Tuesday, April 15, 2008

100 things about me

yes, i realize that this is totally dated, but i read Liz's recently and became inspired. writing it is bizarre. hopefully, reading it, . . . not so jarring . . .

1.) I am always The Last to Know.

2.) I often build elaborate conspiracy theories, inspired by my ignorance (see # 1).

3.) When I was 10, our boat overturned in a storm, in the Gulf, in shark-infested waters. We were stranded for 24-26'ish hours.

4.) I thought I would write a book about it (see # 3) and be on Johnny Carson.

5.) I wanted to be a gold-medal winning Olympic swimmer, but my mom did not want to drive me to swim practice, so I couldn’t join a team. I often swam 600 + laps in our pool, late into the night, when, eventually, my mom would, annoyed, call me inside.

6.) Sometimes, I caught my mom watching me swim from her bedroom window.

7.) I was the (then) youngest certified scuba diver in Florida (at age 11).

8.) I only scuba’d once after getting certified; I preferred snorkeling.

9.) I am probably lactose intolerant, but I fight it and drink my skim in my lattes anyhow.

10.) In my first attempt at college, I was kicked out for flunking too many courses.

11.) I heard a band the other day called “flunk.” That’s hysterical. They remade "Blue Monday" (whyyyyy?).

12.) In my first attempt at college – well, in the context of that time – I was in a few punk bands.

13.) My first band was called "Johnny Cheddar and the Fish-Eating Cheeseballs," inspired by an ad i'd seen in the Weekly World News, for, (honest-to-God) a belt-contraption that a party host is enticed to wear. The belt/party-aid, i'ts suggested, makes the perfect "fish egg and cheeseball dispenser." There was a nice visual and everything. How I wish I could find that ad (new project).

14.) My second band was called (ugh) The Go-Gonads.

15.) I performed on stage with The Roach Motel.

16.) I won an air band contest by lip-synching The Runaways’ hit “Cherry Bomb” at a country bar in Gainesville. I think I clinched it when I spit beer at the crowd upon completion of the track. The 4 of us split the $100.00 4 ways.

17.) During the boatwreck (see #3), I saw 3 different mirages at 3 different times during the night. They were all. very. real.

18.) I had a Mohawk.

19.) When I was taking courses and passing them at the U of F, I took archery. I had several colored strands of hair, and my archery teacher thought that I had decorated my hair by *attaching* archery feathers. “No,” I had to tell her, “that’s my hair.” I passed.

20.) Our house in Gainesville was dubbed “The House of Death.”

21.) After flunking out of college, I went to Bradenton Beauty Academy (BBA) and became a cosmetologist.

22.) I won 1st place in BBA’s haircutting competition (a clean bob). I totally deserved it.

23.) I won 1st place in BBA’s styling competition. I had found some black, mesh wire at a construction site. I set my mannequin’s hair the night before the competition by pulling all her hair into a pony tail, high on her head. I set all the strands in various sizes of perm rods. During the competition, I placed the mesh wire around the “base” of the hair, securing them with bobby pins, effectively covering the un-set hair with mesh. my “inspiration”? . . . hair spilling out of a garbage can. I unwound the perm rods, teased a few, gelled others, and created lovely mess.

24.) I always thought that my friend, Teresa, should have won that styling contest. I could never do a pristine “updo” (thus, my garbage can “commentary” -- an “updon’t”). Hers was precisely like the picture in our book. So, winning, I felt guilty, like I had tricked everyone, and I began to understand a thing or two about trends.

25.) To compensate for Teresa’s loss, I attended her roller skating competition and was b-o-r-e-d, but I learned the value of supporting my colleagues.

26.) I got my first job out of beauty school at the best salon in town, Les Ciseaux (The Scissors) on St. Armand's Circle. It was swank.

27.) I got fired from Les Ciseaux. I was a little nutty, eating-disordered thing at the time, and *very* thin, so I was doing a bit of local modeling (oooooh). I had (stupidly) confided in Lourdes, my co-worker and the current #2 stylist beneath Colette (the owner and best stylist I have ever seen) that I wished I didn't have to work at the salon so I could (oh, God), "focus on my modeling." But so naturally, she reported this to Colette, who took me outside one day to ask if it was true; I said "yes," but that I had been exaggerating in my whining . . . I was happy. She said she was "trying to build something here," and let me go because she could not be sure of my committment to her investment in me. I'm still not sure I deserved it, and I still haven't learned to keep things from my colleagues (can you tell?). We're people. We talk. We need to talk. Moving on . . .

28.) 2 years ago, I went home to visit my mother, who was ill. While there, I went to see Colette, my fomer boss and owner of Les Ciseaux. I did one of those 12-step'ish apologies for being such a punk employee. I'm not entirely sure that she remembered me at all, but she was her lovely, gracious, French self.

29.) I have 4 sisters. No brothers. I'm the second ("oh, that explains *everything*!").

30.) My favorite food is chicken, . . . anyway, anyhow . . . (but, I'm a little embarrassed to say, barbequed chicken might be at the top of the list).

31.) I have discovered that Cristal really is. all that.

32.) In 1994, I had a brain tumor, harrassing me from between my pituitary and hypothalmus and drawing a hefty blood supply from my optic nerve (something like that; I rememeber, probably more than anything, that my vision was threatened -- by both the tumor and the surgery).

33.) They removed it (see #32), which was good, and when I awoke after the procedure, my first words were, "You're my mother, and you're wearing red lipstick." There was my mother, at the foot of the bed, all blurry . . . but I could *see* her and her be-rouged mouth. My doctors had warned me that my vision would be blurry because of the antibiotic ointment they would put in my eyes, but somehow, because of the blurriness, I urgently n-e-e-d-e-d to push through so that I could *see*. I somehow imagined that my ability to see would be aided by my ability to *articulate* that I could see, as though saying it would make it so. Naturally, when I said what I said, my mother burst immediately into tears (I didn't mean to make you cry, mom).

34.) They got it (see #33) all out (which was good; it was killing me), but I have a couple of sh*tty systems deficiencies because of the damage left to the pituitary.

35.) No. I did not like being bald.

36.) Yes. I was scared, but only when I imagined the saw against my skull.

37.) I have a titanium plate in my skull.

38.) I have a copy of a follow-up CAT scan that reads, "no evidence of surgical needle found, although it could be hiding beneath the drainage device," or something to the effect of . . . we know we lost a needle, and we dont' *think* we sewed it back up into her head, but, um, . . .

39.) I hate the word "ointment."

40.) I was born with only one kidney, a fact I didn't know until I was 29, when my doctors discovered it during a fairly routine scan. Later, at home, I sobbed for an eternity, laying on my bed, hearing the words, "dialysis" and "transplant" over and over and over . . .

41.) *Every* time I have any sort of scan that involves looking at my kidney, x-ray technicians and radiologists come in to see if I'm actually alive; the kidney is not. pretty . . . but it works great, especially now. When I tell people that I have only one kidney, they ask, "Oh, did you donate one?" . . . and I wish I could say, "yes."

42.) I still love The Smiths.

43.) I believe that my soul wants to be in France pretty much most of the time. I used to believe that my soul wanted to be in North Carolina. Now, France. My soul still isn't sure about Utah.

44.) I love carbs.

45.) I love a good pinot noir (and no, it has nothing to do with Sideways!!!).

46.) I have always been invested in how things look. I used to think that this was shallow; now, no way.

47.) I tried to get our school to offer free education to Katrina victims. I thought: I want to do something to help, but with my sh*tty conditions, I can't go wading around without access to clean water, so I tried to start a little movement at my campus and coordinated a list of colleges and universities doing similar work around the country. My teensy contribution.

48.) Back to our boatwreck (see # 3): During the night, I saw a channel marker with a flashing light on it and believed that if I could swim to it, I would magically finding an operational radio and could call for help to save my family.

49.) Back to Beauty School days . . . I won 2nd place in the Florida State Hair Cutting Contest (again, a nice, clean bob). I remember now that when I went up on stage to accept my trophy, I thanked "the Lord Jesus Christ . . . " Yep. I did that.

50.) re: #47, for me, Sean Penn is a lovely human being.

51.) I love and am also terribly sad when i watch Grey Gardens . . . the story, the fabulous Broadway show . . . When Christine Ebersole said, "this is for all the Little Edies," I wept and wept, up in the balcony . . . wept and inhibited people from exiting the theater, immobilized, sobbing for my lost dreams.

52.) I love white walls. Other people can do color in fabulous and inventive ways, but ever since the "Imagine" video, I have dreamed of a big, white house with very little furniture. Lately, I imagine that house appointed with only a few French-y pieces, silver and glass chandeliers, and an occasional piece of colored glass (apothecary bottles can be nice).

53.) I hate the customer service voicemail vorteces so much that when i'm caught in one, the top of my head gets very hot, and I worry that I will have a stroke. The top of my head gets hot more and more often, lately. And I am working on that.

54.) In my soul, I'm a very happy person, and I carry an image of myself that I associate with a salesgirl I once saw in Atlanta. She was blond, drinking a real coke (not diet) from a glass bottle, and seemed fairly well blissed out. Maybe it was drugs. I always imagined that her affect would one day inhabit my body and soul. I'm still hoping for it.

55.) I find Naomi Watts sublime. I find Philip Seymour Hoffman to be one of the very best actors alive and working today. Again, sublime (and I'll only use that term for Watts and Hoffman). I have a picture of me and PSH. I was horribly nervous to ask for it, but he was very cool and obliging. He had, a few days earlier, talked with me about his earth-shaking performance in Magnolia (specifically, the moment when he fakes lighting a cig for his hospice patient; I burst into mad tears at the compassion . . . it was soul-blasting work). I had to ask for the pic, even though I don't generally like to do so. (do you love the 1" worth of dark roots? nice!).

56.) Over time (and specifically, following what I have come to call "The Christine Lahti Incident"), i have learned not to approach celebrities.

57.) It's a good thing that I'm a Theater Manager for the Sundance Screening Room during the Sundance Film Festival, because celebrities have to come find me (and this saves me the humiliation). And I do get a tiny jolt from talking with celebrities about routine business matters (how I will introduce them, sound levels for the film, etc.) because I'm talking to a celebrity but the ordinariness of it keeps my giddy "Hi, Celebrity X . . . I loved you in _______" tendency in check.

58.) At the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, I . . . met . . . Patti Smith.

59.) I am getting ready to attend a meeting and am feeling physically ill at the thought of it.

60.) I still get stomach-crunchingly anxious over public speaking.

61.) Once I start (see #60), I'm usually fine, quite happy . . . feeling "in my element," says the closet exhibitionist, the frustrated actress.

62.) We had a German Shepherd named Toby, the family dog. When my Dad told me that "we had him put down," the words hadn't registered in my mind before tears were hurling straight out into the space in front of me, gushing, projectile, from my eyes.

63.) I used to think, Raymond Carver-like (see "
Your Dog Dies"), that I could "draw upon" this (see # 62) moment in Strasbergian sense-memory acts on the many film sets I would surely frequent as a Working Screen Actress.

64.) I am a loyal friend, but friends often seem to tire of and "drop" me. Mostly, these are my female friends, whereas my male friends are quite loyal. I am not sure what this says about me. And it makes me sad.

65.) I have expensive taste, well beyond my means, and I am unashamed of it.

66.) I do *not* see money as the "root of all evil."

67.) I sometimes smoke, between 10-20 times/year.

68.) I never get even 1/2-way through a pack of cigarettes before throwing them out.

69.) Sometimes, I gesticulate wildly (especially if telling a story after a glass of wine or a cocktail). When I say "wildly," I mean it.

70.) It is *always* embarrassing to think of it (the gesticulating) the next day.

71.) Sometimes, I think, even still, even in 2008, that women who make clear that they are smart (in a variety of what seem to me like ordinary ways), are vilified and generally cut off from The Pack. In Utah, double that.

72.) I want to claim a groovy 3rd wave sensibility, but lately, I see everything in terms of gender, and it's killing me (especially in Utah) . . . I am fighting it and almost over it, two days after writing this list item.

73.) I am always looking for "the perfect" pair of boots, the "the perfect" bra . . . and . . . oh, forget it.

74.) I am afraid of cats, and they know it. They terrorize me.

75.) In my deepest heart, I am politically radical; In my actual life, I have become so disenchanted with "the process" that I am politically ambivalent-to-immobile. I am not proud of this.

76.) I make documentary films as a way of engaging with a world that scares and frustrates and fascinates me.

77.) When I am editing film, I am in the mystical "zone." As Beck might say, "the skin of a robot, vibrates with pleasure" ("Lazy Flies").

I want to make a video of this song (lyrics, genius) featuring footage from 2 Werner Herzog films, particularly Fitzcarraldo, and Aguirre, Wrath of God. I can't help visualzing it every time I hear this song (and secretly wondering -- Wimsatt & Beardsley notwithstanding -- if Beck didn't just find some inspiration there).

78.) I am a great teacher.

79.) Here, I had written "I am a horrible teacher," to sort of self-deprecate in a way that would ameliorate the eye-rolling gross out that could be reading #78, but #78 is true. So there.

80.) I would love to be a person who could say "I love to cook," but I am not that person.

81.) I once caught a Great White Marlin. Prior to catching the Marlin, it seemed that everyone fishing with us was catching something worthy of "stuffing." I hadn't, so when I caught one of the millions of routine baracuda that we used to catch while fishing in the keys (prior to the boatwreck; see #3 -- ya think that thing defines me?), Dad made a big deal about this one baracuda and said "we've gotta stuff 'im." I knew what he was doing, and it made me both a little bit sad, and it also made me love my Dad a little bit more.

82.) The Great White Marlin I caught was pathetically near death. It was almost floating on the surface (not good), and it's pitiful mouth was just able to get at the ballyhoo on my hook in order to finish off the whole mess. I felt badly about the whole thing, and we did stuff it, but it was not at all glorious or joy-inducing.

83.) I find taxidermy kind of gross.

84.) I hate using capital letters. Typing this list, I've used them, as a kind of experiment, and I have been uncomfortable the whole way through.

85.) I love a ginormous salad with chicken and lots of other goodies, but it's never special when I make it for myself, at home.

86.) Re: #85 and extending the thought to other dining scenarios, I am a fool for the flourishes of presentation. All over it. Flambee? . . . please! . . . giant pepper grinder (even though I prefer fine to coarse pepper)? absolutely! . . . impressive towers of food I can't make out? why not?! . . . extra parmesean despite likely lactose intolerance (see #9)? . . . outstanding! Oh, and those little scrapers waitpeople use at fancy establishments to oh-so-precisely brush away the distasteful crumbs and mess that reveal my human-slob-status? d-i-v-i-n-e!

87.) I have recurring dreams that make me wonder about alternate universes.

88.) I watch Shark Week every year.

89.) I am offended, not a little bit, but truly, deeply offended, when people feel entitled to, and then do comment upon my choice of diet soft drinks and splenda. And soooo many people feel that this is perfectly appropriate, a sign of higher intelligence. And these are smart people, people who know things about the infinite strands of historical, personal, painful and otherwise complex information that informs a person's decisions. When will people realize that no one wants anyone to comment upon their food and drink choices? jeez.

90.) I laugh out loud when I read the posts at http://neithernecessarynorsufficient.blogspot.com/.

91.) I *don't* believe our children are our future.

92.) Because, I mean, when "our" children are grown and running things, I'm probably going to be dead. And it's just gross to invoke "our children" or "the youth" to argue for things we actually want for ourselves, today . . . gross.

93.) I believe that Thank you for Smoking should be(come) a mandatory act of film spectation in every Writing and Rhetoric course, ever, everywhere.

94.) I have a thing for expensive handbags (but not just *any* . . . the padded Chanels and their ilk kinda gross me out) . . . more like Chloe's extra-large Paddington bag (current fav) in camel . . . ahhhhh . .

95.) Hey . . . our youth want me to have a Chole Paddington bag in camel!

96.) *Every* time Delta runs their "air safety messages" via video on the screens that pop down in front of us, Mike and I always get a Big Laugh of the guy in the aisle seat with long, curly hair. You see, he's listening to (presumably) music on his ipod. Get it? "Guys with long hair like music!" And look! He's complying by putting away his "electronic device" upon the request of the flight attendant! See, "Guys with long hair need not be threatening!" Clever, that Delta.

97.) Also, whenever we fly, we always get a laugh out of the Sky Mall Magazine, especially the (sadly, now updated) old version of the spider-sucking-vacuum-for-hard-to-reach-spiders-perched-high-on-your-wall. A mixture of totally gruesome with cleanliness possibilities . . . the image is insanely appealing (the woman in the ad wearing what i can only call "neatly pressed slacks," looking oh-so-calm) and funny and bizarre.

98.) I am using this list to publicly commit to taking my fabled trip to France during 2008. I have absolutely no idea how I will make it happen, but come on . . . tick, tock . . .

99.) I wish in my deepest heart that I could stop thinking about "the last 20 pounds." Maybe my inability to move past it has to do with the fact that I actually need to lose 50. ha.

100.) I am over this list. voilĂ !


bdegenaro said...

who cares if the form is (supposedly) dated? you know we out here in cyberspace appreciate stories of the punk years.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

cool. thanks, bill.

it's amazing how stirring it is to write it down in this list-y format.i think that lists may be underrated . . .

thanks for writing ;)

theincrediblejulk said...

Bonnie--this is a great exercise, I think.

Re: #32, #33, I'd love to sit down and chat w/ you sometime. My little sister just found out she has a prolactinoma on her pituitary gland and is all fucked up (pardon) about what's going to happen to her. I'd love to hear your perspective

--errin julkunen-pedersen

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

hi Errin,

i'm sorry to hear about your sister's tumor. i will be happy to talk with you. if it helps to know it, surgery is not the first option for everyone (my tumor was just too big and growing too fast). radiation and even some medications can treat. but hey, i wanted it OUT. and it did not hurt (the brain has very few nerve endings for experiencing pain; isn't that cool?!). it was mostly phschologically difficult.

anyhow, call any time. i'm around.

jenny said...

I would love to be a person who could say "I love to cook," but I am not that person.

Me too. That's totally me.

And I love SkyMall. Love it. I'll even look at it twice in one trip, if I have a layover with two legs.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

so, Jeff is the cook in your fam, i'm guessing?

i *am* "venturing" to make a turkey lasagna today. wish me luck. ha!

which is your fav Sky Mall gadget?

Liz said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I love reading people's 100 lists and I had actually forgotten about mine, but your post inspired me to re-read it, which was fun and kind of odd because enough time has elapsed between when I wrote it and now that I was surprised a few times by what I chose to share.

Interesting that you and I both had brain issues (your tumor, my AVM).

The shark-infested water experience--yikes. I don't even want to think about it.

bonnie lenore kyburz said...

Thanks for writing, Liz. yep. your list was an inspiration. and a lesson in brevity that i have yet to learn (clearly!).

brain stuff. crazy. yesterday, the Christina, who does my highlights, *finally* asked about the bumps on my head, said she'd never noticed them until yesterday (i think she was just being polite. i mean, you can't see them, but anyone who has shampooed me knows they're there!).

it was not only fun to write them but useful in many other ways. having a reader comment only confirms the value of the move. thanks :)

stand up straight & let me get a look at you

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