October 16, 2008

the debates are over...

Ha! That title was just to fool you into thinking there'd be something political here again. Nope. I am taking a break from life (the real world) and politics (the hateful slime pit of despair) to answer a challenge from the lovely and talented Janey. (See the answer to #7 below.)

Rules (cuz we all gotta have rules):
*Tagged bloggers post answers on their blogs & replace questions as they wish.
*Tagged bloggers state who they were tagged by & cannot tag the person whom they were tagged by.

1. What do you do before bedtime?
Lately, after the kids are safely tucked in for the night, I've been washing dishes, talking to Maria about her job, planning cub scout outings and soccer lineups, and logging in to deal with work emails. Sometimes, like last night, I get to watch TV (the Daily Show and one of the most boring soccer games I've seen in a while, the US vs Trinidad & Tobago).

2. What is your favorite sound?
My younger son's still-munchkin voice on the phone. They sound so different on the phone. Beyond that, I'd say a gust of wind through mountain pines, the purr of a kitten, or the rumble of thunder and clatter of rain in a desert storm. (No, Jane, I did not copy you... I am reading your answers after writing my own!)

3. What were your childhood fears?
As a kid, I was always deathly afraid of embarrassment. In first grade, the teacher asked what Saint Patrick was famous for. I shouted out, "He invented potatoes!" Everyone laughed at me, and I'm still planning my revenge. (Of course, none of them knew the correct answer, but as the first to get it wrong I received the brunt of the derisive mocking.) I also had this creepy sensation of being trailed by a ghostly presence whenever I was alone in the house. That terrified me sometimes so much that I would walk with my back against the wall so nothing could sneak up on me.

4. What place have you visited that you can't forget and want to go back?
You mean besides Disneyland? And the Crazy Horse 2 strip club in Vegas? OK, seriously: I would say "my youth," but I've already forgotten much of it, so that violates the question. I think Paris might be the best answer to this question. I'm generally not a person who likes the French, France, or French things. Not because of the whole surrender monkey thing but because... I don't know why. But I was in Paris only three or four days for a business trip many years ago, and I'd love to see more of it now that I'm older, be able to hang out a while.

5. What has made you unhappy these days?
Having no time to write or visit blogs that I enjoy. I've failed to keep up with friends because work and kid activities take all my time. Those are fulfilling, don't get me wrong. But I miss writing, and I miss my writing groups, and I miss my online friends.

6. What websites do you visit daily?
See #5. No longer visiting sites daily besides email and my feed reader to see all the posts I can't find time to visit.

7. What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?
Um. Female. Irish. A mom. Who writes. And blogs. Beyond that, I'd have to guess that she's mostly generous and a reliable friend to those she likes, and she likes a lot of people. A happy woman who is equally comfortable in a "kiss the cook" apron or behind the wheel of a formula one race car, she wanted to be an old west sheriff as a child. When she was suffering from oxygen deprivation on her third ascent of Everest, she kept her mind sharp by counting to infinity. Twice. She celebrated her 1986 third place Iditarod finish with eighteen months in a hippie nudist colony in California where, through online chat rooms, she helped the government of Kenya solve many problems. When she is not baking snickerdoodles or performing as a clown at birthday parties, she likes to recite the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy backwards.

8. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head?
Now that I've got it unstuck, I refuse to let it stick again. Since it's football season, it was probably that damned USC fight song. (This is the only song you knoooooowww, it's boring and it's sloooooowwww, etc.)

9. What’s your favorite item of clothing?
I'd have to say it's either my Cal hat or my soccer cleats. Maybe the cleats since when I'm wearing them I know I'm enjoying a fun activity. Other than that, I prefer not to wear clothing. Frequently for the same reason as the cleats.

10. What is your dream for the future?
The one that involves winning the lottery, or the real one? I am a simple person who enjoys life. My dream for the future involves healthy and successful children all grown up and happy in their lives. It involves long stretches of quiet time at a mountain cabin on a lake, with brief and noisy and brightly lit excursions to exciting places. It involves quality time with fictional characters, both those already created by others and those waiting to be created in my imagination and written down. And probably a winning lottery ticket, since we're dreaming. With maybe a cameo by the Swedish Bikini Team.

Wait, that's it? Just those questions? OK, well, I see the rules allow me to add new ones or change the ones above, but now it's time to get back to work and get the kids up and off to school.

I have no idea who's been tagged by this yet. I am so disconnected from the blogger world right now that I don't feel comfortable cold-cocking anyone with a tag. If you want to be tagged... you are! Boom!


JaneyV said...

Thanks so much for doing this Pete. It's lovely to hear from you. Your poems and musings are missed around the blogosphere but I know only too well that finding the work/life balance generally means pruning the internet time so the "life" part gets its due. And so it should be.

I have to say your number three made me smile. Oh how I identified with little Pete. I used to have the worst problem with blushing - everything embarrassed me. And as for St Patrick - well at least you were hovering around the Irish thing - spuds and Catholicism are very closely related. I'd've given you full credit for that.

Thanks for making me so interesting. I wish I had been naked in the Californian sun in 1986 - it beats the hell out being drenched in the rain in Galway.

And your dream - well that sounds just about perfect to me. :0)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Nice info, Pete. And I know what you mean about not getting time to 'see' everybody. My day keeps changing as I figure out what I don't have time for, what's more important, etc.

We're thinking about you and will be here when you get more time - say in about 10 years or so. ;-)

Sarah Laurenson said...

Oh, and Janey sounds very fascinating. All those wonderful accomplishments. Maybe this is a new character for one of your stories? Sort of ala John Irving.

Hey Janey - how's the tooth?

Precie said...


Yanno, the concept that St. Patrick invented potatoes is no more fantastical than that he drove all the snakes out of Ireland...

PJD said...

Yo! Precie's in da house! I was gonna tag you, dude.

Sarah, right on. Thanks for the kind words, but I know I can count on you for kind words. Anyway... what did you think of that debate? Personally, I think the McCain/Palin ticket is acting more like Beavis & Butthead every day. But that's just me.

Sarah Laurenson said...

I made it a point to not watch the debates. I already know who I'm voting for. I don't need to waste my time watching these people tell lies to the world and point the finger at each other. We have the VP debate on DVR and I might still watch some of it, but I'm not sure my blood pressure can take it. That woman scares the piss out of me. Did you know her son-in-law-to-be is 19 and NOT registered to vote? He hopes she wins, but he's not lifting a finger to help make it happen.

Stacy said...

Paradoxically, that's actually a good thing.

Our new cat just typed that last statement. I think it means "food" in catspeak.

Sandra Cormier said...

My son's voice recently changed, so no more little kid voice on the phone. Now he can't turn off his sub-woofer.

I know how you feel, Pete, about not having time for stuff. I haven't written much in a while, and my blog posts have dropped off to once a week or so. However, I recently pitched to a small pub and they want to see a manuscript. Trouble is, I haven't written it yet! Better get crackin'!