The 25 Things About Me


This is a chain letter circulating around Facebook -this is my contribution. My soul has been bared. 

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.)

25 things about me

1.Imagination -my imagination tends to run amok. Ally MacBeal was a bit jarring to watch because on some levels, my brain works in a similar fashion.
2.Navel gazing -I am a chronic self examiner. Combined with number 3, blogging and Facebook suits me like swamp water does for a frog.
3.Exhibitionism -Yes. I am a bit of an exhibitionist,. Not in the trenchcoat with no pants way, but more in the need for getting everyone’s attention. But I have a purpose!
4.Food -Food, good food, obsesses me to the point that I have to force myself to view food as a bodily function and not the center of my day. Spam is the pearl of American food, by the way. I can be seduced with food. I prefer savory over sweet. 
5.Bloody mindedness -I have a masochistic streak. My personal motto was set at four, when I declared to my whiny cousin Eugene, “Namja neun ch’ah muh ya deh.” which loosely translates to “a man must persevere.” Stoicism appeals to me, even though I may unstoically complain of its absence. Once, out of boredom, I pulled out 5 of my remaining baby teeth at age 10.
6.I can’t talk about number 6. It involves the Plaza Hotel, the Harvard Club of Boston, Locke-Ober, The University Club, the Four Seasons of New York…There I said too much. They might be reading this.
7.Doing things from scratch -I enjoy creating things from elemental items. For a cucumber and tomato salad, I grew these items along with the chives and then became flustered over not being able to make the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and coarse pickling salt. I then contemplated making the bowl out of the clay from the deeper soil of the garden. The longer the process and the shorter the reward, the greater the appeal. I like to fish with flies that I’ve tied myself, and dream of catching fish in Central Park with just the items from a sewing kit from one of the hotels. 
8.Narcissism -I tend to personalize everything. You are me, and he is me, and we are me, and we are all together -isn’t how that song goes?
9.Golf -I play golf in my mind when I’m not thinking about myself or what I’m going to eat next. I’m a big baby.
10.Rules -I like structure insofar as it draws lines for me to cross, if I can.
11.Impatient -I am not terribly patient.
12.Grand Gestures -I am a bit of a primitive or a throwback in my love and appreciation of grand gestures. Think Taj Mahal or the Defenestration of Prague -actually scratch that last one. 
13.Mongols -Yes, I love anything Mongolian. I would love to live in a yurt with forty horses and my clan in tow going from pasture to pasture. 
14.Chimpanzees -I can sit and watch them all day for weeks on end if given the opportunity. Their inner workings are so mysterious.
15.Women -I can sit and watch them all day for weeks on end if given the opportunity. Their inner workings are so mysterious. 
16.Minorities -The Yakuts, the Kipchaks, the Tai Dam, the Hmong, the Hottentots, Parsis, everyone Stalin moved around, the Piraha, remnant hunter gatherers of the world, Central Asian Jews, the Celts, the list goes on and on. Fascinating stuff. 
17.The Encyclopaedia Brittanica -I used to read it obsessively.
18.Scouting -I was an avid cub scout, but made the mistake of not going beyond Webelos. The ethos of scouting has always been a part of my worldview. 
19.Fishing -I can usually catch fish. A good skill to have. 
20.The Next Thing -My To-Do list is a branchy, multiply bifurcating clade of the next shiny, neat thing to figure out or do. I enjoy constantly remaking my environment.
21.School -If I hit Powerball, I’m going back to school forever. 
22.Anchovies -I really enjoy the salty, super fishy flavor of anchovies on the side with a freshly made Caesar’s salad.
23.Writing -If I had to do it all over, I would have put more effort into writing and storytelling. 
24.Love -I am a believer in true, romantic love. The kind that gives you strength, perspective, and a clear vision.
25.Purgatory -If the Old Testament, hellfire Christians are correct, then the best I can expect is to be in a line with quadrillions of people ahead of me, a line that includes Gandhi, Socrates, the Buddha, the entire pre-Columbian Aztec nation, most everyone who has ever lived in Marin County, aborted fetuses (each wearing an original sin pin on a simple gray smock), spilled semen (reconstituted as hopping demi-beings with whiplike tails, wearing half a black tee shirt with Onan in globby white letters), and a couple of my high school teachers. We’re all waiting to get processed and sent down a large hole in the clouds. We entertain each other with stories about our lives. I’m surrounded by a couple of billion demi-people who claim some relationship to me…

The Circle of Life

img_1658As the man of the house, I do get asked to do things that my fairer partner is loathe to do. I am, after all, good for something. When we were living in New York, we had a mouse problem, and it fell to me to rid our apartment of it. I dispatched it after cornering it, and then whacking it with a curtain rod after J flushed it out. It’s entrails popped over the kitchen tiles, and of course, it was my job to then clean the mess up. So it was no surprise when J pointed this mess out to me with a “OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT!!!!!” From our kitchen window, it looked like a particularly large bird poop. 

Close up, it became apparent what it was -the remains of a rabbit snacked upon by one of the golden hawks that patrol our neighborhood. The rabbit fur was the giveaway, along with the pellets in the intestines and the grassy material in the gizzard. I first thought, is this bird poop -did a vulture poop out his dinner? But the small intestine underneath the dried pile were still pink and moist -pointing to a kill within 24 hours and undigested. I think the hawk either found road kill or took its time eating everything but the vegetables -which is what we were left with on our porch -actually more like grass and green leaf sausages.

Haruspicy was the art of reading the future by observing the entrails of sacrificed animals performed first by the Etruscans and then by their successors, the Romans. The haruspex would look at the lobulations of the liver of the sacrifice to determine the future. The hawk, of course, ate the tasty liver, and left us with only the intestines. My overall read -be grateful for your full stomach lest you be reminded with a nice meal of undercooked grass sausage.