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

19 February 2010

a lotsofquestions bonus post!

Wow, all I had to do was guilt-trip y'all a little, and you asked me a ton of questions! I have fifteen of them in my inbox right now: more than I've ever had. And since I'm itching to crank out some answers, AND I don't necessarily want to write a mile-long post on Wednesday... here are my answers to the first 8 of those 15 questions.

Are you and your hubby planning on having a baby any time soon?

I saw this question, and I think snorted a little wine out my nose. I don't think a month goes by that Pink Hubby and I don't look at each other with worn out, homework-frazzled eyes and state "Thank God we don't have to deal with any kids right now." I did write a post about my current feelings about kids; here it is. In short: kids freak me out a little. They're huge time-sinks, money-eaters, and responsibilities. Do we want them? Yes, I think we do want to be parents. We're just not quite there yet. Even though I'm hurling toward age 27 at an unbelievable speed, we need more time. Time for our degrees. Time to stabilize our careers and to get our finances squared away in a comfortable sense. And, time to actually enjoy being married. We do enjoy being married, of course. But with our school and work schedules, time for each other is kind of scarce some days/weeks/months. We want to make sure we get some before we have someone else demanding it all from us. We don't have an actual timeline, but we are definitely looking at this issue in terms of years, not months.

Following up on Dooce, would you feel comfortable sharing as much about your personal life as she does, especially if you had young children?

Nope. In fact, I often worry about her (even though I don't know her). I have never tried (why would I?), but I'm willing to bet that it would be quite easy to find out where she lives, where her daughter goes to school, etc. She has a lot of fans, but she also has a lot of haters (an unfortunate side-effect of being honest on one's blog). If I were as popular and honest as she is, I would constantly worry that one of those haters was going to get all stalker-nutty on me and my family. What can I say. I'm a glass-is-half-empty kind of girl. I didn't even share my location or my face on this blog until fairly recently, and sometimes I wonder if that was the right choice (even though it's now much easier to write here).

Were you or your friends personally affected by the Red River flooding in 1997, or any other year? Did anyone you know leave the area because of flooding?

No. That is to say, I did not know anyone personally whose home was destroyed, or anyone who left the area because of it. The flood of 1997 in Grand Forks happened a couple of days after my 14th birthday. I remember the older students being let out of school to help with the sandbagging efforts during the weeks leading up to the flood. My hometown was in danger of flooding that year but was saved when an ice jam broke at the last possible minute, allowing backed up water to flow away from the trouble spots. [Literally, I heard that there were townspeople standing up there against the dikes, plugging holes with their hands to keep the water out prior to the jam breaking.] My family's house was not in danger - we lived out of town - but several people I know would have been hit in that flooding, had it occurred.

After the flood, I mostly remember not being able to go to North Dakota for several months. (My mother and I had a habit of visiting Grand Forks on a weekly or bi-weekly basis for groceries and other items.) They were asking people to stay away: apparently a lot of people were driving in to the flooded areas just for sightseeing. The news said it was a mess - debris everywhere, as you can imagine. Dangerous for vehicles due to broken glass, fallen branches and nails/wreckage on the streets. So much destruction. And to add insult to injury, a fire destroyed some buildings downtown. A fire, during a flood: imagine that. Firetrucks couldn't get there to put it out, obviously. I remember watching that on the news -- filmed from a helicopter. It was very surreal.

Grand Forks has been cleaning up shop since then. For years, you could still find the 'flood water line' on many of the downtown buildings, but you'd be hard-pressed to find it today (except in the cases where the business owners have painted it on as a symbol of their perseverance). I don't think I have posted any photos of Grand Forks and East Grand Forks' downtown area on this blog (yet), but friends from out of state have commented on how NICE it all looks. Well, that's 'cause the slate was wiped 'clean' just 13 years ago!

That's my little flood story. I've only got a few more things to add. Government money helped Grand Forks and East Grand Forks (MN) both build permanent 60-63 foot dikes after that flood. [The river crested at 54 in 1997.] Last spring, our water levels were at (or very near) the 1997 level, but Grand Forks was safe. (Unfortunately for those not in the city limits, these walls just push the water on to other cities and towns, whoops.) We have these huge gates at the foot of our bridges, and they can be walled up whenever the weather service gives the word. Because of this wall, our house is not considered to be in the flood plain even though its entire basement was full of water in 1997. Interesting how that works, isn't it? On a lighter note, guess how old our furnace and water heater are!

[For those who are interested in this bit of local history: here is some info, and here is some photojournalism.]

Have you met many of your online contacts in person? If you did, were they what you expected them to be, and were there any surprises?

I've met a few! And, they were pretty much what I expected. It's weird to meet people in person that you've only previously talked with using chat and/or blog comments though! It's just... strange to hear their voices, see their expressions, and experience their whole three-dimensional personality.

Have you ever played a musical instrument, or wanted to learn one?

I played the cello from 4th until 6th grade. It was OK. I sang in the choir from 6th until 10th grade, and also took some voice lessons during that time. I competed in duos and solos in a couple of regional singing competitions in high school, culminating when I sang about a 45 second solo at Disney World during a choir trip in 10th grade. I quit choir when I started taking college classes, my 11th grade year. I haven't done anything musical (aside from listening) since, and haven't really had the urge.

Are there any movies that you enjoy watching over and over, or have memorized all the lines to?

Forrest Gump! Well, not anymore, but I know I have seen that movie more than any other. My high school boyfriend/best friend and I used to watch it every single weekend. I know all the words and scenes, and have the soundtrack on my iPod. I really like the movie Juno, though I have only seen in twice. Garden State is a favorite also. PHubby and I like to watch Casino Royale (James Bond movie from a few years back. I have also seen (and enjoy) the new Star Trek movie 4 or 5 times now. I also like the gruesome: Texas Chainsaw Massacre II (an oldie, but a goodie), House of 1000 Courses and Devil's Rejects are some faves. When it comes to blood and guts, I don't eff around. OH, and Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle. I don't know how many times I've watched it, but possibly more than 10.

As a future professor, what kinds of classes do you want to teach?

Oooo. Teaching & Technology Classes. Classes about Instructional Design, also. I hope I can find a position in a college that has an Instructional Designer/Curriculum Designer program. I would love to teach those courses, and would love to advise those students.

What were the best and worst parts about being a bee? Would you do it again?

I'd totally do it again! Best parts: the high you get from all the comments, getting to be a part of such an awesome blogging community, and the way the other bloggers (who seem like they surely must be just WAY too cool for you) really make you feel at home there through their kind comments, private messaging and the like. Worst parts? I suppose the time commitment. It takes up a ton of time. You really have to be motivated to produce quality posts with that much frequency.

That's it for my little bonus Q&A session! I still have 7 more questions saved up to answer next week, and please ask some more if you want to! Gonna stop doing this as a feature when March comes a-callin'.