- How do you like living in Tennessee? How does it compare to Illinois?
On the other hand, Tennessee really has a lot more natural beauty to it than Illinois. There is really nothing more beautiful than an early morning fog breaking over the green hills, or a spring green landscape dotted with the bright pink blooms of redbuds. Nothing in Illinois can compare.
As for the people, you can find like-minded folks wherever you go, although they are seemingly more scarce here than they were in the People's Republic of Urbana. (I mean, compare election results and you will understand that I vote more like an Illinoisan than a Tennesseean.) But our neighbors here are very nice, and there are plenty of wonderful people at my workplace as well. And salespeople and others you interact with here are generally more friendly than comparable people in Illinois, because Southern culture just tends to be friendlier than Midwestern culture.
- A while back you blogged about buying a bunch of new clothes. Do you still enjoy your wardrobe as much as when you first got it? Have you added to it?
When I put on a blouse or sweater that's not a tall size, I feel really uncomfortable because if I lean over too much my bare midriff shows. I'm just so used to that not happening anymore.
- Do you feel like the timing of having Vinny was optimal? Would your answer change if Jeff worked outside the home?
So I think the timing was right in the sense that I can afford to raise my child the way I want to now. But it probably would have been better if I'd waited until I was a staff member and not a postdoc, because as a staff member I would have actually gotten maternity leave rather than having to use up all my sick days and all my vacation days and then go without pay for a month, for a total of 8 weeks away because I couldn't afford any longer. Certainly if Jeff were working then the financial impact of my time away from work would not have been as drastic, and I might have been able to take longer. But having him at home made it easier for me to go back to work -- who would be a better choice to leave your child with than the child's other parent?
- I think you’ve mentioned that you are quite tall. What’s that like? Name the best thing and the worst thing about it.
- Do people ask you to fix their home computers? Can you do it? Are you willing to do it?
- Have you taught or do you have plans to teach Vinny to cook anything other than pancakes?
Ultimately, my goal is for him to become a competent cook so that when he moves out on his own someday, he'll be able to create delicious and nutritious meals for himself. But two-year-olds can't yet do a lot of the things he will need to learn, such as chopping vegetables or using the oven. Someday, he will learn. In the meantime, we'll just mix pancake batter together...