Tuesday, March 01, 2005

10 things I've done...

... that you probably haven't. I will keep updating this one too as people send me more links. I am loving them all.

By the way, too bad if you think these things are cheesy, I can't pretend to be any less cheesy than I am. So these links, and my list, are offered in the "getting to know you" and the "everybody has extraordinary moments" vein. True, there may be an obnoxious skew toward one-upmanship, but I liked scouring my feeble memory. First, here are the places I know where you can find these lists. If you made one, let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Loose Leaf
Just Ask Judy who had more to say about it here.
Paul vs. the Squamous Monster
Music and Cats
Striving for Average
Adventures in Applied Math (you get 3-for-1 as there are two more lists in the comment section)
Milkbreath and Me (also a three-fer)
Magnificent Octopus
The Dog's Breakfast
Infected Papercut
Cheeky Prof
Making Peace with Myself
Crazy PhD
Advice at your own risk
Inside My Head

My Ten Things in roughly chronological order:

Apocryphal so it doesn't count: My mother and father used to tell me I dug myself out of their home-made chicken-wire outdoor playpen with a spoon when I was a toddler. There's nobody left who can verify this story.

I hid a pet mouse in my bedroom for two years and even smuggled him on a long car trip and a ten day vacation without his being noticed by my parents or eaten by the cat. Eventually I had to come clean and, to my surprise, my parents got quite accustomed to him (see my mother, left, having quality time with Jules).

I sang Irish songs in a talent contest on an antique cruise ship on the Black Sea en route to Yalta, but I didn't win.

I wrote my senior thesis on "Shamanism in 16th century Siberia" but I don't remember anything at all except the frothing-on-the-ground part. See "Guido's Five-minute University" (that's the movie, here's the transcript).

I sang Balkan music with six other women, all dressed in full Balkan garb, in front of drunken teenagers at a ski lodge, for PAY. In this unrelated picture, we are wearing civilian clothes. Our Soviet-era Balkan garb was unwashable, because it was colored with cheap vegetable dyes, and each precious unwashed item was passed from one member to another over the years, so the authentic garb touched our bodies only when absolutely necessary.

I got hit in the head by a rotating azalea tree while singing Balkan music with that same group of women, one of whom was High Priestess of a coven, inside a shopping mall, while we were standing on mulch behind a white picket fence, while people were walking by with pizza dribbling out of their mouths. To quote my current band-member Ken, "What? And leave show business?"

I built 33 windows for my new house in a carport, using instructions out of a hippy architect's manual. These windows have not yet fallen apart, almost ten years later. My builder was incredulous but said (as he did about the retaining wall I built to put my carport on, which has also not yet fallen apart): "even a blind pig can find an acorn once in a while."

I built the foundation walls of that same new house, alone, out of Lite-Form, in the snow, while I had bronchitis, because nobody else was willing to do it. Why did it have to snow, just then? This is North Carolina.

I took my low-life scumball ruffian cat for an emergency operation (for an abscess due to fighting) on the very same day I had JUST spent ten hours in the hospital waiting for my son to come out of brain surgery.

I had a monkey sit on my head eating sugar cane in a Costa Rican rain forest.

I put up a 1500 foot long 7' high deer fence by myself in one day.

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At 8:44 AM, Blogger Kristi said...

Wow- those are some amazing things. I'm especially amazed about the windows. I would never even think to try and build a window- but then again, I'm not very self-sufficient- it's a weakness, I know :)

At 9:17 AM, Blogger Mirty said...

Wow, great idea! Now I have to think of 10 things I've done that you haven't... this could be tough!

I also checked out your band's page. How neat! Do y'all ever come out to Austin, Texas? I would love to see you perform. Do you come to the Kerrville Folk Music Festival? I think it would be perfect for you!

At 9:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEY!!! You so did not put up that fence all by yourself. I distinctly remember being enlisted to hold up some pieces of it while you were working on them.

At 9:43 AM, Blogger melinama said...

Melina, my dear, you helped with the POSTS (though, where were you when I was dragging the posthold digger through the woods, eh?) not the fence! Hah!

At 9:46 AM, Blogger kenju said...

Oooooh, I'm jealous. The only animals I saw in a Costa Rican rainforest were a centipede the size of my forefinger and a non-remarkable butterfly. I did see iguanas too, but they were at the hotel and not in the wild.

At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My apologies. I helped put up the fence posts. My mother did in fact put up the whole fence by herself.

At 11:33 AM, Blogger anonyMoses said...


The only thing I would add, or suggest, is that Kristi and Mirty get together and become Kristimirty...

Wish I had more time today...

I'll be back.......

At 1:11 PM, Blogger Jennifer said...

Magnificent. What a life you've led!

At 3:09 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

These are wonderful. It is no longer true that I do not do memes, as I'm now thinking about a second one that I've gotten from you.

I want to know more about your house! You stated right up front that you designed and contracted it yourself; sounds like you built a good part of it as well. I want pictures, especially of those windows!

(Architects always want pictures.)

At 10:31 PM, Blogger Michele said...

With each visit to Pratie Place my admiration for the lady that built this beautiful blog grows and deepens.

At 10:38 PM, Blogger melinama said...

aww jeez, thank you everybody. now it's your turn!!!!

At 6:02 PM, Blogger Pilgrim/Heretic said...

Oooh, thanks for listing these (yours & links to others who have done this)! They're such fun to read.

At 6:28 PM, Blogger Michele said...

Me again with a look what I found link:

The Dog's Breakfast:

At 7:33 AM, Blogger panthergirl said...

Thanks, Michele for sending Melinama over to The Dog's Breakfast!

Melinama: Your list is NOT cheesy!! It's great!! You are one amazing woman...not a blind pig! ;)

At 10:40 PM, Blogger Kimberly said...

OK, here's my list.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger daintee said...

you can see my list at:

love this idea! very fun!

At 8:42 AM, Blogger e_journeys said...

I must get back to your home page to read more! The narratives and photos look wonderful.

My Ten Things are at:

Loved reading these (and others). The sound of Balkan music thrills me. I built my own desk from scratch once but that's the extent of my woodworking. Seeing your son and then your cat through surgery -- I can't imagine....


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