Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Now it's seven

Eero asked me to share "seven little-known facts" the other day. I think I did this meme a few months ago when the number was still five. But I haven't tried seven yet, and I didn't go for a ride today, and I do owe her for lending me a bivy to use in the Susitna 100, so I thought I'd oblige. Seven "little-known" facts about Jill:

1. Somewhere deep in the recesses of childhood memory, I know how to play four different instruments: the accordion, the string bass, the harmonica and the piano. That may sound decidedly nerdy, but put them all together and I could form a mean one-woman zydeco band.

2. I have an irrational but paralyzing fear of moving water - whitewater rapids, ocean swells and the like. I can trace this fear back to a lot of incidents, but the first was when my parents took me to a Sesame Street theme park near Dallas, Texas, when I was 3 years old. One of the "attractions" was little more than a narrow, dark tube that children crawled through while jets of water blasted from all sides. I still have vivid dreams of a shadowed line of big kids' faces and large hands yanking me forward as I thrashed against the deluge, screaming and screaming and screaming.

3. I also am afraid of dogs. I am more afraid of dogs than I am of bears. This is because I know bears for the most part want to leave me alone. Dogs, on the other hand, have lunged at me, mowed me down, and a couple of times even bit me - hard enough to cause permanent scarring. I do not like dogs. But I'm sure your dog is great.

4. I am a big advocate of not attaching oneself to things. "Need Less" is, in fact, my zen goal in life. I really like the idea of living independently, minimizing my footprint (I am a second-hand queen) and keeping my lifestyle options open - even if it means leaving everything I own behind (I try to include my bikes in this sentiment, but I have predictably become attached to them.) The upside is that I have more money to spend on the intangible and fleeting things I really love, like food and travel. The drawback is that I own the world's ugliest couch, a Salvation Army TV that only picks up two channels, and a bed I hate so much that I only sleep in it about 30 percent of the time. But hey - I could walk onto the Alaska State Ferry tomorrow and never look back.

5. I finished my first "century" ride, the 2004 Salt Lake Century, in 5 hours, 25 minutes. However, after two years of riding with an odometer, I have concluded beyond much doubt that I must have inadvertently skipped part of the course. It's highly unlikely that I actually rode 100 miles that fast. But I guess I'll never really know.

6. I suspected a botched finishing time by the end of my second century attempt, the 2004 Ride for Life. Not because it was decidedly slower, but because I discovered how poor my route-finding skills really were. I showed up 45 minutes late and took off down the road, quickly becoming confused by the hordes of runners I was passing. Thirteen miles later, I was back where I started. Only then did I realize that I had inadvertently followed the course of a half-marathon that was happening that same day. Then 90 minutes late, I still did the ride, because I was "sponsored" back then and somewhat obligated (Thanks, Cycling Utah!)

7. I was born in Denver, Colorado, moved away when I was 9 months old, and have never actually been back (drove by on I-25 once, at night, without stopping.) It's kind of strange to have no mental picture of the place where I was born.

So there you go ... seven things. The idea is to pass this on, but I don't really feel comfortable telling others what they should write on their blogs. So I'll leave it up to you, because it's always fun to hear from others. Tell me a little-known fact about yourself.

12 comments:

  1. Hey Jill, Since you don't know me, every fact about me will be little known...I'll try to pick some good ones:

    1. I was born and hald raised (school here, summers there) in Hungary.
    2. I love fancy, beautiful, old stuff, the kind of stuff that weighs you down and makes it impossible to move: copper pots, riveted leather couches, carved wood pictureframes, paintings, persian rugs....I guess I'm a maximalist....?
    3. I have to move to NYC (from California) in 6 months (gasp!)
    4. My knee started hurting again out of nowhere two days ago, hurt for a day, and then stopped hurting. (double gasp-- I'm on the total inactivity plan, as you recall, and on this plan *there is supposed to be no pain.* Life is not fair. But I've got 19 more days of inactivity to go, and then all bets are off.)
    5. I play no instruments but speak seven languages, two of them dead.
    6. I watch lots of TV, unashamedly.
    7. I don't have any irrational fears; I save my irrationality for incessant neurotic worrying about: my son's health, my ability to ever bike again, my prospects on the academic job market...and many more.

    your recovery partner,
    Agnes

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  2. I'll blog about it.

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  3. Well, let's see:

    1.I was born and raised in Germany.
    2.I didn't like Americans much growing up. I grew up during the Cold War and all I knew of you guys was Pershing II and scary stuff (Like McDonald's and such)...today I am married to an American, love (most) Americans and live in the US.
    3. I HATED English in High school and I would have never thought to use this language more than my mother tongue.
    4.I started biking through my boy-friend (now husband) and it was a love-hate relationship, the biking part that is. I started on one of his bikes with clipless pedals and my second ride I fell head first in a river...
    Yes, you can laugh, everyone does:)
    5. I am surprised that I still ride today because for the longest time I thought, I absolutely suck at biking, but I didn't give up/in and now I am racing and I won my first races this season (XC)
    6.I love dogs and I have yet to encounter a bear. I don't mind snakes and other "beasts" I just let them be. (I have a dog, a Jack Russell Terrier named Mr. Whiskers}
    7. Fears: that my husband, who is in the Army has to go back to Iraq, living in Nebraska, getting hit by a tornado, log-crossings on the MTB,...

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  4. Interesting stuff...I'll do my seven things sometime next week. I bet several folks will take your lead and do this. Should be interesting.

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  5. I am a talented breakdancer.

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  6. I'm a Dallas native....did a quick Google of "Sesame Place". It rings the faintest of faint bells...apparently it was only open from 1982 - '84....so essentially it was you Jill and about 43 other visitors that made this Irving Texas "fun park" such a short-lived "un-destination".

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  7. I like your zen need less goal. Simplicity and cycling are a good match.

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  8. Jill, thank you so much for stopping by at my "place":) It's great to meet you! I forgot one fact, that I added on my blog:) and it's true: I hated gardening as a kid. My parents still can't believe that I go out and pull weeds on my free will....

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  9. I have a tattoo. No big deal these days of course, but most people don't know about it because it's far enough up my arm that even short sleeves cover it. This was deliberate, I got it for myself, not to display something to the world.

    I had done the design a year before and hung it on my fridge to see if I would still like it in the long term. Oh ya, I'm a rebel!

    I got done on my 30th birthday, the same day I finally cut my long hair. It felt like the right thing to do. I was cutting my hair because my hairline had receded to the point that I looked like I was wearing a wig that was sliding back on my scalp. Not because I wanted to. Genetics was taking something away from me so it felt like good to fight back with something permanent.

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  10. Colorado's pretty suave. Maybe it's good you've never stopped to look - you might stay.

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  11. TheLocoMono5:18 PM

    No biggie on not remembering where you were born. I don't remember the town where I was born because my own town didn't even have a hospital and I moved away at three months old.

    Nice to know ya ain't alone, isn't it?

    Savor Alaska. I did.

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