Ingratitude! thou marble-hearted fiend...

“Ingratitude is treason to mankind.” James Thomson


So, you know those "21 things" or "100 things about me" or whatever memes you get people sending you and then maybe you get all tense and wound up about completing them and then having to pester another bunch of people to do it too? And maybe you don't like doing that because it's a bit like chain letters, minus the threats of bad luck and hellfire and kittens being sad? And maybe you don't have that many friends anyway?

I'm not very good at completing these things, but they carry on going round and round in my head accumulating momentum, churning up meaningless and trivial crumbs of fact about stuff, most of which is completely self-centred, which start clagging up the works in my brain warren. So I've decided to squeeze it all out here. Think of it as brain toothpaste. Or a sort of PSA for people who should know more about me.* I apologise.
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I was born in the great state of New Jersey, where I lived until I was 21, when I pursued (somewhat shadily) a UK work permit through the BUNAC student work exchange programme. I falsified copies of my beauty school contract. Really. Then I got all worried about it and when for various reasons I had to postpone my plans, I enrolled at the local community college and got my legit papers like the matriculating student BUNAC specified I should be, so no need to report me to Homeland Security. (I was worried about it in 1989, but now if they caught you trying that kind of shit you'd probably be executed.)

The short story is that I came to London with BUNAC and never went home.

My partner and I live in west London. We are not married. Should we? Shouldn't we? I have mixed feelings.

My older dog - Girl Dog - is 13. I love her in a crazy, unbalanced kind of way. I have been dreading her old age for maybe as long as I've had her. I worry about how I will cope with her death. I am aware that this is probably unhealthy.

The other dog - Boy Dog - is a) cute and b) pure evil

My domestic standards are low. And in personal hygiene terms, I wash and stuff, but I'm not too fussed about the rest.

I always thought I'd have children, but ended up never wanting any. I sometimes worry a little about it, like if I'm missing out, but I think the worry is prompted by fear of something rather than desire for something.

I get music stuck in my head where it hangs like wallpaper until it is shifted by different music.

When I was a child, people commented on my maturity, but I think I'm quite emotionally immature, so either they were wrong or I stopped growing at some stage.

I could spell the hell out of anything when I was a kid. I won a spelling bee when I was seven or eight and once they had eliminated all but one of  the other kids, they ran out of words in my age group and had to use harder ones. I wish I remembered more about that day. It was my moment of triumph, and validated my rigid spelling pedantry forever. I am less pedantic about grammar, but mainly because I know the obvious rules but am less well versed on the more arcane ones.

I applied to be a Samaritan. They turned me down.

I have a compulsion for pulling my hair. On certain parts of my head, the hair is very coarse and kinky, and I like to pull it, to feel the kinks in it. Sometimes the hair comes out when I'm pulling, in which case I will pull it in two, but that's not the aim of the exercise. The compulsion is worse when I'm tired. And I did not predict how disgusting this would turn out to look in black and white - go figure.

I have reduced my consumption of animal products because I object to the methods used to create them. I have been vegan, and it's not easy. So at the moment I'm a lazy hypocrite.

I was born gripping my right thumb in my palm, and I still do it now when I'm anxious. I don't do this with my left hand at all.

In 1987, when I was 19, I pierced my own nose with a sterilised needle. I had always admired Indian women's pierced noses and saris - so much glamour and drama - and when I was a teenager, it had gathered some edgy appeal and I yearned to have it done but didn't know of anywhere to go. I reasoned that, if I did it myself and it hurt too much, I could always stop. 

My favourite place in the whole world is a shop called Time After Time in Madison NJ. It is my happy place; I spent so many hours there over a period of so many years that I feel I can just be there in my head whenever I want to be. I have done this during unpleasant dental procedures.

No one in our house ever said 'fuck' - not when I was around anyway. My grandmother caused great hilarity by using carefully chosen vulgarities only occasionally. Also, she put ice cubes down my grandfather's shirt. 

The ocean smells nice, but I really intensely love the smell of river mud.

The cliches about age and experience that older people told me about and I rolled my eyes at seem to be largely true.  

*I can't think who those people would be.