Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Encyclopedia of Me - L (Mark)

LEGOs: I have always loved LEGOs. I remember spending hours constructing space ships and landing sites and battle fleets and all kinds of awesome things. We would spend just as long on a Sunday afternoon creating adventures for of them as well. It's so cool to see our kids playing with them now, and I can't believe how many kinds there are. Plus all the video games! Even as an adult I like playing those!

Languages: Learning a new language has always been a fun thing. I'm also fortunate that it's one of those things that has come relatively easy to me, all things considered. I learned a lot of French for a 2-year high school class. Then I learned Japanese, which ended up being my college major as well. I don't get to use it that much now, but I still love it. Marrying Stacy I took up Portuguese as a survival skill, so now I'm fairly functional; and people can't talk about me when I'm in front of them, or nearby. I'd also love to learn Latin, just because it seems like something that would be cool. I wouldn't mind knowing a bit of Irish Gaelic. And someday we'd like to go as a family to Europe, so learning a few other languages, at least a little bit anyway, would come in handy.

The Lord of the Rings: I remember as a kid my mother would tell us the Tolkein stories. She started with The Hobbit and moved on to the classic trilogy. I love fantasy adventure books and these are the classics. I've been listening to an audio version with the kids lately and we are all loving the stories together. If it weren't for the huge time investment I'd love to watch the movies all over again, but I have a hard time watching movies again when there are so many things to see out there. I am looking forward to the adaptation of The Hobbit that is coming out soon.

Lionel Hampton: I don't know if I'll always have a jazz musician on here, but they just keep coming to mind. My freshman year in college our ensemble went to the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival in Moscow, ID. Look it up. It's way up there. And cold. I got to see him live on his vibraphone, which was incredible. I also have fond memories of Pullman, WA and the Washingon State University creamery. Those dinky agricultural towns can make some mean ice cream. Hampton's live performance of "How High the Moon" is one of my favorite jazz recordings. This comes from his 1954 concert at the Apollo Theater.

Little League Baseball: From the age of 9 I've been hooked on baseball. I remember the thrill of my first home run, an inside-the-park jobber where I ignored the third base coach, ran right up on the player ahead of me, and slid in for the score. I have a lot of fond memories of Maria and Ribiero fields in Benicia, probably because I spent a lot of hours there as a kid. I also treasure all the time I spent there with my family, especially with my father. I appreciate all the times he left work early, only to have to make it up later, in order to coach me and my brothers. Getting the chance to coach Thing 2's little league team last year was a highlight of 2011. It was coach-pitch and I don't even want to think about how many pitches I threw. I needed a manager to put me on a pitch count!

Letters: If it weren't for weekly letters over a three-and-a-half year stretch in the early 1990s, I don't know what Stacy and I would have done. We spent a long time apart and it was not easy, but getting those letters made a huge difference. I love how we saved all of them, too. There are a few binders in our library filled with everything we were thinking and doing over that stretch. A big part of me thinks that as hard as the time apart was, those years of letter writing strengthened our relationship like nothing else could have.


Boquinha said...

Awwww! I love the letters part! Fun post. I am really enjoying doing these together as a family. I'm so honored and happy that you speak Portuguese. :)

Boquinha said...

And P.S. You and Thing 2 look SO cute in your baseball uniforms. I love watching both of you play!

The Magic Violinist said...

Cool post! :D The video you put on is neat. Thing 2 and I might need some help from you on our Harry Potter Lego game. We are REALLY stuck. :P

Siths and Jedis said...

Thank you for remembering my base ball team. :>

P.S. I love the post

Emily Foley said...

Dave got the boys Lego Star Wars for Christmas and they didn't seem interested, so he got it out and played it by himself for HOURS. And now they love it too!

I've tried to carry on that tradition of reading those books to our boys since your mom did it for you boys but mine are NOT interested. At all. I'm really excited for the movie too.

I teared up reading what you said about your dad and baseball. That is so American to me--dads and sons and baseball. I hope your dad reads that. I also hope Dave gets the chance to do that with our boys.

I love getting real letters. I used to be a really good letter writer but with email that has fallen away. Sad.

Zelia said...

Oh how I remember Stacy when those letters and cassettes arrived. Those are good memories..once a cassette got stuck in our cassette player in the car. Oh she was so upset. She lived for those letters and cassettes.

Zelia said...

Oh how I remember Stacy when those letters and cassettes arrived. Those are good memories..once a cassette got stuck in our cassette player in the car. Oh she was so upset. She lived for those letters and cassettes.

jim said...

must be the meds, now Zelia even repeating herself in the blogs.

It also must be a family tradation that the mail plays a very important role in creating marriages.

Vivian said...

Letters are such a lost art. Gary and I were apart for half of our engagement, so we really counted on letters. You know, back in the olden days when we didn't have cell phones and long distance was prohibitive.
Love Lord of the Rings and Tolkien in general. I am reading a book titled: Tolkien, Author of the Century. Amazing mind.

Dr. Mark said...

Emily, I started with an audio adaptation of "The Hobbit," which ended up being more like a radio drama so the kids really got into it. We're doing a similar thing with the Lord of the Rings. That might be a starting point.

Boquinha said...

LOL! Um, she's repeating herself AND mixing up her memories (she's referring to letters/cassettes I used to get from someone when I was in high school . . . BEFORE meeting Mark). :P

Nevertheless, I used to LOVE getting letters from Mark (still like getting notes). :)

Jim, good point!

Vivian, did you keep the letters? That's so neat.