50 Things About Jo!

The Centennial Babies are Turning 50!!!

me-on-the-blue-chairWas born in Ottawa, on one of the coldest day of the year 1967. I think the low was around -15F (-26C). The pipes froze and my then 4ish year old brother Mike woke Dad at dawn to tell him the toilet would not flush.

Speak French very very badly and very rarely. I was mocked as a child for my crappy French so I have very little confidence speaking it in public. In the 8th grade, I was publicly humiliated by a French teacher and I never recovered. Fuck you Mme. Neville. I hope you are burning in hell.

Cannot sleep with the closet door open. When I was three I saw a doll (I called him Man, he looked suspiciously like GI Joe) walk out of my closet and just stand there and stare at me. Mom explained that this was a bad dream but to this day I am convinced that this really happened because neither of my brothers had a GI Joe doll.

Hate baked beans so much they make me sick. Just the smell brings on nausea.

Worked in the call centre industry for ten years and that ruined phones for me. I like phones about as much as I like baked beans.

B cup.

Incapable of being bored. If you ever uttered the sentence “I am bored” within earshot of my parents, well, you didn’t make that mistake twice.

Have ten titanium screws in my jaw. I had corrective surgery in 1990 for a jaw problem.

Favourite fruit is not very original. I am bananas about bananas.

Am an above average swimmer which is amazing because growing up I had to take every single level of class twice and usually I was passed out of pity the second time around. When I was 15, I stopped listening to adults and got better.

Like to write. Writing books is easy. Getting people to read them is very difficult.

Runs like a spaz.

Loves Diet Coke.

I love naps. Naps are wasted on children.

Belly button is an innie.

Love pumpkin pie. I could eat it three times a day, every day, until the pumpkin pie finally kills me.

Blue is my favourite colour.

Don’t believe in scales. I believe in the existence of scales but refuse to use one. I come from stocky Irish peasant folk so I weigh at least twenty pounds more than I look and that can be really demoralizing when you step on the scale. So one day back in 1998, after way too much obsessing, I gave away my scale and have not used one since.

Prefer to write in pencil. This subversive behavior annoyed a number of teachers. They got really really upset about this trivial matter. To this day, I have no idea why. I am sure my unwillingness to conform to the world of ink is listed somewhere on my Permanent Record.

Lay my clothes out the night before. Even if the next day is a day off. I cannot stop this habit.

Not much of a drinker anymore. One day I realized, even when my life is crappy, it’s still pretty good so there is no reason to get buzzed.

Do not like hot drinks. No coffee, tea or hot chocolate. Hot drinks makes me very thirsty.

WILL NOT CARRY A PURSE. My mom made me carry one on a trip to California back in 1978 and the thing weighed more than me and the strap rubbed my neck raw. NEVER AGAIN.

Wish I had better emotional intelligence. If I were to assign a grade, I’d give myself a C+ which is not great, but there has been significant improvement. All those calls helped develop that rather under developed muscle. Will work on improving over the next 50 years.

A firm believer in karma.

Pineapple on pizza is just wrong.

Was a terrible student. Not because I didn’t try, trust me, I really tried. Just a lack of resources and support from those who should have helped me with those resources and support. Because I grew up in an environment where a teacher was never wrong and a student was always wrong, I have a strong distrust of teachers. I wish I could stop seeing them as advisories but my brain is hardwired to see them as the enemy.

Terrible at memorizing things which is why I am a dedicated list maker.

Prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate.

Am right handed but hold a hockey stick, golf club and swing a baseball bat left handed. I hold rackets and throw a ball with my right hand. It’s like my two sides were arguing and then came to some sort of compromise.

Have a hate hate relationship with technology. If you spend most of your day exposed to broken technology, you are going to hate technology. In my case, technology does not improve my life, but makes it more expensive and aggravating.

Enjoy riding my bike around town because it makes me feel like a kid. I don’t really ride for fitness but as a way to get from point A to point B. Getting fit doing this is just a bonus.

Am afraid of snakes. I get the willies just looking at a picture of a snake.

My minimalism lifestyle is 50% living simply, 50% not making a lot of money.

Clutter makes me very anxious. That’s why I am a neat freak. I seethe in anger when other people’s clutter and disorganization wastes my time.

Took my driver’s test twice. I had a raging flu the first time and when I think about it, I had no business being behind the wheel of a car.

Never met anyone who I like enough to share my quirks. Insults, slights and systematic mean spiritedness has destroyed any confidence. Giving me a pep talk is not going to help. It’s my own private battle to sort out.

Read about a 100 books a year. For some reason people think this is too much. To that, I say it’s not enough. And fuck you.

Love dogs but love poodles the most!

My favorite movie is Plesantville.

Sleep commando unless it’s really cold out and my apartment is chilly.

Sleep on my side. With 4 pillows.

Start every day with a cryptogram (code breaking puzzle).

Once saw an elephant go for a swim at Dow’s Lake. I was riding home from a summer job back in 1990 (alas before the days of digital cameras and smart phones). The circus was in town for the Ex and it was very hot and humid so the handlers took the elephant to Dow’s Lake for a dip. I have no idea if the circus treated their animals well or not, but at that moment, I saw one really happy elephant.

Am sensitive to grapes. Ate a ton of them when I was five and threw up many times. Since then, never been much of a fan. Fermented grapes, as in wine, makes me very sick so I don’t drink wine.

Practically tone deaf. Had to take a hearing test to be eligible for band in junior high (more students than instruments) and I managed to fail it four times. After I failed the first test, I had no interest in taking the test again but forces beyond my control intervened and I am pretty sure I got progressively worse with each test. Not because I didn’t care. Okay, a little because I didn’t care, but the anxiety of the test made me an emotional wreck.

Had ballet lessons for six, six very long years. To turn me into a girlie girl. This particular project failed.

Have a profound sense of loss over the fact that I have not been able to establish a career. Just an adulthood filled with, low paying, unfulfilling, stressful jobs. Not from lack of trying but just a lack of resources and opportunities. If you live on a single income, there comes a time when you have to swallow your pride and take a crappy job so you have some source of income and then try and find something else while you are working at the crappy job.

Was a witness to an armed robbery. Back in 1981, I was at Merivale Mall and waiting for Dad to pick me up when two men ran into the Dominion store waving guns. I was about 30 feet away from the entrance and I slowly backed into another store and stood behind a rack of bags. The robbers were apprehended about 40 minutes later. They’d been out of Milhaven penitentiary for all of six weeks. You got to wonder if they were incompetent or just homesick.

Tapioca is my favourite pudding.

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