All week long, there’s been kind of a chain letter going around the world of blog. The game is that you have to post “5 Things You Might Not Know About Me,” and then tag other bloggers. If you keep the chain going, you’ll get rich and have success. And if you don’t, then you end up penniless, in prison, and your dog runs away with your ex-wife. Or something like that. (Actually, I made that last part up. Bloggers do very little making of threats, as we know this is such a fragile and blessed little craft.)
So, I was tagged three times this week. And I missed it, so I’ve fallen behind. I’m not going to post fifteen things just because I got tagged thrice. I don’t know if I could think of fifteen things. (Though it was fun to write the word “thrice.”)
1 – I was a cheerleader.
In honor of the one-year anniversary of John Spencer’s death, I’m going to do what Leo McGarry did in West Wing when the Republicans were going to publicize his past drug problem. He held a press conference and admitted it publicly first.
So, before one more person can bring me yet one more high school yearbook and say, “Oh my God! I just found out you were a cheerleader from this person who went to your high school!!!” I am admitting to my past indiscretions right now. So, there it is.
2 – I speak forest fluently.
After I moved to Asheville, I started hiking. Then I got crazy about the woods here and learned all the native flora and fauna. I know lots of it by name. But when you learn to speak forest, it’s not about naming things. It’s when you’ve gone way beyond that, and you just know the woods, and you just know that non-verbal language. I am most at home in spots that have never been logged and are chock full of rhododendron. My strange little belief is that if everyone learned to speak forest, there’d be no addictions.
3 – My very first concert was Michael Jackson.
My big sister drove me and my best friend, Leslie to the Capital Centre. (Back before every arts pavilion, arena, and stadium was called “Pepsi” “Verizon” and “Sprint.”) I memorized all of Michael’s dance moves. (Occasionally I still do one every now and then much to the chagrin of my husband.) I wrote about six pages in my journal the next day with full descriptions of all the costumes, and all about how Michael even pointed down at me and then looked at me – “RIGHT IN THE EYES!” (Of course, all the other girls who were standing around me wrote the same thing in their journals the next day.) It really was a great show. Even in my memory. I got sick as a dog from all pre-teen-drama-queen screaming in which I partook.
4 – I’m in love with Ligne Roset furniture.
I’m a sucker for good design. I love great interior design and great architecture. And I love clean, contemporary, wildly expensive furniture. After I performed in Seattle, I visited some friends of mine in Victoria, BC. My room (Room? I think they actually called it “The Zen Suite” or something like that) had the Ligne Roset Togo sectional in it, and I must say, it has been on my Vision Board ever since.
5 – I have the worst break-up story ever.
(Those of you who know my song Or Just Heading Home already know this one.)
When I first graduated from college, I was in love with a guy who – after we had been together for several months – went to South Africa to do volunteer work for a year. At some point amidst our perpetual letter writing and expensive phone calls, he invited me to come spend a month with him during his winter break. We would rent a van with a bunch of the other volunteers and all tour the country. So, I flew to Johannesburg (I first went to Holland, Belgium, Greece, Kenya – did a big huge trip on my own). I was crazy excited to see him.
And you guessed it. He broke up with me when I got there. (I’m actually giggling as I write this just remembering how insane it was.) It was truly the Oprah life-altering moment for me. I ended up staying for the few weeks I had planned, and one of the other volunteers (Steve Hollman, you PRINCE of a man) broke off from the group, and we hitch-hiked all over the place together. I remember being determined to have a great time, which I did but all the while my heart ached unceasingly.
Here’s the thing though: I spent almost no money in our hitch-hiking adventures. Steve and I always ended up with free-lodging and free meals. People were really nice to us. So, the minute I returned to the U.S., I took my left over money, and I bought a cheap Martin Guitar. And I realized that I had absolutely zero to lose by leaping towards my little dream of writing songs and making music. Which is what I did. So, really, I am wildly grateful that I was unceremoniously dumped with such drama and turmoil. Back then, that’s the only way the Gods could get through to me.
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