07-22-2014 What I like

Dear Joseph and Lucia,

I’ll take a break today from my normal letters and attempt to give you an insight into what your father is like these days.  The Mark Randel you grew up with was only a small portion of who I am and what I enjoy.  To my best recollection, while raising you, all my time was spent working, driving, cooking/cleaning, and building houses.  There is so much more to who I am than that I wasn’t ever able to share with you guys.

I spent a bit of time this morning compiling a short (and incomplete) list of the things I enjoy in life:

  • Weekends: After spending all week away from the house, I treasure the weekends now more than ever.  Some of my favorite moments involve floating in the pool and just chatting with Michèle about “stuff”. I like to call it “Hobbit Talk”.  The topics can range from world events, to dreams, to you guys, and even to just enjoying the dragonfly sitting on my finger.
  • The Moon:  I can spend hours looking up at the night sky.
  • NPR (National Public Radio):  I listen to it most while in the car during my drives to and from work.  I’ll also put it on during the weekend at home.  There are so many shows that expose more to life than you can get from anywhere else.
  • Lord of the Rings: Ever since I was young, I’ve enjoyed Tolkien’s works in writing.  Peter Jackson did a fantastic job bringing them to the screen, but he had to leave so much of the story out.
  • Music: I’m happy with my choices of music today.  My playlist will vary from one day to the next.  I tend to return back to rock from the 70’s and 80’s, but I’m always open to classical, pop, and new musicians that show skill.  I still love to crank a song up and sing at the top of my lungs.
  • Harry Potter (and tons of other science fiction/fantasy novels):  I’ve enjoyed reading the novels several times through.  Each time I was in a new place during my travels, I would read them and it would bring a sense of familiarity back.  Of course the movies were amazing and brought the magical world to life.  At least once a year we’ll sit down and do a marathon of all 8 movies.
  • Computers: Considering that I work on them for a living, there’s no small surprise I spend a lot of time reading and learning about trends and new developments in the industry.
  • Social Media (Facebook): I’m not nearly as active as I used to be, but it’s still a great way for me to keep in touch with family and friends.  Sunday mornings are best because a lot of my friends stay up Saturday night finding fun videos to watch.
  • Movies: Between my own collection I’ve built up over the years and Netflix, I have an amazing library of entertainment available.  It is a fantastic way for me to escape into a story and step out of my current day problems.


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