Tuesday, November 4, 2014

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!


Siths and Jedis said...

I love your list of things. You thought of a lot of them. Neville I should have put that on mine.

Dr. Mark said...

For telling me N was a hard number, you sure came up with a lot! I especially love how many you squeezed in with the triple item and overflow.

I love Niles. And that Christmas episode? Hilarious! "I understand it's your busy season."

Lots of Neville love in this family. He's a fantastic character, and I also can't help but cheer when I read or hear that line in the last book.

Your New Year's Eve entry made me tear up a lot. What a bittersweet holiday for us. I love our traditions, and I really love how we've kept it going while still paying respect and remembering such a great man. Thank you for making New Year's a great holiday for us.

Yes, nerdy is sexy. There are a number of reasons I love you, but this is definitely one. And did you just mention New Historicism? What a nerd! ;)

Jimmy said...

I've never liked New Year's Eve, but I like the way your family honors it. Your tributes to your dad are just awesome. I always think those on the other side miss us, too.

LMW said...

My husband has never cared about NYE either, buthe makes an effort because I grew up in a family that did something for each somewhat major holiday. Our family's NYE was pretty simple, but we always got lots of Chinese food and other food and watched movies. So, I'm fond of it.

My favorite NPR shows are This American Life, Fresh Air and the music on A Prairie Home Companion. When I'm in the car with my driver for work, we always listen to the classical music that our state public radio programs, which is between 9:00 and noon.

Funny! We have a Noodles and Company here too, but it's just a typical Chinese food restaurant.

Emily Foley said...

I was reading Harry Potter with Noah and Isaac last night and I started to cry. the boys were like "wait, what?" It's the part where Malfoy is making fun of people whose "brains have been addled by magic" and is making faces and Harry and Ron have to hold Neville back. This is before anyone knows what happened to Neville's parents (except Harry) and it just really got to me last night. I also love Neville.

I love your thoughts on New Year's Eve and what you do to remember your dad. It's awesome and sad and happy. I love that.

Niles just showed up on the Good Wife this week, I'm hoping he's on more! I mean, it's not Niles obviously, but I really like him. I loved him on Frasier too.

Have you listened to Serial? I don't listen to NPR much, it's a lot of native american music here, but I love This American Life and Serial is super good and fun to listen to. I just started yesterday and listened to 4 in a row!

The Magic Violinist said...

Love your paragraph on Neville. :) You have some creative ones on here! I should've thought of New Year's Eve.

Boquinha said...

Thanks, Max!

I'm a pro and squeezing more in. Editing/brevity is NOT my strong suit!

Thanks. :) I'm so glad that's one of the reasons.

Thanks, Jimmy.

LMW, I like hearing other people's traditions. That sounds nice. And those are some great NPR shows. That's weird that your Noodles and Company is only Chinese food. Is it part of the chain company or a local mom-and-pop type place? Noodles and Company has noodles dishes from all over the world!

Emily, thanks. I haven't listened to Serial, but I've heard really good things. I'm not very savvy with figuring out how to get and listen to good podcasts, but I'm trying. When I manage to figure stuff out, we listen to some pretty great stuff! Was Serial on NPR?

TMV, thanks. :)

Boquinha said...

That should say I'm a pro AT squeezing more in. Like this comment apparently.

Anonymous said...

So with you on Nancy Drew. Oh, the memories I have of reading those books as a child. I would check a few out every time we visited the library (which was often). I remember sitting on the couch with my mom (my sister on one side, me on the other) as she read to us. I think Nancy was also the first chapter book I read on my own.

And Niles Crane--so, so funny. Love him.