AUGUST 3, 2009 8:54PM

Metafirsts (for Nabina)

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On the Grid

 

This post has a metaness quotient of zero (no metas).


Jeeves Bw At the entreaty of their dear friend, Nabina, Melissa and Michael have agreed to discuss their firsts. Are you ready, Michael?

Michael Bw Yes, I’m ready.

Jeeves Bw Melissa?

Melissa Bw Sure. Fire away.

Jeeves Bw Here is your first “first”, then: The FIRST outstation stay.

Michael Bw What’s an “outstation stay”?

Melissa Bw I’m not sure, but if you read Nabina’s post, it seems to be about the first place you traveled to away from home. What I’m not sure of is how it’s different from your first sleepover, but I think it has to do with distance. That’s my guess, anyway. So let’s go with that.

Michael Bw That would be when I traveled with my “Uncle” Jim following behind my grandfather on our way to Phoenix, Arizona, shortly after my grandmother died. I spent one night there and left the next morning with my grandpa.

     I just remembered a joke I told my uncle that night while driving. I was in the back, leaning over the front seat, and I told him a joke I’d learned in my fourth-grade class. I remember padding it quite a bit, thinking, “I gotta make it interesting for an adult. So I gotta add a lot more words.” When I finished, Uncle Jim let out the heartiest laugh. That was one of my favorite things about him. Hearty laughter.

Melissa Bw What was the joke?!

Michael Bw Well, remember, this is a ten-year–old’s joke, so we’re not talking about the height of humor.

Melissa Bw I don’t care. You have to tell it.

Michael Bw Okay. A father takes his son, who is just learning to talk, to the airport. As the plane’s taking off, the father says, “Takeoff!” And his son says, “Takeofff!” Then he takes his son to the zoo, and they’re standing by the zebras, and the father says, “Zebra!” (You can probably see where this is going.) And the son says, “Zebraa!” Finally, the father takes the son to the hospital. They go to the delivery room, and the father says, “Baby!” And the son says, “Babyy!” When they get home, the mother asks, “What did you learn today, son?” And the son replies, with great pride, “Take off ze-bra, baby!”

Melissa Bw Hahaha. I think mine would be driving to San Bernadino to visit my Uncle George. He was really my great uncle. I remember being about three and swimming for hours upon hours in his pool. Maybe I was a little older then, I’m not sure. I just remember my mom having to bring me a piece of bread with peanut butter on it because I wouldn’t get out of the pool. I hung onto the side, kicking my legs, while I ate the most delicious piece of bread in the world.

Michael Bw I know what you mean about after-swimming food. For me, it was a banana. That was the best banana I had ever eaten, maybe even the best food.

Melissa Bw Yeah! Isn’t it amazing how delicious swimming for hours makes food taste?

Michael Bw Yes, swimming allows you to become distracted enough to not notice how exhausted you’re becoming.

Melissa Bw And how hungry you’ve gotten, which is why the food tastes so yummy!

Jeeves Bw Who was your FIRST prom date?

Michael Bw I didn’t go to my prom, but I did half-jokingly ask one of the waitresses at the steakhouse where I worked to go with me.

Melissa Bw What did she say?

Michael Bw “Yes.” It was a big joke at the restaurant. But as the day got closer, I started thinking, “Wow, if I really did show up with her, that would sure put me in good standing with the guys.” I can’t believe I used to think like that.

Melissa Bw Haha. Was she a lot older than you?

Michael Bw Much. Probably in her early thirties.

Melissa Bw I bet she was flattered that you asked her.

Michael Bw Maybe. I was also kind of afraid of her. She was really tough to work for as a busboy. Very demanding.

Melissa Bw I didn’t go to the prom, either. All of that socializing stuff made me uncomfortable. Not because I was an outsider or anything. I had lots of friends. I just made it clear I was focused on my studies and wasn’t interested in the social life aspect of high school—sports games and dances and all that crap. I was too busy spending eight hours a day on homework.

Jeeves Bw Who was your FIRST love and do you still talk with him/her?

Melissa Bw That would be you, Michael! And yes, I guess you could say I still talk to you.

Michael Bw Even though there were others I thought of as having loved, I didn’t really know the meaning of the word until you showed me.

Melissa Bw Awww.

Melissa BwMichael Bw (kiss)

Jeeves Bw Who was your FIRST crush?

Michael Bw Mine was a girl in first-grade named Cindy. She didn’t know I existed, but she had a haircut like one of the girls I had a crush on in the Little Rascals. I just thought of something. Wouldn’t my first crush then be the little girl in the Little Rascals?

Melissa Bw Well, we’re probably talking real people here. But which little girl?

Michael Bw I doubt you know her. She’s from the earlier episodes, before they even had sound. But I believe her last name was “Darling.”

Melissa Bw Let’s look her up.

Michael Bw Yeah! Jean Darling.

Melissa Bw I wanna see a picture. Jean Darling

     Aww, she’s cute. So I guess if Cary Grant and Humphrey Bogart don’t count, I’d have to say Justin. Maybe it’s because I was drawn to that name—it’s what I would’ve been called if I’d been a boy, after one of the Moody Blues members. This was in second grade, and Justin lived across the street. He was in my class, too. Weird thing is, I barely remember ever talking to him, and I’m not even sure why I liked him, other than the name! I think I was too young to really understand what a crush meant then. I just knew I was expected to have one, so that’s who I picked at the time.

Jeeves Bw What was your FIRST alcoholic drink?

Melissa Bw That would be kahlua. Anything coffee-related got my attention. There was a bottle of kahlua in the kitchen that lasted for probably a year. I just remember pouring a teeny amount into my coffee, usually when I was pulling an all-nighter doing a research paper or something. I think maybe I was in seventh or eighth grade then.

Michael Bw I was around nine or ten and was attending a wedding, where I began sneaking drinks of champagne. I found out that day what kind of a drunk I was. I proposed to every woman I met.

Melissa Bw Hahaha! How adorable.

Jeeves Bw What was your FIRST job?

Michael Bw That would be a summer job working at March Air Force base while I was still in high school. My favorite part of the job entailed painting signs, which I liked but was terrible at.

Melissa Bw Really?

Michael Bw Yeah, I learned how easy it is to lift all your hard work up with masking tape if you’re not careful. But I also found out how cool people in the military tend to be. It’s not their money, after all. (performs) “Just make another sign.” Other than that, I swept warehouses with sweeping compound and cleaned toilets.

     That was the job where the airman told me to climb up on this huge dumpster, and when he saw me scamper up there, he exclaimed, “Man, you’d make a great thief!” I was so proud of that.

Melissa Bw Haha. If you don’t count the decals I used to color in for Danny’s silkscreens, I guess my first job would be working at the library in college. I remember before I even started classes, I marched into the library director’s office. I knew I wanted to work with books, and I couldn’t imagine a better place than the library. They didn’t have any openings, but they hired me anyway because they could see how passionate I was. I got to make signs, too—on the computer.

Michael Bw I remember those! Remember they had a mistake in them that you had to correct?

Melissa Bw I had a mistake?! I don’t remember that at all. How bizarre. But then I ended up working in every other area of the library over the next few years—cataloging, acquisitions, the bindery, circulation, periodicals, pretty much anywhere I was needed. I even got to be the interim head of acquisitions after my boss left one summer.

Jeeves Bw What was your FIRST car?

Michael Bw A Mercury Capri that I lowered, chopped, and basically turned into a Frankenstein car. It never got out of primer. It was great.

Melissa Bw Hahaha. Yeah, it was cool. It looked like it belonged in some sci-fi movie or something.

Michael Bw Yeah. It wasn’t the one of the early model Capris, though. It was the 1979 model.

Melissa Bw I guess my first car would be our first car together—the 1955 oval window ragtop bug. Blue. Just like our current car, only a lot less reliable. Although the way our car has been acting lately, maybe not so much.

Michael Bw Haha.

Jeeves Bw Your FIRST air ride?

Melissa Bw Hmm. That’s hard, because I started flying back East to visit relatives every summer by myself starting in third grade, I think. But before that, I was probably about two or three when we flew back to New York to visit my Grandma Alice. She was dying of lung cancer, and we visited her in the hospital. I barely remember it, but I do remember being by the hospital bed looking up at her, and she was very kind. I think she gave me a ragdoll. My mom told me she talked about how beautiful I was. I remember how heartbroken my mom was because she had really connected with Alice in a way she hadn’t with the rest of Danny’s family. They were both introverted, artistic, sensitive souls. I wish I had been able to get to know her better.

Michael Bw Mine would be with the second family I was living with—Betty and Don. Two of her natural children, Jon and Elizabeth, and I flew with Betty to Indianapolis to see her sister. She was married without children and had two Siamese cats. They were very quiet people, so we were told we couldn’t make too much noise while we were there. My fondest memories of the place were the huge backyards with no fences and watching the black-and-white version of Superman. It made it almost seem like I had gone back in time to a quieter place.

Melissa Bw Like Willoughby? Only with television.

Jeeves Bw Who was the FIRST person to text you today?

Melissa Bw We don’t text. Ever.

Michael Bw Haha.

Jeeves Bw Who is the FIRST person you thought of this morning?

Melissa Bw That would be you, again, Michael. I was worried you had forgotten to eat, and I heard you heating up the macaroni and beans, so I was relieved you were eating, even if it was your usual crap.

Michael Bw Well, my morning would’ve been last night when I got up, and I’m not sure if it was you or Christine, because I remember asking if you’d finished sending the corrections for her manuscript.

Melissa Bw Right. And I had!

Michael Bw Yay!

Jeeves Bw Who was your FIRST-grade teacher?

Michael Bw My first first-grade was interrupted only a few days into it, and the name of the teacher at my second first-grade completely escapes me. At least I remember the name of the girl I had a crush on!

Melissa Bw The name of my first-grade teacher was Mrs. Hunt. I don’t really remember that much about her. It was the only year of school I spent in Long Beach, but I went to the same school my mom had gone to as a child. Birney Elementary. My favorite thing about it was the rings. I would spend all my recess time hanging and swinging from ring to ring, like a monkey.

Michael Bw You also liked pullup bars. I remember that.

Melissa Bw Yeah, that’s how I split my chin open when I was about five. I was swinging on the bar in our kitchen doorway and fell. My mom did a butterfly bandage, and it healed quite well. I probably got right back up on the bar and started swinging again. I was addicted. That’s probably why I always beat everyone, including the boys, at pullup exercises and even situps, too. And running.

Michael Bw You make yourself sound like quite an athlete!

Melissa Bw Haha. That’s funny, because I was mostly an academic and never really got involved in sports. But at recess, I loved playing and just doing athletic things on my own, not with a team or anything.

Michael Bw I guess you are kind of Pippi-like. Without the magical powers, that is. Or are you keeping something from me?

Melissa Bw Hahaha.

Jeeves Bw Who was your FIRST best friend & do you still talk?

Michael Bw My first best friend was named Stephen, and the thing I remember most about him was us making up a song together in my room while I laid on the top bunk and he laid on the bottom bunk. It went something like this:

     (sings) And when you get down there, whaddyou see?

     And Stephen said, “A picture of . . . a doozle!”

     We both laughed so hard at that.

Melissa Bw That’s where that comes from?!

Michael Bw Uh-huh. I lost touch with him after my grandmother died and we moved away.

Melissa Bw Mine would be Laura, who was about three years older than me. I always had friends who were older than me, probably because I was more mature than most of my peers. Laura and her cousin Dee Dee lived down the street from me in Long Beach at their grandmother’s house. Dee Dee’s mom, Boo Boo, and dad were usually in prison, so that’s why she lived with her grandparents. Laura divided her time between living with her grandparents and her mom and dad, who I think had problems with alcoholism (although I remember her mom being quite sweet). So Laura and Dee Dee came as a package, but I was always much closer to Laura. I was so upset when my mom finally gave in and married Danny and we had to move away from Long Beach.

Michael Bw Did you ever see her again?

Melissa Bw Yeah, she visited me years later, and I remember going to see Ferris Bueller’s Day Off at the movies with her. The house featured in the movie actually belonged to one of her classmates. That was the last time I was in touch with her. But I remember looking her up online a couple of years ago, and I think I may have found her. I remember her saying something about having a daughter and working in a bowling alley. I never tried to contact her.

Jeeves Bw Where was your FIRST sleepover?

Michael Bw My first sleepover was not at a friend’s house, but our next-door neighbor’s house. My grandparents had to go somewhere, I forget where, if I ever knew. And the three things I remember about the neighbors were: (1) my grandparents lent them $2,000 that they never repaid and instead sent a note saying they hoped God would bless them with the money; (2) I laughed when the mother told me her children were afraid to sit on the toilet because they believed Satan would reach up and grab them; and (3) (and this is related to #2) she slapped me. For laughing.

Melissa Bw Wow. Was that the first time anything like that had ever happened to you before?

Michael Bw Yes. Whenever my grandmother punished me (my grandfather never did), she would paddle me with a wooden spoon.

Melissa Bw Ouch. So my first sleepover would be Laura and Dee Dee’s. I remember being terribly homesick, even though my mom was right down the street. I was definitely a Mommy’s girl.

Michael Bw Yes. There’s nothing wrong with that.

Melissa Bw Later, I did have quite a few sleepovers there and had a lot of fun. I remember their grandma Pauline kept jars of candy in the livingroom, which I always found so exotic. We didn’t tend to have a lot of candy and crap at home, so I indulged when I visited friends who did. I also remember staying up late and secretly watching cable movies while their uncle sat in the recliner and drank beer. And I remember being traumatized when we were snooping one time and found black-and-white pictures of Dee Dee’s parents naked. It was very disturbing and embarrassing.

Jeeves Bw Who was the FIRST person you talked to today?

Melissa BwMichael Bw Each other.

Jeeves Bw Whose wedding were you in the FIRST time?

Michael Bw I was in my grandfather and Pat’s wedding. I was the ring bearer.

Melissa Bw Did you realize at the time how horrible she was, or did you only find that out after they got married?

Michael Bw Only after. She went from being so very nice to ugly step-grandmother overnight. Although she insisted on being called “Mom.” She said she wasn’t old enough to be called a grandmother yet.

Melissa Bw Did you actually call her “Mom”? I can’t imagine you doing that, just like I can’t imagine calling Danny “Dad.”

Michael Bw Well, right after the wedding, when we went back to the condominium my grandfather and I had been living in, my grandfather whispered to me, “Call her ‘Mom’.” I remember going into the darkened kitchen and trying to work up the nerve to do that. Suddenly, a welling of love filled me, and I went back in and called her “Mom.” It was a very happy time for all of us. A very rare time indeed.

Melissa Bw Mmm. The first wedding I was in was my mom’s and Danny’s. I was six and a half, and I was the flower girl. I remember actually crying, but I didn’t understand why. Like you, I didn’t realize at the time how much I was going to hate living with Danny. Didn’t matter that he was my real father. I never thought of him that way. He was just this stranger who was interfering with our life. I just wanted to keep living with my mom and grandma. I never saw the need for a father, really.

Michael Bw That need was in your mom, invisible to you.

Melissa Bw No, I don’t get the sense that she felt that way. I think she just decided to finally give in to his marriage proposals after seven or eight years of resisting, maybe because it seemed like time for her to have her own home. She should’ve stuck with her intuition.

Jeeves Bw What was the FIRST thing you did this morning?

Michael Bw Waved hello to you, Melissa.

Melissa Bw Yes, and I guess I did the same to you when I got up this morning. Then I went and said “Hi” to the birdies.

Michael Bw I don’t think you waved to me. I think you kissed me on the cheek.

Melissa Bw Oh, you’re right.

Jeeves Bw What was the FIRST concert you ever went to?

Michael Bw The first and only concert I’ve ever been to was a KISS concert at the Anaheim Convention Center during my senior year of high school. It was a dream of a group of friends of mine, each identifying with one of the personas of KISS (mine was Gene Simmons). I remember a kid from my woodshop class I didn’t know very well walked up to us while we were talking about going and asked if he could go, too. And I said, “Sure!” He wrote in my yearbook how much that whole experience meant to him. I’m always touched when I read that. I’m so glad I said “Yes” that day. Have you ever been to a concert?

Melissa Bw Yes, two! The Moody Blues and the Beach Boys.

Michael Bw You’re kidding? I had no idea. Do you remember those experiences very well?

Melissa Bw Barely. I can’t remember which one was first. I was probably around six. It was with my mom, of course. I think the Moody Blues left the biggest impact because I always found their music so moving. “Tuesday Afternoon,” especially.

Michael Bw Yes. During the darkest days of living with my grandfather and Pat, “Nights in White Satin” was playing on the radio, and I memorized the poem that was read along with that song. It began, “Breathe deep, the gathering gloom, watch lights fade from every room.”

Melissa Bw Mmm. They stopped playing that poem with the song later on, but I remember it from my mom’s reel-to-reel tapes. She used to tape all of the radio programs, and so I think she even had Wolfman Jack on some of those. I wonder if she still has that reel-to-reel player, and if any of those tapes are still playable. That would be an amazing time capsule.

Michael Bw Yes, and now I’m wondering if you didn’t get this recording obsession from your mom.

Melissa Bw Oooh, I never thought of that, but I bet you’re right.

Michael Bw Is she obsessive about recording anything else?

Melissa Bw Yes, when she was younger and had a lot more energy. She used to take meticulous notes in her calendars and stuff. I asked her recently if she still had those, and she laughed and said, “No.” I told her I wished she had kept those, and she said they were just silly girl things. But I know a lot of it had to do with the Beatles and Lord of the Rings.

Michael Bw Did your mom have a favorite Beatle? I bet it was George.

Melissa Bw Wow, I’m not actually sure. You’re probably right, though. Or it could easily be John Lennon. I’ll have to ask her. I remember her talking about being around after a Monkees concert—is that what it was?

Michael Bw Well, first of all, The Monkees aren’t a real group. Although there are some people who would vehemently argue otherwise. They are, in fact, actors hired to play musicians in a group.

Melissa Bw Did they actually give concerts?

Michael Bw How could they? They weren’t musicians. They would’ve had to fake it.

Melissa Bw Oh!!! I just realized! It was actually the Moody Blues! Their first concert after coming to the U.S. I remember my mom said something about them having visa problems or something. I think it was Justin, my mom’s favorite, who asked if he could have a sip of her Pepsi. Or was it Coke? Either way, I remember she kept the can for years. She may even still have it. I really need to ask her about this again. But that also made me remember it was at a Moody Blues concert that my mom met Danny. So the Moody Blues had a lot to do with my being born.

Jeeves Bw Your FIRST tattoo?

Melissa Bw Hahaha!

Michael Bw (smiles) Why don’t you go first?

Melissa Bw Haha. Okay, that’ll be easy, since I don’t have any. But I’ve thought about getting one on my back someday to cover up the acne scars. Okay, that was embarrassing, so yours shouldn’t be too bad, now.

Michael Bw Ppptt!

Melissa Bw Remember when the nurse in the hospital asked you about it after your gall bladder surgery? That was funny.

Michael Bw I don’t. What did she ask?

Melissa Bw I can’t remember exactly, but I explained this actually happened in the eighties, hence the unicorn and the rainbow. And the name of another woman.

Michael Bw (silence)

Melissa Bw Hahaha.

Michael Bw Actually, since this is about firsts, I got the unicorn with the name first. I only added the rainbow and the cloud—and you forgot the little lightning bolt—

Melissa Bw Hahahaha!

Michael Bw —after I saw one of my Marine friends with a much fuller tattoo than my original unicorn. The funny thing was, I asked for a white unicorn, which I guess is impossible, so the one I have looks kind of bluish-green. But it looks blue enough to look like a blue unicorn, which at the time was a popular kind of acid. I’ve never taken it, of course.

Melissa Bw Haha. Did anyone ever ask you about that?

Michael Bw Of course not. It’s just my paranoia.

Jeeves Bw FIRST piercing?

Michael Bw My first and only piercing is in my left earlobe. I got it at the mall.

Melissa Bw Don’t forget to add that it was in the eighties!

Michael Bw The fecking eighties.

Melissa Bw Hahaha!

Michael Bw What happened to our minds?!

Melissa Bw Yes, I used to make fun of the seventies for their poor taste, but I’d take chartreuse-and-orange paisley over salmon-and-turquoise flipflops anyday. Although just as I came to love the orange and green I once hated as a child, I’m now coming to appreciate the coral and turquoise I despised in the nineties. I think it’s all relative. Whatever you get sick of, you later get nostalgic for. And the corporate media plays on those cycles of nostalgia.

Michael Bw Have you even answered your question yet?

Melissa Bw Whoops. So my only piercing is my ears. I think it was sixth grade. I got mine at the mall, too. Afterthoughts or some creepy girly store like that.

Michael Bw We both got our ears piereced at the mall? Are you sure we’re interesting enough to be writing this?

Melissa Bw Oh, come on.

Jeeves Bw The FIRST foreign country you've been to?

Michael Bw The only foreign country I’ve been to is Mexico, and that was late in my life. I went with some friends, and we did normal American touristy things—drank, visited shops, bought nunchucks. Well, I guess that last one isn’t so normal. The nunchucks got confiscated at the border, and we were let go with a warning. Those nunchucks were so cool, too. They were made out of a black, lightweight metal that screwed together to form one piece. I’d learned to do nunchucks from the maître d’ at that steakhouse I worked at. I got pretty good at them, too. I made a pair in my woodshop class. I told my woodshop teacher they were handles (a lie) for the snowsled a friend and I were making (which we were). Of course, he didn’t believe a word of it, but he knew I didn’t mean any harm with them, so he just smiled and walked away.

Melissa Bw I think my first was Mexico, too. Although most Mexicans I know don’t really consider Tijuana Mexico. I was probably about seven or eight. I just stayed in the car most of the time while we drove around the colorful streets. I remember thinking it was weird that they confiscated something as innocent as fruit and vegetables. I couldn’t understand at the time why they’d do that.

Michael Bw Well, you know, once the nunchucks fail you, you can begin throwing cantaloupes and avocados. It’s martial produce arts.

Melissa Bw Hahaha.

Jeeves Bw And the FIRST movie you remember seeing in the theater?

Michael Bw I remember mine. It was Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. A Saturday matinee. Lots of screaming kids, who halfway through the movie became bored and began roaming the theater. It was kid heaven.

Melissa Bw Haha. I don’t know if this is the first, but it’s the first I remember. Star Wars.

Michael Bw I think I just recently read someone else who mentioned that Star Wars was their first movie. I don’t remember who, though.

Melissa Bw I’ll have to ask my mom to make sure, but that seems right. And I don’t know if it was after that movie, but it could be, when we came home and learned our cat Pippin had been hit by a car. That was our first Pippin. We had two more—all of them gray shorthairs—and they all came to similarly tragic ends. I wonder if it’s because they blend into the asphalt more easily, which makes them vulnerable to getting hit by cars. I was devastated each time.

Jeeves Bw FIRST Detention you had?

Melissa Bw I can’t remember ever getting a detention of any kind.

Michael Bw I was constantly getting in trouble in the fourth grade, when I found out how much attention I got for being funny or disruptive. But one time, I did something bad enough to get me sent to the principal’s office.

Melissa Bw Really? What was it?

Michael Bw I can’t remember. I’m sure it was something minor. I didn’t get a literal detention, but I was detained.

Melissa Bw Haha.

Jeeves Bw What was the FIRST state you lived in?

Melissa BwMichael Bw California.

Jeeves Bw If you had three wishes, what would the FIRST one be?

Melissa Bw I remember getting questions like this when I was little, and of course, I would always try to figure out some clever way to answer so I would end up getting an infinite number of wishes. But that does seem like cheating. I guess if I put aside all of the obvious like the eradication of bigotry and hatred and the joining together of humankind to end global destruction, then I would say I wish all of our pending creative projects would finally be completed, and we could begin working on new ones!

Michael Bw Well, I was going to say I wish the hopes and dreams of the sixties would’ve come to fruition, but you pretty much covered that with your eradication of bigotry and hatred and joining together of humankind. So I guess I would say I wish one of our projects would be successful enough that we could begin to help financially all of those people we’ve been having to stand by and watch struggle all these years.

Jeeves Bw What is the FIRST thing you would learn if you had the chance?

Michael Bw How to play the piano.

Melissa Bw Really? I was going to say the cello.

Michael Bw Well, at least we’re both musically minded!

Melissa Bw Yes, learning an instrument is the one thing I never really got a chance to do. Except for the little bit my grandma taught me on an out-of-tune hand-me-down piano.

Jeeves Bw Which brings us to the end of metaness’s firsts post. Try saying that five times fast, why don’t you?

Melissa Bw That was actually kind of fun. Thanks, Nabina!

Michael Bw Yes, thanks for the motivation.



L  E  G  E  N  D
letters = sequential meta conversations
                   (C occurred after B, B after A, etc.)
numbers = mini-meta tangents within meta conversations
quoted letters = prior meta conversations






















 

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you guys are too funny and cute together, heh, unicorn tattoo... Melissa what would you get on your back if you did get one?
"Whatever you get sick of, you later get nostalgic for." damn that's true- why is that?
wow, i'm the first of the metafirsts comments!!! this is lovely, guys. so much valuable information about your formative years. but only one or two concerts??? seriously, guys. shit, i saw Jimi Hendrix in concert at least 2 times and maybe 3. and janis joplin. soooo many. Wolfman Jack, Moody Blues... brings back some good memories. this has been a weird open call for me to read about. since i don't remember my childhood except for bits and pieces. the legacy of trauma. so i'm enjoying hearing people's stories while also feeling sad.

this one doesn't affect em that way at all. i loved learning more about who you lived with, Michael, and your military pals, etc. and about Danny, Melissa and your grandma who found you so beautiful. and the Library!! i worked in one too. Libraries, to me, are sacred spaces. people lend you stuff and don't charge you anything unless you're late in returning. they trust you!!! and you can spend as much time in libraries as you want. i lvoe that you did acquisitions too. sorry, i've gone off on one of my tangents.

i've come to love the Narrator very much. he's kind of a cool guy. i like that you have someone asking you the questions. oh, shitk, but i do have some memories to share. i adored my first grade teacher. no idea of her name. she was the one who cast me as SNOW WHITE in the play and i had that fabulous year with the three boyfriends. my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. White, was a genius. we had this system where, if you were the first person to read a book, then you got to be the Checker and quiz people who subsequently read that book. well, i was always perfecft in school so i was the checker for a good portion of the books. and i remember Newberry award winning great books. and i don't remember others resenting me. wow, guys, thanks for giving those memories back to me!!! that's how it is, bits and pieces.

okay, i'll be back. i READ THE WHOLE THING!!! probably because there is no metaness. :) and i love you two so much. love love love and enormous gratitude
that is so true, julie. i'm not first!!! shit, man. i LOVE the drawing today. who does the drawings? you need to give credit, kids.
Wow I know more now but also have more questions. Thanks I think.
This read like Cary Grant's journal on visit to Willoughby, where Bogart was crushing on Darla singing "Danke Schoen" as Peter Tork played Ruby Tuesday on a Tuesday afternoon with his new band Peter Tork and The Monkees (real... they gig in my town). rAted!
Wonderful read. You two sound like you have such a wonderful life. It's fun and refreshing to read your posts and I have to admit I had fun doing the firsts also.
Rated
What a great, fun post! Melissa, I would have LOVED to work in a library; and Michael, you are very funny!
You have been to only one and two concerts? Why? concerts are fantastic collective celebrations, go to one together!
Kisses,
Marcela
I feel happiest to know that you enjoyed it together. And then I enjoyed the journey through your life and times, especially through the parts you were little.

Would always remember Michael leaning over the front seat eagerly telling his joke and you swinging on the kitchen door bar with your butterfly bandage (what is a butterfly bandage? )

Do hope you get what you both desire so you feel rested and free. Thanks and gratitude for doing this Melissa and Michael - a early morning hug for you both. Have a nice day tomorrow :)
wouldn't it be something if people could write about our LAST whatever? We know what our first ones are, but there are lots of experiences we never know are our last of something...

Oh, well, you're lively when you're not meta, too, and I hope you write about your NEXT meaningful experiences, too.
Love this metafirsts! And if you learned to play piano and cello, you could play duets!
I loved and enjoyed reading your list. You both had an interesting childhood. I love you wishes of ending world destruction, bringing together humankind. Maybe one day it will happen.
Laughed about the tattoo, but hey who wouldn't..
Melissa you have to find out if your mother has the reel to reel recordings and player. Now that would be one fantastic trip into musical history. I want to find a turn table so I can play all my vinyl records, I have some from all the way back when my mother and aunts, which when the 45s and 78(wasn't it) were being made. I have them too.
This lists have been so much fun to read. I have to say I chuckled at yours.. Loved it!!Thanks for sharing.
You've got me reminiscing with this. And the first love bit is oh so cute, and so very rare.
You two have so much energy it's brilliant! I felt like I was sitting in your front room with a cuppa listening to you bath chat away reading this!
I am so glad you guys took the time to do this. The more it progressed, the more I wondered..."How long have they known each other? How did they meet?" Maybe you have answered these questions in other posts and I missed it. I am curious, because you guys seem like two who were destined to be together!
@Julie:

Julie: you guys are too funny and cute together, heh, unicorn tattoo...

Michael: Unicorns are gonna come back in style. I know it.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Julie: Melissa what would you get on your back if you did get one?

Melissa: That is something I would have to think about for a long time, but the animal I most gravitate toward (probably because of the red fur :-) is the fox. Or some kind of big cat like a jaguar or tiger. I don’t know. It sounds really painful and expensive, so it’ll probably stay in the fantasy stages for a long time. One of my closest friends lost all of her hair from Alopecia Universalis a few years ago, and she has made her head an absolute work of art. It’s continually evolving, and it’s like a stunning mini-exhibition on her head.

Julie: "Whatever you get sick of, you later get nostalgic for." damn that's true- why is that?

Michael: Maybe it’s because the things we dislike require just as much attention, if not more, than those we love. And we begin to miss the attention that we used to pay those things. When we return to the once-hated later, those original prejudices may be gone, and we see the thing with fresh eyes and realize not only is it not so bad, it’s actually pretty good. Or maybe we’re all just deeply disturbed.

Melissa: Haha. Well, I think media saturation has a lot to do with it, too. We get swept along in whatever cultural fads they happen to be proffering at the moment, which they then invert later to give a sense of “newness” and unfamiliarity, so the old becomes new again and they can recycle all the old material with a postmodern twist.

Michael: Nothing new under the sun.
@Theodora:

“wow, i'm the first of the metafirsts comments!!! . . . i'm not first!!!”

Don’t worry, Theodora, you hold the honor of being the first to rate!

“this is lovely, guys. so much valuable information about your formative years.”

We know you wouldn’t be up to doing firsts because of your traumatic childhood, but maybe you could start a new meme: HAPPIEST?

“but only one or two concerts??? seriously, guys.”

Well, remember, we’re pretty introverted, so being around hordes of people in a loud environment is actually kind of terrifying. Now, a classical concert or something like that might be different. But we’re also workaholics, so even if we did want to go, it’s almost impossible for us to stop working long enough to do so.

“shit, i saw Jimi Hendrix in concert at least 2 times and maybe 3. and janis joplin.”

We’d love to read about this trip into the purple haze sometime!

“soooo many. Wolfman Jack, Moody Blues... brings back some good memories.”

We’re always happy if we can help you find good memories, Theodora.

“this has been a weird open call for me to read about. since i don't remember my childhood except for bits and pieces. the legacy of trauma. so i'm enjoying hearing people's stories while also feeling sad. this one doesn't affect em that way at all.”

We’re sorry for any sadness you’ve been feeling, while also being relieved to hear this was an uplifting experience for you.

“i loved learning more about who you lived with, Michael, and your military pals, etc. and about Danny, Melissa and your grandma who found you so beautiful.”

We’ll try to start including more biographical bits in our conversations. We know that’s of more interest to most people than our theoretical musings, but we also have to follow the natural flow of the conversation, and we never know in advance where that’s going to take us.

“and the Library!! i worked in one too. Libraries, to me, are sacred spaces. people lend you stuff and don't charge you anything unless you're late in returning. they trust you!!! and you can spend as much time in libraries as you want. i lvoe that you did acquisitions too. sorry, i've gone off on one of my tangents.”

Tangents are most welcome at metaness, Theodora! Especially when they’re about libraries :-)

“i've come to love the Narrator very much. he's kind of a cool guy.”

What’s cool is that our friends had a great deal to do with this. The Narrator first appeared in Snippets Sunday and received such a favorable response, we decided to begin using him more.

“i like that you have someone asking you the questions.”

Yes, the Narrator got very excited about being able to participate in the process.

“oh, shitk, but i do have some memories to share. i adored my first grade teacher. no idea of her name. she was the one who cast me as SNOW WHITE in the play and i had that fabulous year with the three boyfriends.”

What a delightful story! And how insightful of your first-grade teacher to recognize you were leading lady material :-)

“my 2nd grade teacher Mrs. White, was a genius. we had this system where, if you were the first person to read a book, then you got to be the Checker and quiz people who subsequently read that book. well, i was always perfecft in school so i was the checker for a good portion of the books. and i remember Newberry award winning great books. and i don't remember others resenting me.”

You’re right: she is a genius! Learning, and especially reading books, should be FUN, first and foremost.

“wow, guys, thanks for giving those memories back to me!!! that's how it is, bits and pieces.”

We’re honored to have done so, however inadvertently.

“okay, i'll be back. i READ THE WHOLE THING!!!”

WOW, Theodora! We are so impressed!! You get five gold stars and a happy face sticker :-)

“probably because there is no metaness. :)”

We were hoping this one would be more accessible. But as an experiment, next time you read a metaness post with a lot of metas, totally ignore the lettering and just read the text straight through. Just like you did this one! We think you’ll enjoy them more. That’s how we read them.

“shit, man. i LOVE the drawing today.”

Thank you, Theodora!

“who does the drawings? you need to give credit, kids.”

That would be me (Michael).

“and i love you two so much. love love love and enormous gratitude”

We love lvoe love you, too, Theodora, and enormous gratitude to you to for taking the time to leave such thoughtful comments.

( m&m )
That was fun. I'm actually thinking of getting a unicorn tattoo. Or a pegasus. Maybe a pega-corn? We'll see.
Very nice. I love the banter between the two of you.

Monte
@Tijo:

“Wow I know more now but also have more questions.”

Great! knowledge + curiosity = learning

“Thanks I think.”

:-)

Thanks for stopping by again, Tijo.

( m&m )


@Mr. Mustard:

“This read like Cary Grant's journal on visit to Willoughby, where Bogart was crushing on Darla singing "Danke Schoen" as Peter Tork played Ruby Tuesday on a Tuesday afternoon with his new band Peter Tork and The Monkees (real... they gig in my town). rAted!”

Another Mustard special, heavy on the Tork. Hold the unicorns. Mmmm, delicious!

Thank you for another madcap riddlecoaster ride,

( m&m )


@micalpeace:

“Wonderful read.”

Thanks, micalpeace!

“You two sound like you have such a wonderful life.”

Would that everyone could be as blessed . . .

“It's fun and refreshing to read your posts”

We feel the same about yours, Mike.

“and I have to admit I had fun doing the firsts also.”

We’re so glad you did it! We’re still in awe of your prolific, eloquent, and humorous output. You are truly gifted.

( m&m )
@Marcela:

Marcela: What a great, fun post!

Melissa: We’re delighted to hear that!

Marcela: Melissa, I would have LOVED to work in a library;

Melissa: Yes, libraries are indeed sacred spaces, as Theodora says. That’s one reason it was so upsetting when some Oregon county libraries started closing due to lack of funding (this was under the Bush Administration). Thankfully, they’ve been reopened now (albeit with reduced hours and staffing), but that was a dark period in Oregon when the libraries were closed for about six months.

Marcela: and Michael, you are very funny!

Michael: (blushing) Thank you, Marcela.

Marcela: You have been to only one and two concerts? Why? concerts are fantastic collective celebrations, go to one together!

Melissa: Partly it’s because of what we told Theodora above; partly, it’s because we are frugal; but mainly, it’s because we are working constantly on our creative projects and can’t even find time to watch a half-hour television show, let alone leave the apartment for multiple hours at a time :-)

Michael: Welcome back, Marcela, and we’re happy to see you again.

Melissa: Besos!
@Nabina:

“I feel happiest to know that you enjoyed it together.”

And we have you to thank for that!

“And then I enjoyed the journey through your life and times, especially through the parts you were little.”

Those are often our favorite parts about your writing, too, learning what it was like for you to grow up in Assam. We still think “The Way I Grew Up” is one of the most beautiful posts we’ve read at OS.

“Would always remember Michael leaning over the front seat eagerly telling his joke and you swinging on the kitchen door bar with your butterfly bandage”

:-)

“(what is a butterfly bandage? )”

You can learn a bit about them here. Basically, the bandages are applied in a criss-cross pattern that resembles butterfly wings. It’s a poor person’s form of stitches :-)

“Do hope you get what you both desire so you feel rested and free. Thanks and gratitude for doing this Melissa and Michael - a early morning hug for you both. Have a nice day tomorrow :)”

Thank you, Nabina, and here’s a mid-afternoon hug back:

((((Nabina))))

( m&m )
Oh, yes! I know exactly what you mean about how wonderful food tastes after you've been swimming. And how good you feel in your body, too - like you're anchored, but still floating.

I'm with mamoore, wondering.

Wondering, too, why I'm not surprised by the blue unicorn, rainbow and cloud. Somehow, I'm just not. The unicorn, rainbow and nunchucks are really rounding out my impression of you, Michael. We do, indeed, contain multitudes.

(Blue Unicorn: My friends would never let me try LSD. They all tried it, but they'd never do it with me. Once, my friend Donna and I were wandering through the St. Christopher festival in Little Italy and I asked her why she'd never wanted to trip with me. She couldn't remember saying she wouldn't so she said, of course, I'd do acid with you. We walked a few more steps and she said, "Well, maybe just half a tab." My boyfriend told me he was afraid I'd like it so much I'd never come back. He gave me Opium perfume for Christmas one year and told me that was the hardest drug he'd do with me. Apparently I'm a druggie lightweight.)

"Tuesday Afternoon" really took me back. My mother had the Days of Future Passed album.

I will never be nostalgic for Eighties mauve and teal. Never. Especially the mauve.

I always wanted to work in a library. The closest I ever came to it was in college when I worked at a secondhand, rare and antiquarian bookshop. The owner was an older gentleman who wore a blue blazer with brass buttons every day. His name was Reverdy Whitlock. Isn't that the most wonderful New England name? He didn't want to give me the job because I was a girl and he was afraid I wouldn't be able to carry the books, but I talked him into it. He was lovely. Every afternoon he went across the street for an english muffin and tea, and every afternoon he asked me if I'd be alright alone in the shop.

I so enjoyed learning more about you two. Thank you, Marcela, for instigating this post. Unfortunately it got me rambling, as Metaness (even meta-less!) posts are wont to do.
Well crap, I did forget to rate- sorry about that guys, just remedied it now.
@Hawley Roddick:

Hawley: wouldn't it be something if people could write about our LAST whatever?

Michael: I love how you think, Hawley. To me, that’s the question to ask. That’s the sort of question that leads to The Twilight Zone. That leads to great stories. That leads to new ways of seeing things.

Melissa: Yes, it’s morbidly intriguing in a thought-provoking, soul-searching sort of way.

Hawley: We know what our first ones are, but there are lots of experiences we never know are our last of something...

Michael: Imagine if you were notified every time it was the last time you would experience that thing. (performs) “That is the last croissant you will eat. You will discover bagels.” . . . “That is the last piece of exercise equipment you will be fooled into buying. You will finally wise up.” . . . “That is the last time you will say you love him and mean it. You will find out he is having an affair with your spinning coach.”

Melissa: Hahaha. That does have potential for a short—either film or story.

Hawley: Oh, well, you're lively when you're not meta, too, and I hope you write about your NEXT meaningful experiences, too.

Michael: Thanks, Hawley! As always, it’s a pleasure to hear from you.
I thoroughly enjoy the way YOU think. Let me know if you create a short story, film, or whatever about last times. Your examples are terrific.

And what about the last breath, whether in or out? After my younger sister died in 2005 of a brain tumor, her hospice companion described watching her breathing until she stopped breathing. The watcher thought the penultimate breath was the last and then there was one more exhale. I wonder from time to time what, if anything, Beth was experiencing as she literally breathed her last ...

And your insight that lasts can be strung out over many years is also stimulating to anyone who is creative. Reminds me that at my ninth birthday party, Joan Bennett (who later married Ted Kennedy) said, "This is the last birthday you'll ever have with a single number." Boy, did I feel OLD!
@Owl_Says_Who:

“Love this metafirsts!”

We’re glad you liked it! It was fun to do. We even learned some things about each other that we didn’t know. Would be fun to read an exchange like this (maybe not firsts, but something else?) between you and Raven sometime.

“And if you learned to play piano and cello, you could play duets!”

Yes! Right now, we have to confine ourselves to electronic duets, but maybe in another ten or twenty years . . .

Lovely to see you, and thanks again for swooping by,

( m&m )
@fireeyes24:

“I loved and enjoyed reading your list.”

Thank you, fireeyes!

“You both had an interesting childhood.”

Our childhoods? Well, look at yours—thirteen different schools in twelve years?!

“I love you wishes of ending world destruction, bringing together humankind. Maybe one day it will happen.”

If only goodness and love were as contagious as greed and fear. We think they can be, if enough people realize it and begin acting on that awareness.

“Laughed about the tattoo, but hey who wouldn't.. ”

:-)

“Melissa you have to find out if your mother has the reel to reel recordings and player. Now that would be one fantastic trip into musical history.”

Yes, I (Melissa) remember asking her about it before, and she was skeptical. Doesn’t mean she doesn’t have them—she just didn’t have a clue where they might be.

“I want to find a turn table so I can play all my vinyl records, I have some from all the way back when my mother and aunts, which when the 45s and 78(wasn't it) were being made. I have them too.”

That’s wonderful! (Yes, 78’s.) You can probably find a turntable on ebay for really cheap.

“This lists have been so much fun to read. I have to say I chuckled at yours.. Loved it!!Thanks for sharing.”

And thanks for letting us know you chuckled :-)

( m&m )
@Newton:

“You've got me reminiscing with this.”

Remember, Nabina said she wants to read your firsts, too, so if you can ever find the time, we’d love to read them, as well!

“And the first love bit is oh so cute, and so very rare.”

Thank you, Newton. We’ve always recognized how exceptional our relationship was, and no doubt it has a great deal to do with being best friends, as well as partners.

( m&m )


@Tabb:

“You two have so much energy it's brilliant!”

Why, thank you, Tabb! It’s nice to have a Brit in the meta-neighborhood. You’ll probably be the only one who’ll know the contexts of our Britcom references :-)

“I felt like I was sitting in your front room with a cuppa listening to you bath chat away reading this!”

Just exactly as we would hope. All are welcome to pull up a chair and enjoy a cuppa with us.

Cheers,

( m&m )
@Melissa:

“I am so glad you guys took the time to do this.”

We are, too!

“The more it progressed, the more I wondered..."How long have they known each other? How did they meet?" Maybe you have answered these questions in other posts and I missed it. I am curious, because you guys seem like two who were destined to be together!”

Well, we’re about to celebrate our seventeen-year (!) anniversary on August 18. On the one hand, it’s difficult to believe we’ve been married so long since the years have just flown by, and on the other, it seems like we’ve been together forever, so it’s not so surprising, after all. As for your other questions, that might take at least a post or two to explain, but suffice it to say we were best friends first and eventually realized there was no one else in the world we would rather be with, so we got married and lived happily ever after :-)

( m&m )
@Gwendolyn:

“That was fun.”

Glad you thought so, Gwendolyn, and welcome to metaland!

“I'm actually thinking of getting a unicorn tattoo. Or a pegasus. Maybe a pega-corn? We'll see.”

So unicorns are coming back in style! You’ll have to share pictures if you do get one. We’re sure yours will be much more elegant (and less eighties kitsch ;-)

( m&m )


@Monte:

“Very nice. I love the banter between the two of you.”

Thank you, Monte! Lovely to see you here.

( m&m )
@consonantsandvowels:

“And how good you feel in your body, too - like you're anchored, but still floating.”

We had forgotten about that sensation! It’s been years since we’ve been swimming.

“I'm with mamoore, wondering.”

Please see our response to mamoore above :-)

“Wondering, too, why I'm not surprised by the blue unicorn, rainbow and cloud. Somehow, I'm just not. ”

(both laughing)

“The unicorn, rainbow and nunchucks are really rounding out my impression of you, Michael. We do, indeed, contain multitudes.”

How true! That’s why labels are so inadequate for understanding one another. Our favorite movies are often about individuals who contain contradictions of character.

“(Blue Unicorn: My friends would never let me try LSD. They all tried it, but they'd never do it with me. Once, my friend Donna and I were wandering through the St. Christopher festival in Little Italy and I asked her why she'd never wanted to trip with me. She couldn't remember saying she wouldn't so she said, of course, I'd do acid with you. We walked a few more steps and she said, "Well, maybe just half a tab." My boyfriend told me he was afraid I'd like it so much I'd never come back. He gave me Opium perfume for Christmas one year and told me that was the hardest drug he'd do with me. Apparently I'm a druggie lightweight.)”

Hahaha! Talk about rounding out impressions ;-)

“"Tuesday Afternoon" really took me back. My mother had the Days of Future Passed album.”

It’s amazing how an album can come to represent a time, place, or even a person. That’s wonderful to have that connection back to your mother. More threads tying our future to days passed.

“I will never be nostalgic for Eighties mauve and teal. Never. Especially the mauve.”

We’re in absolute agreement. When I (Melissa) said I was coming to appreciate coral and turquoise, I was thinking more of a Native American aesthetic. As for mauve pink and teal green—well, I’d better not start talking about how much I hate those colors, because who knows . . .

“I always wanted to work in a library. The closest I ever came to it was in college when I worked at a secondhand, rare and antiquarian bookshop.”

That sounds like an absolute dream! I (Melissa again) remember when I had first graduated from college (which took me a couple of extra years because I was working full-time in the English Department while completing my degree for free), and we had made a bold (read “foolish”) move with no firm prospects of employment. It turned out to be a rather agonizing couple of months before I landed a job at UC Berkeley, but in those months, I remember us watching 84 Charing Cross Road, and I longed so deeply to work at a bookstore like that. It made me miss even more the English Department faculty, the library, and all of the books. The lovely lovely books.

“The owner was an older gentleman who wore a blue blazer with brass buttons every day. His name was Reverdy Whitlock. Isn't that the most wonderful New England name? He didn't want to give me the job because I was a girl and he was afraid I wouldn't be able to carry the books, but I talked him into it. He was lovely. Every afternoon he went across the street for an english muffin and tea, and every afternoon he asked me if I'd be alright alone in the shop.”

This is an utterly delightful character sketch. Perhaps you can write a piece about him for a future post? And yes, it is a most wonderful name.

“I so enjoyed learning more about you two.”

We’re so glad! We’d love to read yours, too, if you decide to succumb :-)

“Thank you, Marcela, for instigating this post.”

Whoops, it was actually Nabina who mentioned wanting to read our firsts in her firsts post :-)

“Unfortunately it got me rambling, as Metaness (even meta-less!) posts are wont to do.”

That is never unfortunate, at least for us!

( m&m )
Oh, of course it was Nabina! I must have Marcela in my mind because she'd mentioned that she, too, always wanted to work in a library.

I saw 84 Charing Cross Road, too, and really enjoyed it. The book is charming, also.

Yes, all the lovely, lovely books. When I first started looking for work in New York, I searched for a job in publishing. I had an interview with an editor at Time-Warner and nervously sat across a very large desk from him. I can't remember now what exactly his question was (why do you want to work in publishing, probably), but I began rhapsodizing about books, and even went into glorious detail about the physicality of them: the leaves of pages, the spine, the feel of one in your hands. I trailed off as he shifted some papers around on his desk; looking over at me with a dead fish eye he said, "Well, that's very nice, but my department is developing electronic books." gulp. (And e-books didn't make into the marketplace for years and years, so ha! fish-eye man.)

I found myself looking askance at my toilet tonight. Alligators are one thing, but Satan is quite another.
@Julie:

Well crap, I did forget to rate- sorry about that guys, just remedied it now.

No worries, Julie! Ratings are always appreciated, however belated.

( m&m )
Your conversations are so charming. And I love that you are still learning new things about each other. Sweet!
And this line: "we both got our ears pierced at the mall. are you sure we're interesting enough to be writing this?"
Priceless!
Delightful firsts - had to share Michael's joke with my 10 year old daughter and it still holds up. She's quite the comedian and always checking out joke books at our library. Enjoyed learning more about the two of you - you are quite an intriguing duo, and the conversational format is such fun.
@Hawley:

“I thoroughly enjoy the way YOU think. Let me know if you create a short story, film, or whatever about last times. Your examples are terrific.”

Thanks, Hawley! Given the current length and weight of our todo list, we’ll be lucky if that happens sometime in the next half-century. But we will let you know if we do :-)

“And what about the last breath, whether in or out? After my younger sister died in 2005 of a brain tumor, her hospice companion described watching her breathing until she stopped breathing. The watcher thought the penultimate breath was the last and then there was one more exhale. I wonder from time to time what, if anything, Beth was experiencing as she literally breathed her last ...”

Wow, Hawley. This is profound. Thank you for sharing this moment with us. If you haven’t already seen it, this TED talk by Jill Bolte Taylor may possibly give you an inkling of what that experience was like.

“And your insight that lasts can be strung out over many years is also stimulating to anyone who is creative. Reminds me that at my ninth birthday party, Joan Bennett (who later married Ted Kennedy) said, "This is the last birthday you'll ever have with a single number." Boy, did I feel OLD!”

What a great memory! You probably were old and wise beyond your years. You were definitely paying attention.

Thanks for coming back and continuing the conversation!

( m&m )
@consonantsandvowels:

consonantsandvowels: I saw 84 Charing Cross Road, too, and really enjoyed it. The book is charming, also.

Melissa: Yes, I checked out the audiobook from the library (hurray, once again, for libraries!). It was wonderful, too.

consonantsandvowels: Yes, all the lovely, lovely books. When I first started looking for work in New York, I searched for a job in publishing. I had an interview with an editor at Time-Warner and nervously sat across a very large desk from him. I can't remember now what exactly his question was (why do you want to work in publishing, probably), but I began rhapsodizing about books, and even went into glorious detail about the physicality of them: the leaves of pages, the spine, the feel of one in your hands. I trailed off as he shifted some papers around on his desk; looking over at me with a dead fish eye he said, "Well, that's very nice, but my department is developing electronic books." gulp. (And e-books didn't make into the marketplace for years and years, so ha! fish-eye man.)

Michael: Hahaha! This sounds exactly like something Melissa would do.

Melissa: Hahaha.

consonantsandvowels: I found myself looking askance at my toilet tonight. Alligators are one thing, but Satan is quite another.

(both laughing)
@dharmabummer:

Welcome, dharmabummer, and thank you for your kind comment!

“Your conversations are so charming.”

Good to know these aren’t totally boring or incomprehensible to metanewbies!

“And I love that you are still learning new things about each other. Sweet!”

Sometimes we worry people will think we’re too cutesy and find us nauseating, so this is encouraging to hear :-)

“And this line: "we both got our ears pierced at the mall. are you sure we're interesting enough to be writing this?" Priceless!”

It’s always great to learn what lines people like, as this one, for example, might be the sort of self-deprecating humor I (Melissa) would be tempted to take out. Not because it isn’t funny, but partly because it could insult the people reading this who do actually find it interesting ;-)

( m&m )
@dustbowldiva:

“Delightful firsts”

Thanks, dustbowldiva!

“had to share Michael's joke with my 10 year old daughter and it still holds up. She's quite the comedian and always checking out joke books at our library.”

It’s encouraging to know the classics still hold up. And it’s an honor to hear it passed the comedic standards of your daughter! Would love to hear her do a standup routine sometime. Maybe you two could collaborate on a future post! You have such creative children. We absolutely adore your son’s fridge pic :-)

“Enjoyed learning more about the two of you - you are quite an intriguing duo, and the conversational format is such fun.”

That’s wonderful to hear, and thanks again for your return visit, dustbowldiva.

( m&m )
Loved this!

"Well, you know, once the nunchucks fail you, you can begin throwing cantaloupes and avocados. It’s martial produce arts."

I have so been there! Oh, also, full disclosure - i can exercise two sets of nunchuks at the same time... and if pressed, I can break thick bottles of glass as targets...

peece!!
Dj
@David:

“Loved this!”

We’re still waiting for yours ;-)

“I have so been there! Oh, also, full disclosure - i can exercise two sets of nunchuks at the same time... and if pressed, I can break thick bottles of glass as targets...”

Enter the dragon! :-)

( m&m )
This was such a fun post to read -- I love that it's done as a dialogue! Very cool & creative! (The Little Rascals theme is playing over & over & over in my head.)
@suzie:

“This was such a fun post to read -- I love that it's done as a dialogue! Very cool & creative!”

Thank you, Suzie, and we’re thrilled to welcome you to the meta-neighborhood! So glad you like the format.

“(The Little Rascals theme is playing over & over & over in my head.)”

Oh no! Sorry for giving you a mind loop. Hope it was at least nostalgic :-)

( m&m )
You guys have certainly created your own world...no...land. A land with special rules and connections.

I remember those old Little Rascals. Jean Darling was kinda snooty, wasn't she? That's what I recall. Similar to the snooty girl in Little House....boy, I loved her. Nellie. Nellie Olson. I want to be Nellie Olson. I want to hang out with Nellie Olson.
I had to google meta see what the heck you were talking about! Love the drawings, who did them? Reminds me of Brian Andreas and his "Story People"
Hey, TOTH Friends - Are ya still writin' and postin'?

I am moving to a place near the beach - busy over here lately!
Hey - FYI: Today your ad space shows a diagram of the lower intestinal area, featuring "2009's Top Colon Cleanser" - YOU WIN BEST AD SO FAR ON O.S.!!!!! ('scuze me while I click into it...!!)
@Beth:

Beth: You guys have certainly created your own world...no...land. A land with special rules and connections.

Michael: Marcel Duchamp made 3 Standard Stoppages as the method of measuring his world. . . . It’s the scientific documentation of the absurd. It’s a private dada, you see.

(A) Still doesn’t go. What if you just said, “Marcel scientifically documented the absurd”? Just saying it about that makes it sound like I’m saying it about Standard Stoppages. Which I’m not. I’m talking about his writing about his art. . . . It’s an interesting tightrope the artist walks because there’s something so mindless about it, but for someone like Marcel, the mind is everything. Art that required no thought was meaningless to him. Retinal art.

Melissa: Yes!

Michael: “Dadadadadadadadadada!”

Melissa: What was that?

Michael: We rented it from the library.

Melissa: I know, but—

Michael: The Carlsbad Library.

Melissa: I love that library. But maybe that’s because it was the library of my childhood, at least when I was falling in love with reading. . . . But I really want to find out the name of that documentary. It was fascinating. Was it just about Dada—or the surrealists, or what?

Michael: I don’t remember.

Beth: I remember those old Little Rascals. Jean Darling was kinda snooty, wasn't she? That's what I recall.

Michael: Hmm, I remember a snooty girl, but it wasn’t Jean. It was another girl who was a contemporary of Wheezer. And she would have these Jerry curls all over her head—

Melissa: Jerry curls?

Michael: I don’t know if that’s what they’re called. Just these gelled—it was a popular style around the time of the flappers. I wonder if that’s her, because I remember her as being snooty.

Melissa: Now I wanna see a picture of her. I’m gonna look up Jerry curls. Oh . . . it’s Jheri curl! (reads)

Michael: No, that’s not right then.

Melissa: Finger waves?

Michael: No . . .

Melissa: Pin curls?

Michael: No. They’re plastered on the side of your face. A single curl, forming like Spiral Jetty.

Melissa: Did you ever look at those huge black-and-white photography books of early celebrities my mom used to have?

Michael: It’s possible, but I don’t remember. I remember the bookshelves in Vista. That’s where I first read about Ed Wood being the worst film director.

Melissa: That was the Turkey Awards. . . . Golden Turkey!

Beth: Similar to the snooty girl in Little House....boy, I loved her. Nellie. Nellie Olson. I want to be Nellie Olson. I want to hang out with Nellie Olson.

Michael: One day, Nellie Olsen was out behind the schoolhouse spying on the other kids when Beth Mann happened by. Nellie said, “Hey, Beth!” And Beth said, “What’re you doin’?” Nellie said, “I’m spying on that stupid Laura Ingalls. She thinks she’s so smart.” And Beth said, “Yeah, let’s go kick ’er ass!”

Melissa: Hahaha!
@Anne:

Melissa: Welcome, Anne! Delightful to see you here.

Anne: I had to google meta see what the heck you were talking about!

Michael: It’s definitely not a part of everyday language. It’s a concept, really. Realizing that a thing itself can produce a thing about itself.

Melissa: Or describe itself. Using the language of the domain to talk about the domain. Or not just the language, but the domain itself. Like art about art. Music about music. Movies about movies. Whatever.

Anne: Love the drawings, who did them?

Melissa: That would be Michael. I love them, too :-)

Anne: Reminds me of Brian Andreas and his “Story People”

Melissa: Wow! We weren’t familiar with his work before. Thank you for introducing us!
@Angie:

Angie: Hey, TOTH Friends - Are ya still writin' and postin'?

Michael: Well, yes and no.

Melissa: We’re sort of on an indefinite break at the moment. We’re trying to climb out from under an avalanche of life/work happenings that have made it almost impossible to keep up with OS. But look who’s talking! You’ve been away for ages, it seems!

Angie: I am moving to a place near the beach - busy over here lately!

Michael: We know how trying a move can be. Hope yours has been relatively trauma-free.

Melissa: The beach sounds like a perfect destination for you—closer to sailing!

Angie: Hey - FYI: Today your ad space shows a diagram of the lower intestinal area, featuring "2009's Top Colon Cleanser" - YOU WIN BEST AD SO FAR ON O.S.!!!!! ('scuze me while I click into it...!!)

Michael: Maybe I’ve underestimated these ads. Have you ever seen those photographs of people who swallow some kind of a thing—I don’t know what it is—and it comes out the other end, and it’s covered with all this—

Melissa: Eeeiiuuu! Okay, so where were you going with that?

Michael: Well, I thought it was amazing how all of these individuals proudly displayed this thing, each of them equally foul.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Michael: I mean, they were really proud of this! Like a little kid calling Mommy in to see how big her doody was or something. It’s very childlike. But over something really gross.

Melissa: Was this in an infomercial or something?

Michael: No, it was something I probably discovered through Digg or Reddit. Same way I found the Neti pot.

Melissa: Ohh, eeuuh. I can’t believe we actually watched a video of somebody using that. . . . Hey, that’s the “This Dog Is Awesome” guy!

Michael: Is it? Are you sure?

Melissa: Of course! . . . Sorry, Angie. That’s what you get for bringing up colon cleansers ;-)
Hey you two: Read these comments (to me, by way of digression) from yourselves again - and then think of these comments as an analogy for what occurs here at O.S. (and on other blogs, at times) - It really works, in my opinion!!!

Michael: ...Have you ever seen those photographs of people who swallow some kind of a thing—I don’t know what it is—and it comes out the other end, and it’s covered with all this—

Melissa: Eeeiiuuu! Okay, so where were you going with that?

Michael: Well, I thought it was amazing how all of these individuals proudly displayed this thing, each of them equally foul.

Melissa: Hahaha.

Michael: I mean, they were really proud of this! Like a little kid calling Mommy in to see how big her doody was or something. It’s very childlike. But over something really gross.
hm where is this thing that started this ? I never see any ads anywhere
how are you two doing?
Spit curls! Love that jetty.