99 flake

I was tagged by Katie, of What Am I?/Dr Spouse. And as I am stuck at home today with cold of filth, I memed! Hi Katie! Cool meme! Kept me busy for hours!

99 Things I Have Or Have Not Done.

Bold is for “done”, italics is for “Would like to do.”

1. Started my own blog – Yep, two of them.
2. Slept under the stars – I wouldn’t recommend it. It gets freakin’ cold about three in the morning.
3. Played in a band – Does ‘sung in a choir’ count?
4. Visited Hawaii – Am more interested in visiting Canada, the Shetlands, New Zealand, the Arctic Circle and Tasmania. Ooh, do we sense a ‘doesn’t do hot weather’ theme?
5. Watched a meteor shower – Several times. The best was as a teenager in Australia – the stars were so clear and the meteors so huge and bright and frequent. The most silly was recently, H and I huddled in our back yard here in Urban Central trying to spot a Leonid through the haze of street-light and general British disinclination to clear skies. We saw three. Well. One each and a thing-out-of-corner-of-eye. And then we realised we were really cold, and went in again.
6. Given more than I can afford to charity – I tend to have a spontaneous Big Gesture moment and then go home thinking, bugger. That was all my coffee money for a week. As an undergraduate student, it would sometimes be, bugger. That was my dinner money for a week. I was quite skinny as an undergrad.
7. Been to Disneyland/world – No. Shan’t. Wild horses couldn’t etc. On the other hand, I said exactly the same about the Millenium Dome, and I went like a shot when I got free tickets from a friend. (It was shit).
8. Climbed a mountain – I used to live up one. But I’ve climbed them too. Small ones. With easy routes to the top. It’s a fabulous feeling even when said mountain is a bit of a pimple, really.
9. Held a praying mantis – Not that I wanted to. Their limbs are slightly barbed and stick onto your skin in a deeply upsetting way. Small boys are horrible.
10. Sung a solo – I would love to have the guts. Last year, I sang in a choir workshop for semi-professionals and I did not wet myself and fall down in a faint. You never know.
11. Bungee jumped – I don’t like heights.
12. Visited Paris – Paris is overrated. I have not once been there and enjoyed it. I would rather go to Southern France or Brittany or Normandy or indeed pretty much any other bit of Europe at all. Dear God, but Parisians are rude and stuck up. It’s one thing being rude to braying anglo-american tourists who won’t speak French, it’s quite another refusing to serve a child because she can’t pronounce ‘croissant’ correctly.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea – I’ve done one from an airplane window. Does that count? The lightening goes UPWARDS. Very very scary-beautiful.
14. Taught myself an art from scratch – Crochet totally counts. As does poetry-writing and making ice-cream.
15. Adopted a child – This is not a very likely possibility just at present. But I’m certainly not going to discount it.
16. Had food poisoning – Oh God. I threw up in Oxford Street when I was twelve (I nearly threw up in Laura Ashley’s. They are exceedingly lucky I made it into the street). My Dad was having a ‘worst cook ever’ month. He used smoked sausage to embiggen the remains of a pasta salad the night before, specially for me as I’d got home very late and missed dinner (train problems), he just sliced it and chucked it in uncooked, and when my step-mother finally made it home with the damp limp rag that had been his daughter, she insisted on looking at the packaging and saw it should have been eaten the week before. Thanks, Dad.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty – One day.
18. Grown my own vegetables – I remember the cold days of potato digging, being sent out to pick tomatoes in the roasting sun, watering cucumbers and courgettes, cutting asparagus for market, oh, yes, I have totally grown my own vegetables. Imagine the joy of living in a city – people dig your potatoes for you! And put them in convenient shops for you to find! All you have to do is give them money!
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France – I saw a plastic rectangle fourteen miles away the other side of a cavernous room over the heads of a sea of ninety-seven million other people. I am informed it was the safety panel over the Mona Lisa. Heigh ho.
20. Slept on an overnight train – Several times. Only any fun if the other buggers in the compartment shut the fuck up and indeed, fuck off and let you get the beds down. Bastards. Just because they were drinking and playing cards.
21. Had a pillow fight – Squadrillions. It’s what you go to an all-girls boarding-school for. You at the back there, yes, you, take your hand out of your pocket and leave this blog right now.
22. Hitchhiked – No. Far too chicken.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill – Once or twice. But, I could argue, it was for my mental health, which was definitely fluey at the time. Am currently choking on rivers of blood-streaked snot, so this one is totally legit.
24. Built a snow fort – Yeaaaah! Snow forts! In the mountains it did snow properly some years, and my sister and I were basically wrapped up like Arctic explorers and thrown out-doors as long as the daylight lasted. One year we pretty much built a snow Versailles before it finally melted.
25. Held a lamb – I grew up on a sheep farm. I was also once kicked in the face by a lamb I was trying to rescue from a storm drain. I am not too sentimental about dear little baa-lambs. I prefer human babies.
26. Gone skinny dipping – Yes. And sauna’d nude. And hot-tubbed nude with my nude parents-in-law. Who, I promise, are not Scandinavian. Just hippies. As am I.
27. Run a marathon – One day I shall. I used to do cross-country running in my teens. I could totally do a marathon. Maybe. Eventually. *sigh*.
28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice – I’ve been to Venice several times and have never done this and to be honest, am not hugely bothered. The gondolas are absolutely not the best bit about Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse – So very nearly. The last time there was a total eclipse in Blighty I was about 50 miles too far east, and only got a very nearly total. And that, in the words of Diva, was WELL COOL.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset – Many a time and oft. Especially now that it’s December and I can watch the sunrise from the top deck of the bus if I leave home on time for work.
31. Hit a home run – Once! At rounders! When I was thirteen! I was so proud! Because I am a sporting clutz! Also I think the coffee-with-maple-syrup is kicking in!
32. Been on a cruise – I’d love to go on a cruise, and see whales.
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person – Nope. Would rather see Iguazu, or Mosi-oa-Tunya. I’m not a joiner.
34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors – *Shrug*
35. Seen an Amish community -Quilts quilts quilts quilts quilts.
36. Taught myself a new language – I wish to learn Japanese, BSL, and Elvish. Not serious about the Elvish. Or am I? Ha ha ha haaa.
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied – I have more money now than I’ve ever had in my life. I’m not rich, but I’m not worried either, and it’s lovely.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person – I climbed it! Before they closed it in 1990 and it still hung at a falling-down angle! I climbed it in a thunderstorm! Water was pouring down the marble stairs! You have to go out onto the loggias to get round to the next part of the stair-case and they have no barriers! And slant! Downwards! To certain death! In the pouring rain! I nearly peed myself with terror! Did I mention I hate heights! Gahh! And when we got to the top, they closed it as being ‘too dangerous to climb in this weather’ and we still had to get back down! GAHH!
39. Gone rock climbing – I’ve done a touch of rock-scrambling, and that will do me just fine. Did I mention I hate heights?
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David – Yes. Underwhelmed. It’s a big thuggy bloke with skull-crusher hands, also, not circumcised. What the hey has that got to do with David? Prefer Donatello’s accurate adolescent boy version, even though it is worryingly camp.
41. Sung karaoke – Nope.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt – Nope.
43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant – Nope. Though I have bought strangers coffee, water, bus tickets and once a taxi-ride.
44. Visited Africa – Nope. But Mosi-oa-Tunya is in Africa, you know.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight – and I didn’t even get snogged. Pfft.
46. Been transported in an ambulance – Several times, woe is me.
47. Had my portrait painted – My sister Trouble has painted me a couple of times. The first time I looked lovely but you couldn’t see my face, the second time I was topless (the things we do for family) and she made me look like the Willendorf Venus. Thanks, Troub.
48. Gone deep sea fishing – I’d rather go snorkling.
49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person – Nope. Am not vastly bothered. Have seen the Scrovegni Chapel and Orvieto Cathedral and Assisi Cathedral before the earthquake ruined it. I base my not-botheredness on much experience. I am so bloody pretentious.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris – It rained.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling – I’d love to do this.
52. Kissed in the rain – It’d be more fitting to ask a British woman if she’d ever kissed in the sun. I have also kissed in snow, sleet, hail, gales, and indoors.
53. Played in the mud – My mother has marvellous photographic evidence of this somewhere.
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre – I was taken to one in Italy on a date set up by my mother (oh God), by the very nice and very dull son of a friend of hers (oh God), who kissed me politely on the cheek once, and said I was too clever to be anyone’s girlfriend. At sixteen, this felt peculiarly humiliating.
55. Been in a movie – Yes! There’s a German made-for-TV movie out there somewhere with a shot of me sitting on a wall watching some street-performers! In a blue dress! Trouble was playing The Heroine As A Little Girl and I was SOOOO freaking jealous. I was not a nice kid.
56. Visited the Great Wall of China – Nope.
57. Started a business – I used to be a freelance proofreader and subeditor. I didn’t earn enough to keep me in pencils. Gah.
58. Taken a martial arts class – Does not appeal.
59. Visited Russia – Nope
60. Served at a soup kitchen – I was volunteered by a Very Christian friend who I was staying with one weekend. Naturally, the atheist was the one who fell over while carrying a two-foot stack of plates and broke every single one of them. Owie owie owie.
61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies – Nope.
62. Gone whale watching – Ooh, ooh, yes please!
63. Got flowers for no reason – H has indeed got me flowers just because I’d been a bit meh and he thought I needed cheering up. I do love that man.
64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma – Yes, lots, but not since the whole trying to get pregnant, surgery, clomid, miscarriage, surgery, antibiotics bollocks started.
65. Gone sky diving – Oh please no.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp – I can’t. Some of my family actually died in them. I can’t do it. I was traumatised for weeks just for visiting the Holocaust display at the Imperial War Museum.
67. Bounced a check – Funnily enough, no, never. Also, I have a slight phobia about doing this.
68. Flown in a helicopter – Nope.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy – My teddy-bear, Pearl, and my china doll, Sara-Claudia, are still with me today. Pearl lives in the pile of books on the bedside table, and Sara-Claudia lives on the study bookshelf.
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial – Nope.
71. Eaten caviar – I was underwhelmed. It was… fishy. I prefer smoked salmon.
72. Pieced a quilt – Correction. I am piecing a quilt. For a friend. As a wedding present. She got married two years ago. Shhhh. On the other hand, she is spinning me some yarn and has been for the past FOUR years, so I think we’re even.
73. Stood in Times Square – Nope.
74. Toured the Everglades – Nope. Look, I’ve never been to the States at all, OK?
75. Been fired from a job – Nope.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London – Yes! And not on the telly neither!
77. Broken a bone – wrist, several times. Toe, once. I am a very clumsy person.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle – My step-father used to collect us from school on his, and we’d hang on to him and each other like grim death as he zipped and bounced over mountain roads. In fact, why aren’t we dead? Or at least hideously mangled? Because that was mental.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person – NO. Have not been to States. Have you seen the Giant’s Causeway? Helvellyn? The Kyles of Bute? Trafalgar Square? Lavenham? Edinburgh Castle? The walls of York? Wells Cathedral? No? Why ever not?
80. Published a book – Prime ambition, up there with reproducing successfully and bringing about World Peace?
81. Visited the Vatican – Katie Dr Spouse said: “you know you can’t visit the Sistine Chapel otherwise, right?”. I concur. But you can visit the Vatican (at least the outside) and NOT the Sistine Chapel.
82. Bought a brand new car – Nope. Can’t even drive. Ha ha ha ha.
83. Walked in Jerusalem – Nope.
84. Had my picture in the newspaper – A couple of times, twice as a child being cute (as woolly-hat-wearing toddler niece of ski champion, and at a political rally in Italy), and once as a ‘concerned passerby’ kvetching about local politics in the local rag.
85. Read the entire Bible – Which is why I am an atheist.
86. Visited the White House – Nope. See above.
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating – Well, I have prepared animals my mother or step-father killed, many a time.
88. Had chickenpox – and I have the scars to show for it.
89. Saved someone’s life – debatable. I gave blood. I once grabbed a little kid out of the road before a car thundered past at the speed of sound. H and I once played ‘race you to the bathroom’ and I cheated outrageously to win and as soon as I nipped in and slammed the door, shrieking with giggles, several bees stung me, one on the neck. H is allergic – adrenalin-jab carrying allergic – to bees. My blood still runs cold when I think about it.
90. Sat on a jury – Nope.
91. Met someone famous – I once accidentally followed John Thaw into a lavatory, whereapon he turned round and said in a pained voice ‘I don’t do autographs’. I hadn’t recognised him until he did turn round and I was MORTIFIED. Have also met Barry Unsworth, Leon Garfield (who was a gent), Salman Rushdie, Timothy Mo (who let me play with his very expensive draughtman’s pens), and I know someone who knows Alan Lee and Neil Gaiman.
92. Joined a book club – Nope. I am not a joiner. Also, I talk too much.
93. Lost a loved one – Yes. Grandparents and aunts and cousins and good friends.
94. Had a baby – No. Just… No.
95. Seen the Alamo in person – Oh for…
96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake – No.
97. Been involved in a law suit – No.
98. Owned a cell phone – What? Who on earth blogs but doesn’t own a cell phone? Or mobile phone, as we call it this side of the Atlantic.
99. Been stung by a bee – Bees! Lots! And wasps! And scorpions! And hornets! And ants! Invertebrates hate me!

I tag you. Yes, you. You’ve read all the way down to here, haven’t you? You know you want to really.


5 responses to “99 flake

  • Katie

    Actually, having seen both (not boasting, just itchy feet), Vic Falls is vastly superior to Niagara. And thank you for spelling the Tonga name correctly. There is a canal boat near us with an incorrect spelling and I want to go by and repaint it.

  • Nina

    May, don’t discount us Americans totally when it comes to traveling abroad!! Some of us would love to, most passionately, but lack the available fundage. And our public schools don’t offer foreign languages until high school, so they make it impossible to learn them! I mean, honestly, who could learn a foreign language when teachers are filling your heads with nonsense about sex=babies each and every time you do it? Geode has the right idea. We really need to have a talk with those biology professors, sometime. I, personally, would love to explore Europe like you have, but from what I’ve seen for food choices, would require my own suitcase full of Cheetos. 😉

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  • SonofRojBlake

    ” I once accidentally followed John Thaw into a lavatory, whereapon he turned round and said in a pained voice ‘I don’t do autographs’. I hadn’t recognised him until he did turn round and I was MORTIFIED. ”

    I think I’d have replied matter of factly “Neither do I, what do you want, a fscking medal?”

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