Class of: 1984

Class size: 780 or so? Starting nearer 1000

Did you know your spouse?: I can exactly quote Village Charm on this: "This is going to knock your socks off, but I am unmarried."

Did you car pool? Um, no. Rode my bike or took public transportation (that is, a bus)

What kind of car did you have? I did not have a car until I was 25 or so. For at least a couple of years during high school we did not have a car at all, which no one could believe.

It's FRIDAY night where are you going? Friday nights... often sleepovers with friends that involved going down to Belmont Avenue in Chicago, or to Wax Trax, or to underage shows, or just hanging out and drinking underage.

What kind of job did you have? I worked at the public library shelving books, and also at Northwestern University, shelving books.

Were you a party animal? Eh, no. I did go to some big parties with what would now be known as hipster students, where live ska was played, there were kegs (one, I remember involved a nighttime chase after a hijacked keg, ending up at an obscure park), etc. And I went to a couple of cast parties (as well as throwing one BY ACCIDENT) including one hosted by John Cusack. I was impressed that he (that is, his liberal parents) had a big poster from the 1982 Nuclear Freeze March in NYC, which I had organized a minivan of student activists to go to, from Evanston, Illinois.

Were you considered a jock? You kid. I DID, after getting bronchitis, pleurisy, and pneumonia all in a row for a few months of senior year, have to take THREE GYM CLASSES A DAY in order to graduate -- one before school, one during, and one after. Fun times.

Were you in choir/band? Oh, so many. Not band. I don't play anything. But I was simultaneously in Chorale, Choir, and Choristers, the latter of which met before school. Also a Madrigal choir and a Gospel Ensemble, briefly, as the only white, only atheist member.

Were you a nerd? I guess? I was definitely one of the arrogant smart kids who butted heads with teachers she didn't respect and only did the work she enjoyed -- which was quite a lot of it.

Did you get suspended? No. I drove the administration crazy and they hated me for loud politics and activism, but they couldn't get me for breaking any rules.

Can you sing the fight/school song? I can. When I TAd for one of the worst right wing assholes at the University of Missouri, in grad school, Haskell Monroe made anyone who was late to his (7 AM) lectures stand up and sing their high school fight song. I was perversely pleased that I would have been able to do that. "ETHS/We will fight for you/For the right to do/Anything for you/We will cheer and we will win the game/We will bring you fame/Rah! Rah! Rah! Rah!/Orange and the blue we'll proudly wear/May your banners e'er FLY/Victory comes while we sing/Many trophies we will bring/So fight! Fight! Fight, fight, FIGHT!/We will win the game for Evanston HiiiiiiGH!" Your life is better now. It could only improve if I had sound in this entry. I'm pretty sure there's an 80 year old on YouTube singing it, if you're really curious.

Where did you eat? There were four cafeterias in that giant high school, named by the directions and also with names of I don't know, boring former Superintendents. I ate in South, aka Bacon, aka the Burnout Cafeteria, not that I smoked, or was particularly successful at getting high. Bagged lunches from home.

Where was high school? Evanston, Illinois, "the City Suburb"

What was your school mascot? A Wildkit -- get it? A BABY Wildcat, like Northwestern. If only we'd taken their classy purple and white colors too, instead of pumpkin orange and navy blue.

If you could go back and do it over? I liked high school a lot, actually, though I was more arrogant then than I am now. I was a crazy manic socialist activist, and that was fun.

Do you still talk to the person you went to prom with? I could not even imagine going to Prom. Bizarroworld.

Are you planning on going to the next reunion? Good god, no, never.

Are you still in contact with people from high school? Yeah, actually, probably more people from high school than I am from college.

Did you skip school? I skipped a LOT of high school. A LOT. I had my parents' signatures down cold, good enough that I could have kited many a check. Make-up work was easy, there were no draconic policies about some maximum number of absences you could have, etc.

Do you know where your high school sweetheart is? Facebook for the win -- we had a traumatic break up and he hated me for years (like, cross the street to avoid me hate) but we got back in touch several years ago and are now quite close friends who chat a lot and often watch shows simultaneously on our devices and text during them -- Boardwalk Empire, Mad Men, The Get Down... and movies.

What was your favorite subject? I always loved my French classes, even though two of the teachers were absolute asses. And I loved my history classes, especially Freshman Humanities with a teacher I adored and crushed on who became a real friend and who gave me a graduation card with my favorite Marx quote on it "Philosophers have only interpreted the world; the point is to change it." He called himself a Marxist of the heart and I puzzled over that a long time before realizing it meant liberal. Oh, and my US History AP class was excellent, too. I got to make a Document Based Question on the Haymarket Martyrs, among other things.

Do you still have your High School ring? I got one of those Jostyns rings, with an amethyst, even though I was firmly chastized by a fellow Red Diaper Baby for how trite and bourgie that was. Jerk. But then I lost it somewhere within a year.

Do you still have your year-books? I do have my yearbooks, though I never look at them. The only interesting bit is a focus piece on me as a Freshman, reading Against the Current, which profiled me as a socialist. Lest that seem lefty of the yearbook staff, the next page had a profile of a friend of mine as a knife collector.
maeve66: (Read Motherfucking Books All Damn Day)
I think the image above sort of sums up 2013 for me -- I made it my goal to read 365 books this year, via Goodreads (whose purchase by Amazon has not so far much changed it, as far as I can tell). I read (as of today, the last day of 2013) 440. I would like to have made it an even hundred over, but I cannot read twenty-five books today.

Anyway, I will deal with All the Topics, IN THIS ONE POST. That wasn't the point of the meme, at all, but having topics I promised to write about is starting to make me feel guilty, and guilt is a feeling I loathe.

Portal Fantasy: I had to ask what this was, but since [personal profile] sabotabby kindly told me, I get it. I read the Narnia books at about the normal age for them, and I guess either they or the Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland were the first portal fantasies I encountered. Hm. It's interesting. I would think that my reaction would be positive, but in fact, when I think about reading these, except for the Wizard of Oz, I had problems. I did not like Alice in Wonderland. It was too trippy, I think, and I couldn't get much of a sense of the main character, Alice. I've never been comfortable with that story. And Narnia just pissed me off as soon as I figured out what Aslan stood for. I remember viscerally the rage I felt while reading the stone table sacrificial (crucifixion) scene, at how blatantly the reader's emotions were being manipulated for religious purposes. Why was The Wizard of Oz different for me? Huh. I appreciated the American fairy-taleness of it? It's very rooted in Americana -- all of the books of the series are. I think the one I like best is actually the one where Dorothy gets swept overboard while she and her uncle and aunt are on their way to Australia, and Dorothy ends up in a hen coop, with a talking hen whom she names Billina (actually, the hen may have been named that by some earlier child owner... there was a whole discussion about the confusing gender implications of sexing chicks and of names) -- the moment when the hen begins to talk is when Dorothy realizes she's in that other world again, though not precisely in Oz. It's a shipwreck fantasy AND a portal fantasy, and I like those both. I went to Goodreads and found a list of portal fantasies to see other examples, and it included the Harry Potter books, which I wasn't sure about, because the two worlds seem to overlap somewhat. But I like those books -- not as much as I like Diana Wynne Jones' various series, but well enough. I guess my verdict is: portal fantasies -- yes, good. Time portal fantasies -- where a character somehow falls through time to real history -- possibly better.

YAF > regular F: That is, the advantages of young adult fiction over regular fiction, or adult fiction. You know, I am not sure, except that it's easier, and more enjoyable. There is usually less to wrestle with in terms of ambivalent characters and wretchedness. It tends to be reassuring in the way that mysteries are reassuring -- most things will come out well, plots will tie up neatly. It can be formulaic (also reassuring) but not as formulaic as romances. Except for a subset of YAF that deals with tragedy (including John Green, who does this well) it tends not to confront the reader with aging or mortality. When contrasted with literary fiction, it is not as preeningly self-aware of the use of language, though some YAF writers enjoy playing with language. I'm not a fan of the YAF novels-in-poem form (Karen Hesse), but they exist. YAF, which really only goes back to the 19th century, is a good primary source document of its times, and is interesting in that sense -- I mean, YAF as a primary source is obviously also propagandistic; it can't help but be, but that itself is interesting. I know that [personal profile] toastykitten and I have thought about that aspect before with regard to the Anne of Green Gables books -- her Anne book set during WW I is overstuffed with pro-war propaganda. She even has a very thinly disguised version of "In Flanders Fields" written by one of her characters instead of John McCrae, also a Canadian. ANYWAY, whatever the advantages are, I really like young adult fiction, full stop.

Favorite YAF novels and/or Funniest Things Kids Say or Do: Hmmm. The former question is too huge. I wrote a month's worth on my favorite novels and authors a few years ago. But a random handful of authors: Laurence Yep, especially his Golden Mountain chronicles, which go from the 1840s in China to the present in the USA. Really, really good. Carolyn Mackler -- contemporary young women. Michelle Magorian -- writes exclusively about WWII and its aftermath (early 1950s) on the home front in Britain. Ellen Klages -- only has two YAF books out, but they're both great; about the Los Alamos project and its aftermath, from the perspective of two middle-school age girls whose parents worked on the atomic bomb. Karen Cushman -- mostly great girl-centric historical fiction set in the Middle Ages, but also a good Cold War book about McCarthyism called The Loud Silence of Francine Green. Trudy Krisher -- a few historical YAF books, one very good on the Civil Rights era -- Spite Fences and one contemporary Southern, Kinship, and one set during McCarthyism that I haven't read yet, but which looks really good called Fallout. Gah, obviously I could write about this stuff for a long, long, long time and not get bored of it.

As for the what kids say stuff... I don't know. Middle School students -- especially 7th graders -- aren't founts of hilarity. They're all so concerned with their social standing vis-à-vis each other. Ugh. 6th graders are a little better as far as saying things unselfconsciously. One of my fairly interesting sixth graders asked me in a sort of probing way something about believing in god. Most of my students ask that only if they get a horrified sense that I might not -- it's a locale with a LOT of Christian families and some Mormons, too, though there is a leavening of Buddhists from Southeast Asia. This kid was clearly testing for some atheist solidarity, which has happened a few times over the years, and which I always enjoy, though quietly. It's not worth it to make atheist waves in my district. Okay, so that's not a funny thing a kid said. I can't think of any right now. Kids are enjoyable, though. This year (see: Year of Books) seems to be one where more of my students react positively to reading. There are a fair number of kids doing Scholastic Book orders, and kids participate in some of the internet-reading-tracking schemes I've got going, and they read the comments I put on their Weekly Reading Logs, and then come show me the books they're reading, many with the hope that I will read them too. Which I well may. One girl is very adamant that I read the results of Chris Colfer's newest career, some series of portal fantasies, the first of which is called (I think) The Land of Stories. Dude is a Renaissance Man.

1980s Central America Solidarity movement: Which of these things is not like the others? [profile] johnbcannon, I cannot write about that right now in one entry with all the other things here! I will try to write about it, because it's an interesting topic. Next year.

Oakland -- cool and cheap: You know, when I moved to Oakland, in October of 1998, I did NOT feel at home. This is not really my preferred coast, if I am choosing between coasts. But this was where I knew my sister would be reproducing, and I wanted to be involved in that as an auntie. It took me at least three years to grow some roots here in the Bay Area, and it was a slow, difficult process. Now I do love Oakland -- it is urban in a way I like; it has different neighborhoods with their own personalities, it has beautiful perspectives from the hills, and it is funky and real. It is also a manageable size, and it is not too into itself (unlike San Francisco). I used to be able to say it had good rents, but that is not true any more, except when compared to San Francisco.

The first things I discovered that I really liked, on my own, that are Oakland/East Bay, and are cool and also practical (aka cheap or free): San Pablo Avenue. I have a car (though I didn't for the first five years, and the 72 L bus goes up San Pab) and driving up San Pablo is still a lot of fun. My students used to tell me that it was the main drag for prostitution, around MacArthur and thereabouts, but that whole area has been pretty gentrified... 40th and San Pablo is the beginning of Emeryville and a lot of consumer products and Mall stuff. Probably not very cool, but sometimes necessary. Driving north on San Pablo (at least I think it's North; I still get very, very confused about directions here) you go through a cute couple of blocks that have tchotchke stores (I think the Sino-Antiques shop where I got my Little Red Book Mao Girl is gone, though, sigh) and Good Vibrations, always an enjoyable stop. And some cafes. A few more blocks and you're at University, which is the main Indian store area of Berkeley. Good restaurants and sari shops and Indian groceries. One of the main purveyors of Bollywood music and DVDs has sadly just closed and reopened as a 7-11, ugh. The Freight & Salvage folk music venue used to be just off San Pablo a few blocks south of University, but it has moved to downtown Berkeley, ugh.

Still in that general area, one of the coolest (and free) things in the East Bay is the Albany Bulb, which is a jutting mini-peninsula just north of Golden Gate Fields (a gorgeous horsetrack, well worth visiting on its own -- there are dollar Sundays). This vacant land was where all the detritus from the last major earthquake was dumped -- all the collapsed freeway parts and rebar and cement. And nature and anarchists reclaimed it and made it into a fennel-covered art park. It's eerily beautiful and the smell of fennel in season is great and there are wildflowers everywhere and sculpture parks and so on. There are several paths, but you can feel like you might get lost, too. I wonder if there is an online guide? Well, it has its own Wikipedia entry.

You've already discovered the Paramount Theater and you live right by Lake Merritt, so I don't need to say anything about those. I like the homely and dilapidated elegance of the Grand Lake Theater (and also its opinionated marquee) a great deal. I haven't been to the new version of the Parkway pub-cinema, but its predecessor was a good place to watch third run movies and drink beer while sitting on couches. The branch libraries each have ambiances of their own: Rockridge's is hella new and pretty, and is on College Avenue, a chi-chi shopping district with a cafe specializing in hot chocolate -- Bittersweet. And a good independent bookstore right next door, Diesel Books. The 51 bus route goes up Broadway to College to University, though I think now you have to change at the Rockridge BART.

I will keep thinking about this topic, because Oakland and the East Bay ARE pretty great. The Oakland Museum is quite good -- I didn't used to think so, but it's been redone.

Okay -- now I can end 2013 without feeling like I have shirked a self-imposed responsibility.
maeve66: (aqua tea icon)
Hahahaha. Let's see. It was my... (depending if you count my credentialing classes, which I am not intending to) 22nd year in school -- three years getting my MA, and three years to ABD, hurrah. It was good. I got to be an Instructor, so I had 100 undergraduates hanging on my every lectured word twice a week, and I was all experimenting with pre-Power Point technology; I'd made hundreds of gorgeous transparencies of primary source photos and graphics, and I put them up as I lectured -- the second half of the American History Survey class, from Reconstruction to the Present (I actually got to Reagan, which was my goal; I was very, very proud. Surveys never get that far.) I actually brought the class to tears in my Triangle Shirtwaist Fire lecture. And I worked in more about the life and times of the Communist Party than you'd ever imagine in a regular US History Survey class, ha.
maeve66: (Hiroshige lady)
... a celebrity I don't enjoy? That would be most of them. Another teenage topic, I swan.

Let's see. I wanted to succeed in going to my grave without knowing what Justin Bieber looked like, but I think I failed to reach that goal, if only because of the semi-Bieber themed Glee episode. I don't enjoy the Hilton-Kardashian-Windsor famous because they're rich or royal celebrities. I don't enjoy most political celebrities. I don't really enjoy celebrity is the truth, I think. I like people who are famous for doing something well, who nonetheless seem like they MIGHT be kind of regular if given a chance. Or people I can IMAGINE are like that, like, e.g. John Cusack, Stephen Rea, that guy who always stars in John Sayles movies, and played an excellent Wobbly. I like scientist celebrities, like Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Stephen J. Gould, Lewis Thomas, Marie Curie. And I like left wing political or historical celebrities, like most revolutionaries.

Which reminds me, I need to have a list of African-Americans that I come up with myself to talk about each day of February in my social studies class, though we are studying medieval Japan right now. But that was the mandate from the office, today. I guess I like being given free rein to bring in whomever *I* want to talk about. Okay, the first few are done; I will work on the rest this weekend.

Feb. 1 -- Olaudah Equiano -- Enslaved Nigerian, worked in American colonies, wrote first recognized slave autobiography which became crucial propaganda in the abolitionist movement in Britain, The Interesting Narrative of the Life of Olaudah Equiano, or Gustavus Vassa, the African [1745-1797]
Feb. 2 -- Crispus Attucks [1723-1770]
Feb. 3 -- Phyllis Wheatley [1753-1784]

Feb. 6 -- Nat Turner [1800-1831]
Feb. 7 -- Mary Jane Seacole [1805-1881] (thanks, [personal profile] springheel_jack!
Feb. 8 -- Joseph Cinque [1814-1879]
Feb. 9 -- Frederick Douglass [1818-1895]
Feb. 10 -- Madam C. J. Walker [1867-1919]

Feb. 14 -- W. E. B. DuBois [1868-1963]
Feb. 15 -- Zora Neale Hurston [1891-1960]
Feb. 16 -- Bessie Coleman [1892-1926]
Feb. 17 -- Langston Hughes [1902-1967]

Feb. 21 -- Josephine Baker [1906-1975]
Feb. 22 -- Fannie Lou Hamer [1917-1977]
Feb. 23 -- Lorraine Hansberry [1930-1965]
Feb. 24 -- Hank Aaron [1934- ]
Feb. 25 -- Angela Davis [1944- ]

Feb. 28 -- Octavia Butler [1947-2006]
Feb. 29 -- Little Bobby Hutton [1950-1968]

Now I have to go grab a bunch of Hiroshige images and put them in iPhoto and then on a flash drive, to show as a slideshow tomorrow in class.
maeve66: (black and white tea)
Day 12 -- What's in my bag, in great detail.

Yeah. I carry a shoulder bag -- the kind that is called a messenger bag, I think? I have had this preference since middle school, and I wish I still had the cheap vinyl one I had then -- it was a cheerful red plastic/vinyl plaid. Unfortunately, these bags are not brilliantly constructed and strong, so they never last as long as I would like.

The ones I have now (I use one until it is on the edge of collapse, and then trade for the other and try to repair the first, then switch again, eventually) I got at Cost Plus, or whatever it's called now. World Market. There was a stand with five different colors and I couldn't decide so I got two. I wish I'd gotten all five. I REALLY wish I'd gotten all five. Here they are:

I do not like purses, generally.

In my bag: keys, wallet, iPod, nice earphones for the iPod and phone hands-free device in a little case, checkbook, with no checks, in a nice interlace-pattern tooled leather holder, lanyard with school ID and school keys, large comb, hair barrette with cloth flower on it, plastic film canister which I put my morning's pills in because I never manage to eat breakfast before leaving for work, and I can't take them until I've eaten, a black mesh bag which contains all the little sundry items like pens and pencils (MANY), eyeglass cleaner and cloths, ibuprofin, lip balm, pencil leads, nail files, etc. You may suspect my motto is 'be prepared'... and finally, my iPad. Occasionally I also try to stuff in my journal, which is bulky and heavy, and a wireless keyboard, which is really an inch or two too long for the bag.

Day 13 -- what was this one? My week in great detail? God, also pretty damn dull. Do I even recall it well enough?

Monday -- the weekend seemed too short. I got to work at 7:15 or thereabouts, stopping at Starbucks on the way, because I couldn't deal with making breakfast and getting to work early enough. My lesson plans and the copies I needed were on my front desk, ready to go, and I had time to change the "Whiteboard Configuration" so it was accurate for the day. I taught Math -- problem solving methods -- and then did the first laboratory experiment ever with my science classes -- a "Senses Lab" where there were five stations, three with blindfolds.

At the hearing station, a group of four students plugged into the listening stations and listened to 10 recorded sounds on a CD, writing down what they could identify. Apparently many of them confused a coyote's howl with a woman screaming or moaning. At the tasting station, they put on blindfolds and took one piece out of four different bags, tasting it (eating it, really) and writing down what they thought it was, and whether it was bitter, salt, sweet, or sour. The tastes were: pretzel, bitter chocolate, dill pickle, and skittles (a candy... it's kind of a sour candy, so I think we could have done better on sweet). A couple of kids told me about allergies to chocolate in time, thank god. At the touch station, they were again blindfolded and felt four objects concealed in paper bags -- a golf ball, a pinecone, sandpaper, and cotton balls. At the smelling station, same thing, blindfolds, then coffee, peppermint, garlic, and ... god, what was the fourth smell? Lavender, maybe. And the vision station, which was nonsense, I'm afraid. I had nothing to do with that. It was a little picture with hidden drawings in it, like from a bland children's magazine.

If I'd had time to plan that, I might have wanted some of those optical illusion illustrations -- not only the ones where you misjudge the length of what you're looking at or whatever, but the kind that have hidden pictures in the color backgrounds that you can only see if you unfocus your eyes. Anyway, I'd been terrified about classroom management during this lab, but it went fairly well, at least for the 4th period class. My 5th period science class has 37 students. That was harder. Then, more Math. I stayed at work planning and venting and destressing and making copies and organizing stuff. For a very long time.

Tuesday, same program, with the one science class that hadn't had the lab yet. Notes from the science book with the other two classes. More problem solving with the Math classes.

Wednesday -- our 'minimum day', wherein students' classes are shortened to 32 minutes, and they leave at 12:18. We then get lunch and then have time for common planning meetings. And other, less useful meetings. On this Wednesday, we took down the Senses Lab and set up the next one -- two in one week, god, I hope that's not common! Then we talked about how we were going to grade the labs, and what we should be starting on after the problem solving mini-unit in Math.

Thursday -- again early, but today there was mass computer based testing. That is, for my classes, these tests were Thursday and Friday, for Math. For science, we did the lab we'd set up Wednesday afternoon. This next lab was one on practicing observation skills and measurement of time and motion. We set up physics stands, a ramp, and a stage. For the lab, one student counted off seconds "zero one-thousand, one one-thousand, two one-thousand..." and another let a wooden car start rolling down the ramp the moment he or she heard 'zero'. A third student marked on tape below the rolling car where it got to at 'one', 'two', and 'three' -- or more, depending. Then they measured the intervals in centimeters to try to determine whether the car went faster as it went downhill.

Friday -- finished up the computer-based testing. Discussed what scientists students have already heard of (not many) and talked about scientific facts, laws, and theories. Did some housekeeping stuff related to grading. Stayed late and organized, planned like mad for Monday and Tuesday, made copies.

There. That's pretty damn dull. Did anything NOT teaching related happen this past week? I ate dinner at my sister's on the way home on Thursday, on the spur of the moment. I was so hungry and I knew I'd just stop for fast food, because I couldn't deal with the thought of cooking. But my mom called and offered to feed me their leftover table scraps. Not really. Their leftovers, though, yes. It was good -- something T. cobbled together from his perusal of cooking sites on the internet. Sort of a stir fry: frozen veggies from Trader Joe's, frozen small shrimp, also Trader Joe's, quinoa, garlic and other herbs and spices, some oil, some fresh greens, I think. And soy sauce. My mom described it as comfort food. It was.

God, I think I am caught up, more or less.
maeve66: (some books)
Like [ profile] springheel_jack, I am doing this from memory, by guess, and by, um... golly.

1) What author do you own the most books by?

Hahahaha... I think I should start as I will have to go on. Not Marx, though I have quite a few by Marx. But the most titles? Probably L. M. Montgomery, followed by Elizabeth Peters and the Mormon Murderess, Anne Perry.

2) What book do you own the most copies of?

I also own several copies of the Communist Manifesto, and several copies of Alexandra Kollontai's Love of Worker Bees and for some reason several copies of Marge Piercy's He, She, and It. Hm. And at least two or three copies of Neal Stephenson's Diamond Age.

and the rest of this long thing is behind the cut... )
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags?

beautiful wrapping paper and shiny, shiny curling ribbon!

2. Real tree or Artificial?

I am going to channel my grandmother here, and say "I don't understand the preference for artificial trees"... though nowadays people will make an environmental argument, and in the past, I don't know what it was. My great-aunt had one of those aluminum trees. It was silver, or white. It scared me.

3. When do you put up the tree?

I haven't ever had a full sized Xmas tree of my own... two years ago I got a little one in a pot, which was nice. My sister puts hers up the first week -- we decorated it last night, in fact, and my brother-in-law gave me shit for throwing marxist materialism out the window for December. I don't see how I do that: it's not like I believe in the baby Jesus or Santa Claus. I just like all the gaudy trimmings, quite literally.

4. When do you take the tree down?

I guess my sister does it right after New Year's. My mother has been known to leave hers up for QUITE A WHILE.

5. Do you like eggnog? I like the IDEA of eggnog, and I like eggnog liberally dosed with brandy or rum. By itself, not so much.

6. Favorite gift received as a child?

Oddly, I think my favorite gift as a child was a particular teen-aged barbie doll where when you circled her arm around, she got taller, her hair "grew" long, and she developed a bosom. I loved that thing. My sister got a blond one, and I got a brown-haired one. I have never been able to find even a NON-functioning one of these on eBay, though there are entire landfills full of pristine, NIB Sunshine Family Dolls. Which I love, don't get me wrong.

7. Hardest person to buy for?

I think my sister is the hardest person for me to find a gift for, followed closely by my brother-in-law. Sorry, y'all, but it's true. What do you want?

8. Easiest person to buy for?

Buying presents for my mom is a no-brainer. She likes anything I like. It's super easy to buy for M., too, and apparently despite being really broken up this time, we are still going to exchange Xmas presents this year. I wasn't assuming that, but he sounded alarmed when I asked, having already got me thing(s), apparently.

9. Do you have a Nativity scene?

Ha ha, no.

10. Mail or email Christmas cards?

E-mail Xmas cards? What the hell is that? Jesus (not the baby Jesus) I have a hard enough time buying them and not making them by hand. My niece looked at me sadly when she heard me say I might buy them last year. She is a total convert to my family's credo that "if it's not handmade, it's not love. Or art."

From a couple of years ago:


11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received?

I used to get some very odd shampoos in bottles shaped like women in antebellum hoopskirts.

12. Favorite Christmas Movie?

I feel like this is utter cliché, but I adore both A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life.

13. When do you start shopping for Christmas?

Later, rather than earlier. Not quite as late as my dad, who tries to cram in a trip to the Barnes & Noble on Christmas Eve. But pretty late.

14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present?


15. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas?

Xmas cookies that are frosted and decorated...

16. Lights on the tree?

As gaudily colorful as possible, all the colors of the rainbow, more than are "necessary", and a mix of the new cool bigger ones and the cheap-assed old tiny ones. Never the kind that go off and on and induce seizures.

17. Favorite Christmas song?

Hm. "Children Go Where I Send Thee" by the Kingston Trio. Every other Xmas song by the Kingston Trio. "Good King Wenceslas"

18. Travel at Christmas or stay at home?

Virtually always back to Chicago.

19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's?

I guess so.

20. Angel on the tree top or a star?

Star, though I did make an Xmas card one year with a hammer-and-sickle on top of the drawn tree. Angels make me ill. See above, for the imaginary hammer-and-sickle tree-topper.

21. Open the presents Christmas Eve or morning?

Xmas morning

22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year?

Um, nothing at all?

23. What theme or color are you using?

I hate color themes; they make me ill. I like gaudy and mismatched trees.

24. Favorite for Christmas dinner?

My family doesn't do Christmas dinner, really. We gather at my dad's on Xmas Eve and eat lots of good cheese and crackers and cookies and sandwich stuff and drink eggnog with alcohol and play board games and have one or both of the referenced films on in the background. But otherwise... sometimes we get fresh bagels on Xmas morning.

25. What do you want for Christmas this year?

Okay, now I get boring. What I want for Xmas is a bunch of Borders and Barnes & Noble gift cards. Seriously, there's pretty much nothing else I want. I will love whatever my nieces give me, and whatever books or CDs M. gives me.

26. Who is most likely to respond to this?

What does "respond to this" mean? Comment on it? Why would anyone, necessarily? Although anyone is welcome to! Adopt it as a meme? Huh. Possibly [ profile] florence_craye might, I don't know. Or maybe [ profile] john_b_cannon? I don't know, y'all, surprise me! [ profile] mistersmearcase won't because he hates all this crap, which is fair enough.

27. Who is least likely to respond to this?

I don't know.

26. Favorite Christmas Tradition?

I am ridiculously in love with Xmas traditions, though none of them are that important by themselves. But everything I've written here -- from decorating the tree at my sister's, and my mother's, to listening to carols, to making cookies and Xmas cards, to wrapping presents... I like all of it enormously.
So I did a meme for a second.

Your result for What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test...

Traditional, Vibrant, and Tasteful

21 Islamic, 14 Impressionist, 16 Ukiyo-e, -12 Cubist, -21 Abstract and -1 Renaissance!

Islamic art is developed from many sources: Roman, Early Christian, and Byzantine styles were taken over in early Islamic architecture; the architecture and decorative art of pre-Islamic Persia was of paramount significance; Central Asian styles were brought in with various nomadic incursions; and Chinese influences . Islamic art uses many geometical floral or vegetable designs in a repetitive pattern known as arabesque. It is used to symbolize the transcendent, indivisible and infinite nature of Allah.

People that like Islamic art tend to be more traditional people that appreciate keeping patterns that they learned and experienced from their past. It is not to say that they are not innovative personalities, they just do not like to let go of their roots. They like to put new ideas into details and make certain that they will work before sharing them with others. Failure is not something they like to think about because they are more interested in being successful and appreciated for their intelligence. These people can also be or like elaborate things in their life as long as they are tasteful. They tend to prefer geometric patterns and vibrant colors.

Take What Your Taste in Art Says About You Test at HelloQuizzy

Haiku2 for maeve66
i took a deep breath
and decided to do with
either the struggle
Created by Grahame

Meme too

Jul. 8th, 2008 09:38 pm
From [ profile] mudpriestess and [ profile] winterhart534 and yes, lj cut for your convenience )
maeve66: (some books)
Sure, why not, a book meme. The 106 least read books on LibraryThing, whatever that is. Uh, I have bolded the ones I've read entirely, underlined the ones I read in or for school, and italicized the ones I started but did not finish. Most of the ones that I've left unchanged, because unread? I never intend to read those books. Same with most of the ones that are italicized for being unfinished. I never intend to finish any of them, except Moby Dick. Some day I will finish that. I respect and admire Melville. Most of the ones I didn't finish, I quit within a page or two. I think of myself as never, or very rarely leaving books unfinished, but apparently an early termination is okay with me, especially if it's long and pretentious.

106 Books )
Four Things (Do I have to LJ cut this? Maybe not.)

1. Four jobs that I have had in my lifetime:

* cleaner of the Kay Campbell's dress store
* assistant at the Craft Studio, including laying all the chemicals for photo developing
* writing tutor at a college writing center
* translator and editor for a far-left international newsmagazine, now sadly only available online.

2. Four movies I would watch over and over:

* Bunty Aur Babli
* Reds
* My Beautiful Laundrette
* Kuch Naa Kaho

Read more... )
I've thought about doing this for ages. It's pretty funny. Neil Sedaka? The only one I think is reasonable (and also funny, because I *totally* had a crush on her, as a Russian woman astronaut in the 1970s, when I was in middle school. I think I did a report on her. I'm sure I believed she must be a Communist, and hopefully a socialist feminist... also, what a great name:) is Valentina Tereshkova. Anyway, [ profile] springheel_jack, this is your fault, that I finally caved. I got THREE guys, by the bye, in my possible matches. Am I that fucking androgynous?

MyHeritage: Family tree - Genealogy - Celeb - Collage - Morph

On the twelfth day of Christmas, maeve66 sent to me...
Twelve museums swimming
Eleven plays writing
Ten dykes a-doodling
Nine cafes cooking
Eight wobblies a-singing
Seven cats a-teaching
Six linguistics a-drawing
Five chi-i-i-ild ballads
Four sherlock holmes
Three ethical sluts
Two party names
...and a farsi in an american history.
Get your own Twelve Days:

I hate when I lose a lot of stuff I typed and I can't restore it. Hardly ever happens, but.

Okay. What had I written? First, that this meme seems very similar to the one I got last year, except that since then I added Farsi as an interest (also Hindi and Urdu and Arabic, I believe). Second, that those languages, especially Farsi and Arabic remind me that I learned something this Thanksgiving break: I was writing my niece Ruby and making a nonsense rhyme of her name -- Ruby-Rubaiyyat, and realized that I had no idea what that actually meant: I think I have always erroneously associated it with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, that opium-addled poet, and his Xanadu, where Kublai Khan a stately pleasure dome did decree.

Turns out a rubaiyyat is just a four-line stanza and poetic form common to Arabic and Farsi literature, with the rhyme scheme AABA, and sometimes the interlocking form AABA, BBCB, CCDC. I had no idea. I also didn't know that Robert Frost's "Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening" was a rubaiyyat, but it is. Look:

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound's the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Anyway, I wrote both my nieces little rubaiyyats, utter doggerel, of course. But it was fun.
But I prefer it to the personality quiz that is making the rounds. On that quiz, I basically score as hella balanced and BORING. Bo-ring. I've suppressed the hideous image that goes with this quiz, if that worked right. I hate tables in html.

Language Scholar

You scored a 310 out of 400 on language knowledge.

Outstanding! You've scored higher than even most Anthropology students would. You are probably a Linguistics or Anthropology Professor yourself (or at least a Grad student). You may even speak several languages and are possibly working on a new one. If not, then you just have an endless drive to learn about the different cultures of our world. Regardless, you are one of the gems of any society, always promoting a deeper understanding amongst all people. Unless you cheated of course.

My test tracked 1 variable How you compared to other people your age and gender:
free online datingfree online dating
You scored higher than 85% on knowledge

Link: The World Languages Test written by jeremie096 on OkCupid, home of the 32-Type Dating Test

LJ Interests meme results

  1. bertolt brecht:
    Fucking amazing playwright. I first read him in my incredible freshman history/humanities class, in high school, with my revered Joe Dunn, ex-Marine "marxist of the heart". Brecht -- in his song lyrics and music and poetry and plays -- is one of the most intransigent, clearest, most inspiring revolutionaries I have ever known of.
  2. civil disobedience:
    A tactic I like only when it is mass and moves people by inspiring example, and not when it is a group of habitués who meet at every action and kibbitz about how good this particular jurisdiction is, what the processing is like compared to the last time at Fill In the Blank site. Nevertheless, I've done it twice, and don't regret either time: anti-apartheid twenty years ago and second Gulf War two years ago.
  3. direct action:
    Hmm. Well, see above.
  4. figure drawing:
    I fucking love figure drawing, and keep trying to find an AFFORDABLE, meaning cheap, outlet for it here in the Bay Area. There's little as meditatively relaxing as drawing a naked person in several poses.
  5. jane addams:
    She's wonderful. Okay, she was wonderful. Whatever. Somehow, despite her class background (daughter of an Illinois senator, met Lincoln as a child) AND her project, of importing the Brit "Settlement House" model to the US, she still manages to avoid the whole Philanthropic Benefactress thing. She was nonpartisan, hosted socialists and anarchists when they were viewed as scum by Chicago police after the Haymarket, and tried very hard to overcome her own culture and background in order to understand other people. Plus, it's pretty clear she was a dyke.
  6. mama's royal cafe:
    Next door to me. Hipster hangout with good food and high prices. But nice, anyway.
  7. pabloism:
    God. Ummm... In the 1950s, some Trots looked at reality and said "why are we trying to be purer than thou when all of marxism is under attack... let's ally with the less crazy more populist of the smaller Communist parties and movements." That was Pablo, aka Michel Raptis. I mostly like it because it stands for questioning orthodoxy.
  8. revolution:
    Do I need to explain this? One is necessary. Every fucking day it becomes more necessary.
  9. t. s. eliot:
    I never even read "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock" until two years ago, and I was blown away. It's a little strange to encounter the source of so much popular culture as an adult, though. Yeah, his politics suck. But the poetry.
  10. used bookstores:
    Why would I have to explain the appeal of used bookstores? Or of libraries for that matter?

Enter your LJ user name, and 10 interests will be selected from your interest list.

Eww... though I haven't read that book, I kind of cringe at thinking of myself anywhere in range of that notion -- the "quirkyalones". But in doing the Interest Meme, I kept not wanting to DO all of the "every ten" interests (the rule, apparently, was to explain why you like random interests on your LJ userpage -- if you have ten or fewer, explain them all; if you have 50 to 75, explain every fifth one; if you have above 75, explain every tenth one...). That's too fucking many, for me. So I decided to follow Gordonzola, 2003 ©, and use my unshared interests. Maybe I'll add a few randomish ones I WANT to explain.

Alistair Chisholm is my best friend, and he put MY name in HIS interest list, so I retaliated. What can I say about Alistair? A lot. But I'll content myself with saying that we became conscious socialists around the same time -- age 14 -- in places wildly distant and different, and him without the benefit of being a red diaper baby. But his path in was so adorable: he was a teenage Bennite! Tony Benn, Labour socialist and scion of the Wedgwood family. God, I love Britain for its wacky class follies. Anyway, he's brilliant and hilarious and a daddy now.

antiwar politics I should really leave this off; it's only "unshared" because I didn't hyphenate it or something. Multiple spellings and idiosyncratic punctuation make LJ crazy.

bog man How can no one but me have this? Does he have some other name? The Tollund Bog Man? This is that Iron Age criminal (so they suspect) killed, or sacrificed, in a peat bog in Friesland or somewhere like that, Jutland, whatever -- is that Denmark? Yeah. Anyway, his body was perfectly preserved, umm, well, in the way that leather is perfectly preserved. He's a very dark brown. You can see his features, his hair, his clothes, his cap, how he's trussed up, the garroting rope around his neck, and the wicker withies or whatever was used to stop him roaming as a ghost. I love stuff like that -- material remnants of ancient history -- I'm big on mummies, too, and he's basically an unintentional Northern European mummy. I like the Ice Man, too, from the Alps cave. Just ignore the "Do We Need A New Definition of Agriscience?" bit and scroll down, and here's a good image and description.

Florence Kelley She lived in Hull House, with Jane Addams et al, and was a socialist who became a factory inspector and worked for labor reform laws. She also did door to door sociological research with the rest of the women for this amazing study of the immigrant communities around that Halstead Street neighborhood. AND she translated some of Engels' work -- possibly The Conditions of the Working Class in England. That's all just too fucking cool. Here she is.

Gundestrup Cauldron Like the Bog Man (literally), I don't understand why no one has this. Are there no wannabe archaeologists on LiveJournal? The Gundestrup Cauldron was discovered not too far from the Bog Man, and is an Iron Age relic -- a series of beautiful hammered and worked silver plates that when put together form a huge ritual cauldron with images of the Celtic gods on its sides. The work is really confusing to art historians, because the themes are Celtic, but the artistry seems to be Scythian or something. It was either offered as a sacrifice or buried for some other reason in a peat bog in what is now the Netherlands. I'll try to link to an image. Here.

Inessa Armand She was a Russian Revolutionary, wife of the bourgeoisie, who became Lenin's lover. Alexandra Kollontai was either sympathetic to this relationship, or thought it emblematic of the problems of women revolutionaries and relationship dramas, because she fictionalized it (thinly) in A Great Love. Okay, in this case, I take NO responsibility for the site, but it's surprisingly hard to find a decent web resource about Inessa Armand. This is at least an okay canned biography. Maybe I'll read the Pearson bio. Here's that site.

Mama's Royal Cafe is a hipster cafe near me. For a long time I avoided going there because of the high level of hipsterness. Now I've embraced it (not that I, myself, have become in any sense hip -- just that I can be around such folk without gritting my teeth too much) and it does have strong aspects of being a community spot, too. It has its regulars, who are regular people. It has good coffee if you get there early enough, and bad, too strong coffee if you don't. It has overpriced good food. And I like the manager and the waitstaff a lot. No photo available. Also it has a yearly napkin art contest which someday I plan to enter.

Richard Cuffari was a fantastic illustrator of young adult fiction books. I will buy ANY book that I see that he's illustrated. He used a gorgeous pen and ink wash technique that relied a lot on line and shadow and an almost pre-Raphaelite purity of profile... I WISH I could point you to any of his drawings. I'll look, but I'm pretty sure I cannot. Two of the titles he illustrated: Betsy Byars' The TV Kid. Elizabeth Marie Pope's The Perilous Gard (one of my favorite YAF books, in any case, and one which brings the Child ballad about sisters deluded by jealousy, and the basis for myths of "people under the hill", or fairies, to life). I can't find an image. God, I wish I had a scanner.
You are closest to the Lord Ganesha. Althogh he has
an interseting feature of looking like and
elephant, his power makes him strong and
faithful. Lord Ganesh is the God to remove all
obstacles in life. And because of his unique
figure, one of his forces is that he looks
beyond one's outer apearance. You are most like
this Great God because you are strong and not
all that judgemental but, you are human and it
can be something in you like all the rest of
us. Well Lord Ganesh like many other gods and
goddess are just all incarnations of the one
almighty god.

What Hindu God or Goddess are you like?
brought to you by Quizilla

The above is EXACTLY what I would have predicted and whined for, and the Indian god I like best, in any case. Just like Kaligrrrl, who ended up with Kali. Ha!

I like Ganesh as sort of the Hindu incarnation of Athena, and I actually like Hindu mythology and history quite a lot -- one of the best undergraduate courses, possibly the Ur-Liberal Arts course at Northwestern, was Introduction to Hinduism, taught by the same prof who did Introduction to Buddhism, and clearly LOVED the subjects and interwove them. I got to read the Upanishads, the Rg Vedas, the Ramayana and all kinds of stuff. I REALLY loved that course.

Strangely, though (or not, knowing me) where I really get this appreciation of Ganesha from is a young adult fiction book by Malcolm J. Bosse (who is an English author who is quite excellent in EVERYTHING he writes for adolescents... but this is my favorite) called, simply, Ganesh. It's a wonderful story about an American boy who is born and grows up in India, but who is orphaned at 12 and must go back to a United States he's never seen. And he moves in with an aunt who is about to lose her old family house to "eminent domain" and a McDonalds franchise or a freeway or something. So the boy uses satyagraha or "a firm grip on the truth", in other words, Gandhi's nonviolent, unswerving civil disobedience, and gets a bunch of middle school students to go on a hunger strike with him. WONDERFUL book.

Other than random appreciations of other people's Quizilla bits and pieces, I don't have a lot to say, just a lot of words to say it in, for now.



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