1. I'm very loud. While I know this I never recognize it while it's happening. I come from a long line of loud people. When I was in Sunday school as a kid I could hear my dad on the other side of the church building. My loudness was inevitable.
2. My favorite Author is Annie Dillard. The first thing I read of her's was a short non-fiction piece called, Living Like Weasels, I remember thinking that if she could make weasels beautiful she had to be pretty good.
3. When I was fourteen my family decided to create a holiday. It's called Wester and it always falls on the 24th of June. You eat spaghetti for dinner and then leave a picture of the haircut you want next to your pillow, at night the Wester Monkey comes and cuts your hair.
4. I met my husband Greg when I was fourteen, at a church dance, he was dating my cousin Kady.
5. I had kidney reflux surgery when I was four years old. The only thing I remember from it was getting a giant coloring book from my aunt debi and also an incident with a bed pan involving a nurse with red fingernails and my grandpa.
6. I love to read and learn new things, by this saving grace alone did I make it through "homeschooling."
7. I was homeschooled for grades 6-12. Although at age 15 my mom said she had nothing more to teach me, told me I had graduated and enrolled me in the local community college.
8. I found out three years ago that the highschool diploma I have is totally bogus. Thanks Mom and Dad!
9. I graduated from elementary school as the smartest kid. There was a little ceremony, I received a pin and a certificate signed by Bill Clinton. The signature is fake, what a let down. But boy was I proud of it then.
10. I left one of my highschool boyfriends for his cousin. Well that wasn't the only reason, but it was a deciding factor.
11. I ended up waiting for the cousin while he was on a mission in Venezuela and nearby islands. I waited for twenty three months, then became engaged to Greg.
12. My Great Grandmother died of breast cancer when I was 6 years old. She knit me a lamb before she died, I still cherish it, though it's legs are beginning to brown. She also knit me my Christmas stocking, little matching dresses for my sisters and I, and some slippers.
13. I taught myself to knit and every time I look at knitting pattern books I search for the slippers Grandma Gale used to make. Haven't found 'em yet.
14. I have over 60 first cousins on my mother's side...and counting.
15. I wrote my first book when I was 3 years old. It's titled Zoo. It contains about five pages taped together, each page has the word zoo written on it and a picture of an animal that looks somewhat like a featherless ostrich. My favorite page has a big ostrich-thing with a little ostrich-thing in it's belly.
16. I remain to this day in awe of childbirth.
17. I miscarried a baby two days before my 20th birthday.
18. Before the miscarriage I stank at writing, I thought I was good, people told me I was good, but the truth is, it was AWFUL stuff.
19. I still can't write fiction, once in a creative writing class I was assigned a short story, so I stole a story idea from Ray Bradbury, changed names and details and made it my own. It killed! Boy was I lucky Ray Bradbury's popularity had died several decades earlier.
19. I consider my life's greatest written work to be, In Regard to the Archaic Torso of Apollo. I've rewritten it so many times I can't remember what the original contained. But, to steal from Dave Eggers, boy is it a heartbreaking work of staggering genius.
20. I won the Acorn Review Editor's Choice Award several years ago for the poem, Sexual Politics Jump the Species Gap. I didn't know I'd won until I bought the magazine on a whim and caught my name. Everything that was submitted to the magazine for publication was automatically entered into the contest so, SURPRISE. It was awesome.
21. When I was 17 I went to live with my aunt Jen in Utah. I stayed for two months and then moved back home.
22. Jen taught me a lot of things in those two months, namely cooking and actually enjoying your children.
23. My favorite movie of all time is a poorly made 80's film called, A Pyromaniac's Love Story. In highschool my best friend Paula and I watched it more times than I can count. I've watched it with other people since and nobody appreciates the humor like Paula did.
24. My favorite color is green.
25. I thrive on self sufficiency. Which is why we use cloth diapers, I make all of our bread, and try to grow as much of our food as possible. Stay tuned for the next step...cheese making.
26. In college I was, at one time or another, declared every major imaginable, history, elementary education, genetic counseling, dance, english. What a well rounded yet unaccomplished person I am. :)
27. Growing up everyone called me Sawny. Because my real name is Cassandra but my brother couldn't pronounce it. I'm pretty sure it's died out by now.
28. I broke my arm when I was 8 years old, a few weeks before I was baptized. I had to be baptized with a giant black trash bag over my arm. Also, I had to be dunked several times because my knee kept popping up.
29. When I was 17 I attended both Seminary and Single's Dances. My Seminary teacher was a recently returned missionary. We would slow dance and discuss things that had happened in seminary that morning. It was weird, and probably inappropriate.
30. My nightstand is filled (and piled) with half-full notebooks. I pity my posterity who will have to make sense of it all.
31. The night I was in labor with Jonas I watched five straight hours of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air because there was nothing else on. Never again.
32. Though it's been almost a year since Jonas was born I haven't written anything about it. Who knows why? Maybe I haven't processed it yet. Yep, childbirth is a doozie.
33. When I was in first grade we had a halloween party where the teacher read a scary story about a witch and all of her potion ingredients. After the story we were supposed to walk around a table blind folded and stick our hands into bowls filled with said ingredients. I was 6 and didn't know the owl eyes were really grapes and the lizard intestines really spaghetti. There was a Jehovah's Witness boy in the class named Joel. I overheard him tell the teacher he didn't celebrate halloween in his religion. He was dismissed to sit at his desk and color. I tugged on Mrs. Ruiz's denim skirt and told her I didn't celebrate halloween either. Joel and I colored together. He drew a picture of his family, and I drew a haunted house.
34. My bridal bouquet was three white, long stemmed Calla Lilies bound with a red ribbon. Each of the bridesmaids had one lily with a red ribbon.
35. My first car was a toyota cressida station wagon. It was older than I was, and yet a thing of beauty.
36. I'm really not an animal person. Though I would keep chickens or other live stock that earn their keep.
37. I can be a too confrontational. Sometimes it's helpful, sometimes it's not.
38. I really wish I had the discipline to be a vegetarian. I'm so close, but I love a good steak...or grilled chicken...or hamburger...it's hopeless.
39. I danced ballet for 6 years. I was pursuing it as a career when I found out I was way too tall. I taught for a little while, then moved on to other things.
40. I have dreams that come true. Unfortunately they're always about the most random, useless things, like finding a white crayon on the floor of a classroom at church. I think it's gearing me up for something big though. I can feel it.
41. The night before my friend Nikol's father died, I had a dream that it happened. Ok, so, the dreams aren't always useless.
42. I've never had a cavity. My siblings are riddled with them, go figure.
43. I started volunteering in a kindergarten class when I was 13, I stayed with the same teacher until I was 18, she was awesome.
44. I'm a major worry wart, like borderline severe anxiety. I don't worry about everything though, I just focus a lot of attention on a few specific things.
45. I was diagnosed with hypertension last year, the doctor was horrible and basically said, "you have hypertension which means you could have a heart attack or stroke at any time." I think he might have been a quack but I've started eating less sodium (not that I ate a lot to begin with) and the hypertension is gone, if it was even there in the first place.
46. I went on my first date when I was 16. We snuck into Valhalla's Winter Formal, which was held at the Hyatt downtown. We spent so much time trying to find a way in (eventually running up the back staircase when a maid left the door open) that we only got to dance for like 10 minutes before leaving to get me home before curfew.
47. I think Val Kilmer is the bees-knees. It started as a joke between my sister and I, but yeah, he really is.
48. I am safely the world's worst gift giver. Seriously I pick the most awful presents for people. I've taken to making a lot of the gifts I give because then, even if it sucks, at least it's heartfelt.
49. I think I'm a pretty awesome cook.
50. I'm not gonna lie, I think I'm a pretty awesome person just generally.
51. I always read to fall asleep. Greg usually has to pull some book out from under me when he leaves for work in the morning.
52. I love the book, The Good Earth, if for no other reason than that Wang Lung (the book's main character) lies down in his fields to soothe himself. He feeds dirt from his fields to his children when they are starving. When he earns money he buys up more and more of his neighbor's lands, more and more ways to soothe himself. I am always thinking: Wang Lung had the right idea.
53. As much as I have romantacized the idea I still lack the guts to just lay down in the dirt.
54. Jonas's name is from the Weezer song.
55. I'm convinced that Wendell Berry has the perfect life. Writing, farming, no computer to distract him. What a stud he must be.
56. When I was 17 I hiked to Havasu Falls with a group of Laurels from my stake. I was the only person to carry their pack all the way in and all the way out. I even carried another girl's pack in addition to my own for like 4 miles. It was 113 degrees in the shade. What a stud I must be.
57. My family used to go camping in the Sequoia National Forest. One boring day my siblings and I decided to peel the moss from the trees and start a fire with it. We had buckets and buckets full of the stuff. It covered the campground in thick white smoke. The ranger came and yelled at us, then at our dad who in turn yelled at us. He couldn't be too mad though, because he was the one who gave us the idea.
58. When I was 18 I went on a kayaking trip to Santa Cruz Island, as a leader to the Laurels in my stake. It was fun, but awkward being the leader over girls so close in age, some of them my good friends.
59. In my teens I memorized poetry as a hobby. What a weirdo I was.
60. I've never traveled outside of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah.
61. If I could go anywhere I'd go to the Galapagos Islands. To see the trees and the sea lions that do noting but play in the surf all day. Ahhh that's the life.
62. If I could pick another life, I think being Amish would be pretty cool. Or a Shaker without the celibacy. How about an Amish/Shaker/Mormon mix, does that not blow your mind?
63. While I was pregnant with Jonas I watched a marathon on TV. Now I have the goal to run a marathon myself. It's slow going.
64. I am the 14th great granddaughter of King James the 1st of England (6th of Scotland). Or so I've been told. Royalty Ya'll!
65. I'm also a granddaughter to William Brewster, the minister to the pilgrims on the mayflower.
66. My favorite salad dressing (because I know you're dying to know) is an orange poppy seed dressing that my pal Sarah makes.
67. I HATE it when adults read the words to songs over the pulpit. I can't explain it, maybe it's because the corniness factor goes through the roof. Kids can do it though, that's fine.
68. When I was 8 I had a black cat named cookies. My dad ran him over. He lived a three legged life after that.
69. When I was 4 we had two pet lambs, a white faced one which I named Lambie, and a black faced one which I named Blackie. I'm so clever.
70. Lambie and Blackie had to go live on a farm in the country because they kept getting attacked by coyotes. My mom traded them for a rocking chair. I'm starting to wonder if they really did go to a farm in the country, there seems to be a rash of farm-in-the-country-equals-death hoaxes lately. But then where did we get the rocking chair from? slaughter money?
71. My cousin Tara and I built a tree house when we were 8. It was essentially a death trap, a palette shabbily nailed into an olive tree in our yard. It's amazing we survived.
72. My uncle Bryce taught me how to ride a bike.
73. I like to watch when I have my blood drawn, I think it's amazing. Blood! Coming out of ME! And it's so red! Simple pleasures.
74. I'm a firm believer in String Theory. Some say it's been disproven, but I don't buy that. String Theory just makes so much sense. Hello! Other universes all around us, 11 different dimensions. Clearly they're onto something.
75. I've reconciled the faith/science dilemma for myself. God could be in control of string theory and evolution. It's not outlandish. And in the eternal scheme of things, there's a lot we don't know.
76. I think the Beatles, Elvis and Star Wars are overrated.
77. I think Morrisey/The Smiths are pop muscial geniuses. Frankly Mr. Shankly is GOLD!
78. I have cried at television commercials, but NEVER at anything Basketball related or Donald Duck related. That's a shout out to my mongooses. Holla!
79. I get overly excited by a good vaccum.
80. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. All the good food of Christmas, and none of the crazy shopping, mall parking, general commercialism...
81. My cousins call me Gasserole, or sometimes just Gass. It's great in public.
82. Greg sometimes calls me Bacon Bits.
83. I've never smoked or done drugs. I've never had alcohol or coffee.
84. When I was 15 I cut my hair really short. Three separate strangers (STRANGERS!) asked me if I was a lesbian. Brazen.
85. I don't like milk.
86. I have 3 "creepy" old men that I hang out with, though it's been a while :( They call me their den mother. I love them so dearly. We met in a creative non-fiction writing class and the rest is history.
87. I have at least 1 nightmare about my parents every week.
88. I've had enough of people trying to mediate between my parents and I. As good as their intentions are, they should just leave it alone.
89. I have an inexplicable fear of rock climbing, not heights, just rock climbing.
90. I love to watch the birds in my garden. Especially the freaky yellow ones that do mating dances.
91. I make duct tape wallets.
92. I insist that my eyes are green. And my hair is red.
93. My favorite seasons are spring and summer. That's when the best gardening happens.
94. I love the heat, I hate the cold!!!
95. I want to live in a town where you can walk to the market, and know your neighbors, and not be afraid of crazies.
96. I know my house is haunted.
97. I look good in the color teal.
98. In first grade my best friend was Jacqueline Thompson. Her dad was a stunt double for Kevin Costner.
99. I think Greg's parents are the best parents in the world.
100. I have an amazing group of friends and family. Honestly I couldn't pick a better husband, or baby, or BFF's, or in-laws. I am truly blessed.