Down syndrome from a father's perspective.

What would you take with you on a deserted island? (Liebster Blog Award)

When I was in school I developed a preference for essay type questions over the more cut-n-dry multiple choice or true and false questions. Part of the reason was because I was not always sure of the answer so I figured if I wrote long enough the answer was bound to show up even if I didn’t know it. But there is another reason for my fondness for essay questions. When I read a question it seems that my mind tends to see variables that are not stated but seem implicate that could impact my answer. If I am limited to the four options of a multiple choice I can get a little nervous. However, if I can elaborate on my answers I feel a lot more comfortable.

Question numero uno.

Well, when I began to look over the questions I was given as part of the Liebster award process the wheels in my head began turning. I think once you start reading my answer to this first question you will get a better idea of what I am talking about.

If you had to live on a deserted island, and could take only 1 movie, 1 music album, and 1 book with you, which ones would you take and why?

The movie

I really enjoy watching movies and will watch just about anything, even some “chick-flicks” assuming there is a decent plot and character development. However, those requirements are not always necessary for a good war movie. Yet when considering the scenario given, the movie I chose would have to have some lasting value – it would have to be something I could watch over and over. My list narrowed with this limitation and at first there were two movies that really stuck out in my mind. The first was The Goonies, this movie has it all: drama, comedy, action, suspense. I have always loved that movie except when my older brother would tell me to lift my shirt and do the “truffle shuffle” like the character Chunk did in the movie.

The other movie that rose to the top was the 1986 movie Stand By Me. This movie had quite the list of young stars that included River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, Jerry O’Connell and Kiefer Sutherland. I think the thing I like the most about this movie is that I feel like I travel back in time myself. I feel like I could have been one of those boys. I remember being a kid and going on grand adventures as well as the deep discussions I had with my friends about those things that matter most. I had considered the mini-series Band of Brothers as a possible pick but the more I think about it, Stand By Me would be the one movie I would take to the deserted island.

The music album

Things get fairly complex for me here. I love  music and listen to all types (well, most types). If you were to look at my iPod you would find a crazy mix of songs and artists but there are a few artists that appear more often that others. For example, I have a lot of U2 as well as John Mellencamp. I also have a fair bit of Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris. However, if I am going to be stuck with a very limited amount of music it is going to be Johnny Cash. My kids are very familiar with Johnny Cash but they don’t appreciate his music. They make comments like, “He doesn’t even sing, he just talks with music playing.” Wrong. It just sounds different.

There are not many musicians that have had as broad an impact on popular music as Johnny Cash – rock, country, you name the style, Cash has made an impact. But it is more than just music for me. I love his life story, it is the story that you here in his songs. He was a troubled man who struggled with addiction. He struggles with who he is and the person he knows he should be. You especially hear that struggle in the last albums he recorded. The album that I would take with me to that deserted island is called, The Legend of Johnny Cash.

The book

There are a few different ways I could approach this. Being that this will be the only book I have I am going to read it over and over just like my music and movie choices. The content of the book needs to be able to handle this type of use, that made me think about classic literature. Melville’s Moby Dick is the book that came to mind. If I were to choose a classic that would be it.

But then I thought maybe I should choose the Bible, after all, I am a Christian. But in reality that seemed like a lame “Sunday School” answer and I hate those. Yes, the Bible is considered a great work of literature and is filled with things that would help me as well provide a lot of variety but I kept thinking there may be a better choice.

I also considered the possibility that the island may not be as deserted as I think. In fact, what if the people who lived there were not the friendly sort, you know, they didn’t have a winning personality like me! In that case maybe I should think about Dale Carnegie’s book How to Win Friends and Influence People. That would be especially important if the locals were of the cannibal persuasion.

And then it hit me. If I was going to be stuck on a deserted island and I could choose a book ahead of time I would be an idiot not to choose a book that would help me stay alive. Therefore, the book I would take with me to that deserted island would be the U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide.

A couple of the easier questions.

I am trying to stick with the plan I stated in my first Liebster post which was to answer the remaining questions in two posts. I don’t think I will make it with only two post but I will be close. Anyway, there were a couple of questions that seemed a little easier than the others so I thought I would tackle those a second. After all, when I chose to answer question 11 first I threw away the need to try to answer them in order.

Question 3.

What is your favorite meal?

I am almost embarrassed to answer this question but the answer to this question is one of the few that was nearly instantaneous. I cannot explain why and you are going to be very under-whelmed by my answer but I don’t want to discuss it any further after this.

Have you ever heard stories about newly married couples where the husband is critical about the young wife’s cooking. That was not me. I was taught very early to be thankful for whatever it was. But there was one meal that my amazing wife tried to make for me that just wasn’t right unless she made it the way I was accustomed to. And that meal, my favorite meal, is (drum roll please…….) Tater Tot Casserole.

Question 7.

Is your morning drink coffee, tea, soda or something else?

I am a coffee person. I prefer it black and without any sweetener. When asked I usually make a dumb comment like, “No thanks, I am sweet enough.” My family loves it when I say things like that (sarcasm). My second choice would be a Diet Coke. Essentially, if I am in the position where coffee is not available I will go with anything that provides caffeine. If I am near a Starbucks or other similar coffee-house I may order at non-fat latte without any flavor or whipped cream.

To be continued.

So far I have answered four of the eleven questions that were presented to me. In my next post I plan on answering questions such as, “What would you do if you won the Powerball Lottery?” and “If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?”

Rob Arnold has been married to his high school sweetheart for almost 19 years. Together they have three daughters and one son. He earned his bachelor's degree in General Business from Grand Valley State University as well as an MBA in Strategic Management from Davenport University. He enjoys reading, hunting, scuba diving, and spending time with his family.
  1. Little Birds Dad

    Tater Tot Casserole……my mouth is watering. Is the recipe publicly available?

    Amen to Johnny Cash…American I blows me away every time I hear it.

    Good stuff!

    • Rob Arnold

      I have to laugh because my wife could not believe I put that for my favorite meal. I like just about anything but that is true comfort food for me.

  2. Pingback: Insights into the mind of a blogger. (Liebster Blog Award) | Treyton's Posse