Another 100 Things About Me

Woohoo! It’s my 100th post!

And to celebrate, here are another 100 things about me (get your cup of coffee or whatever now, because you could be here a while):

  1. I’m a sucker for animals, but not so much birds until my owl Filippo came along. I would have a zoo if it were physically and economically possible.
  2. People in my southern Italian village think I’m strange because I touch (in a loving way) just about any animal that crosses my path. I’m quite certain that’s not the only reason they think I’m strange. Living away from my family is another biggie.
  3. I’ve learned that Americans and Italians do just about everything differently. Some things I’ve changed (I now peel all fruit), but most I’ve kept the same. Assimilation is just a 12 letter word, and yes I had to count that out on my fingers. Twice to be sure.
  4. I cook at least one meal from scratch a day, oftentimes two. It’s the truth, yo.
  5. I like cheeseburgers with ketchup, mayonnaise, onion, lettuce, and tomato, but I like hot dogs with mustard and onions. I don’t believe mustard should ever touch vegetables.
  6. One of my favorite meals is sauerkraut, pork, mashed potatoes, and applesauce, and each bite must contain some of each one of those or else something’s off. This is my family’s traditional New Year’s Day dish, by the way; drinking too much on New Year’s Eve is beyond discouraged. Coincidence?
  7. Speaking of German stuff, my mother is Pennsylvania Dutch, which does not mean Amish or Dutch, but it does mean “Pennsylvania German” more or less.
  8. I put the toilet paper roll so that the paper comes from underneath. I find it’s easier to snap off with one hand, and, thus, more convenient. I also find that children can’t spin the hell out of it and leave it in a ball on the floor. Please don’t bombard me with comments on why I’m wrong. La la la…I’m not listening….and by the way, do not think you’re doing me a favor by switching it when you come to my house.
  9. I like things organized, but I’m not really a clean freak. For instance, I hate mopping floors, so for the most part, I don’t. This, I reason, is because I don’t need to eat off my floors. I think it’s good reasoning.
  10. I have an uncanny ability to remember birth dates, theme songs, and commercial jingles, but people’s names often escape me. The frequency of this phenomenon has increased with age.
  11. I first saw the movie Jerry Maguire in a special screening at my university, and I’ve seen it another, oh, 81 (or so) times since. I believe most occurrences in life can be answered with a quote from that movie that’s not “Show me the money!” I know many of you doubt this, but if you explore this possibility, I think you’ll find it to be true.
  12. I used to like Tom Cruise a real lot, but, well, you know the rest.
  13. I have no tattoos or interesting piercings and no desire to obtain them.
  14. I have sung on stage in public (and have pictures to prove it), although not many people know I can carry a tune. Welcome to the club.
  15. I can play the flute (or at least I could 15 years ago) and would like to learn to play the guitar. The piano doesn’t much interest me though.
  16. I’m a United States/Italian dual citizen, which is completely possible and legal. If anyone would like information on the jure sanguinis process, please feel free to email me.
  17. I got Italian citizenship through my grandmother’s bloodline, but it would’ve been much quicker and easier to just get hitched. 20/20 as they say.
  18. I have my Italian-born great-grandmother’s and great-great-grandfather’s original American citizenship certificates framed here in my house in Italy.
  19. I live minutes from the beach, but I’m so not a beach person.
  20. Because of my pasty white skin, I am asked approximately a million times every summer why I don’t like the beach. I did not inherit my grandmother’s olive complexion, but at least the blood got me something.
  21. I didn’t touch my hair color until I was in my mid 20s, but I haven’t highlighted in about 4 years now. All my natural color is back and has regained its natural highlights, which is kinda cool. I’m also gaining some white stragglers, though, which is not so cool and means I will likely start adding some artificial color soon.
  22. I’ve begun using anti-wrinkle cream around my eyes, and I am not ashamed.
  23. I used to have a lot of sinus problems in America, but I haven’t really had any since I moved to Italy.
  24. On the other hand, I’m now allergic to cigarette smoke, although I wasn’t when I was in America (although I’ve always hated it).
  25. I’ve also developed a disturbing allergy to most lip glosses. If anyone has ideas on this, do tell.
  26. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had an inexplicable fascination with the Kennedy family.
  27. I was on the phone with a friend talking about “The Kennedy Curse” for three hours on the evening that JFK, Jr.’s plane went down. I was completely freaked out by the news the next morning, and still feel so every now and again when I think about this odd coincidence.
  28. I’ve always been a Democrat, one might even say a “yellow dog Democrat.” For those who don’t know, that means I’d sooner vote for a yellow dog than a Republican. Thank you Dean Wilson for teaching me this.
  29. I really, truly believe Al Gore won the presidential election in 2000.
  30. And I still really, really believe in Al Gore. I don’t care if people think he’s boring. I don’t need my president to make me laugh.
  31. For that, I have Conan O’Brien. One might say I have a lil’ crush on him.
  32. I’ve met him briefly and seen his show in person a handful of times, although I’ve neither lived in nor much like New York City.
  33. However I do like Boston—for me to poop on!
  34. No, seriously, I love Boston; most of my friends from college are from the greater Boston area. I went to college in North Carolina. You figure it out.
  35. On the Beantown tip, I was also a New Kids on the Block freak. Joey Mac all the way, baby. You know, if I were still 13 years old.
  36. I met him once as well. In New York City. Again, I’ve never lived there. You see how far my fan obsessions can run then.
  37. I’m not very good at hiding my emotions. If you’re paying attention, you know where you stand with me.
  38. My first job was as a waitress at a drive-in—diner, not movie theater. And no, I didn’t grow up in the 50s or have to wear roller skates, but I can make those really cool swirls in a soft serve ice cream cone with the best of ’em.
  39. I also worked at an amusement park, operating rides. Cleaning up vomit was the least fun part of that job; letting overweight kids use my thigh as a step stool to get into the “Italian Trapeze” is a close second. The coolest part? Using into the microphone to tell people to keep their arms and legs inside the car, stay behind the yellow line, etc. Oh the power!
  40. I worked in a lawyer’s office for a summer before I went to law school, hated it, and then went to law school anyway. I know, I know. I’m a slow learner.
  41. Speaking of which, I went to Head Start, which I always thought meant I was a slow learner. Only much later did I find out it just meant we were poor.
  42. I started kindergarten when I was four years old, which means I graduated when I was 17 years old.
  43. I already knew how to read when I showed up that first day.
  44. I’ve always been a great speller, going so far as the written test before qualifying for the National Spelling Bee when I was 10 years old.
  45. I was frequently bored throughout elementary school and probably did twice the amount of work of most students just to keep busy. Does anyone else remember S.R.A.? Those stories and reading comprehension quizzes? I remember a report card saying I was a real “eager beaver” with those, and I’m convinced that’s why I hated those questions so much on future standardized tests.
  46. During college, I worked in The University Store and got a 20% discount. I and my family wore way more collegiate paraphernalia than was truly necessary.
  47. Also during college, I was a member of a national service fraternity—yes, you read that right. It was a brotherhood even though there were plenty of gals involved. There were very few social events as the entire group revolved around volunteering.
  48. I did over 100 hours worth of service and worked with battered women, sick children, the elderly, AIDS patients, underprivileged children, and many others. My favorite activities were playing with the children at the hospital and serving as a Girl Scout leader.
  49. During law school, I was a professor’s research assistant and also wrote legal articles for the oldest law journal in the United States, Philadelphia’s Legal Intelligencer.
  50. In high school, I was a statistician for both the boys’ basketball and baseball teams. It was really fun except for when one of the parents got on my ass about not crediting his son the number of assists he was sure he had dished. High school records and possible retiring of jerseys were at stake!
  51. If you think that’s extreme, you should see how people react to high school football where I live. Think “Friday Night Lights” (at least the book; I haven’t seen the TV show or the movie) and you’re on the right track. My high school has the most wins in the state of Pennsylvania, by the way. Go Big Red!
  52. Despite having football pushed down my throat, I love, love, love going to baseball games. I dropped a lot of disposable income on Phillies games when I lived in Philly.
  53. I often read magazines and newspapers from back to front. Yet another trait I get from my mother.
  54. I studied Latin for four years in high school, which seemed pointless at the time but actually helped a lot with the verbal section of the SAT and also with learning Italian.
  55. I studied German for a year in college but stopped because I realized I wasn’t going to be able to fulfill any more requirements with German classes. I got an A both semesters, and was quite good, but now I forget just about everything.
  56. I didn’t take Italian because the time conflicted with one of the courses in my English major.
  57. If I had known then what I know now, I would’ve stuck with German *and* switched my history major to Italian. I still would’ve kept the English major though.
  58. I’ve still never taken a proper Italian class, but I’m currently studying Italian grammar on my own. I feel like although I can communicate, I can’t express myself in exactly the way I want all the time. Particularly for a writer, this is extremely frustrating.
  59. I can draw and paint reasonably well, but I’ve never had any formal training unless you count high school art class (I wouldn’t).
  60. I *love* home remodeling shows and magazines.
  61. I was raised Catholic, but grew apart from the religion for essentially two reasons: (1) the Church’s treatment of women and (2) its disturbing emphasis on money.
  62. I believe in the saints, though, as I still believe in miracles and respect those that are called by a higher power to sacrifice their lives for others.
  63. I believe that Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, and Ghandi were the greatest humanitarians in history.
  64. I don’t believe in capital or corporal punishment.
  65. I used to think that a man lived in our cubby hole (attached to my bedroom), but not like the Bogeyman—more like a homeless man. Oh, I was in my teens.
  66. Then one day my cousin (about 3 years old at the time) opened that door toward her and it flew back shut for no apparent reason. She froze with her mouth gaping open before I scooped her up and took her downstairs. After that, I never had the feeling that someone was in there anymore.
  67. I’ve never seen any Star Wars movies or Star Trek episodes or movies, and I probably never will.
  68. But I love astronomy and anything that has to do with space.
  69. I also love anatomy but really don’t like blood. Once something’s pickled, apparently, I have no problems exploring.
  70. My mom is a nurse, and I vividly remember someone asking me if I wanted to be a nurse like my mom when I was about 4 years old, to which I replied, “NOOOO!”
  71. I stopped growing in 7th grade, which means I hit my maximum height (5’2”/157.5 cm although my ID says 160) at 11 years old.
  72. My grandfather (from where I get my last name) had Lithuanian heritage. And no, that’s not the same as Polish.
  73. I’ve always wanted to learn sign language, but now I’ve realized that Italian Sign Language and American Sign Language aren’t the same, so I’m torn. I’d like to be able to teach this to my baby (if I ever have one) because I’ve read that it’s a good way for babies to communicate and feel understood. But I have to pick a language first.
  74. I really like scented candles, but I have to extinguish them outside because the smell of extinguished candles makes P sick to his stomach. Then I end up forgetting them outside in the rain, and they get filled with water; it can take weeks for them to be usable again.
  75. Even in extreme heat, I can’t sleep without some sort of cover—at least a sheet draped over my middle section or I’ll be tossin’ and turnin’ all night.
  76. I would love for Luna to sleep on the bed, but P ain’t havin’ it. Big meanie.
  77. I had the chicken pox when I was six months old, and then I got a staph infection from my mom (nurses bring home nasty stuff/staph (hah!) sometimes) on top of it. Apparently I screamed a lot, but I don’t have any memories or physical scars, so I’m glad it all went down when it did.
  78. I didn’t have any scars until I was in a car accident as a passenger when I was 12 years old. My mom was driving and the car skidded on ice, head-on into another car. Both cars were totaled, and my mom was pretty badly injured, mostly because she was reaching across to car to hold me back. But I had my seatbelt on and was sleeping—didn’t wake up until everything was over, which they say was a good thing because then I didn’t try to resist the natural flow of movement. I only had a small cut on my knee where it went into the glove compartment.
  79. But I was closer to death when P and I first got together—our third date or so. Always eager to make a lasting impression, I got some meat lodged in my throat (and I mean *no* air was getting in) and he literally had to do the Heimlich to dislodge it. You know that saying about your life passing before your eyes? Totally true. So yeah, P saved my life.
  80. I wish I had all of the books I had to read in college here with me now so I could actually appreciate them without highlighting anything.
  81. I really don’t like to shave my legs, but oh how I love the feeling of them in pants when they’re freshly dehaired.
  82. I’ve had glasses for near-sightedness since I was 8 or 9 years old; I am now extremely, extremely near-sighted. My brother is near-sighted as well, but neither of our parents are.
  83. If I’m outdoors and it’s not raining, I’m probably wearing sunglasses. Even when it’s overcast, it can still be darn bright you know.
  84. I was very late in getting a cell phone (it was 2002, I believe), and I’m not interested in any kind of special features. I like being accessible when I want, not being expected to respond to emails immediately, and having a digital camera for photos.
  85. I don’t have an iPod, and I don’t want one.
  86. I hate getting up early, but I love the feeling of being up early.
  87. On that note, I don’t like people who act superior because they are awake at the crack of dawn. It just means you probably go to bed before most children, so step off your pedestal please.
  88. I can be shy around strangers, but can be hard to shut up around people I know well.
  89. I like to make up stupid songs about just about anything happening at the moment, often incorporating Luna.
  90. I have kept a journal for as long as I can remember.
  91. I’ve never wanted blonde hair or blue eyes, which is probably evident in the fact that I’ve never dyed my hair blonde or gotten colored contacts. I wouldn’t mind black hair though.
  92. I have a really, really strong sweet tooth. I like the things that most people find sickening like marshmallow peeps (made not too far from my hometown) and circus peanuts. FYI, P doesn’t eat sweets.
  93. On the other hand, I don’t care for salt (I scrape it off pretzels), and P usually has to add more at the table when I cook.
  94. I alphabetize just about everything.
  95. I’ve never tried sushi, and I’m going to be honest with you, I don’t see it happening in the near future.
  96. I’ve never had a pedicure or manicure.
  97. I dislike insects and insect-like things, but they only freak me out if they move quickly. Then all bets are off, and I’m standing on a chair.
  98. I’ve never bitten my nails or cracked my knuckles, but I did go through a pen chewing phase. Now I find all of these things disgusting.
  99. The first perfume I remember wearing is Love’s Baby Soft, if you can consider that a perfume.
  100. I could probably do another 20 of these lists and still not run out of things to say. Does that make me self-centered?


[tags]100 things about me, 100 things lists, 100 things about me lists, memes[/tags]

27 Beans of Wisdom to “Another 100 Things About Me”
  1. laxlaw

    So many, many things I did not know about you …

    But, you had me with the Love’s Baby Soft (used to be my favorite!)

  2. Giulia

    I’d love to write up one of these on my blog, but the thought of writing so much about myself and getting no responses turns me off to the whole idea.

    P wont let Luna sleep in the bed? I guess you have to give him that one… he did save your life, after all. 😉

    NKOTB fan here too! They were the first concert I ever went to see. I was a huge Jordan fan though.

    Happy 100th post!

  3. Sharon

    Love that you are a Conan fan. And I get the *Poop on* thing.
    Two of my kids work in Boston and one reminds me of Conan…but my son is better looking. Happy next 100 posts!

  4. Judith in Umbria

    Well, yes, but that’s OK. I’m enjoying it.
    You have to have a BIG crush on Conan because he is enoooormous. I’ve met him and I got a crick in my neck.

  5. Anonymous

    #25 the lip gloss allergy. I’m not a big cosmetics person and have only bought 1 lipstick in Italy but it made my lips go all tingly and weird feeling. Then someone told me they put something in it that makes your lips ‘plump up’!!!!! no doubt some sort of allergen! Not sure about the gloss if it’s the same or not.
    For some reason you’re shorter than i’d imagined. Vanessa

  6. Dave in Seattle

    OK, I’ve never posted here before. I’ve been following your blog for the last couple of weeks. Someone else linked you and I haven’t been able to stop reading.

    Today, when you referenced Jerry Maguire, I just had to go do some research. When I read the line from Avery Bishop: “Don’t ever stop fucking me!” I just busted out laughing so hard. Thank you for that!

  7. Paolo

    Yeah, when I visited my Abruzzese relatives, I grabbed a pear after dinner and bit into it. They thought it was the goofiest thing anyone had ever done. Man did I feel like the “country cousin…”

  8. franca

    Ciao Sognatrice.

    We have so many things in common…keeping a journal, being a sucker for animals, never eating sushi, taking forever to get a cell phone, never having a pedicure/manicure, never wanting blonde hair (but wanting black hair), needing to sleep with a cover, even in the summer…I feel like I know you so well now. Aww, another kindred spirit. :).

  9. Becslifeonline

    Thanks for sharing more about you. SO many of these things are true for me also! We don’t mind if you do another 20 ha ha ha.

  10. Anne

    That is some true committment, 100 things. My mid started to wander a couple of weeks ago when I did a ‘7 things’ meme!

  11. Enza

    Can i just say that i have not met many people who love pork roast and sauerkraut with applesauce. That is our all time favorite meal here. And u are so right, u have to have just the right mix of applesauce and sauerkraut. My husband grew up eating this for New years as well and well i just kept the tradition going. Also Love’s Baby Soft was the bomb! 🙂

  12. -R-

    You’re not self-centered; you just know yourself very well and have lots of things to say!

    PS Just the thought of circus peanuts makes me gag.

  13. Kali

    OMG…”I don’t like people who act superior because they are awake at the crack of dawn. It just means you probably go to bed before most children, so step off your pedestal please.” This is exactly how my boss acts!

    We have a lot of things in common too, and Love’s Baby Soft was my favorite!

  14. Shan

    Oh my we have so much in common. Want to be best friends?

    This one’s not mine, but my fil has a mustard rule – mustard and cheese never go together. Ever!

    I love Al Gore too. I’d love to see him run.

    I am so with you on the Tom Cruise, Jerry Maguire, NKOTB, Conan, early morning, remodeling shows, and the covers! Oh yes the covers just across the middle.

    And the sign language, taught it to Abby and now Maya. Do you have any idea how cute it is to see Abby sign to Maya. Uber cute!! I suggest teaching it in whatever language your child will be speaking predominantly.

  15. meredith

    I stopped at the sign language to comment that I used baby sign language with my second girl and wish I had know about it with my first. It’s a great way to jump start communication.
    …okay, now back to reading the 100 things…

  16. midnightbunny

    I really adore lists like this. It really shows how much people all over the world tend to have in common, and they also inspire in a way too. Kudos to you. 🙂

  17. Shanna Thompson

    Beautiful blog! Looking forward to reading some more. Congrats on the 100th post. Ahh, Italy … I’m jealous 🙂

  18. Bongga Mom

    What a great way to celebrate your 100th post! I’ll have to steal this idea from you; but even though my 100th post is probably a couple of months away, I have to start thinking of what to write asap…I mean gosh, five things was hard enough. Great read, as usual!

  19. The Other Girl

    I’ve been so bad about commenting here recently, so I want to reiterate that I love your blog and even when it looks like I’m not reading, I’m reading it through Bloglines. And all that is by way of apology because my first comment in ages will concern: toilet paper.

    I always used to load the roll so that the paper comes out underneath (and, for the record, I think the debate over which way is the “correct” way is quite possibly the dumbest argument people have), but once I started buying double rolls, I had to flip them over and have the paper unroll off the top. The bigger rolls get kind of wedged in the paper holder when they’re new and don’t unroll properly if the paper end comes out underneath. Nevertheless, I fully support your bathroom tissue loading preferences.

    Oh, but sushi! You should try it sometime. It can be an acquired taste, but you could ease into it with a brown rice California roll or something.

  20. Tina

    The Love’s Baby Soft? They STILL make it!! My eldest received it for Christmas from her aunt and uncle! I loved that too! Of course I had to put some on myself. 🙂

    Love your 100 things post.

    VERY cute!

  21. Karla


  22. sognatrice

    So many Love’s Baby Soft and Conan lovers! Who woulda thought? And yes, Judith, he is enormous. Or as I’ve heard Vince Vaughan describe himself, freakishly large.

    Giulia, you should definitely do a list; it’s a nice exercise in self-reflection…and I’ll respond 🙂 In fact, I encourage all of you thinking about doing a 100 list to get started…it could take a while!

    Dave, if I’ve introduced just one person to the wisdom of Jerry Maguire, I’ll consider this blog is a success!

    Shan and Meredith, thanks for the sign language support–I think I would probably end up doing American just because it’s easier to find info on it.

    R, I don’t mind that you gag at the thought of circus peanuts…more for me!

    And to all my other kindred spirits, wow, you’re kinda weird 😉

  23. chris & erin

    I just loved ready through both of your 100-lists and the me-not me photo post! I’ve enjoyed reading your blog, and noticed that you were above my comments on several other blogs today since I’m sure we read many of the same ones!

    This list did make me smile and sometimes chuckle out loud! It’s a great ida…maybe a future “to-do” on our site as well.

  24. Emily

    I love your blog! I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

  25. Cherrye

    I am SUPER late in reading this post, but, hey, I like to make an entrance, what can I say?

    BTW, I met Al Gore once and he stopped what he was doing and reached over to shake my hand. My right hand. I’ll let you touch it next time I see you! 🙂

  26. 05.29.2009

    So I am a little late in reading this but to be fair I just found your blog a few months ago! I didn’t know you were a Philly kid too. I lived there for almost 8 years. I did my undergrad at Temple! Miss it but mostly I miss going to Phillies games. Have you been to the new stadium yet?

    Nicole’s last blog post..Like two peas in a pod

    Well I’m not a Philly kid, but I did live there for five years as an adult 😉 I haven’t been to the new stadium as it was built after I left…but the Vet was like a second home for me!

Michelle FabioMichelle Fabio is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer living in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy and savoring simplicity one sip at a time. 

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Homemade apple butter
Green beans, potatoes, and pancetta
Glazed Apple Oatmeal Cinnamon Muffins
Pasta with snails alla calabrese
Onion, Oregano, and Thyme Focaccia
Oatmeal Banana Craisin Muffins
Prosciutto wrapped watermelon with bel paese cheese
Fried eggs with red onion and cheese
Calabrian sausage and fava beans
Ricotta Pound Cake