- Imagine you have some injury or illness and can no longer sing. Where do you channel that impulse?
- What have you learned about yourself since you’ve started playing rugby?
- How do you decide whether you’re dating somebody? What are the criteria you use to decide whether something is a "date" or not?
- What do you regularly notice about living in the US that people who’ve lived here all our lives probably miss?
- I know almost nothing about wine. Suppose (and this is not very far from the truth) that I only have enough brain cells to hold one wine in my head, and I need something reliable I can find and buy in any reasonably large liquor store that’s not going to embarrass me if I bring it to the house of somebody who knows wines. What should that be, and why?
Why is everyone so eager to see me lose my voice???
I'd have to channel that impulse into some artistic/expressive endeavor. I love to whistle and hum. Since humming uses the same mechanism as singing, I'm assuming that I can't hum either. However, I'm sure I could still whistle. Maybe I would work on becoming one of those world-class whistlers. Maybe I'd work on improving my piano skills. I've always wanted to play the guitar, so I'm sure I would take the time to learn. Or I could conduct, something that has always appealed to me.
This is all assuming, of course, that I don't become so depressed by the loss of my voice that I start to hate or resent music because it would remind me of what I've lost. That's a very real possibility.
I haven't so much learned new things as I have reminded myself of lessons I learned playing football. I've been reminded of the body's enormous capacity for growth, healing, recovery, etc. When I started playing, I was horribly out of shape and had difficulty running a couple of laps. Now I keep towards the front of the pack as I run, with a big long stride. Just like when I played football, the more I push myself, the more my body adapts and learns to do things. I can run faster, I have more endurance, I can lift higher, I can push stronger, I can hit harder, etc. Even at 31, I can learn to do some of the things I could do when I was 19. As long as your mind (technique, learning, know-how) and heart (dedication, willingness, sacrifice) are in tune, your body can get an awful lot done.
I've also continued to learn some of the same lessons I've been learning all of my adult life about how to work with other people, other personalities, etc., how to find something positive about everyone that I can connect with. And it's been really refreshing how nonjudgmental and accepting my teammates have been. This is in stark contrast to when I played football, when many of my teammates were unsupportive and shunned me.
Finally, to be really literal, I've learned rugby. I've learned the basic concepts of the game and the names and responsibilities of most positions. I've learned how to play my position, which means I've learned how to bind onto a hooker and scrummage against the opponent, how to ruck and maul, how to hit the deck and release the ball, how to lift a teammate in a lineout. I've learned several of our calls for lineouts, penalties, and scrums. I feel I could watch a professional rugby game and really know what is going on in most phases of the game.
I'll answer your second question first. To me, a "date" is just a social gathering between two people. I might say I have a date with, say, treacle_well if we're going to go grab afterwork drinks or something. Granted, you're asking when something is a "date" date. I try not to categorize a date that strictly. I just like to go out and have a good time and, if it's someone new, get to know more about that person. She and/or I will know if there's any romantic and/or sexual interest on either part, and if it's mutual that will soon come to light as well. There's no need to introduce potential discomfort by prelabelling. Of course, sometimes you just know, maybe because of something someone has said. I don't think of any specific criteria when I go out. I just know that I want to have a nice time and I know if I have any interest beyond friendship.
As for the other question, it's got to be a mutual thing. I assume people talk to each other about these things. I slept with T and ME pretty quickly, the former the weekend I met her and the latter on our second date. In neither case did either one of us think we were dating. So, having sex with someone is clearly not a criterion. With Emily 1 and 2, we were dating well before we were sleeping with each other. There was simply an expression of mutual interest in each other and lack of desire to see others. With K it's slightly different, as I would love to "experience" others. But I recognize that impulse as something fleeting and not ultimately satisfying, so I have chosen to ignore it to the best of my abilities. K and I have talked, and we have agreed that we really dig each other and don't feel the need to see other people.
Of course, you know damned well the answer to these questions is going to be different for everyone. I hope you don't mind if I throw this question back at you: as someone who has embraced the poly- lifestyle, what constitutes a date or dating for you?
Multiculturalism. Even in fairly cosmopolitan cities like Boston, New York, San Francisco, etc., we live in an insular society. It's impossible to avoid things American. It's especially impossible to avoid Ameri-centric thinking. We really are such an arrogant people! It's refreshing to talk to people from other cultures, countries, continents....
Another thing we miss is poverty. Real poverty. Here in the U.S. we associate poverty with, perhaps, the homeless, who can always seek out a shelter or some sort of assistance if they need it. But we don't see real abject poverty here. There are places where there is no access to running water, where there is no aid available for those who need it, where the poorest American homeless person would be the richest man in town. We don't see malnutrition or starvation on massive levels. We don't see disease wipe out entire communities because of lack of sanitation or medical resources. We live in a safe little haven, and most of us don't realize how poorly other parts of the world are doing.
I feel ill-suited to answer this question. I make wines, but I am not a wine connoisseur -- I know more about liquors and mixed drinks. My guess is that you can't go wrong with a table red. Maybe something like a Chianti or a Cabernet Sauvignon, something that goes equally well with most light fare as well as the heavier foods. I like Shiraz and Pinot Noir, but these are probably too heavy for general consumption; they go best with roasted meats and the like. If you tend to serve lighter food, such as pasta, vegetarian meals, or white meats, then you might want to go with a white wine instead. I might recommend a Pinot Grigio, since it has a nice sharp, acidic flavor. Really, though, you should ask someone who knows a lot more about wines than I do.
You can get very good quality wines inexpensively. In fact, I find that most expensive wines are a waste of money. Ask around to find out what people like. For example, I know that treacle_well has some excellent wines that I doubt cost much. I'm sure volta has a lot to say on this subject, since he also makes his own wines and is probably most knowledgable on the subject. If you buy the Pinot Grigio, I really like the Ecco Domani. But, shop around. Wine is cheap, and you can soon find out for yourself what you like and dislike. It's also cheap enough that you can probably afford to have a few bottles of both a red and a white sitting around so you can have all your bases covered.
As usual, if you want to ask me five questions or be asked five questions by me, just post something here. Thanks!