Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The 7 Unusual Things About Me Tag

As I told San when she tagged me for this, I've spent more time trying to fit in and be usual than unusual. So this is going to be a bit awkward as I dredge through years of personal history to find 7 things. Some of them may not be that unusual.

1) For the 3 months after I was born I would not allow myself to be put down. If my Mother, Grandmother, or Grandfather tried I screamed until someone picked me up again. During this period Dad went off to fight in the Korean War. Can you imagine the round the clock shifts of parenting this took to keep me calm? Guess it was a good thing I was born in the upstair bedroom of Grandmother's house. There were loving arms ready to help Mom survive her post natal stressor, me.

2) Because I was cross eyed as a child I never developed depth perception. Not even after corrective surgery in 5th & 6th grades. My eyes work independantly of one another and my brain ignores the one not pointed directly at the object I'm looking at. So it goes off to look to the side. That affects peripheral vision too. I have less than the normal range. This makes many things more difficult. I'm terrible at most sports, especially those involving balls moving towards me. But for marksmanship it works out pretty well as you only use one eye to sight along a rifle barrel.

3) When I was in elementary school, this would have been in 5th grade, I became a human ball. I was so slender and light that the other kids would gather around me, pick me up, and throw me from one group to another. Or toss me in the air and watch me land. I got pretty good at using my legs as springs to take up the shock.

4) When I went through bootcamp I was happy and at peace with my world for the first time. That sounds weird even to me. Bootcamp is supposed to be hard and often a miserable experience. Instead I knew exactly what was expected of me and that worked so well for me that I found myself mentally singing happy songs while marching in formation.

5) My voice has a much greater range than I can actually use when performing with the choir. It all depends on who I'm following and how relaxed I am. When following a soprano I can sing most of the way up to the top of second soprano. When following the altos I have the full range now, that wasn't the case as a teenager in high school. When I have a really strong tenor voice right beside me I can now follow him partway down into that range. I've even tackled some of the higher bass notes. I discovered I could do this while singing along with the choir director at Krueger Middle School. Even he was impressed.

6) I tried out for a broadway style musical in college by singing a Korean War Song. It was Hut Sut Ralston on the Rillarah. The director was amazed and I got a part in the chorus. Here's a video clip from the Fibber & Molly Magee show of a quartet singing it.

7) I know songs from 4 wars. That probably isn't that unusual for people my age but I think it is kind of interesting. My grandparents taught me WWI songs, including Good Morning Mr. Zip. My Dad taught my sister and me stuff from WWII and the Korean War. I grew up during the Vietnam War so all those popular numbers from Hello Vietnam were familiar. And now I guess I have to add songs from a 5th war to my musical repertoir, the War on Terrorism. Who doesn't know that song by Toby Keith, Couresy of the Red, White, & Blue.


San said...

Thank you for being a sport and playing along, Lee. You are a very interesting person. Then again, I knew that! But how cool to learn these details.

I would say that being born in the bedroom at the time you were born was rather unusual in itself. No? Our generation was sandwiched between those for whom home birth was the norm and this newer age of highly trained midwives who encourage home birth.

My own eyes play havoc with my depth perception, mainly because my acuity is lopsided--far weaker in one eye than the other. So the vision in one eye is sometimes suppressed. I have tried patching one eye, then the other, for a few minutes--during quiet, relaxed times. And this seems to encourage the weaker eye to let go and see. It also makes me aware of both sides of my brain, how each channel of perception is pretty different.

I envy your vocal range!

The Girl Who Loved Boot Camp--I believe you may have a made-for-tv movie angle here. The soundtrack will be songs from four wars.

Lee said...

Thanks San! I'm glad you find the details interesting.

Actually the hospitals were all full because it was during the Korean War, or so my Mom told me.

I've tried the patching one eye. It didn't seem to help at the time. When I'm really sick I can force both eyes to come together but what I see is struggled with by my brain as evidenced by the headache I get after trying that.

It would be nice to get the training needed to make full use of my vocal range.

LOL Well if it was going to be a movie I'd want you to write the script. But I like the songs from four wars idea. It might be a very popular soundtrak.


Sandi McBride said...

Do you know Coming in on a Wing and a Prayer? I'll bet you do! I told San I couldn't wait to see yours, and it was as great as I expected...I am picturing you as a human ball...

Lee said...

Yes, Sandi! Somewhere in my collection of music, I've got my grandmother's sheet music for that song.

Thank you, I'm so glad you liked it.

While in an odd way I enjoyed the kids attention, today I'm afraid that might not be tolerated.


murat11 said...

Maybe we should give #3 a try during the Fellowship Walk?

Lee said...

LOL Not! :) Thanks for stopping by Paschal.


jsd said...

murat - your comment makes me laugh, though it would gather much attention, and the church is always looking for new ways to get folks interested.

lee - i totally get #4, but in the ned that's one of the things that felt so limiting. i'm envious of those vocal cords - i only sound really good by accident and not often.

Lee said...

Heh! Yeah, Paschal's comment made me laugh too.

Figured you'd understand #4, JS. You're one of the few friends I have who actually served. Someday you need to tell me about your experiences there. :)

Can't claim to sound good, JS. I need to exercise that range and strengthen breath control bigtime. Nice thing is it helps me follow any line I'm hearing when singing with the choir, no matter the part they sing. :)

Glad to see you this evening. Was nice to log on to Dad's machine and find a note from you.


david mcmahon said...

Songs from FOUR wars! You're a genius.

Lee said...

Thank you, David! Actually I just like music a lot and the memories mean something to me. You've got a pretty large song library running around that well educated brain of yours too. How many wars can you sings songs from?


Saz said...

lovely post..unusual in itself!!

Pat - Arkansas said...

If I knew you personally, I'd say you were a very interesting woman! Even not knowing you "in real life" I believe I can say that. I'm old enough to be your mama, and I, too, remember songs from way back. One of my favorite WWII songs was "White Cliffs of Dover."

Congrats on POTD, and thanks for visiting my blog.

Lee said...

Thank you, Frumpy! Glad you stopped by.


Lee said...

Pat, thank you for stopping by and also for the compliment. It warms me to know that people find me intersting. That's how we choose our friends isn't it?


larkswing said...

Over from David's . . .

That is a fun list! I think being tossed from group to group is scary and exhilirating but better than the time I was knocked over and stepped on! :)

Louise said...

Wow! A human ball! I hope you're not paying for that with joint pain today!

Over from Authorblog.

Lee said...

Thank you Imerie! It was fun at times. So sorry you had that awful experience. Hope it left no permanent scars.

So glad you visited!


Lee said...

Hi Louise! Thank you for popping over. No, I'm not experiencing any joint pain, but sometimes I wonder how much my ego might have suffered from that experience.


Merisi said...

Hi Lee,
congratulations for winning a spot on David's POTD list and thank you for your kind comment on my blog! :-)

It can't have been easy for you to be treated like a human ball! My bones start aching just thinking of you flying through the air.

Like you, I was born in my parents home. It was still done in the Sixities, in the rural part of Austria. The midwives were well educated, and the doctor always on call. My four children were born in the hospital, this being the USA, and fortunately each of them could have just as easily come into this world at home.

Lee said...

Hi Merisi,

Thank you for visiting and you're very welcome. You have a lovely place.

Yes, it was difficult at times. The friend who initieated this practice was a bit of a bully. I think she liked me well enough...just probably didn't have the best home education on how to treat friends.

Being born at home certainly had its blessings. Nice to hear we have that in common. I think it might have been interesting if Mom had a midwife. Instead she had a doctor and his nurse show up at Grandmother's house. I'm glad your babes were born safe and sound. I hear mine was a rough delivery.


Anonymous said...

I'm also over from David's...

Brilliant post, I really did enjoy it. I was another one of those babies that refused to be set down. I drove my poor parents to the brink of insanity :)

Lee said...

Welcome, Epijunky! I'm so glad you enjoyed the post. And Hallelujah! It's wonderful to know that my parents weren't the only ones to have to deal with that kind of behavior. Thank you for sharing!


Travis Cody said...

This is a great introduction to you. Thanks for visiting my place today!

And thank you for your service.

Lee said...

Thank you, Travis! It was a honor to serve. I'm glad you found my odd bits interesting. Hope you'll come back soon.


Jules~ said...

It is always fun to read things about people that they choose to share. Thank you for sharing. I too have eyes that work separate from each other. I have had a few muscle surgeries over the years to correct the "wandering eye" issue when it created fierce pains for me. Much of the time I find myself tilting my head to one side in favor of the eye my brain listens to.

And a human ball?! Was that a fun experience?

Lee said...

Hi Jules! The wandering eye thing is common for folk who don't develop "fusion" which gives us our depth perception. I've had the surgeries too, but I guess I can check to see if I tilt my head. Never thought of that.

It was a form of attention and I kind of took pride in being able to land, but basically, it was bullying so I'd have to say that being a human ball was not all that much fun. I'd have rather been the last seat on the see saw.


San said...

Lee, you have another award over at my place...

Lee said...

On my way, San! I think it is interesting that we were blogging at the same time.