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A Hundred Things

1. I am a white female.
2. I am single for the first time since 1991.
3. I am taking a break from relationships in order to take stock of my life. Also, I no longer trust my own judgment as far as men go, so I find it better to be solitary.
4. I have cancer that has metastasized to my liver, and am going through chemotherapy in an effort to knock it out. It is not going that well. The treatment, I mean.
5. I distrust people who don’t express themselves well in writing.
6. My whole life, I have had recurrent dreams that I am actually Anastasia Romanoff, escaped from the Russian Revolution. No, I don’t think this means I was Princess Anastasia in another life. Probably, it’s some kind of narcissistic impulse reflecting the concept that I have been robbed of my rightful status as royalty and accompanying jewels.
7. I have a cat named King Kong. He’s a purebred Bengal I got for Free Dollars, hooray!
8. The cat’s favorite toy this week is an ivory ribbon.
9. My favorite color is emerald green. Sometimes I change to robin’s-egg blue because I’m tricky like that.
10. My favorite show is Murder, She Wrote. Jessica is not only an excellent amateur sleuth, she also teaches politeness.
11. My favorite movies are The Shining, Laura, Sunset Boulevard, and The Ghost and Mr. Chicken. Don Knotts is the Man!
12. I sing in a rock band. We are on hiatus at the moment.
13. I lived on various sailboats for eight years.
14. In August of 2010, I moved into an apartment downtown.
15. The downtown is maybe three blocks long.
16. I was born in Boston.
17. I’ve also lived in San Francisco and Tucson.
18. I now live in Ventura, California.
19. Ventura is an eclectic mix of surfers, Hell’s Angels, ladies who like to wear t-shirts advertising their fondness for wine, aging beach boys, and white supremacists. I may be forgetting a few subcultures, but screw it.
20. I am 5′ 9″ tall.
21. Despite my height, I am fond of wearing very high heels.
22. I haven’t recently counted my shoes, but I once found 27 pairs in my car. I held a guessing contest at my old blog, and my friend Becky won. I made her a mix CD. Lucky!!!
23. I love the smell of fresh-cut grass.
24. I used to crew on a race boat. Among other things, I act as tactician. When I’m not aboard, the rest of the crew tends to misread the course, and frequently goes the wrong way. In my own small way did I add value to the world of racing.
25. I can play guitar, kind of. This has led to several embarrassing moments onstage.
26. I love expensive china, and have several sets on my wish list. Ouisea Bleu, by Gien, is at the top of that list. It’s ok if that name means nothing to you; this is a private and idiosyncratic obsession.
27. I feel similarly obsessed with sterling flatware. It is equally incompatible with my lifestyle, my chosen lifestyle.
28. Some days, I have a really hard time with certain people’s Facebook updates. This makes me no different than anyone else, I guess.
29. I used to look young for my age. The past year has changed this.
30. I love the music of Jonathan Richman, and have lost count of the number of times I’ve seen him.
31. I drive a VW Jetta with a diesel engine. Recently, I backed into someone in a parking lot, leaving a huge dent in my bumper. I don’t have the money to fix it, so I left it as-is.
32. My day job involves a lot of dealing with the public. I haven’t been to my job in more than a year. I really didn’t expect to be sick this long.
33. Mostly, I hate the public, but I am always polite on the telephone. This is just one way in which Murder, She Wrote has helped me retain employment.
34. My side job entails writing humorous captions for a line of greeting cards and household products. It’s been a while since I submitted anything. I just don’t feel that funny lately.
35. President Clinton bought a card bearing one of my captions. He did not send it to me, so I don’t know what happened to it, but I like to imagine that Condoleezza Rice has it hanging on her cork board.
36. I have a thing for tall men.
37. Short men tend to have a thing for me.
38. Do you not agree that the blue hyacinth is the most delightful of all the flowers?
39. I grew up with crazy religious parents. My father believed that God spoke to him in rebus puzzles.
40. My father and I haven’t spoken since 1995.
41. My mother and I have a warm if somewhat formal relationship. I love her, and address her by her first name.
42. When I was young, I was seen as having a lot of potential. I have essentially blown that out of the water, which frees me up to watch television and get pedicures.
43. I have a collection of vintage furs. It is difficult to pick my favorite, but I’m fond of the long mink coat I got a couple of years ago. It has a wide shawl collar that is fun to pull up around my face.
44. I can’t wear any of my furs outside the house, but it is enjoyable to wear the leopard hat while watching films from the 1940s on television.
45. My favorite animal is the fox, for its wily intelligence and luxurious, pliant coat.
46. I have a tattoo of a gyrfalcon on my left shoulder. The gyrfalcon is the largest and hardest to train of all the falcons.
47. I have one brother, Dole, who used to live in Massachusetts. He is hilarious and smart and slightly intimidating. He lives with me, now, and helps me with stuff. Example: he takes my blood pressure every day. He’s an EMT.
48. I come from a line of Hawaiian missionaries, and my family likes to affect Hawaiian names and décor. This is akin to coming over on the Mayflower and wearing a Navajo blanket to reflect your heritage.
49. I am also related to a Mayflower passenger–the one who went overboard. (Obviously, he was recovered from the sea and survived.)
50. My favorite authors are Joan Didion and Anthony Burgess. And Shirley Jackson. And Kurt Vonnegut.
51. I read a fair number of true crime stories, and watch Forensic Files on tv. Hooray for justice!
52. My favorite true crime story is that of the Zodiac, the evil Bay Area maniac who was never caught. And they came so close!
53. I have a large stash of beautiful designer fabrics, all in lengths of one yard or less. I am particularly fond of Scalamandré and Brunschwig & Fils.
54. My love of designer fabric and true crime come together in Dominick Dunne’s show, Power, Privilege and Justice: the living room in which he taped the show features a pair of chairs upholstered in the exact Brunschwig & Fils chintz as that of the comforter on my bed. The print is called La Portuguaise, and it gives me great pleasure every time I see his chairs on tv.
55. I am tired of movies named after song lyrics, or which feature Jonah Hill, Seth Rogan, or Will Ferrell. I get it! Men have penises and like to fuck hot women! Yes, that IS hilarious, Mr. Apatow.
56. If I had unlimited riches, I would visit Hermès, the brilliant French leather goods manufacturer, and buy everything they had to sell.
57. I have worn Chanel No. 5 for many years, but I’m running out. I’m moving on to my backup stash of Chanel No. 19. I’m always on the lookout for a good perfume.
58. One of my favorite perfumes is L’Ombre dans l’Eau, by Diptyque. It’s kind of hard to find, so mostly I don’t own it. The name means “the shadow in the water,” and Catherine Deneuve used to wear it.
59. The personal characteristics I most despise are: disloyalty and cheapness.
60. I don’t mind getting rid of things, especially if they’re going to a good home.
61. I was never particular about red, but my current apartment is decorated with a lot of red. It just kind of happened.
62. I never learned to cook, and am indifferent to learning now.
63. I sometimes marvel at the menus my friends come up with every night. Menu-planning is a skill I do not possess.
64. Paris is my favorite city of those I’ve visited.
65. The chemotherapy and radiation I went through killed my appetite for red meat and red wine.
66. I’m ok with the substitutes I have found: Greek salad and Absolut greyhounds.
67. The greyhound is my favorite drink.
68. I love grapefruit and grapefruit juice.
69. I love my friends, and wish we all lived in the same town, or even better, the same trailer park. I think it would be wonderful to have a private trailer park in which all my friends lived. I wouldn’t be picky about the kind of trailer they wanted, as long as they were happy. Meet me at the clubhouse! It’s happy hour!
70. My longest-term friend is SueBee. We met in detention. She is beautiful and hilarious, and lives too far away.
71. I am not great with money.
72. I am good with kids, but never wanted any of my own.
73. I have a degree in theatre, which has proved useless. If I could go back and counsel my 17-year-old self, I would steer her toward something more practical, or maybe just an eligible bachelor.
74. I was married once, for three years. My ex and I are good friends. He lives in Atlanta and sings in a band.
75. I am friends with nearly all my exes, except for a couple of real savages.
76. I like strands of old Christmas lights in which bulbs have been replaced over the years, so there’s a real mishmash of colors and transparencies.
77. Sometimes, I think there is no perfect love match for me. Because, really, some people just don’t end up happily ever after.
78. I really want to end up happily ever after.
79. It makes me happy when the cat puts himself to bed on his little cat pad at the end of my bed.
80. I can read tarot cards. This, my mother informs me, is “an abomination unto God.” My bad.
81. You can make a lot of neat things out of tissue paper. Example: giant, untrainable flowers.
82. I love walking by the sea and looking for beach glass. If the water were warmer here, I would submerge myself in the waves every day. I love being in the midst of the waves, feeling the pull of the tide.
83. I am a firm believer in the importance of adequate lighting. You can never have too many table lamps.
84. Sundays and the late afternoon make me melancholy. I combat this feeling by watching cartoons.
85. I subscribe to Town and Country magazine. They have the best jewelry layouts. It’s essentially jewelry porn.
86. In the last year, I’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals. They are very noisy places.
87. I have no living grandparents. I got what artistic talent I have from my mom’s mom, but I miss Grammy–my dad’s mom–the most.
88. I’m not sure why there’s a need for so many shows about pawn shops and repossessing cars.
89. Here are a few of the celebrities I’ve seen in person: Michael McKean, Martha Stewart, Robin Wright-Penn. Jealous?
90. I really hope that God turns out to be like Aslan from the Narnia movies. I want to take a long nap in His mane.
91. I have a beautiful set of china dinnerware, a wedding gift from my mother, in storage. It is patterned with violets, and it makes me sad that I do not have the kind of life in which it might be used. Then again, I don’t have to wash it.
92. Lately, I am sad a lot. Also: anxious. I have pills for both these ailments. I’m pretty sure I take too many of these pills.
93. The song that can always make me cry is “Side of the Road,” by Lucinda Williams.
94. The song I love to sing loudly in the car is “No One Sleeps When I’m Awake,” by the Sounds.
95. The song most on my mind these days is “Let Her Go Into the Darkness,” by Jonathan Richman.
96. When I was 22, I had an affair with a 49-year-old multi-millionaire I met while stranded at LAX. He wanted to keep me in an apartment in New York, but I was far too naive to take the deal. A few years ago, I saw a multi-paged spread in Vanity Fair on the enormous house he was building in Holmby Hills, and I thought about how very different my life might have been. Then I remembered how he’d always try to get me to give him a rim job, and thought, Just as well.
97. Sometimes, when my cat is bad, I hold up the leopard hat and say, “See what happened to my previous cat??” in a threatening tone. He doesn’t care: he’s a cat. Seriously, he would make a really nice hat, though.
98. I have three sets of antlers on display in my apartment. One holds all my turquoise necklaces.
99. I am using this year to take stock of my life. I hope that, when I surface, I will have gained some understanding about myself, some increased motivation to do meaningful work, and maybe another set of antlers to hang my pearls on. And a boyfriend. But mostly the first two things. I’m pretty sure I will never have another boyfriend.
100. I am Violet Veronica White. Please direct all comments and concerns to my attention. Welcome to my year of transition.

5 comments

  1. I want to hear you sing. I don’t want to see Kong as a hat. I love that you write greeting card lines. I used to imagine doing that myself. I so enjoy getting to know you. I feel inspired to write 100 things too. Maybe I’ll remember who I am. Thank you, Violet. xo


  2. I will send you a link to my band’s songs! And then, you can hear me sing. And don’t worry: Kong will never end up as a hat. Or any other clothing. It’s a wholly empty threat. Plus, we love each other. We have bonded.

    I look forward to your 100 things list! And all your writing.

    Xo
    Vvw


  3. You are an amazing person…what a beautiful writer…I really love this…as Gypsy wrote…I feel inspired to write 100 things also but know I could never be as eloquent…


    • That is a lovely compliment, and I thank you. I’ll bet you could write a great 100 Things. I was not thinking of eloquence, just random things.


  4. I think you’re super fabulous and sending you happy, positive thoughts. Every day. xxoo



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