Saturday, January 17, 2009

16 Random Things About Me

I've been tagged by J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet! This is part of a new meme (yes, it's a noun, look it up) which was born on Facebook. Here's the gist:

Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 16 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 16 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you.

The rules say that I'm supposed to tag 16 people, but I'm tagging only four bloggers, Louise Ure (Murderati), Bill Crider (Bill Crider's Pop Culture Magazine), Declan Burke (Crime Always Pays), and Karen Meek (Euro Crime). I've asked them to participate, and I'll update you when they do... if they do. It's a bit of an ego-centric exercise, but a lot of fun.

So here goes. 16 Random Things about me:

1. I have two golden retrievers, Busby Berkeley and Topper. I’m a big fan of 30s movies. Actually I’m a big fan of movies and TV. I used to have a cat named Dashiell Hammett who lived to be 21. Now I have a cat named Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty). Nothing mysterious there. She’s a Siamese rescue.

2. I used to work with juvenile offenders and adolescent parents in the inner city. On the one hand it was a rewarding job since I taught “Human Survival Skills” such as filling out a welfare app, WICKS app, etc. On the other hand every Monday morning there was always one of the kids or one of their relatives or friends who had been shot over the weekend. I went to a lot of funerals. Murder in real life. 10 years in the trenches.

3. I once taught a class on Women in Science Fiction, although my heart belonged to mysteries. I knew I’d get a good sign up. The next class, though, was Women of Mystery, and it’s history from there. The mystery courses developed into Mystery Readers International, and our own local mystery group has been meeting for over 30 years—every Tuesday night.

4. The Mystery Readers Journal grew out of my participation on a Bouchercon committee. I did the publicity newsletter. Cut and paste. Those were the days.

5. I love to garden, and I have over 120 rose bushes on my property. It’s double-fenced to protect the garden from the deer.

6. I have a home in Bodega Bay, site of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds. There really are an incredible number of birds there, including flocks of the infamous wild turkeys, as well as rare migrating birds. It’s a sleepy little town on the coast and not much different from when The Birds was made, except I’ve never been attacked by the birds.

7. I once drank Southern Comfort backstage with Janice Joplin at a concert.

8. I came to Berkeley for graduate school, and I never left. My mother used to say I was married to Berkeley, and I guess I am, Frank notwithstanding. Maybe I’m a bigamist, but Berkeley was my first love. It’s beautiful, politically diverse, full of bookstores. What’s not to love?

9. I’m a morning person, and I can get a good three hours in before most people wake up.

10. I’m a tea drinker, probably because my grandmother who lived with us when I was growing up was a tea drinker. She spent 10 years in London where she was married. I take my tea with milk and honey.

11. My favorite writers are usually the ones I’m reading right now, so that would include Peter Lovesey, Reginald Hill, Val McDermid and Peter Robinson. Of course, tomorrow that might all change. I did see a Philip Kerr and a Garcia-Roza and an M.C. Beaton peak out from the TBR pile. What a mix! I’m eclectic in my reading.

12. I have a Ph.D. in religion and literature, specializing in religious mystery fiction. Luckily there wasn’t as much out there at the time. I had a framed copy of an Albert Einstein letter that read, “I shall not become a PhD” hanging above my desk. Didn’t take his advice although it took years to finish. I guess I just got tired of being introduced as ABD. All but dumb? I’ve never really used it for anything, so don’t call me Doctor! Dr. Rudolph was my father.

13. When I was young, I thought I’d be a painter and live in a garret in Paris. Maybe in my next life.

14. I love my Macintosh. I’ve always been an Apple person, and I dedicated my dissertation to my Dad (a big mystery reader), Mystery Readers International and my Mac. I made a cake in the shape of my Macintosh 512 for my PhD party. Couldn’t have done it without my MAC.

15. I’m a TV junkie. I love sitcoms. I love TIVO! I can balance my love of the written word with TV and films. It’s not always easy, but it fulfills my senses.

16. I used to travel a lot, and I have had Fulbrights to India and Brazil. I now travel through books—there is no frigate like a book to take you miles away, and it's even more fun when it's a mystery.


Unknown said...

Okay, let's have the Janis story.

Louise Ure said...

Well done, Janet! I'll have mine up on Tuesday, over at

Janet Rudolph said...

I'll tell the Janis Joplin story in private to you and Judy at the next con. Definitely not for the Internet!

Ali Karim said...

Great stuff, travel, books and tea - a perfect balance



Janet A said...

Well, will you tell the Janis story to Book Group? If not, we will have to have lunch.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Darn, you're an interesting person.

Anonymous said...

120 rose bushes. I'm so jealous! I bet it's beautiful when they're blooming.

I just discovered MRJ and I'm so glad!