17 of 100 Things

Posted by on Friday, January 21st, 2005

1. I am either the younger of two kids, the second of four, the second of five, or the second of six, depending on how you look at my family. My step-sister and my half-brother are exactly the same age and have never met each other. I’m not sure they know each other’s names. I don’t find this troubling.
2. I was supposed to be named Sarafina, but no one told my mother in time. I wish someone had told her. Please don’t tell her I said that.
3. I tried to convince my brother David to name his daughter Bortei, after Genghis Kahn’s wife. My niece is named Talia. I’m glad he didn’t listen to me.
4. I almost convinced my brother to name any future nephew of mine either Snorri Thorlson or Habsdrubal. His wife will instead call their next pet Snorri. I am not amused, but everyone else seems to be, so that’s ok.
5. When I was a baby, I would flip myself out of baby-swings and freak out in cars and rocking chairs. My Mom worried that I had autism because I was so easily over-stimulated.
6. My right eye is 1/4 brown, and it reads nine o’clock when I look in the mirror. The brown spot is a nevus, which essentially means freckle or mole. When I was a kid, the other kids would say “What’s in your eye, Amy?” and jokingly poke at me. Every once in a while, one of them would poke me in the eye with their nasty little-kid-on-the-playground fingers. I still hate having anything near my eyes. At worst, it has taken four people to put drops in my eyes, even though my eyes were burning like mad.
7. Fear is more powerful than pain.
8. My sister-in-law is an optometrist, and a good one. She is tracking the nevus, which has changed size, to make sure it doesn’t mask any cancer. If anyone else tried to pay so much attention to my eye, I might punch them. Or throw up on them. I haven’t decided which is a better deterrent. I am more afraid of cancer than I am of Tchula’s fingers in my eyes.
9. I learned to play classical guitar largely because a doctor who was treating me for apparent Reye’s syndrome told me I had the hands for it. He was really wrong–I have small hands and am a poor guitarist.
10. So I became a mediocre mandolinist. Mandolins are hard on people who develop overuse-induced tendonitis. I developed tendonitis and had to stop playing it.
11. Now I am a bad novice banjo player, but at least the banjo doesn’t hurt me. If it hurts you, go in the other room or something. I really love my banjo, and I want to impress it, because it is a bit intimidating over there in its stand. I should bake it a pie.
12. When I decide I should stop playing an instrument, I feel compelled to find someone who wants to learn to play it. I’m like an instrument lending-library. Wanna learn to play the fiddle? I’ve got one right over here. . .
13. I am a good singer, but I feel the need to play an instrument so I don’t seem like one of those singers who isn’t really a musician.
14. Which is pretty silly, because I prefer to sing a capella. I also prefer to be called a bard, rather than a singer. If you don’t get why the distinction matters to me, it’s because you haven’t seen me perform.
15. Half of the people who know me know me as a bard. The rest may have never heard me sing at all. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
16. Most of the songs I write are very dour. Many friends have recommended therapy after hearing me sing. After such a recommendation, they generally ask me to sing another really dour song. And I generally oblige.
17. I am an alumna Hoorah Clogger. That means my dancing came down through the Green Grass Cloggers. That is very important to a few hundred people in the world. It’s a wonderful club to be in.

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One Response to “17 of 100 Things”

  1. lellaon 07 Feb 2006 at 5:47 pm 1

    I enjoyed playing the stringed ones until my wrists gave out and that was that. I understand bard, too. Loved to sing the ballads of my grandmother but now my singing is more like a gurgle or a growl. How is it that a person can clog on Green grass? ;o)

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