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sunshine & unicorns: a blog about love, learning, and life in the upper midwest

02 February 2010

you asked (the first edition)

Well, apparently Formspring has no 'scheduling' option, because this post was only up on my blog for about 30 seconds before I removed and rescheduled it. It did go through to Google Reader during that time though - damn!. So while this was supposed to go up tomorrow, I figured most of you have seen it already now anyway so I might as well publish it! Come back tomorrow for question #8 and its answer.

As I mentioned on the weekend, I have one of those formspring "ask me" forms on this blog. You can get at it on the right sidebar, or just click here to ask me something.

I received 8 really good questions for round #1. Here are the answers to 7 of them. The 8th question requires a very detailed and long answer, so it'll get a post of its own tomorrow. Until then, enjoy these (and ask some more, which I will then answer next Wednesday.)

What field will your PhD be in? Is your job directly related to this field as well? Do you plan to switch jobs once you finish your PhD?

I'm studying Instructional Design. It's a field that combines educational theory, psychology, and communication. People in this field are generally looked upon to develop learning methods and techniques that maximize student learning experiences (while also keeping the teachers' workload and time in mind). My job is indeed directly related to this field. I have been in the field for a handful of years now and have no plans (at this time) to leave my current job. But I do have a dream to someday become a professor teaching in this field. (Hence, the Ph.D.)

If you could do one thing right this second - no matter the cost, danger, or time involved - what would you do?

I'd go see my parents and surprise them. I miss them. (But I will see them in March! More on that later.)

Are you planning on getting an iPad? It looks like a giant iPod Touch to me.

This link pretty much sums up all my interest in the iPad.

I don't have an iPod touch or iPhone either. AT&T has no coverage in this part of the country, so the iPhone is out of the question (hence, so is the 3G iPad). My Macbook Pro does tons more than the iPad; I will just stick with that for now. (For reference, I also have little-to-no interest in the Kindle or Nook or any other 'mobile reader'.)

Do you have a good method for scanning 35mm negatives, for photos taken before digital cameras?

The short answer is: Nope.
Honestly, most of the 35mm photos I took were just shots of friends/etc in high school. I went digital in 2000 (aside from some artsy stuff I did with my dad's Pentax, which I developed all hard core, darkroom style). To get those photos online, I just scan the prints with my multi-function printer and adjust in photoshop until they're pretty accurate. I have never actually scanned a negative.

Do you "save big money at Menard's," or do you prefer Lowe's or Home Depot for home improvement products?

We don't have a Home Depot here. Not local, at least. There is one in Fargo but I have never been there (to the Home Depot; I have been to Fargo). Pink Hubby and I generally check both of the other stores for the best deals. Usually we find said deals at Lowes, but sometimes Menards comes through. I think we got our mailbox at Menards, and the rug in our living room. When I need something little, I usually will run in to Lowes if I am out and about. In my opinion, the store is easier to navigate than Menards (including the parking lot). I will also go to Ace Hardware sometimes - it is not a 'big box,' but it has a lot of small items and it's closer to home than the others.

4) Where would you like to travel to, outside the US? 5) Are you sad to see Saab closing down? Note: This person asked 5 questions! (Woohoo!) 1, 2 and 3 will be answered in their own post tomorrow.

Saab's closing only really makes me sad from a car-buff perspective. These were some distinctive Swedish vehicles, and it's sad to know that the brand will be no more. That said, I personally believe that Saab (as we knew it) died when GM bought 51% of it. The cars instantly started to look and drive like Chevys. For those who don't know, I drove a Saab for about 20 months: a 1992 900S. Here is the car (and me) circa 2007.


I was never a Saab lover necessarily; my heart will always belong to Volkswagen (though I also had a Toyota, and now have owned two Hondas). The car was my mother's since it was new, and in 2005 when I needed a car, I bought it from her. She loved Saabs, by the way, but switched to Audi after being pretty disappointed with her new 2005 model's quality and performance. I sold mine to a Saab collector from Georgia. I think he is probably taking very good care of it still. Seemed like someone who would.

Now, as far a travel, this is rough for me because I am not multi-lingual and am a little terrified of traveling to a place where I cannot communicate with others. Sure, I took high school French. But you know how that is. Currently, I am trying to find the perfect place to take a honeymoon. I'm thinking tropical. The Carribean? Mexico? Bahamas? Somewhere else? It'll probably be an all-inclusive that we book because we're whitey-white Americans and mama likes her a pizza buffet. Another glamorous thought is a transatlantic cruise, taking us to Europe. Europe isn't too scary, and it would just be neat. I might get sick on the boat though, so I don't know. I never really have had a 'travel' bug. I honestly tend to think "what would I do when I got there? Just walk around and look at things?" Snap a few pics? I suppose that's enough though. Experiencing a different culture.

Who/what are your design inspirations? (fashion, home design, etc.)

This is a tough one for me. Let's talk about decor and our home first. I grew up in several homes throughout my childhood, all of which my dear mom kept spotless and 'real estate ready' because we knew we wouldn't be in that house forever. And in apartments (which is how I lived for the past 8 years), you don't get to decorate. Especially if you're like me and move to a different one every 9 months or a year. All apartments have dirty white walls, dark wood trim, and nappy tan or grey carpet. Slap a poster on the wall and a used sofa in the living room and you're good. But now... we have a house!

And I've been kind of afraid to decorate it since we moved in. I know my style isn't like my mothers, and Pink Hubby and I agree that while resale value is important to us (this is not our "raising a family" home), we want a home that reflects US as well. The people we bought it from had some really cool style. They used traditional furnishings and some African-inspired artwork in the home. So some bold colors through pillows and blankets, but also more classic elements like oriental rugs and substantial leather sofas. It looked great, like a magazine. Like the house a professor would live in, in a movie, know what I mean?

That said, I could pick any one of these homes and live in it gleefully. I love that modern and retro stuff too.

I also love a good deal. So the style for our home ends up being a mish-mash of budget finds, traditional pieces, modern accents and furniture we already owned before. We just try to make it all go to together. Soon we're going to get around to hanging art, and that'll be primarily composed of photos we've taken. I'm excited by that, though it is hard to choose the photos.

As far as fashion, I've never felt very (or at all) trendy and I am not a shopper - I never go to the mall unless I actually need something. That said, I do love shoes - heels specifically, and knee-high boots especially. I don't think I own any shoes or boots that could be construed as 'designer' or 'expensive'. For shoes, I keep it under $100 and for boots, usually under $150. I do have a pair of $13 Famous Footwear heels that look kind of like Loubies though! Also, I like quality purses. Tignanello, Coach, Stone Mountain. TJMaxx and eBay are generally my sources for that sort of purchase. My favorite color to wear is black. Morbid, perhaps, but I feel most comfortable in it. As I write this I'm actually wearing black pants, a black shirt, black socks and my black Lou-alikes. Gold necklace though, that's something. Also, lately I have been branching out to grey! Oh, and I love dresses on other people, but I rarely wear them. Go figure. It's something I'd like to change... just not in February, when it's damn cold.

P.S. This is just the first round. Feel free to ask me anything [else] throughout the month of February.