1. I use my middle finger instead of my pointer finger, for everything. It’s horrifying. I pretty much go through life flipping everyone off unintentionally.
2. I once won a car in a “Survivor” contest in Vermont. I camped out in a tent for a week, with just white rice to eat, and had to outwit, outplay, and outlast 5 strangers. When I made it to the final two, we had to balance on a cinder block at an incline and hold on to the car (a Saturn SC1, with a sound system worth more than the vehicle itself). My opponent let go after 8.5 hours and I drove away the champion.
3. I am a pizzaholic. I would have no problem eating pizza (preferably thin crust, Neopolitan style) every day for the rest of my life.
4. Sometimes I go to the movies to feel closer to my mom. She was an avid movie goer when she was alive, often seeing the same film a handful of times with different groups of friends. She ate popcorn and Milk Duds, a tradition my son and I carry on to this day.
5. The last movie the three of us saw together in the theatre was Despicable Me.
6. I love cooking and baking equally, which is rare for a chef wannabe.
7. I much prefer listening to music over watching television. ’80s music, in particular, is my cure-all.
8. I bungee jumped twice in Cancun, Mexico. Pre-momhood, of course.
9. I Google obsessively. Seriously, I have a problem.
10.My pet peeves: People who hang coats on chairs instead of the closet, people who abuse the reply-all function on email to make themselves look busier/smarter/more important than they are, and people who are fundamentally unkind. I also can’t stand people who write “your stupid” in response to some of my posts. Who’s the stupid one? You’re the stupid one, my friend.
11. I am an unapologetic coffee snob.
12. My best friend from Kindergarten and I are still close. We bonded because we share the same name but with a different spelling–Jodi Lyn and Jody Lynn–and never looked back. Fittingly, she is the illustrator of my first children’s book, When You Lived in my Belly.
13. I can’t help but stop and watch all of the Rocky movies on television even though I own them all. I will stay up until 4:00 a.m. if needed. Why I choose to willingly watch a movie hundreds of times with commercials, at all hours of the night, I will never know.
14. The ocean (or any body of water, really is my happy place. I am a true Pisces.
15. I got the chicken pox when I was a junior in High School. When my friends came to pick me up to see a concert the night I discovered the outbreak–which was so bad it included my eyeballs!–I would only talk to them with a paper bag over my head. It was the 80s (no cellphones to successfully cancel in advance) and I was ridiculously vain.
16. I awkwardly sniff books and baked goods. It’s a bizarre compulsion I simply can’t control.
17.I despise getting my nails done but adore a pedicure.
18. My favorite color is red. It was my beloved mom’s favorite color, too.
19. I am sensitive to light for no known reason. I would have been one hell of a cave woman.
20. I light candles when I want to have a solid writing session. It’s a ritual.
21. My signature dessert is a buttermilk coconut cake that is so sinfully good (hello butter and cream cheese) I only make it during the holidays.
22. I can spot typos a mile away. It’s involuntary. I sometimes miss them in my own work, but never on signs or menus.
23. I find driving cathartic. I do some of my best thinking in the car, with the appropriate mood music playing in the background.
24. I have been a vegetarian for 30 years.
25. Favorite quotes: “If you’re going through hell, keep going”- Winston Churchill ;”Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge”- Don Henley; “The cure for anything is salt water– sweat, tears, or the sea”- Isak Dinesen, and “Don’t worry about something until you have something to worry about”- Michele Goldman (my mom).