Wednesday, April 30, 2008


This is an interesting word, meme. I had to look it up; it means "an idea gene." My first reaction is to wonder whether ideas can't be disseminated across the world wide web except in some kind of unconscious, genetic way. At any rate, I got tagged by Harriet the Spy at Spynotes to complete a meme. (I can't do it without including a poem, though!)
Here are the meme rules:
1. link to the person who tagged you
2. post the rules
3. write six things about yourself
4. tag six people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs.
5. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment on their sites.
6. Let your tagger know when your entry is up.
Okay, so here are six things you wouldn't necessarily know about me from reading this blog.

1. I think that people generally fall into one of two very broad categories: people who see the world in terms of plot, and people who see the world as a puzzle or game. I come down very strongly on the side of plot. While I admire people who can work out games and puzzles (many of my friends and relations, including my son, are mathematically minded), it is not one of my interests or skills. So that's why I like this poem but could never have written it:

Anagrammer by Peter Pereira

If you believe in the magic of language,
then Elvis really Lives
And Princess Diana foretold I end as car spin.

If you believe the letters themselves
contain a power within them,
then you understand
what makes outside tedious,
how desperation becomes a rope ends it.

The circular logic that allows senator to become treason,
and treason to become atoners.

That eleven plus two is twelve plus one,
and an admirer is also married.

That if you could just re-arrange things the right way
you'd find your true life,
the right path, the answer to your questions:
you'd understand how the Titanic
turns into that ice tin,
and debit card becomes bad credit.

How listen is the same as silent,
and not one letter separates stained from sainted.

I don't mind watching other people re-arrange things to find patterns; it's kind of like when we were in college and I told my friends that they could speak mathematics at breakfast, but then I wanted them to speak English with me at lunch and supper.

2. I do like some games. My favorite card game is Rage. It has an element of skill, but also an element of luck, so my mathematical friends can't figure it out to the extent that it's no more fun to play it. I also like to play croquet. When we lived in the suburbs of Washington, DC we tried the competitive kind, with tall wickets and manicured lawns. But we prefer the backyard kind. One year my brother and sister-in-law gave us a glow-in-the-dark croquet set so we wouldn't have to shine the car headlights on the yard to finish those late evening games.

3. My favorite vacation is to go to the beach. Almost any beach will do, but I prefer the warm ones with sand. Every other summer a group of my friends from college (including the math major I married) rent some houses at the beach and spend a week together making sand castles with our kids. Yes, it's true, this is what academics do for fun: they dig ditches--you have to start a good sand castle with a moat. One year we made Minas Tirith and then watched the ocean destroy it.

4. I play the violin in the Knox County Symphony. I've played the violin most of my life, except for eleven years after my first child was born, when I thought I was too busy. Now I play once a week during the academic year. I play second fiddle. Also I took piano lessons for twelve years, played the trombone in marching band, and learned alto clarinet and cello while in high school because that got me out of study halls. I sing alto, but while I have a very good sense of pitch, my voice itself isn't lovely. So at heart, I'm an instrumentalist.

5. My parents both taught college. My mother taught speech pathology and my father taught speech and theater. He directed plays, and as a kid, I could take my friends to see plays at the college. It was almost as good as having a swimming pool; I went to see Once Upon a Mattress for eight nights in a row when I was 14 or 15. One time I asked a friend to see The Man of La Mancha with me, and her parents said no, because there's a rape scene. And one time my parents wouldn't let me go to a play. I think I was under the age of 12, and the play was Marat/Sade. As a result, I've always wanted to see it.

6. I stopped biting my fingernails at the ripe old age of 42. I had to; my teeth, which look great but are mostly reconstructions of former teeth, just weren't up to it anymore.

Now I tag anyone else who would like to spread this meme. I'd especially like to hear from:

Pages Turned

Kitchen Witch






SFP said...

Jeanne, don't look for a response from me until next week, okay? I'll happily do it then.

Now I wish I didn't have such great teeth so that I could stop biting my nails. . .

harriet said...

Thanks so much for doing this! And I love all the poems you post, most of which I don't know and all of which remind me that I should really read more poetry. I have a tendency to read and reread the same poems over and over again (Donne, Whitman, Hugo, and Eliot, mostly). For now, however, I'm going to have to settle for the poetry of Shel Silverstein: AJ and I are reading Where the Sidewalk Ends (his choice) to his class this afternoon.

permanentquivive said...

As sfp sez, gimme a little time and I'll come through.

Libby said...

Thanks for tagging me, Jeanne! I'm delighted to have found you--what great poems you're posting! It may take me a while to get to your meme, but I will, I will...

Alison said...

Took me a while, but here's my rather belated response.

lemming said...

Took a while (why must student actually hand in assignments?) but mine is up.

Amblus said...

I dun it!