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February 24th, 2009
01:29 pm


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A Five Things Meme, of Which We Never Have Enough
I got this one from chimosa. If you comment, I'll tell you five things I associate with you and then you expound upon them on your journal and offer to do the same for anyone who comments. I expected X-Men and/or fanfic to be among the five since that's how I know chimosa, but she said she wanted to go beyond the obvious. So I will try to as well, if you comment here.

Here are the five things she chose for me (copied directly from her comment):

1. Zara (I’m a big fan)
2. Brooklyn (yeeeeah Brooklyn!)
3. Politically/socially aware and active
4. Meta!!!
5. Well-educated (you seem to know everything- how did you get that way?)

1. Zara is my youngest child and I'm a big fan, too. Let's see, she's quite adorable and smart and fun and funny. wneleh says she looks more like me than I do and a lot of people do say she looks like me, but I think she looks like her Aunt Sharon. She's a gifted actress, an excellent student, a good friend, a good cook. She sings beautifully (a mystery to her tone-deaf mothers). She has blue eyes and brown hair (My niece Rachel's eyes are also blue. When Zara was a toddler and it became clear the eyes were going to stay blue, Doran - with clearly inadequate understanding of inherited traits at 7 - said, "I just don't get how Zara got Rachel's blue eyes all the way from Minneapolis"). You love all your kids differently and you love all of them the same and they're all special, but there's something unique about your last.

A few funny Zara stories:

Funny Story A: Zara liked to write To Do lists when she was little. I guess she got the habit from seeing me do them. She had a "To Do" pad with a place for the date, numbered lines to put your to do items in, and a space at the bottom marked "Notes." Well, ideas of things to do when you're in the second grade are somewhat different from the adult version. Here's one, with spelling and punctuation as I found it. By way of explanation, Zara was going to a performance at a library with her friend Maya and then Maya was coming back to our house for the rest of the day and staying overnight.

Date: 12/14/02

1. eat.
2. get dressed.
3. play (as in fun play)
4. go w. Maya
5. come back & play w. Maya.
6. Play Harry Potter game w. Maya
7. See what Maya wants to play
8. See what Maya wants to play
9. Get redy for bed
10. Tell ghost storys/play a game.
11. Dinner
12. Wacht T.V.
13. Play in room (my room)
14. Danc to Kendra's music (If lets us)
15. go to bed.

Notes: At #7 we mite have lunch.

Funny Story B: My kids all asked me what unfamiliar words mean when I read to them (or later, when they read to themselves). When Zara was 8, we had this conversation:
Zara: What does inexplicable mean?
Dale: Can't be explained.
Zara: Well, try.

Funny Story C: Also, at age 8 she made french toast one morning for breakfast. There were left overs and she was putting them away before school. She got out some Cling Wrap to wrap up the leftovers and noticed that it said on the package, "Keep Out of Reach of Children." She read it aloud in a disapproving voice, saying "Humph." Then she shrugged, smiled, and said, "Well surely they don't mean mature, eight-year-old children."

Funny Story D: I bought tamari roasted almonds at my food coop one day after being accosted by another member who told me that she just can't stop eating them, they're so good. "It's like a disease" she said. I repeated that story to the kids and Zara took to calling that kind of nut "diseased almonds." As in "Do we have any more of those diseased almonds?" Now we all call them that.

Funny Story E: One day last summer Zara was helping me make the bed in the morning. I have a bunch of throw cushions on top of it and once we had all the covers pulled up, I said, "Now artfully place the cushions on top." She just randomly tossed them. "I said 'artfully'," I reminded her. "It's modern art," she replied.

2. Brooklyn

I love Brooklyn. I've lived here since coming to NYC. From 1980-1992 I lived in Bath Beach, which was not a great neighborhood for us, having no gay community to speak of. But it was right by the water, which I loved. We'd walk or ride bikes along the walkway by the Belt Parkway. And the aquarium was only a 10-minute bus ride away - Doran and I used to go almost every Sunday when he was little.

We moved to Park Slope just before Kendra was born. It's the perfect neighborhood for me. I'm amazed that there is a place that's a lesbian neighborhood and kid-friendly neighborhood, with great housing stock and great parks and playgrounds, wonderful restaurants and shops, really friendly and with a strong community feeling, easy commute to lower Manhattan. It's unfortunately gotten very expensive as everyone else discovers how great it is.

3. Politically/socially aware and active.

I'm certainly interested in politics and social issues and have been an activist on various issues at various times. In the activism meme going around last year I listed these as my main issues:

- GLBT rights and cultural acceptance, with a particular emphasis on family issues
- Feminist issues, particularly reproductive rights and equal employment opportunity
- A variety of public health issues, including lactivism, smoking cessation, HIV prevention and treatment, and reduction in gun violence
- Separation of church and state and, more generally, fostering a climate of religious pluralism

4. Meta

I think meta is one of the really fun things about fanfic as a hobby. I love reading it, love writing it, love commenting on what other people write. I'm particularly interested in slash meta and in non-fandom-specific meta. It's where I can connect with people with whom I have no fandoms in common. I have written a bunch of meta essays in this journal, and also had a couple published in real journals.

5. Education

I have two degrees - an undergraduate one in maths and psychology and a master's degree in Library and Information Science. I only worked as a librarian for two years but I always say that I use the skills I learned in library school every day of my life. Basically you learn how to find things out and since I have very eclectic interests, those research skills come in handy in all sorts of ways. My kids all look to me to find things out for them, and are trained to say, when I do, "We are lucky children to have a mother who went to library school."

I sometimes refer to my fanfic endeavors as my Fanfic Unschooling Project. I find that I have learned so much from writing X-Men stories. It's taken me places I never thought I'd go. I research a lot for the stories because I want them to be as realistic as possible (you know, ultra-realism in stories about a guy who can kill people with his eyes and one who has an imaginary metal alloy fused to his skeleton). I've studied French and Russian, learned about the sex lives of the Samurai, researched safety features in cable cars, read black box transcripts, found all about gay life in Minsk - just to mention a few. I'm the original Elephant's Child and all of life is an opportunity for education in my opinion.

My job is another area where I find I'm researching and learning all the time. I kind of fell into public health, and into emergency management within public health, but it's a fascinating field, with so much to learn. And that suits me just fine.

Well, that got long! Thanks to any who read it all. Comment and I'll tell you five things I associate with you, trying to go beyond the obvious.

(13 comments | Leave a comment)

[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2009 08:24 pm (UTC)
Yay Zara stories!!!

That “To Do” list is too much- esp the note and #14, but what really made me laugh was the modern art one, I died when I read that! Aw man, too cute and clever…

I feel like I knew, but it didn’t really sink in, that you have a masters in Library Science. It makes everything so clear now! I mean, the type of stuff you write about seems like it would take some heavy-duty research and a whole lotta time, but I guess it’s made somewhat easier if you really know what you’re doing. I mean, I can work the google like no other but that really only gets you so far

This is such a fun meme! I'm learning all kinds of things today
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2009 08:56 pm (UTC)
It is a fun meme! I enjoyed the walk down memory lane. So, do I give you another five things to expound on, or would that be too much?
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2009 09:19 pm (UTC)
Ha! Well, this could conceivably go on for eternity but I’m game to do another five. I gotta kill time before I leave work somehow, lol
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2009 09:42 pm (UTC)
1. Breasts
2. Florida
3. College (I associate you so much with college that I missed that you graduated!)
4. Choreography
5. Friends (you seem to have so many and they seem to have such adventures)
(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]
Date:February 24th, 2009 10:08 pm (UTC)
I do it because I think it adds to it. To me, it's making everything else seem very real that allows me to believe in mutants. The feeling I got in seeing the first X-Men movie was that it was really happening, that they felt like real people in the not-so-distant future. So that's what I try to replicate. FWIW it's my preference with mainstream published fiction, too, even when it's science fiction or fantasy - that the details sound very realistic.

And, since you commented, here are five things I associate with you for you to expound upon, should you wish:

1. Harry Potter
2. Sushi
3. Pets
4. Sarcasm
5. Movies

Edited at 2009-02-24 10:09 pm (UTC)
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
I loved the Zara stories. Thanks for sharing them. I think my favorite was the modern art pillows. HEE!

Librarians are special people. They can find you anything you need to know, make it look easy, and usually they enjoy it.
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2009 02:40 am (UTC)
Thanks for reading. Your five things are:

1. Job hunting
2. Football
3. Family issues
4. Religion
5. TV
Date:February 25th, 2009 02:44 am (UTC)
Then she shrugged, smiled, and said, "Well surely they don't mean mature, eight-year-old children."

That's fantastic. Zara sounds like she was more mature at eight than some of my students who are currently in their twenties. (Takes a moment to strangle one extremely bright, extremely slacking student with the power of my mind.) :)
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2009 03:20 am (UTC)
She is in some ways wise beyond her years :-). Your five things are:

1. Teaching
2. Novel writing
3. Comics
4. DC
5. Meta
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2009 10:01 am (UTC)
I always find your answers to these things so interesting!

Also, I really want to come see your neighborhood someday! :D
[User Picture]
Date:February 25th, 2009 12:00 pm (UTC)
I'd love for you to visit! You get:

1. Ohio
2. Aliens
3. South Africa
4. Snail Mail
5. Fertility Sculptures
[User Picture]
Date:February 26th, 2009 03:04 am (UTC)
I love your kid stories, Dale. All of your kids always sound so mature in many ways.
[User Picture]
Date:February 26th, 2009 11:53 am (UTC)
Thanks, Dawn. Your five words are:

1. Boyz
2. Unschooling
3. Academia
4. Fundies
5. Ohio

Edited at 2009-02-26 11:54 am (UTC)
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