Sunday, December 02, 2007


I'd like to say I don't do memes, but the truth of the matter is I almost never get tagged for them. And being by nature a rather passionately (anally?) self-contained person, I have a really ambivalent relation to self-revelatory memes – which means that most of my answers simply go to underline my self-containment & anality. Anyway, this one comes courtesy of Dance at Prone to Laughter:
1) The first time I ever saw an opera – Wozzeck in Florence, with Zubin Mehta conducting (Italian supertitles & a libretto in front of me in German & French, so I could figure out what was being said about 85% of the time) – I spent the entire hour & 1/2 with a goofy grin of absolute ecstacy on my face; I'm sure the folks in the neighboring seats, given the grimness of the subject matter, thought the shabbily dressed American tourist was just plain nuts.

2) Most of my youthful dental work – & I had dreadful dental hygiene as an adolescent – was done courtesy of the US Army, so I seem to have a filling dropping out every six months or so.

3) This November marks a solid 20 years that I have kept track of every single book I've finished reading. (Okay, I didn't count Harry Potter and various other "young people's" books, but I'm regretting that now.)

4) Along those lines (should be 3a?), I'm becoming more & more constitutionally unable to "browse" books. (This is a serious problem, by the way, for someone who claims to be a scholar...) I don't start with the chapter that interests me: I start with the Preface & the Acknowledgments, & I usually end up reading all the way thru the Bibliography.

5) Whenever I read a poem in ballad meter, I sing it to myself to the tune of Joan Baez's version of "Mary Hamilton."

6) Altho I'm about as unbelieving an unbeliever as you'd want to meet, I own at least 9 Bibles, in one of which are still interleaved copies of little communion homilies I delivered at church at 16 or so.

7) I often wish I'd had the guts & obsessiveness & sheer silly determination to pursue music. I'm at least as good a guitarist as Lou Reed was in 1970. (Which isn't saying much...)

7+1 [lagniappe]) I often get the sense that I'm faking it & it's all a dream.
So there. The meme itself? Of course, it's the old "7 random and/or weird facts about yourself." And since the rule is that I'm to pass this on to 7 others, I'll name all four of the Incerti – Amy, Brian, Emily, Bradley (unless they've already done this) – Bob at Samizdat Blog, Michael Peverett (unless he has better things to do), & Su at V's Blabbateria (who may already have been hit with this...).
At least 2 Amazonian copies of The Poem of a Life have reached their new owners.
The font, by the way, is Skia.


Bradley said...

And I'm one of those new owners! And my mailman got a hernia delivering it to me!

I'm quite certain that you're a better guitarist than the 1970 model Lou Reed, but how are you at rambling, nonsensical onstage banter with the audience? 'Cause that's what he was really good at, from what I've heard.

Mark Scroggins said...

Your mailman is a wimp. I've been carrying a copy around for almost two weeks, & I don't have a hernia yet...

Not so good at rambling banter of my own, but I can imitate Papa Lou's -- like on the Take No Prisoners Live album, where he's ragging on the critics: "Like, what is it with John Rockwell and the New York Times, anyway? *Mister* Reed... What is this guy, a *toe* fucker???"

William Keckler said...

Skia? Wasn't that those birds I saw all over Iceland that scared me a little? No, I think those were skuas. The fulmars are the ones that projectile vomit at you...I want your book...what can I barter for it...I have a beautiful Babar seated near me...or a Patrick the Starfish...that's the loveable dumb one...or a Marshmallow Man pencil sharpener (from Ghost Busters I can't remember his real name)...that's circa's gotta be worth big Ebay bucks...

Su said...

Although w.b. has offered you a Stay-Puff Marshmellow Man pencil sharpener (envy is something I am learning to surpress), I can offer you 12 genuine wooden Scrabble squares of your choice (circa 1970) -or- 1 Phantom Menace Lego figure -or- a popcicle stick/mosaic tile pot-plate -or- a fuzzy 'frustration' pencil (circa 1980).

Now that I think about it, though, I'm not sure my bookcases could handle the weight of another copy. I had to move Schmidt, Shapiro, and Strand down to the bottom shelf to accommodate your book. I know, oh darn.

Archambeau said...

Personal revelation in seven parts? I'm on it!

William Keckler said...

Su has chosen to make this an ugly competition. Su "went there." So I must follow and up the ante. I will offer (and only for a limited period, mind you) the Angel Kitty Chalice of Wishes...with aforementioned Angel Kitty Perched adorably amid a mound of faux-bubbles and wearing a halo around one ear. Inside this chalice (kitty sits on top on the cover) it reads "Angel Kitty Grant My Secret Wishes." It is a KNOWN SCIENTIFIC FACT that any wishes commited to paper and put into above chalice, ARE GRANTED IN SHORT ORDER. Also, there is a faux-rhinestone (no that's not redundant) and a faux pink diamond that dangles like a pendant as the eye of a flower which ALSO HAS WINGS. IT IS A WINGED PINKDIAMONDEYED FLOWER. You cannot even begin to imagine the opulence and beauty of this creation which makes the Faberge eggs look like dollar store plastic Easter eggs. ANGEL KITTY GRANT MY SECRET WISHES. EARTHLY DOMINION! POW! GRANTED! ANGEL KITTY GRANT MY SECRET WISHES. ZUKOFSKY HEGEMONY FOR AEONS! KAZOOM! ANGEL KITTY GRANT MY SECRET WISHES. IMMORTALITY FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CLOSE ASSOCIATES. I am told on good authority this Angel Kitty has been handed down for centuries through dynasties and royal families. Now it can be YOURS! I am abashed my own generosity, nay magnanimity, and must withdraw now.

dance said...

Thanks for doing this! I think I should get extra points for sending it into a whole new section of the Venn diagram of the academic blogosphere.

I knew that font was familiar. (Note: at a professorial potluck the other day, we had at least 10 concentrated minutes of font discussion, citing names and all)

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