Comment if you want to do this and I'll give you a letter. Then you go and list ten things you like starting with that letter.
malnpudl gave me G, because she's all subtle and random like that.
1. Google. I'm way old enough to remember having a song lyric or a name or some other piece of information right there at the edge of my memory and not being able to remember it for the life of me. Back then there was nothing to do for it but continue racking my brain until whatever it was came to me or until I pushed it forcibly back into my subconscious for my own sanity.
I also remember having to schlep to the library to find enough books to write a paper, which was bad in my case because I never could remember to return them and ended up with fines and/or the loss of library privileges. It was like a modern miracle when Google showed up and I could find the answers to all sorts of things with the click of a mouse, and find entire books online to use as references for papers. Oh, yes, I love Google.
2. Gordon Lightfoot. I've been a fan since I was pretty young--pre-teens, maybe. And with good reason. Gordon is a songwriter sine qua non; his music has been recorded by the likes of Marty Robbins, Peter, Paul and Mary, Sarah MacLachlan, Johnny Cash, the Tragically Hip, Bob Dylan, Elvis Presley, and a whole bunch of others. He's also got that great voice-- soothing, easily recognised and always happy-making. He's inspired the likes of Stan Rogers, Steve Earle, and John Prine. In my case, his songs remind me of the warm summer days of my childhood, when a walk up the street to the candy store was the highlight of an afternoon, AM radio was actually good, the smell of hot dogs grilling was everywhere, The Sox were gonna do it this year, it stayed light out until after nine, and September was a lifetime away.
Gordon Lightfoot - Carefree Highway
3. Grandmotherhood. Of course, my experience is extra amazing because Amelia is so awesome. Believe me, I do regular checks on her awesomness, and it keeps going up. She gets cooler every day. See? Here's proof:
4. Geoffrey Tennant. One of the finest, if not the finest fictional character to come down the media pike since--well, since the invention of film, anyway. Anyone who's seen Slings & Arrows will likely agree with me. Geoffrey is complex and infuriating, witty and damaged and frustrating and utterly beautiful in all sorts of ways that have little to do with the fact that he's also physically beautiful. It's hard to describe him and do any justice, but I think that Leonard Cohen does a little in his song Suzanne (and wouldn't this song make a great Geoffrey/Ellen vid?). So, yeah, anyway. Geoffrey. I heart him.
5. G'Kar. G'Kar is another character who is complex, infuriating, and difficult to describe. If you've never seen Babylon 5, it's even harder to explain him. He's not human, for one thing, but in the course of the five-year run of the show he demonstrates the best and the worst parts of human nature. He starts off as a womanizer and ends up as a prophet. At the beginning of the series he's almost dismissable as comic relief: the foil of jokes and the resident playboy. By the end of the show he has become one of the most important characters that make up this layered, myth-rich story. There should be more meta about G'Kar.
6. Gaskin, Ina May. Known as the 'mother of modern midwifery', Ina May has been an activist, a teacher, an author, and an advocate for women, babies, and birth for more than 25 years. She's lectured around the world, from festivals to conventions to medical schools. She's the founder and director of The Farm Midwifery Center which offers midwifery training workshops, and gods, I would SO love to go to one of those. The outcomes of births at The Farm are on par with any hospital in the country (and in some cases better); the births are low-tech and low-intervention. The Farm Center is also one of the only birth centers where the midwives still attend vaginal breech births, and their stats are pretty much unparalleled.
I would rec Ina May's Guide to Childbirth to every pregnant or thinking-about-being pregnant woman (or couple). It's very thorough and informative but it's still easy to understand. Even if you're not pregnant, it's a good read because of all the lovely birth stories.
Ina May's enthusiasm and passion for midwifery awareness and outreach has inspired others to follow in her footsteps, and I agree with everyone who says that she's responsible for most of the progress women have made in being able to make their own informed choices about pregnancy and birth. "The mother of modern midwifery" isn't a stretch at all. There's even a birth position named after her!
Oh, and I have to mention the Safe Motherhood Quilt Project. Inspired by the AIDS Quilt, the project was started to raise awareness about maternal mortality in the US (the rate has been rising since 1982). Each square honours a woman who has died of birth-related complications since 1982.
7. Ghomeshi, Jian. I would adore this guy even if he wasn't a gorgeous, talented, smart lefty, for two reasons. The first is his Moxy Früvous cred, because they were just that awesome and I wish they hadn't
8. Goats. We used to have a few when I lived on Block Island and I miss them. They're intelligent, cute, and friendly (for the most part), and best of all they have rectangular pupils. Goat cheese is also yummy. Sometimes goats' milk is, too, but it depends on what breed of goat and what it's been eating. I don't know what the meat tastes like and I never will. For me eating goat would be right up there with eating cat or dog. They're pets, ergh.
9. Great Salt Pond, Block Island, RI, is salty because of a man-made channel dug out of one end to create a harbour. It's a really pretty place, just like the rest of the island. Here's a picture I took last Spring near Payne's Dock, overlooking the Pond:
10. Gross, Paul. I'm tempted to be all, yep, what she said, and leave it at that, because it's been hard to figure out what to write. Sure, Paul is pretty, and smart, and has more talent than most people I've heard of. I've seldom seen anyone wrap themselves in a role the way Paul does, so that I forget the actor and get caught completely in the character. He has no problem taking on a task he's never done before and making something wonderful out of it.
But none of that is anything new, a lot of people say that about him. And they're all good reasons, but still.
One of the reasons Paul stays pretty high up on my 'people I really admire' list is because he manages to do all that and still take the high road every. single. time. and still puts family first, then art, and then all the rest of it (being married to the same woman for over twenty years says a lot about how it's working). And of course, because he's a giant dork (see #7. Apparently I find dorkishness attractive) with a childlike, dorkish pride in his accomplishments that reminds me of a little kid showing off a drawing he made All By Himself (not that he really thinks he does everything alone, as evidenced by the writing of handwritten notes thanking every last person who worked on Passchendaele, including the extras).
So that's why I fangirl Paul Gross. That and, y'know, his lower lip. And his diction. Mmmm, consonants.