Coffee heat rising

100 Things about Myself

I wrote this in response to a question at Quora: “Can you write 100 things about yourself?”  Having completed that little challenge, lo! I find Quora won’t let it go online. So…Here ’tis:



  1. Just now, my head hurts.
  2. Think that’s prob’ly because of allergies. Everything in sight is blooming just now.
  3. Can’t take an aspirin because when I was a toddler I got into a medicine cabinet and ate a whole bottle of aspirin.
  4. When my mother realized what I’d gotten up to, she rushed me to an ER, where a doctor told her I would be dead by morning.
  5. Strangely, I’m not dead yet, even though several thousand mornings have passed.
  6. The docs told my mother I must never swallow another aspirin pill as long as I live, because it would kill me. They were wrong, oddly enough.
  7. I need another cuppa coffee…hold the phone…
  8. This morning I’ve got to call a lawyer to help me deal with a relative who’s trying to glom possession of my house.
  9. That makes me nervous, because I don’t know the woman lawyer, who was a partner of my dear long-time lawyer. He dropped dead a week or ten days ago.
  10. If I can’t get this woman to work with me, then I will pack up a bunch of belongings, toss them and my dog in the car, and leave the state permanently.
  11. To “lose” any followers, the dog and I will camp for several weeks in the deserts and forests of the Four Corners area.
  12. Where we’ll end up, I have no clue. And really: don’t much care just now.
  13. Now that I’ve managed to regrow my hair to the length where I like(d) it, I’ve decided I don’t much care for it long.
  14. This could be convenient: I could get my hair cut real short on the way out of town, so when the relative in question describes me to the cops and anyone else he tries to set on my trail, he would be describing someone who doesn’t look like me anymore.
  15. There’s a thought: change your hair! OK, why not change the dog’s hair, too? I could either have a groomer shave her fur off short, or I could dye her (very distinctive-looking) fur.
  16. We live in a nice, thirty-year-old tract house on the fringe of an upscale district.
  17. I grew up in Saudi Arabia.
  18. I grew up hating school, because the brats there thought it was hilarious to tease and torment me for wanting a career as an astronomer.
  19. Back in the Dark Ages when I grew up, girls absolutely positively did NOT get to grow up to be scientists.
  20. As a kid, standardized tests indicated that I was reading at the genius level.
  21. Back in the Dark Ages when I grew up, girls absolutely positively did NOT get to be geniuses of any kind. Well, unless they were geniuses at baking cakes and sewing clothes.
  22. I was pretty good at baking cakes.
  23. But I hated sewing clothes.
  24. My father never knew I found out where he hid his revolver.
  25. Back in those same Dark Ages, I had an elaborate, highly specific plan to run away: tie together a raft of palm spines (used to build fencing in our camp), add a home-made sail, launch it from the beach (about two blocks from our company house), and sail away into the distance. Follow the edge of the continent to where I could cross over and land on the shore of Alaska; continue south into California. Get a dog. Live my life as Little Orphan Annie.
  26. Just now, my hip hurts. Probably osteoporosis. More than probably…
  27. The ongoing headache: probably allergies.
  28. If I weren’t so lazy, I’d get off my duff and take the dog for two-mile walk through the nearby desert preserve.
  29. But I ain’t a-gonna, because the last time I went hiking up there, some S.H. (not realizing I was old enough to be his grandmother) followed me through the desert. When I ducked down into an arroyo before he rounded a hill that briefly blocked his view of me, he stood for a good 15 minutes on that trail, obviously searching for me.
  30. I’m a talented writer, widely published in consumer and trade periodicals, with three books in print.
  31. But I can’t do math to save my life.
  32. I never carry cash with me.
  33. Consequently, I never dispense hand-outs to the legions of panhandlers who pester us whenever we walk across a grocery-store parking lot.
  34. The top of the block wall between my place and the neighbors is lined with carpet tack strips, to keep out the neighboring Cat Lady’s little furry friends, which otherwise would use my vegetable garden as their latrine and kill all the birds that visit my yard.
  35. The neighbor between my house and the Cat Lady’s house hates wild birds almost as much as she hates Cat Lady’s furry pals.
  36. I don’t much like the skylights in this house: They’re classy and stylish and they light up the kitchen, dining-room, and family room very nicely, but they also let in heat.
  37. If I have to run away to keep from being consigned to an old-folks’ home, I definitely will pass through the Navajo Reservation and, while there, buy another beautiful Navajo weaving.
  38. As you might guess by that, I do love the Navajo rugs I bought there some years ago. They now grace walls in the family room and my office.
  39. I refuse to pay for television. Period.
  40. When our Honored Leaders took free TV away from us (nowadays you have to subscribe to cable in order to get a signal here), I just stopped watching television.
  41. Well. Except for the TV I could download into my computer.
  42. Having realized how b-o-o-o-o-ring most on-air TV is, I totally lost my taste for the “entertainment” that used to fill my every evening. Now I watch PBS News on my desktop, and…well…that’s about it. Even Masterpiece Theater isn’t worth sitting in front of a computer to watch.
  43. But gosh, I do miss Dragnet. Strangely, after all these years I now think that was my all-time hands-down favorite TV show.
  44. My favorite magazine is The Economist.
  45. The magazines where I used to work as a staff editor — Phoenix Magazine and Arizona Highways — bore me stupid. For the life of me, I can’t imagine why anyone would pay to subscribe to those things.
  46. Actually, Highways is probably tolerable because of its superb photography. The copy? hmmmm….
  47. And speaking of for-the-life-of-me mysteries, I can not understand why on earth anyone would want to lay down wall-to-wall carpets throughout a house. Tile flooring is sooooo much easier to keep clean! And if your feet are cold? Hey: ever heard something called “slippers”? 😀
  48. My mother believed her mother died in early middle-age, supposedly of a uterine cancer. But I discovered — another miracle of the Internet — that she did NOT die in the late 1920s or early ’30’s , but in fact was still living when my son (her grandson) was born in 1979.
  49. Astonished by this little revelation, I continued poking around in historic documents and discovered that she married a prominent San Francisco businessman.
  50. Two streets converge in downtown San Francisco: one bears her first name and the other bears her and her husband’s last name.
  51. They meet in front of the bank where my highly independent great-aunt spent most of her adult life working as the bank president’s executive secretary.
  52. That aunt’s brother — my great-uncle — designed the Morrison Planetarium.
  53. I have always wished I could live in the beautiful house he and his wife built in the Sausalito hills.
  54. I’d ‘druther live with my dawg than another human, any day.
  55. Helle’s Belles! Here comes another cop helicopter. He’s about a block away…and here we go again.
  56. Glad the dawg and I went outside to do her business 15 minutes or so ago. Otherwise a plugged-up pooch and I could be stuck inside the house for quite awhile.
  57. Verging on Old As the Hills, I still have brown hair with blonde highlights. Gosh! My mother had gone completely gray by the time she reached my age.
  58. Well. Before she reached my age. She died nine years before she got that far.
  59. I find it hard to forgive her for smoking herself to death. She died nine years before her only grandchild was born. That doesn’t make any difference to the kid, though. But her peculiarly baroque style of suicide put my father through the tortures of the damned. And that is, yes: hard to forgive.
  60. I have yet to figure out how to get rid of the resident roof rats, some of whom have taken up residence in the attic. The exterminator I hired couldn’t do it, either.
  61. Corgis love to chase rats. A delighted corgi does a surprisingly good job at reducing the ratty population. Ergo: I love my corgi even more now than I did before our ratties came along.
  62. My brilliant cleaning lady is absolutely positively a gift from heaven.
  63. I need to track down a mortician or three and make pre-arrangements for my eventual exit from this earthly plane.
  64. Though I’d love to have my ashes interred in the church close, they charge FIFTEEN HUNDRED BUCKS for the privilege. So…I reckon my cremains will be flying off the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, there to join the ashes of my former mother-in-law, who was similarly disposed of.
  65. I sure do miss singing on the church choir. Had to quit when the plague came up, though. It turns out choral singing is one of the most dangerous things you can do during time of contagion. And I’m highly susceptible to respiratory infections. (See above: parental smoking habit.)
  66. Speaking of the which, I’m still enjoying the aftereffects of the Covid infection I caught way back last autumn. Ugh!
  67. I had perfect teeth until was in my 30s.
  68. Now that I’m old, my teeth hurt.
  69. So does just about everything else, come to think of it. 😀
  70. Tomorrow — today, actually, it now being 4:19 a.m. as I continue to scribble this — I need to call a mortician (where? who??) and make arrangements to have my remains disposed of.
  71. I do not want to be laid to “rest” (does an urnful of ashes rest??) in Sun City, where my parents are at the Sunland Mortuary.
  72. Because I hated living in Sun City, the prospect of spending eternity in Whiteyville, where the residents went to hide from anyone and everyone who was at all different from them, makes me cringe.
  73. Plus I discovered that my father’s third wife’s idiot relatives have deposited her urn-full of ashes next to him, out there in Sun City.
  74. She was meaner than Pussley and made the last years of his life miserable. And now she’s out there with him and with my mother????? Holeee shee-ut!
  75. I’d like to be laid to rest in my church’s close, but recently learned the privilege costs fifteen hundred dollars. That’s fifteen hundred bucks that could and should go to my son.
  76. So tomorrow — well, today, after the sun comes up — I need to start calling around to find out about disposing of my earthly remains with the least amount of cost and headache for my son.
  77. Peripheral neuropathy hurts, hurts, and then hurts some more.
  78. I’m getting exceptionally tired of hurting.
  79. This makes the approaching end of my story look a lot less daunting than it would if life didn’t hurt all the time.
  80. I waste WAY too much time writing Quora posts!
  81. It occurs to me that I should paste this post into my blog, Funny about Money. Probably more folks would read it there than will read it on Quora.
  82. Not that it matters much, in the large scheme of things.
  83. That said, let us emphasize: this post is copyrighted by ME, not by Quora, and may be reproduced only with my permission.
  84. Have you noticed that a standard typewriter/computer keyboard doesn’t include a copyright symbol? It has an “at” symbol (which Quora won’t let me type here without dorking up and snafuing the formatting!), but it does not have a copyright symbol.
  85. I’m going to be peculiarly pissed if I discover that $1500 is cheap for getting rid of one’s earthly remains.
  86. Do you ever wonder why humans have to use EVERY opportunity, no matter how crass, to make money?
  87. I wonder what it would cost — if it could be done at all — to move my parents’ remains from the Sun City mortuary over to the church’s close?
  88. But on second and third thoughts, that wouldn’t be very respectful. My father loathed organized religion, his mother having been relieved of a substantial fortune by scammers who made her believe they could talk to the dead.
  89. No kidding. He described their pretending to levitate the dining-room table.
  90. She was a half-Indian woman — Choctaw, far as I can tell — and apparently quite vulnerable to woo-woo dispensed by white scammers.
  91. Her father’s family was named Donner. This is a weird coincidence, since my mother had ancestors who were in the ill-fated Donner party that got lost in the Sierra Nevadas and ate each other by way of trying to survive.
  92. The sky is lightening up. The birds are starting to sing. Morning is dawning, like the first day…
  93. Today is Tuesday. It will be largely consumed by the search for a new lawyer to replace my beloved lawyer, who dropped dead a few weeks ago.
  94. I need a lawyer to be sure the changes we made to my will actually DID get filed with the state.
  95. Have you noticed that whatever you have to do, it ALWAYS ends up having to be done the hard way?
  96. And can you believe that once it was safe enough here to leave the backyard gate unlocked?
  97. Now the alleys are infested with homeless transients and burglars. No one in their right mind would leave the gates to their backyard without padlocks.
  98. Lordie! I am sooooooo tired!
  99. I’m going back to bed…
  100. …dawn or no dawn.

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