50 questions

I've had some major writer's block for awhile, and I came across this somewhere on the interwebs and thought it would be perfect. I love answering stupid and random questions.

1. What are your nicknames? What you do like to be called? I don't really care what you call me. I'm mostly called Michelle or Shell, but if you can't remember my name, there's a 97% chance you'll call me Melissa. A creepy guy in high school used to call me Smelly Shelly. It was ironic coming from him, because he had so much dandruff he left a trail of it everywhere he went. 
2. What books are on your shelf begging to be read? Don't murder me, but I've never read the Anne of Green Gables series. I can quote the movie, but I never made it past the first book. That's my goal this spring.
3. What often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like? I never doodle anymore! I barely even write on paper lately. That's so depressing now that I realize it. When I was a kid, I made a doodle of a bird and submitted it to an American Girl's doodle contest. It was accepted and printed in the Doodle-a-Day calendar in the late 90s. This is funny because a stick figure is challenging for me to draw. I have zero artistic skills. 
4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and turn? Try to get up and do something productive? I feel personally attacked by this question because this has been my life for MONTHS. I have zero strategies except to down a bottle of ZzzQuil (bonus points if you accidentally knock it over at 1am and neon blue liquid covers your toilet, rugs, floor, counters, mirrors, and bathtub, and the stickiness NEVER GOES AWAY) and cry. Sometimes I sing hymns in my head, and that's worked a few times. But mostly I just cry and think about how tired I'm going to be the next day. 
5. How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it? Being a SAHM is its own version of solitary confinement, so I could go for years and be just fine. Well, mostly fine. 
6. Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away? The really sweet and special ones I save. I feel so guilty throwing away cards, but I don't have room to store them all.
7. What is your dream career? I could go two ways with this. My ultimate dream career is to be a writer. I have zero idea what I would write about, but I would probably go the Sloane Crosley route and write a book about random embarrassing experiences. I would get just famous enough that I would be on a season of DWTS and be partnered with Val, and then I'd go back to my life of writing memoirs and creative nonfiction from my house and spend the evenings taking care of my goat and chickens. 

My other dream career is to be a meteorologist. I am unnaturally obsessed with weather and meteorology, as we already know, but I don't have the math and science brain to handle it. I just have 6 different weather apps on my phone, and I get giddy talking about barometric pressure. Whatever. 
8. When making an entrance into a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost? The last two. I need a comfort blanket in human form whenever I'm in some kind of gathering. I need a friend I can glom onto, and if I don't have one I'll hide in the corner and awkwardly scroll on my phone, and then leave via the Irish Exit. 

Invite me to your parties! I'm super fun.
9. What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be? My sense of...humor? Ha. I have no idea, but my sense of smell has been off the chain since pregnancy. It's no longer at the level where I can smell and identify everyone's shampoo from miles away, but the other day I could smell a candle I haven't burned in years. I'll keep all my senses, thanks.
10. How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror? Silly me, I never keep track. I tend to avoid them these days.
11. What’s the strangest thing you believed as a child? I remember going through a long phase in which I was CONVINCED Alex Trebek and Pat Sajak were the same person. I made a comment to my parents one day about how he must be busy hosting back to back game shows. They told me Pat and Alex are two different people, and I was so adamant that I was correct that I burst into tears. I think I believed this for years. I thought they looked the same!

12. What is one guilty pleasure you enjoy too much to give up? Reality TV.  At the end of a long solo-parenting day, my brain is too tired for books and crappy TV is the perfect escape. 
13. Who performs the most random acts of kindness out of everyone you know? Joellen for sure.
14. How often do you read the newspaper? Which paper? Which sections? We don't get the newspaper, but I kind of wish we did. I used to read it online, but it stopped being free. I'm such a millennial. 

15. Which animals scare you the most? Why? Snakes. I can't even type that word without shuddering. I can't say it without hyperventilating. It is a real and irrational fear to the point that we have a code word in our house: snausage. If you ever here us use the word snausage, RUN. 
16. Are you more likely to avoid conflict or engage it head-on? I will mostly likely jump off a cliff before engaging in conflict. I once got roped into a raging twitter fight with someone I know and it bothered me for WEEKS.

17. What was the most recent compliment you’ve received and savored? I'm not sure if it was the most recent compliment, but a friend and my dad both told me I'm a good mom on the same day. After a bunch of really hard weeks, it was a balm for my soul. It's so hard to know how you're doing when you're elbow-deep in tantrums and diapers and laundry all day long.
18. What is something about yourself that you hope will change, but probably never will? My skin tone. I'm incredible pale, and my cheeks are always splotchy red. I look like an Irishman with a chronic fever. 
19. Are you a creature of habit? 

20. Are you high maintenance? Explain. I hope I'm not in general, but I am when it comes to sleeping or riding in a car. I can't fall asleep unless there's complete silence and no movement. If James turns over in bed, I have to start the falling asleep process all over again. In the car, I have to sit up front or I'll get severely motion sick. Even up front I'll probably get motion sick, but there will be less chance of me barfing.
21. When was the last time you really pushed yourself to your physical limits? March 29, 2015. Childbirth. Boom.
22. Do you have a whole lot of acquaintances or just a few very close friends? Why? A few close friends. Just the way I like it. I don't have the social energy to keep up with more than that.
23. Are you more inclined to “build your own empire” or unleash the potential of others? I don't even know. 
24. What’s a strangest occurrence you’ve experienced but have never (or rarely) shared with anyone? A few months ago, I had a really upsetting dream about a conversation I had with someone. It was outlandish and weird and not something I thought would ever happen, but then the person from my dream said the same things to me later that day almost word for word. It was unnerving. 

25. What do you think about more than anything else? What to eat/when I can sleep.
26. What’s something that amazes you? The human body and the way it heals itself and just keeps staying alive. BLOWS MY MIND.
27. Do you prefer that people shoot straight with you or temper their words? Kind of both. I hate when people beat around the bush, but I'm also unnecessarily sensitive. 
28. Where’s your favorite place to take an out of town guest? Thanks to a slew of visiting friends, I used to have my tour of the city down to a science. Lunch at Northstar, ice cream at Jeni's, explore the Short North, visit the Book Loft in German Village, Stauff's coffee and a snack at North Market, etc. If you're really lucky I'll drive you past the Old Navy where Casey Anthony was spotted right after her aquittal. 
29. What’s one thing you’d rather pay someone to do than do yourself? Clean the bathrooms. I hate it. I will do your laundry and anyone else's if you'll clean my bathroom. I kind of love laundry. Sickening, I know.
30. Do you have a catchphrase? I hope not. But if I had one, it would probably be "I'm so tired." I am a fun and thrilling person to be around.
31. What is one of your most cherished memories? Staying with my grandma the last time I was in California. She told me stories of her childhood, pulled out pictures from the 40s and 50s, we played the piano together, and she helped me take care of Gracie. She's the best. I talked to her on the phone a few weeks ago and it made me smile for days. She's the best.
32. How and where do you prefer to study? I don't study anymore! It's so wonderful. My roommate constantly had friends over making noise, so I had a chair at the Starbucks down the street where I wrote many essays and did my French homework. I can't drink a Starbucks iced coffee without involuntarily conjugating irregular French verbs. 
33. What position do you sleep in? Curled up on my side, like I'm back in the womb.
34. What’s your all-time favorite town or city? Why? I'm not sure. Probably Santa Barbara. A lot of awesome family memories there, and it's the most gorgeous place on earth. 

35. What are the top three qualities that draw you to someone new? If you make me laugh I'll love you forever. Also kindness and, I don't know, sincerity? 
36. How has your birth order/characteristics of siblings affected you? Being an only child has made me fiercely independent. I'd rather go places/do things alone when most people would call a friend.

37. If you could eliminate one weakness or limitation in your life, what would it be? MY SHYNESS. It's exhausting. 
38. If you could restore one broken relationship, which would it be? I think the ones I would most want to restore have been restored to some level.
39. If you had to change your first name, what would you change it to? My parents almost named me Sarah, and I went through a phase where I was very angry that they didn't. I don't mind my name at all now.
40. Do you believe ignorance is bliss? Why or why not? In the case of calories, absolutely. 
41. What do you consider unforgivable? Nothing is truly unforgivable, but a lot of things come close.
42. Have you forgiven yourself for past personal failures? I think? No use dwelling on it. 
43. How difficult if it for you to forgive someone who refuses to apologize? Difficult, but possible.
44. Do you hold any convictions that you would be willing to die for? Yes.
45. What three fictional characters best represent you? Remember when this was all over social media? I never participated, but lemme tell you I thought hard about it. Definitely Lorelai Gilmore for her sass and addiction to coffee (and throw in Rory's bookish ways), Jess Day from New Girl, because we are the same person. She's worn several things on the show that I have in real life, she's quirky, she knits, and she's always making things awkward. And....and....and...I have no idea. Oh! Miranda Hart. She's the British version of me, but she's much funnier. If you're having a bad day, youtube The Miranda Show. There's definitely a pinch of both Nick Miller and Ron Swanson in me as well.

46. In what area of your life are you immature? I can never resist a That's What She Said or a Your Mom joke. 
47. What was the best news you ever received? That I was pregnant with a healthy baby girl. Best day ever.
48. How difficult is it for you to be honest, even when your words may be hurtful or unpopular?  Very hard.
49. When did you immediately click with someone you just met? Why? What was the long term result? Conversely, are you close with anyone now that you really disliked at first? I met a friend of a friend at the zoo back in the fall. I was a bit skeptical, but we hit it off and have hung out since. It's not often that I instantly click with a new friend, but I love when it happens. I don't think any of my close friends are people I disliked at first. 

50. When do you find yourself singing? Every day in the white rocking chair before nap time and bedtime.


  1. I've been telling you for ages that you could make a successful career as a writer!! You need to just DO IT!! :)
    We are both immature in the same ways- does this mean we are bad influences on each other?! Haha
    And thank you for your generous compliment, dearest friend!

  2. Oh my goodness, so many things I could comment on...

    I agree with Joellen, your talent for writing is ridiculous and you definitely need to just do it!

    I've never read Anne of Green Gables, either. Or the LIW books...any of them.

    I would rather pay someone to clean my bathrooms than do them myself any day and twice on Sundays, too. Gross.

    I'm with you on the "that's what she said" and "your mom" jokes, except mine is usually "Your mom goes to college..."

  3. My Anne books are all so creased and worn. They are my most beloved and well-read series of books and i really hope you enjoy them. If you even like them half as much as I do, you are in for a real treat :)

    And for the record I think you are a very good writer. This is a skill that can be improved upon, but it cannot be taught, and (IMO) you either can write or you can't. Editing hundreds of books and working with tons of authors has led me to this conclusion.

    1. Also I like how you answered #44 but didn't give us any concrete examples. Intrigue! ;)

  4. Laughed out loud about the snake code word. Ha. We say that word all the time, but usually in relation to the dogs.
    Also, your trip around Columbus sounds perfect! We were just at Schmidt's Sausage House on Saturday and I begged K to take me to the book loft but we couldn't find parking *sob*

  5. I'm cracking up that you though Alex and Pat were the same person. I could see how you would think that, they are similar! I'm the same way with making an entrance at parties. I went to a bridal shower last weekend and it was for a work colleague, so I knew I wasn't going to know many people. Another friend of mine was coming though, so I waited in my car until I saw her pull into the parking lot so we could go in together. Lame!

  6. I just read every single one of these and could comment on every one...I think I did that here once and that's how I learned that comments can only be SOOOO long. Was that here? Or somewhere else? I can't remember...

    Now, I somehow have noooo idea what a "That's What She Said" joke is. No idea whatsoever. Please tell me? I have a feeling I'll find them as irresistible as you do. Dad Jokes, Hey Girl Memes, and Teenage Boy Humor are three things that get me every time. Smirk, eye roll, and full out laughter are guaranteed.

  7. I read this when you first posted it but wanted to write a super insightful comment on every point you made. I might have to pull am Angi and copy this instead.

    I'll just say, amen to #40.


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