Thursday, November 01, 2007

5 Questions

Got these questions from WmWms. If anyone would like for me to make up a batch of 5 to answer just let me know and I'll think of some you can answer and post for your blog.

1. Have you ever gotten over a phobia?
If so, what was it?

Can't say that I've actually gotten completely over a phobia. I have three. But I can say I've challenged one of those with gritted teeth - Forced myself into testing the bounds enough that I've come to terms with the fact that I can do it - I just really really don't like doing it. I am not a huge fan of wide canyons in caves (or large rocks falling on me - but that's another story all together). The tighter the better for me. Wide ones are nice to look at, but not so nice to travel up, down and through. Here are two examples of Fern being my wide canyon testing ground:

Example 1 (The Rumbling Panic): On the way to the Lower North by way of Coney's Chasm (100+ feet) there a section where you have to span a wide crumbling canyon (some feel the need to tell me there are punji sticks at the bottom). And eventually you go over the pit and then back track down to it. Brave folks can just stand over the canyon. I am not so brave. So I sit on one side and push off on the other side with my feet, scooting sideways, knocking stuff off as I go. The pebbles and mud slip off the crumbly sloping edge and down into the yawning canyon. You can hear them bounce back and forth on and of ledges and the walls all the way to the bottom. So even though you're not looking directly into the canyon you have the gentle reminder of how deep it is from the echo the mud and pebbles hitting the ground. That said I try not to knock off anything. I really don't need that gentle reminder when I have someone telling me about punji sticks. I just have to scoot slow and apologize profusely to the folks waiting behind me. I don't like it, BUT I CAN do it.

Example 2 (The Full Throttle Panic) : Getting a lot of places in Fern requires you to use the Gold Level canyon and it scares the crap out of me. I tell myself there's only one way through every time I take that step off the comfortable, solid floor onto the first skinny little ledge. I've discovered the trick is not to think about it. If I second guess my footing enough to pause and take note of my surroundings, a little part of my brain screams at me "What the *bleeep* do you think you're doing hanging out in a canyon where you can see 20, 30, 40, 60 feet below you?! Are you flippin' nuts?!" To which I take a really deep breath, swallow that lovely little knot of fear that's suddenly crept up in my throat, remind myself that I've done this before, and quickly pull off my muddy glove and shove it in the mouth of the little voice replying "Yes, darn it, I am nuts! Now stuff it before you break both our legs!" So lets just say I have my fear of wide canyons under control.

2. Are there any laws you obey only because you fear the potential penalties of noncompliance?

Um, we I guess all of them. Getting thrown in jail is a bit of a bummer. Can't say that I haven't gone through a red light at 3 am on a weeknight because it was taking forever to turn and I hadn't seen a living soul for 45 minutes - but that was only after carefully observing all points on ingress and egress for several minutes.

3. What foods do you like now that you disliked
as a child?

I didn't really care for broccoli and cauliflower when I was a kid. Now I really love steamed broccoli and cauliflower. As long as it keeps its color, and stays a bit firm. Add a little sea salt and (better yet) cheese and I can eat a plate full. Aww great. Now I'm craving a huge plate of broccoli. I know what I'm going to go get for lunch today.

4. Are there any fads you wish would return?

Swing Dancing, Good Musicals at Drive in Movie Theaters, Saddle Oxfords (I've been trying to track down a girls pair for several years now.)

5. Is there somewhere you'd rather live? If so, what keeps you where you are?

I don't think there's a place I'd rather live right now. Although I didn't exactly picture myself ending up in Alabama that's for sure. I miss Florida a lot. I miss my folks, and I miss all my friends back home very much. I miss the ocean. I miss Spanish moss hanging from the oak trees. I miss orange groves and sweet strawberry fields. I miss good flea markets. I miss everything staying green all year round. Florida is in me. And I know one day (sooner or later) I'll be back there again. But for now, there are no regrets. I like Huntsville. Paul keeps me here - very happily I might add. Caves keep me here. The people that I now call friends keep me here. Mountain hikes keep me here. My sense of adventure keeps me here.

There are places I dream of living one day: Somewhere in the UK for at least two years, so I can see all of Europe and mingle in and amongst some real history. Then maybe Sicily to find part of my roots. I'd like to live in a big city in the US for couple of years - a place where you have to use the subway - and feel the hustle and bustle and speed and craziness of life - someplace where the city never sleeps. And then someplace remote for a couple years, someplace slow and calm - a S. American rain forrest comes to mind - or South Africa perhaps - or in the bush of Australia - someplace where paved roads aren't, someplace where you can see the Milky Way, someplace where I can help others and where just living is the fashion trend.

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