Eve Tushnet is inviting bloggers to list ten things that they’ve done that their readers probably haven’t. I’m going to have to creatively define “readers” to not include members of my family to make this work, since some of these things are shared either with my husband or with a sibling, but here goes:
1) Knocked on Norman Mailer’s door requesting blueberries for a scavenger hunt. (Was too young to have any clue who Norman Mailer was.)
2) Jumped directly onto a sea urchin in the middle of a sailboat race.
3) Made my first loaf of bread entirely with soy flour, because that was the only flour I could find (and dear readers, if you haven’t done this, you haven’t missed anything).
4) Listened to Art Garfunkel singing “Don’t know much about history …”, while discussing with a city government official of Subotica an arrangement to get a Croatian woman out of Serbia, back when those two countries were at war. (Last I heard, she decided to stay – like many people, she had family on both sides of the border.)
5) Accidentally broke Hungarian law by taking more of their currency out of the country than I was supposed to.
6) Was the only clothed person at a party to celebrate the pagan equinox celebration.
7) Invented private languages with my sister. OK, just in case this is really common enough that a lot of you have done it, I’ll personalize it by giving the stages the language project went through.
a) My sister and I invent a private language which consists basically of a vocabulary (grammar is still English grammar), and make up a tribe to speak the language.
b) My sister and I, who are now studying foreign languages, decide to make up languages with grammar as well as vocabulary. She makes hers, I make mine, and we share our languages with each other, along with written dialogues illustrating how the languages work.
c) Here I have started to read about linguistics, and get really ambitious – I am going to make up a whole family of languages (still to be shared with the same sister), with systematic sound and grammatical shifts between one language and another. I start to plot out the series of languages, and this is the point where I abandon the project.
8) Drove cross-country in three days, without yet having my driver’s license, in a stick shift car (but I did have a learner’s permit, and the other driver did have a license).
9) Was one of the first people in the country to learn about the Morris worm hitting the Internet.
10) Got called on to replace software because the customer’s copy had been left behind when his country got invaded.