Five Things About Me: 96 97 98 99 100.

96. I can’t seem to stop playing StoneLoops! on my phone.  I’m obsessed with beating my top score (currently 4,403,240).  This has seriously replaced book reading as my pre-sleep activity, which is why I haven’t gotten through nearly as many books as I usually do.  It may not seem like it, but I promise it’s true.  It’s taken me more than a week to get through a novel, which is really rare for me.

97. For reasons I still don’t understand, my mother signed me up for figure skating lessons during all of elementary school.  I never asked for them, and to this day it is the most feminine after-school activity I have ever participated in.  My dad, to give you an idea of what else I was up to, sent me to tae kwon do, where I was the only girl.

98. I wear patterned knee socks almost exclusively from November to April.  Otherwise my boots chafe and blister my calves, and anyway, I think knee socks — especially striped ones — are fun.  And warm.

99. When I walk around the city and listen to my iPod, I almost always put it on shuffle.  If I’m presented with a song that perfectly matches my mood, it honestly puts a huge bounce in my step.  This is a big deal, as I am not even remotely bouncy.

100. I used to go to the Philippines for a month or so every other summer during junior high and high school.  While I was there, I’d travel with my family to other Asian countries.  I’ve been to some places multiple times (Hong Kong/Kowloon, Thailand) but I’m the most eager to get back to Singapore, which I remember through a no-one-told-me-not-to-drink-the-water-in-Southeast-Asia haze as being very clean, pink and full of orchids and fried food.  Basically, it was like heaven.

Five Things About Me: 91 92 93 94 95.

91. I have recently become obsessed with moisturizing my face.  My maternal grandmother has ridiculously supple and wrinkle-free skin at age eighty, and she’s been moisturizing religiously for the past sixty years.  Who knows if I’ve inherited those genes, but when I’m her age I can comfort myself with the knowledge that I at least tried to replicate the effect.*

92. My favorite herb flavor-wise is lemon thyme, but my favorite herb in general is sage.  I think it feels like the insides of puppy ears.

93. I can get really competitive.  This can be an issue.

94. Passive-aggressive people tick me off.

95. I think I’d be happy to have a personal chef, but only if he or she were willing to be more of a personal cooking instructor than actually being my cook.

* This might be a good time to mention that I can be pretty vain.

Five Things About Me: 86 87 88 89 90.

86. I love love love getting into a bed made with freshly-laundered sheets.  It just might be the best feeling in the world.

87. Part of the reason why I haven’t hopped on the whole Twitter bandwagon is because I know my tweets would mostly be links to cute animals or say things like “Practicing sitting” and “I want a sandwich.”

88. I don’t drive that often, but I do drive often enough to have a list of driving peeves, such as drivers who neglect to use their turn indicators, tailgaters and driver who park so close to me that I can’t even get into my car, let alone move it.  The turn indicator things irritates me the most though.

89. My dream date would include walking a dog, getting my back scratched and a bottle of Saracco Moscato d’Asti.

90. I have four binders in my cookbook cabinet, one for each season of the year.  Inside, I store the recipes I’ve torn out of magazines, newspapers and similar under tabs labeled by month.  It might be the most organized aspect of my life, along with our bookshelves (which are alphabetical) and my section of the closet (which is sorted by category, i.e. “layering pieces,” “camisoles,” “lightweight cottons,” and “sweaters”).  Everything else that I own is in shambles.

Five Things About Me: 81 82 83 84 85.

81. Towards the end of Ratatouille, when Anton Ego eats the dish of the title and is flung back to his childhood, the other members of the audience laughed.  I burst into tears.

82. I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to picking a nail color; though my go-to shades are navy, charcoal and black, I’ve slicked on bright cerulean blues, jazzy purples, cheerful fuchsias and mod whites.  I’ve never, however, had classic red nails.  They just seem very un-me.  And a little too “grown-up,” in a matching-lipstick, perfectly dressed, not-a-hair-out-of-place sort of way.

83. My parents never sent me to summer camp.  Instead, I would go into the city with them, and my mother would bring me around to the museums.  To this day, the Museum of Modern Art is my favorite, but not only because I love modern art.  I love it because I spent the most time there; it’s exactly eight minutes from my dad’s old office.

84. I can’t brush my teeth while looking in the mirror.  It grosses me out.  If you think this is odd, consider this: I never used to be able to watch someone else brush his or her teeth, overhear someone brushing his or her teeth, or brush my own teeth while someone else brushed his or her own teeth next to me.  Once, when I was in grade school, my cousin slept over and in the morning I thought I could conquer my disgust of simultaneous side-by-side brushing.  As soon as we sat down at the table for breakfast a few minutes later, I threw up.

85. For some reason, I really like Say Yes to the Dress.  I couldn’t tell you why.  I got married in a $375 bridesmaid gown I had made in white*, and only recently brought to the dry cleaner’s for the first time this past December.

* I had straps put on too, and my sash was pistachio.  In case you were wondering.  And I know you were.

Five Things About Me: 76 77 78 79 80.

76. The Metro-Boston Library System only lets you request holds on fifty books at a time, which is why I have a list of 99 waiting-to-be-helds.

77. I am not what you would call a Red Hot Chili Peppers fan per se — I don’t own any of their albums, I haven’t downloaded any of their songs, etc. — but there is something I find remarkably soothing about Anthony Kiedis’s voice.  It’s almost as soothing to me as Ina Garten’s (see here).

78. It’s not cool to admit this, but my favorite cookie is Chips Ahoy! Gets me every time.

79. I have a very specific pattern that I follow closely when I put on makeup.  It’s stretched out over a period of time, so it doesn’t take as long as it seems since I do things like brush my teeth and wash my eyeglasses in between stages.  First, assuming I have clean skin, I moisturize my face and neck.  Then I wait something like five to ten minutes for it to absorb.  Second, I put on a thin layer of foundation, followed by blush.  Since I am currently using a gel stain, I have to wait something like ten minutes until it too has absorbed.  Third, I dust my face with loose powder, dab on some eye shadow, line my lids with another shadow and an angled brush, curl my lashes and apply mascara.  This last step takes about five minutes.  Basically, if I caved and bought the $42 tinted moisturizer I used to use and broke out the powder blush I purchased to replace my almost-finished gel stain, I could cut ten minutes out of my routine.

80. If it were possible to start each day with a consequence-free breakfast of a fat toasted garlic bagel topped with an inch of cream cheese and a layer of smoked salmon, I totally would.  And by “consequence-free” I mean no weight gain and no bad breath.

Five Things About Me: 71 72 73 74 75.

71. I am ridiculous when it comes to recycling.  I rip the plastic from windowed envelopes, wash the Styrofoam trays from the supermarket that once carried my meat and even pick through what Keith’s thrown in the trash to make sure I haven’t missed anything.

72. If I had my way, I’d have an account with a florist so I could have fresh flowers in every room in my house at all times.  I wouldn’t allow any sort of Oriental lily but the Sumatra though; the rests’ fragrance give me the worst headache.

73. I can’t swim.  I mean, I can do my version of a doggie-paddle, and I can do a backstroke, and I can float really well, but that’s pretty much it.  This is in spite of swimming lessons too.  I think the fact that I can’t go underwater without holding my nose has a lot to do with this.

74. When I was younger, I had really creative names for my stuffed bear, dragon, pig, armadillo and dog.  I called them The Bear, The Dragon, The Pig, The Armadillo and The Dog.  I also used to keep track on my Baby-Sitters Club calendar of which animal I slept with each night, and rotated amongst them so none of them would feel jealous or left out.  (I happened to take a photo of them — with the exception of The Dog, a chocolate-brown Pound Puppy — when I was in New York this past October.)

75. I can’t justify spending a lot of money on clothes until my weight stops fluctuating, but I can always justify the cost of a pretty pair of shoes or a really nice bag.  After all, I can wear those regardless of what size dress I’ve got on.

Five Things About Me: 66 67 68 69 70.

66. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve found myself craving salty things rather than sweet.  Right now, for example, I would kill for a bag of chips.

67. I hate the way I look in photographs, but I always begrudgingly let people take my picture with the hopes that I’ll somehow end up with a shot I like.

68. Lysol wipes might just be my favorite cleaning product ever.  I just wish they smelled better.

69. I can’t get “Civilization” out of my head.  Thanks, Fallout 3.

70. One of my favorite way to spend a rainy or cold day is curled up on the sofa with a quilt, my cookbooks and a pad of mini Post-Its so I can flag each recipe I want to try or have tried.