Thai restaurants in Seattle are the Royal Palm and Sea Thai.
88. I consulted a pet psychic about my cat, who can be a little aggressive.
89. I don’t drink brown spirits.
90. I’ve never been on a diet (though I’m considering it in the near future).
91. I’ve never been to a Passover seder.
92. I only take my socks off to shower.
93. I don’t like sitting near English people in restaurants (except when I'm in England).
94. I love visiting Victoria, B.C.—and not for ironic reasons.
95. I never drink tea in a U.S. restaurant or coffee shop (except in specialist tea shops where they know the water needs to reach a bubbling boil).
96. I have eaten bear sausage.
97. I don’t care for shellfish.
98. I went to a mixed secondary school (common and posh as well as girls and boys), yet, when I was in the sixth form, I played a male character in the school play.
99. I’ve been online since about 1993.
100. I was a teenage malinger. During the last five years of high school not a single week passed without me taking at least one day off "sick." (Hey, if you started to watch a case of Crown Court
, you couldn’t miss the verdict.)