6: Ask San Anything Vol. 6

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2023


photo credit: @happpyal via Unsplash

As promised, I am catching up on some questions that you guys previously submitted through my ASK SAN ANYTHING! Google form. I apologize for dropping the ball on these but better late than never.

Without further ado… more random things about me.

From Suzanne:
What are 3-5 things on your “bucket list” — even if you don’t actually have a bucket list?

I actually don’t have an official bucket list (maybe I should write one?), but of course, I can come up with a few things that would make it onto such a list. 

  • visit Iceland
  • visit my good penfriend-turned-IRL friend in Sydney, Australia
  • a cross-country road trip
  • run a marathon
  • get a piano and play again
Do you have any bad habits? 

One of my bad habits is that I leave the driver’s seat in my preferred position, which makes it hard for my husband to get behind the wheel when he’s the one who uses the car next. I am trying to remember to move the seat back when I exit the car after I drive it, but it’s a struggle. 

What are the best and worst things about your job? 

The best thing about my job is that I get to look at maps/3D models all day long. Okay, I am slightly exaggerating, there’s also a lot of Excel spreadsheet work and data management involved, but most of my work is “visual” and I love it. 

The worst thing is how our funding works. I basically have to estimate how long a specific task will take (which is very hard to do in science), then account for every single hour that I worked, and charge it to each specific project. It can get very tedious and stressful.

What are your desert island foods?

Bread, cheese, apples. 

From Kyria:
If you could have one food-related item flown in fresh each day from Germany (the same thing every day) what would it be? 

Is this a trick question? Fresh rolls. Every single morning. 

What’s your favorite German beer?

Well, you’ll be surprised to hear that I don’t really drink beer. (I KNOW.) 

Funny story: At my 16th birthday party, a friend challenged me to finish a glass of Altbier (ale). To answer your immediate question: yes, we’re allowed to drink beer when we turn 16 in Germany, and no, I did not want to drink it. I managed to drink it over the course of the night but thought it was nasty. I was told that I would get used to it and that I would eventually like it if I kept drinking it. To this day, the rationale behind this statement is not at all apparent to me. Why should I keep drinking something that doesn’t taste good to me in hopes of eventually liking it? 

Anyway, I will say that I have on occasion had a beer in the last few years. My favorite is “Früh Kölsch” from a Cologne Brewery.

If you could live anywhere in the world (money is not an issue), where would it be? 

I’d love to live in Boston. 

From Engie
What television shows/podcasts are must see/must hear for you?

Oh boy, I probably avoided that question until now because I am the last person to ask for television show or podcast recommendations. I hardly ever listen to Podcasts (although I occasionally enjoy listening to “This American Life” and I have listened to Stephany’s “The Friendship Paradox” podcast, and a few others, but I haven’t kept up with any of them. Not because they weren’t good (THEY ARE!), but because podcasts just don’t make it to the top of my priority list.) The same goes for television shows. I don’t watch a lot of shows – the most recent one I have watched from start to finish was “Schitt’s Creek”, and my forever go-to series is reruns of “Friends”. (I AM SO SAD ABOUT MATTHEW PERRY!)

From Elisabeth
Do you have any plants in your house? I’m a newbie plant lover, and I’m always curious about others’ take on plants! 

I do have some plants, but I am not an expert in plant keeping. I do well with cacti. Haha. Unfortunately, our duplex doesn’t get a lot of light in the living room (where I have most of my plants) and it’s a challenge for me to keep them alive (even though I tried to pick plants that do well in low-light areas). I have a pothos, a fiddle leaf fig, and a lily. 

What’s your favourite shared activity to do with Jon?

I love going for walks with Jon. It always gives us the opportunity to connect and talk. We also love to cook (and eat) together. Our relationship wouldn’t have happened if we both hadn’t loved food.

If you could pick a dream job and have all the skills necessary to be proficient at it, what would that be? (e.g. if you selected “be a famous rockstar” you’d be able to sing/play an instrument etc, so there are NO limitations based on current location/age/ability).

I’d love to be a travel photographer. 

What’s your favourite holiday?

Christmas. I have very fond memories of Christmases at home with my family growing up and I also just love the whole holiday season. 

What’s one thing on your bucket list? Any plant advice for plant newbies?
  1. I find these posts so interesting and always enjoy reading about people’s bucket lists.
    Christmas is my favourite holiday too – I love getting into the festive season.
    I have indoor plants but since I currently need to replace a few so I’ll rather get than receive advice haha :)

    1. AMA posts are so random and fun. Tell me, what is it like to celebrate Christmas in the summer?

  2. I kept plants at my first house, but I really just don’t bother with them. I found out eventually that when the kids were little, they were sticking bites of dinner they didn’t want inside the African Violet that was on the middle of the kitchen table. Aha, maybe that’s why it didn’t flower often.

    My bucket list would probably include travel. I’m not even sure where, but I’ve always wanted to go to Australia. Right now, I’ve been blessed to be able to visit our kids at the places where they’ve chosen to study abroad. Budapest and Ireland. Mini hopes to study abroad next year. Fingers crossed we get to go visit her.

    1. Haha, that’s a funny story that your plant might not have flowered because your kids were sticking dinner they didn’t want inside the plant LOL

      Visiting your kids at the places they’ve chosen to study abroad sounds awesome. I am glad that your kids had the opportunity to see the world.

  3. Well this was so fun because I was like: I never got around to asking anyone anything in the early calls for AMA this year and then I saw my name and realized these came from LAST year.

    Hmmm. Bucket list. So many things – it can feel a bit overwhelming to be honest. Write a book. Live in NYC for 6 months. Have a “winter home” in the south of Portugal to avoid Canadian winters. I could keep going for a long time, but those three are the first that come to mind :)

    1. Haha, I apologize for answering your questions so late. I had forgotten that I had a spreadsheet with them.
      I definitely feel you on the overwhelm of a bucket list – that’s why I don’t officially have one, but I am sure we could both come up with things if we had to ;)

  4. Our bucket lists are very similar :)
    I don’t think that is a bad habit! You’re just forgetful. And his key should tell the car to move it anyway!
    Ha, I have wondered about that rationale with beer drinking too. Not for me but I don’t yuck anyone’s yum so if you like it, enjoy it! :)

    One thing on my bucket list is also Australia travel. I’ve always wanted to go and now I have quite a few friends living there too.

    1. Wait, what? Jons key should tell the car to move the seat back?? Is that a thing? Girl, we’re driving an old car… nothing moves unless I move it ;)

  5. I think there are legitimately some things you grow to like over time, like coffee and yogurt. But why do we do this? Like, why are there so many coffee drinkers when most of us said “ewww gross” the first time we tried it? I think that’s such an interesting question!!

    Bucket list: Visit Ireland and the Maldives. Start a blogging conference. Have our house be perfectly renovated.

    1. Wait – start a blogging conference?! I would like to hear more about this bucket list goal, Engie!

    2. I think it’s true that there are things that you grow to love over time and I am not opposed to try things again that I previously didn’t like … but usually a few years must have passed before I try again. LOL (I wouldn’t force myself to drink/eat something over and over just to get to the point of liking it.)

    3. Uhm, and what is this blogger conference bucket list item you speak of? Tell me more!

  6. Your beer question really has me thinking! Why DO we do that to ourselves? I tried for a long time to like tomatoes (I read somewhere if you try them X number of times, you will eventually grow to like or at least tolerate them) but somewhere in the middle of the experiment I was just DONE with tomatoes. I hate them, I can’t change it, oh well. But I find myself telling my daughter all the time, “Just try it!” or “You have to try things a few times before you give up on them completely!” Maybe it’s different for her because she’s a kid. But for grownups, life is too short to waste time trying to force yourself to like something you don’t!

    1. Don’t they say your taste buds change every 7 years or something like that? I don’t think it’s wrong to try something again as an adult that you didn’t like as a kid (e.g. I hated brussels sprouts, but now I love them!), but I think if you tried a few times and still don’t like something, you shouldn’t force yourself to try again.

      I think with kids though, taste changes with time and they should be encouraged to try things multiple times.

  7. Always so so fun to learn new snippets.
    I love that your quality time with Jon is walks.

    Also love the bucket list. And who knew you would like to be a travel photographer. We could be a team in that live.

    1. Oh yes, I thought about that… wouldn’t that be cool if we could tag team as a travel photographer team?! :)

  8. German drinking culture in general is weird like that, isn’t it? I used not to like beer at first but to some extend tastes also change over time. I used to not like red vine and now I love it very much.
    Bucket list item? Travel to places other than Germany and see Yellowstone Park and New York.

    1. Haha, I feel you… it feels like the only places I travel to are in Germany these days. I hope to travel more to actual “vacation” places.

  9. Great questions and great answers! I want to do a cross country trip as well, maybe even a cross country train trip. I don’t ever remember not liking beer, but the aversion that I’ve had to chicken since I was a child just will not quit.

    I’ve got nothing for plant advice. My mom and my husband have green thumbs and I do not. I guess my plant advice is the same as food aversion advice – once you know that something is not for you, it’s OK to move on.

    1. Oh, a cross country train trip! That would be awesome. I like the idea!

      I think generally your plant advice is solid and if something is not for you, you should move on. However, I would really love to have some plants in the house because I really love how they tie a room together. Sigh. All I want for them is not to die.

  10. Great questions and such entertaining answers- this was a fun read :)

  11. I love Schitt’s Creek! What a great show. AND IT’S CANADIAN!
    I don’t love beer but I will have one about once every three years or so. On a very hot day a nice cold beer with some lime can be nice.
    I don’t think I have ever, once in my life, moved my seat back in the car for my husband. I just figure he can move it to where he wants it, I guess? I never thought about it before! But I’m pretty tall, only 3 inches shorter than my husband so it probably doesn’t make a huge difference.

    1. I am only 4 inches shorter than Jon, but he’s a bigger guy and maybe it has to do with the type of car (what car do you have?) that it’s harder to get behind the wheel? We have a Jetta and it’s not super-spacious.

  12. We also need to enter our time to specific codes, but I just estimates it and cannot count the hours worked in each one. fortunately no one has caught me doing it wrong.
    bucket list: mmmm….. I want to take my family for an extended trip to argentina where I grew up. it’s just so far from Asia.

    1. Well, I will admit… I also estimate hours (it’s impossible to get it nailed down to the minute) and it usually works out, but it can be stressful if some work ends up taking more of my time than I have hours budgeted for .

  13. These are fun to read, so many things we experience differently and have different perspectives on.
    What’s one thing you miss that is better about living in Germany vs the USA, and one thing that you think is better about living in the USA than Germany?

    1. Thanks for the questions – I’ll answer them in the next installment :)

  14. You’ve got a lot of travel on your bucket list! There are so many places in the US I’ve never seen- Utah, Arizona, Northern California… that’s my bucket list right now.
    I do love beer, and the funny thing is, I learned to love it while I was in Germany. I agree it’s an acquired taste, and there’s no reason to acquire it (I feel that way about coffee.)

    1. Yeah, I have traveled quite a bit in Europe when I was younger (because so many countries are right at your finger tips), but ever since I moved to the US, most of my vacation time has been spent traveling to Germany to see family. So I really have some catching up to do (hopefully).

  15. Beer is not my jam. I’ve tried it a few times, but can’t see the point in trying to learn to like it. Save it for those who like it. I remember my friend in college drinking a beer and finding out it was non-alcoholic, and she said (only half joking), “What’s the point? It’s not like we’re drinking it for the TASTE!” HA! My dad loved beer and enjoyed the non-alcoholic kind.
    I like these ‘ask anything’ type blog posts, they are fun. :)

    1. Right, save the beer for those who like it – more for them.
      I rarely drink any alcohol, so I wouldn’t drink beer for the buzz but purely for taste.

  16. I like this question and answer series. You can really get to know someone by reading answers to obscure questions. I love it! I have the same issue with beer. I spent 10 years in Germany and people are always surprised that I don’t drink beer. I never developed a taste for it. German wine on the other hand. LOL

    1. Oh wow, you spent 10 years in Germany? How cool! Where about?

      1. Hi San. Approximately 7 of them in Berlin, before the wall fell, during the fall, and a bit after. The other 3 were around Dexheim/Nierstein in the Rhine Valley. It was three different times I was sent there while in the Army. I loved every minute and did not get to see enough of the country.

  17. I have taken a cross-country trip – a few times. :) I loved it. Didn’t do the southern route, though, so that’s on MY bucket list. Wanna meet in southern CA and get started? (HA)
    I have become NOT an alcohol drinker, save for the occasional glass of champagne or wine. It’s just not a thing for me anymore. I don’t really mind, TBH.
    So, let’s have Engie’s blogger’s conference, offer non-alcoholic drinks, and make it at the end of a group cross-country trip. That’ll cross off a lot of peoples’ list items. What do you say? ;)

    1. Oh, you have done cross-country trips? For fun? I need to learn more.
      And I agree, let’s have Engie’s blogger conference with non-alcoholic drinks and then travel together. I am up for it :)

  18. I would find it difficult to remember to push back the driver’s seat! But I don’t have to share my car, so perhaps that’s why!

    An Alaskan cruise is on my bucket list!

    1. Haha, I guess, if you’re the only one driving your car, then pushing back the driver’s seat is unnecessary ;)

  19. Bucket list item for me is spending 6 or more weeks in France when we are retired. I’d love to rent an apartment and really get to experience the city and do some daytrips.

    I also don’t like beer. At all. People are often telling me about GF beers that they think are good and I”m like – no thank you.

    1. Oh, longer time in France. That sounds delightful.

  20. My advice for plant newbies looking at an indoor plant, get a sansevieria. They only need watering once a month. An item on my bucket list is run a marathon.

    It does sound silly when you mention it, to keep drinking something you don’t like in the hopes of eventually liking it. I do think it’s worth retrying things at a later date. But if you feel no need to drink beer then there’s probably no need.

    1. Thanks for the plant suggestion :) I think I looked at these before.

  21. I think your “bad habit” is funny! If that’s the worst of your bad habits, I think you’re doing okay!! ;) I don’t really have a bucket list. Travel would top the list for me, though… so many places I’d like to go and see.

    1. Haha, right? If that’s my worst habit… but it’s probably not ;)

  22. Our house sucks for keeping plants alive, so we’ve given up. We had a nice cyclamen someone gave us for a housewarming gift. I was pregnant a month after moving in, and nine months after that I was in the hospital for a week after a c-section and the plant died, and that was the end. I garden on the blind-faith approach, which usually has some nice results, but I am not knowledgeable or capable.
    I’ve only been to Boston once, loved it.

    1. Blind-faith approach. Yup. That sounds like me.
      Boston is so lovely. My favorite city!

  23. I’m very much in agreement about beer. :) Life is too short to drink things that you don’t enjoy if there are others that you prefer!

    What’s the appeal of Boston for you? (I agree though!)

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