I am taking a break from regularly scheduled programming to bring you this, my 100th blog post!  I will definitely come back to writing the conclusion of my “Unclutter Your Life in One Week” project and Gratitude Sunday will be back next week.  In the meantime, I thought I would honor this auspicious occasion by bringing you 100 totally random, completely useless pieces of information about me.  That way, if there are any readers out there who are not my mother, you’ll learn more than you ever wanted to know about the woman behind the blog.

  1. My greatest athletic achievement was a rim to river, three-day backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon, complete with a 35 lb. pack.
  2. Once, in a fit of rage, I threw a can of soup at my brother.  Well, just the soup (which had been opened), not the can.  Our dog enjoyed licking it off the walls.
  3. Don’t feel too bad for him.  He once used me as target practice for his B.B. gun.
  4. I was a cheerleader in middle and high school.
  5. When I was in sixth grade, I began a short story with this sentence: “He was a light in a world of darkness, an oasis in a lonely desert.”
  6. As a kid, I used to drink pickle juice straight from the jar.
  7. I love to wear red – especially sweaters, shoes and lipstick.
  8. I once belonged to the official Scott Baio fan club and sent him many, many letters, all of which went unanswered. 🙁
  9. I totaled our SUV on the way to my own wedding shower.  I was miraculously unharmed.
  10. I found out I was pregnant with Em on Mother’s Day 2002.
  11. I love public speaking.
  12. I wore a hoop skirt under all four of my prom dresses.
  13. The most luxurious vacation I ever took was to Fiji for my honeymoon.  Every evening, Phil and I sat on the beach at sunset while drinking champagne and nibbling on cheese and fruit.
  14. My exact words when my water broke and I went into labor with Jay were, “Son of a b—-!”  In my defense, he was 3 1/2 weeks early and I was nowhere near ready – not even a bag packed.
  15. Precisely 3 hours and 11 minutes later, I held Jay in my arms
  16. With both of my kids, I went into labor at midnight on a Wednesday in January.
  17. As a little girl, my favorite pretend game to play with my friends was Little House on the Prairie.  We always fought over who got to be Laura.
  18. One of the best birthday presents I ever got was when I was in the eighth grade.  I had a huge crush on a boy my brother’s age (a senior in high school at the time), and my brother gave me his football jersey to borrow for a month.  I was so happy I didn’t even think about how embarrassed I should have been.
  19. I was working as a waitress in a cocktail bar… when some guy grabbed my throat because I cut him off.  Dane, the bouncer, threw him down the stairs.  It was quite a scene.  Now try getting that song out of your head.
  20. I used to have birthday parties for my dogs.
  21. I got my MA in International Political Economy (IPE) from the University of Warwick in England.
  22. Tea, not coffee
  23. Dogs, not cats
  24. Coke, not Pepsi
  25. Edward, not Jacob
  26. I much prefer wood fires to gas.
  27. The one thing I could never get enough time to do is read.
  28. My all-time favorite book is A Prayer for Owen Meany, by John Irving
  29. I watched the moon rise over the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence.
  30. I am a born and bred Michigan Wolverine – also a graduate.
  31. Ohio State sucks.  Oops, that’s not a fact about me – just a fact. (Sorry, couldn’t resist)
  32. Favorite U.S. city: San Francisco, with Seattle a close second.
  33. My favorite Chef Boyardee product is Beefaroni.
  34. The first soap opera I watched was All My Children.
  35. I cried at the end of the final Friends episode.
  36. I once owned a copy of The Official Preppy Handbook.  Izods anyone?
  37. My favorite movie theater candy is Sour Patch Kids.
  38. All-time favorite song: Silent All These Years by Tori Amos
  39. My most frequent recurring dream is that I’m back in school and have to take a final exam for a math class I never knew I was signed up for.
  40. I have seen the movies Sixteen Candles and Dirty Dancing at least 25 times each.
  41. I ran a half marathon and I’m still bitter about how many hills there were. (Note: avoid Baltimore Half Marathon like plague)
  42. Favorite gospel song: Down in the River to Pray
  43. I can dance the Macarena.
  44. Country I’ve visited that has the best beaches: Greece
  45. Number one reason why I am not a vegetarian: bacon
  46. Number one reason why I am not a vegan: cheese (also #45)
  47. Bellybuttons totally gross me out, and I can’t stand to have my bellybutton touched.  So if you see me in person, don’t touch my bellybutton!
  48. I like my steak cooked medium-rare.  When I was a child, I referred to this as “steak with red on the back.”
  49. I have never been to Australia, New Zealand, Africa or South America.  All are on my wish list.
  50. The only color I like to paint my toenails is red.  Every time I try another color I end up disappointed.
  51. I had planned on studying to be a veterinarian until I failed calculus in college (see #35 for recurring math nightmare)
  52. I spoke to Paul Volker on the phone and helped him prepare Congressional testimony.  He sounds just like he looks.
  53. I met David Sedaris at a book signing.  He signed two of my books and on one of them, drew a turtle with the head of Abraham Lincoln.  This makes perfect sense (i.e. no sense) if you’re a Sedaris fan (which I am).
  54. Best live concert: Prince – the artist known as Prince formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince
  55. Most disappointing live concert – Tori Amos
  56. Causes: American Heart Association, Defenders of Wildlife, Natural Resources Defense Council, Planned Parenthood, Unicef, Green America, Humane Society, Hope for Madagascar, NPR and PBS.  I am also a regular Kiva lender.
  57. Favorite Christmas song: Little Drummer Boy
  58. One thing I wish I had in my house: a claw foot bathtub
  59. Least favorite household chore: folding laundry
  60. Foods I love as an adult that I never tasted as a child: avocados, artichokes, hummus, black beans
  61. Two foods I hate: peas and meatloaf
  62. My favorite way to eat peaches is raw, over the sink, with the juice dribbling down my chin and elbows.
  63. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is my favorite of the Narnia Chronicles.
  64. Favorite art museum: The Tate Gallery in London
  65. Favorite National Park: Grand Teton
  66. Undergraduate college major: Political Science
  67. Scariest movie I ever saw: The Blair Witch Project
  68. Favorite musical: Les Miserables, which I saw at the Palace Theatre in London.
  69. In college, I went to Washington D.C. to cover the protest of the first Iraq war for The Michigan Daily.
  70. I have lived in two countries (the U.S. and U.K.) and three states in the U.S. (Michigan, Virginia/D.C. Metro, and Colorado).
  71. My favorite ride at Disney’s Magic Kingdom is Pirates of the Caribbean.
  72. I have seen all five of the Great Lakes.
  73. At our dude ranch vacation last year, I won the women’s horsemanship award.
  74. I love taking afternoon naps.
  75. Almost everything I cook has garlic in it.
  76. Favorite Christmas special: How the Grinch Stole Christmas
  77. When I am at home in the winter, I am almost always in my pajamas.
  78. I love the smell of lilacs and hyacinths.
  79. The worst meal I ever made was vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie – just don’t.
  80. Favorite unusual cheese: Halloumi from Cyprus.  You can grill it and it doesn’t melt.
  81. My dad took me on a business trip to Detroit when I was five.  I was so scared I hid in the closet while he took a shower.
  82. My favorite way to spend an evening is on the patio with good friends, good food, and free-flowing red wine.
  83. I love yoga, but don’t take nearly enough time to practice.
  84. One of the most influential books I read was Fast Food Nation.  It changed almost everything about the way I think about and prepare food.
  85. Favorite Gilligan’s Island character: the Professor
  86. My mom is my best friend.
  87. My only natural athletic ability is being flexible.  The rest are gained by sweating buckets.
  88. I am addicted to buying cookbooks.
  89. I am now a firm believer in the statement, “Once you go Mac, you never go back.”
  90. I only like margaritas on the rocks with a salt rim.
  91. I wish I could dance for real (the Macarena doesn’t count).
  92. One piece of advice I will give my kids that I wish I’d gotten myself is to do what you love vs. what you think will make you the most money.
  93. One piece of advice I will give my kids that I did get (and heeded) is that education is your passport to freedom and choice.  Get the best one you can and dedicate yourself to doing your best.
  94. In ten years I hope to be: a multi-published author and the mother of two very well-behaved teenagers.
  95. If I could go backwards in time, the era I would revisit would be the college years – not to change anything, just to have all that fun again.
  96. My greatest fantasy is to be on the Oprah show – having done something worthy of being featured on the Oprah show.
  97. Social Media sites where I am active: Facebook, Twitter, LibraryThing, Bookmooch
  98. I have visited 289 cities in 22 countries.
  99. Book character I wish was real: Aragorn from Lord of the Rings.
  100. It was a LOT more difficult to come up with 100 random things about myself than I thought it would be.
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  1. Julie Berghoff

    WOW! I’m impressed. This was fun to read. We DO have a lot in common 🙂

  2. OMG…we have SOO much in common. Aragon, the Preppy Handbook (put on jewelry, take one piece off!), wanting to be Laura Ingalls, garlic, Owen Meany, RED, Prince, etc.

    LOL…we must be the same age (I’m 41)….

    Take care!

    • Amy – very tricky way to get me to reveal my age (which you notice was not included on the 100 list) – lol! We are close indeed. I’ll be 39 in three weeks.

      P.S. I’m so glad you enjoyed The Help. Such a great read!

  3. I really enjoyed reading that! If we ever meet I’ll try to remember not to serve you peas or meatloaf (mine’s good!). However, we’re copecetic when it comes to flowers. I was just out in the yard the other day and got a wiff of the lilacs. I plant a few hyacinths indoors every January/February: http://danacarey.blogspot.com/2010/01/i-thought-i-was-in-rut-l-ately-until-i.html

    Thanks for sharing! And good luck with #NaPiBoWriWee !

  4. Fun list and congratulations on 100 blog posts. I agree with #78 one hundred percent. I can’t wait for my lilacs to bloom.

  5. Great way to get to know my new critique partner. Might try your list out at my blog.

  6. Dog Park Courtney

    Julie —

    I have started to respond to several posts and then erased the message before hitting send. Your posts are entertaining and articulate — I am a little embarassed to even write a short response [for fear it will sound incredibly lame — and there is no spell check!] BUT — well I just want to say:

    Thanks. For the sincere and candid thoughts I am grateful. They are refreshing to read.

    Hope to see you at the dog park soon. Perhaps we should arrange a time?


    • Courtney – you are too sweet and too modest. Your comments are great, and I really appreciate them. So never hesitate to hit that send button! I would love to meet up at the dog park again. Unfortunately, it will probably be another couple of weeks before we can. Rocky had surgery to remove his dew claws yesterday (you’ll be hearing more about that on an upcoming post), so he can’t go to the park until the stitches come out – currently scheduled for May 20th. But after that, I would LOVE to meet up there. I will email you as we get closer to the 20th to set something up.

      Thanks so much for your kind words about the blog. Each time I post it feels a little scary, so I really, truly appreciate the feedback!!

  7. Awesome list.

    #79. Vegetarian Shephard’s Pie is delicious . . . if you make it right. 😉

    Oh, wait.

    Mine has peas in it, and tastes a bit like meatloaf, so it might not work for you after all.

  8. Great to get to know you better Julie, I love Les Mis too, although I’m definitely a pepsi girl. And uni days were definitely the best socially!!!

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