As I'm making my way around blog world, I'm learning the traditions and mores. One tradition that has been established is to list 100 things about yourself when you hit your 100th post. Believe it or not, it's taken me a week to come up with 100. It's harder than you'd imagine. If you thought my post a week or so ago was all about me, then you ain't seen nuthin' yet. Here goes!
1) I was born in Mexico City, Mexico.
2) My parents were 20 years old and had married at 18.
3) My mother was born Catholic in Chicago and raised in New Orleans.
4) My father was born Jewish in Budapest, Hungary and raised in Mexico after the death of his father in a concentration camp.
5) We moved to the United States when I was three.
6) I had dual citizenship until I was 18.
7) Besides Mexico, I lived in New Orleans, LA
8) and District Heights, MD
9) and Pine Mountain, GA
10) and San Juan, PR (for three days)
11) and Jefferson City, MO
12) and Lancaster & Harrisburg, PA
13) and Panama City Beach, FL
14) and then I graduated from high school.
15) I received my two-year AA degree from Gulf Coast Community College.
16) We lived in a lot of hotels when I was growing up.
17) I have memories of going to the dining room where the waitress would get my bowl of cereal, and the schoolbus would pick me up at the main entrance by the front desk.
18) When we moved to Pine Mountain, the schools were still segregated even though it was illegal by then.
19) We lived there when they integrated, though they didn't really. They just created two sections for each grade. They claimed that one section was for the students with higher test scores. I'm sure it was just coincidence that there were only two black students in section A. The only white student to be placed in section B would today be classifed as moderately disabled.
20) I didn't realize any of this at the time, but in my defense I was in 3rd grade.
21) Even with all the moving, I went to 10-12th grade in the same school. I loved my high school experience.
22) I was not involved with any high school activities other than drama club.
23) But I had the best friends. We had bonfires on the beach ALL the time and just had the best times together. I treasure those memories.
24) My closest friend in high school is also a teacher in the midwest now, and she reads my blog. Hi, Lori!
25) My first paying job was sweeping the floors of the 5&10 after school when I was in 4th grade.
26) I began babysitting for hotel guests at Callaway Gardens when I was 12 years old.
27) At 14, I went to work for Jack's Hamburgers, a fast-food restaurant. I was too shy to work the register, so I became a fry cook.
28) After community college, I still didn't know what to major in so I moved to New Orleans and took a job in the sales department of The Royal Orleans Hotel in the French Quarter.
29) While working at the RO, I went on a girls' weekend with some co-workers to Houston. We were able to get free hotel rooms at our sister property.
30) While there, we ran into a bridal party in the ladies room. We were in bathing suits because we had been lounging by the pool. It was a gypsy wedding. They read our palms in the ladies room. They told me I would not be able to give birth, and I would not marry until I was 38. I was very upset by this. I was 19 years old.
31) I took my next job at the Hyatt Regency New Orleans as a secretary for the catering department. I was promoted to Assistant Food & Beverage Controller.
32) I decided, to my father's huge relief, to return to college and get my degree. I went to Florida State University and majored in Hospitality Management.
33) College was a wonderful experience where I met some wonderful people.
34) After college, I moved back to New Orleans. I wanted to stay, but couldn't get a job. I would go to the human resource department of every hotel. While waiting to leave my resume, I would hear them laying off staff. It was a tough time in New Orleans. I worked as a banquet server to earn some money during this time and lived with my cousin.
35) I stayed longer than I should have because she was getting married and I was maid of honor. I hand-beaded her wedding gown during this time, and made my first, and only, triple-tiered heart-shaped wedding cake for my grandparent's vow renewal. I also watched the Challenger disaster.
36) After the wedding, I moved to Fort Lauderdale. The majority of my college friends had gone there after college. For most of them, it was home.
37) I took a job at a clothing store until I found my first position at a new hotel that was not open yet.
38) While living in Fort Lauderdale, we flew to the Bahamas several times for the day. The flight cost $50, round-trip.
39) I also flew to London and met my cousin who was on her first European business trip.
40) I saw Les Miserables for the first time on my first night in London.
41) I fell asleep during the performance. The cannons woke me up.
42) We spent two days touring London before taking the train to Dover and then the overnight ferry to (I think) Calais. We then caught a train to Paris. The plan was to stay three days in Paris and then return for two more days in London. We stayed in Paris and returned to London the same day I was scheduled to fly home.
43) We stayed at a wonderful bed & breakfast called Napoleon House on Rue Bonapart or was it the Bonapart House on Rue Napoleon? I need to dig out my scrapbook. We saw the Louvre, Versailles, Notre Dame, the Eiffel Tower, and more.
44) This was in November. We ate our Thanksgiving dinner in a Parisienne restaurant where we met two very polite soldiers who were there on leave from Germany. They just wanted to talk to two American girls. They were homesick. We had a nice meal and went our separate ways.
45) While riding the Metro, my cousin had her wallet stolen.
46) When we got off the Metro near our hotel, we went looking for the police. I saw some police in the distance and headed towards them trying to get their attention. I got it. I realized then there was some commotion going on and the police had their riot sticks in their hands. We were in the student section and there was some unrest. It was the 80's, I was dressed in leggings, boots, and a jean jacket. I looked exactly like a student. They realized quickly that I was just a clueless tourist and gave us directions to the police station.
47) We reported the theft not expecting anything to happen. We then contacted American Express to get her a new credit card and traveller's checks. Some time later (I think it was years), she was contacted by the Paris police. They had her wallet.
48) When we got back to London, we went to a fancy hotel for Sunday brunch. We wanted to see the English breakfast we had heard so much about. We barely ate anything. It all looked to weird to us or sounded disgusting. The egg yolks were orange, and they had black pudding and blood sausage??? We've both become more adventurous since then.
49) I headed to Heathrow, only to learn after hours of waiting, that all flights were cancelled due to fog. Being an act of God, I received no assistance from the airline. This was Sunday; I made it home on Tuesday.
50) I worked in South Florida for several years before moving back up near my family, which by then had relocated to the coastal part of Alabama.
51) I have three younger sisters.
52) Of course, I love my sisters, but what's really important is that I LIKE them.
53) I have four nephews and one niece.
54) My youngest sister is due with her first child in November. I will then have two nieces.
55) My second youngest sister is also adopting from China. I will then have three nieces.
56) When I was 18 years old and working as a desk clerk, Hollywood came to town and filmed a made-for-TV disaster movie called Condominium. I saw it on TV once and never heard of it again.
57) I had a wonderful time with the cast and crew.
58) We didn't usually have bellmen at the hotel, but we did when this group checked in. That was until we had one last straggler checked in. No bellman, so I carried her bags to her room. It was Ana Alicia, who was starring in Falcon Crest at the time.
59) I was completely starstruck, but quickly realized they were just regular people.
60) I got to meet Barbara Eden who was very soft-spoken and very polite. Her husband called every day and always asked for her by a different pet name.
61) I also met Dan Haggerty. He was always in a "partying mood," if you get my drift, and always had at least three young girls hanging off of him. I was not impressed.
62) I was very impressed with Richard Anderson. He wanted to know how the switchboard worked. I let him behind the desk and taught him. My boss caught him answering the phone and took me into the office to chastise me. Mr. Anderson came to my defense.
63) I was in my "party" phase of life. Some of the people from the cast and crew would join my friends and I at various local hotspots to dance. My friends and I went out dancing about 4-5 nights a week. Only the young can live with as little sleep as I got then.
64) As thanks, I was invited to watch filming - it was amazing - and to attend the wrap party. The producer gave me his card and told me to call him if I was ever in LA. I never went to LA, but I still have his card. :o)
65) Two years later, when I was living in New Orleans, I saw a report on the local news that the unemployment office was taking applications for film extras. The next day my friend from work and I applied on our lunch break. We filled out applications and they took Polaroid pictures.
66) My friend was 5'10" and gorgeous. She had been a teen model for Seventeen magazine. I was 5'6", size 16, and had a gap between my front teeth. I got the callback. I told her they were obviously looking for realism and not beauty. :o)
67) I had to bring three outfits. I spent the day walking across Jackson Square and sitting at a table at the Court of Two Sisters restaurant. I was paid $60.00 and had a wonderful time. The movie starred Gil Gerard. I never saw the movie and don't know what it was called. They changed the name after filming. After typing this, I did some research. This movie was hiding. It's not even listed as one of Gil Gerard's movies on IMDB. I was able to find the name, however, by contacting a woman who hosts a website devoted to Gil. It was called Johnny Blue.
68) After years of working in the hotel/condominium industry, I became a gourmet food/cheese buyer for a New Orleans retail operation. I took their sales for my department from just over $100,000 to over $1,000,000. They eliminated my position the same week I was planning to request a switch to part-time. I had decided to return to school and get my teaching license.
69) I was unemployed for several months. I did return to college, but this was the hardest time in my life. My confidence was severely shaken.
70) I felt much better when I learned that the person who absorbed my responsibilties with her own failed dramatically. Sales plummeted, and they recruited my former assistant. Said former assistant called to get my blessing and give me this news. I'm a bad, bad person for being happy when someone else failed.
71) Found a position that would allow me to contine my classes and earn enough money to live on.
72) Went through huge flood and lost the majority of my possessions. Boy, when you put out into the universe that you want to start over, you better be prepared for it to happen.
73) Fell in love with my husband whom I met online. The story is here.
74) After living a lifetime (minus two) years in the south, moved to the north.
75) Had to learn to drive in snow, which is easier than walking in it.
76) Realized that along with bad sense of balance, I have a fear of falling on the ice and not being able to get back up.
77) Spent my honeymoon at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island because Jim knew I loved Somewhere in Time and he had fond memories of Mackinac Island from childhood.
78) Within six months, my husband and I married, built a house, and had his mother, brother, and niece move in with us. His mother stayed about two months. His brother and niece stayed for almost two years.
79) My marriage survived that. :o)
80) By the way, did I mention that I got married when I was 38? And that I can't have children? See #30 to see why this is freaky.
81) I became a teacher at 40. I teach business and computer classes. I've never taken a computer class. I'm self-taught. I do, however, have a bachelor's degree in business, plus 20 years experience.
82) I was 41 when we decided to adopt. Because of various delays, some within our control, but mostly out of our control, we're still waiting.
83) I will be a first-time mother at 45. Sometimes I think I've lost my mind, then I look around at the people we know and they all have young children and babies. We're not that unusual after all.
84) I say I'm three years older than my husband. He says four. It's actually three and a half. He's a December baby; I'm a July.
85) I now live about two hours from Chicago, and I'm a teacher. I learned after I moved up here that my great grandmother from Chicago was a teacher .
86) I have opened a restaurant and created all the recipes from scratch.
87) I have judged poultry, cows, and pigs as well as won ribbons in sewing and cooking as a member of 4-H. I was in the 7th grade for most of that.
88) When living in Pine Mountain, GA, I attended the summer recreation program run by the Florida State University Flying High Circus. I've swung on a trapeze and climbed the spider rope. I'm not athletically talented. It took a lot of work on the part of those poor counselors to get me to do that.
89) I am, however, a very good swimmer. I passed the lifeguard test when I was 12 and too young to be certified.
90) This did not translate to waterskiing, which the poor counselors also tried to teach me.
91) On that trip to Houston I mentioned earlier, we went to Gilley's. This was the cowboy bar where they filmed Urban Cowboy. Urban Cowboy had just come out, so it was packed. I was the only one who didn't own my own cowboy hat.
92) I spent the month of November 1994 with my youngest sister in New York City. I had always dreamed of living in NY. I got to experience it for a little while. We saw as many plays as we could afford. We lived at the TKTS booth. We also were invited to a party at the Phantom of the Opera offices off Broadway to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. The parade literally passed below the windows of the offices.
93) I learned how to can foods about three years ago. Okay, salsa. But since then, I've made and canned pepper jelly and strawberry preserves, too.
94) I can't, however, grow the food to can.
95) When I was six months old, I received a rubber set of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. I still have Snow White and five of the dwarves. We lost two of them moving when I was around five or six. I'm still sad about that.
96) My favorite food is shrimp.
97) I can be very picky about food. Mayonnaise, must be Hellman's. Chicken, white meat only. All signs of discernible fat must be trimmed from any meat. On the other hand, I love raw oysters and escargot.
98) My favorite candy is called Baci. It's Italian.
99) In 2000, my aunts found my baby picture in a frame being sold in an antique store. This antique store was no where near any place my family had lived. I have the original photograph. My father was the photographer. He doesn't remember giving anyone a copy of it. There is no doubt it's my picture.
100) I love, love, love to read. The first book I remember reading that wasn't a "baby" book was called Ballet Shoes by Noel Streatfeild. The book actually was out of print, but it came back out after You've Got Mail where it was mentioned by Meg Ryan's character. You've Got Mail is also the first movie Jim and I went to see together, and it's about a couple who first meet online. Ironic, huh?