Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Can you tolerate another list of 8 random items?


Though I was one of the first to be tagged by John G-W who started this whole thing, I seem to be one of the last to reply to his pass-along game. The delay in response is due more to the personal "crisi" I was in at the time than in not wanting to be a good sport. However, I am responding, not because I like these things (I don't!), but because I like him!


By now, everyone knows the rules... so here you go, John:


1. My grandmother's grandmother was an indentured servant in 1840s England, left orphaned to pay the debts of her parents who were banished from England forever and sent by ship to Australia as convicts. Her father's crime? Stealing bread. Her mother's crime? Eating the stolen goods! (Can anyone say "Les Miserables"?) Thus, to this day I have a rebellious yet survivor spirit...


2. My mom was a convert to the Church in the southern states during WWII. During those days, missions were disbanded and she was fellowshipped by ROTC boys from SLC. She was the first of her family to join the Church, a major step away from the traditions of her fathers. She taught me through her example and testimony. I have gained a spiritual sensitivity and an independent spirit from my mother...


3. I am an eagle scout though I did it out of obligation to my parents verses my personal quest. It was something that I was 'supposed to do', so I did it. I hated the program and everything associated with YM. Somehow, I gained a testimony of the gospel despite the abuse and harassment of the "priesthood" programs. To this day I have a distaste for scouting, but have become a huge fan of the Young Men's program and the miracles that can occur as one assists in the opening of the eyes of a youth to his spiritual potential. I've re-experienced the joys of "priesthood" programs as an adult, having served for years as a YM leader. I still have an intense sense of duty...


4. I love to travel and to discover new people, new places, new cultures, new languages and new foods. I have explored all 50 states but 1 (Alaska - and it's on the docket for next years) and much of Europe and some of Asia. I have a special affinity for Italy, Southern France, and India. I love to take photos. I feel naked without my camera. If I could figure out how to combine travel and photography and make a living supporting my family in the ways of which they are accustomed to live, I'd do it in an instance. I have an incurable disease called wanderlust...


5. I hate heights. I'm scared to death of high places, though as I get older, I'm getting better. I've been stuck on a 6" wide ledge at Lake Powell on a shear cliff some 50 feet above the water and couldn't move forward or backward and refused to jump into the water despite all the encouragement of my friends. I haven't been completely terrified to the point of immobility very often, but this was one of those times. It's funny though, I'm a sucker for a great view, an expansive vista, or especially an amazing sunset - and when it takes climbing a mountain precipice, scaling the steps of the Leaning Tower of Pisa (with no railings) or hanging over the railing at the top of the Empire State Building for that "perfect views", my acrophobia vanishes. I am conflicted and inconsistent in many things...


6. I get motion sickness very easily. I can't dance the polka or tolerate any kind of spinning. I think I was the only kid that HATED the merry-go-round. I hate amusement parks as most rides have been designed for the explicit purpose of making me turn shades of green that are beyond the natural color spectrum of skin. As much as I travel, I still get air sick, and let's don't even talk about boats! I like to be well anchored...


7. I like to create environments. I used to spend hours in my basement planning cities, laying out streets and villages, designing mansions. My communities would encompass the entire house and flow out into the back yard (I had a very tolerant mother - but my father thought I was nuts, wondering - why wouldn't I rather go play ball with the rest of the boys?) In real life, I have master planned "award winning" communities and designed buildings in over 15 states, including California, North Carolina, and New Jersey. I have an engineering degree with emphasis in structures and am fascinated with the beauty of structural form. Though I see beauty in the structures of the Spaghetti Bowl (freeway interchange of I-15 and I-80) in the photo that I took above, I don't consider that a "creative environment" (especially in bumper-to-bumper rush hour) though it encompasses my love of photography, a great view, a strong sense of structure and form, a hatred of heights (I was in a two-seater plane at the time), and I dare say I spend more time in my life on I-15 than I would like to admit). But my true love is architecture and the artistic magic of contextualism. I've been known to say: "Architecture, without passion, is just engineering!" I have a passionate spirit...


8. I hate playing any kind of sport that makes me hold, touch or associate myself with a ball. Balls make me break out in hives! Little league baseball was absolute torture! I was too wussy for football, and too uncoordinated to make a simple layup in basketball (I never could figure out with which leg I jumped, while holding the ball in which hand and aiming for what corner of the backboard?) . I hate running (flat feet = no shock absorption). Yet, I love to hike (especially with the reward of a good view - see item 5 above), bike (as long as it's relatively flat, or better yet - coasting downhill!), camp (with a decent air mattress), swim (I love the backstroke), snorkel (especially in Hawaii), and be in the outdoors. I feel peace when I'm in or around nature...


There you have it!


Since every blogger I know is tagged, I won't try to tag you. But, if you aren't tagged or don't feel that you are tagged, then consider yourself tagged.


12 comments:

J G-W said...

I like you too! :-)

I promise, next time I get tagged, the madness stops with me. I'm new to the blogging world, so I felt obliged to play along just once, and am glad my new friends are good sports.

Wow, what a story about your ancestors... Jean Valjean, move over.

I was an Eagle Scout too (weren't we all if we grew up Mormon?). I share your love of camping, maybe inherited from scouting.

I was similarly allergic to organized sports. Finally, when I was a priest, I played on the ward basketball team just to say I had done it once. It was a disaster, but I felt some satisfaction about having done it.

My partner was just like you... Still is. He has volumes and volumes of drawings of imaginary buildings in imaginary cities on imaginary worlds.

GeckoMan said...

Beck, if you had responded early, I could have cut and pasted your blog into mine, with the exception of the eagle scout award and fear of heights. It simply amazes me to find such similarities of life history and preferences among my Moho brothers.

I'm a designer of foods, but have always longed to design structures. One of my favorite pasttimes has been to draw rough designs of small get-away cabins; I just wish I had a pile of cash to build one of them someday.

Abelard Enigma said...

I was an Eagle Scout too

[sigh] yet another thing that sets me apart from the other MoHo's [sigh]

I only made it to 2nd class. But, I have an excuse. I was in a non-LDS troop, and the scoutmaster got tired of doing it and quit, and no one else stepped in so the troop was disbanded. (of course, I could have joined another troop - but we won't go there, OK?)

However, both of my sons are Eagle scouts; so, does that make up for it?

Forester said...

As much as you hate responding to these types of questions, I loved reading these items about you. It's really nice to get to know each other a little better. I have to admit, I too am an Eagle Scout, afraid of heights, draw buildings as a hobby and terrible at sports.

Beck said...

J G-W: My grandmother's grandmother was also the first member of the church. After her conversion, she raised her children in England. Her husband died young, and so she "worked" again as a servant to pay for her children to "go to Zion". One by one they came to SLC over the course of a decade or more, as they could afford it. She ended up coming in the 1870s herself, the last of the family to immigrate, and is buried in the SLC cemetery. Because she didn't cross the plains pre-railroad, she doesn't "count" as a pioneer, but in my mind, she will always be one of my biggest heroes!

I'd love one day to see Goran's volumes of drawings and ideas. I have an archive of plans and projects I've completed - I wish some would have been more imaginative - but you do what the client wants in order to pay the bills, right?

Beck said...

GECKOMAN: I am curious what a "designer of foods" means. Do you develop new food products? Are you a food engineer? Help me to understand...

If you need help with that cabin, let me know :)

Beck said...

FORESTER: Amazing the similarities we do have as we get to know each other better. I feel a bit exposed in being so "revealing of myself" in a post like this, but it's good to be more open and real and I enjoy getting to know you better, too.

GeckoMan said...

Beck, I do product development for an ice cream company, that is, I invent new flavors, new mixes, new food concepts. I've also worked designing and developing pizza products, beverages, and chocolate products. Yes, my world can be sweet! How come I get to play with food? Well, I got a BS and MS in Food Science, and I love to diddle.

J G-W said...

Beck - your great-great-grandma was a pioneer, no doubt.

If we ever have the pleasure of meeting, Goran will be glad to show you his drawings. He's been known to keep guests entertained with them for hours. He has endless stories to tell about them all. He not only designed buildings, but trees, subway systems, ships, elevators, you name it... At one point he was going to write a Sci Fi novel about it all. It was what helped him keep his sanity when he was homeless...

J G-W said...

Forester - I did tag you! But I'll understand if you decline to post your own 8 random facts. I've caused enough mayhem as it is.

Elbow said...

"I get motion sickness very easily."

Me too!

gentlefriend said...

I was never an eagle scout, but as a scoutmaster I helped individually about 20 boys get their eagle, including three of my sons. The thing I hated about scouting was the malitaristic good-old-boy scouters who were more interested in control and the rules than fun for the boys. I had a wild (energetic, creative)bunch of boys. I continually got flack from the old farts about controlling my boys. They opposed some of my scouts getting their eagle because they were too "wild". I had to fight for them to get the honor they earned and deserved. I loved my scouts and trusted them and they seldom let me down. Almost all of them served missions and some are serving in young men's programs.

I have read enough of your blogs to conclude that your young men are loved and enjoy your leadership.