25 Random Things About Me

I thought this was interesting enough to post on my blog....3 years after I originally wrote it:



written by Tanya Malott on Monday, February 2, 2009 at 7:47pm  for one of those crazy circulating Facebook letters

Random photo of a place I used to go often....(these days I avoid JFK if at all possible)
1. Matchmaking is one of my favorite activities. I love introducing people who can help or love one another.

2. I met Eason on a blind date. My first thought as he stepped off the train was "Wow! He's taller and more handsome than I expected from the photo." A few weeks later, when he shared his old match.com profile with me, I said I never would have contacted him because there was a typo in the profile. Almost four years later, I realize he types faster on a Blackberry than I do on a computer (with only limited typos), and I wonder if the magic was in the picnic dinner Fat Ralph (Pagano) made for us that day. I am hoping the typos kept other would-be suitors away!

3. Eason is afraid to introduce me to his military friends, especially the special ops guys because he knows I have a thing for uniforms and crew cuts. Lucky for him, they all look too young to me now....and he always keeps his hair short. I can get him a uniform if necessary.

4. I was born near Boston and traveled around the world at age four as we moved to San Francisco. I still love to travel and usually feel very happy on airplanes. Happiest up front. On my first trip to Moscow (1995), the Alitalia pilots let me sit in the jump seat for landing. Stuart was not pleased.

5. I remember 2 compliments that have touched me deeply...both are more than 10 years old. The first was from Sigrid, the first photographer I ever assisted. She said I was the most European of her American friends. I knew what she meant and felt flattered.

6. The second came from a client in 1997. Upon receiving his wedding photos, he said "Anyone can take a great photo if they shoot enough film, what impresses me is the percentage of amazing shots you took". I never forgot that, but I also know they made it SO easy....beautiful everything on a perfect day...a blind person could have done well. That is when I realized what a collaboration a wedding is. That client has continued to hire me every year since.

7. I can almost always tell which couples will stay married....and the weirdest thing is that about 95% of all my couples (over 18 years) are still married. I can't explain it, but I think somehow we find each other for a reason. When a couple I meet chooses another photographer, then gets divorced a few years later, I'm glad I didn't shoot the wedding. The parents of my best friends from high school are still married, but my dad was married three times, and my mom, twice.

8. I lost my sense of smell about 15 years ago when I fell in my loft building. I never missed it more than when Alex was born. I wish I knew how he smelled. I figure if I had my smell, I never would have married his dad, a cigar smoker, so I have no regrets because Alex is the light of my life.

9. When I was 11, my great grandmother said I should be a writer based on some story I wrote for school (she was probably just being nice) but I always remembered that. Other friends have said the same. I have written several articles for the East Hampton Star because I don't really know anyone who reads it and I can write about things I love: weddings, photography, and architecture.

10. I learned far more in high school than I did in college. I thought college was a waste of time and money and I left feeling totally unprepared for life.  I still secretly want to go to Yale for an MFA and Harvard for an MBA. It all seems sort of pointless now, and I'm afraid to apply because I doubt I could get in.

11. I love technology, gadgets, puzzles and spatial problem solving.. I don't know many people who can do a Tangram puzzle better than I can. Some people call it freaky.  I solved a puzzle on display at Harrods that had stumped people  for months...but I can't do a Rubik's cube (my son can). I can fix strange things...mechanical things mostly. I like to pack the trunk of a car too.

12. I always thought I was a cat person. I had one Siamese cat from K thru college. We had dogs too, but I didn't really love them. I am surprised how much I love our new dog, Sparky.

13. I would really like to spend the night at the White House with the Obama's. Alex and Malia are the same age and would have lots to talk about. I would be speechless, so Eason could do the intelligent talking. Maybe I'd be more comfortable on a long Air Force One flight, given my love of flying in luxury. I'd like to do both.

14. I think I am really un-photogenic. It is better when I am super skinny, but those days might be over. I sympathize with my clients who don't love being photographed, but I like to stay on my side of the camera.  I still wish I had more great photos of myself.

15. I snore. Or so I am told. Worse after margaritas. Or so I am told.

16. I'm not really sure what I am good at, but I know it isn't cooking....even though Eason and Alex lie and tell me what I cook is good. Unless it is chicken picatta, then I know they are telling the truth. Tough when you can't really taste anything.

17. I have owned only 3 cars since I was 17. All Fords. I only bought the last one and I chose it for the name: Focus. I felt I needed more of that in all areas of my life at the time.

18. Before I die, I want to see my photographs in a museum. I'll settle for one. But I am always happy to see them on the walls of my friends....maybe that is better.

19. Some days I think I suck and I want to give up photography. Other days I think I'll take my last breath with a camera in hand...better yet, by that time, I'll have camera implants in my eyes and I can blink to take the shot. That is how it works in my dreams. Someone else will have to edit though.

20. I love Astrology, Tarot cards, psychics, numerology, and mystical things that guys don't believe in. I loved it when Julie read my palm. I love the reading Layla just sent me. Frank Andrews was/is my favorite psychic who told me many true things about my future. I believe in past lives and reincarnation. My closest friends tend to be Scorpios, Libras, and Aries (women). Tell me there is nothing to it!

21. As a teenager I wanted to live in prison or on an island. I liked the idea of having lots of time to read, and not having to work. (I'm not sure the island fits that description).

22. It saddens me that I lived a mile or less from my maternal grandparents for most of my life and never got to know them. The only cool thing I remember was riding on my grandad's "caboose" as a kid (it was his private jet...only better, I thought). I loved going to Disneyland in LA every year with my paternal grandparents. They did every ride with my sister and me.

23. I feel better after a movie that makes me laugh, but I don't usually choose to see comedies. I prefer going to see tragic stories that make me cry. Benjamin Button made me cry so much I was embarrassed to walk out of the theater.

24. I have an irrational love of rearranging the furniture. I have been doing it since I was about 7. Nothing is too big or too hard for me to move alone. Ask Lise or Mary, or even Alex. Sometimes I don't like the new arrangement, and a few days later I move everything back.

25. Other careers I always thought I would enjoy: jewelry design, renovating houses, furniture design, being a detective, being an archivist for a photographer or a president.

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