Aubrey’s 25 Random Things

I have been asked, with all due respect, dignity and promises of a generous monetary gift upon completion, to provide a list of personal facts, habits or goals.  This is not a request that I am likely to refuse willingly:

I am a pompous speaker.  I enjoy using my language's trappings and decorations.  Keeping this in mind, I think I would be a good butler.

It annoys me to feel apologetic for dressing up.  I like jewelry.  I like make-up.  I like fishnets.  I like diamante veils and scarlet petticoats with petite rosettes.  Deal with it.

I was runner-up in a 'Beautiful Child' contest at a local department store – I was around nine years old.  I've seen the photograph that my parents submitted – really, not that hot.

When I was a child, I always looked older than my actual age.  Once, my mother's best friend's mother tried to engage me in some sort of low level discussion.  I looked suitably baffled, so she commented, 'A brain trust she isn't'.  Mother never forgave her.

Having graduated UCLA as an art major, with several art history classes under my belt, I can safely say that I know what I artistically like and am not afraid to go toe-to-toe with anyone in order to defend my opinions.  For instance:  I don't like Impressionism.  You don't agree?  Wanna dance?  I'll meet you outside.

I dislike cynicism; I can do without people trying to make an art of their discontent.

Speech is an art.  I don't believe in abbreviated, slang-ridden talk.  Unless you're particularly adept at film noir bullet-fire chat, in which case I'd like to hear from you.

Excessive profanity is boring.

I hate camping.  I cannot relax in my sleeping bag, listening to the natural world stirring, when I'm wondering where I can find a toilet that doesn't end in a dirt pit.

When I was unemployed, and badly in need of reassurance, I found a peculiar contentment in Helen Mirren and the 'Prime Suspect' series.

Dylan Thomas is my favorite poet.  There is such a tactile love of words; they are rich, they have taste, smell and vision:  "Everywhere there glowed and rayed the colours of the small slategray woman's dreams, purple, magenta, ruby, sapphire, emerald, vermilion, honey."

Aubrey Beardsley is my unimpeachable delight.

There was a time when I went to England every year.  Once I visited Brighton, and found the house where Aubrey Beardsley was born.  I had my picture taken in front of it.  But I had the wrong address – and the woman living there was looking out her window, wondering why I was standing on her porch.

I love whales very much.  They are the ocean's old and precious souls.   

The ocean is broad and deep; full of colors and shadow:  it glitters with life yet death forever crouches in its maw.  Its salty mysteries circulate through my imagination.

Salt over sugar.  Savory over sweet.  And cheese to rule them all.

I've spent Halloween in New Orleans.  I saw Elvis sit down and order a drink.  I make no judgements.

Castles move me.  Their gloomy destruction, the turrets, the cracked battlements, the columns daring to stand throughout the centuries…age is cruel, yet they are still alive.  The history that lives in their bones is profoundly beautiful and thrilling.

I haven't eaten fast food in 20 years.

I would have loved to have seen the Ballets Russes – Nijinsky's leaps, Bakst's designs, the stunned, expensive audience.

The thought of animals at the mercy of their owners makes me sick with fear.  Their innocence is usually rewarded – but when it isn't, it's enough to make one despair.

I would prefer to read the stories of mythology rather than the stories of the Bible.

I think that it would have been nice to have Poiret design my clothes.

Mother Nature is rich in knowledge and common sense.  So how does she explain the butterfly's extravagant loveliness?  Frosted jewels, taken from her wrists and ears – I so enjoy these floating delicacies.

I love history.  I want to embrace it, to swallow it, to visualize it so entensely that I can overcome the bitter disappointment of not witnessing it first hand.

Now, I am supposed to notify 25 people that they must come forward with their 25 random things.  I'll get around to this.  Keep watching the skies.

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20 responses to “Aubrey’s 25 Random Things

  1. Most of us have done this exercise with rapt frivolity. You, of course, have provided a thoughtful, enticing, lusciously worded glimpse into a much more complex individual.Thanks for sharing.

  2. I love your writing Aubrey and you my dear are a peach.If you ever get to Brighton again I shall take you on a whirl of my new home town and we will see Aubrey's house together.

  3. Wow, it's a wonder you come visit me at all, what with my profanity, cynicism and slang! 😉
    I LOL'ed at the butler thing and the lady wondering why you were having your photo taken on her front porch! Ooops!
    and if I haven't already said it a couple dozen times, I do love your writing!

  4. I'm not your favorite poet? Oh, poo.Lovely listy. And I'm not only saying that because we have much of it in common.I think you should commence Bobble schmoozing at once.

  5. 25 reasons to love you!!

  6. This is wonderful — it is filled with wordly shiny things of delight.
    (My favorite poet is Gerard Manley Hopkins, because of what he does with the language, but Dylan Thomas is wonderful, too.)

  7. Keeping this in mind, I think I would be a good butler.
    Mrs. Jeeves??
    I do like Impressionism, but being an art heathen I wouldn't dare discuss it! And it doesn't bother me a whit if you don't like it. 🙂
    And yay for artful speech. I'm not quite artful at this point in my life (college lends itself to slang and excessive profanity) but I'll get there! You're an inspiration.

  8. Sara – Thank you! This is the cut-down version; it was getting impossibly wordy and high-flung. Who can resist writing about themselves?
    Dear Empress – Hee! We are friends then!
    Bobble – Such a dream! In my Brighton hotel room all those years ago, I took out the phone book on a chance and looked under the 'B''s. Sure enough, I found an 'A. Beardsley'. I didn't call; but I did tear out that page and smuggle it home.
    Ms. Pants – Nooooooo! Gratuitous swearing, cynicism and slang gets tiresome. You're a clever little minx, and your writing is…full-blooded!
    pyrit – I love your writing; stop being such a silly girl. And I am positively tickled to know that we are so similar – right down, I hope, to the excessive silliness.
    DKN – 25 reasons? Gosh. I didn't think I had it in me. Really, I'm sure I don't.
    Morgat – Wait…shiny? Did someone say shiny? (looks around expectantly)
    Alex – I imagined myself more as Hudson, from 'Upstairs, Downstairs'. And absolutely – yay. Still…I have to say that I find Bertie Wooster's slang irresistible. Perhaps we could make allowances for dated slang.

  9. I am not averse to a little schmoozing 😉 We can talk Russian constructivism and say pah to Impressionism together. </art student pretentiousness off> Maybe we can go look at Churchill's house too?

  10. Yes! And parade across the grounds of the Royal Pavilion!

  11. I loved this! The peek into the imaginative and intelligent mind of Ms. Aubrey. Your mother's neighbor spoke fairly moronically; and being photographed outside the wrong house, too funny. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Such lushness in this list!
    I felt a particular kinship when reading this one: Salt over sugar. Savory over sweet. And cheese to rule them all.

  13. This is a most delicious list of 25 things, complete with baubles and fishnets, poetry, castles, oceans, grace in motion, and a healthy disdain for camping. Best of all, it's sparkling with your particular flair and artistry.

  14. I'd say, 25 MORE reasons! 🙂
    *removes puckered lips from Aubrey's hiney*

  15. WBaby – The Brighton incident was wretched; I had the right address ca. 1872, but during the next 100+ years, street numbers shifted and changed – leading to my embarrassment and the tenant's annoyance.
    homebody – Cheese. Cheese. CHEESE. Boyfriend doesn't like cheese, but I still like him.
    Red Pen – I'm glad my poor list sparkled for you; I am, after all, very much attached to shiny things.
    Ms. Pants – Why thank you! Now I can sit down.

  16. "It annoys me to feel apologetic for dressing up. I like jewelry. I like make-up. I like fishnets. I like diamante veils and scarlet petticoats with petite rosettes. Deal with it."
    Sing it, sister! I loved everything about this list. Thanks for posting it.

  17. What a great list – and thoroughly good reading. I love cheese; I love jewellery (& wearing it); I am sure I have stood outside many incorrect locations under the assumption that I am at the correct one. LOL the camping comment – I tell people that the first 10 years of my life was "camping" (no electricity, no hot water, no "real" toilet) so I never have to do it again – ever!.

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