Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Encyclopedia of Me - N (Mark)

(Photos courtesy of: Wikipedia.org, Amazon.com, and Forbes.com)

Nantucket: Stacy and I went to the island for our honeymoon. Since we got married in December, we thought waiting until the following summer would be a great way to go on the trip. We had a fantastic time and would really like to get back there. It's a quaint little island and a lot of fun.

Needles: It's what I do. I'm an acupuncturist. I needle people all day long. Being able to get the certification and do this for a living has been a very good thing for our family. Plus, I feel like I'm providing a service that can and does help a lot of people live better quality lives.

Nat King Cole/Natalie Cole: You knew you couldn't get away without at least one jazz reference! I love the old standards, and Natalie's remake of her father's "Unforgettable" plays a HUGE part in Stacy and me getting together. So, of course, it's our song.

New York City: We've been fortunate to visit the city on a number of occasions and always have a lot of fun. Stacy and I went together to see Les Misérables on Broadway. That trip even included a chance to be in the audience to see David Letterman. We've been back as a family a few times, and have even gotten to share it with friends and family. NYC has a feel and a pulse to it, and you have got to experience it at least once in your lifetime.

Nori: Yes, dried seaweed. The importance being that it holds sushi together. Oh, sushi. What a wonderful food. I was excited to try it in Japan for the first time, and I've loved it ever since. Also, the first date I took Stacy on after 3 1/2 years apart was a sushi dinner. It is still one of our favorite dates.

Netflix: This is so not a necessity, but it has been a really fun resource to have. We've had access to a lot of great movies, power-watched a number of TV shows, and now we have access to Gilmore Girls in more than one format. Say good-bye to productivity! ;)

Encyclopedia of Me - N (Stacy)

(Pictures courtesy of: wikipedia.org, pinterest.com/alfredzambrano/npr-nerd/, harrypotter.wikia.com, ingridsnotes.wordpress.com, fanpop.com, and visitcorvallis.com)
Nancy Drew - So this one is here for the nostalgia factor. I loved this series as a little girl and it helped foster my love of reading. I've read a couple of them recently with our kids and it was almost cringe-worthy how simplistic the writing is (Middle Grade and Young Adult literature has come a LONG way - kids nowadays are so lucky), but even so, the stories and characters are good and accessible and fun. I have good memories of reading through this series.

Niles Crane - I just started watching Frasier with Kate (I love watching entire TV series with my kids). We love Niles. Who doesn't? He is endearing, loveable, and hilarious. His long-time love-at-a-distance and admiration for Daphne is one of the best parts of the show. His slapstick mannerisms as well as his delivery are both fantastic. One of my favorite episodes ("Merry Christmas, Mrs. Moskowitz") is the one where he plays Jesus for a Christmas play Daphne is in charge of - hysterical! His being on this list is part of a trend with many of these posts, I believe. I'm a big, big fan of great side characters, often preferring them to the main ones in just about any story, book, or movie.

Novels/NaNoWriMo - Okay, so this one is probably obvious and no grand surprise. We are a family of readers and writers, and NaNoWriMo is one of our favorite times of year. Every November, we write like crazy. We frequent coffeeshops and bookstores, and we write with our friends and fellow WriMos. It's great fun. This is our 6th year.

Neville - Neville is, quite easily, my favorite Harry Potter character. He is genuine. He is good. He is flawed. Sure, Harry has the impulsive, impetuous courage, Hermione has the brains and good sense, and Ron has the humor and support to balance them both out, but Neville is, through and through, the most courageous, true, loyal, good, kind, and brave soul of them all. One of my favorite scenes in the first book is when Dumbledore says, "There are all kinds of courage. . . . It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr. Neville Longbottom." And of course, there's this from the Battle of Hogwarts:
Lord Voldemort: "You show spirit and bravery, and you come of noble stock. You will make a very valuable Death Eater. We need your kind, Neville Longbottom."
Neville Longbottom: "I'll join you when hell freezes over! Dumbledore's Army!"
Neville is the best.

New Year's Eve - I love this holiday. There's something so joyous and relaxing about it. It is a night that I do NOT like to go out. It is a night that I love to be IN with family and friends. We always have music, games, and a ton of food. We especially like to celebrate it Japanese-style with lots of sushi, potstickers, and edamame. We've even been known to make tempura for New Year's. I like to eat, dance, play games, laugh, watch the ball drop, toast to a new year, and kiss at midnight.

Over 6 years ago, my father died on December 31st, so obviously that wasn't the easiest or happiest day. Even on that day, I remember trying to keep things normal and upbeat for our kids. We were all mourning and grieving - we were sad that my dad has died. We spent the day as a family - there were tears; it was surreal; there was funeral planning. It was strange and hard. But we did steal away for a bit to find a sushi place in Massachusetts and get some take-out to share together. I know my Dad would want us to enjoy ourselves and continue on. He died around 2 in the morning on December 31, 2007, so the way we commemorate that is to have a little memorial service every year during the day where we take turns lighting floating candles and talk about our memories with him and then we "send messages" to him, sharing what we'd like to tell him if we could. We cry. We hug. It's reverent, you know? And then, as the day wears on, we prepare for our evening and put on music and eat and dance and enjoy ourselves, as we kick off the year with celebration and hope.

Nerd/NPR/New Historicist Literary Theory - Okay, so I lumped these three together, because I have difficulty paring things down and because that's how I roll. I am addicted to learning. I love learning things, reading things, researching things. The Internet is like crack for me. I always have a million tabs open and my mind whirls at 1,000 miles an hour. It's overwhelming sometimes and I can't keep up with own thoughts much of the time, but I do love the thrill of looking things up and thinking and considering things. I love debate. I love movies that make me think. I really, really hate stupid movies and I go crazy being around dull people or having boring (to me) conversations with people. I like to talk to people who read and think and care. So yeah, I'm a nerd. I like nerds. I think being smart is sexy and fun and interesting. I like to analyze things, which is why "New Historicist Literary Theory" is on here - it is one of my favorite things I learned in college. I really enjoy analyzing books and films and other mediums. NPR is on here, because I like how it feeds my brain. I like the way they present news stories as an entire picture instead of a fragment or a headline. I love the interviews they do with authors and politicians and other interesting people. I love discovering new books or movies because of something I've heard. I read a lot of news, so "Wait, Wait. Don't Tell Me" is fun (not to mention funny). Our entire family enjoys that show. We listen to a lot of music in this house, but we also enjoy a good NPR story. I loved all listening together to a beautiful interview with Maya Angelou that they rebroadcast on the day she died. I like having friends who listen to NPR - there is never a lack of things to discuss! My good friend Sherri often starts conversations with, "So I was listening to NPR the other day . . . " and we usually laugh at that and before you know it, we're knee-deep in discussion in no time.

P.S. I could also add that I'm a Night Owl. And that I love noodles. I'm pretty excited about recently discovering "Noodles and Company." I love this restaurant in State College where you pick your noodles, veggies, sauces, and other fillings, fill a bowl, and tell them if you want it stir fried or as a soup. They cook it up and you eat it. Delicious! And I thought about having Newport, RI on here, but I already mentioned how much I love it on my 'R' post where I talked about Rhode Island. I had a hard time initially coming up with ideas for this 'N' post, but then I had to narrow it down!