Continuing with answers to queries posed as part of Ask Me Anything! August 2011. I have a regular reader who occasionally corresponds by e-mail, and here are the questions this reader has posed:
I'm on vacation right now, so: what's your dream vacation? What's the best (real) vacation you've been on? How much vacation do you get in a year and how do you like to spit it up (or do you like to do it all at one time)?
My dream vacation would involve all-expenses paid to...someplace. Anyplace. Could be Disneyworld. Could be Portland/Seattle. Could be London. A cruise to Alaska. I don't have a great deal of traveling wanderlust, but I wouldn't mind being able to do any of those someday.
"Real" vacations I've been on? My honeymoon is probably the best, I figure -- we spent a couple of days on Cape Cod, a couple in downtown Boston, and then we drove home via New Hampshire, Vermont, and the upper part of New York. By the end we were getting tired and money was getting low, so we came a fairly direct route. We should have done some Adirondack exploring, though.
For our first anniversary we went to DisneyWorld, which was great, except for The Wife having an accident that involved ripping out a big chunk of the nail on her big toe. I spent the rest of that vacation pushing her around in a wheelchair. (Which was actually kind of nice, in that it got us past queues for the rides, but in another way, that kind of sucked, because Disney puts a lot of thought into its ride-queue areas.)
And then, there was our trip to the Jersey coast just last month. (Huh...did I never really blog about that? Weird...photos here, with commentary within.) That was a fantastic time.
Mostly, though, when we take trips, they're day trips or overnighters someplace. I don't get a lot of paid time off, unfortunately, so when I want to take a few days off, I have to plan ahead and budget for it. The last couple of years we've gone to Pittsburgh in the spring -- this coming spring, we may go back to Toronto for the first time in over five years, which is just a stupid amount of time to let lapse between Toronto visits -- and each fall lately, The Wife and I have traveled together to the Apple Festival in Ithaca. Those little trips mean the most to me, really -- opportunities to go someplace and spend time with The Wife, finding nifty places to shop, and so on.
Also, I started showing my son (who is 16 now) the BBC Sherlock Holmes series with Jeremy Brett as Sherlock Holmes. I think they're very well done, but I haven't seen many other productions. What have you seen, if any and what do your recommend? (Or do you not like Sherlock Holmes stories much?) I saw a trailer for a new Sherlock Holmes movie that looked more action-adventure than I remember the stories being --- would you be interested in seeing it?
Ohhh, such a finely-crafted question...and I have to offer a really lame answer! I'm terribly lax in my exposure to Mr. Holmes. I've only read a few of Arthur Conan Doyle's original stories, and I've read a few of the many "extended universe" (for lack of a better term) works that have appeared over the century-plus since Holmes first appeared. As for movies, I know very, very little. I've seen a couple of the ones Basil Rathbone made, and they are terrific. The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes (with Jeremy Brett playing the good detective) is good, and I greatly enjoyed Young Sherlock Holmes, even if it is more an adventure flick than a Holmes detective story. I haven't seen Robert Downey Jr.'s recent film (whose sequel is coming out at some point in the near future), and it definitely looks like more of an action take on Holmes than anything else. I've heard that the first one is fun, and I've also heard that it's a waste of time. I'll probably find out, sometime. But yes, I do need to read more Holmes in the first place!
By the way, if you really want to get into some interesting stuff, track down a copy of Shadows Over Baker Street, an anthology of Holmes/Cthulhu mash-up stories. Fun stuff!
How many books do you acquire in one year, do you think? (I fear library book sales and the like; a good cause and cheap books are a recipe for a house stuffed to the rafters with books.)
I'm really scared to speculate on this. Via the quarterly library book sales, I probably pick up fifty books a year alone. Via other venues, probably around twenty or thirty a year. It's bad. Next time we move, it better be local because The Wife is going to kill me if we have to rent two trucks.
More to come!