Monday, November 24, 2008

Tag(ged), I'm It!

I've been "tagged" today (as in, "Tag, you're It!") by Bonnie Luria at St.Croix-nicity. I'm very flattered to have been chosen--thank you, Bonnie! You've made me feel so incredibly welcome in artists' blog-land!--especially since I just began my blog so recently. Bonnie said it's partly the diversity of my work that inspired her to tag me (I just mis-read that as "gag me"), which is really nice to hear, since I keep wondering if it's a bad thing to be doing so many different kinds of art.

These are the "tag" rules (paraphrased): Blogging (hate that verb) artists "tag" other artists, who then have to reveal some interesting and/or amusing facts about themselves, then at the end of their "revelations," they tag other artists they like (and let them know by commenting on their blog), for them to do the same.  Kind of like the chain letter thing in high school, only more about, as Bonnie says, homage, and not about being cursed for life if you break the chain (which I vaguely remember was what the high school stuff was about).

Okay, hmm, here goes:

1. I have to eat chocolate every single day. Literally. Preference is always high-quality dark chocolate, current favorite Chocolove 77% cacao. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.....

2. I'm the result of a Jewish mother and an Aryan German father. And my brother and I both have interesting names invented by our parents: I'm Jala, with the J pronounced as a Y; and my brother is Raman, with the stress on the second syllable. Oh, and I teach Spanish, and am married to an Indian (as in from India). Just to show you I'm a bit of an international stew.

3. Not to copycat Bonnie, but interestingly, I also have absolutely no sense of direction. (Now it's making me wonder about artists in general...) The only way I can get around driving is that in Boulder, you just have to always remember that the mountains are to your west. Boulder is precisely on the foothills--the Rocky Mountains literally rise up about ten blocks from my house. So, mountains = west. This is my driving mantra.  When someone says "Now go east...," I have to mentally picture where the mountains are and then think, okay, it's the opposite way, got it. As soon as I leave Boulder, I'm a mess and get lost immediately. Even in a mall.

4. I had artistic tendencies (drawing all the time) as a kid, but then did zero art from age 9 to 40. Now at 43, I think I'm trying to make up for lost time.

5. During those "lost art years" between age 9 and 40, I was almost entirely a left-brained person. I'm a writer (author of the novel Seducing the Rabbi, as well as many short stories, poems, and creative nonfiction), and have an M.A. in Linguistics, plus two more years' Ph.D. work in theoretical linguistics, plus I teach Spanish for a living, plus I get by in about six more languages, all of which were learned as second languages (English is my native language and the only thing spoken at home); I am fortunate to have a gift for learning languages really easily...  All left-brain stuff. Doing artistic right-brain things now, I swear, is like a brain massage and makes my brain go "Aaaaahhhhh...that's so niiiiiiiiice..."

6. I'm an extremely nocturnal person. I've tried a million times to change it but I'm just hard-wired that way. Given my choice, I tend to go to bed at around 3am and get up at around 1pm. So sue me.

7. We have seven animals (once we were up to 11--god, how embarrassing). If it were feasible, I would probably have as many as I could. And all different kinds... I feel completely at peace around animals, and it's hard when I travel and don't have that physical contact with them. 

One of our Golden Retrievers (and by the way, all our animals are rescued animals; I'm blind with rage when it comes to people purchasing designer pets and puppy-mill pet-store dogs instead of adopting animals from shelters) is a Certified Animal-Assisted Therapy dog; I used to take him to the local hospital to visit people, mostly people in surgery waiting rooms waiting tensely for news of their loved ones.  Jazz (the dog) absolutely loved this work, but it turned out I didn't like it, mostly because I'd have to hear over and over again from people stuff like, "Oh...your dog is beautiful. He reminds me of this one dog I used to have...blah blah blah...and then he got hit by a car."  I.e., I had to hear what I refer to now as Dead Dog Stories all day, and I decided I just couldn't deal with the weight of all those marvelous doggie ghosts heaped upon me repeatedly.

And now I'm tagging:

Bonnie Luria (ha ha, kidding, you've been tagged enough for now)

Bill from On Painting (ha ha, Bill, now you're double-tagged)

More art on my website:


Anonymous said...

Jala- great job you've done here.
And a very impressive list of accomplishments.
Now I see the two similarities but you'd be floored to know there's really more.
It's about animals.
Not just the two cats and two dogs that I have, but a photo that I will email to you.
Then you'll see what I'm referring to.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading your bits and revelations.
I hope I have your email address.

Bonnie said...

Jala - I knew there was a lot of good in you, but to think you eat chocolate every day too - kindred spirits we are.