I've noticed a lot of bloggers have some sort of "Friday Five" list. In keeping with my theme, naturally I've added the unword "foolery". At least, I don't think it's a word. Neither is "unword", for that matter. This week's will not be related to reading, although I'll have to elaborate on something reader-oriented, later tonight (assuming I can cram in a post; it might be tomorrow).
Five of the Most Interesting Things I've Ever Done:
1. Recorded a demo of a song I wrote (in a small Nashville studio). I never attempted to sell the song and because I'd lost my voice for the entire week before we went to Nashville (I brought it back by drinking gallons of Throat Coat tea), my voice deteriorated toward the end. But, it was loads of fun - just a great, unique experience. And, I have a very professional-sounding tape to listen to when I'm feeling like I've had a wasted life. The copy of my tape that I sent to my delightful British friend, Martin, was actually one of the few things he brought over when he moved to New Jersey with only 2 suitcases of his possessions. I still think of that as one of the nicest things anyone has ever done; what an honor.
2. Visited a movie set. Parts of the movie Mississippi Burning were filmed here. I was bored and lonely, new to Mississippi and feeling kind of stuck with a small child, so when I saw the advertisement for extras I applied. I was accepted and then cut. But, before they cut me from the cast of extras, they told me where and when I was to go for costuming. I showed up with my camera and I must have looked pretty professional in my little photographer's vest (which I wore to hold extra film and lenses) because the publicist, David something, walked right up to me and shook my hand, assuming I was the official set photographer.
I told him I was just there for fun and promised to stay out of the way and be quiet. Oddly, David didn't seem embarrassed. He took me around the set before they began to film and introduced me to several people, including director Alan Parker. He is now Sir Alan Parker. Sir Alan (then just Mr. Parker) actually stopped and posed for me and Willem Dafoe very kindly posed for several photos with various people who played FBI agents. I'm not star-struck, but being at the set was a truly fascinating experience.
3. Heard Madeleine L'Engle speak. Yes, this one's book-related. I guess at least one had to be. My favorite early novel was and still is A Wrinkle in Time. So, when I found out Madeleine L'Engle was going to speak at the library next to Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa (when I was 9 months pregnant with my eldest son, so almost exactly 22 years ago), I leapt at the chance to hear her speak. She was absolutely amazing, mesmerizing, funny, captivating . . . in short, everything you'd dream of in a favorite author.
She ran out of copies of A Wrinkle in Time before I reached the autograph table, but I've got her autograph in a copy of A Wind in the Door. L'Engle and her husband (who died a few years later, but at the time was still occasionally showing up on All My Children in his recurring doctor role - I believe he played Dr. Charles Tyler) were in Tulsa for his high-school reunion.
4. Got ogled in Paris. I've never fully understood this one. When I was 17, I traveled to London with a friend whose father lived there. He took us to Paris for a couple of days. When we arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport and went up one escalator, walked around 180 degrees and jumped on another, a man spotted me and literally turned 360 degrees as he watched me get off one escalator and onto the other. My friend said, "Did you see the way that man stared at you?" He was literally open-mouthed. I still wonder if I resembled some famous French girl, at the time, because we later went to McDonald's (yes, we went to France and bought burgers at McDonald's in 1980; I know that's weird) and the handsome, grinning young man who took our orders was so flustered while looking at me that he slammed his thumb in the drawer.
American men never really noticed me till I got extremely buff in my late 30's, so these experiences were truly odd.
5. Played mini-golf on a cliff in Wales. This one's from the same trip, at 17, which I still consider one of the best experiences of my entire life. We took a day trip to Llundudno, North Wales and whilst we were in the Llundudno area I ate melted cheese on toast (they know how to do cheese in Wales) and then rode what the Welsh claimed was the world's longest tramway over beautiful hills dotted with fluffy white sheep. At the end of the tramway was a cliff with a putt-putt type of golf course, minus the goofy decorations around the holes in the ground.
I was absolutely freezing and kept one hand in my pocket the whole time, but I played probably the best round of mini golf I'd ever played. And, the view was pretty incredible.
I'd love to see some other "most interesting experiences". Les, can I nominate you to pass this on?
And, now off to eat out for my birthday and then watch the youngster play trombone at the local football game.