This "Foursies" meme, aka assignment, is courtesy Lee, by way of Sandi. What are friends for, right? I'm turning in my work late so am providing photographs for extra credit.
4 Jobs I've held
1) Hardware/Home Improvements/Auto Accessories Sales Associate. My favorite duty was--surprise--mixing paints. I occasionally got to roam into the toy department and set up the Barbie and Hot Wheels displays. Middle management, sadly, determined I was overqualified for my life in screwdrivers and Turtle Wax, and so I was kicked up to:
2) Credit Department Associate. This was before the era of online credit reports and my days were spent in engaging phone conversations with a computer with Attitude: "I'm sorry, San, I'm not allowed to approve that." Of course it was I, not HAL, who had to report the disheartening rejections to the appliance and furniture salespeople. They always took the news poorly. After all, their livelihoods depended on hard-selling every soul who wandered into their department, and their departments magnetized the bankrupt, the jobless, and the convicted. This is the job that thickened my skin and prepared me for:
3) Weight Loss Counselor. Talk about the lean years.
4) Adjunct, Part-time College Instructor. Don't tell me you're unloved, unappreciated, and underpaid. Unless you happen to be a part-time, adjunct faculty member. Then we'll talk.
4 Movies I have/would watch over and over again
1) Enchanted April. Ennui-ridden Londoners retreat to the Italian countryside for a month. Become re-enchanted with life. I want to go there, do that sometime.
2) Chocolat. The chemistry on bodily and soul levels is as powerful as a red-pepper-infused cup of Mayan cacao.
3) Little Women. Sarandon, Ryder, Dunst, & Danes. Dazzling ensemble. And Christian Bale looking amazingly young. He was. That was 1994.
4) To Kill a Mockingbird. One of the few films that does justice to a remarkable book. From the beginning credits, which to this day almost bring me to tears--that kid opening the box--like a Pandora's box of nostalgia--to the last minutes when the fearful Boo Radley turns out to be a a life-saving hero, and an autistic one at that, and played by Robert Duvall at that. Yes, that was Robert Duvall. I love that.
4 places I've lived
1) Montgomery, Alabama. Home of The White House of the Confederacy and The Hank Williams Museum.
2) San Francisco, California. In 1982 I won a round-trip plane ticket to the U.S. city of my choice. I picked The City by the Bay, flew there, fell in love with it, flew back to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, packed my bags, and that time, purchased a one-way ticket. A fortuitous move.
3) Pacifica, California. Bennie and I bought a little "fixer" house set back in a grove of eucalyptus trees. The first home our family called our own. Eye-popping FLOWER POWER wallpaper from the sixties, avocado and orange shag from the seventies. The shag we carted off to the landfill, and thanks to Bennie's sanding skills, beautiful hardwood surfaced from underneath it all. And yes, lovely bare walls lurked beneath the wallpaper. The exterior of our house we painted to blend with the foliage of the eucalyptus, more specifically, the undersides of the foliage of the eucalyptus, a soft sage green with undertones of gray. My paint-mixing background came in handy here.
4) Currently, in Eldorado, a "planned, rural" subdivision several miles outside of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Affectionately known as The White Man's Rez. We've lived in this house for almost ten years. Not a dream house, but we can sit on the deck on summer evenings and gaze at the foothills. Such a view puts it all in perspective.
4 people I want to "Bitch Slap right into the middle of next week"
OK, the question asked for 4, the photo provided 5, so I erased the least despicable.
4 People who email me regularly
3) blogger-help-troubleshoot group
4) the penis-enhancement product pusher (Goes by various aliases, such as Aubrey Cunningham and Horatio Kilt, and I don't really have the raw material to be enhanced, but we'll let him continue in his ignorance. His emails are a riot!)
4 TV shows I watch
1) House. The TV show with the delightfully misleading title. Tune in expecting home makeovers and you get more, so much more. For starters, a gimpy physician who's kind of cute in a walking, talking Bitch Slap kind of way. I mean Doc House takes bedside manner and disrespect in the workplace to unfathomable lows. And there's an ongoing subplot that suggests he himself is addicted to painkillers. Even so, you just gotta love him. He always figures out what freakishly improbable disease has taken over a patient's body, always at the eleventh hour, and always over the dead bodies of a clutch of colleagues who have proclaimed him nuts. He is. And that's why he intuits the disease of the week. He's down on the same sick level. The "wounded healer" incarnate.
1) EXtreme Makeovers (Home Edition). Admitted, the Queen for a Day slant cloys a bit and I did want to bitch-slap-into-the-middle-of-next-week that designer who put SIX TVs in a kid's room. And yes, sometimes the wallpapers chosen make me a bit seasick. But I'm a sucker for seeing, week after week, an army of decorators, armed with dynamite and color swatches, blow an unlivable hovel into smithereens only to bring it back as a particular family's idea of a dream house.
3) 60 Minutes. Andy Rooney's 5 makes the other 55 worth it.
4. Two and a Half Men. OK. Bennie dragged me in to see this one. Witness the heel marks from the computer to the TV room. But I have to admit: Gratuitous sex humor is all it's cracked up to be. I'm hooked.
4 Places I've visited
1) Graceland. Hey, that carpet in Elvis's Jungle Room looks like the stuff we carted out of the Pacifica house.
2) 1980 Picasso Retrospective, MOMA, New York. Last chance to see Guernica before it was crated and shipped back to Espana. Worth it? Yup. BIG YUP.
3) UFO Museum, Roswell, New Mexico. And I got the salt and pepper shakers to prove it.
4) The Louvre. Better than Two and a Half Men.
And I've made the Seine with real live Parisiennes. That too--all it's cracked-up to be.
But Versailles? Totally overrated. And oversized.
4 favorite foods
1) Blue corn enchiladas, smothered in smokin' hot green chile. Served with a side of posole and a basket of light-as-air sopapillas. The kind they used to serve at La Choza. That place, last time I checked, had slid backwards faster than a Baptist kid on spring break.
2) The cookies that Flannery and I make every Christmas. The Christmas skulls are an all-time favorite.
3. My grandmother's turnip greens. She would go, leaf by leaf, through a big pile of greens--she called it "a mess" of greens--remove the stems and the bigger veins, so as to maximize tenderness, place them in a large pot with water and a dollop of bacon fat and a pinch of sugar. The sugar was her secret ingredient, just a touch to do a little tango with the bitterness of the greens. She'd simmer this for the better part of a day. I could eat the whole pot of greens, and the liquid that was left in the bottom I could guzzle like a milk shake. In the south they call that left-over liquid where vegetables have simmered for hours pot liquor and they have their reasons. It's highly drinkable and will alter your senses straightaway.
4) My mother's cream-style corn. Not to be confused with that mucilaginous, sucrose-and-corn-starch-riddled mess sold in cans. Genuine cream corn is made from corn. Nothing else, except for a little water. You shuck some corn--what they call "roasting ears," remove the silk, turn each ear upright, and proceed to clip the tip off each kernel by sliding a big knife down each side. Then you scrape the husk thoroughly, getting all of the corn goo out of the crevices once occupied by the clipped kernels. That's the cream in cream-style corn. You put it all in a big skillet and cook it until it turns to this unbelievably delectable creamy concoction, chock-full of those little bits of corn you clipped so meticulously. You can add a little butter, but believe me, you don't even need that. And don't make me bitch slap you--you don't need sugar!
4 places I'd like to be right now
1) Gathering around a big table in some local-color-infused place in Tres Leches with the San Antonio Contingent.
2) Having coffee with Jo down the street from the gallery.
3) Standing in the Cloud Gate sculpture in Chicago's Millennium Park, alongside my partner in life. Looking up at our reflected selves repeating, getting smaller and smaller, all the way to the vanishing point. An experience that is both disquieting and somehow reassuring.
4) Sitting in La Basilique du Sacre Coeur, listening to the nuns/angels sing the evening into being, just like that evening four years ago. The deja vu would be good for this jaded soul.
4 things I'm looking forward to this year
1) The lavender and the Jupiter's beard coming into bloom outside my studio window. Should happen next month.
2. Summer sunsets, as seen from the balcony outside our bedroom.
3) Oakley moving home for the summer. The household conversations always ratchet up several notches in the stimulation quotient when Mister Mokes is around.
4) Christmas. Can't help myself. It's always fun to add another beast to our Nativity tableau. Did I mention I've been to the UFO Museum?
And now I'm to tag four other bloggers. In keeping with the spirit of this "extra credit" assignment, I tag five:
1. Paula. And I award you the BIG E for excellent blogging.
2. Kim. And I award you the BIG E for excellent blogging.
3. Sparkling Red. And I award you the BIG E for excellent blogging.
4. John-Michael. And I award you the BIG E for excellent blogging.
5. Lime. And I award you the BIG E for excellent blogging.
Note: You don't have to include photos. That was my "extra credit" part of the assignment. As a matter of fact, you don't even have to complete the assignment. But do feel free to pass on the BIG E to other worthy bloggers. And thank you for being the excellent bloggers you are.