Okay, I've seen this meme go round many times over the years, but never played. But this time I'm playing. Here's the meme:

"Comment to this post and I will list seven things I want you to talk about. They might make sense or they might be totally random. Then post that list, with your commentary, to your journal. Other people can get lists from you, and the meme merrily perpetuates itself."

Note: I will not require you to play if you want to comment. Tell me if you are playing!

Here's the list I got from [livejournal.com profile] spacehawk, and my thoughts:

Spirituality
I don't find that I have much to say on this topic at this time. Which is a particularly odd thing to say around Passover. But it's just not speaking to me as a topic today. Sorry.

Family
That's an interesting topic for a Mom of a young toddler. The concept of "family" has always been very important to me. My biological family (parents, siblings, cousins etc.) and I may not always get along, but I've always kept my family close. I grew up in Newton, went to school in Waltham, and now live in Boston. My brothers have similar trajectories, as did my father before us, and his parents before that. I don't think that I or my siblings planned it that way (I didn't mean to go to college 15 minutes from my house, but I did mean to stay in the New England/New York area), but that's what happened.

I also believe strongly in "chosen family." My daughter has one biological Aunt and two biological Uncles. She also has a number of "Crazy Aunties," chief among them being [livejournal.com profile] mytheria, who has taken care of both my daughter and myself through birth recovery and my injuries, and is always glad to come hang out with us. My husband was definitely brought up this way. He and his myriad of cousins were brought up like siblings, and it took me forever to untangle the family relationships of all the people I would meet, as they were all "cousins" even when there was no actual blood relationship. And that's what I want for my daughter: a whole family of people who love her, regardless of the biology.

The future
I think it's wonderful to live in the "The Future." I am constantly being reminded of this in my day-to-day interactions with technology. My toddler wants to talk to grandpa? We can Skype to him and they can talk face-to-face! It would be cool if my toddler could hear Pete Seeger read "Abiyoyo" since she loves his music and my version of that story. Oh, wait, here's a Youtube clip from a "Reading Rainbow" episode. And I say this as someone who doesn't actually use technology anywhere near as heavily as the people around me. My phone is a phone, and that's all it does.

Oh, wait, somehow I don't think that's what [livejournal.com profile] spacehawk meant. My future you say? Well, my future is very up in the air right now. I'm waiting for my husband to finish his PhD, and find a post-doc or permanent job so that I have any clue where I will be living and raising my family. I'm hoping the permanent or longterm job lets us remain in the Boston area. We may be moving away temporarily or permanently and have no clue if or when that might happen. I try not to think about it too much and enjoy my time here in Boston while I've got it.

Bisexuality
Hmm, I wrote a post just over 4 years ago now, about how I discovered I was attracted to women as well as men (friends-locked, sorry), so I'm not going to cover that ground again. I think I'll write about being bisexual while having a mixed-gender marriage (i.e. I am a woman married to a man).

I don't want to get into a lot of queer theory here, but rather talk about my experiences. Queer activists will often point to people like me, and claim that we have "heterosexual privilege." To some extent, it's true. I can live my day-to-day life as married, heterosexual woman if I want, and not think anything of it. But that's not me, and I've never been comfortable there. I feel instead like I am invisible.

This first manifested in college, and I wasn't the only bisexual person feeling this way. Many of us (whether in "heterosexual relationships" or not) felt that we were excluded from the various queer gatherings, sometimes unintentionally, but often quite purposefully. Three of us, and I was one, took it upon ourselves to found a club called "BiSpace" where bisexual people (and partners, and allies if they wished) could hang out and feel comfortable and not judged. It was a real life saver for some of us, especially those of us who felt like "bad bisexuals" due to polyamorous inclinations (another topic entirely), or who really needed to keep a queer identity, and had trouble doing so with their opposite-gender partner. From what I hear, the club lasted 4 or 5 years (we started it my senior year of college), and then disbanded and got absorbed back into the larger GLBT-alphabet soup organization. (We were glad to hear it, because that really was always the goal, but in 2000, the climate wasn't right.)

It has continued my whole adult life, sometimes as the merest background, and sometimes very highlighted. This could be a looooong essay in itself. But I will just say, the question arose last week on my local Mom-listserv about bisexual parents living in opposite gendered marriages and coming out to your kids. (For the record, I figure it will just happen organically with my daughter, as we go to Pride every year as a family, and eventually she'll ask questions.) So this never really goes away.

Cats
Well, I first saw the musical when I was 10... just kidding.

From the time I was a small child, I always wanted a cat. I had a poster hanging in my bedroom for a very long time of a small, gray and black striped kitten. But my parents did not allow pets. Not real ones any way. (I was allowed to have fish. And that was a huge struggle to get that far. Fish are boring.)

Fast forward to adulthood, and I turn out to be allergic to cats. Sigh. But then, in 2004 or maybe 2005, a gray and black striped cat found us. Practically broke down our door to get in. We had him for a month before we found his real owner. (This was "Puck" if I ever wrote about him.) I got very attached in that month, but decided it was for the best due to needing to concentrate on grad school and being allergic and all. Then our neighbor caught one of the "Puck-alikes" that had been running around for a few months. Dan comes home and says "Do you want to meet the cutest cat ever?" and we both knew that if we went over there, we were getting a cat. He convinced me, and that's how I got my gray stripy cat, Merlin (who is purring on my lap as I type).

My daughter also has a bit of a cat obsession. She waves hello to every cat we see, whether it is a real cat or a picture in a story book. And I do mean every cat we see, even if I read her the same book 10 times in a row. When we go out walking she collects rubber bands from the sidewalk (and for some reason there are always tons of those around) to bring home to Merlin. Wish he appreciated all she tries to do for him!

Storytelling
Hmmm, many possible facets to this one...

From a very young age I wanted to perform. I started dance lessons at 3, picked up acting as early as possible, ditto to singing and choirs. Well, I was a fat kid and gave up dancing at 12 due to unrelated injuries, I was never more than a mediocre actor at best, (though I adore it!), and singing dropped out in college when I didn't much like the way choir was run (I'll join a choir again someday...it's on The List). Discovered a talent for directing in college, but not really an aspiration as such.

And through it all, there ran a vein of storytelling. The love of a good story, my grandmother making up "Marousie" stories for me on car rides, my studies on the importance of narrative, hearing everyone's personal stories, and taking up Oral History in grad school. I never really stopped to think about how one *became* a storyteller though. My Dad always thought I'd be a writer. In fact, many people thought so (and maybe it'll happen someday if I ever really put my mind to it).

But there was a storytelling class offered as part of my library science degree. And I was like a moth to a flame. I had to drop out the first time I tried to take it, because there was too much going on for me to give that class the attention it deserved. But I was not going to graduate without taking it.

And it sparked something in me. Turns out that it is the perfect blend of writing, acting and directing for me (and I can use the mime skills I picked up in the two semesters of clowning I took in college!). It is something I am naturally talented at doing (though I have improved massively since I started 7ish years ago, and I know I have a long way to go before I'm anywhere near many of my storytelling colleagues), and it makes me happy. Plus, it gives me a reason to do extensive research tracing out folklore and alternate versions of stories without having to write scholarly papers! (I love doing research - I hate writing up the results.)

I will soon be performing as an invited Teller at the First Annual Boston Storytelling Festival (don't you just love "first annual" whatevers? *grin*). More details when I actually have them! :)

Books
Ahhh, books. I am a librarian and a storyteller, need I say more? ;)

I have spent my life surrounded and immersed in books. I collect books, or possibly they collect me. Libraries are very important in my life, or I might just drown in books (if I didn't have to return them). The majority of what I move from my household (besides furniture) is books. I have given away boxes and boxes, and still I have too many and keep bringing them into my house. My daughter has more books than toys. (And reads books more than she plays with toys!) While I won't buy her every toy she asks for, I will probably buy a book if she requests it (and she's only 1 1/2...uh-oh). I much prefer a physical book to an e-reader. It's not the same experience and I doubt if I will ever come to prefer the electronic option.
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