Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Memed Again

No no, not Mame (as in “You coax the blues right out of the horn, Maa-ame” - oh great, now I've got “We Need a Little Christmas” stuck in my head...).

Not even maimed. Close...

MEME. One of those annoying on-line phenomenae where you write cute little factoids about something and then pass it on to other unsuspecting bloggers. The cure has yet to be found.

Okay, so I’m up to my gonnectigezoink in this novel right now – trying to reach 50,000 words by the end of the month as part of the NaNoWriMo Challenge (having written almost 4,000 words today puts me over the 75% point) – when Alex Shapiro of Notes from the Kelp bememed me with this latest... uhm, thing going around.

The object is to give seven facts about yourself and then tag seven blogger-friends to do the same. I actually don’t know too many people who blog and most of the blogs I read are by people I don’t know, personally at least. And of course Alex has already tagged the one person I could automatically think of who would help perpetuate the annoyance and who knows tons of bloggers out there. And now I have to post this before he does and then tags everyone on my list. So, here goes:

First, the Rules:

1. Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.
4. Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog (or e-mail if they don't allow comments).
5. If you don’t have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.

(Wait - shouldn’t there be seven rules? Oh, I see... 7 Facts + 5 Rules = 12 - so it is another serialist conspiracy... hmmm)

and now, the Facts:

1. Having absolutely no interest in sports whatever (and I do mean whatever!), I won my first game of Trivial Pursuit (Genus edition which is, I believe, spelled correctly) back in the mid-‘80s with a baseball question. But I couldn’t tell you anything about who it was or what it was asking about him because it made no sense to me even then. It was True/False so I had a 50/50 chance... but hey, I still won!

2. When I was teaching at the University of Connecticut, I sang in a Russian Orthodox Church choir near campus even though I wasn’t Russian or Orthodox. I just liked the music (and could read the alphabet) - and the people were great, too. Usually I sang bass – but if the bass showed up, I could sing tenor. It was a cappella and we got our pitch for the responses from the priest who was tone-deaf. The choir director would try to give us our starting pitch from his chanting but by the time we were supposed to come in, he’d slid down another few tones. Sometimes, we were singing a diminished fifth lower than written. Since I couldn’t sing below the staff, I had to transpose the bass part up, a very un-Russian thing for a bass to do.

3. I was always interested in Russian music and literature (I read War & Peace the first time when I was in 6th grade). I wanted to study the Russian language when I was in high school but they didn’t offer it back in the ‘60s - this was the Cold War era. My Latin teacher was taking first year Russian as part of her Masters program and was willing to teach a class if we got enough students to sign up for it. When we did, the principal told us they would not offer the class. I was repeatedly asked if I was a Communist.

4. When I was attending grad school at Eastman in Rochester NY where they have two seasons – winter and the 4th of July – I would walk several blocks to school on some very cold mornings. I soon figured out how to tell the temperature by how quickly it took my mustache to freeze over, then check it against the Time/Temperature clock a block from the school. One morning it froze before I even stepped off the porch. That meant it was below zero. I was pretty accurate, not that it would ever have gotten me a job working for the Weather Channel. (Not that my degrees from there were all that more practical, but hey...)

5. I am a very shy and insecure person. As a full-blooded introvert, I find it difficult talking with strangers though I can stand in front of a class or audience and talk about music with no problem. People find this amusing, considering I spent 18 years on the radio – but people, I was alone in a small room with carpeting on the walls, talking to myself all evening. That’s not the same as talking to a live person who comes up to me and says “Hi” and expects me to make conversation. Insecurity would probably rate its own chapter...

6. When I was 6 years old and had just started taking piano lessons, hating having to practice those stupid little beginner’s pieces, I decided I wanted to become a composer because that way nobody would know if I was making mistakes.

7. Despite the fact I am very organized when it comes to composing (or rather have a very systematic approach to writing music), my life is chaos. My mother and maternal grandfather kept lists about everything and probably somewhere there’s a list of how many lists they kept. This was something that missed my genes completely. Me, I made a list to help me organize cleaning my apartment, what tasks I should do on which days: I lost the list.

8. I find that after decades of relying on pocket calculators, I actually can no longer count...

OK, let’s see... I think I’ll tag (1) Stuart Malina (might get him to write a new post), (2) Matthew at Soho the Dog, (3) Marc at Deceptively Simple’s new digs, (4) Patty at Oboeinsight, (5) David at Oh My Trill, (6) David Duff and for the feline point of view, (7) Abbie the Cat and his posse.

Yeah, so there ya go... Follow the threads. Enjoy.

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