Tag, I'm it
Hey, this has never happened to me before. Thanks to Bookworm Room for so generously including me in the blogger game making the rounds. I doubt anybody cares knowing more facts about me but in the spirit of taking the old Cosmopolitan magazine "Test Yourself" quizzes of my teen years, here goes:
The rules are:
Players list 8 facts/habits about themselves. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning before those facts/habits are listed. At the end of the post, players then tag 8 people by posting their names and makes sure they know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment at the tagee’s blog.
Eight little-known facts or habits about myself:
1. My favorite music is 1940's swing, and pretty much anything leading up to or spinning off from that. Benny Goodman rules. You can throw Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, some Dixieland, Django Reinhardt, Duke Ellington, Texas Swing, Frankie and Tommy Dorsey and Nelson Riddle, Ella Fitzgerald and the Andrews Sisters in there too. For spice and sweetener, toss in some Perry Como, Spike Jones, Harry James, Helen Forrest, even Shirley Temple and Fred Astaire. The soundtrack of the 1940's was my kind of stew. I guess it's not odd that was my Mom and Dad's favorite music, too.
2. My favorite composers start with Bach and end with current new fave Mark Snow. In the middle somewhere: Beethovan, Chopin, Mendelsohn, Schumann, Schubert, Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Franz Waxman, Max Steiner, Bernard Herrmann, Tom Lehrer, Weird Al, Heywood Banks. I am moved by beauty and virtuosity and I love to laugh.
3. My favorite visual art includes work by the three Wyeths (N.C., Andrew, and Jamie), Norman Rockwell, the Hudson River School, Georgia O'Keefe, and the California architects and visual artists of the early 1900's. I definitely love illustration, story, color, line, and design; I venerate technique in reproductive art; for sheer emotion I prefer landscapes. Abstract and primitive art leave me cold.
4. If I could design my own home, it would be a modest Craftsman-style bungalow or a Mission-style ranch with contemporary technology and plenty of natural light inside. Family inside to fill it, live in it, mess it up and love in it is essential.
5. I have never hired or used a cleaning lady, gardener, landscaper, or yard service. For me, the ideal life is one of balance and grounding, combining the freedom to pursue intellectual and creative work and the necessity of shouldering chores of regular (humbling) physical labor (much as I hate to sweat and get dirty). I'm not saying it wouldn't be nice to be rich and keep manicured hands, but it's not something I hanker for and I don't think I'd be any happier that way.
6. Probably the biggest secret people don't know about me is that I am a member of Phi Beta Kappa. I really don't remember how it happened, anyway. I just tell my kids to do well in school, to get good grades and to not be afraid of hard work, and there's no telling where they'll end up. Maybe with fat financial aid packages to prestigious universities! Maybe as a happy housewife!
7. I have read Gone With the Wind more than 12 times, and then lost count. The first time was when I was in sixth grade, and my teacher made me bring in a note from my mother giving me permission to read it. My mother's attitude was, if I was old enough to want to read it, and attempt to read it, and was able to read it, I was old enough to be allowed to read it. Of course, she didn't have to reckon with the crappy-content, easy-reading books being pushed on kids today.
8. I am a lifelong voracious reader who began by falling in love with fiction and later, with "great" literature, who now reads almost exclusively history and biographies, because they are more varied and interesting. Most influential books in my life, all read several times before I was 18: Little Women, Gone With the Wind, Atlas Shrugged. I entered my adult years as a retro, idealistic Romantic and am now, thank goodness, at age 53, post-university, and after 30 years of marriage and halfway through raising two children, a grateful conservative/libertarian idealistic Christian American pragmatist. And if you think you can know me based on any or all of those "labels," you can't. Meanwhile, I have a developing sense of what I don't know and what I can't know, which I consider one of the hallmarks of wisdom. And I'm deeply grateful that I still have a lot to learn, and the chance and ability to still learn it.
I am also grateful and amazed that through little effort of my own, I have this blog-voice for sharing these culturally alternative thoughts beyond my own cranium. Take that, Paris Hiltons of the world and the media and marketers who aggrandize them.
I tag (not because I think they'll do it, but because I am interested in what they would say):
Victor Davis Hanson
Simi Valley Sophist
Breath of the Beast