Question of the Day: Good Advice? Not so much.

31 07 2006

What was the worst advice you ever received? Did you follow it?

I suppose it’s heartening that nothing immediately springs to mind. Hmmm….

Well, back when I was in high school, one well-meaning relative suggested I look into becoming an x-ray technician; she’d heard, I think, that x-ray techs were in high demand. If I’d taken that advice, I’d be bored and radioactive.

About that same time, I also took one of those career inventory tests; my interests somehow matched up with those of the prototypical chemist. My high school passion for math pointed in that direction, I guess. Today, though, I can’t even imagine being a chemist. I’d be lonely in a lab, and I’d be squeamish about whatever was in those test tubes. Ewwww.

You know what? I just dug around in my files and found the results of that darned career inventory. (Gosh, do I keep everything or what?) Sociologist finished second—just behind chemist—and the test probably did get me thinking about sociology as something to study. I ended up with a graduate degree in sociology, and I think I’d be fairly happy today as a sociologist, too. Other fields that matched up well with the high-school iteration of me: college professor, geographer, psychologist, librarian, and public administrator. I didn’t wind up in any of those careers, but they all sound feasible. So maybe that test wasn’t so bad after all.

What career was I least interested in as a high school student? Vo-ag teacher, according to the results. That still sounds about right.

But what if, somehow or other, I had gone into vo-ag teaching? Well, I guess I’d’ve been the vo-ag teacher with the Abba fetish and the special interest in gay sheep. That almost sounds like fun.


Florida Marlins 15, Philadelphia Phillies 2

31 07 2006

I was there for the ugliness.

Actually, it wasn’t as ugly as it might’ve been. A day after the Phillies traded two of its best players in order to save money, and a day after the team’s general manager said the team wouldn’t contend until 2008(!), the Phillies’ boisterous fans took the shellacking better than they might’ve. Sure, there were boos. But there was more sarcasm—e.g., applauding when every little thing the Marlins did turned out right, joking that the home team now consists mostly of players who couldn’t be traded anywhere—than anything else.

Highlights of the day for me:

  • Seeing that the Phillies’ gift shop already had its Bobby Abreu jerseys marked down 50%;
  • Sitting in a shady section on a hot, hot summer day, enjoying a frozen lemonade;
  • Using the familiarity of a baseball game, even a rout, as a background to processing some bad news about someone I used to know and love.

Question of the Day: You’ve got to blog!

30 07 2006

If you could get someone in your life to start a blog, who would it be and why?

My sister, maybe? She’s 15 years older than me, and she just retired early from a 30-year career as an elementary school teacher. (Yeah, I’m old enough that my only sibling is retired. Is that sobering or what?!) We live a long way apart, and I don’t hear from her often enough. I think she’d have a lot of interesting things to say, though, and I think the blogging habit might do her some good.

Of course, these days, she seems to be more interested in raising horses, baling hay, and canning tomatoes than anything else. Really. In fact, I’m pretty sure she doesn’t even own a computer. Getting her into blogging wouldn’t be easy.

And, um…despite the way I made her sound, my sister’s not Amish.

Newark Bears 2, Camden Riversharks 1

29 07 2006

This is how I spent my Friday night. Some coworkers, beer, water ice, and a panzerotti were also involved. (A panzerotti, for the New Jersey-impaired among you, is a sort of fried, folded pizza.) For the first time, I took the ferry from Philly to Camden and back. It was awfully nice to be on the water, especially on a suddenly cooler summer evening. It reminded me a little bit of New Orleans….except for the suddenly cooler part, that is.

I came away with a cool new ballcap. Unfortunately, the Riversharks came away with a loss, as they gave up the game-winning run in the top of the ninth. But the post-game fireworks seemed to make up for it a bit.

Every summer, I tell myself I’m going to hit all the minor-league parks in the area. So far, though, I’ve only made it to see the Wilmington Blue Rocks and, now, the Riversharks. I still need to hit the Atlantic City Surf, the Reading Phillies, the Scranton-Wilkes Barre Red Barons, and the Trenton Thunder. Tick tock, Jay.

Question of the Day: They’re Grrreat!

29 07 2006

What or who is your favorite product mascot? Why?

I’m going to have to go with the Pillsbury Doughboy. In fact, if he were (a) human, (b) hairier, and (c) in early middle age, I’d probably want to date him. I guess that means I’m hoping he’s gay, too. And while I’m tweaking the Doughboy for illicit purposes, can I get a model with a deeper voice, too? Thanks.

I probably shouldn’t have admitted this.

Question of the Day: Your fantasy restaurant

27 07 2006

If you could open any sort of restaurant, what would it be like?

Although I’m sure I’d go broke, I’d open a café in my hometown in northeast Oklahoma. I’d want to serve unexpected dishes, cooked with fresh, local produce and lots and lots of wine. Nouvelle Okie cuisine, let’s call it. I’m seeing okra, turnips, corn, free-range buffalo(?), watermelons, peaches—all prepared and presented in ways your grandma never dreamed.

But I’d want the restaurant (Jay’s Place?) to be more. It should be the kind of place where disaffected young and old people—loners, wannabe anarchists, queer Okies, and rebels of various stripes—could safely come for coffee, good conversation, alternative newspapers, and places on big, overstuffed sofas.

It’s a shame I can’t cook.

Question of the Day: I wish I could…

27 07 2006

Play any instrument or speak any language, which do you choose?
Question submitted by

This is a little bit hard because—either way—I’d be something of a freak. (Not that I’m not already, of course!) The question, I guess, is which super-freaky talent would lead to the most interesting life. And as much as I like music, and I do, I think I’d opt to be able to speak any language. With that talent, I’d surely be a diplomat, or a linguistics scholar, or a travel-industry guru. Any of those might mean I’d get to (a) travel much or all the time and (b) communicate with all sorts of interesting people.

Plus, my skill with languages would enable me to help out with one of my passions—preserving the world’s dying languages, which are becoming extinct at an alarming rate.

I’d still probably regret I didn’t know how to play the banjo, though.