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Archive for the 'random childhood memories' Category

real life intervened this week with a slew of deadlines and therefore the multi-hour block of time needed to craft the horoscoop* disappeared. mea culpa ~ we’ll be bringing you the ins & out of the zodiac next week.

so for this week, i decided to publish a list of 25 random things about me, for no particular reason.

1.    Life fascinates me.

2.    When I was a little girl, I wanted to be the first female rabbi.

3.    The best thing I ever did was to take a huge risk and quit my crushingly boring secretarial job at a multinational bank to go into television production.

4.    I’ve helped make documentary films for lots of people for many years; this year I am making my own film and possibly even two films.

5.    My favorite restaurant in New York City is Nobu.

6.    Since the night I was mugged in high heeled boots walking home from the subway after a Clash concert, I’ve never worn high heels except for a few minutes at a time and never outside walking around.

7.    If I could do anything I wanted to do and not have to worry about making a living – it would be travel, write, take photographs, read, meet new people, learn about new things, and get a massage every day.

8.    I have very eclectic taste in music – in the same week I’ll be listening to Mory Kante, the soundtrack of Jesus Christ Superstar, Ofra Haza, the Cure, Jah Wobble, West Side Story, Sam Cooke’s Soul Stirrers, Simon and Garfunkel, the Roches, and Courtney Love.

9.    The most interesting and artistically satisfying jobs I’ve ever had were marketing and promoting a TV series about censorship and the arts for Deep Dish TV, and producing the radio show Little Steven’s Underground Garage.

10.    I love to travel and a few places I really want to go back to are New Mexico, Barcelona, Iceland, and Ireland.

11.    I’d love to know more about my birth family (I was adopted in the dark ages when they sealed the adoption records).

12.    The love of my life is Mr. Boy.

13.    Paul was my favorite Beatle.

14.    The best coconut cream pie I ever had was at Sokolowski’s University Inn in Cleveland, Ohio with the great Steve Popovich.

15.    After a friend in grade school told me I was going to burn up in the apocalypse because I was Jewish, I tried to learn the rosary and did a catechism by mail course. The final step in becoming a Catholic was going to a church to get baptized, and I chickened out at that point. I actually have a certificate.

16.    I really miss John Lennon.

17.    I am enthralled by the Delacorte Clock in Central Park.

18.    My favorite place in Manhattan is the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

19.    I did modern dance to Simon and Garfunkel’s “Sounds of Silence” in front of my school when I was in eighth grade. In a green satin costume.

20.    When I was in third grade, I used to direct and star in “Peter Pan” every day at recess, casting the rest of my class in the production. Captain Hook was played by the boy I had a crush on at the time.

21.    In grade school, I brought a jar carrying a fetus to class for show & tell. I’d borrowed it (with permission) from my obstetrician uncle’s office.

22.    I realized recently that I had an unusual education. I went to a really great progressive high school based on Summerhill in England called the Parkway Program (in Philadelphia), and an extremely progressive (ok, a hippie school) college in the 70’s (Thomas Jefferson CollegeGrand Valley State Colleges in Allendale, Michigan - now Grand Valley State University). My college was a place where people got credit for hitchhiking across the country and calling it an independent study. I taught a class called “The Beatles: Their Myth and Influence” with another student, Tom Foote.

23.    I meditate every day.

24.    I’ve always been fascinated by the lives of the saints.

25.    When I was 9 years old at summer camp, I told everyone I was related to Vincent Price.

26.    Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign completely energized and re-politicized me. And I’m not going back to sleep.

during the summer between 4th and 5th grade my family moved from florida to the philadelphia suburbs and i enrolled in drexelbrook elementary school for 5th grade. it was extremely frightening to be dropped into a new school at the age of ten years. plus i was going from an environment where i knew all the kids in my class from pre-school age, to a place where i knew absolutely no one. that first day in 5th grade was horrifying. i folded up into myself like an origami paper swan. it did not help when my favorite person in the world and my champion, my maternal grandfather, died later that year.

things got a little better eventually, but the whole experience marked me for life as anything like this will do when you’re that young. i went from being a sunny, carefree, popular child to a quiet, circumspect, fearful little girl. other kids, bigger and stronger than me, could smell the fear on me. one of the kids who singled me out for scorn was Mary Jenkins. she was tall and had fashionable long black hair with bangs. she hung out with a mean crowd who tormented weaker classmates as a way to pass the time.

Mary kind of looked like a Beatle girlfriend who was dressed in handmade clothing like a Mormon wife. she scared the bejesus out of me. in that evil, bitchy way that children are really good at, she challenged me to meet her one day in the playground so she could beat the crap out of me. this kind of event was de rigeur at drexelbrook school. much as the teachers tried to stop it, there were fights in the schoolyard just about every day - preplanned, like medieval jousts. once the two parties agreed to the challenge, the whole class would inform each other and there would be a sizeable crowd around the two principals.

Mary laid the challenge down by saying to me one day, “I call you out. After school.” you couldn’t say no, because it proved you were a scared, spineless wimp. so of course i said yes and sweated profusely the rest of the day as the clock ticked away to the close of school for the afternoon, wishing myself anywhere but there.

all i remember about the fight is that we were surrounded by a group of our peers yelling and carrying on, and since i hardly knew anyone there yet and had few friends, they were likely yelling for Mary. i don’t remember how it turned out but i am pretty sure she kicked my ass from here to Sunday. if we weren’t stopped by a teacher that is.

i wonder where she is and what she is doing now. i picture her as a housewife with many children, probably still living in the area near that school, possibly sparing a thought to what she was like as a child as she wipes the tears off a little one’s cheek who was bullied at school. or maybe it’s her kids who are the bullies. i forgive you, Mary, not that you need my forgiveness. and you did have really awesome hair.