1. What is your favorite book (non-comic)?
The World Almanac. Really. When I got engaged to Carol, there was an engagement party thrown by some folks in my office. One of the games was for each of us to pick out each other’s favorite colors, TV shows, books, etc. She did far better than I, which I took to mean that I was more Out There and she more mysterious. (Of course, most everyone else thought that she paid more attention to me than I did to her.) She picked the World Almanac as my favorite book, everyone pooh poohed this answer, then I revealed my answer and they were flabbergasted; I don’t know why. I’d been getting the book since I was 10. I can’t remember what I thought hers was, but 100 Years of Solitude, which I had NEVER heard her mention before, was NOT my guess.
I’m also fond of those Billboard Charts Books.
Oh, you mean a book one reads! Ah, that would probably be The Sweeter the Juice: A Family Memoir in Black and White by Shirlee Taylor Haizlip. It’s about this interracial couple from just after the Civil War, and their descendants, some who live as black, some who live as white, and the author’s attempt to hook up some of these 20th century relatives.
2. What is your fondest childhood memory?
Why is this a hard question? Sometimes, the mind goes to the less pleasant.
Then there are good things, like walking home with my friends, singing with my father and sister Leslie, but there’s not single specific (positive) recollection.
But I’m going to pick a time when my father and I took a trip, just the two of us, from Binghamton to Lake George. I was 9 or 10 and was supposed to be the navigator, but we got off course, and we ran out of gas somewhere called Speculator, in the middle of nowhere. I thought Dad would get mad, but he took it all in stride. We walked along the road, and the stars in the sky were huge, as he pointed out. He stopped at someone’s house, got us enough gas to get to a gas station, and we went on to Lake George. Truth is, I don’t remember that much about Lake George, but I do remember the night before quite well.
Not so incidentally, there’s a tragic story about Lake George making the national news this week. It’s very sad, of course, but it’s also curious to watch how the local and national news cover the same story. The very early local reports had 21 (instead of 20) and the folks were from Canada (rather than Michigan; that had to do with the boat registry, apparently.) ABC News has had a few details that were missing from the local reporting. But this is a HUGE local story, as you can tell from their websites here and here, for example.
Now, Gordon was the one I stole this Ask Me a Question idea from. He notes: “Actually, Mike at Progressive Ruin did it once before I did. Gotta give props, you know.” Gordon is so thorough that he’s still reviewing the Mixed Bag 2 CDs. I had peppered Gordon with about a half dozen question, but he had just one for me:
Since you’re a dad (and I’m a godfather), here’s a very thought-provoking question:
If there was one value or set of values you wanted to teach your offspring, what would it be?
Oh, GOOD question!
I want her to be confident without being arrogant.
Self-sufficient without being selfish.
Compassionate without being compromised.
In other words, I want her to know that she’s a REALLY important part of this world, but she’s not the ONLY person in this world.
In a word, balanced.
Now, I have a question for all of YOU, a serious question that my wife and I have been debating for the last three weeks. Do you think Jenna Fischer, who plays Pam Beesley on the NBC version of “The Office” is attractive? Why or why not? I shan’t tell you what we think. I did learn a curious fact today, though; Jenna Fischer and I share a birthday.
Kudos, to Mike on his exhaustive October 7 column on the Joker; Greg Burgas on reaching his one year blogiversary; Fred Hembeck on the first week of a month-long excursion into what David Bowie might call Scary Monsters; and finally, Polite Scott, for huis piece on Lois Lane the other day.