Thursday, July 14, 2016

Beautiful People #18 | June Edition

What are their first childhood memory?
     One of Quill's most vivid childhood memories is of the day he met Ransom. It was at Ransom's sister's wedding and both young boys were tired (and a little cranky) from being dressed up all day long. Their mothers, who had been friends since college, encouraged the boys to play together for the afternoon.

     When he remembers Ransom's first words to him, Quill always as to stifle a laugh... "My sister just got married. I had to dress up all fancy and stupid, but it was nice, I guess. She won't stop smiling. Hey! You wanna get married? We can be married and then you won't have to frown anymore 'cause you'll be happy all the time like my sister."

What were their best and worst childhood experiences?
     Quill's best childhood experience was becoming a big brother and his worst was when he broke his arm falling out of a treehouse.

What was their childhood home like?
     Quill's parents still live in his childhood home. It is an older, Victorian style house that was cozy when family came to visit, but still had enough space that people weren't stepping all over each other. He enjoys being able to visit the house he grew up in and has many good memories that were made there.

What’s something that scared them as child?
     When Quill was very little, he was scared that aliens would come and take him away in their spaceship.

     As for Ransom? He always said that he wasn't scared of anything, when he actually was a little afraid of the dark.

Who did they look up to most?
     Quill has always been enamored with Amelia Earhart and would love to get his private pilot license and fly his own plane to different locations. Of course, he needs to somehow earn enough money to pay for pilot school AND the payment on a plane, lol.

Favorite and least favorite childhood foods?
     Quill thinks that pie is the best thing in the entirety of the world and Brussels sprouts are from the devil. When he was little, Quill's favorite pie was apple pie but his tastes have changed as he's grown older and he now prefers strawberry rhubarb pie. His mother tried to feed him Brussels sprouts once and never attempted it again.

     Ransom likes his mother's chili the best. It is a recipe that's been in his family for generations and he has grown up eating Mexican food. His Abuela has been known to rant for many minutes on the tastelessness of Americanized Mexican food. While he isn't actually a picky eater, Ransom prefers a lot of meat in his diet and not so many vegetables. He has always taken a bit of convincing to eat anything green or leafy.

If they had their childhood again, would they change anything?
     The only thing Quill would change about his youth is the year in high school where he was terrified that something was wrong with him, that somehow he was broken and that his brokenness would be found out and he'd be hated for it.

What kind of child were they? Curious? Wild? Quiet? Devious?
     Quill was a quiet child, but extremely curious about the world around him. He was always getting caught in places that he wasn't supposed to be because he would let his best friend, Ransom, talk him into exploring the woods near their houses.

What was their relationship to their parents and siblings like?
     At first, Quill was jealous of all the attention his little sister was getting from the adults in his life. He had been an only child for seven years and suddenly there was this screaming, red-faced baby taking his parents away from him. It took a few months for Quill to stop feeling jealous and to understand that babies just need a lot of attention and that his parents still loved him. After 'Lizabet grew out of her colicky stage, his parents would spend one-on-one time with Quill to make sure he didn't feel left out.

     Quill loves his parents and appreciates their support of him and his little sister. Even from across the country, he feels safe and loved because he knows that his family is there for him.

What did they want to be when they grew up, and what did they actually become?
     Quill wanted to be a firefighter when he grew up and even though he went to school to become a librarian, he has considered becoming a reserve firefighter and working part-time at a local firehouse.

     When he was little, all Ransom wanted to be when he grew up was a pirate! Sadly, he learned that piracy isn't a legal way to earn one's income and chose instead to go into technology. He now works with a police cyber crime unit.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Ireland: Day 3

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Our first experience riding the Hop On, Hop Off bus wasn't particularly great. The driver, a Dublin native, rather brusquely stated that he didn't like to hear his riders' speaking. We were told, "Your talking has made me lose my track." which appears to be interchangeable with the Americanism, "You made me lose my place."
My instructor commented... "Not very nice! I didn't hear this."
I have noticed that the Irish phrasing sounds more solid, almost as if it carries the weight of age. The American way of saying things is often very impudent sounding, often quite brash. We are a young country, after all, and the older I get the more that I am able to recognize this.

Knowing the Irish are particularly proud of their breweries, I looked forward to getting a tour of one of the local facilities.

Teeling Distillery is the only working Distillery in Dublin. It is a small, family-owned business that returned to Dublin and became the producer of the first Dublin whiskey to be distilled within the city in over forty years.

Peter, a fast-talking, highly knowledgeable young man was our tour guide. He explained how the distillery tried to purchase the original land and when they couldn't, decided to locate in the historic Liberties. The Liberties were located beyond the city walls and residents felt "at liberty" to brew whiskeys and beers without having to pay taxes on what they produced.

We learned about the different ingredients and cooking processes that the Teeling Distillery has used for years. From the selection of grains to the three copper vats where the solution is cooked down to become their signature whiskeys, everything at Teelings speaks of quality.

Peter sitting in front of Natalie.
Traditions of old and new techniques come together in the three vats named after the Teeling daughters -- Alison, Natalie and Rebecca -- to create a wonderfully smooth small batch whiskey.

During the tasting portion of the tour, Peter explained the correct way to drink good Irish Whiskey...
  1. Start by swirling it in the cup. The natural oils of a good whiskey will leave a residue called peaks and tears on the glass.
  2. Second, smell the whiskey, breathing in the different scents.
  3. Third, take a small sip and swallow, breathing out immediately afterward to allow the alcohol fumes of that first taste to escape.
  4. After these steps, one may continue drinking, allowing each mouthful to sit on the tongue as the flavors and depths are revealed.
As the Teeling family says...

At the Farmer's Market next door, a kind sort of haggling over prices occurred as vendors and their customers decided the worth of vegetables, fruits, meats, and more. The people in attendance were of the community, speaking familiarly with vendors and other customers, reminding me of the small-town grocery store where I grew up. It seems that much of Ireland still has that small-town sense of community. The people truly care about each other and their country.

We traveled through Dublin by Hop On, Hop Off bus and hopped off across the River Liffey at the Story of the Irish show.

Guided through history by an actor portraying an ancient Celtic god, Crannog, we learned of the origins of the Irish people in their own words. Crannog is one of the Tuatha De Dannan, a people of magic who are honor bound to tell the truth, and is the guide who protects you as you travel through history.

The original Irish people migrated up the coast of Europe at the end of the last Ice Age. A few of these people crossed the water in skin boats to the island of Ireland, leaving the coast of a Britain still connected to the continent.

From that first landing the island was able to escape much of the war and conquering forces of the mainland. The island of Ireland was (and has been) so isolated from the world that the gene pool remained undiluted for thousands of years and a prosperous agricultural community developed. This group of people were technologically advanced and traded with lands as far away as Persia!

The most wonderful thing I was able to take away from the show is that there is currently a revival to bring back many of the ancient Irish traditions, the culture, and language.

Hearing tales of ancient Irish kings and of the steadfast, enduring soul of the people was truly inspiring.