Friday, December 19, 2008

A meme!

Haven't done one of these for ages. This one is nicked from the lovely Suse of Pea Soup, who nicked it from Knitters-Knitters.


Things you've already done: bold
Things you want to do: italicize
Things you haven't done and don't want to - leave in plain font

[For myself and everyone else over about 45 I am going to add a deeply poignant extra category: Things You Wish You'd Done but You Know in Your Heart That it's Too Late Now. These things will be underlined.]

1. Started your own blog.
Four, in fact, and was in on the birth of a fifth.

2. Slept under the stars.

3. Played in a band.
Keyboards, vocals.

4. Visited Hawaii.

5. Watched a meteor shower.

6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
Once, and for very specific reasons, much more. Weirdly, it did not make me feel good.

7. Been to Disneyland/world.

8. Climbed a mountain.
Well, I called it a mountain. My Austrian hosts said it was a gentle slope.

9. Held a praying mantis.

10. Sang a solo.
I'm assuming this implies 'in public'. I still remember the summer of 1976 when I got paid three times as much to sing in the University Union Bar, which I would have paid them to let me do, as I did to wash the dishes in the Iliad Restaurant, for which nobody could possibly be paid enough. Union rates in both cases.

11. Bungee jumped.

12. Visited Paris.
Ten days in 1983.

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch.
If playing the guitar counts.

15. Adopted a child.

16. Had food poisoning.

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty.

18. Grown your own vegetables.

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
As Suse said, where else would one see her, pray tell?

20. Slept on an overnight train.
Adelaide-Melbourne, Paris-Florence.

21. Had a pillow fight.

22. Hitch hiked.
In your dreams, oh naive meme writer. Don't the words 'Ivan Milat' or 'Christopher Worrall' mean anything to you?

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill.
Depends what you mean by 'ill'.

24. Built a snow fort.
With what, pray?

25. Held a lamb.

26. Gone skinny dipping.

27. Run a marathon.
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ... Mind you, I have the endurance for it. Just not the physique. But I would like to do it in another life.

28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.

29. Seen a total eclipse.

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.

31. Hit a home run.

32. Been on a cruise.
See #22, inserting the relevant names.

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors.
The birthplace of some of my ancestors is my own birthplace, but I also found the graves of Great-Aunt Jessie and her parents, my Scottish great-grandparents, inside/under a ruined church in the middle of the Aberfoyle cemetery near Stirling. Correction, they were found by the intrepid Dan Smith, who climbed over the barbed wire and bashed the bushes to get inside to look.

35. Seen an Amish community.

36. Taught yourself a new language.

I wonder whether high school French and German count. There's also a certain amount of Italian more or less by osmosis.

37.Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
Does the expression 'begging the question' mean anything to you? I have experienced true satisfaction on a number of occasions associated with various activities, but none of them had anything to do with money.

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.

39. Gone rock climbing.

40. Seen Michelangelo's David in person.

41. Sung Karaoke.
Given how much I know I'd enjoy this particular flavour of cheese, I can't quite believe I never have. But we live in hope.

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.

44. Visited Africa.

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.

46. Been transported in an ambulance.

47. Had your portrait painted.
Well, drawn.

48. Gone deep sea fishing.

49. Seen the Sistene chapel in person.
It's 'Sistine'. No.

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
No, and no desire to, but I could see it from the window of my hotel.

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkelling.

52. Kissed in the rain.

53. Played in the mud.

54. Gone to a drive-in theatre.

55. Been in a movie.
No, but my long-ex-husband has. That probably doesn't count, does it.

56. Visited the Great Wall of China.

57. Started a business.
Sort of.

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia.

60. Served at a soup kitchen.

61. Sold Girl Scout cookies.

62. Gone whale watching.
I assume we're allowed to count this one even if we didn't actually see any. I have particularly vivid memories of Stephanie on the beach at Middleton, chanting invocations to the whales to show themselves. 'Oh, vast beast ...'

63. Gotten flowers for no reason.
From my female friends. Somehow I just never clicked with the sorts of men who spontaneously give flowers. It's like that American academic who used to give conference papers dressed in a skirt made from the ties of her lovers. If that'd been me, I would have been at the mic in my knickers. Very few of the men in my past have even owned a tie.

64. Donated blood.
On and off for nearly 40 30 years [let's not pretend we're even older than we are, eh, typing fingers?]; who knows how many megalitres of vintage O Pos have flowed into those little plastic packs over the years? In abeyance at the moment though, not so much because of the actual process as the four pages of questionnaire you have to fill in every time you go, and the dim and snarky cows behind the desk.

65. Gone sky diving.

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
Uh, no thanks; pain and fear stay in the earth where they were generated and then rise like a miasma to engulf and choke you. I almost passed out on the site of the boarded-up well in my home town where a little kid fell to his death in 1937.

Besides, I've been to the Holocaust exhibition that was on at the Jewish Museum in Vienna in May 1999 and that will never leave me. Nor will the sight of the smoke-smeared walls of the synagogue torched in a medieval pogrom, discovered by accident when they were digging up the middle of the Judenplatz for the foundations of Rachel Whiteread's memorial.

67. Bounced a cheque.
No, but only because the bank honoured it and then fined me.

68. Flown in a helicopter.
But I would need enough warning to buy a packet of Kwells and take half of them first.

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy.
Toy, no. Book, yes.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.

71. Eaten Caviar.
Oh yes.

72. Pieced a quilt.
I started it in 1980 and still haven't finished it, but yes. All by hand, too.

73. Stood in Times Square.
But New York is below Louisiana, Nashville, Boston, Montreal and the Tex-Mex border on my list of must-visit North American places.

74. Toured the Everglades.
See #73.

75. Been fired from a job.
Don't ask.

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
No, but I've spent a number of happy hours in the Liberty shop. There's also lots of other London stuff I have yet to see.

77. Broken a bone.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
Been on, and come off.

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person.

80. Published a book.
Six if you count the anthologies, only two if you don't.

81. Visited the Vatican.

82. Bought a brand new car.
Two. Trust no-one.

83. Walked in Jerusalem.

84. Had your picture in the newspaper.

85. Read the entire Bible.

86. Visited the White House.

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.

88. Had chickenpox.

89. Saved someone’s life.

90. Sat on a jury.

91. Met someone famous.
A number of famous literary types. But no movie stars or anything. I was also very rude to John Cain once about a speech I'd just heard him give, but I'm not sure that counts as 'met'. (Or 'famous'.)

92. Joined a book club.

93. Lost a loved one.

94. Had a baby.

95. Seen the Alamo in person.

96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.

97. Been involved in a law suit.
I may be stretching a point here, calling an uncontested divorce a law suit.

98. Owned a cell phone.

99. Been stung by a bee.

If you're doing this meme it's interesting to read back over it when you're finished and see what you've italicised. I see nearly all of mine relate to travel. A chance would be a fine, fine thing.


Suse said...

I like the addition of the deeply poignant category. I've a few of those too.

I didn't see whales either, but I participated in the expedition, which is technically what is being asked. I also now have an enchanting vision of my esteemed professor chanting O' vast beast ... across the water.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I didn't think she'd mind. Stephanie, if you're reading this and you do mind, tell me and I'll take it out!

Fine said...

I can't believe you've never sung karaoke! And you're never too old to go sky-diving. It's a bit of a US centric list really, but interesting. A scary addition would be things you'd done, you really wish you hadn't.

Pavlov's Cat said...

Or things you wish you'd done differently.

Lefty E said...

Nice thread. And ...actually... you're among my fave persons in all blogdom, Pav. Sorry I misinterpreted your comments the other day on the freaky polarisation thread of doom!

Pavlov's Cat said...

Why, thank you, LE; we aim to please.

I think the freaky polarising thread of doom pushed a lot of people's weirder buttons, including mine. My 81-year-old father, who never ceases to astonish me, is someone I would have expected to come down hard on the side of Laura Norder, but he was quite critical and cynical about the shooting. Fathers, go figure.

Stephanie Trigg said...

But why, Pav? Why did the great beast not appear? When we wanted it so, and when I had dreamed about it for years... Sigh.

When I read the introductions to these long memes (99 things!), I think I'll never read through to the end, but I found this strangely entertaining, and not only for the fun of trying to work out which of the "yes" answers correlated to stories I know about you, and which were things you have not told me...

The Paradoxical Cat said...

Thanks for this - I've never done one of these before and I found it fascinating to answer, and then to leap around the net and compare other people's experiences (US-centric though the questions are).

Like you, I discovered that the italicised items related to the fact that I hadn't travelled to certain parts of the world.

Di said...

I went whale watching a couple of months ago near Warrnambool. Lots of people looking out to sea. We stayed, we watched,we froze. No bloomin whales showed up. Nice sunset but.

i.e. have seen sunset on a beach while watching out for whales.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact you've met, or at least sat at the same table as, Cate Blanchette, who surely counts as movie star, Pav. Niagara Falls and Lincoln Memorial a lot more impressive than you might think, but I guess I'm a bit UScentric myself, though I'd also recommend the leaning tower (but I actually climbed that one, and I'm with you on the not wanting to go to the top of anything - and therefore not with you on the helicopter - metaphorically or literally.

Pavlov's Cat said...

It is true about Our Cate. We barely exchanged a word, but we do share a birthday. I also found myself out to dinner in Sydney one night (at the Bayswater Brasserie if memory serves) in a party of diners that included Jack Thompson, who at the end of the meal ordered a bottle of some kind of evil black alcohol that had a most unfortunate effect. On me, I mean.

I bet Niagara Falls and the Lincoln Memorial are truly fab and amazing all right, but I harbour no special desire to see them partly because I'm not one of life's sightseers. I tend to have very precise travel aims -- the first time I left the country one of my two main goals was to go to Evensong at Kings College Cambridge and hear the famed choir, and the other was to see a particular sculpture in the Musée Rodin called 'The Eternal Idol.'

You're right, I can't see you enjoying a helicopter.

Pavlov's Cat said...

The Eternal Idol.

I love the angle of his neck, and the way she's hanging on to her toes.