15 November 2008

Seven, They Are Seven

I’ve been meme-tagged twice, first by Susan-being-kept-awake-by-opera and next by the Opera Tattler, so I guess I’d better cowboy up. This meme kind of threw me because you have to come up with seven random or weird facts about yourself, but, you know, you don’t want them to be too random, and definitely not too weird. So first I’m supposed to list the rules:

1) Link to your tagger and list these rules on your blog. Done and doing!

2) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog - some random, some weird.

3) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blog.

4) Let them know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

5) If you don't have 7 blog friends, or if someone else already took dibs, then tag some unsuspecting strangers.

Shouldn't there be 7 rules? I find this a little strange.

Seven facts, or at least factoids, or at least things I'm not too ashamed to reveal:

1) My first complete sentence was, “Go away.” What a winsome child!

2) I won’t eat spaghetti, beets, mayonnaise (OK, sometimes in a dressing in small amounts), or meat that isn’t well-done. I can’t drink coffee since it upsets my stomach, but I like coffee ice cream. I drink tea copiously, but I have to put milk in it or it upsets my stomach too. I like goat cheese but don’t eat it because, somewhat mysteriously, it gives me terrible migraines.

3) I’ve always thought Pamina and Papageno should get together – Tamino’s kind of a drip, isn’t he?

4) I love doing laundry, but I don’t particularly like ironing. I once heard some guy going on about “buying your first car – that’s freedom, man!” and I thought, uh, no, because if you have a car you need a steady supply of money for gas, insurance, and repairs, not to mention for the places the car might take you, and for a steady supply of money you need a job, which means you have to be at a certain place at a certain time day after day – a car is merely the illusion of freedom. But having your own washer and drier – that is freedom!

5) I don’t drive. I know one pedal makes the car go faster and another makes it stop, but I’m a little vague on which is which. The world is just better without having me behind the wheel. Ms S of DC once pointed out that I get road rage as a pedestrian. I also have fairly poor depth perception which got much worse after my eye surgery (detaching retina) eighteen years ago. I sometimes wonder if that’s why I love Japanese woodblock prints, Matisse, and Russian icons so much: flat decorated surfaces.

6) I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve read the complete works of Shakespeare. I always start with Twelfth Night and end with Hamlet, partly because I did it that way the first time and partly because that way I make sure I have something really good at the end: you don’t want the Merry Wives of Windsor just hanging over your head like that.

7) V taught me how to quilt. I’ve completed three and I’ve started the fourth, which I’m making out of old shirts I can’t wear to work any longer because the collars and cuffs are too frayed and the armpits have gotten the way armpits get. I can also chop down (and chop up) a fairly sizable tree. I was kind of surprised how much I liked chopping wood: if I didn't love trees even more, I'd be on a bare lot by now. I like to know how to do these semi-practical things at times. It makes me feel I could survive on the winter prairies, though I probably really couldn't.

Now I’m supposed to tag seven others: well, V, CMB, and MBB. That’s three. Hmmm. Four more? OK, to continue with the random and weird, the Pacifica Quartet because I’m eager to hear them playing all of Elliott Carter’s string quartets in a few weeks.


Lisa Hirsch said...

Some of that is useful to know about you. By "spaghetti," do you mean all pasta or only the type called spaghetti?

I have not read all of Shakespeare, not even once. I should get started.

Janos has seen almost all of the plays on stage! I feel like I'm starting a little late for such a project, though it is less quixotic than hoping for stagings of all of Verdi's operas.

pjwv said...

Hmmm, I don't know if "useful to know" is quite what I was aiming for. There's always the question of how personal to go. Here's one bit that didn't make the cut, mostly because I forgot about it: my senior year in high school, I was voted Shyest in the Class, which absolutely astonished me, mostly because I didn't think enough people knew who I was to vote me anything. But my cousin was a guidance counselor at the school (and luckily for me widely beloved) so I guess the name was familiar.

I mean the type called spaghetti. I like all other varieties of pasta, particularly the ones shaped like shells, because . . . they're shaped like shells. I like the curlicue ones too, but I usually just get whatever they have that's whole grain and isn't spaghetti.

It's never too late to start reading Shakespeare! he said primly. I realized several years ago that I was past the point when I was ever going to see a production that made me think, "Yep! that's it! they got everything!" But I suppose that's the point and greatness of Shakespeare.

I don't know how many of the plays I've seen on stage -- I have kind of had that as a goal in mind, but I've never done an actual count. I know I have some surprising omissions (like Romeo and Juliet -- I'm only including plays I've seen live on stage, not as films or filmed plays). And there are some surprising ones I've seen: two productions of Pericles, for instance, and quite a few of The Winter's Tale, which was done so seldom in the 19th century that in the excellent collection Shaw on Shakespeare (a nice follow-up to his three-volume collection of music criticism) there's a note saying he never had the opportunity of seeing it on stage. Exit pursued by a bear indeed.

Ever since you told me about your opera lifelist I've been thinking I should go through my playbills and draw up a list of all the ones I've seen. I could make one of Shakespeare's plays at the same time. A nice little project next time I feel like procrastinating.

Counting the plays seen can get a little tricky, though, because there's a tendency to take something like the three Henry VI plays and mash them into a long "War of the Roses" evening -- so does that count as seeing those plays?

I think you're right about Verdi's operas -- Aroldo or Alzira are even less likely to turn up than Timon of Athens or King John (though I missed an opportunity when I lived in Boston, since the play was in Rhode Island which was too difficult to get to; I mostly remember it because it was one of those "let's show *attitude*" contemporary productions and the ad showed the surly actor playing King John with the slogan, "He's Never Heard of You Either", which I thought was pretty funny.)

Lisa Hirsch said...

The bit about spaghetti is definitely "useful"! You might come to dinner some time.

I've read a lot of Shakespeare, in h.s., college, and in my long-running, now-defunct book group. Maybe I should make a list.

Lisa Hirsch said...

P. S. One possible barrier to reading more Shakespeare: I own the Riverside Shakespeare and am not going to lug it around with me. But I see there are web editions all over, hmm.

LFF said...

Patrick-Fascinating info, to be sure. I wish you had a space to show that quilt-I would like to see it!

Libby (MVD's work friend:))

pjwv said...

Well, I'm a tad late in responding, but . . .

Lisa, you're so right about the one-volume Collected Works versus individual volumes. I've had one-volume sets and generally end up not using them much. The individual plays are so much handier. I still rely mostly on the 40-volume paperback Signet Classic series I bought decades ago (most of them priced for fifty or seventy-five cents!), though I have a few other nice sets.

Hey Libby! It's not the lack of space but the lack of a camera that keeps me from showing the current quilt, though frankly there's not much to show at this point besides two piles of squares in two different shades of blue and a bunch of cut-up shirts waiting to be turned into squares. Maybe by the time I get a camera I will have made enough progress to post something.