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5 things you might not know about me meme: pop culture version

January 1st, 2007 · No Comments

I’ve been tagged, once, twice, now three times (thanks, Nancy, Jory and Betsy!), so I should fulfill my duty with this meme. Responses often seem to be in either the category of hidden talents from childhood or strange trivia. It is as revealing and intriguing to read various disclosures as it is to see how each blogger responds. Susan Mernit posts a compilation of snippets, a tiny aggregator of responses, outlining her favorites. danah boyd comments on the 5 things phenomenon, offering analysis from her perspective on MySpace, generations and social media. And Kathy Sierra makes it interactive and turns it two-way, engaging the reader, as always.

Then there is Hugh Macleod.

And me? Well, I confess I’ve turned the meme into a way to publish a couple posts that have been bouncing around in the brain. Sorry for the length but there are three short ones at the end.

Inspired in part by Susan Mernit’s compilation and Donny Osmond’s appearance on tv last night (Christmas Eve), I decided to do five things in a pop culture theme. I don’t often write about tv, movies, or music so here are five little windows on my life, starting with Christmas time and Donny Osmond almost thirty years ago and going with whatever comes to mind from there…

1. On my Christmas list when I was seven or eight, I requested a set of Donny and Marie Osmond dolls (looks like I could still buy some on eBay, even in the original boxes). I remembered this clearly last night while my in-laws were watching an Andy Williams Christmas show reprise and suddenly Donny Osmond appeared on the screen, yet again. Santa was good to me that year and I got Donny and Marie, along with Donnie’s purple socks, Marie’s layered dress and microphones. I never asked for a Barbie doll and I never owned a Barbie. But for some reason nearly thirty years ago I wanted Donnie and Marie. (wish I still had those dolls – then I could turn them into My First xxxxx !)

2. I like the X-Men movies. I didn’t know this about myself until earlier this month. Ted, the girls and I share a Netflix account, each of us selecting one DVD. Watching each other’s movies is often an act of love. At least it is for me with Ted’s choices. I confess I fell asleep during Tron. And please don’t mention Mission Impossible 2 which inoculated us against any more John Woo movies. One of Ted’s films we even stopped and sent back without viewing further (and yeah, I make some bad choices too). But the X-Men series I enjoyed. I haven’t liked the Batman movies and I’ve never been a fan of comics or superheroes in general. What is it about X-Men? Perhaps it is the emphasis on molecular biology – “mutations” – my field of study. After growing up with the label “gifted”, I like the way the X-Men twist that idea. I also appreciate the way each person has a different mutation/gift, coming together in community, even creating a spiritual analogy, I believe. I actually know someone who is working with Ralph Winter on a project so that is exciting, to be two degrees of separation away from the X-Men Producer.

3. Duran Duran’s Save a Prayer and Spandau Ballet’s True remind me of my friend M. She was in my circle of friends in high school. The last time I saw her she was walking across campus, going home from school early with a headache. She died that weekend from a brain tumor. Cleaning up my room months later I found a thank you note that I had never sent her. M’s aunt, who came to speak at her service, is an actress and whenever I see this actress I think of M. Her favorite songs were also played at her service, associated forever for me with her. It is poignant, haunting and strange to watch both those videos on YouTube now and listen to the lyrics twenty years later. I’m not sure I saw the videos back then (I wasn’t allowed to watch MTV). Now as an adult and mom I think about her parents and hope they are well. I also have written plans for my favorite music to be shared whenever I am gone.

4. I spent my 18th birthday going with friends to see Wim Wenders’ Wings of Desire. I rented it last winter and drafted a post about it but the words disappeared with my previous laptop. I’m not as crazy about it as I once was but I think it is still a powerful and beautiful poetic film. At 15, I was blessed to visit Berlin when the Wall was still dividing the country in two and as a student of German and of German heritage, I was partial to this Himmel uber Berlin (its original title in German). Back then and even now I have wanted to be one of the black and white angels who could hear others’ thoughts and comfort them.

5. I love short stories and my favorite authors include James Joyce, Raymond Carver, Robert Olen Butler and Barbara Kingsolver, worn paperback books from high school and college days on shelves above my desk. When I was younger I hoped to publish a book of short stories in my teenage years, by age 16. Then I hoped to do it by my early thirties. Maybe I can write a book before I hit 3 x 16. I have had one story published in an arts journal (and a number of encouraging comments from editors), but I confess the book goal seems far away. Then again I am still young enough to dream and hope. And write.


3 more quick pop-culture items I remembered after writing this post.

1. My parents tell me at age two I loved singing Carly Simon’s You’re So Dane, thinking that the song was about me (I had no idea there was an entire Wikipedia entry and a page of Carly Simon’s site devoted to the mystery).

2. As a child my favorite TV show was In Search Of. I loved the mystery and investigation even if it was a little hoaxy.

3. I think I watched one episode of Miami Vice, in its heyday, and I still remember the plot. I remembered this the other day as the girls were retelling an episode of something on Animal Planet (while at their grandparents’) that sounded similar…

Time to tag:

Robert Scoble thinks this meme should die, and Hugh MacLeod tried to kill it. Maybe it should. After all as Hugh points out, and some responses, there are five things we don’t want to know about each other. But I wouldn’t want anyone to miss the opportunity to join in if they would like…

I have tried to keep up with blogs but it’s possible I’ve missed someone who has already done their 5 things.

Friends Katherine, Jenny, Nancy Folsom, Nickie, Jay, Jen Zug (and Bryan?)

How about some couples too, since blogging couples is one of my specialties…let’s see:

Chris and Ponzi (except they are on their honeymoon and have good excuse not to respond)

Derek and Air

Anita and Jack

kk+ and kdon

Joey and Wendy

Happy New Year to all!

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