spikesgirl58 gave me these:
1. Scrapbooking: I’ve never done any scrapbooking myself, but I have friends who have. And I have done various related crafts, including collaging and rubber stamping. Scrapbook stores (and the scrapbooking aisles at more general crafts stores like Michael’s or A.C. Moore) sell decorative papers and inks and various cutting / punching tools, including the particularly wonderful device known as a Crop-A-Dile, which is second only to the bone folder for fabulous names for tools paper and book artists play with. The reason I don’t do scrapbooking is that I have no idea what I would do with the finished product, which is essentially one or more decorated pages with photos and decorative elements. That hasn’t really stopped me from doing other crafts, however.
2. China (the country): I have been to China twice. The first time was a few days in Beijing, on my way back from a trip to Tuva, Siberia, and Mongolia. (The complete route resulted in my circling the globe, by the way.) I had a couple of disturbing experiences there. The worst of them was during a walk across Tiananmen Square. Two women were sitting in the square, possibly meditating, when we saw a group of 6 armed policemen walk up to them, pick them up, and carry them away. This was in 2000 if I recall correctly and it was the height of news stories about Falun Gong, so I was pretty sure that was the connection, but it was still upsetting. The other thing was that the people I was traveling with (2 American men and our Czech tour leader) had no qualms about buying clearly pirated CDs. I also felt like the Chinese government was determined to tear down anything with character (i.e. the hutongs) and replace it with a modern skyscraper.
The second time was on my way home from a trip across Australia in 2013, when I flew from Adelaide to Hong Kong. I spent a couple of days in Macau, which had an interesting historic center (though somewhat disappointing food) and four or so days in Hong Kong. I was particularly taken with Victoria Peak, largely because it was nice and cool at the summit. And the food was a lot better than in Macau.
I’d still like to get to Shanghai. And to the Silk Road cities (e.g. Kashgar and Urumqui).
3. Radios (the sort you listen to music on): I am of the generation who grew up listening to music on the radio. Cousin Brucie was the DJ on WABC in New York and I (along with almost everyone I knew) listened to his show through the late 1960’s and early 1970’s. I must have listened to the radio in college, but don’t have specific memories. In grad school, I listened to a couple of different things. The more mainstream DJ was Alex Bennett on The Quake (a San Francisco station). In addition to playing music by the likes of Grace Slick and Thomas Dolby, he had various comedians on his morning show. He produced live comedy shows with them and, when my parents visited, I took them to see a show that featured Whoopi Goldberg, Dana Carvey, and Bobcat Goldthwait.
The other thing I listened to was public radio – both NPR and Pacifica. I stumbled upon a Celtic music program while channel flipping one night and that’s what led me to years of listening to everything from Silly Wizard and the Tannahill Weavers – and some peripherally related performers, like Pierre Bensusan, who I have seen perform live more than anybody else. (I remember that the song I heard which led me to NPR was the Franch Canadian dance "La Bistrangue," which I knew from having spent a lot of time folk dancing.) The Pacifica station (KPFA) had a late night folk music show with the theme song "Hawaiian Cowboy."
When I moved to L.A., I listened some to their Pacifica station (KPFK). But I listened even more to KCRW, an NPR station in Santa Monica and, specifically, the show Morning Becomes Eclectic, which played a wide range of music. Chris Douridas was the DJ most of that time and was one of the greatest influences on my musical tastes.
If I’m in my car, the radio is on. This is a problem in some parts of the U.S., where the choices are Country or Western, but you can find Oldies stations in a lot of places. And NPR.
One last radio story. Remember the little transistor radios, that had a single ear plug to listen to them with? In 8th grade, a guy in my class used to use his to listen to Mets games during math class. Our math teacher was unaware of what was going on ntil one day he remarked to another teacher about how said it was that Mike had to use a hearing aid at his young age!
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