About Me

The story of my life? The story of my life won't even get us out of Chicago!” But I'm no Sally. The story of MY life is rather long and complicated. You know, big, thick, book length. Who has time for that? I think what would be more easily absorbed is little, bite-size nuggets. Besides, this way I can continuously  add to the story, and I'll mix it all up so that you'll have to guess at the order of these events/facts/exaggerations/gossip. To make it even more fun, I'll throw in some big, fat, lies. If you want to play along, try to pick out which one/ones are lies. Fame and fortune await you, should you succeed! Besides, there's no penalty for being wrong...

I drive a mac. I am however, ambidextrous and can also wield a PC.

I drive a Volvo station wagon. You will never see me owning a mini-van. I've been forced to drive them from time to time, and can't wait to be back where I belong. In a safe, boxy, Swedish car.

Born in Sweden right outside of Gothenburg, which is the port city on the West coast. I immigrated to the US in 1974 when I was almost 9. I'll save you the math. I'm 46.

I'm a perfectionist. I don't consider this a good personality trait.

I still speak Swedish fluently. It's fabulous to have a secret language that you can be fairly certain that the average person over-hearing you isn't going to understand. Convenient when the subject is something rather personal, and you don't want those around you to know that you're discussing say, the merits of certain body parts belonging to the rather fine looking guy about to bag your groceries.

I dream in full technicolor, and can fly away from anything I'm not enjoying at the time. Unless of course it isn't a good dream and I'm trying to escape, then I can't get off the ground at all.

My worst fear is drowning, especially while stuffed into a confined, glass coffin and thrown off the sinking boat. Boats I'm on always sink, or start to sink and hover just under water. I've woken myself up by screaming. Many times. Kinda freaks out The Engineer, who is usually so reasonable in the middle of the night. (See, there's a big fat lie. He is NOT reasonable in the middle of the night.)

When I was a math teacher, and we were in the middle of the consumer math unit, learning all about checking accounts, budgets, and saving accounts, I over-drew my own checking account. I didn't confess to them, though. I believe that would perhaps have diminished some of my credibility.

I'm a fan of trespassing into someplace with water, and then swimming in the dark. Sometimes nude, depending on the company present. I'll blog those stories sometime.

I love camping. LOVE IT. We have a 1968 Forrester Camping Trailer that we've restored. We earned it. Tent camped for 19 years. If you want to know more, use my handy-dandy search gadget in the side-bar.

I love watching movies that I enjoy multiple times. To me, it's like playing an album by your favorite artist. This drives the Engineer crazy. He doesn't understand at all. “But I already know what happens?” YES, that's the point. You can knit, or do other crafts with it as a nice soundtrack. You catch new details each time, and realize how much care goes into making a good movie. I could go on and on. I'm a movie buff. My top 5 list varies from time to time, but Lost in Translation, Love Actually, The American President, Love Song for Bobby Long, and The Devil Wears Prada hold the honors at this time.  

 So ends our program for today, but don't you worry -   I'll be adding to this from time to time, so feel free to come back often. You know, like watching a favorite movie again!  Which is what I'm going to do right now, because I want to knit.  That I'm definitely posting on soon.

As promised, here are some more tidbits about me.  This is a cut and paste from the guest post I did at the A-Z Blog.


1. What is the most daring thing you've ever done?

Hard to say...Depends on whether you're talking about daring on purpose or daring by accident because I'm an idiot rather frequently. I have stories for both categories. The most recent dare-devil (of the non-planned variety) stunt, that I didn't know was daring until I realized my predicament, was when I, in extreme desperation, climbed over what I thought was a one foot rock wall, but instead was an ice cliff, and at the bottom of which was a mostly frozen creek full of boulders and sharp rocks. Obviously I survived, but it was truly frightening. As to what drove me to do such a dumb thing in the first place will have to wait for the post I now realize I need to write. It will fit well into my semi-regular series of embarrassing story posts.

 2. What is your favorite article of clothing?

I'm a uniform girl as I've mentioned before. T-shirt and jeans. Or t-shirt and jeans shorts. In the winter, tank top under long-sleeved v-neck Old Navy shirt. I have seven black tank tops, and six v-necks in (gasp!) actual colors. Ok, one is black, but the others are turquoise, brown, grey, pink, and light blue. If I had to pick just ONE article though, I'd have to say my light blue v-neck. It's the one I reach for first. I also love my “diva” style Old Navy jeans.

3. What is your favorite monster?

The Super 8 Monster. My family loves JJ Abrams. I've seen every episode of Lost, and his Star Trek too many times to count. Super 8 is a fantastic movie, and I love the great surprises. Rent it! I watched it three times in 24 hours. I was also on bed-rest, but “normal” people might do that, too.

4. If you had to dress up as your favorite literary character, who would it be?

Eve Dallas of JD Robb's ...in Death series. These are great murder mysteries that take place starting in 2059, New York City. She's written 36 of these. Each book features a new crime, but over the course of the series, we get to know her co-workers and friends, and the lovers.  Very good sex descriptions, so if you're a PG person, skip those.  They are R.  Eve is tall, lean, kicks-ASS and always gets her perp. I'd wear her tear-drop 6 carat diamond pendant and her long, black, leather coat. (And I suppose jeans and a t-shirt). It would be fun to trade in my short and sturdy for her tall and strong.

5. What is your favorite fairy tale, urban legend or nursery rhyme?

Hoodwinked, based on Little Red Riding Hood is my favorite kids movie ever. We know it by heart, but it never gets old. I mean, where else would you find a snowboarding grandma and a sleazy reporter wolf?  Here's an even better endorsement.  The Engineer aka my husband watches movies once.  "I know what happens."  He's watched this at least 10 times, and if he finds a friend who hasn't seen it, they have to come over and watch it with us.

6. What is a cause near and dear to your heart?

American Lung Association.  "When you can't breathe, nothing else matters."  Both my boys and I have asthma.  Jake's is categorized as severe, and he's had to see pediatric pulmonary specialists all his life.  YellowBoy was diagnosed a month ago.  His has developed over time as a result of really severe "common" allergies.  I got mine after whooping cough (in 2010).

7. What's the strangest item you've used as a bookmark?

When out camping, and reading outdoors, I often get too hot and shed a layer. If I need to put my book down, I put one of the sleeves in the book.

8. Do you have any nicknames?  What are they and how did you earn them?

Yes, lots. Too many to list though, as The Engineer makes new ones each day, and they make no sense. Pizzalatukit, for example. My kids have been calling me Momster while I've been on prednisone. Nasty side-effects and a very appropriate nickname.  My Best calls me T.  So if you get an email from me and I sign it just T., that means I like you and consider you a friend.  (I'll give you some time to go check your emails...let me know when you're back.)

9. Name one habit you want to change in yourself.

I make piles. Piles upon piles of my crap instead of putting it away. My excuse for not putting it away is that there isn't a free spot to put it because of course I fill all my drawers with crap, too. If you could see my dining room table right now...well, you'd see what I mean. If I were brave enough to post a picture. Which I'm not.

10. Tell us something interesting or shocking about yourself.

I spent 9 years in gymnastics, and am still, at the ripe old age of 46, extremely flexible. I can still do the splits all three ways!  There are practicing gymnasts  who aren't as flexible.  It was my one "talent" when it came to gymnastics.  The rest was pure stubbornness! When I was a teacher and track coach, which was 1988-1996, I could still do aerials (cart-wheels with no hands, pretty sure you could dig one up on YouTube, but I  did it for you, and I'm glad because there were a lot out there that showed poor form.  This video of an aerial is good.)  If you want to read more about me and gymnastics, read these posts. N is for Never Give Up and Careless Words.


1. What was your favorite A-to-Z post from 2011?

I guess I'd have to say my own U ~ Unveiling post. If you have time to read it, you'll know why the post is a big deal.

2. What brought you to the A-to-Z originally?  Tell us about your first A-to-Z.

I met Rayna of Coffee Rings Everywhere and Snapshots of Bombay through a common, weekly blog party called Alphabe-Thursday. I've been her follower ever since. I noticed at her blog that some guy Alex J. Cavanaugh ALWAYS commented there, and was first 99/100 times. So I checked him out, saw that he was promoting the challenge, and signed up. Of the 1282, my number was somewhere in the 100s. I finished the challenge, and then after the challenge, Shannon, also a co-host this year, and I created the Post-Challenge Challenge of visiting every single one of the 1282 blogs. We had over 200 hundred join us for that. Very exciting to get such a response to our idea.

3. Are you doing a theme?

Yes, I am. Didn't last year, but learned quickly that for me, it's the best way to approach the challenge. I'm half Swedish, so my April is going to be called Postcards from Sweden. You'll learn 29 Swedish words – they have three extra vowels. Don't worry though, the posts will be written in English, following the same letters as the rest of the participants  ;-)

4. Are you writing and scheduling posts in advance?

Going to try. As a co-host my role is to visit as many bloggers as humanly possible, so having my duckies all row-ed up would be helpful. I'm just not finding a lot of time to do that though. Co-hosting duties are taking up a lot of my blogging time, and I'm LOVING that crazy-busy feeling. Just doesn't leave a lot of time to write.  

Here are some more facts about me.  One is false.  These are from my "A Lovely Blog" post.

 I have a weird sense of humor so one of these facts will be a total lie. This is in keeping with what I promised when I started the “About Me” tab. I fully expect you to read everything under that tab when you're done reading this post. I mean it ;-)

 I love to watch old movies I've seen a million times while I'm knitting. I love knitting. It's the most relaxing thing I know of besides sailing, which is a bit harder to come by in Colorado than on the Chesapeake Bay where I spent my summers growing up.

 "Lost in Translation" is my all-time favorite movie. Scarlett Johansson is my favorite actress and Bill Murray is my favorite actor, part of why Lost... is my favorite movie.  SEE IT.

 When I was a kid growing up in Sweden, we played outdoors a lot. My best friend, Ann-Charlotte, was two years older than me and taught me many life skills, like making cheese by collecting various plants, grasses, and flowers, wrapping them in plastic wrap, and hiding them under a rock for a month. Yum.  Especially the dandelions.

 If I could change one thing about my house right now, I'd paint these cabinets. (P.S That rack that wraps around goes under all 7 sections.  We have a lot of spices.  Yes, they are in alphabetical order.) (Don't laugh - how would you find what you wanted if it weren't for the alphabet?)

 I'm a Food Network addict and my favorite show is Chopped.

 I love kaviar. (That's the Swedish spelling) In Sweden it comes in a tube just like toothpaste. It's their equivalent of peanut butter, which Swedes find very strange.  I've found that Americans find my kaviar (Kalle's of course) strange.  WhatEVer!

Here's some more juicy Tina stuff.  Instead of adding the whole post, here's the link to this year's Getting To Know the Co-Hosts of the A-Z Challenge.  Yes, I would like to go to Mars...so head on over there and read more about me.  If you want.  Not that I'm begging or anything...

Still not done with this tab.  I'll keep adding stuff and all ya'lls come back often.  I will mention that I've added something in that day's post.  So ahem, read me every day, and you won't miss this valuable information ;-)


Brian Miller said...

i think you did well with this...enough interesting tidbits to let us get a feel for you...

Matthew MacNish said...

Yep, I can comment here, too.

Arlee Bird said...

Good job with the bio!

Tossing It Out

PR said...

This is a great page, lots of groovy info. I watch movies like that too, sometimes I'll put one on while I'm doing something else. They are made to be watched more then once, or at least that's my excuse :P

Marianne (Mare) Baker Ball said...

Enjoy reading this very much. I'm a LOST fan too - it was the very best!
Here's an homage to Jack and the gang: http://adventuresintheballpark.blogspot.com/2010/11/missing-lost.html

Good job!

About JollyJilly said...

Hi thanks for your comments on my blog re quilting. I would love to know more about the quilt you told me about. I could not e mail as it would not let me for some reason??
regards Jill (jollyjillya)

Unknown said...

Kära Tina

Bra skrivet! Roligt att du kan betrakta din tvåspråkighet som en tillgång. Jag är också glad att jag kan svenska. Men så länge jag bor i Sverige, bland andra svenskar, är det inget HEMLIGT språk! Och de flesta förstår engelska, så vad ska jag använda som hemligt språk här?

Du är roligt, du!


Anna's Adornments

Sush said...

Well now you are one very interesting gal! Loved your blog and will be following it for sure now that I've found you!
Thanks for stopping by my blog you must be very busy if you are blog hopping as much as they seem to require of you! I've visited several and love reading all the great posts in the challenge!
Have a great weekend and come back and see me soon!

Unknown said...

Kära Tina!
Förlåt att jag säger det här (ta gärna bort min commentar efteråt) men vad är det som är fel med det du skriver här?

"Born in Sweden right outside of Gothenburg, which is the port city on the east coast."

Ligger inte Göteborg på Sveriges västkust?

Stora kramar

Unknown said...

Och en sak till, Tina...
Serrdu, till och med jag kan skriva fel efter midnatt! Har du sett att jag har skrivit ordet "kommentar" med "c"!

Puss och kram,

Philip Verghese 'Ariel' said...

I am so glad to be here.
You have knitted your Bio-story well and its really interesting and encouraging.
Glad to know that the same knitting is going to continue. Waiting for the next part…
Also the getting to know you and the A to Z challenge questions too is an encouraging and educative one especially to the newbie.
Keep posting, Keep inform.

Best Regards

Anita said...

Oh, I love your getting to know you questions! Have seen this done many times else where, but yours are a bit more interesting :)
I hope you don't mind that I'll be using them to write a blog post.

Joylene Nowell Butler said...

Tina, if this is any indication... I think you're a wonderful writer. Nice to meet you.

Silvia Writes said...

Well done. Probably the most detailed bio I've seen. I was born a little to the east of Sweeden, in Romania.

Sharon said...

I will follow your A-Z challenge as I related to your "About Me". Also great courage on last years "U" post. Well done.

Anonymous said...

Loved reading all about you... we are similar in so many ways I'm finding out... we both did gymnastic when we were young too:) How very cool is that.

brudberg said...

Wonderful to have found your blog.. Thank you for visiting mine.. I see from your commentators that we move in similar circles :-)

You'll find me regularly writing on challenges like Friday Fictioneers, dVerse, Carpe Diem Haiku, Trifecta...

Gail said...

You sound like a fun person I'd love to hang out with sometime. Maybe I'll tell you my Volvo story sometime...Gail

Abs said...

This is wonderful! I really enjoyed learning more about you, and I think we would get along just fine if thrown into a social situation together :) Looking forward to reading more!

Anonymous said...

Hey Tina, Just wanted to stop by and give you another heartfelt thanks for re-tweeting for me and posting on my blog. You are so amazing. Squishy hugs. Lily (Eva)

Cathy Kennedy said...

I love how your About me just bursts with tid-bits about you. What a wonderful story to read! I feel so inspired with the way you composed yours that I may use it as an example in redoing mine. Unfortunately, I don't think it will be nearly as colorful as yours. Great getting to know you better!

Anonymous said...

Hi Tina, thanks again for being an A to Z guru! You know, I just found out we have a mutual friend, Cheryl, the mom of the Amber Waves Band! I think it's a small world! For the record, I was following your blog before Cheryl told me she knew you :-) I love your theme and all the wonderful Swedish stories!

jetgirlcos visiting via Forty, c'est Fantastique

csifrogger said...

My heart is broken. While I may have been a distant memory to Tina (Ms. Bilen to me)...I remembered her fondly and often. Thank you for being a positive influence in my life. Thank you for encouraging me. Thank you for being such a great teacher who influenced my love for math. You will never be forgotten. I hope you can see where you are now what an amazing impact you had on the lives of your students. I still remember the sleepover for all the girls at your apartment and I was sick and used all the Kleenex. Then everyone watched Beaches without having any. Then makeovers. You will be missed, I'm just sorry I didn't get an opportunity to reconnect before you were taken so soon. I will always remember your lemon water. Bethany