The Middle Name Meme

I got up this morning to discover I’ve been tagged by the infamous Beth at Cup of Coffey to participate in a meme. What makes this one a little challenging is that the meme requires me to use a middle name, and not only do I not have a middle name anymore in the real world, I also want to keep my name, as well as the names of my loved ones, anonymous (or at least the semblance thereof). That being said, I do want to participate, so I figure there are a few ways I could go about doing this:

  1. Use the maiden name of a woman in my family tree.
  2. Use “With”, since that’s my middle name on this blog.
  3. Use the middle name I was given at birth.

I think I’ll go with #1, since #3 is too short to offer any sort of interesting response (my former middle name was Rae), and #2 is just too corny and I’m leaning more toward zany practicality than wacky humor this morning.

Here be the Rules:

1. Post the rules before you give your answers.

2. List one fact about yourself beginning with each letter of your middle name. If you don’t have a middle name, use your maiden name or your mother’s maiden name.

3. At the end of your blog post, tag one person (or blogger of another species) for each letter of your middle name. Be sure to leave them a comment telling them they’ve been tagged.

I never got the chance to know my maternal grandmother, as she died of breast cancer when Momcat was a teenager. In her honor, I’ll use her maiden name, which was Trask.

T: When I am upset or stressed out, I have a tendency to render technology ineffective. Long-time readers of my blog are familiar with my score-keeping. I’ve had challenges with computer monitors (I’ve had about 3 or 4 monitors die on me, which T-Wizzle finds baffling), printers, my DVD player/recorder, Palm TX, and MP3 player; cell phones; software programs; Internet access; and a host of other products. Someday, this superpower will enable me to take over the world, or at least bring global e-commerce to a grinding halt. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

R: While rebellious wouldn’t be the first word that comes to mind when describing myself, I definitely do act the rebel at times. I have been known to do things just because someone said I couldn’t or shouldn’t. Some positive examples of this are:

  • My high school world history teacher told me that it was hard to get an A in the American history teacher’s class. I said, “Watch me,” and for 3 out of 4 grading periods, I got As in American history. (One quarter I was distracted by a part-time job. Once I quit, I had more time to study and got As again.)
  • My former editor said I’d never get tickets to see Spamalot while in New York for a trade show. Again I said, “Watch me.” I sat in line for nearly 6 hours and got 8th row orchestra seats. I grinned the whole way through and brought my editor back a t-shirt.

I’m waiting for the day when the right person challenges me to lose weight or publish my novel. King Kong ain’t got shit on me! Bring it on!

A: Ever since I was little, I’ve been interested in acting. Back east, I was in my high school’s drama club and performed in a couple readers’ theatre productions with Pops. I’ll admit that part of my motivation for moving to LA was that I wanted to become a famous actress. The thing is, you actually have to work at doing that, and I was always too insecure about my looks & weight to make it happen. I wanted to just show up and become famous. I admire comedians who are super-talented at improvisation, so I’d like to take improv classes at some point. Then who knows? I could finally bite the bullet and really give acting a shot.

S: I have never been one to fear for my personal safety. I have been in some dicey neighborhoods and suspicious places, but I have never felt threatened or scared. I’ve been cautious, sure, and I’ll use my intuition to avoid putting myself in uncomfortable situations. But I feel it’s all about attitude, and I am so freakin’ arrogant that I cannot imagine why anyone would ever want to do harm to me. I’ve said several times that I would walk naked through Watts just to make a point – which goes back to that rebellious thing again. Because of my attitude I have a hard time empathizing with people, especially women, about safety issues. My belief is that fear is the biggest bully you can ever encounter, yet all it takes is one hearty yell to make fear run for the hills.

K: I love singing karaoke. I’ve been doing it since I moved to CA over 7 years ago, starting with a piano bar where the average age of the clientele was 68. Those old folks were so supportive and excited to hear a thirty-something singing old standards, so it gave me the courage to branch out and go to more karaoke joints. The place where I went regularly has gotten more ghetto-tastic, so I’m going to new spots that have a wide variety of songs. I even have a spreadsheet on my Palm TX for tracking songs by venue, but I have yet to buy my own karaoke CDs and bring them with me when I go sing. My favorite artists to cover at karaoke include Journey, Amy Winehouse, Garbage, Heart, Maroon 5, Olivia Newton-John, Britney Spears, Sarah McLachlan…and the hits just keep on comin’.

And now for the tagging of others (links to completed memes are in green):

Staci at Laughing Mommy (because she is my cousin and she loves me, plus it’s payback for the taser Superpoke on Facebook last week)
Arianne at Daily Llama (because she likes memes)
Gifted Typist at Gifted Typist (because she’s cool and I like her writing)
Splotchy at I, Splotchy (because no-meme month is over)
Beckeye at The Pop Eye (because she loves ONJ as much as me, if not more)

Green Monkey Music Project: Geography Pop Quiz

Through that southern music doyenne Beth, I found out about Splotchy’s Green Monkey Music Project. Splotchy recruits fellow bloggers to participate in a weekly mix of songs all focused on a certain topic. This week’s topic was suggested by guest monkey Chris: list 5-7 songs that have a geographic location (street, city, state, country) in the title. For the first time, I threw my blog in the ring, and I got picked to participate! Yee haw! I feel as if I’ve been allowed to sit at the lunch table with the popular kids.

Anyway, you can find a zip file of my song picks here, as well as zip files for the other participants. Some commentary on my song choices follows:

Manhattan Avenue – Nellie McKay
About a year or so ago, another blogger turned me on to Nellie McKay’s delicious voice and witty songs. When you first listen to this song, it sounds like a sweet simple jazz song paying tribute to her neighborhood. Listen to it again, and you discover that she is actually singing about a rundown street in a shitty neighborhood. It just goes to show that you can make anything sound good if you sing it nicely.

Mercy Street – Peter Gabriel
I had to include this eerie song dedicated to American poet Anne Sexton. The title refers to her play as well as a collection of poetry. Whether or not there’s an actual Mercy Street, I don’t know. This is one of my favorite songs by Peter Gabriel.

Lubbock or Leave It – Dixie Chicks
T-Wizzle sent me a copy of Taking the Long Way when I was really having a hard time at my last job. Many of the songs on the album are centered around doing things your own way, even if other people don’t quite understand your motivation. I sang a lot of these songs at the top of my lungs while driving down the freeway. “Lubbock or Leave It” is about the hypocrisy of the Southern towns that “got more churches than trees.”

Going to California – Led Zeppelin
Pops and I have taken several cross-country road trips, and I really cherish the memories of seeing the United States by car. On one of our trips from MD to CA, we visited Inyo National Forest, a huge forest in the eastern Sierra of California. As we were driving through the forest at sunset, I made him play this song in the car. It was such a beautiful accompaniment, I had to pinch myself to keep from crying. Whenever I start taking California’s beauty for granted, I listen to this song.

Blue Savannah – Erasure
When this song came out, my friend Jeannie* was obsessed with it. I had just gotten The Innocents and she kept asking me “Is Blue Savannah on that album?” It drove me nuts. Finally I got the Pop! CD, which did have the song on it, but by that time she’d moved on to some other song.

Lonely Night in Georgia – Marc Broussard
I got into Marc Broussard after his song “Home” was featured on a bonus CD that came in a music issue of Vanity Fair. Most of the other songs on the album are not very notable, but this tune is really lovely and melancholy.

Mississippi – Train
Another slow, melancholy tune from the guys that brought you “Drops of Jupiter” and “Something More”. This song is actually about a girl: “I call her Mississippi/but she don’t flow to me.”