Ten things I have/haven’t done

Renaissance Guy wrote a post today, A Few Random Things About Me, listing ten (somewhat) common things he hasn’t done and ten (somewhat) unusual things he has done. (Personally I’m not sure how common it is to eat rabbit meat or go skinnydipping, or how unusual it is – these days – to get an ear pierced.)

So I worked on a similar list.

Ten Things I Have Not Done

  • I’ve never gotten a speeding ticket – but I was stopped once for speeding, in a school zone. I hadn’t noticed the sign, which hung over the road rather than being on a pole at the side of the road, and I was new to the area, and if I had noticed the school I hadn’t noticed that I was driving past at a time when students were arriving. I got off with a warning, and I think it only took about half an hour for my pulse to return to normal.
  • I have not watched a single episode of The Simpsons, or of Survivor in any of its incarnations, and only watched part of an episode of American Idol because my husband wanted me to hear a particular singer whom he thought was very good. I have never watched a soap opera by choice (sometimes one has been playing in a waiting room or company break room).
  • I have never had poison ivy – but I’m pretty sure I’ve had contact with poison ivy. At any rate, I walked through something that I thought might be poison ivy, along with another girl. She got poison ivy (and was not at all happy with me for not mentioning that I wondered if it might be poison ivy).
  • I’ve never had to wear a cast. I did fracture a bone in my foot when I was 16, but didn’t know I had (a camp nurse told me I had pulled a muscle) and just wrapped it in an ACE bandage until the pain subsided. (An x-ray done by a podiatrist the following year, when increased walking brought back a dull ache, showed where the bone had healed over the fracture.) And I had to wear a knee immobilizer and walk on crutches when I was 22, following a bicycle accident that injured my left knee (the doctor never figured out what was wrong with it, and occasionally it still decides to act up).
  • I’ve never served on a jury. I’ve had jury duty, and once was the first person whose number was called to sit on the jury, but one of the lawyers chose me as the first person to dismiss using one of his peremptory challenges during voir dire.
  • I’ve never done downhill skiing. I did take my older son cross-country skiing one time, as he had gone previously with his class from school and had enjoyed it. I did my best to follow the instructor’s directions, but I spent a lot of time trying to get up after falling down, and the rest of the time being afraid I’d fall down again.
  • Of the twenty-three most popular movies (as of 2005, based on box office grosses from their initial release, and adjusted for inflation, population, and per capita ticket purchasing trends), I have never seen The Exorcist, Jaws, Dr. Zhivago, The Graduate, The Sting, Titanic, Jurassic Park, or Forrest Gump. I do plan to watch The Sting sometime soon, as the director of the high school musical my older son is rehearsing for (The Music Man) recommends that everyone on the cast watch it.
  • I’ve never bowled higher than 165. I’ve no idea what’s the best score I ever got in golf, because I don’t remember if I’ve ever finished nine holes (on most holes I give up counting strokes after about twelve or fifteen).
  • I’ve never owned a Care Bear, a Pound Puppy, or a Cabbage Patch Doll. I did buy a Cabbage Patch Doll for a friend (an adult older than me) who really wanted one.
  • I’ve never owned a mood ring. I did, however, buy one today for my younger son, who has been wishing I had gotten him one yesterday at the museum gift shop at Putnam (where we saw the IMAX movies). Today we went to another museum, and they had mood rings, so I got him one. (They cost somewhat more than the large plastic scorpion he asked for first, but a lot less than the reversible crown/frog prince hat he asked for next.) He is fascinated by it, and has asked me frequently whether it is black now or still dark blue. He was very surprised to find out that it actually registers temperature rather than mood. He did get upset this evening during a game of Trivial Pursuit (Young Players Edition), but when I looked at his hand I saw he wasn’t wearing the ring.

Ten Things I have Done

  • I have eaten octopus (way too chewy and tasteless), horse meat (tastes much like beef and costs less, at least in Spain), and cow brains (my mother wanted to try them – they are one of the few foods I have been unwilling to eat more than a taste of – no taste and no texture, it was like eating whitish slime).
  • I climbed Mt. Katahdin (including crossing Knife Edge) when I was about ten (with my father, who was about fifty).
  • I visited (what used to be) a concentration camp in Germany (I think it was Dachau).
  • I’ve been in a head-on collision that totalled my car, and walked away from it (thanks to air bags).
  • I’ve been drunk (enough to have trouble walking straight) once, and threw up within the hour, and have never been tempted since to drink even one whole glass of wine.
  • I’ve doubled my money gambling in a casino in Atlantic City. Of course, I only bet ten dollars, and when I won another ten I immediately left the casino and never tried again.
  • I’ve been to Niagara Falls, the Grand Canyon, Valley Forge, the top of the Washington Monument, the top of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the top of the Empire State Building.
  • I traveled around western Europe alone when I was 21. I visited Paris (including the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower), stopped briefly in Brussels and Amsterdam, visited Speyer and Munich in Germany, then Salzburg in Austria (where The Sound of Music was set and some of it was filmed – I was disappointed not to recognize any landmarks from the movie), and finally a day in Venice. (At that point I was tired of not speaking the language of the people around me and returned to Spain, where I was a student in Madrid.)
  • I have been, at one time or another, a housekeeper at a hospital, a pizza delivery person, a receptionist for an oral surgeon, a notary public, a bank teller, and a church secretary, in addition to various clerical and computer jobs.
  • I have taken pictures of sunrise on one side of the Atlantic Ocean and sunset on the other side.

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