“M” is for…

My friend Girl With Flat Hat did this particular meme, which I thought was fun. You are given a letter of the alphabet and have to come up with ten things in your life that start with that letter. This is not a tag for anyone, but if you read this and want to do it, leave a note in the comments and I’ll roll the Scattergories dice and give you a letter to work with.

1) Mommy – My name, my title, my current purpose in life. From the day that the Munchkin could identify me as “Mama”, I have tried to live up to the full meaning of that word. I hope that someday I succeed.

2) Muppets – I love ’em. It’s a good thing, too, otherwise I’d be pulling my hair out with the amount of Sesame Street that we watch. But besides that, we have a nice little collection of Muppet Show DVDs (including the full first season), which the kids absolutely adore. And we have the movies, too. I appreciate the sophisticated humor in the show now as an adult, the kids love the songs and the slapstick, and everyone’s happy.

3) Monty Python – When the Webmaster and I began dating, I already could quote The Holy Grail line by line. Yes, really. But around the same time that we started dating, the original TV shows started coming out on DVD. So we began collecting him. When I think about how much we can buy them for now as a complete set, compared to what we paid for them one season at a time, it makes me sick. Anyway, we started watching them. A lot. It wasn’t uncommon for us to turn on an episode (with subtitles, just in case we missed anything), and let it run as background noise. As a result, I know more than just How Not To Be Seen and that nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition. I also know about the Pirahna Brothers’ reign of terror and how to arrange flowers in a vase… NICELY! And yes, we have the German episodes, the Hollywood Bowl performance, the 30th anniversary show all on DVD, too. We are sick, sick people.

4) Mariners – My favorite baseball team. I went to my first M’s game when I was six, with my dad, my uncle, and my brother (who would have been four). The M’s lost to the Detroit Tigers 6 to 0. Though I really didn’t get into the game until I was a teenager (and the games were usually so bad that when we did go, I took a book to read), I never wavered in my loyalty. That loyalty was paid off in spades in 1995, 1997, and 2001. The Webmaster, his parents and I were at the M’s 100th win in 2001. Ever since we got married, it has become a tradition that Friend, Doc, the Webmaster and I go to a few games every season (the number of games decreases proportionately to the number of children we have and the price of tickets). Even when they lose, we go. Even though both of our kids have gone to games, I can’t wait until they’re old enough to remember. I just hope that we can still afford to go!

5) Military – I never really thought of us as a military family when I was growing up, though we have had several members of the extended family serve with distinction. My great-great-great-grandfather was a chaplain and a corporal in the Union Army during the Civil War, and was present at the battle and fall of Vicksburg. My maternal grandfather was in the Navy, and served onboard a submarine. My paternal grandfather attempted to serve in the 442nd during World War II, but received a medical discharge soon after enlisting (bad knees). It wasn’t until my brother decided to pursue an Army career as a senior in high school that my perceptions really changed. He attended a military junior college, was commissioned as a second lieutenant after graduating, got his BA from the University of Alabama, got married, and got posted to Germany and then went to Iraq. He’s now serving his second tour of duty there. Life is different on this side of things. I’ve talked about it before, but he is never far from my thoughts.

6) Monopoly – This board game is now permanently banned in my parents’ house. We kids used to play it when we had hours to kill (like during a power outage) or during the holidays. Eventually, it became such a bone of contention that my mother declared it off-limits last Christmas. You see, the same mindset and skills that make my brother a good Army officer and a leader of men, also make him one of the most vicious and calculating Monopoly players on the face of the planet. It’s not merely enough that he beats us – he has to grind our faces into it. My sisters and I have tried banding against him – it’s never worked. Fights have ensued. Names have been called. And he always wins. So, we don’t play it anymore, and have moved on to games like Trivial Pursuit for a more even-balanced game.

7) Movie soundtracks – While I love classical music, some of the best orchestral pieces in recent decades have been written for movies. I have quite a collection, the crowning jewels of which are the six Star Wars movie soundtracks. I am something of a John Williams aficianado – if he composed it, I probably have it, or it’s on one of the collection discs that I’ve got. I also have most of the Star Trek movie soundtracks (my personal favorite is Star Trek: The Motion Picture, because that was Jerry Goldsmith’s best score) as well. Other personal favorites are Glory, Last of the Mohicans, and both Fantasia and Fantasia 2000.

8) Musicals – I grew up singing songs from such classic musicals as Fiddler on the Roof and The Sound of Music, because my mother loved them. When I was a little girl, she took me to see Annie twice when the movie came out in the early 80’s. I was hooked. I could watch that movie over and over again, because it was just so much fun. I was introduced to The Phantom of the Opera as a teenager. My sister and I used to spend hours just listening to the original Broadway cast CDs. I haven’t seen the more recent movie musical remakes, but I did see the stage production of The Producers when it came to Seattle. I love the original movie too much to see the new one, but the live musical was so much fun to see. It’s almost time to break out my Annie DVD again for a certain little girl.

9) The Makioka Sisters – My favorite Japanese novel. I had to read it in my Japanese Lit (pre-WWII to modern day) class, which was taught by a wonderful professor who made reading all of these deep, symbolically-heavy novels quite a fun experience. This was the longest novel he assigned, but it was also my favorite. It covers pre-WWII Japan and the early part of the war, following four sisters and their trials in trying to strike a balance between the traditions that have led them to be a part of an old and honored family, and a modern, wartime society. It is a very rich, multi-layered novel that really needed a class to help explain the many facets. As a result, I make sure that I read this particular novel at least once a year.

10) Makeup – As Little Cousin’s Mommy will attest to, my makeup usage is very low-maintenance and therefore, inexpensive (okay, let’s be fair, I buy the cheap stuff). I usually use Cover Girl, though I have a secret longing to get myself a total makeup makeover at someplace like Sephora. Usually, about 30 seconds after wishing that, I get a total slap in the face from reality and figure that what I’m using works and doesn’t break the bank. With two kids, I can now do my makeup in five minutes or less. Someday, I will have more time to make myself look nice (and I will be able to wear necklaces without Baby Boy trying to eat them), and at that point, I’ll try and upgrade my makeup. Until then, if you show up at my house and I haven’t even bothered to put on any lip gloss and a quick swipe of eyeliner, then you should just know that it’s been one of those days.

5 Responses to ““M” is for…”

  1. Little Cousin's Mommy
    May 23rd, 2006 07:21

    Sure, I’ll take the plunge and try this out.

    I do have a couple comments on yours, though: Even though you can quote Monty Python, most people prefer you refrain – if your readers could hear your British accent they would understand. Under “Musicals” your forgot that Bachan took us to shows in the nineties: Show Boat, The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats. Also, if you ever do want a Sephora-like makeover I would be happy to assist you!

  2. Mormondaddy
    May 23rd, 2006 08:14

    I love Monopoly. Only I’m like your brother and my wife is like you. She can’t beat me and it makes her furious.

    Fun list Deanna… I enjoyed reading your M’s!

  3. Juliet
    May 23rd, 2006 09:40

    Wow, that was worth the wait!

    Regarding movie soundtracks, I’ve probably told you this a hundred times before, but my favorite is the soundtrack to The Mission by Ennio Morricone. So good I used “Gabriel’s Oboe” for my wedding processional. Buy it now! Or not.

    That’s cool that you have an ancestor who served in the Civil War. I might on my dad’s side (none of my mom’s ancestors were here yet), but if I do I don’t know about it. The only male ancestor I can trace back that far in this country was a Quaker, and according to the 1860 census he was blind, so there’s two good reasons he couldn’t fight.

  4. DozeyMagz
    May 25th, 2006 02:30

    I’d love to have a shot at this – I’ve never done a meme before – Go roll those dice!

  5. DozeyMagz
    May 25th, 2006 02:31

    BTW – I forgot to mention, my fave MP sketch has got to be ‘Spam’ !!!!