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the film criticism aspect of cyber | by maryann johanson

eight pointless things about me

I pretty much hate these blog meme things, but I love my pal Catherine “gadgetgirl” Cantieri, who tagged me on her blog I am screaming and punching myself. So, okay, I’ll play along.

THE RULES
1. All right, here are the rules.
2. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
3. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
4. People who are tagged write their own blog about their eight things and post these rules.
5. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

I’m stealing Catherine’s graphic, which she stole from the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, because at least it’s movie related:

And here goes:
8. As Catherine does, I feel the need to list eight things that I haven’t already revealed. Which is tough, because I do reveal quite a bit about myself in my reviews. That said… just because you can learn quite a bit about me by reading my reviews and such, don’t be misled into thinking you know me. I don’t intend that sound to mean or bitter or anything negative like that — certainly, I cherish all the friendships and acquaintanceships I’ve made because I do reveal so much of myself online. I do intend to say that I understand now the concept that public figures like actors can be some of the most shy people in the world. My bestest-friend-in-the-world Bonnie-Ann Black is an actor as well an artist, and she has long insisted that despite her extremely outgoing personality and propensity to reveal much of herself in on the stage and in her art, she’s very shy. I’ve scoffed at that in the past, but I’m coming to understand that more and more all the time not just because I know Bonnie so well more and more all the time but because as I meet and interview more and more world-famous actors, I am increasingly struck by how our preconceptions of public figures are often at odds with what it’s like to actually talk to them in person… which is, I’m sure, also far removed from what they are really like when they’re not “on” for journalists grilling them about their work.

So when I started to think about all the personal things I have revealed here, and what I could say that I haven’t already said, I realized that the things I’ve revealed don’t really seem all that private, and that the private stuff I hold closely is so private that I can’t imagine ever revealing it. So that’s No. 8: You might think you know me, but you don’t know the whole me. And you probably never will.

7. My first word as a baby, according to my mother, was elbow. But I pronounced it “el-boo.” In related news, my only niece, who is now four years old, is — again, according to my mother — very much like I was as a child, both physically and personality wise. And it is so freakin’ cool to suddenly have an idea of what I was like as a kid in the years before I have any real memory, and to appreciate how grownups may have reacted to me as a little tyke. Plus, I love her to pieces, and can’t wait till she’s old enough to really hang out with and shoot the shit with. I may never have children, and I suspect she may be my one true connection to the next generation.

6. I was once part of a Stupid Human Trick on the old David Letterman show, back when he was on NBC. I was, at the time, a member of Mensa, the “high-IQ society,” and the “trick” was that “60 geniuses got Dave a soda.” See, we Mensans lined up between Dave’s studio and a soda machine in a cafeteria a couple of floors above, and we had to see how fast we could pass a soda down the line of geniuses from the machine to Dave at his desk on the set. I was onscreen for about half a second… but the coolest thing is that I got paid for this. Not much — about a hundred bucks or so — but I still have the paystub somewhere. It has the NBC peacock on it, which I thought was cool at the time.

I didn’t get to meet Dave.

Oh, and I eventually quit Mensa cuz the people were so fuckin’ stupid.

5. I am eligible for Irish citizenship, since I have a grandparent who was born in Ireland (my mother’s father). I’ve been to Ireland several times and it’s perfectly lovely, but I won’t be heartbroken if I never visit Ireland again. The best thing about acquiring Irish citizenship — which I intend to finally do this summer; there’s a lot of paperwork inolved — is that it will mean I can get a passport from the European Union… which means I’ll be able to live and work anywhere in the EU without having to worry about a green card, or whatever the equivalent is in the EU. I love London, having been there many times, and would love to live there, even if only for a year or so. And while I’m not one of those “America, love it or leave it” people, I do feel that this country has gone so far down the wrong road since 2000 that it cannot be a bad idea to have a bolt hole, should things go really terrifyingly wrong. And it’s probably not a bad idea to be able to masquerade as not-American, when traveling overseas. But I can’t foresee a situation in which I would give up my American citizenship. (Ireland doesn’t demand it, and is perfectly comfortable with dual citizenship.)

4. My favorite vegetable is… baby spinach. Ah, gods, I love it. Asparagus is a close second. And red peppers. Oh, I love the glory of really good food.

3. The first DVD I bought — back when I got my first DVD player in 1998 — was Goodfellas. And I have a little bit of a crush on Ray Liotta. I’m sorry.

2. Guilty TV pleasure: CNN. When I’m at home working, writing reviews and surfing the Net and such, I pretty much keep CNN on in the background, even though it annoys the shit out of me most of the time. I readily admit that I’ve been sitting here all day watching the network inflating the incompetent “terrorists” try to blow up SUV at Glasgow airport story into “the end of the world as we know it.” Part of it is that I yearn for real journalism to break through the nonsense. Part of it is that I yearn for something to happen. Not that I wish for people to be hurt or for our idiotic governments to continue to demonstrate their idiocy. No: I wish for something to wake up our somnambulant populace, something to sound like a call to action. I’m waiting for the moment of revolution. I want stuff to matter. And I’m terrified that nothing that really, genuinely matters will happen in my lifetime.

1. I suspect I will never find anyone I want to marry or have babies with. (The baby window is rapidly closing: I’ll be 38 in August.) And I’m not really all that sad about that. I mean, it would be nice to find someone I want to marry, but if I don’t… eh. And I don’t know whether that should make me sad.

Eh. You still don’t really know me, I promise…

Spreading the meme to:

Feministe
John Scalzi’s Whatever
Nick’s Flick Picks
Dubhsidhe Studios
A Million Things That Bug Me
FilmSnobs.com
The Neon Jungle
Classic Movies



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  • bats

    Huh. My first word as a baby was “moon”. However, “elbow” was a close second — it was pronounced ah-boo, and it did double-duty as a describing my elbow and my pacifier. No, I don’t know why.

    Very cool list. I must tell my husband about the Irish citizenship thing, too.

  • “Oh, and I eventually quit Mensa cuz the people were so fuckin’ stupid.”

    Great line! Would love to hear that story sometimes.

  • MaryAnn

    There’s no story: the Mensans I encountered tended to be, for the most part, wildly unsocialized, unambitious, and uninteresting. They were like Rain Man, except they didn’t bathe.

  • Neon

    I’m right there with you on the Ray Liotta crush train. I’ve enjoyed reading your eight pointless things; they are much more interesting than the pointless things in the Neon Jungle. One pointless thing I didn’t post — I don’t remember what my first word was, but do remember the first time I thought about a word so long it sounded weird. I think the word was “weapon.”

  • Ruby

    You have a better reason for quitting MENSA than my sis-in-law. She figured that should the country be invaded or taken over (by Russians, aliens, whatever), the first group of people that they’d round up and kill would be, you guessed it, the members of MENSA, ’cause, you know, they’d be the most likely to organize and lead the counterrevolution. Or something.

  • MaryAnn

    members of MENSA, ’cause, you know, they’d be the most likely to organize and lead the counterrevolution

    No, they wouldn’t. They’d be the ones most likely to form a discussion group to talk about how this Russian invasion was like the one back in 1276 when some minor Mongol tribal warlord led an incursion into a neighboring sheep pasture, or what the chemical composition of the atmosphere on the aliens’ planet might be.

  • JoshDM

    RE: point #1:

    Well, you pretty much disqualified 99.9% of the heterosexual male population b/c we all collectively enjoyed “Knocked Up”. :-)

  • MaryAnn

    And don’t I know it.

  • Well, you pretty much disqualified 99.9% of the heterosexual male population b/c we all collectively enjoyed “Knocked Up.”
    –JoshDM

    “We” did?

    I don’t recall enjoying it.

    But then I have a girlfriend so I’m not in the running anyway.

  • You might think you know me, but you don’t know the whole me. And you probably never will.
    –MaryAnn

    This better not be your way of hinting that you really are an evil, gold-digging, lesbian manhater who kicks kittens for fun.

    Because I’d be a tad disappointed in you if that was the case, Juli–er, MaryAnn. ;-)

  • MaryAnn

    This better not be your way of hinting that you really are an evil, gold-digging, lesbian manhater who kicks kittens for fun.

    No. :->

    Perhaps I should have said, Knowing some things about me doesn’t mean you know all things about me. The whole is different — not necessarily bigger, but different — from the sum of the parts you’ve seen here.

    I’ve never said anything here that I don’t really believe, and that isn’t who I really am. But that still doesn’t equate to “knowing the whole me.”

  • Ralph

    Stuff that matters… er… I don’t know… er… something to do with… New York… er… twin towers… nope, can’t remember. Come on. Didn’t that, like, you know, totally matter?

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