Wednesday, August 27, 2014

25 Random Things I Said in 2009 That I'd Still (Mostly) Say Today

So the 25-year-old me is quite different from the 45-year-old me. But as I found out the other day when I stumbled upon an old Facebook "Note" from February 4, 2009 titled "25 Random Things About Me," despite the myriad changes in my life over the last five and a half years (including relocating to three different continents), not so much has changed since I was on the cusp of turning 40 (a milestone I reached on the day the above photo was taken). I hope I make fewer typos now!

1. I have never tasted coffee in my life. It used to be because I hated the smell. Now it's just a thing I refuse to do for no real reason at all. 

And now it's just a thing. Period. If I've gone so long without tasting it, why try it now?

2 I hate the beach. If I never again see another grain of sand, my life will go on. Give me the mountains any day.

The spectacular beaches in Thailand, which was more than two years away, helped me to better understand how the other half (those beach bums) holidays and why they do it, but I continue to be partial to a view from above.

3. Every so often I get terrible panic attacks that make me feel like I'm in death's grip. In fact, several days before I moved to Argentina, I went to the ER two time in less than 12 hours (once at 3am!) with scary-ass panic attacks!

When I wrote this, I was flirting with a dangerous Klonopin dependency. I now haven't taken it in two years and nearly five months. The panic attacks continue and so does the temptation to fight fright by popping a Klonopin (an urge I probably would have succumbed to a lot time ago had I not irrevocably misplaced my Klonopin stash in Bangkok in April of 2012), but I've learned to sweat it out.

4. I love being alone so much that sometimes I think I might be a little bit crazy. (I'm sure I'm not the only one!)

My penchant for solitude solitaire has only intensified. Although that parenthetical aside was referring to the second part of the sentence that preceded it, I now think I'm a little bit crazy for an entirely new set of reasons (least of which is No. 5!).

5. I'm so ridiculously anal and neat that I often dream about cleaning my toilet or scrubbing the floor or accomplishing some other mundane household task with which most normal people couldn't be bothered.

Clearly insomnia wasn't as much of a problem then as it is now, though I'd gladly clean for sleep.  

6. People usually can't believe that I'm almost 40 or that I'm chronically single, but I am. When all is said and done, and I'm about 41 or 42, I have a feeling I'll probably pull a Demi Moore and end up with someone 1/2 my age.

As a matter of fact, one year and nine months later, during my first trip to Melbourne, I did. He and I met six nights before my departure, and we ended up spending four of my last five nights in Melbourne together. I was already planning on ditching Buenos Aires for Melbourne, but I couldn't have asked for better incentive to make me actually go through with the relocation. Read all about how our first meeting went down and what happened between us after I moved to Melbourne in my forthcoming book, Is It True What They Say About Black Men?

7. I'm terrified of thunder -- not lightning, thunder. Oh, and heights scare the crap out of me. The one time in my life that I went skiing, I wouldn't even dare to use the ski lift. I kept climbing up that mountain again and again on my own two feet.

Going up up up still freaks me out, though I try to make it to the top of whichever city I'm in at least once.

As for the sound of thunder, well, it doesn't freak me out quite so much anymore, but it's still my favorite Duran Duran song.

8. I love air conditioning. Sometimes I turn it on in the winter just because I love the sound it makes. I also used to love to sleep to the sound of a vacuum going. Call me crazy. You know you want to.

Boy, was I on a call-me-crazy-shtick kick back then! I still love AC, but having to live without it for one month in Berlin last year and for my first two months in Cape Town cured me needing it. I rarely use it in my current apartment, but it's nice to know it's there if I ever get the urge to crank it.

9. I brush my teeth and floss fanatically. In college, everyone used to make fun of me because I'd spend 30 minutes in one sitting with a toothbrush in my mouth. I have a major phobia of bad breath.

Bad oral hygiene remains my No. 1 deal breaker.  

10. My greatest accomplishment of the last two years and nearly five months (since moving to Buenos Aires) has been learning to communicate in Spanish. My favorite word: entonces (then). Regular use of it makes one sound so erudite.

What was I thinking? Until I just reread this, I don't believe entonces had even crossed my mind since I left Buenos Aires in 2011. But then (entonces!), used alone in Spanish, it's sort of like "Anyway" in English, and I still say that all of the time.

11. I don't do unrequited love. I could never fall for someone who didn't love me back.

To borrow from the article I recently shared on Facebook, "Fuck, yes!" or "No way."

12. I love bad boys. But doesn't everyone?

Not as much as I used to, and I'm now wise enough to look and not touch... a lot.  

13. I was a total nerd until college (some of the people reading this will attest to that). Let's face it, cool is NOT reciting all 39 (at the time) presidents in front of every class in the second grade!

Is it considered nerdy when you spend New Year's Eve watching history documentaries that you've downloaded from YouTube?    

14. I don't do drugs, but I've tried pretty much everything (except heroin) at least once. (Should I be putting that here?) And yes, I inhaled.

On the plus side, these days I'm a lot more honest with myself when I'm writing about myself.  

15. I hate my middle name, which I will not divulge. I also hate Paris, Rio, Miami and Caribbean islands, although I was born on one of the latter, and I know I'm supposed to love them all.

"Hate" is such a strong word. I hate less these days. My middle name still sucks, but I'm more "indifferent" now to the places I used to "hate." I did have a pretty decent time when I returned to Rio for Carnival in 2010, though.

16. I've interviewed pretty much every music star I want to (except Madonna and Elton John). My favorite: David Bowie.

In the last five years and eight months, not a single new talent has emerged that I'm dying to interrogate.  

17. I have pretty high-brow taste in movies and literature and left-of-center music taste, but I love trashy TV. One of the worst things about living outside of the US is having to watch my soap operas on YouTube. But at least I have Two and a Half Men (which, by the way, I discovered here).

One Life to Live and All My Children are now gone (twice) and I've added The Young and the Restless to my must-watch list. As for Two and a Half Men, Ashton Kutcher is a lot prettier, but I still prefer Charlie Sheen.

18. I get hideous migraines several times a month, but I can function with them. I'm still convinced that a brain tumor will ultimately get me. Either that or I'll be run over by a speeding car.

I'm still on the same page regarding migraines and the brain tumor, but if the latter doesn't happen while I'm in Cape Town (the most unkind-to-pedestrians city I've walked through yet -- and I've been to Amman!), then I'm probably home free.

19. I can't swim, and I have no interest in learning -- or in swimming pools, for that matter.

The ex-boyfriend who was half my age swore he was going to teach me, but thankfully, he never got around to it. He said I was missing out on one of the greatest joys in life, which made me wonder how worthwhile his was.

20. My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. I know it's cliche to say, but it changed my life -- it turned me into the slightly mean and selfish person I am today!

Selfishness is still a virtue.  

21. Italian or Italian-descended men (which would describe many Argentines) are my strongest weakness.

Clearly I hadn't been to Australia yet!

22. I never thought much about high school as an adult until I joined Facebook and started reconnecting with many of my old friends.

I can't say I think about high school much now, but I'm happy to be in contact with so many people from way back then.  

23. I hate small talk, and I don't like to be touched by strangers.

So much so that there's an entire section in my book titled "Don't Touch Me There!"  

24. I am extremely jealous, but I'm good at hiding it. None of my exes probably have a clue.

Maybe I'm getting over it. Jealousy was one of the few emotions that I never felt with the ex who was half my age.  

25. I'm ridiculously shy, although most people wouldn't guess that either. Although I never drink in private, it's probably the reason why I sometimes overdo the whiskey and Coke a bit in social situations.

Now it's tequila with a beer back. And if I can ever find another bottle of Beyerskloof Lagare red wine (yes, red red wine, which I used to hate), I'll start drinking at home again. In fact, the other night, instead of dreaming about cleaning my bathroom, I dreamed that I was running around Cape Town trying to find a suitable Lagare substitute. I didn't, but hopefully, that dream won't come true.

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