Thursday, May 28, 2009


My camera is broken. It's not a dead battery or anything else that I can diagnose, so I think it's really broken - or deceased.

So, I cannot show you my latest sock, knit from Berroco Sox Metallic yarn. There are sparklies in it! It's so cool! Really - just imagine the most gorgeous, sparkly, perfectly-knitted sock you have ever seen, and that's my sock. Soon there will be two of them.

As I have written about in the past, I love sparklies. I love bling - not big expensive, gaudy diamond bling, but normal bling. Sparkly things. So it just figures that I had to have this glittery yarn. And no, younger daughter, I will not wear these socks when I am in public with you.

And speaking of what I've written in the past, I was, ages ago, tagged by Calicobebop (love the name, and wouldn't caliopebebop be a good one too?) to write ten things about me. But since I had recently written seven things for another tag, I put it off. But now, with no camera, I'm forced to write. So here are three more things:

8. When I was a kid, I tried to play three instruments. My father owned a violin and a flugelhorn and believed, I guess, that his kids should be musical. We started off, as grade-schoolers, on a piano. My sister was quite good at it; my brother was too young at the time we took lessons; and I was horrible. I mean, there is separate music for each hand, AND there are the foot pedals. For our first recitals, the teacher gave my sister and me the choice of two pieces by Beethoven. (What WAS she thinking? We were KIDS.) My sister's lesson was before mine, and she (rotten little sister that she was) chose Moonlight Sonata, by far the easier piece. That meant I was stuck with Fur Elise, an impossible piece for me. I struggled with it and then finished it off by butchering it at the recital. AND I was the oldest student there. It was awful.

So, on to the violin. I tortured that poor thing, and my father must have wondered if I truly was his child. The orchestra conductor/music teacher at the high school even put me in the orchestra. I have no idea now how long I lasted in it, but it couldn't have been long. In addition to reading the music and doing the appropriate fingering, I had to pay attention to the bowing instructions. You can't just saw in any old direction (and believe me, I sawed, not bowed).

Next came the French horn. That belonged to the school and I picked it thinking that there were only three (I think it was three) thingies to push, so how hard could it be? For someone with apparently no musical talent, just as difficult as the piano and violin had been.

That was the end of that, and except for a brief unsuccessful attempt in my thirties to take lessons from the same teacher who was working (successfully) with younger daughter, I've left music-making up to others.

9. My name. My first name is spelled differently (incorrectly, in my view) and I have always hated the spelling. I read once that when parents spell a girl's name differently from the norm, it's because they think that girls will not have the same success in life that boys will, and hope that by making their daughter's name unique, she will have a better shot at success. So I imagine my parents looking at sweet little newborn me and saying, "What a loser. We'd better do something to make her stand out. I know! What about misspelling her name?!"

It's been a nuisance all my life. I have to spell it out all the time, and my last name is also spelled differently from most people's. It's the correct original Irish spelling, but lots of immigrants dropped a doubled letter when they came here. So I spell my first and last names for everything I do. I had to send my passport back when the people who processed my application misspelled my name. And there is no form for this problem; I had to fill out a name change form. Once at a drugstore, when I spelled my name correctly for the clerk, she couldn't find it (this happens all the time) and when I gave her other possible misspellings and she did find it, she asked if I wanted her to enter the name correctly in the computer system. Huh? I told her that since I tend to spell my name the way it's actually spelled, yes, I would like her to do that.

10. Hmmmmm....Can't really think of anything else. Well, I like junk food (who doesn't) but I rarely eat any since I don't like going to the grocery store and that means I don't buy much of it. I LOVE salty, crunchy stuff the best. And candy. And chocolate. And my favorite word is mellifluous, because it sounds like what it means.

And that's all she wrote.


Suna said...

My kids have a correctly spelled Irish name that sure is hard on people to pronounce and spell. Glad I never took their dad's name.

And I saw your daughter and dear grandbaby this evening!

Karen ~ said...

Love your name story - I sympathize, but even with a common-as-dirt name (first and last) I *still* have to spell them because now enough people spell them oddly that no one trusts that the way I spell them is the traditional way (if that makes any sense?)

Mary Ellen said...

I have a hard-to-pronounce last name, so I can sympathize. I hope you noticed that I answered your question over at my blog - it might have been yesterday's post.

I have always wanted to know somebody who played the flugelhorn.