Category Archives: favorite

I Remember

So there is this other thing going on on Facebook that I am totally late for. I have to say, I am very bad at keeping up with trends. Everyone is posting updates asking for their first memories from other people. Basically, what is your first/best/favorite memory of me? I am asking that on here, plus, because I am late, I will post all the ones I missed, or may have missed. I would totally repost this to Facebook, except it would have to be broken up into several bits, and we all know how people love having their feed clogged by my multiple postings. So, despite that probably half of these people don’t read my blog, here is my list of memories of other people.

Tanya: I remember coming to class once, and you were sitting in my chair talking to Ari. I stood there quietly, patiently, waiting for you to leave. You turned, noticed me, and just shrugged. Twenty plus years later… hello.

Stephanie: You were in my English class in middle school. You knew everyone else I knew, and you still do. You were my bridesmaid.

Arianna: You sat behind me in homeroom in middle school. I didn’t know that years later I would still be going to your family Christmas party and driving four hundred miles to help you move. I also remember the trip to San Francisco together six years ago. You sat beside me feeding me powdered donuts so I wouldn’t fall asleep at the wheel. I was driving Stephanie’s car.

Cam: I met you at Maury’s house. You were there, I was confused, but little did I know you were more confused than me. We have had an interesting relationship. You, too, were my bridesmaid. And I was your maid of honor.

S: You quoted Coleridge to me, and taught me Catch 22. I graded your papers when you were too tired, and gave all of your students very good grades.

B: You and your sister taught me how to build a coy pond. I wasn’t listening, but was fascinated by the pretty pictures.

Arick: You proposed to me in the midnight line to Harry Potter. I was pregnant with your daughter.

Casey: You were about to move in with my best friend. I was skeptical about your abilities, but really I was jealous that you were taking her away from me. Now we are planning a lunch to discuss our short stories, and we get along just fine. It only took over a decade.

Sean: We were walking across a parking lot and you found a Hello Kitty charm, picked it up and gave it to me. Twelve years later I still have it. It is on my black purse. I don’t wear it often, but when I do, I think of you.

M: You told me I reminded you of Lady Macbeth. I liked that, and hope I still do. We sat at the Coffee Bean for over three hours talking and laughing.

Allie: We worked a shift together at the mall many years ago. I thought you were strange, you thought I was strange, and now we spend special events together.

Hannah: I met you in theory class. We didn’t really talk, but then in Victorian Lit we became friends, and have kept it up.

Mary: I met you at a party, and you said we would be friends. I didn’t fight you on it. So far so good.

Julian: I remember you sitting in your apartment, listening to Rush and trying to finish your dissertation while I was in the kitchen trying to reorganize your Ikea utensils. And then if I remember correctly you baked me a chocolate cake that night. I think. That part is a little fuzzy.

Trish: I met you in my first year of college. You taught me to smoke during finals week behind Royce Hall, and I nearly choked my first time. You would sit with me at Northern Lights and watch me hand write my papers before typing them up because you thought it was inspirational.

George: In high school we would sing B-52 songs at lunch, and you would take pictures of me that I would later get developed at Thrifty’s. I still have a couple of them.

Jason: I don’t know why, but one of my memories of you is at your house as your mom was teaching me how to wash dishes properly, telling me that unless I wear gloves I will ruin my soft hands. I think I still have one of the skirts she sewed for me.

David: I remember when you and Jason broke up for the first time and you were in quite a state. I came over and you turned your garden hose on me. I can’t for the life of me remember what we argued about, but I remember getting wet. I think it was years before I went to your house again. It’s good to know we are still friends fifteen years later.

Ian: I met you at Tanya’s wedding. You and Jason made a very cute couple, and you were the only one who got me to dance.

Aaron: My favorite memory of you is my most recent when we met for drinks in Emmeryville last time I drove up north. Those little sausage things we ordered were delicious!

James: I remember the first time you introduced me to your family as your girlfriend because you were too scared to tell anyone you were into men. I have been attending your family functions for thirteen years as your girlfriend. I think they are expecting us to get married soon.

Henry: That time I told you your coffee was heavenly and I didn’t care that you were gay. I told you I wanted to marry you for your coffee and that James would totally understand. I am sorry, I was drunk on amazing French pressed caffeine. I guess we could just be friends.

Ashlyn: We were out in a parking lot, talking. It was the first time we really talked, outside of socially mandated niceties, and it was good.

I am probably leaving a bunch of people out. I am sorry, but I can’t possibly mention every person I know. However, if you *really* want me to tell you one of my first/best memories of you, then email me, and I will do so.

Top Ten

So there is this thing going around (and I am totally late to the party), where my friends are making lists of the top ten books that have influenced their lives. I am not even sure if this post is relevant anymore since this kind of happened two weeks ago. If anyone is still interested, here is my top ten list. And to make up for my tardiness, I have included reasons for why these books are important to me (in no particular order).

1. The Canterbury Tales – Chaucer. If it was not for the General Prologue I may not be where I am now. I obviously cannot say this with any certainty, since I could have still become an English major and on a similar trajectory because I always had a propensity for reading, but this work was the deciding factor, back at the age of fourteen, when I, without a doubt, decided I would pursue English literature in college.

2. Brave New World – Huxley. In my high school AP Lit class we read this book, I loved it, and I wrote my final paper on it. It was my first 20-25 page paper. I was 17, so I am not saying this was great literary work on my part, but at the time it was a longest paper I had ever written, I was proud of my results, and my professor said she was actually thoroughly impressed despite having had taught AP courses for a number of years. So I have kind of loved this book since.

3. Talking It Over – Barnes. This book has gotten me through some interesting times. It is my “I need to cheer up” book.

4. Lyrical Ballads – Wordsworth and Coleridge. This book has caused me an onslaught of personal problems (I never said all of these books were important for positive reasons), numerous heated fights, subdued arguments, and tears. And yet, many years later, here I am teaching portions of it.

5. Riverside Shakespeare. This book has gotten me through six courses and seminars, and an undergraduate thesis. I think it has served its purpose well. Unfortunately poor thing is falling apart and probably won’t make it much further. However before it begins to disintegrate I am going to stop using it and box it up to save the ridiculous amounts of marginalia (some of which is absolutely hilarious… and no longer makes any sense).

6. Joy Luck Club – Tan. The first time I read this I was only about 12, and didn’t fully understand. I came back to it later, and even though my mother and I are not Chinese immigrants, the narratives held several parallels with my own life and relationship with my mother. In fact, too many.

7. An Orgy of George – Carlin. I bought this book about 15 years ago, and it was my introduction to the wonderful world of stand up comedy. Except in book form. I absolutely loved it!

8. Portrait of an Unknown Woman – Bennett. This was the first period piece I ever read, and totally got me into the history novel genre. A large part of the genre is nothing more than anachronistic beach novels, but there are a few in the field who are renown historians, and who deliver a magnificent interplay of history and fiction. I have ferreted them out (and read some terrible ones along the way), but after having collected then for years, I believe I can tell you more about the British and French royal families circa the 14th and 15th centuries than I could tell you about my own. In fact there was a several year gap in between my being in school, and being in school, through which I think I had read two to three dozens of these per year.

9. Virgin Earth – Gregory. It took me some time to find her, but Gregory is by far one of the best historical novel writers I have read. Her novels seem the best researched and well put together. My favorite thing about her is her aptitude in writing about things other than just court life or high profile historic characters. She has painted quite a few well written portraits of common slices of life throughout the centuries. Virgin Earth was my first book by her about a 17th century gardener. I know it doesn’t *sound* fascinating, but it can be. Especially if you are into that sort of thing.

10. Crime and Punishment – Dostoevsky. I absolutely love this book, but I read it sparingly as it makes me dissolve in tears each time. I saw the movie when I was little (about six or so), and wanted to read it. Of course I couldn’t at the time, and didn’t get around to it until I was about ten, at which point I still didn’t understand a lot of things. I read it again every few years.