After sadness, a bit of lightness for which I have to thank my good neighbor to the north, Poetikat. She has tagged me ever so gently with this friendly 4x4 meme, and I dutifully respond, with the same enthusiasm in which a squirrel retrieves a precious tossed pecan:
FOUR JOBS I HAVE HELD IN MY LIFE:
1. In an era well before MS Word and such software toys as "mail merge" I typed names and addresses on envelopes. And then on more envelopes and more envelopes and then....on address labels. And then on more envelopes. And more envelopes. (Well, you get the idea. I typed 95 words a minute, most of it accurately, so the envelopes and labels just kept piling up awaiting my handiwork.) Oh and did I mention, more envelopes?
2. I was also a radio advertising copywriter and producer, at a small market radio station that was situated, strangely enough, only a mile or two from where I am now living. Clients requiring original (and hopefully humorous) copy included a small independent grocer, a place that sold sewing machines and, yes, even a neighborhood farm stand. (For that commercial, I had the announcer read my highly descriptive copy while attempting to eat a juicy ear of freshly steamed corn on the cob. It left the studio a mess of cobs and kernels.)
3. Shoveling horse poop. The less said about this the better. Use your imagination. I did not do this for remuneration (or re-MANURE-ation, as the case may be) but in exchange for riding lessons.
4. Newspaper copy editor. (See previous item with reference to shoveling huge quantities).
FOUR TV SHOWS I RECORD:
Sorry but I must pass on this part of the meme. I don't watch TV, either recorded or unrecorded.
FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN:
1. I was in Dallas, Texas, in 1979 to attend a national newspaper conference and while there visited the site where President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. I also now know why I am a devoted northeasterner. I could never stand the heat down there, even without the humidity.
2. I have been to Chicago, Illinois a couple of times - the last time, it was to attend the wedding of a friend who lives and works there. I like the fact that, unlike Manhattan, it is cosmopolitan in a midwestern way and infinitely more navigable by car.
3. I went to Montreal during the 1980s and had a great time staying in a hotel that was run by students who were training in the hospitality industry. I felt like I could be the lousiest guest and I would be doing them a great service because they would work hard to earn an "A" - pleasing the most curmudgeonly of guests. In the end, however, I turned out to be a most agreeable guest. My plans to make trouble were shattered by an unbearable sense of guilt over my intentions.
4. I have also been to Hell and back. At least this week. Our employer is in the midst of having buyouts and layoffs. (OK, maybe this location doesn't count, particularly for readers who don't believe in Hell. So let me also say I have been to Lewes, Delaware for the annual migration of the shorebirds along the Atlantic Coast. They stop in the area known as the "DelMarVa" peninsula to feed on the horseshoe crabs and it is a wonder to behold, even if you are not a birder.)
FOUR FAVORITE FOODS:
1. Scottish or steel-cut oatmeal. Yum. I'll eat this for breakfast in the morning, even in the heat of July. Serve it to me with sliced bananas and a cup of coffee and I will follow you home.
2. Any vegetarian Indian food. Samosas. Dosas. Anything with paneer. And oh my God, anything with dal.
3. Natural chunky peanut butter on a toasted pumpernickel bagel. I will run you over using a bulldozer, without a second thought, if you stand between me and this favorite lunch.
4. Foods with pumpkin. Pumpkin filled ravioli. Chunks of pumpkin over Afghani rice. The pumpkin-sweet potato soup I make in my own kitchen. I think I want to turn into a pumpkin.
OK, I am done!