spynotes ::
  November 24, 2003

In which Harriet jumps on the bandwagon and indulges in 1 blatantly padded, somewhat redundant and seriously self-indulgent list of 100 facts about herself, including some shameless namedropping, in honor of the 100th entry.

1. Harriet is not my real name.

2. When I was 16, I was arrested for jumping in a fountain in Lyon, France on a hot day.

3. I once held a job that had the official title of “Supreme Ruler of the Universe."

4. I do not use the title “Supreme Ruler of the Universe” when describing said job on my resumé.

5. I can only ever remember two jokes on demand. One begins “A piece of string walked into a bar….” The other goes like this: Q: What’s white and can’t climb a tree? A: A refrigerator.

6. For some reason, I find the refrigerator joke hilarious. Almost nobody else does.

7. People almost never ask me to tell jokes.

8. I once played my violin for members of the British royal family in a major London concert hall.

9. I was 10 at the time and in a group of about 200 people all playing variations on “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.”

10. My mother says she didn’t wear earplugs at that concert, God bless her.

11. I can touch my nose with my tongue. No, really.

12. I have moved 26 times, had 22 mailing addresses (some more than once) and attended 13 schools.

13. As a result of all this moving, I managed never to have a class in American History or American Literature.

14. Given my dissertation topic, it is highly likely that I will end up teaching in an American Studies program.

15. I have co-habitated with pets named Pickwick (cat), Cleo (goldfish), Henrietta (cat), Nutmeg (dog), Max (cat), Morris (gerbil), Prince (goldfish), Stanley (dog), Thomas (cat), and Timothy (cat). Not all at the same time. What kind of a girl do you think I am?

16. I once dated a guy who once dated Jennifer Beals. Coincidentally, I also used to play in an orchestra with Jennifer Beals’ mother.

17. I have never owned a juicer, a dehydrator, or a blender that actually works.

18. I am sort of related to a saint (Edith Stein – by marriage. Not hers. She was a nun. Yeah, a Jewish nun. Look her up.)

19. No, I’m not Jewish.

20. I’m as WASPy as they come.

21. I once won an award for my poetry that had previously been won by Sylvia Plath.

22. After that, I didn’t write another poem for at least a decade.

23. The first time a guy told me he loved me it was standing on the Pont Neuf in Paris

24. That story is about the only good thing I got out of that relationship..

25. I play one musical instrument pretty well and a lot of instruments pretty badly.

26. I am a vegetarian because of a turkey.

27. The turkey’s name was Lawrence.

28. I saved him from drowning himself in the rain by gawking at the sky when I was working at a summer camp.

29. He followed me around after that.

30. The camp newsletter said they ate him for Thanksgiving dinner and he was delicious.

31. I have spent a ridiculously large percentage of my life to date in school

32. I own a copy of How the Grinch stole Christmas in Latin.

33. I make an excellent snow angel.

34. I am almost unstoppable in classical music name that tune.

35. I do not have any tattoos.

36. Yet.

37. I used to know someone who when she got her first (and to my knowledge only) tattoo, thought carefully about how it would look when she got old. She ended up with a tiny rocking chair on her ankle. Awww.

38. I have participated in two demonstrations in Washington D.C.

39. I have a knack for running into people from my past every time I go to New York. Even if those people are not from New York either.

40. I am a competent gardener.

41. I have orchestrated a punk version of the Wiggles’ “Fruit Salad” in my head.

42. Fruit salad is one of my favorite things.

43. The Wiggles are not.

44. I went to four schools for high school.

45. At one I went to school with Moby (he had a last name then – Hall) and Alex Kelly, the Preppy rapist.

46. Another school helped smuggle Jewish children out of occupied Europe during WWII.

47. That was considerably before I attended it.

48. I spent two summers working at a summer stock theater company where Mo Rocca (The Daily Show) was one of my colleagues.

49. My college major advisor committed suicide.

50. I know how to knit, but I rarely finish anything.

51. I have two half finished sweaters, half of a scarf and a glove and a half in my knitting bag.

52. One of the sweaters was begun as a baby gift.

53. The child is now seven.

54. I do not belong to a gym.

55. Give me a bicycle, though, and I can get just about anywhere.

56. Right after this nap.

57. Harriet the Spy was my idol as a child.

58. I don’t have a middle name.

59. I always felt ripped off by my lack of middle initial

60. Most would say my first name is long enough for the both of them.

61. Perhaps that’s why I had a thing for Harriet M. Welsch.

62. I can sing the opening of “The Rite of Spring” in a halfway convincing manner.

63. I once sang a high D (above high C) in a vocal recital quite by accident when a cadenza on a Rossini aria went haywire.

64. I have never been able to do it again.

65. I’ve also been known to sing tenor and baritone parts in the correct octave.

66. It’s not pretty.

67. I have a terrible memory for song lyrics, but an excellent memory for orchestration and the vowel sounds of the lyrics.

68. I frequently experience synesthesia (experiencing visual phenomenon as a result of music).

69. I have brown hair.

70. It has also been black, white and red.

71. When it was white-blonde, I got picked up in bars with a much greater frequency than I was as a brunette.

72. Consequently, I am inclined to believe that blondes really do have more fun.

73. Or at least more options.

74. I am blind as a bat without glasses or contacts.

75. I first got glasses after everyone in my high school chemistry class signed a petition saying I needed them, because I kept asking people to read the blackboard for me.

76. My high school chemistry teacher looked frighteningly like E.T.

77. It was really creepy.

78. Mostly it was the enormous eyes and the preternaturally leathery brown skin (that looked even leatherier and browner in a white lab coat).

79. I once sang the national anthem at a major league baseball game.

80. It was the first non-Little League game I had ever attended.

81. I used to play Irish fiddle at bars for free beer.

82. It was one of the best paying music gigs I’ve ever had.

83. Yes, that is kind of pathetic.

84. It is hard for an asthmatic to play Irish music.

85. If you don’t know why, go to a seisiun sometime.

86. One of my favorite places in the world to spend a day indoors is the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

87. Another is MOMA.

88. Otherwise I’d generally rather be out exploring.

89. I still have fantasies about the place I lived while studying at a conservatory in France.

90. It was on the grounds of a palace.

91. There were, however, always bats in the practice rooms.

92. I once accidentally let a bat into my family’s house on my way out.

93. The rest of the family spent the next 4 hours trying to get the bat out of the house.

94. They still haven’t completely forgiven me for that.

95. One of my best friendships was established on the basis of the fact that we had eight pairs of shoes in common.

96. Alas, we wore different sizes, or it would have seriously saved on some wardrobe bills.

97. Also we broke up with our boyfriends on the same day.

98. We subsequently were both set up by friends who did not know one another with guys named Barry.

99. Neither of us recalled ever having known a Barry previously.

100. Other than Barry Williams

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