Judging from the searches that land people here, I should create links to why red wine causes insomnia and provide an essay deconstructing House of Sand and Fog. Will add that to my list of things to do.

This one, though, is essentially for Monica, in response to her “Seven Deadly Sins” post at Radio Radio Radio Radio Radio Radio.

Seven things people probably don’t know about me? That’s pretty hard, considering the only things I don’t share with people are the things I really specifically do not want to talk about. But let me try to at least be amusing.

1. I was born in Leesburg, Va. Yes, before I was from SoCal, I was from the South. Color me blue for Obama, 2008 no matter where in my past you look (note: I have no idea, really, how Lancaster’s vote went down. I’m assuming they modeled L.A. County as whole, but the place has always been dominated by the Christian right-wing, Bill O’Reilly-loving folks, so anything’s possible).

My family moved to California just before I finished first grade, trekking across the county in our 1976 Suburban with two dogs – a Keeshound and a Shih Tzu – a bunch of houseplants and my younger sister and I rolling around the back, as this was way before seatbelt laws. My dad, an air traffic controller, had been transferred to Palmdale, a small city in the desert about 60 miles north of Los Angeles. I hated California at first, angry at the lack of vegetation in the desert and embarrassed when I mispronounced “Mojave” as “MO-jayve” in front of the whole class. But soon enough, the swimming pool, trips to the beach, excitement of El Lay and natural fit of my liberal tendencies caused me to embrace California (never my hometown, though) – I still love this state beyond reason, the passage of Prop. 8 notwithstanding. At least, I love the California Coast beyond reason.

2. I love sweet-spicy combinations: chipotle-raspberry jam, mango salsa, pineapple-and-jalapeño pizza.

3. I took, and passed, my driver’s license test in a stick shift.

4. I accumulated five speeding tickets the first year I owned my first car, a 1967 Mustang. Considering how often I was pulled over, that wasn’t too bad.

5. I parallel park better than 92.4 percent of the American population.

6. I can’t frost a cake to save my life. (But they taste good!)

7. Despite all outward appearances, I suffer from shyness. For example, whenever I’d get to class late during college, if the door was closed, I’d walk away rather than open the door, causing the teacher to pause and all the other students to look at me as I slunk to my desk. I missed a lot of classes because of that. But if I have a reason to stroll in somewhere and start talking to people – like, being a journalist, say – no problem. So, yeah, I’m an introvert passing as an extrovert. (Struck per Jim’s comment below re: “introvert.”) So, if you see me standing around awkwardly, come over and say “hi.”

7.5. I have never been to a funeral.