I'm IT! I'm IT!

See what happens when I'm away for a while?

An old buddy from my days at Unity House just tagged me with - what I believe is called by those in certain esoteric circles - a meme.

(And Unity House, eh? Sounds like a cult, right? Better yet, it was a shined-up-but-slightly-moldy resort club in the Poconos that still stank with the stink of all those Cuban cigars smoked back-in-the-day.)

What is a meme exactly?

Well, I've read a few definitions on-line and, as far as I can determine, I'm officially a candidate for the “culturally savvy-less” dunce cap. See if you can work this out and dumb it down to a third-grade level for me.

Meme definition at Wikipedia

The only part that I sort of, kind of “get” is

In casual use, the term meme often refers to any piece of information passed from one mind to another.

So, would this qualify as a meme?

Your fly’s undone. I see London, I see France.

Anywho, Mr. Belicove tagged me with a book meme.

And so, I shall respond and thusly tag my own five amigos. And I only have five blogging amigos, so you guys get the lucky chain letter. I mean, the meme.

1. Estimate the total number of books you've owned in your life.

Holy cow. Well, at my First Communion alone, I received 32 Bibles. And then there were all those Dr. Suess books I got as a child through the Seuss Of The Week Club. Although, my mother insisted that my sister and I share, so I suppose the Suess books must be split as common property. Yet, my mother refuses to surrender any of those books to either of us even though both my sister and I have - or at one time have had - children of the Suessical age. There the books sit, up in my mother’s attic - or as my sis and I refer to it - the Forbidden Zone. And yet, it’s baffling…my mom won’t let us take any of the 2,000 Golden or Suess books, yet she’ll arrive at our homes with boxes full of 8” x 10” photos of us in 7th grade. Here, I thought you might want these.

Oh yes, thank you, Mom. Finally, at midnight under a full moon, I can burn all these middle school photos and once and for all release myself from the Curse of the Tight Perm.

But back to my books…well, now that I work at Mega Bookstore and fill the trunk of my car with “strips” each week, my lifetime collection must be well over 1,000.

I mean, 1,000,000.

2. What's the last book you bought?

Bought, as in purchased with money? Hmmmmm. For myself? Well, that would have to be Tom Brown’s Survival Field Guide. I’m still working my way through the “Build A Fire With Your SUV” chapter.

3. What's the last book you read?

The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole, Aged 13 3/4, by Sue Townsend. It’s dead funny.

4. List 5 books that mean a lot to you.

Uh-oh. Here we go. Meme's away!

Mists of Avalon, by Marion Zimmer Bradley. I am goddess-woman, hear me roar. Every Catholic schoolgirl should read this before her freshman year at Big Secular Northeast University. It will help her to better understand her strange new feelings for that dark-haired girl at the end of the dorm hall who burns sandalwood incense and listens to Kate Bush.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, by Hunter S. Thompson. See blog entry for February 21, 2005.

Angela’s Ashes, by Frank McCourt. Sort of a cliché choice, but surefire to make me laugh and fondly recollect my own childhood. Limerick...Frackville…it’s all the same once you start slicing through the cabbage. And hey, if one skinny, guilt-ridden Irishman can make good writing about his daily hijinx and meanderings, why not another? Mr. McCourt, I t’ank ye fer dee inspiration, like. Och!

How To Talk So Kids Will Listen, and Listen So Kids Will Talk, by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish. If you ever see me at a pulpit, thumping on a book, this will most likely be the book I am thumping. Oh, such words of hope in these pages! Especially the part where the child says, “Yes, Mommy, I cwean duh cwayon off duh wahw and nevoh, evoh do it again. You aw so smawt, Mommy. I sood wisten to you mow offen.” The book professes a simple faith: you CAN parent without laying-on of hands. At least not hard. And on the bum. But ooooohhhhhh, forgive me Ms. Faber, sometimes I am so tempted. I kneel with your book in the quiet of my dark closet as the tempest rages around me and I repeat over and over, “This too shall pass…this too shall pass…” while beating my own bare back with a Princess Barbie. But truly, this book has made me the Mother Superior I am today; even with tiny monster people, the chant I cry is R-E-S-P-E-C-T! as I continue to exorcise as many ghosts from the nursery as I can.

Amphigorey, by Edward Gorey. Pen. Ink. Wee urchins placed in harm’s way.

Sort of a companion piece to the previously mentioned parenting book. Just kidding. If you read this book and giggle, I’ll be your best friend and give you the pick of my Wacky Packages.

5. Tag 5 people!

My better half
My seestor
My cousin
His wife
The woman who I am convinced is actually the lovechild of Alex Trebek and Dolly Parton


anne said...

You know, that was a really low down, dirty thing to do. Not only am I now wrapped up in some kind of chain letter blog cult but you already took two of the other people I was going to suck in as well.

Damn you.

Well, I'm done mine but I don't have 5 friends to send it on to.

I am the weak link.

anne said...

Me again,

You got your 7th grade pictures back? What, are you kidding me? I just keep getting ceramics.

By the way, I just noticed we had the very same initial reaction to #4.

josetteplank.com said...

Well, I don't even know whether my better half will read this meme. (I fee so cool saying meme.)

I forgot that Jor Jazaar (the guy from the bookstore who drank all your beer at the New year's Eve Party) has a blog.

Don't worry about it. It only means that the curse will continue and you'll eventually receive that orange and brown "Indian" basket I painted at ceramics.


Om.powered said...

"And I only have five blogging amigos, so you guys get the lucky chain letter."

Well don't I feel like chopped liver right about now.



josetteplank.com said...


Is that you?

Codename Zama?

You stinker! I had no idea, lol!!!

Well, by gosh and by golly then, TAG, you're it!

Anonymous said...

1. Estimate the total number of books you've owned in your life.

This is hard cuz… Lets see… between Nancy and I there is 1 full shelf in this room, 11 overflowing shelves in the living room 2 full shelves in the kitchen, one bag full, and one giant stack on Nancy’s nightstand, but wait add to that one huge pile on a chair in PA and at least 7 boxes in Nancy’s grandfather’s attic, and that makes the total number of books exactly one half of the total number of records, cd’s and tapes.

2. What's the last book you bought?

The last ones that I bought were "Chord Chemistry" by Ted Greene, "Maldoror & the complete works of the Comte de Lautreamont" by the Comte de Lautreamont, and "the curious incident of the dog in the night-time" by mark haddon (he has the title and name in all lowercase, I should have know better but I didn’t notice this fact until just now)

3. What's the last book you read?

The last book I actually read cover to cover was "the curious incident…", which t I read in 1 subway ride and one waiting room visit. It goes really, really, fast. I didn’t actually read every page-there are a lot of spots of extreme boredom that I just jumped over. I would say I looked at every page but didn’t actually read every page. This one is definitely a beach read or subway read. It will not be cluttering up our shelves.

But if you want the last book that I actually opened and am currently reading---- there are 2: the first is borrowed from your sister called “Earth Ponds sourcebook the pond owner’s manual and resource guide” by Tim Matson, and the “gigastudio 3.0 user’s manual by a bunch of computer/music geeks – this one is sooooo cool.

4. List 5 books that mean a lot to you.

This is hard. I guess books mean something to me or else I wouldn’t keep them around.

1. Mick Goodrick’s “The Advancing Guitarist” this one I go back to from time to time and always learn something, it’s like the Zen manual for being a musician.
2. The Diamond Cutter by Geshe Michael Roach the cover says it best “The Buddha on Managing Your Business and Your Life”
3. Tom Robbins “Still Life with Woodpecker” I discovered this book at the end of Junior High, and It was probably handed to me by the same cousin responsible for this task. I don’t know if I would even like it now but I have never gotten rid of it and it meant a lot to me at that time.
4. “The Endurance, Shackelton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition” by Caroline Alexander This is a truly remarkable story about some amazing men faced with unbearable, insurmountable conditions that are an inspiration—Take that Mark Burnett
5. The last space I guess I’ll give to Henry Miller’s “Crazy Cock” which had the same effect as the Tom Robbins book, but this was in my early-mid 20’s.

6. Tag 5 people!
You have to be kidding me, I don’t even have a blog – It’s really Nancy’s. She doesn’t want me posting.

nadzent said...

I can't believe you put a link to Wacky Packages! I just started a campaign at work for the Garbage Pail Kids Movie which is being released on DVD in a couple of weeks (yes, the live action "film" from 1987). I have been creating KW lists and researching online all while reminiscing about my youth and how my mother would absolutely not allow me to own a single Garbage Pail Kid card...and here you are with your Wacky Packages...

Jeannine said...

My spouse loves Gorey. And specifically loves that book and has, indeed, read it to our children.

(And people wonder why my kid comes up with weird ideas now and again).

Anonymous said...


I'm off to visit my parents in the poconos this week and attend a wedding in Philly so I decided to do a search on unity house where I still have fond memories of a couple summers of fun 86' and 88' lifeguarding and underaged drinking in El Coco Loco. And lo and behold your blog appeared. May I ask if you worked there around this time and have kept in touch with any lifeguards?

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