Where do you see yourself in the future, regarding family, employment, and life in general?
Is this like one of those "where do you see yourself in 5 years" questions? If you would have asked me five years ago if I thought I would have been where I am now, there's no way I could have forseen the developments. In the last five years, I got married, moved to Delaware, became a portrait photographer, became a professional brewer, then went back to IRB work. I really would never have thought I would be able to reinvent myself in such a way. My husband's in line for a pretty substantial promotion at work, which would mean a relocation but also a salary which would be able to sustain us. I wouldn't have to work. So, having that possibility is pretty exciting, whenever it happens. Right now I'm torn between a holding pattern in anticipation of this move and my interests and ventures coming up around me here. Currently, I'm developing my portrait photography business, and attempting to get my home studio up and running. Also, I'm teaching a class at the homebrew store on brewing for women. And, I'm doing a lot of networking to get a new homebrewing club up and running since our current one leaves much to be desired. I'm considering a family as an inevitability. If I don't have to work, I can actually raise my kids, so that's a bonus. If that doesn't work out, then I might go back to school for something. I have a bachelor's in psychology, so I could go on to grad school or go in a totally different direction. I get a lot of big ideas that really could use some fostering so having "free time" would be totally sweet. Although I'll probably just end up sitting around, watching TV.
How did you first discover Discuss Anything?
A former coworker turned me on to it. It was something to do during the day. He doesn't post anymore. But last time I heard from him, he scolded me for having a "tool bag of fanboys." I'm not really sure what that means.
What impact has DA had on your life, if any? What impact do you feel you have had on DA?
DA is an outlet for my frustration and silliness. It's a way for me to stay in touch with some of my peeps who are far away. As far as my impact on DA, well, hosting DA fest at my house last year was pretty sweet. We had a pretty good turn out and I got to meet some new folks as well as reconnect with some others I already knew. I feel like I'm a good sounding board for people who need shoulder to cry on or someone to goof around with. Also, people seem to consult me about beer, which makes me quite happy.
Are you a member of a political party? Who will you vote for in our upcoming presidential election, if anyone?
I'm a registered Democrat, and I'll be voting for Obama. Not a huge surprise, I suppose, considering I live in Delaware. Last election, when we were living in Pennsylvania, I volunteered a lot for the Kerry campaign. We threw a Kegger for Kerry and did a lot of knocking on doors and making sure people knew where the voting places were. It was pretty devastating when we lost, so I'm hoping not to have my heart broken again.
You're known as one of the beer lovers of DA. At what age did you first discover sweet, wonderful beer? When did you start brewing your own? What are the most important things you have learned about brewing through trial and experience that you wish you knew when you first got started?
Heh, there's some pretty incriminating photos of me and my younger brothers getting into a keg at a party my parents were throwing. I think I was all of like 5 years old. My dad was a homebrewer when I was a kid, and I used to hang out with him while he was doing that. Sometimes I got to help. My husband and I started getting into craft beer when we were still dating, going to festivals and brew pubs and the like. Beer is part of our collective life. We had a few friends who made beer so we had people to consult with as we got started. When we got married we took some of the money we got as gifts and bought our awesome brew set up. We upgraded to a bigger ported kettle, a copper wort chiller and some nice carboys. It was so worth it. Our first brew was a Saison, which was a bit of a disaster as we were using these old cork lined caps that my dad gave us. They were far past their prime so the beer didn't carbonate. Still, it was tasty and we drank it up nonetheless. In terms of what I wish I knew then what I know, was how simple it was. A lot of people are afraid of brewing because there's a lot of things that can go wrong. But, most of those things can be dealt with by remaining calm, being clean, and not walking away from the boil. Also, spiced beers are great for noobs, but they are easy to over spice. Rosemary is not a good brewing spice. Finally, I wish I hadn't waiting so long to start kegging. It is such a huge time saver and it would have put me ahead of the game when I started working at the brewery.
You've expressed frustration in the past with your place of work. If money, education, innate ability, et cetera weren't factors, what would you choose to do for a living instead of being a IRB Regulatory Affairs Auditing Specialist?
If I were able to retain the health insurance I have now, and salary weren't an issue, I would love to split my time between my other part time gigs that I do for fun: photography and working at the homebrew store. I really love both because I get to interact with people and have a lot of fun. I would love to go back to professional brewing, but on a smaller system that I could run myself. It's a great work out and a lot of fun. Plus there's some serious street cred in being a professional women brewer and I really miss that.
What type of threads on DA do you most enjoy reading and participating?
The silly ones. I think we need to have more of those. I really enjoy Jeremix's threads. I'm a big fan of the "take a picture of yourself right now" thread. And of course, the official beer thread. Love it!!
What types of threads on DA, if any, annoy or bore you?
I try to avoid the political and "big debates" threads. It's just not my thing. Arguing about politics doesn't change anyone's mind and it just makes me cranky. If there were a filter that I could just put those whole forums on ignore, I would totally do it. Also, I don't have access or want access to the Everything Forum. Because I post mostly at work, it's just not a good idea for that kind of stuff to be accessed here. Also, I'm a bit of a prude.
Do you see yourself as more of a lurker or a poster?
Poster, for sure. I lurk sometimes, when I'm busy or can't think of a witty response.
Is there anything else that you would like the world to know about you?
I'm deathly afraid of paper cuts to the eye and a seeing eye cat does not have your best interest at heart.