follow your bliss

we don't have an eternity to realize our dreams, only the time we are here -susan l. taylor

Sunday, March 26, 2006

100 things about me

i came across this idea
from this neat blog called: boy crazy.
i thought, what a challenge! and what a great idea...
so here's my list:
1. my name is mary ann. two words, no "e".
2. i am 1 of 4 sisters and 1 brother. family is generally close knit, but we have our moments...
3. i'm the oldest child in my family (and pls. don't remind me!)
4. i was born in the philippines, came to the us when i was 2 and grew up in chicago.
5. when i was little, my parents swear that i was very mischevious, getting into all sorts of trouble, along with my sister jo, who is 11 months younger than me.
6. i was reportedly the "brains" and my sister jo was the "brauns", according to family folklore.
7. one vivid memory i have when i was about 3 years old was i climbed out my bedroom window (and we lived in a garden apartment aka basement at the time) and ended up half dressed in the neighbor's side yard. the neighbors discovered me and returned me to my parents. my parents purport that i was fond of venturing out unchaperoned (much to their chagrin).
8. i am a monolingual english speaker but can understand bits and pieces of tagalog (the mutual dialect my parents still speak).
9. when i was about 5, i told my mother that i wanted to be a "girl scout"...hey, i was 5, what did i know?!
10. i grew up catholic on the side of chicago. went to parochial schools with my siblings, then went on to an all-girl catholic high schools, i dub the "prison".
11. no one would believe the inane things that i had to endure in high school run by psychotic nuns.
12. couldn't wait to get the heck out of "cell block h" and went to my dream school, de paul university. i was a die-hard blue demons fan since 8th grade. the late ray meyer was my all-time fave college basketball coach. it was sad to hear of his recent passing. the world is a bit emptier...
13. i majored in communications with a minor in art history. i had notions at first to become a journalist (as a had worked on my high school paper), but then i was torn between linguistics and art.
14. i graduated from college magna cum laude in 3 years and went straight onto graduate program to study sociolinguistics at georgetown university.
15. i was not quite 22 when i went on to grad school. it was my first experience away from home. i was there when the future nba star, patrick ewing, was a senior. you would always spot him right away in a crowd because he towered over everyone.
16. i was going to go for my ph.d. in linguistics, but began to panic at the prospect of writing my doctorate thesis. it took a friend of mine 10 years to write her thesis....
17. so i got a masters in science instead. i was almost 23 at the time.
18. during that time, i lived with a cranky, disabled lady in her late 60s and in exchange for free room and board, i had to cook meals and walk her poodle-mix dog, ouzo. she lived across the street from the university. it turned out i was not only trying to balance school, but also the demands of a cranky lady and her dog. she had broken her hip the summer i came to georgetown and needed someone to help her out. she used to be the vice president of finance at the university. she had a housekeeper, nicki, who was in her 70s. nicki and i became fast friends and she was forever trying to set me up with the laundry man. she'd say to me, mary ann, he's a fine looking should talk to him. this guy delivered dry cleaning fairly regularly to the house. i really didn't think so. and besides, i was very conscientious about my studies. it was so very different from undergrad.
19. i found out at that time that if you're gonna live in dc, you gotta be prepared to talk politcs. i could care less at the time. i also was made very conscious of my non-caucasian background. g-town is a very international school and i was forever asked, "where are you from?" and wouldn't you know, i would confound people and say, "chicago." they were usually expecting someplace in asia or something exotic. i've even been mistaken for someone from south america! no hable, okay?!
20. the things i learned from my g-town experience were: etiquette, mingling with the hoity-toity, how to set the table properly (miss g., the lady i lived with, had two sets of china--everyday and special---there were no paper or plastic products used at the dinner table!), gardening, living with a non-family member who was elderly and disabled and also where not to go in dc.
21. i was so burned out from school, that i took a break and got a job working for a local airline company in chicago. this was actually my first paid job. my parents did not believe in teenagers working. they were adamant about education.
22. i worked as a telephone reservationist. it was so foreign working with the general public (i've been virtually in school until this juncture). i was aghast at how incredibly rude and vulgar people could (and were) be. there was the "panty man", the "foot man", the asking what are you wearing freak, the cheap as-es, the i-want-to-speak-to-your-manager was crazy.
23. one fave memory of my airline days was the time i took the first flight out to dc from chicago and then came back on the turn around flight that same day. my father asked me, "where did you go at 6am?" i told him that i went to dc to pick up my camera that i had left at a friend's house the weekend before. he couldn't believe that i would do that...i had left home really early and then came back at 1:30 in the afternoon. my father was like, "boy, are you a jet setter now?"
24. i loved the airlines perk of unlimited, free travel. it was nothing to go somewhere for the day to go for lunch in boston, shopping in nyc or frolicking in the french quarter (ah, this was well before the horrible katrina hurricane). i missed the travelling, but i wanted to do more with all the education i attained.
25. that's when i decided to go into speech pathology. on one of my weekend jaunts to memphis where i was visiting an old college friend, i met an audiology student at a party. one thing led to another and before you know it, i was applying to their grad program in speech therapy.
26. the summer before i was to go to memphis, my sister jo and i got into a really bad car accident. my sister was badly hurt and i wasn't. it was a traumatic experience. we're both okay now, but at the time, i was too afraid to drive again and i almost postponed school.
27. i got over my fear of driving, and eventually drove down, with my family driving caravan behind me.
28. in the two years that i lived in memphis, i had not once stepped foot inside graceland. it's funny, but i've been outside the musical gates to his mansion, but never inside. oh well, no biggie...
29. after i finished the speech program, i had my first job as a speech therapist in a busy hospital in syracuse, ny.
30. it was a hellish year, but i learned and saw alot. it made me the kind a therapist i am today.
31. i moved back to chicago bec. i missed my family and friends. got a job there. was in two of my sisters' wedding.
32. for my 30 b-day i drove myself all the way to maine...just because years before, i was so fascinated by that place. my family was worried about traveling by myself, but i am an independent sort. it was the best time of my life...i saw and did so much. i vowed that i would go back there every summer until i could no longer.
33. i met my husband, joe, on a blind date in chicago. he was so cute, i was so nervous when we met. i didn't know what to do or how to act with all his compliments and gentlemanly manners.
34. after that first meeting we had been together ever since. i think i knew right away that he was a "keeper".
35. i was mugged in the middle of the day at work in chicago. it was the most terrifying thing that happened to me.
36. i was so disillusioned with living in the big city and having to deal with the rat race. i longed for somewhere more peaceful...and thoughts of my trips to maine came.
37. i found a job in midcoast maine. joe and i went to check it all out. it was his first time to maine. he loved the sights and sounds of maine, just like i had years before.
38. we moved to maine and lived in this terrific, old farmhouse. it was right on main street with four giant maple trees and a huge backyard.
39. we lived there for 5 years, almost six. and loved being by the ocean, the mountains, the trees, the fresh, salt air.
40. we got married on a mountain, overlooking our town we'd come to call home.
41. it was a glorious, september day. the weather was amazing. the views, stunning.
42. i'll forever remember the words joe said to me on our wedding day as we walked toward the cliff's edge to release two balloons (in memory of loved ones).
43. when we moved to maine, it was the caveat that we'd try for one year, and if we didn't like it after one year, then we would move back to chicago, the rat race.
44. after one month, maine was a "keeper".
45. getting used to country living was a real culture shock. everything in our little seaside town shut at 5 o'clock. and there was no such thing as 24 hours!
46. i had never known to use the "brights" on my car until we moved to maine. total darkness, except for the moon and the gazillion stars lit the night-time sky.
47. we were forever locking doors --the cars, the house, the windows. that's the city in us. then locals would tell us that they never locked anything. it was strange at first. but then i found myself not locking the car doors, or the house doors. i did put my foot down about leaving the car keys in the ignition! you can take the city girl out of the city, but you can't take the city out of the girl, or however the saying goes...
48. i found myself saying "wicked" alot and dropping off "r's" like in "cah" for "car" and adding "r's" like in "drawer" for "draw".
49. i love sea glass and rocks, which they both are everywhere in maine! it's very comforting to me to have these things around me and the house.
50. my husband taught me how to fish and i caught my first ever in san diego bay, california. that was when we first were dating.
51. i do enjoy fishing with my husband...i caught a 5 lb. large-mouth bass in the pouring rain in a little pond called "stephen's pond" in maine, of course.
52. i've gone whale-watching countless times and eaten many lobsters and clams as well.
53. i am passionate about gardening and everything from the seeds to all the garden paraphernalia.
54. i love to weed in the garden. it's very soothing and therapeutic.
55. i have an affinity for paper, stationery, office stems from childhood.
56. i love rubber stamping....have been using this medium since i was about 9 or 10. my husband says that i have way more than i need. i disagree completely.
57. i came into scrapbooking at the time i was getting married...that was in 2002. i really enjoy this craft. it combines my obsession with all things paper and rubber stamping.
58. we have 5 cats: bailey, t.j., fratchy, minnie-me and wiley magoo.
59. we moved to cheeseland to be closer to family and friends.
60. we miss our beloved maine something wicked!
61. we're planning to go back there one day soon.
62. i will never forget the sights, the sounds and smells of coastal maine.
63. maine is in my heart and soul, even though i may not be there physically.
64. i commute to work 50 miles each way. it really sucks, but it's 3 days out of the work week.
65. i get to craft or garden, do yoga or do nothingat all on my days off.
66. i love antiquing...maine was a virtual treasure trove. there were antique places everywhere! i miss that wicked! my fave place to go was a place called, the chicken barn ("bahn") in ellsworth, me.
67. i drive a white grand cherokee jeep. but my dream car is a volvo wagon. a toyota 4runner ain't bad either.
68. my sister bobbie drives me crazy.
69. my brother peter drives me crazy.
70. my parents usually drive me insane, but they are in the mother country at the moment.
71. we live in the basement of my parents' vacation home in cheeseland. my hubby and i are the caretakers of this place.
72. did i mention, that we miss maine?!
73. there's nothing but cornfields around here! where the heck is the ocean?!!!!!!!!
74. i love watching mcleod's daughters on the we channel. but i learned that the we channel is going to cancel this show. i have been searching ebay for deals on the dvds, okay?!!!!
75. i love to go ebaying....but it has to be "buy it now" bec. i can't deal with the bidding wars. those drive me insane.
76. we live in a wooded subdivision on the outskirts of town. my husband dubbed this neighborhood "bruceville" after the developer. never have we lived in such a place with as many rules and regulation as here in bruceville. i mean, everyone in maine pahks thur cahs on the lawrn, ayuh!
77. when we moved back to the midwest, joe and i experienced "reverse culture shock". we were so accustomed to country living in's not for us...being back to the rat race.
78. it's funny that both joe and i grew up in the chicago area but we both could not, would not, and will not live back in chicago again. it's too merch (as my sister gail would say).
79. my side of the family, i have 6 nieces and nephews. joe's side of the family, he has 30+ nieces and nephews {he's the 10th child of 11}.
80. i love to paint, particularly watercolor. i haven't lifted a paint brush in years, but i would love to paint again.
81. same goes for drawing. i took up many drawing and watercoloring classes when we lived in maine. i had a really good teacher who i took classes from for 4 years of the 5 that we were there.
83. a good thing about being back to the midwest is that, admittedly, i do enjoy being able to visit my sisters, nieces and nephews, etc. more often. it was kinda tough esp. around holidays and birthdays when we lived in me.
84. i love anything llbean....i also miss going to my favorite stores, like renys, planet and foreside company.
85. i am 5'2.5" tall and my hubby is 6', 3" tall. gotta love the height difference.
86. i can't stand and will not tolerate bad behavior from people, family or not.
87. i am older than what people think i am.
88. i still feel like i am kid, though.
89. people don't believe me when i tell them how old i am {it's for me to know and u to find out, :) }
90. i can't believe i'm down to the last 10 things! i love this whole blog thing. i'm forever grateful to my friend angie.
91. i have black hair with strays of gray ;(....and i have never dared to dye my hair. i think i will try to put that off as long as i can!
92. people often ask me and my husband if we have any kids and we say, "no".
93. our cats are our kids.
94. if it happens, it happens. if it don't, then i'm totally okay with that. really!
95. my fantasy, like alot of other people's, is to win the lottery. i would take care of us, a given. but i would also help out family and friends. it would be a dream for my husband to build a family compound in maine. i would also give back to the community. i really would like to see more community involvment with children and the arts and also in gardening....
96. i would love to someday visit australia and bora bora. and siciliy...i met a patient who is from there and showed me her villa. it's a big island and it reminded me of maine somehow.
97. i love to read anything by nora roberts. sure she tells romance stories, but she also tells stories about families, lives of strong, intelligent women and there is mystery/intrigue.
98. i love my husband with all my heart. he is my best friend and my life partner. he supports me in everything that i do and would like to do.
99. i plan to share with the world my gifts, talents and creativity---my passion. i'm going to follow my bliss. it's gonna happen!
100. without fail, i am a mainer at heart :)
the end.


  • At 3/27/2006 07:37:00 AM, Blogger andria said…

    I haven't read the whole thing because I have hungry kids this morning, but I plan to soon. I can't take credit for the idea, I got it from Jennifer's blog, have to find the link to that. I also thought it was interesting so I went with it. It took many days for me to come up with 100.

  • At 3/27/2006 07:53:00 AM, Blogger Jennifer said…

    I like the list, my fantasy is to win the lottery too!!!!!

  • At 3/27/2006 08:14:00 AM, Blogger firstborn said…

    thanks andria for pointing me to jennifer...i was able to thank her properly!

    but i still am glad that i came across your blog bec. i would have never been inspired to write one.

    have a good monday!

    mary ann :)

  • At 3/27/2006 10:25:00 AM, Blogger andria said…

    You lived in Memphis and didn't go to Graceland?! I also adore Maine, went to Bar Harbor for 2 weeks on our honeymoon and I would live there in a second if my husband could find work there. I liked your list.


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