Usually this is done on some significant blogging anniversary, like your 100th post. Since I've done very little to commemorate my blog milestones, both in terms of time and number of posts, I figure I've got the right to pull this out right now, just because I feel like it.
1. The name most people call me is actually Ali (minus the la Loca), a nickname for my middle name, Alexandra.
2. I am never called by my first name, unless by doctors or the government.
3. I have a famous relative in history. He is my great-great-great uncle on my father's side of the family, and is known for killing Alexander Hamilton (the man on the US $10 bill) in a duel.
4. I lived on a quasi-farm in New Mexico until I was 5 years old. We had several acres of irrigated land, horses, geese...the works.
5. I am an only child.
6. I am set to marry an only child.
7. I was always very, very good in school.
8. I was also very lazy about studying for tests, almost always putting it off until the night before, or sometimes even waking up the morning of the exam and cramming.
9. Nonetheless, I usually got the highest grade in my class.
10. This has made me feel like a fraud for much of my life.
11. To be fair, I had a really hard time with physics and finance. These were the only classes I remember having to bust my butt stuyding for. Also, they were the only times I was satisfied with a B grade.
12. My undergraduate degree is a double major in Latin Amercian Studies and Portuguese. It was a very easy degree for me to get, but then I realized that I didn't want to work in academia or be a language specialist, and knew I had to get another degree to be employable in other areas.
13. I got an MBA with a concentration in marketing.
14. I hated most of the classes I took in business school, and never thought I wanted to work in business until moving to Mozambique.
15. Ironically, I now do almost exactly the same thing as my mom, who was always my symbol of the consummate business woman.
16. I used to direct an HIV Prevention Program at an NGO in Austin, Texas.
17. I was the only white girl in the program.
18. That was one of the most challenging periods in my life, but it prepared me for living and working in Mozambique.
19. I used to be totally pro-NGO.
20. Now I am very, very cynical.
21. When I was 15, I moved to Brazil to do a year-long student exchange.
22. I lived with a Japanese-Brazilian family.
23. I learned how to speak fluent Portuguese - somehow with no trace of an American accent!
24. As a result, people that hear me speak Portuguese assume that I am Brazilian.
25. I always have the same conversation when I meet people for the first time in Brazil. "What do you mean you're American?" "Well, I used to live in Brazil..."
26. This has, over the years, given me somewhat of an identity complex.
27. I used to be very ashamed of being American.
28. To the point where I'd ask my mom to speak Italian with me in public instead of English when we were traveling in other countries.
29. Now I am actually pretty proud to be American, despite all that is happening with our foreign policy.
30. I had such a good experience in Brazil when I was 15 that I decided to go back for another exchange when I was in business school.
31. I lived in Rio de Janeiro for a year and a half, and attended classes at IBMEC, one of the highest-ranked, shi-shi-est schools in the country.
32. Most of my classmates were the children of Brazil's wealthiest families. They wore all designer clothes and many drove Porsches or had drivers take them to school.
33. I felt like a fish out of water.
34. At that school, I quickly became friends with the few "normal" kids.
35. One of them, Ricardo, I dated for a while toward the end of my stay.
36. We totally lost touch when I moved back to the US, and I never thought I'd see him again.
37. Through a mutual friend, Ricardo and I ended up working and living together in Mozambique.
38. Since my first day in the country, we've been a couple.
39. Technically I was dating my boss.
40. Now we are engaged and will be married in July next year.
41. I'd definitely like to have kids someday.
42. Just not yet. For a good several years.
43. I've never been one of those girls who is nuts over babies and little kids.
44. In fact, I never babysat the entire time I was growing up.
45. The first time I held an infant was in 2005, when my friend had a baby in Mozambique.
46. It scared me half to death.
47. I feel more maternal with kittens than I do with little babies.
48. I love cats. My life just isn't the same without them.
49. I actually don't think it would be a terrible fate to end up as "that crazy cat lady".
50. I like some dogs, but absolutely cannot stand the way they smell. Especially if they are wet.
51. I am terrified of snakes.
52. When I was in high school, we found a 6-foot diamondback rattlesnake in our yard in Albuquerque. I freaked out, my mom called animal control, and I can to this day remember the exact rattling sound of the snake as it was carried up our outside steps. They took it to the reservation north of our house and let it go.
53. I love to go camping, but the whole snake thing has me perpetually on-guard in the wilderness.
54. I'd much rather "use the woods" than a filthy public toilet.
55. I love the smell of Ponderosa Pines. If you smell in the cracks of the bark, it is just like vanilla extract.
56. I don't like the smell of most perfumes, especially powdery florals.
57. I love to take road trips.
58. I'm not afraid of flying, but have to repeat the same prayer 3 times before the plane takes off, otherwise I fear something bad might happen. I say, "Dear God, please watch over me, everyone that loves me, and everyone that I love. Let us arrive safely." Then I mentally do the sign of the cross 9 times, though I'm not Catholic.
59. I am shockingly morbid in my thoughts. I have to say "stop it!" out loud sometimes to get the images of me and my loved ones meeting terrible fates out of my head.
60. I think this happens because I love my life and the people in it so much, and I feel like such a lucky person, I just keep waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop.
61. My favorite number is 13. When I am waiting for things to cook, I will often count in sets of 13 to determine when I should turn off the burner or stop stirring something.
62. I realize that I have some symptoms of OCD, but I don't believe I suffer from the disorder.
63. I love the smell of coffee, but don't drink it. Not because I am a martyr, coffee makes me feel sick to my stomach.
64. I start every morning with a cup of tea. My favorites are black tea with milk, chai and peppermint.
65. I am not crazy about chocolate. I'll eat it, but much prefer toffee or vanilla when it comes to desserts.
66. I hate mayonnaise. I am also very picky about eggs. I despise egg smell or runny eggs.
67. Other than that, there aren't many foods I don't like.
68. Oh, except organ meats. And licorice. And canned meat. I forgot about those.
69. If I eat too much sugar and white flour, I become depressed.
70. Partly because it reminds me of my eating disorder days, but also because I think these foods have a genuine chemical effect on my body and brain.
71. Dancing is one thing that will almost always cheer me up.
72. I especially like salsa and carnaval-type Brazilian music for dancing.
73. I took ballet, tap, gymnastics and rhythmic gymnastics for many years as a child.
74. Then there was a large gap where I felt like an immense klutz and wouldn't dance at all. I'm not really sure what happened, but now I love dancing.
75. I am a certified Nia teacher, but don't think I want to actually teach classes.
76. I like to be the student when it comes to dance.
77. I also like to show off, and that's not really good for being a teacher.
78. Speaking of showing off, I used to be incredibly talented at playing the piano.
79. I played for 15 years, starting when I was 3 years old.
80. I won many state championships, placed 2nd and 3rd in regional competitions, and was my piano teacher's star pupil.
81. I considered studying music in college, but wisely decided against it because what I really loved was the performing aspect, not the music for itself.
82. My taste in music is quite ecclectic. My favorite artists are Paul Simon, O Rappa, Julieta Venegas, Lenine, Jimi Hendrix, and Freshlyground.
83. I am good at music, dancing and languages but TERRIBLE at sports.
84. In Myers-Briggs types, I am an ENTP.
85. I am a loner and often don't enjoy being around people, despite the fact that my typology says I am an extrovert.
86. I am very good at public speaking and presentations. Having to speak in front of 200 people does not bother me one bit.
87. I am terrified of having any medical procedure done.
88. I am so scared I usually cry at the doctor's office, and have had full-on crises at the dermatologist's and the eye doctor's, for procedures that would not really bother most people.
89. My mom and I own a pink house in Rio that I am in love with, though it causes me a lot of stress sometimes. I still think I'll live there at some point.
90. I saved the life of the woman that takes care of our casa rosa. It wasn't a dramatic physical feat, but an intervention at a critical time in her mental and physical health.
91. I have a lot of dark spots in my past.
92. Some of them I have totally worked out, others still have an effect on me.
93. The biggest ones are not on this list because, while they have shaped me, I refuse to let them define me.
94. I don't like animated films or cartoons, except The Simpsons.
95. I am very vain and spend a shocking amount of time looking at myself in the mirror.
96. Before I moved to Mozambique, I owned about 80 pairs of shoes.
97. My closet is perfectly color-coordinated, and organized by season within each color family.
98. I hate when people pick at their cuticles or scabs, but I often do these things myself with great pleasure.
99. I can't stand when someone leaves the car's windshield wipers on once it's stopped raining, even if for 30 seconds.
100. I spend way too much time on the computer.