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10 Things You May or May Not Know about Me

By on December 5, 2013 in Just for FUN! with 1 Comment

Gina Pacelli

1. With the name Gina Pacelli, people assume I am 100 percent Italian. However, I was born in Greece and adopted at the age of two. My adoptive dad is Italian and my adoptive mother is Greek, but by blood I am 100 percent Greek. Greek was my first language, but I know my second language (English) much better. Additionally, Gina Pacelli is not my birth name. My Greek parents named me after my brother, Γιώργος. Ironically, my Greek initials were also GP as I was named Γιωργία Πέτσας. (The English translation of my first name is a U.S. state.) Oh, and I don’t have a middle name. If I did, it would have been my father’s name. But in the end, I lucked out. I’ve been fortunate to meet my Greek family, so I have two families who love me in their own way.

2. If I could meet any living person, it would be Oprah. I have always admired her for all of the amazing things she has done to help others.

Oprah Winfrey Show, Chicago, Illinois

3. My junior year of college, I studied abroad in Florence, Italy. One night, I was on my way home, and my roommate, Leann, was on her way out. I stopped to chat with her on the street outside our place. A few minutes elapsed, and two guys pulled up in their car and started ringing bells at us. They thought we were “ladies of the night.” We were not scantily dressed, but Italian girls do not go out at night without supervision. Thus, they concluded that we were prostitutes working the street corner.

Duomo, Florence, Italy

4. After my first day of work in downtown Los Angeles, I decided to stop off at Ann Taylor. A few minutes after I started browsing, a guy came up to me and started asking about my shoes. The conversation went something like this:
Him: “Hi. I like your shoes.”
Me: “Thanks.” Ignoring him, flipping through the racks.
Him: “Where did you get them?”
Me: “Greece.” One word answers to give him the brush-off.
Him: “How old are they?”
Me: “I got them like six years ago.”
Him: “How much did you pay for them?”
Me: “They were a gift.”
Him: “Well, how much are they worth?”
Me: “Seriously, I don’t remember.” Moving to another aisle.
Him: “I’m a photographer, and I like taking pictures of still life. Your shoes are really interesting. Can I buy them from you?”
Me: “No. I don’t have any other work shoes with me.” (I was transitioning from San Diego to LA, so most of my stuff was down there. I only had a suitcase to last me through the week.)
Him: “Then can I buy you a new pair of shoes? See if there is anything here you like.”
Me: “Alright.” (I sympathized with him since he was a photographer. However, I didn’t find anything. So, we went to the department store next door, he bought me a new pair of shoes, and I gave him my old pair.)

5. When I lived in Los Angeles, I met Katie Holmes and Chris Klein on Sunset Blvd. I was out with my roommate, Deb, and a friend, Megan. We had been at charity event, and we were on our way to get something to eat. There was this huge billboard of Katie in front of us, and Deb said, “It would be funny to ask her if that is her on the sign.” I was in one of my moods, so I popped the question. My friends bolted. I stopped and talked to them for a bit. Chris gave me a back rub while I chatted them up. It was an interesting exchange and pretty random.

6. When I was in college, I spent the summer in Hilton Head with my college roommate, Shireen, at her parents’ place. We worked at a bike/kayak/canoe rental place. I spent my lunch hours tanning on the deck. When I got too hot, customers would mist me with the hose. Other days, I would kayak or canoe on my hour off. Those were fun, lazy days.

Gina Pacelli and Shireen Yadollahpour in Hilton Head, South Carolina

7. I learned how to play Craps in Aruba with my friend, Laura. We were hanging out at a table, and there was this couple standing next to us. The husband taught me how to play, as well as played $100 chips for me. The whole weekend men kept giving me money to gamble, then Laura, too. I guess that’s why I like Craps so much – well, after Black Jack.

8. When I was in Italy, I got robbed. I had bought gold charms with Murano glass for my family in America and silver charms with Murano glass for my family in Greece, who I would be visiting. All my jewelry, my last bit of cash, my passport, train and plane tickets, credit cards, etc. were in my “fanny pack” when I got robbed. My college roommate, Shireen, went off with some locals and found everything but the cash and jewelry. I went with off with some other locals to the police station, where I filed a police report. I had lost about $800 in jewelry and cash, as well as spent about $60 in phone calls. However, I was so distraught that the cops felt bad for me and gave me over $100 cash. (Note: The reason I was upset was because I didn’t have any gifts. My parents put some money in my account, and Shireen had enough cash to cover us until we got to Greece. I was just bummed about the charms. I had been really excited about giving them as gifts.) My credit cards refunded my purchases since I had a police report, and I got a tax break for spending a significant amount of money on the charms. In the end, I made a $30 profit.

9. Some cool travel experiences: I balanced an egg on the equator (not everyone can), danced with Eskimos in Alaska, saw naked people playing tennis in a German park, got a gun pointed at me in Spain – which I laughed at, hiked Mt. Fuji, drove cross country twice – once on my own, swam with dolphins in Cozumel, locked myself out of friend’s apartment and spent the night in her complex park with three dogs, sailed the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th, partied in the super secret rooms in NY… I could go on and on and on.

Sailing the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th

10. When people meet me, they think I am either super innocent or super crazy. Or random people come up to me because they think they know me. I guess it makes for some interesting experiences and stories.

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  1. Tarra Klacic says:

    Interesting blog post.

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