Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Welcome to My Story. Part I

To catch you up on my adventures to date, here are 50 things you may not know about me. If you actually make it through this entire post (Part I & Part II)… CONGRATS! You know more about me now than is probably legally acceptable without the filing of a restraining order.

At the very least I hope to make you giggle, gasp, nod your head knowingly as you recognize a familiar character flaw, maybe exclaim “wow that’s pretty cool!” at least once, shrug your shoulders, cry a little perhaps, spontaneously turn to the person next to you and point at your screen shouting “ Hey! Me too!”, swear under your breath, roll your eyes,  scratch your head, laugh out loud or any combination of the above.

Feel free to comment once you’re done.
Or not. Either way. It’s ok. I won’t mind. (see #10)

  1. I am Canadian. Born in Montreal, Quebec. My mom is Austrian and grew up in the beautiful city of Vienna. My Dad is Italian and grew up near the city of Terni (who’s patron saint is St. Valentine) in the province of Umbria. The rest of my family is from various places in Europe. I have some gypsy in me. Two world wars and a few civil ones tend to force people to change places. I was the first Canadian born of the family. I am very proud and interested by my heritage and my family history.
  2. I have two sisters, both younger than me. I am the shortest in the family.

  3. Getting my hair cut was always a trauma for me. I once went 6 years without a hair cut. I blame Walt Disney for much of this as all the heroines in the stories had beautiful long hair. I was particularly traumatized by the mom of a childhood friend who was supposed to TRIM my LONG waist length hair but instead cut it to the point everyone thought I was a boy for two years. I was 7 at the time. I never recovered.

  4. I can quote movie lines ad nauseam, and often do, but I can NEVER remember all the words to ANY song. Maybe an occasional chorus, or few lines here and there, but never an entire song! Every year I endeavor to learn all the lyrics of one complete song. Hasn’t happened yet.
  5. I am NOT a morning person. I may be awake at 7 but my brain will not properly function until at least 10 am. Until then, I’m grumpy, ugly, nasty, and I make NO apologies for it. (*The only exception to this rule is if I have to be at a race track at 7 am.) My mom STILL likes to tell people she thought I’d be a “go-go dancer” (aka stripper) because I was a nighthawk since birth. I do some of my best thinking and work during the night.
  6. I love handwritten letters on pretty stationary and envelopes. I have boxes of lovely stationary with all kind of designs. I love sending letters but I LOVE getting letters more. I think the last actual letter I ever got was from a Brazilian woman that I had met in Amsterdam when I was 7 and with whom I remained pen pals for nearly 20 years. I like getting cards and postcards too, my family still sends those, but nothing beats a nice personal handwritten letter to make you feel special.
  7. I believe animals and birds have souls and a great capacity for love. I’m not sure about all human beings though.
  8. I used to think Snoopy and Pepe le Pew were real and my best friends. (Like Santa or the tooth fairy for others) They still are to me.
  9. I can read write and speak three languages fluently; English, French and Italian. I understand at least 4 others, can order beer in 8 different languages and know at least one swear word in 10 languages.

    I can also recognize most accents and identify what language is being spoken even if I don’t necessary speak that language. I am intrigued and interested by the roots of words and languages. I went to German school when I was little, advanced Italian in University, and I even took a college course in Scots (spoken in Scotland) taught by (NHL coach and hockey great) Scotty Bowman’s brother, Martin Bowman.
  10. I’m not good with confrontations. EVER.
  11. I am a bird person. I love and understand birds. I have been fascinated with them since I was a baby. My mom often recounts how I would sit in the sandbox at the park and try to catch the birds that came to take sand baths. (They do that.) I went from mending backyard birds to raising wild babies. I had a robin for 8 years that ate dogfood and took baths promptly at 12 noon everyday. We had a cedar waxwing that lived and flew freely in our kitchen for a year.

    My first bird was a yellow parakeet named Susie that my aunt Monique and Uncle Manolo gave me. I have many raised many colourful baby lovebirds. I've been owned by Cockatiels like the adorable "Q" and Wolfie (named after Mozart) who wolf whistled, said "Allo Toi" and whistled the baseball "charge" prompt.

    I've been bossed around by a Blue Fronted Conure named Snapple who sang “You are my Sunshine”, and have had two very cheeky and extremely pretty Green Cheeked Conures. 

    I'm serenaded daily by an amazing American Roller Canary named Rossini, who does his namesake proud. 
    I was preened everyday by a very affectionate Moluccan Cockatoo named Jack who laid an egg 8 years after adopting “him”.
    Zooey, an African Grey, is the last adoptee and she came with a chicken, 4 different mobile phone ringers, one fire alarm, a cat, and a zipper (sounds she makes). 

    My true love, Reno the African Grey, speaks three languages and has a repertoire of about 250 words/phrases & sounds and is about the smartest and funniest creature EVER. 

    I never bought a bird in a pet shop. I seem to be very adept at adopting everyone else’s problems.

  12. My comfort food is Pasta (my mom’s gnocchi is tops on the list) and Nutella. (Although I have never tried them together) I am convinced I can subsist on eating only those two items and have tried on many an occasion.
  13. I actually miss licking stamps. I mention this every so often at the post office and get some very interesting looks.
  14. I have a true fondness for teachers. Teachers have had a BIG influence on my life. Mrs. Topham (Kindergarden) was my first.

    Mr. John Riley (grade 6) probably was the most influential and probably the best teacher I ever had. He truly knew how to teach and had a lasting impact on EVERY student that walked in his door. He is the ONLY teacher I know that, to this day, has remained a friend to HUNDREDS if not THOUSANDS of his students. (But I still have a hard time calling him John)

    Ms. Hendy got me into actually PLAYING sports and enjoying it. She taught me about leadership.

    Mr. Praw made math fun. He made you want to be smart. He was hilarious. I still use some of his catch phrases.

    Mr. West was probably my most difficult teacher. I hated him but it is because of him that I have a better appreciation for the English language. He taught me that NO ONE is EVER perfect and his editing excercices were the PERFECT preparation for the advent of twitter!

    Barclay Watt steered me towards the media and the arts in college when I was actually studying Health Science. Teachers are WAY too underrated.
  15. I hate when people “Uh-hun” me after I say “Thank you”. (I’m looking at you United States Mid-West!) I find it rude. It’s okay to “uh-hun” if you are agreeing with someone (replacing a yes) but it should NEVER replace a “You are welcome.” NEVER. (*disclaimer: After 6 years in the Mid-West I un-hunned ONCE by accident. Never did it again.)
  16. I cannot be left alone with a credit card in the following places: a pet supply shop, a book store, or Lululemon.
  17. I get the hiccups a lot. They are loud and obnoxious. I get them often when I am nervous or anxious about something. I once had them so loud and so long when I was working a Canadiens hockey radio broadcast (as a producer) that the play-by-play guy and Hall of Fame broadcaster, Dick Irvin, had to apologize to everyone listening nationally (Canada) for the odd noise you could hear over the crowd. We were inundated by calls from listeners offering suggestions on how to get rid of them. None of them worked.
  18. I have a REALLY REALLY LONG fuse (see #10) but a VERY VERY bad temper at the end of it. Only 3 people have ever seen it. (I can’t guarantee they still walk this earth). I can hold a grudge MUCH longer than you might ever think. I do forgive but I rarely forget.
  19. I played the violin when I was little… but it used to make me cry. I’m not sure why exactly but I think it was because I found music so very beautiful. I would do the same thing when my mum took me to the ballet or opera. I felt the music sweep through me and emotions just gush out. Music STILL does that to me.
  20. I’m never short winded (as you can tell from this list). If I like you, I will share my stories and adventures with you. I’m happy to say that I have a lot of them. They are NEVER short stories. Problem is… I forget to whom I have recounted which stories …so I tend to repeat myself … a lot. Sorry.
  21. When I was 12, I was convinced that I was going to marry my dog Bella. She was a Belgian German Sheppard who lived 16 years (had her longer than my little sister) and was the most loyal and amazing dog. My current dog, a very funny Cairn Terrier, Isabella (Izzy) is named in tribute to her. Bella was in my arms the day her soul left us and it was the saddest day of my life. I still get emotional about it.

  22. My first real job was at Rainbow Market on Desaulniers in St.Lambert. I was the stockgirl and cleaned the meat and milk counters everyday. It was gross.
  23. It upsets me that I don’t feel as smart as I used to when I was in school. I was once tested and was told I had an I.Q. of 123. I don’t even know what that means. Another test had me higher but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t score well now. Not because I’m not smart… I think I’ve just forgotten all the smart things I used to know. I was always a little more book smart than street smart.
  24. If I could have only one chocolate for the rest of my life it would be Perugina’s Baci chocolates. Italian chocolates wrapped with little fortune style messages and sayings about love and romance in 4 different languages.
  25. When I was 9, I sneezed, hiccupped and farted all at the exact same time. It actually hurt a little but I laughed so hard afterwards that the memory of it still makes me laugh out loud. I’ll conjure the memory up from time to time when I need a laugh.

Thanks for reading... more to come in PART II

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