Monday, February 11, 2013

Monday Meme: Because I Have a Snow Day

I have several things that will demand my time today, but none of them are truly professional in nature since it's the start of the second semester and there is nothing to grade. Since I don't have to be anywhere until later this morning, I thought I'd take a minute to post a something. This particular meme is stolen blatently from Chili, who stole it from Kwizgiver.

1: Would you swear in front of your parents? My father was a journalist in the Navy, and so colorful language was very much a part of my growing up. It used to be a source of pride among the men of my family to see how much foul language you could string together in a single breath. Given that, swearing in front of my parents on any occasion was never really an issue after I left for college.

I can remember distinctly the day when my mother gave up trying to enforce clean language. I was 11 and my friends were cursing up a storm outside whilst playing some sort of war game with those little green army men. My mom happened to come outside (to hang clothes on the clothesline, probably) and we didn't notice her. We would have shut up if we'd heard her come out. She called my name (all of it, so you knew she was serious), then paused and said, "Oh, whatever. Just don't use it in the house."

2: Which continents have you been on? I have lived the longest in North America (the U.S. and Puerto Rico), but I have also had the blessing to live in Europe (Italy, for several months) and South America (Brazil, twice, also for several months). I would love to visit the Far East and Australia, but I'd like to take a good chunk of time to do it properly. To suffer the 30 hours of plane ride for just a week of wild, frenzied travel is not worth it to me, for reasons explained below.

3: Do you get motion sickness? Any horror stories? I have, for my entire life, had incredible issues with motion sickness. I can't even do swings well anymore! My wife and I have worked out a viable system for travel as a family that allows me the freedom to simply shut down once we get on trains, planes or boats (I'm responsible for getting us all up to that point, but after that I have to be off the clock to focus on not throwing up). I can remember several times when, but for the comfort provided by random strangers, I might not have survived getting from one place to another. There was the stewardess on the flight from NYC to Rio de Janeiro when I travelled there for college (on top of the vertigo, I was suffering from a flu that laid me flat for a full week after I arrived). There were the three Mormon missionaries that sat with my on the ferry ride across the English Channel during a brutal storm that tossed the big boat around like a potato chip. There are others, and in my moments of quiet contemplation I make sure to take time to bless them.

4: Why did you name your blog whatever you named your blog? The name Wayfarer House came to be when Wifeness and I moved from Las Vegas to New England. We're both globetrekkers, and we wanted to capture that, as well as our tradition of having a home that is a nexus for people from all manner of places and cultures. My blog's name comes from that.

5: Would you wear a rainbow jacket? A neon yellow sweater? Checkered pants? For many years, I would only wear four colors: Black, white, blue and grey. As a colorblind guy, these were the only colors I knew I could match. I have since figured out how to broaden my palette, but it'll be a long damn time before I wear something as vibrant as a rainbow jacket or checkered pants. Neon is different. I've worn neon for a variety of reasons as part of safety attire. I would NOT wear it as a fashion statement.

6: What was your favorite cartoon growing up? I remember watching a lot of Superfriends and Loony Tunes on Saturday mornings. I still miss Samurai Jack, even though that didn't come into my world until much later.

7: In a past life I must have been a… woman. No, really. I was told this by both a Chinese healer and by someone who reads tarot. I'm not going to make any statements about the veracity of either system (that's an individual matter), but I found it no end of curious that two separate people, practicing two very different traditions, said the same thing. Even my wife thinks I might have been a decent doula.

8: If you had to look at one city skyline for the rest of your life, which would it be? I'm awfully fond of Paris', especially from the point of view of Montmartre, by the cathedral, at sunset.

9: Longest plane ride you’ve ever been on? I've done 8 hours several times, going to and from Europe. The longest plane trip (including stops and such) was 24 hours to France with my wife. It started in Boston and involved getting bumped, being detoured to London, being stranded there because of mechanical issues, taking a cab all the way out to Eastbourne (out on the coast of England) to the only hotel with rooms anywhere (it was during Wimbledon), a very short stay in a very nice hotel (I mean VERY nice), a cab ride back and, at long last, a short plane ride to Paris. I was SO carsick at the end of that!

10: The longest you’ve ever slept?  On my first trip back from Brazil, I had stayed up for almost 70 hours before the plane left Rio. It was about 12 hours before I saw my folks at Logan Airport in Boston. We drove a short way up to my grandparents house after they picked me up, and we stayed overnight there before making the long drive home. We ended up staying two days because, after a few moments of greetings and telling stories, I crawled into bed and slept 14 hours straight. I don't believe I've slept that long in one stretch since. In fact, rarely do I sleep longer than 6 hours at once now. I blame the cats.

11: Would you buy a sweater covered in kitten pictures? Would you wear it if someone gave it you for free? I cannot imagine an instance where this would happen, but that doesn't mean there isn't one.

12: Do you pluck your eyebrows? Only to tame the verge, so to speak, for I am now at the age where eyebrows start to go all wild and hairs appear in places where they don't belong.

13: Favorite kind of bean? Kidney? Black? Pinto? I have always loved red beans and rice. I'll eat most others without prejudice, although lima beans and I have to stare at each other for a few seconds. Green beans are also one of my longstanding favorites. We used to can them by the ton when I was a teenager!

14: How far can you throw a baseball? When I was in high school, I could hit a five-gallon bucket from mid-center field. I'm not that good any longer, but I can still hit home from second base with a softball fast enough to beat someone trying to score from third. And when I say "hit home" I mean put the ball right down in front of the base where the glove needs to be to tag a sliding runner. I've always been very accurate with my arm.

15: If you had to move to another country, where would you move? There are so many choices here. If I had the chance to move for a period of time (like a year or so) with my family, I'd seriously consider it. It's widely accepted that, if I move to someplace with palm trees, I'm probably not coming back. If it were me alone, I would consider going back to Brazil.

16: Have you ever eaten Ethiopian food? Vietnamese? Korean? Nepalese? How was it? I love food from other cultures! I have sampled some of each of these, and found them delicious, but I think it's important to make clear that the versions of these cuisines I encountered were first-world versions, and that makes them different from what they'd be in their native lands. There is much in the cuisine of other countries that, when consumed locally, makes it very strange to one's intestinal tract. It took a week to get over eating feijoada in Brazil.

Have a super Monday!