Monday, November 07, 2005

gotta get this meme off my back

Jim at Earth Home Garden tagged me with the "five things" meme last week. I said I'd do it, and I try to keep my promises, but it's been difficult for some reason. So I'll do it, but I'll take a few liberties with it, otherwise the answers might just read "I don't know..." ;)

Five pet peeves

This is easy: Excess packaging. Excess paper generated by the day-to-day workings of public school classrooms. Newly built houses that do not even attempt to fit into the surrounding landscape or take advantage of passive solar heating and cooling principles. All-terrain vehicles. The NASCAR-ization of fishing.

Five wild critters I'd like to see before I go

I hadn't really thought about this before. I would probably love to see any wild critter in its natural habitat, but I don't have any in particular that stand out. So I'll just list five birds that I have a reasonable chance of seeing at or somewhat near my home place that I have not yet seen:

Boreal owl
Northern saw-whet owl
Peregrine falcon
Boreal chickadee
Cerulean warbler

Five moments in my life that have changed everything I have done since

1. Seeing a painted bunting in St. Augustine, Florida when I was six years old. I may have been on my way to a lifetime of bird watching, but that certainly pushed me over the edge.

2. Choosing a week long trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area over a 4-H records judging competition the week after I graduated from high school.

3. The time I showed up at the bowling alley in Brookings, South Dakota for happy hour to celebrate the thesis defense of a certain graduate student (a.k.a. The Hermit)

4. The day we went looking at land and first encountered the white pines and chickadees of Sand Creek.

5. The births of my three children. Okay, that's three moments, but I cannot choose one over the others.

Five movies that are my life

I don't watch a lot of movies, and I would be hard pressed to come up with just one that begins to describe my life. So I'll take the cue from madcapmum and instead list five books that have had an impact on my life:

1. Mother Earth Spirituality by Eagle Man (Ed McGaa). This was probably the first book I ever found just by browsing in a bookstore, the first book I ever picked up just because it looked good. It turned me on to exploration of beliefs that honored the earth instead of overpowering or ignoring it. By an extraordinary chain of serendipitous events, Eagle Man ended up coming to my 27th birthday party, playing drum and singing cowboy songs.

2. Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey. This was required reading for my January term class in college, a travel course in Southwestern U.S. ecology. It was my stepping stone to other nature and place-based writing, as well as to the rest of Abbey's works.

3. Birds Of North America - This was given to me by my grandma in Florida after the painted bunting episode. I practically memorized it by age seven.

4. The Contrary Farmer by Gene Logsdon. I bought this long before I knew what homesteading was, long before I had any desire to move to the cabin and live a more self sufficient lifestyle. I must have known I had it in me somehow.

5. Living Downstream by Sandra Steingraber. A powerful argument that we humans are poisoning ourselves.

I think the people I would most like to tag for this have already been tagged, but feel free to nominate yourself if you feel so moved.

I feel so much better now!


Jim said...


I apologize for putting you on the spot, I should've just done what you and mum did and let people tag themselves.

I loved reading your responses though and, of course, am sympathetic to every one of them.

Desert Solitaire was close to a religious experience for me when I first read it, also leading me on to the rest of Cactus Ed's books and Nature writing in general, a huge influence on me that wonderful ol' crank.

Now there's a guy I would've really loved to share a six-pack (or a whole case)with in some remote canyon or hole in a rock.

I'm embarrassed to say The Contrary Farmer isn't in my library, I've known about it for years and somehow kept forgetting to acquire it.

I like how you selected local wildlife that you would like to see, it shows a centeredness in you and affirms your desire for a sense of place.

Thanks for humoring me with this tagging thing, I hadn't been tagged before, and didn't know who else to tag but my favorite bloggers.

It didn't occur to me to not tag anyone, OH DUH!

But I won't tag you again, I promise.

How's the song selection or rehearsals for future gigs coming along?

Deb said...

Jim, don't worry about it. I didn't mean to send you into a guilt complex! :) I actually enjoyed the thought process, and I hadn't thought of Eagle Man or the significance of the Boundary Waters trip for a long time. So if anything else interesting comes down the pike, feel free to tag away.

We got together on Friday to practice, and went over a few new songs. Fred made me a copy of The Reeltime Travelers; I like a couple of their songs. He's been trying to contact the manager of the place where we played, to set up a regular gig, so hopefully we'll hear from her soon. Your suggestions were duly noted, and some acted upon!

madcapmum said...

Now I've got a couple new books to try out, Deb - thanks!

Did you ever hit the nail on the head with your list of peeves. The first four, especially. (I don't fish.)

Rexroth's Daughter said...

It is really great to read your answers. The best part of memes is that they really do ask you to consider and reveal parts of yourself that you normally wouldn't. I appreciate that you did it. The pirate and I resist. We've done a few, but just didn't do others. But I do see that doing a meme provides a richness for your readers, and that is quite lovely. Thanks for taking the time.

the Contrary Goddess said...

This is pretty cool. I was just looking at Ed McGaa's book and thinking I should read it again, remembering that it was good. We have a lot of "spirituality" books that are just crap, so that I like it actually means something (to me).

Of course, Logsdon's books! I really enjoyed his You Can Go Home Again perhaps most.

And just right now, at this moment, I'm re-reading The Monkey Wrench Gang, and at time break out aloud. He's almost as good as Tom Robbins sometimes! It is the only one by him I've read and we were just remarking we should get others. He did one on Appalachia, the Smokey's I believe, which I would find interesting. I first read Monkey Wrench after I'd hiked the GC and rafted through too, so that was something to have just been to those places and read that on the way home.

Deb said...

CG- you would probably like Abbey's The Fool's Progress: An Honest Novel. It reads a lot like Tom Robbins (who I am also a fan of).

I enjoyed You Can Go Home Again too. I mean, what's not to like about the story of how Logsdon went from Catholic priest-in-training to farm writer to Contrary Farmer? I also liked Good Spirits: A Look At Ol' Demon Alcohol.