Flartopia FAQs

Who are you?  I am a woman who is still surprised to be out of her 30s.  I am American, a midwesterner from Ohio, a semi-lapsed Episcopalian, a French teacher by calling and training, a cubicle rat by default.  I live in the suburbs of Charlotte, NC, but think I might be happiest on five acres in the country, with a small flock of chickens and maybe a goat, or a donkey, or a pony...or just more chickens.  I also happen to be wife to a woman.

Where is Flartopia?  In my yard, I guess.  Or my head.  I imagine Flartopia as any space where a Flartus can be happy and thrive.

So what's a Flartus?  That was my original screen name, when I was nervous about privacy and spamming, and was looking for a website name that wasn't already taken.  It was the nickname of a family dog from my teenage years.  She was a goofball, but everybody loved her and we still miss her.  I should be so lucky to be remembered with similar sentiments.

What do Flartopians do?  Miss Chef and I work.  A lot.  Rosie sleeps a lot.

No, I mean, what do they do around Flartopia?  Oh, well...enjoy the fact we're not at work!  Miss Chef is working on her MBA, so she spends a lot of time staring at a computer screen.  When I'm lucky, she gets excited about some new ingredient or flavor combination and makes a big mess in the kitchen, as well as some yummy fancy food.  For my part, besides blogging, I garden, read a lot, play with the camera, cook some, take Rosie on walks and play too much Angry Birds.

Away from home, we like to spend time at our local farmers' markets and at the US National Whitewater Center.  We also love to travel together, whether it's our annual pilgrimage to the mountains of North Carolina, or our recent Big Trip to London and Paris.  We're hoping to visit the Pacific Northwest on our next big trip...though if another opportunity to head abroad is offered, we sure won't turn that down.

Miss Chef?  What kind of chef?  She's a Chef Instructor at a for-profit culinary school (not Johnson & Wales), and a hired gun at a couple of local upscale restaurants (she used to work here, but quit to focus on her MBA).  She's really good at coming up with amazing sauces, and she's even better at teaching.  I may be biased, but I think I know a good teacher when I see one.

What do you do?  I work for a big corporate bank which is not headquartered in Charlotte.  I also teach French part-time at the same school where Miss Chef works.

And who is this Rosie?  A pure-bred shelter dog, adopted in 2006 at the age of two (or so).  I did have her DNA tested, and they say she's chow, lab, collie and husky, with a touch of golden retriever.  She is very laid-back--I call her bomb-proof--which is why I thought to get her involved with pet therapy.  For two years or so we visited nursing homes in the area. These days she's my own personal therapy dog.  She gives good hugs.

I feel like I'm forgetting to ask something important.  Well then, here are some unimportant things about me, which you may or may not find useful.
  • Our first family dog joined us as a puppy when I was 2 1/2 years old.  I didn't like her because she nabbed my gingerbread doll. 
  • My favorite snacks are potato chips and chocolate.  Not at the same time, though.
  • My two favorite authors are Kurt Vonnegut and Bill Bryson.  I have also read every Harry Potter book and own all the movies.
  • I am a picky eater.  The only vegetables I ever cook are broccoli, corn and asparagus.  I can't handle spicy foods and don't like seafood, though I'm learning to enjoy shrimp and scallops.  Mushrooms are right off the list.
  • I've spent two academic years and two summers in France, mostly working as a teacher.  I've also been to or through just about every country in Europe.  On the other hand, I have never been to Asia, and just barely to Mexico and Canada, though I grew up less than 300 miles from Toronto!
  • I do not identify with the words "gay" or "lesbian."  It's not how I define myself, so I prefer "woman." 
  • I am afraid of spiders, but only inside.  Outside, there is enough room for me to get away.
  • Growing up at the extreme northeastern edge of Tornado Alley, I was subjected to repeated tornado drills and lessons about their dangers.  Today I am still terrified of windy storms and occasionally have tornado nightmares.
  • I did get over my fear of thunder and lightning, though.  According to my dad, that was a result of nearly being struck by lightning as a baby.
  • I "speak" dog pretty well, but I just don't get cats.  Not that I'm averse to a little feline cuddle.
  • I can remember reading my first word.  It was "milk," and I was reading the half-gallon carton on the dinner table.  Something clicked in my head, and I haven't been able to stop reading since.
  • I don't really watch tv any more.  I grew out of the habit when we couldn't afford cable.
  • I am a Coke© addict.  (Not a coke addict.)
  • My list of childhood pets includes fish, frogs, birds, turtles, hermit crabs and mice.
  • We also raised rabbits, but they were for dinner.
  • I do enjoy teaching, but not lesson planning.  Bleah.
  • My college friends discovered that I have the instinctive ability to avoid stepping in cow poop while walking backwards through the 4H area of the county fair.  I am still quietly proud of that.
  • I never, ever wanted to have children.  Which is probably a very good indication that I shouldn't.
  • I have about 40 VHS tapes of old Mystery Science Theater shows.  I'm a Joel fan.
  • Even with all that time in Europe, I have never been a coffee drinker.
  • In college I was a member of a great improv comedy troupe, and did a couple of workshops with Marty DeMaat at Second City in Chicago.  Some of my old troupe members still perform with them.
  • I have a birdwatching life list around here somewhere.  I won't bore you with it, though.
  • I can smell the difference between horse manure and cow manure.  Horse manure smells better.
  • If air conditioning were outlawed, I'd probably move back north.

    It's hard to believe I got over such distrust.

    Got any more questions?  Email me at flartus @ hotmail dot com. 

    1 comment:

    Thanks for dropping by--please share your thoughts!

    "Every time we get comment mail, Rosie wags her tail!" (Seriously, you should see that puffy thing go.)