I want to be young. I want to stay like one year old because you're just -- no I want to stay like four years old because you’re just really cute, you know how to talk and you can walk and also because I just like being young and small. I like being small more than big. Why do you like being small? What's good about being small? Because you can go into special places that people who are big can’t. Like where? Like, in that drawer. Why would you want to go in that drawer? I don’t know it was just an example. Like for hide and seek? Maybe, but actually I could fit in that drawer, I could.
I remember finding Dungeons and Dragons in the summer of nineteen eighty-three. It was June and we were all, me and a group of friends, staying at my friend’s house who was having a birthday after school had gotten out for the year. There was like five or six boys doing the normal birthday goofy stuff in the eighties at night and then the next day when we woke up and had breakfast, they all were playing Dungeons and Dragons and I had not been exposed to it at all. Not -- you know, like in eighty-three, it was pretty popular still, it was like, I think that was around the E T event and all that. But they laid out this map for this place called the World of Greyhawk and they had all these things and it was just kinda like whew. And that changed me forever, and I started marching, y'know, bought the books, learned the rules, started running my own games, sharing them with friends for almost forty years. So learning how to do all of that differently from systems that hit basically right as I was going into middle school, junior high, that was like hard printed in my psyche of how to run a Dungeons and Dragons game and now all of it was pretty much worthless. Not all of it, but, you know, ninety percent had to change, had to face change and getting through that process has been an exercise in focus. Learning how the data is stored in the software and how to access it ad hoc, because Dungeons and Dragons is live improv. There might be a story in it like you start here and you hope you'll end up here, but then the game starts happening and all the people are essentially improv artists playing the game. You just have rules systems to resolve tension sometimes like, you know, Indiana Jones, I take the idol off the altar and drop a bag of sand on it to prevent all the traps from going off, well that's just a roll but everything else is improv. You can, you know, what if Indiana Jones just grabbed the idol of the golden head in that movie and ran with it, didn't even bother trying to stop the traps. Doable. So, finding the resolution systems in the computer has been an exercise in…
What I wanted to share was there's this acronym: Ford F.O.R.D. you may have heard of it. It stands for family occupation recreation dreams. And that's supposed to be like an easy way to get to know someone and navigate small talk and at a level that's slightly more personal than just talking about the weather or whatever. Or like we end up talking about coffee a lot at work, we end up talking about beer a lot at work. It’s just stuff you have in common, right? And I think I may have shared in the past like having these sort of not rules, but like blueprints for conversation are really helpful to me. Like the example I always go to is if someone's sharing something difficult about their life with you, often they're not, they don't need problem solving. They just want empathy. They just want you to say, “I hear you. Wow, that sounds difficult, man that's a bummer.” And like my role in that conversation doesn't need to be anymore, it’s just done. My role doesn't need to be any deeper than that. They just want to be heard, you know express themselves. That's fine. But yeah, it's kind of trap, is like this person is telling me something wrong should I fix that like no, it's not the point of this conversation. So I don't know just the place I am, developmentally and I need those blueprints. Um, and so this this F.O.R.D is helpful, I think. Like another one that comes up at work all the time. How’s your weekend? Or what did you do this weekend? Which is basically what that R, recreation right? What do you do for fun? And you know, maybe they care about it personally or yeah, it doesn't really matter what the point is. It's just small talk, right? You're just getting talking, getting to know someone, have of fun. Maybe make a friend. It doesn't need to be defined purpose.
Would you rather live somewhere that's really hot all the time or somewhere that's really cold all the time? Cold would be weird but hot would be better. So you would rather live somewhere that’s really hot all the time? Yes, so would you mom, you gotta admit it mom. I don't know if I’d wanna live somewhere that’s hot all the time or cold all the time because then you get bored of being hot or being cold. So that's why I like Michigan because we have all sorts of temperatures. Yeah, but I don't like the cold. How do you not like the cold you're in like shorts, socks and a t-shirt right now. Obviously you're not cold. I just like the summer mostly, then I can go swim in the pool, so it passes time. Oh, okay. Well, that's a good reason. But you know that you can have like an indoor pool, right? Yeah, but you’re not guys are rich enough to buy it, but if you were rich enough I would be begging for one. Oh well, go use the bathtub.
So what am I grateful for? And I know it's really hard for my dad not to be home, but I am really grateful that he gets to be with his parents. Especially with my pop-pop for his first chemo treatment, so he can just be there to support them and it sounds like they've been having a really great time. My grandparents got to watch a video of a New Year's production, my best friend and I did with our siblings and so I'm just really thankful that my dad has the opportunity to do that and stay safe from COVID. We've been hard core quarantining, my grandparents have their vaccine now. So, they really are being safe and I was so thankful that my dad got to do that because he really needed to have that time with his parents and it's been like a really good, I think relationship changing time for him and so I've been really thankful for that. So anything difficult? I kind of described the stuff with my pop-pop, but I think I'm just struggling in general with COVID right now because there are a lot of things I haven't processed. It's just everything has been so heavy, like it's first of all really hard for me to be so isolated from people, like I never thought of myself as a social person but during COVID I've realized I still need that contact with people and you know, just seeing my friends in person. So that's been a real struggle for me. And so I guess I just really haven't been processing things well, like just not working through my emotions with that or thinking about it a lot.m just struggling in general with COVID right now because there are a lot of things I haven't processed. It's just everything has been so heavy, like it's first of all really hard for me to be so isolated from people, like I never thought of myself as a social person but during COVID I've realized I still need that contact with people and you know, just seeing my friends in person. So that's been a real struggle for me. And so I guess I just really haven't been processing things well, like just not working through my emotions with that or thinking about it a lot.m just struggling in general with COVID right now…
My biggest most successful mischief in high school? I went to a Catholic school with 44 other students, there's not much you got away with, so I can't even say I did anything successfully. However, I do remember now one night going with some friends, it was one of my junior or senior year. And we climbed up on the roof of the high school and mind you I said this was a Catholic school, so the priests lived like behind the school in a house cause it bumped up to a neighborhood. And they heard us, they couldn't see us, but they heard us. They never figured out who it was that was on the roof and we were of course up to teenage shenanigans and there may have been some vodka involved, but that was fun. Other than that, there was not much you could get away with in school everybody knew you and they knew your parents and your siblings and your cousins and it was too much connection.
Oh the way my childhood home smelled. My parents are hippies, my mom wears a lot of patchouli, like body butters and stuff like that. So I always imagine a lot of patchouli, a lot of like nag champa that incense. That's my favorite and my dad's favorite. So a lot of times our place smelled like that. Nowadays, it smells more like my mom's cooking. It always smells very spicy lots of chili, lots of cumin, lots of ... all that kind of stuff, always smells like onion or garlic or something like that, toast, everyone’s always eating toast or tea. So I associate a lot of it with the food smells. And I definitely took a lot of that with me in my apartment now, I still burn incense all the time, but I do have my own particular -- I'm very picky about scents, I like scents that I like. So there's this one perfume from Lush that I use religiously. I like when things seem like that -- it's kind of like a bergamot, some lemon grass, patchouli. It's lovely. Highly recommend. And then there's a aveda spray perfume that's supposed to be like a grounding and it has like vetiver -- how do you spell that? or say that? Vetiver? I don't know. And like a lot of like super heavy musky scent. It's not feminine at all. But I love to spray it on my bed sheets, whenever I get to refresh my sheets, like wash them, put them on. I like to put some of that on there, it's very nice. I also use it on my yoga mat. Yeah, that one's also very much so grown on me. A lot of people I don't think would like it, which is fair. It's a very strong scent.
The difference between a cupcake and a muffin? That's, that's interesting. I think a muffin is like more a miniature bread, and then a cupcake is like miniature cake. So, I think it's with the texture of -- but I don't know for sure -- but I think that's kind of what it is. A muffin is more bready and then a cupcake, you know, obviously that's cake. I think you can -- if you have a cupcake with no frosting, I think that's still a cupcake. But if you have a muffin with frosting, I think that's still a muffin, just it has frosting now. So, I think it's like what the actual thing is made of, where muffin is -- muffin's bread and a cupcake is cake.
Are there any inside jokes or sayings that your family says but no one else really understands? One of our team members has an aunt who, whenever it’s cold outside, says “It’s colder than a witch’s elbow”. My grandma used to--my grandma who's passed now--she used to always do this thing called, she called it "the rotten egg." Where she would get on the floor, wrap her arms around her legs and she would rock back and forth and she'd be like "who's gonna challenge me?" And she’d want you to rock with your -- like hold your knees up to your chest and you would rock back and forth, and the first person to let go and break their arms apart was "the broken egg". So we always had this little joke about if you don't knock it off, you're going to have to challenge -- I'm going to challenge you in a rotten egg. Or if you keep that up, we're just going to have to do the rotten egg to figure it out or something like that.
What makes a home a home? Nice people. I feel like the people you surround yourself with at home, make it a home. I've never actually like lived fully alone, so to me like being with people is like so important. Like I always had like really good roommates, I've been lucky. So they've always made it feel like home, but I feel like if I didn't have the roommates, what makes a home a home is really like just all of your stuff and like all of the things that like represent you being in one place and like getting to design it the way that you want it to look and like getting it to be representative of like who you are as a person. I think that is what makes a home a home.