Friday, May 11, 2007

I've Been Tagged!

Imagine my surprise, while reading Casey Klahn's blog,"The Colorist", to find myself in the list of blogs being tagged. Why, I had no idea that Casey knew I read his blog daily. Apparently, there are ways of knowing who's reading you. One of these days I really have to sit down and find out how to do all these things. Anyway, I'm totally flattered and also have a huge case of stage-fright. What's everybody looking at me for?

Hmm, seven little-known things about me. There are a lot of things I hope are not known, but seven little things I wouldn't be embarrassed to have known...


1. Most of my gainful employment has been as a secretary. I started in my home town in a lawyer's office. After moving to Ottawa I worked for five years at RCMP Headquarters as the secretary to the Officer in Charge of Criminal History Files.
The main thing I took away from that experience was the determination never to name a child of mine Wayne or Wade, since that was what all the criminals were named.

2. Some years later, I had a few temporary and part-time jobs that sometimes overlapped. I worked for the Anglican Diocese of Ottawa, and at the same time for the Ottawa Torah Institute, a Jewish yeshiva. They were both very nice work-places, but working two part-time jobs sucks. There's a lot of travel time involved, and you don't get paid for that. I finally got a permanent job with the Oblates of Mary Immaculate, a missionary order of Catholic priests and brothers. For a week I went around asking, "Did you hear the one about the priest, the minister, and the rabbi who needed a secretary?" The Anglicans and the Catholics laughed, but the rabbis only looked puzzled. I think they were waiting for the punch line. Unfortunately, I never did think of one.

3. I have a phantom child. My daughter Alex is an only child, but some people don't believe that. When she was little, she had one of those dolls that looks like a real baby, a girl doll named Jenny, but she wore a blue sleeper because we didn't believe in colour-stereotyping girl dolls. Alex took it everywhere, but she would get tired of carrying it and hand her over to me. I would walk around with this doll on my shoulder and go into automatic-mother-mode, absently patting it as if it needed to be burped. Apparently quite a few people thought it was a real baby. To this day, I run into old acquaintances from Ottawa who, after being updated on family news, ask, "And your son? How is he doing? He must be big now!" When I tell them I don't have a son, never did have one, no second child at all, they stare suspiciously at me. Clearly, they think I'm lying. Maybe they think I named him Wade and he ended up in prison.

4. I have one near-sighted eye and one far-sighted eye. I may have mentioned this before; it's one of the excuses I trot out regularly to explain blurry detail and bad perspective in my pictures. It's supposed to be quite a rare condition, but in my family of four siblings, three of us have it, and I've met a surprising number of other people who have it as well. Maybe the doctor who told us this was just trying to make us feel special.

5. I won a prize for shooting at targets with a pellet gun. That's the only kind of gun I've ever handled, and I was nagged into trying it by my husband, who likes guns of all kinds, but to my surprise I enjoyed it and did well in the gun club competitions. I was only in the beginner's category, but I got the top score. Seldom in my life have I been able to brag about anything requiring eye-hand coordination, so I'm making the most of it here. My sister, the one with the 20-20 vision, could hardly believe her ears when she heard. "You????!!!" she exclaimed. Yes, me!

6. In the past year or so, I've taught myself a small bit of Scottish Gaelic, and hope to learn more. It was the first language of both of my MacNeil grandparents, he a MacNeil from Christmas Island in Cape Breton and she another MacNeil from the Codroy Valley in Newfoundland. It wasn't passed down, except for a few snatches of song. A few years ago I was reading a novel by Jane Langdon in which a character remarks that most of us, if we met one of our own ancestors, would be so separated from them by barriers of language, education, culture and custom that we would have practically nothing to say to each other. In other words, we would be strangers, foreigners, to each other. For some reason that bothered me, and reignited an old desire to learn Gaelic. If I meet my ancestors in the hereafter, at least I'll be able to say Hello.

7. I don't have a driver's license. Well, this one really is embarrassing, and something I've avoided mentioning in blogland. Furthermore, I live in a rural village with no buses or taxis. Yes, it is a horrible inconvenience. No, I don't intend to get my license. I actually did learn to drive, and would be all right if the roads were kept clear for me, preferably with no other car within sight, but the Ministry of Transport is strangely unwilling to do that for me. Consequently, I'm a great walker.

Whew! That was hard. I don't think I could find another seven facts about myself to save my soul. As it was, I had to dip into the dodgy stuff for the last one. Now to put the arm on...I mean, graciously nominate - seven more bloggers to be tagged. I hope I'm not committing some terrible faux pas here. I have a long list of favourites that I visit frequently, quite apart from the daily reads s listed in my sidebar. Some of them are so illustrious that I would feel presumptuous tagging them, and others are just so popular that they must have been tagged many times before. However, here are seven that I enjoy hugely, and I would love to hear seven facts about them.

Some of these links aren't working right. I will try to correct them, but it's quite late at night and I really need to leave it for now. I think the names are right, though.

1. Doreyme. Edith Dora Rey, a vibrant and prolific professional artist who lives in Montreal. There's almost always something new here, and it's always fresh and original. I loved her tree series all winter. For some reason she gets very few comments. I don't understand why that's so. I myself have never commented there, because I'm intimidated by the lack of other people's comments. They must know something I don't.

2. Hashi at Hashiworks is always making something interesting. She has recently taken on the "One Mile from Home" challenge since Julie finished her 365 days and retired. I'd love to join her, but my life is too chaotic right now to commit to anything like that. I'd have to call it "ten feet from home".

3. African Tapestry. A recent discovery for me, but a very impressive blog, mind-blowing in fact, full of wonderful paintings and equally wonderful writing.

4. Carol Marine's Painting a Day. Very good quality paintings produced with great regularity.

5. Dawn Breeze Daily Paintings Beautiful and inspiring work.

6. Christopher Stott. Beautiful paintings in lovely, cool, Canadian light.

7. Dee Farnsworth at Check out her remarkable pictures of fires.


df said...

hi agnes. Thank you for tagging me! and even more - thank you for turning me on to your blog. I love your drawings and can't wait to look at your site with more time.
I'm working 75 hour weeks right now on the Simpson's movie and barely have time to check email, but I'll try to get to the tag thing asap.
Thank you again.

Marie said...

Hi Agnes

I found your blog via Britt-Arnhild's. When I saw your comment about living on the 49th parallel, I decided to take a look.

I enjoyed reading the seven facts about you, especially your MacNeil heritage. I love Cape Breton as it is the most amazing place and I hope to live there one day and maybe even learn some gaelic.


Katherine said...

Great post Agnes - the first and last made me laugh out loud!

Laureline said...

Agnes, it's so nice to find out about your quirks, I mean, you! I wish I were a short story writer--you've given lots of great info that a writer could make much of!
I would love to go on a long walk with you up there in your rural idyll and sketch, too!


Where are you, I haven't see you for a while. I hope you haven't given up blogging. connie from Texas

Lara Berch Tutorials said...

Hi. My name is Lara Berch. I have just launched a new website with step by step art tutorials. I was wondering if it's possible to exchange links with you.
Thank you very much for your time.