Barring any earth-shaking news from the New England Revolution (has there ever been any news of that sort from this club?) over the next week there won’t be much to talk about until Februrary 15th when Ross County travel to Easter Road in Edinburgh (home of the first professional match I ever attended- Motherwell v. Hibernian) to play the Hibees. So…
Way back on October 9 long-time commenter “jjf3” mentioned that he enjoyed the very occasional non-football related posts I’ve done over the past two plus years and since I’m a firm believer in the “if they give you an inch…” philosophy, so off I go!
(If any of this is information I’ve already shared rest assured that the reason for that is me being waaay to lazy to go back and check previous posts)
Where is “home?”
Hmm… Why don’t I just run through the whole deal? I was born in Connecticut, “grew up” in New Hampshire (which I will always consider “home”), and I’ve also lived in Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire (again), Connecticut (again), and Massachusetts (now). I’ve also spent at least a year of my life in Maine (my family has had a cabin there since the 1950s) and my goal is to do the same thing where Scotland is concerned (I’m about halfway there).
Speaking of Scotland, just how “Scottish” are you?
I’m going to go ahead and say, “a lot” Scottish. My maternal grandmother was born there (Bellshill), my maternal grandfather was born in Arkansas of Scots-Irish/Ulster Scottish descent (basically Lowland Scots who lived in “Northern Ireland” before coming to America and serving as the root stock for the people we know as “hillbillies”), my paternal grandfather was of English descent (a direct descendant of a Mayflower passenger), and my paternal grandmother was of Scottish descent (her people were from Port Mary in Dumfries & Galloway). So, 75%?
What is the best book you’v ever read?
I don’t know. What I do know is that the book I recommend to people is “Winter’s Tale” by Mark Helprin. They’ve made a movie of it that will open on February 14 but I don’t know if I can see it- what if they ruin it?!?!
What is your educational background?
I have a B.A. in British and Irish History, an M.A. in Modern European History and Literature, and enough other, random graduate credits to add up to a second M.A.. My areas of focus have generally been the Industrial Revolution, Emigration/Immigration, and nationalism (particularly independence movements). I also studied as much medieval history as my limited language abilities allowed.
Have you ever been published?
Yes, but thankfully in the more or less pre-internet world, so it’s unlikely that anything will come back to haunt me. Wow, that sentence could be easily misinterpreted! Please allow me to clarify: I’ve had two papers published in academic journals, one on the simianization (go ahead and look that up, that’s why we have the internet!) of the Irish in British culture and one contrasting media reports of of British “reprisals” in Northern Ireland during the immediate post-WWI period with what was reported in parliament.
Do you have any pets?
Yes, I have a one year old male “tuxedo” cat named Tam (named after the Burns poem “Tam O’Shanter”).
What was the best day of your life (so far)?
It’s a tie between two days.
May 28, 2006: This was the day I received my Master’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT. This was a special day for several reasons. First, on an individual level, receiving my degree provided an immense level of satisfaction. I had enjoyed the program, learned a great deal, and performed well. Also, I had finished it. On two previous occasions I’d been enrolled in graduate programs that were torpedoed by “real life” events that were beyond my control. Finally, my father- who had graduated from the same program in 1973- was there and Parkinson’s had not yet taken away his ability to express himself verbally or physically- his pride in my accomplishment was palpable. It was also a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.
March 12, 2008: I began this day in Tarbert on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides. I then took the ferry across “The Minch” to Uig on the Isle of Skye. I then made the five hour walk, in a driving sideways rain, from Uig to Portree. Once in Portree I walked into the Granary Restaurant in Somerled Square, dropped my pack next to a table, and ordered a steak pie, “chips”, and a Coke. When I was done, I ordered the same thing again. So, you’re likely asking yourself at this point, what’s the big deal. Basically, for the first time in my life, I was “that guy” that I always see when I’m traveling. The one who shows up out of nowhere, but dressed like he clearly came from doing “something, somewhere,” needs a shave, eats his meal in solitude, and then is gone. Who was that? Where did he come from? Where is he going?
Who have you seen in concert?
Here are the ones I can remember: The Ramones, P.I.L., Hüsker Dü, The Alarm, Billy Bragg, They Might Be Giants, Social Distortion, the Reverend Horton Heat, Charles Bradley and his Extraordinaires, Chuck Berry, Those Darlin’s, 7 Seconds, Bob Mould, Brian Setzer, James Brown, The Toasters, Roy Orbison, Midnight Oil, Live, Little Richard, The Donnas, Black ’47, Carl Perkins, Morrissey, The Sheila Divine, Robert Randolph and the Family Band, Jerry Lee Lewis, The Proclaimers, Paul Weller, Flogging Molly, Violent Femmes, Stevie Ray Vaughan, George Thorogood (italics means multiple times)
Do you have any tattoos?
Yes, I have two and will be getting a third this spring/summer.
Finally, I kept personal blog from 2005-2011 that I’m in the process of shutting down- it has some football-related stuff on it so you might be seeing some of that “repurposed” here when things get slow.
As always, feel free to ask follow-up questions!