I have never done a "blog" before except once where I hit "post" and somehow lost everything I'd written. That was a big AAGGHH!
But --even though the 25 Things About Me is SO yesterday, it's also fun to write so I'll give it a go.
First: On the creative side, I have four daughters, two of them step. They are all smart and funny and beautiful. I've written five-and-a-half novels and three notebooks of movie essays, none of them published. Plus a whole shitload of journals. I still have my diaries from 1959 but they're pretty boring as I was only eight. (As in, "Tonight we had macaroni and cheese for dinner. It was good.")
Three times I've crossed the country by train with my daughters (the two I gave birth to). The first time, they were ages three and six and I dragged them around New Orleans and Chicago, even though all they really wanted to do was sit in a hotel room and watch PeeWee's Big Adventure. The third time (as teenagers) they dragged me around. We hit leather shops, head shops, photography exhibits, and a clothing store in the French Quarter where the clerk was cute.
Drove with beloved husband cross-country in Chevy Lumina, took a month. We tried to match the music to the state, listening to bluegrass in Kentucky and Tennessee; Hank Williams in Alabama, Steve Earle and Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Waylon & Willie in Texas, and Lucinda Williams everywhere.
Rode on Harley, also with husband, across the Southwest. Rode thru plague of locusts, Biblical winds, and floods. Broke my toe on second day of trip. Best bike trip ever.
Lived in Ford Econoline van with first husband. His mother taught me how to cook cheap.
Was once a slut. And then a compulsive eater. Ran and wrote novels and became marginally sane. Janis Joplin was my first role model. I can't sing.
Fostered over fifty cats and helped them find good homes. Currently have eleven cats and one dog.
Own over 1000 CDs and LPs.
Have seen every Tommy Lee Jones movie ever made, many of them so many times that I have memorized entire chunks of dialogue. I believe my love of TLJ has something to do with the Texas accent. My mother's family is all from the Hill Country of Texas. Most of them are dead now, but I can still remember their voices, a gruff twang mixed with tenderness.
I also own every William Powell/Myrna Loy movie ever made.
And Warren Oates. I love (the late) Warren Oates and never tire of watching Bring Me The Head of Alfredo Garcia.
Am a very fast -- annoyingly fast -- reader. This was a big advantage when I used to help my daughters with books reports, as I could remember in which section of the book certain lines occurred and quickly skim pages for good quotes.
Have read all of Anne Tyler, James Lee Burke, Anne Lamott and John Steinbeck. Love poetry and actually BUY books of poems. Reading poetry calms me. Moved from Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath to Erica Jong and Nikki Giovanni to Sharon Olds and Mary Oliver, with poetry representing different stages of life. From suicidally dramatic to promiscuous and confused and wild to happy to coming to terms with the past to happy spiritual still seeking. I deeply admire Wendell Berry.
Conceived my first child in a '76 pickup. Which we still own. My second child was conceived on a brown couch after a Clint Eastwood movie. We no longer have the couch.
Gave up my virginity in a Ford station wagon at the Ceres Drive-In, some Vincent Price horror flick playing in the background. I still get nostalgic hearing movies over tinny speakers. Afterwards my boyfriend bought me a Nestle's Crunch bar which we shared.
I've known people who had sex with animals.
I've been a vegetarian since 1970. I was 19 and upset about a rabbit in a sack who was about to become dinner. Rabbits scream. Three of my four daughters are vegetarians, as are two of my grandchildren and a niece, who wavers sometimes, as she travels a lot and cooks for her boyfriend who isn't a vegetarian.
I've loved the same man for 31 years. He is handsome and neat and orderly and calm and I'm not, which makes us perfect for each other as we are balanced. I believe I got the best part of the deal.
I'm an oldest child of divorced parents who didn't like each other much. I read (and made up) stories for my younger siblings. I read "Are You My Mother?" to my brothers, then to my own children, and now I'm reading the same book to my grandchildren. My brother (who is now 50 years old) heard me reading the book and said I'm still using the same voice for the little bird.
I cannot stand to see or hear any suffering, human or animal, and spend an enormous amount of time chasing the outdoor cats away from birds and gophers, while at the same time recognizing that suffering is a part of life and we all die and all that bullshit that I don't really want to hear but after a couple of glasses of wine makes sense.
I grew up in the Missionary Baptist Church, then attended a Church of Christ, then became a Unitarian, then moved on to being a Methodist for awhile. I've never been baptized. I always wanted to be a Catholic and wear black and carry rosary beads and burn incense in ceremonies. I burn incense a lot. This woodsy incense I order from Incienso de Santa Fe.
Speaking of Santa Fe, I spent a couple of months living in Santa Fe, New Mexico where I got food poisoning at a Cub Scouts banquet and got really sick and hallucinated about David Frost, the British talk show host.
The first time I voted I was so excited to cast my vote for George McGovern that I forgot to vote on the Propositions. When McGovern lost I cried the entire night. It was the same time I was living in the van, and earlier in the evening I'd been riding in a car that ran over a squirrel. It was a shitty night all over.
I've worked in the cannery forking cans and cleaning up tomato gunk, at an ammunition plant, a fire station, a construction company, typing food stamps for the County, for a hospital storage department, at a Jack-In-The-Box, in daycare, transcribing psychiatric reports, processing bean sprouts, sorting peaches, bagging walnuts, using mimeograph machines for an elementary school, transcribing insurance claims, and making up bullshit analyses for a dating service.
Most of the time I am so happy that it scares me.