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Susan Ito trying to do it all: reading writing mothering spousing daughtering working living

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

Well, I really wasn't going to do this, and I can't believe this is my 4th blog post today, but I guess things have been building up. Today a meme called "13 Things" came to my attention, and I've resisted it all day, but now it is almost not Thursday anymore and some little voice is telling me to just go ahead and do it before it turns into Friday. So...

Thirteen Things that made me smile this week.

1. Patricia Clarkson's beautiful and totally recognizable voice on the BMW commercial on the radio, even though I have no interest in BMWs or what she was saying about performance vs safety and airbags, blah blah. I just love hearing her voice.
2. Hearing the Yes song "Siberian Khatru" on the radio and suddenly feeling like I was fifteen and listening to Yes through padded headphones with my cousin in his apartment on Riverside Drive in NYC.
3. Really good cornbread from Whole Foods, which I toasted and ate with butter.
4. Reading my students' stories and enjoying what I was reading. (this is certainly not always the case)
5. Going to the kickboxing studio three times (so far!) this week and almost being able to touch my toes tonight, for the first time in a very long time.
6. Finally finishing my book proposal. I'll smile even more if it actually gets acccepted.
7. Looking forward to a 24 hour getaway to Costanoa with my spouse this weekend.
8. Lying on my teenager's bed with her tonight, while she read Kaffir Boy and I read the New Yorker.
9. Reading a really funny Roz Chast cartoon that depicted "Limited Edition Greeting Cards To Harry Whittington from Dick Cheney." The last one showed a card that said in big letters, THANK YOU FOR NOT DYING, with a drawing of a gravestone that said, Your Name NOT HERE! with an inside message, "Violets are blue, Lilies are white, Whatever You Do, Stay Away from the Light!" and then the inscription, Don't act like you don't know what I'm talking about.
9. Reading this sentence in John Updike's short story "My Father's Tears" (in the New Yorker): "The radiators clanked and the walls murmured as if giving back some of the human noise they absorbed, day and night."
10. And this sentence, from the same story. "The train appeared, the engine, with its shining long connecting rods and high steel wheels, out of all proportion to the little soft bodies it dragged along."
11. Making plans to go to Tanjia Moroccan restaurant with friends. I used to live around the corner from an amazing Moroccan restaurant named Mamounia out on Balboa Ave. It doesn't exist any longer, but this Tanjia place looks similarly wonderful.
12. Discovering Pucca's website (thanks Melanie!).
13. Finding a really perfect present for someone and thinking about how surprised and happy they will be when they see it.

I just thought of something regarding the word "meme." I had, until tonight, thought it was something that rhymed with "theme" or "beam" but now that I look at it, and since I just wrote these thirteen things, I'm thinking maybe it is really ME-ME. Like, it's all about me!


Anonymous colleen said...

It all sounds very full and rich...Loved that John Updike line too! I've been thirteening too.

Friday, February 24, 2006 7:10:00 AM

Blogger Bustopher Jones said...

Thanks for that list, Susan! I am about to read Updike's story, and I'm looking forward to it after your meme. Thanks also for the restaurant tip, and I will check out Pucca. I think it's great to think of things that made us smile. We spend too much time worrying and complaining about things that don't make us smile. I may do this meme, too.

Friday, February 24, 2006 8:08:00 AM

Anonymous Nicole said...

Hope you have a great getaway with the hubby. Good luck on the book proposal. :)Glad you decided to participate in the Thursday Thirteen. Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, February 24, 2006 11:28:00 AM

Blogger melanie said...

this is great - a reminder to count our joys/blessings, small and large! i'm glad i was indirectly part of two of them! that will be on my 13 list.

Doesn't "meme" mean "same" in french? Like we're all answering the same questions?

Friday, February 24, 2006 3:32:00 PM

Blogger Tom said...

I was struck but your use of the term "meme." It is a term coined by the Darwinian scientist and philospher Richard Dawkins and appears in his book "The Selfish Gene." Dawkins argues (convincingly, I think) that the evolutionary purpose of the gene is replication, pure and simple --the preface of his book begins with the statement the "We are survival machines - robot vehicles programmed to preserve the selfis molecules know as genes." Toward the end of his book he argues that cultural transmission may operate along the same algorithm as genetic transmission. Comparing human culture to the primeval genetic soup, Dawkin writes: "We need a name for the new replicator, a noun that conveys the idea of a unit of cultural transmission, or a unit of imitation. 'Mimeme' comes from a suitable Greel root, but I want a monosyllable that sounds a bit like 'gene.' I hope my classicist friends will forgive me if I abbreviate mimeme to 'meme.' If it is any consolation, it could be alternatively be thought of as being related to 'memory,' or to the French word 'meme.' It should be pronounced to rhyme. with 'cream.' Examples of memes are tunes, ideas, catch-phrases, clothes, fashions, ways of making pots or of building arches. Just as genes propogate themselves in the gene pool by leaping from body to body via sperm or eggs, so memes propagate thems in the meme pool by leaping from brain to brain via a process which, in the broad sense, can be called imitation."

Sunday, March 05, 2006 7:52:00 AM

Blogger Susan said...

WOW. Now that is impressive.

Sunday, March 05, 2006 8:10:00 AM


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