Teachers in California are paid based on their seniority with their specific school districts, so at this point in her career, Susan can't even move away from her current school district without probably taking a really huge pay cut. Also, my parents live here, and the majority of my aunts and uncles and cousins live here, and some of my few remaining great-aunts live here . . . ("here" being defined broadly as the southern half of the Sacramento Valley and the adjacent portions of the Pacific Coast and Sierra Nevadas: everybody's within a few hours' drive of each other). And since I do happen to actually like these members of my family - increasingly so over the years, it seems - I would prefer to remain near them. It's possible that someday, when Susan is retired and my parents have died of old age, I might try moving to Canada - but McCain will be dead of old age long before my parents are, and hopefully Prop 8 will be too. And really I tend to doubt I'd actually want to tear myself away from California, or even this relatively specific region of California, for anything more than a temporary vacation in Canada. I'd still have cousins here, but more than that, I'd still have memories here and emotional roots here. My only real interest in gardening is in growing California native plants, and I'd never be able to grow a lot of them in Canada. I'd never be able to see the Sierra Nevadas in Canada. I really like the Sierra Nevadas. I really like the hour-long drive between my apartment and Susan's duplex, right down the center of the Sacramento Valley, with the Sierra Nevadas clearly visible in the east and the Coast Range clearly visible in the west, both of them visible simultaneously and a vast swathe of rice fields and invasive mustard fields and peach, plum, almond and walnut orchards in between them, and occasional undisturbed areas with the original oak trees still dotting the landscape. I've gotten to know the Sacramento Valley better than ever while making this drive. So no matter where else I might want to live for political reasons, I don't think I could ever feel I was home if this landscape wasn't there for me.
2-Which is the very best day you've spent with Susan?
Our very first date would have to be right up there. I think that might rank ahead of the day I proposed to her. I know it would rank ahead of the day she proposed to me, because she didn't lead me through fields of poison oak on our first date! But it could also be one of our camping trips - the first one, to PiPi, when we discussed our incomes and retirement plans and the possibility of buying a house together even though we'd been dating for not quite all of two weeks; or the third one, the morning we woke up at Ant Bank and the ground was so white I thought it had snowed, although it was only a very thick frost; or the day trip to Malakoff Diggins where the white on the ground really was snow; or the first of our two trips to Bowman Lake this summer. (The second trip wasn't as good because it was dustier, I forgot to bring the folding chairs, and somebody stole Susan's raft from the shore of the lake.) I can't decide which exact day, because there are so many good candidates. But it was probably one or another of the ones I mentioned here.
3-Write about a time (any context you like but preferably somewhat recent) in which you found yourself out of your depth and how you dealt with it.
I am out of my depth right now with Proposition 8. I pride myself in being able to defend both myself and those I love from unfair attacks, and right now it's very very, very difficult to accept the fact that I can't actually guarantee success when approximately half of California voters are all attacking at once. I am dealing with being out of my depth by (1) frantically doing everything I can think of to fight back, including making signs, distributing flyers door to door until my feet are covered with blisters, writing dozens of letters to all sorts of people and companies, and donating more and more and more of my money; (2) crying a whole lot; (3) being increasingly bitter and angry at the people who are putting me through this torture; (4) fantasizing about going on killing sprees; and (5) somewhat seriously wondering how many more days I can last before my previously flawless record of perfect mental health goes out the window and I end up in a mental hospital.
4+5-As determined by you, what are the single best and worst aspects of your personality?
They're probably the same trait, and it's probably exactly the trait I described in the previous question. I'm extraordinarily stubborn, determined, unwilling to give up ever when I've taken it into my head that a particular issue simply must be won. This is a fantastic trait if I'm on your side and the issue at hand is something that I'm actually capable of winning. It is a terrible trait if you're on the side I'm fighting against, and it is a terrible trait if you are me and the issue at hand is something that no degree of stubbornness or determination is actually capable of winning, in which case you/I may start wondering whether your/my brain may just possibly explode from the total inability to accept a loss and having that loss go right ahead and happen to us anyway.
If any of you would like some interview questions, say so and I'll give you some.