Sunday, February 8, 2009

Facebook deleted my list of 25 things - wonder what I said? Still getting tagged so ... I'll try to tell some stories this time

Rules: Once you've been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you ... but I think RULES are sometimes made to be broken. If you do jump on the band wagon and decided to write ... at the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it's because I want to know more about you.

(To do this, go to “notes” under tabs on your profile page, paste these instructions in the body of the note, type your 25 random things, tag 25 people (in the right hand corner of the app) then click publish.

1. I met a guy at Helen's Cycles last Friday that I was so taken with that I, I ... uh I ... all I could do was smile and be totally flirty. He was buying tires for his mountain bike when he struck a conversation with me (deep sigh!)

2. If I could create the perfect man for me, in an outward sense, it would have been him ...except without the wedding band :(

3. The summer when I was 11, I would pack my little orange backpack with sandwiches and fruit and take off for our all-girl fort in the hills above our houses. It was soo cool. We cleared away the sage brush enough to crawl into our handmade dueling, the ground covered with odd pieces of carpet taken from the left-over pile outside the new houses at the dead end of our block. We'd hang mobiles from the branches and play until we could hear our mothers call us from far away. We even had a old Panasonic transistor radio and listened to the top 40 on AM radio. We'd even get into "wars" with the some of the boys, and tepee or girlify their forts for fun. Then came a rash of fort "ambushes" and we decided to hang out at he pool instead of the hills before we got attacked.

4. When I was a freshman and sophomore in college, I dated a cutie named Bill - Senior, IR/ Econ major, swim team. One night early in our relationship, we were talking about where we grew up and things we did as kids. He was telling me this great story about the fort he made with his friends in the canyon below the house he grew up in. He went on and on about the great times he shared with his buddies in that fort and the details of its decor and how long it took for them to make it the perfect hang out ... that is ... until some stupid boys from another block totally trashed it one summer, with shaving cream and pink toilet paper. But it was ok ... he totally trashed their fort. It suddenly made sense. We girls trashed Bill's fort thinking it was our little brother's fort. And Bill and his friends trashed my brother's fort thinking it was them. It started a cycle of ambushes between the boys from 5 different blocks ... oh the humanity!! Funny, I had no idea there were kids from other blocks building forts in OUR hills. And I never met Bill before college. However, I am certain it was his fort that we creamed.

5. In 1995, I was invited by the University of Idaho to be a presenter at the Borah Symposium. It was a week long event culminating in a two day conference with the Theme: Population, Peace and Conflict. I was in awe of my fellow presenters. Some we my heros and wrote books that I studied in graduate school. I rewrote my key presentation 20+ times (we gave smaller talks to various classes and student groups on campus and did the faculty and alumni group cocktail parties too). I practiced in front of the mirror whenever I had a free moment. I was to speak last. Oh the pressure. I threw up whenever I'd think about standing at the podium in front of a packed audience and the CSPAN cameras. AND my "peers" who were really my elders and brilliant and accomplished and .... I'm getting nauseous thinking about it now! When it was finally mine time, there seemed to be nothing more to say. They had said it all - straight forward historical data to back their theories. They were the experts. I was too young to be that yet. I thought, "What could I possibly add to this exceptional group of human beings and the sharing of their life's work?"

I left my prepared speech at the table and went to the podium. I began to speak from the heart, from experience. I told firsthand stories of war and the effects on population and its impact on immigration from my own experiences. I talked about coups that I witnessed and human rights abuses and environmental disasters and the destroying of families and communities and lives as a consequence of population growth. I shared the reason why I decided to do the work that I did. I talked about what we in Moscow, Idaho that afternoon, as individuals, could do to reverse some of the trends that the experts had so eloquently lectured just before me.

I paused several times, because I found myself getting emotional and though that was unprofessional. But the pauses served my speech. I told the members of the audience that this symposium had the power to be a great catalyst and that by coming it showed that we all want a different future free from conflict. After my 30 minutes was up, I thanked the Borah Foundation for inviting me and shared what an honor it was to be in the company with the other panelists. I closed by suggesting that small everyday acts of courage and change could amount to a lot.

My ex-husband told me later that he saw people crying as I spoke. He said the standing ovation lasted more than 5 minutes until the moderator had to settle everyone down. I don't remember this, but I remember the feeling of exhilaration from it all.

It was the last big speech of my non-profit career.

6. Out of curiosity, I just read the speech I had originally prepared to present that day. Hmmm. Have you ever done that? Read something you wrote long ago, something that at the time you thought wasn't good enough, but are now in awe of the sheer intelligence with which it was prepared? I made the right choice to switch directions at the symposium. And I also wish I was still that f***in' smart!

7. In 1987, I was a lab assistant for several field researchers from the Marine Biology Department at USC. I was to help collect sea sponge specimens and then test for their antibiotic properties at the University of the South Pacific in Suva, Fiji. Basically, I got to go scuba diving in Fiji with my boyfriend for free :)

On a dive out by a deserted island (I've never seen so many geckos running amok in my life!), I collected a yet to discovered variety of sea sponge that turned out to have extraordinary anti-biotic properties with far fewer side effects than any other antibiotic drug at the time. My boyfriend tried to name it after me. USC would have none of that.

8. I have wanted to compete in Ironman Hawaii ever since I first saw it in 1982.

9. I stood in the cold, pouring rain Friday for 3 hours to watch my daughter's boyfriend play his last high school soccer game at home and am glad I did.

10. As a coach, a lover of learning and a parent, I get overwhelmingly frustrated with the lack of new knowledge and science applied to high school sports.

11. I'm still thinking about the guy at Helen's (see number 1 and 2).

12. I used to have a white German Sheppard named Tanya. I really miss Tanya.

13. I had a photo exhibit once called The Children of the Soviet Union at a small gallery in Venice. The entire collection was purchased by a doctor who volunteered for Physicians for Social Responsibility.

14. When I was in the 5th grade, I wanted to be President of the United States. My teacher told me to write my theme paper on it and suggested that I write to the current President for advice. A couple of weeks later, I received a letter from the White House suggesting that I take up a profession more suited for a girl like teaching or nursing. The letter was signed by Richard Milhous Nixon. I tore it up in a million tiny pieces.

15. I got so nervous my novice year before the start to a crew race that I had to constantly pee. After a while, and a winning season, my boat mates took it as a sigh of good luck. Because of that, I pretended even when I didn't have the urge until my very last crew race.

16. I had lunch with Kofi Annan when he was Secretary General of the UN.

17. My favorite thing to do is to goof off and laugh hysterically with my daughter. My second most favorite thing to do is ride my bike fast.

18. I'm going to leave this one blank for now. Perhaps I'll fill this in with the story that Kerry urged me to tell.

19. I sneaked into the closing ceremonies of the 1984 Olympics posing as a member of the US Swim Team and "Danced all Night Long".

20. I sneaked into the pool at the National Training Center in Moscow, Russia, USSR posing as a member of the Soviet Swim Team.

21. Number 20 occurred about a month before number 19.

22. I haven't sneaked into anything in a long time.

23. I love to write.

24. Someday, I will make the docucomedidrama that I wrote 4 years ago.

25. I am surrounded by wonderful, healthy and loving couples on the eve of Valentine's week. And surprisingly, I am once again feeling hopeful rather than bitter and cynical ;)

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