I’ve been watching with both delight and amusement as the number of people reading my blog has grown hugely lately, so thank you! If you like my blog but don’t like having to check back all the time for updates, consider clicking on the button immediately to the right that says “Give me my T-Rex!” You’ll avoid all that extra effort of having to type in my blog address because the posts will be emailed straight to you. And that’s my shameless plug.

This surge in viewers means that fewer and fewer of my readers have actually met me. That means you’re probably all, “Wtf is the deal with this T-Rex person? I don’t want to read her blog, I don’t even know what her favorite color is.” So, I thought I’d help us get to know each other better. Mostly, I don’t want to write my final paper for my grad class, which is obviously due tomorrow.  Here’s some random facts about the girl behind the dinosaur. Remember, I said “random” – I didn’t promise “interesting” or “important.”

(My favorite color is grey, btw, but sometimes orange.)

Fact #1: I only love running about 50% of the time.

Some days, I love running. Some days, I want to karate chop running in the face. I’m not a naturally gifted runner. I’m not fast. It doesn’t come easily to me. I don’t glide along as if my feet are propelled by tiny motorized clouds. On the days when I have a good run, I love running. On the days when I have a bad run, I tolerate it. There are plenty of days when I don’t want to go run. Sometimes I don’t run on those days. Sometimes I do. What people perceive as a love for running is actually a love for community. I love the community of runners that I am a part of. I love seeing old friends and meeting new ones at races. I love interacting with the spectators, watching my friends meet their goals, and learning new things about people. I love medals. I love Maniac shirts. But running? Well, I like running. But I love marathons.

Marathons, yes. Long runs, no.

Fact #2: I have a ridiculously good memory-ish.

My exceptional memory does not extend to people’s names. I used to be really good with that when I was a kid, but now, there’s really no point in telling me your name unless you’re willing to also tell me the next few times we meet. I can say all of the presidents in chronological order in under 10 seconds, and I learned it in the first grade. Ask me to do it next time you see me. I have a GREAT memory for clothing. I can remember what I was wearing, what you were wearing, and what pretty much anyone else was wearing on any given day if something interesting happened. For example, 10 years ago I went on my first date with my high school boyfriend. He wore a shirt that said “Girls are no substitute for a Playstation.” For some reason, we ended up dating for 3 years, thereby foreshadowing my poor judgment of suitable dating candidates that would last until very recently…I think. AJ wore a red Rutgers t-shirt – also questionable.

The high school boyfriend in question. I look 12.

Fact #3: I can eat the same food every day and never get sick of it.

I’ve eaten a burrito for lunch every single day this week, and I ate one every day last week. If anyone reading this works at Moe’s, I would not turn down a sponsorship. I drink the same kind of beer every day (HI BUD LIGHT), unless I am going to a brewery at a marathon or AJ forces me to drink the beer he brews, which is, by the way, sometimes good.  Some people think that I am a really healthy eater, but surely the only people that think this are people who have never actually seen me eat. I would probably be a lot faster if I ate healthy food, but eating healthy and nutritious meals is something I struggle with on a daily basis. My preferred food items are burritos, pimento cheeseburgers, Sprite, and Bud Light. That’s all I really need to survive. Don’t come to the T-Rex for nutrition advice.

Fact #3a: I’m a koozie whore.

Fact #4: I’m terrified of birds…

I know, I know. Dinosaurs are descended from birds and shit. Or the other way around. Or something. But look, the point is, birds are tiny flying murderers that exist solely to terrify me with threats of pecking me to death with their beaks of fury and razor sharp talons. Before you go getting all judgey, I do have a viable reason for this fear – I was attacked my seagulls in my youth. NO, I WAS NOT TAUNTING THEM WITH MY SANDWICH. I wasn’t even holding a sandwich, thankyouverymuch. Multiple people in my life have watched in amazement as birds actually target me. They seek me out for their attacks. Kate saw birds swarm my legs while we were eating outside at Moe’s in Knoxville on the way to Kentucky last week. I almost peed my pants.

Most evil creatures on the planet

Fact #5: …but three of my tattoos are birds.

This is actually two facts in one, since many people don’t know I have tattoos. In fact, I have precisely five and one-half tattoos, as one is in the process of being removed. I have three birds tattooed on my abdomen – one seagull and two swallows. All are symbolic of conquering my fears…which ironically, I have not conquered. Swallows are an old nautical symbol that sailors used to get for every 5,000 nautical miles traveled, but today, they are symbolic of having traveling a long road or overcoming an obstacle. Seagulls just suck and they attacked me. Every time I have gotten a tattoo, the guys in the shop roll their eyes as soon as I walk in and assume I’m going to kick and cry while I get my butterfly tramp stamp put on. I guess I don’t look like the typical person that has a lot of tattoos, let alone tattoos on the most painful parts of your body to get them. For the record, I obviously never cried and I  do not have a tramp stamp – butterfly or otherwise.

Fact #6: I get obsessed with things.

Ok, this one you probably figured out on your own. I have a tendency to throw myself 100% into things. I either do them full throttle or not at all. Therefore, I obviously couldn’t just run one marathon, I have to run one in every state…by the time I’m 30. And I can’t just buy one shotgun, I have to get a rifle too, plus all the requisite camo and outdoor clothing. When AJ suggested we might go camping, I bought everything a person might possibly need to camp, including a 6 person tent so I didn’t get cramped. I lack the ability to do things in moderation. I’m about to finish my master’s degree, but I’m already considering which program to start next. I can’t help myself.

Because there’s no such thing as too much camo for one person.

Fact #7: I have an extensive knowledge of extremely random shit.

Kristen has been trying for weeks now to stump me with the daily trivia that she gets sent to her every day via email, but she has yet to succeed. It’s not because I’m intellectually superior, it’s because I’m a nerd. When other kids were playing with Barbies or Nintendo, I was reading books – specifically, Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader. It’s obviously supposed to be a book you read, well, in the bathroom, but I would take it to my room and read it like a normal book. Along the bottom of each page was a one line fact. My favorite? Armadillos can be housebroken. Now you know. This penchant for learning, combined with my strong memory, makes me an asset on any trivia team.

I owned 14 editions of this book when I was a kid, but this one was my favorite.

Fact #8: Social situations make me uncomfortable.

This is one thing that very few people know about me and even fewer would guess. My entire life, I have been told that my ability to interact with all types of people and my social skills in all situations are two of my biggest strengths. Interestingly, I work very hard in social situations because I find myself to be the most awkward person on the entire planet. No less than five times in any conversation that lasts more than three minutes do I find myself wanting to slap my hand to my forehead because I say something that I find awkward. This may be why people think I am funny. It’s also why AJ and I get along so well – he is one of few people more awkward than me. He didn’t think I was awkward when we first met, but once he figured it out, he realized he is by far the cooler of the two of us.

It’s too much for me sometimes

Fact #9: I used to dye my hair brown.

When I was growing up, all my friends had brown hair. They all had braces. They all had glasses. Somehow, I was the weird one because I had blonde hair, no glasses, and no braces. Messed up, right? Well, I couldn’t get glasses or braces, but I could dye my hair brown, so I did, starting at age 14. I’m going to go ahead and say what we’re all thinking: “Danielle, that’s ridiculous. You have the most beautiful hair in all the land.” I know. I know. But the 14 year old Danielle did not know. Besides a brief period of platinum blonde hair in college thanks to lifeguarding, my hair was brown until I was about 22 and decided I was damaging it too much. My hair thanked me by growing back a much better color than it used to be. The only downside is that now people try to touch it a lot.

I know, it’s weird for me too.

Fact #10: I messed up my own baptism.

Ok, so my family is not religious and I wasn’t as a kid. I never went to church. I started going when I was 15 because a boy I thought was cute asked me to go with him. I ended up getting really into it, and I went through classes to become a member of the church, get confirmed, yada yada. Well, my fear of social situations is such that I became absolutely terrified of “messing up” my baptism. High school boyfriend’s parents, who were big at the church, told me that it was literally impossible for me to mess up. All I had to do was kneel down and get water poured on my head. I didn’t have to say anything, so there was no chance that I would say anything weird. Nonetheless, I was freaking out. My parents and my brother were stepping foot in a church for the first time in pretty much ever to come watch me. All my friends would be there. The big moment arrived. The preacher told me to kneel down in front of the bowl, exactly where 3 other people had just been baptized. Instead of kneeling in front of the bowl, I knelt directly into the bowl, thereby flipping it over and spilling water all over me. Everyone in the church laughed. Even the preacher laughed. Then he said “well we can laugh in church, can’t we?” And then I died.

My baptism was only slightly less triumphant.

So, now you know a little bit more about me. Now tell me something about you! Leave a comment with an interesting fact about yourself by clicking on the link beneath this post – it will either say “Tell me what you think!” or will say the number of comments left. Reading your comments will help me procrastinate, since I don’t feel like writing my papers for grad school. I scratch your back, you scratch mine.

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