one hundred things

1. Brown hair. Brown eyes. 4'10".

2. A lot of people tell me that I look like Velma from Scooby Doo.

3. I'm a Cajun, born in the very south of Louisiana. Until I was seven, we lived right by Bayou Lafourche in Golden Meadow. We lived next door to my great-grandparents, and before I started school, they practically raised my brother and me while my parents were at work.

4. I can say the alphabet backwards, due to my boredom on a car trip many years ago.

5. Speaking of cars, I had to sit on a pile of books to take my drivers license photo.

6. I have three younger siblings: Bobby (28), Emma (21), and Martha (19).

7. I have never been kissed. In fact, I've never been on a date of any kind. Summer 2007. It was very nice. :D

8. The first "real" book I ever read by myself was Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl. I stayed up really late with a flashlight until I finished it.

9. Everyone calls me DeeDee, but my real name is Edea, a name that was passed down from my great-great-grandmother. Edea, by the way, is pronounced ee-DEE-ah.

10. In the summer of 2000, I spent almost six weeks in Egypt and Israel with my professor and friends. I worked at the Tel Rehov dig for three weeks, and found... dirt. Really old dirt.

11. One weekend in Israel, we went to a remote place called the Hexagonal Pools, and I jumped off a 40-foot cliff, losing my left contact and bruising my leg in the process.

12. In my first chance to vote in the presidential election, my guy lost. I voted for Ralph Nader.

13. I loved languages in school. I took two years of Latin in highschool, and in college I studied Greek for four years, and Hebrew for three. I also spent a term studying Ugaritic and Heiroglyphics.

14. The first real story I ever wrote was when I was 9. It was about a girl who moves to New Jersey with her family and finds an Egyptian treasure map in her new room. She goes to Egypt (where her grandmother conveniently lives next door to a famous Egyptologist) and finds the treasure. I was so proud of it, and I even typed it up.

15. Speaking of which, that was the year I learned to type. I don't know why, but I loved doing it, and by the end of fourth grade, I was typing 60 words a minute.

16. One of my favorite memories is the day our parents took Bobby and me to New Orleans. We visited the French Quarter and the zoo, and I got a little stuffed monkey, which I named Mega. I didn't know what "mega" meant, and to me it sounded like a very pretty, delicate name.

17. The first movie that made me cry was An American Tail, when Fievel sings "Somewhere Out There." When we moved away from Louisiana, that was my little theme song for missing Golden Meadow and my great-grandparents.

18. When I was little, there was nothing I wanted more than a horse. One evening, a family friend told me he had a horse for me outside. I followed him outside to his car, and it was a giant stuffed horse, about five feet tall. It was one of those times when you're greatly disappointed, but also kind of thrilled.

19. Whenever I got a coloring book, I would go through it and find every picture of a girl or woman, and I'd color her hair red. I have no idea why.

20. I used to love when my dad let me ride on the lawnmower with him.

21. When I was 10, the woman whose classroom was next to my mother's was murdered, stabbed 26 times. They never figured out who did it, and I didn't sleep for weeks.

22. At our public library in Golden Meadow, I saw a pretty plant that looked fake, or like a toy, so I grabbed it. It was a cactus.

23. Bobby and I once painted the wall of our room with turtle wax.

24. We also had this game which sort of combined The Neverending Story, Rainbow Brite, and goodness only knows what else. It was called "The Witch and Flashlight Man," and whatever it was, it entertained us for hours at a time.

25. I have received six marriage proposals: a 70-year-old man with one arm, a 46-year-old man with one eye, an Egyptian waiter in Cairo, an Egyptian shopkeeper in Luxor, and two homeless men.

26. I was a National Merit Finalist.

27. But I have no sense. When we swam in the Dead Sea, I turned to my friend Will and said without even thinking, "Yikes, what if there are weird animals in here?"

28. I was very disappointed when I first got glasses, because the world didn't seem as pretty. It used to be big and have blurry, soft edges, and suddenly it became too sharp. I was especially disappointed with how the city looked at night. There were once hundreds of huge, shiny, blurry balls of light, and then it was just pinpoints of light.

29. I love macaroni and cheese.

30. Summers at Pine Lake Camp were the highlight of my year, especially the three years I was a counselor. I got to be there with my old camp friends (who were also counselors) for five wonderful weeks - swimming, canoeing, hiking.

31. One year, I woke up my girls at midnight, and we hiked a mile out to the rope swing in our pajamas.

32. Bobby and I had bunkbeds when we were little, and once during our naptime, I tried to slip between the top bunk and the wall to get into his bed and tell him something. I got stuck.

33. The first time I ever saw snow, I was 9. We were visiting my great-grandfather a few months after my great-grandmother died, and Bayou Lafourche got two inches of snow.

34. On the first day of school, I didn't know my name. I had always been called DeeDee, so when the teacher called Edea on the roll, I didn't answer.

35. In second grade, my friend Jeremy and I would spend all of recess looking for four-leaf clovers.

36. Then in fourth grade, I had a new Jeremey friend. From fourth to sixth grade, we passed notes in class and played "The Game," in which he was the pharaoh of Egypt, and I was the queen of China. We were best friends all the way through highschool, and still keep in touch occasionally now.

37. I found a baby bird one day on the ground, and I was so upset when it died, my great-grandfather went out and bought me two parakeets.

38. And once my grandmother bought me four goldfish. I named them Everybody, Somebody, Anybody, and Nobody. When they died, conversations like this took place: "Nobody died?" "No, Everybody did." "Well, at least Somebody didn't."

39. When I was little, I had a huge crush on Michael Jackson in Thriller. I wanted to marry him.

40. I played the flute and the oboe. My grandmother had to buy me a special flute with a curve in it, because my arms were too short to play a regular flute.

41. My favorite color is yellow.

42. I've told two guys that I liked them, and both times it was through a letter. I don't regret telling them, because in both cases our friendship continued normally, and looking back, I still like and respect both of them.

43. One of the worst days of my life was when I was 9. My parents checked us out of school, took us home, and told us that our great-grandmother had cancer, and would only live five months. She died in August, 1989. She got to see Emma walking, and never met Martha.

44. I was obsessed with dinosaurs when I was little. I had a collection with hundreds of plastic and stuffed dinosaur toys, and lots of books.

45. When we studied birds in first grade, I took a bunch of ziploc bags when I got home. I went to my parakeets' cage and picked out different kinds of feathers, making a bag for each of my classmates.

46. My great-grandfather built us a playhouse, and one of my dreams is to buy it back from the people who bought it after he sold his property and was put in a nursing home.

47. Every day after school, my great-grandmother would take Bobby and me to get ice cream, and I always got spumoni.

48. In the afternoons, my dad would go jogging at the park, and my mom would read to us from the Chronicles of Narnia.

49. The first book that made me cry was Where the Red Fern Grows, in fifth grade.

50. After we moved to Mississippi in August, our first visit back to Golden Meadow was for Thanksgiving, and I'll never forget the look on my great-grandmother's face when she saw Bobby and me run through her door. The next Thanksgiving, she was sick. The one after that, she was gone.

51. My senior year in highschool, I wasn't planning to go to the prom because I didn't have any money. One morning in my school mailbox, I had a package from my friends, with the prom dress I had been wanting, shoes, a purse, a gift certificate to the restaurant, a camera, a gift certificate to have my hair and makeup done, and a prom ticket.

52. After we ate out before the prom, we stopped at a city fair and rode the carousel and ferris wheel in our formal dresses.

53. I was the first person to graduate from my college with honors in two majors. And my friend Will and I were the first people to earn the minor in biblical languages.

54. I've never really learned to cook.

55. If I could speak any foreign language, I'd choose French.

56. I hate when people go to the theater and don't turn off their cell phones. Even worse when they answer it and have a conversation.

57. I am a very deep sleeper. My dad used to say that an atomic bomb wouldn't wake me up.

58. And I'm definitely a night person. Late to bed, late to rise.

59. Maybe I just like darkness. I prefer to sit in dark rooms, it's more relaxing.

60. I've only been able to see one Broadway play, and that was my favorite: Les Miserables. My mom and I took off from school and saw it in New Orleans. It was amazing.

61. I love jumping on trampolines.

62. When Bobby and I were little, I used to cheat him at every game we played, or I'd make myself the judge so I always won.

63. To be fair, he once shut me in the drier.

64. In chemistry class in highschool, I once burned a hole in my notebook by accident.

65. I prefer vanilla to chocolate, especially when it comes to ice cream sandwiches.

66. There are three foods that I absolutely cannot bear to taste: pickles, olives, and mushrooms.

67. My favorite soda is root beer.

68. On my fifth birthday, I had to go to the ER and almost had to get stitches. Bobby had thrown a piece of wood at me, not knowing that a nail head was sticking out of the end. It hit the side of my nose, less than a centimeter from putting out my eye.

69. My shoe size is 3. I actually enjoy that, because I love buying cute shoes in the little girls' section.

70. I am addicted to chapstick.

71. I prefer taking notes on blank paper rather than lined paper.

72. When I was in highschool, I could jog four miles. Not anymore!

73. I used to bite my nails when I was little, but now I bite my lips.

74. One of my biggest pet peeves is when I ask someone to listen to a song, and they start talking.

75. My great-grandmother once took Bobby and me on a train ride between two cities close to us, just so we'd have the experience of riding a train. For some reason, I remember that we had sour cream and onion Pringles with us.

76. I probably remember that because I love Pringles.

77. The next time I rode a train, I was 20, and it was an overnight train between Cairo and Luxor.

78. I still have some baby teeth in my mouth - a few molars.

79. I was terrible at physics.

80. Mostly because I hate all math except geometry and trig, which are more visual and are kind of like doing logic problems.

81. I made an A in calculus, and to this day I have no idea what it was about.

82. My first job was for three days, one summer in junior high. I entered customer account information into the new computer at a general store in our town.

83. I've been to Disney World.

84. In fourth grade, I lost the spelling bee on my very first word, "expel." I spelled it "expell."

85. But I won it in fifth grade, with "opossum." The word I got right before that was "cologne," and I had no idea how to spell it. I just remembered seeing a G on my dad's cologne bottles, so I stuck it in there as I spelled the word, and made a lucky guess.

86. My first pet was a gray kitten named Frisky, who was run over by a car only a few weeks later.

87. In Louisiana, we lived on Highway 1.

88. So using that old method of making up a porn star name, mine would be Frisky Highway.

89. I learned to swim at camp when I was 12 years old.

90. When I took the swimming test, I didn't want to tread water for 3 minutes, so I just floated. And technically it counted because I was in one place for 3 minutes.

91. That was the summer I got my first wasp sting, from one of the docks in the swimming area.

92. I have no dancing ability whatsoever.

93. At my last chorus concert in highschool, I performed "Wouldn't It Be Loverly" from My Fair Lady.

94. Whenever I got bored when I was little, my dad would give me the salt shaker and tell me to go try to catch a bird with it, by pouring salt on its tail. I actually attempted that many times.

95. I have never dyed or highlighted my hair.

96. I only watch 3 television shows regularly: The Colbert Report, The Daily Show, and House. (Since originally writing this, I've also become a fan of Bones, 30 Rock, and The Office - which is now my favorite show.)

97. My favorite SNL sketch is the cowbell sketch with Christopher Walken.

98. I worked at a gas station in Mississippi every Friday and Saturday night for two years. And I worked at a gas station in Texas full-time for six months.

99. I hate gas stations.

100. It took me forever to write this.