While I was up at Blaisdell Poly this afternoon, I got more questions in my inbox. I'm going to answer ladysea's first, before I wander off and do more stuff away from the computer.
1. How many kids do you hope to have after you get your puppy?
Heh. For those of you who don't know, people have been bugging us about when we're going to have kids since...well, since before we were married, I guess. I started telling people that I had a rule: house first, dog second, baby third, and if we didn't have a house or a dog yet, there was no point to asking when we were going to have a baby. (It will still be rude when we get the dog. Just not pointless. Well, pointless in a different direction, because I still won't tell you.) And now we have a house.
My minimum desired number of children is one. If we found we were unable to have any in the most common way of acquiring children, we would probably look into adoption, because I would really like to give this parenting thing a go at some point. (Some LATER point, let me emphasize.) My maximum desired number of children is three. With the information I have now, I would say that I wouldn't have three unless #3 was a "happy surprise." I often tell people that if #2 was triplets, we'd give one of them away, because I will not have that many children. markgritter and timprov and my friend Mindy's boyfriend Tinjin came up with a rent-a-baby scheme for people whose parents are bugging them to have kids one night at dinner, so maybe it wouldn't need to be quite that drastic. Still, I'm an only child; two kids seems like a big leap to me, and while many people, including my own in-laws, do a great job with more than three, I think one needs to know oneself and one's own capabilities, and that's just not me.
2. If you wanted to change careers, what would you choose to do?
If I wanted to change careers. Hmm. I don't, is the thing. I like writing. It's a good thing, overall, even though I have spent awhile hating my book and wanting to fling it in the River. (That ended around 3:30 today, actually. I still have a few more things to do before sending it to the alpha readers, but I no longer hate it. Rah.)
Occasionally I threaten to go off and become someone's secretary, but that's because I can type and file and they would give me regular paychecks rather than irregular rejection letters. It's certainly not a dream job.
In the parallel evil universe, the evil Mrissa would probably compose campaign materials for some slimy politician or other.
Going back to physics would probably be better than most other options, I guess. If I had to choose a non-evil, non-despairing option. But changing careers would be a fairly strong indication that my life deeply sucked in at least one way, so.
3. Have you ever been to Canada, and if so, what was it like?
Yes. Fabulous. The first time I went, I was 6 years old, and we didn't know that going into Toronto on July 1 would be anything special. They had street performers and awesome food for cheap and this really neat playground (I don't even remember how we found that) and I loved it. In this sense, I couldn't really say whether leahbobet's book made Toronto magic, because Toronto was already magic to me. (But she -- !!!!! The ending! I still can't believe what she did with the ending! Oh, it's not published, sorry; you-all will just have to wait. It was one of the most shocking endings I've read in awhile, though. The -- !!! She -- !!!)
4. Where is your favorite local place to hike?
To hike. Hmmm. I've done a lot more walking than hiking immediately around here. I might want to drive down to Seven Mile at some point if I was going to have lunch with my old advisor anyway, but that's an hour south and not really "local." Hidden Falls is the only local place I've been for-real-hiking, and it wasn't exactly my favorite. I do not believe in these Hidden Falls (and you who say you've seen them -- you know who you are -- put your money where your mouth is and show them to me). Also it was extremely buggy despite our best attempts at bug spray. Also...well, greykev had an unpleasant experience, let's say that. So not really a favorite.
5. What is the hardest thing you have ever cooked?
The hardest thing? Oh, hell, I don't know. I don't think of most cooking tasks as hard. Mostly they're time-consuming or not-time-consuming, but not particularly difficult either way. I have confidence in my basic skills, is what I'm saying.
The thing that went wrong most catastrophically was chicken piccata. I don't fry things. I pan-fry them, sometimes, and stir-fry them, but actually fried-in-oil frying, no, not for me, thanks. But I like chicken piccata, and the recipe I found called for frying. I should have known the physics of the situation would not turn out well, but I was used to being able to dump things in a pan with my hands. Turns out you can't do that with a pan full of oil; go figure. The hot oil splashed up and caught me. I had a half-dollar-sized blister on the palm of my right hand. You can still see the scar very faintly, and it aches a bit with changes in weather.
(Incidentally, I also had to travel with it that way, which brings up a point: if you are traveling by air and you have any inkling at all that you might need them, pack a few bandages in your carry-on. Seriously. MSP International didn't have so much as a First-Aid kit with Band-Aids available in any of the shops. We had to go outside the security perimeter to the police station to get my hand rebandaged when it needed it between flights. And that was torture, because we were flying back from seagrit's graduation in Grand Rapids, MI, to San Francisco, and we didn't want to be in San Francisco, and flying through MSP was bad enough, but once we left the security perimeter, the urge to just keep walking nearly did me in. We flew through MSP several times when we were living in the Bay Area. When you take off and land at MSP, you can see CJ's house. His actual house, not just reasoning out where it must be. And I would look out the window and watch my lakes and my trees and my streets and my city recede behind us, and I would sit there and cry and cry.)
The worst of it with the piccata is that I had already salted the chicken before this awful incident, and markgritter didn't know that, so when he came in to finish dinner while I iced my hand, he salted it again. So the chicken wasn't even good.