About Me … Once Upon a Time

I put off writing the ABOUT ME section of my blog for a long time. Partly because the Me changes so often. Partly because I don’t know how to stop once I start writing (especially about Moi). I tried to write a bio-type blurb and 5 pages of narcissistic crap came out. So I started a memoir.

In the meantime I feel like I owe my visitors some semblance of imagery for the girl who spews a lot of randomness (yes I still call myself a girl). But it’s this collection of notated randomness that has defined the life I’ve lived so far and the opinions I’ve crafted so far. I change as life changes.

That said, I’m adding a disclaimer that this document is organic, dynamic and guaranteed to change.

So until my scandalous revealing book comes out (no, it won’t be called ABOUT ME), here is an arbitrary list of things ABOUT ME:

  • I have a six-year-old son who is the love of my life. He calls me the life of his love. I call that success.
  • My favorite number is 8. 2008, however was one of the hardest years of my life. Go figure.
  • I was born in Kiev. That’s in the Ukraine but when I lived there it was the USSR.
  • I lived on both sides of the Cold War. First under the flag with the hammer and sickle and then under the Stars and Stripes.
  • My mother, father and I immigrated to Queens in 1979 via Austria and Italy. It sounds glamorous but it was far from it.
  • I don’t have a birth certificate. Instead I have a bronze coin with a bust of Lenin on it. My name and date of birth is engraved in white on it. The coin was not accepted at the DMV as proof of birth.
  • When I was 6 years old, I apparently decided to stop eating. I remember liking the attention. My parents took me to a psychiatrist who didn’t diagnose me with anything. He did ask me who I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, “a doctor or a lawyer, whoever made more money.” Ironically I cannot relate to that at all.
  • Forest Hills, Queens was my first American home. Had I went to high school there, I would have gone to the same high school as Simon and Garfunkel. Instead we moved to Staten Island. No one famous went to Susan Wagner High School but I think we had a kick-ass football team. I wouldn’t know; I didn’t participate much in the whole high school thing.
  • I was afraid of dogs as a child. My father forced me to get over it. Then he got me a dog for my 12th birthday. A mastiff. She weighed 155 pounds – which is right about what I weighed in high school (I’m 5’2″).
  • I have lost 35 pounds since then. Mostly because I stopped eating Peanut M&Ms and Bar Nones (now only made in Mexico) for lunch. I also stopped having platters after school. Platters were a plate of full fat tortilla chips covered in about half a block of Cracker Barrel cheddar cheese. Nuked for a minute. Deliciousness. But no more. I also started moving off the couch.
  • The entire time I lived in Staten Island my father owned and operated a donut shop. It was called Time Out for Donuts. It was a bit of a misnomer since we served eggs, hamburgers and hot turkey sandwich-like stuff too. Yes, this could have contributed to the 35 extra pounds.
  • Yes, my father made the donuts much of the time. Dunkin’ Donuts had a famous commercial for years that had the bald mustached man always going to make the donuts at all hours of the day. “Time to make the donuts,” he would say. I hated those commercials.
  • I’m not ticklish. Also because my father forced me to get over it.
  • I never liked to play with other children when I was younger. I never liked the pretend aspect; if we were doing it, it had to count. I always felt like a grown up until I decided to stop. Nowadays I prefer to play with children.
  • My Russian name sounds like I’m a famous ballerina. My mother, however, clearly brought us up with the notion that being a ballerina was the most far-fetched idea in the world. For example, “____. Yeah, and I’m a ballerina.”
  • I unconditionally love New York City. I like to think it’s mutual.
  • My first concert was the Beach Boys and Chicago at the Meadowlands. I’ve also seen Billy Joel 5 times and Elton John at least twice. Apparently my musical taste as a teenager was that of a middle-aged woman.
  • I chew a lot of gum. I’m not sure of the root of this problem. It could be because my mother stopped breast feeding me too early or because my grandmother told me I had bad breath when I was six. Now I’m a chain chewer.
  • When I think of favorite TV shows, I still think back to Family Ties, China Beach and thirtysomething. I love a good medical drama but I don’t watch Grey’s Anatomy. I stopped at the ninth season of er. Not sure why I never got hooked on the kids stuff.
  • I don’t like shoes. All the pretty ones are uncomfortable. I’m holding a grudge.
  • I’m not sure why women buy lots of purses. I think it’s annoying to constantly repack the purse.
  • I don’t like to keep things in my pockets.
  • I love make up. I wear mostly black clothing but get rainbowlicious with eye make up – all Mac, nothing but Mac.
  • However, my never leave home without it make up is blush: life for the face.
  • Two most memorable beauty mishap (aside from the orange hair) was the time I used a curling iron and forgot to open it when I pulled it away from my face. This taught me the lesson that yes, eyelashes grow back.
  • I think roller-rinks should make a come back. The last time I was at a roller-rink was for my sister’s 25th birthday. We partied at the famous Roxy in NYC. That night a man dropped dead while skating. He was overweight and a regular at the rink. The Roxy gave us tickets to come back. But then the Roxy closed down. RIP John the roller skater.
  • My son attends a fancy private school in Manhattan. I don’t fit in with the mommies. In his preschool class I was the only divorced parent. I’m waiting for the fourth grade when I heard it balances out.
  • I know my AmEx number by heart.
  • I rarely remember my dreams but nightmares plague me for days. My repeat nightmare is one where I spit all my teeth fall out.
  • My first bad habit was biting my nails. I would still do it if it was socially acceptable and I wasn’t so afraid of breaking my teeth.
  • I don’t like mustard or butter, although I will use butter in baking, I will never put it on bread.
  • I never drank milk. Not even in cereal (but yes in coffee).
  • I have been a fishetarian for the last 16 years.
  • I learned to order food from Sally in When Harry Met Sally.
  • I do not like horror movies.
  • When I was 15 I spent a summer at a French enrichment program in Villefranche (the same town in the French Riviera where they based the movie Dirty Rotten Scoundrels). I remember only the wine, the spaghetti bolognaise (this is when I still ate meat) and the swimming pool. Oh yeah – that was the summer I decided to spray Sun-In on my black hair. My parents picked me up at JFK airport with bright orange hair. I was like “What? It’s so blonde!” when you’re 15 with black hair, orange is as blonde as it gets from a bottle.
  • It was my mother’s choice to get my ears pierced when I was three years old in Russia. It was my choice to get two more holes in my right ear when I was 17 spending the summer in California. Ironically I never wear earrings because they hurt my ears.
  • I have two visible scars. One on my neck from a partial thyroidectomy and one on my philtrum from when my dog barked at me and my face got in the way. To her defense I was hitting her on the nose with a silly putty egg she had stolen from me. Also to her defense, she was groggy from medicine. To my defense, it was 12 stitches and it’s my FACE!
  • I have two tattoos (scars by choice, I like to say). One on my lower back – a sun with a Chinese character in the middle that means big sister. Within the rays of the sun are my initials and my sister’s initials. She has an identical tattoo with the exception of her middle symbol which means little sister. My second tattoo is on my UPA (Upper P***y Area), left side; a low bikini shows half of it. It’s a lyrical heart that doesn’t close entirely at the bottom. My son’s initials are at the bottom. Both tattoos are black, red and yellow.
  • I gave my sister her English name: Irene. I was in the first grade and that was my first grade teacher’s name. Mrs. Irene Fischer. I don’t think my sister realizes that I’m to blame. At home we always called her Reena anyway. That sounded much cooler. She officially changed her name and I forever lost coolness points.
  • I have one sister and one half-brother. My sister was born in 1981; my brother was born in 2005. My son’s uncle is 3 years younger than him.
  • I am really hairy…which leads to:
  • My favorite tool is the tweezer. I take my eyebrows seriously. Having a unibrow for the first 12 years of your life does that to you. Irreparable damage.
  • I doodle a lot. I like to think that I’m an artist that never learned to draw so I doodle letters, words, interlocking squares, my name.
  • Penmanship was my favorite subject. In high school I got a typing award. I still like my handwriting, but I prefer to type.
  • I love non-ballpoint colored pens. Pink, purple, green – anything other than boring black.
  • I guiltlessly love the smell of rubber cement.
  • I hope to one day do the Amazing Race with my sister.
  • I don’t believe in the lottery. I think that life is a balance; if I win extraordinary money when I’m capable of doing it on my own, I fear I will lose something much more precious than money. I don’t want to take that risk.
  • The Beatles are my all time favorite band.
  • I spent the last 4+ years working for a recruitment advertising agency. It’s just like a regular advertising agency, except instead of promoting Coca Cola as a great soda, we promote a company as a great place to work. What this means is that we wrote fancy help wanted ads for jobs no one wanted. We also gave a lot of money to Monster and CareerBuilder on our clients behalf.
  • I’ve held lots of jobs before that including being employee # 2 in this cool Website.
  • The job, however, that prepared me most for life – and interacting with people – was working at the donut shop from the time I was 12 to when I went to college. I hated every day of it. I did, however, learn to make awesome home fries and perfect eggs over easy. I also learned to always say THANK YOU to customers. To this day, I maintain that a coffee regular is milk and two sugars.
  • If money were no object, I would travel around the world taking photos, writing and getting massages every week.
  • I would also have a personal shopper because I hate to shop.
  • I was born in the year of the Tiger and I’m a Leo but I hate cats. This may have been my first indicator of a life plagued with irony.
  • I’ve been to about 20 countries and hundreds of cities. Hawaii is still one of my favorite places on earth. My dream trip is to Africa – I want to feel it.
  • I’m a pretty technologically savvy gal but my DVD player has been blinking 12:00 since last year’s blackout.
  • I love Ellen DeGeneres and DVR her show daily.
  • I rock at Tetris. Not sure if the Russian has anything to do with it.
  • I started seeing hearts everywhere a few years ago. Maybe it was because I was in love, maybe because I just started seeing everything more clearly and the hearts stood out. I thought how wonderful that humans are in love with love. Thus www.heartseverywhere.com.
  • I am looking for a dream job. Step one: define it. Step two: create it.

If you got to the bottom of this list and are not related to me, WOWZERS … and thank you.

5 thoughts on “About Me … Once Upon a Time

  1. It’s your fault for the Irene!!!! I really didn’t know that, i blamed the American people and their need for translation. I was named after someone with an R!! It must begin with an R, instead, you gave me an old lady name. thanks.you are responsible for me being born, so i think i’ll let this slide. What else aren’t you telling me about???

  2. I read the whole the list and I am not related to you. I think that you are a very interesting Lady. You also have an interesting sense of humor. I am tolally impressed with your experiences and the way that you express yourself. Great job. I would like to read more about your life. I am a sucker for a good writer.

  3. Dear Miss Open Hearted,Few people know what a philtrum is. Yes, I read the entire thing. Very pleasantly honest and revealing. Simultaneously soft and confronting. I just now created my own blog as a writer. This is how I happened to find you, a fellow blogger. Mine is very sparce to begin with. But I decided the best place to begin, is to simply begin. You would honor me with a post, if you so wish. Just want you to know I am inspired, and love your honesty.Warmly,Ron

  4. From the soaring cliffs of the Napali Coast to the vast chasms of Waimea
    Canyon,Kauai embraces the senses like no other destination. Explore the island via land , sea or air to experience settings you’ve only dreamed about. Discover 50-miles of heavenly beaches from Poipu Beach to Hanalei Bay. Explore charming and historic small towns like Hanapepe and Koloa where no building is taller than a coconut tree. With so much to experience, “Hawaii’s Island of Discovery,” is begging to be explored.

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