Hrmm…Twenty Things You Don’t Know About Me. Part I

So this meme is drifting about the blogosphere, so what the hell:

1. I like to dance. I can’t of course. The best I can manage is an emphatic wiggling, but I like to do it. This means…

2. I have a shameful fondness for the most inane dance songs. So long as the lyrics don’t annoy me too much.

What is up with the “Cheerio?” It makes no sense in the context of the song! Is she singing about the cereal? WTF!?

3. A Horse and His Boy is my favorite of the Narnia Chronicles.

4. The story I wrote in chapter VI of So I Met John Porter about my (now ex) BF setting the bed on fire is true.

In my younger days I had a futon and I used old wine crates as my bedside tables. I had prepared a romantic evening for my boyfriend at the time, with the wine and the candlelight. Note the candlelight. In the course of the evening’s activities we got sort of turned around, and he was, *ahem* taking a trip south of the border. And while I’m enjoying myself with my head hanging off the foot of the bed, I open my eyes slightly and think, “Hm. It’s a little bright.” But I don’t think anything of it and close ‘em again. A couple minutes later, I open my eyes and, “Wow. It really is bright.” I look up, or down, over his shoulder. And his foot has pushed one of my pillows over a votive candle on the bedside table and there is this four foot pillar of flame in corner of my bedroom.

I reached over him, grabbed the pillow and threw it out into the hall. Fortunately, my place was all tile and hardwood, so I just ran after it and stomped it out.

When I got back to bed, my boyfriend just had this dazed expression on his face and he said, “When you popped up with your eyes so big like that, I thought I had done something really amazing!”

5. So was the car accident I wrote in So I Met Alec Track. I went into another car, that tried to turn into oncoming traffic, at 40 mph with no airbags. His right front quarter panel was stove in, my car was an accordion. The engine ended up practically sitting in my lap. My face went into the steering wheel. They had to use the “Jaws of Life” to get me out. But the only injuries I had were a torn eye lid from my glasses (which survived undamaged, yay carbon frames) and a broken metatarsal from when all my weight went into the foot I had firmly planted on the brake. I did not even have a concussion.

“Hard-headed” comments can be made below.

6. When I was 27 one of my friends was a nanny and when her husband got sick, she could not accompany the family she worked for to Europe for a three-week holiday. “Can you get your passport in nine days?” NYC, Luxembourg, Paris, Southern France, Nice and Rome. Kind of a flying tour, but I sucked every once of enjoyment I could out of it. And the kid was pretty cool too.

A friend of mine gave me a great tip for how to entertain bored 8 year olds whose mom’s are trying to instill them with “culture and sophistication.” Go the gift shop first and buy a bunch of the art postcards. Split them up and make a scavenger hunt of your trip to the boring ol’ art museum. But after a while that began to wear and by the time we made it to Nice, I asked her, “Would you just like to stay in and watch cartoons?”

“Can we?” There were practically tears of gratitude in her eyes. So we split our time between the beach and watching Cartoon network.

But I just museumed my self to death, even when I was given the afternoon off. At the Louvre, when I flipped out over the Nike of Samothrace, the parents realized  was WAY more excited about it than they, so let me go off on my own. I was just filling up with all this amazing art and then I turned a corner and the Venus Di Milo was rising out of the crowd and my mind just snapped off. “O.K., that’s It. You’re done.” But I still got to the Muse’e d’Orsay and the Rodin museum which I really loved. I loved the way they used the natural light as he did, rather than contriving formal displays. Also the lesser known works some of which were so moving and the garden was lovely. We drove through Southern France and it was so beautiful, the endless fields of golden wheat or sunflowers  interspersed with little villages and at one point, a castle on a rocky outcropping. We stayed in a castle one night (the girl and I got a tower room! complete with arrow slits!)  and an old monastery the next. And as the father did not drink, the wife would order these amazing local wines and make me share them with her. (“Oh no, don’t throw me into that briar patch!”) I do not like reds, but I discovered Hermitages…oh, so yummy!

In Rome we went to the Vatican museum and I embarrassed myself by lying on the floor to look at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. I would have crab-walked down to ponder more of it, but the guards really did not like it all that much. Well, how else are you supposed to really look at it? Also, why does the Pope need mummies? The one room with frescos of old maps all over the walls and ceiling was just stunning to me. And it wasn’t like the Louvre were everything was spaced out and elegantly displayed. All these amazing pieces you have been looking at in books for years and they all just jammed in there. I loved it. I had to borrow a jacket from the tour guide (that sun dress) to go inside Saint Peters and WOW, talk about impressing the pagans. I got an afternoon off in Rome and decided to go see the Etruscan museum of Villa Giulia. The taxi driver took me to the prison on Via Jullia. What the hell about me said I wanted to visit in Italian Prison? He did get me to the museum eventually. (Probably just trying to rack up the fare. Ah well, tourists.) And in the Forum they had excavated some graves along the Appian Way…the Romans were really short. No wonder they were intimidated by the Celts.

But my impression of Paris was there was this very deliberate “Let’s us impress you!” feel about it. It’s a beautiful city, don’t get me wrong, but there is a very deliberately constructed aura about it. And then you go to Rome and see how “Impressive” is really done. Rome is the eternal city. Hot, dusty, smelly and magnificent.

Anyway, I had an awesome time.

7. As I have mentioned, my mother’s family has a very long history of service in the military, going back to the Revolutionary War. But her family name died out in WWII at Dieppe when the only son of an only son died in the surf. (Yes, he was one of the first Army Rangers) Years later, he was identified in the pictures the Germans took after the battle.

The second one in, center, the one with the gaiters. My mother remembered her “Uncle Howard,” young and vital, coming in from playing lacrosse with his college friends and picking her up and tossing her around. It was very sad for her and his sisters, my great aunts, to see this picture.

But while the family name died as a surname with him, every succeeding generation has it as a first or middle name. My great-aunt was tickled pink when she heard it has been given it one of my nephews.

Number 8. Hrm…

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5 thoughts on “Hrmm…Twenty Things You Don’t Know About Me. Part I

  1. See, see, driving like playing Russian roulette with our lives!
    Hmm, is this coming in two parts or have you run out? You can’t have run out, Marcus from Babylon5 said you had a nice set, you must have more!

  2. I haven’t read your Porter story but I can’t imagine there’s a happy reason why someone set your bed on fire with you in it. But your trip around Europe sounds brilliant. But yes, as the numerate Nellie has noted, this is less than twenty things. We, your loyal readers, want more!

    • Actually, it was an accident.

      I’ll cut and paste the story:

      In my younger days I had a futon and I used old wine crates as my bedside tables. I had prepared a romantic evening for my boyfriend at the time, with the wine and the candlelight. Note the candlelight. In the course of the evening’s activities we got sort of turned around, and he was, *ahem* taking a trip south of the border. And while I’m enjoying myself with my head hanging off the foot of the bed, I open my eyes slightly and think, “Hm. It’s a little bright.” But I don’t think anything of it and close ’em again. A couple minutes later, I open my eyes and, “Wow. It really is bright.” I look up, or down, over his shoulder. And his foot has pushed one of my pillows over a votive candle on the bedside table and there is this four foot pillar of flame in corner of my bedroom.

      I reached over him, grabbed the pillow and threw it out into the hall. Fortunately, my place was all tile and hardwood, so I just ran after it and stomped it out.

      When I got back to bed, my boyfriend just had this dazed expression on his face and he said, “When you popped up with your eyes so big like that, I thought I had done something really amazing!”

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