February 8, 2007
Big M, Little M, What Begins With M?
The lovely Bellezza tagged me for this meme almost a month ago! I didn't actually forget about it (no, really!), but wanted to use it for a Thursday Thirteen (even though the official meme only requires ten items). Today is the first opportunity I've had to put together my list. Sorry for the delay, Bellezza!
The idea is pretty simple. I'm supposed to list ten things I like that start with my assigned letter (M). I've been jotting down ideas over the past few weeks, hoping to keep the list book-related. No such luck. So, this will be a "getting to know me" meme.
1. Music: I love music! I usually listen to cds in my car, as I really dislike the radio with all its DJ chit-chat and silly morning shows. I listen to my iPod when I go for walks on the bike trail (weather permitting!) and when I'm puttering around in my kitchen, fixing a meal or cleaning up. The only time I don't care to listen to music is while I'm reading (unless it's Classical music; anything with lyrics is too distracting). I enjoy pretty much any type of music, with the exception of rap and heavy metal. I currently have 3,528 songs on my iPod. I guess that tells you something! Some favorite artists are John Hiatt, Van Morrison, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lyle Lovett, Neil Young, Carole King, Kris Kristofferson, Michelle Shocked, Pablo Casals, Trisha Yearwood, Frank Sinatra, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, James Taylor... and on and on I could go!
2. Mahjong: No, not the computer version, but the real deal. My grandparents used to play and I think I learned (along with my cousins) one summer while visiting their beach house in Leucadia, California. I'm not sure how old I was, maybe seven or eight. I remember sitting in the living room at one of two card tables, learning all the terminology (pung, chow, kong, going to the wall, etc.). I loved the feel of the smooth tiles in my hand and the clacking sound they made as we built a new wall.
My grandfather was a pilot for Pan American Airlines, but he spent a lot of his free time working in his wood shop, carving or building beautiful pieces of furniture. In addition to my parents' Mahjong set, I also own the four beautiful wood racks my grandfather made to hold each player's set of tiles. Unfortunately, I don't get to play this lively game very often. I get together to play with a few friends a couple of times a year, but since it's not one of my husband's most favorite games, we don't play with our regular dinner guests (although, sometimes the promise of one of his favorite desserts will tempt him enough to play two or three hands).
3. Massage: I absolutely love getting a massage. I've only had maybe two dozen or so, but could easily go for one once a month, if not once a week! Too bad they're so expensive. I just can't bring myself to splurge on $60 (plus tip) for one hour of relaxation.
4. Mexican food: I never get tired of enchiladas, taquitos, carne asada burritos, nachos, rice & beans, guacamole and, of course, Margaritas. Yum!
5. Manners: Call me old-fashioned, but good manners are very important to me. I don't understand why it's so difficult for people to remember to say "please" and "thank you." I also don't know why "you're welcome" has vanished from common usage. It seems like whenever I say "thanks," all I hear is "mm-hmm." I suppose that little acknowledgment is better than nothing. Don't even get me started on thank you notes (or the lack thereof!).
6. Mail: Speaking of thank you notes, there is nothing more uplifting than peeking in our mailbox to discover a hand-addressed envelope from a friend or relative. You've got mail! As addicted as I am to email and blog comments, I love getting a real letter. One of my best friends and I used to write long, long chatty letters every 3-6 months and it was so wonderful to curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea (in a pretty china cup, of course) and catch up on her life. My mom and I also used to write to each other this way (as did my grandmother and I), but now we either send emails or talk on the phone. I have to admit, I do like the immediacy of that form of communication, but I still like the surprise of a note with magazine and newspaper clippings that she has so thoughtfully sent off to me. I also enjoy receiving pretty note cards from friends thanking me for a dinner party, book, birthday gift or simply to say hello.
7. Maker's Mark: My husband introduced me to bourbon several years ago and my favorite cocktail is a Whiskey Sour.
8. MINICooper: I bought my red Mini three years ago this month. I love it as much now as the day I drove it home. It gets great gas mileage (30 in town, 40+ on the Interstate), is easy to wash, gets around just fine in the snow and has more interior space than you'd think. I wanted to get the Canadian Flag emblem on the roof, but I would've had to give up the sunroof and I wasn't about to do that!
9. Maple Trees: I love autumn. Crisp, cool nights. Flannel shirts. Hot chocolate. Soups and stew. Blankets piled high on the bed. But most of all, I love to see the leaves turn, especially those of the Sugar Maple. To me, that's what fall is all about, the falling leaves.
10. Movies: We never watch regular television, but we do rent a lot of movies (and TV series) from Netflix. Some favorites are: Band of Brothers, Lord of the Rings, You've Got Mail, Fargo, Almost Famous, Amelie, Minority Report, The Sixth Sense, Silence of the Lambs, Howard's End, Cold Mountain, Spanglish, Frida, and Heat. As with music and books, this list could go on forever!
11. Mixer: I love my KitchenAid mixer. Next to reading, I love to cook. I can't imagine using a hand mixer (or even a different brand stand mixer). I've had my almond-cream colored Classic model since 1981 and it still works just as well as it did 25 years ago! Every year I think it'd be nice to get a new one, maybe for my birthday or Christmas, but it seems kind of silly to ask for something that expensive simply because I want a pretty new one in a different color (probably Hunter Green).
12. Motherhood: I gave birth to my beautiful daughter when I was fairly young. She was born three days before my 22nd birthday. A few months after her birth, I became a single parent (after two-and-a-half years of marriage to her father). It was a rough time for me, but I had a life to live and a daughter to raise. I couldn't wallow in self-pity for too long. I have so many wonderful memories of the past 23 years as a mother, but I think those are private and not something I want to share in this blog. Suffice it to say I love my daughter and couldn't be more proud of the lovely young woman she's become.
13. Mawidge: My husband and I have been married for 18 years. I feel very fortunate to not only be married to my best friend, but to be married to such a good man. He is truly my better half. He's one of the most intelligent people I know (although I have beat him at Trivial Pursuit and chess a couple of times!). He's got a great (dry) sense of humor, loves animals, is patient and forgiving, is a true and reliable friend, and is well-liked by all who know him. Like me, he's a voracious reader and doesn't mind living in a house surrounded by stack and stacks of books. He's a quiet, gentle soul and the love of my life.
So there you have it. Now back to books!