Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Ten Things I've Done Others Might Not Have

As my day was pretty boring (did some editorial work, went to the Finnish dialects lecture and read some Erasmus of Rotterdam's The Praise of Folly and other texts for my thesis), I'll bore you out, too, with yet another meme. I got the idea from vierran45 who had taken the idea from someone else - well, you know how these things work.

I think it'd be cool to find out what other people may have done that I haven't and that's why I'll list here the ten things in my life I think not everyone has done. Most of them are such that I'm sure there are a lot of people who've done the same, but my life hasn't exactly been a treasure chest of completely unique experiences and adventures...

1. I've had lunch with Neil Gaiman.
Actually, it was Neil who ate and I was interviewing him at the same time (he'd agreed to this, so it's not like I interrupted his meal or anything). He was such a nice person to talk to and it was very gracious of him to answer my questions during his lunchbreak. I'm such a huge fan of his that this'll probably be an experience I'll remember forever. And I have the tapes of the interview as proof that this really happened!

2. I've had a Sandman original drawn for me by Bryan Talbot.
Well, this sort of relates to the previous one, doesn't it? Bryan Talbot was visiting in Turku in 2000 and I was there to interview him. And a long story made short, I asked him if he could draw me a picture of Sandman and he did. It's signed "for Johanna" and it hangs on my bedroom wall. My precious...

3. I've slept in the lobby of the local movie theatre.
This I can't claim is something others haven't done, since I had quite a few fellow sleepers there with me. We were waiting in line for the premier tickets of the Return of the King. We got there in the afternoon and stayed over night, since the tickets were sold in the morning. There were hundreds of people waiting and the lobby was a general area of group sleepiness during the night. What was funny about it though, was that at some point of the night (around 4 a.m. or so, if I remember right?) I and my friends ended up giving some advise to the manager of the theatre about the whole morning line up procedure... I just can't keep my hands off of anything I can organize..

4. I've been a high school football team mascot during a homecoming game.
I can't even remember how the thing actually came to be, but somehow (this was when I was an exchange student in the States) I ended up hopping about the football field in an eagle-suit... The head of that bird (it was called Jasper the Eagle, btw) was a huge thing and the body was a bright blue fake fur sort of material. So I was hot as heck inside and in addition actually got a minor claustrophobic attack while entertaining the crowd. The kids would come and bang on the head of the eagle, which felt totally uncomfortable inside - not to mention the fact that there was no way I could see where they were coming from. I didn't last till the half time show, I had to get out of the suit quickly after mingling with the audience. Phew. Ever since I've had a few doubts of ever wearing for example a motorcycle helmet... Go figure.

5. I've dined with a prince, a duke and a marquis in an old mansion.
Sounds really fancy, doesn't it? Maybe I ought not to explain anything about this and let you all believe I'm really popular among the royalty and live a life that's right out of a romance novel... :) Nah, this is the story. A few years back I was a conference assistant in a conference that dealt with the history of the knightly orders, such as the Order of Malta, the Templars, the Teutonic Knights and so on. Naturally there were quite a few knights attending and as it is, there still are some nobiliary requirements to some of these orders. For example for the Order of Malta. (Except that the lay members don't necessarily have to be noble (there are separate rules for this), and that's why the marquis of the above mentioned group once suggested that if I ever wanted to become a Dame of the Order, all I had to do was to become a Catholic and he'd speak on my behalf...Yeah.) However, the formal conference dinner took place in a very beautiful mansion and there were about 30 or so people there. It just happened that I was there too, with all the noble people I mentioned. Not as glamorous as I would like to think.

6. I've had a Finnish Olympic Team swimmer buy me drinks.
He just happens to be one of my brother's best friends and I've known him for more than 10 years now. When he graduated from high school (he actually didn't swim in the Olympic Team back then) I was partying along with him, a bunch of other top notch swimmers of the time (my brother included) and he bought me a few drinks during the evening. Had a darned good time, too.

7. I've had a full lecture hall cheer at what I was saying.
I was the chairperson of the Finncon X - Eurocon 2003 convention and I got to say the opening and closing words of the official con program. The closing ceremony was almost completely improvised on my part, but it went great and as I thanked everyone involved, the crowd went wild. It was quite a feeling to stand in front of hundreds of people and listen to them cheer and applaude. I could've burst out of pride at that moment. :)

8. As a kid I fed my toy Volvo toiletpaper and tucked the same toy car in for the night in a baby doll's bed.
Yup, I wasn't one of those little girls who played with dolls. I had plastic cars. And horses, which were fed oats I had picked up from a nearby field. At least that was a bit closer to the target than the toiletpaper.

9. I've whitewater rafted in the States (Snake River).
And so much fun it was! I'd love to do it again some day.

10. I've spent a Halloween in a funeral home, sleeping right next to the coffins.
One more curious thing that happened during my year in the States. There was a Halloween party for us exchange students and what would be a more appropriate place for such a party than a funeral home? We got to sleep in a room which was right next to the "show room" where they held the coffins. We were appropriately spooked by all of it, of course. But it was, by far, the best Halloween party I've ever attended. Which is sort of sad, really. :)

So there. Now it's your turn! :)


Anonymous said...

I find it interesting that 3 of your top 10 life highlights occurred while you were here in the states. You have indeed had some interesting experiences and offer a great challenge to us all to come up with our own list.

Johanna said...

Hi, Greg! I was just thinking about you a few days ago and pondering whether you're still visiting. Nice to hear from you! And yes, you're right. The year in the States was probably the most unusual thing that has ever happened to me. I could've probably named a few other things from my exchange year, but I thought I must've done something interesting after that, too. Otherwise people are going to think I haven't had a life since... Not that I really have either, but I can always try to fool myself! ;) But I don't know if I'd call all of these highlights in my life, definitely not the toy Volvo thing anyway... That's strictly a thing I've done and others most likely haven't.:)