Sunday, March 11, 2018

"From the Comfort of My Couch"

INGRID THOFT
One day I was sitting with my sister and her daughter discussing books, and we started talking about autobiographies.  We mused about what we would entitle our autobiographies, and although I don't remember most of the conversation, I do remember my niece's suggestion for my sister's book.  She declared that it should be called "From the Comfort of My Couch," which cracks us up to this day.  

My sister is the most tenacious, courageous person I know—in matters of life, however, not thrill-seeking.  In fact, it has become a hobby of mine to find photos and videos that will get her feet sweating and prompt an unequivocal "heck no!" from her when I share them.  


Some of these photos and videos are from my own adventures.  My husband and I have made it our mission to take pictures while scuba diving that we're sure will get a reaction.  For instance, my encounter with a giant Potato Cod fish on the Great Barrier Reef freaks her out no matter how many times she's seen it.


On a recent scuba diving trip, we filmed a shark swimming towards us with the great deep blue sea behind him, which is another one of her favorites—sharks and the infinite creepiness of the ocean.
Photo courtesy of Video Vision 360/Natura Vive

I also like to bring travel opportunities to her attention, like the Natura Vive Skylodge in Peru.  What could go wrong, sleeping in a glass pod 1,312 feet above the floor of the Sacred Valley?  Her first question (and mine) was how do you answer the call of nature?!

And how about learning to wing walk on her next vacation?  That sounds exciting, and I'm sure it will get more than just her feet sweating!


Truth be told, I have no interest in sleeping cliff side in a glass pod or walking on an airplane wing mid-flight, but her reaction is so satisfying, I can't stop making these types of suggestions. 

I asked her if I could write about this, and she was happy to indulge me, but she insisted that I include two things that really give her the willies:

The perspective of looking up at cruise ship from below:

This is the best I could find!  Note the man in the tiny skiff.
and hot dog eating contests!



Go figure!


What do you say, Reds and Readers?  Do your feet sweat when you see a shark?  Do hot dog eating contests give you the willies?  Do you lovingly torment your siblings in a similar fashion?

33 comments:

  1. Ingrid, the Great Barrier Reef video is simply amazing.

    I don’t try to torment my sisters and brother, but even though I’ve never met one up close, I still think sharks are scary and hot dog eating contests are gross.
    However, I’m a confirmed wallflower and can get panicky at the thought of facing a room full of folks I don’t know . . . .

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    1. Totally agree on the hot dog eating contests, Joan. Makes my stomach turn!

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  2. I am not as adventuresome as you, Ingrid, although I do take on the odd adventure from time to time. Alas, my sister does not rise to bait the way yours does. I think she views my assorted forays beyond her comfort zone as eccentric, and occasionally annoying, but she doesn't freak out. That said, I completely understand the joy of being relentlessly cheerful and helpful when someone wants to sit in their box and complain. "Oh, you can't go because you don't have jeans or sneakers? Here. We're about the same size, borrow mine!" It's not that I actually want to lend that person my clothes, but that I get such mean pleasure out of hearing her sputter out a whole string of increasingly lame excuses about why she cannot possibly do whatever, when we both know she simply doesn't want to.

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  3. For me, things like bungee jumping or theme-park rides that put you upside down are the stuff of nightmares. Yeah, and plane walking mid-flight. Just...no!

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    1. Bungee jumping looks insane to me, Edith. And I cringe when I imagine what it's doing to their poor spines!

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  4. Ingrid, you’ve just provided me another reason to repeat my mother’s words, “aren’t you glad that you are an only child?” Identifying with your sister, even though my feet sweat just from the heat. ;-)

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  5. A hot dog eating contest is not something I care to watch. It's hard enough going with my brother-in-law to an all-you-can-eat restaurant. Two hours later, he's still eating. That can put me off food for days.

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    1. All-you-can-eat is just a bad idea in general!

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  6. I have neither siblings nor sweaty feet.

    However, it would be a cold day in hell for me to consider strapping a very small tank of air to my back and dive. In fact, it terrifies me. I love to see pictures of the undersea world, and my daughter and her family have dived in the Great Barrier Reef. Good for them. Send me a video. I admire anyone who can do this.

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    1. Ann, this morning yours in the kindest voice, I’ve heard. Bless you.

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  7. That video is so cool! Reminds me of the time I went diving and we saw a barracuda in the distance. He eyed us for a while, then swam off. And I remember the giant plate coral I saw when I dove The Wall in St. Croix - 105 feet down.

    The photos don't freak me out, but wing-walking? No thanks.

    Mary/Liz

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    1. Aren't barracuda creepy? The last time we dove there was a big one hanging out under the boat. They do size you up as if they're thinking, "would she be tasty?"

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  8. I'm there on the couch with your sister and, naturally, with a book.
    I have 3 adventurous brothers that don' bait me but can make me nervous with what they do like sliding in the air from a mountain to another or diving like you with strange fish or shark around: not for me.
    Even while reading them , I can't understand why people do certain things. I don't possess the gene " thrill".

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  10. People sure dream up crazy things to do, don't we? My youngest daughter did a bungee jump in Australia, near Caen, where everyone goes to access the Great Barrier Reef. It's a good thing I didn't know she intended to do it. Twice, too. That wing walking thing is whackadoo.

    My autobiography would have to be titled "I Didn't Want To", or "The Reluctant Adventurer". I've been talked into (shamed into, truth be told) wild cave-crawling at Mammoth Cave (two miles underground, going through itsy bitsy spaces on hands and knees), trail riding in Wyoming, whitewater rafting in West Virginia, hiking 1,000 feet to the Sun Gate at Machu Picchu, and snorkeling in the Galapagos (the best experience of my life). Every time I ended up having a fantastic, thrilling time, but started out scared to death.

    Ingrid, your sister cracks me up. And I so agree about the hot dog eating. Yuck!

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    1. Karen, hearing about the cave-crawling almost makes my feet sweat! That sounds awful to me. You couldn't pay me to bungee jump; your daughter is more adventurous than I am! And no to the wing walking. I like to stay inside the plane when I fly.

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  11. Funny stories! I have become a comfort of my couch person. I have never sky-dived or scuba-dived, two things I thought I would do. But I have traveled, and have had a few adventures. I love the sibling teasing.

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  12. I'm definitely not a risk-taker or gambler of any kind. However, I don't mind reading about the adventures of others. As a child, my most daredevil act was to regularly ride my bicycle down a short flight of concrete stairs. No way I would attempt that now!

    Nope, I wouldn't watch any sort of eating contest!

    It's interesting, though, that some things that seem like normal, ordinary acts can seem risky to other people. I often travel alone and meet up with friends or relatives at the other end. One of my friends thinks I'm very brave. She wouldn't feel safe going anywhere without her husband. I can't be in the same room with a spider. I feel like I might as well be announcing "here I am. Eat me!"

    DebRo

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    1. That's a great point, Deb. I would much rather encounter a shark (a small one, not a Great White!) than a rat any day! I hate rats!

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    2. I get the same reaction when I travel alone, Deborah, but who else am I to travel with? I mean, seriously, driving down the freeway is driving down the freeway, and there's ever so much less traffic in Tennessee than there is right here at home in Dallas.

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  13. When my daughter was on a post-college, backpacking trip in Europe, she called her dad to check her bank balance. Not me. She wanted to be sure she had enough to cover a SKY DIVE in the ALPS.The point of the story is that no one considered including me in this discussion. Wonder why! ( I know why) :-) I learned about it after it was all over.

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    1. That's hilarious. A couple of years ago, my niece told me that she was going skydiving with her boyfriend on her birthday. She swore me to secrecy (keeping another sister out of the loop.) I kept the secret, but I was relieved to get that phone call when she was safely on the ground!

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  14. No no no, no no no. And no. HOWEVER. I would like to stand on that glass platform over...is it the Hoover Dam? That'd be cool.
    And once I went in a glider..which was almost fun. And a hot air balloon, terrific. Helicopter. Great. But those are kind of ordinary, and without sharks or precipices.
    But sometimes I think--what if I HAD to parachute out of a plane? Could I do that? I can never decide about that. But if I didn't have to? Ahhh. NEVER.

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    1. You definitely could if you had to, Hank! I think the glass platform is over part of the Grand Canyon. I wouldn't have a problem doing it from a fear standpoint, I've just heard that it's a rip off!

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  15. I'm not one who normally thinks of the betterment of my fellow man on a day to day basis, but every year when they do that stupid hot dog eating contest (and cover it like it is the Super Bowl), I can't help but be disgusted. All those hot dogs going to waste on trying to see who can eat the most in the shortest amount of time.

    Each year, all I can think of is "wouldn't that food be better off given to people who are hungry?"

    I like to eat, but there's no reason on this earth why anyone needs to shove 50 something hot dogs down their throat at one time.

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    1. Exactly, Jay. Not to mention, what are those people doing to their bodies?!

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  16. As the sister highlighted here, I can assure everyone that I get as much of a kick out of seeing these things as Ingrid does showing them. I love the ocean videos, even though they creep me out! I have actually been cave exploring and really enjoyed it. Until the flashlight ran out of batteries. That was a little less fun! Just don’t make me look up at that cruise ship or at a tall building from the street. Freaks me out every time!

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    1. Thanks for coming to my defense! It's all in good fun, and I know that you like to see what I come up with in my quest to find sweat inducing activities.

      Also, she'll be the first to tell you that she derives great enjoyment from my reaction to loud noise and repetitive sounds. In a busy, noisy place, she'll be unperturbed and smiling as my head threatens to explode!

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  17. That video is the BEST!!! About the only thing I’m afraid of is the deep dark sea so, yeah, you got me! Ahhhhhhhhh!

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    1. Jenn, you have to check out this link about thalassophobia, fear of deep water. My sister just sent it to me!

      http://www.obsev.com/galleries/thalassophobia-fear-deep-water/657168?refresh

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  18. Love the potato cod! At first glance I thought it was a Goliath grouper.

    What makes my breath run short? Spelunking. Unfortunately, I was in a cave when I discovered my fear!

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    1. That's unfortunate, Kait! Sometimes it's hard to predict what will set us off.

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  19. No thank you. All those photos are freaky!

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