A meme is a contagious idea that replicates like a virus. A contagious idea is the evolution of thought. Memes are memories that compete for space in order to be passed on to someone else. The term "meme" was coined in Richard Dawkin's 1976 book, The Selfish Gene. Memes are not actually viruses, they are the foundations of our lives and cultures. In fact, the mysteries of human nature often yield to a memetic explanation. For our meme, we chose eight random topics, and posted them together as a memeplex.
A primitive evolution of thought...
I have the good fortune of living in the home I was raised in from the age of four. It nearly escaped me (and the continuation of our family residing here) several times. I was gone for all but two years of a twenty year period from age eleven. My father lived and died here. I have traveled/lived a worldwide selection of locations, but there is nothing that fits me so precisely and comfortably as this place. It is a very real part of my strength. There are trees on our property I hunt under now and turn to see my father standing proudly. Beside him is a 9 year old boy with his first H&R 20 ga. shotgun, carefully maintained towards the ground at all times. It had an interchangeable .30-30 Winchester, break open single shot rifle barrel, too. (I had the pleasure of passing it on to a nephew as he came of age to own it.) With it, and from under another tree's branches, I took my first deer on Saturday, November 14th at 8:03 AM (approximately... heh). Dad's glistening eyes betrayed the truth behind what I thought at first was a following bout of short temper with me. A job to do properly at hand, son... pay attention! Walking these acres routinely takes me from moments of broad grins to silent tears of tight throated remembrance. Dorothy was so very right.
You’re from Jersey... what exit?
Maybe that line is only funny to transplants of the Garden State - or those of you old enough to remember the SNL days of Joe Piscapo. Of course, it isn’t true that the Jersey Turnpike is a virtual portal to every front door in the state - but whether it is the Parkway, the Expressway, or I-95, most Jerseyans identify “home” as either North Jersey (New York ) or South Jersey (Philadelphia). Central Jersey is a mystery to those who profess geographical loyalty. I am undeniably a South Jersey girl - from the top of my hoop earrings to the bottom of my platform shoes. It doesn't matter what address is listed on my driver’s license - (it’s a Jersey thing) - and it follows us as we merge into Circles and glide around Jug Handles, while going ‘down the shore’ to Ocean City or Wildwood. Within the Promised Land of Diners, strong 'cawfee' and a 24 hour breakfast menu - there is easy access to warm, soft pretzels and REAL Philly Cheesesteaks - (ordered: Wizz, Wit Onions). And for a great, family-owned, Italian Deli, check out Carmen’s, for the uncontested, absolute BEST hoagies in South Jersey. Make no mistake about it - we South Jersey girls are not big haired, stereotypical New York wannabes. We are loyal fans of hometown food and hometown sports. We have a unique style and a distinctive flavor of our own. So eh, yo - if you think that being from New Jersey means that you can fit us all neatly into one simple package - Fahgeddabout it......
(“other pets are almost dogs”)
I have been a dog owner since as young as I can recall. Currently, "my girlz" are German Shorthaired Pointers, ages 3 years, 3 months and 10 years, 7 months. They go absolutely everywhere with me, always, except snowmobiling/motorcycling/deer/bear hunting. The young one ("Heidi") is an avid, focused bird hunter and the old girl ("Huntress") couldn't care less any more (...she doesn't have to and she knows it). They have a "house", with a cushy bed, built under a bench inside my business and regularly replaced clean 'seat sheets' on their side of the truck bench seat. The old one rides permanent shotgun whilst the youngster freeze points all bird sightings from the center console as we drive. Both super obedient with a constant eager-to-please attitude, they are loving and razor sharp. They have attention spans like none I have ever enjoyed. They are connected to me like remote operating appendages. They sense my movements, my timings, my inclinations and my attitudes. I like them more than most people and I love every second I am gifted with their loyal, endless companionship. Their incessant smiles keep me smiling.
I have three, fabulously large Golden Retrievers who barrel clumsily down my stairs, carry food onto the carpet, cause delivery-men to run screaming, shed profusely, and clear tables with a single tail swipe. In other words, they’re Golden. I didn’t follow the Italian Pomeranian tradition. Our only tradition is naming our dogs after rogue Detectives from TV, film or literature. “Ramius and Ryan” - “Riggs and Murtaugh” - “Cagney and Lacy” - “Maddie and Addison” - “Spade” - “Marlowe” and “McClane.” And while you ponder the origin of the above names, I’ll explain the names of my most recent dogs: 1. Malone - Named after Sean Connery’s Detective Malone in the “Untouchables.“ 2. Delaney - Named after Frank Sinatra’s character Edward Delaney in the movie and novel, “The First Deadly Sin.” 3.Bean- Full name, “Sarina Bean” Named after Paul Newman’s character, Judge Roy Bean - in the movie “The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean.” 4. Callahan - Named after Clint Eastwood’s character - Detective Harry Callahan, from the classic “Dirty Harry” movies. I guess there is just something appealing about those good guys with bad edges. To paraphrase Mae West, "when they’re good they’re very, very good - but when they’re bad they’re better".....;)
I try to accept reality head on. I try not to fear much of anything because I think it mostly unhealthy. But, reluctantly... admittedly, we all have them. I just intentionally, purposely, strive to keep my list short. I have a fear of crashing... usually when I am actually crashing. A bit more seriously, personally, a debilitating stroke or similar accident that I couldn't fight and recover from is highest on my list. I never want to be a burden to my family or friends. I never wish to be in a circumstance wherein I cannot pull my own weight. If God gave me such a challenging situation, my first and chief concern would be how to contrive a manner in which I could still make a useful contribution. Overcoming a physical or functional setback and returning as close as possible to whatever degree of "normal" I once was would become paramount. Nationally, (yeah, it should be a second paragraph, but 'we' imposed a one paragraph rule here... so I am cheating... sue me) I am woefully worried about the lurking fall of our Republic at the hands of the hapless, ignorant and power corrupt Orwellians. We are now in a defense, energy and economic mine field that extends as far as the horizon. And we're blindly running through it. The incredibly real prospects of how suddenly our everyday lifestyles could be forever altered is numbing. Our complacency is the monster in the closet.
Sometimes there is more to fear, than fear itself. I have my share of rational fears, but these days I choose to be more preoccupied with the irrational ones. After almost 30 years, I still get nervous when I need to drive across the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in Tampa, Florida. Anyone who lived in Florida, during the 80's, probably remembers the two horrible accidents in 1980 involving that bridge. There was the collision of a US Coast Guard ship, claiming 23 sailors' lives and then there was a structural collapse when a Freighter hit the bridge, and 35 people, (in vehicles), fell to their deaths. After that collapse, half of the bridge stood for years, while a new bridge was erected. That eerie reminder stood like a monument - broken at the point of impact. And even though it is now a beautiful, cabled bridge, shining above emerald water, in its architectural splendor - its brilliance doesn't stop my hands from shaking on the wheel whenever I see it in the distance. The old bridge is long gone - but my irrational fear is forever...
This is difficult, as I am smidge critical of most perceived aberrant behaviors. However, that said, I have a huge distaste for incapable whiners with a tendency for shivering trepidation under the slightest of stressful, problematic occurrences. I tend to lean towards people who are resolute and determined to overcome adversity. I like a "can do, will do" attitude. I generally surround myself with folks like that and gravitate to the self sustaining. I abhor panic, as it hopelessly clouds the mind and impairs one's ability to think... inevitably at the most critical of times. I would far rather die trying to think my way through saving my own
ass(pardon me...) butt than cowering into submission, only to be summarily dispatched anyway. Boredom can be allowed and lived, but there is no such thing as safety. Life is rich and dangerous... deal with it. Wolf it down!
I have zero tolerance for Companies who are willing to risk alienating an entire consumer base by making veiled, political statements. As a former Marketing Manager, I am always in favor of an effective marketing campaign, as long as it is clear and concise. But I draw the line at any campaign that lures unsuspecting consumers into expressing political or religious support, without their knowledge or consent. One perfect example of a company doing what I term, “Alienation Marketing,” is LEVIS. Their new campaign called, White Knot, is intended as a veiled but deliberate statement of support against the continued passing of Proposition 8 - and in favor of gay marriage. In fact, since Memorial Day, consumers have been unwittingly making a statement in support of gay marriage by purchasing items from LEVIS stores that have been purposely and clearly adorned with a “white ribbon, tied in a knot.” If LEVIS wants to support gay marriage as a public issue - it is surely their prerogative - but I believe that they have absolutely NO right to impose that view on unwitting consumers. Why not try some giant Billboards - in the Deep South and in the Midwest! Why not come out of the closet, LEVIS?
I don't do movies much as I find it nearly impossible to get much beyond the realization that all the actors are faking their roles. I loved the almost ancient, classic cult movie "On Any Sunday". I enjoy unusual, off-the-beaten-path comedy stories. I like photo art. I like reading technical manuals, design/fabrication and pushing the envelope to what other people usually regard as "extremes". Of course, those people are patently wrong, but I was recently told that I never seem to really enjoy anything unless it contains the potential of getting killed. I don't know where that comes from...? Life inevitably ends at some point for all of us and I never lament accumulating age, but rather choose to revel in the hopefully accumulating wisdom. Being 18 was tough... I don't want to go back... but understand, I don't want to exit the party yet, either.
I have a few favorite “modern day” movies, but I adore the old classics from the 1940’s and 1950’s. I don't have one specific favorite film - but my guilty pleasure is romantic comedies - in particular, anything with Katharine Hepburn. To me, she epitomized the truest combination of being a “dame” and being a “lady” - an unapologetic combination to which I have always aspired. I think she was one of the first genuinely strong female personalities to ever grace the big screen but she still had an incredible warmth that radiated through every role she played. Her comedic timing is unsurpassed and she was absolutely at her best in movies such as Bringing Up Baby with Clark Gable or The Philadelphia Story with Cary Grant. Her chemistry with Spencer Tracy was unmistakable in Adam's Rib and Woman of the Year." And so, if you haven’t seen these films yet, I do highly recommend a full-out, full day marathon, with a few buckets of buttery popcorn - and a chocolate malted. Hmm. (Food). Seems to be a recurring theme…
I almost never relax... who has time for such? Seriously, I relax by writing (although with zippo "spare time" lately, you wouldn't notice), by taking pictures (scenics/night shots are my fave), shooting video and learning new, challenging items of acute interest. I'm trying to become more skilled with PhotoShop, a welcome, pleasant opportunity to escape for awhile and create "things". I like mind exercise. Hobbies? I got several hundred of them! I love to shoot, hunt, hike into remote back country, wilderness camp and I am completely obsessed with mountains. I like mind bending, shoulder stretching, space shuttle equivalent acceleration and I am an exponential horsepower freak. I feel more at ease on a motorcycle, snowmobile, tunnel boat or truck than any limousine towncar.
Ever since I was old enough to lift myself onto a piano bench - to haphazardly bang the keys - I have loved playing the piano. Now, I didn’t say I was any good - but I do love to play. Alas, I cannot read one single note of music. However, I am just stubborn enough not to allow that to stop me from playing. I often attempt to accompany songs on the radio and I eventually will learn to play them. In fact, when someone asks me how I first learned how to play the piano, I usually tell them that Billy Joel taught me - (he just doesn’t know it). I have sincere appreciation for anyone who has taken the time and demonstrated the dedication necessary to play the piano, properly. I, however, am resigned to “play by ear” or more accurately, I am resigned to “play by sheer determination.“ As much as I do enjoy the benefits of playing - it is indeed a hobby that has developed more from sheer persistence than talent.
Curry. I crave curry recipes of all types. Their regular consumption is a semi-religious/physical euphoric experience for me. Many years ago, I found this incredible character who had a similar adoration for curries that paralleled mine. He created this amazing website entitled "Death By Curry" which included types, categories and recipes for a zillion, trillion curries (perhaps more). Amazing, rich, pungently aromatic, wondrous creations of fire and spice! You know they are excellent when your first sweat begins right at the crown of your head. I am tempted to go into a long treatise about the difference between 'spicy' and 'hot', but I would need another paragraph for sure. Almost any meat, vegetable, fish or seafood can be curried... even fruits. It's all about the spices and how you savor their intense, knock you down flavors. And this true worshipper had cataloged the best. Then one day, several months later and years ago... his site suddenly disappeared. I was shattered. I am delighted to declare that this topic, and writing about it, caused me to search it again. And... Hallelujah! It has been reposted! Woo Hooooo!!
I occasionally get a bizarre food craving.
It is not really a strange food. It is just a strange combination of foods. Peanut butter.....on toast......with a pickle.... and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on the side. So, ok - I know it sounds absolutely horrible - but it’s actually a somewhat healthy snack. It can, however, only be satisfied by an exact combination of the following four things. One. The bread has to be thick, white - and toasted. Two. The peanut butter has to be smooth - (not chunky) - so it can get all melty and drippy from the heat of the toast. Three. The pickle has to be cold and crispy - and a Kosher Dill, but never a Butter Pickle (because well, that would just be gross:). Four. The ice cream has to be Vanilla Bean - and preferably Breyers. Surely, someone out there must be able to relate…..
Guns, personal defense, guns... and guns. There is no greater last wall of tyrannical defense nor more crucial foundation to the preservation of freedom in this country than the God given right that the Second Amendment to our Constitution guarantees every last American. Without the Second Amendment, we cannot maintain or retain any of the others. All infelonious citizens should have the legal right to carry a loaded, concealed firearm without government intrusion, paperwork or scrutiny. An armed citizen is a person capable of defense in the face of assault, empowered by his Constitution. He is not the 'time bomb' that pervasive mouth breathers would suggest and falsely portray. Candidates for anything above Dog Catcher should be scrutinized by their gun rights views and voting history first... period. They tend to ascend to higher, more powerful offices. I would somehow try to stitch onto this (Paragraph, 'Part B') that my Number 1.1 Political Priority is abolishing the legislation legalizing the murder of millions of innocent babies annually. The notion that this should be thought to be worthy of confabulation at all is reprehensive. It is disgraceful, darkside law.
I was born on the outer cusp of the Boomer generation and I cannot recall having a single family discussion about the Second Amendment. I never even saw a gun nor held one in my hand until I was 28 years old. Truthfully, I never gave one thought to owning a gun - until I needed one. But, living in these days of Liberal ‘Obamanations‘, Supreme Court appointments and the threat of increasing gun bans, I pray that we, the people of this nation, are never forced to be resigned to protect ourselves, or our loved ones, from armed assailants, with only our wits - or the stacking of tin cans by our front doors. To those of you who support the idiocy of increased gun control - I humbly ask you: What will you do if ever you are locked “safely” in your own home - and suddenly find a strange man appearing in the shadows, pointing a gun while leering into your child’s bedroom window? Will it be precisely at that moment that you will recognize that those “inconsequential” gun bans are merely restrictions forced upon law abiding citizens - with no consideration for those who do not - (and would not) - ever comply with the law? Would you suddenly wish you had a gun? Do you know what you would decide to do in that situation? Well, fortunately I had a gun - and I knew what I would decide to do before it ever had to be done. And thankfully, my children are alive today as a result of that decision. Are you willing to accept unnecessary gun restrictions - and/or take unnecessary risks for your children? - In omnia paratus
We were officially tagged with this meme from Heidianne at Big Girl Pants [Thank you, Heidianne]- and she was earlier tagged by "Z" at Golly Geeeeez. It is now our duty to continue to spread this meme to other unsuspecting bloggers. While we were tasked with "infecting" only five, we decided that the dynamic of our memeplex allows us the liberty to infect as we choose.
Our tags go to...
- El Cerdo Ignatius
- Fire Base America
- MK's View
- The Pickle
- To Which I Replied...
- Workingclass Conservative
- Urban Infidel
Please pick the topics that fit YOU! ...With our sincere hopes you will participate!
~D.I. & Dena