Friday, August 5, 2005

This week's homework: Advice Not Taken

For this week's homework, (the vacationing) Scalzi asks:

Weekend Assignment #71: Recount the best piece of advice you were ever given... that you didn't take at the time.

Extra Credit:
Here in Scotland (where I am) they have a dish called haggis, "normally made with the following ingredients: sheep's heart, liver, and lungs (or "lights"), minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock and traditionally boiled in the animal's stomach for several hours." Want some?

I'm glad you asked (not about the haggis, the other thing) as I've been thinking about journalling this particular piece of advice for some time.  And the advice was:  Read Biographies.

I remember, in elementary school, the teacher kept a great big chart on the wall with each student's name on it, and you would get to put a star next to your name for each book you read.  The class got to choose which color to assign to each genre of book, and we unanimously decided on gray for the biographies, as we thought biographies deserved the dullest color we could come up with.

Of course, that was when I was a kid, who was so eager to let my own imagination run wild on fiction, it never dawned on me that other people had actually lived lives which were well beyond anything I could have imagined.  But I'd thought all biographies were dry histories that began with "So-and-so was born in a small log cabin," and was unwilling to consider the possibility that I could find someone else's story to be interesting, much less inspiring.

Extra Credit:  I spent a few days in Scotland (Edinburgh) about a decade ago, and my friend and I both agreed we'd be willing to try a bite of haggis.  In the spirit of adventure and all that.  The problem was that you couldn't get a trial size portion of haggis; you had to buy the whole stomach-full, and neither of us thought we'd actually like it enough to go for a second bite.  I imagine restaurants in Scotland (and, indeed, everywhere you find busloads of tourists) might do a good business dealing in "sampler plates of local delicacies" (ideally, accompanied by samples of local beverages).  Because I think everyone would like to say they've tried it.


sweetmelissa4u said...

I normally drop by a few times a week to see whatcha been up to. This morning it happened to be while I was eating breakfast. Ugg haggis...The explanation just about gagged me. But, now I know exactly what is in there..and I will not be tempted to try it. You are right, though, there should be a small sample tourists could sample. Oh well...I enjoy your adventures.
Take care...

reneemariemartin said...

My first night here.  I really love your writing style.  I also love your sense of humor.  I sure can relate to the sizing of jeans.  LOL  I look forward to reading your blogs again.     Renee