Thursday, October 16, 2008

Great Interview Experiment Part II

A couple of days ago, I posted my interview of unfinishedperson as half of my involvement in Neil Kramer's Great Interview Experiment. A couple of days later, I was interviewed by the lovely and talented Astrogirl426, from Notes from the Bunker. Since I know you are all clamoring to know more about me, here is that interview. You can also read it on her blog, or you could just stop over and let her know what a creative genius you think she is. She's damn funny.

You mention in your blog that you and your family moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Seattle in 2005. What is the best thing about moving to Seattle? (I won't ask the worst; we don't want to piss off the Seattleites!)
Hmmm, the best thing about moving to Seattle is that we are finally close enough to my family for them to visit regularly. (And for me to mooch babysitting from them occasionally.) That was the main factor behind the move. As far as the best thing about Seattle itself, I think the lifestyle up here is just so much more laid back. It bugged me at first. When we got up here, I'd run into a coffee shop to get my double non-fat latte (aka fuel) and instead of it being ready for my go-go-go lifestyle, I'd actually have to wait as the barista lovingly hand-crafted it, completely with a little design in the foam on top. I was used to the California version where they rush you out just as quickly as you rush in. Up here, it seems that coffee is a part of life, a moment to step away and take a break, not just a highly caffeinated beverage to help you keep on running. It extends beyond coffee too. This was just the easiest example of the difference in pace. Once I adjusted, I actually liked it slower. But man, it took some time to adjust.

And I'm bold, the worst thing about Seattle, the fucking cold cold cold dark winters. They suck. Yeah, I know, nothing compared to what you endure in Albany, but still, they suck for me, and I am the center of my little universe. I don't like being cold much.

You mention in your bio that you and your husband bought a fixer-upper when you moved. What is the biggest regret you have in remodeling your house?
Biggest regret: The fact that we are nowhere near being done. Since we're doing it ourselves, it is taking FOREVER. I jokingly refer to my house as the two story crackhouse on the corner because it looks so shabby and run down. Most of the work Mr. Dog has done so far isn't doing much to improve the outside of the house, we're still doing the foundation, so it is expensive, slow and really doesn't make our house any sexier. Just less likely to fall over and crush the neighbors.

What is the thing you're most thankful for in the remodeling experience? Would you do it again if you knew then what you know now?
I guess I'm most thankful for the opportunity to save this beautiful house. Yeah, I just called it a crackhouse, but it is a beautiful, historic crackhouse. Seriously, the local historical society did a history of our house at the local library. I walked in to see photos of our house complete with the history. I didn't even know they were doing it, so it was kind of cool. They wrote us a thank you note for not tearing it down, because that is happening a lot in this area of Seattle, to make room for condos. I'm happy to be living in this little piece of local history, and hope to restore as much historical detail as possible, though with the modern conveniences like indoor plumbing and a 6-burner range...

You mentioned in one of your postings that you were interviewing a babysitter, in the hopes that you and your husband could get a night out once in a while. What would you do it you had the choice to go anywhere with your husband, for one night, without the kids - and someone else (with deep pockets) was footing the bill?
It would have to be someplace local I guess since you're only giving me one night. I'd take one night in the Beatles suite at the Edgewater hotel. (this is the hotel where that photo of the Beatles fishing out of the window was taken, right on the water in Seattle.) I'd demand room service, in room massage and a good night of sleep. But mostly the sleep. That is something I am way too short on most times.

You mention a few of the places outside of the continental US that you have visited. Which is your absolute fave, and why? If your favorite place is somewhere you haven't been yet, where is it? Why do you want to go?
I loved most of the places I've been outside of the US. I'd probably say my favorite was Greece, I traveled there when I was in college just bumming around for a couple of months on my own. The people were amazingly friend and the food, oh man the food...awesome. I spent most of my time laying around on beaches or touring ruins. I got to read tons of books and just go at my own pace. It was like heaven. Though I could say Belize was my favorite too. We went there on our honeymoon. Went scuba diving almost every day, lounged around, went hiking in the rain forest, drank lots of drinks loaded up with rum, did lots of...honeymoon things. I'd go back there in a heartbeat.
I still want to make it to Turkey sometime, since that was our original, well second original honeymoon plan. My mom dad and sister have all been there now, and I wallow in my jealousy whenever they show me photos. I'd also like to go to Morocco, Madagascar, Argentina, Portugal...hell, the list is a mile long. Right now I'm shooting for Hawaii. I think it will be a while before the kids are ready for international travel. *big sigh*

You refer to the men in your family as Dog - Mr. Dog, Big Dog, Little Dog. Any funny stories behind that?
Nah, not really. My blogging name, Followthatdog, was my handle when I was posting on the Craigslist Parenting Forum. I started calling my husband Mr. Dog because Mr. Followthatdog was too long, and I hated the accepted abbreviation DH (darling husband). The kids got dubbed Big Dog and Little Dog by another poster after I complained that I couldn't come up with cute nicknames for them that worked. Once she suggested these, it was like being slapped in the face with the most obvious decision EVER, and they stuck. My own handle came about when I was still trying to get pregnant. I was a total dog person, love them, my life revolved around my pups. I had two dogs, one with the nasty habit of running off at the dog park. I felt like I was always chasing her, so "follow that dog", like "follow that cab" in the old movies, kind of made me smile. No funny story about the nicknames, but when I was pregnant with Big Dog I constantly had pregnancy dreams that I gave birth to a dog, and and had to convince people it was actually a baby.

You also have a food blog (From Mosh Pits to Mashed Potatoes). I must admit, for the stay-at-home mom of one small child who's in school all day, I still don't know where you get the time and energy to cook such delicious foods for your family. Have you always enjoyed being in the kitchen, or is this something you developed when you started a family?
I've always like cooking, and for me, it is kind of relaxing. Even before I had kids, before I was married, back in the dark ages, I used to host a "family dinner" every Sunday for our close group of friends. It was a nice way for us to all connect, and it got us all together at least once a week. My mom and dad both cook and my mom is an insanely great hostess, so I think it came from being raised in that environment. But maybe not, my older sister doesn't like cooking, so who really knows.

Your kids seem to be such adventurous eaters. My guy eats from a list of about 15 items (it sounds like a lot, but trust me, it isn't). Have your kids always been so adventurous, or was it something you developed in them? And if the latter, I will pay you any amount of money if you will tell me how you did it? :)
I am just really really lucky. My kids have both been wide open to trying new foods. They both like to eat and have very few things they don't like. It's kind of funny because when they were infants being introduced to their first foods, neither of them seemed to have much interest. We'd offer things that babies were supposed to like, and they'd gag or make ridiculous faces but they wouldn't eat much. Then we'd find their magic food, the one that they just gobbled up. For Big Dog it was roasted red peppers. For Little Dog it was avocados. Then things kind of opened up for them, well, not too quickly for Little Dog, there were a few weeks when we were going through 3 avocados a day, and nothing else. With subsequent foods, we just offer new things and let them try them. They aren't required to eat anything they don't like, and I encourage them to participate in picking foods at the store. We also like to bake together, which is fun, but also kind of a good tool for teaching. But again, I think I am mostly just lucky to have kids that eat well. Have I mentioned they don't sleep? Yeah.

Have you ever thought about writing a recipe book? :)
I would LOVE to write a cookbook. I've been trying to find a good one targeted at cooking real food for kids and haven't found one that fits all of my weird dietary quirks yet. The blog is my way of keeping track of what I've made, what worked, what flopped, what needed adjusting and sharing that with other parents.

One last question I've always loved asking a foodie (please forgive the macabre tone): If you could choose, what would you like your last meal to be?
Easy, a chili relleno burrito from La Corneta (aka the Corn), in Glen Park, not the Mission Street one, in San Francisco. That and a GIANT glass, hell a whole bottle of David Bruce Petite Syrah.


Mrs. F said...

These are all such great questions and answers! Nice interview!

Robin said...

Great interview - both the questions and the answers.

You know, even very young children can be fine on an international trip if you plan it right and keep your expectations reasonable. Trekking through Nepal, probably not a great plan. Renting a villa in France with its own heated swimming pool? One of the best vacations we've taken. (Quickly followed by a villa in Malta, also with a pool. Are you sensing a theme?) The house and garden give you loads of space, no noise restrictions, and built in activities (bbq, swimming, etc.) We've done this a number of times, often with extended family joining us. Mornings are for sightseeing, but at a somewhat reasonable kid-friendly pace, then a nice (GOOD!) lunch, then back to the house for rests, swimming, lazy dinners outside... As an added bonus it often works out a lot cheaper than staying in a hotel too. It's a whole different feel to an international vacation, but it can be a great one. (Sorry, it's worked so well for us that I tend to proselytize *blush*.)

Anonymous said...

I would LOVE to write a cookbook. I've been trying to find a good one targeted at cooking real food for kids and haven't found one that fits all of my weird dietary quirks yet.

wensiljon said...

This is awesome..good job!

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