Meme Maker

It seems like every blog I read has one or more posts about a meme. You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? I’m referring to those busy typing activities where you come up with a list of things, like My 15 Favorite Songs to Vacuum Along To, or the 19 People I’d Most Like To Play Squash With, or even 8 Things I’ve Eaten That You Probably Haven’t. You make your little list, post it, and then tag a set number of other poor saps fellow bloggers who are supposed to do the same thing, thus perpetuating (proliferating?) the meme.

I’ve been tagged twice. I was actually very flattered at having been tagged, even though I didn’t play along either time. Hopefully, those people don’t hate me.  I did make a list once, copying (ironically) Embejo’s 100 Things idea because it seemed like a fun exercise. That was before someone actually put me on the spot, though. And it was well before the Meme Invasion self-propagated throughout the blogosphere like a snippy little virus- or, worse yet, like a catchy tune.

Perhaps, if you wrote a serious (read: “real”) (also read: “this blog is not a serious blog”) blog and had to come up with a fresh post daily, it might be a nice breather to be able to just come up with a list of things on a pre-determined topic. Lists are nice. List-making is relaxing (at least, for the more anal of us it is.) I like to sit and make lists: lists of things I need to buy, lists of things I need to do, lists of things to finish, lists of things to start, lists of appointments, lists of birthdays, lists of lists. The list is endless.

Since we’re on the topic of listmaking, let’s get a little technical for a moment. I prefer bullet-points for my lists. That’s not to devalue the numbered list, when it’s appropriate, but numbering suggests a sort of priority hierarchy on the list items, and I like to treat all of my list items the same. This means that I ignore all of them and create a new list, instead of dealing with anything on the old one.

As for the issue of medium, my favorite thing to put lists on (when they’re not going into a blog entry) is scrap paper. I love to write lists on the backs of used paper, but only as long as the backside is clean. It’s no fun trying to write your list with other sentences getting in the way. On that note, I hate to write lists on the backs of envelopes, which my own mother was fond of doing, because that darn flap just makes things all wonky. Fresh paper is wonderful to write on, but seems rather wasteful. I save that for really important lists that I really intend to check off, like menus and party-planning. Those lists seem to actually get me somewhere, so that offsets the good-paper usage.

But as much as I love me a list, it seems like an intensely personal exercise. It’s kind of along the lines of religion. I am a very spiritual person, but abhor discussing such things with others. I do believe in god, but I’m not quite sure it’s the same god other people are talking about. And I’m perfectly fine with that. I like thinking about spiritual issues all by myself, the way the Buddhists do. Reflection is quite difficult when people are throwing pebbles into the pond. I think that’s why I’m not such a big fan of the meme. Don’t get your personal introspection all up in my face, is kind of how I’ve started looking at it. If it comes up in conversation, fine, but I really don’t want to get clobbered by it when I’m just innocently walking by.

Still, I can’t get away from the lists. It is fun, certain among you will agree, to itemize. Goodness, that’s probably why I never became an accountant. I would have too much fun listing all of those expenses, and that is just sick.

I’ll stick to 8 Foods I’ve Eaten That You Probably Haven’t.

  • Real, honest-to-goodness, osso bucco (yes, I ate the marrow with that nifty tiny fork)<-restaurant in Pennsylvania
  • Whole shrimp (with heads and tails on)<– see next line
  • Whole shrimp served at a cafe in Venezia near Piazzo San Marco
  • Fried Brains (calf, I believe) <– rural Indiana
  • Octopus salad <– at a Christmas party in New Hampshire
  • Homemade fried alligator <– at my own Christmas party a few years ago
  • Ostrich burgers <– at a little diner in eastern Ohio
  • Steaks grilled on a rusty metal door found on a river island <– on a camping trip with my then-fiance. The door was my improvisation when we forgot a frying pan.

Oh, and before I forget: I tag the Universe.

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