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November 18, 2008 / Bo Mackison

Anything for a Distraction

Thanks to Amuirin at Stop and Wander for the meme nomination. I’ll play along, since I haven’t done anything for the last four days, except clean my house in preparation for the soon-to-be Thanksgiving festivities. And I’m a little desperate for any distraction.

(Here are the rules, in case you’ve been in another galaxy for the last decade and don’t know what a meme is:ย Players start with 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged should post these rules and then post 7 random facts. Players should tag 7 other people and notify them they have been tagged.)

Hmm. Okay, I can do the 7 random facts part.

1. I’ll start with a Thanksgiving fact. I haven’t hosted Thanksgiving for 30 years. That was the last time I was ever asked to cook the T-day bird. I was a novice in the holiday kitchen then, and left the packet of giblets in the turkey cavity to combine with the undercooked stuffing, and I made the only vegetable casserole I knew how to bake – the (in)famous green bean-mushroom soup-fried onion rings from a can combo. Pathetic.

2. This year I volunteered for the job, figuring everyone had finally forgotten about 1978. They had, and they all accepted the invitation. I know a lot more about cooking for a crowd this time around. A crowd of 16 to be exact. But that doesn’t really matter, because I’m handing chef responsibilities over to my husband.

3. When I was in high school, I marched in the Golden Eagle Color Guard. We traveled all over the East and Midwest. When we marched in the Cherry Blossom Parade in DC, we met then President Richard Nixon. (Yeah, just my luck!) We presented him with a gift – a baseball style cap with the patch of the color guard sewn on it. I did the sewing, and in a moment of anticipated fame, I stuck my personalized card under the patch. Obviously done in the hopes that on a future day I could visit the Presidential Library and admire the cap in person. Obviously, that day will never transpire.

4. I grew up in a four-generation home. Not only did my parents get to tell me what to do, my grandparents and my great-grandmother also got in their two shakes of advice, for whatever it was worth. I was also taught the ways of their worlds. By the time I was 13, I could garden, sew, knit, tat, embroidery, darn a sock, crochet, and pull taffy. I, however, did not learn how to make a Thanksgiving dinner. Unfortunately. (See # 1 if you’ve already forgotten why.)

5. When I was a student living in Chicago, I went to a Led Zeppelin concert. Our tickets were in the third row from the ceiling in Chicago Stadium. That was the night I discovered I have a moderate degree of acrophobia. That’s fear of heights in plain English.

6. I took four years of Latin in high school. I can decline Latin nouns and verbs with ease, but I cannot speak any language other than English. I have since tried taking other language courses, and my brain has thus far refused to master even basic phrases if not written in Latin or English. I deeply regret this.

7. My spouse has a sabbatical coming due soon, and so in 2 years we will be visiting Italy. I am signing up for Italian this January at the local technical college. If necessary, I will repeat Beginning Italian three times in hopes of learning how to say “I am allergic to nuts,” and “Where is the bathroom?”

Now comes the part where I’m supposed to do the tagging. Umm, no tagging, though if you want to play, feel free. I break chain letters and refuse to follow recipes, too. But I do make a mean green bean casserole.


  1. gypsy-heart / Nov 18 2008 4:44 am

    Very interesting and funny! I loved learning a little more about you, Bo!

    I saw Nixon too…I didn’t see Led Zeppelin (that would have been far better than Nixon!) :O

    I hope your turkey is delicious this time..if not, you probably won’t have to host it again for the next 30 years! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. suehenryphotography / Nov 18 2008 5:01 am

    LOL……I’ve done the same thing with a turkey. Guess we sometimes have to learn the hard way.

  3. rlovison / Nov 18 2008 7:29 am

    I’ll play along though I’ll probably regret it:

    1 – On my first trip to our in-school grammar school library, my class was told to roam about and pick the first book we were drawn to… I picked “Little Women”. As determined as my school librarian was to persuade me to take Little Men instead, I clung with an ever tightening grip to the book I chose.

    2 – In eighth grade, my class performed a play based on “Little Women” — I was nominated director and I was terrible at it.

    3 – I have been transgendered from an early age (probably from birth) and have suffered greatly due to not being at peace with it. If nothing else, it has taught me compassion for those that are not thought of as being mainstream or “normal”.

    4 – At a young age on numerous occasions, immediately after arriving at our family’s summer vacation resort, I would run down to the lake and proceed past the end of the pier into the water. I guess I was excited. ๐Ÿ™‚ I grew up in a major city though I loved vacationing in northern Wisconsin.

    5 – I became interested in amateur astronomy after reading Timothy Ferris’ explanation of lookback time. In other words, as one looks further into space one looks further back in time. Andromeda at about 2 million light years distant appears to us as it looked 2 million years ago, not as it appears now. I have always been fascinated with the concept of time travel and lookback time is about as close to time travel as I’ll probably ever get.

    6 – I have always loved music because while listening, I can transport myself away from this world. I followed my passion and worked in the sound recording industry for many years.

    7 – To this day I still have a strong attraction to Alcott, Emerson and Thoreau and their place in history. We have visited Concord Massachusetts numerous times. I’m currently reading “Eden’s Outcasts” by John Matteson, a wonderful account of the relationship between Louisa and her father Amos Bronson.

  4. Gandalf / Nov 18 2008 8:57 am

    Who’s the guy in the photo? Interesting post. I’ll politely decline to share, however.

  5. Laurie / Nov 18 2008 9:51 am

    That was a fun read. Interesting image too…I love the quote!

  6. amuirin / Nov 18 2008 10:34 am

    Heya Bo! Wonderful quote, I found it very interesting that you grew up in a four generation home. While I don’t live with four generations, here at the coast, my daughter, me, my mom, and my grandmother all live a very close distance. My grandparents have been key in helping me raise Sierra, and I’m so glad she will know them. I think there’s something really wonderful about getting the perspective of more than the immediate generation, though sometimes you probly felt over-run by grownups. ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder who you were closest to?

    Also, I think it’s pretty cool that you learned latin. It’s got the roots! Surely it will help with learning a romantic language. Italian is composed of such beautiful, beautiful words, just dive into that, and maybe your brain will learn when you aren’t even ‘looking’ so to speak.

    You’ll hafta tell us what ‘I am allergic to nuts’ sounds like in Italian. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Marcie / Nov 18 2008 11:19 am

    Nice to learn some of your ‘secrets’. Fun meme!

  8. Susan / Nov 18 2008 11:46 am

    Thanks for sharing, BO — it’s always fun to learn a bit more about cyber-friends! I took Italian in college — it was *by far* the easiest of all the languages I’ve studied (7 years of French, plus a year each of Latin and German). You’ll pick it up in no time — have fun!

  9. ceanothe / Nov 19 2008 7:07 am

    Une photo montage !

  10. Bo / Nov 24 2008 8:18 am

    gypsy-heart – Really? You’d pick Led Zeppelin over Nixon. Hmm. Me too!

    suehenry – guess giblets are aftern baked inside unintentionsally. Of course,at the time I thought I was the only one dumb enough to do that. I was trying to impress my in-laws. Not very successfully…

    rlovison – Thanks for playing along. Sound industry, huh? Now that sounds exciting. And I love the concept of time traveling by seeing what we see, too.

    amuirin – Maybe your daughter won’t be so appreciative of all the adults in her life now, but she’ll grow to embrace the experience. I have the fondest memories of my grandparents.

    Susan – I really hope Italian comes easily. I’m a little mind-blocked when it comes to even trying another language again.

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