Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Annotated Random Meme

Well, you know me. I can’t possibly give you a meme without annotations, can I? I got this one from Eva.

Directions: bold those things you’ve done.

1. Started my own blog (My guess is that there is some clever joke behind this one to which I am not privy. I mean, memes are the domain of blogs, right? Who, posting a meme on a blog, would not have started his or her own blog? Or maybe I’m missing something: are there bloggers out there whose mothers or dogs or something started their blogs for them?)

2. Slept under the stars (I am refraining from saying, “I sleep under the stars every single night. For those of you who are curious, I’ve also done so without any sort of roof over my head. The first time was in Oregon. We were river rafting down the Rogue River; it was a beautiful night; and we decided to forego the tent.)

3. Played in a band (I’m assuming air guitar/drums with an imaginary band doesn’t count, right?)

4. Visited Hawaii (I need to go back, though, because I haven’t yet visited The Big Island, and I’m dying to do so. Anyone who wants to give me a free trip…)

5. Watched a meteor shower (Unplanned. I was babysitting one night when I was a teenager, and as I was walking out to my car, all of a sudden, I saw tons of “falling stars.”)

6. Given more than I can afford to charity (I don’t give more than I can afford to anything.)

7. Been to Disneyland/world (Disney World, back before I knew how badly Disney had raped and ruined Florida. I don’t plan ever to go back.)

8. Climbed a mountain (Does this one mean with pickaxes and ropes and things? If so, then I guess I can’t really claim that I have. However, I once climbed Mt. St. Helen’s, which was very intense, and involved lots of scrambling over boulders, and I’ve done similar sorts of climbing in Acadia National Park in Maine – not always by choice.)

9. Held a praying mantis (This really is random. Why a praying mantis? Is there something special about holding a praying mantis? If so, I must be special, because I hold one every chance I get – along with all kinds of other insects. I would be more impressed if this one were something like, “held a scorpion.” Now that, I haven’t done, nor would I ever, but I met people in Belize who knew just how to pick them up without getting stung).

10. Sung a solo (To the huge relief of anyone who might have to hear such a racket.)

11. Bungee jumped (Intriguing idea best left to the imagination for those who are as clumsy and forgetful as I.)

12. Visited Paris (Twice, both times when I was too young to remember much other than the sorts of things children remember, like we couldn’t find a post office to mail post cards, and my mother made me wear shoes that were uncomfortable.)

13. Watched lightening at sea (Presumably from some sort of boat? I mean, I’ve watched “lightening at sea” many times from land.)

14. Taught myself an art from scratch (I agree with Eva that cooking is an art. I’m also sort of teaching myself to knit, but I’ve had lots of help from others.)

15. Adopted a child (Haven’t, but if I had an overwhelming urge to raise children, this would be my choice over giving birth, because: a. I have never had the least desire to be pregnant or to give birth b. the world is overcrowded enough with humans, and one from me wouldn’t add anything significant c. there are way too many unwanted children in this world.)

16. Had food poisoning (Never diagnosed, but I’ve been told that most “24-hour-bugs” are really food poisoning, and I’ve had plenty of those in my lifetime.)

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty (I’ve been to the top – at least, as far as one is now allowed to go -- but I can’t remember if we walked or if we took an elevator.)

18. Grown my own vegetables (From this experience, I learned that I much prefer to let someone else grow them, sell them to me nice and fresh, right off the farm, and then cook them.)

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France (Well, I probably did, but you know, I was too concerned over those shoes my mother was making me wear.)

20. Slept on an overnight train (From New York to Chicago, and then from Chicago to Santa Fe. The most fun way to travel ever.)

21. Had a pillow fight (But not the kind men fantasize about.)

22. Hitchhiked (We used to do that in England, and I’ve done it in the Caribbean. I’ve never done it in this country, though.)

23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill (Is there anyone in the world who can’t say they’ve done this?)

24. Built a snow fort (When I was young enough to be doing such things, I was too busy building snow men and making snow angels, and now I’m old and live where there isn’t enough snow.)

25. Held a lamb (And watched one being born.)

26. Gone skinny dipping (Oh yes, the best way to swim, especially under a full moon.)

27. Run a Marathon (I’m not much into torture.)

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice (One day, I hope…)

29. Seen a total eclipse (Doesn’t specify, but I’ve seen both solar and lunar. I prefer the lunar ones, because you can actually watch them, and I love the moon.)

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset (This question is for ETs from weird planets that don’t have suns, right?)

31. Hit a home run (Barely even held a bat, let alone hit one of those.)

32. Been on a cruise (Horrible, horrible, horrible environmentally. All that beautiful coral killed by human desire to take fake villages out to sea. It’s a travesty.)

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person (Again, one day, I hope.)

34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors (And lived there, too.)

35. Seen an Amish community (How about lived surrounded by them? Although, there isn’t really such a thing as “an Amish community,” as they just live all around us here. The community is mixed “English” and Amish).

36. Taught myself a new language (Does “stupid business lingo” count?)

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied (But it really doesn’t take that much to “truly satisfy” me materially. Just put me in a warm house, with good food, and lots and lots of books and CDs, and something that plays CDs.)

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person (Yet another one that goes in the “one day” category.)

39. Gone rock climbing (My fear of falling keeps me from such endeavors.)

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David (And another…Sigh! So, so many places to see one day.)

41. Sung karaoke (I wrote a post about that here.)

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt (Not as high on my “one day” list as the others, but I wouldn’t turn down the possibility if it presented itself. I’d rather see the wildlife in the park.)

43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant (I bet there aren’t many people out there bolding this one.)

44. Visited Africa (But I am dying to go on a safari.)

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight (Again, one for those ETs? Or maybe it’s one for someone from Kansas or something who never travels.)

46. Been transported in an ambulance (When I was a kid, I always wanted to ride in one. When I actually did so, after breaking my wrist at an ice skating rink, I realized it would only be fun if you could sit up front and not be in so much pain.)

47. Had my portrait painted (Not something I’m real keen to do, given that I’m not real fond of most photos taken of me.)

48. Gone deep sea fishing (I don’t fish.)

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person (Bob has. Does doing so vicariously count?)

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (Man, I’m being asked an awful lot of questions about that trip to France when I had to wear those awful shoes. We’ve got pictures of my siblings and me standing around the Eiffel Tower. I’m sure my parents must have taken us to the top, but again, I don’t remember…)

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling (Just a note to those who come up with these odd memes and may not be aware: you can snorkel without scuba diving, but if you’ve ever scuba dived, you’ve snorkeled.)

52. Kissed in the rain (I prefer the snow, which was Bob’s and my first kiss, at the beach in the snow, nonetheless. After walking on the beach by moonlight, come to think of it.)

53. Played in the mud (I miss doing that.)

54. Gone to a drive-in theater (That would be pretty hard to do these days.)

55. Been in a movie (I’m assuming home movies don’t count?)

56. Visited the Great Wall of China (Another one I could claim to have done vicariously through Bob, I suppose.)

57. Started a business (But I dream about doing so all the time.)

58. Taken a martial arts class (See bungee jumping.)

59. Visited Russia (Am dying to, though. This “one day” had better come soon!)

60. Served at a soup kitchen (Pretty hard to be a minister’s wife and not do that at some point.)

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies (Only once. I hated Girl Scouts – what was it with all those stupid things we had to do to earn badges? I never wanted to do any of them, just wanted to go camping -- and dropped out after I got to go camping.)

62. Gone whale watching (And been fortunate enough to see lots of whales 2 of the 3 times. The second time, all I saw were dolphins.)

63. Got flowers for no reason (Much better, always, than getting them for special occasions.)

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma (I used to donate blood all the time, but the last time I did so, I was made so uncomfortable by all the billions of questions asked, that I haven’t been back. Why can’t they just test the blood for diseases and get on with it?)

65. Gone sky diving (Ongoing discussion in our house. Will Bob ever manage to get me to go?)

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp (Now there’s one that is NOT on the “one day” list.)

67. Bounced a check (It was Bob’s fault, of course. Although, they don’t really bounce these days, do they? We have overdraft protection on our accounts.)

68. Flown in a helicopter (Now that’s something about a trip taken in the days when my mother made me wear uncomfortable shoes that I remember. We flew from one New York airport to the other via helicopter when we went to England when I was eight.)

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy (I’m assuming stuffed animals count?)

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial (What an odd choice for Washington, D.C.)

71. Eaten Caviar (Yum!)

72. Pieced a quilt (This one is truly laughable. Not that singing a solo wasn’t…)

73. Stood in Times Square (But not on New Year’s Eve, which would have been the better question. Oh, and how else does one get half price tickets to Broadway shows if not by standing in Times Square?)

74. Toured the Everglades (Not very high on the “one day” list.)

75. Been fired from a job (No, but I’m always in fear of it happening.)

76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London (And I was wearing comfortable shoes that day, because I actually remember it. I was very impressed.)

77. Broken a bone (The aforementioned wrist. That was a horrible ordeal that led to surgery and everything.)

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle (I assume the driver was speeding, because he was the sort to do so.)

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person (Can you believe I’ve been all over this country but have never seen it? I don’t count seeing it from an airplane, flying across the country, as really seeing it.)

80. Published a book (Many, many as an editor. None as an author, although some of those I’ve edited had so much written by me, I could claim to be an author.)

81. Visited the Vatican (Interested in doing so, but not as interested as most of the other faraway places of interest on this list.)

82. Bought a brand new car (This meme is obviously for the college set or non-Americans or something.)

83. Walked in Jerusalem (Way up there on the “one day” list, and another one I’ve done vicariously through Bob.)

84. Had my picture in the newspaper (If little hometown and college papers count.)

85. Read the entire Bible (One of these days, I’ll get around to re-reading it, because it’s so, so fascinating.)

86. Visited the White House (Long story, but I actually once got a private tour and saw the Oval Office and the press room and everything.)

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating (Uhhh…no.)

88. Had chickenpox (We think. I’m a third child, so no one’s really sure, but when an ex-boyfriend of mine got them, I didn’t come down with them, so I’m pretty sure I must have had them as a kid.)

89. Saved someone’s life (Only metaphorically speaking, if friends and husbands are to be believed.)

90. Sat on a jury (I’ve been called to jury duty several times, but never made it into a jury box. Too bad. I’ve always been kind of interested in doing so.)

91. Met someone famous (If you hang out with Bob long enough, you’re bound to meet someone famous at some point.)

92. Joined a book club (Although, technically, I’ve only “joined” one: the CT detective book club to which I now belong. All the others, I had to form myself, begging people to join. Sometimes it worked; sometimes it didn’t.)

93. Lost a loved one (I assume this means dying, but I’ve also lost loved ones in other ways.)

94. Had a baby (Hmmm…let’s hope, now, that I’m wrong about this being for the college set.)

95. Seen the Alamo in person (Only because San Antonio is a popular spot for library and education conferences.)

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake (By the way, this should be “swum.”)

97. Been involved in a law suit (Depends on the definition of “involved.” My insurance company sued the insurance company that wouldn’t pay for the car that was totaled in the first accident I ever had.)

98. Owned a cell phone (Maybe this meme isn’t for the college set. Perhaps it’s for those from “The Greatest Generation?” Oh, wait a minute. Not only do most of them not own cell phones; most of them don’t blog.)

99. Been stung by a bee (At least, I don’t remember being stung by one. Maybe I was in France, wearing uncomfortable shoes.)

100. Rode an elephant (No, but I would love to! Perhaps if I ever go on that African safari? Oh, and again, this should be “ridden.”)


Anonymous said...

I love this post - I laughed through the whole thing, learned a little grammar and Lord do I have a lot of living left to do! Merry Christmas.

litlove said...

What a cool meme! But wow, talk about random. I'd like to see the person who's put together a quilt AND gone bungee jumping!

Merry Christmas to you and Bob, Emily! Hope you have a lovely one.

Watson Woodworth said...

I also quit Scouts after going camping.
See, I'd never been camping and they're all about camping.
Turns out I hate camping. And scouting. I stayed in for less than a month.

Anne Camille said...

I've done 68% of these, which may be the most of any list kind of meme I've seen, but some of them I'm not sure that'd I'd claim the details of outside of a select few. Along the lines of snorkling/scuba, I wonder if the meme creator realized that the Sistine Chapel(#81) is at the Vatican(#49). These really is an odd assortment of questions.

Anonymous said...

I actually think memes were around before blogs but weren't called such...this is like those lists friends and family members used to send out to multiple people at once asking for responses...
Loved your answers though!

Rebecca H. said...

I do wonder how these lists get put together, and how much they change as they travel around email and the internet. I enjoyed reading this -- your commentary is definitely the best part!

Emily Barton said...

Sara, glad to make you laugh. Maybe you'll do it and get me laughing, too.

Litlove, I'd like to see that person, too. And thanks for the Christmas wishes. It wasn't the best Christmas ever, but hey, it's over, and now I can turn my attention back to reading.

NP, well, I actually did like the camping, but my troop only got to do it once a year, and the rest wasn't worth it.

Cam, I know. It's a very odd assortment (for once, "random," which is used all too often and incorrectly was actually the appropriate word here). I found myself wondering "Can you GO to the Sistine Chapel without going to the Vatican?" but then thought, since I've never been, must be something I don't know, like people don't technically consider The Sistine Chapel to be part of the Vatican? So, glad to hear from you that my initial reaction wasn't off the mark.

Sheralle, glad you stopped by and left a comment.

Court, I think you're right. I've seen a lot of "memes" that ten years ago were emails.

Anonymous said...

Apparently, the number of bolded things coincides with one's age, with deviations explained by income.

About 23: I have never taken a sick day when I was not ill. On the contrary, I generally take standard (vacation) days off when I am ill. That's because I have plenty of these*, whereas if I want to take a sick day (or a sick kid care day), I have to justify it with a visit to the doctor. And when I am sick, I had rather stay snugly at home under my blankets than go to the doctor's (unless it feels serious).

Anonymous said...

PS: Sheralle's comment is a spam.

Anonymous said...

PS: Sheralle's comment is a spam.

Special K said...

I think Mandarine's third comment is spam, too. (:

I've seen this list floating around and can't understand why stung by a bee is on there - I was stung twice this summer so I must be doing something right!

Emily Barton said...

Mandarine, that's because you live in one of those sensible countries that doesn't force its employees to lie in order to get more than two weeks off per year. And I figured Sheralle might be spam but wasn't sure.

Special K, stung twice in one summer? Wow! Good thing you aren't allergic.