In recent days, I’ve been asked a lot of personal questions from some of my readers. I’m taking this as a sign that y’all wanna know more about me so I’m gonna fill you in on some GM trivia. Here are 25 things about me you may not have known already:
1. My name is Courtney. I was named after a character in a movie that I’ve yet to see, nor can I remember the title of. I fucking love my name and always have.
2. I’ve wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I keep lugging around a box full of diaries I kept from the time I was 6. I am currently writing a book about one of my closest friends, a child star who passed away from complications due to drug abuse.
3. I’ve devoted large portions of my life to activism and non-profit work. I am an anti-death penalty activist, I’ve fundraised for the Innocence Project, I volunteered at animal shelters all over the world and I served as marketing director for a chain of North American addiction treatment facilities.
4. I became obsessed with prison issues after an extremely close friend was locked up for 9 years in Ohio on drug-related charges. Through my obsession, I got to know and ended up working for Jimmy Lerner, author of You Got Nothing Coming: Notes From A Prison Fish. Jimmy has since passed away.
5. I’ve been to: USA, Mexico, Fiji, New Zealand, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, Tahiti, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, The Cook Islands and my favourite place remains New Orleans. No place compares to the Big Easy. No place.
6. I am a swimmer. Since my move from the big city to our small town, I have not worked out a good way to get some laps in daily, but for most of my adulthood I have swam laps every day. I am part fish, I swear to Jeebus. I love all water activities: scuba diving, free diving, snorkelling, water skiing, high dive, etc. Pretty much everything but synchronized swimming. This came about after a near drowning experience in my Aunt’s pool when I was a small child. She immediately taught me to tread water, and then my parents lugged me around the South Pacific. I learned to swim in hotel pools and tropical beaches.
7. My son was born in Mexico. In Canada, giving birth is an impersonal thing in a shared room where your bed is only separated by a curtain. In Mexico, we had a room that took the shit out of most 5 star hotels and 9 nurses doting on us. For $3000 I got every prenatal visit, 9 sonograms with DVDs, induction, the delivery and plenty of after care and baby check ups. To this day, I have no idea how I dealt with being 8 and 9 months pregnant in the heat of the Mayan summer, but somehow, I did and it really was the best choice I ever made. My son celebrated his first birthday with a piñata and a reggae band here:
Zenzi Beach Club
8. I am an introvert. I overcame tremendous shyness in my early 20s, but I still find being around a lot of people exhausting. My idea of a fun time is to sit outside on a hot evening with a couple of friends and some cool beer, or maybe play a game of Catan. I don’t like being in large groups of people, I tend to just be quiet in those situations. I’ve never enjoyed bars, clubs or large parties. I am no longer shy though. Through my non-profit work, I’ve had to MC a few events and give talks and it doesn’t bother me at all. I think what I hate about being in large groups of people socially, is fighting to be heard. I don’t want to yell or have to demand the attention of people, so I just keep quiet.
9. I am an outdoors person. I lived in the big city and visited many others, and I always end up finding a beach or a park to chill in. You can keep your bars, restaurants and bowling alleys. I’ll be in the woods, thank you very much. This is part of why we made it a goal to move to the small town we live in now. We are just simply not indoor people and it was crushing our souls to have to live in a place where there is nothing to do really but be surrounded by concrete or go indoors.
10. I have one younger brother who never got over the travel bug. As such, he is never here. He lives half of the year in Mexico and the other half in Denmark and works for a travel company. His fiancé is Danish and we’re headed to their wedding in Playa Del Carmen in July. Very excited.
11. I am related to Judge Earl Warren of the Warren Commission on the JFK assassination. I was related through marriage at one point to Cybil Shepherd. She’s fucking weird as hell. I’m also related to Anne Hutchinson, the early American rebel (she did have 15 kids though, so it’s not unlikely most of us are related to her). I am, all counted, American, Canadian, Spanish, Scottish and Irish.
12. I have 5 tattoos. With one on each wrist, some of my friends are convinced I have a superpower if I touch them together. I want more.
13. I am a TV junkie but rarely have enough time to watch all the shows I love. I can’t stand prime time network TV, though. I find that all of the excellent story telling has shifted from movies to places like HBO, AMC and the other specialty channels. Some of my favourite shows are/were: Breaking Bad, The Wire, Treme, The Walking Dead, Mad Men, True Detective, The Killing, Game of Thrones, and Lost. I cannot stand sitcoms.
14. I can’t see without my glasses. I literally cannot see. It’s not just a little fuzzy, everything becomes one big tie-dyed cloud. I don’t like contacts either unless I’m wearing sunnies, so I am rarely seen without my glasses.
15. My cousin is a pro golfer.
16. My other cousin is an actor who’s been in Dexter, True Blood, Part of Five, CSI, Bones, NYPD Blue, other TV shows, and was most recently in the new Captain America movie. He’s also the voice of characters in video games like LA Noire and Doom.
17. I don’t like hockey. GASP.
18. I drive a red Dodge Caliber that I named “SOOKEH!” after the way Bill says Sookie’s name in True Blood. After owning it for a few months, I decided I don’t like Dodge Calibers. If I could choose any vehicle in the world, it would be a black Dodge Ram with an extended cab. I know it’s not the most environmentally friendly, but we live in the boonies and can’t get to half the fun places without 4WD. My first car was a 1982 Buick Skylark and I once owned a 1973 Monte Carlo that was royal purple and had a racing engine.
19. I understand Spanish and speak it at a mediocre level. I understand French but cannot speak it. I have begun trying to learn German because it’s fun.
20. I can design a web site without design tools, just writing code. I am also a graphic designer.
21. I can art but I hate it! I can paint and draw and growing up everyone told me I was going to go into art in some way, but I really do not enjoy it.
22. When I was 20, I started a business that became fairly successful. I had a lot of money coming in, lived in rented mansion, drove my Monte Carlo and pissed away every fucking cent and ended up loathing the business I was in. Flash in the pan.
23. I have never told my extended family that I am an atheist.
24. I have been through two violent crimes and endured 2 relationships with very abusive men. Some people ask me why I don’t hate men after all of that. Irrational questions illicit irrational responses, so I always just say pizza. 4 assholes is hardly a representative sample for an entire gender.
25. I want to write a humorous book about atheism and am thinking of starting a Kickstarter for it, so I can afford to take time off from my regular writing to do it.
I’d love for you guys to post 25 little known facts about yourselves, and post the link in the comments. TURNABOUT IS FAIR PLAY!