Sunday, February 8, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

You have to love this "25 Things About Me" fad going around on Facebook. It is so narcissistic! There is nothing that is more fun than talking about yourself. Well, for me, I do love talking about Leonard Pennario more. But that is a first in my life.

A few of my friends and acquaintances have "tagged" me in their "25 Random" lists. That means they want me to do it too. And now I am so flattered that I can hold off no longer. Here are my 25 things. I will try to write them in a big hurry so I do not waste much time on them when I really ought to be working. Above is a picture of me, working on my list of 25 things. You will have to get further on down the list to No. 17 and 18 to see why I am dressed in the picture the way I am.


1.) Going by my first and middle names I am "bitter stranger." Mary is Hebrew for bitter and Barbara is Latin for stranger. Like barbarian, get it?

2.) Three things I cannot do: blow bubbles with bubble gum, return my library books on time, snap my fingers. I have tried and tried!

3.) I fell in love with Mozart when I was 8 and I have never really gotten over my disappointment that he is dead. At left is my favorite picture of Mozart when I was 8. It was on a book of his sonatas which, I don't care what Glenn Gould said, I still think Mozart sonatas are sexy and great.

4.) Two things I love about my husband, Howard (right): he can calm me down and he can crack me up.

5.) I had one great-grandfather in the Civil War and another great-grandfather in the Franco-Prussian War.

6.) Two things I worry about: the fact that America is turning into a welfare state and the possibility of a comet hitting the earth (because one I read a story in the New Yorker about that and I never forgot it).

7.) I love Christmas and Christmas music. I have no problem with the commercialism either. I love to schedule a walk through the Galleria Mall just to look at all the stuff.

8.) Like my Facebook friend Carl Herko, I am pretty much omnivorous. There is hardly any food I do not enjoy except for once in a while I blow a recipe and something goes wrong. In that case I don't worry about having to finish it. Life is too short.

9.) Two things I love a little more than I should: red wine and Leonard Pennario, the pianist I am writing my book about.

10.) Much as I am enjoying writing this list, I would rather be writing 25 things about Pennario, pictured at left.

11.) I went 12 times to see the Grateful Dead.

12.) Though I am a conservative I am proud of my hippie skills: I bake my own bread, roast my own granola, make my own soap, make my own wine (well, my friend Gary actually makes it, but we go half-in-half on the juice from Desiderio's) and have mastered difficult yoga poses.

13.) I own an ice cream maker and am not afraid to use it. But the braces on my teeth make eating ice cream difficult. You do not realize how much texture matters as much as flavor. I cannot get at the ice cream's texture with these braces on my teeth.

14.) I was always Catholic but I became passionate about it a year and a half ago when I accidentally started going to the Latin Mass. It makes tears come to my eyes when the priest blesses us at the end: "Benedicat vos omnipotens Deus..." That means "May Almighty God bless you" but it is so much more beautiful. I know the Credo and the Gloria by heart. I am lucky Howard has been so supportive of my new love for my religion because he did not sign on for this.

15.) It distresses me how 99 percent of the people I run across on Facebook are agnostic or atheist or some other confused designation. On the other hand I like these people, and I like the feeling that all of us are going through life together.

15.) I have all kinds of stuff socked away in my head that no one will ever know about.

16.) I have all kinds of stuff socked away under the bed, too, that no one will ever know about either.

17.) When I was in college I used to belong to a medieval group, the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA), where my name was Duchess Kunegunda Elandris Henschel von Schattenberg. I can still embroider beautifully, do three kinds of calligraphy (Celtic Roundhand, Gothic and Roman Uncial) and dance the pavan, the galliard and the Pease Bransle.

18.) Once in the SCA when I was the Queen of the East, which ran from Maine down to Virginia, I fell in love with my Queen's Champion. Fortunately he did not love me back. That is the two of us pictured above.

19.) Winter is my favorite time of year. I hate to see it end.

20.) I still play vinyl. I will never stop.

21.) I went through big jazz and blues phases but I have to admit in the long run it will never touch my soul the way classical music does.

22.) But going out to hear Jackie Jocko is still one of life's supreme pleasures and if I do not go at least once a week I get antsy.

23.) Walking is the only exercise that ever really worked for me. I can swim forever and never get tired or lose a single pound.

24.) I have the German compulsion to beat a dead horse. I never give up on anything until I am absolutely forced to, usually after a period of years.

25.) I run my mouth too much.


Anonymous said...

Love your 25 things list and am honored to be mentioned by name, just like Leonard Pennario! If ever I need to designate a biographer, I'll know exactly who to call.

Anonymous said...

you know, when you run for President...

they will say she cannot be elected

not because she is a woman

but because her name was

Kungunda von Shttenberg

Anonymous said...

Just curious re the welfare state: How do you feel about retirement with pensions for the civil service labor force?

Anonymous said...

This is a great list and it certainly tells us a lot about you that I know most of us would have never known otherwise. Thanks for sharing these parts of your life with us.

Anonymous said...

This is a great list and it certainly tells us a lot about you that I know most of us would have never known otherwise. Thanks for sharing these parts of your life with us.

Anonymous said...

I'd lost track of Carl Herko and was so happy to see his comment on your blog.

In the photo where you're writing, wearing the blue dress, why do you have your purse on your arm? Just askin'.

Anonymous said...

I love the photo of you...when did you get a dog?