Fellow blogger Jen of Random Acts of Writing [ + Art] challenged me in a recent post to a little game of Tag. Nowadays the idea of playing tag leaves me languid in an armchair, but when I was a kid, I would have been off and running in a flash.
And because several of Jen’s tag questions conjure up childhood, in the spirit of remembered play I decided I’ll have a go at them. Here are Jen’s 11 questions, with my answers:
1. What was your favorite pastime when you were young?
I liked a lot of things, like playing tag and other street games in Brooklyn, where I grew up as a city kid. And then, cutting out paper dolls, and coloring, and riding my trike and then my two-wheeler. But most of all, MOST OF ALL, I liked reading and hanging out in libraries.
2. What do you do for play now?
Reading and hanging out in libraries. Some things never change!
3. What is your favorite book of all time?
Tough one —
Top three books (as of this morning): Pride and Prejudice, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, The Little Prince. Ask me tomorrow morning (or even this afternoon), there’ll be a different batch.
4. What’s the best movie you’ve watched lately and why?
Lately? Queen to Play is a French movie for grownups, about ordinary people living ordinary lives, treated with the mindfulness and respect which makes ordinary lives extraordinary. No one is a villain, no one is a saint, the movie is attentive to details both visual and psychological. The heroine’s attempt to connect with her own strength as played out (yes, pun intended) in the world of chess was truly empowering for this particular woman. (And it’s got Kevin Kline, in his first French-speaking role, what’s not to love?)
5. If you could make one change to your life, right now, and have it stick, what would it be?
Tough one. If I could —I’d lose the 10 pounds I need to lose — and not regain them! (It’s the not regaining that’s so hard.) And I’d wave a magic wand in front of my eyes so that I could drive comfortably again at night —
6. What is your most memorable meal?
The next one! Seriously? Any meal containing foie gras. Any meal at a Danny Meyer restaurant. Any meal containing fresh corn just picked from the field. Simple tastes!
7. What do you miss most about being a kid?
Truly? Nothing. Oh, physical stuff like agility and energy, stuff like that. But I don’t remember childhood as a happy glorious carefree time, and I cherish the balance, power, equanimity, wisdom and experience which each additional year of life has brought. I’m dead serious about this, too — counter-cultural though it may be.
There’s a rabbinic Midrash, a teaching, about this in the form of a little question:
People go down to the dock to see a ship sail away, and they cheer and throw confetti. Should they not better wait until the ship has arrived safely in port, and then go down cheering to greet its arrival?
8. If you could go back in time and tell yourself one thing, what would it be?
I’d tell the little girl I was once upon a time, that she really was a pretty girl, and lovable.
9. You find a $50 bill but you have to spend it right now—what do you buy?
I’d blow it on dinner for 2 at the best restaurant available here in our Valley.
10. What are you doing today?
Going to the Learning in Retirement class on Gilbert & Sullivan that we’re taking this semester.
11. What are you most grateful for, right now?
Life, health, the opportunity to sit here at my computer and reach out to the extraordinary community of bloggers I am privileged to know!
AND NOW —
Because the rules of the game specify asking 11 new questions for the next round, here are the questions I pose as my challenge to you:
1) What book have you always wanted to read, but still haven’t gotten around to?
2) What classic book do you feel is overrated? Why?
3) What is your favorite movie adaptation of a book? Least favorite?
4) Where is your favorite place to write?
5) Pen or pencil Or other?
6) What was your favorite toy as a child?
7) What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
8) If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one ability or quality, what would it be?
9) What are five songs you hate to admit you love?
10) Where is your dream destination, (or place you’ve always wanted to go)?
11) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
(Confession time! I’m not so strong on making up questions, so these 11 are actually the “old” ones Jen answered on her blog; I’m re-posing them for any of you who woke up this morning, the sun shining, the sap rising (as it were), and in a playful mood.)
Instead of specifically tagging, this is a shout-out to all viewers. Tag, you’re it! And if you decide to play (using either set of questions), post a link here in the comments so we can all enjoy the game —-