Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Encyclopedia of Me - A (Mark)

Astronomy: When I was a kid I was kind of a science nerd, and I loved astronomy. That's pretty evident as I look through old school assignments, projects, and science fair entries. There are countless pictures of plantets (complete with rings on Neptune--yeah, at 7 I knew it had them), Space Shuttles, Yoda, stars, and any number of other celestial bodies. I loved my Astronomy merit badge and can still name a few constellations. I need to start taking more time to get back into it. There is something very awe-inspiring about the night sky.

August: My parents were born in August. Two years later I was born on their wedding anniversary. Two years later my brother came along, and until this past year I thought we were Irish twins, but then I found out that we are just two brothers with the same birthday that aren't really twins. Less cool, but still interesting. I actually enjoyed a lot about high school and in August our band camp started up, which was a great time to see a bunch of my closest friends. We met in the evening for the two weeks before school started to get a jump start on the marching band season. I have many, many great memories of fun with friends in August.

"All of Me": The jazz standard by Marks and Simons, not the classic 1984 movie starring Steve Martin and Lily Tomlin, although that is a good movie. I guess the two are intertwined for me since there is a very specific scene in the movie that gave rise to a personal experience. The end scene starts with Richard Libertini as the swami charged with putting Tomlin's soul "back in bowl" sitting behind the piano while Jason Bernard is getting ready to groove on the saxophone. Bernard plays the first phrase followed by a single note on the piano. Then he plays the next phrase, followed by another single note. Eventually the whole band comes in and Lily and Steve dance away. I arranged the song very similarly for our jazz combo and even made my father laugh the first time he heard us play, not because we weren't any good (we were good, by the way), but he was picturing the swami plucking out the tune. I also love that this song has been covered by so many jazz greats. Michael Buble's is an especially good one.

Athlete: I like sports. I like a lot of sports. Over the years I've been able to balance my enthusiasm for sports with a lot of other interests, but I spent a lot of time growing up playing a lot of sports. I was pretty decent, too. Obviously I was never so good that someone wanted to pay for my college or give me lots of money for my skills, but I did alright.

Absence: . . . makes the heart grow fonder. It can also suck royally! Stacy and I spent a long time apart early in our relationship--three-and-a-half years in fact. It was really tough, but I also credit that time as one of the biggest ways that we really got to know each other. We wrote letters every week and by the time we got back together we knew each other even better than when we first were apart. We also knew that there was no reason to keep being apart, so we got married within a few months of our "reunion" and we've spent virtually no time apart since then, which has been over 15 years. I don't see us looking for any reasons to spend time apart any time soon, either.

Arizona: I'm not a huge fan of Arizona (no offense to anyone there now, or any AZ lovers), but I can see what people may enjoy about it. The state did play a big part in our lives, though. We bought our first house there. Granted, it could have been loaded onto two flatbeds and driven away, and it had tail lights still attached to it, and I had to fix nearly 30 plumbing leaks in it over a four-year period, but it was home. A really nice home. I got my medical degree there (at AZCOM, another "A" word). Stacy got her MSW at Arizona State University West (not the hard-partying main campus). We brought our daughter home to that house. We also brought our son home to the same house. We grew our first garden and planted our first lawn and put up our first fence and built our first sandbox. I could write an entire book about all the great things we experienced in Arizona. It was a good four years.


Boquinha said...

Awww, that's so nice! It's so fun to write our posts, then post them, THEN read one another's posts. We have some overlap here! I like all the AZ "firsts" you listed. Good times indeed. :)

Emily Foley said...

I like your thoughts about Arizona. We live in a place that I will never love, but being with my family and making good friends here will make the experience worthwhile for me.

I was never an athlete but I love that Dave was (is?) and I want our kids to participate. Isaac hasn't found a sport he likes yet but I'm not giving up! I think it's important to participate on a team and move something besides a Wii controller.

I'm a little different about absence. Not that I would like to live apart or anything but I feel like I am a better wife and mom when I get some time away to myself. It gives me a chance to remember how much I want/need them. And while I appreciate Dave all the time, I REALLY appreciate him when he gets back from a work trip or scout camp. :)

Jimmy said...

Like Emily, I like your thoughts on AZ, too. And here's my unique thing about the letter A--I like any girl's name that ends in A. I wonder if it's a Spanish language thing?

Siths and Jedis said...

AND I LOVE PLAYING BASEBALL :E :E ;E :E....................................................................................................................

Dr. Mark said...

Emily - I agree that people definitely need some time to themselves to rest and recharge. We often talk about how we don't fully appreciate quiet time until it actually happens. And yes, Wii controllers can only provide so much exercise.

Jimmy - Maybe the "names ending in A" is a Spanish language thing. Stacy likes a lot of Portuguese names with similar sounds.

Siths - It's a good thing you like geeks and nerds since our family is full of them. And I love playing baseball, too, obviously.

Vivian said...

My apologies on the Irish twins thing. So many years have passed, I don't recall where I got the idea (erronious apparently) that Irish twins were 2 kids with the same birthday, any number of years apart, not that they were born within the same year. I still think it is fun that neither you, nor Doug were due on our anniversary, you both just wanted to arrive on that day.

The Magic Violinist said...

Astronomy is very cool. I love learning constellations! :D