Sunday, January 07, 2007

Five Things You Don't Know About Me

My friend "Other Lisa" over at The Paper Tiger tagged me with the equivalent of blog chain-mail. See her post for the details. And her background. She's one of the coolest people I know. She and I worked on Jerry Brown's presidential campaign about 1000 years ago (or 14, if anyone's counting). It's hilarious when we go out together because people ask our names, and instantly get confused.

I feel that, having been online quite vocally since 1993, there's very little of importance that people don't know about me. Much of my life has been an open book. If you know me at all, you probably know about my New Year's Eve dance with Hugh Jackman (during his show "The Boy From Oz,"), my $5000 screenwriting award (that's in descending order of importance), my European speaking tour on the environmental damage after 9/11, and certainly, my long hard years in the trenches researching and debating the secret history of the assassinations of the sixties. But I thought I'd take up the challenge and try to think of five things most people don't know about me. So here goes.

1. I skipped two grades, although it didn't really feel that way: one was Kindergarten, and the other was my senior year of High School. My mother was a schoolteacher so I learned to read very early, and the other kids in Kindergarten were evidently upset that I could read the captions on all the film strips, so I got booted into the first grade. Re the High School skip, I had spent the summer before studying harp at Tanglewood, a music camp set in the Berkshires in Massachusetts. When I came back, I had so enjoyed living on my own that I wanted to go right to college. My parents, amazingly, said OK, and worked to make it happen. (That also means I graduated college in under four years. What was the rush, I wonder now?)

2. I mentioned the harp. I was actually pretty good. Soloed with the prestigious Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra. Played Debussy's amazing Danse sacree et profane with a string ensemble in college. Won a couple of contests. Played a bunch of weddings and restaurants, but tired of two things: having to park a station wagon in LA, where spots are only big enough for a Honda, and having to load the dang thing into the car with the help of whatever stranger happened to be passing by. If I'd had a BIGGER station wagon I could have loaded it myself (and had an even HARDER time finding a place to park). And besides, you can't argue the details of the Kennedy assassination when you're dressed in a flowing gown and have a harp between your legs!

3. I was accepted into law school at one point. I managed to get a perfect score on the logic section of the test, probably because I had been doing logic puzzles since I was a child. I was one of those kids that actually loved to take tests in school. I looked forward to exams. I read Stephen Hawking for fun. Yeah, I'm a geek to the core. (That's why I love ABC's "Ugly Betty," by the way!) I spent a summer running around, talking to everyone I knew or could find in the legal profession, trying to find out if they liked their job, if I was making the right move. When all but one told me DON'T DO IT(!!), I swallowed hard. It was going to be a huge amount of student loans for something I might not enjoy. The one guy who loved it was fairly new at the job and predominantly working on pro bono cases. Yeah, I would have liked THAT, to be sure. They all said you'll love school and you'll hate the practice. So I ditched that idea at the last minute. I'm sure there are lots of lawyers who love, or at least, don't hate, their jobs. But I couldn't find any that summer, and I took that as a sign, for better or for worse.

4. I got to view Mars through the huge Griffith Observatory telescope one night! I was the last person in line, and so the guy running the telescope allowed me an extraordinary amount of time. He brought me a pad and paper and had me sketch what I saw (essentially light and dark areas--it's not exactly close). Then he pulled down a book of Mars photos and maps so we could figure out what part of Mars was facing us. That was so cool. The cosmic experience I had that topped that was an incredibly clear viewing of the incredible Leonids meteor shower. It was like watching fireworks at a low angle, all in white. I'd never seen anything that stunning until I saw the Aurora Borealis glowing and dancing and changing colors in the sky in Vermont one night. That was the eeriest, most beautiful natural phenomenon I have ever witnessed.

5. I have seen more wild animals in Los Angeles than in any other place I've ever lived, which is odd, but welcome. I've seen -- in a single sighting for each grouping -- six parrots, three gray whales, twelve dolphins, a large herd of deer chowing down on someone's backyard lawn just below Griffith Park, a coyote, a little red fox (near Fox Hills Mall, no wonder), and a wild bobcat (a fierce little devil - he/she killed a squirrel right in front of me), all in fairly residential areas of Los Angeles (except the sea mammals, which I saw just off the coast in Malibu). The whale sighting was the most magical. Two huge creatures and a baby lifted their heads vertically. Some people on the beach saw them, and an amazing number never even looked. Those who did all stood and stared for what felt like hours as they spyhopped, checking us out from not more than 25 yards offshore, before diving back into the unseen depths and continuing their yearly migration.

Now, because I don't believe in chain letters, I'm going to end this here. BUT - if you want, please post five things I don't know about you, either in the comments or linked from the comments. That might keep us all from suffering under some dreaded curse from having broken the blogmeme!


Blogger Other Lisa said...

You don't want gout now, do you? Mwah hah hah!!!!!

9:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blog entry. I've been reading your stuff for years, first in Probe/CTKA and then in the anthology. It's interesting to learn about those who spend countless hours trying to find the truth behind the assasinations. I work as a paralegal and I have to say that your decision not to attend law school was probably a wise one. Five things, huh?

1) This year I've read (as it's relevant here): Turner's The Assasination of Robert F. Kennedy, The Very Best Men by Evan Thomas, JFK: the case for Conspiracy by Model & Groden, See No Evil by Robert Baer.

2) I'm a liberal who vehemently opposes illegal immigration: I'm convinced it's a corporate plot to destroy the middle class here.

3) I have an illegal Mexican housekeeper who has beautiful childern and make delicious chicken tamales.

4) I think that John & Robert Kennedy were unique and that we'll never see their likes again.

5) I dream of writing fiction and being rich and famous.

6:38 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

The irony of an anonymous poster telling me five things is not lost! ;-)

Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, every now and then I wonder what life might have been like as a lawyer. But I'm a pretty aggressive, strong-willed person. I think I would have become a horror as a lawyer! Life has found ways to humble me in ways it might not have had I trod that path. It's softened my edges, I think.

Hey - so why do you have an illegal housekeeper then? Just financially expedient, or are those tamales really that good?

7:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


I think you would have made an excellent lawyer. You talked to the wrong people. I have been a practicing attorney for 21 years and I still love what I do.

There is one drawback however: most others in the legal profession- ie judges, DA's, probation officers have no clue about, or no interest in, the conspiracies of the 60's. I have been talaking about this stuff my whole life and people's eyes just gloss over.

I met my husband and law partner-Erick- at a continuing legal education class in 1995, but there has been a persistant rumor in one of the towns where we both practice that we met at a "who killed JFK" conference.

Five things: Hmmm

1. I completed Harvard's evening program in three years- (no one had ever done that before)- 1973-76.

2. I knew that JFK was killed by a conspiracy on 11/22/63, at the ripe old age of 14.

3. When the Beatles hit in late Dec. '63, bringing such joy, I felt guilty, as I was still in such deep mourning over JFK's murder.

4. All during 1968 I sang in a coffee house in Springhill Nova Scotia with Bruce Murray, little brother of soon-to-become-very-famous Anne Murray.

5. I am the very proud mother of a beautiful 35 year old daugher who graduated number one in her class as an RN. (Now she has two beautiful daughters, ages 7 and 4 who call me "MiMi".)

Lisa, if you were an attorney you could take over for Larry Teeter. And help Jim Lesar.... but you do so much already!


5:55 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

Hi Lisa -
It was great to learn a little more about you! Interestingly enough - I am also a former student of the harp - although I was never really very good at it. I went one summer to the National Music Camp in Michigan. And then, many years later, I was living in the Berkshires - though that was long after I stopped playing the harp.
You have a great site - and 'Real History' is the heart of what matters. I've added your link to my "Catacombs" blog. Thanks for everything.

6:14 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Dawn, if I had met you first, there's NO DOUBT in my mind I'd be a lawyer now. I'm glad you're out there, caring, learning, fighting. And wow - getting a degree from Harvard in three years of night school is dang impressive!

I wish all the readers here would post about themselves - they're surely an aware, interesting bunch!

7:14 AM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...


A fellow harpist! It matters not how long you studied. We have a kinship, nonetheless. And the Berkshires are just beautiful, aren't they?

I was there in the summer, and summer thunderstorms were something I really hadn't experienced, being from California. (We're lucky if it rains in the winter. It almost never rains in the summer!) But I remember the lightning flashing like some wild horror flick, and the huge, fat raindrops attacking us. It was wild, for me. Loved it!

Thanks for the link at Catacombs. I pop over there now and then and appreciate what you do!

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still miss your great, in depth articles in CTKA's "Probe" back in the "90's when there was more hope of justice in our political assassinations, with ARRB inspired by Stone's great docudrama "JFK". Now we can't even get a fair hearing in the complicit Establishment media for these crimes or Cheney's PNAC 9/11 crimes of the 21st century, the same criminals from the Nixon/Ford/Bush gang of the '60's! The assassination of our democracy and media cover up of this history altering crime is probably a "tarbaby" best avoided, as so many researchers have come to discover, but the wreck of our nation is hard to ignore as you pass by in life. So I still fight the Establishment criminal exploiters on talk radio as best I can trying to counter the propagandists and liars on the Right (Fascists) and phony Liberals supposedly on the Left opportunisticly conforming to media induced peer pressures. My first news of the shooting in Dallas was in Boston attending New England Conservatory of Music as a symphony Horn player, though my greater love was/is speedway race cars which I foolishly raced professionally for a couple of years. (Mario from our ARDC Midget Race car club went on to grreater success, and risks.) Got to play under Aaron Copeland in High school for one of his symphonys (3rd ?) at Syr. U. as one of my musical memories. Still consider moving up the highway to Vancouver and a more civilized country if I give up on this corporatism we have allowed to grow here in Amerika. ' Will keep telling the truth 'till then where I can.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Real History Lisa said...

Dick! How are you doing! Haven't heard from you in years! Thanks for stopping by and sharing some personal info. I'm so jealous you got to play under Aaron Copeland, one of my alltime favorite composers!

Re Nixon/Bush/Rumsfeld/Cheney, as John Armstrong said when Bush wormed his way into the White House, "the secret government is no longer secret."

12:51 PM  

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