Dilemmas, dilemmas! Do I go inane-random ("I prefer the blue bowls to go in the top rack of the dishwasher and the maroon ones to go in the bottom.")? OCD-random ("When I swim in a lap pool, it makes me itchy to stop at the far end, like dividing by zero.")? Kind of craaaazy-random ("I have an irrational fear of mittens and insist on gloves at all costs.")?
Well, I could. But then I remembered that I am relatively new to all this & all of you, and you probably don't actually know that many non-creepy / bizarre things about me that don't involve running. So I decided to try to come across as an at least somewhat function & semi-normal person.
Without further ado, 7 (semi-)random facts:
1) I played polo for Stanford in grad school. I've ridden horses pretty much all my life. In high school I worked for an equitherapy barn, and in college I managed the barn at a Girl Scout horse camp in Southern California. When I went to Stanford for grad school, I wanted to get into lessons again but it was stupid expensive. Polo was comparatively cheap, so I did that instead. I picked it up reasonably quickly & ended up working with the team for several years after I graduated, giving riding lessons & helping teach people to play.
2) When I was a full-time teacher, I had summer jobs. My two coolest summer jobs where when I worked for Ballistic Missile Defense in 2007 and the US Navy's Nuclear Weapons Security division in 2009, both at Lockheed-Martin Space Systems as part of a summer fellowship program for math & science teachers.
Now, you are crazy if you think they let us take any pictures there EVER. (Seriously...there were areas I worked in on occasion where I couldn't bring in my freaking cell phone.) But, they did sometimes take us on cool field trips, where a vetted photographer would take pictures, & once the pictures were cleared by security, they sent them to us. This is when we toured the NASA Ames Research Center in Sunnyvale & got to play in the shuttle flight simulator, which was kind of cool.
3) When I was in high school, I could bench press 110 pounds. As part of track & field, we had strength training twice a week at seven a.m., which included a lot of weight lifting. I was also doing gymnastics during this time & doing a shit ton of push ups & pull ups on the side, so I could bench press a lot more than most of the other girls and was the first freshman girl to get to 100. We got awesome "100 Club" T-shirts to wear and I was super bummed when I found out I had to give it back at the end of the year. And that someone else had probably spent last year lifting weights in it, too. Ew.
4) In case it didn't come across in my pre-Paso blog (it may have gotten buried in all the burnout whining), I am a hopeless oenophile. I don't know that I would say I am an "aficionado" or a "connoisseur," but I do like me some good wine & I've gotten very picky about what I like.
Now, this is not to say that I am a snob about wine -- I couldn't give two craps about the price tag on a bottle or where it's from as long as it's tasty. I'm happy as a clam enjoying a well-done value red blend with pizza or BBQ, and I've tasted Napa cab priced in triple digits that I wouldn't recommend to anyone. (BTW, if you're ever going tasting in Napa / Sonoma or down in Paso, let me know & I am happy to tell you about all my favorite spots!)
5) I'm a 2nd degree brown belt in Isshin-ryu karate. I started studying back in '02 in college, then took a couple of years off while I was in grad school, then went back to it. Now I practice twice a week, which is where Don & I met when I first started going to the Berkeley dojo back in '05.
6) I don't care for chocolate that much. I feel like people are always kind of shocked by that and I'm not sure why. ("Really???!!?!? How can you not like chocolate!?!??!!") I mean no one would have that reaction if you said you didn't like peanut butter or almonds or something. It's not that I hate chocolate or won't eat things that have chocolate in them. I just don't crave it very often (maybe twice a year), and I will ALWAYS choose the fruity / creamy / baking spiced dessert over the chocolatey one. Don says that this is one of the many reasons why I am not a real girl and only play one when I have to wear heels.
Now this is the type of dessert I could get behind.
7) In addition to getting my math degree from Oberlin College, I also studied music composition & vocal performance at Oberlin Conservatory across the street. I'd pretty much grown up singing & playing piano and guitar, but I didn't start really studying seriously until high school. I started out doing mostly classical / operatic works & competing in regional & state-wide solo, ensemble, & choral competitions, & then added composition when the creative side got the better of me. (Eventually composition became my main focus & performing was more of something I did on the side.) Although I haven't done much classical stuff since leaving school, I had a little folk/rock band for a little while early in my adult life, but at this point most of my singing is limited to car trips & I can't even tell you the last time I wrote something (probably back in the folk/rock era). I can't tell you how much it hurts my soul, day in & day out, not to have a piano in the house. Sometimes I think running kind of fills that void. Kind of.
I couldn't find any music-related pictures from college at all, which is only a little surprising as that was back in the pre-digital years. But here is a picture of the Conservatory and a practice room much like the ones where I typically spent approximately 2-4 hours a day for five years.
I hope no one is offended if I don't tag folks, mainly because I know lots of people have been already and I don't necessarily know who, as I am relatively knew to this whole crazy blogging world. I might tag you and then find out you'd already been tagged back in the Pleistocene Epoch, and how embarrassing would that be for both of us?!? (Hint: Pretty darned embarrassing.) But I certainly have no beef with random factoids, so if you have some random factoids you really want to share, feel free to share them & be all like, "SF Road Warrior tagged me to do this." I will totally back you up.