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Birthday Blather: The List, Revisited
June 2005

In the last year, though, I’ve added to The List, because lot of stuff happened that I never would’ve dreamed… stuff that wasn’t on The original List, but could’ve been, if I’d been able to fathom it ten years ago. So on one of my journaling sprees, I came up with More List Stuff:


  • See five original members Duran Duran perform
  • Be kissed and flirted with by Simon Le Bon
  • Hang with John Taylor
  • Hang with Roger Taylor
  • Live in NYC
  • Go to Africa/Go on safari
  • Work with E. (my academic mentor and idol)
  • Get second MA
  • Study/work at Princeton library/archives
  • Eat NYC haute cuisine . I don’t mean this as an “I’m just so fancy and sophisticated, look how much I spend on din-din!” way. It’s more like something between “Gluttony is my favorite vice!” and “Can you believe the girl who hates seafood tried Sea Urchin and Crabmeat Ragoût with Potato Purée, Chives and Lemon?” Me and THTM love food, and love cooking, and so, when we lived in New York, we thought it might be fun to try some of the more well-known restaurants (which often have great prix fixe lunch menus, btw, so it’s certainly not about “expensive”…). One summer evening, we dashed through the rain to Union Square Café in hopes of scoring a cancellation… and had what we now refer to as our Food Epiphany. Yeah, food as an art form. You don’t get that feeling at the local Macaroni Grill. So every month or so, we’d try someplace new, and stick to our hard-and-fast rules of Fine Dining: eat whatever they put in front of you, get the recommended wines, and savor! We have fun reading recipes, comparing herbs and flavors, trying weird shit… so now I’ve eaten some things that I never thought I consider letting past my lips before: the aforementioned caviar and fois gras, the predictable escargots, things like raw oysters and pork belly and rabbit and scallops and sweetbreads. I love arugula and leeks and creamed spinach and asparagus and- And this is something for the person who once only ate canned green beans by way of veggies for the first twenty years of her life! What’s more, THTM now likes to fancy himself a Food Snob, and loves to read reviews and analyses of things and researches chefs and new places that’ve opened. He’s even a Dorky Boy with food!

But it ain’t all about haute cuisine. Living in NYC, I also developed a fiendish delight for chopped liver….

  • Own antiques … REAL antiques! Not just stuff I dig outta Gram’s storage shed… although that stuff rocks, too. I am no expert or connoisseur, but the quest for scoring that gorgeous walnut china cabinet circa 1910 for less’n $300 is heady, indeed.
  • Own real art. But not for the sake of “owning art” because it “appreciates in value” or “is a good investment”… we have a couple pieces simply because we love them. Nothing fancy or ‘spensive. One picture, though, has quite a story behind it. We saw it next door to a gallery THTM likes in SoHo, and both of us did a double-take when we saw it. “That looks like me!” I said at the same time as THTM said “Wow, she’s beautiful!” (*snickering with delight*) And the picture DOES look weirdly like me, back in the day (and quite a few pounds lighter than now). She’s even dressed like me, in jeans, a t-shirt, and a vintage men’s vest, sitting at a coffeehouse with a book. Trippy. But it was close to the gallery’s closing time, and we couldn’t get anyone to tell us about the picture. Moreover, the gallery was moving in a week! So we got the new address, and promised that next time we were in town, we’d look for it. Three more trips to NYC, and three unsuccessful attempts to find the new gallery. No phone listing. Nothing on line. Nothing at the Hell’s Kitchen address. Dammit.

Two years later, THTM was in NYC with friends for 4 th of July while I was sweating it out in Virginia at summer school. An email arrives from him with an attachment: “Is this it?” And… it was! He found the painting at some other SoHo gallery! And had bought it for me for our anniversary! Amazing. In fact, most people who visit us think that it was something we commissioned, or an enlarged photograph.

  • Hang out with Nellie Oleson. Alison Arngrim? ROCKS! And she liked my Little House on the Prairie Blather, too!
  • Write a scholastic book/publish scholarly articles. Not only that, but I just got a request from someone who wants to include an article I presented on Laura Ingalls Wilder in an anthology! *shrieking dementedly*
  • Win multiple prizes for scholastic work.
  • Live in a dorm.
  • See Loggins & Messina in concert.
  • Stay at the St. Regis. Ah, the Lost Weekend....
  • Perform a wedding. It was Halloween, 2001, and the Slacker-Hacker had come over for a dinner-and-Blather-posting date… which meant, as usual, that I’d get dinner, and he’d dilly around and twitter and whine and we’d get nothing done. THTM was out of town, and I didn’t want to deal with the nasty neighborhood chilluns trick-or-treating, so we were hiding up in my office, ignoring the doorbell and playing around with Electroclash CDs and weird websites. That night, he mentioned to me that he was now a reverend, thanks to the Universal Life Church. “You should do it too” he said, and I thought, yeah, I should, because then my Reverend Certification will have “October 31” as the date! So within a minute or two, I was printing out my lovely Certified Reverendification, which made me giggle.

Fast forward a year, and our friends Tim (who is a friend of THTM’s from, like, second grade) and Kendra (who is just plain one of the most kick-ass-est people ever!) were planning their wedding. (Uh huh, lots of weddings in the last couple years!) THTM went over to Tim’s for some Macho Testosteroni-ness in the form of the Oakland Raiders on Tim’s Dad’s big screen television while I pounded through another paper. I wasn’t expecting the phone call, and when it came, I could barely hear what THTM was saying, because in the background, Tim, Kendra and Tim’s folks were all yelling “Did she say yes? Did she?!” Seems Tim had made some comment about them not finding a reverend who would marry them on the beach. “You know, Dwanollah’s a reverend,” THTM mentioned, thinking it an amusing, joking aside, nothing more. But Tim, Kendra and the folks perked up. “She IS?! Will she do the ceremony? Will she?”

Well… sure! Okay!

Turns out that Universal Life Church piece of paper carries some weight. So one evening in September, all of us decked out in floral leis (and me in a semi-official robe-thingy!) and barefooted, we traipsed down to the beach, and I married two friends. What an honor. What a joy. What an experience!

And Kendra’s grandpa, a retired minister himself, is still convinced “the nice reverend lady” has a congregation somewhere….





CAPTION: That’s Reverend Dwanollah, if you please!

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