Monday, September 10, 2012

ROW 80 DAY 59 -- BLOGGER IDOL 2012


While stumbling around Amazon Prime, I ran across an old friend, “I, Claudius,” and dived right into the first episode. I have read the Robert Graves novel that the 1976 BBC-produced series is based on at least eleventy-billion times. While watching and enjoying this immensely, I started to remember my own very memorable trip down History lane, a.k.a., Western Civilization, when I was in college. I sucked up Western Civilization History and facts like a true Hoover vacuum-cleaner.

I was commenting on a friend’s blog today about what a fantastic pair of history fans my parents were, especially my father. He had an enormous capacity for names, places and dates, but I outdid him. Once, he was working a crossword puzzle. This was in 1979. We were way up in the upper peninsula of Michigan in January, snowed in. All of a sudden he blurts out, “a six-letter word for a province in Yugoslavia.” I spit back, “Bosnia,” without even thinking. He just goggled at me.

Anyway, I was about 8 and Winston Churchill was in the process of dying on account of he was 90 jillion years old. Actually, he was 95 and had a storied life. They were in the process of talking about some of the highlights and I remember my dad filling in a lot of the details, like how he was captured during the Boer War and escaped. Winnie had a remarkable life. I asked my father, who was 35 years old at the time if he knew everything there was to know, since it seemed to me he knew rather a lot. He answered, no, and that he wouldn’t even if he lived forever.

Well, his love of history is infused in me. My mother’s love for learning leaned more to the inner advancement of people and histories. I’ve found that I’m more interested in this type of learning now, than I was when I was younger. No, when I was younger, I just wanted to study about the usual stuff you study about; usually wars and mayhem. We seem to do that a lot.

So,  we start out with the Dawn of Man. Walk upright. Fire. Ho hum. Ur. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece. Rome! Now, we’re talking. All along, I’m assiduously taking notes and studying away. I ran across my notes from Rome. Oh. My. God. My inner something came out. I really enjoyed this class, but by the time we hit Rome, I knew this part. I had read every book on Rome, knew all the players, so the notes go something like this:

Brothers Gracchi: Tiberiau and Gaius were plebeian nobles who served as Tribunes in the Roman Senate in late 2nd BCE. They attempted to introduce and pass land reform legislation, blah, blah… In addition to other reforms… After achieving some early success, both were assassinated for their efforts. My notes then read in a scribble: 3rd Gracchi bro drove chariot drunk into the Tiber River. I actually wrote that and blurted it out to my History professor in a fit of hoo ha. He looked at me like I was daft. I pretended my shoe was untied. I was 37 years old when I did this.

We Now Interrupt This Fine Blog For a Shameless Plug for Blogger Idol 2012

First off, as Ricky would say, "Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do..."

Okay, I ran across a blog last night on my nightly cyber terrorism and it is a contest for Blogger Idol for 2012. You need not have any experience, or apparently writing talent, so hey, this is my kind of contest. After reading the rules and assiduously filling out the instructions and what not and then looking at some hilarious videos of idiots crashing trucks at Russian filling stations, I was all set to write my 250 to 500 words and give these fine people their due for letting me enter their contest. They have no idea what they've let into their lives. So, in my usual slap-dash in a hurry, confuse-a-what way, I've entered the contest, and at their request, am claiming a few bragging rights and extending invitations to you all to enter as well. The deadline is September 20, 2012. There will be 12 finalists chosen. It will be fun and one thing I have learned is that bloggers are a generous and fun bunch of ad-hoc-ian folks, if I may be allowed such a term. This is what I presented as my entrance essay:

I have led a storied life. At the age of 56, I have had careers as a professional violist, and also, a computer engineer at IBM, Verizon and the city of Gastonia Police Department of North Carolina. I've traveled and played viola and violin with symphonies and also played backup for such varied groups as Styx, Alan Parsons Project and Johnny Mathis. In 2010, due to ill health and the failing economy, I lost my house and became homeless. I spent over two months in the hospital and had to learn to walk again. I am legally blind and don’t really play well with others any more, figuratively speaking. I am on SSDI and am making the journey back to something resembling a life. I should also mention that after all of that recovering and becoming non-homeless, I had to be committed and am on the road to sanity maybe, but that’s sort of an iffy day-to-day kind of thing; you know how that is. Actually, this bipolar condition is rather fun; I never know which me I’m going to be from day to day. All joking aside, I am learning that my life is rich and full and much more than I ever imagined. My writerly friends help keep me going. My journey is one of grace, redemption, a life certainly not wisely lived, but one I enjoy sharing. I still live near the shelter where I was housed when homeless; I try to help when I can; there are people worse off than I. I do think I deserve a shot at becoming “Blogger Idol 2012,” however, I am a brand-new baby writer. This would be my 3rd career and I love doing this. Just being here is a gift and a hoot. Thanks for the opportunity!

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