Tell me about a song that brings back an interesting memory from your youth

241185075_4345170612196389_904449076746889131_nThere’s this weird thing about senses – even though we get most of our information through our eyes, scent and sound are much better for memory recall. And so, this week’s question, about a song that brings back an interesting memory from youth, is a strange hybrid for me. I mean, sure, I’ll answer the question (as well as I usually do with these) but at the same time, I probably won’t answer it very well, because my memories, the ones I will share, are conscious memories. If I were to be completely honest here, I’d just listen to a bunch of music I remember hearing from youth and then let the visceral memories wash over me and report back what I feel. Continue reading “Tell me about a song that brings back an interesting memory from your youth”

It’s been a week…

For the first time since we went online for the Pandemic back in March of 2020, I started a new school year ready to meet some students face to face. To be fair, a year ago, we tried what we’re trying now, but I opted to stay completely online, which worked out to my benefit since it wasn’t long before everyone was online.

But now, a year and a half into this thing, I’ve got a couple of classes which are going to meet in person and last week, the first week of school, we did. It was nice to be in front of a roomful of students, to be able to see and hear their reactions, but even so, it was a bit disconcerting with everyone wearing masks. As of this coming week, I’m supposed to monitor them all (and each class has more than 60 students) to make sure they’ve been vaccinated and if they haven’t, to ask them to leave. And if they don’t leave, I’m supposed to leave. Continue reading “It’s been a week…”

What did you wear when younger that mortifies you now?

logoThere’s an inherent problem with this question, what did you wear when younger that mortifies you now? A couple of problems really. The first is that I’ve been involved in theatre since I was 9. There’s very little I won’t wear if it’s in service of a good bit.

When AAron and I lived together at The Pointes, there was one night I started playing around with some make-up I had found in a box and ended up painting my entire face blue*. Of course, what do you do when you have a blue face? We went shopping. We ended up at Nordstroms or Saks Fifth Avenue, one of the high-end shops at the Fashion Show mall, with me holding up shirts and asking random people if it clashed. Continue reading “What did you wear when younger that mortifies you now?”

Finding our way

IMG_2055It started with the car radio.

Since we got the new car, Rasa has been slowly learning all the ins and outs, the bells and whistles (and the weird little oddities) which make up our “lightning car.” One of those things was learning how to set the radio presets, which also means she spends more time in the car actually listening to the radio (which also means Monki hears more songs which I then have to get for her to put on her playlist so she can listen to the music she desires, as opposed to mine, which she has a healthy distrust of). Continue reading “Finding our way”

Are you a regular at any of your local restaurants or cafes? What is that relationship like?

happy woman baristas working in modern cafe kitchen
Photo by Tim Douglas on Pexels.com

This is an odd question to answer in the days of the pandemic, but I can certainly answer it as from the before times*. And that answer is an unqualified yes.

I’m reminded of Sandra Bullock’s character in Speed (1994). At the beginning of the film, she gets on the bus because her car is in the shop and her conversation with the driver is one of familiarity and comfortable ease. When I first watched this, my initial reaction was bullshit. Not that she couldn’t have that kind of a relationship with a driver, but that a) she had the same driver several days in a row and b) that the relationship would develop that quickly. Continue reading “Are you a regular at any of your local restaurants or cafes? What is that relationship like?”

What were your favorite cartoons growing up?

cartoonsKids today don’t know how good they have it! Yeah yeah, I know that’s the common refrain from us old folks, but there’s a certain grain of truth in it. Right now, Monki and I are having discussions about going to the movies – actually going to a theatre to see a film. She wants to join me in seeing something and I explained that it was different than watching TV at home. There was no pausing, no stopping, no playing – once the film starts, you have to watch it all the way through. Thing is, she doesn’t understand this. It makes no sense to her that you can’t pause to go to the bathroom or rewind and watch a cool scene again. When she was watching something on broadcast television, the idea of a commercial really freaked her out. Continue reading “What were your favorite cartoons growing up?”

What are your favorite plays?

Jaq at National
Standing in front of the National

Let’s talk about theatre.

As I’ve mentioned earlier, I got involved in theatre at a young age. My initial exposure to the performing arts was at the age of 6 when I got the neighborhood kids together and we made a revisionist version of Bambi using my dad’s super8 camera. This was back in the early 70s and it kinda makes me wonder what Monki could do if she were so inclined. I mean she’s 5 now, so a year away and she already knows YouTube and loves doing things with the slow-motion effect on my iPhone so the joys of putting together a piece of film will be a completely foreign thing. Hell, she’s not even interested in going to the cinema because she can’t pause or rewind or anything else. Sure, that may change as she gets older, but it just points out how different her world is from where mine was at her age. Continue reading “What are your favorite plays?”

Did you consider any other careers? How did you choose?

Threading the projectorThe wonderful conceit of this question is in thinking that I have a career to begin with. I mean I guess I do? The question though is what is it? I’m certainly a writer and a professor, but am I something else as well?

Let’s go with the obvious and take both, call it a dual career. So, in that case I’m a writer and teacher…right now. Have I considered others? Of course I have, who hasn’t? But here’s the thing: Before I got here, being a writer and a teacher, I did several other things. Now sure, I’ve talked about some of these particular occupational detours before, but that’s really all they were, detours.  They weren’t really careers.

But they could have been. Continue reading “Did you consider any other careers? How did you choose?”

Did you have a favorite planet as a child?

grand_tour.width-1600A favorite planet? Who has a favorite planet? Well, if you’re a science fiction geek like me, I suppose that’s a fair question. I mean even now, as I write this, I can look up at framed artwork of faux travel posters put out by NASA for various planets in our solar system and further out in the galaxy.

But this question asks about favorite planet as a child and that requires a bit of thinking. Of course, the standard answer would consist of a 1 in 9* choice, right? Sure, we could get a bit more choice in there if we include the planet-like moons of the gas giants, which, if we were to colonize the outer reaches of our solar system, would be where we’d lay down roots. So now the obvious answer would be, say, a 1 out of 15 or so choice, yes? Continue reading “Did you have a favorite planet as a child?”

On Losing Words

monki-hiding-faceThis is a story about the importance of words and their meanings.

For a while now, Rasa has been thinking about getting a plant for the house. Not a flower, mind you, but an actual plant. She had even been thinking of a tree, musing out loud, while going through various online circulars, that “hey, this shop has lemon trees for sale.”

Now, my first thought is “why do we need a lemon tree?” followed closely by “where are we gonna put a lemon tree?” I mean, look, I’ve got nothing against lemon trees, I even like the song, but in the house? Naw. Of course, this didn’t stop her from wanting a tree and then, last week, she bought one. Not a lemon tree but some kind of Dracaena and it now sits in the corner of the hallway, just outside the office. Continue reading “On Losing Words”