Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A simple meme, for a simple man

I have been overwhelmed - work, the challenges of finding a new home for my sister and brother-in-law, a potential move, and financial challenges have had me bottled up for a while. But I needed a way to break the spiritual blogjam, and this challenge seemed the perfect entry. The instructions over at Black Pete (formerly Poor Mad Peter)'s Red Wine and Garlic were simple: share seven things about oneself that are relatively inconsequential. So here goes...

1) I have two sisters who are fraternal twins; as kids, we hardly looked like we belonged to the same family, but the resemblance is getting better.

2) I have a fascination with glass - blown, cut, colored but almost never painted. Emerald green, ruby red, cobalt blue, and clear cut crystal are my favorites; either rich deep color or the absence, I guess. Two of my favorite places in the world are the Corning Glass Museum in Corning, NY, and the Toledo Museum of Art's Glass Pavilion.

(The Glass Pavilion alone is worth a trip to Toledo, although you'd really miss out if you didn't go across the street to the Museum proper, or downtown for a Tony Packo's hotdog...)

3) I am fascinated with the work of Elbert Hubbard and the Roycrofters. My AA sponsor gave me a copy of A Message to Garcia (which I later gave back, like a fool) and Elbert Hubbard's Scrapbook, which is one of my more prized book possessions. I wish I could fully adopt the creed of the Roycrofters: A belief in working with the head, hand and heart and mixing enough play with the work so that every task is pleasurable and makes for health and happiness.

4) I never knew that I was given to jeremiads, but thanks to Black Pete, who made me look it up, I know I'm pretty good at 'em. Jeremiad (noun) - a prolonged lamentation or mournful complaint. [Origin: 1770–80; Jeremi(ah) + -ad, in reference to Jeremiah's Lamentations] (Thanks to

5) I also share a trait with Black Pete - I both very much enjoy cats, and am very much allergic to them. One gift given to me by my friend Ted (and a very lovely apple-headed Siamese of his) was overcoming my childhood fear of cats. One night Ted and I sat in blue armchairs in his living room, with a fire burning, just talking (as we are both wont to do). That Siamese just bounded into my lap, and with a blatant disregard for my discomfort, snuggled down between the chair's arm and my leg and began purring loudly. I never looked back. (It was preparation, I'm sure, for the procession of furry friends that my former wife brought into my life.)

6) Being a virtual employee (working from home, over the Internet) means that I have as many coworkers from Mumbai and Chennai (India) as I do in Lincolnshire and Chicago (Illinois). My most unusual location for a work day (at this job, anyway) was on December 28, 2007, when I spent 9 hours working in a coffee shop in Springfield, MO called The Mud House - a converted pottery studio. (I have been thinking I should do that at least every other week, just as a change of pace.)

7) I have seen one storyteller's performance that I have not heard. I wish I could remember the fellow's name, but he was a storyteller who was deaf, and who performed all his stories in American Sign Language (ASL). I saw him at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, TN back twenty-some years ago. If I remember right, his "interpreter for the ASL-impaired" was John Basinger. It took some forceful reminders to look at the storyteller, and not at his "speaking" interpreter - but it was a fascinating experience. (That was also the year that I was first introduced to the stories and songs of John McCutcheon, if I remember rightly.)

More thoughts that are mulling...
- the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat in Beijing
- bellwether changes
- how many books do you need - really?
- revisiting a Labor Day tradition, after 20 years

I'll try not to make it a month till the next post....


Black Pete said...

Welcome back, Steve man.

wilsonian said...

Next time you make the pilgrimage to Corning, let me know... I'll meet you there :)

Michael said...

I have read that cats assert dominance by staring at other cats. One result is that cats feel less threatened when they are not being looked at, and so they often go to the one person in a group who doesn't like cats and is trying to ignore them. Funny how God works, huh?

I am a cat person, but lately Sundance has been driving me crazy. When I get into bed to settle down and read at night, she has to come rub up against the book or even put herself between the book and my face.

I once attended a Mass for a deaf group, and seeting them sign the responses was like watching a hand ballet. Beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I thinks it's great that you shared some neat things about yourself.
To relate, I also like the color brown (as you said you particularly love that color glass). Neat about the glass thing.
I also am/was a cat person. During my childhood, we had 3. Currently, however, I have my own puppy. In general, I love them both.

Amy :)

Anonymous said...

was it peter cook?