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Thirty Eight Things You Don’t Know About Me. A Not-So-Random Birthday Post!

Today’s my birthday! 

And I got the idea to do this a while back from a YouTuber that I sometimes watch, who did a video on ‘Things you don’t know’ during her birth month with a number that corresponded with her age. I decided to do one of my very own because it looked like a lot of fun and it is a way for you all to know some things about me. I hope you enjoy them.

  1. I have a twin. OK, you know this.
  2. I don’t drink coffee at all! Well, perhaps a more accurate depiction is that I literally only have one cup per year. This is a true story! And it is something that many folks (especially here in the Pacific Northwest) can’t really wrap their brains around. I have never been a coffee drinker, but I found myself at a little dive restaurant some time ago with a friend who is addicted to the stuff. She convinced me to have some on that day, which just so happened to be the first day of the new year, and then she joked that it would be my ‘cup of the year.’ Somehow that joke morphed into an actual ritual, where now I literally have only one cup per year and it is as a gesture of friendliness to someone that I think is really cool — special. Otherwise I wouldn’t drink the stuff at all. This year I had one in March with political figure Cornel West. You may not believe me but I’m really serious. Here is a picture I took of the cup I had that day, while taking notes on what he was saying.coffee-corn1-768x1024And here is a shot from my seat in the audience during the ‘Coffee, Conversation & Questions with Cornel’ — an event hosted by the university I attend Jcorn-562x750
  3. I’ve been vegetarian twice in my life. The first was when I was 16 and that lasted nearly a decade — one of those years I was a vegan. My reasons back then were to combat animal cruelty. The second time was in 2011, after reading the ‘Sistah Vegan’ anthology, in an effort to try and raise my consciousness around food justice. That timeframe was for about one year.
  4. I didn’t get my driver’s license until I was 20, but had been driving since I was 17 and even bought a tiny little clunker car from a co-worker and friend when I was 19. I did have a couple of learner’s permits before I got my license, though. But I failed the behind-the-wheel test 2 times before successfully passing. Nerves.
  5. I am horribly allergic to sunblock. I found this out the hard and very painful way one day when I slathered it all over my face and body and went to Buckroe Beach in Hampton, VA with my friend and her daughters. This was an allergy that I did not always have because I have used sunblock a ton before. But before this day I didn’t make the connection that I had noticed a small progression of my skin becoming irritated after using certain products. But slathering it all over at the beach was one of thee most excruciating discoveries of my life. Even when my kids wear sunblock I have to be careful when I hug them because if it rubs off on me even the slightest on that part of my skin I can be sure I will have a reaction.
  6. I love the smell of the air conditioner and the freezer.
  7. I absolutely hate having the hiccups and to get rid of them, I stick a butter knife in a glass of water and put its handle on my temple as I down the water and they are gone instantly. This is a tactic I learned from watching a TV show several years back and it has worked each time since then.
  8. I was once involved in a ‘situationship’ for a couple of years with someone who played electric guitar with a very famous band — before they were famous — and believe me they are very famous — and even today, if I were to google or youtube a concert with this band or his name I sometimes will see him on stage with them playing as a ‘guest’. Don’t worry this ‘situationship’ wasn’t anything shady like doing something behind someone’s back. I call it that because, hell, I’m not sure exactly what all of ‘that’ was.
  9. My favorite movie since I was about 10 is ‘Annie’. I know all of the songs and sing along when it is playing.
  10. I speak American Sign Language, and have been around it since I was 12. It started with my 7th grade Language Arts teacher who also volunteered and/or did some work at a disabled kid’s camp, and so he would teach us students many words. I took ASL as my language as an undergrad and have wanted to become an interpreter for the last several years, except for the only school that had the program here moved one state south which devastated me so that endeavor went out of the window for now. I still plan on working on my fluency and using ASL as my ‘mastery of a language other than my native one’ which is a requirement for receiving my PhD. The video below is from 7 years ago, when I was enrolled in the second ASL course sequence that the community college I attended was offering. In it, I’m saying that I’m excited to be in class and want to translate and also want to take more ASL classes. Well, that’s the gist of it anyway.

  11. I was married — for six years — to a white dude (For some reason many people are quite surprised by this fact). For our nuptials, he and I had been planning a ‘real’ wedding in a church, complete with a reception, a band, and all of that other fancy stuff but we both ended up running off and eloping in Las Vegas, with only a couple of really close friends knowing about it. Because both of us were so panicked about what we did afterwards neither one of us told our families we were married for one whole year.
  12. For my 30th birthday, my little sister threw me a slumber partyand I still think it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had.
  13. I’d say my celebrity crush is Nikky Finney! 
  14. My favorite color is brown, and has been so since I was a teenager. This favorite has been a progression — from lighter shades to darker ones. Today, I’m in love with dark chocolate/espresso-types.
  15. Janet Jackson used to be my ‘idol’ and when I was 14 or 15 I called into the local radio station on May 16 to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to her. I can’t even believe I’m sharing this, it is so embarrassing. Talk about idolatry and being out of touch w/reality.
  16. I hate math/am horrible at it, and failed a basic math course in community college which set me back and kept me from graduating for nearly one year. I had already applied to and got accepted to transfer to a 4-year university before I tanked and didn’t know what to do. I had to ask the prospective university to let me in despite not having these credits. They allowed me to attend but told me I had to take the course and cough up a 2-year degree within a certain timeframe or else…..take additional classes at their institution to make up for it. I put it off until the last minute and ended up taking geology instead of numeric math which counted as a ‘natural science’ and satisfied the requirement. And yes, I got my two-year degree.
  17. My 17th year on this plant was one of my most ‘active’ and memorable ones: I got my first job, lost my virginity, learned how to drive, started smoking, and dropped out of high school — not all at the same time.
  18. I QUIT SMOKING 5 YEARS AGO — THIS MONTH!!!!! Even though I had gotten to a point where I was just so incredibly grossed out and tired of smoking, my various efforts to try and quit always failed, and I thought life could not go on without a puff. If you have never been a smoker then believe me when I tell you that cigarettes are THAT addictive and the fact that I had been at it for 15 years didn’t make it any easier. This time, though, the decision to quit and stay quit was sort of a a birthday present to myself and to my family and friends. They all were very supportive and encouraging. And so was the patch.

    Smoke Free Women tweeted me this badge!
    Smoke Free Women tweeted me this badge!
  19. I’ve never had an STI or a yeast infection. These facts may be deemed TMI = Too Much Information, but heck, I just thought I’d share.
  20. I’ve been held at gunpoint with the words ‘Make one more move and I’ll blow your head off!’ hurled at me and the friend I was with and her boyfriend. This happened when I was 21 and is a long and complicated story. But I can assure you that the gun was real and loaded.
  21. I got a ticket on my bicycle at the end of 1999 or 2000 for ‘driving without a headlight‘. That ticket counted as a moving violation and even threatened to taint my pristine and crystal clear driving record that I had and I was issued a $55.00 ticket for it. It didn’t sit right with me about this, since I felt the whole interaction w/the cop and him issuing me a citation was unfair and unjust so I fought it via ‘trial by written declaration’ which meant that instead of going to court and standing in front of a judge I would write my defense and mail it in with a check, and so that is what I did. And then I waited. And waited. And I got a letter back saying that the court found me ‘not guilty’ — and  they gave me my money back. And nothing went on my record.
  22. I cannot sleep in socks! Ew.
  23. I often fantasize about shaving my head, but I feel there is a spiritual significance behind this desire which I haven’t figured out yet/it hasn’t been revealed so wanting to understand this is probably the only reason why I haven’t buzzed it all off yet.
  24. I once snuck into a Lenny Kravitz concert with two of my friends. Even though this was years and years ago, I still remember the song, ‘You’re’ My Flavor,’ that was playing as we were all making our ‘entrance’.
  25. I cannot dance. AT ALL. The myth that all Blacks can dance is broken. I was never allowed to growing up in a very religious household — ‘secular’ dancing was akin to the devil, really, so I never caught on.
  26. My fist job in the formal sector economy was a hostess at Denny’s. I was hired when I was 17. I made a couple of very close friends from then and we are still good friends to this day.
  27. If I didn’t really need one, I would never wear a bra. Ever!
  28. I was not exclusively breastfed, and was pretty devastated when I recently found this out just a number of months ago. I hadn’t taken that much consideration into the story of how I was fed as an infant when I was younger (breastfeeding was so normalized in my household — it wasn’t an intellectual conversation, it was just something that was done), and I remember my mom talking about how we ‘bit’ her while we were on her breast. I talked to my affinial aunt (who met my mother in the hospital a day or so after she gave birth to her first child, my oldest sister — and she had been very close friends with my mom and has known all of us for all of these years) more recently and asked her about my breastfeeding history and she told me that if we were breastfed (my twin and I) then it wasn’t that long. I didn’t get too deep into the convo at that point but this was probably because when we were six weeks old my twin caught meningitis and nearly died. She spent much time in the hospital and I can’t imagine this not playing a tremendous role in that story.
  29. My siblings and I could at one point (and probably still can largely) quote most, if not all of the lines from the 1956 movie ‘The Ten Commandments’. We used to act out the scenes when we all lived at home when we were kids.
  30. I think there is not much hotter than a Black woman with a mohawk! Or fauxhawk. And I crush like a 14-year-old boy on bald-headed Black women.
  31. I got my nose pierced right smack before I turned 16. My tongue was pierced on a park bench when I was 20. My belly button’s been pierced three different times, and I almost got my tragus pierced, too, but before it was to happen I had a dream that blood splattered everywhere during the process and so I chickened out.
  32. I’ve always wished I was left-handed, because it’s less common and super cool.
  33. Two things I believe are completely overrated are: ice cream, marijuana.
  34. I used to want to be a Special Ed teacher, an elementary teacher, too, but I have never wanted to teach high school.
  35. If I were to marry political activist, educator and former Black Panther, Angela Y Davis and she took my last name or I took hers, then we would each have the exact same first, middle and last initials. SO hot, I know! Btw, ya, there’s a few decades between us, but hey it could work.
  36. I have kept a journal since I was 15, after being inspired by reading the novel ‘Go Ask Alice’. I credit journaling to where I really learned how to write, and it is one of the main reasons why I am convinced I can write better than I can talk.
  37. I’ve always wished I could play the piano. If I’m around a piano and no one is looking I’ll pretend I know what I’m doing and play a million and one keys like I’m the female version of Liberache or something, LOL.
  38. My favorite singer and musician is Tracy Chapman, and ‘New Beginning’ has been my most favoritist album in the world for the past 15 years. At one point back then, I used to put the entire CD on repeat and play it all day long, every single day. I can’t remember how long that lasted but probably a while and gratefully, my roommate/friend didn’t mind. Of course I found the entire ‘New Beginning’ album on YouTube, so you could also hear its awesomeness, in case you haven’t ever.

Go ahead!

 

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