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Memetic Musing

June 5, 2013

Since History In The Re-Making kindly gave me a Liebster Award, I thought that in the spirit of blogging solidarity, and also of not having enough material yet for the mid-week post I’m planning, it was high time to address it. Sadly, I do not have eleven good new blogs to nominate — I read a lot of good blogs, but most of them have been going for approximately a decade in one form or another and it seems impertinent to call them “new”. I can only think of two which are both new-ish and haven’t already been tagged. Therefore I will nominate them now:

The Red Pen

The Daily List Of Awesome Books

The rules are as follows:

1. Post eleven things about yourself.
2. Answer the eleven questions posed by your nominator.
3. Choose eleven blogs to nominate in your turn.
4. Make eleven questions for them.
5. No tag backs.

Eleven things about me:

1. With the exception of some extended traveling, I’ve spent my entire life moving westward — from Illinois to Utah and now to Washington state. I don’t know when or where the next move will be but I have a feeling I should start picking up a few maps of Hawaii or New Zealand, just in case.

2. I once ate barbecued alligator. It was less interesting than it sounds. (Very tough, if you’re wondering).

3. I majored in Russian in college and while I can still read it pretty well — thanks to my dictionaries and online news sites — my speech has desiccated to the point where if I went back, I’d spend the first month just stuttering.

4. Speaking of Russia, I learned the hard way there that trying to take a violin over the border will earn you a four-hour session of having your luggage ripped apart while being screamed at and threatened with deportation and/or jail by border policemen who are (most likely) trying to shake you down for money. I didn’t give them any, not from innate strength of character but because I had nothing on me except one twenty-dollar bill which didn’t seem like enough for the four of them.

5. When particularly angry, I like to recite Robert Browning’s Ancien Regime to myself. It’s very cathartic.

6. I briefly thought about going into academia, since I love research, but jettisoned the idea upon realizing that I hated teaching and could not, in conscience, inflict myself on innocent students. Though as a friend of mine told me, “It’s not like that’s ever stopped anyone else.”

7. When I’m by myself, I shamelessly listen to Ace of Base.

8. I love horseradish, especially in deviled eggs. A bonus is that I’m guaranteed privacy while eating them because nobody else wants to be in the room.

9. I once toured an LDS Temple before it was dedicated. (Though I’ve heard that after the public tours they rearrange everything before dedicating it so I probably didn’t see the final version). It was a warren of small white rooms rather than the one cathedral-like space you would expect from looking at it, and the marriage/sealing rooms had mirrors on each wall so you could see yourselves reflecting into eternity while you knelt. It was impressive but it must get distracting while you’re saying your vows.

10. This is my 100th post. Just thought I should throw that in somewhere. I don’t even want to think about the word count I’ve racked up in the last thirteen months.

Questions from fantaesque:

1. What is your favourite chocolate bar and why?

Salted caramel, simply because it is. (Although I once had a barista tell me, “That’s President Obama’s favourite flavour, you know!” I mean, good for him, but I can make my chocolate decisions without the assistance of politicians).

2. If you could be any historical character, who would you be?

Anne Boleyn, of course, so I could find out the truth about myself. Or if she’s too popular, Lady Rochford — again, to find out about myself.

3. If you could go back in time to witness any event, where would you go?

This is difficult, but I think for sheer spectacle I’d like to see the Field of Cloth of Gold.

4. What would your dream holiday be?

My late advisor had a hypothesis that the further east one travelled across Europe, the narrower the ticket windows at train stations became, and that the narrower the windows the more repressive the society. If I had unlimited time and money, I’d travel very slowly from one end of Europe to the other, measuring window-widths in every station I could. Of course, I would have to be very stealthy about this, since governments get fairly touchy about people snapping these kinds of photos. Phones make it much easier and more unobtrusive now, though.

5. What is your favourite song and why?

“Tam Lin”. It helps that there are about 350 different versions of it, so it really never gets old.

6. What did you always want to be when you grew up?

All sorts of things, very few of which I am. (Though I suppose you could count “writer” in the sense of “I have been paid for some pieces on occasion” not in the sense of “I make a real income doing this”).

7. If someone gave you a million pounds tomorrow, what would you do with it?

Convert it into dollars, and then (realistic answer) buy a house and invest the rest (unrealistic answer) take the dream trip measuring train station windows.

8. Can you play a musical instrument?

The violin, very poorly but with enthusiasm. When I was very little my class had to learn the basics of the recorder, but I remember nothing except “Hot Cross Buns”. Probably lingering trauma from hearing twenty-five recorders all screeching in approximate unison.

9. Why did you start blogging?

Because I was very hung up on this particular topic and thought it would be kinder to put it online than keep buttonholing my real life friends about it.

10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

The power to apparate.

11. What is your favourite novel and why?

Fifth Business. It’s the perfect combination of so many odd elements. Kristin Lavransdatter is my co-favourite.

And at last, the questions I’m asking. Only two, since there are only two blogs on my list.

1. What is your favourite book that was never written? Anything from the Vida de la Reina Catalina by Maria de Salinas to the prison diary of Samuel Pepys to Robert Graves’s novel about George Boleyn — I’d love to know what your favourites are.

2. What supernatural creature do you feel is unjustly neglected in current fiction? Vampires, zombies, mummies, mermaids and others seem to be taking over, but there’s got to be something that hasn’t been seized on yet.

From → Miscellaneous

  1. Clare permalink

    Margaret Mitchell’s sequel to ‘Gone with the Wind’. Eric Ives’ biography of George Boleyn.
    I love a good ghost story, and they are currently very few and far between.

    • sonetka permalink

      I would read both of those books until they fell apart. I assure myself that in Heaven, they are already written :). I take it you’ve read M.R. James’s ghost stories? Also Russell Kirk, of all people, has a collection of ghost stories called “Ancestral Shadows” — I don’t particularly care for his other writings but a few of the stories in there absolutely knocked my socks off. Also, Robertson Davies has a series of humourous Christmas ghost stories called “High Spirits” which are also a lot of fun.

  2. Clare permalink

    I’ve never heard of M R James. Thanks for the tip. The only good ghost story I’ve read recently is ‘Dark Matter’ by Michelle Paver.

    • sonetka permalink

      M.R. James is fantastic — I think most if not all of his stuff is public domain now, and there are Dover editions. “Casting The Runes” is my favourite, but most of them are really good.

  3. Tungsten permalink

    Thanks so much for the link! *hug* I’ll be posting a response to this . . . soonish, I think. I need to come up with my answers and questions first.

    • sonetka permalink

      Well, I kind of free-formed it so don’t worry too much about it!

  4. I struggled to think of ‘new’ blogs too, in the end I just linked the blogs I enjoy the most 😛

    Salted caramel is indeed superior to all other chocolate, I approve 😛 There is also nothing shameless in listening to Ace of Base *hides iPod*

    • sonetka permalink

      “C’est la vie, c’est la vie, c’est la vieeeeeee …”

      And God knows how many pounds of salted caramels I’ve bought from the local chocolate company. They’re my go-to gift for teachers and so forth — hasn’t failed yet.

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