May 31st, 2007

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In celebration of the fact that SCHOOL'S OUT, I thought I'd pass on this very funny link. 

Remember that old dream, the exam you didn't study for? The class you never showed up to? The public speaking in your p.j.s?

My particular favorite was one in which the professor handed me back my blue book with an F inked on the front cover and when I looked inside, I realized I had filled the pages with drawings of little woodland animals. Not a word written. That one chilled my blood for a few days.

Well, this link is that -- brought to life. I like to think of these students as the "Creatively Unprepared." 

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Playground Games

So, I go away to Seattle for a coupla days and I just get clobbered on the playground. First, I been tagged by the witty women at A Year of Reading.

I have to come up with 8 facts or habits about myself that might be appropriate to share and, at the same time, not boring. Sigh.

Here goes:

1. I can sing all the state names in alphabetical order and with a good dose of pizazz.

2. I've been vegetarian since college. As a kid I lived on goose, duck and venison. I remember the feeling of having a round, metal bit of bird shot stuck in my teeth. Unrelated facts? I think not.

3. When I do a seriously vigorous yoga practice, I get an itchy head. Crazy itchy. The same thing happens to my sister. Weird, hunh?

4. I have 16 first cousins, 12 of whom are female. A serious matriarchy. In the dating era, though, it was the guys who lucked out since we all brought our friends around -- some of whom the boys married.

5. I can still do backward crossovers on ice skates. Once a year whether I need to or not. Ditto, getting up on a slalom ski behind a waterski boat.

6. My favorite combination of colors for a bouquet of flowers is purple and yellow. But I've just found out that tulips can't be mixed with any other flowers because they put out some toxin that kills the others! Isolationists!

7. I saw the Grateful Dead perform in multiple states. I mean states like Wisconsin, Nevada, Colorado. Not altered states. Don't get funny with me.

8. When we take roadtrips I read novels out loud to my husband until I'm hoarse, especially mystery novels, which I never read otherwise. Oh, I also buy People magazine every time I travel by plane. But don't tell anyone. 

OK, so that's that. Oh, and y'know how Franki said she liked Dots as movie candy? I always liked their shy cousin Drops (chewier) and I used a rhyme to remember which one I preferred: Drops are Tops, Dots are Not.

To all the rest of you, consider yourself TAGGED. (I think this one has made the rounds pretty well already).

Now, then. I also got tagged by Vivian at HipWriterMama who says I'm supposed to share four things that were new to me in the past four years, and four things I want to try in the next four years.

New in the past four years:

1. Mothering honest-to-goodness KIDS instead of babies and toddlers. Kids who can hike for miles... write, act in and direct spectacular theatrical productions... create amazing artwork... tell jokes... deliver breakfast in bed... and read! I will always feel nostaligic for my babies, but boy-oh-man do I love these kids.

2. Blogging. Very new. Very inspiring (the reading and the writing). Very immediate-gratificationist. 

3. Goodness. My women's artist lifeline, without which I'd be limping along and slogging through. I craved this community -- didn't even really know I craved this community -- and now I want it for all of you. A writing group or a mama's club or a spiritual clan or whatever village you need in your own particular life. Create it. I can assure you that the people you ask will say YES. Everybody's hungry.

4. Writing an historical novel. This is not just new but ongoing, and an adventure at every juncture. Serves as the perfect transition from old new to new new....

New to come in the next four years:

1. Learn to play my exquisite mountain dulcimer. And I mean well enough that if a bunch of music-y folks were over for dinner, I'd be happy to pull it out and play. In public.

2. Travel to another new country. Or a few more countries. With our kids. They are master travellers already. A good number of stamps in the old passports, and that's not showing where they've been in this country. Our eldest's leaning and inclination is cultural anthropology and comparative religions, never mind that she's 8. I want to keep on feeding this, in her and in us. I hate to sound naaive or grandiose, but I think it may be the key to peace on earth.

3. Finish mothering "kids" and begin mothering pre-teens. I think my secret cache of weapons will include  travelling (see above), reading and discussing books, cultivating joy, and counting on my loving, steady, creative, patient and reliable husband/co-parent. We are going to relish our kids at each and every stage. Relish.

4. Celebrate the publication of my next books. Plural. 

That's that. Let's see. Who'll I tag?



Sound good?

And finally, I have to say that we learned a new game this week from our cousins. I mean a real game. None of this virtual Tag You're It business. It's called Look Up, Look Down and it's all about eye contact. Is that cool, or what? 

Eye contact. That's something I plan on cultivating more of these next four years. How's about you?