Saturday, March 11, 2006

Jill Tagged Me!

Jill posted this meme and her answers over on Writes Like She Talks. First, go read hers - it's good!

1. Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 18 and find line 4

The History of Kilmainham Gaol
. Bought it in Ireland last summer after taking a tour with the family. When we went to Ireland, I was very ignorant of much of the history of my ancestral home. Our guide at the gaol made sure we got a thorough education there about the treatment of the leaders of the Irish rebellion against England. He was really cute too. Before I go to page 18, let’s take a look at some of the pictures I took. And here's a good little blog post I found about the Gaol if you want to read more.

This is my son and daughter in one of the cells. (Yes, I was worried the whole time we were in Ireland, that his pants would fall off.) These cells, meant for one prisoner, we learned, were often home to five prisoners (maybe more?) during the peak years of overcrowding caused by the Famine.

Next is the cell where they did hangings. It was one of the first places we saw on the tour. My sister was so distressed by the Gaol she turned around and waited for us outside.

This is taken from inside a large open area in the center of the prison - I believe it's the east wing.

Same room – opposite side. The stunning thing is that the architecture is somewhat attractive. The prison was built to the specifications of prison reformers in the late 1700's. The east wing is a newer construction from the 1860's and it seems that there was at least a cosmetic effort made in this area. Can't say as much for the actual cells where most prisoners were kept.

This next cell has been preserved by donations – Grace Plunkett, nee Gifford, stayed here, she was a young artist who in 1916 had married, Joseph Plunkett an "insurgent" and one of the leaders of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin, in the prison chapel just hours before he was executed, was jailed in this cell during the 1923 Irish Civil War. She left this Madonna and Child painting.

Sorry that the size of these pictures are all over the place. I may take the time to clean that up and edit but it's too challenging for right now.

OK, to finally answer the prompt from the meme, on page 18, line 4 it says: “The prisons board began to look at ways of saving money by closing some prisons. Kilmainham was one of them.”

2. Stretch your left arm out as far as you can, what do you find?

A LED book light clipped to the top of a penholder cup/gizmo with little drawers in it to hold small office stuff like paperclips. The light doesn't work very well. It's a great idea, all flexible and with an LED the battery lasts a long time and the light doesn't get hot. It would be niceer if it actually illuminated the page in the dark, however.

3. What is the last thing you watched on TV?
Stargate SG1 season finale. Things look grim. The Ori ships are pounding the crap out of the good guy’s (and not so good guy’s) fleet.

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.

12:30 pm

5. Now look at the clock, what is the actual time?

12:44 pm – guess I need to wind my internal clock…

6. With the exception of the computer, what can you hear?

Cat meowing, dryer drying, SO prepping a load of wash – detergent, spin the dial, close the lid – now I hear the washer filling up. Now he’s gone into the bathroom – uh, I won’t tell you what I hear. Here's the cat at his place of honor at the Thanksgiving dinner table. Well, to be honest he grabbed the SO's chair the minute it was vacant. Ignore the timestamp on the photo - it was taken last November.

7. When did you last step outside? What were you doing?
This morning. I took John Grisham's The Broker and a cigarette out to the back porch and sat and read while I smoked it - the cigarette, not the book. Speaking of the book, I'm enjoying it a lot. It's very much all about Italy with a bit of a thriller plot thrown in for variety. Lots of language lessons and descriptions and history. The story about the protagonist is quite secondary so far. Even so, it is very engaging and I keep turning the pages because I know something interesting is going to happen. Outside today is very cold but sunny. The clouds haven’t come back yet so maybe we’ll get a break in the rain today.

8. Before you started this survey, what did you look at?
Jill’s post tagging me to do this. She called me the patron saint of memes. :-)

9. What are you wearing?

I have a heather brown turtleneck under a light brown Express sweatshirt that’s easily 25 years old and in great condition. They made this thing to last. My sister gave it to me and she’d had it for years herself before I got it. The outside is heavily embroidered in a kind of coat of arms with flowers and a shield in the middle. Above it in purple embroidery is "Provence" and under the shield is the year "1981" which might be the year Express went into business. Who knows? I like the sweatshirt and wear it a lot. Oh, and comfy old Levi's and some slippers that were my moms but she had never gotten to wear them - they were still in the original unopened package when we were packing up some of her things to give away to charity last year.

10. Did you dream last night?

I don’t remember any specifics of the dreams but I always dream.

11. When did you last laugh?

About two minutes ago. The cat and the SO were being cute - they're napping on the sofa now.

12. What is on the walls of the room you are in?
Not much - actually only one thing. A KQED (local public radio with NPR, etc) “Stars of KQED Radio” calendar where each month is a different baby picture of one of the announcers from KQED. This month is Kathryn Baron and she was a cutie. That’s it. Well, except for a few cobwebs up at the ceiling that I really should dust.

13. Seen anything weird lately?

I see weird everyday, all the time. I work at a high tech company. Folks love to put weird stuff in and around their cubes. Mostly it’s techie in-jokes and strange figurines of creatures invented for online gaming. Often it’s the actual techies. This is one of the top hit links when you Google "cube farm" - it's quite like what we have around my place of work.

14. What do you think of this quiz?

I’m having fun with it. I think I may use it for an AW Monday Meme – but not this week, I already have a good one recommended by someone from AW.

15. What is the last film you saw?
In a theatre: Narnia; on cable:(forgive me,) Dodgeball. It was the SO’s fault.

16. If you turned into a multi-millionaire overnight, what would you buy?
Nice homes for all my children and one for me & the SO that had a big library and a big room for him to have a pool table. He'd have a nice office for his computer and I'd have mine in the library with floor to ceiling wall to wall bookcases. Maybe with a pool and a jacuzzi. Oh, and new cars for all of us, then I'd buy a bookstore and lots of science fiction and fantasy inventory - more variety than I can find in the local Borders, B&N, etc. Then I’d invest the rest and live off the interest comfortably instead of squandering it on all the cool stuff I’d be tempted to squander it on.

17. Tell me something about you that I don't know.

Depending on who the “me” in tell me is, that could be anything or very little. Hmm. My eyes are hazel – almost green. Depending on what I wear they look browner or greener. Also, I played piccolo in the High School Marching Band. And I submitted a poem to The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction when I was 17 and got a nice hand written note on the form rejection slip from somebody – I doubt it was Ed Ferman, but that would have been cool - that said it was a fine poem but not suited to their current needs. I had read poetry there in the past so I thought maybe they'd like mine - the optimism of youth. It was my first attempt at professional publication. Then I got all busy with college and life and family and didn't try again. Till now - over 30 years later.

18. If you could change one thing about the world, regardless of guilt and politics, what would you do?
Nothing. I am a firm believer in the Prime Directive. If we meddle thinking we know better we end up with more problems. So I wouldn't change anything about the world, but I wish people would help more when they're asked to help. And just help with what they're asked to, not try and attach some moral or political strings to it.

19. Do you like to Dance?
Yes. Last time I danced, however, I did something to my hip that pained me for months and months and still have some aches there two years later. I won’t be “Twisting Like I Did Last Summer”, again.

20. George Bush.

It is a terrible shame that the Democrats couldn’t have found someone I could have voted for.

21. Imagine your first child is a girl, what do you call her?


22. Imagine your first child is a boy, what would you call him?

He is a boy, and I named him Matthew – I’d do it again.

23. Would you ever consider living abroad?

Yep. In order: Australia, Ireland, the UK. I’m a rabid Anglophile. I’d love to visit all sorts of other places but I’d want to live in those.

24. What would you want God to say to you when you reach the pearly gates?

"The loved ones who went before you, they’re are all here waiting for you so they can get the party going."

25. 4 people who must also do this theme in their journal.
Strictly voluntary. I’ll be posting it in a couple weeks as the AW Monday Meme – so you might want to wait.

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Jill said...

Hey Dawno! Well done! I LOVE the pics of your kids. I hope you do use this on AW - I wanted to tag Mac, Joanne et al but I was afraid, since I haven't been around much, you know - maybe I would be asking too much. :)

Hope you guys are great.

Anonymous said...

Tag back at you from the cube farm.
What can I say, us techies like to keep an eye on who's linking to our web site. It's more interesting than going to meetings.

Andy said...

In fact we like playing website tag almost as much as we like moaning about websites that forget the name you entered when you hit preview.

Dawno said...

Hey Anon and Andy - (or are you one in the same? kinda seems like it) Thanks for visiting! Loved your site. Drop by anytime.