May 21, 2009

My 100th

This is my 100th post! So in the grand tradition of bloggers, I have written 100 random factoids about myself.

Eleonora Baldwin
1. I am drawn to creative, dynamic people with extensive vocabularies.

2. I occasionally work as voice-over actor in feature films, cartoons and tv commercials. I first started when I was 16 years old, I tagged along a bunch of girlfriends who were going to a voice test and I ended up getting the part.

3. I hate scarcasm. Someone once said it was the lowest form of wit. I agree.

4. One of my worst fears (spurred by a recurring dream) is plunging into an ice-covered lake, and the surface freezes over my head. I imagine myself trapped and swimming desperately, looking for an opening in the ice. I am terrified of it. I go as far as envisaging the mourners at my funeral.

5. I am no longer intrigued by the film business, the industry that however is paying my bills at the moment. I would rather be a food show host, or a freelance food writer. Or both.

6. The first actual surgery I ever underwent was a serious tooth operation when I was only 13 years old. The surgeon (whose name was a foreboding Dr. Hertz, ouch!) administered a potent drug to blur my alert pubescent senses during the procedure. Dressed inapropriately in a crisp white oxford shirt and a pair of white jeans, there I sat in the op chair, wide awake, novocained and high on this thing which made me see kaleidoscope geometric shapes of every color ooze out of the surgeon’s scrub sleeve. I think the George Benson tape the nurse decided to play in the complimentary Walkman (we're talking pre-iPod era) may have helped spur the psychedelic trip. Also from age 15 to 17, I had to wear horrible clear braces, which made my smile look like Shrek's.

7. I learned to ride a bike without training wheels when I was 7 years old. It wasn't my dad who cried the proverbial "I'm holding the seat, keep pedaling," rather a young lady, a family friend who happened there by chance that day. I never again had the chance to meet her, nor the opportunity to thank her. She taught me ho to ride in one afternoon at the beach, and I don’t even remember her name.

8. I have an unhealthy and incurable addiction to Blackberry Chiaverini jam produced in Florence. And "addiction" is not too strong a word in this instance.

9. Coming from a theatrical family, I am superstitious. I love the color purple, but I can't wear it casually. I will not proceed if a black cat’s crossed my path. I never lay a hat on the bed. I can’t pass the salt shaker hand to hand. I bow 13 times with coins in my hand upon spotting a new moon crescent, reciting a special greeting/luck beckoning formula; and I do it even if that means in public. I still make wishes on stars, on birthday candles, on eyelashes...

10. I have a crush on Jack Bauer and Doctor Gregory House.

11. I'm a sucker for vintage period pieces. I secretly wish I could wear a corset and drop all contractions from my vocabulary.

12. I wish my mother could turn back the clock and become 15 years younger.

13. I can't drive a stick shift. I got my licence at age 16 in California (which made me hugely popular among my school mates here in Italy – where instead one is granted a driver's permit a month after turning 18) practicing on my dad’s Mercedes SLK, and never again took the time to learn about gears, clutch and so on.

14. I love getting manicures, pedicures, relaxing massage and aromatherapy treatments all in one day. I usually then have the uncontrollable urge to pig out, devastating the entire beauty therapy effect.

15. I could use losing 10 pounds. And I won’t linger on that any further (I’m very touchy when it comes to overweight problems: one of my biggest hang-ups).

16. I am not bulimic or suffer from any eating disorders, if that’s what you’re thinking. I hate vomiting.

17. Coffee. I love it. And by coffee I mean no other than potent Italian espresso.

18. Bad coffee. I hate it.

19. But bad coffee is better than no coffee.

20. I currently have no pets (unless you count the mite colony living under my bed).

21. My son has manifested desire for a chocolate brown Labrador Retriever. And a daddy.

22. I make mental notes to write a love letter to Ben Harper every time one of his ballads randomely comes up on my iPod.

23. I have a lot of Ben Harper on my iPod.

24. I have one older half sister, one younger half brother and one younger half sister. We are 4 only-children siblings. Cool!

25. My first ride was a 1990 two-door automatic Lancia Y10. I loved that car. It was shaped like a wedge and would rattle upon hitting 55mph, but to me driving it felt like Formula1.

26. I like to make people laugh. When the mood is right, I’m great at it.

27. My cell phone is battered and beat up. It buffered a mid-air scissor kick vaulting act on the steep, oily Ariccia hillside street some ignoramus had decided to wash down with soapy water. My 4-inch platform sandals didn’t help much either. I landed on my considerable arse, and the Nokia device was lodged in the back pocket of my jeans. It’s been 8 months, and I still wear a pale remnant of a bruise. And I can no longer take pictures with the phone either.

28. I love high heels, peep-toe shoes and all kinds of sandals. Then again - I have astoundingly fabulous feet (despite what the rest of me looks like) and they are best showcased in a great pair of strappy heels.

29. You have never really peed quickly and with great urgency until you have had to in the tall grasses of sub-Saharan bushland with the feeling that something is not only watching you… but stalking you.

30. Dark chocolate and robust Super Tuscan red wine: the greatest combination known to mankind.

31. I suck at math.

32. I have not learned to play chess, nor type with 10 fingers. But I’m planning to.

33. I absolutely abhor women who smoke in outdoor public spaces while walking. I find it slutty and vulgar. I was once a smoker myself, and hated it back then too. Smoking in Italy is still very popular. If you have to smoke, take the time to enjoy your cigarette while seated in an outdoor cafe, preferably before a tall glass of wine or beer. But not while you walk, please.

34. I've smoked pot a couple times, but I don't like its effect on me. It just makes me nauseous. And stupid.

35. I much prefer the toilet paper to roll off the top.

36. I secretly still want to be a restaurant critic. When I was a kid and my girlfriends would say ‘ballerina’ or ‘teacher,’ when asked what they wanted to be when the grew up, I would answer “the person that votes restaurants in guide books.” I was maybe 6, then.

37. Being politically correct 24/7 is illogical. Society has taken the entire concept way too far.

38. I find excessive use of exclamation marks annoying.

39. I often wish I had the oriental patience my nanny seems to so easily embody. I can’t seem to deal with tantrums.

40. I love to sing. Loudly. I sing obnoxiously loud while driving my car.

41. Inside the singing sounds quite good, but I’ve been told I’m not quite the Sarah Vaughan songbird I think I am.

42. The worst sounds in the world are the proverbial nails on a chalkboard and a spoon scarping the bottom of non-glazed earthenware. Horrid. I’m cringing just writing about it.

43. I will be the one to mercilessly tell you if you have spinach in your teeth or if your fly is open or if you have hair hanging out of your nose, and you will love me for it.

44. I have serious wanderlust issues. I wish I could live to travel, and travel for a living.

45. I will take tango lessons one day.

46. A cappuccino and cornetto (Italian for ‘croissant’) breakfast in the historic center of Rome and then a stroll on the Gianicolo hill on a weekday is the height of romanticism.

47. I love Steven Spielberg movies. I absolutely adore the films E.T. and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Jaws and Duel still scare the crap out of me.

48. I think my father has a brilliant sense of humor. I still roll my eyes when he tells jokes. Inside - I'm laughing.

49. I am a professional napper. Midday riposino is my religion.

50. I have an awesome memory. I remember faces, names, facts, numbers and addresses at a glance. Rain Man-style. I could easily be a secret agent.

51. My Apple computer Thesaurus feature and I love each other.

52. I respect true faith but hate all religious fundamentalism. It's just a way to use God as an excuse to be violent and cruel.

53. I think President Barack Obama is hot. Nevermind the world-changing progress, energy and hope he’s infused in his fellow countrymen.

54. I love buying posh French makeup and Japanese beauty products. But my limited funds make it a rare event.

55. I have no idea how to laugh quietly. I laugh loudly and often.

56. I could sit on a quiet beach and listen, really listen, to the ocean all day long.

57. I dislike living inland. I have always lived inland.

58. I named my last dog 'Cotoletta,' which means schnitzel, in Italian. His big, droopy Beagle ears really looked like two breaded cutlets. Cotoletta liked running around in wide circles and eating the plaster coating off the walls. Cotoletta was crazy.

59. I love the feel of someone else washing my hair.

60. I am a hopeless believer in the power of true Love... if one is lucky enough to locate it.

61. I get a huge kick out of quietly humming a few lines of a catchy song and then watching people around me get it stuck in their heads, unable to figure out why. Tee hee...

62. I am systematically working my way through everything that Russell Crowe has ever starred in. I have yet to encounter a poor performance. He’s hot too.

63. When I was 10 years old I was madly in love with Han Solo from Star Wars.

64. I don't see the glass as half empty. I don’t see it as half full. I see half a glass of water.

65. I can laugh and/or cry at the same film countless times.

66. Maps. Our Earth is so beautiful. I collect maps. Globes, too. Vintage and new ones. Big and small.

67. Writing is like breathing. I have no choice. It’s almost an obsession. I would continue to write even if there were no one there to read it.

68. I like to peel lables off mineral water bottles. Not wine or beer, just water.

69. Asterix adventures are the greatest comic books ever written.

70. Biceps. A man’s well defined arms can make me weak in the knees.

71. I have a favorite poem, and it is of course sensual and sentimental. Here are the last few verses:
How you must have suffered getting accustomed to me,
my savage, solitary soul, my name that sends them all running.
So many times we have seen the morning star burn, kissing our eyes,
and over our heads the gray light unwind in turning fans.
My words rained over you, stroking you.
A long time I have loved the sunned mother-of-pearl of your body.
I go so far as to think that you own the universe.
I will bring you happy flowers from the mountains, bluebells,
dark hazels, and rustic baskets of kisses.
I want to do with you what spring does with the cherry trees.
~Pablo Neruda
excerpt from Poem #14 of Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair

72. People are inexplicably drawn to me when they need advice. I don’t understand it. I do however end up giving good avice (to others than myself).

73. I have only in the last 10 years begun to discover and appreciate the music and brilliance of The Beatles.

74. I don’t have any tattoos. But I love them, tattoos are sexy and mysterious. They have grown to be very common and to a certain extent, thay have outdone thier primary significance. They however spell naugthy and mischievous to me. I will likely get one soon. Piercing, on the other hand, revolts me.

75. When sleeping (in a time before motherhood) I would blacken the room. It had to be dark. Light had to be blocked out with heavy drapes, because the tiniest glow of light would irritate me all night long. Now, my son and I co-sleep and he insists we keep a night light on. What mothers do for the love of their cub.

76. Flowers. I really have a thing for them. White roses, pale pink tulips, bold orange gerberas, sunlit daffodils, delicate irises, virginal lilies… Potted, planted, crawling on a trellis or clipped into a topiary shrub, whatever. I love flowers.

77. I wish I lived in a house with a secret (vegetable) garden. By the sea.

78. I’m nervous around needles.

79. I listen to all kinds of music, with the exception of punk rock, heavy metal and apocalyptic goth.

80. If you are still reading this then I am absolutely astounded.

81. My home is in Rome, but I really don’t know where I belong.

82. Newspapers irritate me and leave nasty blackish marks on my fingers. For my daily dose of bad news, tainted information and heartburn, I read online versions.

83. I want to fly on a broomstick and play Quidditch.

84. Despite #13, I am a rather aggressive driver. Maybe this is how I was able to navigate 3 years in Napoli and survive Italian streets in general. I also swear a lot while driving. Unless my son’s in the car, in that case I try to refrain from unleashing the Irish in me.

85. Hey look, number 85. I graduated from high school in 1985. Go Falcons!

86. I often take weekend or day trips to a gorgeous nearby lake. I don't swim in it, though because lake water totally grosses me out.

87. Books, movies, and TV shows dealing with the subject of courtroom drama will inevitably draw me in like moth to flame. No lawyers or attorneys in my family, and I’ve never been involved in any trials or ever served jury duty.

88. My name is Lola and I’m a cheese addict. I went to rehab for a year, lost 25 pounds, got clean and then just fell right back in. All it took was one Parmigiano flake and that was it.

89. I have eaten beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, fish, crustacean, mollusks, lamb, goat, rabbit, hare, buffalo, deer, crocodile, wild boar, pheasant, quail, duck, ostrich, frogs, snails and I'm sure many other creatures that are simply not coming to mind at the moment. I could never be a vegetarian.

90. I have been known to crank up Fatboy Slim and dance around my living room with my son. This usually results in subsequent bouts of uncontrollable laughter.

91. My son responds to a number of different nicknames: Nano, Topolino, Munchkin, Pulce, Looney, Passerotto, Dude, Pulcino, Ciccio Pasticcio, Broccoletto, Tontolone, Bambolo and recently Mr. E.

92. Televised golf. I really don't get it. Why do the announcers whisper as someone is taking a putt or a drive, when they are actually secluded in a media box somewhere far, far away from the golfer?

93. I detest confrontation and go to great lengths to avoid it. As a child I remember covering my ears and pressing hard to block out the sound out when STRANGERS on the street were fighting, let alone parents. I’m better at it now, if I need to speak out for myself and that entails fighting for my point, I actually will.

94. I love compliments. I can never get enough of them. They stimulate me on all levels, automatically and magically extracting my inner (and often hidden) beauty, skills, talent etc.

95. It is a proven fact that I make the most divine tiramisu ever.

96. I have had the same cell phone number since I first got a mobile in 1999, and I absolutely refuse to change it despite the fact my system provider does not pamper me with gifts and free bonus perks contrary to most people I know (who are constantly getting them).

97. Goodnight Moon is the greatest children's bedtime read of all time.

98. I sometimes talk to myself when briskly walking or driving in slow traffic, and I hum in public places.

99. If it’s worth it, I can read an entire book cover to cover in one night. It’s impressive, except for the next morning, when I totally restent it.

100. I sometimes need a pat on the back and need to be reminded more often that I am negotiating a monumental uphill endeavor.

That’s me(me). What are your 100 yous?


  1. we've got lots of things in common and I've now clamped you to my sidebar so that I can keep my blogging eye on you, Lola.

  2. Happy 100th post! It's nice getting to know you :)

  3. Congrats on your 100th! This is a wonderful tradition, allowing us peeks into a blogger's life. I feel like I know you so much better as we have several things in common.

  4. I had pegged you right from the start as a clever romantic soul, sharp and witty, with a vocabulary to match in two languages.

    You need to post your tiramisu recipe, as I'm already salivating.

    Now, about having a secret garden and a house by the sea? That was my secret wish too. It took us decades to finally actualize that wish. Keep at it. Glasses do fill up with a drop at a time.

    Love all the 100 details of you.

    p.s. I expect you to start your own business any day, utilizing that refined palate and acute observational skills.

    p.p.s. Thank you for nominating the soaring impulse; it was a great choice.

  5. Congratulations upon your 100th post!

  6. I am one of the ones who read all 100 and I enjoyed it immensely. I may have to join you in #45 someday. Congrats on your 100th, Lola. I am 4 posts away from mine and was wondering whether to do something special. Something like this might be fun, minus 50 maybe! Don't know how it took me so long to find you, but I will return.

  7. FF - So glad you could stop by for a bite. White or red for our first meal? Ciao...(score that) Au revoir.

    Maryann - Glad you enjoyed. It was fun to play along.

    Jane - Isn't it great to find affinity with fellow bloggers like that?

    Rosaria - You make me blush. As far as tiramisu... I'm going to play hard to get just a little bit longer. Then I will give in, and you'll see...

    Snowbrush - Thank you, I rather enjoyed this game.

    Catherine - Thank you for stopping by my little kitchen. This was a different kind of post, I usually invite my friends over for a meal and a story, and then we chat casually finishing the wine bottle into the wee hours. It's lovely to meet you too! Ciao

  8. I have done 25 things about myself and struggled to come up with that many things. I doubt I could come up with 100.
    I am glad I have come along for the ride.It is nice to follow an intelligent, creative, funny writer. By the way if you check out the comments on my post on Bellinzona you will find out we are coming for dinner at your place. Sorry it just sort of happened. The tiramisu will be fine for dessert.
    Happy 100th.

  9. 30. Dark chocolate and robust Super Tuscan red wine: the greatest combination known to mankind.

    I love the proven fact of your tiramisu! And lucky you about your pretty feet :).

  10. You are so much more than I ever could have imagined and just enough of what I might have. Lovely bold you. (Can I do this? !)

  11. Wow. That was great. Are you emotionally exhausted? I got tagged for a meme of 7 things about myself and I'm feeling overwhelmed.

    After Jaws came out I wrote a fan letter to Spielberg. He never answered and I was so crushed.

    But now I guess I've got to watch myself...cause I'm extremely sarcastic and I just found out you hate that.

    Happy 100th, chica...and many more.

  12. wow. happy 100.

    101. you have quite the stamina to write post like this.

    wonderful picture you have painted of yourself, a flower bursting forth. thank you for sharing so much of yourself.

    Han Solo was the man! Need to get me a pair of those blue pants with the red stripe...

  13. 100 of the best - a true centurion of interest.
    There's a lot more to you than meets the eye! ~ Eddie

  14. congrats on 100 posts! I think I get there in the next couple of days. I would like some dark chocolate and Super Tuscan red right now! Oh - and the house by the sea with the secret vegetable garden!

  15. Wow. Congrats on your 100th post.

    quite a feat and enjoyed going through your list. a lot in common especially about coffee. ;)

    from One Day at a Time with Silver/

  16. Phew! Lovely to learn more about you,Lola.

    I will try and not be sarcastic, but it will be difficult for me!!!!!!!!
    Oopsy,I have done it again. :D

    I am with Rosaria, bring on the Tiramisu recipe - I can hardly contain myself.My tummy is rumbling, and my eyes are doing circles in my head. Yummeee.xx♥

  17. Lola
    I think that you need tiramisu to recover from that mammoth listmaking...

    Happy Days

  18. Happy 100th post! (notice I used only one exclamation point). ha.

  19. Cara,
    Wow, 100 things only about you! Very much enjoyed your list. Can we say now you are on becoming a Senior blogger:)

    Until I read your next+100th, wish you very happy 100th-post of todays:)

    Am I disappeared? No, no, definitely no. Don't you know a secret Istanbulian eye always follows you on this lemon bright corner here:)

    Will be visiting you more often Lola, smile:)

  20. I really enjoyed reading this! I want to do number 83 too. I already have the *strega* part covered.
    I'm looking forward to meeting you. We have a lot in common apart from the age - that's where you have the advantage!

  21. Hi Lola:) Happy 100th!! I loved reading the 100 snippets all about you:) I laughed so hard at the name Cotoletta- it's so right for a doggy!

  22. That was a fun read. It's not often that I would stay to read
    100, but you have the gift of the gab.

    best wishes
    Ribbon :-)

  23. O great...It seems your 100th post is all about you and describe your nature and habits.. but I have enjoyed it a lot and get an idea for my own 100th post..

  24. Lola I read them all and that is because I adore you. After reading them all I still adore you and know you a wee bit better.

    As for Ben Harper; I LOVE HIM. Now he is gorgeous and that voice.

    Love renee xoxoxo

  25. I picked a wonderful time to come and meet new followers. I'm sorry, I'm a bit behind but I got here as soon as I could!~ Love your 100 fear dream is being burned at the stake...don't think I'd prefer the frozen lake dream any more than the fire thing, lol! That's the way I read, too...cover to cover!
    Sandi (at Holding Patterns)

  26. Happy 100th! Loved this post! We are so alike in so many way and in many others so different! This must have taken a while to put down, but I'm so glad you did. Lovely to know you a bit more. Have a great weekend and hugs to your Mr. E. He has a lovely mom. :)

  27. That was a fun read! I wish we lived a little closer to each other so we could go out for a coffee sometimes! Next time I'm in Rome...

  28. Impressive list. I'll look for you in the food section of my magazines from now on.

  29. Congratulations 100!
    Your just a Wonderful Person Lola, inside and out!! Thanks for sharing ;)

  30. Congratulations on hitting 100. What an interesting list! Thanks for sharing.

  31. Thank you all for your many heatfelt comments. I'm desperately tired these days, riddled with work, chores and duties, and on the brink of a weekend breakdown. There is very little time left for courteous blog commenting etiquette. So please forgive me if I don't respond to each of you individually like I always do. Know that my gratitude for your words and your follow humble me greatly.

  32. That would be HEARTFELT, thank you...

  33. Congratulations 100 times! You wrote in a few months what I wrote in almost 2 years. This post is brilliant, probably one of the best of your blog. I couldn't read it all in one breath, but I used it as a way of relaxation during a working day, savouring all your points randomly. I enjoyed ALL of them, I mostly enjoyed knowing about you, and some points I came back to several times. Don’t stop writing (although you said you can’t stop.)

    There are many things I could say, but I’m very tired too. I’m like a piece of wood now, or a log. Un troncone, in pratica. You don’t need to reply in case I come back and comment further. Relax. Get rest. See you another time. Ciao!

    You said you don’t like exclamation marks, but I was introduced into blogging by the Indians. They do it a lot, so I’ll stick to it…. ;-)

  34. Wonderful Lola. thank-you.

    I read and enjoyed all 100.
    And I've just ralised that the post I made myself this evening was my 100th! But as I have try to stick to 100 words I don't think I could manage this exercise.

    Agree with you about Barack Obama being hot - very, but not Russell Crowe - just don't see that even though in general I like men to be bulky. Aw well.

    Please can I can taste your tiramisu - in Rome preferably : )

    And you deserve all the compliments you get. You are very, very talented and on the cusp of something brilliant. Although - and I don't mean to dampen, but as I said in my first message to you weeks ago, I was a single parent with a son in circumstances similar to yours and realise now, as he finishes his first year at univeristy doing Physics, that he and my daughter born 10 years later always have come first before any other talents or ambitions I may have had or still have.


  35. Totally agree with 42!!! And with three kids, we hear that spoon sound more than we want.

  36. Happy 100th. I know why I enjoy your blog so much.

    It was really great fun to read your collection of factoids.

  37. I read every one and enjoyed them all. XO, SM

  38. Hello, dear Lola,

    I finally had the time to read this post and read every single one of your 100 things. I laughed out loud at some, and nodded my head at many. We have quite a bit in common, though by far not everything. That would be boring (and weird). A very enjoyable post!