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Unusual times, remarkable places

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

The "Standard of Ur" from ancient Mesopotamia

20 June 2007

Eight random things

Two people, Farrah Rochon and Sphinx Ink, have tagged me with the "eight random things" meme virus that's going around. I didn't post after the first tag, thinking no one would be interested in facts about me, and besides, it's not related to writing. After the second tag and after seeing my writing friends post their lists, I figured I would go along with the crowd.

I have to post these rules before I give you my facts.
•Each player starts with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
•People who are tagged need to write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
•At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names.
•Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

And now [cue drum roll], onto the facts.

1. New Orleans is the only place I've ever lived where I felt I fit in.

2. I collect Zuni fetishes, mostly bears. For those who don't know what they are, they're carvings, usually of animals, usually small, usually made from stone, usually highly polished, and usually having symbolic meaning in the Zuni (Ashiwi) culture. At left, you can see eight of my bears on display.

3. Most of the many scars on my arms came from chimpanzee bites. I've also been bitten by a caiman, but it was only a six-incher, so I have no scar to show for it.

4. Like Agatha Christie, I have to eat when I write. Unlike her, unfortunately, my oral fixation of choice is not low-cal, low-fat apples, but chocolate. Lots of it.

5. I love earrings. I have dozens of pairs and wear some every day.

6. When I was little, I wanted to grow up to be either a professional baseball player or a missionary. The latter choice was not due to any great desire to save souls, but rather because I didn't know of any other profession that would let me travel around and see the world.

7. I didn't get my first tattoo until I was almost 50. (For readers who are not from New Orleans, 08-29-05 was the date that the federal flood walls broke in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Purple, green, and gold are the traditional colors of New Orleans' Mardi Gras, and they symbolize, respectively, justice, faith, and power.)

8. I worked on two archaeological digs during summer vacations from college. Wearing earrings, of course.

Now I'm going to break the rules. I don't pass on chain letters (well, I sometimes make an exception if they involve recipes), and I'm not going to infect anyone with this virus meme.

If my weekly posts suddenly stop, emails to me bounce back, and a black cloud hangs ominously over a certain blue Tudor house in Uptown, you'll know that something Very, Very Bad happens to people who don't pass the "eight random things" meme on.


Charles Gramlich said...

I didn't really pass it on either seeing as how I tagged the same people who the person who had tagged me, tagged. If that makes sense. But it has been kind of interesting reading people's posts. I still don't have a tattoo, although I've considered it quite often. Just not sure what I'd want to wear on my body forever. I once wanted to be a priest when I was young. Grew out of that at puberty.

Shauna Roberts said...

Charles, after Katrina, I wanted some permanent physical remembrance of it. Most life-changing bad events leave you with scars you can see or permanent pain that you can feel or at the very least titanium screws that show up on X-rays. I had nothing from Katrina and, although it sounds weird and perhaps even perverted, I felt I needed something, perhaps as validation that it did happen and that I'm going on with life.

I also felt strongly that the lessons of Katrina should not be forgotten. I decided to get a tattoo partly because then for the next 50 years (let's hope!) I would be a walking reminder of what happened here—how our government failed us, how many regular Americans and other countries rushed in to help us, and how we have had the guts and will to rebuild.

Another reason I chose a tattoo was that it let me share a minuscule fraction of the pain of the people who drowned in their attics, fried in the heat at the Convention Center or on their roofs, or watched their children swept away in the flood. It is a way to memorialize people I never knew but grieve for anyway.

Sidney said...

Oh wow, No. 4 sounds like a dangerous suggestion.

Sphinx Ink said...

Very cool, Shauna--I didn't know any of those things about you. And I was surprised by the tattoo! (Although, as tattoos go, it's a nice one.) Your list offered a glimpse into what obviously has been a fascinating life. Very cool.

Shauna Roberts said...

Sidney, chocolate is full of antioxidants. So go for it! It's good for you, and the theobromine and caffeine keep your brain perking while you write. (At least, that's what I tell myself.)

Sphinx Ink, I'm surprised. I thought you would have guessed about my thing for earrings. I take it you weren't inspired to get a tattoo of your own after seeing mine?

Lisa said...

I really appreciate the sentiment behind your tatoo and I think the design is great. I didn't get a tattoo until I was over forty and it started out fairly small and then -- it was bigger. My favorite thing about it is that you can't normally see it because it's on my back, but it's pretty big so in the summer when I'm in a tank top or if I bend over and a sliver of skin shows between my pants and my shirt, people always freak out because it's such a surprise. That part of it appeals to me since I like to always be full of surprises.

Shauna Roberts said...

Lisa, I got a kick out of the image of your tattoo growing on its own. The back seems to be a popular place for tattoos. I'm often startled in yoga class when someone's top slides up and reveals an interesting tattoo on her back.

For myself, I felt that if I was going to spend that much money to decorate myself, I wanted it to be in a place people could see it.

ninthmuse (roz m) said...

There is no shame in Chocolate. Ever.

You know, I never noticed any scars on your arms. Go figure.

#1 made me want to throw myself against your ankles and wail again. I was forced to soothe my inner 2-year-old with dark chocolate-covered almonds. I hereby dub thee an honorary Native New Orleanian. And I pass ye a truncheon of catfish anna goblet of Barq's Root Beer.

Shauna Roberts said...

Roz, I greatly appreciate the honorary nativity. Feel free to soothe any further trauma you endure on account of my eight random things with chocolate.

Now when are your eight random things going to appear on your site?

Farrah Rochon said...

Happy I wasn't the only one who got weepy after reading #1. *sniff*

I loved your eight random things, Shauna. You're just so interesting. :)

So, any black clouds yet?

Shauna Roberts said...

Farrah, there have been gray clouds over the house for several days, but I'm hoping they're rain clouds. Our plants need the water.