Sep 2, 2009

MeMe, A Name I Call Myself. Twice.

There's nothing quite so satisfying as learning that not one but two peers whom I respect a lot seem to feel mutually. Both Susan Cohan, APLD, and Laura Schaub have been generous enough to nominate me (me!) for a MeMe. I respectfully accept the MeMes, and thank Susan and Laura for their support.

Apparently the MeMe has a few, simple, rules:
1) Link back to whomever nominated you
2) Reveal seven tidbits about yourself
3) Nominate and link to seven other blogs
4) Notify your nominees with a comment on their blogs
5) Notify your nominator(s) when your "acceptance" post is up
Personally, I think there should be two more rules, to keep the whole "power of seven" thing going. Wait, that's not one of my reveals, is it? Good. Because what I really want you to know about me is:
1) I detest incompetence. Including my own. It's not that I'm a perfectionist, exactly: I know "done is better than perfect." It's more that if there is a better way, I want to learn it. A better tool, I want to use it. A better design, I want to make it. This is why I'm not the fastest at my craft: I react viscerally to releasing a product that doesn't live up to its potential. Let's get beyond "good." Let's get to "amazing."

2) I am addicted to creativity. My jones encompasses not just landscape but also graphic design, writing, advertising (my first career and secret love), architecture, typography, cooking, music, user interfaces, tattoos, any solution or expression—I am at once inspired, awed and intimidated by the creative process, the alchemy of producing something from nothing.

3) I love improvisational theater classes. (Hint: improv isn't about being funny. It's about developing a "yes, and…" reflex that validates the present and welcomes the future.) I recommend nothing more highly if you are, or expect to become, a parent. Especially a parent of twins. Especially twin boys.

4) I am 237 days away from a certificate in Landscape Architecture. This will bring me one step closer to becoming a licensed landscape architect, legally able to develop grading and drainage plans, specify construction details and generally create landscapes as opposed to gardens. In the meantime I will be devoting about 50% of my time to school, 50% to work, and 50% to my home and family. If I nod off in conversation with you, please understand.

5) I grew up in Las Vegas. No, it didn't seem bizarre to me at the time. Yes, some of my classmates would become showgirls. Even better, there was still desert there, literally in my backyard, enough for me to understand how desperately important water conservation was (and is)—and to have my heart broken repeatedly by the endless procession of gratuitous lawns, megalomaniacal fountains, and incompetent irrigation. I refuse to replicate those mistakes.

6) “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do.”
—Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love
7) I am a garden designer—not a gardener. The state of the yards at my home belies this. I do not share a passion for horticultivation, pinching, pruning, weeding, seeding, cross-breeding…. I enjoy the results, and I am more than happy to stand on the shoulders of others who love gardening—and to be the catalyst of others' joy in their own gardens.
Because I believe the crux of my work is to inspire you, I'm pleased to nominate the following seven inspiring blogs for their own MeMe awards:
1) Chance of Rain. As a contributor to the Las Vegas Sun and a columnist for the Los Angeles Times, Emily Green brings a wonderful voice and wisdom to gardening in dry places and times.

2) woolgathering. Elizabeth Perry has published a sketch a day for the better part of four years: more than 1,330 of them, in case you're keeping score. No apologies. No excuses. No shrinking.

3) House Enthusiast. Katie Hutchinson's reflections on architecture and design are graceful, thoughtful, beautiful and meaningful.

4) Garden Porn. Smart, generous, opinionated and funny, Michelle Derviss creates beauty that has literally taken my breath away.

5) Steve Snedeker's Landscaping and Gardening Blog. No pithy blog name, just straightforward advice and insights that make me wish Steve lived (or at least worked) further south. Like Palo Alto.

6) idsgn (a design blog). Design and branding news and inspiration. Nothing to do with gardening. Unlikely to accept a MeMe. Brilliant.

7) Verdigris Vie. The patina of a life well lived—Vitania's blog reads more like a transcribed dream than a delicious collection of interior design and lifestyle ideas.
Obviously I've left out a lot of people whose blogs I enjoy. I'm not even going to attempt to name names, but if you've made it this far then you should at least also check out the links over and down in the right column, there. In the meantime, thanks for indulging me, and Susan and Laura, thanks again for the nomination!


Unknown said...

John, you've done it again. Bravo and thank you, especially for #6. I'd heard that quote long ago, but never knew the source. To see it again was an unexpected gift, and very timely. And mmmm, I look forward to savoring the delectable sampler of new blogs you have offered...

Vegas, huh? Glad you didn't stay there!

Susan aka Miss R said...

John--I was afraid to nominate Michelle D. who has been a mentor albeit on line to me for many years! Great insight and honesty--particularly agree with #7. Thanks for playing along!

Emily Green said...

John, Fun. Thank you. I have responded in the comment feed of
Will pay it forward after lunch.

steve said...

OK - I'm going to do this. I am a truly reticent "tagger" who hates the chance of interrupting others' free time with my own small corner's concerns. But your approach is so fresh and so intelligently delivered, I'd actually feel like I was disappointing someone who might be actually interested in what I might have to say and to see those bloggers to whom I relate the most. I have one post about walls - their design and structural installations - I am doing currently. When that's done, you're on, Mister.

And thanks, from a fellow (now ex-) Nevadan!

Bay Area Tendrils said...

John, your verdant - read: fresh and flourishing - intellect: shines through.
Go glad you chose to participate and reveal! A feeling of ambivalence about this meme is being overcome by the pleasurable experience of reading posts such as yours. And the camaraderie that's building as the meme makes its way around.
I'm sending good wishes your way, as you close the gap to completing your L.A. certificate. Bravo!

Verdigris Vie said...

Hey John
This is great. I love getting insight into what makes inspiring people tic tic toc. And I am in shock that you are NOT A GARDENER (wink)It totally makes sense. An interior designer isn't a housekeeper.

Thank you so much for the NOM - I am tres honoured! I am off to explore the other blogs you nom'd.


Elizabeth Perry said...

Thank you, John. Looking toward the remainder of the week, I expect it will be all I can do to draw and post on days 1710, 11, 12... so I may just wander around the other nominees for respite, refreshment, and inspiration. Thanks for the great list - I'm honored to be part of it.

Deviant Deziner, aka Michelle said...

I really enjoyed learning a bit more about you.
Interesting, inspiring, and always thoughtful.

In regards to nominating me to a me me award, I think you will find me incredibly boring and I wouldn't want to waste your time.

Much to my disappointment, I am quite ordinary ( and that is just 'ghastly' in my book ) much of the time. ... oh the shame !

I think your other nominations are just great though and look forward to reading more about them.

ordinarily yours,

John said...

Michelle, I won't disrespect your decision except to point out that you call yourself both "deviant" and "ordinary." No matter: anyone who visits your brilliant blog or site will quickly achieve clarity.

Elizabeth, you share yourself quite generously as it is! Thanks for letting us peek inside your daily world.

Vitania, Steve and Emily, congratulations on accepting your prestigious MeMe award! Your engraved 14K gold trophy has been shipped via US Postal Service and should arrive to you sometime next millenium, probably in pieces, if at all. In the meantime, I look forward to learning even more about you!

Alice, Susan and Laura, I'm honored to be a colleague of yours. Thank you for inspiring me.

Emily Green said...

WordPress users: There is a seriously wicked hacking element ruining links. If you haven't upgraded your operating system, do it now.