Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Encyclopedia of Me - I (Mark)

(Photo credits:;;;;;

Ireland: Yeah, my last name is Irish. No, I'm not that Irish, but my mother did send me to school wearing a shamrock that said "Kiss me. I'm Irish." pinned to my shirt in elementary school. And even though my last name is the most Irish thing about me, I do have a fondness for a lot of Irish things. I make a mean Irish pork medallion and soda bread on St. Patrick's Day. And my special Irish boilermaker chili is fantastic (one can of Guinness and a shot of Jameson's--perfection). I like Irish folk and rock music (Flogging Molly is a particular favorite of mine). I think the accent from The Emerald Isle is great. One of these days we'll get over there and kiss the Blarney Stone. Or maybe just stand down below and let others lean out and do that. Éirinn go Brách!

"I Could Write a Book": The song is an old standard, but the Harry Connick, Jr. version from "When Harry Met Sally" has a special place in my heart. Whenever I hear the song I think of Stacy, not only because we both like Harry, but also for what the song's lyrics say. It ended up in our wedding video, so that should tell you something.

Inequality: This is something that I've given a lot of thought to over the years, and the older I get the more impatient I get with inequality in the world. There is no excuse to treat another human being with anything less than respect and fairness. It doesn't matter what that person's situation is; everyone deserves the best. White, black, male, female, gay, straight, whatever. Equality is the only way. Period.

"The Incredibles": I know this movie is polarizing among Pixar loyalists, but being a big James Bond fan I really enjoyed this movie. It was a bit more adult than the other Pixar films to that point, but I thought it was brilliant. The kids were watching it yesterday and from the other room I heard the music and you could tell they channeled Bond all the way. Plus, an eccentric billionaire with a private island, and a hideout beneath the waterfall. "The Man with the Golden Gun" anyone? (Sidenote, I love Nick Nack in that one. I'm just saying.)

Inglewood, CA: My father grew up in his grandmother's house in Inglewood, not far from The Forum (now Staples Center). I have a lot of fond memories of going to her house, digging holes in the back yard, climbing the lemon trees, looking up obscure words in her Scrabble dictionary, drinking fresh lemonade, playing with her cats named Boy (every cat she ever had was named Boy), and even spending some holidays there with my father's extended family. Nana's house was a great place to hang out, even if the neighborhood had changed just a bit since the 50s and 60s. It was also very close to Disneyland, which meant a day trip every time we went there. I still have two quilts my great-grandmother made for me, and I can often hear her say her favorite phrase: "Mercy, mercy, mercy." (Inglewood is also the home of the Los Angeles Lakers, which I loved watching from the days of Magic Johnson until now, though not as much these days.)

Ishikawa, Travis: This obscure first baseman/outfielder for the Giants hit one of the biggest home runs in San Francisco history this past season. His home run won the game that sent the Giants to the World Series, which they would eventually win, for the third time in 5 years. I've got to say, after watching him be traded from team to team during a very below average major league career, it was pretty cool to watch him have a moment like that. That's the thing about baseball: you just never know who's going to be the hero on any given night. (I just watched it again here. It never gets old.)


Boquinha said...

"The Giants win the pennant!" :) I love you so much. I love that you care about equality. I love that I knew you were going to post about Ireland. I love that you and I both wrote about the song "I Could Write a Book," even though we didn't discuss it together beforehand.I love that you grew up watching the Lakers, while across the country, I grew up watching the Celtics. And that years later, we would combine to make an awesome California - Massachusetts team. I love hearing about you as a little boy visiting your grandmother. I love YOU! So so much!

Jimmy said...

Three cheers for you comments on Inequality!

And I read both yours and Stacy's post and I hadn't made the Celtics-Lakers connection--great comment, Stacy!

Interesting about your grandma. I thought that area around the Staple's Center is kind of a rough part of town. Did it seem like that when you were young?

Emily Foley said...

Your dad and my sister spent a lot of time when they were here for Finn's blessing talking about California. She served her mission to LA and served right near where he grew up for 6 months, so that was fun to listen to.

I don't know if I could kiss the Blarney stone? The germs!

I love the Incredibles, and I REALLY love Jack Jack Attack. So funny.

LMW said...

I have a small fondness for Ireland too. I like Flogging Molly, the color green and Irish accents.:)

Great comments regarding inequality.

I love The Incredibles!: "Well, which one is it?That seems like a pretty crucial conjunction."

Hahaha! My grandmother seems to recycle her pets' names too. She's had at least three cats named Shadow.

The Magic Violinist said...

Yeah, I might not mind heights that much, but I don't think I could kiss the Blarney Stone. XD I'll just take a picture.

Hey, nice thinking with "Inequality!" You guys all came up with good stuff.

I really want to watch Bond movies with you. They look so cool. :) Maybe that's what we could watch when Max turns 13.

Dr. Mark said...

Stacy--I love that you love to use the phrase "I love" so much. ;) It is kind of fun to think about the lives we led before meeting each other. I remember those Lakers-Celtics years. I'm glad we can still be friends!

Jimmy--Yeah, that neighborhood is pretty rough. It obviously wasn't always that bad, but it deteriorated through the years. When I was 8 I didn't see it, but at 18 it was a lot more noticeable!

Emily--that was my thought about the stone as well. Hundreds of years of germs, all in one place!

LMW--recycling names makes a lot of sense. For one thing, there was something comforting about always seeing Boy when we visited.

Kate--Well, I doubt that any Bond film would pass the Bechdel test, but as far as a guilty pleasure goes, they're pretty fun. That sounds like a good plan!

Jagged Rocks said...

I have to say since my maiden name is Kilpatrick, I agree with you about all things Irish.