100 things about me

Though at first glance this little blogging trend seems narcissistic, I actually found it to be a worthwhile exercise. At a church I used to go to, our leaders challenged us often with this series of questions: “Where have I been, where am I now, and where am I going?” I think this is valuable to re-examine every once in awhile. Thanks to Erin, Jen, and Jordan for the inspiration and giving me ideas to steal.

So here it is, my 100. Stay for 20, or stay for them all.


1. Coffee is the foundation of my food pyramid. (I go to bed thinking about it.)

2. I’m Canadian. (I was born in Red Deer, Alberta, but grew up in a small town of 2,000 outside of Winnipeg, Manitoba.)

3. I feel bad that I’m Canadian and I don’t speak French.

4. I am addicted to stove-top popcorn. (With coconut oil. And nutritional yeast.)

5. Sometimes I sample from the bulk bins.

6. Beer > wine. (Unless that wine is an earthy, cave-y, mushroomy pinot or French red sipped in front of a fire.)

7. I met my husband Mark at a church youth group when I was 15. (It took another 10 years for us to get together.)

8. We went to India for our honeymoon (pic below in the River Ganges.)


9. In Myers-Briggs I’m an ENFP. (AKA, hopeless idealist.)

10. I really really like to eat. (And I still haven’t met a food I thoroughly dislike.)

11. I tried going Paleo once, for a month. (See above.)

12. I’ve lived in Winnipeg, Benin (West Africa), on Bow Lake (in Banff National Park), Vancouver, Syracuse, Washington D.C., and San Diego.

13. I majored in English Literature as an undergrad.

14. I have a Masters in Journalism from Syracuse University.

15. I interned at The Atlantic magazine after grad school.

16. I work remotely for Ironman, whose headquarters are in Tampa, Fla. I love my job.

17. I am on an H1-B visa here in the U.S. It’s not going to last forever.

18. I’ve had bangs since I saw Amelie at age 22. (I’m just now seeing how they look grown out. Thank god for headbands.)

19. I had a terrible overbite as a kid, and wore a night brace for 5 years.

20. When I was 26 I did a three-week solo cycling tour around Vancouver Island pulling a BOB trailer and camping along the way. (I blogged about it, of course.)

21. I have a tattoo of a nautical compass on my left shoulder blade that I got at the end of that trip.

22. I got into triathlon because of my friend Lisa’s hyperactive spin classes at Gold’s Gym in Syracuse.

23. My first bike was a $300 used Diamondback road bike. It got stolen a couple years ago from the back lane. I was sad. (Pic below, cleaning it for my first tri in 2008.)


24. Ice cream > frozen yogurt.

25. Campari.

26. I was in a youth choir for 7 years. We were pretty darn good.

27. My great-great grandmother on my maternal grandfather’s side was Indian (like, from India).

28. The first time I ate pork belly I felt guilty, it was so good.

29. Manicures and pedicures are a huge waste of time and money. (I know, I am not a woman.)

30. I hate spending money on clothes.

31. I have a scar on my knee from falling off a skateboard when I was 12 and trying to impress boys.

32. When I was in junior high, a cooler friend told me I “needed a band” and deemed Counting Crows “my band.”

33. The best live show I ever saw was Bjork in Montreal.

34. One of the most embarrassing moments of my life was singing a solo in front of my church for my brother’s baptism and forgetting the words.

35. Another one was losing my bathing suit in a massive ocean wave, in front of a mixed group of 40 of my peers.

36. I love the Anne of Green Gables movies (and soundtrack by Hagood Hardy)

37. Three criticisms I’ve received are that I’m cheap, insincere, and (negatively) competitive. (Why do I remember those more clearly than the compliments?)

38. I have a Snowshoe cat named O-Shin. (She is really, really soft.)


39. Editing > writing.

40. I wash and re-use Ziploc bags.

41. I have a cedar chest at my parent’s house in Winnipeg with over 40 journals in it. (I think I was meant to be a writer.)

42. I grew up Baptist, and morphed into an Anglican. I don’t go to church regularly now.

43. I’m a perfectionist.

44. I’ve been blogging for 10 years.

45. This blog began as a food blog called Fresh Cracked Pepper. (Hence the recipe archive.)

46. Dark chocolate.

47. I have a weird esophageal issue that interferes with long-distance running. (I am sick of trying to solve it and I’m sick of talking about it.)

48. I used to order Greek salad at restaurants when I was a kid. With extra olives.

49. Mark makes me a latte after every Saturday long ride.

50. I stood naked on top of a mountain once. (I left my hiking boots on.)

51. My favorite stand-up comic is Jim Gaffigan.

52. I have a couple-crush on Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard.

53. I put myself through my undergraduate degree on restaurant tips.

54. I’ve had 17 different roommates.

55. I have a heart murmur.

56. Sometimes I plan my dinner around popcorn.

57. I have two younger brothers, ages 29 and 27. (And I think they’re both just great.)

58. My mom came to my first marathon. (It meant a lot.)


59. Climbing > descending.

60. My Ironman PR is 11:05:58.

61. Salty > sweet. (Unless it’s a) my grandma King’s cashew cinnamon buns, b) a VG’s donut, or c) any dessert my mom makes.)

62. My dad read me the complete Chronicles of Narnia out loud when I was a kid. I have a tape recording of my late grandpa Ward reading the books out loud, too.

63. That grandpa died when I was 20 and living in Africa. I missed his funeral, but read a speech about him over the phone to my mom from the Paris airport so she could read it at the service. (My three other grandparents are all still alive.)

64. I do 50% of my triathlon training with other people and 50% alone (mostly running).

65. This year, I’m lucky to be on a women’s triathlon team called Groove.

66. This year I’ll be riding the 2015 Cervelo P3 with Di2. I’m already in love.

67. I am racing Ironman Canada this July.

68. I don’t have a coach.

69. I am atrocious at math. (And I don’t care.)

70. I made my own kombucha for 5 years. (Then I moved to San Diego and it kept molding. Grrrrr.)

71. I used to bake bread. (Then, Ironman?)

72. I used to make homemade granola every week. (Then, Ironman?)

73. I taught piano for 3 years. (I’ve forgotten everything.)

74. My parents came to my first Ironman. (It meant a lot.)

DSC_9022 copy

75. Pie > cake.

76. When I was a kid I got a pearl from one of my grandma’s necklaces stuck up my nose and had to go to the hospital to have it taken out.

77. I adore, and miss, cross-country skiing.

78. I have climbed 26 peaks in the Canadian Rockies.

79. My high school friends made up the term “Jeninism” for certain “blonde” things I used to say.

80. I got my nose pierced when I was 22.

81. I’ve slept in a hammock in the Amazon.

82. I love the word “Bundt.” (As in Bundt pan.)

83. I hate opening champagne bottles.

84. I’d rather clean a bathroom than vacuum.

85. I care a lot (too much?) about what others think of me.

86. I love smoke. (Woodsmoke, hickory smoke, smoked beer, cheese, salmon…)

87. My husband roasts all of our coffee and makes homemade bacon.

88. Breakfast.

89. I kept track of everything I ate for a long time on Fitday.

90. The lightest I’ve ever been is 136. (Before my first Ironman.)

91. The heaviest I’ve ever been is 168.

92. I could never pick a favorite quote.

93. One of my favorite books is The Story of an African Farm by Olive Schreiner. I own an old copy, given to me by an ex-boyfriend.

94. I have “swum” in 2°C (35°F) water. (The Churchill river in Manitoba).

95. I’m 34 years old. (Hello, new triathlon age group!)

96. I signed up for a yoga teacher training certification course that starts on February 20th.

97. Patty Griffin’s Rain will make me stop whatever I’m doing and sing along. Or cry. (It generally goes better if there’s alcohol involved.)

98. So will Sigur Ros’s Hoppípolla and Broken Social Scene’s Anthem for a 17-Year-Old Girl, and Weeping Tile’s Dogs and Thunder, and anything by John Denver. (OK, there are a few.)

99. I probably spend too much time thinking about whether I’m happy or not, and not enough time just being happy.

100. My favorite season is fall.

12 thoughts on “100 things about me