IDEASMYTH’S 25 Random Things—yes, I succumbed…!

I usually refuse to participate in anything that has a whiff of a chain letter vibe, but I got inspired by the quality of the ones I was getting from my fine and funny friends and decided to participate in the madness.

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged (on Facebook, but it can work via email too, why not?!), you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

1. I’m a really impatient native New Yorker. So impatient that I hate shoes that require tying your laces. On the upside, my best career and life moves have come from when I have channeled my impatience to creatively address something or a situation I could no longer tolerate.

2. Philosophically, I’m an urbanista: I believe that cities–especially NYC–are the best places to live–and yes, I loved it as a kid. While I love visiting others’ homes in the country, the idea of maintaining acres of land, lawn, worrying about gutters, battling mice, Lyme disease, car DMV hassle etc. is a total buzzkill to me. I don’t need a grand apt, because I don’t need a lot of home space, I like living IN the city itself. A boyfriend once invited me up to his (very nice) house for the weekend saying, “it’ll be fun, we’ll put up deer fencing!” and I instantly knew that we were not meant to be.

3. While people may be attracted to one another because of traits they find admirable, what I see play out again and again is that couples bond more because of their mutual love of the same vices and because they like to spend their leisure time the same way. (See #2)

4. I loved TV as a kid–I am still disturbed that I still have all these cheezy 70s sitcom theme songs clogging my mental harddrive–but have not watched with any regularity since I went to college in 1987. And I don’t own a TV now. Though when I go to hotels, I surf channels for hours with a furtive addict’s frenzy. One reason I don’t have cable is that I would watch animal shows all day long. And yes, I love animal movies. “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” was awful wonderful. Though “Babe: Pig in the City” is my all-time favorite.

5. I like athletic activity that requires minimal props, minimal rules and maximum freedom: running, rollerblading, yoga, day-hiking, swimming, dancing, cross-country skiing, ice skating, snow-shoe-ing (though don’t get enough snow around here to do much of those winter sports). I like downhill skiing but can easily get impatient–and cold–on line for the chairlifts. I know that I would be better at tennis if I didn’t think that running around with fly-swatter-like implements didn’t look so silly to me. I love that my boyfriend introduced me to body-surfing–riding the surf is a fantastically sublime rush.

6. I feel more beautiful naked than in my underwear or bathing suit.

7. To me, my coaching is the inevitable extension of my earlier interest in architecture. For me both are a fascination with creating the best unique structures–and environments–for a great life, which I believe is different for each person, couple, family and group.

8. Never smoked a cigarette, or done any drugs. Really. Among my artsy-intellectual friends, this makes me a freak.

9. For years I despaired of being too uptown for downtown, too downtown for uptown. Now I enjoy that freedom from any social claustrophobia.

10. When I was a kid, everyone always made me be the mommy when playing house. I always wanted to be the baby.

11. I survived childhood with two younger brothers–who at the time lived to antagonize me in stereo–by taking a backpack of books and reading them on a plank I put up in a tree. FYI: It’s impossible to wash sap out of clothing.

12. I once attended a bona fide international treehouse conference in Oregon and while you now know I don’t want to maintain a country house (see #2), someday I do want to buy building rights to a tree on a friend’s property–say in Long Island? northern Jersey Shore?–so I could take the train there.

13. I love parties and visiting other people’s country houses but after 36 hours of being a guest, my social graces battery gives out and just want to hibernate on the hammock with my dog.

14. I have to determine how much to eat by sight, as my body never tells me I’m full until it’s too late.

15. When I was a junior in high school, I was very proud of myself to get an A in a professional drafting class at the The New York School of Interior Design. I loved spending my teen summers in pantyhose and suits working for architecture firms in NYC and Paris. All those 20th century skills–making pretty blueprints using plastic leads on mylar paper–are now completely outdated.

16. I am sure I lived in Belle Epoque Paris in another life. Fuel for my Francophile fire: the language, the cafe culture, the films, the vins, the fromages, the patisseries, the couture, the ubiquitous affection for lapdogs, the prioritizing of bon-vivant-ness, I plan on living there in this lifetime. Soon. Seeking a house-swapper for a stint in Paris this summer, anyone?

17. Biggest life regret? For being penniless–and more stupidly, too unresourceful–when I graduated from college and therefore unable to return to Paris for my second interview for the internship I was led to believe I would have gotten at the International Herald Tribune.

18. Last time I ever thought I was cool?: in 6th grade, I was president of my class, captain of a sports team, Helen in Helen of Troy, and an adopted mascot to a senior girl, a co-head student government whom the whole school thought was THE coolest. (By 8th grade, I was too shy to hangout in the senior homeroom.) Today I’m definitely uncool but happier not worrying about it!

19. After graduating from a very small all-girls’ school that I had attended 13 years everyone told me that I would have a hard time adjusting to a co-ed university. When I got there, I found the Southern girls alien and all the boys normal.

20. If I could cherry-pick traits from others? How about a bit of Eartha Kitt’s sophisticated worldly-wiseness, Julia Roberts infectiously goofy grin, Ray Eames’s sense of ingeniousness and her legendary business and romantic partnership with Charles, and Carla Bruni’s outrageous ability to seemingly have more fun than anyone else in the Western World…

21. My childhood ethos was: feed the brain, ignore the body. Most of my life, if I was down to my last $100, I would spend it on books instead of food. Now I’m not allowed to go into a bookstore unless I’m buying a gift for someone else. If you find me in one with no alibi, please escort me out.

22. Books are my favorite form of escapism–better than shopping, dining-out, traveling. When I am low, I treat books as anti-depressants. For humor: DOG DOGS by Elliott Erwitt. For exuberantly romantic New York City stories: Kafka Was the Rage by Anatole Broyard. For the ultimate in awe & wonder: Mira calligraphiae monumenta (Model Book of Calligraphy), an exact replica of an extraordinary 16th Century codex from the Getty Museum, with calligraphy by Georg Bocskay and illustrations by Joris Hoefnagel, an exquisite tome, but one of the most cherished in my collection.

23. Officially, I’ve stopped collecting books, now I’ve crossed over to handmade jewelry–usually designs by my talented friends that have been customized for me–always easy to find space for THAT in a modest apartment…! And yes, I want a tiara.

24. What I wish there was more of?: reasonably priced big-band supper clubs–like the old Rainbow room–where you and a group of your elegant friends could dress up in pretty dresses and kitten heels and go swing dancing with dapper husbands before dinner, sit down to a nice round of oysters and some fantastic white wine, and then dance between courses, if you so desired…AND still be home before midnight.

25. I have never been happier than now–when are we going to do something fun?

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