I have been in a real quandary this last month, trying to figure out how to best meet Jim Cheney's Captcha test challenge and prove I'm human.
I thought about writing about my rubber ducky collection, but that's maybe just weird rather than human.
And my fondness for the art of Ralph Steadman, whose illustrations and prints I collect? Probably not going to help make my case much.
Nor is my enthusiasm for my spiritual guru, Dr. Hunter S. Thompson, whose voice - like throwing gasoline on a fire - is sadly missed in these troubled times, at least by me.
You already know about the animals and the cooking. But I've never shared my love for music here, so that's what I'm going with. Maybe it will work.
When I was a wee child of 10, my mother decided that I needed to take piano lessons, so she bought a piano and signed me up. I was excited and wanted to learn boogie-woogie, honky-tonk and blues, but she hired a piano teacher who gave me Bartok! That didn't last long - I hated the music, refused to practice, never learned anything and quit within a month.
But when I was in high school, I traded something for a guitar and started playing - mostly folk music. I still couldn't read music, but I could make the right chords and pick pretty well. When I was 16, a friend of mine and I began singing folk music at a coffee shop - kind of Kingston Trio type stuff, and we were not great. But it was fun and I hung onto that guitar for many years, making a nuisance of myself at campfires and other odd gatherings.
I did learn a lot about music once I discovered J.S. Bach, whom I fell in love with along with most of the other Baroque composers. I bought albums and tapes and spent years listening to some of the most glorious and moving music ever written.
And then, at 35 years old, I decided to take guitar lessons - real ones with music reading and all of that. What drove me was a desire to learn someday to play Bach on my guitar. Unbeknownst to my teacher, I found a sheet of music - Bach's Bourrée in E Minor for Lute - and secretly began to practice it. As my skills and reading became better, I started to get the hang of this lovely piece, and eventually performed it at a recital. Don't get too excited about that - there were a dozen little kids and 38 year old me - but at least I didn't embarrass myself, although I was nervous as hell.
The Bourrée is the pinnacle of my music achievement. One of the gifts that my love of music gave me was an appreciation of true musical talent, something that I never had. I learned the Bourrée from grinding out hard practice and felt great about the accomplishment. But I was also exposed to people who would hear music in their heads and magically have it come out of their fingertips or lips, and they existed in a different universe than what my slogging and determined approach allowed. I'm always in awe of that talent, and if I had one wish, that might very well be it.
But I still will always have that Bourrée, and my love of the works of J.S.Bach.