Friday, September 26, 2003

Friday Five

Everything starts somewhere

Five things that are such an integral part of your life, you can't believe someone else introduced them to you.
Topic suggested by Merideth

1. Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and by extension the work of Joss Whedon. I had seen the movie and thought it was funny, but had no interest in a weekly tv show, especially not on the WB network, notorious for it's teenybopper comedies. Gina spent an entire summer convincing me that I had to watch it, and it only took a few episodes (enough to figure out who everyone was and grasp a little of the backstory) to hook me.
2. Comic books. Adam and I wooed one another through books. We spent the first year of our relationship foisting our favorite books on one another, in a kind of intellectual strip tease - "this is who I am, what I'm like, where my mental furniture comes from" - and lounging around his dorm room reading. One of our first dates (I'm using the term in the loosest sense) was a trip to the comic shop to buy back issues of Tim Truman's Scout. I hadn't read comics since I was 7 years old, and still associated them with Archie and Richie Rich. Adam insisted I read Watchmen and American Flagg. He taught me how to read comics years before I read Understanding Comics, and through the years has provided personal annotations, recommendations, and a sounding board with whom to discuss my impressions.
3. The Sandman and the work of Neil Gaiman. Although Adam introduced me to comics, we both stopped reading them for several years and consequently missed The Sandman. A few years ago, Adam brought home a copy of Preludes and Nocturnes and I was blown away by the art and the storytelling. Subsequently, we borrowed the entire run from Christopher and I devoured them in one sitting. And before we knew it we were regularly spending exorbitant sums at the comic shop again. . . .
4. Baking. I'm not a particularly domestic person (or maybe you noticed?), but I dearly love to bake. Cooking is an art, which I enjoy but don't always have the creative flair for; baking is science. If you don't understand what the baking powder does in the recipe and you eliminate it, you're going to be sorely disappointed with the results. My mother taught me to bake - one of my earliest memories is leaning over the kitchen counter watching her mix up cakes and cookies and begging for a beater to lick. By the time I was 9 or 10 years old, she allowed me to make "messes" in the kitchen (a la the March girls in Little Women) and before long I was mastering pie crusts and meringue. There's something particularly satisfying about mixing everything together and creating something entirely new - maybe it's not science, but a kind of alchemy.
5. Books, reading and writing.. My life has been spent immersed in books, starting with my earliest childhood. Before I could read, my parents bought me books and read to me ceaselessly. My mother must have read Green Eggs and Ham and The Cat and the Hat to me a thousand times. She sang the alphabet song to me and taught the magic of letters - that they create words and the words create stories. They bought me the My Bookhouse books (a series of age / reading level based anthologies of the great myths and stories) and told me Greek myths and fairytales - I was the only kid in my kindergarten class who knew who Persephone was and what she had to do with pomegranates. They provided an example by reading themselves. Once I was reading they drove me to the library religiously and cast a blind eye to even the strangest reading matter and obsessions. They encouraged me to believe that I could be a writer when I grew up. In every way they fostered my addiction to narrative and are entirely to blame for my current reading habit, not to mention my frequent attempts to make sense out of my life through writing it all down.

Also playing: Adam, Will, Chris (I guess - he seems to be out of pocket), Gina, Colleen, Dave, Craig, Gord, and Adrienne.


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