Q: Do you have a good luck charm or ritual? (like a lucky coin, or you always used to listen to a certain pump-up song when you played sports in high school or college?)
A: I'm not a very superstitious person in general. I am a sane and rational person who knows that something like where you sit on the couch during a game has absolutely no impact on what will happen in a game that you are not even involved in............ but sports do weird things to sane and rational people. If I'm wearing a particular shirt and Carolina wins, well you better believe that the thought at least crosses my mind that I should wear that shirt the next game as well. But I'd say that's about the extent of my superstitious tendencies.
(Mike watching the UNC game in Chapel Hill last Friday. He did not wear this shirt again on Sunday.)
Q: What is your favorite dish that your wife makes for you? Do you have any fun memories of a time when she tried to cook and it totally flopped or does she get it right every time?
A: I love when Evelina makes Polish food. It's something that I didn't grow up with and is difficult to find in restaurants, so this is the only time I really get to enjoy such cuisine. My favourite is zurek, which is a sour soup with hardboiled eggs and Polish sausage inside. My other favourite is kotlety mielone which is kind of like meatballs made with ground pork and special spices. They're also fried instead of baked. I'd say that just about everything that Evelina or I attempt to make at least turns out edible. Total flops are few and far between, but one thing that Evelina just has not been able to figure out is Rice Krispie Squares. I really don't know why, she follows the same recipe my mom uses, she makes it the same way, and yet they always come out as hard as a hockey puck. I think we've pretty well given up on that and just hope for my mom to make them occasionally.
Me: He is not exaggerating. Rice Krispie squares are my nemesis.
(Making szarlotka. I love knowing how to make all the Polish food I ate growing up!)
Q: What did you want to be when you were growing up?
A: Growing up I was a hopeful child who set his sights high. Like most people, those hopes came crashing down to earth once I got a dose of harsh reality. I thought I was a pretty good athlete as a kid. I was coordinated as a child and always pushed myself playing with my brother who is 8 years older than I am. I was constantly immersed in sports and knew all the rules, so while my contemporaries were busy running to third base instead of first base, shooting the ball in the wrong basket, or dribbling the ball off of their feet, I was (not to brag) pretty much dominating the world of youth sports. That was until sixth grade or so. Around this time kids started to grow, they figured out the rules, and they got more coordinated. I remember getting my rear end handed to me in a basketball game and I had no idea what hit me. While I still play basketball at a recreational level, I realized that becoming a professional basketball player was not in my future. I still hadn't given up on playing baseball at a serious level and actually ended up playing collegiately and at a semi-professional level, but any thoughts of reaching the big leagues were replaced with a sobering sense of reality - it just wasn't gonna happen. Paraphrasing the wise words of Homer Simpson, "No matter how good you are at something, there's always about a million people better than you." I studied Business in university with the idea that if I couldn't play baseball, I could work in the front office for a professional baseball team some day. After applying for a few unpaid internships and getting no reply, I quickly realized that the path to that dream would be long, arduous, most likely unfruitful and unfulfilling financially. So I did what everybody would do! I gave up. I didn't expect to be a teacher or dream of being a teacher, but it's steady and satisfying work that pays the bills. I certainly don't regret giving up on my dreams and am happy with my career even if it's not what I had envisioned when I was a child.
(Mike, age 4, avid Pirates fan. Seriously, the cutest.)
Q: Which of the five senses is your strongest?
A: That's a tough question. I'll have to go over the options individually. My -3.75 prescription would seem to remove sight from the discussion. It's definitely not touch and I don't think it's smell. Usually when people are saying, "something smells funny, do you smell that," I usually don't. That leaves hearing and taste. I think an argument can be made for both, but I'll go with hearing. I hear just about everything and I feel like I am very perceptive when it comes to sounds. I can pick up accents and cadences in voices - it's why I think I can actually do some decent impressions! Also, if you ever need somebody to name that tune? I am your man. True story - I won a name that tune trivia contest naming some songs after hearing the very first note of the song. My opponents thought I had to be cheating. So I apologize for the long winded answer, but it's definitely hearing.
Me: After reading this, I questioned Mike about the times I ask him to do chores and he doesn't answer. He admitted that he hears me but ignores me. #wifelife
Q: Would you ever run for president?
A: We'd have to imagine for the sake of this question that my Canadian birth would not preclude me from running for the presidency and also assume that I would be willing to put myself and my family in the public spotlight, but I think I'd make a pretty good president. I think the debates would be my favourite part of running. Nothing would bring me greater joy than tearing apart the dumb things my opponents say in front of the entire country. I'd rather not get into what my platform would be because I believe that nothing good comes from talking politics with strangers. There are two things that I believe should stay out of conversations - politics and religion. I have pretty strong political opinions and I wouldn't want to think differently of people I'd ordinarily respect just because we disagree on politics. My favourite perks of being president would be throwing out the first pitch at baseball games (George W. Bush's first pitch before the 2001 World Series is one of the coolest things I've ever seen) and having a full segment on ESPN where I unveil my NCAA Tournament bracket. (Spoiler alert: Carolina would be my pick to win every single year).
Me: First Lady Evelina! I like it.
Read more of Mike's thoughts here, here, here, here, and here.
Linking up with Betsy at Heavens to Betsy and Laura at According to Laura Jean. Thanks for reading!