This is not your typical post at Atta Girl Says.

No crafts. No projects. No before-and-after reveals. Because today isn’t a typical day.

It’s my 40th birthday. Gulp. Did I just admit that on the Internet? Darn you, Al Gore!

In honor of my birthday, I thought I’d share 40 random things about myself.

You may know some of these things, but most you will not. Even if you know me in real life and have heard my cache of cocktail party stories, you’re bound to learn something new.

And that something new may well be that I’m a crazy nut!

Here goes: 40 random things about me:

      1. I’m not the only person in my family celebrating a birthday today. My cousin Shirley and her son were also born on Jan. 4, and so was my other cousin’s son.
      2. My best vacation ever was a trip to Maui in 2005. Wouldn’t that make a great 40th birthday present?
      3. Hot Tamales are my favorite candy.
      4. It’s not a road trip without Combos.
      5. I’ve starred in a move with Quantum Leap’s Scott Bakula. And by starred in, I mean I was an extra in Above Suspicion. We were never on set together, but you can see me in the baseball crowd scene. I’m the shocked woman in the purple sweater.
      6. My mother will probably call me at 8:02 this morning to wish me a happy birthday. I just hope she doesn’t sing.
      7. I get my singing talent from my mom!
      8. I am married to a published author. My husband, Bruce, has written a comic book adaptation of The Three Musketeers and a nonfiction book about urban school superintendents.
      9. My husband is also married to a published author. (I’ve written (or coauthored) five business books about Krispy Kreme, Build-A-Bear Workshop and successful online entrepreneurs.)
      10. Washington Post columnist Michelle Singletary, chose my book, The eBay Millionaire as a Color of Money Book Club selection.
      11. I am not an eBay millionaire.
      12. I started wearing glasses when I was 2 and contacts when I was 13.
      13. I took break dancing lessons in middle school, which is why Kelly at Eclectically Vintage is always teasing me about doing the worm.
      14. My favorite movie is Pulp Fiction. I’m also a big fan of Heathers, Legally Blonde, Thelma & Louise and the Departed. I’m big on female empowerment, cussing and violence.
      15. I’d like to be Reese Witherspoon. I have a girl crush on her.
      16. Being Gwen Stefani wouldn’t be so bad either.
      17. I have a real crush on Hugh Jackman.
      18. My dog, McCoy, was named for my collection of McCoy pottery.
      19. On the way to the hospital to give birth to my son, my husband and I sang a duet to “Jackson.” Badly. Not even remotely like Johnny Cash and June Carter Cash.
      20. I nicknamed my minivan “The Stegmobile.” My husband drives the “T-Wreck.”
      21. My husband and I took the top prizes in a 1980s Halloween costume contest for our Boy George and Richard Simmons costumes.
      22. In an interview, Richard Simmons once told my voice reminded him of biscuits and gravy.
      23. I set my bangs on fire in chemistry class during high school while trying to light a Bunsen burner.
      24. I set a guy’s toaster oven on fire in college trying to reheat some hotdogs in wax paper. Alcohol may have been involved.
      25. I wouldn’t go back to being a full-time newspaper reporter, but it gave me some pretty cool stories and experiences.
      26. I once met Princess Diana’s brother, Charles Spencer, the 9th Earl Spencer. I need to find that pre-digital photo to prove it.
      27. I have Hank Aaron’s autograph on a Krispy Kreme annual report.
      28. I once interviewed James Brown on the phone while working in Augusta, Ga. Only, I didn’t know it was James Brown until the end of the phone call. I was doing a story about a church youth program and the pastor handed me the phone to speak with “Mr. Brown,” who had donated to the group. I asked Mr. Brown some questions, then at the end of our conversation did what any good journalist would do. I asked, “What is your first name, Mr. Brown?” He answered, “James,” sounding a little surprised. “Oh, I didn’t know I was talking to the Godfather of Soul,” I replied. True story.
      29. I’ve attended two space shuttle launches (STS-83) and (STS-94) and even got to go up on the launchpad at Cape Canaveral while covering astronaut training for The Augusta Chronicle.
      30. Speaking of Augusta, I’ve covered three Masters Tournaments while working for the newspaper there.
      31. I breastfed my son (discreetly) at the 13th hole at Augusta National while attending the 2007 Masters practice rounds. This may be the reason I’ve never gotten tickets in the practice round lottery since. Jackson baby at Augusta National 2007 Masters Tournament
      32. My phone number in elementary school was 876-5304, and I thought that was so cool because it was almost the same as “876-5309/Jenny.” Probably why I haven’t forgotten the number in more than 30 years.
      33. The Star Wars movies always remind me of the boy who lived across the street from me when we had that phone number. I remember him telling me way back then that George Lucas planned for there to be nine movies in the saga. Sadly, Britt died in a car accident when he was 18, so he only ever saw the original three.
      34. I’ve never lived outside the South, and I probably never will.
      35. Coke Zero is my drink of choice.
      36. I’m more Ballard Designs than Pottery Barn.
      37. I never should have bought that first Kate Spade purse. It awakened an obsession. Or that first My Flat in London. Or that first Vera Bradley. Or that first pair of Stuart Weitzman shoes.
      38. I am really good at Scrabble. But I swear those people I play on Words with Friends are cheating.
      39. You want me to have your back in the Zombie apocalypse. I rock at Plants vs. Zombies.

        jackson and zombies Greensboro Zombie Run 2012

        Jackson dressed as "Crazy Dave" from Plants vs. Zombies at the 2012 Greensboro Zombie Run

      40. I own every season of Sex and the City on DVD.

So there you have it. 40 random, weird things about me.

Now. I’m off to eat some cake.



  1. Hi Amy, and happy birthday! I could be wrong, but in #32, I think that phone number was 867-5309….looks like you got a couple of numbers transposed. Sorry, I’m a numbers person! You’ve lived an interesting life!

    Debbie recently posted..Top Ten Posts of 2012My Profile

  2. Hi Amy,
    I enjoyed reading your list of 40 things about you and getting to know you better. You have had some wonderful life experiences and I hope you have a marvelous birthday!
    Jane recently posted..Happy New Year!My Profile

  3. Happy birthday to you! Loved reading these wonderful random things about you. What a great way to celebrate your birthday. Any you’ve confirmed my suspicion – you are a NUT! lol And famous to boot! I just might need to get your autograph. Oh – enjoy your mom’s singing! My mom called me to sing Happy Birthday to me every year and what I wouldn’t give to hear it now. xo
    Suzy recently posted..House Snooping at Debbiedoo’sMy Profile

  4. Oh my gosh!! I have loved every one! I cannot wait to see you again and pick your brain. What an interesting person you are! Of course, I already knew that. Save me a piece of cake and when I see you again, teach me the worm! 😉

    Jamie recently posted..The Best of 2012 Furniture Revivals A Revival ReviewMy Profile

  5. As I was reading your post, I was trying to think if I could come up with so many random things about myself and I have many more years than you! I’m going to start on my own list to post for my birthday in May. It will probably take that long to compile it. Thanks for the idea.

  6. Amy…I so loved reading about you…know that you were special as you have the same birthday as I do!!…Yep…us Cappy’s have to stick together!….So great to read about all of our tidbits of life and your great accomplishments…you are way too funny and I enjoy my times with you….I did not write the “….” random things about me on my birthday as the post would be waaay too long….I stopped putting candles on my cake as I would literally run out of breath blowing out all those candles!!!
    Shirley recently posted..A “Wintery” MantelMy Profile

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