Wednesday, November 08, 2006

5 Things--People Collection List

I'm trying this again. Someone who paints and is a nurse politely mentioned that writing mostly about my parents might not have exactly followed the rules of this writterly exercise, the rules being to write 5 things profane or mundane about yourself. And god knows I try to follow the rules when the rules make sense to me and I am so inclined. So:

1. I was voted most popular in my high school class of 660 kids. This was quite an honor much to the dismay of Mary Ellen K., who wanted it more than I did. I haven't seen most of my high school mates in years, but when I do many comment that I'm more serious than I was back then. And that's true. When I was 16 I worked hard at being liked and likable. I was able to slide into and fit into any group, even the National Honor Society, of which i was NOT a member. I was an average student and a hellion who was in detention after school as often as not, but I was always good natured and ready for a laugh. These days, I don't work so hard to be liked and likable, but the good news is that the more authentic me has worked out just fine.

2. Well before Christopher Reeve brought independent living needs to the forefront, I wrote and published the first national resource directory for people with spinal cord injuries and other severe physical disabilities. I wrote to Lily Tomlin, who has a quadriplegic character named Crystal, and asked her to write the introduction. She wrote back saying she was not well enough informed to do that. So I sent another letter, this time addressed directly to Crystal, and asked her to talk to Lily. A week later I received what would become the back cover of the directory, complete with Crystal's "quad" signature.

3. I was trained by the U.S. Military in black-white relations and how to run diversity groups.

4. For two years my apartment in Germany had no hot water. None. My husband and I had to build and wait for a coal fire to heat up the bathroom water tank so we could take our weekly baths. And in bed at night it was so cold I could see my breath even in the dark.

5. I expect to have two self-help books published within the next two years, but my best love is writing poetry. Having a background in counseling is a treasure for a writer, as is living with this irrepressible passion that follows me everywhere. And it doesn't hurt that I think the best of most people, although I can see through phony-baloney like a laserbeam.


  1. What this post tells me more than anything (and the details are anything but mundane!) is that you are not a person who's afraid to take risks. I have noticed that those who don't allow fear to make their decisions are the truest, most open people. You have led a fascinating life!

  2. awwww, andrea, you've made my day. i like you for all the same reasons. and you are right about fear. it can freeze you shut.


  3. Wow.
    Andrea's comment says it all.
    Thrilled to read another 5 things about you.
    Loved number 5.
    Like you my background lets me see through phony-baloney. It's like having a superhero power!


  4. Geez that Ces is pushy, huh? But good on her, she's a hoot and she was right on.

    It's a great thing to see you reveal yourself: thoughtful, straight ahead, sensitive, to start.

    The Lily Tomlin/Crystal thing was a stroke of genius...wonder what Mary Ellen K.'s doing now?

    And what's the name of the book with Crystal's signature on the back?

    You're to be admired. And I do.

    Mr. Phoney Baloney

  5. caroline: i like that you visit my blog. i like your blog. super hero power---hmmmm---i like that too.

    ww: we'd better be careful or we'll have a mutual admiration society on our hands. then will we continue to thrive? as you know, i think you are kinda cool....


  6. KJ, you are a very interesting and beautiful person. You always know what you want and then you get it. Good luck on the books. I am rooting for you. I want to be the first one to search for its title at Amazon!

  7. what a great list! when will the book go out? i can't wait.

  8. This was great!
    Thanks so much for sharing...

  9. what this post tells me is that you are not just another pretty face! You are filled with grace, grit and dignity!!!

  10. kj, there's just so much for you to tell! So much for me to learn--about you and about life!

    I love the Lily Tomlin story--the persistence and determination met with respect.