Hanne Blank is a brilliant person who knows how to write and sing, what sorts of things should always be in one’s pantry, and how to truly rock a pair of wingtips. She sometimes wears flowers in her hair, but she could still kick your ass. She wouldn’t, for the record, and she doesn’t need to. When you’re nine flavors of badass, it doesn’t come up that much.
For her birthday, Hanne asked for beautiful words. I decided to make my words public because I hope that by doing so, some people who aren’t familiar with her can discover her. You can thank me later.
When I met Hanne, I was 20. I didn’t have many stories, conquests, or scars. I had never even tasted a red pepper.
She was smart and funny and powerful and sexy and fierce. And still is, no doubt.
She was one of my first role models, and here’s why:
She had opinions and she expressed them.
And she did it with big words that I had to look up in the dictionary, with little words that made me blush, with clarity and with fire, humor and warmth.
She had been places and done things.
She had the air of a person who has seen some shit, by golly, but who wasn’t world-weary. She was just getting warmed up.
She was full of talent and she wasn’t a dick about it. She nurtured people who had motivation and curiosity.
I didn’t know jack shit. She drove me to a music festival in Idaho when I didn’t have a car. She taught me dirty lyrics to classical pieces to use as a memory aid in my music history class. I laugh every time I hear the rhythmic drone of Mars, Bringer of War’s “I’ve Got A Big Dick And A Job.” And she set a plate of crisp, sliced red peppers on the table in front of me, and after that first bite I considered how many wonderful things there are in the world that I didn’t yet know about, and that I wanted to be the kind of person who could put plate of them in front of someone else.
Now I know this was NOT Hanne’s intent when she asked for beautiful words as a birthday present. She asked for people to celebrate the joy of language with her, not shamelessly kiss her ass. I like beautiful words, and I love the ugly ones, so here are some words, both nice and not, for Hanne on her birthday:
Zest, vermillion, languid, fortnight, plankton, limpid, hootenanny.
Pip, kipper, fingerling, fraudulent, rapscallion, nipple, rutabaga.
Fancy, tickle, whimsy.
Alleviate, anticipate, luxuriate, emancipate, fornicate, deviate, celebrate.
All my best, Hanne.
(Her words are so much better than mine. Go go go to hanneblank.com or her amazon.com author page http://www.amazon.com/Hanne-Blank/e/B001JPA05K and roll around in them a little.)