because you can never know too much

Here are 8 random facts about me, inspired by Sarala of Blogaway, where you’ll find an awesome collection of photos–I especially love those of one of my favorite cities in the world, Chicago.

OK, back to me. Random. Eight. Go.

1. When I was younger, probably from the ages of 8-13, I wanted to be an astronaut. In the middle of those, the Space Shuttle Challenger exploded, and I wanted to be an astronaut more than ever (I’m guessing my parents *really* hoped it was just a phase).

2. I got myself a small telescope by selling cards and stationery with a company called Olympia or something like that. Anyone remember this? You got so many points for each dollar sold? The telescope was red and black and oh how I loved it so. Summer nights were the best.

3. My favorite constellation was, and is, Cassiopeia. For a class assignment, we had to invent a constellation by poking holes through a piece of black construction paper and then connecting the “stars” with chalk. I modified Cassiopeia so that it had a face to go along with what I thought looked like ears and named it “Cattiopeia.”

4. Not surprisingly, it was my dream to attend Space Camp in Huntsville, Alabama.

5. Also not surprisingly, there wasn’t enough stationery in the world that was going to make that happen. As compensation, my mother bought me sweatpants and a t-shirt from either the JC Penney or Sears “Space Camp” line. And I wore them. For far too long. In fact, I kind of wish they still fit me.

6. On a night that Jack Horkheimer told me there would be a shooting star show, I set up camp with a blanket and snacks in the back of my grandfather’s old red and white pick-up truck–and didn’t see a one.

7. In fact, I don’t remember seeing any shooting stars until I came to Italy, and now I see them quite frequently–and make a wish every time.

8. I have no vivid recollection as to why I scrapped the whole astronaut idea, but it probably had to do with all the math and science. Just a guess.

Still want to know more about me? There are 100 things, another 100 things, a photo meme, and a bunch of stuff in the “meme time” and “me me me” categories.

Now here are the rules for anyone who’d like to play (I’m not tagging anyone, but if you’d like to share some secrets, I’m all eyes):

* Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.

* People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.

* At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.

* Donโ€™t forget to leave them a comment telling them theyโ€™re tagged, and to read your blog.

As you can see I’ve broken the rules, so let’s go one further. Even if you only share your randomness in the comments here, you’ll make me happy.

You want me to be happy, right?

OK then. In the words of my favorite Star Gazer: Keep looking up!


[tags]memes, 8 random facts about me[/tags]

25 Beans of Wisdom to “because you can never know too much”
  1. Antonino Condorelli

    Secrets? I had a little telescope when I was 9 or maybe 10 years old. It was white and black. It was a Christmas gift, and i spent a lot of evening during all seaseons looking the shy, but I never have been able to see a star with it. My secret is that when I was a child I also wanted to be an astronaut or a Jet pilot, and I don’t know why I’m a photojournalist now. Boh!!!

  2. Tina

    Wow, that’s like, spacey! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Ok, my random 8…
    1. One of my best friends is visiting from Alaska and is sleeping while I write this. I like sleep overs.
    2. I’m going back to Italy on March 10, 2008, for a month – and things will happen during that month that really define my destiny. Stay tuned!
    3. I have to check the door three times after I’ve locked it when leaving the house, just to make sure.
    4. I think in Italian.
    5. I’m nervous about what some of my family members must think about me.
    6. When I was somewhere between the ages of 6 and 8, my cousin OJ (who is five years older than me) came over and he, my father and I camped out in the backyard under the stars. I couldn’t sleep all night because I was watching the big dipper.
    7. The big dipper is my favorite constellation, because the two times (or three?) that I’ve been an expat, I’ve always been able to spot it right away in the sky, and since I recognize it right away and know that I’m sleeping under the same stars as my family in Seattle.
    8. Um, I like this blog.

  3. sognatrice

    Antonino, really? You wanted to be an astronaut too? I never got really good at the telescope either; perhaps that’s another reason my dream died. Funny I never had any aspirations of flying anything like a plane–I suppose I wanted to leave the atmosphere and that was that. And now here we both are obsessed with words and photos…hmm….

    Tina, yeah! You played! I’m very much staying tuned on what will happen…I don’t comment often, but I do faithfully read your blog through Bloglines ๐Ÿ™‚ As for Number 5, eh, screw ’em! Can’t please everyone–can only please yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰ Ah, and I rather enjoy the Big Dipper too. Truth be told, it’s the *only* constellation I can always find. Must get studying up, though, since the stars are amazing here–so many just about every night (and as Antonino said, in all seasons!).

  4. Blame It on Paris

    Me, too, for space camp. My favorite constellation is the Southern Cross, but Cassiopeia is a good one, too. Cattiopeia–even better!

  5. Antonino Condorelli

    Honestly all regarding to fly, or go down in the blue deep of the sea or in the darkest caves of the earth has always interested me. When I must organize a trip I want to travel by plane. Fly on the world is a wonderful experience. I like it so much.
    Obsessions? Well I think you have forgotten an other thing in common: FOOD… Do you remember bunnies?

  6. -R-

    Jack Horkheimer! We used to have to watch his show in my high school astronomy class. I always thought it was the cheesiest thing ever. But my husband loves it. He is also an astronomy buff.

    Cute list!

  7. sarala

    My father wanted to be an astronaut back in the 60’s when the moon launches were happening. He almost did it too. My life (if it happened at all) would have been very different if he had.
    My favorite constellation is Orion–I can always find the belt even in an urban sky.
    Another unknown about me–I took an astronomy class in Los Angeles. Seeing the constellations there was quite a challenge.

  8. goodthomas

    I was never a star gazer. I am not sure why, perhaps I just lacked the discipline, I think, with trying to connect the dots up there.

    But that has never stopped me from being utterly blown away by the beauty of an immensely black sky with white diamonds sprinkled about. And the moon. My goodness, the moon was amazing two nights ago — just a giant grey/brown ball hovering in the sky. So low, so large, so . . . reachable.

    And I share your great love of Chicago as well, obviously.

  9. sognatrice

    Paris, ooh, Southern Cross…good one! All this talk of stargazing, I sure hope it’s a clear night!

    Antonino, I could never forget the bunnies!

    R, cheesy = good. I could’ve sworn you knew that ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Sarala, yes, what a difference if your father had become an astronaut! I like Orion too, but I have a bit of a scarring memory attached to it…a stupid guy story, but perhaps someday I’ll write about it ๐Ÿ˜‰

    gt, ooh a good moon is so wonderful. I wish I had a better camera so I could take photos of it because we’ve had some gorgeous ones that I remember well. You know I was only in Chicago once, but I just loved every moment–I suppose it’s clichรฉ to say it’s my kind of town, but well….

  10. The Moon Topples

    Kind of a shame you scuttled your dream of touching space. We could use more dreamers and writers up there.

    I have a story about the Challenger explosion I’ll relate on my blog one of these days, and it has also become a plot point in my novel.

    Also, not sure if you know already, but there are lots of photographs of Chicago on my Flickr page (link in the sidebar of my blog).

  11. sognatrice

    Moon, intriguing info about the Challenger explosion; I look forward to reading it. As for my space dream, not sure I could’ve handled all the physics, but if they’d open it up for an honorary astronaut, I could do that! Sometimes I feel like I live among the stars anyway!

    Thanks for the tip on your Flickr page–I didn’t know!

  12. Paolo

    Michelle, if you’d a listened to Fast Eddie, you’d a had the world and the moon by the balls, so there.

    Still, there’s always the Russians – so long as “you are medically fit to withstand the rigour of a space flight, if you are flexible in time to pass all the preparatory training, and the most important -if you are dreaming to be one of those…”

    I know it’s just another mercoledรฌ over there… but have a nice Fourth anyway.

  13. Delina

    I love watching the stars. One downside of living in a city is that the glare takes the shine away from the stars.

  14. Aimee

    That’s really cool! We actually are star gazing nuts ourselves. We love to go out in the summer with our scopes and see what we can see. Of course, in the city it gets kind of hard at times… but it’s so much fun!

  15. BecsLifeOnline

    From the age of about 13 or 14 I wanted to be a primary (elementary?) school teacher. This ambition stuck with me for many years but then I had one WEEK work experience doing just that, and I hated every second of it. Needless to say, I don’t want to teach 5 year olds anymore.

  16. Kimberly

    What a neat thing to learn about you! =)

  17. Calabrisella

    I can see you wanting to be an astronaut! i can only imagen….

    my 8 random secrets…
    1. mMmmMm…. i love making Fichi Ripieni alla Calabrese…Stuffed Figs Calabrian Style…and eating all the ingredients while making ’em… almonds… heeeheee ๐Ÿ˜‰

    2. i can only cry by myself..
    (hate looking Vulnerable)…i know stupid…right!?

    3. wish i had a time machine…not to change anything in my life…but so i could go to any era and experience everything from prehistoria , middle ages, birth of technology all the way to the beatles…etc… brain is scrambled if i don’t do yoga in the mornings… don’t ask me why?

    5. my patera (father) is my best friend…

    6. All the girls in my famiglia
    (including me) play the harp.

    7. as a kid i made minature homes out of random stuff, such as, corcs, caps, little pieces of wood ‘n glass , clothes,etc…

    8. i wanted to be Thumbelina size… so i could live in my minature homes… i wished and wished and hoped… but it didnt happen :-/

    this was fun!

  18. Kathy

    I had that same telescope from selling cards or whatever it was!

    Oooh, this is going to be fun…give me a couple days to think of 8 random facts about myself, I’ll post them on my blog!

  19. lacey kaye

    I didn’t see moonlight until I was 16. The moon, yes, of course–but that beautiful silvery cast the moon makes when it’s dark? 16.

  20. sognatrice

    Thanks for the 4th wishes, and for the Russian info! You think I’d have to speak Russian?

    Delina, the lack of stars was one big drawback to living in the city for me. When I’d go to my hometown (about 2 hours away), it was usually in the dark by car, and there was one particular spot on the way when it seemed that stars emerged out of nowhere. I’ll never forget that spot ๐Ÿ™‚

    Aimee, yeah! Another couple of gazers!

    Bec, hah! I never, ever wanted to be a teacher, especially of young children. Now interestingly enough I may end up doing just that on a small scale…should be interesting!

    Kim, it’s funny that as I was writing this, I was remembering just *how* big a part of me this was when I was young, and now it’s all but disappeared. Sometimes it’s nice to reclaim bits of yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Calabrisella, since I’ve started doing yoga again, I find the same is true–your body and mind get used to it so quickly! I’d love to see those miniature homes…how fun! Thanks for playing ๐Ÿ™‚

    Kathy, really? You had one too? OK, at least I know I didn’t imagine that whole selling cards thing now ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can’t wait to read your 8!

    Lacey Kaye, how tragic! I hope you’ve made up for it since then ๐Ÿ™‚

  21. Tara Lynn Johnson

    ha! great things to know about you. And I read your 100 things (both). Conan rules. As does Al Gore. I remember and LOVED S.R.A. And Ack-a-me had me crackin’ up (Philly in da house!).


  22. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Ahh… my Patron Saint of Kitchens with no ceilings… hee hee…

    I am a stargazer myself. I teach astronomy in two places here in Denver. BIG fan of it.
    I also sold the Olympia stuff too (WOW flashback… haven’t thought about that in 100 years…) but never got that scope.
    I wound up with a good one eventually, and a lot of books and nights outside.
    There are meteor showers every month, all of them named for the constellations that they appear to be coming out of, if you go to, you will find the international meteor organization and on page left about halfway down is a calendar of all the meteor showers every month for every year. Start planning wishes.
    Italy and Colorado are on the same latitude, so the meteor showers/constellations that we see here, you see there. We are under one sky (in the northen hemisphere anyway…)
    Cassiopeia is awesome. There’s a lot to look at in it, even with binoculars.

    Wishing you dark skies

    Scarlett & Viaggiatore

  23. sognatrice

    TLJ, my you deserve some kind of award for going through all of that! Thanks for sticking through it (and I’m *so* glad someone else remembers SRA) ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Scarlett, thanks so much for the link! It’s impossible for me to wrap my head around the fact that we literally see the same stars, but that doesn’t stop me from trying ๐Ÿ™‚ I didn’t realize you taught astronomy! How fun! I will have many questions as the summer goes on I think….

  24. Wanderlust Scarlett

    Just an FYI… in the sky right now you will see Venus (obnoxiously bright, in the western evening/dusk), Mars ruddy and red, overhead, and Jupiter coming up from the east later in the evening.

    …as the world turns…

    HA HA HA… sorry. couldn’t resist.

    BTW – Leo, the lion constellation, has a red heart star, the heart of a lion. This reg-giant star is called Regulus, it is east of Orion when you look up, so we won’t be able to see it until fall now. Regulus is 3.5 times the mass of our sun, and about 78 light years from earth. (One light year is 6 trillion miles… there’s some math)… but I thought Leonardo might like to know that.
    I’ll have to blog about it later.

    S & V

  25. sognatrice

    Oh my goodness Scarlett, thanks! You rock! I’m so excited to stargaze tonight!!!! Leonardo is very excited to know about the red star, since he also has a red heart on him as well ๐Ÿ™‚

Michelle KaminskyMichelle Kaminsky is an American attorney-turned-freelance writer who lived in her family's ancestral village in Calabria, Italy for 15 years. This blog is now archived. 

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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