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December 27, 2005

Seven sevens

Grrlscientist and Jill tapped me for this one. I'll figure out a way to get even with reward them some day.

Seven Things To Do Before I Die

1. Visit Washington, Montana, and Alaska, thus bringing the pointless list of US states I've been in to 50
2. Spend a summer in Bolivia
3. Drive to Tuktoyaktuk and dabble my toes in the Arctic Ocean
4. Hike at least the California portion of the Pacific Crest Trail
5. Become one of those Californians who sells a piece of inflated real estate and retires in an Intermountain West town, with access to mountains and desert so as to make both Becky and myself happy, probably Flagstaff.
6. Visit Australia or Ethiopia or Mauritius and dabble my toes in the Indian Ocean
7. Apologize sufficiently

Seven Things I Cannot Do

1. Free-climb El Capitan
2. Pay attention
3. Eat like I used to
4. Understand why people still support Bush
5. Keep up with my 76-year-old father-in-law
6. Figure out a way to keep Zeke with me for ten more years
7. Apologize sufficiently

Seven Things That Attract Me to…Blogging

1. The freedom to write without an editor
2. The risk involved in writing without an editor
3. Being able to be a writer instead of an editor
4. The instant feedback you guys provide
5. Having the sense that my blog doesn't fit into anyone's pre-defined blog categories
6. The discipline involved in having indistinct but immutable and terrifying deadlines
7. Attending the birth of a new literary form

Seven Things I Say Most Often

1. Admittedly
2. Wow
3. I don't want to go to work.
4. I love you, Becky
5. Let's GO, Zeke. I don't have all day.
6. Can you please put me on your "Do Not Call" list?
7. Mmmmmm coffee.

Seven Books That I Love

1. The River Why
2. The Desert Smells Like Rain
3. Black Sun
4. Big Rock Candy Mountain
5. Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place
6. Raven's Exile: A Season on the Green River
7. The Tortilla Curtain

Seven Movies That I Watch Over and Over Again

1. To Live (Huozhe): I've called it "the best movie made in the 20th Century," and meant it. Heartbreaking, beautiful, and devastatingly political.
2. Manufacturing Consent: A documentary and profile of Noam Chomsky by Mark Achbar and Peter Wintonick. There is plenty to criticise in Chomsky's work, and his fanatical admirers gve me the mild creeps, but this very watchable flick neatly disproves about 98 percent of the usual anti-Noamian talking points. And that's not even what it's really about.
3. Tremors: On the surface, a cheesy bad science fiction movie. Beneath the surface, a well-envisioned heroic saga with homage to deep mythic themes and trickster stories. Beneath that, still a cheesy bad science fiction movie. Also, I've camped and hiked on a few of the locations.
4. Pleasantville: A nice idea turned into an overwrought metaphor for civil rights, freedom of expression, and passion, then used to bludgeon the audience for an hour and a half. What's not to like?
5. Ganjasaurus Rex: When a subsistence pot-farming couple in Northern California decides to plant a few seeds of the new hybrid Cannabis sequoia, the strain's powerful resins awake a slumbering beast that evolved long ago to eat the gigantic pot trees. Can the city of Garberville be saved? And will the farmers elude the ineptly fascistic Campaign Against Marijuana Planting?
6. Office Space: Yeah... I'm just gonna go ahead and ask you to include this movie in the list here. Okay? Greaaaaaat.
7. Lonely Are The Brave: The first postmodrun Western, screenplay by Dalton Trumbo from the book The Brave Cowboy by Ed Abbey. Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) breaks into jail to help free a friend imprisoned for aiding illegal immigrants. Douglas later said this film was his favorite of all the westerns in which he'd played. Also stars Walter Matthau, William Schallert, and Carroll O'Connor, not to mention Gena Rowlands, of whom I would watch two hours if she sat at a table and read the newspaper silently.

Seven People I Want To Join In Too

Nina
Elissa
Beth
Bitch, PhD
Auguste
Tom
Carrie

Posted by Chris Clarke at December 27, 2005 11:54 AM TrackBack URL for this entry:
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Comments

thanks chris. i have spent most of my life in washington, some in montana and even a little bit of my life in alaska. these states are stunningly beautiful and have a diverse array of ecosystems -- all features that you would truly love. incidentally, and i am not sure i should mention this because you will probably be disappointed, but i've only ever heard of one of your favorite books. i think this makes me illiterate.

GrrlScientist

Posted by: GrrlScientist at December 27, 2005 12:38 PM
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Awww, Maaaan, I've never been tagged before! This may take a while...

Posted by: Carrie at December 27, 2005 03:29 PM
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Wow. This may just be the meme to end all memes. Thanks for the tag! - but I second what Carrie said re: time.

Posted by: Auguste at December 27, 2005 05:11 PM
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i watched ganjasaures rex in mckinleyville. never thought i would hear of it again. just because it is so local. tremors is kinda the same level, but rex gets no plays on tv.

Posted by: dread pirate roberts at December 27, 2005 07:00 PM
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6. Office Space: Yeah... I'm just gonna go ahead and ask you to include this movie in the list here. Okay? Greaaaaaat.

Well done.

I got tagged to do this but I can't get through the things before I die part. Creeps me out.

Posted by: eRobin at December 27, 2005 07:39 PM
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I liked Tortilla Curtain too, but I haven't found his other books to be quite as good. I do love saying his name though.

Posted by: KathyF at December 28, 2005 03:48 AM
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Well, I was pleasantly surprised to read that Ethiopia is on your list of places to visit. While Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world, it is one of the richest in history, natural beauty, culture, and wonderful cuisine. So, I do hope you get to experience the warmth of the culture, the ancient obelisks, the castles, rock-hewn churches, the Blue Nile falls, the Simien mountains, etc.

Sadly, I would be remiss if I didn't also write something about the current crisis in Ethiopia. The country that many non-Ethiopians have grown to love is on the verge of deteriorating into another Rwanda. Worldwide, Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia have been demonstrating and appealing to government officials to take strong action against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The current crisis began in May when in response to allegations of election fraud, the government opened fire on peaceful demonstrators. Since then thousands of opposition party leaders, suspected supporters, journalists, and people belonging to the "wrong" ethnic group have been terrorized, jailed, and killed. Government forces have charged into homes and killed children in front of parents and parents in front of children. The bodies are taken away and when the families go to reclaim them, they are forced to sign a statement that says their loved ones were killed by the opposition. It is reported that up to 100,000 people have been detained and are being tortured in secret prisons around the country.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has duped the West into believing he is promoting democracy and human rights in Ethiopia. In fact, Tony Blair not long ago lauded him as an exemplary African leader. Millions of dollars have been given in foreign aid and yet poverty worsens, democracy is absent, and the human rights abuses are horrific. The present situation should finally convince the world what Ethiopians have known for too long, Meles Zenawi is a despot masquerading as a progressive.

In response to the recent violence, Congressmen Chris Smith (surprisingly a Republican) has introduced a bill (HR-4423) in the House "To encourage and facilitate the consolidation of security, human rights, democracy, and economic freedom in Ethiopia." (http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:HR4423:) Unfortunately, the bill has only 2 sponsors and needs 21 to pass through Congress. The situation is dire. If you can, please ask your representatives to support this bill.

For more information about the crisis, please visit:

ethiopundit.blogspot.com
ethiopianreview.com
ethiomedia.com
savenega.org

Posted by: Injera at December 28, 2005 10:44 AM
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Doing this:
1. Visit Washington, Montana, and Alaska, thus bringing the pointless list of US states I've been in to 50

Might make this:
5. Become one of those Californians who sells a piece of inflated real estate and retires in an Intermountain West town, with access to mountains and desert so as to make both Becky and myself happy, probably Flagstaff.

A whole lot less likely in the long run.

One of the motivations for moving to Spokane, of all places,--other than it being enormously cheap for my fixed CALPRS retirement income--is that i have so much access to natural wonders and worlds in four states and two provinces. Deserts, canyonlands, ragged glaciated peaks, high mountains, stunning cottonwood filled creek bottoms, raging rivers (big ones), etc., all within less than a three hour drive radius.

Posted by: spyder at December 28, 2005 11:53 AM
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I recommend Ikiru, another movie whose title also translates to "To Live." It's a Kurosawa movie, about a bureaucrat who finally gets a fire lit under him. It's wonderful.

Posted by: Lisa Williams at December 28, 2005 01:10 PM
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Come visit us in Montana, Chris ... anytime. one day notice would be good. :)

Posted by: Maureen at December 28, 2005 03:06 PM
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I got infected by one of your spores. You really should keep your germs to yourself and not go spreading memes like that.

I'm with eRobin, those things to do before I die creep me out. I always put some really impossible things there so I won't be caught out.

Posted by: KathyF at December 29, 2005 05:25 AM
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I thought the "things to do before I die" was the easiest part of the whole list.

Posted by: PZ Myers at December 29, 2005 11:33 AM
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You know, we have the same taste =). At least for the books.

Posted by: Kate at December 29, 2005 12:42 PM
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For your #3 on things to do before you die, you should substitute Arctic Bay for Tuktoyuktuk, (and fly for drive) and come up here to dabble your toes in the Arctic Ocean. The ocean is painfully cold by the way. Waaay prettier up here.

Posted by: Clare at December 29, 2005 04:56 PM
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