It’s My Birthday (and the Pope’s): Natalina’s Annual Epic Birthday Post

On this day in 1977, Natalina was born.  Today, Pope Francis also celebrates the day of his birth. He is 77 years of age.  Nat is born in 1977… Pope is 77… on the 17th… is conspiracy afoot?

Also on this day in history:

283 St Gaius begins his reign as Catholic Pope

920 Romanos I is crowned as co-emperor of the underage Emperor Constantine VII.

1526 Pope Clemens VII publishes degree Cum ad zero – forms Inquisition

1531 – Pope Clement VII establishes a parallel body to the Inquisition in Lisbon, Portugal.

1538 – Pope Paul III excommunicated England’s King Henry VIII

What does this all mean?? Am I a secret Jesuit? A Vatican assassin?  A Manchurian candidate programmed to spring into action upon papal request? Well…. wouldn’t YOU like to know!

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In any case, per the rules set forth many millennia ago, I am now prepared to embark upon my annual Birthday post of epic proportions!

I probably over-sold that.

Hey hey it’s my birthday! That’s right, 36 years ago, during a horrible blizzard, Natalina was born.

So, I’m taking the opportunity of birthday immunity to post whatever I want on Extraordinary Intelligence.

First things first. Let’s set the mood by listening to one of my all time favorite songs!

My readers and listeners are the best. They go out of their way to contact me via social networking or via email and just open their hearts.  It is really touching to hear your personal stories and I realize that I’m often very guarded about my personal information.  Recently, I compiled a little list of things to help you get to know me better.

best essay writing company20 Things You May Not Know About Me.

1. I was once bitten on the side of my head by a spider, and I still have a weird scar in the shape of a triangle near my ear to prove it. You hear me? It is a spider bite scar, and NOT the location under which an alien planted a tracking chip, nor is it a sign of my dedication to the Illuminati.

2. I used to play for a group called “The Strolling Strings”, which required myself and my fiddling counterparts to go to fancy banquets and serenade the crowd with classics like “Danny Boy” and “Orange Blossom Special.” I still have the crazy geometric print vest and dickie tie that we were forced to wear. I have played my viola on the steps of the U.S. Capital, on a stage at DisneyLand, in Colonial Williamsburg, and in chamber orchestra in college, as well as a stint with the city Symphony. I miss it.

3. I met Newt Gingrich in Washington D.C. when I was 18, I met, shook hands, and had a brief albeit uncomfortable conversation with Donald Rumsfeld at a Heritage Foundation banquet in Nashville, I saw Barack Obama in person, and crossed paths with John McCain in 2012. Again, I am NOT in the Illuminati.

4. I have an irrational fear of sharks and cliffs. These fears are irrational because I live near the geographic center of North America, thus am no where near any ocean, and I live in one of the flattest parts of the U.S., with very few cliffs in sight.

5. I taught Sunday School when I was 19 although I was not yet convinced that the Bible was true.

6. My very first job was as a Subway Sandwich artist. I don’t know about now, but back in those days you had to get certified to call yourself a sandwich artist. I was 15 years old.

7. When I first met my husband, he told me he wanted to be “just friends”. Looks like that turned out great for you, buddy!

8. When I was in elementary school, the faculty wanted to put me ahead by two grades because of my test scores. My parents refused because they didn’t want me to “be weird”. Looks like that turned out great for you, buddies!

9. I sing ALL of the time. Sometimes I just break into song for no particular reason without even realizing it. (you can hear this in my podcast sometimes). I was in concert choir in college and I have been a wedding singer in my past.

10. My regular attire used to be long dresses and combat boots. I still love long dresses, but hung up the combat boots long ago.

11. I got kicked out of class in the 4th grade for wearing lipstick.

12. My first date was with a cowboy named Buck.

13. I used to be the store manager at a video game store that specialized in classic video games, thus, I know more about the Nintendo Entertainment System than I should.

14. I suffer from a condition that makes it difficult if not impossible for me to have children, and I’ve made peace with it.

15. I am currently writing a book about my life, tentatively titled “The Wreck of the Hesperus.”

16. There exists a photo of me wearing a toga, posing with my fellow nerds who all scored Cum Laude or Suma Cum Laude on the National Latin Exam.

17.  I once hit a bird with my car and killed it. I had to pull my car over and cry.

18. For a brief stint, I did a short spot for an Australian radio show where I discussed life in the midwest of the U.S. The Australian audience thought I sounded like Sarah Palin, and the intro music for my spot was Dream Academy’s “Life in a Northern Town.”

19. I am a Cong. I am a Cong Hong. I am a Cong Hong Rong I Song Tong I A Nong. (High five if you learned this one at Bible camp!)

20.  I once thought I was about to be abducted by aliens. There was flashing lights and a low hum coming from outside. I woke up my dad who looked out the window, only to find that it was actually a street cleaner.

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That was a fun and fancy list of factoids!

My favorite piece ever written for solo violin is Massenet’s Meditation from “Thais”.  I played it a few times on my viola at various auditions.  I have never once gotten through listening to the entire piece without crying. I’m crying as I listen to this right now.  It is one of the most emotionally stirring pieces of music. To me, anyway.

Hey, I said this was a post about whatever I want. I never claimed it wouldn’t be completely random.

This year as my birthday gift, my husband gave me a spiffy new smart phone. Oooooh fancy pants! I have no idea if I’ll be able to figure out how to use it.  My husband really is the best doggone man around. He takes such good care of me. He’s an incredible provider. He’s my knight in shining armor. He’s my handsome hubbawubba. I love him so!

So… anything else? Oh yeah!

Did I mention I make jewelry??

The success of Extraordinary Boutique in 2013 has been humbling.  It really is pretty amazing to be able to make a little extra income doing the things that I love.  And there are still a LOT of pieces available!! Click the image below to check it out. *plug plug, shameless plug*

Finally, I never miss an opportunity to share one of my favorite moments from television history.  It has become a tradition for me to share this on my birthday. .This year is no exception. This is Linus, explaining the true meaning of Christmas.  Enjoy.

The year 2013 has been amazing.  I’ll reflect more upon the events in my year end wrap up in a couple of weeks but, suffice to say, it has probably been the best year yet.  Between the success of the website and the launching of the Beyond Extraordinary podcast, E.I. has never been more of a pleasure to operate and I pray that I’ll be able to continue to do so for a long long time.  I’ve met so many amazing people and have had so many incredible doors open this year, I can only pray that I’ll be able to use it all to glorify the One who makes all things possible, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Thank you to everyone who has reached out to me with birthday wishes.  You have NO IDEA how much it means to me.  I love you all.

Now, here is a picture of Solomon 🙂 What? You didn’t think I could do a whole post about myself without including el gato magnifico, did you??

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It’s My Birthday (and the Pope’s): Natalina’s Annual Epic Birthday Post