Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Encyclopedia of Me - W (Stacy)

Clockwise from upper L:,,, 
Writing - Truth be told, I didn't realize how much I love writing until recently. At least not enough to proclaim, "I love to write." Looking back, I've always preferred writing to other mediums in both school and hobbies. Whenever I had tests in high school, I could do well on multiple choice, true/false, and matching, but oh, give me an essay anytime! I loved essay tests. I knew I could express myself well with that kind of freedom, as opposed to the stricter nature of a Scantron bubble. As a child, I also loved to write stories and that's something I hadn't thought about much until watching my own daughter write stories every chance she gets. It all came back to me -- the pages of stories, the typewriter in the basement . . . I wish I had those now (my mom's a purger). I also loved to make games, something I had forgotten until watching my son invent and create games of all kinds. I remember making a board game all about high school -- it had several references to high school culture and even had cards for "jocks" and "drama club" and "band geeks." I wish I still had that game (again, a victim of maternal purging). I'm sure it had satirical references to actual individuals in our school and that would be great fun to revisit. I digress. Writing. I love it. And blogging these past several years has helped me realize how much I enjoy it. And even that I might be pretty good at it. At least I hope I am. I like writing stories, blog posts, editorials, opinion pieces (yes, I sometimes wonder if I should write for a newspaper), letters, emails, etc. I even prefer texting and instant messaging to talking on the phone. I'd love to write more than I do. I am not good at either finding the time or making the time, I'm not sure which. But I'm trying to remedy that, because I do love to write. 

Water - This one is sweet and simple and to the point. There is no drink I like more, no liquid that better quenches my thirst, and no beverage I prefer more than water. When we go out to eat, we order water. Yes, it saves money, but also? We like water. We all have our own stainless steel water bottles in the fridge from which we drink water all day long. Even when we occasionally order root beer or birch beer with pizza, I have water along with it. I love water! And I feel fortunate to be able to get clean drinking water for myself and my family - I do not take that for granted. I know many in our world are not so lucky. Also? Aside from drinking water, I love being by the water, particularly at the beach. I'm so grateful to not be landlocked anymore (UT, AZ, etc.) so that we can get to the ocean more. I don't get into astrology, but if I did, I'd wonder if it's because I'm a Pisces. Whatever the reason, I love water.

Walden Pond -  Walden Pond represents a time in history about which I love to learn. I am fascinated by the transcendentalists and love the writings of Emerson, Thoreau, Alcott, and others. What a remarkable time period and group of people! One of my favorite places to visit in MA has to be Concord and Lexington -- they are both filled with rich literary and US history. Mark and I visited there before having children and we ate a picnic lunch on Walden Pond. I was appalled to see that it is a public swimming area -- everything about that just seems wrong, a desecration of Thoreau's very words and ideas. But otherwise, it's a tranquil and beautiful place, and the inspiration for so much profound, erudite thought.

Women's Rights - I am a feminist, through and through. It's only been in the past decade or so that I've realized that "feminist" is not a dirty word, but rather one of justice and fairness and what is simply right. I have a son and a daughter, and, like any good parent, want them both to have all the rights and opportunities afforded to all. I would never favor one of my children over the other due to gender, nor does it make much sense to my mind for that to be the case in any other areas of life. A sentence having to do with human rights and opportunities should never have the phrase "but you can't because you're a woman" attached to it. I think positive changes are being made in society and I don't think that the pendulum should swing so far to the side of women's rights that we begin to alienate men or squelch their rights, as that would perpetuate the same problem for a different gender, but there is so much further to go, especially in many other countries in the world. In our own country, double standards need to be addressed (if a man gets angry, it's assertive; but, if a woman gets angry, she's bitchy). Thing 1 told me that she read a stat the other day stating that, in literature, only 20% of protagonists are female. I don't know whether or not that's true, but if it is, that's abysmal. Things need to change and I'm glad to live in a time when so much already has. I'm also grateful to be married to a man who is also a feminist. Like the quote above, "Men of quality . . . ".

Words - Words can be fun and powerful and amazing. While I recognize that they can be cheap and hurtful and inadequate, words can also be so incredibly meaningful. I like using and learning about words. I took a class entitled "Rhetoric in Shakespeare" in college and, though I didn't think I would enjoy it at first, I fell in love with things like rhetorical devices, rhythm, and cadence. I had no idea how much meaning and power the sound and order and placement of words could have. I love grammar and am a self-proclaimed Grammar Nerd. I think Word Girl is one of the greatest superheroes to come along in quite a while. I like when people put thoughts into what they write - I think that is at least part of why I like blogs so much and appreciate thoughtful comments. I like to play word games and I'm always impressed by a good play on words. Words, words, words. In the words of Barack Obama: "Don’t tell me words don’t matter. I have a dream – just words? We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal – just words? We have nothing to fear but fear itself – just words? . . . Don't tell me words don't matter!"

Washington, D.C. - I have always enjoyed visiting Washington, D.C. and am fortunate enough to have visited there many, many times over the years. I've been to every memorial, some several times. I've been to the White House, the Capitol, the Smithsonian, the National Zoo, the Supreme Court, Arlington Cemetery, the National Mall, and many more inspiring places. We've traveled there for different purposes, whether to pay our respects to Rosa Parks or to meet authors at the National Book Festival on the mall. We are close enough to have the opportunities to attend rallies and inaugurations, events and speeches. I'm sure every nation's capital is cool to visit. There is something exciting about Washington, D.C. It is one of those great cities that has a vibe all its own. It is vibrant, pulsating, and palpable. On a recent visit there, I exclaimed to Mark, "What's great about this city is that everyone who's here, whether Republican or Democrat, is here to DO something, be part of something, and work to make things better!" The movers and shakers of our nation, whatever the collective opinion is about them or however jaded we get about them, walk the streets and halls of that city, and they're there to make things happen. It is SUCH a cool place to visit. I've always loved New York City, but recently, DC has been edging out the Big Apple. A neighbor recently made this very true point -- NYC is hard to get in and out of and everything is expensive, whereas DC is easy to get in and out of and everything is free! DC is a great, great city and I am glad to be near it.


Dr. Mark said...

You are such a nerd! I love it. I also love that we almost always have some sort of overlap on our lists. Are you surprised? I'm also happy that we have such an egalitarian marriage and family. It works so well. I love you!

Emily Foley said...

I love water too--drinking it, being near it. My mansion in heaven is going to be a beach house. Heh. But wait, isn't PA landlocked?

I love writing too. Just today I came across some of my childhood stories including "Cindy and Her Dog Sisters"...a take on Cinderella from 4th grade. So embarrassing.

I'll never understand the phrase "Stick and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me." No! Words hurt! Words cut. But they also uplift and inspire and encourage. Words are powerful.

Boquinha said...

Mark, me, too. I can't imagine it any other way -- no thank you!

Emily, ha, you're right! Yes, PA is landlocked, but it's so close to the coast that we can get there pretty easily and quickly. I guess that's why I don't feel landlocked like I did in the west.

You are very lucky that you have your childhood stories -- that's awesome!

Jimmy said...

I love D.C., too and I wish I could be more a part of it.

I rarely drink sodas because I honestly enjoy water better, but I hate that I feel like such a cheapskate when I go out to eat and order water. I feel like the waiter hates me for doing that.

The Magic Violinist said...

You and Daddy both had DC! I love words and writing as you already know. ;) And now I'm thirsty since you wrote about water. XD

Boquinha said...

Thing 1, that's funny.

Jimmy, I'm so glad we could meet you in DC. We're totally up for doing that again!

And I agree about the water thing - I always feel justified, though, because I really DO like water. And I am ALL about the food. I'd rather spend money on appetizers than drinks.