Naomi Dunford from IttyBiz - 25 Things You Didn't Know

(My friend James Chartrand dared me to write a Things You Don’t Know About Me post for my birthday. She keeps daring me to do stuff and keeps being surprised when I actually do it. So, the first thing you should know? I take dares.)

1. Speaking of James Chartrand, when I was the best man at my brother’s wedding in France, I was called upon to give a speech. I did not speak French at the time, so James translated my speech for me phonetically and I memorized it that way. It’s possible I still have no idea what I said.

2. The highest grade I ever achieved on a school paper was 104% on an essay entitled The Fatal Flaw in William Shakespeare’s King Lear. I have not yet read William Shakespeare’s King Lear.

3. The second highest grade I ever achieved on a school paper was 102% on an essay entitled 10 Things About Me, on which number one was, “Sometimes I rush through sex to get to the cigarette.” I didn’t totally know what that meant, but it sounded cool. Since this was in the same class, it can be assumed that the teacher was better at English than they were at math.

Tattoo4. I have a semicolon accidentally tattooed on my back. Currently, this is a popular way to draw attention to suicide awareness. My reason was not so lofty. I was photocopying Japanese kanji out of the dictionary and I accidentally left the semicolon in the proof I brought to the tattoo artist. (Other tattoos are my late step-dad’s guitar, Jack’s dad’s name in Elvish, and “BREATHE” on my wrist.)

5. I am desperately, horribly, morbidly afraid of the dentist. (My chiropractor says that there’s no word for a dentist phobia, because a phobia is defined as an irrational fear. Since there’s nothing irrational about fear of the dentist, it’s technically not a phobia. I don’t know if this is true, but it brings me considerable comfort.)

6. Back when I used to gamble, and I was craving slot machines, I drove almost nine hours to Atlantic City because it was faster than catching a flight to Vegas.

7. Actually, I didn’t drive. My friend did. I don’t know how to drive.

8. I accidentally threw John Cusack into traffic while he was shooting Serendipity in Toronto. It was an accident. It was not just an excuse to touch John Cusack. IT WAS NOT JUST AN EXCUSE TO TOUCH JOHN CUSACK.

John Cusack

9. I dropped out of college after six weeks. I was taking graphic design. About a month in, we were assigned a group project – one person did the graphics, one person did the tech, and so on. (I did the writing. Surprise!) I was watching the graphics girl messing around with pixels and such and I said, “God, I would throw myself in the lake if I had to do that.” She replied, “Do you think maybe you’re in the wrong program?” So I left.

10. When I was 19 and living in the projects, I couldn’t get a job. A new Irish/English/who-cares-the-waitresses-wear-schoolgirl-kilts pub opened up and I decided to pretend to be English (and highly experienced) to get a job there. I was later fired for not knowing how to pronounce Bass Pale Ale. (To be fair, I was probably fired for lying. To-may-to, to-mah-to.)

Banana M&Ms11. I love bananas so much that my youngest son, Jack, is under strict orders to interrupt me, no matter what I’m doing, to tell me if he discovers anything banana flavored. Last week he did this while I was on a coaching call with Amelia Briscoe to tell me about Banana M&Ms. (Then we all had a chat about international candy, Tim Tams and their related “slams” in particular, because that’s how we roll.)

12. In other banana-related trivia, when I was at BlogWorld Expo, someone gave me a banana as a hangover cure (potassium!) and I broke my tooth on it. (Edit: Sid Savara has publicly taken responsibility for the incident.)

13. I have a habit of buying a Tassimo coffee maker any time I stay in a hotel for longer than a week. I have bought more than ten Tassimos in eight cities over the course of my coffee-buying life. (Incidentally, I got turned onto Tassimo because of a tweet by Scott Stratten almost a decade ago. They sent him a free one to try out, he tweeted about it, I bought one. Then I bought at least ten more. Influencer marketing works, people.)

(Bonus fact: Speaking of Mr. Stratten, I once interrupted him talking to Henry Rollins to give him the ten bucks I owed him.)

14. I once wrote a Christian suspense romance novel in 30 days for a Harlequin contest. They offered to buy it. I backed out like a wussy pants.

15. Many astrologists believe my birthday to be the most psychic day of the year.

While You Were Sleeping16. My favorite movie of all time, ever, evereverEVER is While You Were Sleeping, with Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman.

17. My husband once dragged me through the streets of Cairo trying to get away from a “creepy guy who kept following us”. It later turned out that creepy guy was our group’s private security detail, and he was holding no fewer than three guns. (He showed us!)

18. The most surprising thing I’ve heard from a client was that they dumped Bruce Springsteen in high school because he wasn’t going anywhere with his life. (The lady in question is Sue Dunlevie from Successful Blogging and she is definitely doing something with her life.)

19. I unschool my son. That means he watches YouTube videos all day. All day.

20. In May of 2012, I was scheduled to walk the Camino de Santiago. Then I messed up my knee salsa dancing, and had nothing to do for a month. I sent out an impromptu email to my list with the subject line “From one damsel in distress to another”, letting them know my month had opened up. Five years later, over half of my current clients came directly, or through referral, from that one email.

21. I have ADHD. Ha ha ha. Perhaps that should have gone in the other blog post, 25 Things I’m Pretty Sure You Knew About Me. (Squirrel!)

Lego Architecture22. I collect Hermès scarves and LEGO Architecture.

23. When my oldest son got me into Twilight, I locked myself in a hotel room and read all four books back to back.

24. My nickname is Meem, which is short for Mimi. When I was little, I couldn’t pronounce Naomi, so I called myself Mimi, and it stuck. More people call me Meem than call me Naomi.

25. My greatest dream is to cruise to the Arctic Circle. Second after that is going to the Londolozi Game Reserve in South Africa because I read about it in a Martha Beck book.

That’s it! Now come say hello on Facebook or Twitter or something. (Squirrel!)