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A Second Dose Of Kool-Aid (25+5)

Recently on Facebook, people are tagging each other with the request to list 25 Random Things about themselves. This may seem odd to non-Facebookers, but it is just something that happens from time to time in that particular social networking site. And, as one friend of mine states, it is a fun way to get to know one’s friends in a way that one wouldn’t in the normal course of human events. The Internet is kinda funny that way. Over-sharing is rampant and occasionally welcome.

The zenith of tagging activity happened for me this past weekend with several friends doing the Facebook equivalent of nudging me to write my list of 25 things. I’m usually game and started to turn over the possibilities in my head.

Maybe that is what did it. I was promptly cut down Monday by a pretty horrendous migraine accompanied by a wicked sore throat. I thought at one point that my head was in labour, the pain was coming in waves like contractions. Or what I imagine to be contractions. At the height of all this, there wasn’t a creative cell in my body – it was all I could do to just lie still and suffer. Later in the day, as the pain started to drift away, I started to pluck out my rather uninspired list of 25 Things. I was writing a few lines at a time between moments of dull throbbing. I wasn’t at my best.

In the interim, feeling much better these last few days, I realized that I left a few things off that I shoulda, woulda, coulda included if I’d had my act together. So, I present the original 25 + 5 bonus Random Things.

1.    I hate (hate) feeling rushed. I especially hate rushing through things early in the morning. Throws me off balance.

2.    My hair is longer now than it has been since I was 21. It feels both awkward and liberating at the same time. I have no idea how this is going to turn out.

3.    One of the most valuable things I did in high school was take typing class in Grade Nine with Mr. Traxler whom I adored. Although I nearly failed, I am so grateful that I can type reasonably well without looking at the keys.  I wonder if there will be curriculum developed to teach keypad texting. If there is, I know someone who could teach it and it wouldn’t be me.

4.    I can, and frequently do, watch movies and tv shows multiple times.

5.    I find cooking and dreaming up recipes very grounding and relaxing.

6.    Ian Turnbull was my favourite all-time Toronto Maple Leaf.  He was Borje Salming’s defence partner. He scored five goals in one game, on February 2, 1977, a record for defensemen that still stands. I remember watching that game, 32 years ago today, and also watching the awards ceremony the game afterwards. I try to wear his number, #2, when I can but that doesn’t seem to happen often. He autographed a hat of mine before he retired. I still have it.

7.    I may have a Scrabble addiction.

8.    I may have a popcorn addiction.

9.    The thing I miss most in my new diet regimen is pasta.

10.    One of my grad students was griping last week about feeling out of the loop on something we were discussing in class. I had overheard him say earlier to his buddies that he was born in 1986 and that his earliest recollections were from 1993. He asked me if I remembered 1993. I had no response. This whole exchange bothers me more than I care to admit.

11.    My family experiences genetic hearing loss. I am not immune to this phenomenon. I’ve been advised that more sound, not less, will help preserve my hearing. In other words, the audiologist has prescribed listening to loud music regularly.

12.    I love playing hockey. I wish I could play more than my schedule currently allows.

13.    There are a few people on FB that I’ve known since we were all learning how to print with big fat pencils. They all look fit and well and happy as grown-ups. When I look at their pics, I see soccer balls and Christmas pageants and endless winter bus rides home.

14.    I have a first cousin in England with exactly the same full name (first, middle, last) as me who also insists on being called “Liz”. We were completely unaware of each other’s existence until 1999. The number of things we have in common is rather astounding and includes our sexual orientation. Beware. There are two of us.

15.    My least favourite vegetables are Brussels sprouts and lima beans.

16.    There are at least two people on my FB who should understand, first hand, why I really don’t like cucumbers. I often wonder if they had the same response to that particular summer job.

17.    I think too much. I worry too much.

18.    I have terrible luck with houseplants. My favourite colour is green but my thumb is not green in the slightest.

19.    I am often overly optimistic about how much I can get done in a day.

20.    I used to love to read and I have stacks of books around that I have started and will one day finish. I just can’t sink into a good reading rhythm anymore.

21.    When I was a pre-teen, and probably on into when I was a teen, on warm summer days, I would take a stack of 7-8 books out and sit under the gigantic maple/willow in our front yard and read. I don’t know why I felt I had to take 7-8 books for an afternoon’s read. I generally stuck to one when I got there.

22.    I love where I’m living now. I miss living in the country. Somehow, these two ideas don’t feel in opposition to each other in my head.

23.    My dream, until Grade 9 science class, was to be a veterinarian. After that, I wanted to be a rock star.

24.    I have recently concluded that if a thinking person living in this crazy messy world doesn’t find themselves challenged by something like depression from time to time, they are not to be trusted.

25.    I was not close to my father but I do find some of his weird idiom creeping into my vocabulary, such as “Put a little English on it” (elbow grease, umph) and “Do you need to look after little Mary?” (are you hungry?) and “My head is here, my ass is comin'” and “Heeeh???” (speak louder, I didn’t hear you).

26.    I have my M (for motorcycle) as well as my G class licence. At one time I owned a Kawasaki 454 LTD bike that I adored. Absolutely adored. I toured solo around the northern edge of Lake Superior on it one summer when I was about 24. I had to sell it in a moment of “let’s grow up and get serious” career focus. It is one of the few times in my life that I remember sobbing uncontrollably. My bike looked something like this:

Kawasaki 454 LTD

Kawasaki 454 LTD

I suspect that if I acquired a bike again now that I’d have to re-certify my licence or something since I haven’t ridden since 1988.

27.   In 1997, I flew to New York for three reasons. a) to see Julie Andrews perform, again, in Victor/Victoria on Broadway. b) to meet up with a bunch of Internet buddies, also Julie Andrews fans, and attend the Tonys at Radio City Music hall. c) To pitch my idea for Julie’s next big project to her producer, Tony Adams. I achieved all three.  I saw the fourth last performance Julie did before her surgery cut her singing career tragically short.  Being present at the Tonys was a thrill-of-a-lifetime. Radio City Music Hall is very big. Famous people are just regular-size. Tony Adams was charming and patient. He bought me lunch and suggested a way I could get my proposal in front of Julie herself, which of course I followed up on. But the surgery interfered straightaway and messed with destiny. Still, it was a pretty terrific weekend!

28.  I think that the experience of growing up on a farm in RURAL southwestern Ontario colours almost every aspect of my life.

29.  I believe every dog deserves one hot meal a day. My dog gets her dinner with warm water and “gravy”.

30.  I am hard-pressed to think of anyone whom I know reasonably well who has not expressed at some point their feelings of exclusion, of “feeling like an outsider”.  I have heard many people express this of their relationship to a family of origin, as well as chosen family, community, workplace, social groups, etc. I wonder what we do to each other to make this phenomenon of “not fitting in” so pervasive.

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One comment to “A Second Dose Of Kool-Aid (25+5)”

  1. I think I am stunned by # 29.

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