Sunday, January 18, 2009


I've dodged many a meme but recently Jill posted a cool one. I enjoyed reading her answers, was once again struck by how much we have in common, and it gave me a lot to think about. So, not surprisingly, I will now indulge myself in responding to the tag:

1. Your house is on fire. All the people and pets are already out and safe. You can take only one thing with you. What will it be and why?

Its not an easy decision, to be sure. My first inclination is to say my flute because I can think of no other inanimate thing that has contributed so much to shaping my life and I am eternally indebted to my grandparents who bought it for me lest my music studies be stalled at an early stage. As much as it would grieve me to leave that to burn, I would take my computer. It has all of my music, all of my photos, all of my business: personal and professional. And let's not forget: all of my friends live in it.

2. A benefactor has agreed to fund you for a year. There are no strings attached - you can do whatever you'd like for 12 months, practical or frivolous, and have it all paid for by this person. What will you do?

Some amounts of pleasure and service, I think. I'd like to respond to whatever natural disaster recovery is happening at the moment and have the resources of this benefactor to remove the financial considerations that have hindered scientifically solid, compassionate public health response in the past. I'd want to bring together everything I've learned in public health and put it to very good use in mitigation at the grass-roots level.

I would like to spend about 3 months traveling with my husband and kids, purely for culture and relaxation. They can return home at the end of our stay in Provence where I will remain for some culinary training.

There'd be some purchasing to be done: I'd like to secure the education funding for my children, nieces and nephews, provide for good housing for all of us PLUS a nice family vacation home where we could spend entire summers (without killing each other).

Finally, I'd wrap the year up with an intensive guitar internship (and possible light necking) with Eric Clapton.

3. Tell me about your favorite place (you can take this any way you like it — a cozy chair, an interesting continent). Why is it your favorite? When did you first go there? When did you last go there? What is your favorite memory there? Is there someone you would especially like to take there?

No question about it: my living room, on the couch. It is peaceful, lovely, comfortable and it is the one place (other than my sweet little beddy-bye) where I am completely at ease. I was last there about 20 minutes ago. I think my favorite memory in that room would have to be of playing Scattergories with all of my kids, parents, nieces and nephews crammed in on the floor... but the Mullen Movie Night escapades are way up at the top of this list, too...

4. Of all the things that you have made or done in your life so far, what are you most proud of? Why does the thing you picked mean the most to you?

Of course I'm proud of my children and of the ways being a mother has allowed me to grow into a more patient, fun, kind person. But what I'm most proud of is believing in Rob's honor and love for me, of valuing my estimation of those things above all else in choosing to run away with him. Supreme case of quieting the head and following the heart taking the day (or life). Building a life with Rob is without a doubt the very best thing I've ever done.

5. What "makes" a present for you - in other words, what transforms an object from something that might make a "meh" gift into one that is special to you?

Totally difficult to articulate but there is a definite something that I'll take a stab at. I'm quite difficult to shop for because I know exactly what I want and I mostly already have it. But the great gifts are about the gift's revelation of the giver's personal knowledge and fond engagement with me and my life. Not surprisingly, then, most of the gifts I've treasured most in recent years have been whimsical: the Buddha salt and pepper shakers (aka, "the god of salt and the god of pepper") from Neiman Marcus, funny Christmas jammies. Rob is absolutely the most enthusiastic, committed and astute gift giver I've ever known. Lucky me. Every gift reveals his admiration for me...somehow, somewhere, I musta' done something good to deserve him.

Watch out! I'll be tagging folks to do likewise soon!


jill said...

the great gifts are about the gift's revelation of the giver's personal knowledge and fond engagement with me and my life

Thank you. Beautifully articulate!!

And of course - great gifts are also about demonstrating impossibly perky boobs. Not sure how you forgot that one...

KHM said...

all of life, darling, is about the perky ta-tas.

And thanks. Coming from you, I am indeed flattered.