Jan. 1st, 2009

25 things

Jan. 1st, 2009 01:42 am
viverra: (Default)
This came from facebook, where you can "tag" people. Since I don't think you can "tag" people here, I guess I'm just presenting this as a meme game. It's an interesting New Year's exercise, though. Let me know if you do it-- I'd like to see what you've written.

"Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you."

1. My high school was very small --30 students-- and on an organic farm. Ecology was a required course.  This was long before it was "in" to be green. I'm constantly amazed at how much is being rediscovered that we knew back then; it's just that nobody wanted to listen then.

2. I took a year off between High School and College, and went on a mountain-climbing expedition. When I got home, I worked for a youth museum and as a teacher's aide.

3. I used to lead bicycle trips for American Youth Hostels - I did one from Seattle to San Francisco, and another in a big circle around England, France, and the Netherlands.

4. I taught for a semester at Thule Air Base in Northern Greenland. I was fascinated by the resiliance of the native culture, who had gone from first European contact to self-government in living memory.

5. In Greenland, I cross-country skiied out over the sea ice to a frozen-in iceburg and explored the caves. I would have gone farther but saw polar bear tracks and turned back.

6. I lived in Western Australia for a few months, and was appalled at the still-common attitude towards native peoples. I took a course in the Western Desert Language and many of my fellow students were members of the "Stolen Generation". If I had stayed, I would have taught ecology at the Kalgoorlie College of Mines.

7. I play a bunch of instruments; none particularly well. I have nonetheless managed to be onstage now and then, mostly just singing but sometimes playing backup. I used to be a regular session player in Portsmouth.

8. My kindergarten report card said, "Claire is very enthusiastic about everything, but must learn to play with others."  Some things never change.

9. In grade school, I used to hate doing homework, so I would stay after school with the detention kids and finish my homework, so I didn't have to bring anything home. I was a walker, so catching the bus was not an issue. Sometimes detention kids would get annoyed when I would just stand up and leave.

10. My mother was a writer, which taught me many things. I'd come home from school, bursting with news, and she'd hold up a hand and say "wait til I finish this paragraph". I think this was a good thing. I learned that she had a life other than being my Mom. And my first job was proofreading for her, when she was editor of a magazine. On the other hand, I was absolutely embarrassed as only a teenager can be when, in the course of writing an article about a rock concert, my Mom asked my best friend to get her some marijuana so she could understand what all the fuss was about.

11. I was an EMT for several years, as well as a State EMT examiner.

12. Once, in college, I was interested in two different boys. One day both asked me out for the same night, and I realized I had to choose. I asked myself what I really wanted, and I realized that what I really wanted to do was to hang out with another friend of mine. He was much older, and our relationship was distinctly platonic, but he was my best friend. I still don't know if that was a mistake; it certainly seems to have set the pattern for my relationships. I continue to value real friendship more than romance. Surely both are possible...?

13. I used to put myself to sleep by trying to follow my thoughts back to the place where there are no words. In that place there is no 'up' or 'down' and you lose the sense of where your body is.

14. I'm a lucid dreamer but I don't have a strong sense of my body in my dreams. Sometimes I'm an adult, sometimes a kid; sometimes male and sometimes female. Often I'm not even human. It's fun. I never used to understand why other kids didn't want to go to bed; to me, dreaming was better than watching a movie.

15. I once made a reed flute and left it for a grizzly bear. This happened during a time when I went alone into the wilderness, fasting, and it seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

16. I'm most strongly motivated by wanting to do things for people I like.  This means that I put doing things for my friends first, then doing stuff for myself. Last comes doing things for people I don't like. The worst thing someone can do to motivate me is to criticise or badger me. It makes me dig in my heels. I suspect this is indicative of some deep complex or other.

17. I have twice thought that I had found the man I would marry and spend the rest of my life with. The first time was in college, with my first real boyfriend. The second time was much more recent. In both cases, I think a major factor in the breakup was an adolescent assumption that the other person knew more about what I was feeling than I expressed. Expectations and miscommunication. A bad combination.

18. After breaking up with my first fiancee/boyfriend, I moved to NH. I found that rents were high but you could get land cheaply. So I bought some land and a 17' travel trailer, and over the next six years built a small house. I was saving to put in a septic system when I was made an offer which I accepted.

19, Virtually all my adult life I have lived in a house I was either building or renovating. Building is easier.

20. I used to run Zephyr Productions, a concert series in Portsmouth. I tended to book great but obscure performers. My concert would lost money but gain the performers a following, and the next time around they would pack the hall. Unfortunatly, by that time I was out of business.

21. My biggest disappointment in life is my failure to have kids. I tried, both the natural and assisted routes.

22. I was the doula for the birth of my goddaughter. (A doula is sort of an assistant to the mother and midwife). It was one of the most awesome experiences of my life, and I was astonished when I burst into tears when she first emerged. The midwife told me that was not an uncommon reaction.

23. I was present at my mother's deathbed. It was a profoundly religious experience. One moment, she was there, in however damaged a body. The next moment she was not there, even though the cells of her body had not yet died. I cannot express the difference, but it was the most convincing argument for the existence of a soul I can imagine.

24. When I was a child, I read voraciously and immersed myself in the world of what I was reading to such an extent that I couldn't always tell the difference between something I had actually experienced and something I had merely read. But the imagined experience was real to the extent that I learned from it. Years later, my hanggliding instructor told us to visualize the launch sequence over and over until we could do it right in reality; I realized this was using the same technique.

25. I am blessed with my friends.


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