Category Archives: Word Press
One of my first bloggin’ buddies, Georgette of Georgette Sullins’ Blog tagged me for a blogging game. My choice of morning activities was to respond or clean the house. Guess which I chose.
1. Post these rules. (CHECK)
2. Post a photo of yourself and eleven random facts about you. (CHECK-ish)
3. Answer the questions given to you in the tagger’s post. (CHECK)
4. Create eleven new questions and tag new people to answer them. (CHECK)
5. Go to their blog/twitter and let them know they have been tagged. (I’m goin’, I’m goin’)
Here’s me. Sort of.
Eleven facts you may not know about me.
- No one has ever accused me of being neat.
- I went to secretarial school.
- People for whom I worked as a secretary in the 1970s are still trying to find stuff I filed.
- My interest in politics started during the Vietnam War but really took off in my freshman year of college when a professor suggested I take his course then next semester. He thought I was brilliant, so I took his course for an easy “A.” It was a course on the Kennedys – the best history course I ever took.
- I cannot work on one thing all day. My mind bounces around too much. I call it a “Superball”; others say it’s ADHD. You choose.
- My husband John and I were introduced by my old boyfriend, Erik; they worked together. John and I often sat next to each other at firm functions and insulted each other mercilessly. Erik used to get really mad at me because “other people just don’t understand that you are joking.” John and I started dating 4-5 years after I broke up with the other guy. The “people that didn’t understand” were a bit surprised.
- I was Daddy’s girl from the start. I’m guessing conception.
- My brothers and sisters didn’t hate me because Daddy liked me best. They used me to get Dad to say “yes” to something they wanted. Worked for me.
- I routinely skipped school in 4th grade.
- I feel panicky whenever I have to drive across railroad tracks after living next to the NY-New Haven railroad line growing up.
- When we got bored just hopping across the railroad tracks when a train was approaching, my brother and I used to pull down our pants and then hop across the tracks in front of approaching trains. Yup, every day is a gift.
Now, here are my answers to Georgette’s questions:
1. Did you have a cousin close in age to you?
Maureen, my mother’s sister Ruth’s daughter is 10 months older than me. Aunt Ruth was a widow and she and Maureen spent most Sundays at our house. Aunt Ruth was always placing Maureen and me back-to-back to see which was taller. Of course Maureen always “won.” It used to make me cry. I didn’t like Maureen much as a kid. We’re great friends now.
2. What was the first novel that transported you?
My sister Beth used to read my brother Fred and I the classics, right from the start, and I’ve always read voraciously. But the first time I remember really consciously being aware of the power of words to transport was when I read Great Expectations. I was then at the intersection between my own childhood and adolescence. Dickens, who was clearly an adult when he wrote it, was able to go back so clearly and understandingly into Pip’s childhood feelings that I was comforted that I’d always be able to go back to mine.
3. Is the work you do to pay the bills a passion or practical?
My career has been completely accidental. In my teens I dreamed of being an actress and a singer. My mother worked in an office and it seemed like the worst sort of drudgery imaginable. In my arrogance, I knew I was better than that. More interesting. More creative. Smarter. (See The Silver Lining – thankfully, I grew out of being such an ass. Mostly.)
But I had health problems – colitis they thought (it’s actually Crohn’s). I would always need health insurance and so my parents forced me, kicking and screaming, to secretarial school.
They were right. I HAVE always needed health insurance. But I managed to turn secretarial jobs into other (still office-bound) jobs that have been more rewarding and really interesting. I have been incredibly lucky.
My current job is wonderful. I get paid to write and to learn and to look at this wonderful view every day from my office window.
I have no complaints about taking the practical path.
4. Do you have a favorite country western song? If so, which is it?
5. If you could (or do) grow a garden would there be flowers or vegetables to fill it?
The only successful gardens I’ve ever had were vegetable ones. There is nothing like the taste of that first tomato.
6. What would you like to see in the US that you haven’t seen yet? Or abroad?
In the US, I’d like to see some more of the west, particularly the National Parks – the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone (Jellystone would be nice, too I’d love to meet Yogi and Boo-boo)
In Europe, I’d love to see Rome. But not when they’re trying to elect a Pope.
7. Have you ever caught a fish? If so, tell us about it.
One summer night when I was 7, our first summer living near the beach, my brother Fred grabbed me and we ran to the beach. There was a creek that ran with the tide, which was coming in. Fish were swimming upstream to spawn. The moon was full and shining off the silver scales of millions of fish. We went in the water and caught one with our hands, took it home and put it in the bathtub. We were going to keep it as a pet. He(?) surprisingly died and we buried him in our garden that year.
I’ve never seen anything like it. We never saw the fish migrate like that again — it was magical. I think of it every time I see moonlight on water.
8. What’s your favorite breakfast, lunch or dinner meal?
Dinner: Roast beef (medium rare) with gravy, egg noodles and green beans. I don’t eat too much beef any more so it is a rare and wonderful treat when I do.
9. Have you been surprised recently? What surprised you? When?
Blogging has surprised me constantly since I started doing it. I didn’t expect to make so many friends this way.
10. What is a state you have never traveled to, but you plan to visit someday?
Colorado. I’ve never been and I love mountains. It sounds like the perfect place. I’d also love to visit the Pacific Northwest.
11. Is there a 2012, 2013 movie you would recommend?
Lincoln and the Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.
Now I get to ask questions:
- Were you closer to Mom or Dad (if you were spawned by aliens, please explain)
- There are moments in history that everyone alive at that time remember (for me it was the Kennedy assassination). What was your first?
- Favorite pet ever
- Funniest quote
- Best insult you ever delivered and why the recipient deserved it.
- First memory
- What do you dislike most about blogging?
- Do your friends/family members read your blog?
- How would you be using your time right now if you weren’t answering my stupid questions
- Your dream job.
- What you expect to be reincarnated as in your next life?
And now, my victims. Please feel free to ignore this or do it. It is your choice. I will not be hurt, I will not, in fact, stop stalking you. I chose folks I thought would continue speaking to me after naming them. If you’re not on it, you weren’t forgotten. But feel free to answer my questions. Feel free, in fact to make up your own.
Benze from Benzeknees
Carrie of The Write Transition
Cheryl of Crumb Snatcher Tales
Chris of Word Play
Cooper of Security is for Cadavers
Courtney of The adventures of Miss Widget
GOF from The Bucket
Guap of Guapola
Janice of Aurora Morealis
John of Johnbalaya
Lisa from The Big Sheep Blog
Michelle of The Green Study
Peg of Peg-o-Leg’s Ramblings
Rara of Rarasaur.
Revis of Stuphblog
Sandy of Sandy like a Beach
S7 of Speaker 7
Tops from Life With The Top Down
TwinDaddy of Stuphblog
Val of QBG Tilted Tiara
Rumor has it, that today is my bloggin’ buddy John Erickson’s birthday. You know John, of Commentality. Approximately 60 seconds after I first “met” John, he became the top commenter on my blog. He is interested in a million things, particularly history, space travel and sci-fi movies, TV and likely books. John is quite well versed on stuff. All kinds of stuff. He is smart, funny, and sweet. Not necessarily all at the same time though. He spreads it out.
I will admit that John’s comments don’t necessarily make sense, but they are great for your statistics. So encourage John. Really. You’ll be glad you did.
Now Ill tell you a secret. Unlike most folks approaching the half-way mark, John has been a wee bit apprehensive about this birthday, because it is a biggie. The Big 5-0.
To welcome John into the Old-timers Blogging Group, I will play age appropriate music:
Still, I am pretty sure that John won’t go down without a fight. Not a guy who has spent nearly 50 years studying military history. He knows the details of every battle fought between 1412 and 1945, and just exactly how to load a flintlock. Nope, John will never give up; he’ll never surrender. (He could use a Coke and a couple of Advil, though.) Here is a clip of a younger John taken from some important “Historical Documents.” Only they couldn’t get the goat in the picture.
By Grapthar’s Hammer, John, I’m wishing you the Happiest of Birthdays. And I am wishing you health, wealth and good cheer for all the years to come.
But just like me, you ARE gettin’ gross. But I’m pretty sure you can deal with it! But to soften the blow, if it’s OK with Frank of AFrankAngle I will be happy to use my newly acquired Queenly powers to knight you.
Arise, Sir John. I command you to celebrate!
* * *
List cheerfully stolen from Frank.
My bloggin’ buddy Angie of Childhood Relived is coming to DC next month, and we are going to get together for lunch! I’m so excited – she will be the first blogging buddy I’ll get to meet. The thing is, though, that I just can’t decide where to take her for our rendezvous.
Angie, as you may know, writes extensively about her childhood in the 1980s. She remembers everything that happened during that decade. Angie has a photographic memory for every single TV show and every bit of food she consumed during that decade. It’s awesome. Or terrifying. Or both. And while I was not a child in the 1980s, her posts always make me nostalgic for that time in my life. Back when I was young, single, sick and poor. Ah yes, the 1980s.
I am pretty sure that Angie is (1) Superhuman; (2) will remember each and every detail about the restaurant I choose; and (3) remember every single fact I tell her about Washington, DC, whether it is in fact, fact or not. I can’t believe I even agreed to meet her. Can’t I be out of town that day?
Oh, yeah. I will be out of town that day. Out of my town. You see, I hardly ever go into DC any more. I work across the river in Virginia; I live in the Virginia sticks with the deer. In fact, I do everything south of our nation’s Capitol, you know, where the Rebs lived (and seceded). (We will not comment on how a nice Connecticut Yankee like me ended up here. Please. It’s painful.)
The tour I can handle. Buildings are buildings and Angie won’t know if I’m right or wrong when I tell her which is which. The hard part is deciding where to have lunch. It used to be that this wouldn’t have been a problem. Yup, I used to really know the city. I lived in DC; I worked downtown. I hung out on Capitol Hill. In fact, I used to work really close to the hotel where Angie is staying. But my familiarity with DC restaurants is current only up to 1989, when I moved away.
So rather than sweating it, I decided to give Angie a 1980s tour of Washington! That’s the Washington I know. Knew. Whatever. Wouldn’t that be appropriate? I’ll start with a 1980s restaurant! I figured I’d see which of my favorite restaurants of the 1980s were still open and take her to one of them. Brilliant, right? Because after all, a trip to our nation’s capital requires a bit of history. For US history, well, Angie’s on her own. I’m going to give her some of my history. Yes Angie, I am going to treat you to a dose of “This is Your Life,” DC Restaurant version.
Of course, there aren’t too many of my favorites left. In fact, there are only three. Which do you think she’d like best?
Health Hazard of Hunan: This restaurant is where I learned to eat interesting spicy foods. I went there all the time. Whenever we worked late at the office our clients would buy us wonderful Chinese food from Hunan. Better still, one night I organized an incredibly fun birthday dinner there for a friend. A total of about 20 of us had a wonderful meal, where the staff gave us tastes of everything on the menu. Exotic, delicious Chinese delicacies. The next day the restaurant was closed for health violations. Don’t worry though, Angie. It’s back in business.
Rumors: Rumors was a meat-market when I was still single, a place to go to pick up men/women for one night stands. That’s not why I went, actually, because I never was that kind of girl. Besides, at the time I was attached. But it had great food and a different ambiance at lunch time. It’s not at all far from where Angie and I are meeting.
The last time I went to Rumors was at nighttime, though, when the meat-market was in full swing. At the time I was dating Erik, who at the time (1980), I fully expected to marry, and he and I were there with some friends. That night began the process that led me to a much better mate. That’s because Erik excused himself to go to the restroom and came back quite quickly looking rather confused. He couldn’t figure out which bathroom to use. “Ummm, Elyse?” he asked quietly. “Am I a ‘tweeter’ or a ‘woofer’?” I decided that perhaps I wanted more of a woofer in my life.
The Sex Change: Actually, the restaurant is called “The Exchange” – but our name was much more fun. I worked in an office upstairs from the Sex Change. We actually had a convenient back door into the place that we used when we were supposed to be working. My friends and I spent many, many lunch times, work afternoons and evenings there. The Sex Change is possibly the first place where I was ever publicly drunk, although I don’t really remember.
The Sex Change was actually the site of my first foray into public storytelling. Yes, it was at the Sex Change one winter night, where I stood on a table in the most crowded part of the bar, my third or fourth or fifth beer of the evening in hand. I told the world of my most shameful, completely embarrassing, life changing childhood trauma. I stood on a table and told how I ruined my life in 2nd Grade by wetting my pants during Show & Tell, one week after moving to a new town. It was the story I had never admitted had happened. Not to anyone. It was the story I feared would one day come out when someone from my past appeared unexpectedly and let it slip. And the bar patrons loved it, and me for telling it. They were there with me, in 2nd Grade. Of course, they were drunk too.
In fact, it was this story that brought Angie and I together, because it was the heart of the comment I left Angie about a year ago when she wrote this post about embarrassing childhood birthday parties. The full story, including my revenge on the kid who bullied me in grammar school, is here. Because there is a god.
So as you can see, it’s a tough choice. Food poisoning, sexual confusion, or humiliation. I think that sums up my life pretty nicely. Which would you choose?
And after lunch, I’ll take her on a driving tour. I’ll drive her past the White House and we will wave (or gesture in an altogether different manner) to Ron and Nancy. We’ll drive up to Capitol Hill walk right in to her Congressman and Senators’ offices. We’ll climb to the top of the Washington Monument, get into the museums without waiting through endless security lines.
Yup, a 1980s tour of Washington sounds like just the ticket. But maybe we should just grab a hot dog.