1. You have many talents, more than most people I know. If you could be a genius-in-residence and just get paid to do the things you love, what would you spend your time doing?
Probably write a cookbook, an RIS feeding and care manual, a book of ring shawl patterns, and possibly a book on shaping and growing ones own spirituality, either in-house with some organized religion or going and doing the harder work/job of shaping ones own from scratch. And doing so in a way that one can pass it to others... I might even go to seminary for a while, just to learn about the techniques people use to deal with Reality.
In the short term, I would probably even just turn every power and capability I had to ousting Bush, one way or another. I have a real fear of people who take their Beliefs and Opinions *as* Reality, rather than as something that may need to be tested or questioned to find what is real behind them. There's so many actions, decisions, and statements that show that the present administration decides on a Belief and then does their best to simply prove that Belief is Reality rather than letting Reality shape their beliefs and actions that it's scary in a big sense.
2. You and John have an excellent marriage. What's your secret?
Talk about it. Always make things explicit. Never assume that the other person will read your mind. At the basis of it may well also be the deep down knowledge that we accept and love each other despite bad actions, bad decisions, or other warts and uglies. We've gone through a lot, and talked about all of it and John has always listened to me and while I've not been so good at always listening to him calmly, I've ended up always listening in the end.
We've ended up always asking things of each other explicitly, too. Not assuming that the other person will read our mind and know what it is that we need. That was a hard lesson, but I think it's why things work out now as well as they do.
I also had to learn the very hard lesson that love and romance are NOT the same things. That while Love can have romance in it, romance alone cannot sustain a relationship, or, for that matter, romance alone cannot sustain ME. Only love can. Romance is a nice bit of icing, but it's not where the rubber meets the road.
3. Has being a parent changed your relationship with your own parents?
Having Jet and knowing that they have a claim to him MADE me have to have a relationship with my parents again, instead of just ignoring them after having run away. I think it's for the better, all in all. I think I have a better relationship with them, but a lot of it's from finally accepting what *I* feel about how they raised me and from knowing exactly what it is that I will never do. I learned how to really say and mean NO to them because of Jet. That's a very good thing. I also know, now, some of the things from them that I do want to pass on to Jet.
Jet loves them. They have their own relationship with him, and that's a very cool thing to know and see. That's also opened my eyes a little as to who they now are. That's done a lot of good for my relationship with them as well.
4. What would you say are the most important keys to being a good parent?
-Know ones own boundaries, know when it's time for a parental timeout just as much, if not more, than knowing when the kid needs a time out.
-Make allowances for abilities, which includes remembering that little, tiny kids are powerless and need to learn power and that someone, including themselves, believes that they can do it, use it, be it. (from that stems my need to always give him choices, to try and let him do whatever he can do even it's "too slow" "too sloppy" or too whatever for my stupid perfectionist's voice (which has, by the way, also been good for ME), and to always think about his explorations and if they're not dangerous to let him do it)
-Listen. Even if you don't agree, listen and understand first. Then disagree if necessary and DON'T tie love with agreement... (which might go with the marriage tips as well) or 'goodness' with agreement. There have been lots of times when Jet and I disagree about something, and I think it's important for him to voice and be encouraged to voice his disagreement especially if I 'make' things go the way I want them to be.
5. For reals, do you think you'll ever move back to the PNW? What do you miss most about this area?
Yes. We're planning on it in a two to four year time frame. We want to move back before Jet gets into Kindergarten, mostly because the population here is not kind to minorities, and Asians, here, are definitely in the minority.
I miss good Chinese food, especially GREAT Chinese food. I miss the rain. I miss walking in mists. I miss water. I miss the history and depth of the spiritual life in the NorthWest with its close contact with the people that first lived there. I miss the greenery and life everywhere. I miss the singing of frogs at night. I miss the ocean, the beaches, the skys that dream of rain even when they're blue. I miss oxygen. I miss breathing comfortably all the time. I miss cool summers and winters that are only cold and damp instead of 'you'll die if you're out here unprotected'. I miss the shadows and visual closeness of all the trees. I miss courteous drivers, even if they're slow. I miss lakes that are LAKES, rivers that you can't wade across, mountains you can climb without feeling like your brain is dying of lack of oxygen, and banana slug trails across my garage door. I miss blackberry brambles growing from nothing. I miss alder 'weeds' in my yard. I miss wild salmon for less than $15 a pound, a Dungeness crab at $2.99/lb special, sushi that is to-die-for FRESH, clams I just dug from the sand, and oysters by the dozen. I miss Rovers, Dalia Lounge, Shiro's, I Love Sushi, and the dozens of GREAT restaurants.
I often think that I look at Colorado with a fist-tight heart, just so that I don't forget how much I love Seattle... which is regrettable. I love the Mexican food here, the chiles, the chocolate, and the people. I still marvel at the wide open sky, the gold gorgeousness of a sunset flooding waves of green-gold grain, at seeing people coming for miles before any car might meet. I love the speed of the freeways, the shotgun attitude to still-cold red lights, and the difference between a California stop and a Colorado stop is that those wimpy Californians TOUCH the brake. I love the rec. centers here. I like the open space, the organic everything, and the ability to easily come in direct contact with the farmers that grow the food here. There's a lot I'll miss here, too. The sunlight is wonderful, though the drought and the lack of green was not. The lamb and beef here are great. And there are still small towns here with small town attitudes, which has their good and bad things, but there are nearly no really *small* communities in Seattle any more. It's just too crowded.
We may move to be in Oregon, along the coast, to get some of the things we really miss and some of the things that we don't... we'll have to see.
But, yeah, for reals, we're moving back.
Questions for kathrynt:
What have you learned from getting married that you didn't know before?
What as the most interesting support case you've done, so far, for Dell?
What kind of work would you most want to do? And the obverse of that, what kind of job would you never, ever in your life want to do?
You get all kinds of cool, serendipitous meetings with people, is there something you'd attribute that to?
What do you love the most about the PNW?