1) You’re getting married in September. Where are you going for your honeymoon? Why did you choose this destination?
We are section-hiking the John Muir Trail. The full trail stretches 221 miles across California; but we only have enough time to cover about 80-90 miles of that (it is also part of the Pacific Crest Trail). Our section will start in the Ansel Adams Wilderness, and we will end in Yosemite National Park. Kind of an odd honeymoon destination for some, but we couldn’t see ourselves at a beach resort. It just didn’t fit our personalities or our relationship, which blossomed from a shared love for the outdoors. We wanted an adventure, not just a relaxing vacation. Why not spend the first week as husband and wife trying to not get eaten by a bear?
2) Your daughter is only 15 months old and since her birth you have arguably dealt with more challenges than some parents face throughout their caregiving years. Share with us as much as you feel comforatble about the past year and three months with Nora.
Ah yes, sweet baby Nora. She has been our greatest adventure. Nora and I had a very exciting birth experience (read that as: worst day of our lives), during which she was deprived of oxygen during labor, leaving her with permanent brain damage and cerebral palsy. Since the brain is still the “final frontier,” doctors really can’t tell us what her outcome is going to be. But as she gets older we can see that most of her issues are going to be motor skill-related. Most kids at her age are walking and using a few words, but our Nora is still working on sitting and crawling. She did just start saying ‘mama’ last week, and I have been loving every minute of that! We go to a lot of therapy and see a lot of doctors. It’s a journey just like everything else in life; and my fiancé and I still see ourselves as normal parents. Our parenting story just has a plot twist.
3) Tell us about your adventures at the resort in Utah. Whom did you befriend and how did you get there in the first place?
Utah! When I was 18, we went on a family vacation to Zion National Park in Utah. I remember thinking “this is the most beautiful place I’ve ever seen, I’m going to come back and live here someday.” And I did. After college graduation, I headed west to work for Xanterra Parks and Resorts. People who work in national parks (sometimes referred to as ‘parkies’) are an interesting bag of folks. You have international students there for a few months, wandering American 20-something’s; and then you have felons. People who have just gotten out of serving a long sentence and are trying to get acclimated back in to society. I befriended a butch lesbian who had just served about 20 years in prison for running the meth operation in Reno. Not a whole lot has topped her stories, even my own.
4) Tell us a memorable story of yourself when you were a kid. It can be funny, surprising, warm and fuzzy, whatever. Just make it a good one.
My mom’s name is Patty, and Patty cooked us a lot of yummy, homemade dinners. Many of which I have very fond memories. However, one of those dinners was not my favorite…salmon patties. But it wasn’t my deep detest of these little fish cakes that is funny. Every time my mom would tell me that she was cooking these for dinner, I would demand to know, “Who is SAM?”
5) What is a nerdy thing about you? (i.e. are you a Star Wars buff? Do you know a stupid amount about a particular book, period of history, or hobby?)
At some point I realized that I was sort of a sci-fi nerd. I always loved Star Wars and the like but was never really obsessed. Then I was introduced to FireFly. For those who don’t know of this fantastic cult movement, it was a series that aired on Fox for one season from 2002 to 2003; and it was one of the greatest science fiction stories EVER. It was basically cowboys in space. If you are interested I have the DVDs and the follow-up movie, Serenity.
6) What are your top two pet peeves?
A) When people take the pop tabs off my pop cans while I’m drinking them, in turn creating a very odd shaped (not to mention dangerous) opening that I will not drink from. So thanks for wastin’ my pop!
B) When someone pulls the identification card off my tea bag string. Can’t handle that. Clearly I don’t enjoy people messing with my drinks.
7) What’s the last random internet…thing…you saw that made you laugh out loud to yourself?
This GIF. Okay. I chuckled out loud.
8) Best concert you’ve ever been to, why? Worst concert, why?
I saw JayZ at Bonaroo a few years ago and was absolutely blown away. I wasn’t even planning on seeing him perform. It was one of those stages that I happened to randomly be at when he came on. R&B/hip hop isn’t my go-to genre; but even compared to seeing some of my favorite bands perform (i.e. Regina Spektor, Radiohead, DMB, ect.), I still remember how I felt during his show and nothing has topped that. I don’t have a ‘worst concert;’ live music is always good to me.