Monday, June 25, 2007

7 x 7


When I returned to the blogosphere last night, I learned that I had been tagged. It's a pretty simple meme, really: think of seven random things about yourself and post them here.

Except, of course, how "random" can they be if one chooses them for inclusion in a blog post?

I suppose, then, that that would be my #1 thing: I do have a tendency to question things in the direction of their ultimate (semantic) origins . . . something which, by the way, drives me nuts when I encounter it in other people, especially those pesky students. "What?? At least 12 years of formal education hasn't trained you to be unquestioning, do-as-you're-told sheep? The educational system really has failed, then."

#2: I'm an optimist. Can't help it. I have a hard time even feigning cynicism (see the above feeble attempt). I don't think of my optimism as naïve, though. Case in point: I told Mrs. M. a few days ago that to hope for a good thing, even if it fails to come to pass and even if you know it might not, is not wasted effort. I worry about things, but I also believe that some things can be done about most of those things. Not necessarily by me, though--or by me alone.

#3: I have a weakness for some (though, you'll be pleased to learn, not all) songs written or co-written by Desmond Child.

#4: As evidenced by #3, I'm not afraid to expose myself to the snickering of total strangers.

What am I saying? The vast majority of this blog is evidence of that.

#5: Despite not having lived in my birth-state since the fall of 1993, I still say to those who ask where I'm from, "I'm originally from Texas" before going on to say where I live. This isn't due to overzealous pride in that fact; it's just strange to think of myself as being "from" any other place.

#6: I have seen Vertigo about 30 times now, mostly for school-related purposes.

I have yet to tire of seeing it.

#7: I guess I have a hard time of thinking of "random things." This wasn't so simple after all.

I'll spare my reader(s) the fear that s/he/they might see his/her/their name(s) here at the end of this post and not tag anyone. Of course, you're welcome to tag yourself(-selves).

5 comments:

fearful_syzygy said...

Well I must confess to nos. 1, 2, (possibly) 4, and 5 in the sense that I always claim to be from Iceland, even though by now I've lived elsewhere for most of my life. There are two reasons for this: firstly, it's more interesting than claiming to be American, and I'm prepared to put up with the inevitable questions about whether I know Björk and what it's like to bathe in hot springs in a country with no sunlight half the year, as well as the occasional comment about how amazing my English is, considering. Secondly, and this may in fact be firstly, Iceland is always considered "home" to anyone from there. If you fly Icelandair, when you land in Keflavík, the English announcement says "ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Iceland", but in Icelandic it's "velkomin heim" [=welcome home].

R. Sherman said...

My evidence for this is purely anecdotal, but I think Texans are more likely remain "Texans" than any other citizens of our country. If that's true, it would be interesting to ponder the reasons for it.

Cheers.

John B. said...

Randall,

I was thinking about that, too, along with what Fearful Syzygy was saying about Iceland (I think that the distinction he notes about the difference between the pilots' welcome messages in English and Icelandic is cool, by the way). And note as well that the current official tourism slogan for Texas is "It's like a whole other country."

Just off the top of my head, I think the connection might be a felt sense of (positive) set-asidedness (if not, in the case of Texas, exceptionalism). I thought it might have something to do with the nature of being a literal or figurative island, but my brief experience in Hawaii doesn't confirm this anecdotally (natives resent it when tourists talk of "back in the States"--Hawaiians prefer the term "mainland"). Somehow, though, I don't think Texans would be all that upset if someone were to make a similar slip.

When I lived in Mexico, I encountered state pride in several places that was similar to that which Texans are known for. And if a town is known, even regionally, for some little something, you can be certain that someone has written a song celebrating that town and its something--a song about Canatlán (a small town in the state of Durango), for example, a town known for its apples. A great song to polka to. One could make a strong argument that Texas culture is Hispanic at its foundation, and so that might be the source of that Texan pride of place . . . but unless I was absent that day in school, I don't recall there being an especially strong Hispanic presence in Iceland.

Gwynne said...

Along the lines of #5, I believe it is our tendency to say we are from wherever we are not presently, as a sort of acknowledgement of the grass is always greener phenomena. It's more conducive to a conversation than being "from here." When I lived in CA, I was "from Kansas" and now that I'm here, I'm "from CA" or, depending on the company (Midwesterners not being so fond of Californians), I may be "from Manhattan" as opposed to "Kansas City." And then, sometimes, I am "from Tennessee." But I do think Texas is a country all unto itself which increases the number of people who will always be "from Texas."

Thanks for playing. :-)

Pam said...

#3 made me laugh. Who would have guessed?