February 11th, 2009
Photo by Annalie, age 4y9m
An interview meme was started a while back by The Immoral Matriarch. I’m not a follower of her site, but I do read Margalit, and as a participant in the round-robin interviewing she was offering to send questions to folks who wanted to be interviewed. I was the first one waving my hand frantically and shouting, “Oh, pick me! Me!”
Not only do I love answering those silly emails full of questions about what color my socks are and what kind of salad dressing I like, I love Margalit’s blog. She has been blogging since before most bloggers had even heard of the internet. She has teenage twins that she clearly loves madly and is driven mad by, in equal parts. She is passionate in her opinions and political beliefs and support of the Boston Red Sox. She blogs about all those things and a million more topics. (Read her interview answers! I think they give a good idea of what kind of blogger Margalit is.)
Even when I don’t agree with her I love reading because she’s so freaking interesting. I have the feeling that if I knew Margalit in person I would love hanging out in her kitchen drinking tea, baking bread, arguing about politics, giving her kids a hard time, and laughing a lot.
Below are the questions Margalit emailed me, along with my answers.
1. You’ve had to live the life of a Navy wife for a long time. What is the hardest thing to deal with besides his deployments?
I’ve started typing an answer to this question three times only to delete and ponder a while longer! I think honestly, the hardest thing for me personally is having people I wish I could see more often strewn all over the world. I actually love getting to move around and try living in lots of different places, and I love getting to meet new people (even though at first that is difficult for me sometimes). But the fact that all my favorite people and places are scattered all over makes them difficult to even think about visiting.
Also, I hate having to find a new church to join each time we move. For some reason that is always an exhausing process for us.
I have this place in my head that I call my Perfect Village. That is where I will invite all my loved ones to come live with me someday, along with the best doctors, hairstylists, veterinarians, coffee shops, libraries, parks, etc. that I’ve patronized. If only it could really happen.
2. I know you’re intrigued by homeschooling. Do you plan to homeschool Annalie or are you going to try school first? If you homeschool, what are your plans?
Ooh, good question. Annalie is technically preschool-age right now and is not enrolled in any preschool. So I guess you could say we’re already homeschooling. (Though I have to add that I firmly believe that preschool is not necessary for everyone. Since I don’t work outside the home, I only have one child, we see friends and family with other kids for Annalie to play with all the time, and we travel so much, it would have been a waste of money for our family. And before anyone gets upset and thinks I’m looking down on them for putting their kids in preschool, I’m really not! It’s a godsend for some families and kids, I know! My mom was a preschool teacher for years! I went to preschool and loved it!)
Wait, what was the question? Oh, right—homeschooling! We’re about 90% sure that Annalie will be homeschooled in the fall. I am a little overwhelmed with the volume of information on the internet about homeschooling, and have mainly relied on talking to my homeschooling friends to gather information. It’s really a great time to homeschool, as there are so many great programs and curricula and support systems available to homeschoolers.
Why don’t I want to enroll Annalie in school? Partly because we travel a lot. I know I could cut back, and I probably will anyway if we’re homeschooling, but I have always been the type of person who prefers to go her own way, at her own pace. Annalie is like that too. Also, do you know how much of the day is taken up with waiting and standing in line in a typical school day? Learning to do those things is definitely necessary, but I can teach Annalie how to do them at the post office or the grocery store, where I can also teach her reading and math by having her read the ZIP code on my package and enter it on the Automated Postal Center’s keypad, or help me compare prices and figure out which cereal is cheaper.
I dunno, I just feel like homeschooling is the right choice for my child and our family right now. After a year, maybe I’ll decide enrolling Annalie in public school is the right choice, or maybe the church school down the street. One of the things being in the Navy has taught me is that planning anything too far in advance is a recipe for disappointment.
3. You travel a lot to visit friends and family. If money were no object, where would you choose to visit that isn’t a friend or family vacation?
The first two places that came to mind are both places that are far away and would cost a lot of money—Australia and England—but they also happen to be places where I have a friend or two! I’m hopeless. Oh, wait, I know! I’d love to visit Russia, specifically Moscow and St. Petersburg. I studied Russian in high school and college, but I don’t know a single person who lives there.
4. You know how to do every craft in the world. Which is your favorite and why? And how did you learn how to do so many things?
Now, that’s a gross exaggeration. I don’t knit, I don’t scrapbook, I don’t sculpt, just to name a few. (Uh…actually, I have learned how to knit and I’ve made cards with scrapbooking materials before and took a pottery class in high school…they’re just not things I’ve kept up with.) Okay, I will admit I’ve rarely met a craft I didn’t like. I am willing to try just about anything that involves paper, glue, yarn, paint, glitter, and using my imagination and hands. As anyone who’s read my blog for more than a week probably knows, I love to paint pottery and crochet. I guess those are probably my favorites. I also love to make friendship bracelets and fold origami and design digital photo cards and make magnets and create collages. I am trying to think of a craft I’ve done and didn’t enjoy and am drawing a blank. But you know, all you really have to do is hand me a box of crayons and a pad of paper and I’m a happy camper. I just like being creative, even if the end product is goofy-looking.
5. You’re a baker with real talent. Where did you learn how to bake things like wedding cakes and have you taken any classes to improve your skills?
Thanks! My brother and I used to make cookies and cakes with my mom when we were little. Somewhere along the line I must have said, “Mom, can I do this by myself?” I don’t really remember anyone teaching me. I know I was making birthday cakes for my family by the time I was 10 or 11. I just read the recipe and did what it said. I was 13, I think, the first time I made homemade bread entirely on my own. I don’t remember my mom ever making homemade yeast bread. I was reading the Little House on the Prairie books for the dozenth time and as usual, they inspired me to cook something. (Books do that to me a lot. Reading Heidi makes me want to toast cheese, however one does that. I’ve always wondered.) That time it happened to be homemade white bread. One loaf was slightly burned and one was doughy in the middle, but I remember my dad telling me how great it was.
As for the wedding cake, I just did some research on homemade wedding cakes online, browsed at the bookstore till I found a book I liked, and went for it. Also, I had my mom, Troy, and my cousin Tressa supporting and helping me.
I’ve never taken any cooking or baking classes. I am not opposed to doing so, I’ve just never done it. I don’t really watch cooking shows either. I do own a lot of cookbooks, though. Going back to the previous question, I sort of see cooking as another venue for being creative, and I just like doing it.
Maybe that is the secret: I enjoy baking, and I do it a LOT. Practice makes perfect.
6. What is the one thing that absolutely drives you bonkers?
More than one thing drives me bonkers, but the first that leaps to mind is reality television. I know millions of people disagree with me, so I don’t go on about it very often. I don’t believe there’s anything inherently evil about reality shows, I just can’t stand them. Even the mainstream, relatively innocuous ones (Supernanny, American Idol, Survivor) often make me want to throw the TV out the window.
7. Did you ever graduate from Univ of Nebraska, and if not, do you think you would ever like to go back to school someday?
Nope, I didn’t graduate. I left in the middle of my junior year to marry Troy and move to San Diego. The following fall I transferred to San Diego State University as a child development major. I attended classes there for three semesters and then dropped out before the parking situation gave me an ulcer. (Yes, I said the parking situation. It’s a long, boring story.) Suffice it to say that it never occurred to me to quit school till, during one of the many weepy conversations I had with my mom during that time, she gently pointed out to me that the world wasn’t going to stop spinning if I didn’t get my degree in five years, or even if I never got my degree at all. I was stunned, but she was right. I dropped out the next day and immediately felt lighter and happier, even though I had always been an excellent student and it was a big part of my identity. I’m convinced it was the right decision at the time.
I do hope to go back to school eventually. When I do, I think I’ll probably get a degree in English. If I decide to go on to grad school I’d like to get a Master of Library and Information Science. But I’m in no hurry.
Thanks for interviewing me, Margalit! Now, would any of you like to play along? If so, leave a comment below and I’ll email you at least five questions. (I reserve the right to limit the number of participants, depending on how many people want to be interviewed!) You’ll have to update your blog with the answers to the questions, linking back to the original post and also to my post, including this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.