Thursday, August 16, 2007

Qu'est que ce?

I saw The Interview on Andreanna’s site today, and I found it so intriguing that I requested my interview questions from that madwoman (as she describes herself, not me!). This has been fun yet thoughtful. Let the interview begin!

1) What is your favorite childhood memory?

Memories, actually, of vacations in Brigantine, NJ. This barrier island suburb is just North of Atlantic City, and has beautiful beaches. We stayed at first at the Sea Gull cottages, later the Sea Gull motel, both of which were efficiencies. Mom cooked some, not every meal. But Grandpa bought donuts and honey buns every morning. The trip down usually began in East Hartford at 4 AM, and the kids traveled in their bathing suits. When we arrived, our parents waited to check-in, and we were allowed to go to the beach right away. These beaches were patrolled so well by lifeguards; it was perfectly safe to let the kids go. Grandpa would take us to Luigi’s, a red sauce place in AC (long since gone for today’s glitzy casinos), rode bicycles early in the morning on the boardwalk, and Taylor Pork Roll sandwiches (I haven’t seen Taylor pork roll yet in southern CT). I haven’t been to Brigantine since 1972. It was a nice vacation as a kid, and lots of great memories.

2) What is one talent you wish you had?

I wish that I could read music and play an instrument. And just for the pleasure of just playing. I never had lessons when I was younger, yet today we seen the value of music, and this is why we have had our children take piano lessons, and happily they continue to play. Kid1 a flute in her college pep band; Kid2, sax, marimbas and trumpet this year in his High School band. They are not nor probably will ever be professionals, yet they really enjoy the music. I take pleasure in their playing as well.

3) What is your all-time favorite movie?

Right now, I have to say that it is Casablanca. I really enjoy so many things about this classic. Humphrey Bogart is perfect as the cynical club owner Rick serving both the French and Nazi’s equally cynically, but is redeemed at the end. And I love when the French patrons are singing La Marseillaise, drowning out those drunken singing Nazis. As Time Goes By. And the lines:

“We’ll always have Paris”

“You played it for her, now play it for me”

“Not only are you a sentimentalist, you are also a patriot”, and my favorite, Rick to Renault:

“This looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship”

4) Name three material things you couldn't live without.

  • My trusty Ford E150 van. Setup as a driver vehicle (I transfer from the chair to the driver’s seat to drive ‘normally’) and it gets me around fine. There is no mass transit in our suburban location, and the local Para transit service doesn’t run on Sunday. My Ford is my freedom.
  • Our computer. I couldn't blog and follow other bloggers without it, and even more prosaic uses such as doing taxes, writing rebuttals to SSA’ s idiotic decisions, scanning photos, etc. My latest thing is making and arranging music files for when I’m working again and then can purchase an IPod or Zune player.
  • My shower bench, really. I have a 3x5 ft roll in shower, drive the chair into it and transfer on to the bench, then back the chair up a bit, and pull the shower curtain. It doesn’t seem like much, but when I started using a chair on 11/17/1995, I didn’t have a bathroom I could use for a year. For example, I took showers at the picnic table when it was hot outside using city water (brrrr…58 degrees, COLD). So being able to take a shower is nice.

5) What is your dream vacation?

I really want to see Paris while using the chair. The nicest sites are in old buildings and narrow streets (nothing bombed and rebuilt after WW II). This would entail a private tour guide and vehicle (Citroen, Renault and Peugeot wheelchair vans can be rented), and this guide certainly would know all the places a wheelchair can fit. Patti and our daughter went to Paris twice on school trips, and did note that places like the Louvre were quite accessible, and the elevator at the Eiffel Tower will fit a wheelchair. Where this tour would shine is the guide’s knowledge about non-touristy bistros, clubs, and other places. I think this trip will happen someday.

If you'd like to play, here are the interview rules (copied from Andreanna):
1. Leave me a comment saying “Interview me.”
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with a post containing your the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.


AndreAnna said...

Oh this was great!

Brigantine is definitely not the same , but I am glad you have such fond memories!

And I hope you get to see Paris one day soon!

Loved your answers. And I don't think I could live without my laptop either!

Dan said...

Ralph, "Casablanca" is a wonderful pick. It's one of my favorite Hollywood movies as well. So it figures that your dream vacation is Paris.

If you can do it my friend, do it. I really admire you for wanting to do this in your chair. And I know you can do it!

Thanks for visiting my blog today. That was very cool of you!

Michael C said...

Very nice. I haven't seen Casablanca in a long time!

Lynn said...

I've been to France, but never to Paris (dumb move on my part). FYI, if you ever go to San Francisco, and decide to visit's wheelchair accessible. So are many of the buses in the city for that matter. I am backed up on meme's but maybe when I am caught up, I will have you interview me:~)

Rhea said...

I grew up in New Jersey but never visited Brigantine. Paris, however, I have seen. It is the most amazing city! I hope you get to do it.

Patti said...

Ralphie, I hope you get to go to Paris too. With moi.

P.S. It's Qu'est-ce que c'est ~

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

i hope you get to go to paris too (with patti of course!!!) but me, not so much, i am still mad at them. nice answers!

smiles, bee

the moose buyer said...

Never been to Paris but I was born in Montreal and there is the same attitude towards Americans in both cities.

I love that you consider your van one of the most important possessions. I loved mine too before gasoline got too expensive to fill up both tanks.

I would have you interview me but you know how inept I am about passing things along!!!

Odat said...

Great answers!!! Casa Blanca is my fav also...great lines!

Pawlie Kokonuts said...

I appreciate how you force us to view things from the perspective of the chair....and I seldom, if ever at all, detect any self-pity on your part. Something for me to ponder.