Everything always works out for the best

Here was my message from the universe today:

The reason things always work out for the best, Natalie, is because this is actually the highest of all spiritual laws.

Any apparent exceptions are simply evidence that work is still in progress, whether or not it can be seen.

Always,
The Universe

I love this one, because it’s what I believe already.

Namaste.

Acceptance

My Freewill Astrology horoscope a couple of weeks ago had this quote from Christiane Northrup:

The only way to get a difficult feeling to go away is simply to love yourself for it…If you think you’re stupid, then love yourself for feeling that way. It’s a paradox, but it works. To heal, you must…shine the light of compassion on any areas within you that you feel are unacceptable.

These are the things I need to learn to love about myself:

  • My financial messiness that I am in the process of cleaning up. Though it may be hopeless to ever think I could live frugally sticking to a tight budget.
  • A body that is less than perfect.
  • A wicked sweet tooth.
  • Always feeling like my whole life is on the verge of crumbling into an absolute mess.
  • The fact that despite completing the C25K running program, I don’t like running and don’t care to do it ever again.
  • An almost complete inability to sit and relax for more than 10 or 20 minutes at a time.
  • An unstoppable tendency to bite off more than I can chew.
  • An inexplicable compulsion to sing along with "Copacabana" whenever it’s on the radio.

What about you? What are you learning to love about yourself?

Another fitness goal…

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working toward running a 5K with the C25K running program . Three walking/running workouts a week gradually progressing in length and intensity to move you from couch potato to running a 5K in 9 weeks.

Well, it’s taken me more like 11 weeks. I had a tough time getting through Week 6 and had to attempt it three times before I was able to get through all three workouts. But I did it!

I only have Week 9 left to go – three more workouts and I’ll be there! Able to run a 5K. (3.1 miles for people who are metric-ly challenged like me)

Never one to rest on my laurels, didn’t I stumble across one hundred pushups yesterday? 0 to 100 pushups in 6 weeks. I’m not going to try this while I’m still doing C25K, so next Monday, the 100 pushups challenge begins. I bet it takes me longer than 6 weeks, but I bet I can still get there. And just so you know, those will be girlie pushups, on the knees.

Care to join me?

How not to get a job…or then ridiculousness ensued

A couple months ago, I was swamped with freelance work and looking for someone to help me out by doing some work – mostly HTML and CSS. I posted an ad on Craig’s List being pretty specific about what I was looking for. I got a number of responses, most of them with truly awful web portfolios full of web sites built with table-based layouts when I had specifically asked for someone proficient in table-less layouts. Anyway, there were two or three promising prospects in the bunch, so I set about scheduling interviews with them.

One of these promising applicants we’ll call Bacon, to protect his identity I’ve also removed any identifying information, such as URLs of web sites he sent me. You’ll see why.

The first email from Bacon seemed normal enough:

To whom it may concern,

Attached is my resume that also lists my most prominent examples of launched sites, and most applicable positions, you can also view my online portfolio at [site url removed]. I have extensive experience in the internet industry and aside from heading up that department at a major corporation, I also ran my own company for good number of years servicing a variety of businesses with quality development. The lessons I learned from that time have taught me more then in all my years in University, however my degree has been a beneficial enterprise as well, teaching me the value in solid composition and communication skills, as well as critical thinking and problem solving. I have completed Bachelors at [college name removed] and am seeking to build a client list or find a more permanent home at a firm with the right conditions and atmosphere.

I look forward to the possibility of meeting with your company and discussing the details, and I sincerely appreciate your consideration.

Regards,
Bacon

Nothing wrong with that. I looked through his portfolio, and though some of the code was a little rough, there was promise. I emailed him back:

Hello Bacon,

Thank you for contacting me in reference to my job opening posted on Craig’s List.

I just wanted to re-iterate that this is a rather small job – most months will be less than 10 hours total, and the work will mostly be maintenance and updates. Several of the sites I maintain are older sites that have legacy code. Sometimes the client will be willing to pay us to update the site or page, but more often not, and we’ll have to work with what’s there. The pay I’m offering is $25/hour, and telecommuting is fine, though I’d like to do an in-person interview. I should have some new projects to start, but as I’m sure you’re aware, that’s somewhat unpredictable.

Please email me and let me know if you’re still interested in this position.

Thank you,
Natalie

Some people seemed so earnest, I felt as though I was disappointing them by offering up such a small amount of work. So I just wanted to be sure that was going to be okay and that Bacon felt it was still worth the effort of going through my interview process when I was being rather choosy. He responded:

Natalie,

Sounds great, I’m interested, lets set up an appointment. Is early this next week good for you?

– Bacon

So far, so good. But by this point, I was getting rather overwhelmed with responses, and getting kind of bogged down in reviewing code in the applicant’s portfolios. This on top of the fact that I still had a full time job and all of this work that was already so overwhelming I was looking to hire someone to help me out. So I said:

Hello Bacon,

Please give me a couple of days – I’ll be in touch to set up an interview.

Thanks,
Natalie

Hoping for a little break and a chance to get caught up. Well, Bacon had apparently read a few too many books on negotiating. So he responded with:

Natalie,

I do have other offers, but I’ll keep an opening to hear from you. Hopefully early next week? Otherwise I may have to pass.

I saw right through this. I was looking for someone to do at the most 10 hours of work a month. But he somehow had other offers that were going to make that impossible? I was already doing my best to sort through all the applicants, so he would have to wait his turn. I wasn’t keeping people waiting on purpose or unnecessarily. It was just tough to keep up with it all.

It took me two days to get caught up, then I emailed him again:

Hi Bacon,

I’d still like to schedule a telephone interview. I’d like to spend some time during the interview talking about your code and some of the choices you made. Please choose one web site of yours that you’ve worked on recently so that it’s fresh in your mind, and send me the URL for that site.

What time of day and day of the week is best for you for the interview?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks,
Natalie

It’s never a good sign when someone ignores a specific request when trying to get a job, as Bacon did when he responded with this:

Natalie,

I can be pretty flexible for the time, what day were you thinking? Let me know.

Bacon

Wow. I wrote a whole paragraph about wanting to discuss a specific project and why. And he totally ignored me. I tried again.

Would Tuesday evening work for you?

Please don’t forget to send me a URL for code discussion.

Thank you,
Natalie

Ok, surely he’ll send something along now.

Tuesday is fine.

In regards to code discussion I’m not clear on what your requesting, precisely. I would recommend having a look at my portfolio if you have not already: [url removed].

I’ve done a number of different sites and, in terms of coding them myself, I suppose below would be the best example:

a database driven CMS / php and mysql – [url removed]

flash – [url of his portfolio (again) removed]

I have many more portfolio pieces on my site, what types of coding skills are you most in need of? Will this be a strictly programming job or entail design work also?

If so, my favorite piece I’ve done the complete design for is this: [url removed]

To me, it seemed to be that the URL of a most recent project was a pretty simple request. Also, hadn’t my previous emails and the Craig’s List job posting been clear enough about what type of work the job entailed? None of the other applicants had hesitated or had any problems sending me a URL for a site they could discuss during their interviews. I tried to clarify.

Hi Bacon,

I have already looked through your portfolio. I was planning on going through your CSS, JavaScript, and HTML/xHTML choices in some detail, and I know it can be difficult to remember why certain choices were made months after the fact, so I wanted to be sure I chose a project that was recent and fresh in your mind.

The main part of this job would be front-end development, mainly working with CSS, JavaScript, and HTML/xHTML, but also from time to time working with Flash and PHP, and if you were able to do design work as well, that would be a big plus.

If you could please, send me one URL for our discussion so I can prepare my comments before our interview.

Thanks,
Natalie

I was really starting to wonder, was I being unclear? It seemed like such a simple request.

Natalie,

the best example would be [url removed – same site mentioned earlier as a database-driven php/mysql site]

I should be frank, however, I am not terribly fluent in PHP. I do learn quickly, and working with actionscript has taught me a lot about languages in general, making PHP easier to grasp. But if this position requires me to be a proficient PHP programmer right from the start, I’m probably not the ideal candidate. Let me know.

Thank you much,
Bacon

This was just getting to be frustrating. If it was this much work to get a simple URL to discuss, what was it going to be like actually trying to work with this guy? How many times would I have to send clarifications about work to be done? Still, I appreciated his candor in informing about the limitations of his skills.

Bacon,

That shouldn’t be a problem. Most of the work with PHP will actually be coding HTML and CSS around PHP that’s already been written and possibly making a few modifications to what’s there. I’m not expecting that you be able to code complex applications or anything. It’s not hard to pick up at all, so don’t worry about that.

I do appreciate your honesty though.

Thanks,
Natalie

A short time later, Bacon must have signed into his Gmail account while I was signed in, and realized that I was also using Gmail. He took the opportunity to start a pointless live chat with me:

10:20 AM bacon : hello, i didn’t realize you were on gmail

me: hello.

10:21 AM bacon: well I look forward to soeaking[sic] with you more, I do have some specifics I wanted to find out regarding your company, type of work etc I’ll speak with you tuesday night, otherwise

me: i was planning to go over that during the interview

bacon: ok, excellent speak with you then

10:22 AM me: ok, thank you

How many times did I have to explain the type of work he’d be doing? I ignored that and took some time and went through the Web site he sent and started making some notes. I got about 5 minutes into it before I saw some comments that tipped me off that this was a Drupal site. Nothing wrong with that. Except some of these comments were referencing a specific named template for Drupal. I searched for it, and there it was, looking exactly like the site I was reviewing. The header was different and there were a few minor customizations to the template, but for the most part, Bacon had just slapped a pre-made template on a Drupal installation and then sent it off to me as his own original work. This would not do:

Bacon,

As I’m looking for someone with strong CSS and HTML skills, I’d like to see a site that better showcases your skills in these areas better than the site you sent me for review ( [url removed] ). The site in question is a slightly customized Drupal theme which, as far as I can tell, only involved changing a few colors and adding a custom Flash header. Incidentally, the left-column navigation is somewhat broken in IE6, and the ‘click to activate’ issue hasn’t been resolved with the Flash header in IE6.

Could you please send me the URL for a site that better showcases your CSS and HTML skills? Because I don’t have time to review another site before our scheduled interview tomorrow evening, I’d like to postpone that until I’ve had a chance to review a site that you coded yourself.

Thanks,
Natalie

I think I made a mistake here. After his hesitation in sending me a specific URL to discuss and then sending me a barely customized Drupal theme, I should have just taken him out of the running for the job. All signs were pointing to someone with less-than-adequate skills and with a temperament that would not be easy to work with. Still, I always feel like I need to give someone the benefit of the doubt.

Natalie,

I haven’t made anything with CSS in awhile as I consider myself more of a flash developer now, but I would have to contest your analysis of the drupal site. It’s a lot more then slightly modified, particularly if you view the products listing page, please note the PDF symbol that shows up next to each product. I had to do custom PHP and CSS classes to achieve this functionality. The left nav works best in IE6 and is slightly bugged in Mozilla, so I’m not sure what your[sic] stating in regards to that. As for the click to activate, its[sic] just a simple line of code I hadn’t put in.

That said you welcome to view this site built from scratch, however I did not spend a lot of time programming it and the code is a bit sloppy:

[url removed – new site, not previously sent]

I also made this site:

[url removed – his portfolio site again, but this time an old version of it]

(please note that some of the links are broken or will take you to my present site, as this is just some pages I’ve left to ultimately be deleted to make way for the newer version on the way).

As for postponing the meeting, I understand your position if your concern is in regards to my ability to code from scratch, however I can assure you my skills are more then adequate having spent the last few months learning strictly advanced programming. After actionscript 3.0 (which is a class based, object oriented language) any of my next attempts at a CSS site will be much more organized and thorough.

If the meeting will be postponed, I hope we can still find an agreeable time this week. I’ve delicately set my schedule this week, however, and it would be best for me if we could proceed as planned. But if not, I’ll be as flexible as I can be.

Speak to you soon.

Wow. I don’t even know where to start here. First off, if you’re a Flash developer, why bother applying for a front-end developer position? Second of all, adding some little PDF icons next to links to PDFs is a minor modification. Any front-end developer worth their salt can pull that off in five minutes or less.

Third, I’ve never seen any front-end developer get so defensive when bugs with their sites were pointed out. It happens all the time. We help each other out. The typical response, is "Thanks, I hadn’t tested in that browser." or "I know, but the client and I have decided not to fully support that browser." And the fact that he tells me the site is in fact buggy in Firefox not IE6 just takes the cake.

Then as sites for me to review he sends me an old version of his portfolio site that he acknowledges has broken links and a sloppily coded site he assures me isn’t indicative of his usual work. What exactly am I supposed to think? And what would these clients think if I actually posted their URLs and they learned about his haphazard sloppy approach to web development that they paid for?

I’d just like to add that having worked with both ActionScript and CSS, I have no idea what the two have to do with one another. Learning ActionScript 3.0 wouldn’t do anything to improve your CSS skills.

At this point, I knew there was no way I was going to hire this guy. He didn’t have a single piece in his portfolio that he could show me as proof of the skills he was claiming. So I tried to let him down gently.

Bacon,

Unfortunately, you have to be able to show the code to back up your claims of your skills and talents. It’s not enough to say that your next attempt at CSS will be more organized and thorough. When employers are looking to hire someone, they need to hire people who are able to demonstrate their skills, not just promise that they have them.

The modification to add the PDF symbol to each product is still a minor customization, and the lion’s share of the CSS and HTML on the site was not written by you.

In reference to your left-hand navigation menu: in FF, I am seeing an evenly spaced vertical list of links with arrows on the left neatly aligned with the text. Rollover behavior is a small shift in position and a subtle background color change. In IE6, the vertical spacing of the menu items is erratic and the arrows do not align with the text. Rollover behavior includes a bottom border misplaced and not aligned with the border that’s already visible, probably due to the erratic spacing of the menu items.

If you consider yourself more of a Flash developer at this point, and that is where your skills and interests lie, then I encourage you to continue to pursue that avenue. Flash developers are very much in demand.

However, I don’t think that your skills and interests are a good match for the position I’m looking to fill at this time.

Thanks,
Natalie

By this point I was pretty frustrated and tired of spending time on this candidate who I now knew wasn’t a fit. But I thought this email was still professional and not reflective of my emotional state. Please do let me know if I’m wrong. Bacon was apparently offended.

by the way, the spacing in the left nav is different reflecting rather or not there are sub items, so there. There is nothing wrong with it. good luck with your "company".

"So there"? Seriously? Bacon’s next move was to sign into chat and blast me with this little gem, then sign out immediately before I could respond:

[12:34] bacon: your professional demeanor leaves much to be desired, I was on the fence anyways, I don’t think I would do well with the sort of work ethic or environment you seem to pruport[sic], good day to you and thank you for a lesson in how to better manage my time, avoiding companies such as yours.

[12:34] bacon: critisizing[sic] my coding openly before even working together is rude, if you dont[sic] like my work dont[sic] hire me, otherwise keep it to yoruself[sic]

[12:34] bacon: good day to you

The sort of work ethic or environment I seem to purport? You mean one where people don’t claim template code as their own, or go around passing off sloppily coded projects on clients? I was too steamed not to respond. But I still tried to be professional.

In general, constructive criticism of code, particularly when it’s pointing out something that’s not working properly in one browser or another, is welcomed with open arms among the web development community. I did not intend to offend you. The general assumption is that the developer was unaware that there was a problem, and the developer is generally thankful to have a problem pointed out to them before the client discovers the problem and complains.

Attacking someone’s work ethic and professional demeanor without cause is uncalled for. I have been professional and polite in all my communications with you. The code that you have shown me simply has not demonstrated the skills I am looking for. You yourself said that you consider yourself more of a Flash developer than an integrator or front-end developer. Your skills and interests simply don’t match the position I have open at this time. Please do not take it so personally.

As I said before, please continue to pursue Flash development if that is where your heart lies – Flash developers are very much in demand and you can make a lucrative career for yourself doing what you love rather than trying to fit into a position that does not match your interests. Best of luck to you.

–Natalie

The next email I received was from Google:

** NOTICE TO SENDER **

Your intended recipient has blocked your e-mails.

Well, so much for that. I can’t say as I felt anything but relief at this point. At least I wouldn’t have to hear from Bacon any more. Ha. Until three hours later when he apparently un-blocked my e-mails and wrote:

Natalie,

Should I expect a phone conversation sometime this evening? Please keep me updated.

– Bacon

I swear I could not make this up if I tried. Now he was still expecting me to conduct the phone interview? I was so angry. I vented to a friend who pointed out that if I kept it going Bacon was just crazy enough to continue escalating the situation and driving me mad. At my wise friend’s advice I wrote Bacon:

I’ve selected the person for the position. Thank you for your interest, and good luck to you in the future.

It the hardest email I ever wrote. I typed "So there!" at the end of it, then deleted it at least twenty times before finally hitting the Send button.

Bacon, apparently back to his senses responded:

Natalie,

Yes I wish you the best of luck also.

Yeah, I bet you do. But at least this was the last I’ve heard from him.

A little sad about Crazy

Crazy is my fish. I’ve had him for a four or five years. So I guess he’s kind of old as fish go.

Last week I noticed a big lump on his head. Some quick Google searching confirmed my fear – it’s probably cancer. When your $2 fish gets cancer, there’s not really much you can do.

Crazy seems fine. He’s eating normally (besides a little issue with being able to see his food around the lump on his head) and swimming around just like always.

Even though it’s silly, I’m a little sad. He’s my buddy. He’s been sitting here on my desk next to my computer, keeping me company while I work for years. My desk will be a whole lot lonelier without him around.

Why I remain calm…

I’ve just finished reading an interview with Charles Hawkins, a concierge at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel. Yes, the one from Pretty Woman.

The interviewer asked him, "Do you ever lose your calm?" He said:

It takes a lot to ruffle my feathers. As long as I know there is chocolate somewhere in the hotel – and there alway is – I can get through anything.

The comforting presence of chocolate.

Sticking to my standards

A few years back, I got pretty upset with a boss of mine when she told me that not everyone holds themselves to the same high standards that I do, and that I had to cut other people some slack. I’ve never felt like I held myself to some hoity-toity high falutin’ standards, and I didn’t understand why it was so unreasonable to expect the same from others that I expect from me.

I could see a problem if I demanded more but not the same.

Doesn’t the universe come along with this:

The only person who should ever have to live by your standards, Natalie, is you.

Let everyone else off the hook. Besides, it’s doubtful they’ve lived as much, dreamt as big, or will ever be able to saunter quite like you.

Tallyho,
The Universe

So as much as I hate to say it, I guess that old boss of mine was right. She just didn’t have the panache that The Universe has.

And Stay Out!

Just dusting off my hands and setting down all sweaty to a nice cold glass of lemonade after spending a couple of hours kicking the hackers out of this blog. Hmph. Take that.

They’re gone. It’s safe to come back out now. And I installed this pretty new pink glitter security fence to keep them out.

Hundreds of Things

Inspired by: Tricia

  1. I adore Hello Kitty to a point that should be embarrassing for a grown woman.
  2. I used to hate pink, but now it’s my favorite color.
  3. My pet is a fish named Crazy, but I really want a kitty. My roommate is allergic.
  4. Growing up, I told everyone I wanted to be a wildlife biologist, but I really wanted to drive around a pickup truck full of cleaning supplies and clean and polish road signs.
  5. I have a secret hope that one of these summers, I will get so many freckles, they’ll all touch and I’ll finally have a tan.
  6. I just started the Couch-to-5K program and in 9 weeks I’ll have worked up to running three miles. In a row. Without stopping.
  7. I’m obsessive about lists and keep a collection of them. Things to do today, things to do this week, things to do this month, things to do this year, things to do before I die, things I need to buy, things I need to remember…
  8. I can never buy things with my name on them. They never have “Natalie”.
  9. I love vintage poster art. I once went to a vintage poster fair and saw the real things – it was so cool. I wanted to buy one, but the cheapest one was $200.
  10. My favorite fruit is any kind of berry.
  11. I adore Marilyn Monroe and Audry Hepburn.
  12. I think that I’m afraid of my own power.
  13. I taught my best friend Diane to knit, and now she’s better at it than me. I knitted toys for her new baby anyway.
  14. I don’t understand people who don’t like knitting or reading.
  15. I love having long-term projects that take months or years to complete. I think that sometimes I drag a project out just to make it last long enough to make me happy.
  16. I’m totally and completed addicted to lip balm. There is at least one tube or compact of lip balm within arm’s reach of my body at all times.
  17. I can’t stop collecting small notebooks.
  18. I can’t stop collecting blank journals.
  19. I re-read old books the way some people catch up with old friends.
  20. I wrote a novel that is sorely in need of some revisions and rewriting.
  21. I get up each morning four hours before I have to be at work even though my commute is only 20 minutes so I have plenty of time to have a slow start to my day.
  22. I’ve broken into three separate hot tubs to go skinny dipping.
  23. I love my job. I love making web sites. I like being the only girl at most places I work.
  24. Sometimes I think I’d like to move to Italy. I’ve never been there.
  25. I was married for seven years, separated for six years, and now divorced for two years.
  26. One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is walk along the boardwalk at the beach.
  27. I love to bake, but only bake for other people.
  28. I took my sewing machine to be fixed a year ago and haven’t used it since. It was broken for four years.
  29. I think I could be happy being single for the rest of my life and just traveling and working. I also think I could be happy being married and having kids. I don’t know how to decide.
  30. When I start to worry about the future, I try to just have faith that everything that happens is exactly what’s supposed to happen. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.
  31. Sometimes I have dreams that come true later.
  32. I could live the rest of my life on nothing but cheese, chocolate, and bread.
  33. I love wearing high heels and being ultra girly.
  34. I want to take ballroom dance, belly dance, and swimming lessons.
  35. I took classes to become a professional mediator, but stopped short of getting certified.
  36. I saw my grandfather in my kitchen a year after he died.
  37. I’ve learned the hard way that you shouldn’t play ‘light as a feather stiff as a board’ with a waiter wearing nothing but tighty-whities in a hot tub.
  38. I can’t stop eating peanut butter frozen yogurt from the Big Chill. I go at least once a week.
  39. I love pinup girls. I want to be a pinup girl.
  40. I kissed the Blarney Stone even though it looked gross.
  41. I read so many books as a kid, the school librarian gave me special permission to take out up to 10 books from the library each week. The other kids got two.
  42. On my first day of kindergarten, I wore a t-shirt that said “Girl’s Lib”. Yes, it was the 70s.
  43. On my second day of kindergarten I wore my Mork and Mindy suspenders.
  44. I was in the marching band in high school. I loved it. Nothing particularly interesting ever happened at band camp.
  45. I spent weeks searching for a pink laptop bag for my laptop. Then I sewed a Hello Kitty patch on it.
  46. Sometimes I really love going out for a nice dinner by myself with a good book.
  47. I think that whoever asked for the date should pay.
  48. I want to get some formal training in graphic design.
  49. I think my housekeeper might be stealing little stuff from my apartment. Like my stapler.
  50. In ninth grade, I sunk every minute of my extra time into saving a friend’s life who kept threatening to commit suicide. After that, she would only talk to me to be mean. Really mean.
  51. Hemingway’s shortest story (For sale. Baby shoes. Never worn.) makes me really sad.
  52. I don’t use Twitter much, but I could stare at Twistori all day.
  53. I never had rice until I was 16.
  54. I was once offered a job as flight attendant on the condition that I removed my ankle tattoo. I refused.
  55. I’m almost always doing something. I almost never just sit and relax.
  56. I think that there is no better breakfast than a crepe with nutella. And sometimes strawberries and bananas too.
  57. I own shelves full of books and with very few exceptions, I’ve read them all cover to cover.
  58. I was disappointed with college because I thought it was going to be full of people passionate about learning and reading. It wasn’t.
  59. I really love playing board games, even though most people think they’re nerdy.
  60. In fact, I’m undefeated at Trivial Pursuit.
  61. I’ve never been in a limo.
  62. I can’t wait until I get my braces off. I intend to go to the ridiculous candy store up the street and buy tons of starbursts, gummy bears, chocolate reisins, and swedish fish and feast on them until I’m sick the day they come off. Then I’ll chew gum for hours.
  63. I try really hard not to care what other people think of me.
  64. I refuse to believe that gay marriage is evil.
  65. I never want to live anywhere that it snows ever again.
  66. I’m so scared of bees and avoid them at all costs. I was 17 before I was stung. I’ve only been stung one time since then.
  67. I’m reasonably sure that in a past life I was a blond bombshell actress.
  68. Being serious for a really long time makes me silly.
  69. I also get silly when I’m tired.
  70. I got highlights to cover my gray hair.
  71. I’m sad that all my friends seem to be moving away from Los Angeles. I love it here.
  72. Considering the good eye I have for design, it’s shocking how bad I am at framing and taking photographs. Never hand me your camera.
  73. I’m in the midst of my own long-term extreme makeover. Grew out my hair, got braces, and have lost 50 pounds so far.
  74. I work really hard not to let jealousy get the best of me.
  75. I cannot roll up my tongue.
  76. If I was a boy, my mother was going to name me Gregory Nathaniel. If my dad had known he was going to have three girls, I would have been Faith and my sisters would have been Hope and Charity.
  77. I have a hard time buying shoes, bracelets, anklets, and bras on account of my larger-than-average body parts.
  78. When I hear a new song I love, I play it over and over until I know all the words.
  79. I snore.
  80. I made it to the State Championships of the Scripps-Howard Spelling Bee when I was in sixth grade. I got out in the third round for misspelling ‘independence’.
  81. My favorite lunch is a grilled cheese sandwich and cream of tomato soup.
  82. I graduated high school with a 4.0 and college with a 3.9.
  83. I love that I’m an INFJ, the rarest personality type in the Myers-Briggs test.
  84. I didn’t go to the dentist for 12 years. I go regularly now.
  85. I’m really good at grammar and spelling. I think it’s all the reading.
  86. My favorite Christmas special is Emmet Otter’s Jug Band Christmas. I know all the songs by heart.
  87. I’ve never needed glasses or contacts, but dread the day I will.
  88. I hate spending the entire day in meetings.
  89. I don’t drink coffee. I never did.
  90. My favorite movie snack is popcorn with extra butter and M&Ms mixed into it. If you’re going to eat a bad-for-you movie snack, you might as well go all the way.
  91. The house I grew up in had an old-fashioned claw foot tub. I was the only one in the family who loved it. I’d take baths with the water up to my neck.
  92. I’m so hyper-sensitive to caffeine that an espresso can leave me jittery and with ringing in my ears.
  93. My favorite video games are puzzle games like Tetris.
  94. I love going to a baseball game and kicking back with a hot dog and a beer. I don’t really know much about baseball, and don’t care to learn more than I know now.
  95. The ocean and the moon are my favorite things. The stars are a close second.
  96. One of my most treasured possessions is a ring that belonged to my grandmother.
  97. I’m often annoyingly positive.
  98. I am a staunch believer in karma.
  99. I hate avocados, olives, pineapple, and mushrooms.
  100. I am an Aries.