Carly has tagged me for a meme called, 10 Things That Make Me Say, "Life Is Good." That seems awfully appropriate in light of last night's marathon entry. Besides, it gets me off the hook on the other two topics I was thinking about covering, at least for tonight. Hmm. Let me think about this:
10. Making my boss laugh. I like walking into her office and making a wry observation about myself, or the absurdities of the work, or both. She's an easy mark for my humor, but I really think it makes the job easier for both of us. Oh, and I actually do enjoy the work itself, especially when I solve some problem or improve some process.
9. Nature. Birds in the tree. Whee! Apologies to Gertrude Stein, with her "pigeons on the grass, alas." I love coming across interesting birds, whether I'm walking to my car, taking a trip out of town, or photographing Tuffy in the back yard. It's been years since I've done any formal birdwatching, probably close to two decades. I'm definitely out of practice. But I'm still thrilled when a hawk turns up on a telephone pole, a turkey vulture soars across the sky, a mockingbird sings day and night in the front yard (or anywhere else), or a hummingbird scolds me for getting in her way. And that's just the start. I love going up the mountain to see birds and trees and more, or watching a lizard on the wall, or coming across pronghorns near the VLA.
8. Travel. If I could, I would get out of town every two months at least. I love driving through New Mexico or California. I love going to Disneyland, or Hollywood, or Universal, or Florida, or London, or, well, anywhere. I have a long list in my head of places I want to get to: San Francisco and vicinity, the Pacific Northwest, all the major islands of Hawaii, Australia and New Zealand, Ireland and Scotland (via Yorkshire), Greece and Giza and Jerusalem and Kenya. Don't bet on me not getting to all of them eventually.
7. Digital photography. I still remember how annoying it was to only have 12 or 24 or 36 shots available to be taken, and then having the hassle, expense and the wait of mailing the film off for development. Polaroid cut the wait time to almost nothing, but it was fearsomely expensive, sometimes the pictures turn or were discolored, and it turns out they didn't hold up well over time. Being able to carry a camera in my purse, take 100 photos of the full moon if I want, play with different settings in capturing the same sunset, and then being able to see and edit those pictures without any expense or delay...ahhh! Life IS good, and technology is wonderful!
6. TV, cable, and DVD. This is another innovation that I love. I remember when the only way to watch my favorite tv show (Star Trek, of course, back then) was to be in front of the tv set at 5 PM on Monday through Friday, if WNYS Channel 9 wasn't currently showing Mission: Impossible instead. VHS was a major improvement, but it had its drawbacks. Laserdiscs were great, but never really caught on. But DVDs, at their best, have the tv show or movie in a form that probably won't break or wear out, can be accessed directly at that great scene in the middle, and have interviews and bloopers and "making of" featurettes and other delights. I am consequently delighted. It's also a thrill to be watching the Ninth and Tenth Doctors every week on Doctor Who. Those of you who like Christopher Eccleston's Doctor on Sci-Fo but haven't seen his replacement yet, I can tell you that David Tennant is also very good and fun to watch. Tonight's story, the one that aired on the BBC today, actually freaked me out a bit. Very scary!
5. Church and Coffee hour. What? I like going to church, for all that I slacked off on the web site again this week. All the priests who do the sermons are very good and funny and insightful, the liturgy (a lot like the one I grew up with in another denomination, but better) has become an old friend, I get to participate as an acolyte and lector, and I like all the people. Who knew that church could be fun instead of boring, and still be a solemn liturgy? And no, I don't drink coffee, but I love drinking ice tea or an "Arnold Palmer," and hanging out with Kevin, Mary, Jan, Suzanne, Toni Sue and Eva (or some combination thereof) after Mass. Kevin sings, Mary has interesting objects or stories or opinions, Suzanne is as kind and friendly as the day she first welcomes me to St. Michael's, Jan is always reading something interesting and will tell us about it, Toni Sue knows everybody and can make anyone smile, and Eva, well, she's #4.
4. Eva. My friend Eva turned 101 this month, and I get to pick her up for church in the morning for the first time since her birthday. She wasn't up for it last week - too much celebrating had worn her out! We hope to take her out to lunch after coffee hour. Last time I saw Eva, I chased her half a block from the crosswalk to the library, in 100 degree weather, just to say hi. I arrived panting and wheezing from the heat and the hurrying. Eva, a retired nurse, scolded me for scaring her by overexerting myself like that, and threatened to knock me down and call for help next time I do that. She's just fabulous - funny and independent at 101. How can I hang out with someone like that and not be cheerful and optimistic?
3. Writing. For all that I haven't gotten much done lately on the editing of Mages, it's not as if I'm actually not writing. I've got these blog entries every night, and The Jace Letters every week (yes, tonight's entry is posted), and I enjoy the heck out of it. When I'm actually woking on the novels, I enjoy that, too, as long as it's not page 1 of Mages of Mâvarin. I'm sick to death of that page. I need to get to Chapter Two of my edit so I can stop accidentally looking at the beginning of Chapter One.
2. Friends and Relations. You didn't think I'd forget you guys, did you? Whether I'm related to you or not, whether I work with you or not, whether I've physically met you or not, I love you all: all the people in my life, online and offline, and some whom I know both ways.
1. John, specifically when I get to hang out with him on weekends. After all these years, he's still the most interesting man I know, with a lot of the same interests I have, but a very different point of view on many things. And yes, it's still true: "He makes me laugh." Just today, we did a riff on John's extraordinary patience (he has none):
Karen: Oh, yes. You'll stand around in line for hours...
John.: ...for no reason at all, just because I like to do it so much.
Gotta love him!
There are lots of things I would have listed had I not run out of slots: The Beatles, books, blogs, baths, and that's just the b words! How could I leave out Tuffy? Well, just assume she's both "nature" and a "relation."
I don't tag. Feel free to do the meme if you want - and please let me know you've done it!