Saturday, June 21, 2008

5 places meme

The idea, stolen from here by way of here, is this:

Name 5 places you've lived. Be as specific or generic as you like.
List 5 memories associated with each of those places.
Tag 5 others. (I skipped this part cuz I'm not real fond of the tagging thing.)

Here's mine:

1. New Orleans, LA
A. Living uptown on Fern St., just off St. Charles Ave. and near Carrollton Ave. Except for the cars, it could have been an antebellum city with horse-drawn carts cruising the neighborhoods selling ice, vegetables, and the famous Roman Candy man. Snowballs! More like Hawaiian shaved ice than the typical American sno-cone, much finer grind on the ice.
B. Starting grammar school at Mater Dolorosa on Carrollton Ave.
C. I walked home from school one day when my mom was late picking me up. She was freaked that I walked and, by doing so, crossed two very busy streets by myself.
D. Learned to ride a bicycle without training wheels, heading down Fern toward St. Charles with the Mississippi River levee at my back.
E. The smell of the city. It's distinctive and evocative.

2. Metairie (suburb of New Orleans)
A. The Irish nuns at St. Christopher Grammar School were meaner than the nuns at Mater Dolorosa.
B. Playing at the playground in the Summer. The feel and smell of sawdust in the high jump pit. Wearing a wool uniform for baseball in that 98 degree heat with 100% humidity. How did we survive that? We installed central airconditioning in that house in the late '50s. Hooray! Phew!
C. Exploring the "wilderness" near my house - undeveloped land which, for all we knew, contained alligators, snakes, and pirate treasure. Pretty sure it harbored two of those three.
D. Attending a military prep school run by the Jesuits and the U.S. Marines. That was some fucked up shit. Nice stuff was travelling all over the country competing on the gymnastics team for that school and, independently, playing rock 'n' roll in New Orleans clubs. There's a learning experience for a young lad!
E. Moving back to New Orleans for college. Being on my own in the post-1965-Voting-Rights-Act and Vietnam era. Wow!

3. Seattle, WA
A. Moving to a new city was scary. And exciting. But definitely scary. I transported my life in my '69 VW bus loaded with all my earthly possessions. Finally sent that bus to VW heaven in the mid-90s. Now we have a Honda Odyssey minivan which I consider merely a modern version of my old bus. I like minivans.
B. Outdoor activities in the beautiful Northwest. Hiking, climbing, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, sailing (until I decided that cold-weather sailing was not as much fun as New Orleans sailing and cut back. Way back.)
C. Working for Microsoft. Interesting experiences there.
D. Meeting and marrying Ronnie. No elaboration needed, simply the best thing that ever happened to me except for…
E. Having MJ and Chloe. No elaboration needed here, either.

4. Destin, FL
A. Quitting Microsoft and going to live in the sun and sand for a while. Ahhhh, that was a wonderful feeling.
B. There's no sand like the beach sand in this area. Fabulous.
C. Seeing a mom and baby dolphin right near our skiboat in our waterskiing bayou. Watching stingrays cruise the shallows near the shore from our balcony. Watching our still-in-diapers Chloe become a drown-proof waterbaby.
D. Horrible, near-divorce trip to Disneyworld. I still refuse to go to a Disney site because of that trip. Ick! Worst experience ever.
E. Taking flying lessons. I always wanted to fly and after that trip I became a licensed pilot. Very cool.

5. Zombie Princess (various locations)
A. Working on a boat in New Orleans in August. Christ! What an energy drain. If someone asks you to help them do fiberglass work inside a lazarette in New Orleans in August, just say, "No!"
B. Katrina! Too much complicated stuff there to relate any level of detail beyond the simple word: Katrina.
C. Riding out Rita at anchor in a curve of Bayou Bonfouca. I LOVE Bruce anchors. A bit after Rita, when the Industrial Canal bridges were working again and we made our escape, the sights and smells of once-urban and thriving New Orleans. A post-apocalyptic ghost town, dark, quiet, and smelling of rot and decay and, surprisingly, coffee.
D. Crossing the Gulf of Mexico. Painful details here.
E. One lovely day at the Dry Tortugas (National Park), having the actual "tropical" cruise we'd planned, with warm, clear water, sandy beaches, and lovely snorkeling scenery. Then, seemingly inevitably, the ranger-enforced evacuation to Key West because of Wilma. Fuck me!

Ok. That's an attempt at this meme from me. How about you?


  1. -=-Attending a military prep school run by the Jesuits and the U.S. Marines.-=-

    So you were learning to kill people and be prepared to justify it in court!? Cool. I mean no, no. Bad.

    I"m working on mine still, but I'm linking yours so it might show up automatically.

  2. Oh, Sandra, you don't know the half of it!

    Which Tom Robbins book was it with the Jesuit Ninjas? That was a slice of semi-reality contained in a work of fiction. You know that the Jesuits take a special, extra oath of personal allegiance to the pope. Some conspiracy theorists got his hands on it and had it read into the U.S. congressional record back around 1900 and it's pretty scary. Wooooooo! Check it out here.

    Never trust a Jesuit. More importantly, never let 'em near your liquor cabinet!

  3. Hi Frank, so glad you took up the challenge! What a life!!!! I second Sandra's comment.

    Do you have any bloggers you would like to tag???
    I am having trouble getting this meme going, the more people that can keep it running the better!
    Lune x x

  4. Hi, Lune,

    I'm just not one for tagging people and only a SMALL handful of folks read my blog. But Sandra is a SIGNIFICANT voice in the unschooling community and there are a coupla other unschoolers who read my blog who have larger readerships. If they take up this meme, it'll spread in that society.

    It's an interesting one and deserves more action.

  5. What a wild, crazy, exciting life you're having. If you ever write a book with details....I'll buy it! : )

    See momma and baby dolphins, how exciting....we're hoping to swim with them later in the year.

    I have NO desire to go to Disneyworld!

    I may do the meme.....later.

  6. I read your blog when I get a chance!:)