25 Random Things About Me

1. I have an fascination bordering on obsession with languages. Currently, I have studied Korean, Chinese, Hebrew, and Greek seriously and several others languages not so seriously. No doubt the rest of my life will be consumed with this endeavor in one form or another. I hope to head to China or Southeast Asia someday to study minority languages there.

2. Lest you be overawed by my intellect, I will now confess that I have somewhat of a shoe-fetish. At the moment, I am wearing red patent open toe stilleto platforms with 5 inch heels. Yes, you read that right! I love shoes and the wilder the better. Clunky yellow patent pumps, bright blue suede Mary Janes, pink platform sandals with bright flowers embroidered the heels, grey satin sandals, black patent moccasins (all of the above with 4 inch+ heels), plus biker boots, furry Russian boots, knee-high gladiator sandals and believe me the list goes on and on and on. I have managed to shop through more than 5,000 shoes on Amazon.com. *blush*

3. Lest you be appalled by my conspicuous consumption, I must say that I don't own a car and I don't even ride public transportation a lot, except to go to work. Mainly, I walk and walk and walk and ride my bike. I've discovered that although it can be difficult to walk around all day in 4 inch heels, it's quite convenient to ride a bike in heels. I prefer my bicycle seat to be as high as possible so that I can stretch out my legs more when I'm riding, but when I stop, my legs won't reach the ground unless I'm wearing heels. :-)

4. While I am boasting about the things which I do not own, I must not neglect the fact that I don't own a TV. I was about to buy one recently, then got cold feet at the last minute. I'd prefer to waste my time in front of the computer. :-) I also don't own a toaster or a microwave (although I do own a spiffy yogurt maker, a soy milk machine and a couple of electric kettles). And if you're not impressed by my lack of worldly possessions yet, I should add that my apartment is old and decrepit and I'm only a lowly renter.

5. I love to try all new foods, as long as these new foods are not made from deceased animals. I tend toward vegetarianism, even leaning vegan from time to time. I'm all about whipping up new varieties of soy milk in my kitchen but you won't find me chomping down on things like "balut." (If you don't know what that is, check out my sister Esther's list of horrible foods she likes to eat). In short, I will never turn down any form of fruit or vegetable or grain, but I am just not into eating cows, pigs, dogs, monkeys and so on.

6. I suspect I'm a little bit ADHD, though I have never been diagnosed. I say this seriously: I used to worry about whether I could get through college and hold down a job or not because I just can't concentrae well on anything which I am not interested in. Still, I have worries about my ability to function at a "normal" job. I can't concentrate well unless I am thoroughly absorbed in something. Even worse, once I'm thoroughly absorbed I can't switch my concentration off. For example, once I started learning Chinese about 2 1/2 years ago, I got so completely wrapped up in it that I couldn't do much else. Even while I am teaching English, my brain is trying to think about Chinese or Korean. Sigh. . .

7. I am unnaturally sensitive to viewing violence of all kinds. Because of this, I couldn't watch TV in the past, especially the news. The Lehrer News Hour on PBS is usually okay for me, but CNN always has some perverted story to ruin my day. I actually left a restaurant in Dallas early because the news story blaring on the TV next to me was so disturbing. Thus, I generally read the newspaper and avoid the TV. I also can't stand to be around people who tell disgusting stories for fun. I will walk away.

8. I have seen quite a lot of dead bodies. This unfortunate fact may not have helped me to become insensitive to violence. My father officiated at a lot of funerals when I was a child and I usually saw the body in the casket. In college, I worked at a receptionist at a funeral home. One of my tasks was to enter the viewing rooms and turn off the lights at night and then lock the doors. Another task was to take phone calls at night when a person has passed away, and then send the body collectors to go and get the body. Um . . I wanted to be a writer so I thought a job at a funeral home would give me fodder for my writing.

9. I am not a true lover of travel. I am more a fan of intense immersion. I don't want to travel to a country unless I already know the lanuage and culture. Once I'm there, I'd like to go to the grocery store and buy some local food and cook it. Then I'd like to go to the bookstore and read some books, and then have some non-alcoholic beverages and talk with local people. Then, I'd like to repeat this cycle for several years. I'm not really the kind to race around from famous place to famous place breathlessly taking pictures.

10. I tend to love the people I love very deeply. What I mean is that I've never ever been the kind of person who enjoys casual relationships. I prefer my relationships, whether romantic or otherwise, to be long lasting, stable, and intense. Once I'm in a relationship, I'm happy to not change, unless dramatic and tragic things take place.

11. I tend to listen to the same songs repeatedly--over and over and over. This rather embarrasses me because my taste in music is not always stellar. Yes, I love Beethoven's 9th Symphony Movement 4, have listened to it dozens of times, and have it on my mp3 player. I also love Greenday's "Basketcase" and Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life."

12. I'm an aggressive driver with a lead foot. I once received a ticket for driving 30 miles over the speed limit, and that was after I'd already slowed down a lot. Another good reason for me not to own a car.

13. I suck at all forms of sports, except yoga and (amazing) taekwondo. I'm good at contorting my body into various shapes and good at kicking, but that's it.

14. I drink unbelievable amounts of tea each day, with a grande-ish cup of strong coffee thrown in for good measure. Truly, I'm not sure if I've ever met a person who drinks more tea than I do. Even after traveling to China and living with Chinese people, I still can say that I do drink more tea than any one I've ever met. I don't like to drink milk or juice or sports drinks, only green tea, black tea, and black coffee. I am almost always drinking (and going to the bathroom). Friend and Family, never hesitate to buy tea or toilet paper for me as a gift!

15. In the past 7 years or so, I've los a lot of weight and managed to keep it off during and after pregnancy. This was done almost entirely by slowly changing my eating habits, gradually finding emotional healing, and walking.

16. I've studied the Bible all my life, even attending seminary and doing well in Greek and Hebrew. But still, I find myself standing on the verge of a hermeneutical paradigm shift, and it frightens me. My whole theology is in turmoil and I'm not certain what to do. Those of you who want details are completely welcome to ask.

17. I want to live to be more than 100 years old. Old age doesn't frighten me much, maybe because I have such an exceptional example in my Grandmother. When I do die, I'd like to die in action, if possible. Dying in a motorcycle accident in the mountains of Tibet at the age of 101 is ideal.

18. I love to write and harbor many illusions of grandeur in my heart related to becoming the next Shakespeare. It won't happen but still I like to dream.

19. I worship physicists. My father majored in physics and often told me physics-related bedtime stories when I was little. Consequently, when asked "Who is your hero?" I often answered "Albert Einstein." Names like Marie Curie, Max Planck, and Edward Lorenz turn me on! If I had several extra lifetimes, I'd like to dive into chaos theory first, then quantum mechantics, and then maybe astrophysics. Just my dream. I didn't even take physics in high school. . . Last year, I had a female student in my class who was finishing up her Ph.D. in physics. I admire her so much, I can't stand it!

20. I don't like games much, mainly because I have only one lifetime to live. I'd rather use my time for productive purposes. Yes, it's sad to say, but I prefer work to play. Studying Chinese or Korea is just as fun as any game and far more profitable.

21. I tend to be terribly absentminded, yet I possess an excellent memory. I can't remember to pay my bills but I do remember my 16 digit credit card number.

22. I am unable to multi-task. My husband is often shocked by my singular inability to do more than one thing at a time. I can't cook and carry on a conversation at the same time. I can't drive and chat with a friend. I can't write emails and smell the acrid fumes of dinner going up in smoke.

23. I hesitate to confess this but. . .if you've gotten this far in my ranting, maybe you'll be able to understand. I tend to feel more comfortable around men than around women. Men are simpler for me to deal with, and usually I like the kind of man who can talk about esoteric topics, such as the Japanese invasion of Korea in the 1500's or the reasons why the Chinese RMB should not be revalued. I'm a quiet person, and I don't mind listening to lengthly discourses on any intellectually stimulating topic.

24. I hate talking on the phone. Please don't call me. Send me a text message or email me or write me a letter.

25. Although I'm an introvert, I rather enjoy speaking to large groups of people.


  1. i want to know about 16.

    i am shifting too....scared, wondering if i am adrift or finally pointed in the right direction.

    i've missed you. love to chat as time allows.

  2. I'll send you an email and I'll even try to blog soon. I miss you too and I've love to chat. BTW, my sister has moved to the same city you live it--just across the Colombia, actually. I am just dying to visit her there and I will certainly visit you too!