Entries in Dancing with myself (32)


Can anyone guess which Pink Floyd song is running through my head?



It's Go Time

If this post is up, it means I'm off having the baby. Woo-hoo! Let's hear it for that whirlpool tub in the labor room.

To keep busy while I'm gone, try your hand at the latest version of Luisa Trivia (just for extra entertainment, last year's quiz is here). The commenter with the most correct answers will receive a fabulous goodie box from me, which is already packaged up and ready for Patrick to pop in the mail once you supply your address to me via email.

NO online cheating is allowed: no surreptitious use of Teh Google, Teh Wikipedia, Teh YouTube, or Teh iTunes.

And believe me: if you cheat, I WILL KNOW.

1) Luisa is a fanatic about correct spelling, grammar, and usage. Why does she use the intentional misspelling "teh" in the rules above?

2) If Luisa believed in throwing away her vote, which of the following great Americans would she be most likely to write in as a candidate this November?

a) Jack Bauer

b) Jack Ryan
c) Alice Waters

d) Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.
e) Al Gore

3) In Luisa's opinion, what is the best TV show of all time?

4) Four of Luisa's six brothers have the same middle name. What is it?

5) Orson Scott Card has written some terrific books. Which of the following of his novels is Luisa's favorite?

a) Ender's Game
b) Lost Boys
c) Treason
d) Seventh Son

6) Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?

7) When Luisa was in college, she sang in a band. What was its name? (Hint: it is also the name of a popular fish food.)

8) Which does Luisa hate more: PowerPoint presentations or styrofoam?

9) In the Smiths' hit "How Soon is Now," does Morrissey sing "I am the sun and the air," or "I am the son and the heir?"

10) The line in the previous question refers to a passage in which great Victorian novel (that happens to be one of Luisa's favorites)?

11) Which song is featured in Luisa's favorite Saturday Night Live sketch, "More Cowbell?"

a) Loverboy's "Everybody's Working for the Weekend"
b) Santana's "Black Magic Woman"
c) Bachman Turner Overdrive's "You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet"
d) Blue Oyster Cult's "Don't Fear the Reaper"

12) In Luisa's opinion, the very best Toto song is:

a) Manuela Run
b) Africa
c) Rosanna
d) No Toto song at all

13) Luisa was present at the filming of part of which great rock concert video?

a) U2's Rattle and Hum
b) Led Zeppelin's The Song Remains the Same
c) The Talking Heads' Stop Making Sense
d) Pink Floyd's The Wall

14) Why knit with circulars?

15) Which of the following (all, coincidentally, to be found in Beatles songs) was NOT vetoed by Patrick in baby name negotiations of years past? (Think middle names, people.)

a) Eleanor
b) Jude
c) Martha
d) Prudence

16) Luisa has only two cable channel numbers memorized. To which two stations do they correspond?

a) Sports New York
b) Noggin
c) The Weather Channel
d) The Food Network
e) Turner Classic Movies
f) VH-1

17) Luisa is a sucker for a great sports movie. Which one of the following dreamy underdogs does she love best?

a) Robert Redford in The Natural
b) Keanu Reeves in The Replacements
c) Dennis Quaid in The Rookie
d) Denzel Washington in Remember the Titans
e) Mark Wahlberg in Invincible

18) Which of the following does NOT make reference to Luisa's favorite book, John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress?

a) Vanity Fair, by William Makepeace Thackeray
b) Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott
c) Look Homeward, Angel, by Thomas Wolfe
d) Slaughterhouse Five, by Kurt Vonnegut
e) The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, by Alan Moore

19) Every time she has gone to Chili's in the past twenty years, Luisa has ordered precisely the same thing. Which is it?

a) Baby Back Ribs with Ranch Dressing on the side and a Sprite with no ice
b) Mushroom Jack Chicken Fajitas (hold every single bell pepper) and a virgin Piña Colada
c) Old Timer Cheeseburger (with mustard and mayonnaise only) and a Chocolate Shake
d) An Awesome Blossom (with ketchup instead of the regular sauce) and an ice water with lemon slices

20) Because Luisa is so particular when ordering at restaurants, Patrick lovingly likens her to which of the following quirky movie characters?

a) Amanda in Adam's Rib
b) Jo in Funny Face
c) Judy in What's Up, Doc?
d) Sally in When Harry Met Sally
e) Annie in Annie Hall


Seven Up? On the Rocks.

My apologies, Soap Opera Sunday fans: this weekend was too hectic for me to write the thrilling conclusion of "The Princess and the Pauper." I'll do my best to get it posted in time for Mother's Day.

My new blogpal Paul tagged me for a meme last week, and I promised I'd play. I've participated in many memes in the past several months; I just went through my entire "Dancing With Myself" tag file to refresh my memory as to what I've already revealed in this setting. The result is that I'm a little discouraged. I'm not sure what else I can disclose that will be the slightest bit interesting and fresh. But here's my best shot.

1) I have a phobia of spiders; here's how it came about. When I was eight, we lived in an old house on a really cool piece of property. In the bedroom I shared with my sisters, there were French doors to the outside, but the doors were so completely covered with thick ivy that they couldn't be opened.

Our bunk bed was up against the doors, so I could see through the glass panes as I lay in bed. Guess what liked to nest in that dense foliage? Many, many black widow spiders. So I'd lie in bed, terrified to look at the poisonous little things hanging just a few inches from my nose, but more terrified NOT to look at them. Because what if one somehow got in through a crack while I wasn't looking? Gah.

2) If I went to live on a desert island and could only take one cosmetic with me, I would choose brown eyeliner. This is assuming that lip balm would be considered not a cosmetic, but an essential, life- and sanity-saving substance. If forced to choose between eyeliner and lip balm, I would pick lip balm every time.

3) When I was 18, I stayed up all night one night reading The Clan of the Cave Bear. When dawn came and I turned the last page, I felt sick and dirty. It was the grossest book binge ever. I'm not sure why; I've read books far worse since. It was probably the 'all in one gulp' factor.

4) Two horrendously bad movies that I love are Made in Heaven, starring Timothy Hutton and Kelly McGillis, and A Time of Destiny, starring Timothy Hutton and William Hurt. Timothy made these movies back to back; it must have been a tough time for him, since the critics despised them both. But I adore them. The last time I checked, neither was available on DVD, but I still hold out hope.

5) I once saw Timothy Hutton in real life (he lives not too far away from us). He was at The Red Rooster buying his son an ice cream cone.

6) I've never eaten a Cheeto. But I'd be willing to try one if Jenna were willing to try escargots, foie gras, or frog's legs. Yeah: it's never gonna happen.

7) I feel as big as a house right now. And not your average Cape Cod or bungalow. No. I feel like a super-duper McMansion on a postage-stamp-sized lot, the kind you see in places like Rancho Cordova, Sandy, or Schaumburg. My only comfort that in four to six weeks, I'll lose at least ten pounds or so through a Miracle Diet I've used several times before. And what a miracle it will be; can't wait to see you, Baby Girla.

Thanks for the tag, Paul! I know many of my readers have done this meme recently, so I will tag only newbie Charrette this time around. Charrette, it's your first meme! Will you play?


Famous Last Words

(Tombstone image borrowed from the yet-living John Scalzi)

The wondrously fine Bea and the ever-scrumptious Adriana both tagged me a while ago for the Six-Word Epitaph/Autobiography/Memoir Meme that's been floating around Planet Blog for a some time, and I've been trying and failing to define myself cleverly but succinctly ever since.

Here are some great examples of successful memery crafted by bloggers with bigger brains than I have: Bea of Bub and Pie (scroll down a bit); Veronica Mitchell of Toddled Dredge; and Adriana of What I Made for Dinner.

(If any of you other readers have done this meme, and I missed it somehow, leave me a link in your comment. I'd love to see what you've done with this.)

Anything I concocted sounded a lot like Adriana's or Veronica's, but not as good. Finally, I decided to borrow inimitable words from my favorite poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins. Here's what I would have carved on my tombstone (right after all the clear and accurate vital information courteously provided for genealogists of the future):

Kingfishers catch fire; dragonflies draw flame.

Someone wandering around the cemetery and happening upon these words might wonder about their context. Here's the whole poem:

AS kingfishers catch fire, dragonflies dráw fláme;
As tumbled over rim in roundy wells
Stones ring; like each tucked string tells, each hung bell’s
Bow swung finds tongue to fling out broad its name;
Each mortal thing does one thing and the same: 5
Deals out that being indoors each one dwells;
Selves—goes itself; myself it speaks and spells,
Crying Whát I do is me: for that I came.

Í say móre: the just man justices;
Kéeps gráce: thát keeps all his goings graces; 10
Acts in God’s eye what in God’s eye he is—
Chríst—for Christ plays in ten thousand places,
Lovely in limbs, and lovely in eyes not his
To the Father through the features of men’s faces.

What I do is me: for that I came.

I love to write, read, visit with my dear friends, and play with my kids. I enjoy cooking, gardening, knitting, and family history work. I swoon over fabulous restaurants, great art and music, and my husband. I could define myself by any of these daily actions, and much of the time, I probably do. But ultimately, I hope that my life will be defined by my faith and how it comes into play in my every decision.

Here are two links to more words not my own that powerfully express how I feel about my faith: the audio file and transcript of the last public words of Bruce R. McConkie, an LDS church leader who died in 1985.

Elder McConkie died just two weeks after giving this gorgeous and moving address; I do not doubt that the statements of the final few paragraphs proved true. (Warning: if you are not up for something Deeply Christian, don't bother.)


Top o' the Pops

As I mentioned in this post almost exactly a year ago, every December I make a list of The Best of Everything Important to Me. The categories change somewhat from year to year depending on how I've spent my time and energy. After considering what follows, I have to say that 2007 was my best year ever. That's saying a lot, since 2006 was pretty great.

Top Ten Books (new or re-read):
10. Alfred Lansing, Endurance
9. D.E. Stevenson, Anna and Her Daughters
8. Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana
7. Dave Duncan, A Man of His Word (series)
6. Brandon Sanderson, Elantris
5. M.T. Anderson, Octavian Nothing
4. Yann Martel, Life of Pi
3. Wallace Stegner, Angle of Repose
2. Henry Eyring, Because He First Loved Us
1. Kelly Link, Magic for Beginners*

* So very brilliant, especially the title story and "Stone Animals," but dark, disturbing, and emphatically not recommended to my teen readers

Worst Book of the Year:
Karen Joy Fowler, The Jane Austen Book Club

Top Ten Movies:
10. Enchanted
9. Premonition
8. The Bourne Ultimatum
7. The Simpsons Movie
6. Ocean's 13
5. Disturbia
4. Dan in Real Life
3. 1408
2. Sicko
1. I Am Legend

Still waiting to see:
Amazing Grace
August Rush
Becoming Jane
Elizabeth 2: The Golden Age
National Treasure 2

Top Ten iPod Downloads:
10. The Veronicas, "4ever"
9. A Fine Frenzy, "You Picked Me"
8. The Innocence Mission, "The Lakes of Canada"
7. The Bobs, "Synaesthesia"
6. The Dukes of the Stratosphear, "Vanishing Girl"
5. Saint-Privat, "Oh-La-La"
4. The Fratellis, "For the Girl"
3. The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army"
2. The Shins, "Australia"
1. The Killers, "Can You Read My Mind?"

Top Eating Experiences:
6. "Steam Roasted Goose with Gravy," Our House
5. "Jamesie's Jambalaya," Our House
4. "Southwestern Shrimp, Teriyaki Chicken, and Grilled Corn on the Cob," Our House
3. "Szechuan Dumplings," Shun Lee, NYC
2. "Frogs' Legs and Foie Gras Tempura," Picholine, NYC
1. "Poulet en Demi-Deuil," Chanterelle, NYC

Best Theatre Experience of the Year:
Richard III, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival

Best Concert of the Year:
The Wailin' Jennys, Tarrytown Music Hall

Garden Produce of the Year:
Patissons Panache Squash

Yarn of the Year:
Tofutsies Sock Yarn (It's made out of crab shells and soy!)

2008? Bring it on, Grandpa! It's go-time!