Monday, August 10, 2009

25 things about me (with apologies)

So, I'm sure you'll all recall that, not long ago, before "Quizes" became the rage, the "25 things about me" craze dominated facebook.

I wrote mine back in January, but never got around to publishing them. And I forgot all about them until today, cleaning up my desktop. So here they are.

1-- I seldom go more than a few minutes without getting giddy with happiness, interspersed with frequent grumpy periods.
2-- I have never been overseas, though I've covered Canada six or eight times (except for the tundra) and most of the U.S.
3-- I've learned to take pride in any kind of work, no matter what it is, and no matter who sees it. (I didn't always know this, and learned it mostly through errors--sometimes BIG errors.)
4-- I have been writing a novel for 7 years. It's almost finished. It's about treeplanting, love, life, cancer, money, loss, God, the environment, mythology, war, the passage of time, and why it might be okay to believe in a lie if it makes you a kinder, happier, healthier person.
5-- I have fairly serious back problems due to many years of tree planting and competitive volleyball. In December, my roommate came home and found me on the kitchen floor, grey and sweaty and completely unable to move. In retrospect, it was kind of funny, though at the time it clearly wasn't.
6-- As a passionate military historian, I have a lot of respect for the sacrifices made by the individual soldier (living with PTSD, for one), but I think the leadership of both sides, in any war, ever, are absolutely 100% wrong. And I count both Hamas and the government of Israel in that 100% wrong company.
7-- Moving to Montreal was one of the two most difficult things I've ever done. (My first few seasons of tree planting was the other.)
8-- Sometimes, during the course of my day, I try to think of clever Facebook statuses to write when I get home. Frankly, it's because I want to impress you with my wit, so that you'll like me more.
9-- I have seen the very best and the very worst in humans. At different times, I've seen both in myself. That's why I try (key word TRY) not to judge.
10-- I miss my family, and all my friends in Winnipeg. I wish I could see them more. I miss the Label Gallery, and all the great people I met there.
11-- Recently, I taught myself to play drums (Josey Krahn taught me, too), and I played in two bands-- The GodKings, and Winnipegasus. Playing drums is one of the funnest things I can imagine, and I was lucky that a bunch of really talented musicians let me bungle through my learning process with them.
12-- I think that humility, and the ability to laugh at yourself, are essential tools for survival, especially if you want to have new experiences.
13-- I like a lot of really weird, complex, inaccessible music (Sigur Ros, Ethiopian jazz, 14th century Latin mass) and a lot of really crappy pop (Britney, Elton John, Nelly Furtado).
14-- I am one of those rare people who loves public speaking and finds it terribly easy. I often find it easier than one-on-one conversations.
15-- I have learned to read, write and speak basic French in the last year and a half. Key word: basic.
16-- I'm almost never bored. Seriously. Never. I don't know why.
17-- I teach English to French-speaking stockbrokers and bankers by day. At night, I wash dishes in a restaurant where I'm one of two anglophones, and one of only two or three heteros. If the music were any louder, it could probably be called a gay bar. (note: this is now out of date).
18-- If you wanna see my blood boil, ask me about my views on the state of contemporary art criticism.
19-- I think it's an insult to all Canadians, and to the values that make our country so special, that we still pay ceremonial homage to the queen of England. You can also make my blood boil by raising that subject. I'm actually getting upset just typing this.
20-- I've been a vegetarian for 8 years and counting. And no, I don't miss meat in the least.
21-- I owned a car once, over a decade ago, and hopefully never will again. And I have had a TV for about 2 or 3 of the last 15 years.
22-- I'm a deeply spiritual person, whatever that means. I try to respect every rock, dog, human, spider and plant that I encounter as though they are the incarnation of God--which they are. In that vein, I think organized religion has become the antithesis of real spirituality. Tradition makes a great teacher, but a lousy master.
23-- Adopting two stray cats (thanks to Winnipeg businesswoman and social activist Christine Common) was one of the best things I ever did. Tricksy and Frances, my two cats, bring me endless joy. People often tell me that makes me a "cat lady", and I sort of always like it when they say that.
24-- One of the goals of my life is to help re-unite English, French, and Aboriginal Canada through my writing. And no, I'm not kidding. I wish I were. It would save me a lot of frustration.
25-- It's hard to write 25 things about yourself without seeming pompous, opinionated, and self-absorbed. If you read all this, then you're probably my friend.

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