Friday, September 01, 2006

Friday Five Foolery

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.

Happy Friday!!


  1. Hi again!
    That was a WONDERFUL comment you left at my site, heartfelt and insightful. Thank you so much! And I do hope you make it around again.

    All the best,

  2. You met Madeleine L'Engle! I am so jealous! Authors never come anywhere near me. Not to mention she's in her like 90's now. The saddest thing of all is that she was writing another book that probably will never be published.

    And, when is your sons birthday?

  3. Andrew,

    Thanks so much. I'm glad you liked my comment. You've given me my warm fuzzy for the day. :)


    Madeleine L'Engle was old even when I saw her!! We haven't lived in Tulsa for 20 years, so I usually have to hit the road to see an author speak. It was really fun when Nevada Barr lived just 30 miles away. She's an awesome speaker, too.

    My son's birthday is the 17th of this month. He'll be half my age. I was 22 when he arrived. I can't believe how fast the time has gone!!

  4. Hey! What fun that was to read! I bet you relived a lot of it as you wrote it. :)

    My son just turned 22 also.

  5. Well.... I'll try, but I think I'll save my list for next Friday. I need time. I don't think I've led as exciting of a life as you! My daughter's 22, too. Someone told me a few months ago that this is the only time my daughter and I will share that odd double-digit age thing (22/44).

    Did you ever see my Two-Part Invention review? I can't remember if you'd been reading my blog back then (and am too lazy to go look).

  6. I failed to mention that I think you have a great list here. Makes me feel a bit like I've led a pretty dull life, though! Very cool about the song demo!

  7. Joy,

    I did enjoy reliving those experiences, yes! Cool that you have a 22-year-old son, too! Isn't it nice having an older child?


    Hey, that makes three of us with a 22-year-old and a love of books. Aren't we swell? ;) I haven't seen your review of Two-Part Invention (and haven't read that one, although I have a copy). Did you read it recently? I'll have to look for your review.

    Next week is fine and dandy for carrying on the five idea, no biggie. I'm just trying to keep myself on an "up" swing, here, coming up with positive things to think about. I doubt you've led a duller life that I have; it took me a while to come up with five!!

  8. Hi,
    I see even more comments from you. You're spoiling me. Thanks! And by all means feel free to add me to you Bloggy Links.

  9. I wonder if you saw Madeleine the same time I did; she came to Wheaton College around 1987 where she often spoke about her books and religion. I was so fortunate to have her autograph a copy of The Love Letters for me. Aren't we the lucky ones? As for getting getting ogled in Paris, that's an even rarer distinction! Good for you!

  10. Andrew,

    Thanks! I'll add you to my bloggy links right away. Spoiling you? You're too kind. :)

    I noticed you made a comment about your counter being off - same here. Blogger is currently telling me I have no comments to this post. Hmm.


    I just peeked in and fell in love with your blog!! What a coincidence! I saw Madeleine L'Engle in 1984, so not quite the same time. I haven't kept up with her. I'll have to look up the titles I've missed in recent years. We are indeed lucky to have heard her speak; she is amazing.

    The ogling was really strange, btw, because it was so atypical for me. I need to get buff again; I kind of enjoyed turning heads while it lasted. LOL

  11. haha, well, the interesting thing about the 22 is, that's how old I am going to be. :)

  12. What fun to read about your 5 most interesting things! I've been thinking what mine could be and have come up with a possible 4. You may see a list from me at some point...

  13. Bookfool ~ The post of "Reasons Why We Read" that you did several days ago had at least three! It sometimes doesn't register right away, but eventually the comments do catch up. :)

  14. Kailana,

    I need to fix you up with my son. He's used to being surrounded by books and living with a book fiend. :)


    I can't wait to see your list!! You've been so many interesting places, I'll bet you can come up with a big list after you've done some pondering!


    I should have looked before leaping. Just checked my bookfoolery email (which doesn't come directly to my usual inbox because I was paranoid when I set up the blog) and saw your wonderful post. I'll have to redo the "reasons to read" post, another time. Thanks for responding!!!!

  15. Bookfool ~ I LOVE the feature of e-mail that lets you know if you have a new comment! I wouldn't consider that paranoia. :) I'm always getting my e-mail, so it's very convenient to see if there's been any activity on my blog without actually going there.

    FYI ~ I responded to your post on my blog. :)

  16. lol. Good to know. :)

  17. I hope you don't mind Bookfool, but I needed a safe place to try out my new picture. What do you think?

    I like the other one (it actually has turning pages, but I turned it off because it made me crazy), but I don't like the white background when it's on my blog. Silly, but fun to look for more options. :)

  18. Joy,

    I love it. I think your new picture's a keeper. :) Mind if I ask where you found it? I've seen so many cool book photos, lately.

  19. Oh my! I have been all over carnation (okay, the internet) looking at images that I couldn't begin to tell you where I got that particular one from...BUT, you can have fun looking yourself! I know I started at google images, then yahoo images, then microsoft images, then I googled image sites and went crazy! LOL Seriously, I have no clue where it specifically came from. If you find it on a search of your own, I'd be appreciative to know myself. :)

    BTW, I had a VERY difficult time choosing which one I wanted (even though it was fun) because I found so many I liked. I ended up putting "requirements/restrictions" on the one that I chose to narrow down the possibilities. Who knows...I may change it again sometime. For now I think I'm content.

  20. Joy,

    Thanks; I usually just use Google, so you've given me some idea of how to do a better job looking up images. I'll let you know if I locate yours. :)

  21. And, to everyone,

    Thanks so much for making this such a fun post! I am so enjoying all the responses!!


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